Return to Transcripts main page


Reports: Chemical Attack On Syrian Civilians; Carter: Prospect Of Peace In Syria "Not Encouraging;" U.K. To Build A Wall In French Port City Calais; Candidates Clash Over National Security; Apple Expected To Unveil iPhone 7; Paralympics Opening Ceremony Just Hours Away; Tides Reveal Dinosaur Prints At Australian Beach; Simple Phones Make A Comeback; Love Of Library Translated To $4 Mn Donation. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 7, 2016 - 10:00:00   ET



[10:00:13] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead here at the "International Desk," a chlorine gas attack reported in Syria. Donald Trump wants a plan

to defeat ISIS in 30 days. And the Paralympics kick off in Rio.

Hi there, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow for CNN center. In Syria air strikes have bombarded an Aleppo neighborhood controlled by rebels just a day after

an alleged poison gas attack hit civilians on the same streets. Now, that's according to activist groups. A London-based group says government

planes were behind the gas attack.

Well, our CNN International Correspondent Arwa Damon joins us now from Istanbul.

You've been keeping an eye on all these reports. What are you hearing, Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, the images that have emerged, and we do have to warn our viewers, they're quite difficult

to watch, are really heartbreaking. You see small children gasping for breath. You see adults also being put on hospital beds being treated.

And one has to bear in mind that in the aftermath of these kinds of attacks, the people that have been affected by them, the kids that have

been affected by them are not going off into medical facilities that are fully functional. A lot of the medical facilities in this part of rebel-

held Aleppo are underground after having been bombed numerous times. They have very little equipment at hand to deal with these kinds of casualties.

And in most cases they are running on generators that have very little fuel because this area is under siege once again.

And we have repeatedly been hearing desperate cry after desperate cry from doctors, activists and residents in this area talking about the fact that

they have been bombarded numerous times. And how do they know that this was some sort of poisonous gas, why do they suspect that it's chlorine?

Well, because they've been through this before in this neighborhood and in other parts of Syria as well.

And then the day after, as we're mentioning there, more air strikes killing, according to activists, at least seven people, injuring another

40. These are numbers that we hear every single day. These are numbers that fluctuate. Some days are worse than others, yes.

But at the same time these kinds of heartbreaking images come out of Syria every single day. And that's why people are just so frustrated, so

dejected and so angry because, Robyn, nothing changes when it comes to the issue of chemical weapons.

America's so-called red line, well, that was crossed in August of 2013 when you had that massive chemical weapon attack that took place in the Damascus

suburb of Ghouta where hundreds if not more than a thousand people were killed, where in that instance we didn't see images necessarily of little

children gasping for air. We saw images of little children covered in white pieces of cloth because they had died from the strike alongside, of

course, the adults as well.

And a lot of people right now are just beside themselves because they don't know what more to do, how to communicate just how dire this situation is in

Aleppo, in other parts of Syria as well and what needs to happen. How bad -- how much worse does it need to get before there is actual concrete

action not just rhetoric that is going to end the violence?

CURNOW: And the concern is, of course, amidst all of that, these are perhaps signs of President Assad being more emboldened.

DARWA: It very well could be. I mean, look, the Assad regime, especially, since they got the support of Russia and managed to make significant

battlefield gains, has been more emboldened.

They do realize that to a certain degree they have the upper hand, not just in the battlefield but also to a certain degree because of that Russian

support on the global arena as well. This is a regime that has stuck to its narrative from day one that they are fighting terrorist organizations

on the ground.

They say that they want to reach out and speak to some opposition leaders, but they do view the vast majority, if not all of the rebel groups on the

ground, as being part of these terrorist organizations. That's how they justify in their mind the ongoing bombardment and they also view anyone who

supports these organizations, you know, ends up living in these areas as being one in the same.

And when you have such a polarized conflict as the one that we have in Syria, it's very difficult to see how all of these parties are going to,

one, come to a negotiating table, but also when these negotiations are taking place outside of Syria, mostly being undertaken by the U.S. and

Russia, each of whom are backing their different proxies on the ground.

[10:05:08] But, yes, most certainly, one looks at the violence, if one looks at the air strikes, this is a regime that firmly believes it can do

whatever it wants and get away with it.

