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Trump Posed As His Own Publicist; Russia Accused of State-Run Olympic Doping; South African Gold Miners Sue over Lung Disease; Online Auction for Gun that Killed Trayvon Martin; Columnist Eats His Words; Brussels Jihadist Recruiters Free Pending Appeal; Anti-Trump Dating Site. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 13, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK -- a new, nicer era for Trump and the Republican Party.
Russian Olympic athletes under scrutiny again on charges of doping.
And miners in South Africa say their work is costing them their lives.
CURNOW: Hi, there, everyone. Welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow.
When you run for U.S. president, your past is put under the microscope and it's happening right now to Donald Trump. Today's "Washington Post" has an
attention-grabbing headline that claims Trump once masqueraded as a publicist to brag about himself.
The story says Trump used the names "John Miller" and "John Barron" in phone calls to reporters from the 1970s through the 1990s. Trump denied it
this morning. But listen now to a recording of one of those phone calls and decide for yourself.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your position there?
"JOHN MILLER": Well, I'm sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it. And frankly, I mean, I could tell you off the record. Until I get to
know you, off the record, I can tell you that he didn't care if he got bad PR until he got his divorce finished.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of comment is coming from, you know, your agency or from Donald?
"MILLER": Well, it just that he really decided that he wasn't, you know, he didn't want to make any commitment. He didn't want to make a
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, I want to bring in Susan del Percio from our New York bureau. She's a Republican strategist.
You've heard that. Mr. Trump says it's not him.
Even if it is him, his argument is, is that it happened 20, 30 years ago.
So what's -- why does that matter?
But that's the point. He's constantly bringing up skeletons in the closets of the Clintons from decades ago.
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That's a really good point. And what Donald Trump will say is I wasn't a politician then and that I
shouldn't be judged on those things. But he has clearly said he has used the name "John Barron" under oath when he was brought into court. So we
know he's used those names before.
CURNOW: We know his one youngest son is named as Barron as well.
DEL PERCIO: Yes. So there's been some talk if he has a little fascination with the name Barron. But putting that aside, it really won't matter too
much to his supporters right now.
That's just another thing Donald Trump did and he may even get more support for it because it was a way of deceiving the media, which he so often likes
CURNOW: Well, let's talk about that. We also know this is just one thing. We also know in the last 24 hours or so that his former butler has come out
ranting about killing the president. I want to hopefully bring up the quote that he put on Facebook.
"Obama should have been taken out by a military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term."
Now Trump's former butler actually admits to CNN that he did write this but he clarified. He actually said the president should have been hanged.
How does Mr. Trump and those associated with him get away with saying these kinds of things?
I mean, anyone else would have been leveled, flattened if they were ever a candidate and came out with this kind of stuff.
DEL PERCIO: And that's a really good point. I mean I believe the butler worked for him last in 2009. So as long as Mr. Trump denounces what he
said that's one thing.
But Donald Trump as a candidate for president is not being judged the way other politicians are judged. He's being judged as a celebrity and a
businessman. And that's how come he doesn't -- and he gets scrutiny but he doesn't respond to it the same way because he isn't a politician.
And he just shrugs it off and he's actually happy people are talking about the fact that he had a butler or that, you know, what he had said,
pretended to be his own PR person when it came to his lovelife.
CURNOW: And it's important to note here that Donald Trump's campaign have denied, disavowed themselves, was the word they used, from the comments
made by his former butler. They did that very quickly and they used the word "disavow."
Now if you remember, a few months ago, there was huge controversy when Mr. Trump really took a long time to disavow David Duke, who is aligned with
the Ku Klux Klan.
So again, these examples of how and when he chooses to support somebody and the language he doesn't or does use and the timing -- many, you know, who
watch him would say that, you know, this -- there's a hypocrisy here. But as you say, his voters don't seem to mind.
