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Iraqi Army Battles ISIS to Retake Key City; Search Continues for EgyptAir Flight 804; Nearly 150 Killed in Syria Bombings; Bill Cosby Appears in Court; Sugar Shortage Forces Producers to Halt Production; Trump and Clinton Escalate Attacks; Adele to Sign $130 Million Deal. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 24, 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, major battles against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Conflicting reports of what happened to Flight 804
And fiery rhetoric between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
CURNOW: Hi, there, everyone, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow.
We begin with two offensives now underway in Syria and Iraq to smoke ISIS out of its strongholds. An alliance in Northern Syria says it's battling
to drive ISIS from the area north of Raqqah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): And this is the Iraq military. They have been shelling their way into the very first Iraqi city to fall to ISIS,
Fallujah. Iraq has been telling civilians there to flee. But that may be deadly advice. One man told Reuters snipers are perched and waiting on the
roads out of the city.
They may be on the brink of freedom but the U.N. says 10,000 families are in danger in Fallujah. Our Nick Paton Walsh has been following this
closely. He joins us from Beirut.
Real concerns about all these people, a potential humanitarian crisis.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly. And as you mentioned, the 10,000 families have seen 80 of their numbers leave,
according to the U.N. in the past 20 days. Three apparently people killed as they tried to leave, including women and children.
Now to add to their misery, these families, predominantly Sunni, because that is the ethnic makeup of the city of Fallujah, hence why ISIS found
some sort of longer-term foothold there, these Sunni families find themselves now going to a screening camp and a military base of (INAUDIBLE)
a big sprawling desert of an area, that military base.
But the women and children separated from the men, the men then going through screening, of course, the military concerned there may be ISIS
members in their number.
The violence after an uptick yesterday appears to have slightly slowed down today around Fallujah but it is that humanitarian crisis many are concerned
about. A lot of quotes from fanfare, I think it's fair to say, from Iraqi officials when they declared this operation as having begun.
But the real question is how long will it take, how successful will it be. And we know at this point there are a lot of Shia militia fighting
alongside the Iraqi military to retake this city. That will cause I think concerns of how they will handle those Sunni civilians that they come
across when they eventually move into those busy, heavy populated areas.
But all that aside, the fight for Fallujah is seminal, certainly in the eyes of the Iraqi government, for example, domestic concerns. A lot of the
Baghdad government under pressure for recent suicide bombings. It was thought perhaps the it originated in the direction of Fallujah inside the
But on top of that, Robyn, we're now hearing as you mentioned of a separate offensive, this time in Syria but against what ISIS referred to as their de
facto caliphate, Raqqah.
Limited information coming out in the past hour or so. But it appears that the Syrian democratic forces -- that's a group of Kurds and Sunni Arabs --
has got increased U.S. backing in the past months, is moving against the northern countryside around Raqqah and there are reports of activists, of
clashes around there now -- Robyn.
CURNOW: As you're talking, I'm just reading a wire coming in and we're seeing an urgent here, Russia ready to coordinate on the Raqqah offensive.
This is coming from Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying he's happy to coordinate with U.S. forces and Kurdish forces in Syria to
There hasn't been a lot of coordination.
How do you think this will work?
And is this really the beginning of the push towards Raqqah?
WALSH: Not really. I don't think that's the indication we're getting. I'm not quite sure what Sergey Lavrov is up to in that statement. We know
from Kurdish officials I've just spoken to that they perceive this initial move to be limited to the northern countryside around Raqqah. There's a
lot of ground that lies around the city center proper itself and needs to be taken to put pressure.
And we understand that pressure is coming from the north and the east. Sergey Lavrov, in his statement himself, said we're not sure if the reports
of this offensive being under way are necessarily the case. But we're willing to cooperate with video conferencing, other methods, with the U.S.
Air Force -- I'm sure they won't want to find themselves running across each other in airspace around there -- but also with the Kurds on the
Remember, Russia has helped other Kurds in other parts of Syria with other particular tasks in the past months or so. But also the messaging, too,
from Sergey Lavrov that any solution needs to involve the Syrian army and that, of course, is extraordinarily complicated because many of the Sunni
Arab Syrian forces in the Syrian democratic force that's now attacking Raqqah --
WALSH: -- oppose the regime. So Russia's message there I think a bit -- getting themselves in the equation potentially and suggests to be on side.
