Return to Transcripts main page


Eritrean Migrant Apparently Mistaken for Attacker; Deadly Typhoon Koppu Inundates Philippines; Border Restrictions Strand Thousands in Balkans; Withdrawals from "Doomsday" Seed Vault in Arctic; Outrage in India after Young Children Raped; Pistorius Set for Release; El Chapo Wounded in Raid but Avoids Capture; Canceled Wedding Becomes Reception for the Homeless. Aired 10-11 ET

Aired October 19, 2015 - 10:00:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

We begin in Israel, where another incident shows level of fear and confession after weeks and weeks of violence.


CURNOW (voice-over): A shootout at a bus station, late Sunday, leaves both the Arab Bedouin attacker and an Israeli soldier dead.

And in the chaos, an Eritrean migrant, mistaken for a second assailant, was shot by Israeli forces. Bystanders then kicked and hit the

man; he later died in hospital. Now there's a search under way for those bystanders.

I want to bring in Oren Liebermann, who joins me now from Jerusalem.

Hi, there.

What more do we know about this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the action of those bystanders that has shocked not only the public but police, who say they're

look at surveillance video, trying to identify the crowd of bystanders that is seen in the video that's made its way on social media, kicking, beating,

shouting, screaming at the innocent bystander, who was an Eritrean migrant, who was shot by mistake by a security guard and then later died at


In fact, one of the local newspapers here had that as a front story, showing the picture of the Eritrean migrant on the ground and the headline,

"Killed Because of his Skin Color," so that really shocking the public here, just as much as the attack that came just moments before, when police

say an Arab Bedouin went into the central bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, shot an Israeli soldier at point-blank range,

took his M-16, then started opening fire in the bus station, sending nearly a dozen people to the hospital.

Police say they shot and killed the attacker.

Robyn, what scares more people here is that Beersheba is a city that, up until now, had been insulated from the attacks and the violence that

we've seen here.

CURNOW: Overall, though, these levels of fear, anxiety, anger on both sides really showing no signs of diminishing, though?

LIEBERMAN: Not at all. There's that palpable sense here of the tension and the edge here seen on both sides, on the Israeli side and the

Palestinian side.

And the question, when will it end?

It is certainly worth noting that the city of Jerusalem, the Old City and its surroundings, have been relatively quiet. And I stress the word

relatively there. Now because of the wave of attacks here and the violence, Israel has put in some severe restrictions on Palestinian

neighborhoods and East Jerusalem as well as checks of Palestinians moving around larger Jerusalem, asking them for checking IDs, having them lift

their shirts and their pant legs to make sure they're not carrying weapons.

Israel says these are necessary for security reasons to make sure the city stays safe. Palestinians say this is Israel using too much force and

that these checks are dehumanizing. It has led to that quiet here, not a peaceful and calm quiet but a very tense on-edge quiet.

CURNOW: Under those circumstances, any comments from Palestinian and Israeli leaders?

LIEBERMAN: Certainly. We've heard quite a lot from both of them, perhaps no surprise here. A little cynically, both of them blaming each

other. Israelis say Palestinian leaders are inciting, Palestinian leaders say it's the Israelis that are inciting.

What's important to note is that these leaders are not making comments to each other; they're making these comments to the media. It's U.S.

Secretary of State John Kerry as well as some international effort to try to get these two sides talking, try to create some dialogue.

I don't think anyone right now is hopeful a two-state solution will be created anytime soon but perhaps at least some dialogue can take an edge

off of the tension here.

CURNOW: Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thanks very much.

Well, Typhoon Koppu has forced tens of thousands of people in the Philippines to take shelter in evacuation centers. The slow-moving storm

has killed at least three people and, as our Matt Rivers now reports, the danger is far from over.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the storm that just doesn't seem to want to leave the Philippines but for people in the hardest hit

provinces, each hour that goes by makes the situation that much more difficult.

