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CONNECT THE WORLD
A Look at Rio's New Subway Line; Typhoon Nida to Make Landfall in Hong Kong; World Oil Prices Plunge; Indian Construction Workers Suffering in Saudi Arabia. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 1, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:15] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Excuse me. Olympic park. Olympic park.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: With the Rio games four days away, we navigate the city to see if Rio is ready to host the Olympic-sized crowds.
Also ahead, did Donald Trump go too far? What some members of his own party are saying after Trump's controversial exchange with the Muslim-
American parents of a U.S. soldier who died in Iraq.
And a Russian helicopter shot down in Syria after an aid mission to Aleppo. How is Russia responding? We'll have a live report just ahead.
Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade sitting in for Becky Anderson. In just four days, the eyes of the world will be watching Rio de Janeiro, that's when
the Olympic games will get under way. And as I'm sure you know by now, the lead-up to the games has been plagued by controversy.
Despite the issues, final preparations are under way and athletes are arriving by the hour.
Our team is stationed across Rio. First, I want to go to Shasta Darlington who is outside a new
metro station that has opened for the games.
Shasta, this line has been talked about for decades. Finally, it's off the ground.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Lynda. At least it's off the ground for ticket holders. In fat, we went out and
tested all of the different sections of the metro, the bus, the train, that ticket holders will have to use to get to their venues.
Check this out.
DARLINGTON: It's a beautiful day. So we're going to head to some Olympic stadiums and test out the public transportation system, which is
coming together at the very last minute.
Olympic transport tickets cost about $49 for a week, or $8 for a one- day card. So for the first leg we're taking this journey underground on the
metro. And here we go. So we're going to head up to the escalator and up to the train that will be our next leg of this journey.
So there are no signs yet for the Olympic parks. A tourist is going to be pretty lost. They would probably head over here to the information
booth. So we'll head over here. So let's ask security if they know. Excuse me, Olympic park? Olympic Park?
Part two, getting on the train.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will depart from platform 8.
DARLINGTON: So this used to be the can of sardines train. Obviously it's looking better now. They've put more cars on the tracks, especially as
we get close to the Olympics, and more security.
So if you're coming to see track and field, this is your stop. And let's see if, if you calculate the time to switch trains, it's about 50
minutes from your hotel door to right here at the stadium.
If you continue on to the Deodoro Park for BMX or Rugby, give yourself a good hour and 15 minutes from the hotel. You have just seen an equestrian
even or maybe a canoe slalom, and you want to get to the main Olympic Park, you're going to take this dedicated bus line.
Right now it's empty. In fact, it looks like they're still finishing it. But once the Olympics starts, this is going to be a really important
trajectory. It's going to connect the Olympic Park right there -- the main one to all of the hotels on Rio's south side.
The good news is this has its own exclusive lane. So hopefully we won't be sitting in traffic. That was fast, comfortable, and air
conditioned. I'd be getting on the metro now, but the new line won't be open until four days before the Olympics start. For now -- stuck in
DARLINGTON: So starting to day, all of that changes, Lynda. This is one of the new metro stops right behind me. It opens up to ticket holders
and people with credentials -- the volunteers, the athletes, the journalists. We're going to check it in just a few minutes, but the idea
is that it will cut what can be a two hour trip in congested traffic down to about a an half hour.
We'll let you know how it goes, Lynda.
KINKADE: Half an hour, that is incredible. All right, Shasta, stand by for us.
I want to go to Amanda Davies now who is covering the Rio Olympics for us as well.
Of course, a cloud still hangs over the Russian team amid the doping allegations. What's the latest on that?
[11:05:00] AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, absolutely, Lynda, not what the IOC and Olympic organizers would have wanted at all.
We know that 100 Russian athletes have been banned already from competing at this games because of either previous doping offenses or links
with that pretty explosive McLaren report which talked about the systematic state sponsored doping of sport in Russia since 2010 all because of
absences of trustworthy doping tests over the last couple of years.
But there are about 270 Russian athletes who are here. They have been cleared to appoint by their international sporting federations.
Of course, the IOC themselves, many people felt shirked the decision to issue a blanket ban. Instead, they put the focus on the international
sporting federations. And now those athletes are being assessed by on a case by case basis, by a three-person IOC panel as to whether or not they
will in fact be allowed to compete.
