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Russia Violated Airspace by Mistake; MSF Staff and Patients Killed in Afghan Strike; Deaths in South Carolina's 1,000-Year Rain; Bloodshed in Jerusalem Caught on Video; Interview with Oregon Shooting Survivor. Aired 10-11 ET
Aired October 5, 2015 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
We're watching a tense situation between Russia and U.S. ally, Turkey. Turkish media report that Ankara now says a Russian fighter jet violated
its airspace near Hatay on Saturday by mistake but warned against it happening again.
The tensions come as Russian airstrikes pound ISIS and other militant positions in neighboring Syria.
We are joined now by Matthew Chance, who is monitoring developments for us in Moscow.
Hi, there, Matthew.
What more can you tell us?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, yes, a protest made by the Turkish foreign ministry to their counterparts here in
Moscow. Over the weekend, a Russian jet violated Turkish airspace to the south of the Hatay region in Turkey.
It crossed over from Syria into Turkey. It was intercepted by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets, who then turned back into Syrian airspace.
According to Russian officials, the incident was a navigational error and it's been clarified to Ankara, the Turkish foreign minister, calling
Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart.
Turkey, for its part, though, officially at least -- although in the media I'm sure this is different -- but for its place it's -- its part,
it's been playing down the significance of this, saying that Russia does respect the borders of Turkey and is not expecting another incident of this
But it does sort of add into that insecurity that now there are Russian warplanes flying in Syria as well, alongside U.S.-led coalition
warplanes, NATO warplanes as well, from Turkey.
It does add an extra layer of insecurity that the two could meet in -- the two sides could meet in some kind of unwanted confrontation. It gives
you an indication of how crowded I suppose the skies are now in and around Turkey and Syria.
CURNOW: How does this up the stakes in a way, Matthew?
We also know, we have been speaking about it for probably the last year, the Russian military in particular has been probing NATO airspace for
a while now.
How does all of that play into it, the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO?
CHANCE: NATO's taking this very seriously. They're saying that -- they've issued a statement saying, look, we want to support our Turkish
ally in all of this.
But I get the sense that this isn't the same kind of incident as we've seen play out over the past year and a half or so with Russian warplanes
flying mainly in international airspace, I have to say, but then probing NATO defenses then seeing what reaction it can provoke, provoking responses
from the Norwegians or the British or whatever to defend their sort of national borders.
This is something, I think, quite different. It seems to have been an error, according to the Kremlin. They have acknowledged that this
incursion took place and they said that it won't happen again.
But, remember, there are quite a lot of sorties being flown now, the 25, I think, in the past 24 hours, according to the Russian defense
ministry by Russian warplanes in Syria. And so given the high level of activity, intense activity, there may well be more problems like this, more
navigational errors, as the Kremlin says, in the future.
CURNOW: OK. Just shows you how dangerous, how crowded it is out there in that airspace above Syria. Matthew Chance, as always, thank you.
Well, now for some more insight on all of this, Jill Dougherty is our former Moscow bureau chief. She's now with the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars and joins us from, Tallinn, Estonia.
Hi, there, Jill. Thanks for talking to us here at the IDESK. The issue of Russia and NATO is a particularly sensitive one, particularly
where you are in the Baltics.
JILL DOUGHERTY, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: Right. And, you know, you can't help -- as Matthew indicated there -- to
remember that recently, certainly in light of the Ukraine, you have had a lot of probing, as you put it, by Russian planes up in this region of the
So when a report like this comes out, I think people are looking at it in two different ways. Yes, you know, perhaps it was a mistake.
But there's also that other report about a Russian MiG, an MiG-29 plane that apparently locked its radar onto two F-16s, also Turkish.
Now, if that is correct, that would be another indication of something that is out of the ordinary, let's put it.
So why would Russia want to do that?
Well, it might want to test to show how far it can go, give a little signal to NATO that we're here and we are flying around and we're doing
pretty much, you know, what we want to do. It could be a variety of things.
DOUGHERTY: It does appear to be downplayed but it has to be watched very carefully because Russia is sending a lot of signals in addition to
taking military action. But this military action is sending a lot of messages to a lot of different places and this could be one of them.
CURNOW: And how do you think this message is being taken where you are and also within NATO?
DOUGHERTY: I think there's concern, maybe not active concern. You know, I mean, let's say the ultimate scenario that would be very worrying
would be if this actually were some type of -- maybe not a mistake but military action. Let's say -- this is not happening -- but let's say that
that plane actually wanted to take some type of military action.
