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Taliban Claim Control Over Final Holdout Province; How Life Has Change Under Taliban Rule In Rural Areas; Brazil's Pele Recovering After Surgery To Remove Tumor; National Unity Government Calls For Revolt Against Military Junta. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 07, 2021 - 02:00   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hi, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW (voice-over): So, ahead on CNN, the fierce battle for the one province the Taliban did not claim in their march to Kabul, the leader of the resistance calling for a nationwide uprising.

There's a call for revolt in Myanmar too, the exiled acting president calling on people to attack the military junta.

Plus, El Salvador bets on Bitcoin, the first country to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender.


CURNOW (on camera): Great to have you along. Thanks for joining me this hour. So, the Taliban now appear closer to announcing a new government. A spokesman says that will come likely in a few days' time, adding that a caretaker government may be needed.

Now, those comments coming as the Taliban claim they've taken complete control over the final stronghold of the resistance, the Panjshir Province. But the leader of the National Resistance Front, the last real anti-Taliban force in Afghanistan, says the fight is not over. And he's calling on Afghans to join a national uprising.

Now, on the same day, women again took to the streets in protest, this time in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, some were demanding an inclusive government and equal rights. But there was also a demonstration by a woman who appeared to support the Taliban.

Our Anna Coren has covered Afghanistan for many, many years. She's following all of these latest developments and joins us now with the latest.

Hi, Anna. Good to see you. So, the last few days even, there's been a lot of pushback to the Taliban messaging that they had taken the Panjshir Valley. What do we know about what's happening on the ground?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, as you saw from that video, Robyn, that white flag going outside the governor's office in Panjshir Province, the Taliban as you say, say they have completely conquered this final holdout, if you like, by the resistance, the National Resistance Front, which is headed by Ahmad Massoud, who is the son of a former resistance leader of the Northern Alliance, who was assassinated just days before 9/11 by al-Qaeda.

Now, his son, this 32-year-old Ahmad Massoud is, as you say, calling now for a national uprising. He claims that he still has soldiers in strategic positions and that they are still fighting, and that he is also looking for support. And there is word on the ground as well, Robyn that warlords in the area are looking to perhaps recapture Panjshir province and other provinces as well.

If that were to happen, Robyn, then perhaps you would see an outbreak of more fighting, which could lead to civil wars, something obviously, that the experts have been warning about now for months.

CURNOW: And we've talked about it before. But Anna, goodness, there are some very, very brave women there on the streets in Afghanistan, making their voices heard. What more do we know about these protests and how sustainable they are?

COREN: Yet such courageous women, aren't they? And we're getting word too that there is a protests happening right now, in Mazar-i-Sharif, the second day of protests by women demanding that they need to be part of this government.

This government that is -- that is due to form in the coming days. The Taliban has said that there will be no female ministers, there'll be no women in in the Cabinet, perhaps not even in the government.

The latest we've heard from the Taliban, other than that women will be allowed to return to work at some point is that they should stay at home because of concern that Taliban fighters will mistreat women. They don't know how to treat women, they've been on the battlefield for all these years fighting the Americans -- fighting international forces. But there are women who are refusing to cave in, are refusing to go back to the Dark Ages.

You know, Robyn, I was speaking to a 21-year-old women rights activists. She gone out of Afghanistan, but she is saying that the international community cannot forget about women and that they cannot take the Taliban at face value what they are saying about inclusion and acceptance and tolerance. She does not buy it nor do many other women.

I spoke to a female judge, Robyn, who, you know, presided over cases of divorce, of rape, of sexual violence, of murder.


COREN: The criminals are out now, and many of them are looking for revenge. What is the Taliban going to do about this? It is yet to be established. But these women, they will not be silenced, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that update there. Anna Coren, good to see you. Thank you.

So much has changed since the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan. But some things have not including poverty, which still remains a major, major problem. A local journalist traveled to rural Afghanistan for a look at what life is like with the Taliban now back in power as Nic Robertson now reports. Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Inside the new Afghanistan, in rural Paktika Province, far from Kabul, the Taliban's provincial governor has called a meeting, no women to be seen.

Local village elders and tribal chiefs listen. A young boy takes a selfie, much has changed since the Taliban were last in charge. Smartphones and social media, but poverty still the country's biggest problem.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have many expectations and we are praying the Taliban will deliver.

ROBERTSON: The week after Kabul fell, our local journalist took a road trip for us to see what was happening outside the capital. Taliban guides showed him the way. At the border, changes already underway.

