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CONNECT THE WORLD
Usain Bolt Wins Third Gold; Iraqi Army, Coalition Forces Prepare Prepare for Offensive in Mosul; Trump Set to Make Foreign Policy Speech Outlining Vision; New York Police Question Man In Connection with Imam's Murder. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired August 15, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:23] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: This was how they celebrated back home in Jamaica, known as the island of speed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HALA GORANI, HOST: With the energy of his fans behind him, Usain Bolt proves he is still the fastest man in the world.
Next, the latest from the Rio Olympic games.
Also coming up, renewed hope for the families of school girls kidnapped by Boka Haram. A champion of the Bring Back Our Girls movement
joins me this hour.
And ISIS is losing ground in Iraq as Kurdish forces push towards Mosul. We will speak to a general leading the fight against the terrorist
Hello everybody. Welcome to Connect the World. I'm Hala Gorani in London. Becky is off.
We begin with the excitement and action in Rio de Janeiro as the Olympic Games enter their final week.
The day features big events in track and field and gymnastics, big crowd pleasers. On Sunday, Jamaica's Usain Bolt took home his third
straight 100 meter gold, bringing the world's fastest man one step closer to achieving a triple-triple.
And Great Britain is celebrating a big five gold medal haul. Gymnast Max Whitlock led the
charge with two top wins. Much of the focus today is on increasing security after four American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint.
Amanda Davies joins us now from Rio with the very latest.
First, let's talk about the group of U.S. swimmers, including Ryan Lochte who were robbed at gunpoint. It must have been quite a terrifying
experience for them, Amanda.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, Hala, Ryan Lochte, the 12-time Olympic medalist, six-time gold medalist, one of the most recognized faces
on the U.S. swim team, he released a statement last night which was really thanking fans, friends, teammates for their support after these reports
emerged that he and three teammates were attacked, robbed at gunpoint on the way back from a party in the early hours of Sunday morning.
They were in a taxi coming back from a swimming -- or end of swimming party. And this morning he's been talking to NBC about what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN LOCHTE, U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMER: They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground. They got down on the ground. I refused. I was
like, we didn't do anything wrong so I'm not getting down on the ground. And the guy pulled out his gun, cocked it, put it to my forehead. He said,
get down. And I was like -- I put my hands up. I was like, whatever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: Hala, it's a frightening scene painted there by Lochte. He went on to say the most
important thing is we were unhurt.
The Brazilian police are investigating. But perhaps not surprisingly it's led a few of the times to review their security measures. The
Australian Olympic Committee have said they've revised their policy for the athletes here with still a week to go. They've given them guidance. They
don't want them walking along the beaches here at Copacabana and Ipanema after dark. They've advised that they go out in groups no smaller than
three, not wearing their Olympic kit.
And the IOC, the Olympic organizers have said in their press conference today that they are calling for added security around the games,
because this issue has got incredibly close now to the athletes involved.
GORANI: All right. It must have been really scary.
Let's talk a little bit about a Russian athlete, a long jumper who was reinstated, this off the back, of course, of all of that doping scandal and
some of the Russian team having been band from participating. Tell us about her.
DAVIES: Darya Klishina was the one athlete out of the 68 Russian track and field team who had been cleared to compete here in Rio after the
initial IAAF criteria put forward. They felt that she had been able to prove that she was clean enough, removed enough from the Russian system for
her to be able to be trusted.
But then late last week it emerged that actually because of new information that athletics world governing body had received, they had, in
fact, suspended her because of information they had received from Richard McLaren, who had put together that explosive report. Klishina
then decided to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who have this special office set up
here in Rio for these games. And it emerged last night that they had upheld her appeal. They said she is cleared to compete, because they feel
that, indeed, it is the case, that although maybe questions have been raised by this extra information, for the last couple of years she has been
tested enough in and out of competition, outside of the Russian system, for her cleanliness to be proved, as you were.
And Klishina with just 24 hours to go until she starts competitions has released a statement on her Facebook page. It says this, with the
appeal now behind me, I can thankfully focus my attention and time on competing tomorrow night and enjoying my Olympic experience which I have
dreamed of since I first began long jumping as a young girl.
You suspect, Hala, it hasn't been a very enjoyable experience so far. For Klishina, she was forced to train under armed guard in Florida when she
initially tried to compete, not as a Russian athlete, under a neutral flag in an attempt to clear her name. She then arrived here in Rio. She's been
suspended and now so, so close to the competition. She's then forced to deal with more allegations.
