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Iraqi Army Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Mosul; Russia Paralympic Ban Upheld; Obama Heads For Louisiana Amid Criticism; Trump: Clinton Foundation Needs To Be Investigated; Turkey And ISIS Trade Fire Across Syrian Border; South Africa's Ruling Party Pushed From Major Cities; Sponsors Dump Ryan Lochte Over Rio Incident. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired August 23, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. Ahead at the "International Desk," Iraqi troops take on ISIS in Mosul. President Obama
visits the flood zone in Louisiana. And Donald Trump wants Hillary Clinton to be investigated.
Hello and welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow. At this hour, Iraqi forces are inching towards the city of Mosul in hopes of releasing it from the grip of
That explosion is believed to be an ISIS vehicle rigged with explosives in the nearby town of Qayyara, a key staging ground for Iraqi troops. The
black sky in the background is burning oil tankers torched by ISIS to create a wall of smoke. Mosul is Iraq's second largest city and has been
held by ISIS for more than two years. Since then, thousands have fled the city, many have no where to go but the unforgiving desert.
Our Arwa Damon has been in the town of Qayyara where the challenges to liberating Mosul are mounting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're just outside of the center of the town of Qayyara in a battle that has been going on since
about 5:00 in the morning local time. And as Iraqi forces have been advancing, they have not only had to cope with that thick black smoke that
you see blanketing the sky. That is as a result of ISIS continuously burning crude oil to try to impair the visibility of coalition air strikes.
On the ground, they have also had to deal with numerous IED and booby trapped roads. They're especially trapped underneath an overpass having to
remotely attempt to detonate some of these explosives, some of these vehicles that have been laden with bombs. And they've also brought in a
digger. It is very, very slow, painstaking progress at this stage.
But, in the last few months, the Iraqi security forces have made significant gains which has allowed them to reach this far.
Under apocalyptic skies blackened by thick smoke is Qayyara, the next target for Iraqi forces. ISIS used to move around 100 oil tankers of crude
oil a day out of these fields. Now it's set aflame by ISIS fighters to decrease visibility from above.
We are some 65 kilometers or 40 miles south of Mosul. Land Iraqi forces have not stepped in since ISIS took over more than two years ago. Their
corpses left to rot in the sun. And the commander told us that ISIS appears to be weakening.
NAJIM AL-JUBOURI, NINEVEH OPERATIONS COMMANDER: Before, as I told you, the majority of fighters attacking us were foreign fighters. Now, they put
some foreign fighters with local fighters. Now they -- I think they have lack on the foreign fighters.
DAMON: On display, weapons troops found in residential homes, among them homemade mortars tubes and mortars larger than anything the Iraqis have at
their disposal. Another significant gain in this area, the Qayyara air base, the third largest in Iraq, much of it destroyed by ISIS fighters as
they withdrew, leaving, we are told, explosives under piles of dirt on the runways that need to be cleared. This will be a vital forward base for the
Iraqis and potentially, U.S forces.
Families wearily haul what they can, stumbling away from the fighting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): They took half our men. They forced them to fight for them. They killed my father.
DAMON: Tears for all that they lost, loved ones gone in a war that you can't fully comprehend. The lives they knew and loved disintegrated years
To the southeast of Mosul, the Kurdish Peshmerga have pushed their frontline forward as well. The Peshmerga defensive form snakes its way
along the east and north. The villages controlled by ISIS visible in the distance.
Here too, they have noticed ISIS weakening, showing us how ISIS moves within nondescript buildings like this.
The Peshmerga fighters did initially dropped down and take a few steps into what appear to be some sort of tunnel. But rather than take their chances,
they decided to then withdraw and seal off the entrance.
The chokehold around Mosul is tightening and the government's pledge to liberate the city by the end of the year is still the goal. The battle
there with over a million civilians will potentially be starkly different from the ones out here. But success will be defined in land gained not
lives destroyed or lost.