CURNOW: Excellent points there, Arwa Damon. Thanks so much for bringing us up to date there from Istanbul. Appreciate it.

And as Arwa was saying, while concerns about the violence in Syria continue, there are talks in London to try and forge peace, but critics say

the main players not even at the table.

An umbrella group of opposition leaders, the High Negotiation Committee has presented its plan for Syria's future. The group says it won't accept any

deal from the U.S. and Russia that differs from its own vision.

The group wants to remove Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and hold elections. Meanwhile, top U.S. diplomats have been trying to push a

political transition in talks with Russia, but the U.S. Defense Secretary says the prospect is, "not encouraging."

OK, to Paris now where the authorities there are investigating a suspicious car discovered near a main tourist attraction. Phil Black is following

this development from London.

Hi there, Phil. Real questions about what was in this car and who it belonged to?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of questions about this, Robyn. So this was early Sunday morning, that was when the police first got a report

of a suspicious vehicle in central Paris in a side street close to the Notre Dame Cathedral, that very famous Parisian landmark.

When they inspected the car, what they found inside were gas canisters, seven of them in all, according to our French affiliate, BFM, six of those

canisters were full. One of them was empty. The authorities say there was no obvious sign of any sort of detonation system or anything that could

turn those canisters into something far more deadly, but obviously very suspicious, very concerning.

Now, today, authorities say that they have arrested two people in connection with this, a 34-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman. They were

arrested in the south of France near the town of Orange. And concerningly, again, they were known, we are told, by our French affiliate, BFM, to

French intelligence services.

Beyond that, there's really a lot of questions and the facts so far are quite limited, even the French Interior Minister today said that so far

they are yet to determine just what the intention with this particular incident was, Robyn.

CURNOW: Yeah, so still deeply concerning, though, particularly because France has been struck by a series of terror attacks in the past year or

two. How overstretched are authorities? How much of a handle have they got on the situation there?

BLACK: Well, we know they are dealing with an active ongoing terror situation, the terror threat if you like. They remain at the state of

emergency. So military, police, intelligence services are all very much focused on this as they have been for some time. And then as the

politicians say, they believe that this is a long-term ongoing threat and one the French people are going to have to get used to dealing with for

quite some time.

Today, the French Interior Minister said they've arrested 260 people all out on suspicion of being involved in some sort of planned terror attack.

It's a broad figure. It doesn't talk about the nature of the attacks, the seriousness, the suspiciousness or the degree of readiness, but it does

back up what we're talking about and what we know to be true, and that is that the French authorities believe they are dealing and still dealing with

the very real possibility of further attacks in the country.

CURNOW: Yeah, OK. Thanks so much, Phil Black keeping an eye on things on that for us. Appreciate it.

Well, staying in France, the French city, the port city of Calais will begin soon on a wall aimed at keeping migrants from jumping on trucks and

going through the channel tunnel into the U.K. Well, CNN's Erin McLaughlin is on London.

Give us the details on that. A wall to stop migrants, who's paying for it?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Well, the British government will be picking up the $2.5 million price tag. Some are calling

this the great wall of Calais. Others comparing it to Donald Trump's plans for Mexico, but there are some key differences.

First of all, the wall is only going to stretch about a kilometer long separating a port city from the main road and the camp, the migrant camp

known as the "Jungle." Take a listen to what the British immigration minister had to say about it.


ROBERT GOODWILL, BRITISH IMMIGRATION MINISTER: The securities we're putting in at the port cities being stepped up out with bunch of equipment.

We're going to start building this big new wall very soon as part of the $17 million package that we're doing with the French. So, you know, there

are people still getting through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a fence, not a wall, isn't it? We don't want to confuse it.

GOODWILL: That we've done the fence. Now we're doing a wall.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now, earlier this week there were protests there in Calais. A truck drivers absolutely outraged at what they say are the increasingly

drastic and dangerous tactics being employed by the migrants.

[10:10:03] They're been throwing objects at the trucks, setting up barriers in the road, everything to get those trucks to slow down so they could try

and get on board to cross the English channel. But the Truck Drivers Association here in the U.K. is actually against this wall. They want to

see that $2.5 million put towards more security along that main road leading to the port.