But with all of this, I have to say, Robyn, we simply don't know what's messaging at this point and what's actually battlefield reality.
We know there are definitely troops amassing around Fallujah; the fighting has begun. We know there's clashes in the north around Raqqah. We just
don't know how sustained these offenses will be or if it's part of a broader strategy simply to confuse ISIS to not them know which city
stronghold is most under threat -- Robyn
CURNOW: OK, excellent points. Thanks so much for your analysis, Nick Paton Walsh.
In Baghdad, security forces face another pressing concern. Mortar shells landed outside the green zone on Monday. That's the very center of Iraqi
security and government and that's where a top U.S. commander made a recent visit.
Our Barbara Starr has this exclusive report from neighboring Jordan.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Protesters invade Baghdad's green zone for the second time. Violence rising as opposition to the Iraqi
government grows. The top U.S. commander running the war against ISIS is watching carefully for the stress mounting on the Iraqi military even now
as it tries to recapture the key city of Fallujah.
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, CENTCOM COMMANDER: They're having to make decisions in terms of where their force is going, where their priorities are.
STARR (voice-over): But in Baghdad, with the U.S. embassy and military headquarters inside the heavily fortified green zone, does the U.S. have
enough security on hand?
VOTEL: Yes, I do think we have the right security forces on ground -- on the ground from a U.S. perspective to take care of ourselves there.
STARR (voice-over): CNN was the only network with General Joseph Votel, the U.S. commander in charge of the war against ISIS, as he traveled in
Iraq, getting the latest assessments on security and the readiness of Iraqi forces.
STARR: This base, about one hour north of Baghdad, is one of the front lines in the effort to train, advise and assist Iraqi forces. But they
have at least temporarily seen some Iraqi forces being called back to Baghdad for a few weeks to deal with the security situation there in the
wake of the rising attacks by ISIS.
STARR (voice-over): Votel is trying to convince Iraq's military to make certain to station enough troops around the country and not to flood
Baghdad with security forces as the government tries to confront the latest violence in the capital.
VOTEL: They are attempting to create chaos in the capital, they're attempting to divert attention away from other areas, where the coalition
forces and the Iraqis are having success.
STARR (voice-over): This military warehouse just to the south in Kuwait, brimming with more than 25,000 weapons for those Iraqi forces. All are
being shipped out as more Iraqis show up for U.S.-led training.
STARR: Even as the training moves full speed ahead, the U.S. is worried that the fighting in Fallujah and the unrest in Baghdad could distract the
Iraqi government from getting their army fully up and running, capable and out in the field -- Barbara Starr, CNN, Amman.
CURNOW: Thanks to Barbara for that report.
Now there is still no sign of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders of EgyptAir Flight 804. The search in the Mediterranean Sea has turned
into an international operation. Well, let's bring in the vice chairman of EgyptAir, Ahmed Adel, who joins us now on the phone from Cairo.
Thank you very much for joining us, sir. In the past few hours there have been a number of conflicting reports on the last moments of that flight.
some sources saying there was an explosion; others saying don't jump to conclusions too quickly.
Do you know?
AHMED ADEL, VICE CHAIRMAN, EGYPTAIR: Yes, hello, Robyn.
How are you?
The thing is you know that in any high-velocity impact it leads to defragmentations. And this is not indicative as to what caused the
accident. So as of now this is all speculations.
We've been very clear in the media that we have an accident investigation committee that's doing its work now in gathering the evidence and the
search and recovery operation is still undergoing. We are collecting all the pieces of the puzzle and everything will be done in transparency.
We have collaborations with the French government and the team has been assembled. There'll be accident investigation. So let's not jump to
conclusions at the time.
CURNOW: Let's not jump to conclusions but, at the same time, there are sources reporting to various media outlets that, by the analysis on some of
the body parts, indicates an explosion.
ADEL: I don't know who these sources are. The official sources have not mentioned anything about that. You know, fortunately, these kinds of
terrible accidents do not happen very often. That's is why most people are not familiar to the --
ADEL: -- specific procedures and steps that are taken once an event like this occurs. And this eventually leads to a lot of speculations and
different theories about what might caused the crash and what happened to the airplane and so on and so forth.