[10:05:20] This is not a battle that is happening in any sort of conventional formation. This is not two armies that are facing off against
There is a civilian population inside that town right now, according to Iraqi security forces, numbering some 10,000 families. And one cannot even
begin to understand how terrifying this must be for them the ongoing explosions, the gunfire.
And then, of course, there is the reality that ISIS tends to use the civilian population as human shield. We do not know the degree of the
agony and the fear that they are going through at this point in time. And what we're seeing right here is really just a fraction of what potentially
the battle for Mosul will end up being like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Arwa Damon there.
Now, the Paralympics will kick off in Rio next month without a single Russian athlete. The Court of Arbitration for Sports is denying Russia's
appeal against the blanket ban.
Our Matthew Chance joins us now from Moscow with more and particularly on the angry response from Russia.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Robyn. There's been a definitely angry response from the Russian
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. He said that this upholding of the ban was politically motivated, reflecting the views of many Russians in a recent
opinion poll who say that they also believe that the targeting, as they see it, of Russian athletics and many Paralympians as well that by the athletic
authorities is a result of political pressure that's been brought to bear on the country.
But of course, that's not borne out by the findings of the various anti- doping agency reports that looked into Russia's affairs alleging a state- sponsored system of doping. And not just with the track and field athletes and other disciplines as well as and the regular Olympians, but also
amongst these Paralympians as well.
And that's why, earlier this month, at the International Paralympic Committee that issued this blanket ban against Russian Paralympians
competing in Rio. They went to the Court of Arbitration for Sports and discern to try and get that ban overturned but failed to do that.
Now, lawyers for the Russian Paralympic Committee say they will appeal. They'll appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court, they say. But that process is
going to take a long time, perhaps as long as two years, they say. So, obviously, it means that Rio is out for the Russian Paralympic team, Robyn.
CURNOW: And can athletes file individual applications to compete in the short term? And also, why is this inconsistency in the way the
International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee have dealt with this issue?
CHANCE: You know that's a good question. It's obviously been very stark, the differences in the approach of the International Olympic Committee and
the Paralympic committee as well.
The International Olympic Committee, it looks like -- it looks at the regular athletes, took us sort of compromise that by saying, "Look, we're
not going to issue a blanket ban for all Russian athletes, what we are going to do is leave it up to the individual sports federations to decide
which athletes can compete and which can't."
And of course, it resulted in many Russian athletes being able to compete in Rio and of course they came back with quite a sizable medal haul. They
ended a fourth in the medal table.
And so, the hope was that the same kind of situation was going to be in place for the Paralympians as well as. But the Paralympic committee has
taken a much harder line that saying, essentially, that the "Medals over morals approach," and that's a quote from the presidents of the Paralympic
committee. Russia was absolutely outrageous. And because of that, they said that this blanket ban going to be enforced.
In terms of what individual athletes can do, well, I think it's -- the answer to that is not very much. I mean, there may be grants for
individual appeals, but that's going to be, as I say, a very lengthy, lengthy process.
CURNOW: OK. As always, Matthew Chance there in Moscow. Thanks so much.
Well, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. State of Louisiana are now picking up the pieces. Floodwaters have ravaged their homes, their
streets, their schools. And now, they're also at the center of a political fight as President Barack Obama heads their way.
Our Nick Valencia is awaiting the U.S. President's arrival in Baton Rouge.
Hi there Nick, tell us more.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, we're just a couple of hours away from the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama, who has come under intense
criticism here locally for not cutting his vacation short last week in Martha's Vineyard and choosing instead to keep his vacation and not visit
The governor, however, has come out, the governor of Louisiana, to say that he's thankful that the President didn't interrupt operations here on the
ground. He did however also highlight the trip of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump who visited here on Friday with his running mate Mike
He said it was a good thing that Trump was able to shine a spotlight on the resources needed here in Baton Rouge and around the area. It's been at
least 10 days since this significant rain event cause major flooding in and around Baton Rouge.
