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Obama to Outline ISIS Plan Tonight; Obama Seeks to Arm and Train Syrian Opposition; Global Reaction to ISIS; ISIS Effective in Recruiting Women; Pistorius Verdict Due Thursday; Venturing Into a Volcano; President Poroshenko Claims Russian Troops Leaving Ukraine; Major Challenges Ahead for Iraq's New Unity Government; Prime Minister Cameron Heads to Scotland to Argue Against Scottish Independence; African Startup: Funda

Aired September 10, 2014 - 11:00:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: A gameplan for degrading and defeating ISIS. The U.S. president gets set to explain how he plans to take out the

militant Islamist group while his top diplomat calls for international cooperation.

Also ahead, a surprising development in eastern Ukraine. The president says Russian troops are actually pulling out of the region.

And months of testimony in Pretoria comes down to a judgment. Oscar Pistorius will soon learn his fate. We're live in South Africa.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we connect the world.

MANN: Thanks for joining us.

U.S. President Barack Obama will unveil his plans for degrading and defeating ISIS in a televised White House address just hours from now.

Will it include air strikes in Syria? Officials tell CNN Mr. Obama is open to the idea.

Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling in the Middle East, trying to build support among regional leaders. In Baghdad a

short time ago, he met with new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He showed support for the new Iraqi government and condemned ISIS.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There is literally no place for their barbarity in the modern world. And this is a fight that the Iraqi

people must win, but it's also a fight that the rest of the world needs to win with them, and it's a fight the United States and the rest of the world

need to support every single step of the way.


MANN: Well, let's turn to Jomana Karadsheh who joins us now live from Baghdad.

Jomana, the United States and Iraq are about to enter a new chapter in their relationship and the new government in Baghdad is the key to it.

What can you tell us about Kerry's visit?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jonathan, you hear Secretary Kerry and U.S. officials saying that this is a major

milestone. Yes, it is an accomplishment that the Iraqi politicians came together and formed this inclusive government, but like all governments

since 2003, yes, it is representative of the Sunnis, the Shias, the Kurds and other minorities, what is key here -- and this is message that the U.S.

is making clear too, Secretary Kerry with his visit also making it clear what is coming ahead, that is the big challenge. That is what's going to

be very important.

These politicians are really divided. They have serious mistrust of each other and they are coming together into this government with these

same issues, these same divisions. They're going to have to try and put that on the side to work together to make -- to really change the situation

here. And the United States is trying to push them in that direction as is everyone else right now.

And as we have -- as we have seen in the -- like in the past few days, yes, they have come together, but this is a very fragile government. It

looks like a unity government on the surface, but a very fragile one. The Kurds are saying unless their grievances, their issues, their disputes with

the central government are resolved within the next three months, they're walking out.

Sunni grievances, those that were exploited by ISIS, need to be addressed, too, the marginalization and persecution of Sunnis.

So, really, really tough job ahead for Prime Minister Abadi and for these politicians to do. The United States here, Jonathan, has a big part

to play. They have to try and continue to be engaged, because this is a complaint that we have heard from Iraqi politicians over the past few years

saying the United States has not been really engaged diplomatically and politically in Iraq under the Obama administration. So now they're seeing

signs of reengagement, something positive. And the United States has more leverage now than it's had in a very long time. Military support and those


MANN: Now Kerry's first stop is Baghdad, but that's not where this trip ends. He goes on to Jordan and to Saudi Arabia. He chose those

destinations for a reason. IOm curious, what in particular is bringing him to Saudi Arabia when it comes to fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria?

KARADSHEH: Well, one part of this trip is to try and get that endorsement from these Sunni Arab countries here, the powers in the region,

for what -- for this fight against ISIS, for this coalition, and an endorsement for the Iraqi government, this new government try to start a

new chapter.

Saudis, for example, in Iraq have had a really strained relationship over the past few years with Iraq accusing Saudi Arabia of being involved

in funding and really supporting the insurgency and extremist groups here in Iraq.

So, what we're going to see is Secretary Kerry heading to Jeddah where he is going to be meeting with six of the GCC countries there, and also

hearing from him in that press conference, saying that Saudi Arabia has invited the Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to attend this. A

positive sign here, possibility of the United States bringing these different countries together to try and resolve their issues.

