government, to work at all. i'm ray suarez and that's the inside story. this is al jazeera america, live from new york city. i'm richelle carey, tony harris is on assignment. president obama and vladimir putin publicly clash at the u.n. before their closed-door meeting. accountable for abuse, what pope francis is now saying about anyone who helped cover it up. and why shell is giving up oil exploration off of the coast of
alaska. and life on mars? a new discovery suggests it could be possible. ♪ a busy day in new york for president obama after addressing the u.n. general assembly he met on the sidelines with vladimir putin. and topping their agenda, the war in syria. president obama had some tough words today about president bashar al-assad. >> let's remember how this started. assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing, and in turn, created the environment for the current strife. >> let's go to mike viqueira at the u.n.
mike, president obama called out russia over its position on syria, and ukraine in front of the entire general assembly. what if anything do we know about what happened hah in sideline meeting with president putin. >> reporter: i have to tell you, as i stand here on 1st avenue on new york city's east side, the president's limousine just went by, an hour earlier than we expected it to go, because that meeting went an hour longer than expected. so we don't know exactly what happened, but we're anticipating perhaps a briefing from officials that were involved. it comes after a day of acrimony, and very awkward to say the least photo opportunity between president obama and vladimir putin. they met inside the u.n. all of 15 seconds a very stiff handshake and then walking out, it represents the first
face-to-face meeting these two men have had since june of last year. this freeze as a result of russia's actions in ukraine, annexing crimea, and now we have this power play that putin is making in syria adding men and material to aid the cause of bashar al-assad, so a lot on the table as these two presidents meet, richelle. >> these two men have very different opinions when it comes to bashar al-assad. president obama says he must go, has publicly said that many times, and it has been clear that president putin thinks he should stay and be propped up, his position he says is about stabilizing syria. is there any common ground that these two men could possibly have when it comes to syria? >> richelle, that's the big question, because this is such a recent and unexpected development. the white house was caught a little bit flat footed. russia sending those arms, and
tanks into syria, not to mention there could be an accident between the u.s. and russia. but putin has made many times that bashar al-assad should stay. and meanwhile, president obama talked about the attitude towards the middle east on the part of many in the west. let's listen. >> part of our job, together, is to work to reject such extremism that infects too many of our young people. start of that effort must be a continued rejection by muslims of those who distort islam to preach intolerance and violence.
>> reporter: and it has really been an extraordinary day. openly calling each other out before this world body. >> and the antagonism we're not done talking about that. let's talk about ukraine. president obama said in his 45-minute speech, he said that russian policy is what is driving ukraine closer to europe and in an interview last night on 60 minutes, vladimir putin said that meddling from the u.s. and the west is what is making ukraine unstable. these men clearly are talking at each other when it comes to ukraine as well. >> as has been the case for the last year and a half. now president obama took this opportunity to call his policy towards ukraine and russia a success, saying the sanctions that the united states has pushed and cajoled europeans to go along with against individuals in russia and
against russian industries have taken a bite out of the russian economy, and yet russia is still sitting in ukraine, annexing crimea, and russian-backed separatists still in eastern ukraine even though fighting has subsided. so largely a stalemate, richelle. >> all right. mike viqueira reporting from the united nations saying the meeting between vladimir putin and barack obama lasted longer than anyone expected. vladimir putin isn't backing away from his support of the assad regime, and now he is turning to iran for help fighting isil. >> reporter: russian president vladimir putin wasn't even in the room when he heard barack obama call him out over his annexation in crimea, but he had a message as to who should remain in power in syria.