And given the reception that we've seen for a number of Russian athletes, and this growing lack of acceptance of people brought into this
doping story -- although Klishina has never failed a drug test at all, you do worry what kind of reception she'll receive inside the Olympic stadium
GORANI: Absolutely. And quick look ahead to later. We have the men's 800 meters. Of
course everyone very excited about Usain Bolt yesterday. We have the men's 800 meters and another category entirely today and the women's 400.
DAVIES: Yeah, we're getting to the point now, Hala, where every day there's so much to look forward to. The super Simone Biles back in action
over at the gymnastics hall looking to claim gold number four of her games. She won number three on the vault yesterday very, very convincingly. It's
the balance beam for her today as she looks to win five golds in a single game.
David Rudisha, as you mentioned, put in such an impressive performance in the 800 meters in London four years ago. he is the defending gold
medalist here. He's the world record holder, the world champion. Hasn't been in the best form, but certainly sent a warning shot to the rest. And
then Allyson Felix, another one to watch in the 400 meters for the women.
She actually won 200 [meter] gold in London four years ago, but wasn't able to qualify in that event this time around. Just the 400 for her this
time. And she set the fastest time in the semifinals last night.
GORANI: All right, Amanda Davies, thanks very much in Rio. We'll get back in touch with Amanda very soon.
But now we were talking about the man of the moment, the man of the day, so often the champion -- Usain Bolt has been called the greater
sprinter ever. He already had a strong stake to that claim before his big 100-meter win. Our Don Riddell takes a closer look at
the larger-than-life Bolt.
DONALD RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR (voice-over): It's the most electrifying 10 seconds in sports...
RIDDELL: ...and the one moment every four years when Olympic fans hold their breath.
ANNOUNCER: Usain Bolt! Usain Bolt!
RIDDELL: The men's 100 meter final. But this year, an historic occasion with Jamaica's Usain Bolt targeting a third consecutive gold medal
in the marquee event. And he didn't disappointment.
CROWD: Bolt! Bolt! Bolt!
RIDDELL (on camera): How does it feel to watch him run like that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incredible. Truly humbling to be here and to be present for this moment. It's a true honor to see him run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has been such a great ambassador for the sport, especially when the sport has been under so much controversy. We're so
pleased that he has kept himself clean and he has really lifted the sport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he is our hero, man. He is a national icon.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Thousands of his fans were in the stadium to cheer him to victory. This was the scene at the team headquarters across
town in Rio. And this was how they celebrated back home in Jamaica, known as the island of speed, where Bolt has long been a national hero.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is amazing. I wish he --
RIDDELL: His trademark swagger, flamboyant showmanship and ubiquitous lightning bolt celebration have made him the highest paid athlete ever in
the field of track and field and, more importantly, one of the most iconic athletes the world has ever seen.
[11:10:05] SEBASTIAN COE, PRESIDENT IAAF: I can't think of another athlete since Muhammad Ali that has so captured the public imagination and
with such global depth of affection.
RIDDELL (on camera): One day, I'll be telling my grandchildren about seeing this amazing athlete in the flesh. That was another sensational
performance. But we should enjoy it while it lasts. He says next year he'll be retiring from the track, maybe to start a family of his own.
JENNIFER BOLT, MOTHER OF USAIN BOLT: He told me that, many times, that he is going to start his family.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Bolt now turns his attention to the 200 meters and then the relay on Saturday. He won all three events in Beijing and
London, and remains on course for a remarkable triple triple.
Don Riddell, CNN, Rio.
GORANI: Well, there's been another troubling turn in the Boko Haram kidnapping of more than 200 girls in Nigeria two years ago now. Many of
the girls were seen on a video released on social media over the weekend by the extremist group. The end of this video shows several dead girls.
Boko Haram says they were killed in a Nigerian air strike. CNN's Nima Elbagir has more on this development.
We must warn you, though, the images are graphic and disturbing.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It shows dead girls, girls
that look like they would match the Chibok girls in age being turned over by Boko Haram soldiers so
that they can be -- so that their faces can clearly be shown to the cameras.
Now, Boko Haram purports that this is in the aftermath of a government aerial strike, which the
Niberian government does deny. But it is Boko Haram's justification for why they say all of the Chibok girls that were kidnapped are not still
The entirety of this video is incredibly emotive. It is intentionally emotive. You can see that this is really an escalation in Boko Haram's PR
war with the Nigerian government, because this is the first time that we're hearing from them directly what it is they want. And they say that they
want their jailed comrades, they want Boko Haram soldiers currently held in Nigerian
government prisons to be released in exchange for these girls; otherwise, they say these girls
will never be freed, and they will never -- and this is said in the most sinister way possible, they will never be freed or found alive.
