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Health Concerns Surround Olympics; Rebel Shelling in Aleppo; Clinton Leads Trump; South African Election Murders; Pakistani Mourns Social Media Star Daughter; U.S. Airstrikes on ISIS in Libya; Rooftop Farms Reduce Carbon Footprint. Aired 10-11a ET>

Aired August 2, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK: Russian athletes wait to be cleared to compete in the Rio games.

Clinton retakes the lead over Trump in a new poll.

And is there a hit list for some South African politicians?


CURNOW: Hello and welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

We begin with the Olympics in Rio. The games are just three days away. Final preparations are underway for the Friday start as questions

though remain still whether or not Rio is ready.

Russia's Olympic team is awaiting final word on which of its athletes will be allowed to compete. A decision from IOC could come soon. And Rio

is stepping up security amid reports of petty crime.

And there are the big concerns in the lead-up to the games, including polluted water and Zika. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay

Gupta now reports.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're looking at an image from just last month: body parts on Copacabana

Beach. It was a scene that couldn't have been predicted seven years ago when Copacabana Beach erupted.

The Games were to be a legacy for Rio. In its bid, Brazil promised to clean up at least 80 percent of the sewage that was flowing into the city's

notoriously dirty water.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is a challenge for us. And you can be sure that we will

not waste this chance at history.

GUPTA (voice-over): In fact, some of the city's most dilapidated quarters have been turned into green spaces.

Here, public art is being spray painted on walls.

But the rest of the world is more concerned about this spraying.

GUPTA: We know that Brazil is the epicenter of the Zika epidemic and, as the numbers continue to increase in Florida, experts are continuously

looking here to try and find some answers.

For example, we know that more than 1,700 children have been born with Zika-associated microcephaly, a birth defect. We also know that 150 public

health experts called for the Olympics to either be delayed or moved because of concerns about Zika.

But I want to be clear about something: the weather is starting to cool here, even as it warms up in the United States. And, as a result, the

threat of infection is pretty low.

According to a University of Cambridge study, out of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who are likely to visit the Olympics, there will

probably be only one or two infections. But that still hasn't kept some of the athletes from dropping out of the Games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, if my wife wasn't pregnant right now, I would be going to Rio. I mean, my biggest concern is for the baby on the


GUPTA (voice-over): Now remember: even if he went and then didn't show any symptoms, Van Garteren (ph) could still be infected and

potentially pass the virus on to his wife. After all, only 20 percent of those infected have any signs of the disease.

But when it comes to athlete health, the concerns here are not just about Zika. Those promises of clean water -- not in the Guadabara Bay

(ph), where sailors will be competing for gold and where trash and sewage continues to litter the surface.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time you've got 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.

GUPTA (voice-over): His teammate, Eric Heil, believed the waters are the source of the multiple infections he contracted last year after racing

in an Olympic qualifying event.

Just last month, Brazilian scientists detected the superbug, CRE, in these waters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Very little has been done. And the measures that were taken were not done the way we would have liked


GUPTA (voice-over): Brazilian officials say the waters have met international standards. But then just one month ago, the WHO said that

athletes may become ill from this water.

And U.S. Olympic doctors are prepping their teams for such a situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a number of medications that they can take prophylactically to avoid those illnesses and then also to take to treat

the illnesses as well.

GUPTA (voice-over): And doctors on the ground have another concern:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If there were a big catastrophe, an attack or a brawl, we don't have the infrastructure to deal

with it.

GUPTA (voice-over): Political and economic crises have burdened local hospitals, even under normal circumstances, waits for emergency surgery can

be as long as six days.

But Rio's mayor says the Games' legacy will not be a shadow on Rio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come here expecting that everything will be, you know, perfect. We live in a country that has economic crisis, a

country with lots of inequality. With all the problems that we've seen but the city will be much better than it was when we got the Games.

GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.



CURNOW: Well, thanks to Sanjay for that report.

And with just three days to go until the Games begin, many Russian athletes still don't know whether or not they'll be allowed to compete.

