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Brazil Facing Host of Issues as Olympics Nears; Five Candidates Vie for U.K. Conservative Party Leader; Suicide Attacks in Saudi Arabia Cap Month of Terror; Baghdad Reeling from Deadliest Attack Since 2003; Dhaka Buries Victims of Cafe Attack; Obama's Approval Rating Could Help Clinton; Avoiding Plastic. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 5, 2016 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, new problems in Rio, just one month before the Olympic Games.

Why did a suicide bomber strike one of Islam's holiest sites?

And President Obama hits the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton.

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CURNOW: Hi, there, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

The Olympic Games in Rio begin in exactly one month's time. But little seems to be going right in the lead-up. Police warn tourists that they'll

not be safe amid increasing violence and super bacteria is growing off its shores.

But still, in the last few minutes, organizers told the media the games could start today, because everything is set and ready.

We've got team coverage from Rio. Arwa Damon is in the Olympic Village. Shasta Darlington is on Ipanema Beach.

We begin with you, Arwa. Hi, there.

Is everything set and ready?

What have you found?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, when it comes to the venues, most of them, yes, complete transport to these particular

venues, having just come out to the Olympic Village earlier this morning. That might, at this stage, still be a bit of a challenge.

And then there is the welcome that Rio is hoping to give visitors; at this stage, not necessarily warm.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON (voice-over): Rio's police are marching straight to the international terminal, to give not an Olympic welcome but a warning: we

won't be able to protect you.

Violence is on the rise here and officers say they haven't been paid in months. The government says the claims are legitimate and is working

towards normalizing the situation.

But to the officers, it's hardly reassuring. These two men, "Paolo" and "Joel" -- not their real names -- operate under a different set of orders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If I talk, I can be punished or even arrested for this.

DAMON (voice-over): They are with the military police, fighting what they call Rio's hidden civil war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are numbers, nothing more. You encounter a drug trafficker armed with lots of ammunition and you only have

20 bullets. It's absurd.

DAMON (voice-over): They risk talking to us because they say they've watched their fellow officers die to preserve Rio's image, not to protect

its people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have a very common saying here in Brazil, "for the English to see." I believe that the politicians here

are doing everything for the English to see.

DAMON (voice-over): "For the English to see," meaning put on a show for public consumption. They say the city's scant resources are used to patrol

tourist hot spots, like Copacabana, instead of favelas like Mare, where the criminal gangs run the streets.

DAMON: Even in an event like this that is meant to be raising awareness about police brutality, we're constantly being stopped from filming, which

is just an indication of just how intense things are right now. There's a lot of concerns about (INAUDIBLE) filming on (INAUDIBLE).

DAMON (voice-over): The government's own statistics show the number of people killed by police, including civilians caught in the crossfire, has

nearly doubled in the last year. Human rights groups say the police are not just poorly trained but trigger-happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They don't care if there is a child in the middle. They shoot their target.

DAMON (voice-over): State security officials tell CNN that they have taken measures over the years to expel officers for inappropriate behavior and

say they have decreased the use of heavy weapons. But in Mare, residents say the raids are increasing and indiscriminate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It seems like there's an order to put fear in the people so they stay calm, so they don't cause trouble in

the city because the foreigners can't see that the city is chaotic.

DAMON (voice-over): And they probably won't.

Over the next month, the federal government plans to flood Rio's tourist zones and Olympic venues with troops. But for Rio's residents, living in

the shadow of the games, it's security they will never see.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON: And Robyn, in an effort to prep for the games, security forces are undergoing various different training exercises to deal with potential

terrorist threats. They will be having, as you saw in that report there, some 85,000-plus security forces protecting the venue and the visitors.

There will be metal detectors, X-ray machines, but the bottom line is security is something that people are focusing on, not necessarily because

of a terrorism threat per se but also because of the issue of petty crime.

[10:05:00]

DAMON: Robberies are the highest that they have been in 11 years.