There has been steady rainfall for most areas of the island since Saturday, and that has resulted in overflowing rivers, a high storm surge

and several landslides that have actually blocked roadways.

Dozens of smaller villages in the more populated coastal regions have seen varying levels of flooding with the more intense areas seeing enough

water to force some people out onto their roofs, waiting for a boat to come pick them up.

The floodwaters have seemed to rise relatively slowly, which has given thousands of people the chance to evacuate. But for those who didn't get

that chance, we've actually seen tweets of people using #RescuePh, alerting government officials and relief agencies monitoring that hashtag to their

location where some have actually been rescued.

The big threat that is remaining over the next few days:


RIVERS: -- landslides. This is a mountainous island and the more rain that falls, the more unstable these hillsides can be.

Thus far, damage seems to be somewhat manageable when compared to the size of this original storm. But that could change in a flash if a large

landslide or a mudslide is triggered -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Hong Kong.


CURNOW: Thanks, Matt, for that report. And of course we'll continue to monitor the situation there.

Watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. We'll have much more news after this short break.




CURNOW: Turning now to the migrant crisis in Europe, where thousands of people are stranded in miserable weather and makeshift shelters. A

human bottleneck is essentially forming across several Balkan states after Hungary shut its border with Croatia last week. These people are stuck in


The U.N. Refugee Agency says the situation there is desperate and supplies are dwindling. Refugees are trying to make their way to Slovenia

but that country has set daily limits of how many people it will let it through.

Leonard Doyle is a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration. He joins us via Geneva, Switzerland, via Skype.

Thank you so much for talking to us, Leonard.

I just want to ask you, there's been a sort of unofficial humanitarian corridor operating through these Central European countries in the last

month or so.

Why the change now?

LEONARD DOYLE, IOM SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think the corridor has been there, in effect, largely, because of public opinion. What's also

happening is that weather's changing. So it's getting colder and as various countries close their border, others are feeling the pinch.

Slovenia is a very tiny country, as you know, so suddenly getting a big deluge of migrants, they're panicking a little bit.


CURNOW: Panic, no doubt, by authorities, as you say but also by the migrants. If you look at their journeys, particularly over the summer,

they've slipped past razor wire fences, hostile border guards, unfriendly police. But what they can't evade is the coming winter.

DOYLE: Indeed. And what we're seeing tonight is, you know, migrants, especially very vulnerable people, migrants and of course meaning refugees,

in particular, very vulnerable people, living, staying out in the open, young children, young babies in arms.

Frankly, this is not a proud moment for Europe. We see every day, we see people dying in the short passage between Turkey and Greece and now

those waters are getting rough and cold. It's not Europe's greatest hour and I think people are recognizing that.

CURNOW: You say it's not Europe's greatest hour. There have been attempts, political solutions, a lot of talking; there's this sort of

proposed deal with Turkey.

How much more needs to be done?

What needs to be done now, particularly before the onset of winter?

DOYLE: Well, there's a lot happening, as you say. They're offering a large amount of funding to Turkey, which, of course, is welcome in return

for policing the borders.

But of course, what's going to happen to those migrants who are stuck, this is the important thing, what happens to those who are already in

Greece and stuck along the way?

We need urgent support for them. So on one hand, we need to protect those who are vulnerable but we also need a longer-term strategy and that

would obviously mean it's not safe for people to take to these rubber boats at the hands of smugglers in inclement weather.

It's cold now but it gets very, very cold in the Balkans, as we all know, when winter weather arrives.

CURNOW: What is clear is that it doesn't take a lot for the system to collapse under the strain, does it?

This bottleneck is clearly -- is making things worse and it happened pretty quickly.

DOYLE: I mean these are countries which are not used to big flows of migrants and they're probably panicking or concerned they're going to have

these stuck with them. So I suspect there's a lot of internal politicking going on.

But the idea that borders are closed between European Union countries, which are supposed to be open under the Schengen agreement, is really not

on. And we have to keep reminding countries to keep the fate of the refugees and migrants to the forefront.