It really is an extraordinarily difficult video to watch. So, you can only imagine how heartbreaking this has been for the parents.
GORANI: Just absolute agony for the parents.
The Nigerian army says it wants to question three people who may know where the missing Chibok girls can be found. No more details, though,
provided. And, of course, no indication as to any timeline.
All right, a look at some other stories. The UN is condemning air strikes on two schools in Yemen. Reports inside the country say at least
14 children were killed. The Saudi-led coalition denied that it was to blame. It says it struck a rebel training camp, not a school.
Kurdish militants are suspected of carrying out a deadly car bomb attack on a police checkpoint in southeastern Turkey. That's the aftermath
of it all. According to Turkish officials, they blame the PKK. Two police officers and a civilian were killed in this.
At least 33 people were killed in a bus accident in Nepal. The vehicle plunged more than 300 meters down a hill. Dozens were injured and
are being airlifted to Kathmandu, the capital.
In South Africa a woman has just been sentenced in a case that captivated the nation. And quite
frankly, it's an absolutely unbelievable story. A woman was convicted of kidnapping a newborn from the hospital nearly 20 years ago and then raising
the now 19-year-old girl as her own child. The crime only unraveled after an incredible series of events.
Our David McKenzie joins us now from Johannesburg to explain.
David, tell us how this young teenager was found to be, in fact, the daughter of someone else and raised by someone who kidnapped her when he
was a newborn.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, you do describe it correctly. This is a shocking story that is also truly
bizarre. Because what happened was that in 1997, just three days old , this young girl who her parents called her Zeffeny was taken, kidnapped by
an imposter who came into the hospital.
According to those court proceedings, she had tried a few days earlier to try to get in and take another child and didn't succeed. And then she
dressed similar to a nurse or a doctor, managed to take young Zeffeny and then raised her as her own.
They only found out that this child was the abducted child of all those years ago when her
sister recognized her at the high school she started attending, and DNA proved --- DNA tests proved this was, in fact, the missing girl from all
those years ago.
This woman, who isn't named, nor is the identity ultimately of the teenager now named, because
of privacy reasons, she has been sentenced to ten years in prison for fraud, kidnapping and contravention of the child act -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, David McKenzie, thanks very much. In South Africa.
Three student leaders in Hong Kong have avoided jail time in their role of the pro-democracy
protests of 2014. The young men were found guilty of unlawful assembly linked to the so-called Umbrella Movement, you'll remember that. Mallika
Kapur brings us the latest details.
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm at the Eastern Law
Court's building where three Hong Kong student activists were sentenced on Monday morning for their part in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
A court gave Joshua Wong, who has become the face of the movement, 80 hours of community service, Nathan Law 120, and Alex Chao a 3 week
suspended prison sentence,which basically means he may not go to prison at all if he maintains a clean record for the next year.
It's a much lighter sentence than the two years they could have received in jail. The court explained that by saying it believes these
three students are genuinely guided by their political ideals and were not out to harm anyone.
In 2014, these students were at the forefront of the umbrella movement in Hong Kong, which
brought the city's financial district to a halt for 79 days. They say no matter the sentence, they will continue their fight for democracy.
JOSHUA WONG, HONG KONG PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: There is just facing the
sentencing of eight years -- 80 hours, community service. But it will not affect my persistence and my courage and the social movement.
In the future, I will continue to (inaudible) action and civil disobedience, hope to motivate all of the Hong Kongers to fight for
democracy and human rights.
This sentence also means that they can take part in local politics. And that's crucial, especially for Law, who is standing for local
elections next month, something he wouldn't have been able to do if he received any prison time at all.
Mallika Kapur, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: A lot more to come this hour. It's been two years since Bring Back Our Girls resonated across the globe, harnessing star power and
international anger. We're not hearing much about them from these superstars, but some have continued to follow this every day.
I'll ask the founder of that movement whether hashtag activism has worked, and reaction to the horrific video.
And then Donald Trump says he has two opponents in the U.S. presidential race: Hillary
Clinton and what he calls the crooked media. We'll be right back.
[11:20:31] GORANI: Over two years ago the militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria. This mass abduction was so shocking
that it sparked protests around the world and spawned a hashtag, #bringbackourgirls that social media users adopted to express their
solidarity and their outrage that such an act could happen in the 21st Century.