Our Amanda Davies joins us now from Rio with the latest.

As these athletes wait to hear if they take part, we also know the torch will be arriving on Wednesday.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Robyn. We still haven't had any official confirmation from the court of arbitration for

sport (INAUDIBLE), which is looking into two specific cases in terms of the Russian doping appeals on Tuesday. They're looking into the cases of 17

rowers and three swimmers, appealing against their bans put in place by the international sporting governing bodies of rowing and swimming after that

explosive McLaren report.

So we're waiting to see the results of those appeals, which will then feed into the International Olympic Committee's three-man panel to see

ultimately what they decide to do. They are the three people responsible for giving each individual case of Russian athletes a thumbs-up or a

thumbs-down for their eligibility to compete here in Rio.

There are about 270 Russian athletes expected to be competing; about 100 or so not absolutely banned because of previous doping offenses or

because of mentions in that McLaren report.

And there are Russian athletes, who we have seen talking about trying out the venues, the facilities, discussing what has been the stresses and

strains of a last couple of weeks, certainly not idea preparation for what will be for many of them the pinnacle of their sporting careers to date.

But as you said, very much into the last three days or so in terms of preparations for the Games as a whole, we have heard it announced today by

the mayor of Rio that Thursday here will be a public holiday.

There has, of course, been lots of concern about the local buy-in to Brazil and Rio hosting this Olympic Games with money moving in the wrong

direction, not being put where Brazilian people would like it to go. There's concerns about ticket sales.

You suspect Thursday and the day after in joyous celebrations of the torch relay here in Rio might help the cause, the mayor saying that he

really feels this is a time to celebrate Brazil and Rio -- for the world to see what is on offer here.

He did also, however, mention the logistical issues. And he felt that if it's a public holiday, generally it will help the torch relay and its

cause. There has also been the addition of the extra security forces, as you mentioned. They're very, very visible now as you walk down Copacabana

here, members of the military, an extra 3,000 or so have been added in the last 24 hours, armed with guns.

But you have to say, not in too intimidating a way, more a show of strength and force, given the talk of concerns about petty crime on the

street here.

CURNOW: Amanda in Rio, thanks so much for that update.

Now Brazil may be ground zero for Zika but the virus is also causing concern in the U.S. state of Florida: 14 cases of locally transmitted Zika

have been identified in the Miami area. Now that's triggered the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue an unprecedented travel


The CDC is warning pregnant women and their partners to stay away. CDC director Thomas Frieden explained why the outbreak is localized in this

one area.


DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CDC: It wasn't mosquitoes that made it from a Zika area to this area; it was people who had the Zika virus in

their body. They were bitten by mosquitoes from this area. Those mosquitoes don't continue to spread it to other mosquitoes. They spread it

to people.

So it goes from a person to a mosquito to another person. That mosquito only flies about 500 feet maximum in its entire lifetime. So it's

a very localized type of infection. But we are looking very carefully because we know that it has happened elsewhere in Miami.


CURNOW: Well, this is the first time the CDC has warned people not to travel to an American neighborhood because of an infectious disease.

To Syria now: at least 300 people are dead after rebels shelled the city of Aleppo. That's according to the Syrian Observatory for Human

Rights, which adds women and children are among the dead.

The shells were reportedly fired from East Aleppo, which has been held by rebel groups since 2012. They're trying to break the grip that the

government forces have around the city.

The siege has basically cut off Aleppo from the rest of the country, trapping some 300,000 people. This as food, water and fuel supplies are


Well, Arwa Damon is following the story --


CURNOW: -- from Istanbul. She joins us now live.

Hi, there, Arwa. I mean, this is a desperate situation for those people on the ground. And they're just too scared also to use humanitarian


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's been a big part of the issue here. The Syrian government says it has been

establishing humanitarian corridors, about three or four of them, that are meant to allow people to escape the fighting. But so far, only a very tiny

fraction of those that are actually still trapped inside have chosen to do so.

Sources are telling us that many of them are actually afraid of what sort of repercussions they may face if they do end up crossing into the

government-held territory, especially any sorts of repercussions against the potentially male population.