These are human beings who are fleeing war, they're not opportunists looking for a better time. They're people who absolutely need and deserve

our protection. And quite often governments react for political reasons or they feel overwhelmed. Well, this is a time for Europe to step it up.

CURNOW: Leonard Doyle, thank you so much.

DOYLE: Thank you for having me.

CURNOW: Well, in Norway, there is a vault designed to protect vital crops from a global catastrophe. Now it's being tapped into earlier than

anyone expected.

Arwa Damon joins me now live from Norway to tell us who is accessing this vault and why.

The previous story about migrants and even where you are, you know, in the freezing cold, all linked by the breakdown of Syria.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Robyn. And it's quite interesting, when you think about the reality that the war

in Syria is linked to this remote, freezing cold corner of the Earth. This vault, built in 2008, and there are inside it some 860,000 seeds from

around the world, it's meant to be the backup to the backup plan, humanity's insurance policy for the future.

And no one who was involved in this project ever thought they would see a withdrawal in their lifetime.


DAMON (voice-over): Imagine Earth decimated, essential food crops wiped out by catastrophe. It is here, buried deep in an arctic mountain,

where the seeds for humanity's survival are stored.

But it wasn't an environmental disaster that caused the first mass withdrawal from the so-called Doomsday Seed Vault. It was war, the war in


Cut off from its vault and battle toward Aleppo, ICARDA, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, requested

a portion of the seeds it deposited back.

MAHMOUD EL SOLH, ICARDA DIRECTOR GENERAL: This is where we are storing the seeds, the first shipment of seed that came from Svalbard (ph).

DAMON (voice-over): Now based in Lebanon, ICARDA Director General Mahmoud El-Solh has the challenging job of keeping precious genetic lines


This is a wild relative of wheat that likely doesn't exist in nature anymore.

DAMON: Why is what I'm holding in my hand so important?

SOLH: This is -- this is a source of desirable trait including drought tolerance, including heat tolerance, including resistant to

diseases and so forth.

DAMON (voice-over): But it's not just the wild strains.


DAMON (voice-over): It's other crops, like these fava seeds that have been grown by farmers over hundreds of years.

DAMON: This seed contains traits that might end up being necessary for the survival of this species and we just don't know it yet?

SOLH: Exactly.

DAMON (voice-over): The seeds, with traits potentially vital to help us adapt to climate change, will be replanted in Lebanon, just across the

border from Syria.

Another vault, built to replace the one in Aleppo, lost to war, and a parallel project in Morocco.

Crop diversity is a prerequisite for food security. And experts say our past is fundamental to our future survival.

But war has meant that humanity has had to activate its backup plan sooner than anyone ever anticipated.


DAMON: And, Robyn, ICARDA's plan is to, once they have managed to rebuild the stocks that were in near Aleppo gene bank, send supplies back

here for safekeeping in Svalbard.

Now the reason why this particular location was chosen, well, on the one hand, geographically speaking, it's something of a nature-made freezer.

But, perhaps more importantly, it's how remote this part of world is and how far away it is from those conflict zones.

CURNOW: OK. Great reporting as usual, Arwa Damon there. Hope you get warm soon. Thanks a lot.

You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. As Oscar Pistorius spends his last days behind bars, we'll look at what's next for him as he moves from one

form of confinement to another.





CURNOW: Welcome back. You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

Now the horror of violence against women in India continues. There are calls there for justice and government action after another series of

rapes in the capital. As CNN's Mallika Kapur tells us, the victims this time were very young children.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shock and anger in New Delhi once again, fear that women and girls are not safe.

On Friday, a 2-year old was allegedly abducted, raped and later dumped in a park by two teenage boys.

That was on the same day a 5-year-old girl was raped in the eastern part of the city.

In a separate incident, a 4-year old was sexually violated, too, on October 9th.

That's three children raped within one week in India's capital. Delhi's police force moved quickly. They say they've arrested all the

suspects in connection with these rapes.

