Return to Transcripts main page


Russian Whistleblower Speaks Out; Angela Merkel Vows To Keep Refugee Policy in Place; Pope Francis in Krakow; An Israeli Marathon Runner's Olympic Dream. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired July 28, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:28] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Refusing to back down, Angela Merkel stands by

Germany's policy of welcoming refugees even as a backlash against mass immigration brews across the continent. We're going to take you live to

Berlin this hour and get you an update on the conflict in Syria that so many people are fleeing.

Also tonight.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm asking you to join me to reject cynicism and reject fear.


ANDERSON: High praise for the woman Obama hopes will succeed him. We're in Philadelphia ahead of Hillary Clinton's big moment.

Plus, unruffled despite taking a tumble: Pope Francis is addressing crowds for World Youth Day

events this hour.

A very warm welcome to this show, Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, at just after 7:00 in the evening in the UAE.

And I want to start this hour with a war whose effects are being felt in the far corners of Europe and beyond.

Syria's ripple effect is visible on our screens every day even as the situation on the ground is

too often absent from daily media coverage.

Now, there are fears that hundreds of thousands of civilians are at risk of starvation and disease -- yes, starvation and disease -- as the Syrian army

closes off rebel held parts of Aleppo.

Joining me from London on this is CNN's Clarissa Ward. She has previously reported from


What do you understand, Clarissa, is being promised by the very people who have encircled Aleppo? And what are your sources telling you about the

state of life there at present?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky essentially what we're hearing is that Syrian and Russian forces are telling the people

of Aleppo that aid is on the way, that humanitarian corridors will be formed, that food and aid will get in to that that besieged rebel held

eastern part of the city.

But we've seen this movie before many times across Syria. The regime made these types of

promise assuring that aid will reach certain areas, assuring that humanitarian corridors will be

afforded and very rarely has it actually happened. In fact, we have seen sieges like this across the country. They have also said there is an

amnesty in place, that essentially anybody who has been with rebel forces can turn themselves in now to government forces.

But again we've seen this promise before in suburbs outside of Damascus. We've seen families handing themselves in only to have the men separated

from the women and children. The men get on buses and are never seen from again.

So, I think it's unlikely to realistically expect any of these humanitarian corridors to open very soon and that much needed aid to get into those hard

hit areas very soon.

And this is that deeply critical situation, Becky, to underscore, the UN humanitarian chief said that food is expected to run out completely in

eastern Aleppo by the middle of August. You are looking at massive food shortages. You are looking at water shortages. You are looking at diesel

shortages and of course diesel is what is powering the generators that are required to keep hospiatls running.

And then against all of this you have the continuous bombardment, four hospitals and a blood bank according to UNICEF hit in just the last few

days. So, the humanitarian situation in Aleppo has been hideous for some time now, but now it is really entering a critical phase, Becky.

ANDERSON: Let's get context for this. Syria's president offering an amnesty for what he calls rebels laying down their arms and surrendering

within three months. Who is he talking about at this point? Who are the rebel groups there? And and how well organized are

they at this point.

WARD: Well, there is his sort of mishmash, if you will, of various different rebel groups. Some of them are part of the so-called Free Syria

Army, umbrella group of so-called more moderate opposition.

But there are also a lot of islamist factions who are operating inside Aleppo. Jabaat al-Nusra, which is -- the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria,

though it's expected to announce any moment now that it is decoupling from al Qaeda.

Ahrar al-Shaam (ph) who we spent time with inside the city of Aleppo another organization which the U.S. does not consider to be a terrorist

organization but which Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies certainly do. So, there is a real array of different types of fighting groups on the

ground inside this part of eastern Aleppo.

But the important thing to remember is according to the UN there are as many as a quarter of a

million or even possibly 300,000 civilians who are there as well, many of them have had the opportunity to leave in the past and they have chosen out

not to do so out of some sense of loyalty, some sense -- one woman told me that she was ready to die in Aleppo because why should she have to leave

her home?

So, this is not going to be a situation that will resolve itself easily whereby masses of civilians will just walk out of the city and hand

themselves over to government forces.

[11:05:49] ANDERSON: Very briefly, when we talk about humanitarian corridors and safe corridors, safe from where? Where do people go? Where

are they expected to go if these corridors were to be opened up?

WARD: Well, this is the other real problem. You know, essentially right now you have

nearly half -- nearly half, Becky, of the Syrian population is not living in its home, is not sleeping under its own roof, in its own beds. You have

a huge, huge problem with displacement. And you pose a very excellent question, where are these people supposed to go? Are they supposed to go

to camps in regime-held areas. It simply beggars belief how on Earth the regime could claim offer, frankly, a place for people to go given the

history, given the relentless bombardment, given the bad blood, the blood that's been spilled on both sides.

