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Excessive Speed Might Be Culprit In Spain Train Derailment; SAC Capital Being Charged with Insider Trading; Protests In Tunis After Second Opposition Leader Assassinated; Pope Francis' Mission; Saudi Female Film Director Challenges Social Norms; Anthony Weiner Under Fire; Behind Huma Abedin's Decision to Support Husband Weiner; Weiner Watch

Aired July 25, 2013 - 16:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Shock and sadness in Spain as the death toll from Wednesday's crash continues to climb. Tonight, a closer look at what might have caused the tragedy.

Plus, protests erupt in the birthplace of the Arab Spring as a second opposition leader is murdered in Tunis.



HUMA ABEDIN, ANTHONY WEINER'S WIFE: I love him. I have forgiven him. I believe in him.


MANN: Why Anthony Weiner's wife is still standing by her man.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

MANN: Hello. And welcome, I'm Jonathan Mann. At least 80 people are dead and nearly 200 injured after Wednesday's train derailment in Spain, the country's worst rail accident in 40 years. And the death toll could still climb further because some of the victims are in such critical condition.

Have a look at the moment the train jumped the tracks. It'll take your breath away. All 13 carriages derailing, some catching fire.

The curve was described as difficult. Train's transport minister says the crash may have happened because the train was going too fast.

The tragedy happened near Santiago de Compostela, a popular tourist city in Galicia (ph).

The Spanish government has declared three days of official mourning for the victims. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a native of the area, visited the accident site and assured survivors the whole country would support them.


MARIANO RAJOY, PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (through translator): I want to say to the families and friends of the victims that you won't be alone and you will always have the support of all Spaniards.


MANN: And just a short while ago, Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia visited the hospital in Santiago de Compostela where the injured are recovering.

Well, the train's driver is in custody and being questioned by police. And investigations have been launched to figure out exactly what happened.

For all the latest developments, let's cross to CNN's Karl Penhaul in Santiago de Compostela.

Karl, it seems very clear to just about everyone the train was going too fast. Beyond that, how much more do we know?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm not even sure that it's safe to say that right now, John.

Yes, certainly you are correct in saying that that has been the source of intense media speculation that the train could have been going too fast, also the minister of development, she said that she believed excessive speed had a part to play in this train derailment.

But then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, when he visited the scene of the crash earlier on in the day, he insisted that investigators would be looking at all possibilities. He said all possibilities were on the table.

Of course we do know almost from the start of this investigation that investigators did appear to rule out any kind of terrorist act. So we would be looking at other factors here.

But, yes, certainly there has been speculation about excessive speed, but these are fast trains. This was an express train that is equipped to travel in certain points of its journey up to 250 kilometers an hour, although there is no suggestion that that train should have been traveling at anything like that speed around this curve behind me, which is where the crash occurred.

But even if you go back to that chilling CCTV surveillance video of the crash, yes, what we do see is that the front locomotive appears to slide off the track and then pulls the rest of the wagons with it. But also, if you also look again, perhaps in slow motion, about halfway along the length of that train you do see a puff of what does seem to be smoke or dust go up from the train and then the derailment starts to happen.

We don't know what that puff of smoke is. We don't know what effect it may have had on the rest of the train. But those are certainly details that investigators will be looking at. And as I say, they're insisting that all possibilities are still on the table, not just the speed factor, John.

MANN: What is going on at the scene today? And let me ask you more about the scene at the hospital with the king's arrival there underscoring just how much shock is being felt all around Spain.

PENHAUL: Exactly. I think there are two fronts in this.

Now, first of all, one of the fronts is what's going on behind me. And you'll see that big white crane there. That is standing by, because all the wagons have still not been lifted off the train tracks down on this side here, to my count, there are still possibly two or possibly three wagons still waiting to be lifted up along with the locomotive. And as they are lifted up, they're put on a low loader and taken off into the city for forensic examination. But then, of course, the care for the survivors.

And we saw King Juan Carlos going to one of the clinics where they're being treated. And he offered their condolences to all the victims and their families. And at the same time, we know from medical personnel that around 100 people still in hospital receiving treatment for the injuries that they suffered, 35 of those, at least, are listed as in critical condition.

There is every possibility that the death toll could continue to rise.

But put this in perspective, we now know that more than one-third of all the passengers traveling on that train died in that crash, most of them instantly, Jon.

MANN: Karl Penhaul at the crash scene, thanks very much.

So what could have caused Wednesday's accident? Officials from Spain's state owned railway said the train had been inspected just hours before the crash and didn't have any technical problems. This particular train was a class 730 Alvia model, able to run on electrified high speed lines or normal tracks.

It began service on this route in June of last year. The line where the accident occurred opened in December of 2011.