And that is why a fair number of international and nonprofit organizations and others amongst them, the United Nations, have expressed

their desire and the need for not only to have these humanitarian corridors established that would give people the option to leave, but also ones that

would perhaps, more importantly and more urgently at this stage, ones that would allow aid to go in, things that you were mentioning there,

medicine, food, water, all in great short supply.

The other issue facing residents that are living in the areas of Aleppo under siege have been, according to a number of watchdog

organization, this ongoing bombardment, one that has in the past deliberately, according to some, targeted these medical facilities that

exist there, forcing them underground into basements and makeshift bunkers.

This has been an ongoing situation for too long now. Many Syrians will tell you that they increasingly, as each day goes by, feel more and

more abandoned by the international community, that they do feel does play a role in all of this because this is not just a Syrian civil war.

This is a proxy battlefield for a number of nations at this stage, all of whom do bear a certain level of responsibility when it comes to the

suffering of the civilian population -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Good points there, thanks so much, Arwa Damon --


CURNOW: -- covering the story from us from Istanbul, appreciate it.

Well, thousands have gathered in France to honor a life taken brutally by terror.



CURNOW (voice-over): Mourners remembered Jacques Hamel, a service in a service at Rouen Cathedral; the priest was killed in his own church last

week. And his attackers pledged allegiance to ISIS. A source tells CNN the suspects met for the first time just days before the killing.

Well, let's go now to our Alexandra Field. She joins us from Paris.

This was a very public ceremony, also very emotional.

How was he being remembered?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. There will be a private burial ceremony just for the family of Father Jacques Hamel but this really

was very much a public event. And it was a symbol of the nation's grief in the aftermath of this attack and in the aftermath of so many attacks that

have rocked this country in the last year and a half.

Striking images coming from outside of Rouen Cathedral today, a gray day, a rainy day, but hundreds of people were outside as this plain wooden

casket was led into the cathedral, carrying the body of the 86-year-old priest.

Jacques Hamel, who was killed inside his own church in Saint-Etienne- du-Rouvray, he was remembered not only by many of his brothers and sisters, members of the Catholic clergy, members of other faith groups, religious

leaders from various faith groups, government officials including the French interior minister also on hand (ph), but he was remembered directly

by members of his own family. Both his sister and niece spoke on his behalf, talking about a man who they described as having lived simply,

having dedicated his life to service, being a symbol of kindness and availability to those who worshipped with him.

Also invited to be in attendance at this public funeral today was one of the men who was injured in that attack when two assailants stormed that

church, killing Father Jacques Hamel, holding nuns hostage and holding churchgoers hostage.

While today was about remembering the life of Father Jacques Hamel, we do know that investigators are still looking into this hate-fueled attack,

trying to learn more about who may have organized and directed it.

It was carried out by two 19-year olds. But a source tells CNN the two men had just met on the app Telegram days before. That's where they

were talking and planning the attack. So a big question for investigators right now, Robyn, is who put both of the assailants in touch with one


CURNOW: In Paris, thanks so much, Alexandra Field there.

Well, still ahead here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, Hillary Clinton has taken the lead in a new U.S. presidential poll. We'll tell you what could

be behind the gain.

Plus: the murders of several politicians cast a dark cloud over South Africa's elections. But the campaigns roll on. We'll have an update on






CURNOW: It's 17 minutes past the hour. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow.

And Hillary Clinton is enjoying a bounce in the polls after last week's Democratic National Convention. A new CNN/ORC poll shows her

retaking the lead over her Republican rival, Donald Trump. She's nine points ahead of him in a head-to-head match-up, erasing most of Trump's

gains after his convention.

And that's not the only place where she is ahead. She's also widened her lead when it comes to handling foreign policy.

Well, let's get more on this. I want to talk to Phil Mattingly from CNN New York.