>> translator: we think it's an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the syrian government, we should knowledge that no one but president assad's forces are truly fighting the isil and owe terrorist organizations in syria. >> reporter: putin called for a brood international coalition against isil, which includes syrian troops. that's unlikely to include the u.s. as president obama reiterated monday in front of the general assembly that assad must go, and those overtures further handpicked by putin's criticism over the us, over arming moderate syrian rebels. >> translator: it's not clear yet who is using whom for the benefit of their goals. we regard any attempts to play by the terrorists rules or
especially to arm them as not just short sidedness, but a dangerous move. >> reporter: while he solidifies his footing in the middle east, iran announced its ready to join too. that move by its agreement along with syria and iraq to share intelligence about isil. >> translator: we are prepared to assist in the eradication of terrorism and paving the way for democracy. as we aided the establishment of democracy in iraq and afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in syria and yemen. >> ban ki-moon blamed the security council for a lack of the solution to the syrian conflict, and the fallout, including millions of refugees inundating europe. >> five countries in particular hold the key. the russian federation, the united states, saudi arabia, iran, and turkey.
>> reporter: that call to action, however, a difficult one as the differences between the u.s. and russia over syria includes turkey and france who say no solution can be attained with president assad in power. >> translator: i see some unleashing all of their democratic efforts to include bashar al-assad in this process, but one cannot make the victims and executioner work together. assad is at the root of the problem. he cannot be part of the solution. >> reporter: and the president's motorcade has just left the u.n. compound after those face-to-face contacts with vladimir putin, the first in which the two of sat down together in more than year, to discuss the ukraine crisis, and the syrian crisis, and president putin's proposal of grand coalition of all countries in the world to try to battle isis, that idea has fallen on deaf
ears today this evening at the united nations, and it is likely that now we're going to be faced with talks about trying to resolve the syrian situation, but as one diplomat said, at least we are talking seriously for the first time in 18 months. >> i suppose that is something. president obama's face-to-face meeting with russia's president putin comes as the united states is scrambling to counter the aggressive military posture in syria. more now from al jazeera america national security correspondent jamie mcintyre, who is at the pentagon. jamie? >> reporter: well, richelle for months the pentagon has been urging patience, pointing to small victories, highlighting some mine nor bright spots, but that was all about six months ago. now we're in a virtual stalemate and there are very few bright
spots to highlight. sources conceived that russia's surprise deployment to syria, under the justification of battling isil out flanked the u.s. and caught it flat footed. the pentagon processes to be unsure about vladimir putin's exact motives even though the russian president hasn't made a secret that he is backing long-time ally, bashar al-assad, the man president obama keeps insisting must go. >> translator: and there's no other solution to the syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism. >> reporter: president assad is going nowhere anymore time soon as w russia's backing. and the u.s. is poerless to stop putin's military moves. >> to pursue the defeat of isil without at the same time pursuing a political transition
is to fuel the very kind of extremism that underlies isil. and if that's the russian view, that's a logical contradiction. >> reporter: russia's in the driver's seat because it's willing to do what the u.s. is not, according to some sources, namely put forces on the ground. david petraeus, told congress that putin's bold actions were a direct result of president obama's inaction. >> russia's recent military escalation in syria is a further reminder that when the u.s. does not take the initiative others will fill the vacuum, uven in ways that are harmful to our interests. >> reporter: every time the u.s. turns around, it seems, putin is a step ahead. he just entered into an anti isil intelligence-sharing
agreement, with iran nuclear deal, syria, and iraq. the deputy secretary of state sold cnn frpt : meanwhile the pentagon's strategy, train and quip local forces on the ground has turned out to be a million million dollars flop, a $43 million investment has produced a tiny handful of syrian fighters. and after denying any of those u.s. trained forces gave up weapons to the al-nusra front, the u.s. command admits that yes, the latest group of 70 recruits turned over 25% of their equipment to a suspected al-nusra front intermediary in exchange for safe passage. the white house is beginning to argue that maybe the plan was mission impossible from the start. >> the president has long been skeptical of relying solely on