These speculations and theories, most of the time, come out very, very early and it's done through the sudden shock phase, where everyone is very
anxious, especially the families of the loved ones, to know exactly what happens, to know locations of bodies, to know information about if there
were survivors, if the crash had happened or not, if the search and recovery is underway or not.
So all this, after it passes, the professionals start to come in and start doing their process under international regulations and through very
CURNOW: Let's also talk about conflicting information coming from the Greeks and from the Egyptians. The Greeks talk about the plane swerving,
plummeting, twisting left and then right in its final moments.
The Egyptians saying that's not so, it just disappeared from the radar as it was flying; there wasn't this dramatic plunge.
What are you hearing on that front?
ADEL: What I'm hearing is what is in the media. For me, as an EgyptAir official, we are not conducting the investigation ourselves. It is part of
a committee. So I don't --
CURNOW: But investigators no doubt keeping you briefed?
ADEL: Investigations, they keep me briefed in things that are tangible with EgyptAir. Yet the investigation committee is an independent entity
that gives reports periodically and the reports are given in accordance to Annex 13.
They give factual reports at certain periods of time. They know their work and they are the only entity that can give information about the crash.
CURNOW: What about families?
Are they being told to come in to give their DNA?
Is the process of identifying some of these human remains now ongoing?
ADEL: Yes, I confirmed that. You know, we have a daily family briefing ever since the crash happened. And I go personally and brief the families
every day. And yesterday when we had official information that there were some body parts or bodies coming to a facility, the official government
facility here in Egypt, we have talked to the government.
And the government was very helpful; they send their team on location, where we have the families of the loved ones staying. And we finished most
of the DNA swiping process.
CURNOW: And also what are your comments and thoughts on the reports of smoke in the cabin, filling the cabin in those final moments?
And do you still concur with authorities, who said in those early days that it was more than likely that they were erring to the side of the fact that
this was terrorism?
ADEL: When we talk about the smoke, we have released an official statement and this is a common thing. Whether it is true or not that there was
smoke, whether it's true or not that this was an indication, it means nothing at this stage. It is one piece of the puzzle.
And you need to put the pieces together. You need to look at everything. The decisive information is going to come from the black boxes and the
black boxes have not been retrieved yet. So we need to first locate the black boxes, retrieve them, bring them (INAUDIBLE) and the actions
investigation committee is going to start its work.
CURNOW: And are you getting any indications on when, on how close they are to finding this wreckage?
ADEL: The wreckage has been spotted, parts of the wreckage have been --
CURNOW: The main fuselage.
ADEL: The main fuselage, I have no information. We might have information by the end of the day. You know, the search and recovery operation is
ongoing. So we have to wait for the official statement from the army, because the army, in collaboration with the French navy, with the Greek
navy, with some U.S. vessels, are onsite.
It's an area almost the size of Connecticut. So you can imagine how tough it is to search this area and to find the clues and bring them all to shore
and start the investigation process.
CURNOW: OK. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing with us what you know, vice chairman there of EgyptAir, Ahmed Adel. Thank you.
Returning now to Syria, a rights group says the death toll is nearing 150 after a series of --
CURNOW: -- bombings by ISIS. As many as nine explosions struck the cities of Jableh and Tartus on Monday. Both are government strongholds far
removed from the main areas of ISIS' control.
One attack in Jableh targeted a, hospital killing more than 40 people there. The World Health Organization condemned the hospital bombing, which
it says is the 17th attack on a Syrian health care facility just this year alone.
I want to talk more about this with Dr. Michael VanRooyen. He's the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He joins me now via Skype
Thanks so much for joining us, Doctor, and what is very, very clear about this Syrian civil war is that there is a pattern of medics, doctors, nurses
and clinics and hospitals being targeted.
We seem to have not have contact with Dr. VanRooyen. We'll try and get back to him on an important issue and we would very much like to talk to
him. So let's hope we can sort that out.
In the meantime, let's carry on with more news here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.
Officials in Greece are moving more than 8,000 migrants from an overwhelmed transit camp on the border with Macedonia. Conditions there have become
dire. But these images from this morning show a stark contrast from the way migrants were managed earlier this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Take a look at this. Clowns and jugglers from a solidarity group offered a brief respite for the families, trying to
entertain the children. The United Nations estimates 40 percent of those migrants are children.