There are two automatic safety systems along the route designed to restrict speed, even capable of taking over a train if it's going too fast. But it's not clear why the technology didn't prevent the disaster.

Well, let's find out what could cause such an accident and spoke to George Bibel, author of "Trainwreck, the Forensics of Rail Disasters" and a professor at the University of North Dakota.

Thanks so much for being with us. The investigation is just getting underway. Many of us have seen that video. And obviously the suggestion that the train was going too fast seems pretty obvious. What are your thoughts about what we know so far.

GEORGE BIBEL, NORTH DAKOTA UNIVERSITY: Well, actually it's far more common for derailments to occur because of equipment failure, something wrong with the track, even broken track has occurred in Hatfield, United Kingdom about 13 years ago.

You can certainly derail by going too fast, but that's rare. You have to have a driver error as well as the train protection system would have to fail.

MANN: Well, I want to jump in on that very thought. What could make a train go too fast, apart from the driver? And you mentioned the possibility of track failure, tell us about that.

BIBEL: Well, going too fast is totally driver error. About the only other thing that can cause a train to go too fast has recently occurred in Canada is a runaway going downhill. And that's also driver error. Usually there can be brake failure, but usually that's a heavy freight train and the driver fails to control the train.


MANN: OK, that would make the train go too fast. The technology is supposed to slow trains down. It's common in industrialized countries the world over. And presumably it was said to have been in place here in Spain. What would cause that kind of safety mechanism to fail?

BIBEL: Well, like any kind of other electronic failure, it could be as simple as mechanical failure of the connecting wires. That sort of thing has happened in the United States in the Washington Metro System. They've had electronic problems with their train control system. And I believe in 2009, they had a collision that killed nine people because of signal failure.

That's rare too...

MANN: Bad wiring.


MANN: One of the questions people inevitably ask is why modern technology can't stop these kind of train mishaps. You've asked that question in an article you wrote not so long ago. What's the answer?

BIBEL: Well, you've got to realize things - just normal wear and tear. For example, New York City has over 200,000 pot holes every year. So the track, they wear out and they break with metal fatigue.

Now there's ways to inspect and prevent that. Plus, they move around. We've had settlement, things can get too wet, they've move around. Other things can cause a derailment. Something could be on the tracks. It could be vandalism or shifted load, you don't expect that on a passenger train. But free trains have a lot of unique problems. A 150 car freight train moves in and out like a slinky and they lose control over that, that can knock the train off the tracks.

MANN: And I suppose we should remind people the investigation in Spain, two of them, just getting underway.

George Bibel, author of "Train Wrecks: The Forensics of Rail Disasters," thanks so much for talking with us.

Well, after the crash, the city of Santiago de Compostela canceled one of its biggest celebrations of the year, the Feast of St. James. The Catholic celebration of the apostle James takes place every year on July 25, attracting more than 100,000 pilgrims from about 100 different countries.

They travel by foot, bicycle, even horseback to the cathedral where St. James is said to be enshrined.

Some make a pilgrimage on a 1,000 kilometer route known as the way of St. James. Any pilgrims arrive several days ahead of time to enjoy a festival that would normally be filled with food, dancing and fireworks, but now has much more to think about.

Still to come, outrage in the streets of Tunisia after another opposition leader is silenced.

And later, it's clear why he's called the People's Pope. Pope Francis leaves the glitz of Rio behind, bringing the faithful in one of Brazil's poorest favelas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there will be people who are opposing some just because - because it's a story told by a woman and because it's coming from Saudi.


MANN: We sat down with the visionary Saudi woman challenging social norms through the silver screen.

All that and more when Connect the World continues.


MANN: Welcome back.

Furious protests in Tunisia today after the second assassination of an opposition leader this year. Authorities say Mohamed al-Brahmi was shot outside his home near Tunis. He was a member of parliament and leader of the Liberal Popular Movement. Some protesters say the government is responsible for his murder. Mohamed al-Brahmi was an outspoken critic of Tunisia's ruling Islamists.

We're joined now by Lina Bin Mhenni, a Tunisian blogger and activist who says it was a very symbolic attack.

Thanks so much for being with us.

I want to ask you first of all about where you've been today, because protesters set fire to the headquarters of the Islamist party in the city of Buzid (ph). And there were more protests in Tunis itself.

You were out. What did you see around you?

LINA BEN MHENNI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TUNIS: Well, I'm trying to (inaudible) now just after assassination of Mohamed al-Brahmi, I went to the hospital. There were hundreds of people there. Then we came back to the main avenue, Tunis Avenue, where we are protesting.

There are some people who went to the headquarters of the Ennahda Party, the Islamist Party, others are outside the headquarters of the constitution assembly (ph), or outside the constitutional assembly (ph). So people are protesting everywhere.

I have news people protesting in different regions of Tunisia.

