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Philippine President Expresses "Regret" Over Comment; Trump And Clinton Battle For Ohio Voters; Cleric Anjem Choudary Sentenced For Inviting ISIS Support; Militants Attack Afghan Offices Of CARE; Computer Failure Delays British Airways Flight; Report: Chicago Marks 500th Homicide This Year; Fox News Settles Former Host's Sexual Harassment Suit; Cosby Returns To Court Over Evidence In Sex Assault Case; Outrage In Italy over Charlie Hebdo Cartoon; Singapore Combats Zika As Virus Spreads; Half-Indian Beauty Queen Crowned Miss Japan; Tattoo Parlor Making A Mark In Jerusalem For Centuries. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 6, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:14] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead here at the "International Desk." The president of the Philippines regrets his controversial
comments. A new CNN poll shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a dead heat. And a hate preacher is sentenced to five years.
Hi there. Welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN center. And at this hour we are monitoring two presidents, an insult and a canceled meeting.
The Philippines is trying to smooth things over with its U.S. ally after its outspoken leader Rodrigo Duterte appeared to haul a profanity at U.S.
President Barack Obama. In response, the U.S. scrapped a meeting between the two.
Well, CNN's Paula Hancocks is following the spat from Seoul.
Hi there, Paula. So the Filipino President is regretting calling the American President a son of a bitch. He's learning you can't take that
back too easily.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, President Duterte has literally been in power less than 10 weeks. This was his first overseas
trip. And it's certainly a trip that he's not going to forget any time soon. Not only has he managed to insult arguably the most powerful man in
the world, but now in trying to pull back from that. His people are using some quite unusual reasons, and also in some cases, some conflicting
Now, I should warn viewers that there are some disturbing images in the upcoming report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: Nicknamed "The Punisher," Rodrigo Duterte is a holly riding former city mayor who speaks his mind. The president of the Philippines
appears to have a questionable grasp on international diplomacy.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT: I am a president of a sovereign state. (Foreign language)
HANCOCKS: Referring to U.S. President Barack Obama in profane terms, leading to the White House cancelling their bilateral meeting in Laos,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president .
HANCOCKS: One day later, a statement of regret that this may have come across as a personal attack followed by a claim the obscenity was directed
at the journalist who asked the question, not Mr. Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I have seen some of those colorful statements in the past, and -- so clearly he's a colorful guy.
HANCOCKS: Add to that, Duterte's homophobic insults to the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines less than a month ago, it's fair to say the historically
close relationship between the U.S. and its former colony may have taken a hit. But it's his domestic policies that have many more worried.
He cruised to victory back in May, vowing to get tough on crime and corruption. Few realized how tough. An intense crackdown on drug pushers
and users, giving police a license to kill.
DUTERTE: Resistance is violent, thereby placing your life in jeopardy, shoot, and shoot him dead.
HANCOCKS: Over less than 10 weeks that Duterte has been in power, police have killed more than 1,000 people, allegedly in self-defense. Many others
registered as deaths under investigation, a term that may include vigilante or extra judicial killings. Human rights groups are horrified.
The President has branded the senator leading an inquiry into this increasingly bloody war on drugs an immoral woman. Duterte came to power
on an anti-establishment ticket, tapping into strong disillusionment with those in power. His welcoming last Monday night shows he still has strong
In fact, back in July, his approval rating was 91 percent, according to Pulse Asia research. A figure most other leaders can only dream of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: In an attempt to downplay what has happened over the past couple of days, the presidential office in the Philippines also said that they
believe that this has been totally blown out of proportion by both local and the international media. Robyn?
CURNOW: Well, what is the White House saying about this? We've heard more from them.
HANCOCKS: Well that's right. It was interesting what we heard from the President himself. He was fairly diplomatic when asked about the comments
by President Duterte. We also heard as well from his Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who basically said that the reason they
decided to cancel this meeting was because the comments that were leading up to the meeting, they didn't believe, were conducive to a successful and
constructive environment for a bilateral meeting.