The campaign was an initial success in terms of impact and reach. Did it change anything concretely? Oby Ezekwesili is the co-founder of the
Bring Back Our Girls Organization. She is in Abuja in Nigeria and joins me via Skype.
Mrs. Ezekwesili, thanks for being with us.
First, I want your reaction to this horrific video that's been circulating, released by Boko Haram, of young teenage girls that appear
deceased, that the Boko Haram militants say died as a result of Nigerian government air strikes. How did you react when you first saw it?
OBY EZEKWESILI, CO-FOUNDER, BRING BACK OUR GIRLS ORGANIZATION: It was a mix of emotions, because you saw the horrific pictures of young women who
had gone to school and were now being shown you in a very undignified state of death out of the savagery of Boko Haram.
But you also saw alongside that this evidence of the fact that they their schoolmates are alive, and that many of them were actually looking at
us through that video. And you had one of them speak who turned out to be the daughter of one of the parents that's steadfast in coming to the daily
sitout we have at the unity fountain. And we -- all of it, you can't even take in. You don't know what emotion to
express and where one starts and the other one ends.
And then you get this sense of, no, I don't want to see another video. I simply want to see that these girls are finally rescued.
GORANI: Did you speak or have you had an opportunity since this video was released to speak to any of the parents of the girls?
EZEKWESILI: Yes. Yesterday, we were with the mother of the girl that spoke in the video. In the video she calls herself Myda (ph) and her name
is known as Dokas (ph) also. And her mother is Ester Yakoubu (ph). And she been a very really resilient parent, who has never missed the
opportunity to speak calling for the rescue of her daughter.
As a matter of fact, when we last saw the president in January of this year, she was the parent that was selected to speak on behalf of other
GORANI: Do you think the government -- I mean the government says, it's speaking to people who might have information. They say they're
conducting operations. They say they're doing everything they can, gathering intelligence, organizing military operations and missions in
Do you think the government is doing all that it can to free these poor girls?
EZEKWESILI: If the government is doing all that it can, then it has done a very terrible job of conveying exactly what it is doing. I'm
mindful of the fact that intelligence issues are very important to be handled delicately. And yet, we see the manifest failure of our
governments, one after the other -- the presidential administration did its own, and now we see a repeat of the same kind of behavior and attitude of
those saddled with the responsibility of rescue of our Chibok girls.
There needs to be more evidence of the fact that sustained, coherent and action that is targeted toward results are being taken. Right now that
message doesn't come through at all. And we just think that this is the moment when you can no longer afford to postpone decision. Decision is
important. It is important at this stage.
GORANI: But it struck me that you said the last time you spoke with the president was January. So, has there been no contact between the
parents of these girls and other, by the way girls, not the Chibok -- only the Chibok girls -- other kidnapped girls by Boko Haram with the government
since January? So, it's been eight months almost?
[11:25:13] EZEKWESILI: The mechanisms for being able to convey messages to the parents, we have asked for it. We asked for it when we met
the president in July of last year, which was our first meeting with him. And they promise that it would be settled. Then it was never settled.
Then we met in January and we asked for it again, and it was said to be something that would
settle. They still have not set it up. It is too ad hoc the approach that the government is taking to
a tragedy of monumental proportion of this kind.
And so it doesn't enable any kind of confidence building. It doesn't inspire confidence at all in the effort of the administration.
GORANI: Well, we can only imagine the agony of these parents, of these mothers and fathers who see their daughters in these videos, how
difficult it must be. And I hear the frustration in your voice. Oby Ezekwesili, thanks very much -- and the co-founder of the Bring Back Our
Girls Organization live in Abuja. Thank you.
The latest headlines coming up.
Plus, is this the man that killed two people, including an imam, in broad daylight in New
York from behind in the head? We are live there for the latest on the investigation. People are angry in that neighborhood. We'll tell you more
about it coming up.
[11:30:39] GORANI: Donald Trump talks tough when it comes to fighting ISIS, but critics accuse him of being short on specifics and details.
Today, the Republican presidential nominee will fill in the blanks, that's what he says he's going to do when he unveiling a strategy for defeating
Jessica Schneider has a preview of his big speech, now just a few hours away.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And he's going to lay out his vision and his strategy for defeating radical Islamic
SCHNEIDER: Donald Trump turning his ISIS-centric foreign policy ideals -
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have to get ISIS.
We will defeat ISIS.
SCHNEIDER: Into a three-pillar policy proposal to defeat them.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: He's going to talk out how you target your enemies and work with your friends. You don't overreach and
destabilize countries like the Obama/Clinton administration has done.