[10:10:19] Here in Livingston Parish, the homes are just now starting to dry out. We took a home tour of that of Todd Critchel (ph) who's been here
for 32 years. He says he's lived through the worst of the worst, including hurricanes, severe weather but nothing has been as bad as this. Other
people also weighed in on the impact of the storm here in the area.
CURNOW: Nick Valencia, thanks so much for updating us all from Baton Rouge. And of course, we'll bring you U.S. President's arrival when it
You're watching CNN. Donald Trump is raising questions about the Clinton's Foundation. What did Hillary Clinton do to procure donations? We'll take
a closer look at the accusations of impropriety.
You're watching CNN. It's 13 minutes past the hour. Donald Trump says you can't trust Hillary Clinton, the justice department or the FBI. That's why
the U.S. presidential candidate wants a special prosecutor to investigate her family's Clinton Foundation, a charity he wants to shut down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Her foundation took in large payments from major corporations and wealthy individuals, foreign and
domestic, and all the while she was secretary of state. The foundation donors included corporations and individuals with significant matters
before the state department. Not good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well our Drew Griffin looked into some of the Clinton Foundation's activities that have raised questions about access and influence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a map of the world and these are the specific countries in this world that have given
millions to the Clinton Foundation over the years. $10 million to $25 million from Australia, Norway, and Saudi Arabia, $5 million to $10 million
from the Netherlands and Kuwait, between $1 million and $5 million from Oman, United Arab Emirates and Brunei. And it's not just countries,
individual foreign donors and foreign groups make up a huge share of donations to the Clinton Foundation.
The campaign now says if Hillary Clinton becomes president, any foreign donations like these will no longer be accepted.
CNN's Dana Bash asked Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, why wait?
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Why not do it now? Why wait until the idea of her being president? Why not do it when she is running for president?
[10:15:00] ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well the foundation is doing an enormous amount of work. And it takes time when you're in a
number of countries around the world to retool, refocus the mission and adapt.
GRIFFIN: At the heart of the issue is conflict of interest or even the appearance of one. Namely, would a president Clinton give favorable
treatment to a company, country, or person, who donated millions of dollars to the foundation? That's how Donald Trump sees it.
TRUMP: They've made hundreds of millions of dollars selling access, selling favors, selling government contracts. And I mean hundreds of
millions of dollars.
GRIFFIN: Despite that claim, there are no definitive examples of what Trump says. But that doesn't mean there aren't questions. Like long time
Bill Clinton pal and mining magnate Frank Giustra.
Giustra's foundations have given more than $50 million to the Clinton Foundation. He's allowed Bill Clinton use of his private jet. And when a
company, he founded, merged with another that became part of a Russian business deal that needed government approval, that deal got the OK from
the state department run by Hillary Clinton.
Giustra says he sold his stakes in the company years before the Russian deal. So, anything wrong? No. All above board, says the state
department, other government agencies approved the deal. All the rules were followed.
As they were in all cases involving Monsanto. The food giant has donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. And it has
had multiple partnership projects with the Clinton global initiative.
In 2009, when Hillary Clinton took office as secretary of state, Monsanto was actively lobbying the state department for helping promote and open
markets for its bioagricultural projects across the globe. And it all coincided with Secretary Clinton's global policy to promote agricultural
According to Clinton, she was promoting U.S agriculture and especially the U.S farmer, much like her Republican predecessor did. But there is no
doubt one of the big winners was the big agricultural giant and Clinton Foundation donor, Monsanto.
Hoping to put the potential "pay to play" allegations especially with foreign donations to an end, it was Bill Clinton who tweeted this
afternoon. "If Hillary becomes president, the foundation will only take in money from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and U.S. based independent
foundations." And that Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation will change its name to just the Clinton Foundation. In other words, no
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: In other words, no Hillary. That's the good punch line and that's the key here, isn't it?
GRIFFIN: If she's elected.
CURNOW: If she's elected. So, if she is elected, is she's still got a weigh on her, do you think? How much of a problem is this?