Part, charm offensive giving traders what they want, longer opening hours at the border, and part crackdown, keeping men and women apart.

SYED KANDAHARI, TALIBAN BORDER COMMANDER (through translator): Let me tell you, before, we had one single line for both men and women, now we have two, they are kept apart.

ROBERTSON: Pakistani officials easing into the new relationship, backing the segregation.

On this journey, two things become clear, Afghanistan's near financial collapse, and the hard switch to religious rule. Spotting a crowd, the team stop. It's a provincial courthouse. Inside, local leaders careful to praise the new boss.

We used to have to go a long way to get to a Taliban court, he says, now we have one right here.

The new judge in town quite literally laying down the Taliban law, their interpretation of Islamic law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We asked the previous judges how they used to work. They said they were following the law of the land, not the Sharia. In Islamic Emirate, all court proceedings are according to the Sharia law.

ROBERTSON: Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, The Taliban's Sharia law led to public amputations for thieves, stoning of adulterers, even hanging. But in the local market, Sharia law is not the big concern. It's making a living. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Business is very bad. We don't know who's in charge. Only low rank people are here. We don't know if we can trust them. They are not telling us anything and the situation has not improved. Prices are going up.

ROBERTSON: In the barber shop, business is down.

It's not only me, he says, the business is bad in the market. It's not as good as before.

They're not alone. The local pharmacist is also struggling. Stocks already depleted under the last government.

The clinics maternity nurse also worried about finances, says the previous government didn't pay her for the past four months. And she can't afford to go home.

Closer to Kabul, another doctor more problems.

Day and night, he says, we get 25 to 30 patients. Can we have just one doctor and one nurse for them all?

Outside the hospital, the Taliban claim an alternate reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Before you didn't know whether the doctor was coming or not, but now, they are there for you all the time.

ROBERTSON: On this trip, the Taliban's prioritizing of Sharia law and bits of charm offensive, seemingly missing Afghans most important needs, a secure livelihood. Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


CURNOW: Thanks, Nic, for that.

So, Boris Johnson has promised to rescue more than 300 people who worked with British Armed Forces during the war in Afghanistan. The prime minister is also demanding the Taliban, honor their commitments to respect women's rights and to allow Afghans to leave the country if they wish to do so.

CURNOW (voice-over): Mr. Johnson spoke to Parliament on Monday to lay out his government's plan to resettle thousands of Afghan refugees in the U.K.


CURNOW: He says Afghans who stood up for democracy and human rights are under threat from the Taliban and deserve safe passage.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: The U.K. is formally launching a separate -- a separate resettlement program, providing a safe and legal route for up to 20,000 Afghans in the region over the coming years with 5,000. In the first year.

We are upholding Britain's finest tradition of welcoming those in need. And I emphasize that under this scheme, we will, of course, work with the U.N. and aid agencies to identify those we should help as we have done in respect of those who fled the war in Syria.


CURNOW (on camera): Well, the British military evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan in the two weeks after the Taliban seized power.

CURNOW (voice-over): And then another welcome site in Abu Dhabi as 41 Afghan evacuees arrived in the UAE from Tajikistan. They include human rights activists, members of the female robotics and cycling teams and their families.

An Israeli NGO facilitated the operation as part of the country's first joint humanitarian mission with the UAE.

The Foreign Ministry of Affairs says Abu Dhabi is now hosting nearly 9,000 Afghan evacuees.

CURNOW (on camera): And the Brazilian football legend Pele has undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.

CURNOW (voice-over): The 80-year-old sports icon is recovering well in the ICU according to his doctors who discovered the tumor during tests.

Patrick Snell has more. Patrick?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (on camera): While we can tell you that doctors in Sao Paolo treating Brazilian football legend Pele, widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, say the 80-year-old is recovering well in hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his colon on Saturday.

SNELL (voice-over): Now, news aren't the three-time World Cup winners operation, following Pele's denial of reports that he fainted last week when he said that he was in good health and receiving routine examinations.

In a statement, the South American great medical team revealing that during cardiovascular and laboratory tests, a suspicious lesion in his right colon had been found, which was discovered to be a tumor.

Pele who is Brazil's all-time leading goalscorer taking a social media on Monday. "My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well, and for allowing Dr. Fabio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health.

Fortunately, I'm used to celebrating great victories alongside you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism, and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends." SNELL (on camera): Well, last year, there were fears over Pele's health, but he just missed reports he was suffering from depression during his recovery from hip surgery.