Tell us about these polls. Unpack the numbers, particularly Clinton's foreign policy bounce.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, look, if you look top- line, coming out of a convention, usually there's a bump of some sort. And there's no question: Hillary Clinton has gotten a bump and it's not just

on the top-line numbers; it's almost across the board.

But you kind of hit on a very specific point: when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton has really stretched her lead out over the

last week or so. And one of the elements there that's been most interesting is Russia.

And it's one of those issues that, throughout the campaign, top foreign policy officials, really, Robyn, from both parties, Republicans and

Democrats, have scratched their head a little bit, some just out of curiosity, some out of actual concern related to Donald Trump's seemingly

soft position when it comes to Russia, his continued talk about Vladimir Putin and how the two would get along; his most recent comments about how

the annexation of Crimea would quite possibly be allowed in a Trump administration.

Turns out, in our polling -- this most recent polling -- six in 10 Americans have a very negative view of Russia. This is something that is

playing into, without question, their view and the changing numbers, positively for Hillary Clinton, when it comes to foreign policy.

This is something that Donald Trump really hasn't pulled off of at all, Robyn, and it's very interesting because it appears to be having a

negative impact on his overall numbers.

CURNOW: OK, so that's one thing. Let's talk, though, about the overall rhetoric.

It still hasn't calmed down, has it?

Let's just play some sound of what Mr. Trump called Hillary Clinton recently.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you would have just not done anything, just go home, go to sleep, relax, he would have

been a hero. But he made a deal with the devil.

She's the devil. He made a deal with the devil. Really.


CURNOW: There he is, calling Hillary Clinton the devil, essentially.

He's doubling down, isn't he?

MATTINGLY: Yes. Not so subtle there.


MATTINGLY: Look, this has been -- this has been kind of the path we have been following throughout the course of the last year. And there's no

question about it.

Coming out of the conventions, we have now hit the meat of the general election campaign. And you talk to advisers in both campaigns, Robyn, and

they have been very clear. It is only going to get uglier from here. I think the question that we have as reporters and that we have been bouncing

off of campaign officials on both sides is --


MATTINGLY: -- is there a tipping point, where this goes away from, oh, this is just the rhetoric of an election to this is becoming unseemly

enough to move votes?

And I think the question in the wake of what we have seen related to the Khan family, the parents of the slain U.S. soldier, who spoke at the

Democratic National Convention, that has riled Donald Trump up so much, the comments last night that you heard in Pennsylvania, is are we reaching that

tipping point?

I would state, though, Robyn, we have thought we'd been reaching that tipping point multiple times during the Trump campaign and he ends up

bouncing up numbers-wise.

But certainly in the wake of the Democratic National Convention, Donald Trump taking a dive in overall numbers and these controversies over

the course of the last 72 hours, not many people think that they're going to help those numbers in any way -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Well, let's talk more about this feud he's having with the family of a deceased military member.

How much do you think this is playing within the Republican Party?

I mean, we've had one Republican congressman saying he's not going to vote for Trump.

MATTINGLY: That's right. Richard Hanna, an upstate New York Republican. Now he's not -- he's from a swing district; he's not a dyed-

in-the-wool conservative and he's retiring. So there's not a lot of political ramifications for his decision.

But he's first Republican congressman to state he's doing this and, in large part, it's been because of what he's seen of Donald Trump over the

course of the last 48 hours.

Look, Robyn, across the Republican Party, nobody wants to see this kind of ongoing feud with a Gold Star family, the family of a deceased

soldier, who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It's something nobody's ever seen before.

If you talk to Republican officials, the overwhelming sentiment is, please just move on. But it also underscores, Robyn, what we have seen

from Donald Trump throughout the course of the 14 months he's been running. If he feels like he's attacked, he's going to swing back. He doesn't know

anything different and, frankly, it's worked for him up to this point.

What you're hearing from Republican officials now is, is this finally the bridge too far?

A lot of them think the answer to that is yes, unquestionably. But we'll have to wait and see.

CURNOW: OK. Wait and see. So we have unpacked a lot of the polls, a lot of these issues and conversations that are taking place now. But when

it comes down to it, how is this election different?