The deadline for that decision is Friday's opening ceremony. But the Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, has spoken out saying he believes it
will, in fact, be sooner than that. He hopes the decision will be told to himself, his team, his athletes by the close of play on Tuesday.
Interestingly though, Lynda, the athletes village, which is up and running in Baja (ph), which is at the end of that train line that Shasta
was talking about, on display there is the biggest Russian flag you could really ever see at this Olympic games. They may have a diminished number
of athletes here, but their flag by far is the biggest flying in the athletes village.
A lot of the different teams display their national flag off balconies out of the windows to really identify their area of the athletes village.
But the Russian flag is flying proudly, many of those athletes taking part in all the organized activities.
But still at this point with just four days to go until the opening ceremony, don't know whether or not they will actually be allowed to
KINKADE: All right. Amanda Davies, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much for that.
I want to go back down to Shasta Darlington now. Shasta, we've seen obviously so many concerns in the lead-up to these Olympics. I know just
the not just the Russian doping scandal, but also obviously the Zika virus, political turmoil. Are people finally trying to get excited there?
DARLINGTON: Well, Lynda, people are start to turn towards these positive stories. You know, there was a rehearsal for the opening
ceremony. Only volunteers were allowed in. We weren't allowed in. But that is getting people talking. It's building a bit of a bubble, some
I think the big question, though, is whether or not that will translate into ticket sales. They're still doing a more recent tally, but
the latest figures we have show that 20 percent, more than a million tickets, are still available.
This is a country of 200 million people. They thought these were going to sell out quickly. They're being priced at very accessible prices,
cheaper than London.
So the question is why aren't they being bought? And with just four days to go, will they
finally sell out some of the tickets and fill all of the stands, Lynda?
KINKADE: Absolutely. All right. We can only hope that is the case. Shasta
Darlington, thanks so much.
I want to go to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. He is at Copa Cabana Beach.
Nick, secuirty also a major focus with the Olympics, but already a security firm hired has effectively been sacked.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and there are, of course, here on the area around me remarkable signs of how Brazil
wants to show in great evidence the security measures it's taking. It's crazy. There are helicopters here,
boats in the sea, troops all over the street. But there is one fundamental thing that appears to have been overlooked.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You couldn't really get any more obvious when it comes to Rio trying to make you feel
safe. Copacabana and almost everywhere you look here near the venue for the opening ceremony, there's someone smiling with a gun. But they seem to have
missed something quite important.
Well, it's one of the biggest challenges for organizers, security screening for the huge crowds that want to get into the venues. But the
basic task of working out who's going to be banning the x-ray machines at the end of these lines has been left to the last minute.
Just one month ago, they hired a contractor to man these machines. On Friday, it was announced the military police will take over as the
contractor wasn't ready. But still, some employees of the contractor, not shown here, were being asked to come to work this weekend. One agreed to
talk to us anonymously. He wasn't asked to provide a police criminal background check, he says, and only had to do a quick online training
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are people who turn up for the job without any real training kind of work we're being asked to do.
Our job is to look after people's security and some of the people doing the work, in my view, aren't up to that. The training course was very quick
. There should have been more to it.
WALSH: It's not clear with just days you can count on one hand to go whether he's needed again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through Translator): Today, I was meant to do a six-hour shift but did eight hours. At the end, the supervisor came and
said they didn't know when we had to come back to work again.
WALSH: We tried to reach the contractor for comments. Olympic Chief Thomas Bach says he has total confidence in the security of the games. The
government says they're drafting in thousands of retired police and firefighters to help. But away from the bright lights, some are asking what
else has been missed?
[11:11:00] WALSH: Now staggeringly, you can't think of a more important role in security screening herethan making sure that those who go
into into the venues are safe when they're inside. That worker you saw there in that piece there still went to work this morning despite the fact
on Friday the contractor here works for effectively being sacked. So, he says, did other of his colleagues presenting the idea that there is kind of
chaos now at those x-ray machines to some degree, because it isn't quite clear who is meant to be there. That potentially is troubling such a
visible effort here to make people feel safe.
But this, so fundamental, it does seem with dealt in very much the last minute -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, certainly does sound troubling. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for bringing us that report.
Now for some other stories on our radar right now. Tokyo has elected its first ever female governor. Former defense minister Yuriko Koike
received over a million votes more than her nearest rival who was backed by Japan's ruling Democratic Party.