CURNOW: Yes, real concern there. Arwa Damon at the Olympic Village, thanks so much.

Shasta, let's go to you. Standing there on the beach, the best of Brazil, but also real concerns about pollution, about the health of the athletes.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Robyn. Up until now, we've talked about the polluted bay, where the sailing event is

going to take place, and the real risk to athletes there.

Well, there's a new study that shows that super bacteria, which should only be in hospitals, is even washing up on some of the most popular beaches,

like right here on Ipanema. And scientists warn that, while more research needs to be done to find out what the impact is on people's health, in the

meantime, both doctors, athletes and even beachgoers, they need to be warned.

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DARLINGTON (voice-over): The marvelous city, stunning views and golden beaches. But you might think twice before you splash in.

Lurking under Rio's waters, raw sewage and now what scientists describe as super bacteria. Researchers at the Rio federal university tested the

city's beaches for a year and discovered high levels of the dreaded super bug, drug-resistant bacteria that have been turning up in hospitals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe that true hospital sewage, it goes to the municipal sewage and it gets to the Guanabara Bay or through other rivers

and it finally gets to the beach.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): The highest levels of super bacteria found on the shores of Guanabara Bay, site of the Olympic sailing event a month from

now.

German paralympic sailor Heiko Kroeger says you can't be overcautious.

HEIKO KROEGER, PARALYMPIC SAILOR: It's a nice sailing area but every time you get some water in your face, it feels like there's some alien enemy

entering your face. So I keep my nose and my lips closed.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): His colleague, Eric Haile (ph), blamed the bacteria-infested waters for a skin infection he got while training.

Authorities, however, say athletes and visitors will be safe and the sailing arena has internationally acceptable levels of bacteria.

According to Rio's water utility, half the homes in Rio state are now connected to the sewage system, up from 11 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, the wastewater treatment plants are not prepared for super bacteria because brand new. It's something new.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): And something the water utility says it will look into further.

But scientists say the super bug is also washing up on some of Rio's most touristy beaches, which are already deemed too polluted to swim in by

authorities a good third of the year.

DARLINGTON: This water right here isn't treated. It's supposed to be for rain runoff but it often fills with garbage. It stinks of raw sewage. And

it dumps right here on the beach.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Another cloud overshadowing Rio's troubled Olympics.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DARLINGTON: Now the problem, Robyn, is that when Rio won its bid to host these Olympics back in 2009, one of its big promises was cleaning up the

pollution, hooking up 80 percent of homes to the sewage system.

But what we've seen is they've only gotten half of them and that means the other half is dumping sewage right here -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Arwa, Shasta, thanks to both of you, keeping an eye on these Olympics one month ahead. And we'll have much more on this show in about

20 minutes on the Olympics. Thanks so much.

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CURNOW: Turning now to the race to choose Britain's next prime minister, the Conservative Party is holding the first round of voting right now in

Parliament. Five candidates are in the running but by the end of the day, only four will be left standing.

CNN political contributor, Robin Oakley, is outside parliament.

Hey, there, Robin.

Is this process going to be something like out of a season of "Survivor"?

Are we getting down to, I think, the last two before the party conference?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, that's how it works, Robyn. The 330 Conservative members of parliament here have to

whittle down the list of five candidates to two with voting every Tuesday and Thursday until they've got down to that number.

And then it goes out to 150,000 members of the Conservative Party, who will choose their new party leader, who will be prime minister.

And the race is hotting up now. And there's a clear favorite in the person of Theresa May, the home secretary or interior minister. And she's

probably, from what we hear, got as many votes pledged to her as the other four candidates have between them.

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OAKLEY: So the question now is who runs in second place to her. And the most likely of those is Andrea Leadsom, a very strong campaigner in the

Leave side, in the referendum that decided to take Britain out of the European Union -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And what is going to be the deciding issue over who eventually prevails and moves in to Number 10?

Is it still the issue of immigration?