[10:05:04] So the White House is being very diplomatic about this as well. It does appear though at this point, both sides are trying to pull back
from this somewhat. The White House, this national defense adviser also specifying that there are very close relations between the U.S. and the
Philippines and that they will remain rock solid. Robyn?
CURNOW: And what we do know is Duterte has widespread support in the Philippines despite his loose tongue, domestically, at least. I mean, he's
saying what people want him to say. What's been the reaction regionally to these latest comments?
HANCOCKS: Well, I don't think too many people would be that surprised within the Philippines when you consider how many people he has insulted
since he has been in power. He even insulted the Pope not so long ago, where before specifying that he didn't mean to insult the Pope and
apologized for that.
This isn't something new that we're seeing from the President. This is something that we saw in his campaigning as well that he was going to be a
straight talker, he wasn't going to mince his words. He certainly didn't seem to play by the diplomatic rules that his competitors and his rivals
And that's one of the reasons why he was so popular during that landslide victory, the fact that he was anti-establishment, the fact that he did the
exactly opposite to what those in power had done. Those in power with most of the Filipino people at that point were very disillusioned with that.
So as I say, a 91 percent approval rating in July is really quite staggering and something that other leaders can't even imagine, they can't
even imagine in their wildest dreams. So for the most part, it appears as though he does still have some support at home, although clearly not the
victims of -- not the families of those of some of those victims who have been killed and certainly more than 2,000 over the past 10 weeks.
CURNOW: Paula Hancocks, thank you so much.
We have new numbers that lay out the state of the race for the White House. The latest CNN-ORC poll show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton virtually
neck and neck. Trump leads nationally by a slim two points, among those most likely to vote in the November election. Now that's within a margin
of error. But there's a different result among the broader pool of registered voters there. Clinton is ahead by three points also, within the
margin of error.
Well, our Phil Mattingly has the latest on both campaigns and their latest battleground, Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Welcome to our big place.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump inviting the press to travel with them for the first time on their campaign
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's nice everyone's here.
MATTINGLY: Both planes just a few hundred feet apart on the same tarmac in Cleveland. Inside Trump's Boeing 757, the billionaire muddling his stance
on immigration, again.
TRUMP: We're going to make that decision into the future, OK? Good question, I'm glad you asked me. That decision will be made.
MATTINGLY: The GOP nominee now saying he'll decide later on whether undocumented immigrants could apply for legal status under his
TRUMP: I'm not ruling out anything. To become a citizen, you're going to have to go out and come back in.
MATTINGLY: A question ruled out less than a week ago.
TRUMP: For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only.
MATTINGLY: Trump spending Labor Day looking and acting more like a traditional politician. Glad handing at Ohio's largest county fare and
courting voters at a diner with his running mate.
Hillary Clinton barn storming Ohio with her top supporters and deploying her former rival to New Hampshire. The former secretary of state battling
a coughing fit at a rally.
CLINTON: Every time I think about Trump, I get allergic.
MATTINGLY: And answering questions from reporters about her health, after months of criticism for avoiding the press.
CLINTON: I'm not concerned about the conspiracy theories. There are so many of them, I've lost track of them.
MATTINGLY: Slamming Trump for cozying up to Vladimir Putin.
CLINTON: I think it's quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee.
MATTINGLY: As investigations continue into whether Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee.
CLINTON: He, very early on, allied himself with Putin's policies.
MATTINGLY: While Trump is dismissing allegations of impropriety about a donation three years ago.
MATTINGLY: In 2013, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was considering opening a fraud investigation against Trump University. Around the same
time, the IRS says the Trump Foundation improperly donated $25,000 to a group supporting her re-election. Trump insisting he never discussed the
investigation with Bondi.
[10:10:07] TRUMP: I never spoke to her. She's beyond reproach. She's a fine person. Never spoke to her about it at all.