Uber is selling its China operations to homegrown ride hailing company Didi Chuxing. The move will give over a 20 percent stake in the new
entity. The rival companies have been involved in a billion dollar battle for market share in China.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for today's truck bombing at a
fortified hotel which was used by foreign contractors. One police officer was killed and four others were wounded. Authorities say three attackers
were also killed.
In the U.S., the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq are asking Republican
presidential nominee Donald Trump to show some empathy.
Speaking at last week's Democratic convention, Khizr Khan, the soldier's father, criticized
Trump for his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Khan questioned whether Trump had ever read the constitution. Trump hit back questioning
Mrs. Khan's silence at the event implying that she was not allowed to speak because she's a Muslim.
Just a short time ago, Ghazala Khan did speak to CNN. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GHAZALA KHAN, MOTHER OF U.S. MARINE KILLED IN IRAQ: I'm so happy to be saying that I am a Muslim woman, and Muslim women have all the rights
that in the world. In the eyes of god, we are equal to our husbands. We are equal. And we are number one in the household in my family, in my
culture, in my community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Trump doesn't seem willing to let the controversy die down, even tweeting his reaction during that interview.
He said Mr. Khan doesn't know me, viciously attacked me from the stage at the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same. Nice.
Well, for more on all this, CNN's senior reporter for media and politics Dylan Byers, joins me from Los Angeles.
Good to have you with us.
This is a story that surfaced back on Thursday when the Khans addressed the Democratic
National Convention. It's now five days later. Is Trump digging his own hole?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, he absolutely is. I would say there is a pretty simple and bipartisan playbook for
dealing with the families of fallen soldiers. You honor them. You comfort them. What you don't do is try to
attack them and pick public fights with them.
And look, Donald Trump has very often thought that if he just goes after his criticizers and anyone who is speaking ill of him that he can
somehow outlast them in the news cycle, that he can somehow rally support among his base and sort of dominate the news cycle.
That's not what is happening here. What is happening is the news cycle is dominating him. And as you said, it's been dominating him for
Obviously, he is on shaky ground here when you get into the issue of veterans of fallen soldiers. And it's a problem that could continue to dog
him for the rest of the week.
[11:15:10] KINKADE: And Dylan, Khan, of course, called on all Republicans to disavow Trump. We are seeing a lot of prominent
Republicans, even Trump's own running mate for vice president at odds with Trump on this issue.
BYERS: That's true.
And, look, since day that he announced his candidacy, Donald Trump has sort of been pushing the boundaries with his Republican colleagues and
cohorts. And this is really when we look back on 2016 and the 2016 presidential campaign, it's really going to be a question about the
Republican Party and where the Republican Party stood with or against Donald Trump.
Now, there have been many things that Donald Trump has said over this 12 month period that have earned condemnation from other Republicans. But,
of course, now that he is the nominee, we're seeing a lot for trepidation now.
On the one hand, you have House Speaker Paul Ryan, you even have Donald Trump's own running mate Mike Pence coming out with statements that
seem to be at odds with what Donald rump is saying here. But they have yet to issue, and of course, his own running mate won't do it, but prominent
Republicans many of them still have yet to issue a sort of robust condemnation of what he said. Again, at the end of the day, I think this
is going to be a question about how the Republican Party is branded and how it is seen in the eyes of the American voting public.
KINKADE: And, of course, Trump does find himself at the center of controversy quite often.
and more often than not, it doesn't affect him in the polls. Will he come out of this unscathed again?
BYERS: Well, you're absolutely right about that. Somehow he seems to be Teflon. I mean, he's upended all the conventional wisdom about politics
and what should tank or be, you know, suicide for a candidate.
This, again, this is a very tricky issue for him, because it does have to do with the military, it does have to do with the men and women who have
sacrificed for this country. No issue is sort of closer to the hearts and minds of the American people and certainly for very long time to the
Normally, the issue of soldiers and those who have sacrificed in the armed services, that's really
been an issue that Republican Party has owned. If you looked at the convention in Philadelphia for the Democrats, that was really an issue that
they came out and tried to own this cycle.
So, no, I don't think this is one that he ends up winning. I think it's one, like I said, that continues to dog him for some time. And I
think it's one that continues to affect him in the polls.
And at the same time, that fallen soldier's parents have been making a very convincing case to Trump supporters or voters who are on the fence
about Trump why they should abandon Trump and come over to the Democratic Party.