So, there is lot of questions still as to what this will look like and how this siege will play out. But certainly I think everybody from a

humanitarian point of view, from aid groups, from international organizations who was watching what is happening inside Aleppo is extremely

alarmed by the situation right now.

ANDERSON: Clarissa, on the story for you today out of London. Thank you.

Well, the merciless destruction in Syria has sent millions of people fleeing as we know. ermany has done more than most to help, taking in more

than a million refugees last year. But three recent terror attacks in southern Germany have provoked louder calls for Germany to slam the door on


Police say three of the attacks in Germany were carried out by asylum seekers. German Leader Angela Merkel is not bowing to pressure, though.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR, (through translator): We are now being tested. We are tested in the way we live. Our understanding of freedom

and security is being tested. Again and again, we have to balance those values. What the terrorists want is for us to lose our view of what is

important to us. They want to divide our unity, our cooperation, they want to harm our life and our openness and also they want to prevent our

openness to welcome people. They spread hate between cultures.


ANDERSON: Atika Shubert's is very latest for you now from Berlin. And if Mrs. Merkel won't reverse this policy, did she do anything to answer her


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she basically acknowledged that, yes, there have been some serious stumbling blocks and

obstacles. She mentioned, for example, the mass sexual assaults in Cologne which really horrified the country. And now we have we have this series of

attacks over the last week, three attacks actually carried out by refugees.

So, she acknowledged that, yes, there need to be some changes. For example, quicker deportation of refugees whose asylum applications have

been denied, making sure the repatriation process for those who are trying to get in is speeded up.

Of course Germany struck that deal, along with the EU, with Turkey to have refugees repatriated back there.

But also the possibility of setting up a early warning system, this is something we mentioned in the press conference which would basically warn

those refugees that are vulnerable to being drawn into a radical network. I think that's a lot trickier. And that's

something that the security forces really struggle with in any country, but here as well.

So, she did acknowledge that that's an issue, but the specific details on how to overcome those obstacles, that will have to come later.

ANDERSON: And we're certainly hearing very vocal critics of this policy of welcoming refugees, particularly from the opposition parties in Germany.

Is she at risk at this point? How strong are her critics at this point?

SHUBERT: She remains popular. I mean, remember, yes, there was, for example, the backlash after the Cologne assaults in which her popularity

plunged to its lowest level. But then after -- on the back of Brexit, it went back up again.

I think through all of this, Merkel's policy has been let's just take this easy, to be very deliberate, to say, OK, there is a problem, but let's

analyze the problem. Before we make any rash decisions, let's see what the root cause is and then try to fix it there.

So, I think that has actually helped her in some way, particularly off the back of Brexit, just have that sort of steady leadership.

The question is whether on the refugee issue it's simply becoming too much.

I think at this point she still has time to implement some changes, to come up with some srot of a strategy to tackle the issue.

But of course the longer it goes on -- and if there are more attacks -- that could change.

[11:10:48] ANDERSON: Atika Shubert is on that story for you out of Berlin today. Thank you, Atika.

You can find a lot more more on the website, including this piece from Nic Robertson looking at the growing sense of fear in Europe as many across the

continent worry that life there as they know it is unraveling. That and and much more at

For some of the other stories on our radar for you this hour. And officials confirm that a flight

simulator belonging to the captain of MH370 had a route that ended in the Indian ocean. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah had been a pilot with Malaysia

Airlines since 1981 and have flown 777s for more than 15 years. After a two year search, the aircraft still has not

been find.

Indonesia facing criticism for what human rights groups say is the planned execution of at least 14 people on drug crimes. The death row inmates

include a number of foreign nationals. Family members of one Pakistani deathr ow inmate held this protest in Lahore pleading for mercy.

Shares of Facebook have reached a new record high. The stock price shot up after the company reported a huge jump in profit. Facebook also says it

has more 1.7 billion monthly active users.

Well, thousands of people gathered right now in Poland's Balonia (ph) park awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis. He is on his way there now for what

is welcoming ceremony which starts in just minutes. And these are live pictures for you.

As we speak, the pope is set to deliver a speech at the event in Krakow for World Youth Day. Our Vatican corespondent Delia Gallagher is there now.

And she joins us.

And what should we expect the pope to say?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is the moment they have all been waiting for, the chance to meet the pope and listen to what

he has to tell them.