DEL PERCIO: Right. And he did -- the statement with the Ku Klux Klan was very interesting at the timing of it, it was before the South Carolina
primary, where I think he may have thought it wouldn't be the worst thing if people thought that about him, that he had that support. Then he slowly
At least now it looks like Candidate --
DEL PERCIO: -- Trump is learning something and disavowed the statement immediately.
CURNOW: Learning something. Learning perhaps how to, you know, make the most of the message that needs to be put out at that very moment. And it
seems like he's been honing the way to manipulate the media since the 1970s, since he allegedly, you know, campaigned and was PR for himself.
Tell us about Paul Ryan. You were part of a movement that wanted the Speaker as an alternative --
DEL PERCIO: Yes.
CURNOW: -- to Mr. Trump.
What do you make of Paul Ryan's position now?
Do you think yesterday he conceded too much?
Do you still think that the Republican Party needs to really push back harder against Mr. Trump?
DEL PERCIO: I think the meeting went very well for both parties, for Mr. Trump and Speaker Ryan. don't forget Speaker Ryan came into power under
very difficult times. The Republican Party in the House of Representatives was already fractured.
And he went in there saying I will bring everyone together. And now his conference is made up of Never Trump people, Always Trump people and Maybe
Trump people. So he has to be able to go back to them after each of these meetings and say, this is what's come out of it.
And I think he's trying to build a conciliatory group there that they can find some issues to get behind Mr. Trump on and others that they will be
able to walk away from him on.
CURNOW: OK, Susan, thank you so much for your perspective. Thanks for joining us.
DEL PERCIO: Thank you.
CURNOW: Well, coming up in a few minutes I'll talk to "Washington Post" columnist Dana Milbank. Like a lot of pundits, he underestimated Donald
Trump's political aspirations and had to eat his own words -- literally. You'll want to join us for that one.
We're just weeks away from the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio and now shocking new allegations against Russia that could put more than a dozen
medals from the Winter Games at risk.
So just how far are athletes and even countries willing to go to bring home the gold?
Let's turn to our team; Matthew Chance is in Moscow; Alex Thomas is in London.
Coming to you, Alex, in just a moment.
Matthew, tell us about these insider details that have been reported and the extent of this program, this alleged program?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. So this is details that have emerged in "The New York Times," an interview with the
former chief, the anti-doping chief here in Russia, Grigory Rodchenkov.
He's been fired from his post after the allegations, after the details of doping first emerged. He fled to the United States. He did this interview
with a documentary maker, in which he described a very detailed program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, where dozens of athletes, including at
least 15 medal winners, engaged in doping, actually during the games.
And he gave great, specific detail as to how this was achieved. For their part, the Russians have so far categorically denied this. The sports
minister has gone on the record, saying that this was a complete shock but also casting doubt on the credibility of Mr. Rodchenkov, saying that
basically he was fired from his post and therefore he could have ulterior motives.
But within the past hour, there's been a news conference as well by two of the -- given by two of the athletes who were implicated in the allegations.
Alexander Legkov is a cross-country skier; he called these claims "nonsense" and "slanderous."
Another athlete, Alexander Zubkov, who heads the bobsled team in Russia's Olympic team, also said that as well, basically denied these allegations,
said they were all clean and they won their medals absolutely fairly.
So, yes, the plot thickens yet more when it comes to Russia's dealings with illegal substances in athletics.
CURNOW: OK, Matthew, thanks for that.
And, Alex, so what does this mean for the Summer Olympics coming up?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that, as things stand, Russia's track and field athletes, Robyn, are already banned from competition. This
is after Russia's anti-doping agency was disbanded last year, as Matthew hinted, Rodchenkov was the man whose job suffered because of that.
This is all down to allegations going back more than a year about the state-sponsored doping program in Russia. Of course, Rodchenkov's
allegations in "The New York Times" newspaper just makes it even more specific, Robyn, a generalized program with doping, it was specifically
targeted, according to him, at those Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
But Russia's in the process of trying to prove that it can get its anti- doping program back on track and satisfy the IAAF, which is track and field's governing body, and get them to sign off on Russia competing at the
Rio Olympics. If they don't, it will just be the track and field athletes not going; athletes from other sports in Russia --
THOMAS: -- will be able to compete in Rio, we believe. And a meeting to decide whether or not they are going to go at all will happen next month.