GRIFFIN: I think it will be a problem if they don't dial it all back. Bill Clinton says he's going to stop raising money. He is going to step
down from the foundation. Obviously, her name will not be on it. But they are in such partnerships across the globe with so many different entities,
that it will take a while, and they admit it, to kind of pull themselves loose and then set up other agencies that can fill the void of the good
work that the Clinton Foundation does do.
CURNOW: And I must say I mean, when I was on assignment, when I lived in South Africa, saw them a lot in terms of the work they did on the ground in
Africa, often partnering with other foundations like Nelson Mandela's.
CURNOW: So, I think, that's also the question. Will there be an impact if they scale back on the ground in places?
GRIFFIN: Well that's going to be a challenge for them. Obviously, Bill Clinton sent out a statement today, yesterday, talking about all the good
that they do and the fact that if Hillary is elected president, that they will have to find partnerships to fill the void where they retreat from the
international scene. But they made it clear they're still going to run this thing.
CURNOW: But politically this is where she's got to try to figure out a way forward now. They've made some changes. Is it enough?
GRIFFIN: We'll see. How can you be president and have a foundation with your family name on it, maybe not your personal name on it, that is raking
in tens of millions of dollars? I mean, they brought in $180 million last year from donors. That's going to raise questions no matter what you do
with that money, no matter where it comes from.
So, I think this will be a political liability going forward. Again, there is nothing proven that says there was any kind of pay for play or quid pro
quo but certainly gives that appearance of conflict of interest.
CURNOW: And also, the role of Bill Clinton in all of this. This is all such unchartered territory. And in a way, is this about Bill Clinton
bringing a little bit of his own baggage into her campaign?
GRIFFIN: I think it does. And remember that Bill Clinton not only raises money for the Clinton Foundation, but Bill Clinton has raised a lot of
money for Bill Clinton. So, will he continue to do the speeches? Will he continue to do the speeches where he gets paid by the very foundations that
have also delineated to his foundation? It's a very intricate web they had woven over there in the Clinton field which has gotten them into a lot of
this perceived trouble.
[10:20:22] CURNOW: Perceived troubles, but like you say, it is so murky in many ways, because it's so huge. I mean, I'm looking here these 300,000
CURNOW: . and 11 different initiatives from medicine to greenhouse gas emissions. I mean, this is huge.
GRIFFIN: It is big money. I have studied a lot of charities in the United States. A hundred and $80 million raised is a lot of money, $91 million in
expenses is a lot of money for expenses, $7 million in travel alone, $34 million in salaries. You're talking about a huge organization that
remember, exists based on donations, money given to them. And many of these donations are huge dollar amounts.
CURNOW: So for Donald Trump and his campaign, where do you think they're going next with this? They're going to keep on hammering this issue. But
are they're going to become more and more laser focused on one particular relationship?
GRIFFIN: I mean, we'll have to see. We have been looking at this organization. We have been looking for the smoking gun. We haven't found
it. Honestly, we have not found it. There's a lot of murky territory, as you've said, but you can't really, at this point, find any example of, I
give you a donation, Hillary Clinton and the state department granted me this favor because of that donation.
CURNOW: And that's a very, very important fact.
CURNOW: And I think that's in many ways going to be the Clinton's defense going forward. Thanks so much Drew Griffin. Thanks so much. Appreciate
All this week the CNN Freedom Project is looking into the problem of sex trafficking in Canada's indigenous communities. Today we meet a woman who
was targeted and exploited as a child. And now she's trying to recover by embracing her heritage. Paula Newton brings us her story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With every stroke of the drum, Tanay Little finds resounding strengths. Flashbacks to her past
painful life fade ever-faster and the soothing beat of the instrument reminds her she's safe.
TANAY LITTLE, SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM: And while you're dreaming, your spirit feel safe, you feel connected.
NEWTON: Tanay is now visiting that safe place, Little Sisters in Winnipeg, a transition home for sex trafficking victims that sheltered her when she
first came off the streets.
LITTLE: I love this place. I love being here, knowing that this place helps women change.
NEWTON: Tanay calls it change but it was nothing short of salvation. How old were you when you were first .
NEWTON: You were 11.