SNELL (voice-over): Pele burst onto the international stage as a 17- year-old at the 1958 World Cup, scoring twice in the final, as the Brazilians beat tournament host Sweden 5-2, Brazil's first World Cup title.

And in the year 2000, he was named by FIFA, football's world governing body as its player of the century, an honor he shared with Argentinian icon, Diego Maradona.

CURNOW: Patrick Snell reporting there.

So, still to come on CNN, what's ahead after the coup? The military tightens its grip on power in Guinea. We have that story.

And they don't call him the Trump of the tropics for nothing. Growing concerns about how far Brazil's president will go to stay in power.



CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow.

So, the leaders of a military coup in Guinea are promising to set up a transitional government, but they are short on details about what it will look like or when they will be return to democratic elections.

Ousted president, Alpha Conde remains detained at an unknown location. David McKenzie now reports. David.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): On Monday, the coup leaders in the West African nation of Guinea appear to consolidate their power.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): They held an extraordinary meeting where they invited -- and I use that term loosely, senior government officials to chart the way forward for their rule.

Now the leader of the coup plotters said that they should have unity that government services should continue, and in fact, it is some signs of normalcy with a spokesperson of the coup leaders saying that borders have now reopened.

A very different scene on Sunday, dramatic scenes unfolding in the capital with sustained gunfire over several hours, according to witnesses that CNN spoke to, where the president, Alpha Conde was detained by those soldiers, and then taken to an undisclosed location.

At this point, there has been condemnation from the African Union, the regional bloc, ECOWAS, and most western nations, in one case, calling it a power grab. But the outgoing president is unpopular in Guinea. He managed to extend presidential term limits. He was accused of corruption and he won a very disputed poll last year. That being said, it's unclear if the pressure from outside nations will have any impact on the ground.

That meeting with those leaders today in Conakry on Monday will give a bit of legitimacy to this incoming coup leaders.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Whether they can maintain that power remains to be seen.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

CURNOW (voice-over): If it succeeds, Guinea's coup will be the latest in a string of violent takeovers in West and Central Africa. Back in May, a Special Forces commander serving as Mali's vice president, detained the president and prime minister, the named himself as the country's interim leader. It was Mali's second coup in less than a year.

And then in April, Chad's president of 30 years was killed by rebels as he visited soldiers in the north of country -- north of the country. His son, then, seized power a move that was widely seen as unconstitutional.

CURNOW (on camera): And seven months after Myanmar's military seized power, there is a call for revolution. In a social media posts, the acting president of the exile National Unity Government called the military the people's enemy and urged citizens to report the army's movements and attack them.

The junta took over in February claiming last year's election was fraudulent. Well, let's go to Paula Hancocks. Paul is in Seoul.

You've been covering events in Myanmar ever since that February coup, what do you make of this call?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, Robyn, it's certainly a new strategy by the National Unity Government. It's something that had been discussed for some time. And they've now decided to go ahead with this call for a revolution, effectively saying, as you mentioned, the military is the enemy of the people, they are -- he is -- also, the acting president saying that people should attack and abolish the dictatorship. The dictatorship, which is guilty of war crimes. Also, saying that they should attack Min Aung Hlaing, he's the general that was behind this military coup and is leading the country at the moment.

Now, of course, there are many calls within the country for more pushback against the military coup and a call for democracy to be restored to Myanmar. But the fact is, that could be a lot more bloodshed if there is more resistance to the military. We know from some advocacy groups that well over 1,000 people have been killed since that February military coup.

The actual number though, according to the U.N., according to other groups could well be much higher. And thousands of people are activists and those who dare to protest on the streets have been arrested, detained. Many of them not heard from since they were arrested by the military.

So, certainly there is a concern that the violence we have been seeing on the streets of Myanmar since February could increase.


HANCOCKS: And it also comes at a time when the United Nations General Assembly next week is expected to give a recommendation of which entity should take up the U.N. seat for Myanmar.

There was a U.N. ambassador in place when the coup took place, and he criticized what the military did, the military then fired him. But he has been holding on saying that he is the rightful ambassador. So, it will be interesting to see next week of the General Assembly, exactly who the United Nations recommend should be leading the country effectively. Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, what are you hearing from people in Myanmar? Obviously, there's been a crackdown on the media and journalists. There's a -- there's a -- there's a climate of fear, what's the reaction to this call?