The father of the 2-year old wants more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is good that police have arrested the accused but I want them here before the public. This should

fulfill the promise made to us. I don't want to say anything more.


KAPUR (voice-over): Delhi's chief minister had plenty to say, he is demanding he be given control of Delhi's police force, which currently

reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is no police rule. (INAUDIBLE) rule in Delhi since Narendra Modi's government came to power.

If you have no time, you should give up your stubbornness and hand over Delhi police for a year to us. If we are unable to restore law and order

in a year, then take back the control of Delhi police.


KAPUR (voice-over): But Modi's government maintains the safety of women and girls is priority and that police have been effective.

While the political tussle escalates, so do the numbers. According to national crime statistics, the number of rapes in the country rose by 9

percent in 2014. New Delhi reported the highest number.

On one hand, this is because more women are now reporting cases of violence against them, yet there are many who remain silent. Many victims

or their family members don't report crimes such as rape because they fear their families and communities will shun them.

Three children were raped in Delhi last week. The reality is, there could have been many more -- Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.


Very distressing. Thanks to Mallika for that report.

Well, now, barring any last-minute drama in a trial that's already seen its fair share of twists and turns, Oscar Pistorius will be released

from a South African prison on Tuesday, after serving one year of his five- year sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The Paralympic sprinter will be moved to correctional supervision at home. But as CNN's David McKenzie now tells us, the case may not be over.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In honor of what happened here --

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new owners of South Africa's most notorious piece of real estate, giving a tour of Oscar

Pistorius' old house.

The Pistorius camp called the video "bizarre;" the pair later apologized.

Now, more than two years after the Olympian shot and killed his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, South Africa's obsession continues.

KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The trial elicited an unprecedented level of interest in this country. It's the first time in history that a

criminal case has been broadcast live as it's been unfolding and the descending of the world's media just served to hype people up even more.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The landmark trial hampered by delays, stretched out over seven months before the judge made her decision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's found guilty.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Guilty of culpable homicide or manslaughter, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison, now set to be released

under house arrest.

And even that decision was delayed.

MCKENZIE: We were standing outside this prison in August, on the eve of Pistorius' release. But then, at the 11th hour, South Africa's justice

minister said it was too early for him to be let go.

PHELPS: Most people, as long as they behaved accordingly, would be released at the one-sixth term but it is highly unusual that a minister

actually intervenes in an individual case to try and stall that release happening.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Pistorius will now be released under strict conditions, his movement and behavior closely monitored, swapping a --


MCKENZIE (voice-over): -- jail cell for his uncle's house in an upmarket suburb of Pretoria -- but perhaps not for long.

In just a few weeks the Supreme Court of Appeals hears the state's argument to convert the conviction to murder and he could go straight back

to prison. And for a country that has followed every development, the spectacle continues -- David McKenzie, CNN, Pretoria, South Africa.


CURNOW: And of course, CNN will have coverage of that on Tuesday.

Well, this is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Ahead, another dramatic escape for El Chapo. First, the Mexican drug lord broke out of prison, now he's

evaded authorities during a shootout. Much more on the details of that after a break.




CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW (voice-over): Israeli authorities are looking into the death of an Eritrean migrant, apparently mistaken for an attacker. It happened

during a shooting inside a bus terminal in Southern Israel Sunday.

The gunman, who was an Arab Bedouin, and an Israeli soldier, were killed. Police say a security guard thought the migrant was a second

gunman and shot him, then he was beaten by bystanders.

Thousands of migrants are struggling to get to Western Europe amid increased border restrictions across the Balkans. Many refugees are now

trying to pass through Slovenia after --


CURNOW (voice-over): -- Hungary shut its border with Croatia. Slovenia's interior ministry expects to accept more than 6,000 people on


Typhoon Koppu has killed at least three people in the Philippines. The slow-moving storm is dumping heavy rains on the island of Luzon;

several towns are submerged. Tens of thousands of people have sought shelter in evacuation centers.