NEWTON: Already introduced to drugs?
NEWTON: What kind of drugs?
LITTLE: Crack cocaine.
NEWTON: At 11?
LITTLE: At 11.
NEWTON: Tanay takes me to the streets where it began.
LITTLE: I always get excite coming back.
NEWTON: An older girl, someone who pretended to be her friend was actually preying on Tanay, luring her with drugs and trafficking her for sex.
LITTLE: I remember one time that she put me in a room and then two guys, one -- not together, but one would come in and then I would have sex with
him, and then the other guy would come in. And then I'd get high after that.
NEWTON: What would happen if you refuse to have sex with anybody?
LITTLE: If you're not beat up, then you would get raped by a few of them at once.
NEWTON: As an indigenous girl in Canada, the nightmare Tanay lived on these streets is hardly rare. Canada's indigenous population is very
small, just 4 percent, yet more than 50 percent of all sex trafficking victims there are indigenous, a huge overrepresentation. And just like
Tanay, they are coping with a legacy of poverty, racism, and abuse.
DIANE REDSKY, MA MAWI WI CHI ITATA CENTRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: There is a death bondage that between $1,000 and $2,000 a day that these girls must
bring, must hand in to their trafficker or else.
NEWTON: Diane Redsky can't help but feel anger. She runs Ma Mawi, a center that advocates who are indigenous women and children specifically
sex trafficking victims. She says the history of racism against this population feed into the cycle of violence and exploitation against them.
REDSKY: Truly difficult to be able to fight those stereotypes of indigenous women when a whole society is targeting indigenous women and
girls, particularly for violence and abuse. And that spills over into sex trafficking.
[10:25:15] ELDER MAE LOUISE CAMPBELL, KEEPER OF GRANDMOTHER MOON LODGE: Thanks for coming to the circle. We're going to start with a smudge.
And I'm very honored to be sitting in circle with you today and thank you for inviting me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very honored to sit here with my survivor sisters today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're glad that it's being brought to attention because it's been hidden for far too long.
CAMPBELL: You did an amazing thing to open your hearts.
NEWTON: Elder Mae Louise Campbell leads a traditional sharing circle.
CAMPBELL: Thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you.
NEWTON: It's a spiritual connection with indigenous culture and a unique path to healing for victims who say they have never felt worthy.
They don't feel sacred. They feel worthless.
CAMPBELL: Yeah, that's right. The only way that they're going to feel whole again is to reconnect to their traditional ways, through the
ceremonies, through coming back, to listening to the elders, coming back to believe, to believe they are not all that has happened to them. They are
not that. They are sacred.
LITTLE: You need to know your worth, an instrument for you to get through it.
NEWTON: Tanay says that connecting with her native culture has empowered her to heal and also to understand how and why, as an indigenous child in
Canada, she was both vulnerable and exposed.
Paula Newton, CNN, Winnipeg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: And tomorrow we'll introduce you to an indigenous community confronting the issue of child exploitation with determination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first step in rebuilding our community is to say enough is enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both community leaders trained by the Manitoba government to create a curriculum-based program where kids hear how and why
child sexual exploitation has traumatized their community.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it's ever been comfortable that way. It's more like, let's not talk about it, let's just leave it, let's leave
it under the rug and let it stay there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, more on how one community is educating its kids in our series, "Canada's Stolen Daughters."
And still ahead, anger has swept through South Africa and toppled the political order. We'll speak with Johannesburg's new mayor about what
it'll look like without the ANC at the helm.
[10:30:19] CURNOW: Welcome. You're watching "International Desk." Thanks for joining me, I'm Robyn Curnow. Here a check of the headlines.
Iraqi troops are waging intense battles on their way to Mosul to try and free the city from ISIS. Iraq's second largest city has been under ISIS
control for two years. The military has cut off a key road and retaken at least six oil wells. ISIS has set fire two oil fields to slow their
An international sport court is rejecting Russia's appeal to lift the blanket ban on its Paralympians. The ruling means that the Paralympic
Games will open in Rio without any Russian athletes. Russia's sports minister questions the legality of the decision, calling it more political
And U.S. President Barack Obama has just left the White House heading for Louisiana. He'll tour a neighborhood devastated by recent floods but
critics say he's coming too late. Republican candidate Donald Trump already made a visit there giving out supplies and meeting victims.