KINKADE: Yeah, they certainly are very well spoken that couple.
All right, Dylan Byers, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
BYERS: Thank you so much.
KINKADE: Well, still to come, one of the most brutal rebel groups in Syria trying to rebrand themselves. But what is behind the move? We'll
take a look at that in just a moment.
Also, thousands of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia are facing a food crisis. The reason why in about 15 minutes.
[11:20:33] KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well, Russia says one of its helicopters has been shot down over Syria killing all five crew members. State television reported the team was on
its way back from delivering aid to civilians in Aleppo when the chopper was struck down.
Rebels are trying to break a Syrian army siege of the rebel-held part of the city.
Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is covering this story from Moscow. And Matthew, this looks to be the single deadliest
incident for the Russians since they got involved in the Syrian war. What's been the response there?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the single biggest loss of Russian life since September 2015 when the Russians
started their military intervention in Syria.
And it's been one of the characteristics, actually, of the Russian campaign that because they've been conducting an air war from great heights
above Syria, and they haven't will a great deal of massive troops engaged in battles on the ground, although the extent to which they've had special
forces there is uncertain, they haven't had the kind of casualties that, for instance, we saw when Russia intervened in -- or backed rebels in
eastern Ukraine. And that's something that's helped the Russian government, the Kremlin, maintain popularity and support for this
intervention in Syria.
Russians see it as being justified, backing up their ally, Bashar al- Assad, the Syrian president, against the threat of ISIS and other jihadist groups, and doing that at a relatively low cost.
The problem with this incident is that five people have been killed, all of them Russian service personnel. It is the biggest single incident,
as you said, of Russian loss of life since September 2015. And if that kind of loss continues, the equation could really start to change and
popular support in Russia for this Syrian intervention could start to wane.
At the moment it hasn't. The Russians are saying these people are heroes. They were -- they avoided populated areas and crashed the
helicopter to save civilian life in an open area. And they're casting them very much as heroes, as I say. And at the moment popular support is still
there, but that could change if these kinds of incidents become more common.
KINKADE: And, Matthew, is there any indication at this stage as to who brought down the chopper?
CHANCE: No. As far as I'm aware, no single group has yet claimed responsibility for this. But, of course, Russia has been engaged in a
devastating air war against rebels who are opposed to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, that's Moscow's ally. And they've been
backing Assad's ground forces with devastating air power, particularly in that area where this chopper was shot down, the area around Aleppo, a key
city in Syria, northern Syria.
And, you know, it's undoubtedly one of the groups that Russia has been striking.
We saw some very disturbing images, not just of the burning wreckage on the ground, which I think we've got. But there is other, much more
disturbing video, that we haven't seen, but is likely to anger the Russians very much, which is the bodies of the people on board being dragged out of
the helicopter and away from the crash zone, some of them are being defiled. There are chants of Allahu akbar, some of the bodies are being
stood on by members of the crowd. And that kind of scene, which the Russians will undoubtedly have seen, may well provoke a very powerful
response on the part of the Russian defense ministry and those forces inside Syria.
KINKADE: OK, Matthew Chance, we will come back to you for more on this developing story. Thanks so much.
One of the rebel groups trying to break the siege on Aleppo is the terror group that until last week was al Qaeda's Syrian branch. Formerly
known as al Nusra, it has carried out hundreds of attacks in the past four years.
The suicide bombing in Aleppo on October 2012 came just weeks before the U.S. put them on the terror blacklist. Washington says they are
responsible for the deaths of numerous innocent Syrians and Amnesty International accuses them of unlawful killings of captured Syrian
But the group recently announced they were cutting ties with al Qaeda and gave themselves a new name. In a videotaped response to CNN's
questions, the commander responds to accusation that that the fundamentals of their methods remain unchanged.
Clarissa Ward has the story.
[11:25:07] CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For years, they have been some of the most feared rebel fighters in Syria.
Jabhat al-Nusra was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in 2012 and swore allegiance to l Al-Qaeda the following year. But last week, the group
signaled it want to usher in a new chapter, announcing it would break ties with Al-Qaeda and changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
MOSTAFA MAHAMED, JABHAT FATEH AL-SHAM, LEADER (Through Translation): Yes Jabhat al-Nusra it was an official branch of Al-Qaeda. We reported to
their central command. We worked within their framework. We adhere to their policies. But we did enjoy a very significant autonomy, and our scope was
WARD: Egyptian Australian Cleric Mostafa Mahamed is one of the group's senior leaders. He provided video-taped responses to CNN's questions and
explained the reason for the shift.
