Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Can Leicester City Repeat?; Donald Trump Attacks Hillary on Temperament, Suitability; IPC Bans Russian Paralympic Team; Syrian Refugee Swimmer Makes Mark at Rio 2016; Competing Claims as Rebels Claim to Break Regime Siege in Aleppo. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 7, 2016 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Golden moments as the Olympic Games gets underway in Rio. We look at who is already shining through and what's ahead this

Sunday.

We'll al hear whether the Russian Paralympic athletes will be allowed to compete. A decision is expected this hour.

Also ahead, Rio's refugee hero: as a teenaged Syrian swimmer makes her mark. We speak to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees about

the winners, war, and the world's escalating migration crisis.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unstable, Hillary Clinton...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: Getting personal, the Republican nominee for the White House goes after his rival. We'll tell you who is faring better in the latest opinion

polls.

Day two of competition is now under way in Rio, all eyes are on the women's gymnastics as Simone Biles and Aly Raisman lead team USA.

And the verdict is expected for the Russian Paralympians. Will the International Paralmpic Committee ban them from competing at next month's

games?

But first, let's take a look at the medal standings after day one of the Rio Olympics. Australia and Hungary are tied for first position for the

number of gold medals won with two each. The United States, China, and South Korea each won one gold. But China leads in total medals won with

six.

Day two has a total of 14 medals up for grabs.

World Sport's Amanda Davies is live in Rio and joins me now. And Amanda, some news out of rowing already on day two with some pretty bad weather

there.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, absolutely. You might be able to see from from my hair, Lynda, it is pretty windy here in Rio today. We had

the sinking Serbian world bronze medalist's boat yesterday. All those complaints from the rowers that they felt the conditions were unfair,

unsafe. (inaudible) whether rowing takes place. It's just behind us here on Copacabana.

And it seems that after growing pressure from the rowing community, the decision has

been taken not just to delay the action for today, but in fact canceled the rowing event for today because

of those safety concerns. The lake here has a very interesting topography. As you proceed down the 2k course, it goes from being built up to mountains

to having crosswinds through where is a very open entrance into the sea. And the rowers that I have been speaking to say it is very, very difficult

to predict. You go through kind of four seasons in every journey up and down the lake.

So, that's what we are hearing from the rowing.

We also understand that over the Olympic Park, which is about 45 minutes from here. The winds, of course, delays at the tennis center as well. So,

certainly, not ideal for the organizers. But we are still waiting to hear what that means in terms of the rescheduling going forward.

And of course 14 medals, gold medals, are up for grabs today. What action can we expect?

DAVIES: Yeah, you might be able to hear we have got the women cycling road race preparing to start behind us. Of course, we had the men yesterday

morning, the women are starting a little bit later.

But we saw yesterday, three world records in the swimming pool. I was lucky enough to be there as Australia's 4x100 freestyle team saw off the

threat of Katie Ledecky, the U.S. 19-year-old star to take gold. Ledecky and the USA were beaten into silver.

But Katie Ledecky does have the chance to claim her first gold of the games a little bit later this evening in the 400 meter freestyle. Of course, we

might also get the pleasure of seeing the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, an 18-time gold medalist, if he takes part in the

early stages of the 4x100 men's freestyle event, that yet to be confirmed.

A huge day as you were saying in the gymnastics as well. Simon Biles is the super star that everyone is talking about in terms of Team USA and the

women's event. She hasn't been beaten in all round competition since the world championship of 2013.

It is hilarious, she's talking about this her first Olympic games and just an everyday event, that's how she's telling herself that she's going to get

through it despite not only the pressure from her teammates, the defending gold medalist Gabby Douglas, but also the pressure of the eyes of the world

upon her.

But definitely one other to pay attention to, Lynda, is 41-year-old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, this her7th Olympic Games. To put it in to context

before -- by the time Simon Biles was four, Chusovitina had actually won an Olympic gold and five world titles already.

[11:05:25] KINKADE: That is absolutely incredible.

We do have some pretty tough news for the Russians yet again. The Russian Paralympic team,

there will be a decision today as to whether there will be a complete ban for them over doping allegations.