this strategy is. that's what he isn't, and our country isn't relying solely on that operation to lead our efforts inside of syria. >> reporter: meanwhile over in iraq, the offensive to retake ramadi, which supposedly started months ago is going nowhere. the official explanation. it's taking time to clear mine fields of ieds, but a bigger problem is the shia forces are not anxious to liberate the mostly sunni city. and richelle when general petraeus testified in front of congress, he said there were a couple of things the u.s. could do, one is threaten bashar al-assad's air force to stop using those barrel bombs filled with chlorine and set up safe
enclaves in the north for refugees and opposition fighters. that he said could be done with the planes already in the region. richelle? >> yammy thank you. the senate passed a key hurdle tonight to keep the government funded until december. the focus will soon turn back to the house where speaker john boehner says he has the votes to keep the government running, but some conservatives still want to cut funding to planned parenthood by shutting down the government. libby casey is in washington with more. what are the chances at this point of another government shutdown? >> very slim for this week, but we will see another battle in a couple month's time. they got through this big hurdle tonight. they needed 60 votes they got 77. now we're watch to see what will happen in the house. if speaker john boehner had not
announced that he was stepping down from this major leadership position, things will be a lot more tense. but because speaker boehner no longer has to listen to the right-wing of his republican caucus, he is free to do what he thinks is best, which is keep the government running. basically, though, this sets us up for a battle on december 11th, and there will be a new house speaker by that time, and this may bleed into the winter holidays richelle. >> couple of questions pertaining to john boehner and this decision he has made. how is the battle for the republican leadership now shaping up? >> reporter: this is what everyone is watching here in washington, and republicans will go behind closed doors on their own to talk things over, about direction, but also of course who will lead them. the man who is shaping up to be really the guy locking down support is kevin mccarthy. he is currently the number two.
a five-term congressman from california, he has never held the gavel of a chairmanship before, but he has a lot of fund-raising prowlous he is very popular, and he has been working the phone. another big battle shaping up, though for majority leader, the number two slot that kevin mccarthy will vacate. and we have three people looking at that. price is really leading this so far, because he got some big endorsements today both from main stream conservatives as well as the real right-wing of the republican party in the house. the conservative republicans want to make sure they can extract some concessions from kevin mccarthy or whoever becomes leader. one may be making sure the number 2 position on his team is
a real conservative, someone they feel they are represented by. they may be trying to get tom price into that position or another conservative, and they may also be trying to talk to mccarthy about what else may be coming in the coming months. so they may do it quickly or drag it out a little longer so they get everything nailed down before they accept the proposal. >> speaker boehner, how is he reflecting on the state of the republican party now? >> reporter: he certainly seems at peace with his decision to announce his retirement at the end of next month. he seems frustrated by the expectations of this conservative faction. speaker boehner is a very conservative member of congress, so perhaps conservative is too mild of a word to describe this
right faction of the republicans who believe that they should be able to win battles and not have to negotiate with the likes of president obama or senate democrats. he is saying that is not realistic, that you have to govern, and the way the country's founders set things up, you need to be able to deal with the other branches of government and across the aisle in order to get anything accomplished. so he is looking forward and saying they may not have a real grounding in what it takes to govern. >> libby casey live in washington. libby, thank you. still ahead. full stop, the reason shell says it is ending operations to drill for oil in the arctic. and the stunning discovery on mars. what nasa says it found out about water on the red planet. ♪
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pope francis is back at the vatican, following his trip to cuba and the united states. during his visit he prayed with inmates in philadelphia, addressed congress in what could be described as a highly political speech, and met with survivors of sex abuse within the catholic church. he spoke to reporters about his plan to hold bishops responsible for covering up abuse. and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he
received in the u.s. joining us now is a senior analyst with the national kat rick reporter. thank you for joining us. how would you characterize the pope's impact -- the impact of the visit on catholics here in the united states? >> well, the -- the outpouring of people was just fantastic, and he was greated with real warmth and affection by people across the country. a lot of former catholics after getting this experience are asking themselves maybe i should give the church a second chance. the problem is, of course, when they go to their local parish, they want to meet somebody like pope francis, so priests like myself have to -- you know, imitate pope francis who really is of course imitating jesus. >> well, let me ask you that. do you think he has put a