MATTINGLY: Bondi ultimately deciding not to proceed with the investigation.
CLINTON: There are so many things that are questionable about that. And the IRS certainly thought so and said it was illegal and find .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, that was Phil Mattingly reporting there.
Let's dig into some of these new poll numbers with our Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny joins us from New York.
Hey there, Jeff. Well, what is clear from these new CNN numbers? It's certainly not a slam dunk for Hillary Clinton. But I think they knew and
the Trump campaign know, this was always going to be close, mostly because both of these candidates are just so disliked.
JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Indeed it is going to be a very close race as most elections in the U.S. are. I mean, this was never
going to be a landslide election on either side here. But this new poll, our new CNN poll out this morning is showing that this is a neck and neck
race. This is within the margin of error on both sides.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind how elections are conducted and won here. I mean, if you look at the numbers right there, Donald Trump 45
percent, Hillary Clinton 43 percent among likely voters there. That's a national number. But the contests are conducted state by state by state,
so that is a different set of information here.
The goal is to get 270 electoral votes. That's why so much time is spent in these swing states, where Hillary Clinton has an advantage in virtually
every swing state in the country here. But what the -- these polls show is that enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is not as high as they would like it to
be. And it is much higher for Donald Trump. Donald Trump has simply captured the hearts and minds of his supporters more than Hillary Clinton
CURNOW: I want to talk more about this enthusiasm, this excitement level. Because that's key, because it's also very much linked to voter turnout
CURNOW: I mean, you need people to come and vote for you. And what's interesting is that the U.S. has really historically low levels of voter
turnout. I want to bring out a map, I mean, a graph. I mean, if you look at it .
CURNOW: . compared to the U.K. or Germany or Turkey even which has 84 percent, the USA voter turnout is 53 percent. Just over 53 percent. So
what kind of impact will that have on both of these campaigns?
ZELENY: Well, sure it definitely will have an impact on the campaigns. Some people frankly are just turned off by the election, particularly when
it gets to be as negative as this one has been. I mean, the rates of voter turnout here in the U.S. as we've seen right there are significantly lower
than in other democracies around the world here.
So it is something that it's not going to change by leaps and bounds this year. The campaigns simply want to get out basically the same people who
voted four years ago and eight years ago. That's why we're going to see President Obama on the campaign trail aggressively. We've seen Vice-
President Biden on the campaign train. Even Michelle Obama will be out campaigning starting next week for Hillary Clinton. They are trying to
basically fire up all those Democrats who sent him to the White House twice, first in 2008 and then again in 2012.
CURNOW: Yeah, it's so key. Let's talk about vice presidents. The other issue that Hillary Clinton particularly is facing is the issue of trust.
And you chatted to Joe Biden and the man who wants to also take his job, Tim Kaine, about this trust issue. What did they have to say to you?
ZELENY: Well, we caught up with Vice President Biden and Senator Tim Kaine in Pennsylvania yesterday where they were campaigning at a Labor Day rally.
Really trying to win over some of those white working class voters. But issues of trust and honesty are weighing so heavily on this campaign. We
asked Joe Biden if he had any advice for Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think it's an incredibly confusing year, number one. I think a lot of the criticism of her has been veiled
and unspecific. I think what you're going to see now, as we focus on what each of the candidates are going to do, I think you're going to see that
And I, you know, I feel it. I mean, look, the one thing Hillary understands, she understands the pain of actual folks out there who can't
get their kids to school. And so, she has no notion of it. And my advice to Hillary always is, just open up. Let them see your heart a little more
because she has the heart.
ZELENY: Does she need to do more explaining on some of these controversies like e-mail and other things, or should she stop explaining?
BIDEN: Well, I think she's -- but my understanding is she is going to make a final judgment about what they're going to do with the foundation, and
just lay it all out. And this is what's going to happen from this point on, and so I am, this is what I'm going to do. And they're going to be
[10:15:05] ZELENY: Has she not been clear enough?