DAVIES: Yeah, absolutely. We had that long, drawout process with the International Olympic Committee, didn't we, after the fallout from the

McLaren report into the state sponsored doping in Russian sports. There were 35 Paralympians who were talked about in that McLaren report about

wrong false -- about fake tests or wrong tests, positive tests I should say -- goodness me -- positive tests that were made to disappear from the

system in Paralympic terms.

There has been strong messages being talked about that the IPC are going to really go against the decision by the IOC, that they will impose a blanket

ban. The IPC have said they have not going to confirm or deny that until a press conference that we're expecting in the next hour or so.

KINKADE: All right, we'll cover that live when it happens.

Amanda Davies staying across it all for us in Rio, thanks so much.

Well, throughout the show, we will have more from Rio. And coming up, we will speak to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees about the

first ever refugee team to compete in the games.

Plus, going for gold, we'll meet an Egyptian fencer hoping to make history for his country and continent, and another fencer making another kind of

history. CNN speaks with the first U.S.-Muslim athlete to wear a hijab at the games.

Well, right now the Turkish president is rallying his supporters and even opposition parties in another show of power after last month's coup

attempt. The two playing of Erdogan is expected to speak at a huge demonstration underway right now in Istanbul. These are live pictures of

that rally. It comes, of course, after weeks of pro-government demonstrations. And as Mr. Erdogan weathers criticism from the west over a

post-coup crackdown that has put thousands of people behind bars.

Well, for the latest, let's go Arwa Damon. She joins us live from Istanbul.

Arwa, President Erdogan has continued to call for these rallies of support since that failed coup attempt. Just give us a sense of the turnout today.

It looks huge.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lynda. It is incredibly loud here at this rally, historic in the sense that this is the first time

that we're seeing President Recep Tayyip Erdoguan's AKP Party, as well as two opposition parties, main opposition parties, the MHP (ph), and the CHP

(ph), throw this sized of a rally.

A million-and-a-half plus people are expected here. People have been arriving since 9:00 in the morning. This is being termed a democracy

martyrs' rally. And (inaudible)

KINKADE: Arwa Damon, we might have to leave it there for now. We are having a great deal of difficulty hearing you. We will try and get back to

you soon. Thanks so much.

Well, we'll look at some other stories on our radar right now. Early results show Thailand has voted to approve a new constitution drawn up by

the ruling junta that paves the way for future elections, but also gives additional powers to the military.

Iran has executed a nuclear scientist accused of spying for the United States. He claimed that he had been kidnapped by the CIA back in 2009 and

forced to divulge information, but U.S. officials at the time said he defected voluntarily and provided useful information. You see him here

making his return to Iranian 2010 before the government detained him.

A trip to hospital has interrupted a six-year prison sentence for Oscar Pistrius. Doctors treated him on Saturday for injuries to his wrists,

that's according to a prison spokesman. Pistorius's brother tweeted that the former Olympian slipped in his cell and did not try to hurt himself.

Well, we move to Syrian now where there have been celebrations in parts of Aleppo.

You can hear the celebratory gunfire there.

Rebels have made some progress in breaking a government siege in and around southern Aleppo, that's according to an activist group.

Meanwhile, there have been developments in another strategic town of Manbij in Aleppo Province. ISIS has control there, but now appears to have driven

out by U.S.-backed militia after a two month long offensive. CNN's Jon Jensen has been following those developments from Abu Dhabi.

First, lets look at Aleppo. What exactly is going on there?

JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a government seize that's been going on in Aleppo since last month and we understand from rebels

yesterday that they managed to break through.

But there are, Lynda, competing claims as to whether or not they may have actually been able to have done that.

Rebel fighters, a mixture of Islamists and moderates, say that they broke through the siege on the southwestern corner of the city. We have seen a

video purportedly of fighters entering eastern Aleppo. Now, we haven't been able to verify the authenticity of this

video, but in the video you can see handshaking and backslapping.

But this battle was a very bloody and long, six days where rebels using vehicles and IED.

the goal, Lybna , was to resupply the eastern part of Aleppo, the area that's home to some 250,000 people. And in the past two weeks they have

talked of a siege that has cut-off food and medical supplies. And residents there, hearing of this apparent victory, took to the streets in

celebration.

But Syria's state media has said that this siege was not broken at all, competing claims as

I say. They are saying that they repelled the rebels -- Lynda.