And we got an inkling of what he wants to tell these young people on the plane yesterday when he said that the world is at war and it is to the

young people that we need to look for hope.

So the pope is saying to them, show your joy. Don't be afraid of the other. That is his main message. And this is the place where they can put

that into practice because, Becky, here there are young kids from 187 different countries.

You see their flags. You hear their different languages. They are singing their songs. And they are meeting each other. So, if you want at a kind

of grassroots level, this is where the pope wants peace to start, by the encounter with the other person, with the other country, with the other

language so that there is not this fear that we have to fortunately talk about every day in Europe and around the world.

And this can be the place where the pope can encourage different nations to come together.

You know, when the pope speaks about building bridges and about peace, it can sound a lot like platitudes. But these World Youth Days, and

especially this one at this moment in our history, are vital for that reason.

And so I can tell you there is great enthusiasm here, Becky. I mean just seeing these young people interact. It does give you some hope for the

future because you see that there is good here. And the pope said to them already yesterday when he waved to them from the window, you know, we need

to have memory and remember the good and bring the good out. It is the good that will overcome evil.

So an important message, one that these kids are already showing. And the pope will be arriving here in just a few minutes. He is on an ecological

tram right now. We know the environment an important issue for this pope. And on the tram with him are some handicapped kids who have a chance to

have a special moment and greet their pope before he gets here with about half a million. And he'll go around in the Popemobile and listen to their

stories, hear their dances. And it's just a big festival. And some good news for a change, Becky.

ANDERSON: Back with you in about 20 minutes' time to see what's going on there. Great pictures. Good to see Delia. Thank you for that for the

time being. Delia Gallagher is there in Poland.

Still to come, going for gold, the story of one marathon runner in Rio despite extremely steep odds. That is later this hour as well.

But first, the symbolic passing of the torch as it were. U.S. President Barack Obama makes the case that Hillary Clinton is the best person to

finish the job that he has started. We are live at the Democratic National Convention after this.




baton and do my part as a private citizen. This year in this election I'm asking you to join me to reject

cynicism and reject fear and to summon who is best in us to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States and show the world we

still believe in the promise of this great nation.


ANDERSON: An electrifying speech capped off by this dramatic moment.

Delegates at the Democratic National Convention went wild when Hillary Clinton made a

surprise appearance and walked onto the stage. She embraced President Barack Obama. The image full of symbolism, and for Democrats full of hope

for the future as well.

The first black president in U.S. history working to wave the way for the first woman in the White House.

Well you are watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

We heard a tale of two Americas on day three of the Democratic convention, speaker after

speaker contrasted the Democrats' view that America is already great with Donald Trump's darker vision.

Vice President Joe Biden delivered some of the most blistering attacks against Trump saying the threats are too great and the times too uncertain

to elect a man who, quote, doesn't have a clue.

Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick and the former New York mayor also had some choice words. Have a listen.



saying "you're fired?" He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me break. That's a bunch of malarkey.

TIM KAINE, DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's going to be great, believe me. We are going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it,

believe me. We are going to destroy ISIS so fast, believe me. There is nothing suspicious in my tax returns, believe me.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FRM. MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Trump says he wants to run the nation like he is running his business? God help us.

I'm a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.


ANDERSON; Well, let's check in with Hala Gorani who is live at the convention site in Philadelphia.

All of this of course setting the stage, Hala, for the main event tonight, which is Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech.

[11:20:10] HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it's been set up for her in many ways, Becky. Of course, the big super speeches

yesterday, the president himself, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, the vice president.

Earlier in the week on day one, Michelle Obama with a show-stealing address here at the convention center.

Now, joining me to discuss all of this, and also importantly, what Hillary Clinton will need

to do this evening in order to finish off this convention on the highest note possible and get the biggest post convention bump as they are called

here in the United States is Jackie Kucinich. She's a CNN political analyst and the Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast. Rana Foroohar

is the CNN global economic analyst and a TIME assistant managing editor. Thanks to both of you for being here.

Jackie, I want to start with you. Is she going to name names, Donald Trump, because Tim Kaine, her vice presidential pick did it, Barack Obama

did it, Joe Biden did it, Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York all saying Donald Trump over and over again and attacking him.

Is she going to do the same?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she is going to talk about Donald Trump, because if her other speeches are a guide, he is going to be

a mention. He is not going to be the focus, but he is the ultimate foil right now. He is who -- she is running against him on her experience

saying I am a steady hand. And to have that contrast, she is going to have to mention him.

GORANI: by name, though? I mean -- and what does she need to focus on, because you are a economic analyst, there are very competing visions here

of the U.S. economy.