Well, Turkey is a member of NATO. It immediately would elicit a response from Turkey just in defense. And then, Turkey, as a member of
NATO, might call for help from NATO. It might trigger what they call Article IV, where they actually have military consultations. Or maybe it
would go all the way up.
This is way down the road and very speculative. But Article V, which is "an attack on one is an attack on all" -- so you can see the
implications could be very serious. At this point, you just have to leave it as something that is not fully explained except as a mistake and let's
just hope that it was a mistake.
CURNOW: Indeed. But throughout all of this, Matthew made a point of saying this incident perhaps is not linked to these other probing missions
by the Russian military.
But this issue of collective self-defense, the issue of NATO and NATO's expanding borders and how that impacts on what Putin sees as
dangerous, I mean, this is a very interesting dynamic.
DOUGHERTY: Oh, definitely. And I mean, the expansion of NATO is really one of the key issues in everything that's been going on, let's say,
for the last, well, since 2014 with the war and the conflict in Ukraine.
I mean, this has been a fight for years and years. After the Soviet Union collapsed and the West began to accept new members into NATO -- and a
number of them are right here where I am located right now -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
And the -- Russia has always felt that that was an encroachment, a very dangerous encroachment in President Putin's eyes, towards Russia.
They're very opposed to it and it's a constant source of tension. So the issue of NATO has added implications right now and especially in this
CURNOW: Indeed. So the links between where you are and even Turkey are very clear and obviously this is something that needs to be played out
but worst-case scenario, this could change and have a very serious discussion, some very serious implications.
Jill Dougherty, as always, thanks very much.
Well, the U.S. military is giving new details about that strike on a hospital in Afghanistan.
In just the past hour, the commander of U.S. forces in the region says it was the Afghans who asked for the strike, saying they were under attack.
And he said civilians were accidentally struck.
The U.S. and NATO are promising thorough investigations but the charity Doctors without Borders, which lost 13 staff members and 10
patients, says that is just not enough.
Let's go to our Nic Robertson; he is in Kabul.
You've got more for us on all of this new information. Hi, there, Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, there, Robyn.
What Doctors without Borders have been saying through the day is -- goes to the very heart of their concern here, that what's at issue is not
just this one hospital that has been hit, not just all their hospitals in Afghanistan, not just all their hospitals across the globe in conflict
zones, but all hospitals in conflict zones across the world.
They believe that unless the root reason and cause of this strike on this hospital is exposed then that potentially puts all these other places
They call it -- they have very scathing language that they have used to criticize the Afghan government for suggesting that the Taliban were
using the hospital grounds as a base of military operations.
But, you know, and they continue to call for this international independent investigation that should be transparent.
And I certainly think that when we heard from U.S. General John Campbell at the Pentagon a few minutes ago, he is really trying to get to
that issue of transparency.
We'd heard earlier from NATO saying that it was U.S. Special Forces helping Afghan forces, U.S. Special Forces under fire from the Taliban that
called in the airstrike.
ROBERTSON: Now he says -- and this is the piece of sort of transparency that one imagines he, as the commander here, hopes will show
people that the United States will be clear and open here.
He says that is no longer the case. Their understanding has changed, that it was Afghan forces only that were under fire from the Taliban. This
is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN CAMPBELL, COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: We have now learned that, on October 3rd, Afghan forces advised that they were
taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces. An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and
several civilians were accidentally struck.
This is different from the initial reports, which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And we'd heard earlier in the week that other airstrikes had been called in because U.S. Special Forces on the ground, but Afghan
forces, that the U.S. Special Forces were directly threatened. This is language that is typically used in these situations so that may throw other
issues into the debate here as well, into question for many people in Afghanistan.
However, what General Campbell went on to say is if the people need to be held to account for their actions here, that will be done. He said he
didn't want to prejudge this before he gets all the information but I do think that we're beginning to see a sort of a raising of the curtain, a
lifting of what's going on behind the scenes as this investigation begins to play out for the military -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Nic Robertson in Kabul, thanks a lot.
Well, you're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow.
Historic levels of rain and flooding continue to devastate parts of the U.S. East Coast. We'll go live to hard-hit South Carolina, where six
people have already died.
Also: she watched in horror as people were killed one by one and then lived to tell about it. How one student survived the Oregon college
All that and more here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.