BIDEN: Well, it's been a moving target. I mean, you look, the whole notion of how foundations function is now all of a sudden being put in play
like it never was before. So I'm absolutely confident she is doing it by the book, and I think she is going to figure out what she's going to say
crystal clear to the American people about what the relationship between the family and that foundation will be from this point forward.
TIM KAINE, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And one of the things that's interesting, Jeff, is, you know, she made a commitment about the foundation
activities before the election. You know, we'll stop taking donations from the foundation well from certain groups. And then after the election,
additional commitment about President Clinton stepping back.
Meanwhile, this week, there's been a story about the Trump Foundation that they used charitable foundation money's in the Trump Foundation to make an
illegal campaign contribution to a Florida attorney general who is considering whether to sue Trump U or not. And of course after the $25,000
went to the Florida A.G., she didn't pursue the lawsuit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So Senator Tim Kaine there playing a bit of the attack dog role, you know, saying that Donald Trump is not controversy-free as well here.
So this is just where this election sits right now at 63 days before Election Day here in the U.S.
CURNOW: Yes, certainly fasten our seat belts. Great interview, though. Great access. Thanks so much, Jeff Zeleny there.
ZELENY: Thank you.
CURNOW: Well, you're watching CNN. Glitches and computer outages have caused widespread delays across three airlines in three months.
We'll talk to an aviation expert who looks at the havoc at British Airways and beyond. Plus, a notorious radical cleric gets handed a prison term for
supporting terror. Details on Anjem Choudary sentencing in the U.K. That's also next. Stay with us.
CURNOW: To the Old Bailey Court now in London. One of Britain's most notorious advocates of radical Islam will be locked up for more than half a
decade. The court had sentenced hate preacher Anjem Choudary for inviting supports for ISIS.
Well, Phil Black joins us now from outside the Old Bailey.
Hi there, Phil. This man inspired a generation of fanatics. What did the judge say about him?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the judge, Robyn, basically said he didn't buy a lot of what Anjem Choudary and his lawyers said over the
course of his trial. Now, this is a man who for decades has advocated radical Islam. He very publicly -- he has wriggled in journalist
interviews by British journalist and does from around the world where by he would always walk a very awkward line, you'd have to say, advocating
radical Islam, refusing to condemn specific terror sects. At the same time saying that some of those acts were justified, but without actually
endorsing or encouraging people to behave violently.
[10:20:07] So for that reason, the police security officials here have been really interested and frustrated by this man for a very, very long time.
In the end, he provided them with the evidence they needed, when in 2014 into 2015, he posted videos of speeches online in which he pledged
allegiance to ISIS and encouraged others to do the same. That was enough for the police to move in, arrest this man, bring him on trial.
Over the course of the trial, the judge noted that what Choudary had tried to say was he supports an Islamic state as an academic intellectual idea in
an ideological sense, not the specific terrorist organization that is ISIS and its behavior and actions. In the end as I say, the judge simply didn't
buy it. There was enough evidence, he said, to determine that Anjem Choudary deserved a significant sentence.
The maximum sentence available was 10 years. In the end, he got five and a half years with some credit. So some time taken off because of the time
that he had already served over the course of the trial. Robyn.
CURNOW: Yeah, he's a lawyer, so he's managed to sort of skirt around the laws for a while. With this in mind, though, we know that nearly 900
Britons have gone to Syria to join ISIS. Police say, they don't know how many of them Choudary influenced but they do say he was key in the
radicalization and recruitment drive with that. The big question now I supposed is can he be silenced while in jail?
BLACK: Well, the police made that point. They said he's a significant extremist with significant influence. And they couldn't say just how many
people he had influenced to travel, but he had certainly influenced some of them to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS in that way.