OAKLEY: Well, immigration is having an interesting effect on this campaign because immigration is very much behind the votes of a lot of people in the

referendum that's just been concluded.

And, in this particular context, we're now seeing a slight reversal of fortunes in the sense that Theresa May, who was on the Remain side, is

actually coming forward and saying, because she's home secretary, she's saying she can't guarantee the future in Britain of the 2 million to 3

million E.U. citizens who live and work here, that that must be a matter for the negotiations to come with the European Union; whereas some of the

Brexiteers, like Andrea Leadsom, are saying they're not going to use these people as pawns in a political fight.

They're of course eager to slightly improve their image because the Brexiteers are blamed for the number of sort of race hate episodes that we

have had since the referendum result.

But Theresa May's concern is as home secretary in charge of the immigration question here and now, she says if you say that anybody who is an E.U.

citizen will have the right to remain in Britain, then that means there will be a huge rush of immigrants trying to get here before the whole

process ends. And that is something that worries her -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Indeed, still so much uncertainty in so many different areas. Robin Oakley there, outside Parliament, thank you.

Coming up, a wave of terror hits country after country over the month of Ramadan. We'll have more on the latest attack near one of the holiest

sites in Islam.

Plus: Barack Obama puts the power of the presidency behind Hillary Clinton. The two are campaigning together. We'll have the details.

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CURNOW: There is still no claim of responsibility for three suicide attacks that rocked Saudi Arabia over just 24 hours.

The latest struck Medina Monday evening, killing four guards at one of the holiest sites in Islam, just outside a mosque where the prophet is buried.

Hours earlier, similar attacks struck near a U.S. consulate and a Shiite mosque.

The violence caps a deadly month over the Ramadan holiday. ISIS inspired attacks have struck from Bangladesh to Istanbul. Our international

diplomatic editor --

[10:15:00]

CURNOW: -- Nic Robertson has been tracking the violence. He joins us from London.

Nic, let's start with Saudi Arabia.

Why target one of the holiest places in Islam in the name of Islam?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, they targeted there or the people that were killed, at least, were Saudi security

services. And in the past year or so, ISIS has gone after Saudi security services.

But regardless of who ended up being killed there, the fact that it was Medina, the king of Saudi Arabia is known as the custodian of the two holy

mosques. So any attack in Medina or Mecca, where millions, millions of Muslim pilgrims go, either on the Hajj or perform unra (ph), is going to be

a real embarrassment for the monarchy.

And this, you have to look at this attack and say this is what it was designed to do. It was designed to embarrass the royal family in Saudi

Arabia and, therefore, an attempt to destabilize them in their own country -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And some critics might argue that Saudi Arabia is getting blowback from a problem they've helped to create by funding -- or allegations of

funding the growth of hardline Sunni interpretation of Islam.

ROBERTSON: Yes, the Saudis have been going after the financial assets of radical jihadists for about a decade. They started doing this with Al

Qaeda. And to a large degree, it's successful. But I don't think you'll find any Saudi official who would say there isn't some money getting out of

this country and others in the Gulf and other parts of the world, money that the governments don't want to go to radical Islamists.

It's getting out. Saudi is a rich country, they're a rich people. Not all their money is locked up inside Saudi Arabia. So there's plenty of avenues

for that money to flow.

And one of the other problems that Saudi faces, of course, is that it has a massive, unstable civil war going on to the south in Yemen. And we know in

Syria a lot of the recruits to ISIS have come from Saudi Arabia there.

And Yemen in the south is a free-for-all for Al Qaeda and ISIS in some parts of the country.

So Saudi Arabia is surrounded by, you know, by ISIS and its attraction. Saudi officials have arrested over the past few years about 2.5 (sic) ISIS

either affiliates or wannabes, if you will. So this is a huge problem that they face. They know about it. And the money is only one part of the

issue that they face here -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Broadly now, it really has been a very bloody Ramadan. The U.S. State Department, though, says this is all about ISIS lashing out, coming

from a point of weakness. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BLINKEN, U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: We're seeing the number of foreign fighters go down. We're seeing them cut their salaries in half to

the people they're paying. We're seeing that attraction that they had, because they control territory, start to erode.