HANCOCKS: Well, the call has just come. So, getting reaction imminently is difficult. It is difficult, as you know, to get much out of Myanmar at this point. The Internet being shut down by the military itself. There is a fear that there could be further shutdowns of the Internet going forward if in fact, there is somewhat of an uprising or more of a -- of a revolution within the country itself.

Certainly, the military is acting with impunity at this point and does not want its actions to be broadcast out to the rest of the world.

But those within the country I have been talking to are really just hoping that the rest of the world continues to monitor what is happening, continues to criticize and condemn the military junta. But there is a feeling that they have to do something from inside. They have to do something themselves, as many calls for more constructive and potentially physical help from the West has fallen on deaf ears up until now. Robyn.

CURNOW: Paula Hancocks, there. Thanks so much for that update.

Now, with an eye on a tough election next year, Brazil's president has introduced new regulations by decree on social media. It's aimed at stopping what is described as the arbitrary removal of accounts and content.

In reality, though, critics say it could make combating misinformation almost impossible.

This decree comes on the eve of Brazil's Independence Day and a series of rallies for and against the president.

Isa Soares has more on the man they call the Trump of the tropics.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Splashed across the big screen, Brazil's conservatives look to the American right for inspiration.


DONALD TRUMP JUNIOR, ELDEST SON OF DONALD TRUMP: Do you go the path of socialism? Or do you remain steadfast and strong for freedom?

SOARES: The Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC and American import is hoping to revive Jair Bolsonaro's dwindling base as the embattled president faces sliding approval ratings, a weakening economy, and public outrage over his handling of the pandemic, which has claimed over 580,000 lives.

Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a lawmaker, and Bolsonaro's supporter tells us why the president is seeking a second term in office.

LUIZ PHILIPPE DE ORLEANS-BRAGANZA, LAWMAKER, AND BOLSONARO'S SUPPORTER: He believes that there's a risk that the radical left will take over Brazil, and that there is a risk of a totalitarian regime to take place in Brazil. And I believe in that too.

SOARES: With an election in Brazil looming large, this relationship with a Trump in a circle has strengthened over the years. And in the Bolsonaro family the likes of former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: He's the third son of the Trump of the tropics, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.


SOARES: With Eduardo Bolsonaro making an appearance at the My Pillow CEO's event.

BANNON: Bolsonaro will win unless it's stolen by Guess what? The machine.


SOARES: Taking his cue from the Trump playbook, Bolsonaro has been sowing doubt on the integrity of Brazil's entire electronic voting system, calling for printed ballots to supplement electronically cast votes.


JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, BRAZIL: You don't have proof that there is fraud, but there is also no proof that there isn't either!

SOARES: And threatening not to hand over the presidency next year if there's suspicion of fraud.


BOLSONARO: I have three altenatives for my future: being arrested, being killed, or victory.

SOARES: As the calls for his impeachment grew louder, Bolsonaro continues to fight for political survival. Using the Armed Forces to project power, with a military parade recently in front of the presidential palace, enough to rattle some of Brazil's political dissidents.


AMELINHA TELES, BRAZILIAN ACTIVIST: This is an authoritarian gesture, it's a dictatorial gesture. So, this leaves me very worried, yes, very worried.


SOARES: A former member of Brazil's Communist Party, Amelinha Teles, says she was a victim of torture during the country's brutal military dictatorship which lasted 21 years.


TELES: I lived through persecution, I lived through torture and was currently threatened, me and my family. But we also had the joy of seeing the resistance, the people's fight on the streets.

SOARES: Is Brazil's democracy at risk Amelinha?


TELES: Absolutely, absolutely, unfortunately. We cannot let go of the past and think that what went on, went on and is over. It's not true. The past is very much in the present.

SOARES: Pushy rewards from those who carry the scars of those dark days, and we fear that Brazil's past might just be bound to repeat itself.

Isa Soares, CNN.


CURNOW: Relatives of the victims of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 have begun testifying in the murder trial of four people accused of downing the plane over eastern Ukraine, seven years ago.

CURNOW (voice-over): Three Russians and a Ukrainian are being tried in the Netherlands for their alleged roles in the 2014 crash, which killed almost 300 people.

Russia has refused to extradite the suspects, and some of the victim's family say the Russian government is complicit in covering up what happened.


VANESSA RIZK, DAUGHTER OF VICTIMS OF MH17 CRASH: It is now time for a conviction. I plead to the court that the victims and their families now receive justice. To the perpetrators, seven years ago, you broke up my family in the worst way imaginable.