RANA FOROOHAR, AUTHOR: Well, absolutely. And I think that one thing she is really going to have to do is have a more

nuanced view than President Obama did last night in his speech. I mean, he came out with a rosey, look, things have gotten so much better,

unemployment numbers are down, stock market is at a record high. But the truth is that a lot of Americans felt, experience --

and particularly Trump voters -- a large chunk of those Trump voters are people who are, you know, blue collar. They have not seen theirwages go up

in the last (inaudible) years (inaudible).

GORANI: All right. So this is going to be a big challenge, because she is a continuation, no matter how you look at it, of the eight years of the

Obama administration. So, she has a very difficult tightrope to walk. On the one hand to say America is great. Don't believe

Donald Trump, this is not doom and gloom, but on the other hand this is an anti-establishment time in America where she has to

distinguish herself. How does she do that?

KUCINICH: It's very true. But she also has embraced Obama. He has high approval ratings, especially for a second term president here. So, she has

actually owned a lot of his -- you saw them hugging last night on the stage. That's not an accident.

KUCINICH: It's a strength and a weakness, though. You know, I mean, emotionally I think that that plays very well. But if you look at Obama

policies, I mean, there has been a growth in income inequality in the last few years. I mean, some of these economically don't play as well I think

on Main Street.

FOROOHAR: but you have to be careful not to alienate the Obama coalition, which could pull her over the line if she is still dropping with working

class white.

GORANI: All right. So, we are having a few audio problems. And we'll wrap it up for now, but we hope to he speak to you again. Rana Foroohar

and Jackie Kucinich, thanks to both of you there for your analysis.

And Becky as we mentioned tonight we will see Hillary Clinton step to the podium for really the most important speech so far of her career where she

at the end of this four-day convention here in Philadelphia, this reintroduction phase of her campaign to the American people, is going to have to really knock it out of the park, as they say

here in the United States. And we'll see -- we'll continue to cover it. We'll have more special coverage in the hours ahead in a special edition of

our program at 3:00 p.m. eastern.

Back to you in Abu Dhabi.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Thank you.

Stay tuned, viewers, convention is beginning to wind to its height, as it were.

Right, as we mention Hillary Clinton stepping up to the podium for one of her biggest

speeches of her life. Later, as she accepts the Democratic Party's nomination, Clinton will be introduced by her daughter Chelsea. Retired

General John Allen who led the war in Afghanistan will also speak.

Well, on the Republican campaign trail, presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested Russia

may be able to find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing emails. Now, that comment came after Moscow

was accused of hacking the Democrat's email system, remember that at the beginning of the week?

Well, the Trump camp said he was kidding, but his words still succeeded in creating a political firestorm with some calling the statement tantamount

to treason.

CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has more on all of that from Washington for you.


LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyber attacks, it is

inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former CIA Director, Leon Panetta, changed his planned convention speech to sound the

alarm bells over a challenge by Donald Trump to the Russian hackers to go after Hillary Clinton.

[08:25:09] DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are


LABOT (voice-over): Trump, laughing off claims Russia hacked DNC computers to help him win the White House.

TRUMP: It is so far-fetched. It's so ridiculous. Honestly, I wish I had that power.

LABOTT (voice-over): But intelligence officials have little doubt Russian military intelligence was behind the hack. Even if they won't say it


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Russians hack our systems. Not just the government systems, but private systems. But what the

motives were in terms of the leaks, all that, I can't say, directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for

Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP: I said that Putin has much better leadership qualities than Obama. But who doesn't know that?

LABOTT (voice-over): Trump batted away allegations that business ties were at play.

TRUMP: I built an unbelievable company. But if you look there, you'll see there's nothing in Russia.

LABOTT (voice-over): His only connection, he said, a Russian billionaire who bought his Palm Beach mansion, netting Trump a huge profit. He denied

any dealings with Vladimir Putin. But the Russian leader has praised Trump to CNN.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (via translator): But there is one thing that I paid attention to, and that I definitely welcome. Is that Mr.

Trump said he's ready to restore full fledged Russian- American relations.

LABOTT: The U.S. is already tracking Putin's support for Russia-friendly parties in

elections across Europe.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do know that this is the modus operandi of Russia.

LABOTT: Whether Russia is manipulating the U.S. election is an open question, but even members of Trump's own party are warning the Kremlin to

butt out.

A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan calling Russia a, quote, "global menace led by a devious thug."


ANDERSON: Well, that was CNN's Elise Labott reporting for you from Washington.