Aid organizations also saying that this is not the answer. They're saying that these migrants are desperate. They're going to do whatever it takes

to try and get on to that main road. And they're arguing that the only people who will profit from this wall are the smugglers who will simply

increase their prices. Robyn?

CURNOW: Of course, this conversation taking place amidst plans to close that jungle. Thank you so much, Erin McLaughlin on a story that certainly

touches your whole nerve in Europe. Appreciate it.

Well, you're watching CNN. With the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks almost upon us, the U.S. presidential candidates are touting their national

security credentials. We'll take you on the campaign trail.

Plus, hours from now, Apple is expected to debut a new iPhone, but not everyone is happy about a rumored change to the device. Stay with us.


CURNOW: Each of the U.S. presidential candidates is promising they can keep the U.S. safe and their opponent calm. They're talking national

security all week touting their record on the military. Sara Murray has the details from Washington.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She never talks about policy.

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashing over who is ready to be commander-in-chief.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has no clue about what he's talking about.

MURRAY: Trump unveiling endorsement from nearly 90 retired U.S. military leaders and revealing his plan to demand a plan to take down ISIS.

TRUMP: They're going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan

for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.

CLINTON: He said he has a secret plan to defeat ISIS, but the secret is he has no plan.

MURRAY: As Clinton warns Trump will lead the U.S. back to war.

CLINTON: When it comes to fighting ISIS, he has been all over the map. You would have to literally map it out. He's talked about letting Syria

become a free zone for ISIS. Look at the map, Donald. He's talked about sending in American ground troops, not on my watch.

MURRAY: The Democratic nominee capitalizing on Trump's own words about veterans in this new ad.

TRUMP: John McCain, a war hero. He's not a war hero. He is the war hero, but he was captured. I like people who weren't captured, OK?

MURRAY: As she touts her own military supporters.

CLINTON: They know that they cannot count on Donald Trump. They view him as a danger and a risk.

[10:15:06] MURRAY: But Trump continues to argue Clinton is the risky one.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton favors what has been called military adventurism, rushing to invade countries, displacing millions of families and then

inviting the refugees into our country creating power vacuums filled by terrorist groups like ISIS.

MURRAY: As the two rivals trade barbs over who qualifies as friend or foe.

TRUMP: Hillary likes to play tough with Russia. Putin looks at her and he laughs, OK? Russia doesn't like ISIS any better than we do. Wouldn't it

be nice if we actually got along with Russia and we can knock them out together? Wouldn't that be a good thing?

CLINTON: We're going to work with our allies, not insult them. We're going to stand up to our adversaries, not cozy up to them.

MURRAY: Trump also taking aim at Clinton's private e-mail server, highlighting the FBI's revelation that one of her aides destroyed old

phones with a hammer.

TRUMP: Very shady activity.

MURRAY: And seeding on Clinton's repeated claim in her FBI interview that there were some details she just couldn't recall.

TRUMP: If she really can't remember, she can't be president. She has to remember anything. Were you instructed on how to use it? I can't



CURNOW: Well, we asked our military analyst about Trump's plan to give the military a month to come up with an anti-ISIS plan. He tells Anderson

Cooper it shows Trump doesn't know what's going on.


LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It shows a complete lack of understanding of the threat and the ways to fight it. This is a

generational threat. You just don't say beat it in 30 days because it's, frankly, insulting to the individuals who have been attempting to put all

their other strength on the line to defeat it over the last 16 years.


CURNOW: Let's take a look at how the candidates' national security proposals are playing on the campaign trail. Of course, it all has global

implications. CNN Politics Executive Editor Mark Preston joins us to add some perspective.

I think it's the timing that's important here. It's the week before the 9/11 anniversary. Both of them focusing on national security, an issue

that really strikes a chord with the American electorate.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: It certainly does, Robyn. And in two ways, one, the economy is still is number one, and will continue

to be the number one issue here in the United States. But followed very closely by that, when you put it all together the issue on foreign policy

and protecting the homeland terrorism specifically.

And we just had a new CNN/ORC poll, international poll come out yesterday that showed that Donald Trump continues to win on the idea that he would be

stronger in the war against terror, while Hillary Clinton would do better on the idea of foreign policy.

And that's probably because Donald Trump is a tough talker. He's a tough talker on immigration. He's a tough talker on the economy, which a lot of

folks now will say that is a big national security threat right now to United States, the amount of money that we owe foreign governments.