Is it going to not be about the issues, as one analyst has said -- and this is really going to come down to character.

MATTINGLY: You know what's interesting about that is character issues -- or character in general, when you look at these two candidates -- are,

frankly, they're flawed candidates, when you look at that.

When you look at their favorability ratings, when you look at their likability ratings, when you look at their trustworthiness ratings, across

the board on polling, you have two very unpopular candidates.

Now one thing we did see, Robyn, in the numbers coming out of the conventions, is Hillary Clinton got a bump in people that wanted to vote

for her as opposed to wanted to vote against Donald Trump. And that's important. Those numbers have been upside down for both Clinton and Trump

over the course the last couple months.

I will say, though, people talk about independents, people talk about undecideds. This election, in large part, will probably mimic what we've

seen, what we saw in 2012. This election will be about turning out your voters.

How do you reach your voters, your base, make them come out and vote?

If Democrats can keep the Obama coalition together, can keep the minorities together voting as well, they have a very good chance of

winning. But if Donald Trump is able to dig into that and really kind of make gains in Midwestern blue-collar voters, he has an opportunity as well

-- Robyn.

CURNOW: Phil Mattingly as always, thanks so much for giving us your perspective there from CNN New York. Thanks.

Well, turning now to South Africa, a country also getting ready for crucial elections -- local elections Wednesday -- that really could

challenge the ruling party's power in major cities, the African National Congress has been struggling with infighting. But the election has been

overshadowed by the unsolved murders of more than a dozen ANC politicians. Our David McKenzie joins me now from Johannesburg with more.

Hi, there, David. These have been called political assassinations. Tell us what South Africans are saying.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, what South Africans are saying is that, with the history of such violence, particularly in the

Kwazulu-Natal (ph) province, that it's very troubling to see these supposed hits against politicians before this election. And it's really disturbing

those people who are following this election and, of course, shattering many families.



MCKENZIE (voice-over): They're celebrating the life of their comrade, Nisele Mbese Sbese (ph) was an up-and-coming politician of the ruling ANC.

But her family is convinced that someone in this hall ordered her murder, leaving behind five children, gunned down right before a critical national


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was following me behind. Not even a minute later, I heard the first gunshot, not knowing that my mother has been shot.

Then I heard the second gunshot.

MCKENZIE: She was driving along this road to deliver blankets for a charity event on Mandela Day, when witnesses say gunmen pulled up alongside

and shot her eight times in broad daylight. This feels a lot like a professional hit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After realizing that it was my mother, I can't explain the feeling I was having. I was panicking. I was shocked. I was

shocked by disbelief. I couldn't believe my mother has been shot.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Her election posters still hang on the road where she was murdered. In recent months, more than a dozen ANC

politicians have been killed in suspicious circumstances in this province alone.

Former investigators of South Africa's police told CNN ANC members could be killing rivals to access government positions, which can mean

access to corrupt wealth.

MCKENZIE: It seems like the ANC is tearing themselves apart before this election in this province.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not want to say that in terms of whether it is fate (ph) or not. There must be serious investigations. We must know

why there is no prosecution on these issues.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): He blames competing ANC factions in a country with such an awful history of violence; killings like this a democratic

South Africa are a dark reminder of a bloody past.


MCKENZIE: Well, many assume at the local levels of government here in South Africa, Robyn, are the most corrupt and it seems like some are

willing to kill just to access those positions and maybe enrich themselves -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Media opposition has called the ANC "corrupt, parasitic."

How will these elections -- they're local government elections -- but still they are a key barometer of where the ANC is and the mood of the


MCKENZIE: Well, that's right. In previous municipal local elections, even South Africans might have treated it with a bit of a snooze. But it's

very different this time because of the sense that the ANC and its embattled leader, Jacob Zuma, is facing a raft of scandals on corruption

and other issues, really is threatened in the polls for the first time since, well, the dormant democracy here in South Africa.

And several people I've spoken to say that this is the most significant election in South Africa since 1994. The proof will be in

those people going to vote.