Seven years on, I am determined that you will never ever break my spirit and capacity to live and love just as my dear parents would have wanted me to.

RIA VAN DER STEEN, DAUGHTER OF VICTIMS OF MH17 CRASH (through translator): I know they have died, I know they are gone. But I can only say goodbye when I know that those responsible for their deaths have been identified as the perpetrators. That is my hope in this process. That I can finally see an end to it. Say goodbye and let go.

CURNOW: MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shut down. International investigators said the plane was hit by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies any responsibility.


CURNOW (on camera): You are watching CNN.

So, still to come, lockdown for much of the pandemic. Cuba is now making plans to welcome travelers once again. We have that story.

Also, a manhunt is underway in Israel after six Palestinian prisoners escaped using a tunnel. We'll have the latest on the search. Stay with us, you're watching CNN.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (on camera): There is a lot to chili peppers than just their fiery hot flavor.

HOWARD (voice-over): Chili peppers have more vitamin C than oranges, and they're a good source of vitamin B6.

They also contain a compound called capsaicin which gives chili pepper its spicy kick. And study suggests that capsaicin can provide weight loss by curbing your appetite and boosting your metabolism. Capsaicin has also been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and cancer.

Acidic ingredients can help neutralize the spice. Add to your dish some lemon or lime juice, chopped tomatoes, or a dash of wine.

And dairy products are also a great way to cool down chili pepper. For a creamier dish, add yoghurt or sour cream, and harder cheeses that are graded or shredded can add texture. Perfect for a bowl of chili.


CURNOW: Welcome back to CNN, live from Atlanta. I am Robyn Curnow. Thanks for joining me this hour.

A surge in coronavirus cases in Vietnam has pushed the government to extend restrictions in the capital for another two weeks. Authorities also planning to test up to one and a half million Hanoi residents by next week. The city is already being under stay-at-home orders since July. Now, checkpoints are set up across the capital dividing the city into red, orange or green zones based on infection risk. Officials are also screening people to control those coming in and out of affected areas.


PHAM VAN CHIEN, HANOI TRAFFIC POLICE OFFICER (through translator): By setting up these stations, we can prevent people from getting on the road without a travel permit. Also, those who are found with a permit but are using it for the wrong purpose will be severely fined.


CURNOW: Vietnam had had kept cases low for a year and a half, as you can see here, but has seen a sharp rise since June.

And Cuba says it will reopen its borders starting in November. The country has suspended all international travel since April of last year because of the pandemic. But it now believes that its vaccination rate is high enough to take the chance. Patrick Oppman is in Havana. Patrick.


PATRICK OPPMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Cuban government on Monday announced that starting in mid-November this island will begin to reopen its international borders. For much of the pandemic, Cuba has been on lockdown with flights severely restricted sometimes cut up for month. This, of course, has been devastating to Cuba's tourism industry and economy on this island has suffered severely throughout the pandemic.

Cuban officials say that even though the island still remains in the throes of the pandemic with some of the highest number of cases, daily cases and daily deaths to date, starting in mid-November, for the first time, the Cuban government will no longer require a PCR from travelers, that they will begin to ask travelers to show their vaccination cards upon arrival. And Cuban government, according to the Ministry of Tourism thinks that the vaccination campaign here using Cuba's homegrown vaccines is paying off, is having an effect.

There are about 4 million people who received all three doses here. And the Cuban government says that they expect that by mid-November they will have vaccinated over 90 percent of the population or begun to vaccinate a majority of the population. They have had troubles though obtaining some of the materials they need to create the vaccines, there's been a supply chain problem, there have been problems in hospitals here with the medicines, that they have been running out with a number of beds.

So, while the Cuban government sounds optimistic, a lot of what we have been seeing on the ground seems to indicate that they've had problems throughout the pandemic, that the health care system here, that the government is very proud of, as some points has come close to collapsing. So, while the government says they plan on reopening in about two months, it remains an open question of whether they will be able to.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


CURNOW: Thanks, Patrick, for that.

So, Israeli authorities are hunting for six Palestinian militants who broke out of prison by apparently squeezing into a tunnel under a building. Andrew Carey has more from Jerusalem.


ANDREW CAREY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Israeli investigators shine a light through a small opening in the floor of a prison cell. Hours earlier, six Palestinian security prisoners had apparently squeezed through this narrow drop and made their escape. They had located an existing underground passage, built as part of the prison's foundations.