KINKADE: Yeah, quite confusing depending on who you listen to.

Just give us a sense of how strategically important this area is.

JENSEN: Well, Aleppo is the second largest city. It is the commercial --- former commercial hub of Syria, very important. But you alk of Manbij as

well. This is another very strategic province and a separate battle going on there.

At the moment, Syrian democratic forces, which is an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias that's backed by the U.S. apparently sweeping through the

town of Manbij. We understand that they have nearly gotten rid of ISIS in the entire city. Some 90 percent of the city have been swept.

But the battle not over yet, Lynda. There is still fighting going on. Very strategic town, because it is close to the Turkish border, some 25

miles, and it is part of this sort of Manbij pocket. It is the hub of this pocket that's 60 miles long, 100 kilometers long, this is along the

southern border of Turkey. And the Americans and Europeans believe that ISIS has been using this as a sort of two way supply route for their men

and material to get in to and out of Syria.

So, the Syrian democratic forces and American allies very keen to take Manbij from ISIS, though it's far from over there.

KINKADE: OK. But the rebels have certainly made some huge games there in the last two days. Jon Jensen, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

Well, the violence in Syria drove millions out of their homes, including a Syrian swimmer who is now competing in Rio under her refugee team. We'll

have her story just ahead.

Also, polls in the U.S. show Hillary Clinton, leading, but not so fast, we'll show you Donald Trump's new strategy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:16:04] KINKADE: The first ever refugee Olympic team was met with a standing ovation when they entered Rio's Maracana Stadium on Friday night.

The ten members squad led by 800 meter runner Rose Nathinke. The runner originally hails from what is now South Sudan and had been the honor of

being the flag bearer. She and her teammates marched in under the Olympic flag.

You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Lynda Kinkade, welcome back.

Well, the refugee team is already off to a good start. A year ago, Yusra Mardini was swimming for her life fleeing Syria making the dangerous

journey across the Mediterranean Sea, but on Saturday she swam for the sport of it. And the 18-year-old won her heat in the 100 meter butterfly.

Well, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee Filippo Grandi is in Rio and joins me now. Wonderful to have you with us.

Just, firstly, those images of the standing ovation as the refugee team made their way into that opening ceremony stadium. What were your

thoughts?

FILIPPO GRANDI, UNHCR: Yes, I was there. It was a fantastic moment, a moment celebrating hope, Brazilians, the possibility for these people who

have gone through so much to achieve and even to win.

I must say after 30 years working for refugees, this was a high water mark for me.

KINKADE: Yeah, such a wonderful, wonderful moment.

Now, this teams have just ten athletes in it. What do they symbolize?

GRANDI: I think they symbolize the possibility for people that have suffered, have fled the war conflict, violence, persecution,bad governance.

The possibility for these people when they are given a chance to achieve something important, to contribute to a greater project to humanity.

So the message is incredibly powerful. And it is a reality. It is only ten people, but they compete with the 10,000 best athletes in the world. It is

a dream come true for them against all odds.

So the symbol is powerful and the reality behind that symbol is equally powerful.

But one important thing, we shouldn't forget, this will not solve the problem. The problem that you just described that is happening in Aleppo

is very real. So the message is also, please, if we have to have a chance, you have to help us solve those political crises, those conflicts, that

poverty that causes people, forces people to flee.

KINKADE: Who do you think this symbolic gesture actually actually helps right now.

As you mentioned, there are people battling for their lives, really, in places like Aleppo and trying to flee over areas. What do you think they

make of this? Do you think they're even aware of what's going on with the Rio Olympic games underway?

GRANDI: Yeah, of course I think that they are aware. I think that the importance is that all of a sudden, the flights and the possibility of

achievement for these 10 refugees are there visible in the eyes of the whole world. This is the real significance of their presence here. I know

there are few -- of the 65 million refugees and displaced people, there is only ten, of course, competing in the Olympics. But I hope the message

will go out to the world.

And there is another very important thing, when they walked in the Maracana Stadium the other night at the inauguration, there was a huge shout of

encouragement, of triumph and I think it means that there is a lot of solidarity in the world for refugees. We hear a lot of negative things

about refugees, migrants, population movements, and yet that solidarity is there. And it was for all to see on Friday night after the Maracana

Stadium.