MANN: Let me ask you the simple, big question, why? Beyond the death of one man, what do people see in this assassination?

MHENNI: Well, actually today is a (inaudible) day for Tunisia. Today we were supposed to celebrate the announcement of the Tunisian Republic. It's a very, very symbolic day. It's a very particular day. We were supposed to take to the streets to celebrate. We were supposed to bring our flags, Tunisian flags and celebrate.

But two days ago, when this was announced, one of the most extremist leaders of Ennahda said that we don't have to do this. It's not the time to talk about the republic that's the civil state, it's not the time to bring our flags and talk about this.

So I think that this is very, very symbolic. The message is very clear.

MANN: Lina Ben Mhenni, speaking to us from Tunis. Thanks very much.

A final note to add, a statement on Tunis Air website says all of the airlines to and from Tunisia on Friday have been canceled, that's because for calls for a general strike.

Meanwhile, Egypt's army have given the Muslim Brotherhood group until Saturday to join reconciliation efforts after the ouster of Mohamed Morsy. The ultimatum comes a day ahead of planned demonstrations summoned by the military as a show of support.

CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is monitoring all of this from Cairo and joins us now.

Ben, things seem to be coming to a head once again. What can you tell us?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're expecting is that Tahrir Square and other parts of Cairo are going to be filled with people responding to the call from the Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who has asked for a public mandate in his fight against terrorism.

In the meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood and the pro-Morsy camp are also organizing large demonstrations starting - Marches starting from more than 30 locations in Cairo under the slogan Million Man March to bring down the coup.

So there are going to be lots of people in the streets of Cairo. And the city I can tell you already is quite tense.

MANN: Now this is just a few hours away. And then there's this 48 hour ultimatum. What are the Islamists going to do? Are they going to be coerced into cooperate?

WEDEMAN: Well, the 48 hour ultimatum is not specifically directed at anyone. And the military this evening made a point of stressing that.

But it's a very thinly veiled threat, at least it's been interpreted as such, against the Brotherhood telling them that it's time to stop these demonstrations and somehow come back into the fold.

But our information is that there's very little, if any contact, at the moment between the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and the military. Yesterday, some leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood accusing the defense minister of essentially for calling for a civil war - Jonathan.

MANN: So where do things stand? Is the struggle over Egypt now between the Muslim Brotherhood on one side and the military on the other? I ask that, because I'm wondering about all the other people in between, the ordinary people who were in Tahrir Square, who toppled a dictatorship hoping for just good government and an end to corruption and a chance to live normal, prosperous lives.

WEDEMAN: Well, it seems, Jonathan, we have come full circle. Because for decades, really, it has been a conflict between the military and the state on the one side, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now at the moment, certainly public opinion seems to be favoring the military in this confrontation with the Brotherhood. And almost everyone I've spoken to, with a few exceptions, all seem to say that this is a legitimate fight between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood and the sort of these pro-government press has really come out full - fully in support of the government.

One of the daily newspapers here have a full page spread about what it was called with pictures, "the Terrorism of the Brotherhood."

So at the moment is certainly seems that public opinion is favoring the military, which is somewhat ironic since it wasn't long ago that we were in this exact location covering demonstrations where people were calling for the toppling of military rule - Jonathan.

MANN: Ben Wedeman live in Cairo, thanks very much.

The United Nations says the world has to do more to help end the violence in Syria. It says more than 100,000 people have now been killed in the civil war. A powerful bombing in Damascus, actually in a Damascus suburb added to the death toll today, a state news agency says terrorists rigged a car to explode killing 10 people. An opposition group puts the death toll at 17. The neighborhood has a mostly Christian and Druze population known for backing the Syrian regime.

Looking elsewhere around the world, Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been indicted on charges ranging from bribery to abuse of power and corruption. He was once considered a rising star in China's Communist Party, but earlier last year, you may recall, he was sacked as a regional party chief for what were called disciplinary violations. And he's been in detention ever since.

Also last year, his wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence for the murder of a British businessman.

We're seeing some positive economic news out of Europe, Britain's economy growing at twice the speed it was at the start of the year. GDP grew by 0.6 percent in the second quarter. And out of Spain, the first drop in unemployment figures in two years.

The jobless rate in Spain is now 26.3 percent, hardly worth celebrating, but it is down from 27.2 percent in the first quarter.

Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. More business coming up after the break as America's biggest hedge fund is accused of systematic insider trading. What it might mean for the man at the helm of SAC capital.

And after spending time reaching out to Brazil's poor, the pope is now on his way to mass no the beach. Much more on that in just under 10 minutes.


MANN: Welcome back.

Steven Cohen, a name big investors around the world will know well. He's at the helm of one of the largest hedge funds in the United States, which for years has been dealing with allegations of insider trading. Now federal prosecutors have slapped SAC Capital with criminal charges.