CURNOW: Flash flooding along the French Riviera has left at least 19 people dead. Two are still missing, according to local police. Horrific
stories are emerging of people drowning in retirement homes and being trapped in flooded tunnels. In some areas, as much as 180 millimeters of
rain fell in three hours.
In the U.S., six people have now died in South Carolina's 1,000-year rain event. Hundreds of people have been rescued from flooded roadways and
it's not over yet. Swollen rivers will continue to rise for the next several days.
Charleston has seen more than half a meter of rain this weekend. The governor is asking people to stay at home and off the roads until
Well, CNN's Nick Valencia is in Columbia, South Carolina, and joins me now.
How's it been this weekend?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is no exaggeration, Robyn, when we say that it's a dire and desperate situation for the state of South
Carolina. These are yearly totals that we're seeing in a day. Some of these cities just inundated with water. Columbia seems to have suffered
the brunt of the damage.
We're here at a hydroelectric facility here and you can see the river behind me; it's about 15 feet higher than normal. And let me just show you
the water line here because if we could bring you some good news in all of this, it's that the water level has receded, if only just a few feet -- we
want to zoom in on that.
But the rain has been consistent, relentless, just nonstop when you look at these weather models that are just lingering, it seems, just stuck
over the state of South Carolina, battering this.
There had to be hundreds of water rescues all across the state because people are simply not listening to the governor or the local state
officials' warnings to shelter in place, to stay at home.
People are without drinkable, usable water. About 31,000 people all across the state are without power. And the situation could get even
This rain is expected to persist well into this evening, perhaps into Tuesday morning. And just when you think that there's just a little bit of
relief and the intensity has diminished, Robyn, that's when the rain starts all over again. It's just really a troubling situation here for the state
CURNOW: A troubling situation. It's described as a 1,000-year rain event.
What does that mean?
VALENCIA: Yes. It's one in 1,000 odds. This doesn't mean necessarily that the last time it happened was in 1015; it's just the odds
that this type of rain could happen are one in 1,000 and we heard from the governor, Nikki Haley, here in the state of South Carolina that this state
has never before seen these types of rain totals, we're talking about 18 inches in some places, 20 inches in others.
Portions of road completely washed away and some of these neighborhoods, you can't discern whether or not a house is even there, the
water levels are so high. Slowly it is starting to recede but you know that rain is so consistent that it's just really such little relief --
CURNOW: Nick in South Carolina, updating us there. Thanks a lot.
Now the U.S. Coast Guard believes a missing cargo ship sank during Hurricane Joaquin and they have found one body. Over the weekend a nearly
600-square kilometer debris field was discovered. The El Faro went missing off the Bahamas Thursday after calling for help.
The 33-member crew is made up of 28 Americans and five Poles. On Saturday, a lifering from the ship was recovered. The Coast Guard says the
body found over the weekend was wearing a survival suit.
Coming up, at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, tensions grow and Israel clamps down on who it will let into Jerusalem as a fresh wave of violence sweeps
over the Old City. A disturbing sight that's caught on video.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): New Delhi, the ancient, vibrant capital of India. Home to more than 16 million
people, growth here has exploded in the last decade and, with it, consumer spending.
As a result, demand for more shopping space is high. But most locals still favor streetside shops and century-old bazaars like these. At first
glance, this area looks like your average New Delhi street market with broken pavements, stray dogs and loose electricity wires.
But this dusty, dirty bazaar is actually the most expensive retail location in all of India and one of the most expensive in the world.
Welcome to Khan Market, where the average rent is more than $200 per square meter a month. That's well more than the average Indian's monthly
ANSHUMAN MAGAZINE, CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, CBRE NEW DELHI: This is as recent as staying for 15 years, I would say when the market
starting evolving from being a neighborhood, a small retail place to brands starting coming in. People realize there's a shortage of high-end
restaurants and entertainment places. This is when the Khan Market started coming in.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): The district originally emerged as a shopping neighborhood for Pakistani refugees since the late 1940s. But what used to
be a market with grocers and cloth merchants now has many of the trappings of Western malls -- spas, luxury boutiques and high-end restaurants.
MAGAZINE: Today if any luxury brand which wants to come to India or to New Delhi, they want to be here because it gives them the highest end of
the market. It gives them exposure to the high net worth individuals or the high end of the market, which they want.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): For Delhiites to buy or sell here is now a status symbol.
DEEPAL MARWAH, LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER: First, the rich people who have money, they want to be seen in Khan Market. Many of these branding came.