A key thing he's going to have to work on is try and work with Saudi Arabia and these countries about really cracking down on the funding and

the flow of foreign fighters that really has been the lifeline for ISIS with a lot of accusations that there is Saudi funding behind that. So that

is going to be one big thing to do.

But also there are other players in this region that need to be addressed here, Jonathan. Of course, Turkey, we hear from Iraqi officials

they need to see more being done to secure its borders, to stop the flow of foreign fighters. Also, Iran, a key player in Iraq needs to be brought

into this to try and bring the Shia's onboard too and stop its funding and it's support for the Shia militias here that really fueled the sectarian


MANN: Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad, thanks very much.

We will have a lot more on the crisis in Iraq coming up on Connect the World. We'll speak to the spokesman for the prime minister's Dawa Party

about Mr. al Abadi's ability to bring together Shia and Sunni and Kurd.

U.S. President Obama says he can take action against ISIS without the approval of U.S. lawmakers, but he wants their support to show a united

front. Will he get it? A live report from Washington coming up.

And why women are joining the ranks of ISIS, that's later on Connect the World.

Russia's latest movements in Ukraine are boosting hopes of a peaceful solution to the crisis. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says a

majority of the Russian troops thought to be in the country have returned to Russia.

Moscow, of course, has repeatedly denied it has any troops in Ukraine, but the move comes just days after Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels

signed a ceasefire. And so far that shaky truce does seem to be holding.

Let's get the latest on the situation from Reza Sayah joining us now from Donestk Ukraine. Reza, Kiev is reporting what would be a remarkable

retreat by the Russian forces. What can you tell us?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jonathan, in many ways this conflict here in Ukraine is like a high stakes chess match. And

if, indeed, this claim by Mr. Poroshenko is corroborated, it would seemingly be a message from Moscow that they want to deescalate this

conflict and potentially this could be a turning point depending on how Kiev reacts, depending on how the west reacts.

This morning, Mr. Poroshenko saying 70 percent of Russian troops have pulled out of Ukrainian territory.

Now keep in mind, all along throughout this conflict Russia has maintained that they don't have any troops here in Ukraine. So it is very

likely that they're either going to reject this claim or not comment.

However, if this report is true, it would suggest that the pro-Russian rebels and Moscow are taking serious steps to deescalate. And now

seemingly it's Kiev's turn, it's the west's turn to make the next move. What it's going to be? Are they going to deescalate or are they going to

pile on the pressure?

At this point, indications are that they want to pile on the pressure. The EU meeting today, discussing another set of tougher sanctions. Angela

Merkel, the German chancellor, saying that's the right path to go. Washington also considering more sanctions. They haven't decided to

implement these new sanctions, but if, indeed, they move forward it is very likely Moscow is going to see this as provocation and they've already said

they're going to respond with their own economic measures.

So a lot to figure out in the coming days. They are going to be important days. But Moscow seemingly with a move that says we want to

deescalate if Mr. Poroshenko's claim is accurate.

MANN: Did Moscow, did the rebels get what they wanted from this, though? Was there any victory for them?

SAYAH: They got some of what they wanted, Jonathan, but it's not clear if they've received everything that they wanted. One of the things

that they badly wanted was to protect their territory in southeastern Ukraine, to push back the Ukrainian forces. And seemingly they've done

that. The way things stand right now is no indication that the Ukrainian forces can score a military victory, and that's obviously a win for the


But what's next is unclear. Remember, many of the rebels want an independent state, and that seems unlikely at this point. But many

observers say this is a golden opportunity for a compromise, which would look something like this.

The rebels, the separatists, would agree to have some sort of self- autonomy, some sort of self-determination, under a federal government. And in return they would support a united and sovereign Ukraine. It's not

clear that we're going to get to that compromise any time soon. It's going to be complicated, but many say this is an opportunity if this ceasefire


MANN: Reza Sayah live in Donetsk, thanks very much.

Another place now where sovereignty is an issue -- just eight days from now Scottish voters go to the polls for an independence referendum to

decide the future of the 307 year union between England, Scotland and Wales. Britain's prime minister dashed up to Scotland today in a last

ditch bid to convince voters to reject the independence.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is also there as is opposition leader Ed Milliband, all campaigning -- Milliband campaigning separately, but for

the same cause -- to keep Britain together. This, as the latest opinion polls show that the yes and no campaigns are neck and neck.

Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us live from Edinbough with the latest. Nic, I can't remember the last time this

happened, both leaders of the coalition government and the opposition leader going to the same place on the same day for the same reason to argue

the same thing. They're calling it Team Westminster. What are they saying?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's like in a sporting analogy, I guess, is a full-court press. Not only taking the day

off from wehre the prime minister would normally be addressing questions -- prime minister question time. Traditionally it's happened, broken with

tradition there. All these other exceptional circumstances being here with the head of the opposition and also having the same message for the Scots

that if you reject independence, vote no, then you can get some of those powers that you want, there will be increased powers to control taxation,

borrowing, spending, reassurances that the health service here in Scotland, one of the concerns for a lot of people, will be able to keep functioning

the way that the Scots want it to keep functioning. Those things all being pushed in the agenda here.

Prime Minister Cameron saying that he would be heartbroken if Scotland was to withdraw from the family of nations that's been created here in the

United Kingdom.

His language has been very, very interesting, words you would never hear from a prime minister. This is what he said.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The scale of the decision that Scottish people will be taking in eight day's time, sometimes because it's

an election, because it's a ballot, I think people can feel it's a bit like a general election, that you make a decision and five years later you can

make another decision if you're fed up with the effing Tories --


ROBERTSON: The efing Tories, that's not something you hear coming out a prime minister's mouth very often. And what he appears to be doing is,

if you will, sort of talking down a little bit to people, to try to connect with the people in the street using their type of language, because of

course the man whose leading the independence campaign here, the head of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, has been saying that this is

exactly what we should do, which is kick the Tories out, they can't run Scotland, they don't know how to run it. We'd be much better off alone.

The economy would be better. And here right now is looking at these politicians coming north for the day, we have to add, and saying that they

-- they're campaign, their effort appears to be backfiring.

This is what he said.


ALEX SALMOND, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY LEADER: Yes, it's counterproductive for their camp, not because I say it or the yes campaign

says so, but because the reaction in the streets and communities of Scotland sees this as a last gasp piece of desperation from the Westminster

establishment. And the Westminster establishment, they're not popular in England nevermind popular in Scotland.


ROBERTSON: You know, I've got to say, though, you know, we're used to politicians speaking, we're used to them using the language they want to

use to get the result they want, but what's been surprising here is the level of emotion and engagement in this issue here, Jonathan.

MANN: Nic Robertson live in Edinburgh. We'll be following up to voting day. Thanks very much.

Still to come tonight, after 39 days of testimony and nearly 40 witnesses, the Oscar Pistorius murder trial nears its conclusion. We'll

take a look at the possible outcomes for the Bladerunner.

And can Iraq's new prime minister unite a bitterly divided nation? How about a bitterly divided government. We'll talk to the spokesman of

his Dawa Party next. Stay with us.


MANN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann.

Returning to our top story now, and some news just coming into CNN, congressional sources telling us that U.S. President Obama is asking the

congress for authority to arm and train the moderate Syrian opposition to fight against ISIS. Apologies for a moment as we start quoting U.S. policy

chapter and verse.

It comes down to what's called Title X authority to fund and provide the necessary training and equipment.

Our Brian Todd will be joining us later from Washington with details. President Obama will unveil his strategy against ISIS in a national address

tonight. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iraq's new prime minister in Baghdad, meantime, emphasizing the need for a global approach

to defeating ISIS. He said some 40 nations are working together to provide humanitarian, military and other assistance to Iraq.

The Iraqi parliament, meantime, has approved a new government let by Haider al-Abadi, though some key posts remain vacant.

To talk more about that new government and its ability to unite the country, ZUHAIR al-Naher joins us now live from London. He is a spokesman

for the prime minister's Dawa Party.

Thanks so much for being with us. I want to ask you, first of all, because this news is just breaking, the United States plans to get involved

in a bigger and more invasive way in events in Syria, but also in Iraq. What should Washington do? What shouldn't it do?

ZUHAIR AL-NAHER, SPOKESMAN, DAWA PARTY: Well, the fact that there is a coalition that is being formed, headed by the United States, is very well

good news for Iraqis and for Iraq, because we have been saying for a long time now that the threat of ISIS is getting out of control and they need to

be tackled head on. So, the formation of the new government is a huge achievement. It is a national unity government. All sides of the Iraqi

political divide and community are in that government and they all have buy-in.