Earlier, Donald Trump said he was just being sarcastic about Russia and the real problems is

that 33,000 of Clinton's emails were deleted.

Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead for you here on CNN.

Plus, Turkey continues to silence critical media after two weeks --- almost two weeks after a failed coup. We are live in Istanbul in about five

minutes for you.

And then this little probe had helped shape how we looked at the universe. Now Earth has had to give it up after less than two years on the job.

Details ahead.



[11:31:11] ANDERSON: Pope Francis is set to speak soon for World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow in Poland. Thousands of people are gathered in

Bolonia (ph) park to hear him speak.

And let's get to our CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher who is in Krakow.

And Delia, is the pope likely to get political in his speech? He is known for that, isn't he?

GALLAGHER: Oh, he is. He wouldn't shy away from it, Becky.

But you know, he is here to talk to the youth. And what typically happens when Pope

Francis meets young people is he throws away the script and he goes off the cuff and he likes to have a little back and forth and using the language of


You know, he already met with polish authorities last night and he spoke about the importance of being open and welcoming immigrants, an important

theme in Europe and an important theme for the pope.

At the same time, the pope said last night that he recognized that immigration is a complex phenomenon and that there is need also for

international cooperation to help the situation of the countries from which those immigrants are coming.

So he struck a kind of moderate tone last night with the Polish authorities on the question of immigration and accepting asylum seekers.

But today here Becky, he is speaking to the young people. And I think his message is going to go more towards the idea of hope for the future, that's

what he said to us on the plane yesterday, that's what these kids really represent. He has already said to them last night, you are young, go do

what you should be doing, go out there and make a ruckus, go show your joy.

So, the pope tends to talk to young people in their language, but still with that important message, of course first of all for him it's one of

prayer, it's one of the mercy of god. This is still the year of mercy. So, he will certainly strike that note. These are all Christian youth

groups here. These are kids who have had to fundraise to get here. And they are with their church groups, they are with their priest. They are

praying. They are singing.

So, there will be a religious theme quite clearly to the whole day to this pope's speech, but it is

also one of letting good win out over evil. That is going to be certainly one of the themes that the pope will touch on.

So, we'll have to wait and see, Becky. He likes to go off the cuff with young people.

ANDERSON: Yeah, good stuff.

All right, thank you for that.

And certainly the atmosphere quite electric, isn't it. And the pope there in the open top Popemobile doing the rounds and the crowd will absolutely

love that. I've been at a big mass that the pope has been at, and it is quite an amazing atmosphere.

All right, turning back to our top story this hour, the war in Syria, now in its sixth year. As we told you the UN is warning of a dire situation in

Aleppo as the Syrian army tightens its grip on rebel-held areas cutting off all the supply lines and corridors to opposition neighborhoods.

Well, at the same time, Syria and Russia say they will open humanitarian corridors for civilians and unarmed fighters allowing them to leave the

city. And Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is offering amnesty to opposition forces who put down their weapons and turn themselves in.

Well, a few weeks ago CNN's Nima Elbagir spoke with a doctor, Dr. Samer Attar, a Chicago-based surgeon, who just spent two weeks in Aleppo. He

provides us, and certainly did then -- and we want to play this again for you -- a firsthand account of how desperate the situation in the city was


I need to warn you, this report contains some disturbing images, but we think it's important to show you the reality of daily life there.


SAMER ATTAR, DOCTOR: The road smelled of rotten flesh, burnt metal and there were plumes of smoke from ordnance that had fallen previously.

[11:35:04] NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Castello Road, the main supply route into Aleppo, it's known as the road of death.

(voice-over): Dr. Samer Attar is an American surgeon. We met with him in the Turkish border town of Hatay after his return from a mission into

Aleppo with the Syrian American Medical Society.

This is what Sam arrived to find. A pregnant woman had two children killed when a barrel bomb directly hit her house. A paralyzed child; he too passed

away soon after this picture was taken.

ATTAR: July 1, the market was hit. Later on, we learned about 25 people were killed but there were a lot more injured. And that's really when all

hell broke loose.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Amid the chaos, Dr. Attar did the best he could to document what he was seeing. Children crammed three to a bed, little bodies

wrapped in white shrouds, awaiting burial and, everywhere, blood.

Each day became a litany of the dead and the dying.

ATTAR: We had to stop doing CPR on a child that was severely injured in order to save someone else, who was bleeding to death, who we knew could be


ELBAGIR: And the child couldn't?