Anybody wants to be in India wants to be in Khan Market, whether they are making money or losing money.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Khan Market has another key advantage -- it is close to India's political elite.
MARWAH: Since Khan Market is the closest market to the parliament and members of parliament, visitors or friends of member parliament,
bureaucrats, embassies, this market is frequented by all these VIP people of India.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): It may be posh but it's poorly maintained. Open sewers are a common sight. Parking is chaotic.
MAGAZINE: If you look at the environment around, it is not that great but the fact is the choices are very limited. And it's just now deeply
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Affluent Delhiites still flock to Khan Market with 10,000 shoppers coming here every day. And as India gets richer and
fuller, this football looks set to grow -- John Defterios, One Square Meter, CNN.
CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Turkey now says a Russian fighter jet violated its airspace near Hatay on Saturday by mistake. Officials in Moscow say it
was a navigational error. The tensions come as Russian warplanes target ISIS and other militant positions in neighboring Syria.
The Pentagon says Afghans asked for a U.S. strike in Kunduz Saturday, saying they were taking fire from the Taliban. A strike killed 23 people
at a Doctors without Borders hospital. Doctors without Borders wants an independent investigation.
South Korea's government says North Korea has freed a student it detained in April. Won-moon Joo was turned over to South Korean officials
at the border. A student at the New York University, he told CNN after his arrest he thought his illegal crossing from China might lead to a great
event that could help Korean relations.
And the U.S. Coast Guard says a cargo ship that disappeared off the Bahamas with 33 crew members on board likely sank. Officials say one body
has now been found along with life rafts. The El Faro radioed for help Thursday after running into Hurricane Joaquin; 28 people from its crew are
American. Five are from Poland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: In Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli authorities are taking extreme action, banning most Palestinians from entering the Old City. The
action was taken after a knife and gun attack that killed two Israelis and injured two others. Increased violence between Palestinians and Israelis
escalating tensions --
CURNOW: -- to new heights in recent weeks.
Just last week, an Israeli couple was shot and killed in front of their four children. A week before, a Palestinian teenager was shot by
Israeli soldiers at a military checkpoint.
The latest developments are shocking and we should warn you, it may be difficult for many to watch. The overnight events were captured on
cellphone video, scenes that not only depict the horror of what happened but also threaten to further inflame tensions. Here's CNN's Erin
ERIC MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Panic in the Old City of Jerusalem, about 8:30 in the evening, screams of a dying rabbi.
Israeli authorities say moments before he had attempted to defend an Israeli couple and their infant from stabbing by a 19-year-old Palestinian
The subsequent attack on the rabbi captured on the shaky cellphone footage by a Palestinian shop owner. Israeli police say by the time they
arrived that the attacker grabbed the rabbi's gun.
"Now they will kill him," says an off-camera voice in Arabic.
Shooting happens out of frame. Israeli police say when the teenager fired, police shot and killed him. He was later identified as, Muhannad
Halabi, a Palestinian from the West Bank.
His last Facebook posting, "According to what I see, the Third Intifada has started," he wrote. The rabbi and Israeli father died of
their stab wounds.
In that charged atmosphere at 2:00 am, a group of far right Israelis gather outside the Damascus gate at the Old City.
"People want revenge," they say.
In Hebrew, a young boy shouts, "Death to Arabs."
Then two hours later, a block away, another incident captured on Israeli cellphone footage, another 19-year-old Palestinian man is seen
running along a tram line outside the Old City, followed by Israelis, shouting, "He is a terrorist. Shoot him! Shoot him!"
In another video, you see the police arrive and you hear seven gunshots as he falls to the ground. You see a police officer pointing his
Voices off camera ask, "Did he stab someone?"
Someone answers, "No, he did not succeed."
"Who did he try to attack?"
Israeli police say the 19-year-old man was shot holding a knife in his hand, covered in blood. Police say he had just stabbed a 15-year-old
Israeli boy and the shooting prevented additional attacks.
Palestinians say he had attacked no one, just got into a verbal altercation with the Israelis protesting outside Damascus gates. They say
the Israeli protesters simply wanted him dead.
He was later identified as Fadi Samir Alloun of East Jerusalem. His friends say he was peaceful, that he loved fashion and wanted to be a
model. His father says he was executed in cold blood.