So this is a great start.

MANN: I want to jump in, sir. I want to jump in and ask you about that, because outsiders are looking at this new government as an

achievement, but as a diminished one, because so many of the figures in the government were in previous governments -- Nuri al Maliki returns as a vice


There is some question about whether it can function. There is some question about whether the Kurds will stay in it. How tough has it still

been to try to get a new start in Iraq?

NAHER: Well, it has been tough, but the point is that a national unity government has been achieved with the participation of all sides --

the Shias, the Kurds and the Sunnis. And the program of the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that has been put forward is a very ambitious program, a

program that basically has priority to free and to liberate the Iraqi towns that have been terrorized by this IS, the terrorists, and to return the

people back to their homes.

MANN: On that crucial issue I don't have to tell you the two key portfolios have not been attributed. The defense ministry and the interior

ministry, there's no minister. What does that tell us about the problems the prime minister is having?

NAHER: Well, these two are very sensitive posts, and the prime minister couldn't get consensus yesterday -- or the day before the

yesterday when the government was voted in place, but he has promised that within a week these two posts will be filled. And he will get consensus

and -- from all parties.

So, that is something that will happen.

However, now that we have buy-in on all sides, we can see the result on the ground. The two latest victories against the IS terrorists in

Amerli and near Haditha have been immense -- an immense boost for the Iraqi army. And the Iraqi army and Iraq wants more support from the

international community to hit at centers of IS terrorists --

MANN: I'm going to jump in with a third element of this, and I'm sure you know it's true, there is the military issue to be addressed, there is

the cooperation of the international community, and then there is what the U.S. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Martin Dempsey said, which is

that ISIS, in his opinion, cannot be defeated until the 20 million disenfranchised Sunnis who live between Damascus and Baghdad can be

convinced to defeat it.

What are you going to do about the support ISIS still enjoys amongst so many Sunnis who feel alienated from your government?

NAHER: The Sunnis in Iraq are part of Iraq. And the new government, because it has such a large representation of Sunni officials and

politicians, means that the Iraq -- the Iraqi government is for all Iraqis, and therefore we have seen, as I said in the latest two successes, the

Sunni tribes have been joining with the army against ISIS. The tide is turning against ISIS. ISIS no longer has support of the majority of the

Sunni population, because they have seen the terror tactics that these Sunni populations have been exposed to, and there are many, many calls from

Sunnis inside cities like Mosul under the control of ISIS who say come and free us from this scourge.

MANN: The world is wishing you success, Zuhair al-Naher of the Dawa Party. Thanks so much for talking with us.

We have more news, views and analysis on our website ahead of President Obama's speech, including a look at how it's not just a fight

between ISIS and the outside world. One of the most popular articles right now looks at the struggle ISIS has against al Qaeda, both in a fight for

the leadership of the global jihadist movement. Read how that battle is playing out and what it means for the rest of us at

You're watching Connect the World. I'll have our world headlines in just a few minutes, but first homeschooling, the African Startup that's

making university courses affordable and accessible to all.



KOLAWOLE OLAJIDE, COFOUNDER, FUNDA: Hi, everyone. My name is Kola. And I'm co-founder at Funde. Welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kola Olajide founded Funde with four other African entrepreneurs in 2009 in South Africa's second richest city, Cape


OLAJIDE: The idea of Funda came when I was at university. I found out that I couldn't take the school home. I just thought (inaudible)

technology could bridge that gap, and we developed online management systems and provide content development services to high institutions to

take their courses online so that the general public can access these courses at the price that's cheaper than attending them physically at the


Funda is customized for each university. So we would work with them to figure out a proper digital strategy in taking the courses online.

So, this was an example which is currently being used by flight school. And they use it to train pilots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Olajide and his co-founders, South Africa proved to be the ideal location.

OLAJIDE: We have a lot of incubators around. They provide mentorship and they also provide access to startup capital.

To view the course you have five options. You have to add and edit the content. You also have to organized the content in a structured manner

for your learners. You have to mandate the content by in case you want to add (inaudible) to your courses, and you also have to distribute the

courses through the emails (inaudible). And you also, you can also view that analytics of the platform.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And like all tech entrepreneurs, they encountered various obstacles.

OLAJIDE: A major low point was getting turned down, that initial phase because we're too young to have a company and Africa wasn't ready.