The really worrying thing for Russia as well as "The New York Times" allegations is that in the meantime, since their own anti-doping agency was
disbanded, anti-doping officers from the United Kingdom have been asked by the international sporting community to go and conduct the drug tests in
Russia. And they say they've been having huge trouble.
And the number of tests being conducted has plummeted massively. And if they can't conduct tests and prove that Russian athletes are clean,
Russia's going to have a really tough time proving they should be allowed to compete at Rio 2016.
CURNOW: Yes. And you wonder what folks who won silver and bronze at the Sochi Olympics are feeling and how that is going to impact on discussions
Thanks to both of you, Matt, Alex, appreciate it.
Moving on, Hezbollah said its top commander fighting in Syria has been killed in an explosion near the airport in Damascus. The Lebanese militant
group supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad and has dispatched thousands of its fighters to Syria.
Meanwhile, peace talks are set to resume next week in Vienna. Our Fred Pleitgen has the latest from Syria.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As these new Syria talks move ever closer, of course set to begin next Tuesday, it
appears as though there are ever more obstacles in the way for trying to achieve any sort of headway toward a political solution.
The Syrian government, in the form of its information minister, telling CNN that one of the key demands made by the opposition, which is that Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad would have to step down at the end of any transitional process, the Syrian government now saying they not only think
that will not happen but they flat-out reject those demands.
There's not even going to be any sort of negotiations in that direction, so certainly another big obstacle there.
At the same time, the fighting is flaring up here in Syria again as well especially in the Aleppo area, where there is renewed fighting after a
cessation of hostility that was in place for several days now, at least brought some quiet to the people there, has not been renewed and the
fighting beginning again there.
Also a high-level loss for Hezbollah, which is fighting on the side of the Syrian government, of the pro-Assad forces. One of their key senior
leaders here in this country, Mustafa Badreddine, was apparently killed last week near the Damascus airport.
He played a key role in Hezbollah for years and in 2005 he was indicted by a U.N.-backed tribunal for his alleged role in the assassination of Rafiq
Hariri in Lebanon. He's also on a U.S. terrorism list for his role in getting Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon to right here into Syria to then
fight on behalf of the Syrian government.
Again, at this point in time, many Syrians are saying they want some sort of political solution to this crisis. Folks that we're speaking to say, of
course, they're looking towards next Tuesday when those talks are set to resume and they also are quite critical of the international community
because they feel that too little headway is being made, that there still are too many problems in the way and they don't believe that the partners
who are involved are doing enough to solve them -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.
CURNOW: Thanks to Fred there in Syria.
Coming up, South African court clears the way for thousands to sue the country's lucrative gold industry. We'll tell you why, live from
And a controversial auction begins: why the man who shot Trayvon Martin is now selling the gun he used to do it.
CURNOW: Now to a big victory for gold miners in South Africa. Thousands of them are dying and suffering from a deadly lung disease and they've just
won the right to sue their employers. It could become South Africa's biggest class action suit ever. Our David McKenzie is in Johannesburg with
Hi, there, David. I mean this is important. It's been going on for years. I remember reporting from JoBurg and this is an issue that has not really
had much finality.
Is there hope in the end for many of these men?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, Robyn, hi, yes, there will be hope now that thousands of these men, potentially more than 200,000, could
join this class action suit, which was allowed by a high court judge in Johannesburg.
They are taking on, suing effectively the entire gold industry here in South Africa. And the human impact of years underground has been extreme,
as we found out in one city in South Africa.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Once a gold miner in South Africa, Joseph Mutabele (ph) thrived on physical labor, had big dreams for his future.
JOSEPH MUTABELE (PH), GOLD MINER: (Speaking foreign language).