Well, for the second straight day, the Turkish military has bombarded ISIS targets in Northern Syria. Turkish State media says the military is
returning fire after mortar shells struck two Turkish border towns.
Well our Ben Wedeman has more from the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Hi there, Ben. These tensions continuing on the Turkey-Syria border, I mean, is this the beginning of a new phase in the conflict?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly what we've seen is an uptick in the amount of violence on the border between
Turkey and Syria. Today, for instance, three rockets, according to the Turkish news agency were fired from Elazig which is a town not far from the
Turkish border towards the town of Kilis within Turkey also, very near to the border.
The rockets landed on empty land. There were no casualties. The Turkish military responded quickly to that fire.
Now, what we know from speaking to Syrian rebel commanders on the ground is that essentially, Turkey is preparing the ground for the entry of Syrian
rebels from Turkish territory toward a town of Jarablus which is on the Euphrates River right on the border between the -- on the Syrian side of
the Turkish Syrian border. And this, of course, would represent a serious escalation of Turkey's role in the fighting inside Syria. And definitely,
we understand from these rebel commanders that this is going to be happening as early as within the next week, Robyn.
CURNOW: Talk about this serious escalation of Turkish military involvement in Syria. The Turkish military, of course, has been in a state of flux,
post-coup-attempt, how capable is it, and are we hearing anything about the makeup, the capabilities of the military?
WEDEMAN: Well just as a reminder to our viewers, it was the military that, of course, or elements within the military, I should say, that played the
key role in trying to pull off this failed coup attempt. So, immediately, afterwards, President Erdogan started reshuffling, purging in tens of
thousands of civil servants.
We understand that by early August, 44 percent of admirals and generals had been purged. Now in the latest news, 586 colonels, according to the
Turkish news agency, have been "retired" after the Turkish military down scaled the time of military service from 31 to 28 years.
Now, this was decide by what's called the Supreme Military Council, which traditionally was dominated by the military, but since the coup, there have
-- the President has assigned or appointed several civilian ministers to sit on that council. Clearly, he's very concerned about the possibility of
the military trying to launch another coup.
Keep in mind, of course, that there have been three successful military coups in Turkish history, in 1960, '71, and '80. So, President Erdogan is
very mindful of the possibility that the Turkish military, certainly after the blows they've taken since this purge, rather, since the 15th of July
coup d'etat or attempted coup d'etat, and he wants to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Robyn.
CURNOW: Ben Wedeman there in Ankara. And of course, Turkey awaiting the arrival of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Turkey, a key NATO ally.
Thanks so much.
[10:35:07] We also want to bring you an update on another story we've been following here, following in Turkey, the attack on a Kurdish wedding that
killed 54 people. On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was carried out by a child bomber between the ages of 12 and 14. But on
Monday, Turkish prime minister said the security forces are now not sure whether the bomber was a child or an adult. Investigators are working on
finding more clues related to that attack.
Well now we go to South Africa, where a political shift has pulled the ruling party out of power in major cities. Anger has been brewing against
Nelson Mandela's historic ANC party. Opposition parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters, shown rallying here, called the party corrupt. And
voters have been demanding a fix to basic services.
They cast ballots earlier this month effectively pushing the party from major cities. And then, a marathon council meeting, Monday, has run the
ANC out of the Africa's commercial hub, Johannesburg.
Well, the city's new mayor is Herman Mashaba from the main opposition party, the D.A. which makes huge gains in this recent municipal election.
Herman, hi, great to see you, congratulations. This was a vote against the ANC as much as a vote for you. Voters expected things to get done. What's
on your to-do list?
HERMAN MASHABA, JOHANNESBURG MAYOR: Well, thank you very much for this great opportunity. Yes, people of South Africa spoke, and they spoke on
the date of August.