Now for every positive message about ISIL on the Internet, we're seeing six or seven against it. That's a sea change from a year ago, where it was

running about 80 percent in favor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: So many people have died during this Ramadan.

Do you, though, subscribe -- what's your assessment to the State Department's view on the state of ISIS?

ROBERTSON: ISIS is having strategic losses on the ground. They're going to continue -- as we see at the moment, continue with those losses. They

are slowly eroding ISIS' territory.

There is a lessening or a slowing of the pace of young wannabe ISIS fighters going from Europe to join ISIS and from other countries. They can

see the writing on the wall.

We do hear about dissent within ISIS' ranks. And, yes, they would like to, you know, show that they're still relevant in a global sense. They're

going to be able to continue this for a while. It's going to be sometime before, it seems, that their territory will be completely eroded in both

Iraq and Syria -- Robyn.

CURNOW: So much. Great to have your perspective and analysis, Nic Robertson there in London. Thank you.

Let's go to Iraq now. An official is stepping down, following a horrific Ramadan attack there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW (voice-over): This Baghdad street was once a busy corridor for shopping. It's now a ghost town with rescue workers pulling out bodies and

families looking for answers. These images were taken from a drone.

Officials say 215 people were killed here after a truck bomb went off early Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility but Iraqis are also blaming their

government. And the country's interior minister has just stepped down.

He says the truck likely passed through a security checkpoint. And, he says, the checkpoints across the capital are, quote, "useless."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: In Bangladesh, police are piecing together exactly what happened there after a night of terror. Mourners bury their victims and this past

weekend gunmen walked into a cafe in the capital.

When the hostage standoff was over, 23 people were dead. Alexandra Field spoke to the cafe's owner about that night. She joins us from Dhaka.

[10:20:00]

CURNOW: What did he tell you?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know, Robyn, that many of the victims inside that restaurant were killed within minutes of the time that

the gunman stormed into the restaurant.

The owner of this restaurant says he had left a short while before the attack started. Once he realized what was going on in his restaurant, he

got on the phone with members of his staff, who had escaped with their lives, some of them running to the rooftop, having to jump off the roof to

save their lives; others hiding in a bathroom; some hiding in a bakery.

He tells us about what happened when the gunman realized that there were more people hidden away in that bakery. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were some who were hiding in the bakery side there and who were then brought out. I mean, from what we know, the gunman

came in here, they shot quite a few people. Then they went to -- then they went inside, on this side, to where the bakery and the cafe kitchen is.

They found a couple of people hiding there, including a Japanese national, who was apparently shot then. And they brought our staff out over here, by

which time our staff saw there were basically all dead bodies lying on the ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: The staff at that restaurant told the owner that the gunmen were taking pictures at one point. They demanded to know the wi-fi password for

the restaurant. It seems they wanted to be in contact with the outside world, Robyn, according to the staff.

They wanted to let someone know that they had accomplished their, quote- unquote, "mission."

So many of the people who were killed inside that restaurant were considered regulars. The owner tells me that he built the place about two

years ago. It was a place for ex-pats: it was a place for locals. (INAUDIBLE) tables where people would come together in a large garden.

(INAUDIBLE) something of an oasis in the busy city of Jaffa (ph). He says he can't think about opening up another restaurant right now. He says the

idea of bearing the responsibility again is just too much for him right now -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, indeed, (INAUDIBLE) a very hard decision, that one. Alexandra Field in Bangladesh, thank you so much.

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CURNOW: U.S. President Barack Obama becomes campaigner in chief later. He'll be at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in North

Carolina. Now it's their first appearance together since Mr. Obama endorsed Clinton last month. Let's get some perspective on this joint

appearance.

We're joined now by Bakari Sellers, CNN commentator and Clinton supporter.

