Return to Transcripts main page

IDESK

Clinton, Trump Square Off At Forum; Recent Polls Show Clinton And Trump Neck-And-Neck; Clinton Calls Trump "Totally Unqualified" To Be President; Trump On Putin: More Of A Leader Than Obama; Presidential Candidate Blanks On Aleppo; U.S. And Russia To Hold Talks Over Syria; Turkey Wants To Work With U.S. To Oust ISIS From Raqqa; Hollande Calls For Ban Of Foreign Imams; Hollande Says Islam Fits Into A Secular France; Air China Magazine's London Travel Tips Spark Furor; Another $1.3 Bn In U.S. Payments To Iran Disclosed; Obama, Duterte Speak Briefly At ASEAN Summit; Mexican Finance Minister Resigns After Trump Visit; India Considers Ban On Commercial Surrogacy; Russian Officials Can't Explain Why River Turned Red

Aired September 8, 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: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit a few minutes about the nature of this forum and the format. But,

crucially what she's saying here, again, reiterating that line that they think, she thinks, the Democrats think Donald Trump is temperamentally

unfit to be president. It's something President Obama has also reiterated.

But the issue of Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, again, she rarely honed down on that. And the choice of her words, I mean, quite stark, she said it was

bizarre that it was an astonishing set that a Republican nominee should prefer the Russian President to the U.S. President was unpatriotic, it was

insulting and it was scary. She certainly let rip with the language.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: She certainly did. And just for our viewers who are tuning in now and getting a grasp on what has or

certainly what has happened in the last 16 or 17 hours, is last night Donald Trump was asked about his previous comments about Donald, rather,

about Vladimir Putin. And this is what Donald Trump had to say. He's been a leader far more than our President has been a leader.

Also, Trump went on to say that if Putin says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him. So if your point about being

unpatriotic, really trying to hammer that home, not only for her election but trying to put Republicans who are running for reelection for the house

and the U.S. Senate back on their heels and to have voters ask them over and over again, do you agree with Donald Trump that Vladimir Putin is a

better leader than Barack Obama.

CURNOW: Yeah and she sort of casually off the cuff said also that she was thinking about what former U.S. presidents would be thinking about those

kind of comments and specifically referred to Ronald Reagan, a Republican. And what she thought he might think of a Republican nominee saying exactly

that.

Mark Preston, always great to have you here on the Idesk. Thanks so much.

PRESTON: Thank you.

CURNOW: Well, let's talk more about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and what they had to say about national security. I mean, essentially what we

saw was both of them trying to reinforce their national security stands. And Hillary Clinton reinforcing that Donald Trump is totally unqualified

for the job.

Now, both of them appeared separately in a forum last night. Our Sunlen Serfaty has the highlights of what has certainly had people talking today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump drumming up more controversy.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The man has very strong control over our country.

SERFATY: Praising Russian President Vladimir Putin while thrashing President Obama.

TRUMP: He's been a leader far more than our President has been a leader

SERFATY: And attacking the performance of U.S. military generals standing by his statement claiming, he knows more about ISIS than the generals do.

TRUMP: Under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point

where it's embarrassing for our country.

SERFATY: But giving no details on his plan to defeat ISIS.

TRUMP: I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don't want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.

SERFATY: Hillary Clinton making clear her plan to fight ISIS will not include ground troops.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got to do it with air power, we've got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the

Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS. We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again and we're not putting ground troops into Syria.

SERFATY: Clinton getting grilled over her use of a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of state and her vote to go to war with Iraq.

CLINTON: Classified material has a header which says top secret, secret, confidential. Nothing. And I will repeat this and this is verified in the

report by the Department of Justice. None of the e-mails sent or received by me had such a header. I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq

was a mistake.

SERFATY: Later, Trump repeating his false claim that he opposed the Iraq war from the start.

TRUMP: I've always said, we shouldn't be there.

HOWARD STERN, RADIO PERSONALITY: Are you for invading Iraq?

TRUMP: Yeah, I guess so. You know, I wish it was a -- I wish the first time it was done correctly.

SERFATY: And declaring that the U.S. should stole an oil from Iraq.

TRUMP: But if we have to get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn't have ISIS. It use to be to the victor belong the

spoils.

SERFATY: And sparkling outrage for defending his controversial 2013 tweet that suggest sexual assault in the military is a result of women serving

among side men.

TRUMP: It is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that's absolutely correct. You have reported and the gentlemen can you, you have

the report of rape and nobody gets prosecuted. There are no consequences.

SERFATY: Also drawing criticism, NBC News Anchor Matt Lauer being accused of aggressively questioning Clinton.

MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I want to get to a lot of questions.

CLINTON: I will talk quickly.

SERFATY: But not fact checking Trump's claims throughout the event.

[10:05:01] TRUMP: I was totally against the war in Iraq. Perhaps, almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster.

LAUER: People talk about you and commander-in-chief and not just Secretary Clinton but some of your Republican opponents in the primary season and

they wonder about your temperament.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, that was Sunlen Serfaty reporting there.