[11:20:12] KINKADE: And just give us a sense of the refugee crisis. As the Syrian world rages on year after year, hundreds of thousands of people

have been fleeing, just give us a sense of the conditions right now for people trying to flee Syria and Iraq.

GRANDI: Yeah, unfortunately, the two wars or the two conflicts in those two countries continue. And in fact it has become more and more difficult

for people from those countries, and especially Syria, to cross borders.

The neighboring countries are already hosting almost 5 million people, and their resources are limited. So crossing borders have become a real

challenge for people that however are still under bombs, are still being persecuted, are still suffering hardship. So, we keep telling neighboring

countries keep your borders open.

But we also have to tell the international community help those countries because they are bearing the biggest responsibility, the biggest weight in

hosting refugees fleeing one of those horrible wars of our time.

KINKADE: Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees, great to have you with us today. Thank you so much.

GRANDI: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, we've got some breaking news just in to CNN, the International Paralypic

Committee says Russian paralympic athletes will not compete at the games in Rio, that's after the doping controversy that has played out over the past

few months.

Let's bring in senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh. What a significant move by the International Paralympic Committee?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and lets tell you what we know, first of all. Now, we are hearing from Philip Craven, the

head of the IPC, the International Paralympic Committee, that they have taken the decision to ban the entire Russian Paralympic team from the games

here that will run from the 7th to the 18th of September.

Now, an lengthy explanation as to why this occurred, he referred to the report, the McLaren report into doping in the Russian team as one of the

darkest days in our history in sports. He went on to say we took the necessary time before taking our decision and invited the Russian

Paralympic Committee to enter dialogue with the IPC board.

We are saddened to see that the doping program extends to Paralympic athletes as well. The anti-doping program in Russia is corrupted and

broken. We had no choice but to take this action.

Now, that is a very drastic move here. And it is actually what many had been campaigning should occur to the real Russian full Olympic team at the

Olympics here.

The reaction behind me in Russia house, none at this stage. In fact, they're having lunch and looking at the cyclists who have just passed

behind us here.

But this does beg enormous questions, because they are talking at the IPC about how the exactly the same doping program, state-sponsored doping

program, applied to the Paralympiads as to the Olympiads themselves. Now, that begs the questinon, if the IPC were able to make the decision, they

say, through a unanimous decision at their committee level to ban the entire Russian Paralympic team, what was it in the IOC that was different

that led to a different decision.

Now, we know the answer to that. We know that Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC said he didn't want the sort of death and destruction, so to speak, of

taking the more vicious option of banning the entire team. He he wanted to allow individual athletes to have a chance to have their own clean records

respected. So he made the decision to devolve that process to the individual federations for each sport so that each Russian athlete wouldn't

have a presumption of innocence, but would have to again prove that htey had a clean record.

Now, that resulted in frankly a very favorable decisions for Russia. Yes, they had their whole track and field team banned, with one exception. They

ended up with 287 athletes going through this review process and got 271 that they released a few days ago here all the way through to the games,

substantial delegations walking out in that opening ceremony.

The question people will have to ask now is if the suspicion here, or the claim is that the same system was used to dope both teams and the same

system was used to monitor their doping, how is it that the IPC is taking this very stern decision to ban the entire team, yet the IOC has moved

forward and allowed what is about two-thirds to three-quarters of the original Olympic team to move towards the games, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yeah, absolutely, it's certainly some huge questions for the IOC and why they didn't follow through with a complete ban.

Do we know at this state how many Paralympians this will involve, how many athletes from Russia?

[11:25:14] WALSH: Well, there are 35, I understand, who were mentioned in the original report. But I would say it is the entire Paralympic team.

Now, I should point out that we had a huge crowd here for the IOC decision on the Russian

team. We had Alexander Zuhkov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, giving a press conference. In fact, it was the Russians who stole the

march on the IOC releasing their own numbers and saying, well, pretty much this is what we think is going to happen and

basically challenging the IOC to say that they were wrong.

Today, as I say behind me, we have absolutely (inaudible), in fact Sujoy (ph), a large Russian manufacturer unveiling a sporting jet behind us. So,

it is almost as if this particular decision here isn't really happening in the eyes of the Russian fan house behind me, Lynda.