ATTAR: The child could have if we had had the personnel and the resources. But when you have that many people who are injured, you have to make

decisions on who you're going to save and who you have to leave behind.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): And even when you make the decision, there are no guarantees. This 8-year old arrived with his intestines spilling out of a

gaping wound. After hours of painstaking surgery, he survived only to succumb to shock days later.

And everywhere, Dr. Attar said, there was fear, the hospital itself a target of repeated bombardment.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, rights groups estimate hundreds of health care professionals have been killed in the volleys of

Syrian and Russian bombardment. Many doctors working today believe they were intentionally targeted.

ATTAR: If you destroy a hospital, destroy a school, destroy civilian infrastructure, you're sort of trying to take away hope from people. And

you destroy a hospital, you're not just killing the doctors and the patients in that hospital; you're killing all of the future patients that

could be treated in that hospital.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): But even here, there are moments of respite.

ATTAR: Right now, I'm living my worst nightmare, surrounded by all these screaming kids, who are trying to climb on top of me.

ELBAGIR: Did you have any sense over those days and nights how many patients you were seeing?

ATTAR: There were hundreds. And every day after July 1, every day kind of blurred together. It was just -- in the emergency room, it was just one

person after another, child after child after patient after patient. And you never -- you're so busy, you never really know who makes it, who's

alive, who's dead.

ELBAGIR: How did you feel when you crossed over?

Because you were -- you were the last car out of Aleppo.

How did that feel, looking back down the Castello Road and knowing that that's now closed?

ATTAR: You always leave a piece of yourself behind. You meet a remarkable group of people, you get to take care of a lot of people but you always

feel like you abandon them when you leave. So I feel a bit broken and empty.

ELBAGIR: Would you go back?

ATTAR: I would go back.


ANDERSON: Nima speaking to a doctor who had spent some time inside Aleppo. Truly graphic and disturbing story.

Let's move to turkey now, where the government is continuing its crackdown less than two weeks after a failed coup -- 45 newspaper, 16 television

stations and three news agencies have been shut down.

In all, more than 100 media outlets are now closed, that is according to the Turkish news agency Andalou.

Reporters Without Borders saying there is a growing persecution of what is critical media.

The authorities will say that this is simply the closing down of media that will have Gulenist

associations, the Gulenists being those behind this attempted coup, the government says. But, look, scores are media outlets closed, hundreds more

military members dismissed. Is there any sign this purge is any closer to its end at this point?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not really, Becky. It seems like this has a long ways to go before we see it start to subside.

And yeah you just gave a list of all these institutions, whether they are educational, there is medical institutions, journalist publications that

have been shut down -- 47 journalists have arrests warrants out for them this night. And the government has said from the beginning this is all to

crack down on the Gulenist, a terrorist organization according to the Turkish government they say that is behind the coup.

But as you mentioned, Reporters Without Borders have been condemning this. And Turkey is no stranger to suppression of the free press. It is ranked

151 out of 180 in Reporters Without Borders index. Turkey routinely arrests journalists and detains them, and so that is where a lot of this

fear is coming from, that this crackdown on the media isn't just going after

those who are buying the coup but a wider crackdown.

And the government still not backing down. And it's been about a week and a half since that coup attempt. It's likely we'll see more of this in the

weeks to come.

ANDERSON: And what of the U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish authorities say was behind this coup?

[11:40:11] LEE: Well, the Turkish government wants him back. They say that he is the mastermind. His organization, a terrorist organization,

was to undermine the Turkish government, again having that coup.

But the U.S. government has said from the very first day they need to see the evidence that Fetullah Gulen is behind this coup attempt. If they see

that evidence, then they can move forward with this extradition process.

Now, the Turkish government today came out and said they are afraid that Gulen may try to flee

to another country, whether it is South Africa, Australia or possibly Egypt to run away from any possible extradition to Turkey.

Now Turkey has also said that it is very important that they get Fethullah Gulen. They said that if for some reason if the United States grants him

amnesty or grants him asylum rather that this will hurt Turkish/U.S. relations immensely.

But, again, going back to the U.S. government saying they want to see the evidence.

So, it really is up the Turkey to prove to the U.S. government, show the documents, show the evidence that he was behind it. But so far we haven't

heard of any evidence that suffices.

ANDERSON: Ian Lee is in Istanbul for you on the story tonight. Ian, thank for that.

I'm live in Abu Dhabi. And you are watching Connect the World. This is CNN.

Coming up, some Russian athletes are on their way to Rio, but not all of them. We speak to a whistle blower who believes she should be on the

plane, too.


ANDERSON: Well, Russia's Olympic team are on their way to Rio de Janiero eight days ahead of the beginning of the games. The country's

participation was of course in doubt after claims of state-sponsored doping by the country.