PREET BHARARA, U.S. ATTORNEY: The SAC companies are being held accountable for the criminal acts of so many of their employees, because the misconduct was for pervasive, because those employees were acting for the direct financial benefit of the firm and because the company did not effectively police its own precincts.


MANN: Felicia Taylor is at CNN New York with more on what it could all mean.

Felicia, a big name on Wall Street and really big accusations against it.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. And the reason that this is such a big deal is because this is such a high profile firm. And frankly, you know, we heard just about a week ago that there were civil charges placed against the firm as well. Again, you know, Mr. Cohen has not admitted any kind of wrongdoing, but again it's against the firm itself.

Now these criminal charges, though, significantly raises the bar in terms of the allegations. Again, it is not against Mr. Cohen, but rather against the firm.

So what does that ultimately mean in terms of how it might play out in the courts, if it gets that far. It - obviously, you can't send a corporation to jail, but you can shut down its business. In other words, the 125 portfolio managers might find themselves out of work. And obviously that would be decimating to Mr. Cohen's hedge fund.

But, you know, this was a long time in the making. The federal authorities have been looking in at Mr. Cohen and his way of doing business for about six or seven years. And so - and his firm has been around for well over 20.

Let's take a look at the individual behind SAC.


TAYLOR: He is one of the most successful and controversial hedge fund managers in Wall Street history. By every estimation, the story of Steve Cohen, and SAC Capital Advisers is an extraordinary one. But the death knell may soon be coming.

JACOB FRENKEL, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: The criminal case against the company could result in the dissolution, the vaporization of his firm so there will be no entity in which he would then be able to manage money.

TAYLOR: Steven A. Cohen founded SAC Capital in 1992 and quickly made a name for himself by delivering double digit returns for clients who he charged some of the highest fees in the business.

ED BUTOWSKY, CHAPWOOD INVESTMENTS: The record for SAC has been nothing short of spectacular. And, you know, since 1994 they've returned about 3,800 percent net to their clients. And, you know, those are phenomenal numbers. You compare those to a Warren Buffet or just about any portfolio manager, and no one even comes close.

TAYLOR: Cohen's investment prowess earned him a net worth estimated at over $9 billion. And Cohen isn't afraid to spend it.

He lives large on a sprawling 14 acre Greenwich, Connecticut estate with a 35,000 square foot home, and a pricey mansion in the Hamptons. His art collection, which includes Picasso's La Reve and one of Damien Hirst's famous floating sharks if valued at $1 billion.

Cohen is also politically active. He was a big supporter of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. And even though he is notoriously camera shy and shuns publicity, Cohen is passionate about his philanthropic causes. He is co-chair of the anti-poverty Robin Hood Foundation.

Over the years, as Cohen's stature has risen, he became a person of interest for the feds. The big question, did SAC use inside information to beat the market?

The government first filed insider trading charges against former SAC figures in 2011. Their biggest catch, former SAC portfolio manager Matthew Martoma, who goes on trial in November for what is being called the most profitable insider trading case in history. But so far, Cohen has escaped the worst.

FRENKEL: The way that Steve Cohen has been able to avoid being the focus of these cases is the fact that his fingerprints are not on any of the illegal activity.


TAYLOR: So as I said it's unlikely that there's going to be any jail time. You can't send a company to jail. But you could obviously incite hefty fees. We've already seen him pays fees of about $600 million.

SAC did recently issue a statement basically saying that they are open for business as they continue to fight these allegations - Jonathan.

MANN: Wow. Well, I know you're also knowing the markets today. Anything caught your eye?

TAYLOR: Well, we've got Amazon earnings. And they were a bit of a disappointment. They have reported that they had a second quarter loss of $7 million on five - excuse me, two cents a share with expectations of about five cents a share. The analysts surveyed were looking for something a little bit more hefty. The sales did rise, though, so that was a little bit of good news for Amazon. But shares in after hours trade are already down about 4 percent.

MANN: Felicia Taylor in New York, thanks very much.

The latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, have a look at this.


MANN: These are live pictures of a welcome that would probably astound a rock star. Coming up, the pope's message as he visits one of Rio de Janeiro's poorest neighborhoods and continues on to the Copa Cabana.

And it's the first feature film shot entirely on Saudi soil. And its director is a woman. We'll have details.

Plus, he's down but he's not out. Anthony Weiner refuses to drop out of the New York mayoral race. More on the man who is in the midst of his second sex scandal.


MANN: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jonathan Mann with the top stories this hour.

The death toll is now 80 and still expected to rise after a train derailment and crash in northwestern Spain. The cause is under investigation, but media reports say the driver told police the train was traveling too fast around a curve. So far, he has not been charged.