challenge to priests? >> oh, absolutely. absolutely. i mean he is changing the priorities of the catholic church for us to be more concerned about immamma grants, refugees, the environment, but he has always changed the style of being priests. he wants us to be much more compassionate, more welcoming, less judgmental. that's what people are looking for. but if they get the same old same old, if they hear denonesations from the pulpit, they are going to turn around and walk out the door. so we have to reach out to the sick, to families, to be embracing, welcoming, and inclusive. you know, he is showing us how to be a good priest, how to be a good bishop. >> it does seem like he is trying to bring the church into the 21st century, but someone he
still very much in line with traditional church teachings? >> the pope has said himself he is not changing church teaching. in some of his most radical statements, he is totally in line with the thanks that pope john paul ii said, and even pope benedict. pope benedict said of course there is a role for government in the regulation of the economy, and he went farther, he said not only there a role of government for the regulation of the economy and also the redistribution of wealth. you don't even hear liberal democrats saying things like that. so the church has always had a very aggressive stance on that stage. >> do you think some of the comments he made like on climate change, and immigration will
have a long-lasting effect in the u.s.? >> that's a good question, and i think only time will tell, but i think he has a unique opportunity. part of the problem is, we filter everything through our partisan bias. if what he says sounds democratic, then the democrats like it, if what he says sounds republican, then the republicans like it. but he is trying to be above that. so many people love and respect him that even when he challenges their -- their opinions, you know, their presuppositions, they may allow him to question those. you know, for example, if hillary clinton or al gore, or barack obama says that climate change is happening and it is caused by human activity. well, conservative catholics will immediately wright them off, but when the pope says that, they may say, well, maybe i ought to take another look at
that. that's the hope. i'm a social scientist, so i'm very pessimistic about that happening, but i'm a christian, so i have to have hope. >> and how was he able to reach so many non-catholics as well? it was obvious that he clearly was reaching hundreds of thousands of non-catholics too. >> well, i think people just naturally have become attracted to him. you know, people talk about him as a celebrity, but he's not the ordinary celebrity. i mean, celebrities are all about themselves. i mean they are selling themselves. either they want you to vote for them, or buy their records, or whatever. this man is all about other people. he is selling jesus. he is selling the gospel. and when you see him interact -- when you see him interact with people, it's all about them. it's not about him.
it's about the young person he is embracing. the sick person in a wheelchair, and seem see it. he is authentic. he is the real deal. he not only talks the talk he walks the walks. >> father thank you for the conversation tonight. appreciate it. >> good to be with you, richelle. >> all right. up next. high-level talks between president obama and vladimir putin. plus the vw investigation, german prosecutors are looking into the emission scandal and the company's former ceo.
♪ president obama just wrapped up his meeting with russian president vladimir putin. it lasted about an hour and a half longer than most expected. putin just reporters that he is not ruling out air attacks on isil; that when it comes to syria, the two leaders have very different views. we're joined by an author and historian on russia and the former soviet union. she joins us to break down some of the dynamic between these two leaders. how would you characterize the
tone of putin's speecher early in the day? >> i was first of all surprised it was so short in comparison to obama's speech. >> which was about 45, 50 minutes. >> yeah, and one of the russian comment taters that i was listening to, said he thought putin seemed sort of prickely and very negative. i think the speech said exactly what we expected it to say. because he already laid it out in an interview with 60 minutes and said it would be an enormous mistake not to include assad in a coalition against isil, and he talked a little bit about the economic sanctions and -- against russia, and mentioned how difficult it was for the russians after the collapse of the soviet union to have nato expand.
he made a reference to that. >> we also accused the west and u.s. of meddling in affairs in ukraine as well. >> yes. >> and president obama actually in his speech today said that the russian policies are what is driving ukraine to want to be more aligned with europe. who is right? >> i think that president obama really stated it clearly, and -- and eloquently, and i think it -- it undoubtedly was not something that president putin wanted to hear. >> so would president putin rather the world be talking more about syria and less about what is happening in ukraine? >> yes, he would. and i think it is very interesting that he has partly justified russia's action in syria, as a way to protecting russia from terrorists.