SCHNEIDER: A senior campaign official says Trump will unveil several proposals today. He'll declare an end to nation building and consider any
country willing to help defeat ISIS, an ally. A call that could include Russia, a country he originally wanted to back in the fight.
TRUMP: Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?
SCHNEIDER: Two, Trump will propose suspending visas from any country with heavy terrorist activity and raise the bar for entry into the U.S. The
officials suggests Trump's camp will formulate an ideological test for entry, including stances on issues like religious freedom, but no specific
mention was made of the Muslim ban he called for just nine months ago.
[08:15:21] TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
SCHNEIDER: And, finally, Trump will promise to make a clear statement to the world that the U.S. is fighting a battle not just militarily and
financially but ideologically, a point far from Trump's bombastic rhetoric of the past.
TRUMP: I would bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.
We have to knock the hell out of them.
You have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.
SCHNEIDER: The speech comes after Trump repeatedly used a false claim on the campaign trail.
TRUMP: I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS.
SCHNEIDER: And paraded his self-proclaimed expertise on the terrorist group.
TRUMP: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.
GORANI: Well, our next guest is an expert on ISIS and doesn't mince words when it comes to
Donald Trump. Fawaz Gerges tweeted this a few days ago, quote, "Donald Trump has no idea about
who and what founded ISIS. The American people deserve more from a major party nominee for president."
Fawaz is here with me now. He's the author of "ISIS: A History," and also a professor at the London School of Economics.
Thanks for being with us. So, let's go through the specifics of what we expect Donald Trump
to announce today. One, no more nation building. This is, by the way, on background to our reporter
following the Trump campaign. We will consider anyone who helps us fight ISIS an ally and we're
not in the business of sort of building nations in our image anymore.
FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: What's new? Barack Obama has never said that he is into nation building or democracy promotion.
GORANI: That was more of a Bush era endeavor.
GERGES: So, what is knew about this proposal? Zero, nothing.
GORANI: Now, number two, visa suspensions from countries with heavy terrorist activity. So far no list has been given, but we could presume
that that could include countries like France and Belgium.
GERGES: This is one of the most important points of actually Donald Trump. Donald Trump would be a godsend for ISIS. He believes in a clash
of civilizations, in a clash of cultures, in a clash of religions. Not only, he say, he will veto people from terrorist -- heavy terrorist
countries, but his ban on Muslim countries, and Muslims, still stand in his own words. That means he's playing into the
hands of ISIS. He is basically providing ISIS...
GORANI: But let me play devil's advocate. What is wrong, if you're a Trump supporter, with saying I like the idea that anyone coming from France
should be extra vetted because that country has had three terrorist attacks in the last 14 months.
GERGES: First of all, the United States, that's every single citizen including, American-born
citizens, Hala, not just foreigners. So, there's nothing new.
The big point is that, in fact, Donald Trump narrative is really a carbon copy of ISIS. ISIS believes in a clash of cultures. ISIS believes
this is a war, it wants to change the narrative, this is a war between Islam and the west. And Donald Trump is saying this is a war between them
GORANI: You're saying ISIS and Donald Trump are equal, are the same - - two sides of the same coin.
GERGES: Two sides of the same coin. In fact...
GORANI: But that's a very strong statement.
GERGES: absolutely. In fact, I would argue, while Barack Obama -- and here I'm not
defending Barack Obama. I have nothing to do with Barack Obama. Barack Obama believes this is a
clash within cultures, that what's happening in Iraq and Yemen and Syria and Libya, this is a war within Muslim cultures, ISIS and societies,
between ISIS and various governments. This is not about the west.
Yes, of course, terrorist activities are happening. The question, Hala, the question that we need
to understand, does Donald Trump offer any specific strategy, any more effective -- I would argue...
GORANI: But he's going to speak for a while. So I think we could expect some specifics, maybe even a list of countries he proposes should
have visas suspended?
GERGES: But what would it do in the fight against ISIS? My argument is what he proposes in fact pours gasoline on a raging fire. It helps
And it changes the narrative that this is exactly what ISIS wants to convince Muslims both in the Muslim countries and the west. This is not a
war between ISIS and Muslims, this is a war between ISIS and the west.
GORANI: Now, the other thing, just to wrap it up -- and this fits into what you're saying is, he wants to make a clear statement, he wants
America to make a clear statement just like during the Cold War when Ronald Reagan essentially called the soviets the evil empire, it must be a clear
to the world that we're at war with radical Islam, that essentially the reason we're not able to combat them effectively now is we're afraid of
using the term.