KINKADE: and in the lead-up to the IOC decision, a lot of Russian officials were making pleas to the IOC not to ban the entire time.

Do we see those sort of same pleas in this case with the Paralympians?

WALSH: Well, Russia's position has broadly been that they are unfairly treated in this -- and the Kremlin views this as a geopolitical move

against Russia's image and trying to exclude them from the sort of global temple of sport where always the national conflicts can be healed through

healthy competition. But that obviously extends to that perception of the Paralympic team as well. It is I think potentially a dark day for Russian

in terms of their international image.

But as I say, around me here, we are seeing very little reaction on the surface.

KINKADE: All right, Nick Paton Walsh staying across it for us from Rio. Huge news there. We will come back to you I'm sure shortly with more on

that. Thank you so much.

Now, we will have more on the Olympics just ahead including.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I heard that there is never been a Muslim woman on the U.S. team who wore the hijab, that is when I made this conscious

decision to go for this 2016.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: This fencer, the first American to compete wearing a hijab at the summer games, which of course are now underway in Rio. Her story just

ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

[11:31:18] KINKADE: Well, Donald Trump's new attack line may sound familiar to the Hillary Clinton campaign. He's now questioning her

temperament, calling her unbalanced and unpresidential. And Trump says America's enemies would be quite happen with her at the helm. Take a

listen to what she told -- what he told crowds at a rally on Saturday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Remember ISIS is looking, folks. They dream of Hillary Clinton. They look at her and they say -- this can't be happening to us. How great

is this?

Now, you tell me she looks presidential, folks? I look presidential. You tell me -- you tell me she looks presidential. They are just watching and

they're looking and boy, they are salivating. They are salivating. They are saying that's what we want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: Well, the Trump campaign is circulating a new attack ad on Clinton's remarks of a rally in Nebraska.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am telling you right now we aren't going to raise taxes on the middle class.

So, I may have short-circuited it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: Media organizations have fact checked that clip, and some have found Clinton actually says "we aren't going to raise taxes."

Well, these attacks don't appear to be helping Donald Trump overall, at least not according to a new national poll.

ABC News and the Washington Post polled registered voters across the nation. Nearly twice as many say Hillary Clinton has the right personality

and the temperament for the office compared to Trump.

The poll found Clinton eight points ahead overall in a head to head race. That lead stuck even when third party candidates were thrown into the mix.

At least one American is still undecided when it comes to how he will cast his vote in November. Donald Trump's former rival for nomination, John

Kasich, sat down with our Jake Tapper earlier. The Ohio governor says he is not backing Hillary Clinton. And he hasn't endorsed Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KASICH, GOVERNOR OF OHIO: I have not endorsed him. That's correct.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You have not endorsed him. Do you know what you're going to do when you go into the voting booth?

KASICH: No. We still have time. It's something I think about a little bit, but not a lot.

TAPPER: Have you ever voted for a Democrat for president?

KASICH: No.

TAPPER: You have only voted Republican?

KASICH: Yes. Well, I'm a Republican.

TAPPER: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Is it possible that you will not vote for a Republican for president?

KASICH: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is very disturbing and alarming to me. I should not say -- it's not alarming. I wish that I could

be fully enthusiastic. I can't be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: That was our Jake Tapper speaking with the former presidential candidate John Kasich earlier.

Well, lets bring in the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, Larry Sabato, joining us via Skype from

Charlottsville. Good to have you with us, Larry.

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Thank you.

KINKADE: Trump's description of Clinton as unbalanced and unpresidential, it seems a little bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

SABATO: Well, I would say his pot and his kettle are considerably darker than Hillary Clinton's. And I say that because the United States polls

show that, that is he is regarded as the riskier choice and the least qualified choice to president. And, if you look around the globe and you

talk to world leaders, there is no question that they consider Hillary Clinton to be more stable and consistent.

KINKADE: John Kasich, of course, is not endorsing Donald Trump. He is the governor of a key state. What does that mean for Trump or what does that

mean for his chances, particularly in Ohio?

[11:35:08] SABATO: Trump has serious problems in Ohio and Governor Kasich is one reason why. Kasich is very popular in Ohio, over 60 percent job

approval. And much more important, he's symbolic of the difficulties that Donald Trump is having with Republicans.