There will no doubt the scrutiny on just how and where he is going to be held. Will he be held in isolation? What prison will he have the ability
to continue to pass on that extremism to others? We don't have the specific details here yet. But the other point the police made, the other
concern for them, they say, is now ensuring that out in the public, there aren't people who step into his shoes and take on that role, if you like,
as effectively this country's spokesperson for radical Islam. Robyn.
CURNOW: Yeah, excellent point there. Phil Black outside the Old Bailey. Thank you.
Well, the wave of violence continues in the capital of Afghanistan. Militants targeted the Kabul offices of CARE overnight. They killed one
person, wounded six others in a gun and bomb attack that lasted several hours. The interior ministry says all three assailants were killed. Now,
this comes on the heels of attacks outside the defense ministry and at the American University of Afghanistan last month.
There's been more airline chaos for passengers, less than a month after a computer outage stalled Delta flights around the globe. Passengers on
British Airways flights found themselves in line for hours and hours. The airline says a failure in its computer check-in system is to blame, and it
says it's now back on track. But passengers are angry.
And at London city airport, there were disruptions of a different kind. Police there arrested Black Lives Matter protesters after they made it to
the runway and chained themselves there.
Let's get back to these computer failures derailing thousands of flights on what seems to be now a regular basis. CNN Aviation Analyst Peter Goelz
joins us now.
Hi there, Peter. These are series of computer glitches from Southwest to Delta, now British Airways. What's happening?
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, what you have happening, Robyn, is that airlines are cyclical. They don't make money every year. Now, the
last couple of years they've been making money and they're trying to get caught up on their I.T. systems. But the reality is they are not investing
enough money to have these systems work properly and test them out.
In the case of British Airways, they've had a new system in place for the last few months called FLY. And yesterday, it was no fly because of a
glitch that grounded the check-in process, and it cascades over to their code share partners, which made this a worldwide event.
CURNOW: Yeah, a lot of people still were trying to get to where they were going in the first place. I mean, this is not over for many people sitting
in airports right now. But let's just talk about the language that's being used here.
Southwest, a few months ago said they had a system outage. Delta said there was a power outage. British Airways has called this initially a
problem that their I.T. department was working on.
So is this -- I mean, you talk about cost cutting. But is this also about outdated systems overused to capacity? Was there something more vulnerable
here about hacking? Are there any other explanations?
GOELZ: Well, I think you've got two problems, you've hit on both. One is, they're playing catch-up. During the lean years, airlines invested in
making the front of their planes more luxurious. They did not invest in their infrastructure. Now they're playing catch-up, and frankly, they're
behind the curve.
[10:25:12] And secondly, the threat of hacking is very real. And while none of these three events have been shown to be a hack, it really exposes
how vulnerable these systems might be to sophisticated hackers.
CURNOW: And passengers meanwhile are angry, are tired, are frustrated, many, as I said, still trying to get to their destinations today. And also
what's key, you talk about the code sharing, that the knock-on effect just lasts days and days.
GOELZ: Exactly. You'd see, airplanes, as passengers well know, are crowded. The load factor as they say is very high. So when you cancel
even just one flight to a popular destination, it may take hours and sometimes days for those passengers to get rebooked. It's a very
frustrating experience, and air travel simply isn't what it used to be in terms of the customer experience.
CURNOW: Certainly is. Peter Goelz, thank you so much for joining us.
GOELZ: Thank you.
CURNOW: Well, in the U.S., the city of Chicago is marking a very grim milestone. The "Chicago Tribune" reports police have recorded the 500th
homicide on the city streets this year alone. 2016 is now officially the deadliest year in two decades, with a murder rate that outpaces other big
American cities. Still, New Orleans, Detroit, and a few others have a higher crime rate per capita.
Now, the parent company of American television network Fox News has settled the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former host. A source tells CNN
Gretchen Carlson will be paid $20 million.
Carlson, if you remember, had accused the former CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes of sexually harassing her. He resigned from the network, but denies
the accusation. More than a dozen other women came forward with their own stories of harassment going back decades.