Hi, there.

How hard is President Obama expected to hit Donald Trump?

Reports suggest he's licking his lips. He can't wait to get stuck in.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an exciting day, because I'm here in South Carolina right now. I know hundreds, if not thousands of

people that are making the trip from all around to go see Barack Obama campaign with Hillary Clinton today.

Not only is he the campaigner in chief, not only is he the unifier in chief but actually them coming off the steps of Air Force One, that imagery is

going to be profound; standing shoulder to shoulder, giving that good hug to Hillary Clinton is going to give her a boost for sure.

And I expect that Donald Trump is going to have a really, really bad day today.

CURNOW: Why?

The president has gone at Mr. Trump but never by name.

SELLERS: Well, you're going to be able to see the clear difference. I mean I think that what you'll be able to see is the President of the United

States in Barack Obama, who won not once but twice in landslide fashion in the electoral college.

And then you'll be able to see Donald Trump, who is dabbling in xenophobia and bigotry, who is not respected on the world stage. And I think it will

be very clear, once Barack Obama begins to open his mouth, once Barack Obama begins to speak, this is what your president should do, should look

like. And then he'll be able to pass that baton to Hillary Clinton.

CURNOW: So tell me, what's different here?

Previous presidents -- Bill Clinton, for example; George Bush, too -- were really considered just too toxic at the end of their presidencies to be

helpful to the nominees.

But President Obama has a lot to offer Secretary Clinton.

It's not just about the optics, is it?

SELLERS: No, it's not just about the optics. In fact, we haven't seen a president campaign for a presidential candidate like this since Ronald

Reagan did it for George H.W. Bush in 1988.

You did speak truth when you said that Bill Clinton, at the end of his term, Al Gore wanted no part of that. And you can't blame anybody for not

wanting any parts of George W. Bush as well.

But he has a 52 percent approval rating right now. And the way to 270 electoral votes is through what is now called the Obama coalition. It's

voters of color. It's Hispanic voters, black voters, women.

And Barack Obama does extremely well with all of those. And Hillary Clinton will get propped up by Barack Obama being there with her today.

CURNOW: Their story -- and there they are together -- their rival-to- friendship story is a good narrative.

And how can the president rouse voters, who are still iffy about --

[10:25:00]

CURNOW: -- Secretary Clinton?

What can he say that she can't say?

SELLERS: Easily: there are three words that Barack Obama will say today that I think will get those people over that hump, which is simply, "I

trust her."

Hillary Clinton has some issues with trustworthiness. We see that, the honesty question and all of the polling, unless you've been hiding under a

rock. But the President of the United States, who we all respect and adore, asked her to be his secretary of state.

And today when he stands on stage and says, "I trust her," I trusted her with this job, with this task, you, the American people should trust her as

well, I think that's going to be a big boost.

CURNOW: When we talk about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the sheer optics of them together, is that also exactly what a big chunk of voters

are turned off by, that they don't want the status quo, they don't want more of the same?

Doesn't this play into that narrative?

SELLERS: I don't think so. And the reason being is because we've had white male presidents in this country -- 43 of them to be exact. And then

we're coming off the first African American president in the history of this country.

We now have the opportunity to elect the first female president in the history of this country, catching up with a lot of other countries

throughout the world. So I think when people see them onstage together, they'll see the diversity that is the Democratic Party. They'll see what

America looks like. And they'll be proud to support them.

CURNOW: Bakari Sellers, thanks so much.

SELLERS: Thank you for having me. Have a good day.

CURNOW: Clinton and Mr. Obama are heading to Charlotte on the president's jet, Air Force One. Now that's not sitting well with Clinton's rival,

Donald Trump.

He tweeted, "Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One," and called it a, quote, "total disgrace."

Mr. Obama is not the only president in recent decades to use the presidential plane to campaign for himself or others. The White House says

since the purpose of the trip is to campaign, the cost is split between the government and the Clinton campaign, whether Clinton is on board or not.