A labor union in Tunisia is calling for a general strike Friday after an opposition leader was found shot to death at his home. Mohamed al- Brahmi is the second high-profile opposition politician killed in the last six months. His death set off several angry demonstrations.

At least 28 people were killed in bombings and shootings across Iraq Thursday. In the deadliest attack, a car bomb exploded in a busy market, killing 14 people in a town northeast of Baghdad.

Shares in social networking giant Facebook have soared 30 percent. The rally follows better than expected results on Wednesday, thanks to mobile ad sales.

We have live pictures now coming to us from the streets of Rio de Janeiro, a remarkable image of the pope literally reaching out to his followers. Pope Francis continuing his trip through Brazil.

A day of contrasts. He's on his way to Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana beach, where he'd celebrate mass with huge crowds of young Catholics. But earlier, the pontiff visited a crime-ridden neighborhood in Rio, sharing a message of faith and encouragement with the poor of one of the city's notorious favelas.

We'll get a live update on the pope's visit to Brazil in just a moment, but first, let's talk about his mission with Father Edward Beck, a CNN contributor. Thanks so much for being with us. It's been a remarkable visit. The images -- the imagery of that man reaching out to the people, the people reaching out to him. What most goes through your mind as you've watched it all unfold.

EDDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Especially today, Jonathan, in the slums, there, and with the world looking at him, he said, "This is where I want to be. This is where I want to go." And he challenged the world there. He said there's too much of a disparity between rich and poor. People should not have to live this way.

So, he tried to give a nod to the government for the advances in Brazil, but he said more needs to be done. He said, "I wish I could knock on every door in Brazil, but I can't. So for now, this district represents all of Brazil." And he picked one of the poorest to go to.

MANN: And in a way, he's directing himself, really, at one of the central tensions of Brazilian life: poverty, inequality. And doing it, presumably, as gracefully as he can, but is that his job? Should he be skirting these issues, or should he be diving more fully straight into them, do you think?

BECK: Well, you know, he really, in a way, is diving into it. He said today, "I think you need to stay in the streets, young people. Continue protesting." He said, "I think the church should be in the streets." So, he's really talking for a radical agenda. He's saying, don't sit, priests, in the church saying mass, get out in the streets with your people and make something happen.

The Gospel for him is about liberation of the poor. So, he's really making a political statement simply by being there and what he's saying, that the rich aren't doing enough, there's too much separation. The church needs to do something about it, too.

MANN: Now, inevitably, when the pope visits anywhere, we talk to the people of that place, and in Brazil, Brazilians aren't ashamed to say that they disagree with the pope, they disagree with church fathers on a lot of very important issues. On the celibacy of priests, on the ordination of women, on birth control. Can he, once again, skirt those issues, or does he have to address them, too?

BECK: Well, you know, interestingly, they haven't come up a lot in his papacy thus far. He's stayed away from those issues, and some think that's a good idea, that were the church really needs to be speaking is about justice, poverty, human rights, and this pope, that is his strong suit. And so, he's really stayed there.

Now, I'm sure those issues will come up, and he will in some way need to address them as well. But I think it's very interesting that he has deliberately stayed away from them. Now, many would say maybe that's skirting the issue.

But others would say he's talking about what the church needs to talk about, that maybe the church needs to get out of the bedrooms and so much of the sexual morality stuff, and really talk about how to improve the lives of people. And so, a lot of people are very happy that this is the direction that this pope is taking.

MANN: And I want to ask you more about that, about the direction of this pope. This is his first foreign trip. He chose -- first foreign trip as pontiff -- and he chose to return to his native Latin America and to the world's largest Catholic nation and literally to meet as many people as he can. What does this trip tell you about the kind of pope Francis plans to be?

BECK: Already we've seen he certainly has broken protocol, hasn't he? People were concerned about his security, people were reaching into the car. He didn't want the armored Pope mobile. He didn't want to live in the Apostolic Palace in Rome. He wants to say a mass with the common folk every morning. He wants to be with his people, and he wants his priests and his bishops to do the same.

So, what we see here is a man trying to break down the barriers of distinction even among the hierarchy and the church, the common people of the church. And so, I think what we're seeing is a man trying to redefine the papacy. He's not talking about Vicar of Christ, he's talking about "I am the Bishop of Rome." I am a pastor first and foremost.

And that's really a paradigm shift. The papacy previously seen a bit more as royalty, a bit more removed, a bit more solemn. And this isn't Pope Francis.

MANN: And in fact, he's really not Pope Benedict. The contrast with his predecessor seems so stark and it reminds us all, if anything, of Pope John Paul II, but John Paul II was a very political pope. He was a populist, but he was a very political pope.

He really delivered stern messages, not only to the faithful, but to the leaders of the faithful. And here in Brazil, as we talked about, a subtle but a step in that direction from Francis.