And then you have Hillary Clinton who spent four years as a diplomat hopscotching across the country, around the world dealing with world

leaders. So as you said, as we're heading into the final 60 days before the election, this is going to be a topic that will certainly be front and


CURNOW: Another topic that's front and center is certainly the negative reactions both of these candidates garner. It's quite stark when you have

conversations with people here in the U.S.

There's a article out today with the line that says Hillary Clinton -- on Hillary Clinton's prospects here that Trump can't win this election

but Hillary can lose it. How is that? Is it just all about trust and honesty, perception of that?

PRESTON: You know it's certainly a major part of that and really no truer words spoken. And the reason why I say that is I spoke to a senior Trump

adviser about their paths to victory few weeks ago who said, "Listen, we don't necessarily think that Donald Trump can come out and coast to victory

on his own. We need Hillary Clinton to trip up."

And what we saw over the past few week here in the U.S., Hillary Clinton was running into that buzz we saw again, about being honest and trustworthy

that came to the issue of her having a private e-mail server when she was the secretary of state and there was classified material that was being

taken out of the secretary of state's confined system and sent to her privately and whether she's being honest and trustworthy about that. So

that is a big issue that they play.

Also, Hillary Clinton, up until the last couple days, refused to hold a news conference for more than 200 days. I think that was nagging at them.

And Hillary Clinton has decided to come out and speak. So, you're absolutely right. It's a very big issue at this point.

Donald Trump, though, for all this bombasticness and for the fact that he is doing better in national polls still needs to do well in the

battleground states. We need to see if those polls are turning his way. We'll probably know within the next week or so.

CURNOW: Yeah. And not only that's the key here, it's about the ground game, isn't it? And that's where Hillary Clinton has a huge advantage


PRESTON: And it is. And really Donald Trump never had a full apparatus working. He took pride in having a very small campaign, but here in the

United States you have to spend a lot of money, you have to hire a lot of people.

[10:20:08] You have to knock on a lot of doors, put out a lot of mailers. You have to do a lot of spade work, early work on in order to capitalize on

these final 60 days. And for Donald Trump, our viewers around the world as they're looking to see what issues are going to be discussed about that

could potentially affect them.

Trade is going to be a major issue, the economy, the global economy will be a major issue specifically when we look at states such as Pennsylvania, and

Ohio and Wisconsin. These are all states that have international impact as well as down in Florida as well, which is very much an international state.

So, listen, it is going to be a knife fight, a political knife fight as we head into Election Day. And not only will we be talking about the economy

and what have you, but we will certainly be talking about global security and how these two candidates will work with foreign leaders.

CURNOW: Yeah, OK. Thank you so much, Mark Preston, appreciate it, giving us all of your perspective there from Washington. Thank you.

Now, while the candidates want to talk national security, another controversy is brewing. Florida's Attorney General says a campaign

contribution from Donald Trump had nothing to do with her dropping an investigation into his university. Drew Griffin now explains.


PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is my great honor to introduce to you .

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi is a huge supporter of Donald Trump.

BONDI: . the next president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

GRIFFIN: Bondi is also the Florida Attorney General whose office decided not to pursue a case against Donald Trump, and the decision was made almost

exactly at the same time Trump made a $25,000 donation to Pam Bondi's political PAC.

TRUMP: I've just known Pam Bondi for years. I have a lot of respect for her. Never spoke to her about that at all.

GRIFFIN: Trump on his plane this weekend denies any connection. Pam Bondi also forcefully denies any connection calling it bullying by the Clinton


BONDI: I will not be collateral damage in a presidential campaign, nor will I be a woman bullied by Hillary Clinton.

GRIFFIN: So what did happen? Here are the facts. Pam Bondi took office in 2011. Trump University was already out of business. Prior to her

taking office, Florida's Attorney General's office received 20 complaints against Trump Institute, a business affiliated with Trump, but it, too, was

out of business.

Since Pam Bondi took office, up until the decision was made, Florida received just one complaint against Trump University. According to a

spokesman for Florida's Attorney General, "It wasn't enough to justify Florida filing suit. Instead, staff doing due diligence reviewed the

complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers

nationwide." In other words, Floridians could join New York's lawsuit.