We're learning new details about the hunt to capture fugitive Mexican drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo or Shorty. CNN's Rafael Romo

shows us the violent encounter that left El Chapo wounded but still on the run.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: New video emerging in the intense manhunt for fugitive international drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo

Guzman. Burnt-out vehicles riddled with bullet holes, the gritty aftermath of massive military operations carried out in several small villages where

the elusive Sinaloa cartel leader was suspected to be hiding.

Federal authorities confirming that the notorious drug lord suffered injuries to his face and leg while making a hurried escape but once again

evading capture. Marines storming several small towns in the rugged borderlands between Sinaloa and Durango, known as the Golden Triangle.

Shell-shocked residents describing a rain of bullets as their homes came under fire. Hundreds of terrified villagers forced to flee and seek

shelter in neighboring towns.

Mexican authorities say they're closing in on one of the world's most wanted men, who has been on the lam since breaking out of the maximum

security prison and escaping into an elaborate underground tunnel in July.

A new clip with audio emerging of the now infamous grainy prison surveillance video broadcast on the Mexican network Televisa. It reveals

loud hammering noises were being made in Guzman's cell before walking toward his private shower and virtually disappearing into thin air.

The video's timestamp indicates the prison guards didn't check on El Chapo until about 30 minutes after he had already vanished from his cell.

And it took about 10 more minutes for prison authorities to enter the cell and follow the drug lord into the tunnel, arguably, giving one of the

world's most sought after criminals a big head start to freedom.


CURNOW: Rafael joins me now here at the IDESK.

So is it inevitable at some point he will be captured?

ROMO: One would hope so but the reality is that this is a guy who, at one point was estimated to have a fortune of $1 billion by "Force"

magazine. The area where he's being looked for, the states of Sinaloa and Durango, he essentially owns those areas.

These are rugged mountains, very remote areas. And for many, many years he's paid the local people, he's considered a sort of Robin Hood in

that area.

And so in many situations the people there have not given information to authorities and have helped El Chapo to escape or have helped him to

hide from authorities. So that gives you an idea how powerful he is.

CURNOW: But we can see that there was a huge attempt, just by these videos that we are showing now, that somebody's trying to get him.

What's the involvement of the Americans here?

Some reports the D.A. might be providing some serious support here.

ROMO: That's actually an excellent point because, on Friday, Mexican authorities came out with this press release. It doesn't say a whole lot

but what they say is that they were able to locate him, based on exchange of information and intelligence with -- they didn't say United States but

they say international agencies.

I cannot think of any other country in the region that would have this kind of information.

And then after they got that information, they locate him and they launched an operation against them and he was able to escape. He managed

to escape. They don't say how close they got to him. They don't say if there was any sort of clash, shoot-out, only that he somehow got injured in

the leg and in the face.

Where is he right now?

Nobody really knows. And if they do know, they're not telling anybody.

CURNOW: Exactly. I've just been transfixed; I'm in the middle of watching the Netflix show called "Narcos," which is about the trace and the

fight for Escobar. And there are certain similarities, these big, charismatic figures, these drug lords.

What is so different from 20 years ago is technology and I think this certainly is playing into all of that.

ROMO: There was -- and we reported on this about a couple of months ago -- there was a picture that allegedly portrayed the capo with his son -

- the picture was posted on Twitter -- with the location where it was taken.

CURNOW: Not the smartest move, that one.

ROMO: Exactly. It said Costa Rica. People assumed it was the Central American country. Well, there's a small town in the region and, by

the way, this is where he was born and raised in the state of Sinaloa and the state of Durango, there's --


ROMO: -- a town there called Costa Rica. Then, after that, his son comes out and says they have no idea and the picture was discredited by

Mexican authorities. This has created a sort of a frenzy, a craze about where he might be, where he's hiding and whether they will ever be able to

capture him.

CURNOW: In the end, the selfie might bring him down.


ROMO: Maybe.