The success of Funda is not heavily dependent on how hard we work, it's dependent on technology penetration in Africa and access to


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their big break came with the University of Pretoria.

OLAJIDE: It was an opportunity for us to show what we are capable of. And we knew we couldn't drop the ball on this one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Funda's success has allowed Olajide and his team to expand their clientele into Germany and the United States.

OLAJIDE: Our major goal is to be the major education technology provider in Africa. Just try to strategically position ourselves so when

Africa is ready, we would also be ready to take this to the next level.



JONATHAN MANN, HOST: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko says a majority of the Russian

troops thought to have been in his country have now withdrawn. A Kremlin aid says Mr. Poroshenko spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin late

Tuesday. Both leaders are said to be "broadly satisfied" with how the cease-fire is holding.

With just eight days to go before Scotland's independence referendum, Westminster has sent in the big guns to try to sway the vote. British

prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, and opposition leader Ed Miliband are all campaigning in Scotland to try to

keep the UK together.

The Indian army says it's rescued more than 90,000 flood victims in the Kashmir region. Flooding in India and Pakistan has killed at least 450

people and left thousands more stranded.

US president Barack Obama is to lay out his strategy to fight ISIS in a televised address just hours from now. Congressional sources tell CNN

the president is asking for authority to arm and train moderate opposition fighters in Syria to help combat the militants.

Let's go, now, to Brian Todd for more on the president's strategy, joining us now from Washington. How much do we know about the president's


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jon, a senior administration official has told our Jim Acosta that the president will focus on three

major themes in the address on Wednesday night. He's going to go over the current threat posed by ISIS to the security of that region, to the

security of the United States and other nations.

Then, he's going to counter the perception that he doesn't have a strategy to combat ISIS, and that is a perception, of course, fueled by the

president's own words to that effect recently. Tonight, he's going to lay out the actions that he's taken against ISIS.

And then, section three, he's going to talk about a series of new proposals on how the United States is going to combat ISIS going forward.

The specifics of that part of this are not clear, and we're told it's a work in progress, Jon.

MANN: The goal seems clear, but a lot of those key practical decisions seem to be vague, they are so far. But that's not stopping some

people in Washington from second-guessing the decisions the Pentagon has been making. What can you tell us?

TODD: Second-guessing the Pentagon's decisions and the White House's decisions as well, Jon. The US has been bombing ISIS for over a month now,

and we've learned that not once have the terrorist group's top leaders been specifically targeted in any airstrikes.

The administration's critics are furious with this, saying US forces should have been putting much more pressure on the ISIS leadership,

especially the very dangerous man at the top.



TODD (voice-over): He's considered the new bin Laden, the man behind the ISIS tactics of beheadings, mass executions, kidnappings. But so far,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has not been in the sights of American warplanes. A Pentagon spokesman saying, quote, "We have not conducted any targeted

airstrikes on specific ISIL leaders."

Pentagon officials say airstrikes are authorize to protect US personnel and facilities, support humanitarian efforts, and support Iraqi

forces. A policy that has critics fuming.

DANIELLE PLETKA, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: We need to be targeting the top ISIS military and strategic leadership. Our policy up to

now hasn't been good enough, it's a day late and a dollar short, and that's why ISIS is a threat to the United States.

TODD: The military could recommend a drone or airstrike on Baghdadi, but any mission to kill him would have to be approved by President Obama.

JAMES L. JONES, GEN (RETIRED), FORMER OBAMA NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: When the president gives the word, it'll be a formidable capability that

we'll launch against this organization, and perhaps against him.

TODD: Why hasn't the president given the order yet? The White House says they've needed time to build the intelligence.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would anticipate that as our intelligence improves and crystallizes, that our military capabilities

will expand accordingly.

TODD: So far, has there been any intelligence good enough to authorize an airstrike on Baghdadi?

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I'm quite certain that ISIS is staying off the phone and nobody around Baghdadi would have a cell

phone, for instance, or any sort of communications. We are not well- positioned to do this.


TODD: But a US intelligence official tells CNN the intelligence on ISIS leaders is good, and there's a track record of success. Osama bin

Laden in Pakistan, Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Some analysts say killing Baghdadi won't be effective because

someone else will simply take his place. Others disagree, saying leaders like Baghdadi bring special skills.