The spokesman also told CNN, Pam Bondi had nothing to do with it. The decision was made by staff. In fact, the spokesman says, Pam Bondi didn't

even know there were complaints against Trump.

But around the same time, the Florida Attorney General's office was deciding to not pursue a case against Trump, Pam Bondi was pursuing Donald

Trump himself for a political donation. It was September of 2013, Trump's Foundation donated $25,000 to Bondi's political action committee. Bondi's

attorney general's office never pursued the case. Did one follow the other? Pam Bondi, again, today on Fox Business News says no.

BONDI: Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution. That's not what this is about. She was saying he was under investigation by my office at

the time and I knew about it. None of which is true.


CURNOW: Well, that was Drew Griffin reporting there.

Well, to some news about a product that all of you have in your handbag or in your back pocket. In less than three hours, Apple is expected to unveil

a new generation of iPhones. Before the big debut all the talk seems to be about what the phones might not have.

CNN's Samuel Burke joins me now from San Francisco where the announcement will be made. It's a big announcement.

What is this next generation of iPhone expected to have or not have?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, to upgrade or not to upgrade that is the big question that's going to be answered here. Let's just get that

list up on the screen of what the expectations are here in the next few hours.

Number one, a water resistant phone. So drop it in a river or a pool and hopefully you can pull it out in time and it will still work. Number two,

a dual-lens camera. So one camera, two different lenses so that we can take a picture and the foreground is in focus, but the background is

blurry. We're also expecting more storage, minimum of 32 gigabytes.

[10:25:01] And most important, like you said, what might be missing, the headphone port, this little hole that's been in so many devices long before

the iPhone. You just plug your headphones into there and it could be gone. They want to make the phone slimmer, maybe get a bigger battery in there.

So it could be a real change for the entire industry.

CURNOW: Real change for the entire industry, but we know that Apple has led the way. I mean historically, they are at the forefront of many of

these changes that are now sort of common practice for all of us.

BURKE: 100 percent. And so it might be really how they make this change. I mean, how will you listen to your music is what everyone wants to know.

How will you hear the phone call if you haven't had your headphones in?

Number one, they think that maybe you'll just have -- be able to plug the headphones into the charging port, the little flash port as it's known

here, maybe also wireless headphones. We've seen plenty of headphones like that on the market already, but maybe Apple will launch their own today.

Will they charge you extra for them? Will they come with the phone? Stay tuned to CNN. We will answer that and you might be able to use an adapter,

that way you can just use your old headphones and plug them into the new ports.

But to your point, Robyn, a lot of people say how could Apple do this, but they have been industry changer -- leaders in change. If you go back and

look at the floppy disk, for example, Apple was one of the first to drop that. Everybody followed suit. Then they got rid of removable batteries

and people said that's why the iPhone would never work. And clearly the iPhone has worked out pretty well for them and also getting rid of DVD


So people say why do you cover these big events? The truth is, a very small change like that, just getting rid of that tiny little hole right

hole right there can set off a huge sweeping change for an industry when it's Apple that does it.

CURNOW: Samuel Burke, thanks so much keeping an eye on thing. And, of course, CNN will be covering that launch in the next few hours.

We're also expecting some big news from Sony, the company says a PlayStation meeting is happening right after Apple's event. Sony is

expected to unveil a more powerful high-end version of the PlayStation4, reportedly in the codenamed "Neo."

It's not a completely new generation of game council, but it is expected to support 4-K resolution and give a better virtual reality experience.

Gamers are also expecting to see a slimmer version of the PS4 and updates on the PlayStation V.R. headset.

Well, still ahead, it's round two for Rio after the Olympics, come the Paralympics. The games are now just hours away. We'll look at how they

almost didn't happen and the athletes who won't be there.


[10:30:19] CURNOW: Hi there, welcome, everyone. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines. Air strikes have just hit an Aleppo neighborhood

still reeling from an alleged chemical gas attack. That's according to an activist who says the air strikes have killed at least seven people. The

Syrian civil defense says a poisoned gas attack left more than 100 people with difficulty breathing.