MCKENZIE (voice-over): But for Joseph, the simplest of tasks now a struggle. Decades underground is slowly killing him, he says, a victim of
MUTABELE (PH): (Speaking foreign language).
MCKENZIE: Many miners when they retire or get sick can only afford to live in shacks like these. The wealth of South Africa was built on the backs of
Now thousands of miners are suing gold companies as part of a historic class action. During apartheid and more than two decades since, the
alleged companies have been negligent and could have stopped the harm to their workers. They want a massive payout.
Dr. Rhett Khan (ph) has been treating silicosis-affected miners for decades. It's his life's work. Miners develop the incurable disease by
inhaling silica dust in gold mines.
DR. RHETT KHAN (PH), PULMONARY DOCTOR: These multiple little white dots is the dust.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Over the years the fine dust gets lodged in their lungs. It can cause reduced lung function, weight loss and severe
KHAN (PH): This degree of dust will affect his life expectancy.
MCKENZIE: This could kill someone.
KHAN (PH): This can kill somebody.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The scale of the problem is staggering. Scientific studies estimate that at least 200,000 miners could be suffering from the
disease here. Researchers call it a pandemic.
MCKENZIE: Is it still as bad as it was?
KHAN (PH): It's as bad as it was under apartheid. The silica dust disease problem has not got better.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The Chamber of Mines admits that silicosis is a significant legacy issue but they say companies have been working to
eliminate the risks and are offering to set up a medical fund.
MUTABELE (PH): (Speaking foreign language).
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Money won't bring Joseph's health back but he says someone has to pay.
MCKENZIE: We go to these towns like Belkham (ph) in South Africa, Robyn, and you see the legacy of mining, the health legacy for so many of these
men and their families; many of those who are waiting to get compensation or at least some kind of money from the government's side died before that
money came and now they're seeking damages from scores of companies.
They may appeal but it's possible the companies will try to come up with some kind of settlement to try and move past what is huge stains, say many,
on South Africa's industrial wealth.
CURNOW: Yes. But the key here --
CURNOW: -- is that the gold mining industry is already under pressure. It has certainly shrunk as a percentage of GDP and it's going to be
interesting to see what kind of impact it will have on this sector that is already feeling the pinch.
Thanks so much, David McKenzie there in JoBurg, great sunset. Enjoy your Friday afternoon drinks eventually. Thank you.
CURNOW: There is a controversial new development in an American murder trial that deeply divided the country. If you remember, the Florida man
acquitted of killing an unarmed black teen four years ago, now he is selling the gun that fired the fatal shot. He's listed it on an auction
site where people are placing some pretty high-dollar bids.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now with more.
Wow. I mean just tell us about this story. This is a gun used to murder a young man. It split the nation, this issue, and now more of this has been
inflamed by the sale of this gun.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You put it perfectly. It's a firearm that ended the life of a human being, so that is clearly fueling the
controversy here, Robyn. It's been a very busy last 24 hours.
George Zimmerman turned to the first website to try to place this gun there on the auction block; that website then pulled it off, saying they wanted
nothing to do with this guy.
So now this second website is posting it on there right now, looking at the one, actually the first one, gunbroker.com, that actually yanked that gun
off its site. And now you have the second one, which is unitedgungroup.com. They originally listed it yesterday afternoon,
starting bid was $5,000.
At one point it was taken down and now today the owner of that website saying that he's reconsidering it, possibly thinking keeping it up.
Yesterday opened up at $5,000. Now it's at $65 million.
Now some of those -- some of those bids have been submitted by certain user names that are questionable. There was one named Tamir Rice, he's the
young man who was actually shot and killed by Cleveland police officers.
So again, it calls into question the legitimacy of some of these auctions. But nonetheless this has clearly stirred up a lot of controversy here in
the United States.
CURNOW: It's controversy because I think if I remember correctly, President Obama said he could have been this young boy. And he was in a
hoodie, there was this great debate in America, going right down to issues around policing and racism and perspectives.
The fact that this is now on auction, why is this man doing it?