As Israeli TV explained, it was then just the 100-foot crawl underground and out through a hole just yards from the prison wall. First word of the breakout had come in the middle of the night when authorities were notified by locals of suspicious activity around the prison.

SHIMON BEN SHABO, ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER (through translator): A manhunt has been underway for the last few hours. And our aim is to capture the escapees as soon as possible. There is no need for people in the area to change their routines.

CAREY (voiceover): Among the six on the run is Zakaria Zubeidi. He led fighters of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin in the north of the West Bank during the Second Intifada. He was re-arrested two years ago accused of involvement in shooting attacks on civilians. The other five all set to be members of Islamic Jihad, serving sentences for terrorism offensive.


In Gaza, Islamic Jihad loyalists celebrated the break out, which the group called a heroic act. They handed out sweets to drivers and passers-by. For Israeli authorities though, it is a significant embarrassment. A similar break out attempt from the same Gilboa Prison in the north of Israel was made in 2014, but foiled. Security officials will be right this time that the prospect was a potentially violent confrontations if their search the escaped men takes them into Palestinian towns and cities.

Andrew Carey, CNN, Jerusalem.


CURNOW: A three-year-old boy who went missing in the Australian bush on Friday has been found unharmed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standby. I got the boy.


CURNOW: Hundreds of authorities and volunteers organized an extensive three-day search for young AJ. A police hot helicopter finally spotted him on Monday drinking water from a creek in rugged bush and at about half a kilometer from home. AJ is reportedly autistic and nonverbal. His father said AJ had a few scrapes and bites and diaper rash, but otherwise is OK. That's good news.

So, still to come on CNN, El Salvador will now be accepting bitcoin as a legal tender. What the country's president is hoping to achieve through this new effort. That story next.


CURNOW: A new report from South Korea claims North Korean trade with China has dropped a straggling 82 percent since last year. South Korea's unification ministry says trade suffered as a result of the pandemic resulting in limited access to food and medicine in North Korea. Pyongyang has been uncharacteristically quiet about the pandemic but is now racing to adopt anti-virus measures so it can beef up trade with China.

And starting today, El Salvador is the first country in the world to accept bitcoin as legal currency. The country bought up millions of bitcoin on Monday, head of the move. El Salvador is hoping cryptocurrency will actually give people greater access to banks and their finances. But not everyone sees it that way. Rafael Romo has more. Rafael.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): On the southwestern coast of El Salvador --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: El Zonte is kind of a sleepy beach town.

ROMO (voiceover): -- lies a rocky beach that has been attracting surfers from around the world for decades. It's not the kind of place where you would find luxury resorts, but the coastal village of about 3,000 has been on a small financial revolution that has the potential of reshaping the world economy.

[02:40:00] For the last several years, an increasing number of people at El Zonte have been using bitcoin as their main currency for daily transactions.

MICHAEL PETERSON, DIRECTOR, BITCOIN BEACH: You can pay your car insurance or your school tuition, and they can pay in bitcoin --

ROMO (voiceover): Michael Peterson is an American who has been living in El Zonte for eight years. Peterson first traveled as a surfer in 2004. Now, he's the director of Bitcoin Beach, a locally led initiative supported by a U.S. news based nonprofit organization. Peterson says the initiative has a dual purpose, developing the community and promoting the bitcoin.

PETERSON: This isn't a business for me. It just something that loses money for me. Now, I have a business in the U.S. that supports my needs. But I just have a love for the community here and I really believe that the bitcoin can really impact the life of those that are unbanked and those that are on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

ROMO (voiceover): Peterson is not the only one who's betting that bitcoin will alleviate El Salvador's endemic poverty. Nayib Bukele, the millennial president of El Salvador successfully advocated for a lawmaking in his country the first to adopt a cryptocurrency as legal tender.

Venezuela launched the cryptocurrency three years ago, called Petro that was backed by the countries reserves and natural resources.

ROMO (on camera): The case of El Salvador is unique and that it's the first country to make bitcoin legal tender. Here in Mexico, for example, the country's central bank issued a warning over the summer saying cryptocurrency's pose inherent risk and that dealing with them is not legal under current law. This means that banks are not allowed to trade or offer any transactions with them.

ROMO (voiceover): Some small business owners in El Salvador like this baker who makes a living selling sandwiches on the street say they like bitcoin because it gives them an alternative to make money. It really isn't difficult to deal in bitcoin at all, he says.