Now, a few hours ago, President Obama fired right back at Trump after his summit in Laos. He was asked about Trump's criticism of his foreign

policy. This is what he had to say. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump said Vladimir Putin has been more of a leader than you and then he said you have reduced American generals to

rubble. Do you care to defend your legacy?

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Do I care to defend -- OK. OK, OK. Respond. Got it. I don't think the guy is qualified to be president of

the United States. And every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, Mr. Obama added Trump's so-called wacky ideas should be challenged.

Was Trump challenged enough at the presidential forum last night? Also let's unpack what Hillary Clinton has just doubled down. Clarissa Ward is

standing by for us in London.

Hi there Clarissa. This promise by Secretary Clinton, to never ever put troops on the ground in Syria or Iraq again. What do you make of that?

She just reiterated that now.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's slightly unusual statement to make given that the U.S. currently has about 6,000

troops on the ground in Iraq and a further 500 Special Forces on the ground in Syria. So perhaps the statement shouldn't be taken literally. I don't

think she was implying that she's going to pull those troops back.

But what I think she's keen to drive home is that regardless of her vote for the Iraq war in 2003, which she has subsequently said was a mistake,

that she is not an interventionist. She is trying to essentially play down her reputation for being more hawkish by saying, no, I will not put

American lives at risk. We will use other options.

And in terms of what those other options are, she talked about, of course, U.S. air power. She talked about further empowering Arab and Kurdish

allies on the ground who are fighting against ISIS. But again, she didn't really say exactly how this policy or how her policy would look any

different to the policy that we see right now under President Obama, which I should add is, for the first time in a couple of years, now starting to

gain some momentum behind hit, Robyn.

CURNOW: Well, let's also talk about what Mr. Trump said in his plan. One of the details he said was, "He would take the oil," using another quote

saying, "To the victor, the spoils." Again, Hillary Clinton says U.S. foreign policy is not to plunder or pillage. How do you -- next, going to

go there?

WARD: I mean, honestly, I find myself slightly speechless in situations like this because so much of what Mr. Trump says appears to be erratic. It

doesn't necessarily fit in to any coherent foreign policy that I'm familiar with, that foreign policy in the U.S. historically has kind of endorsed.

You know, he talks a lot about, let's spend a lot more money on the military, let's expand our military. But he wouldn't give my details

about, OK, well, let's say you do, you double down on the weapons, you increase the number of active duty soldiers, then what? What do you plan

to do with them?

The reason he gave for not wanting to disclose his exact plan for dealing with ISIS and terrorism was reportedly because he didn't want to telegraph

his plan to the enemy. But I think in terms of what the American people want to know and understand vis-a-vis what foreign policy would look like

under a President Trump, that kind of a coy answer combined with much more combative seemingly erratic remarks like, to the victor belongs the spoils

really needs to be expanded upon, Robyn.

CURNOW: Besides the sense of reporting in the Middle East, you also spent a lot of time in Russia. And these comments about Mr. Putin and how much

he prefers or respects Mr. Putin over Mr. Obama, how do you think that's going to go down? And also certainly in terms of the actual policy

implications of that kind of comment so pretty far wide ranging.

WARD: Yeah, pretty explosive Robyn. And for me watching the speech, that was definitely the thing that struck me the most or rather watching this

discussion with NBC News's Matt Lauer. That was what really struck me.

And particularly he honed in on several things that he has determined to be positive attributes of President Putin. He talked about the fact Putin has

a good control of his country.

[10:10:01] Well, as somebody who lived in Russia twice, I can tell you as can most journalists or Russians indeed themselves who have spent a lot of

time there that that control that Putin does indeed have over his country comes often through very sinister means whether it's repression politically

of the opposition or sexually of gays and lesbians. It is a very, very difficult country to live and operate in.

He also extols Putin's high popularity rating. Again, that's not a sign of a democratic thriving open society. That's a sign of a dictator.

So, I find it very odd that Mr. Trump would be essentially upholding Putin as a great leader that we should aspire to. Not only that, we have heard

Trump again and again lambaste Iran as being the greatest evil, the greatest exporter of state terror. And yet Mr. Putin is working hand in

glove with Iran, particularly in Syria.

And, again, Mr. Trump saying, well, Russia is really hitting ISIS hard. They share our desire to eliminate ISIS. Well, if you look at what's the

happening on the ground in Syria, Robyn, that isn't in fact the case. Mr. Putin's efforts have been very much directed at the opposition that is

fighting President Bashar al-Assad. And actually nowhere near is focused on ISIS.

So there are a lot of contradictions and it's difficult to tell how much Mr. Trump actually understands of the nuance and the foreign policy between

these various issues.

CURNOW: Yeah, you make a good point. You certainly understand it and a lot of people watching these comments around the world with interest.

Clarissa Ward. Appreciate it. Giving us your perspective and experience. Thanks so much.

Well, you may not have heard much about the Libertarian presidential candidate. His name is Gary Johnson. But after this sound bite, you may

hear from him even less.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC COMMENTATOR: What would you do, if you're elected, about Aleppo?

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: About?

BARNICLE: Aleppo.

JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?

BARNICLE: You're kidding?