And though the opposition is broadening its support, particularly amongst black South Africans, there is a sense that it'll ultimately be

when they get to the ballot, will people feel the need or feel ready to abandon the Liberation Party of this country?

CURNOW: Indeed. And we heard there as you were talking Jacob Zuma, the president, singing "Ochinua (ph)," which means, "Bring me my machine

gun," a man who has had led a very divisive time in office.

David McKenzie, thanks so much, important reporting there. Appreciate it.

I'm Robyn Curnow. Much more news ahead.





CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW: The father of a controversial social media star is speaking out about his daughter's killing in Pakistan. His son has confessed to

what police call an honor murder. Kristie Lu Stout reports more on a father's grief and his promise for revenge.


MUHAMMAD AZEEM, QANDEEL'S FATHER (through translator): There was no one like Qandeel. It was unjust.

Why did he kill my daughter?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): On July 15th, Muhammad Azeem woke up to a nightmare.

AZEEM (through translator): It was 7:00 am and my wife went upstairs to get tea. She said, Waseem, our son, was not there. My wife went into

our daughter's room and started shouting, "Qandeel, Qandeel!"

My son's scarf was covering her face. My wife pulled the scarf back and saw Qandeel was dead.

STOUT (voice-over): Qandeel Baloch was drugged and strangled. Her brother, Waseem, confessed to the crime. He said he was proud of what he

did because, "Girls are born to stay at home."

A cousin has also been arrested in connection to the murder. Baloch was an outspoken social media star. The photos and videos she posted on

Instagram and Facebook pushed boundaries in conservative Pakistan, posts that her father says drew criticism from members of their tribe.

AZEEM (through translator): The people said she should not do such things. We are Baloch.

People were seeing her posts on their mobile phones asked Waseem, "Is that your sister?"

STOUT (voice-over): Azeem says he knew Waseem was angry because he wouldn't speak to Qandeel when she visited the family home. But he can't

understand the brutal killing.

AZEEM (through translator): If he killed her in the name of honor, did he see her do anything wrong to anyone?

What was her crime?

STOUT (voice-over): At least 297 women have been victims of so-called "honor killings" in Pakistan this year. Activists worry the actual number

could be much higher because many cases go unreported.

Many suspects never go to trial because Pakistani law allows victims' families to forgive perpetrators and avoid prosecution. The state has

become the complainant in the case against Waseem Baloch. That means it's up to a court to decide his punishment even if his family forgives him.

But his father says that is not happening.

AZEEM (through translator): I shall not forgive this. It is my desire to take revenge.

STOUT (voice-over): Azeem worries that Pakistan's judicial system might let his son off.

AZEEM (through translator): I appeal to the state, make me the complainant. Qandeel was my beloved daughter, she was part of my heart.

I'll be in so much pain if the state or the judge pardons Waseem.

STOUT (voice-over): He says restoring him as a complainant will ensure Waseem pays for his crime.

AZEEM (through translator): There should be God's wrath on him.

STOUT (voice-over): Qandeel Baloch described herself as a modern-day feminist. Muhammad Azeem remembers her as his beloved daughter, who took

care of the whole family.

AZEEM (through translator): She was the breadwinner. She took care of us. I promise God that, whenever I think about her, there will be tears

in my eyes.

STOUT (voice-over): A heartbroken father, struggling to come to terms with a most devastating loss -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.


CURNOW: Well, the U.S. is expanding its airstrikes against ISIS. It is now targeting the terror group in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte.

Residents there tell Human Rights Watch that ISIS is diverting food and medicine and fuel to its fighters and seizing the homes of people who have

fled the city. The Pentagon says Libya's government asked for Washington's help.



PETER COOK, U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PRESS SECRETARY: They felt that there were specific capabilities we could bring to bear that they were

limited in, in terms of their military capabilities' being able to conduct.

And one of the things that we're able to do is to conduct precision airstrikes in an urban area like this, reducing the risk of civilian



CURNOW: More than two-thirds of Sirte's 80,000 residents have fled, according to Human Rights Watch.