You mentioned this morning's ABC/Washington Post poll. It shows that Donald Trump has the support of only 83 percent of Republicans. Normally

at this time it is over 90. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has the support of 92 percent of Democrats.

So, one party has consolidated. The Bernie Sanders voters have come home to Hillary Clinton. On the Republican side, though, the John Kasich

supporters, the Ted Cruz supporters, the rivals of Donald Trump, their voters have not all come home to Donald Trump.

KINKADE: That is right. I mean, as she -- she's doubled her lead from a month ago. What does that say about her campaigning and how confident can

her team be right now?

SABATO: Well, they should never be confident. The election is November 8. And candidates who count victory in August, usually lose in November. And

I am certain they're not. They are very careful about this sort of thing.

However, if you look at the big picture and you look at American history, for example, the candidate who comes out of both conventions with the

bigger bounce and a lead that is quite substantial has always won in the age of polling. There haven't been any exceptions. So, there can always

be an exception, but it would have to be a first time.

So, for Hillary Clinton, the fact that she has lead nine consecutive national polls by significant margins, an average of 7 percent, it's really

important.

KINKADE: We're seeing a lot of pretty nasty attack ads right now. And no doubt we'll see more over the coming months. But the one most recently

released by the Trump campaign about Clinton clearly factually it's not correct. Will voters realize that or will they take it at its word?

SABATO; Luckily voters have become somewhat impervious to television ads, because there are so many of them, and 80 plus percent of them are

negative. So, there's nothing unusual about it. And Clinton ads have certainly exaggerated, too, though I happen to agree that the phrase "we

won't, we are not going to raise taxes on the middle class" is the correct interpretation of what Hillary Clinton said.

But as far as effect on the voters, the only people who will buy that are committed to Donald Trump already.

KINKADE: OK, Larry Sabato, we'll have to lead it there for now. Thanks so much for your

time today.

SABATO: Thank you, Lynda.

KINKADE: We want to go back to Istanbul now where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to speak at a rally of supporters. It's another

show of strength after last month's coup attempt and comes after weeks of pro-government demonstrations.

CNN's Arwa Damon joins us there now.

Arwa, President Erdogan has been calling for these rallies to continue ever since the failed coup. Just give us a sense of the turnout there today?

DAMON: In Takhsin Square in Instanbul, we have been seeing every single night since that failed attempt, (inaudible) rallies happening there. And

this is demonstration of Erdogan, people power trying to show a message to those who may have been trying overthrow him that he does have the support

of the people. He does wield people power.

What we are seeing happening here today is something that is quite historic. A first for Turkey in that this rally is not just being held by

President Erdogan's AKP Party, it is being held by them in conjunction with two of the country's main opposition parties, the MHP and the CHP, not

invited is the HDP, the pro-Kurdish party. That is because the government, President Erdogan's government, views them as being too close to the

organization that Turkey considers to be a terrorist entity the PKK.

But it is historic that these other opposition parties are here and they are all now the leadership seated together as the -- events are beginning

to get under way. We heard a list of the martyrs, those who had been killed during that failed coup attempt. Their names were read out. There

were players that took place. Now we're expecting to hear from all of the opposition party learders and from the president himself.

This is very much an indication. There was meant to be a show of unity among -- and by the Turkish people, because whether or not people support

or oppose the president, and he is a highly divisive and polarizing figure, by and large the country is united behind this notion that democracy mst

prevail and they cannot once again fall back into an era of military coups.

Turkey has fought too hard to try to establish its own democratic system and the people of this country are going to do whatever it is going to take

(inaudible) to ensure that that survives, Lynda.

[11:40:19] KINKADE: And Arwa, given that President Erdogan continues to call for these rallies of support, what does that say about his confidence?

Is he confident that he has a strong hold on power there?

DAMON: He is. And that is one of the main things that the president can be confident about.

Look, he does have the support, the unwavering support of about half of the nation. It is arguably the people power, his ability to rally the

population, that saved this country's government. If you remember back on the night the coup was unfolding, he came on to a private Turkish

television network by a cellphone and put out a message calling to people to take to the street.

And they headed that call. Individuals threw themselves down in front of tanks, people died trying to ensure that this coup does not succeed.