GERGES: Sound and fury, empty rhetoric. Yes, ISIS is a dangerous beast, but it's a security nuisance. It would be wrong to basically
elevate the fight against ISIS into the Cold War. I mean, think of ISIS and the Cold War. Think of the Soviet Union that used to have 7,000
nuclear bombs and ISIS. ISIS is dangerous. But, in fact, what Trump is trying to do is to change the narrative into an ideological and cultural
war. This does not serve the west. And in fact, it plays into the hands of ISIS because ISI would like Muslims to believe, in the Muslim world and those who are living in the west, this is a fight between ISIS -- ISIS as
the protector and the defender of Muslims. Again, it's counterproductive.
GORANI: All right. Fawaz Gerges, we always appreciate your time. Thanks very much for your take. And we continue to follow your tweeting as
well as we just read one to our viewers there.
Now, speaking of Donald Trump, he's fighting a different kind of battle much closer to home. His open hostility toward members of my
profession, the media, has turned into an all-out war. The Republican presidential nominee is on a tirade accusing the media of bias and blaming
them for his slumping poll numbers. He said he would be beating Hillary Clinton by 20 percent if it weren't for, quote, the disgusting and corrupt
CNN and The New York Times were singled out for especially harsh criticism. And now the The Wall Street Journal, considered a leading
Republican voice, could be next. An editorial says Republicans should give Trump a three-week deadline to turn around his campaign or write him offer
as hopeless and focus on senate and house races instead.
Let's bring in Dylan Byers, a CNN senior reporter for media and politics.
What kind of weight does the Wall Street Journal have in this debate, if at all?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has a great deal of weight among, I would say, more moderate Republicans. For a long time, The Wall
Street Journal editorial board has been sort of the counterpoint to editorial boards of places like The Washington Post and The New York Times.
But it certainly represents more of an establishment Republican view. Obviously, Donald Trump is not the establishment Republican.
I would say the Wall Street Journal, like many members of the GOP establishment, sort of
took its time, sort of hoped that Donald Trump might come around and be a more serious general election candidate, someone that they could get
behind. And, you know, over several months now, it's obviously not been the case.
And indeed, some of the writers on that editorial board have been very harsh critics of Donald
Trump for some time. And now you're seeing the entire paper throw its weight behind the condemnation of Donald Trump, even encouraging him to
perhaps drop out of the race and hand things over to his running mate, Mike Pence.
GORANI: And that's really not likely.
BYERS: No, it's not likely at all. Look, I mean, Donald Trump -- I think if we've learned anything from the past 12 or 13 months, what we know
is Donald Trump is in this for himself. He seems to be running solely on the basis of self-aggrandizement. There's no way he bows out or sort of
ducks out and leaves this to someone else.
Now, it can often times seems like he's running a campaign where he's trying to lose and maybe hoping that he walks away from this with, you
know, as a sort of folk hero for the hard right. But no, I don't see Donald Trump bowing out in any way, shape or form.
He's using this media coverage and his sort of anti-media campaign, he's now using that to fundraise. In the past hour, his campaign sent out
an email asking supporters to donate, to help him take on the corrupt, biased, rigged media. He says he's now running two campaigns, one against
Hillary Clinton and one against the media. So, he's very much using this to his advantage.
GORANI: All right. Well, usually when you have opened a new front in a war it doesn't always strengthen you. So, we'll see how that works out
Dylan Byers, thanks very much. We always appreciate your time.
To New York now where sources are telling us here at CNN that police are questioning a man in connection with the murder in broad daylight of
an imam and his assistant. This is after the crime, this is the scene after the crime. The attacker crept up on the two men from behind, shot
them both in the back of the head. It happened Saturday just after they walked out of a mosque wearing religious clothing, identifiable religious
Authorities say there's nothing to suggest the men were targeted because of their religion. But people in that neighborhood and people who
attend the mosque beg to differ. They want an investigation, they say they want justice.
CNN's Sara Ganim joins us now from New York with more details.
I mean, it would be natural to assume that two men wearing Muslim clothing walking out of a mosque and murdered could have been targeted
because of their religion. Why is police saying they don't think religion was a motive?
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, police at this point, Hala, are saying they're
leaving open the possibility, a lot of possibilities. Of course, the hate crimes unit is involved, but they are involved any time a religious leader
is the target of a crime, is the victim of a crime.