CNN's Phil Black is following the story for us from London.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- the people stranded in the Idomeni migrant camp, the long, uncomfortable days can blend together with
little to separate them.
This one would be different. Today, many here would have to accept they will never pass beyond the metal fence marking the Macedonian border and
never travel north to start a new life in a country of their choice.
In the early morning, a long line of white buses drove through the rows of tents. The operation to move the migrants was only visible at a distance.
Through fences and razor wire. Police and security forces established roadblocks around the site. Their helicopters flew overhead.
Journalists and aid workers were ordered to leave and stay out. There would be no witnesses but the migrants themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): (INAUDIBLE) and every morning, we saw a lot of armies. They are around the camps, a lot of police.
BLACK (voice-over): Mustafa al-Amoud (ph) from Aleppo in Syria sent us this video not long after the operation began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said to everybody to go to other camp. (INAUDIBLE).
BLACK (voice-over): The people packing and loading their few belongings are among the final 8,000. Once around double that number sheltered here
in the cold and mud.
These were the people who, after crossing the Aegean and traveling through Greece, suddenly found themselves without options. The Macedonian
government sealed the border and enforced its decision with tear gas.
As winter months passed, many of the people in Idomeni moved on to other parts of Greece. Most of those who stayed enduring the grim conditions
were families. The U.N. estimated 40 percent of the recent population were children.
Greek authorities say they hope to find organized, safe accommodation for everyone here but not everyone is ready to give up on the European dream.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm staying in Idomeni. No need to go to that camp. I need to stay here in Idomeni. Not a problem. Need (INAUDIBLE) in Greece
need to open the train, open the train, no problem. I'm staying in Idomeni.
BLACK (voice-over): This muddy patch of ground in Northern Greece became a bottleneck for some of the world's most desperate people, many of them
Syrian. Their homeland devastated by war, the path ahead blocked by fences and tear gas, they have little choice now but to board the Greek
government's buses and somehow continue their search for a reason to feel hope -- Phil Black, CNN, London.
CURNOW: The first criminal case against American celebrity and actor Bill Cosby is under way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): This was the scene as Cosby entered the courthouse for a preliminary hearing on indecent assault charges. His accuser is
among dozens of women who claim Cosby sexually assaulted them over the decades. Sara Ganim is outside the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Let's just remind our international viewers this has been a long legal process but today significant.
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today is significant. This is the first and the only criminal case --
GANIM: -- that Bill Cosby faces in the United States. You could see as he walked into court today, he gave a wave of acknowledgement to the media
here covering. Many members of the media here today were told possibly in the near 200 in the courtroom.
He also waved to his supporters. There's no place in the country where Bill Cosby was loved more than here in his hometown just outside of
Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and this is also the place where he is facing, as I said, the first and only criminal charges of the
many sexual assault allegations that have come against him in the past couple of years.
He's facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault today in this court hearing, in this courthouse behind me, against a woman, Andrea Constand.
She was the director of the women's basketball team here at Temple University in 2004, when she said that Cosby had her over to his house,
gave her some blue pills and then sexually assaulted her.
Now she was the first to come forward but, since then, in the 12 years that have spanned, more than 50 women have made similar allegations against Bill
Cosby. This is the only one that's a criminal case because, in most cases, the statute of limitations has run.
And so they have been confined to civil lawsuits only. If this goes to trial, if the judge proceeds from this point, Bill Cosby could face jail
time in this case. Now this hearing started about a half-hour ago, if it began on time. We have no way of knowing what's going on inside.
But we aren't sure if Andrea Constand is actually going to take the stand but Bill Cosby himself has been pretty quiet about these allegations, not
responsive over the past few years.
But it was his own words in a civil deposition that was made public last summer that really shocked everyone when it was revealed that he had
admitted in the civil suit with Andrea Constand that he had gotten a prescription for Quaaludes with the intention of giving them to women who
he wanted to have sex with.
Now of course he denies any allegation of wrongdoing, including the allegations of sexual assault. However, in this particular case, he says
the contact between Andrea and himself was consensual -- Robyn.
CURNOW: OK, thank you, as we're keeping an eye on that, Sara Ganim there, appreciate it.
The World Health Organization condemned a hospital bombing that took place this week. It is the 17th attack on a Syrian health care facility just
this year alone. I think we have reestablished our connection with Dr. Michael van Ryan; he's the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
and joins us via Skype from Istanbul.