PATRICK JOHNSTON, RAND CORPORATION: What he brings to them is really a different image and mentality, mindset. And what the -- we see this

playing out through the group's aggressive use of tactics, its rhetoric, and its ideology. Even the Twitter campaign and things like this are all

centrally planned and organized.


TODD: Now, officials point out the threat from Baghdadi and his ISIS commanders is relatively recent. A US intelligence official urges patience

here, telling us, quote, "It is a real cat-and-mouse game, and in this case, the cat is an experienced hunter." Jon?

MANN: Brian Todd, live from Washington. Thanks very much. ISIS, of course, is not just a threat to the US. Other countries will be listening

closely to President Obama's speech in the hours to come. We have reporters around the world tracking reaction to ISIS. Matthew Chance in

Russia, Jim Bittermann in France, and Becky Anderson starts us with the view from the Gulf States.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's a real rift in this region between countries like Qatar and Turkey, that have backed

Islamist political groups, and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, who oppose such groups. But for now, they are unified on one thing: dealing with the

threat posed by ISIS.

Now, the Arab League, which includes the likes of Saudi, Qatar, and Jordan in its 22-member body, has come out with the strongest statement yet

on the matter, so far calling for a comprehensive political and military confrontation.

It's also backed a UN Security Council resolution that's asking states to stem the flow of weapons and fighters into Syria and into Iraq. So very

clear that Sunni Arab states view ISIS as a real threat, and they seem prepared to get more involved in the fight against the group.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Paris, the French have made it very clear that they want to stop the Islamic

extremists who've taken over large parts of Iraq. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says that a program to deliver humanitarian aid and military

equipment to the Iraqi government will be expanded in coming weeks.

But President Hollande says that any military action will be taken only in conjunction with the allies, and only with the accord of the Iraqi

government. He did not say what kind of military action might be contemplated, but sources here indicate that it will probably be limited to

air operations and stop short of actually putting boots on the ground.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are very few areas these days where Russia and the United States see eye-to-

eye, but the emergence of ISIS has put them both on the same side.

Moscow condemns the atrocities carried out by the group as "absolute evil," which it says "should be fought jointly by all responsible

representatives of the international community."

For Russia, however, that common interest has its limits. Moscow has warned that US airstrikes against ISIS inside Syria, a key Russian ally,

would be a, quote, "colossal shock and escalation."


MANN: So, that's the view from key regions, but one startling thing about ISIS isn't diplomatic or political, it's personal. Despite its

brutality, ISIS is still attracting recruits to its ranks, and we're not just talking about young men. CNN's Atika Shubert looks at how the group

is convincing women to pick up the cause of jihad.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Guns and the Koran one day, swapping recipes and shopping tips the next. This is

the online world of the women of ISIS.

From Aqsa Mahmood, once a shy Glasgow schoolgirl, now married to an ISIS fighter in Syria, a blog believed to be written by her reads as a how-

to manual for any female ISIS recruit. Top tips: get your shots, pack sturdy boots, a warm coat, and plenty of full-body veils.

To a British woman who calls herself Umm Khattab, posing with an AK-47 calling for the British prime minister's head on a spike.


SHUBERT: According to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, as many as 15 percent of ISIS foreign recruits are women, possibly up to

200 from at least 14 different countries. It's not the first time for women in a jihadist conflict, but it is the first time they have been

recruited in such large numbers.

But a "mujahadiyah," as they call themselves, is not expected to fight. She supports her husband at home, cooking, cleaning, and raising

children. But the appeal of ISIS is the same for husband and wife, say those who track ISIS fighters online.

VERYAN KHAN, TERRORISM RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS CONSORTIUM: They have the same goals and the same ambitions once they get there. Now, granted,

their roles may be much more limited to the 1950s housewife type of thing.

SHUBERT: But in February, ISIS formed Al-Khansaa, an all-women battalion with about 60 members, all of them believed to be under the age

of 25. They now have their own media channel with propaganda videos like this.

The battalion has two roles: manning checkpoints and inspecting all women that pass, but also enforcing ISIS's strict morality code for women

in the self-declared caliphate. There are reports they flog women who are not fully veiled in the niqab.

But many of the women, especially foreign recruits, have expressed clear ambitions to be on the front line.

KHAN: This is obviously rapidly changing as we speak. They're being trained in weaponry, they're being trained how to clean the weapon, how to

fire the weapon. And granted, these are just basic boot camp skills. They have the means to defend themselves.