And American comedian Bill Cosby is headed back to court. His lawyers may ask a judge to throw out two key pieces of evidence in his sexual assault
case. First, the deposition Cosby gave in the 2005 lawsuit where he described the encounter with an accuser. The second piece of evidence is a
phone call with the woman's mother, where he offers to pay for her education. The woman says Cosby drugged and then sexually assaulted her
back in 2014.
Well, still ahead, French magazine "Charlie Hebdo" is joining the anger of Italian officials over this cartoon. We'll have the latest on what's
become a very public spat between the two sides.
[10:30:19] CURNOW: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the "International Desk." I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
The Philippines is doing damage control after its president used language that came across as an insult to Barack Obama. The comment prompted the
U.S. to cancel a meeting between the men. Now the office of Rodrigo Duterte says the offensive remark was not directed at Mr. Obama, and he's
sorry that it was taken that way.
And a new CNN-ORC poll shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a statistical dead heat. A survey of likely voters has Trump with a two-
point lead over Clinton. But when a broader pool of registered voters is included, Clinton is ahead of Trump by three points.
And a criminal court in Britain has sentenced notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary to more than five years in prison. He and a co-defendant were
convicted of inviting support for ISIS. British police say he was a key figure in recruitment for the terror group.
And a dispute between Italian officials and the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" is showing no signs of letting up. The magazine sparked
outrage last week with a cartoon portraying victims of the earthquake in Italy as pasta dishes.
Ben Wedeman joins me now from Rome.
Hi there Ben. Just tell us about this cartoon and the hurt that it's caused.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this cartoon, as you mentioned, published in "Charlie Hebdo," it shows a cartoon with
three different frames. One is with a man seemingly covered with blood. He's described as penne with tomato sauce. Another penne gratinees, and
the third with a collapsed building with legs sticking out of it and it's called lasagna.
This cartoon is obviously very much along the lines of much what "Charlie Hebdo" puts out. But Italians, not just officials, everybody here is not
happy with this commercial, with this cartoon. Many people saying that when France was attacked by terrorists repeatedly over the last year and a
half, Italians, ordinary Italians really expressed their solidarity and sympathy for the French people and they wonder why, where it's coming from,
this sort of crude and bad humor.
Now, we did hear the Italian Interior Minister who said that, "We wept for the dead, they laughed at ours. Using their sarcasm, I suggest -- I have a
suggestion about where they should stick their pencil." Now of course, the French are insisting that this is not the opinion of ordinary French
people. And the French embassy here in Rome putting out a statement to that effect. Robyn?
CURNOW: But still, what next? I mean, could this go beyond just a war of words?
WEDEMAN: No, I think that's really the end of this story. I don't think any Italians are reminiscing about the days when Julius Caesar conquered
Gaul. That's not going to happen. There's a normal sort of competitive feeling between the two countries. Of course, Italy is a country with
better food and wine than France. And they, I think, also have a better sense of humor as well, Robyn.
CURNOW: OK, you throwing your two cents in there. Ben Wedeman, thanks so much.
Well, new cases of Zika are being identified almost daily in Singapore now. The total number of infections there have risen to 275. Our Melissa Chan
shows us what the government is doing to stop the spread.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA CHAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hunting down the enemy. This is the front line in Singapore's battle against the Zika virus and the Aedes
aegypti mosquito that carries it. This team takes the attack to this public housing development, close to the latest cluster of Zika cases.
So here's another more conventional measure for inhibiting mosquitoes. This gentleman is spraying oil into the strain. The idea is that it
prevents the larvae from developing. 80 percent of Singaporeans live in some form of high-rise living and that is an oasis for the Aedes mosquito.
So the battle is raging not just on the outdoors, but indoors as well, and that presents a big challenge.
Public outreach has been at the center of this campaign. Leaflets, posters, and volunteers have gone out in the hundreds to educate
communities on the dangers. Leading the charge, Derek Ho, who runs the National Environment Agency.