For days, there have been running clashes as Palestinians protest restrictions that have prohibited Palestinian men under the age of 50 from
worshipping at the Al Aqsa Mosque. Far right Israelis, too, have been visiting the mosque compound, now stone throwing and tear gas had escalated
to stabbing and gunfire. The anger and passions captured on video, video that will likely make tensions worse in this already tense city -- Erin
McLaughlin, CNN, Jerusalem.
CURNOW: Syria says ISIS militants have destroyed the iconic Arch of Triumph in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra. It's the latest cultural
treasure to be reduced to rubble by the Islamist militant group. The arch was more than 1,800 years old and served as the city's entrance during
Roman times. The head of UNESCO has called the destruction of Palmyra's ancient monuments a war crime.
Still to come, a survivor's tale. A woman who walked away from last week's Oregon college shooting recounts the terrifying moments that she
thought were her last.
CURNOW: Welcome back. The Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded. Three scientists share this year's prize for their work on parasitic
diseases. Ireland's William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura were honored for discovering a new drug to treat to infections caused by
And China's Youyou Tu for her work fighting malaria using traditional herbal medicine, she's the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel Prize in
The physics prize will be awarded on Tuesday followed by the chemistry, literature prizes and then Friday, the winner of this year's
Nobel Peace Prize will be announced and of course we'll have a lot of coverage on that one.
Now we're learning a lot more horrifying details about last week's mass shooting at a community college in the U.S. state of Oregon. They
come from a woman in the classroom who survived by playing dead. In a CNN exclusive, she told our Sara Sidner the gunman seemed happy and calm and
showed no mercy.
We warn you, though, some of what she shares is disturbing.
TRACY HEU, UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I really don't know how I survived. I just -- I don't know. I was actually planning on
just, you know, waiting to see the black light. You know? Just waiting not to see anything anymore.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tracy Heu lived because she played dead.
HEU: I was sitting in the front of the classroom facing the teacher when everything happened. He just came in and shot and towards the back of
the wall and told everybody to get in the center of the room.
SIDNER (voice-over): It was one of her fellow students. He showed up on the fourth day of classes with guns, not books. He set his sights on
Classroom 15 in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College.
HEU: He seemed happy about it. He didn't seem stressed. He didn't seem nervous. But when he came in, he told everybody to get on the ground.
So everybody tried to huddle to the ground. And then the girl in the wheelchair tried to get -- she tried -- she got off and tried to get in the
-- tried to get down on the ground.
There was a woman in a wheelchair during all this?
HEU: Yes. And she had a dog with her. But the dog was just on the ground. And she got off the chair. She went on the ground. And then he
told her to get back on the chair and then she tried to climb back on the chair and then he shot her.
SIDNER (voice-over): Tracy didn't know it yet, but the girl in the wheelchair was dead. He turned his attention to Professor Larry Levine.
HEU: He told the professor to get down on the ground as well. So he was trying to crawl down to the ground with us and then he shot the
professor and then just started shooting everybody --
HEU: -- on the ground and then that's when I knew that, you know, this is it. I'm probably going to die.
I probably won't see my kids anymore. I probably won't see anybody anymore.
SIDNER (voice-over): Face down on the ground, hit by a bullet in the hand, she thought about her three children and waited to die.
HEU: The warmth of this blood, that was all over me, that's when I knew that it was real. And I remember whispering to one of the persons
that was next to me, you know, he is only one person. All of us, you know, we just got to do something about it or we're all just going to die.
SIDNER (voice-over): But then she heard the shooter make a promise. He would spare one of the male students.
SIDNER: What did he say exactly?
HEU: He said that you're the lucky one. I'm going to let you live but I'm going to need you to go and tell the police everything that
happened and give them this.
SIDNER (voice-over): He handed the man an envelope to give to police. And then started asking his victims about their religion.
HEU: He just asked them, "Are you Christian? Do you believe in God?"
And then they said yes and he said, "Good. I'll send you to God. You'll be visiting God pretty soon."
And then he shoots them.
SIDNER: Did he --
HEU: And he asked them about them being Catholic and they said yes and then he still shot them. I seriously don't know where he shot them or
who he killed but he shot them either way.
CURNOW: A powerful interview there from Sara Sidner.
Well, the police said over the weekend that the medical examiner determined that the shooter killed himself. Meanwhile, the gunman's father
says he was devastated to learn his son was the killer. He says his heart goes out to all of the families.
Well, that does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining us. "WORLD SPORT" with Christina
Macfarlane is up next.