SHUBERT: Whether it's cleaning an AK-47 or whipping up a chocolaty treat for their jihadi husbands, the goal is the same for these women: to

serve the extremist ideals of ISIS.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


MANN: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up after the break, on track to finish. The verdict in the Pistorius murder trial due

Thursday. We'll take you live to South Africa next here on CNN.


MANN: Welcome back. He had a global audience as he competed on the track. Now, the world is watching the "Blade Runner," Oscar Pistorius,

once again as his murder trial nears its end. Pistorius admits he shot his girlfriend, but he says he mistook her for an intruder, and after a

lengthy, arduous trial, the judge is now to decide whether or not the evidence supports that defense.

Robyn Curnow is in Johannesburg and joins us now, live. After all of these months, it builds up to this: we're just waiting, I guess, to see

what the judge is going to decide. Is there anything in the law or anything about the judge that gives us a signal of how this could go?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, and after all these months, as you say, of covering this trial, there's certainly no way

to call it. I think a lot of people are really waiting for that judgment tomorrow.

What has been very clear about Judge Thookozile Masipa is that she's a very private person. She's been very discreet. She certainly hasn't been

playing to the cameras throughout all of this. In fact, she's been very dignified amidst what has been many times a bit of a media circus.

And there are many reasons for that. We spoke to some people who know her, who are close to her, who are close to her. Take a listen to this.


CURNOW (voice-over): A high-profile trial full of characters --


CURNOW: -- with the potential of becoming a media circus. But sitting above the fray --

THOOKOZILE MASIPA, JUDGE, OSCAR PISTORIUS MURDER TRIAL: If you do not want to adhere to the rules, you are free to leave, and security will

make sure that you leave.

CURNOW: Judge Thookozile Masipa.

MASIPA: It's important that you should be all here when you are in that witness box. Do you understand that?


CURNOW: Stern, yet at times, compassionate. Inscrutable throughout.

SUZETTE NAUDE, CLERK: She's a bit of a different person in court than in the office.

CURNOW: Masipa is a study of contrasts, says her clerk.

NAUDE: I've been working with her since January, and -- she's just always smiling, almost like working for an angel. In the mornings, she

will say, "Good morning, how are you?"

CURNOW: Now, her courtroom is again broadcast to the world, and her judgment, not just deciding Pistorius's fate, but for many here, an example

to the world of justice in democratic South Africa.

NAUDE: She told me from the beginning we will treat this case as a normal case, as all other cases. And she's not really showing much emotion

about the case.

CURNOW: Perhaps because she's a judge who's faced far greater challenges.

CURNOW (on camera): It was here in Soweto in the late 1970s at the height of apartheid that Matilda, as she was then known, became part of a

new class of female journalist, ready to risk everything to report on the political violence and the fight for democratic freedom.

NOMAVENDA MATHIANE, RETIRED JOURNALIST: We were writing those stories. We were writing about the people who were activists, people who

had been detained, people who had been tried.

CURNOW (voice-over): Nomavenda Mathiane was a fellow journalist and part of that close-knit group.

MATHIANE: We were doing things, and Matilda was not there. After work, Matilda would go to the library and study.

CURNOW: Others in the newsroom so the young Matilda Masipa as detached, but Mathiane says it was because she was driven, focused on a

future few could imagine.

MATHIANE: If you look at where she comes from and where she is now, it just shows that she knew that one day, we are going to be there, and

will I be ready when we get there?

CURNOW: A journey that's taken her from a once-segregated Soweto to the high court.

MATHIANE: This is a woman from the dusty strips of the township. Today, she is trying a white boy. In my lifetime, I never thought that

would happen.

PISTORIUS: I'm in the hands of the court, my lady.


CURNOW: And what's so interesting about Judge Masipa as a person, as you heard there, not just the extraordinary historical context that she's

come to the bench under, but she got her law degree at the age of 40 after that first career as a journalist. This is a woman of experience. Her

friend told me that Oscar Pistorius was lucky to have her as a judge, because she'd be fair.

MANN: Now, we're going to be seeing a lot of her when the verdict comes down. I gather it's going to take an awfully long time to find out

what the ruling is. Can you tell us about what's going on in full?