CURNOW: Rafael, this is fascinating case. And I know you're keeping an eye on all of the details. Thanks so much for joining us.

ROMO: Of course.

CURNOW: Thanks.

Well, turning to U.S. politics now, we want to show you the results of a new CNN/ORC poll on the Democratic race for the White House. Take a look

at these numbers.


CURNOW (voice-over): It was taken after last week's debate hosted by CNN. You can see how Hillary Clinton is still the front-runner. But her

support is roughly the same as it was before the debate; only Bernie Sanders got a boost. He's up five points from the previous poll.

You can see also how Vice President Joe Biden still has significant support, even though he hasn't even entered the race. The other Democratic

candidates have just 1 percent support or less, according to this latest survey.


CURNOW: Well, a U.S. teenager arrested over his science project is about to be welcomed at the White House.

Ahmed Mohamed of suburban Dallas, Texas, will be among those attending Astronomy Night there. The 14-year-old was led out of the school in

handcuffs, if you remember this case, over a clock he made. Apparently his teacher thought it was a bomb and called police.

President Barack Obama soon reached out to Mohamed and invited him to Monday night's event.

Well, next, on the IDESK, Britain's most famous clock is in need of some big repairs.

What could happen to the bongs of Big Ben if it's not refurbished soon?

Stay with us.




CURNOW: Here's a story: when a groom in the U.S. state of the California got cold feet days before his wedding, the bride's family had a

surprising reaction. They went ahead with the reception, minus the wedding, inviting homeless families for free dinner at a fancy hotel.

Here's Tom Miller with this story.


TOM MILLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tables are set, food hot out the oven and one by one, the --


MILLER (voice-over): -- guests arrive. These aren't the men, women and children the Duane family originally planned to host but they're happy

to do it, nonetheless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I found out on Monday that the wedding would not be taking place, it just seemed like, of course, this would be

something that we would do to give back.

MILLER (voice-over): Earlier in the week, the would-be groom got cold feet and called off the wedding. Rather than cancel $35,000 outing, the

bride's family invited the city's homeless for a once-in-a-lifetime meal at one of Sacramento's finest hotels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're very generous, actually, to lose out on something so important to yourself and then give it to someone else

is like really giving.

MILLER (voice-over): Many came with their families, giving their kids a rare night out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're going through a hard time and a struggle, for you to get out to do something different and with your

family, you know, it's really a blessing.

MILLER: The food is similar to what you'd find at the hotel's four- star restaurant, greens, there's salad, cauliflower, gnocchi, salmon, even tri-tip.

MILLER (voice-over): There's plenty to go around; 120 people were invited to the wedding before it got canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is (INAUDIBLE) our kitchen. We love our chef, Leo, but he wouldn't be preparing nothing like this.

MILLER (voice-over): Well, full stomachs and smiles are everywhere, the night is still painful for the Duanes. Their 27-year-old daughter

chose to stay home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel a lot of heartache and heartbreak for her but I -- but I will take away something really good from this. I will.

MILLER (voice-over): Turning a night that was supposed to be about their family into one that takes care of others. In Sacramento, Tom

Miller, KCRA3 News.


CURNOW: And more kindness from across the pond. Two former Manchester United footballers are making headlines for allowing the

homeless to live in a building they're renovating in England. Gary Neville and Ryan Griggs are turning the former Manchester Stock Exchange building

into a boutique hotel.

On Sunday, squatters and housing activists moved in. Neville responded by saying they can stay through the coldest winter months until

renovation starts.

Well, time is running out to fix Big Ben. London's iconic clock and the tower that supports it face a long, expensive repair job. A

parliamentary report seen by "The Mail" on Sunday and "Sunday Times" newspapers says refurbishing the landmark will cost $45 million and take

four months. It's feared that, without action, the clock's hands could fall off.

A parliamentary source tells CNN no decisions have been made yet on when to repair it.

Well, thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. "WORLD SPORT" with Christina Macfarlane is up next.