Here is what we know at this point, police are questioning a man, a person of interest, who was
apprehended after bumping into the surveillance car, the unmarked police car that was trailing him. He's been taken into custody and is being
questioned at this time.
We also know that police have composed a sketch of the suspect -- who -- they composed this sketch based on surveillance video of the scene, of a
man walking up behind the two men as they left, they were turn a corner, leaving the mosque after Saturday prayers, going towards their homes. He
shoots both men and then runs in the other direction.
What we also know is we go to motive, that this imam had $1,000 cash on his person at the
time of the crime and that was not taken. So police are saying they're not looking -- they're not leaning towards robbery as a motive at this point.
But again, leaving open all the possibilities, because this community -- this was a shocking and very hurtful event specifically because he was
such a leader to them. This is a majority Pakistani-Bangladeshi community. These two men were Bangladeshi national. The imam had come here five or
six years ago with his family. He was the kind of person, people tell me, that everyone went to for advice. He was always giving the message of
And so this is particularly hurtful, particularly scary to them because it happened in broad daylight on a busy street. Think about how
that affects these people who walked down these same streets in this community saying they have a feeling there, that their neighborhood is less
safe, that they're being more harassed -- Hala.
GORANI: OK. Sara Ganim, thanks very much in New York with the latest on that. We'll keep following that story. A lot more to come.
Kurdish forces set their sights on Iraq's second largest city. We speak to a Kurdish commander on the front lines. We'll be right back.
[11:45:18] GORANI: Well, it's been just over two years since the Iraqi city of Mosul fell to ISIS and it was one big victory for the
But now a much touted push to recapture the city has been in the works for more than a year
delayed by a weak Iraqi military and offensives against other ISIS held towns. Now, Kurdish Peshmerga forces are moving to surround Mosul ahead of
an anticipated move by the Iraqi army.
A senior Peshmerga official tells CNN, his forces recaptured 15 villages around Mosul from ISIS, that they killed 150 fighters, that
they're getting there, that they need some time and they need some help.
Let's bring in CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman who has reported extensively from around there.
So, Ben, let's start with the latest. How close are some of those forces to Mosul now?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to Kurdish commanders, they're as close to 25 to 15 kilometers from what they
say is the center of Mosul. But there's still a long way to go before the offensive to actually retake the city itself can
Now, this seems to be the strategy that's been employed in Iraq against ISIS. We saw it in Fallujah as well. What the Iraqi army did
there was they took -- they took quite a lot of time to retake the towns and villages around Fallujah before they were able to surround it and then
Now, Mosul is a more sensitive city as far as Iraqi politics goes, because the majority is Sunni, and they will not welcome a Kurdish advance
into the city. So, the understanding is that the Kurds are working to secure the area to the west -- rather the east and the north of Mosul, but
it's going to be the Iraqi army coming from the south that's really going to lead the operation. And we understand that Iraqi forces also are moving
from Gayada (ph) Air Base which they took in mid-July. They've taken several villages to the south of Mosul as well.
So, what we're seeing is the gradual recapture of towns and villages around Mosul for an event push against ISIS in the city itself. But keep
in mind that the population of Mosul before ISIL took over was somewhere around 2 million. Now it's about half that, if not less. But that is a
huge challenge in terms of a military force, whether it's Kurdish, Iraqi army or whatever, to go in there and fight, essentially street by street,
house by house. That's going to be difficult.
Now, the Americans are also involved in this operation. They have advisers on the ground
and they've been providing a lot of air support as well for the Kurds and for the Iraqi army. So we can expect what we've seen over the last few
days to reoccur in a much larger scale as the D-Day for Mosul approaches -- Hala.
GORANI: OK. Ben Wedeman in Istanbul. Thanksv ery much.
Sirwan Barzani is a Peshmerga general. He joins me now via Skype from Khazir in northern Iraq. As Peshmerga forces advance move toward Mosul.
First of all, thank you very much for beign with u. How close are you to Mosul? How quickly do you think you can reach the gates of the city?
SIRWAN BARZANI, PESHMERGA GENERAL: As a Peshmerga from the north of Mosul, we are only 14 kilometer to Mosul city now. And also from the east
we're around 30 kilometers to Mosul. Also, we are less than 10 kilometers to Kalakosh Hamdaniya (ph) from the Peshmerga positions now.
[11:50:11] GORANI: All right. Tell us a little bit about how you expect things to unfold now in terms as a timeline? Because it's been more
than two years since Mosul was captured by ISIS. What can you tell people about how long this operation will take?