Well, it's still not exactly cheap, though. It costs more than $200,000 an hour to fly Air Force One.

Still ahead, political turmoil, Zika, crime and now super bacteria: the growing list of issues Rio faces as the Olympic Games approach. Stay with

us.

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

(HEADLINES)

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CURNOW: Rio's issues seem to be growing daily, as the Olympic Games are set to begin in one month. Juliana Barbassa is a journalist and author of

"Dancing with the Devil in the City of God." She joins us now by Skype.

Hi, there. Thanks so much for talking to us about Rio.

And the big question is so much has already disappointed some people, has the city already failed to deliver?

JULIANA BARBASSA, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Well, from the point of view of residents here, it certainly has. The biggest promises to improve

transportation significantly, to clean up pollution in the bay that's at the core of metropolitan Rio, to improve safety, all of those have failed

to happen and failed to live up to the promises that were made in 2009, when Rio won the bid.

CURNOW: Promises made; Olympics always sort of shoot very high in terms of promises and expectations.

Is this just a case of over-expectation?

BARBASSA: Well, it is.

But why were those promises made and inscribed into the Olympic bid in the first place if they were too high to meet?

Perhaps, if that's the case, then we should reconsider how these bids are made, what the IOC looks for in host cities.

And Rio, certainly, it missed the mark significantly.

CURNOW: You've written a book about Rio and, specifically, the experience of hosting the World Cup.

Why is this proving harder to get together for Rio?

Is it, when the World Cup seemed to be pulled off relatively successfully?

BARBASSA: It's actually a very similar situation. I believe that when the Olympics happens, it will actually flow pretty seamlessly. The venues, I

think, will be ready -- at the very last minute but they will be ready.

Rio is a beautiful city. It will look fantastic on TV. The sports are going to be as fascinating as they usually are.

The problem is, as in the case of the World Cup, a lot of the infrastructure developments that were supposed to go along with it are

failing. A lot of the cost overruns are tremendous.

I mean, venues are costing -- in the case of the World Cup, much more than double what they were expected to cost. And so a lot of the promises that

are -- failures that we're seeing are the ones that would most benefit the population. And the cost is much greater than expected.

The event itself, I think, will look OK on television.

CURNOW: What, for you, is the biggest threat?

CURNOW: Your book is called "Dancing with the Devil."

Who's the devil here?

BARBASSA: Well, the way I saw these bids to host both the World Cup and the Olympics, I saw it as a Faustian bargain on the part of Rio officials,

city officials, state officials and even federal officials.

You know, the president of Brazil bid for this. The idea was that you're going to attract this tremendous international attention to Rio de Janeiro

and to Brazil and that the city and the country were going to shine and prove to the world that they can do a fantastic job.

Well, Rio is very different now and Brazil is very different than it was in 2009, when the bid was accepted by the IOC.

And that's what I mean. It was a Faustian bargain. You invited something that then you couldn't control and the Rio and the Brazil that are going to

be on screens very, very soon are far from ideal, far from what was expected.

CURNOW: So, from your perspective, is there one overriding concern?

Is it the ongoing drug wars?

[10:35:00]

CURNOW: Is it the heavy-handed policing, the pollution?

What is it that you feel has been the greatest failure here?

BARBASSA: Well, it depends on your perspective.

On a short-term perspective, if I were an Olympic athlete coming into Rio, for example, I would care tremendously about the quality of the water in

the bay. You're going to have to compete and come in contact with that water. The fecal coliform counts are 10 times higher than is considered

safe.

If I were an Olympic visitor, I would worry about safety in the streets. I would worry about the fact that transportation infrastructure that's

supposed to get me to and from the main Olympic cluster is still not inaugurated.

But from the perspective of the population of Rio, I feel like we've got longer-term concerns. Tremendous money: you know, the state and the city

have gone into debt to finance a lot of its projects.