BECK: Yes, definitely. And I think we will see more of it. Remember, he's not even a pope -- what? -- three or four months. So, he can't affect everything all at once. But he will go into those waters, because this is a man who has lived among poverty, and he knows that the church needs to speak out politically as well. That's where justice happens, that's were social structures change.

And so, he doesn't think the church can be a rarefied edifice off somewhere, divorced from that. It needs to be in the mix of it. And I think we're going to see a lot more of that from this pope.

MANN: Father Edward Beck speaking to us live. Thanks very much.

BECK: My pleasure.

MANN: As we've been watching, Pope Francis advanced through the crowd on his way to mass at Copacabana Beach. He's in Brazil through Sunday for World Youth Day which, despite its name, is a week-long Catholic event, and the reception has been remarkable.

Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, find out how the story of a little girl's dream is breaking taboos in Saudi Arabia.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me, or so the saying says. But in reality, it can be a little more complicated. We'll look at why Anthony Weiner's wife might be staying with him, even after his latest sexting admissions.


MANN: Welcome back. For many people around the world, Saudi Arabia may be best know as the world's biggest oil producer and a place where women aren't allowed to drive cars. But one Saudi woman is working hard to break those stereotypes.

Haifaa al-Mansour is the country's first female film director, and her debut feature, "Wadjda," is also believe to be the first movie made on Saudi soil. It's got great reviews since its release in the UK earlier this month. CNN's Becky Anderson caught up with her last November and asked her about making a film that challenges social norms.


HAIFAA AL-MANSOUR, DIRECTOR, "WADJDA": Wadjda is a coming of age story about a young Saudi girl who wants to have -- to own a bike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "WADJDA" (through translator): Eight hundred riyals. Too expensive for you.

AL-MANSOUR: I tried to create a character that is not passive, that has a huge love of life, and she wants to embrace and pursue her dreams, because I think that is the future.

If we want to -- and a lot of Saudi girls are like that, they have huge potential, but sometimes they give in, because of the culture is very -- is very, like, rigid and they are afraid to challenge everything.

But I think if they believe in themselves, especially now, the world is different. And Saudi Arabia is opening up and they have a huge opportunities.

REEM ABDULLAH AS MOTHER, "WADJDA": Tapes with love songs, bracelets for football clubs. Are you running a football fan club? Don't you know that these items are forbidden?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How controversial is this or will this film be in Saudi Arabia?

AL-MANSOUR: I think film in general is controversial in Saudi. There will be people who are opposing the film just because it is -- because it's a story told by a woman and because it's coming from Saudi. And they want to preserve Saudi Arabia as this very pure place. And they feel film is corrupt and they don't want film. But again, there are lots of liberal voices emerging in Saudi Arabia.

ANDERSON: It was the first film to be made on Saudi soil. What sort of challenges did you face?

AL-MANSOUR: Saudi Arabia is a very segregated country, everybody knows. So it was hard for me, for example, to be in the streets when we shoot outdoors, so I had to be in a van and direct them through telephone sometimes, or mobiles.

And -- but it still it was quite rewarding experience for me as a Saudi woman. I'm always like at home or in the car. And it was sometimes first time for me to be in the streets. And it was amazing.

ANDERSON: Do you mind being provocative? Does it bother you that there are people in the country who, quite frankly, can't stand you?


HAIFAA AL-MANSOUR, DIRECTOR, "WADJDA": No, it doesn't bother me, but I don't try to be provocative. They know very much that I belong to a very conservative culture and I have boundaries to work within.

And I don't mind that, because I think change has to come from a fundamental level, and people have to work within these boundaries to make them bigger and to make people accept and become more tolerant and affirm. If I go totally against the system, sometimes I might not be heard in my own culture, and I don't want to end up there.

ABDULLAH AS MOTHER (through translator): And Wadjda, stop wearing those torn-up shoes. Wear normal black shoes, like the other girls.

ANDERSON: Do you find yourself defending the culture, the country, and its attitude towards women, to a certain extent, when you're out of Saudi Arabia?

AL-MANSOUR: No, I don't think I defend. I think -- I still think Saudi Arabia has a long way to go when it comes to women and women's rights. But also I think Saudi women have to play a role in that. They have to defend their existence and they have to try harder and stick together and try to provide a better life for themselves and their sisters and their daughters.

ANDERSON: So, what sort of impact do you think this film will have?

AL-MANSOUR: I hope one day, a Saudi man will see that film and will want to give his daughter a bike or give her more freedom, and allow her to do something she really wants to do, even if the culture does not really accept it.


MANN: Haifaa al-Mansour speaking with my colleague, Becky Anderson.

Coming up after a short break when CONNECT THE WORLD RETURNS, the Anthony Weiner scandal may have political fallout, but the comedians are having a whale of a time just poking fun at it. A round-up of the best one-liners coming up.