MAHAMED: With the formation of JFS or Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, we're completely independent. And that means we don't report to anyone. We don't
receive our directives from any external entity.
WARD: The move has been dismissed by most in the international community as a public relations ploy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While they can maybe grow another branch of the tree that makes it look a little different, that branch comes back into the
core ideology and core approach. So, at the center of it, it's still al Qaeda.
WARD: Mahamed himself was designated a global terrorist by the United States government in May of this year. But he claims that neither he nor
his organization have any intention of carrying out attacks in the west or anywhere outside of Syria.
MAHAMED: When we were part of Al-Qaeda, and as our five year track record shows, our core policy was to focus all of our efforts on the Syrian
That was our policy before, and it will be our policy today and tomorrow. We do not intend to change that policy.
WARD: We visited areas under the group's control just a few months ago. Signs urged women to cover themselves completely. Democracy is the
religion of the west, warned one. That core Salafi jihadist ideology has not changed. The goal is still to implement Sharia law.
MAHAMED: The belief that Islam should govern the affairs of the Muslims isn't exclusive to any group. This is the core belief and the
common belief of the lay Muslim. What you have to understand is that Muslims, when given an opportunity, when given the freedom, they will
always choose to be governed by their faith. It's that simple.
WARD: But nothing in Syria is ever simple, and it remains to be seen how this latest move will play out on the ground.
Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.
KINKADE: Live from the CNN Center this is Connect the World. Coming up, July was a rough month for the oil business. We'll tell why you next.
And how Venezuela is trying to tackle its economic downturn with a controversial new decree.
[11:32:20] KINKADE: Well, just as oil seemed to be making a recovery, it's back down
again. It is now hovering around $40 a barrel. At least check, both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were down by more than 1 percent.
They're now well over 2 percent -- you can see there Brent crude trading around $42 a barrel, while U.S. crude around the $40 mark.
CNN Money's emerging markets editor John Defterios joins me now with the latest. John, this global glut weighing on the market a bit. It seems
increasingly difficult to find oil buyers. What is causing the retreat right now?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, Lynda. Many thought that supply and demand were coming into
balance over the last two months. It looks like that call was premature. In fact, those numbers that you put up there on the screen are pointing us
right near a three month low and in fact, the worst performance in a year, that's for the month of July.
Let's take a look at the damage by looking at the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate, as it's called. We lost 14 percent in a month alone.
So those who are very bullish about this rise to above $52 a barrel in the month of June are paying a severe price as we speak right now.
There's three major factors behind this list, Lynda. First and foremost is production. Once that price crossed $50, we saw that the U.S.
producers came back into the market in an aggressive way despite the fact we've seen 250,000 layoffs in the U.S. oil sector over last year. We've
seen rigs go up for the last five weeks, that is the best performance in terms of putting active rigs on to the market for the better part of the
Oversupply is haunting us again. Again, if you look at the U.S. market, we have over half a billion barrels of oil in storage right now,
that is running about 100 million barrels above the five-year average.
So again, a glut is starting to form. And then I don't have to tell you how bad it was for the second quarter for international oil companies.
You name any company and they really put up some very poor numbers -- Exxonmobil, BP, Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, all having a very, very
bad quarter because they were squeezed on margins here because both the downstream in term of refining
and production is taking it right on to the chin.
And finally, we're seeing a price war starting to re-emerge right now with Saudi Aramco over
the weekend cutting prices to Asia, that's the big battleground in the oil business right now, trying to fend off Iran's recovery back into the
market. And you mix all these factors together and we're going to challenge $40 a barrel probably over the next two or three weeks, Lynda.
And of course, the fallen oil price also having an impact regional especially on the Indian labor
workers in Saudi Arabia. What's unfolded there?
DEFTERIOS: Yeah, it all unfolded in the last 48 hours, if you will here. Those are the most vulnerable taking it on the chin, these are the
Indian construction workers seeing the effects of the downturn of oil in the region's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia.