Well, two Russians who blew the whistle on those doping practices are now speaking out. Former Russian 800 meter runner Yuliya Stepanova is angry

that she won't be able to compete in Rio. Her husband, Vitaly, worked for the Russian anti-doping agency. My colleague Clare Sebastian spoke with

the couple. And this is what they had to say.



CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Why do you think you deserve to compete?

YULIYA STEPANOVA, RUSSIAN WHISTLEBLOWER (through translator): Because I told the truth, because of (inaudible) and because of all this I became a

traitor in Russia and get immediately kicked out of everywhere when I started telling the truth.

And in that way, they deprived me of a chance to continue my sporting career. I get kicked out and because the international federation allowed

me to compete, appreciating my contribution to the sport, I thought it would allow me to compete in the Olympics, too.

But the IOC didn't want to support me.

[11:45:10] SEBASTIAN: The IOC's decision this week not to ban the entire Russian team, do you agree with that or do you think they should have gone

further than they did?

VITALY STEPANOVA, FORMER RUSSIAN ANTI-DOPING AENCY EMPLOYEE: I believe if you say that you are zero tolerance, and again this is unfortunate that

this is happening to our own home country, but I don't think that should be used as an excuse for not fighting corruption in

sports, for not fighting corrupt sports officials. I believe if you wanted to send a clear sign that doping will not be tolerated, you have to suspend

the whole country. So, even the clean athletes in Russia realize that if they see something wrong they have to fight it.

SEBASTIAN: But do you think there could be any athletes going to the games this time that are doping?

Y. STEPANOVA (through translator): I think that there probably will be those athletes from the Russian federation who use banned substances, but

they just were not caught because I think it's very difficult to get rid of that system quickly.

STEBASTIAN: Why does this happen in Russia? Why was doping so widespread? Why was there so much pressure on sportsmen?

Y. STEPANOVA (throughtranslator): From my personal experience I came into sport at 17 and before that I thought that being an Olympic champion

required years of training. And when I got into the sport environment myself, I started to hear about doping from everyone. I asked my trainer

and it turned out it was just like taking an ordinary course of vitamins.

Sportsmen believed it was just normal preparation and you can't do without it. They are not taught any other way.

SEBASTIAN: The Russian authorities are saying that they are going to do more to crack down

on doping. They even set up a special commission to fight it. Do you have any faith that things are going to improve in Russia when it comes to


V. STEPANOV: With the current political system, no. I do believe my view that IOC had a chance to destroy the system and to show that Olympic

movement will not tolerate this kind of cheating, but they chose not to do that. And by doing that, they showed that to the rest of the Russian

athletes, in my view, that they should continue doing how they were prepared earlier by double standards. and the system will continue to

protect them.

So they didn't -- I don't think they got the signal that they should start telling the truth and they should start changing.


ANDERSON: Well, with just a week to go, is Rio going to be ready for all of this?

Shasta Darlington is there. She joins me. A week today in fact -- no, a week tomorrow. It's Thursday here, a week tomorrow, the athletes taking

part will be gearing up for what will be this opening ceremony, hugely watched around the world. Are things ready in Rio?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems to be the question every day, Becky, and that's because every day brings new

problems. Really, the latest scandal has been the athlete's village itself, where all of these Olympians are staying. While it officially

threw open its doors on Sunday, the Australian delegation, as we know, refused to move in. And then it turns out the organizers admit only 16 of

the 31 apartment blocks was even operational. So they have had this army of 630 masons, electricians, plumbers working around the clock to try to

get things up to speed.

Now, according to organizers by the end of the day today, all 31 apartment towers will be ready. We've seen a lot of athletes moving in. We are

waiting for the Russians themselves, a big chunk of them, at least, to arrive this evening.

But this has just been the latest in a long string of problems that has people asking exactly that

question, will they be able to reign in the crime wave? Will they clean up the water venues?

What it look like at this point is that the venues are ready. These games are going to go ahead. There will be hiccups along the way, which comes

down to how the visitors and the athletes -- how good-humored they will be about that with the beautiful beaches and the delicious caipirinhas will they overlook some of these hiccups or could

they really scar and mar the first Olympic games in South America, Becky?

ANDERSON: Shasta, a couple of years ago, 2014, you were there when the country hosted the World Cup. And I remember sorts of stories before that.

And then the tournament started. And then things kicked off. And then the Brazilians really got behind that tournament. I know it wasn't the result

that they would have wanted in the end when it came to the actual football, but they really got behind the tournament.

Can you see that ultimately happening this time?