Authorities in Paris are nervous and concerned after a car was found near the Notre Dame Cathedral containing several gas cylinders. Reports from

France say two people have been arrested. Authorities say no detonators were found. Paris has been on high alert following a string of terror


The construction is about to begin on a wall aimed at keeping migrants from crossing from France into the U.K. Britain is footing the bill, $2.5

million. The deal was struck after repeated attempts by migrants to board trucks at Calais and sneak through the channel tunnel.

Well, Rio de Janeiro is getting ready for another big event. The Paralympics open just hours from now. But they're not without some

controversy and some nervous moments.

Fred Pleitgen is with us from Russia, home to some athletes who will not be participating. Shasta Darlington is standing by in Rio.

First to you, Shasta, I mean, these games almost didn't happen.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The Paralympics were in a dire straights and everyone ended up finding out about this last

minute. Just a few weeks before kick off local organizers announced only 13 percent of tickets had been sold. They were going to have to rein in

the budget. That meant, virtually closing one of the venues, limiting seating and staffing. And for the president of the Paralympic committee,

the biggest problem was he wasn't even aware of what was going on. Listen to this.


PHILIP CRAVEN, INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT: It's been a little bit tumultuous, I would think. And, you know, it was six weeks ago.

We didn't know how deep the difficulties were. We soon found out and then we started working with the organizing committee, with the federal

governments and with the city putting things right.


DARLINGTON: Now, in the end, the local and federal government came together with a bailout package worth about $77 million, still far short of

what was supposed to be invested in these games. And they also got a little help from ticket sales, which finally took off as Brazil sort of

caught that Olympic fever right at the end of the Olympic Games.

They looked around and said, "Oh, the Paralympics are coming, and they started buying up those tickets too." So now, 60 percent of tickets have

been sold helped by the fact that the cheapest ones are going for about $3 a pop. But also by this enthusiasm, kids are going back to school. Their

school groups are buying up these tickets and organizers are now hopeful that they'll sell even more, some of the weekend competitions are

completely sold out, Robyn.

CURNOW: Well, that's good news. Because, I mean, let's not forget the London Paralympics were a huge success and really garnered a lot of


To you Fred in Russia, the entire Paralympic team from Russia was banned, but in a slightly absurd kind of response, they're competing in their own

rival games.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. The Russians say they're putting on alternate Paralympics for their athletes,

of course, in a way, also because there's so much anger here in this country over the decision of the Paralympic committee to ban the entire

Russian team.

Vladimir Putin called that decision inhumane and said that the Russians would put on their own games. Now the opening ceremony for those games

happened earlier today outside of Moscow. The games themselves are actually only two days long. They're going to be on the 8th and the 9th,

so it was tomorrow and the day after.

And because it's only the Russian athletes that are going to be there, some of these will be competitions, for instance in track and field there's

going to competition, but in archery for instance, there will be competitions as well, but some of them will also be demonstrations of the

Paralympic teams. However, there are also going to be medals that are going to be handed out by the Russian Olympics Minister or Sports Minister,

I should say.

So the Russian is putting on this and the athletes themselves with the Russian Paralympic committee have actually put out a video, very high-end

produced video basically with the message saying, "Look, it's a disappointment that we're not going to be able to come to the games,

however, that's worse than the games -- for the games than it is for us."

So putting out that video really is something where a lot of Russians and certainly people in the Russian government and, of course, also a lot of

the Paralympians themselves felt that it was an unfair decision by the Paralympic committee to blanket ban the entire Russian team. Of course,

Robyn, it is over 80 athletes that were banned. They say that they've been hoping for more of a decision along the lines of the International Olympic


[10:35:05] Of course in the Olympics themselves, it was only some Russian athletes that were banned, although, for instance, in track and field as we

recall, it was only one Russian athlete that was actually eligible to start, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, Fred Pleitgen keeping an eye on those rival games essentially. Back to you, Shasta, the one thing about the Paralympics is that each

athlete has their own extraordinary story and no doubt the athletes and the organizers hoping that that's what's going to shine through here.

DARLINGTON: Exactly. And you've certainly seen that here in Brazil as they try and talk about their own wonderful stories, really inspiring

stories of their own athletes, you know. Some interesting details here, in Brazil, 18 percent of the Paralympic athletes were actually victims of

traffic accidents, 4 percent were victims caught in shoot-outs.