Let's take a look at the eye popping numbers, some 10,000 workers impacted across the country right now. We're getting direct reports from
the west coast of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah with reports that the living conditions are quote, unquote, apalling.
So let's take a look at some of the bigger cases. 3,100 workers in Riyadh linked to the Saudi
bin Laden group, this is founded by the father of Osama bin Laden. Workers have not been paid for months. We understand that food rations have been
cut. If you go back to Jeddah again, some 2,400 workers without a job. We are told they went to their work sites up to seven months ago and the gates
were shuddered. They had living accommodations which is poor, but now we understand, again, that the food rations have dried out.
So the Indian embassy along, with the local Indian community, have been providing food. And they hope it will last long enough, eight to ten
days, for some of these workers to get their exit visas. It's a big question mark.
The minister of external affairs is sending the deputy to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to try to get some answers. So far, the construction companies
that we've reached out to including Saudi bin Laden and Saudi Ogeir (ph), have not responded.
And this is the harsh reality. We often talk about the lower oil price, Lynda, going from $115 a barrel two years ago to $40 today means
that the big oil states with major projects for the last five years are cutting back severely.
There are three million Indian expats working in Saudi Arabia right now. So, we're talking about 10,000 workers. It could get much worse in
the months ahead.
[11:36:45] KINKADE: Yeah, much worse. We're going to talk about that a lot more. John Defterios, great to you have with us.
And as John mentioned there, thousands of workers in Saudi Arabia lost their jobs. Many of them now struggling to pay for food.
I want to welcome the Indian ambassador for Saudi Arabia Ahmed Javed. He joins me on the line from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
As John was saying, a lot of workers are affected in Saudi Arabia right now. Just give us a sense of the extent of the problem. How many
Indian nationals are facing a food crisis in Saudi Arabia?
AHMED JAVED, INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: Well, at present, when it comes to the food issues, we have little over 2,500 people in
Jeddah and 500 plus in the eastern section. So that is where the food issue is at the moment. And we are being supplying food to both these
areas, to all these workers so that the humanitarian angle is taken care of.
KINKADE: And as John mentioned, some of these workers haven't been paid for months, some as many as seven or eight months. Could we see
KINKADE: Some of these workers haven't been paid for months, John mentioned as many as seven, eight, possibly nine months that these people
haven't been paid wages. Could we see protests there?
JAVED: Well, as recorded -- as for reportedly widely, they haven't been paid for seven, eight months, that's right. And as a matter of fact,
this food issue only came up when the food supply was shut down a few days ago and few weeks ago in some cases. And that is why we have stepped in.
KINKADE: And as I understand it, some of these workers, or most of the workers, have to hand over their passports when they go to work in
Saudi Arabia so they can't even leave the country without being granted an exit visa. Why do they have to hand over the passports to work there?
JAVED: Well, as for local laws, taking over the passport is not legal. And this is what all the authorities are also told us. But to
leave this country, apart from the passport, you need a valid exit visa. So there are two issues, which get linked up and we are working on that
also to have the exit visas as quickly as possible and the Saudi authorities have assured us of getting these visas as quickly as possible.
KINKADE: So, give us the sense of the government reaction there. Is the priority right now for India to help bring home those stranded
JAVED: Well, as far as the plans for sending back, we already have been (inaudible) that our minister is coming here I think tomorrow or late
tomorrow night. And we will work out on the best way to get them back home.
You know, we also have to ensure that the legal claims are protected so they don't lose out, because some of them have been working there for
very many years and they have to make dues which ultimately they shouldn't (inaudible) under any circumstances.
KINKADE: OK. Well, we wish you all the best there. Ahmed Javed, good to have you with us. Thanks so much for your time.
JAVED: Thank you.
[11:40:03] KINKADE: Well, Venezuela's economic crisis is getting deeper. Most OPEC countries are ramping up output, but Venezuela's
production is at the lowest pace in more than a decade. OPEC estimates it dropped to just over 2.1 million barrels per day in June, nearly a third
less than seven years ago.
Food shortages are widespread in Venezuela. And people say every day is a fight for survival.
Now, Amnesty International is condemning a new government decree to put
people to work on government decree to put people to work on government farms.
Rafael Romo reports.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: The decree was buried in a 48-page government publication. It comes directly from the desk
of the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The vaguely-worded decree says the government can force public and private sector employees to work in the
country's fields for periods of at least 60 days. This work period can be extended the decree says if circumstances merit.