CURNOW: Well, it's very hard to read. This whole trial has been difficult to plan for, because it has just -- flowed. And I think there is

a sense, at least from the people we've spoken to, that Judge Masipa wants to read much of her judgment. This is not a jury, so she wants to explain

to Oscar Pistorius why she's made certain decisions within the context of criminal law.

So, we understand that it could take at least the whole of Thursday's court, and potentially even Friday. So, you're going to maybe hear her

reading for up to six to eight hours of her judgment.

And it's unclear where in the middle of that, her verdict of guilty or not guilty on any of these charges is going to come. So, it really is

going to be a very captive audience for Judge Masipa on Thursday and Friday, Jonathan.

MANN: That's for the verdict. If he is found guilty of either of the charges, potentially, I gather there's an entirely new process for the


CURNOW: Absolutely. Another mini-trial, which could take place in the next few weeks, perhaps months. Evidence can be reintroduced for

sentencing, mitigation of sentencing. It's at her discretion how she will sentence somebody, what kind of -- how many years they would spend in


And of course, that's where Oscar Pistorius's disability might play into it. The psychiatric report might play into that, if he's found guilty

on any of these charges. All of that will be weighted into the sentencing.

So, yes, this certainly not over. What is going to be interesting, in terms of what happens for Oscar Pistorius next, at least in the next day or

two. If he's found guilty, more than likely, he'll appeal. Also, there's going to be a push from the state, no doubt, to have his bail revoked. So,

will he be taken back into custody if he is found guilty on any of these charges?

And of course, that's what might play out in the next few days. But in terms of whether this is all over, there's an appeal and sentencing

still to come, more likely, so no, it's not all over yet.

MANN: A dramatic trial with more drama ahead. Robin Curnow, live for us. Thanks very much.


MANN: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. One man taking the art of the selfie to a new extreme inside a volcano. Look at this! We'll tell

you about his daredevil antics. Hot stuff.


MANN: Welcome back. How far would you go for the perfect shot? How about 400 meters into a volcano crater? Jeanne Moos spoke to a man who did

just that.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Did you ever feel the urge to climb down into a volcano? Me neither. But this guy did.

GEORGE KOUROUNIS, VOLCANO ADVENTURER: You cannot physically get any closer to this lava without swimming in it.

MOOS: That's George Kourounis in the heat-resistant suit, along with his accomplice in adventure, Sam Cossman. George is the teeny-weeny figure

at the bottom of a volcano pit in the South Pacific.

KOUROUNIS: It's also one of the most dangerous and difficult to get to.

MOOS: They rappelled down 1200 feet, a depth equal to the height of the Empire State Building. It took two hours to descend to about 50 feet

above the churning lava. Even wearing a fire-resistant suit, George could only stand there a couple of minutes at a time.

MOOS (on camera): Really hot? Are you like sweating in there?

KOUROUNIS: Oh yes, absolutely. The heat from the volcano is sapping the energy out of you.

MOOS (voice-over): They use a laser thermometer to measure the temperature of flying rocks. Look out for the lava!

KOUROUNIS: Parts of it actually splashed me and melted my jacket.

MOOS: And the noise?

KOUROUNIS: I call it the sound of Satan's washing machine, this churning, bubbling, gurgling.

MOOS: George says it was unlikely the volcano would erupt. They were more worried about the edge of the crater above crumbling and raining rocks

down on them.

MOOS (on camera): George doesn't just repel into volcanoes. He got married on one.

KOUROUNIS: Enough messing around. It's time to get married!


KOUROUNIS: I guess you said that now, but wait until the lava bombs start falling within ten feet of her.


MOOS (voice-over): To the sounds of a conch sell --


MOOS: -- and periodic eruptions of Mount Yasur, they exchanged vows back in 2006.

SCHUBERT-KOUROUNIS: You've been my supporter, my wall, my rock.

MOOS: Michelle may have melted his heart, but it took this volcano named Marum to melt his camera when he set it down on a rock. He'll never

get over that mesmerizing orange glow.

KOUROUNIS: To me, it doesn't even look real, and I'm the guy that's in the shot.

MOOS (on camera): But boys will be boys, even deep in the mouth of a volcano.

MOOS (voice-over): Why settle for a selfie when you can horse around with a rubber mask, as long as it doesn't melt.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --


MOOS: -- New York.


MANN: Don't try that at home. The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page,, to have

your say. I'm Jonathan Mann, you've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for joining us.