Not far from there, this owner of a tortilla shop says he prefers cold harsh cash. It's something new and we don't have enough information about it, she says. She is not alone. Hundreds of Salvadorians recently took to the streets to send an unequivocal mission message about cryptocurrencies. They're trying to change the whole country into a casino where those who can afford it, like Bukele family, can get in and play, he said. El Salvador is not a casino.

Back in El Zonte, Peterson says people shouldn't see bitcoin as a threat but an opportunity.

PETERSON: I think they get it backwards. This is what bitcoin actually fixes. Bitcoin will bring these opportunities to young people. So, they don't feel like they have to go to the United States in order to feed their family. They can develop successful business here. This deters people from entering the gangs, because the big reason people enter the gangs is because they feel like there isn't opportunities for them.

ROMO (voiceover): He warns though that adopting bitcoin doesn't mean that El Salvador's problems like poverty and gang violence are going to disappear overnight. But he hopes it will empower those at the bottom of the economic ladder in the smallest country in Central America.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.


CURNOW: And thanks so much for watching CNN. I am Robyn Curnow. You can follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ROBYNCURNOWCNN. There it is right there on your screen. I'm going to hand you over to World Sports. It starts after the break.



PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: The Solheim Cup run is over. Europe's golfer celebrating their own very special piece of history in Ohio.

Hi, there. Welcome to CNN World Sport this Tuesday. Thank you so much for joining us.

It was a superb team effort by Catriona Matthew's team. But one European rookie in particular will be absolutely thrilled of her contribution. Leona Maguire winning her singles match Monday emphatically five and four over America's Jennifer Kupcho. An outstanding performance from the 26-year-old who remained unbeaten all week. Winning four and a half points and a possible five, a record there for a debutante.

Now, check out this stunning shot from Nelly Korda doing her part for the United States, securing one hole triumph in a close four battle with Georgia Hall. But despite the world number one's best efforts, it was not enough for the Americans who trailed 9-7 going into day three, almost raining it there. Master class in backspin. No question.

Now, at one point, the host were ahead in 5 of 7 matches still out on the course, but when Matilda Castren rolled in a clutch putter at the last to claim victory over the USA's Lizette Salas, Europe knew their mission was complete. What a moment too for the finish player, another Solheim Cup rookie who'd only earned the ladies European tour membership after winning in her homeland a number of weeks ago. That clinched it, but the European party really getting started when Denmark's Emily Pedersen sealing victory against Danielle Kang, and you can just see what it means to this group of players, everything, absolutely everything, back-to-back. Solheim Cup wins now for Matthew's team. Victory she herself has overseen.

And this now, just a European's second Solheim Cup victory on U.S. soil. Let's just stay with this video a little longer because these images are just superb, especially if you are a fan of Team Europe. A highly impressive performance indeed from them all. First up, though let's hear for Matilda Castren.


MATILDA CASTREN, CLINCHED DECISIVE POINT FOR EUROPE: I mean, it's hard to put into words right now. I think I'm still shaking. I just knew I was looking at the board and I knew it was going to be an important put, and I wanted to make it. And me and (INAUDIBLE) read it and we read it perfectly and it went in. I mean, I'm just so happy right now. And I'm not sure where the final scores are, but I'm just -- yes, a lot of emotions right now.

CATRIONA MATTHEW, EUROPE CAPTAIN: Just amazing team actually. They just came right here and performed, you know, we get off to a great start this morning winning the -- or the first kind of five or six people coming in, winning some of their games. I'm kind of lost for words actually at the moment. Just obviously went to see them and try and win her game and just couldn't shoot (ph).


SNELL: Emotions running very deep there for the skipper. Team Europe then retaining their title after getting their job done in style, 15 points to 30 there, the final in Toledo. Really special moment there from captain, Catriona Matthew, who we just were hearing from. She's now the first skipper in team history to win both home and away. And our congratulations to her on that.

Meantime, tweets of congratulations. Here's one that caught our eye. From top rank men's player in the world, Jon Rahm. Congratulations for winning the Solheim Cup. Now, it's our turn, two weeks to go. The Ryder Cup. That's the men's showdown between Europe and the USA starting later this month in Wisconsin.

All right. Well, now, let's move it on to the U.S. tennis open in New York City. Novak Djokovic moving one step closer to completing a calendar year grand slam sweep and a record 21st men's major title. The Serbian world number one dropping the first set against young American wildcard, Jenson Brooksby, but predictably hitting back in style to win the next three out there on (INAUDIBLE). It's just too good in the end for the 20-year-old Californian who's ranked 99 in the world. And now, advances into the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

Next up for Djokovic is a matchup with a succeeded Italian, Matteo Berrettini. The men's top seat now just three wins away from number 21.