i think that's just an excuse. i -- i wonder about those figures, and i think, really, mr. putin does not want assad to go because -- >> why? >> -- because the russians want that regime. they sell a lot of military hardware to syria. they have that naval base that they have access to -- >> is it about influence? is it about power as you see it? >> yes, and quite frankly i think the kremlin doesn't want a democracy if syria involved into a democracy. they prefer operating with dictatorships. >> is there any kind of common ground that president obama and vladimir putin could possibly have reached? the talks did last longer than anyone would have expected. what did you make of that? >> i think they probably had to first of all discuss the issue of assad, and the possibility of
a transitional government, and whether russia was willing to set a time limit if power were transferred from him. i think there was quite a bit to talk about -- >> both say they want isil gone. >> yes. so i think they found their common ground. and i'm sure putin tried to persuade obama to get his western colleagues to lift economic sanctions against russia. but then, of course, he would have had to have made a few promises too, perhaps to take some of the military hardware that's in eastern ukraine from russia back to quit assisting -- having russia assist the rebels, and to maybe participate in a process where ukraine could start becoming a functioning democracy. >> okay. it remains to be seen.
we'll have to hear more from the u.s. side about what came out of these talks. amy knight thank you so much for your incite. >> thank you. taliban fighters in afghanistan are now in control of half of this strategic city. it was the northern strong hold until the 2001 u.s.-lead invasion. stephanie decker has more. >> reporter: the moment taliban fighters broke open the prison. and 600 prisoners were behind bars including taliban fighters. the jail attack is just one of a string of events that has left the group in control in most of the city. >> the people are in fear. nobody is in the streets or in the city. they are worrying about the attacks. >> reporter: the afghan interior ministry has spent
reinforcements, but the taliban has made major gains since fighters surrounded the city in the early hours of monday morning. government leaders say the city will be retaken. there have been casualties on both sides. civilians are also reported to be caught up in the battle for the city. it's the first time the taliban has taken such control of the city since the u.s.-lead invasion in 2001. it was the taliban's former northern strong hold before their government was overthrown 14 years ago. taliban fighters still hold some parts of the province which lies in the north with main roads connecting it to the rest of afghanistan and the capitol. the u.s. and nato left year, leaving afghan forces to face the taliban alone. taliban fighters are a powerful force on the ground and have tried to take the city before. afghan forces managed to push
them back. the question is, whether they can do it again. stephanie decker, al jazeera. volkswagen is now facing legal problems because of the emissions scandal. german prosecutors have launched an investigation into the former ceo. rob reynolds reports. >> reporter: the public prosecutor's office has announced that it is launching a criminal investigation into the former ceo of volkswagen group who resigned under pressure last week. the focus of the probe says the prosecutor's office will be on potential fraud surrounding volkswagen's now admitted scheme to cheat emissions testing by implanting special software into 11 million of its vehicles that make their diesel engines appear when tested to be less
polluting, when they were much more polluting when driven under actual driving conditions. it was less than a week when then the highly respected german executive with nearly unlimited ambitions and running a company ta sold more cars than any other car maker in the world. today he is in disgrace, out of a job, and facing potential criminal charges. and there's also news that the audi division of volkswagen has announced that 2.1 million of its vehicles are involved in this emissions testing cheating scandal as well. german authorities have given volkswagen a little more than a week to come up with a timetable, explaining how the company will bring these polluting vehicles back up to national standards for emissions. now as far as the ceo is concerned, when he resigned last week, he made a point of saying he had no knowledge of this
scheme to cheat on the emissions tests, and the board of -- of directors of volkswagen, as they accepted his resignation, also said there was no evidence that they had that he had any such knowledge. now the new ceo of volkswagen group is from their porchia division, has been with the company for a number of years and he has a very large job to do. volkswagen faces more than $18 billion in potential fines in the united states alone, and since news of the scandal broke, itself share price has fallen off of a cliff. shell oil is ending its arctic drilling campaign. a project that cost the company billions of dollars and inspired many protests.