There's one thing that's for sure here, and that is that the president does have a lot of very strong support amongst the population. But of course

you have this ongoing criticism amongst some who do believe that they're being a bit too harsh and widespread in this post-coup crackdown.

But, again, most of the population here wants to see democracy succeed.

KINKADE: OK, Arwa Damon, great to have you with us in Istanbul, Turkey. We will talk to you very soon. thank you.

Well, you're watching Connect the World. Still to come, an inside look into the Leicester City's training for the upcoming Premier League season.

It's manager and players talk strategy and an upcoming movie deal for Jamie Vardy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KINKADE: Welcome back. The next athlete you are about to hear from is no stranger to the

Olympics. She's a two-time world champion in Judo. Now, she'll be able to represent her native Kosovo, which is expected to compete as a recognition

nation for the first time. And she's determined to make her country proud.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAJINDA KELMENDI, JUDO ATHLETE: When I do judo, my opponents in my eyes just look really small. I feel like there is no way that I can lose. I

just have to win. I must win.

My name is Majlinda Kelmendi. I am a judoka. And I am from Kosovo.

I am ranked number one in the world. I am Two-time world champion. I will represent Kosovo for the first time in the Olympic games.

During my career, I had many problems because at the beginning we couldn't represent

Kosovo until 2009. It was like this. So now when we got recognized from International Olympic Committee, it was the best thing that happened,

because now the athletes can dream to be in the Olympics and represent Kosovo.

And I have a dreamed of this for a long time. And finally it is coming.

It is such an honor. It is such a pleasure for me. I can maybe for one day or two days make people from Kosovo laugh and maybe for one or two days

forget that we have so many problems here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: Well in other sports news, Leicester City is playing Manchester United right now in the annual community shield match. It's the

traditional curtain raiser ahead of the Premier League start. The Foxes are hoping to hold on to their title as they prepare for the upcoming

season. They had a historic underdog win last season, played out like a Hollywood movie. What better place to catch up with the team than in Los

Angeles. Our Kate Rowley reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT: It was the ultimate underdog sporting success story of perhaps this or any year. Leicester City, the 5,000 to 1

outsiders who shocked the world by winning the English Premier League, a tale so unlikely only Hollywood could have dreamed it up.

But the reality is the Foxes are now such stars that they find themselves in Los Angeles as part of their pre-season preparations as they look to

defend their title.

EMILE HESKEY, LEICESTER CITY 1995-2000: It is been huge for the Premier League, because I think people WERE starting to not get fed up of seeing

the same old names on it all the time, but they want to see something different. And to see an underdog like Leicester who people were saying

they should have been relegated the season before and were probably going to get relegated that season, to go on and win it and win it convincingly

was great for the whole world.

RILEY: Admittedly, the Premier League champions were very much brought down to Earth by Paris Saint Germain who dumped Leicester 4-0 in a friendly

in L.A.. T he players, as well as the man who orchestrated the Premier League miracle, Claudio Raneiri are acutely

aware how tough the follow-up campaign might prove to be.

CLAUDIO RANEIRI, MANAER, LEICESTER CITY: We won the title. OK, it was fantastic. That was a fairy tale. Now break the fairy tale. Put the

fairy tale behind and start now, start the true story. That is important. Don't forget what we achieved and start again. We want to be safe at the

hand of the next season. We want to stay strong. We know it will be more difficulties because now all the team are awaiting us. And last season we

were a surprise.

CHRISTIAN FUCHS, DEFENDER, LEICESTER CITY: Well, you have to be honest, we came from nowhere. Our odds were 5,000 to one and we also know that we

were big outsiders last season and it is not going to change anything this season.

Lets see what's going to happen. We are positive and we cannot wait for the season to start.

RILEY: Leicester's title-winning exploits may not have granted them Hollywood walk of fame status. But their achievement should be resulting

in their star striker, Jamie Vardy, appearing on the biggest screen of them all.

As unlikely as it once would have sounded, Vardy is having discussions over his life story being made into a movie, charting his meteoric rise from

working in a factory to winning the Premier League.

JAMIE VARDY, STRIKER, LEICESTER CITY: Yeah, we had a little meal with the writers last night. Give them (inaudible) on what's going on. So, no

(inaudible) 2017.