So they're going to be telling their stories. We look forward to getting some of them to you. But these are people who had to deal with adversity

and they're really showing the world that you can overcome that adversity and really the things that you can achieve. And that was interesting

talking to the president of the Paralympic committee as well.

He said that this always happen, that people sort of pay attention to the Paralympic games at the very last minute because they have the Olympic

Games coming first. But that they get to take advantage of the enthusiasm off of the back of those and the really extraordinary individual stories

that they have to tell that he expects the enthusiasm to keep growing. And that, in fact, now that all these tickets have been sold, 60 percent,

that's a bigger percentage than the tickets that were sold in Beijing and he sees a bright future ahead, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks so much. Looking forward to all your reports, Shasta and Fred. Appreciate it, guys.

You're watching the "International Desk." Coming up, are the world's busiest people are looking down at their iPhones, one manufacture hopes

they'll look up. We'll visits a new genre of mobile phone reversing the trend. This is the one I like.


CURNOW: I want to take you to a beach in Western Australia where the tide washed out this week and revealed an image that hasn't been seen in more

than 100 million years.

There you have it. It's for real. A woman collecting seashells said that she simply felt the tracks underfoot.

And the paleontologist tells CNN they belong to a carnivorous dinosaur, a megalosaurus, to be exact. He says erratic tides may have washed out the

layers of sand that were keeping them hidden. Wonderful print.

Well, to another dinosaur that many of us are pretty nostalgic for I think. Even though Apple's newest iPhone is sure to boost the latest technology,

some are choosing -- actually many are choosing to ditch their smartphones altogether. The so-called dumb phone users are opting for simple handsets

using them to actually just make calls.

[10:40:07] CNN's Nina Dos Santos look to the new trend of people switching off from a very connective world.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Smartphone, always to hand and always connected. E-mail, social media, games, news, health, market, sports, more

games, technology, currency, music, weather, its information overload.

But many people are ditching their smartphones in favor of a simpler handset. In 2015, an estimated 44 million so-called basic phones were sold

accounting for 2 percent of the mobile market. That may not sound like a lot, but it's still worth $7 billion.

Leading the charge for change is Swiss-base Punkt, the CEO hopes that their device can help cut through the clutter of the modern world.

PETTER NEBY, CEO PUNKT: It's not always good to be always online and always be in the world of notifications.

DOS SANTOS: The stripped back phone does have a calendar, contacts book and alarm, but in its heart (ph) it's a phone.

NEBY: And it's all about they are taking back the conversation. This whole element of no one really knows how to talk any longer.

DOS SANTOS: I brought along my Blackberry and also my iPhone. There are features of these two devices that I use every day. How can people cope

with just that?

NEBY: Well, that's exactly the point, isn't it? I think these smartphones are more computers that you can also talk from. And the less it is built

to having a conversation with, for instance, I myself am a user of a smartphone and such a fan. And so I wouldn't give up my smartphone, but I

just got more help from this to cut it out more often.

DOS SANTOS: And taking that step back seems to be getting the phone notice. Sold out within weeks of its launch it has the backing of design

magazine "Wallpaper."

ROSA BERTOLI, WALLPAPER DESIGN EDITOR: I think more and more people want simplicity in their daily lives and design is the great tool to achieve the

simplicity, because the work of designers is basically making our lives easier and creating objects that are pleasant to use, pleasant to have


DOS SANTOS: Which means simple as well as smart may be here to stay.

Nina Dos Santos, CNNMoney, London.


CURNOW: Well, finally one man's life led to a truly extraordinary gift in death.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are super excited.

TARA LYNN FULTON, LIBRARY DEAN: It was a large donation and came as a total surprise.

CURNOW: Robert Morin was a University of New Hampshire graduate. After school, he returned working at the library there for nearly 50 years.

Living simply and saving. When he died, he donated his entire $4 million estate to the school.

FULTON: He was a very active part of the library, very active part of the campus. And so we're trying to create some living memories of him with his

much appreciated gift.


CURNOW: A beautiful gift. Well, the university says Morin meant for the money to fund scholarships and renovations.

Well, thanks for watching. That's it from us here at the "International Desk." I'm Robyn Curnow. I will be back, though, in just over an hour

with more news. In the meantime, I'm going to send you over to Alex Thomas and "World Sport."