DEREK HO, SINGAPORE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR- GENERAL: In the past, we've always been banking on officers' inspections of the various premises. We have officers up there checking on a regular
basis of various high risk areas. So we're not just waiting for cases to happen. We're actually doing a pro-preemptive approach.
[10:35:08] CHAN: Despite that, clusters of infection have cropped up, like at this construction site. Workers here were struck by a local strain of
Zika. Singapore's Ministry of Health said analysis of two cases found that they had likely evolved from a strain of Zika that was already circulating
in Southeast Asia. So, why wasn't it on the radar before?
LEO YEE SIN, SINGAPORE COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CENTRE CLINICAL DIRECTOR: Zika is a virus that it belong to flavivirus family in terms of genetically to
the dengue, to others flavivirus family groups like the Japanese encephalitis. So we can understand now that, you know, the cause is also
similar, in other words, not so easy to differentiate them, one from the other.
CHAN: Singapore's lush gardens against the backdrop of urban dynamism is a magnet for the Aedes mosquito. The country's experience with dengue fever
is proving lessons in the march against Zika. With a well-equipped health care system and its manageable size, Singapore may be able to handle this
outbreak well, but the same might not be said of its neighbors which could be most at risk.
Melissa Chan, CNN, Singapore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Thanks to the Melissa for that report.
Now, a 22 year old of Indian descent is the new face of Miss Japan. Priyanka Yoshikawa will be representing the country at the Miss World
beauty pageant. Her remarkable victory comes just one year after Ariana Miyamoto faced an ugly backlash after becoming the first biracial woman to
win Miss Universe Japan.
And next stop on the "International Desk," we'll visit a family of tattoo artists in the Holy Land still making their mark after 700 years.
CURNOW: Well, some people who make the spiritual journey to Jerusalem leave with a permanent souvenir. CNN's Ian Lee visited a family-owned
tattoo parlor that has lasted through the ages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Andrew Seropian got his first tattoo when he joined the U.S. Army. But this Armenian cross means the
most for the veteran of Afghanistan.
[10:40:03] ANDREW SEROPIAN, U.S. ARMY VETERAN: I was centimeters from a rocket that blew up and no protection on, and I took the full blast. And I
believe I could have been dead or missing an arm. I do believe I was protected in that blast by God.
LEE: Seropian, like pilgrims before him, made one last stop before leaving the Holy Land. For 700 years, pilgrims sought out the Razzouk family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the ancestors started the tradition of the tattoo, and it was, of course, no electricity was available. It was done by hand.
WASSIM RAZZOUK, TATTOO ARTIST: The Christian tattooing has always been used as certificate of pilgrimage. And the only way for people to prove
and get a certificate or a stamp, sort of a stamp, that will last forever, if they've done the pilgrimage, is by actually getting tattooed.
LEE: The tattooing technique originated in Egypt and evolved over the centuries, but the designs last through the ages.
RAZZOUK: We are not only old school, you can say we are ancient school. You know we have now designs hundreds of years old.
LEE: Wassim Razzouk shows me one such design carved from woodblocks.
RAZZOUK: For example, this one is about 500 years old. This actual block was specifically was used in 1669 to tattoo a pilgrim that has documented
LEE: Pilgrims travel to the Holy Land in search of something. It could be adventure, inner peace, or God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a really emotional journey for me to renew my faith, and this for me has become an external version of what I am now
feeling inside. And I feel that I have renewed a newfound faith that I feel is more permanent.
LEE: The holy ink almost dried up. Wassim initially had no interest in the family business.
RAZZOUK: This is not a tradition and a heritage that is easy to let go of. I'm not going to be the one who's going to stop it or kill it.
LEE: The mark of faith is secured for the next generation, as future pilgrims will seek out Wassim's son.
Ian Lee, CNN, in Jerusalem's old city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Great piece from Ian. Thanks for that.
You've been watching the "International Desk." Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. I'll be back in just over an hour with more news but in the
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