RILEY: Now, CNN World Sport doesn't typically get involved in the casting of a movie, but a certain question simply had to be asked of one of

Hollywood's funniest men.

Not only is Leicester living the Cinderella story, but their star striker Jamie Vardy is a former factory worker just a few years ago, now he's...

WILL FERRELL, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Just a working bloke, division four player. Yes.

RILEY: So, a movie is going to be made about his life. Is that something that you would like to star in our yourself?

FERRELL: I think I could. I would have to I think play him in his later years. His later, fatter years.

RILEY: Will Ferrell isn't the only person captivated by the Leicester story. The team's growing fan base got to meet some of their heroes and

the Premier League trophy at an English pub in Santa Monica.

The level of excitement wasn't lost on the players or the supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that so many people have come out today for the holiday or just to come and see Leicester play in Los Angeles, it's

unbelievable.

I mean, last season we were playing Mansfield Town and teams like that. It's unbelievable.

MARC ALBRIGHTON, MIDFIELDER, LEICESTER CITY: To some extent you've got to get use to the fact that you are a Premier League winner. Not many people

can turn around and say that. And from where I've come from, it's been a long road, but it's all paid off just to be able to say them words.

RILEY: Come the opening day of the season, away at Hull, the memories made here will be put to one side. But if Leicester can win even more

silverware, it'll be a box office smash of a sequel.

Kate Riley, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: What a great story and a fairytale ending.

Well, still to come, another Olympic first: an American athlete competing wearing a hijab. Her story just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IBTIJAH MUHAMMAD, U.S. FENCING TEAM: My name is . This summer I will become the first Muslim woman to represent Team USA while wearing the

hijab.

When I heard that there had never been a Muslim woman on the U.S. team who wore the hijab, that is when I made this conscious decision to go for 2016.

I knew that I had it in me to qualify for the Olympic team, and I wanted to hopefully be that change that other minorities can see that with hard work

and perseverance anything is possible.

Fencing is one of the most expensive Olympic sports. It can cost you more than $20,000 a year to participate in fencing at the elite level.

When you look at the outfit, for example, a mask can cost you $500, a jacket can cost you $250 and the pants can cost you $250, sneakers can cost

you $200, the blades, depending on what weapon you fence, can cost you, you know, $300, $400.

I wouldn't be in fencing were it not for even the club that I fence for. I train at the Peter Westbrook Foundation here in New York City. And before

Dick's, before Visa, that was really my driving kind of way that I paid for this sport. And I was involved at this level. They subsidized a lot of my

cost and they have kept me going.

But one of the awesome things about being a you know Team Visa athlete and having a great sponsor like Visa, they are definitely helping to

financially fund my journey to Rio.

We have a crowd-funding campaign that we launched to help, you know, kind of subsidize our family costs to get myself and my four siblings and my

parents to Rio.

What's so cool about the sport is that it is just uniquely accommodating to my faith. I am covered, but I am also pursuing my desire to be involved in

sport.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[11:55:14] KINKADE: You are watching CNN and this Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.

Well, in today's Parting Shots, we meet an Olympic veteran who is not quite ready to leave her sport, though it's dominated by athletes more than half

her age.

She's been at the winner's podium before, but now she's giving it another try in Rio.

Don Riddell has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: She's 41-years-old and has competed in every Olympic games since 1992.

Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina qualified for Rio in gymnastics at the age of 40.

OKSANA CHUSOVITINA, OLYMPIC GYMNAST (through translator): I don't know how it's possible myself, I just simply love this sport. I like to do it. yes,

they call me grandma, but in competition we are all equals

RIDDELL: In 2012, when she competed in London, the medal winners were all under 18-year-old.

Chusovitina won gold in Barcelona in '92 before most of her competitors were even born.

And she won silver on vault in 2008 at the age of 33.

She's competed under four different flags.

But, in Rio, she's with team Uzbekistan, her home.

CUSOVITINA (through translator): I really want to end my sporting career where I grew up, where I started training and where I (inaudible).

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: Well, do you know who holds the title of being the youngest Olympic gold medalist? Or maybe the most successful athlete at the games?

We break down some of these extraordinary records on our Facebook page, that's at Facebook.com/CNNconnect.

Well, I am Lynda Kinkade. And that was Connect the World. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you next time.

END