And this is going to have to be paid off at a moment when Brazil is deep in a recession and the state of Rio is broke. The governor declared a state

of public calamity. And so not only do we have failing infrastructure and missed promises but we have a lot of debt to pay off in years to come.

That's the biggest concern locally.

CURNOW: I'm just seeing some wires crossing from Rio. And as you were talking, the Rio mayor is giving a press conference. And he says the city

is far from being perfect. But this does not eliminate the pride as the city prepares itself to host the Olympics.

When all is said and done, do you think that sense of pride will trump everything else?

BARBASSA: Well, we can have that if we have nothing else, right?

We can always throw a great party. We can show people a good time. Rio does that very well. Every year, there are tremendous Carnival

celebrations here. New Year's in Copacabana draws millions of people.

Pride costs nothing. It doesn't take any preparation, any planning. Yes, we'll have pride. And I think the Olympics are going to be beautiful and I

think people will have a good time.

But, again, the question for me is, at what cost has all this happened?

At what impact to the local population?

CURNOW: Great having your perspective there from Rio, Julianna Barbassa, thank you.

BARBASSA: Thank you.

CURNOW: Well, could you go 40 days without buying anything plastic?

Ahead, we'll meet one woman who did and find out what could happen if more people don't follow her lead.

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CURNOW: Our "GOING GREEN" series is back this week and, today, we meet Emily Smith, who tried to give up plastic for more than a month after

learning how many of our day-to-day items wash up on beaches. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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EMILY SMITH, MARINE CONSERVATIONIST (voice-over): Hi. My name's Emily Smith. And I lived single-use plastic-free for 40 days and 40 nights to

raise awareness --

[10:40:00]

SMITH (voice-over): -- about the impacts of plastic litter on our oceans.

I grew up sailing as a small girl. So I've always had a real passion and connection with the marine environment. I volunteer for the Marine Group

(INAUDIBLE) and take part in their beach cleans.

And going on those beach cleans, I was just completely flabbergasted about how much litter there was there. So I made a pledge to go 40 days, 40

nights without using any single-use plastics.

It's really challenging. The most difficult things were eating and drinking on the go; medicines really difficult and bin liners were really

hard. I went to different natural, homemade cosmetic shops and got bath oil, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste pellets. And there are recipes

online everywhere. You can make the stuff so easily yourself if you want to.

I work for London Zoo and they're also really aware of the impact that plastic litter is having on the marine environment. And they've

collaborated with the Marine Conservation Society and other partners to create the amazing One Less campaign, where they've completely cut out

single-use plastic water bottles from the zoo.

You can take your refillable bottle and fill it up at water stations. You can buy water in paper boxes, cardboard boxes.

Plastic takes hundreds of thousands of years to degrade. And when it enters the marine environment, it takes even longer and it never, ever

fully degrades. It goes in tiny little pellet. And those little pellets absorb all the toxins that we've put into the oceans, like hydrocarbons and

pesticides.

And they're then eaten by the fish, which can eventually work their way up into the food chain, which is us.

Birds suffer really badly from plastic pollution. They think that plastic water bottle tops are their food and so they eat them. And they eat so

many of them that they fill up their tummies and they can't digest it. And effectively, they starve because they haven't got any more space to eat

their proper food and get their nutrients from fish.

We're in Central London at Boxall (ph) Beach. I wanted to bring you here to help demonstrate and see plastic litter that's been washed up on the

shores.

The fact is, over I think it's only 20 percent of our whole of our plastic waste is actually recycled. That statistics show that and I want to share

that with the world and get everyone really inspired to try and reduce their footprint.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: The U.S. space agency, NASA, is celebrating some good news from more than half a billion kilometers away. Take a look.

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(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) we have the (INAUDIBLE) cutoff on (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) Juno. Welcome, Jupiter.

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CURNOW: The Juno probe has successfully begun orbiting Jupiter. In the coming months, Juno will circle Jupiter's poles, sending back data that

could help scientists figure out how planets form.

On that happy note, that's all from us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for joining me. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" is next.

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