Starting with the late President, socialist Hugo Chavez, Venezuela nationalized many companies, foreign and domestic. Many of those companies
have shut down or are no longer producing at the level they once did, which has created shortages of many products, including food staples.
This business leader says the President Maduro's decree is misguided.
"This is the closest thing to slavery we've had," he says.
Amnesty International says the decree effectively amounts to forced labor and calls it unlawful. Some Venezuelan workers have been at odds with
the government for years. They claim tight currency controls, restrictions on imports, and expropriations of companies have disrupted the labor
Former employees of Polar Enterprises one of the country's food and beverage producers protested against the government for weeks after part of
the company had to shut down for lack of raw materials. About 10,000 workers have been laid off due to the shutdown of Polar Enterprise's beer
production facilities like this one.
Those who have lost their jobs are not going quietly. They have been protesting on the streets saying the government is not only affecting
businesses but also killing jobs. We just want to live in peace, working and producing for our country and our families, this protesting worker
says. He may soon be producing for his country, not at the work site of his choice but at a government-run farm.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Caracas.
KINKADE: You're watching Connect the World. Still to come, Hong Kong bracing for Typhoon Nida, slow moving and potentially catastrophic storm.
We'll tell when you it's expected to make landfall.
Plus, they fled war and famine, but now they're running for Olympic dream. The story of the refugees who will be competing in Rio. That story
[11:46:04] KINKADE: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well, the worst of Typhoon Nida is moving towards Hong Kong and southern China. The storm dumped nearly 28 centimeters of rain on the
Philippines, more than 180 flights in and out of Hong Kong have been canceled.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers is covering this story an joins us now.
Chad, how soon it could make land fall?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, Lynda, I think it's there probably in four or five hours, honestly. It's very, very close. And I do
think that the eye will move right over Hong Kong proper. So the winds will be from one direction. They'll stop. And then they'll blow from the
A lot of times that's where you get most damage, because you get some things that are shifted or loose and then the next wind, the other side of
the eye, go ahead and slams right into it.
This thing has gone up now here over the past couple of hours. We're up to 150 kilometers per hour, 185 kilometer per hour wind gusts here. And
think about this, if you go from level one or the ground floor up will 80 floors, you increase that number by 30 percent.
So we could be really reaching at 160 or 170 kilometer per hour wind on the top floors of those
Now Hong Kong, if you are going to put a major storm into a big city, it would be the one that would be the most prepared, seeing so many stores
over the years. But we're going to see now probably a quarter of a meter of rainfall. And that is even more than we had yesterday with the same
storm because the storm has turned slightly to the left making and taking direct aim at Hong Kong proper.
So here's our forecast accumulation for Hong Kong -- 259 millimeters of rain just over the next 48 hours. And in some spots, that rain will
come down very, very quickly. So we could get 100 millimeters of rain in an hour on these tropical-like downpours making it tough to drive, took the
walk, it's time to batten down the hatches and stay home if you're in Hong Kong or in Shenzen.
Obviously now we're going to see a slight storm surge. It could be five meters. Get away from the ocean. Get away from the bays and also get
away from those harbors, because that's where the water will kind of funnel up and so if you see that wind blowing the water up, the water could funnel
up five meters, and obviously that is a lot of land there that could be affected by the ocean water, then after that, you get the fresh water
flooding, which is just the rainfall itself.
So, that's we have to deal with right now. This is not a super typhoon, but certainly getting more important, 90 miles per hour for you
that use the English and about 150 kilometers per hour that, is a pretty good storm for a big city with all that glass.
KINKADE: Absolutely. Batten up the hatches. Chad Myers, thank you very much.
MYERS: You're welcome.
KINKADE: South Korea is taking extra precautions to protect its Olympic athletes. They're wearing special uniform with built in mosquito
repellent. The idea is to prevent Zika infections.
CNN's Paula Hancocks went inside the factory where the uniforms are being made.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The national flag. the team logo, encouraging messages from people sewn into the lining: this is South Korea's olympic uniform. 600 are being made here just outside
Seoul for athletes and officials to wear in Rio this August. And there's something else that makes this outfit unique: it is apparently Zika
But aside from the long sleeves and the long trousers keeping skin off limits to mosquitoes, the rest remains a bit of a mystery.