Why is George Zimmerman doing it?
That's the big question, isn't it?
SANDOVAL: Absolutely. He claims that he wants to fund what he believes is a legitimate cause, to fight back against violence against certain law
enforcement officers, Black Lives Matter violence as he calls it, which is the organization that is really quite popular in the United States for
But then there are people actually coming to Mr. Zimmerman's defense here, saying he's an American; he was acquitted of this crime and so he has the
right to do with his property what he feels that he would like to do.
However, you hear from the -- the Martin family's attorney here, saying that this is clearly something that is wrong. In fact, I'm not sure we
actually have a portion of what he has to say here but he does believe that -- or at least the family believes that this is like shooting and killing
this young man again.
We would like to play a portion of his response there to what is this auctioning of this firearm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: It's like he is shooting and killing Trayvon all over again four years later with this attempt to auction off
this gun like it's some kind of trophy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: So again, that gun still online right now. We are hoping to hear from the person who runs this website, unitedgungroup.com, to see if,
in fact, it will stay on that auction block.
CURNOW: OK. Keep us posted. Thanks so much, Polo.
Moving on and staying with American politics, a "Washington Post" columnist is eating his words -- literally. Dana Milbank was so certain that Donald
Trump would never win the Republican presidential nomination that he promised his readers, quote, "Trump will lose or I will eat this column."
Now he's making good on that pledge. He brought in a chef to prepare a meal, which brought in pieces of his columns. As it turned out, newspaper
goes well with a number of different ingredients. Here's a taste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA MILBANK, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I am seated, ready to eat my words literally from what I wrote last October 4th, saying if Donald Trump is --
wins the Republican nomination, I will eat the page on which this column is written.
I am joined by Tom Sietsema, "The Washington Post" food critic, who did nothing wrong. But he is a good man.
Victor Albisu, an outstanding man, an excellent chef, from Washington's Del Campo restaurant, has put together an eight-course meal plus newspaper-
filtered coffee. So we are, I believe, ready to begin the feast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Dana Milbank joins me now live from "The Washington Post" newsroom.
Wow. Talk about swallowing your pride.
MILBANK: Yes. Well, it was sometimes literally difficult to swallow but, you know, it's a day later and I seem to have come through it OK. If all
of us here in the United States survive and are able to digest Donald Trump as easily as this, I think we will be doing OK.
CURNOW: Is that wishful thinking?
MILBANK: It may be. I mean, it -- Trump, you know, as I thought earlier, was not going to get this far. So I'm not exactly going to go out on a
limb and tell you what I'll eat if he wins the presidency.
CURNOW: Yes. I was going to put you in a corner there but obviously you're not going to make the same mistake twice here.
MILBANK: No, no, we've decided the better solution is to have a celebratory feast if he loses rather than force myself to eat something.
It's going to be painful enough for me if he wins. I don't need to add to the misery.
CURNOW: Well, let's talk about your misery.
What was the menu?
MILBANK: Well, we had eight courses, it was washed down with some Cuban coffee filtered through a newspaper. There were newspaper dumplings,
newspaper falafel, a taco bowl, of course, because they make the best ones in Trump Tower. But we think ours are even better here at "The Washington
Had some ceviche, had some well-done wagyu steak, because Trump likes his steak cooked beyond recognition. And then we had a newspaper wrapped in
fried filet of fish to celebrate Donald Trump's taste for fast food.
CURNOW: And the fact that you're having to eat your words, you're not the only one. Many in the Republican Party also. I want to play something
from Lindsey Graham and talk about how many people are trying to digest this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: You know how you make America great again?
Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So we're having prominent Republicans trying, you know, six months ago, saying stuff like that and, you know, now having to say, well, this is
the guy who's going to lead our party.
How much are they eating their words?
MILBANK: Well, it is a bitter pill to swallow, so to speak. You played Senator Graham. He is one of those who is refusing to back Donald Trump
even after speaking with him. I think you're seeing a lot of division within the Republican Party.