they have announced today that it has found bar less oil and gas there than expected. allen schauffler joins us live from seattle. what has happened in the arctic since shell arrived there. >> reporter: well, this is really a story about what hasn't happened. what didn't happen is they didn't find huge amounts of gas and oil where they expected to. shell had permission from the obama administration to drill x exploratory wells. they drilled one exploratory well, about 150 miles off of the coast of alaska and what they are saying is they just didn't find sufficient resources there to justify continuing. they do say that the area is under explored at this point, but richelle, they have taken
their ball and gone home. the game is over at least for now. >> so the anti-drilling movement, what has the reaction been from them? >> well, it has been ecstatic as you might imagine. i just got off of the phone of the activist community here in seattle who said he was stunned and delighted. he was hard at work for plans for the 2016 drilling rig flotilla, assuming they would have to get out in the water and do it all over again. and we have this from the green peace executive director in the u.k., that is u.k. exsec director, who says big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat, they had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. for three years we faced them down, and the people won. it's doubtful that sell is going to make any kind of admission that it was public pressure that had any kind of contribution to
this decision, the company at this point saying there's a complicated regulatory atmosphere with the federal government and the costs just don't warrant exploration. they spent $7 billion to this point, and the simple math of business is apparently telling them to stop. >> right that return in the future? >> reporter: well, it's important to remember that what shell is saying, is we're not going to drill exploratory drills in the arctic for the foreseeable future. they didn't say we're pulling up stakes and leaving forever. they are going to cap the well, abandon it, and bring all of their ships and people home, about 28 else haves, but they say it's an underexplored region and they believe there will have strategic value to alaska and the united states at some point in the future. so could they go back that's certainly an open door.
>> alan thank you. a strong typhoon made landfall in taiwan earlier today. at least 24 people were injured. kevin corriveau is here with the latest on that. in that looks pretty tough out there. >> it was. it was the equivalent to category 4 hurricane. taiwan handles systems like this very, very well, so it was no surprise that there was no casualties with this, but of course we have a lot of flooding going on. take a look at some of the rainfall totals. 28 inches, over two feet of rain fell on parts of taiwan. for the storm it is moving over the taiwan straight and heading towards china. it is going to be category 2 when it makes landfall there, so we'll watch that carefully.
speaking of flooding closer to home. we're talking about florida along the gulf coast. we have seen flash flooding and flooding going on, and it's going to continue at least for the next several days as these rain showers push on shore. this is tropical depression 11. watch what happens over the next day or two. this tropical depression is expected to become a tropical storm and make its way up here towards the north. what we have to watch, though, is this cone of uncertainty. notice how wide it is. there is a lot of model forecasting going on, where the storm is going to go. but most of the models have the storm making its way straight to the north. it could be a tropical depression if it makes landfall, but we expect to see quite a bit of rain over the next couple of days and into the weekend with this storm, richelle.
nasa today that there is evidence of water on the surface of mars. the discovery transforms our understanding of the red planet, and the possibility, possibility, that life may exist will. jake ward joins us from san francisco to explain. i wanted my energy level to match yours, jake, because i hear you are pretty excited about this? >> reporter: i am. it ian incredible. the possibilities here are endless. up until now there had been this dancing around that scientists at nasa had been doing about the possibility of liquid matter on mars. but today they are confident it exists. >> today we're revolution nicing our understanding of this planet. our rovers are finding that there's a lot more humidity in the air than we ever imagined as we ingest the soils they are moist, hydrated full of water.
mars not the dry arid planet that we thought of in the past. today we're going to announce that under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on mars. >> reporter: richelle according to the new paper that came out based on analysis of the mars orb orbiter, announced that there is a salty briny water of some sort that seems to run down the riverlets that you see there, so at some point during the calendar year, which is very long on mars. water is moving across the surface of that planet. >> i'm not as smart about these things that as are, but it's my understanding that it's a wee bit cold up there for liquid water, so what gives? >> reporter: it is incredible. the conditions seem totally impossible for this kind of thing to happen.