You're also -- you've written a book on the kinds of dangers doctors face in conflict zones. But the Syria war is special in many ways because there
is a targeted pattern of taking out doctors and targeting hospitals.
DR. MICHAEL VANROOYEN, DIRECTOR, HARVARD HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVE: You said it precisely actually. Syria is a very unusual circumstance. We've seen
the erosion of neutrality of health care facilities in many other conflicts recently but Syria takes it to essentially another level, where the direct
attacks on hospitals is deliberate and part of the tactic of conflict.
CURNOW: Another level, I mean, we heard about 17 this year. I think it's over 350, according to Human Rights Watch, attacks on medical facilities.
In what way has this changed the way people get medicine in Syria?
We know that not only are hospitals targeted but these are also hospitals that have gone underground in the first place.
VANROOYEN: Indeed, literally; they're in basements and areas that they can be sheltered. But indeed, it has really changed because hospitals are no
longer areas of neutrality that have been essentially established since the beginning of the Geneva Conventions of the additional protocols.
Hospitals are now directly targeted and those (INAUDIBLE) targeted. So it is a dangerous prospect for any international or domestic agency to try to
staff and run a hospital and very few organizations can do it.
CURNOW: Very few organizations can do it; however, brave doctors continue to. We covered extensively the death of one of the last pediatricians in
Aleppo and those images of his last moment as that hospital was bombed, still very chilling.
And what's clear, Dr. VanRooyen, is that these hospitals -- the most vulnerable, when they're the most vulnerable, are being targeted. It's an
act of war.
What can be done about it?
You're at a conference, a humanitarian conference.
Has there been a failure of the international community to try and -- to just and stop this?
VANROOYEN: Well, I think it's ultimately a political failure, right?
And there's no way that humanitarian agencies working in civilian settings can actually prevent combatants from attacking facilities. They can been
in a tremendous degree of solidarity and we've seen --
VANROOYEN: -- Doctors without Borders speak out, NCRC (ph) speak out, Physicians (INAUDIBLE) Rights speak out and many other organizations. At
this very conference but the fact is it's a political solution. It's ultimately whether it's Nusra or the Syrian army or even Russian bombers,
when they attack and deliberately destroy hospitals, it needs to be a diplomatic solution.
CURNOW: OK. Dr. Michael VanRooyen, thank you so much for bringing us your perspective.
VANROOYEN: Thank you very much.
CURNOW: Well, Venezuela's economic crisis grows more dire by the day. Basic goods are in short supply and inflation is approaching 700 percent.
The latest casualty of the economic crisis, sugar. Sugar producers, even Coca-Cola are set to halt production until supply bounces back.
Rafael Romo joins us now here at the set.
We've spoken about this continuing crisis in Venezuela. But, again, we are talking about the economy crumbling here.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: The economy crumbling in a very tangent problem that we have here. And we started hearing about this last
week, when Venezuela's state-run sugar producers announced that they have temporarily stopped production due to a lack of raw sugar.
On Thursday Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest bottler worldwide of Coke, threw up a red flag, saying it's four bottling plants in Venezuela will be
In a statement, Coca-Cola FEMSA said the following, "The Coca-Cola system of Venezuela would like to inform that its plans to remain in operation
utilizing the remaining inventory of existing sugar, if this inventory is not replenished quickly, we will have temporary interruptions in the
production of our portfolio of drinks made with sugar."
The company is not making it clear how long existing inventories of sugar will allow it to continue production but they only said that they're taking
steps to face the situation in collaboration with providers, authorities and their workers.
The average Venezuelan faces problems that go well beyond being unable to enjoy a soft drink. For the last several weeks, Robyn, the country has
been facing four-hour blackouts, now reduced to three hours.
Government employees are working only two days a week and President Maduro shifted the country's time zone by 30 minutes. All of these steps are
aimed at saving energy. A severe drought has kept water levels at record lows at Venezuela's main hydroelectric plant, which provides 75 percent of
the country's electricity.
CURNOW: Yes, and I know that our Paula Newton has been reporting from there, has also extensively reported on the shortages within hospitals as
well -- antibiotics, cancer drugs, all of that. So this is a country in decline.
And thank you so much for keeping an eye on it. Thanks so much, Rafael Romo.
ROMO: Thank you.