Some are just sort of knuckling under, saying, he's the nominee; I support him. Many others are doing it quietly or with some hesitation. And a
significant number are saying no, they're just not going to do it, that there are things more important than party.
They think he would be bad for the country and they do not want to associate themselves with the various bigoted things that he has said.
CURNOW: OK. Dana Milbank, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
MILBANK: My pleasure.
CURNOW: Bon appetit.
The INTERNATIONAL DESK continues. Thanks for joining me. Much more after the break.
CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: Now a story out of Belgium that raises new questions about how the country prosecutes jihadis. The family of a young militant who died
fighting in Syria wants to know why the man who recruited him isn't behind bars. Well, Erin McLaughlin has our exclusive report. Take a look.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Photos from Sabri Refla's 18th birthday, a family trip to celebrate, one of his mother's happiest
memories before he went to Syria.
SAIHA BEN ALI, SABRI'S MOTHER: We don't know what's happen in Syria but we are sure with what happened with our son, Sabri, when he was here.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Eight months after that trip, Saihi Ben Ali she says her son became radicalized. He sent her a Facebook message to let her
know he was in Syria. Then came a chilling phone call.
BEN ALI (through translator): The Syrian guy said, "Congratulations, your son just died as a martyr," and then he hung up. It was horrible. When I
heard about his death, I felt like I died myself.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Ben Ali says her son was the happiest of her four children. She didn't know the most dangerous jihadist recruitment network
in Belgium had approached her son.
It's known as the Zerkani Network, made up of veteran jihadists and recruiters, some would go on to carry out the terrorist attacks in Paris
and Brussels. Authorities have prosecuted more than 60 recruiters and foreign fighters, one of them was Sabri Refla.
Because there's no proof of death, Refla was still convicted. His recruiters were also declared guilty. As you see here, the judge allowed
them to walk free pending their appeal. CNN tracked down one of the recruiters to his home address.
This is the neighborhood of one of the recruiters convicted alongside Refla. Refla's mother says her son called him from Syria, pleading. Refla
wanted to come home; the recruiter said no. We're here to ask him why.
We ring the doorbell; his mother answers. She screams at us to leave her alone. As we walk away, the recruiter appears and confronts us. His words
are not welcoming. He refuses to talk to us on camera.
Belgian authorities tell CNN they have not notified residents that a convicted jihadist recruiter is living in their midst. We saw a teenage
boy entering the same apartment building.
The president of Brussels' tribunal says in Belgium it's not unusual for a criminal to go free while waiting for appeal, if they're not considered a
MCLAUGHLIN: How is it that a convicted member of a terrorist organization, sentenced to seven years in prison, is allowed to walk free after his
LUC HENNART, PRESIDENT, BRUSSEL TRIBUNAL (through translator): The judge says that this man's behavior was good throughout the trial and this
decision of the judge needs to be respected.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): For Refla's mother, the fact that Refla's mother, the fact that her son's recruiters are free while he's dead is this is too
much. She says it's as if he has died twice.
BEN ALI: I don't really believe in human justice but in god justice. He will pay, not here but by god. And I just want to tell him that my son
didn't have second chance like him.
CURNOW: Erin joins me now from Brussels.
This is a powerful story, Erin. This mother's fight, she says she doesn't believe in human justice.
But is her fight over?
MCLAUGHLIN: It's not, Robyn. She's very --
MCLAUGHLIN: -- much a mother on a mission. She actually started a non- profit organization, called Save Belgium, which is designed to help parents recognize the symptoms of radicalization in their own children, symptoms
that she said she missed in her son back in 2013.
She said she didn't even know what radicalization was. She said that she knew that there was something wrong with her son. She said that he started
to withdraw from his friends; he would spend less time at home.
He became more religious, stopped exercising. But it wasn't until he was in Syria that she realized exactly what had happened to him. And she is
dedicating her life really to making sure that does not happen to other parents. It's a badly needed perspective here in Belgium -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. I'm just going to let you put your IFB in; while you do that, Erin, tell us also, though, there's been a lot of reporting, you've
also reported on it, post-the Paris attacks about the state of prisons in Europe and how overcrowding, in a way, contributes to the rise of jihadis.