it gets down to 150 fahrenheit on the surface of mars, and even when it can get above freezing. the atmosphere pressure is so low that if you were to move a glass of water up there, it would begin to boil away. it is either coming from water vapor or deep reservoir deep under the surface of mars. it also is helped along with think topography of that place. mountains are formed that cannot form on this planet, so they are somehow pulling this water down in ways that it couldn't here on this planet. and they are saying it is probably moving within days of when these paragraphs are taking. it is .hahhing in real time almost in front of our eyes. >> what does this mean for the possibility of life on mars? >> certainly anywhere that we see water on this planet, there
is life. if it is a briny as they say it may be, there may not be life. but it is certainly a plausible possibility. >> thank you, jake. for a look at what is coming up at the top of the hour, john siegenthaler is here. coming up tonight at 8:00, syria's fate. can the two leaders compromise for peace. what does this mean for syrian families scattered across the country and in western europe. life without john boehner. what will the new republican party look like? how likely are they to force a government shutdown? also tonight, flying for less, what uber did to revolutionize travel on the road, and now wants to do in the
sky. >> today if you go to any non-commercial airport, you are just going to see hundreds of airplanes sitting on the ground doing nothing. >> reporter: but will the faa allow this to happen. why the agency questions whether the program will ever get off of the ground. plus it has millions looking towards the heavens. now we'll show you some of the best photos from around the world of that rare superblood moon eclipse. >> looking forward to it, john. religious leaders say they are praying that congress was moved enough by what the pope francis said during his address last week. he also met with one argentine family that was so determined to see the holy father in person, they drove 13,000 miles to see
him. jennifer london reports. ♪ >> reporter: francis ca is a long way from home. >> it's a small honor we do for him. ♪ >> reporter: with a drive for adventure, fransisca, is set to meet her namesake in philadelphia. on board a devout argentinian family. >> the visit of pope francis, gave it like a deeper meaning to this family road trip, and -- and it -- it was like the thing that made us say, okay, this is it. >> reporter: the adventure began many march when the family left
their home in buenos aires. boarded a boat in panama, and then drove towards the u.s. border into texas. we first met up with noel, her husband, and their four young children in monitor ray, mexico. >> the big challenge was to leave. >> yeah. >> once we left, it was a lot easier. before we had many questions, many fears. >> reporter: the family's pilgrimage has taken them on a cross-continent adventure, from the an dees mountains to the waters of the pacific, sometimes sleeping under the stars or with host families. >> for us it's the best experience of the trip. >> reporter: staying with host families? >> yeah. >> reporter: why is that?
>> because we -- we -- we love to see the city and -- and the history of the city, but the -- the thing we love more is to -- to live with other people and understand how they live. >> reporter: photographs from every city and every country chronicle their ups and downs. these stickers on the back tell the story of where they have been. >> reporter: we said good-bye to the family in mexico, and plan to reconnect once they cross the boarder. they said this stretch of road can be dangerous, and didn't want to call any unnecessary attention to themselves. a few hours later they safely rolled into the u.s. [ cheers ] >> reporter: one month later, philadelphia, and -- [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the pope came into
view. noel -- she is crying. >> yes, it was very exciting to see him. and karla wanted to hug him. >> reporter: i know he looked directly at you and your family. [ laughter ] >> reporter: did you ever anticipate you would get that close to him? >> no. no. it was fabulous. it was a gift, thank you very much. yes, it was fabulous. >> reporter: the next day the whole family hugged the pope during an unexpected private visit where he told them he had been following their adventure. he joked the family was crazy for making such a daring journey. one they would do all over again. 13,000 miles, five breakdowns, three birthdays, and more than 4,000 photographs. memories to last a lifetime, driven by a big leap of faith, and a blessing from the pope. jennifer london, al jazeera, philadelphia. >> what a special family, and they plan to stay in the u.s. until november and then fly back