MANN: Welcome back. US politician Anthony Weiner is under increasing pressure to drop out of New York's mayoral race because of a continuing scandal in his personal life that just keeps getting worse.

We now know that Weiner, who is married, sent lewd and sexually explicit messages and photos to a 22-year-old woman last summer. He estimates he's had online relationships with three different women since similar behavior forced him to resign from the US Congress two years ago.

Many New Yorkers say it's disgraceful. "The New York Times" as well as other candidates are telling Weiner to get out of the race. Well, despite it, he's pressing on with his campaign and has apologized.

His wife is even on his side, telling the press she has, quote, "forgiven him." In fact, Huma Abedin has been very visible on the campaign trail supporting his husband. Some people are wondering why. Alina Cho has a closer look at who Abedin is and what might be influencing her decision.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Huma Abedin spoke of her devotion to her husband, Anthony Weiner, Tuesday --

HUMA ABEDIN, ANTHONY WEINER'S WIFE: I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him --

CHO: -- the public may have been surprised, but not those who know her. Members of her inner circle say Huma was out there because she wanted to be. A good wife, she is not.

Look no further than the September issue of "Harper's Bazaar," a revealing essay written in Huma Abedin's own words. She writes, "Yes, I'm out on the campaign trail. It's where I want to be because the choice for me is simple: I love my husband and we both love this city."

KIMBERLY CUTTER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "HARPER'S BAZAAR": I was struck by how much I could feel her love for her husband and her clarity about why she believed in him.

CHO: One friend from the Clinton White House days who did not want to be identified says back when the sexting scandal first broke in 2011, she - - meaning Huma -- wanted him to keep his congressional seat, not resign.

ANTHONY WEINER, CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF NEW YORK: My wife is an enormous asset to the campaign, she's the not-so-secret weapon of this campaign.

CHO: Another close friend who spoke to her just before she gave her remarks Tuesday says Huma found out about this latest transgression last fall, months before the public and, in the friend's words, was "furious and this close to walking out the door for a second time." Now, she writes in "Bazaar," the scandal has made her husband a better man.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York.


MANN: A lot of us are baffled that a successful, intelligent woman like Huma Abedin would stay with a husband who's publicly wronged her not once but twice. Pepper Schwartz is a professor of sociology at the University of Washington, joining us now via Skype from Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

You can almost understand it's some kind of weird sexual thing for Anthony Weiner, but what is it for his wife that keeps her by his side?

PEPPER SCHWARTZ, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Well, I think there are three things. First of all, it's obviously -- she's -- obviously it's true that she's a huge political animal. She married this guy to be a political activist with him, so she's hungry and she seems to be willing to bear any humiliation to do so, and he seems to be willing to allow her to be humiliated so he can narcissistically achieve.

Which has something to do with the second reason, which is to say that I think Huma thinks of him as a great man. And you suffer for a great man, you do what you need to do. The Clinton analogy cannot be escaped, the idea being that yes, they're flawed, but yes, they're great --


MANN: On that note, I'm going to jump in --

SCHWARTZ: And then there's --

MANN: -- even before you get to your third point. She spent a large part of her career working for Hilary Clinton, so you're suggesting there's a Clinton paradigm at work here?

SCHWARTZ: Yes, the ironies are almost like a novel. But yes, it's true. She's a confidante to Hilary Clinton. She would've gone through that with Hilary, and Hilary may say yes, and it was worth it to go through. Hilary and Bill, whatever their relationship is certainly a very close one.

Well, Huma and her husband are very much cut out of the same cloth, both in ambition, both in having a narcissistic male and an extremely politically-committed wife. So, yes, I think if you understand one, you understand both.

MANN: She told the press in that remarkable appearance that it has taken her a lot of therapy to forgive her husband. Is that a success story for therapy, or should she be getting a new therapist, do you think?


SCHWARTZ: Well, I'm sure we all have our own opinion on that. She certainly has been therapized. Here is a guy with a big problem, we can help him through this. He's a good man but troubled. You know? You buy - - you drink that kool-aid and you accept the whole therapy paradigm.

The idea is OK, you're going to work on it and fix it, why do it in front of the -- New York City? Why do it during a campaign? That's the part that I find very interesting, because yes, you might say, "I love this person, I want to figure out what it takes to fix them."

But to do it within the public outrage and a fixation on them, to do that, these are strange animals, and the therapist is probably helping Huma do what she really wants to do anyhow.

MANN: What about her mother or her sister or her best friend? I don't know a single woman who thinks that what she's doing is normal or worthy or desirable. Do you -- have women come to her support?