[11:50:07] DARLINGTON: Absolutely. I can, Becky. Which is exactly why I am not necessarily as pessimistic as some people, because we have seen

before Brazil really does pull it all together at the last minute. And the latest poll shows that only 50 percent of Brazilians support hosting

these games here.

But once they start, once we've got hundreds of thousands of international tourist and athletes pouring in, they are very warm hospitable people. I

expect that they will be excited about being the center of attention, about being the country that hosts these games and that we will really see a

turnaround in sentiment and people beginning to focus on the athletes, these positive stories on the competitions and not so much on the problems.

I can tell you yesterday I was on Copa Cabana Beach. On the one hand, you have got a navy ship off the coast showing that they are beefing up

security, but you also have these new Olympic rings that have been set up there. And there is a long line of Brazilians all waiting to take selfies

in front of the rings. So, you can see they are definitely becoming more aware and more excited, Becky.

ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington above Copa Cabana Beach as she pointed out. Thank you.

We'll have a lot more on the games in just a moment after the break. We are going to introduce you to an Israeli marathon runner whose Olympic

dream is coming true. And isn't that what it's all about?

Plus, good-bye, farewell, auf wiedersehen, the world says a sad adieu to a robot. Details after this.


ANDERSON: 53 minutes past 7:00 here in the UAE. Welcome back. A little bit of the show left. I'm Becky Anderson.

And despite all the controversy swirling around the Olympics for the competitors qualifying for

the games is a towering achievement and a defining moment of any athlete's career. Oren Liebermann introduces us now to a marathon runner who dreamed

of going the Rio and didn't let the naysayers stand in his way.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ageze Guadie is the most unlikely of Olympians. For years he was told he wasn't strong enough, wasn't fast


AGEZE GUADIE, MARATHON RUNNER (through translator): All the professionals discounted me. I said no you have got to take me seriously. I'm going.

If you know what you want, you can get it.

LIEBERMANN: He put in the hours, clocked the miles and signed up for the Rotterdam marathon. He crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 18 minutes and

53 seconds just beating out the Olympic qualifying time by a mere seven seconds.

The 27-year-old Ethiopian Israeli was going to Rio.

GUADIE (through translator): If you work hard, you go far and no shortcuts. I've always worked hard. I was in a boarding school. You have

to cope on your own, you're independent. That gave me more strength to believe in myself.

LIEBERMANN: Guadie is enjoying every moment of his local fame. He couldn't stop smiling at the team photo shoot, not knowing which camera to

look at or how to pose.

GUADIE (through translator): I'm enjoying it. If you enjoy it, you do it even better, especially for me because I'm doing what I love. I'm learning

and my whole life is around sport.

LIEBERMANN: His home is a long way from the Olympics: a student trailer in central

Israel. He shares it with his training partner, their running shoes stacked at the entrance.

This is your home. This is the home of an Olympian. It's -- I can almost reach from one side

to the other but this is not what is important to you.

[11:55:13] GUADIE (through translator): What's important is that you want to make it. You dream about making it. Dreams are very important. It

doesn't matter what building you live in, what is important is that you believe.

LIEBERMANN: The next morning, Guadie is up before dawn running 23 miles before it gets too hot.

At the end of his run, he is again smiling. A crowd has gathered around him cheering on the Olympian. Now he's not the only one who believes.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, central Israel.


ANDERSON: Well, saying good-bye to a friend is never easy, even, it turns out, when it's a small space lab that's clinging to a hurdling comet

hundreds of millions of kilometers away.

Earth bid a final farewell to the Philae probe on Wednesday after it didn't call back home

over the past year. It was no small step for a mere man this time but it was a giant leap for mankind all the same.

The first-ever probe to land on a comet and stay in one piece. Philae discovered all kinds of new things for us since 2014 right to the end. It

didn't go quietly into the good night tweeting, quote, "I'm far from Earth and sun. I'd love to take memories of you with me. Please send me a

postcard from home."

Well, one of its last would-be looks at Earth came from Mexico City. But two Londoners showed themselves instead -- reluctantly waving good-bye.

And here another Twitter user thanks the little probe that could for all it did for mankind.

And those are your Parting Shots tonight.

Meanwhile, some are bringing the concept of zero gravity to Earth. These pioneers in dance suspend themselves from cliffs and skyscrapers just for

us to enjoy a show while they give the illusion that they are flying.

Well, for more on that story and others that the team has been working on throughout the day here, do do use the Facebook page. That's

I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team working with me and those with us around the world, we thank you for watching. Do

stay with CNN.