CURNOW: You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. And the war of words between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton heats up before the general
election campaign even begins.
CURNOW: Hi, there. Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: Criticism is heating up between presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Both are stepping up their verbal attacks and
hurling insults at each other. Phil Mattingly reports on the increasingly nasty campaign.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to unify the Democratic Party and stop Donald Trump.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton taking a new line of attack against Donald Trump, her campaign painting Trump as a
greedy billionaire in a new ad.
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I kind of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Hearkening back to Trump's controversial comments before the 2008 housing collapse.
TRUMP: If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you can make a lot of money.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Clinton swiping at the presumptive nominee on multiple fronts before a union crowd Monday, issuing a warning about
Trump's four bankruptcies surrounding his casino holdings.
CLINTON: He could bankrupt America like he's bankrupted his companies.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): And sticking with another tried-and-true assault, Trump's temperament.
CLINTON: The last thing we need is a bully in the pulpit.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): All as the billionaire continues to hound Bill Clinton's past infidelity, sending one of his top advisers to swipe at
ED BROOKOVER, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: She overregulates, she overtaxes, she overpromises and doesn't deliver.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): The hostility spreading with both candidates facing record-high negatives in the most recent polls. But Trump is
getting new support from Capitol Hill in the form of Tennessee senator, Bob Corker.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENN.: His approach to foreign policy is something I want to hear more about. I heard more about it today and appreciated that.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Though Corker is still downplaying talk that he may be high on Trump 's V.P. list.
CORKER: I'm not angling for any job. I think the best way to not end up in the position like those is to angle for it but I have no indication
whatsoever that I would even being considered.
CURNOW: Phil Mattingly joins me now live.
Hi, there, Phil. Good to talk to you. Let's talk about these new attacks Clinton and Trump are launching on one another.
It's not nice, is it?
MATTINGLY: Not at all. It's only just the beginning. I think the interesting thing here, though, Robyn, is the rationale for the attacks
right now. This is a really important moment in the race for both candidates because it's early and it's the opportunity to define your
If you track back to 2012, Robyn, one of the most invaluable aspects of Barack Obama's campaign was his campaign and the support of super PAC's
ability to define Mitt Romney as a greedy billionaire who did not understand the middle class early in the campaign. They did it millions of
dollars of ads.
And Romney was simply never able to recover. That's what you're seeing the Clinton campaign trying to replicate right now and that's why you're seeing
Donald Trump, who recognizes Hillary Clinton's negatives, doing the same exact thing.
Now is it a traditional form of attack line coming from the Trump campaign?
No, not at all but it's something they're willing to try because they, as I said, they want to define Hillary Clinton and do it early.
CURNOW: OK. So that's getting dirty. And also the Democratic race getting messy. Let's listen to what Bernie Sanders had to say about the
possibility of a messy convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's going to be messy. Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle. But that is
where the Democratic Party should go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the convention could be messy?
SANDERS: So what? But democracy is messy. I have -- every day of my life is messy. But if you want everything to be quiet and orderly and allow,
you know, just things to proceed without vigorous --
SANDERS: -- debate, that is not what democracy is about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So the questions around this messy comment, is it a threat, people ask?
Is he threatening to make it difficult for Hillary Clinton?
Or is he just likely saying offering some sort of philosophical statement on the essence of democracy?
MATTINGLY: It's definitely more the latter. Bernie Sanders is trying to walk it back a little bit today. His campaign advisers saying the same,
that they mean this philosophically, they don't mean actual mess. But that banging sound you heard, Robyn, was everybody over at the Democratic
National Committee's heads hitting their desks the second this comment came out.
And the concern is this: Bernie Sanders may mean it philosophically, may not mean it in the most literal of sense. But his supporters, who are very
vibrant and care very deeply about their candidate, have shown a willingness -- the word, I think, is they've shown a willingness to let
their passion perhaps get out of hand.
We saw it at the Nevada convention. I think the concern amongst senior Democrats right now is they want to make peace with Bernie Sanders. They
want his supporters to come home to Hillary Clinton, should she lock up the nomination. And a messy convention is the last thing they want, if they
want to achieve those goals -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Democrats looking for a peacemaker. Now we've spoken about it before and these polls keep on reinforcing just how disliked both
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on both sides of the equation.
What does that mean for voter turnout?