The Zika resistant part of this uniform is apparently top secret. Now, all we've been told once these uniforms are finished, they're then
shipped off to an unnamed company and there they coat the uniforms with an insect repellent chemical. We're not allowed to film that part.
We're told it has been tested to repel mosquitoes, and it works. No lab results or footage available, though.
Designer Kim Soo-chong (ph) says she was going for protection, and comfort, and something truly Korean.
"I wanted our athletes to look classy and stylish," she says, "as they're on the global stage. Next, I wanted it to be in the unique Korean
style. Lastly, it had to be functional and comfortable."
South Korea's Olympic committee says so far no athlete has dropped out through fears of the Zika virus, but medicine, insect repellent and
mosquito nets are being prepared as well as a uniform that leaves little exposed for the mosquitoes to bite.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
[11:50:36] KINKADE: Well, still to come, from refugees to Olympians, how a group of athletes overcame incredible odds to compete in the Rio
games. That story just ahead.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well, for the first time ever, a team of refugees will compete in the Olympic games. The group of athletes overcame enormous odds to qualify for
Rio, many of them arrived in Kenya largely untrained. Now eight months later, they're about to become Olympians.
Our David McKenzie has their story.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Morning training in the (inaudible) hills, a mecca for Kenya's Olympians. But these runners are refugees. They ran from
their homelands, from war and famine. They have no flag of their own.
JOHN ANZARAH, COACH: When they came in fast, we went out training with the lead athlete at the stadium. And people are laughing like these
are not athletes. Coach, what do you do with these people? That was very discouraging.
And at the beginning, I saw coach, we thought so, are we going to make it?
MCKENZIE: Coach John Anzarah is molding raw talent, refugees selected from South
Sudan, Somalia and the Congo training for a chance to make it to the Rio Olympics. It's their first ever refugee team.
And you're seeing that their times improve.
ANZARAH: Oh, it does. One (inaudible) athlete was not the way they are running now.
MCKENZIE: Rose Nathike has been running her whole life. When the war came to her village in South Sudan, she fled the killing on foot, then in
the back of a truck.
ROSE NATHIKE, RUNNER: People do undermine refugees as if they are not human beings like them. But now I can see maybe the refugees also can
discover their talents and make it like other people so that they can not be undermined.
MCKENZIE: Rose says her tough training can't compare to the hardships she has already gone through. Growing up in a refugee Kacouma (ph)
refugee camp in Kenya's outer fringes, a city of refugees who fled from South Sudan's old and new wars.
Here Rose took care of her brothers and sisters volunteering for an NGO, going to school and running.
TOM NATHIKE, BROTHER OF ROSE NATHIKE (through translator): Rose loves to run. She used to run to a hill near us every morning and then come back
to us. And then, sometime in the evening she would run there again.
[11:55:05] MCKENZIE: So they're very nervous today?
ANZARAH: Yeah, they're nervous. But we would not just let them sit in the camp.
MCKENZIE: 43 athletes from around the world were selected for training, only 10 will go to Rio, overcoming a lifetime of trauma to
compete on the world's biggest stage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rose Nathike.
MCKENZIE: Rose will run the will 800 meters.
R. NATHIKE: Hello everyone. I am very happy that I am selected to go to Brazile.
MCKENZIE: She'll be running for her family, for the refugees of Kacouma, and for everyone of the 21 million refugees around the world.
Given the chance, Rose says, they can achieve anything.
David McKenzie, CNN, Kenya.
KINKADE: And before we go, a project making life a little brighter for the children of the Syrian war. In our Parting Shots, a look at the
vibrant murals that are adding a bit of color to refugee camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These project were inspired by the fact that you have all of these children and young people who are coming across the
border and they're ending up in these really drab, difficult environments. There's very little color. But you know, very harsh conditions, very hot
in summer, cold in the winter. Their lives are really stuck.
I think that this is such a powerful experience for a young person who may be much more
accustomed to being a victim to their circumstances.
They come up with the ideas and the themes and the subject matter and imagery. They are making a positive contribution to their community.
We want to make sure that these projects become sustainable.
This experience can be very positive for a young person to have. And it's also a way for kids to
be able to bond with each other in a positive way and bond with the adults that are in their lives.
My name is Joel Berger (ph) and these are my parting shots.
KINKADE: I'm Lynda Kinkade, that was Connect the World. Thanks so much for watching.