Authorities in Nigeria have arrested the alleged mastermind of a global scam that swindled victims out of $60 million. The suspect, only

known as "Mike," was taken into custody in the city of Port Harcourt. Interpol says he ran an international network that hacked business e-mail

accounts to steal money. One victim was conned into paying more than $15 million.

Pope Francis has taken what could be the first steps towards allowing female deacons in the Catholic Church. The pope has created a commission

to study whether women can become deacons.

The seven men and six women will look at the role of women in church's early days. In the Catholic Church, deacons are ranked just below priests.

The Vatican clarified the pope is not considering the possibility of female priests.

Coming up, a huge sinkhole has opened up overnight near Brisbane, Australia. We'll tell you why the neighbors are worried their property

might be next.




CURNOW: Welcome back. You're watching CNN.

Now to a farmer who is taking organic farming to new heights in Hong Kong in today's installment of our "Going Green" series. We meet a man

helping people to learn how to reduce their carbon footprint.



HEI WEI (PH), URBAN ORGANIC FARMER (voice-over): My name's Hei Wei (ph). I'm a urban organic farmer.

We're trying to encourage people to live one environmentally sustainable life by teaching them how to grow their own vegetables in an

urban environment. We want to make an impact, even if it's a little one.

We're here in Wild Roots (ph) Organic Farm.

So over here we have some beans. We have, over here, sweet potato. We supply vegetables to about 30 to 40 families each week.

And agriculture has a very large impact on the environment. It constitutes about 30 percent of our overall carbon emissions. Only 2

percent of our vegetables are grown here in Hong Kong. And most of it comes from China. For five years we have been teaching and supplying

seedlings and providing --


HEI (PH) (voice-over): -- service to rooftop farms in Hong Kong.


HEI (PH) (voice-over): So this is the Hong Kong New Rooftop Farm. And it's an educational farm for students to come here and grow and learn

about different plants and sustainability.

Every semester, I teach a workshop on sustainability and urban farming for the general education department. If you're dedicated, you can reduce

the amount that you -- amount of vegetables that you go to the supermarket to buy. And that has two effects.

One, the vegetables are coming a long way, so that there's a carbon cost to that and, two, most of the vegetables you buy in the supermarket

come packaged in plastic. And so if you can grow it yourself you can reduce that waste that ends up going into the landfill and into the ocean.

Education is really important because we're trying to change the attitude and the practices of the next generation. Farming is the best way

to build a sense of community because there's knowledge sharing and it's a cooperative activity because we learn from each other and we're challenged

by that environment. And we're sharing our knowledge.


CURNOW: And this just in: an update on a story we brought you earlier in the show. In Syria, an anti-government group says chlorine gas

is being used as a weapon, according to the group Idlib Civil Defense. Containers of gas that smelled like chlorine were dropped on the city of


There are reports of people with watering eyes and difficulty breathing. An opposition group has blamed President Bashar al-Assad's

government for the attack. CNN has not independently verified the group's claims.

And also shifting gears now, we go to some amazing pictures out of Australia, check out this sinkhole. It opened up in a back yard near

Brisbane. No one was hurt but people who live nearby are worried the pit could swallow up their properties. Authorities fenced off the hole and

evacuated the homeowners.

They say it was probably caused by an abandoned mine shaft.

And finally, we have this incredible sight for you as well. You're watching the island of Hawaii grow as lava from its Kilauea Volcano hits

the Pacific Ocean for the first time in three years. The lava started trickling down the side of the volcano in late May.

It creates huge pillars of steam and cools into rock when it hits cold water. Authorities say the lava isn't a threat but tourists shouldn't get

too close.

And also, as we gear up for the Olympics, now just three days away, we want know more about your experiences in Rio.

What's it like to be there?

What are you doing for fun?

When you post photos on social media, use the #CNNRio. And you might see them on air.

Well, that's it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. I will be back in an hour with Hillary

Clinton's post-convention bump in the polls. We'll talk more about that. In the meantime, though, I'm going to hand you over to "WORLD SPORT."