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. I was actually talking to the president of the tribunal that was featured in that story and he was saying how concerned he was --
or is rather -- about the legal system here, particularly in Brussels.
He told me that the prisons are overcrowded. In fact, prison overcrowding was cited in court as one of the reasons they let the recruiters in that
story go. He said that the courts are underfunded and he said it was -- he compared it to driving a car with only one wheel. And that's a real
He said that they are prioritizing terrorism cases right now. But the fact of the matter is, Belgium remains on threat level 3, which means a
terrorist attack here is possible and likely. So there's a real concern about what could happen if they're not sufficiently putting away potential
terrorists in this country -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Great reporting there. Thanks so much, Erin McLaughlin in Brussels.
Coming up on the IDESK, a bit of a lighter story. A dating site that urges people scared of a potential Donald Trump presidency to head north.
CURNOW: Apple just pumped $1 billion into one of China's biggest ride- hailing services. The endorsement from Apple is a big victory for Didi Chuxing. It's in a war against Uber in China. Didi is reportedly valued
at $20 billion.
According to the company's president, the deal happened at lightning speed after the two sides met in California last month.
CURNOW: It's a common threat you'll hear tossed around in the U.S. People who are dead-set against having Donald Trump as their president say they'll
actually leave the country if he's elected. Well, now there's a dating site that's promising to help Americans find a mate in Canada. Jeanne Moos
tells us about Maple Match.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may not think of Donald Trump as a matchmaker, but he could inspire cross border romance between
Americans and Canadians if Maple Match ever gets off the ground with its catchy slogan.
JOE GOLDMAN, MAPLE MATCH CREATOR: Make dating great again.
MOOS: The website's mission, Maple Match makes it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror
of a Trump presidency. Austin, Texas, resident and Hillary supporter Joe Goldman dreamed up Maple Match.
GOLDMAN: I've always liked maple syrup. I have about 12 liters of maple syrup at home. I'm a real fan of the flavor.
MOOS: Joe says Maple Match started as a fun experiment, but within days 20,000 Americans had signed the wait list and 5,000 Canadians. Every day
the number grows. Sure, people have been joking about moving.
JIMMY KIMMEL, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Will Donald Trump be our next president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that mother (INAUDIBLE) becomes president, I'm moving my black (INAUDIBLE) to South Africa.
MOOS: Miley Cyrus Instagrammed, "going to vom," as in vomit, "move out da country, #aintapartyindausaanymo."
Cher tweeted, "If Trump were to be elected, I'm moving to Jupiter."
But some, like Lena Dunham, sounds serious.
LENA DUNHAM: That I'm 100 percent moving to Canada. I love Canada.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): Well, she has a b actor and has no, you know, mojo.
MOOS: Maple Match has mojo in terms of generating interest.
MOOS (on camera): But don't expect immediate results. It looks like Maple Match will be as slow as, well, maple syrup.
MOOS (voice-over): Questions about when the site might work got vague answers.
MOOS (on camera): Joe, I'm sorry, it's like talking to Donald Trump. Is it ever going to be really like a dating site?
GOLDMAN: At this -- at this time I really can't say for sure. We're -- we're really trying our hardest.
MOOS (voice-over): Maple Match is asking who you'd like to shack up with before the shack is built -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CURNOW: OK. There's a new footwear flap at the Cannes Film Festival. Award-winning actress Julia Roberts was photographed on the red carpet --
shock, horror -- barefoot. It's not clear what prompted the star of "Money Monster" to ditch the heels she arrived in.
The floor-length gown did hide her feet until she ascended the stairs.
Now she's clearly making a point here. Last year, several women claimed they were actually asked to leave the festival because they were wearing
Well, that's all from us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. "WORLD SPORT" with Christina Macfarlane is