The dream run of British teenage, Emma Raducanu, continuing after the 18-year-old straight sets over the USA Shelby Rogers. Amazing story here. So, she becomes just the third qualifier to reach the women's quarter finals there at Flushing Meadows since the open era began in 1968.

Raducanu who was born in Canada but then move to the U.K. when she was two years of age, getting the job done in just over an hour. Disappointment for Rogers who ousted top ranked Ashleigh Barty in the previous round. Raducanu who lost the first two games before winning 12 of the final 13. And you can see the look of shock and disbelief there on her face. She faces the 11th seated Belinda Bencic of Switzerland next. And revealing friends and family back home are indeed keeping her well and truly grounded. Take a listen.



EMMA RADUCANU, REACHES FIRST MAJOR QUARTERFINAL: I've got quite a lot of messages from my school friends, and it's really nice that we are still in contact, even though we left. I mean, it was quite a short time ago. But my parents actually like ghosted me off the match. I mean, I texted them but they didn't reply even though they were online. So, you know, that meant something.

But, yes, it's just been such a supportive reaction and atmosphere after Wimbledon and here. I mean, I'm just feeling like really, really happy and I think that's really showing in my game on court.


SNELL: Ghosted by her parents? How could they? Emma Raducanu there with a tournament she is having.

Next up, the thrilling England-India test cricket series. Why there I call this team now a very special date with destiny in Manchester later this week.


SNELL: Welcome back to CNN World Sport this Tuesday.

Now, doctors in Sao Paulo treating Brazilian football legend, Pele, widely regarded as one of the best players of all-time, saying the 80- year-old is recovering well in hospital. This after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his colon on Saturday. News of the three-time World Cup winners operation follows Pele's denials of reports that he fainted last week when he said that he was in good health and receiving routine examinations.

Now, in a statement, the South American's great medical team revealing that during cardiovascular and laboratory tests, a suspected lesion in his right colon had been found which was discovered to be a tumor. Pele, who is Brazil's all-time leading goal scorer taken to social media on Monday, my friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fabio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health. Fortunately, I'm used to celebrating great victories alongside with you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy by living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.

Well, last year, there were fears over Pele's health, but he dismissed reports he was suffering from depression during his recovery from hip surgery. Pele burst onto the international stage as a 17-year-old, this was the 1958 World Cup, scoring twice in the final, as the Brazilians beat tournament host Sweden 5-1, Brazil's first World Cup title.

And in the year 2000, he was named by FIFA, and that's footballs world governing body, as its player of the century, an honor he shared with Argentinian icon, Diego Maradona. Of course, certainly wishing Pele all the very best at this time.

Moving on to England now where India have indeed wrapped up the 4th test this of the high-profile international men's test cricket series at the Oval. As Virat Kohli's team edge ever close that they hope now to their first series victory in England in 14 years. The English needing a record run chase of 368 for the win. The other option was to try and bat out the fifth and day. But in the end neither happen.


India's bowlers reducing their host 210 all-out Monday to seal victory by 157 runs. At one point, England losing four wickets for just six runs. And the possibility of them not losing a second successive home series very much on the cards following their defeat to New Zealand earlier this summer. The tour is now with a 2-1 lead ahead of the fifth and final match which starts at Old Trafford Manchester on Friday.


VIRAT KOHLI, INDIA CAPTAIN: The best thing about both the wins has been the character that the side has shown. I think if you look at the how the game panned out, you mentioned 100 lead that England had in the first innings, to come back from there and the way we batted in the second innings show that, you know, we are not down and out, and we are not looking to survive in this game.

If there is an opportunity to put the opposition under pressure, we will go for it, and we will put up a total on the board, which is always going to be very difficult to chase especially heading into game day four, later half of day four and day five as well. But, yes, look, as I said at large as well, I am really proud of the character the team has shown, especially this morning, the way we ball, I think it's definitely amongst the three top bowling performances that I have witnessed as an Indian captain.


SNELL: Wow. High praise indeed. And that is saying something, I can tell you. The winning skipper, Virat Kohli there.

For the entire World Sport team, thank you so much for joining us this Tuesday. Stay with CNN. We're going to leave you there with scenes of shared elation for Europe's Solheim Cup team, thirsty work indeed. I'm sure you'll agree.