This was -- as much as people have voting for municipal elections actually ended up being a referendum against Jacob Zuma's corrupt administration and
the people have now voted them out of power. And yesterday, last night, we put together a coalition party of seven parties led by my own party. We
took over the city of Johannesburg.
So, we're excited with this opportunity to get Johannesburg to be the city that can create opportunities for our people and fight the level of
corruption, which was embedded within the ANC structures.
CURNOW: South Africans have never really had coalition politics. So the D.A. is now governing in all of these major cities. Sometimes it's pretty
unruly partners like the EFF. How is that party should actually going to work? Are you expecting it to be hard? I mean, is there a risk with this
new coalition politics scenario? Could slow and paralyze your plans even.
MASHABA: I think, Robyn, one has to look at this in proper perspective. You know, for 22 years, you look at the ANC government under Jacob Zuma,
the last 10 years they've really been abusing their power. They had too much arrogance.
And people of South Africa decided enough is enough and have decided, through the ballot box, instead of giving one party to have ultimate
majority. They decided to split their vote and expected us, as political leadership in the country, to put together a government that can be
sensible, a government that can be accountable.
So, I'm excited with this opportunity because I know the success of our coalition is going to depend on consultation. It's going to depend on
engagement. I know I don't have the outright majority to do as I please, and that's basically what the voters of South Africa wanted. And I think
we need to oblige and operate within such structures.
CURNOW: So, again, let's put this in perspective for our viewers. The ANC has lost South Africa's economic hub, the capital city, and the city named
after the party's icon, Nelson Mandela.
So, this is the dominant liberation party is now -- it's been reduced to rural areas in many ways. How did the D.A. do this? What's been the key
to this political earthquake? What was the one thing that you think you did right?
MASHABA: Well, it was obviously frustration with the level of embedded corruption which was happening within the ANC government. But, we work
hard. You know, for me as an entrepreneur over 30 years, taking a decision to enter the political arena was not an easy decision. But I decided I'm
not going to sit back and watch my country being destroyed by political leadership who hijack our country. And I offered myself to the party that
I've been voting for as to be their mayoral candidate.
And I was accepted in January and we hit the ground running, went crisscrossed our cities, our communities, sending the message of hope,
sending the message of fighting corruption, sending a message to the voters of South Africa, positioning myself to be their Jo'burg mayor because I
think South Africa is facing such high levels of high unemployment.
So if you look at the city of Johannesburg, we're sitting at almost a 1 percent high unemployment rate. This is completely abnormal. So we need a
city that can drive economic revival of our cities so that you can provide employment opportunities to our communities.
[10:40:13] CURNOW: Herman Mashaba, the new mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa. And Africa's economic -- thanks so much. And let's not forget
that Jacob Zuma, the president, once said that the ANC would rule until Jesus came back. Clearly, voters disagreeing with him. Thanks so much,
Herman Mashaba there.
You're watching the "International Desk." More news continues.
CURNOW: Now, the hunt is on for some crocodile dumping vandals in the town of Humpty Doo, Australia. I liked saying that.
Australian police released this surveillance video and a call for help from the public. You can see three saltwater crocodiles pushed through a broken
window of a school office early Sunday morning in Darwin, in the northern part of the country.
Then, four shirtless men barge in to steal computer equipment. Parks and wildlife rangers had to be sent in to safely remove the reptiles. Reuters
reports sadly that the crocodiles are malnourished and probably won't survive.
And a party in the U.S. State of Michigan took an unexpected wild turn on Sunday into Canada. Fifteen hundred Americans were enjoying their annual
float-down party indeed in rafts when strong winds suddenly swept them up the St. Clair River and left them illegally inside the Canadian border.
The Canadian coast guard quickly plucked the confused party-goers out of the water and returned them to the U.S. in buses. One report said no one
was hurt in the impromptu invasion.
Well, that's it from us here at the "International Desk." Thanks for watching, I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere, World Sports is next.