BARZANI: Really the operation is not in our hand. As a Peshmerga, I'd say (inaudible) Peshmerga and KRG (ph), this is something related to
Bagdad and the politician people in Bagdad is very sensitive. And Mosul is different because the majority, they are Sunni. And we don't know they
will be Shia militia to attend the operation or not. And there will be only Iraqi army. They only want Peshmerga -- and it's not clear yet as the
town, as the city, but the places that say the towns around Mosul with the minorities for sure, the Peshmerga will be fighting against Daesh and and
push Daesh back from those regions.
But as a city, as a town, we don't show yet. We don't think as a Peshmerga we will go and fight inside the city.
GORANI: so, you see your mission as the Peshmerga as preparing the ground for an Iraqi army
offensive on Mosul. Is that correct?
BARZANI: Yes, of course, and to save the Kurdistan borders more and push the Daesh. Because we are part of Iraq, still we are part of Iraq, so
we have to push them back from Mosul area, also to help the Iraqi army because the terrorists, if they stay there, so they still will be under
attack. We will be in best security situation because we are part of the country. We cannot close the borders at the end. Because of that we have
to help them, and we are in good relation with them.
Of course, even now they are in my sector in (inaudible) area and we have daily meetings with them and we have the joint operation room in Irbin
(ph) where the ministry of defense of Iraq, and ministry of Peshmerga and the coalition.
GORANI: And do you think the Iraqi forces now are prepared to take on Mosul almost two years after so many of them fled after ISIS took over?
Ddo you think they're ready?
BARZANI: I don't think so. If only the Iraqi army without the Peshmerga, without the Shia
militia, but this is very sensitive city -- sensitive issue Mosul. If only Iraqi army to go to -- they are not really -- not yet prepared to retake
Mosul, it is not easy target really for them.
GORANI: So what are you saying? That essentially with your help and perhaps some militia yeah help, that they could be able to take Mosul?
BARZANI: I think so, yes. It's not easy target, but, yes, I think with the Peshmerger and
if there is -- they will allow the Shia militia, I think they can push Daesh back. They will take less tha -- I think in six weeks to two months,
it's easy to push them back Mrom mosul.
GORANI: You're saying six weeks to two months?
BARZANI: Yes. I think -- if they -- it depends on the plan. It's only a town -- the city of
Mosul -- or the town, Mosul town, not around Mosul, because Mosul, like you say, it's two years
they have been waiting, it will be next month. So it's a huge area.
But as a town, if they will be good plan with the Peshmerga, Iraqi army, coalition and Shia militia I think this in two month they can push --
we can push Daesh back from Mosul.
GORANI: And now your plan in the next several weeks is to take more and more of the villages and towns getting closer and closer to Mosul? Is
that what the Peshmerga objective is right now?
BARZANI: Yes, sure. We just -- I just come back now two hour ago from the big operation. We liberate 11 villages in east of Mosul. And we
just push them back in two days. And we push them back in two days with the plan in two days and finish them in one-and-a-half days. And so this
is our plan, of course. We coordinate with the Iraqi army to push them back closer and closer to Mosul.
GORANI: OK. A quick last question. What about all the civilians whoa re fleeing, all of the civilians who have become victims of the
violence sandwiched in between all these battles? What's happening to all of them?
BARZANI: Really, this is where the UN and KRG and the Iiraqi army. So, now they're starting to prepare two big camps in Mosul -- between Mosul
and area for this (inaudible), because we're expecting there will be half a million refugees, so IDPs, civilian, coming to Kurdistan as before.
As you know, we are more than almost a million Arab Sunni, they are IDPs, they are in Kurdistan now. So, we are expecting there will be half a
million also in this battle in the future.
[11:55:22] GORANI: All right, Sirwan Barzani -- General Barzani, very close to the front lines in the battle against ISIS pushing toward Mosul
there with the complexities of that battle, bringing us the latest. Thanks very much for joining us live from northern Iraq.
We'll be right back after a short break.
GORANI: In today's Parting shots, an Olympic proposal. Chinese diver He Zi (hp) got more than a silver medal after the women's three meter
springboard final Sunday. She also walked away with an engagement ring. Her long-time boyfriend popped the question after the medal ceremony. He's
a men's diving bronze medalist, and she said no -- just kidding. She said yes.
This is the second athlete proposal of the Olympic games. Last week, a Brazilian rugby player accepted her girlfriend's proposal on the rugby
field. How romantic.
I'm Hala Gorani. This was Connect the World. Thanks for watching.