SCHWARTZ: I think most women are retching in the bathroom over this one. There are people who have stayed with their man. I think if you talk to, let's say, the wife of an alcoholic, the wife of somebody who had a partner who was addicted in some way, obsessive-compulsive, like this guy is, they might think that -- they will feel noble, they will feel like they have learned loyalty points for heaven protecting their marriage.

But people looking at them are probably thinking they're delusional. They, however, are looking for other people who will support them, and they're going to avoid the people who don't.

MANN: Is this a good model for married people to follow, do you think? Would you tell your daughter to be like Huma Abedin? I wouldn't.

SCWHARTZ: No, I wouldn't, either. I guess if I knew him, I might feel really badly that he was obsessed in this way. I certainly wouldn't want someone so compulsive to be my political representative.

And I wouldn't want to have my child in the same situation yet again, because the likelihood of repetition of this is almost 100 percent, I think. We'll be facing an other one of these at some point if he stays in the public sphere.

So, no, I wouldn't want -- I wouldn't want anybody I love to go through this, I wouldn't want them to be betrayed continually and have to be both mother and wife and therapist and saint. That's just a lot to ask out of marriage.

MANN: And you're making one point that I just want to underline: she's not done, is she? He is likely, whatever --


MANN: -- his strange obsession is, he's likely to repeat it, isn't he?

SCHWARTZ: Yes, men -- it's really interesting, there's a whole class of sexual acts called paraphilias, which basically means things that are not sexual within the context of a human-to-human connection, that it's about something else. It's 97 percent male, and it is extremely hard to change, extremely hard to cure. Maybe it's people can manage, but they often take medication to do so.

I think this guy is really full of himself even with this. His ability to say you're -- I'm going to make you all love me, I'm going to make you all vote for me, is very much tied in, I'm going to make you see my body, I'm going to make you fall in love with me, and needing a 23-year- old young woman to do it.

And let's not forget that he misrepresents himself to some poor woman out there and draws her into this kind of make-believe relationship.

MANN: It is sad -

SCHWARTZ: This isn't some --

MANN: -- and strange and somehow funny to us all. Pepper Schwartz at the University of Washington, thanks so much for being with us. Well --

SCHWARTZ: You're very welcome.

MANN: Start with his real name and then his online alter-ego, Carlos Danger, the Anthony Weiner story has been too tempting to resist for both the news media and the entertainment world. Jeanne Moos has a not-so- serious update.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The press is on Weiner Watch, grilling Weiner even in the middle of the street. The only ones enjoying this more than the media? The comedians.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Anthony Weiner the peter tweeter is at it again.

MOOS: The latest sexting was revealed by --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: -- a gossip website called "The Dirty."


MOOS (on camera): Now, Weiner's most damaging online chats are way too steamy for us to repeat, but some of the tamer exchanges had commentators in stitches at "The Blaze" TV as they performed a dramatic reading with Will Cain as Weiner.

WILL CAIN, "THE BLAZE": "You are a walking fantasy --"


S.E. CUPP, "THE BLAZE": I don't want to just be a fantasy, I want to take care of your every need!

MOOS (voice-over): The man running for New York City mayor inspired glee with the screen name he allegedly used for sexting.



LENO: This is Weiner's way of getting more Latino support. I'll use --

MOOS: Letterman gave the top ten other Anthony Weiner pseudonyms.

LETTERMAN: Carlos Dangler.


LETTERMAN: The Notorious Not So B-I-G and --


LETTERMAN: Mahmoud Ahmadine-junk. There you go!

MOOS: A blog called Animal New York created a Carlos Danger for Mayor commercial, featuring one of the latest photos purporting to show Weiner in all his glory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (impersonating Weiner): I'm Carlos Danger, and I approve this message.

MOOS: And then there was the mystery man who kept popping up at Weiner's press conference.

WEINER: What happened today --

MOOS: He quickly became known as the Cubicle Guy. Politico put Cubicle Guy's prairie dog pop-ups to music.


MOOS: Some compared him to Wilson --


MOOS: -- the fence-peeper from "Home Improvement." To others, Cubicle Guy brought back memories of the "Kilroy Was Here" doodle.


MOOS: Turns out, Cubicle Guy was Jeff McKinney, a WOR radio reporter who told WCCO --

JEFF MCKINNEY, WOR RADIO REPORTER: Cubicle Guy had no idea that he was Cubicle Guy.

MOOS: He said he had nowhere else to stand. As one online poster put it, "He works in radio, he forgets that people can see him."

Anthony Weiner's alleged alias, Carlos Danger, has itself popped up on this "Danger, Carlos is around" t-shirt.

CAIN: You are a walking fantasy.

MOOS: Just don't fantasize while walking. A word of caution --

WEINER: Careful, guys.

MOOS: Carlos Danger.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MANN: I'm Jonathan Mann, you've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD. This is CNN.