Has this changed the game in terms of trying to predict the way this is going to go?
Because some people might not find this all very distasteful; other people might just say, listen, I need to do my bit.
It changes the game in many ways.
MATTINGLY: Yes, it does. And I think we're in uncharted territory here for a number of reasons.
One, obviously the negatives for both of these candidates are at historically high levels.
But the other issue -- and if you go through the polling that's come out over the last couple of days, is a majority of supporters of Hillary
Clinton and a majority of supporters of Donald Trump are supporting their candidate out of protest against the other candidate.
So there might actually be some motivation coming, just based on sheer dislike for the opposing candidate. I do think an interesting element
here, though, is obviously turnout wins elections. Turnout's what decides who is going to win in November.
And voters need to be motivated. The interesting element here is how each party does that.
Hillary Clinton's team has been working on their ground operations in crucial states for months now. Donald Trump's team simply hasn't. They
haven't had to. And how both sides ramp up there, that's going to be crucial to who wins in November, no matter how much people don't like
either candidate -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes, fascinating stuff. Thanks so much, Phil Mattingly there.
And you can get an inside look at America's remarkable race for the White House on the new program, "STATE OF THE RACE" with Kate Bolduan, weeknights
at 7:30 pm in London and Tuesday to Friday at 2:30 pm in Hong Kong. That's right here on CNN.
Coming up, British singer Adele had a huge hit with "Hello." Now reports say she may have broken another music industry record with a new multi-
million dollar contract. What that means for the future.
CURNOW: Adele -- you'll know who she is -- has reportedly signed a $130 million record deal with Sony. If true, the deal could be one of the
biggest and most expensive in music history. Well, let's put this all into context with CNN digital senior producer, Lisa Respers France.
OK, so reportedly is the key word here.
LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN DIGITAL SENIOR PRODUCER: Reportedly is the key. This has not been confirmed, neither Sony nor Adele's people are confirming
it. We're getting lots of no comments right now.
CURNOW: What does it mean?
FRANCE: That means that it could be true; it may not be true. But if it is true, it's a massive deal for her and a huge win. And it's a win that
continues Adele's constant winning, it feels like. Keep in mind, her "25" album didn't even come out until November of 2015. And it was the top
selling album of 2015. I think it sold like five times the amount of the number two album from Ed Sheeran. So she moves a lot of units.
CURNOW: She moves a lot of units. So that means she's a sure thing. In fact, within the music business, she's probably the sole safe bet --
CURNOW: -- no matter how much money this is, Sony is on the mark.
FRANCE: It's worth taking the risk because she's already made so much money. And really there are no sure bets in the music industry but Adele
probably is the closest to a sure bet that you can get.
People just aren't selling but Adele consistently sells very well. I barely got concert tickets for her concert tour. They went super fast.
Everyone loves her. We're still singing "Hello," like come on, I could sing it right now. Like you still --
CURNOW: Oh, go on.
FRANCE: -- everywhere. I won't do it, I refuse to do it.
CURNOW: So when we talk about new deals, and particularly an artist who seems to have the leverage, Sony perhaps needs -- or any music company
needs her more than she needs them. She's also said she wants to take a few years off. She's got a young kid. She doesn't want to -- you know,
she's looking in the long term here.
CURNOW: Is that still worth it, then, if she doesn't come back for a few years?
FRANCE: Absolutely. That's the beauty of Adele because people love her so much. And I think people love her a little bit more because she takes the
time off. She's been very clear about the fact that in order to be creative, she's like, look, guys, I need to have to have a life. I need to
have something to actually write about. And people will wait on Adele. Look, "18," "21," "25," those albums have sold in excess of 50 million. So
people love Adele, even if we have to wait a little while for Adele.
CURNOW: Yes. And I'm assuming none of the royalties have gone to her ex- boyfriend.
FRANCE: Probably not.
CURNOW: Lisa, thank you so much.
FRANCE: Thank you so much.
CURNOW: And before we go, imagine going to a used car lot and running into the British prime minister.
Well, if you were at one car dealership outside London last Friday, you would have witnessed David Cameron closing a deal for a used -- or some
would say a preowned -- Nissan Micro. The price, just over $2,000. The car reportedly is for his wife. And in case you're wondering, Mr. Cameron
did not haggle for a deal. He paid full sticker price.
That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is up next.