JOHNSON: No.

BARNICLE: Aleppo is in Syria. It's the epicenter of the refugee crisis.

JOHNSON: OK, got it. Got it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, that was Johnson a few hours ago on MSNBC. He just issued a statement about that embarrassing moment. He says he does understand the

significance and should have been able to identify Aleppo on the spot, but he just blanked.

Well, it's certainly no laughing matter and whoever is elected the next American president will have to be well-informed about the war in Syria.

They certainly has to know where Aleppo is. And what is concerning is that there is little end in sight to that conflict.

Right now the U.S. and Russia are trying again to reach some sort of agreement on how a ceasefire should work.

Well, CNN's Nic Robertson is in Geneva where talks of plan and many people might say, Nic, here we go again. There's not a lot of faith in these

talks right now, is there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There isn't and there's a simple reason for that. People have witnessed these talks start,

stop, stall, over Aleppo in many cases. You know, the peace talks that began here in Geneva this year picked up from where they left off two years

ago, picked up from where they left off years before that. And each time Aleppo -- this year has been the key cause and part of it has been Russian

forces along with President Bashar al-Assad's forces apparently trying to take control of that city before they'll get into real political

negotiations.

That dynamic is still playing out. Regardless, however, you have the G20 President Obama saying that there are still gaps between the United States

and Russia on making an agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry has come here to meet with Sergey Lavrov tomorrow to see if they can narrow those gaps. President Putin, of the G20

for his part played it up, if you will, and saying that there was -- he thought that there could be an agreement in the future.

And I think this is a cycle we're stuck in at the moment where the United States remains very skeptical of Russia's position, concerned that Russia

has back pedaled on things that is agreed to and Russia plays up the possibility of a deal. The reality is, it does seem to be in Russia's

hand. But it's not clear even with Sergey Lavrov coming here how much power he has at the table with John Kerry to actually make the agreements

that are going to be necessary.

Fundamentally, what we understand, 15 points were agreed here or 15 points on the table to bring about ceasefire and humanitarian access for the -- to

get to the people of Syria. That was worked out in past couple of months. Only 13 points were agreed. Some have now slid back. Can these two men

tomorrow narrow the gap further? You just have to look at it and say, it's just not clear.

CURNOW: With all the stop, start, with all these diplomatic stalls, in the midst of all of this, Turkey is now suggesting a major military escalation

with the U.S. around Raqqa. Is this welcome? Why now? What's the time frame for all of this?

[10:15:07] ROBERTSON: Well, of course Raqqa being the, you know, the heart and capital, at least, at point for ISIS. So, U.S. being able to get

everyone. Russia as well, they would like to, get all on the same page to attack ISIS. Absolutely, if that was the word, then that would be

fundamental. And taking down Raqqa would be a fundamental part of that.

If Turkey is going to work and consort with the United States, put behind it, everything that we've seen last week where, you know, Turkish forces

have been going after Arab and Kurdish forces that the United States is backing inside Syria that are fighting ISIS, then this will be a change

over the past week, but it would be probably a welcome change.

If it was really going to happen and when you see across the border in Iraq where Iraqi forces increasing their pressure in the key city of Mosul on

ISIS, then of course the timing is hugely important. And getting Turkey on board to a joint plan is hugely important.

But again, it's in the details what Turkey's desire strategic outcome is to increase influence inside Syria. The United States wants to see the

Syrians decide the future of Syria.

So, not everyone's on the same page. There are a lot of different avenues for everyone involved to pursue here.

CURNOW: Indeed. And while the diplomatic talks continue, the realities on the ground continue to be horrifying for civilians. Thanks so much. Nick

Robertson there in Geneva.

You're watching the "International Desk." Still ahead, France and it's complicated relationship with Islam. Now, the French President wants to

crack down on mosque leaders trained abroad.

You might also have to bring your own reading material if you're traveling on Air China. Coming up why the airline removed its in-flight magazine

from planes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Well, French President Francois Hollande says Islam can fit into a secular France as long as it obeys the law. Well, Mr. Hollande also says

Muslim leaders who preach in France should be trained there.

Well, CNN political correspondent, our International Correspondent Jim Bittermann joins us now from Paris.

Hi there, Jim. Tell us about this announcement by Hollande that France is cracking down on foreign preachers. This is all part of a broader plan,

isn't it?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly. In fact, the plan was pretty much outlined a couple of weeks ago here when the

Interior Minister met with Muslim leaders here to establish the fact. What the government would like to do would be to create a French-Islam, that's

to say, an Islam that has its roots in France. And not has been like it's been in the past where in fact some imams here have been sponsored by

foreign governments. In fact as the President pointed out in his speech today, some didn't even speak French. And some are not trained very well.

[10:20:11] So, what they would like to do would be create Islamic schools and whatnot that come under the French mantle. It come under the control

of people who are born, raised in France and that sort of thing.

It has proved to be something that the President really is dwelling on. And in the speech this morning on terrorism and democracy, he talked about

secularism, how important it is for French society. And he said there's no reason why Muslims and Islam could not co-exist with the laws of France.

Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRANCE PRESIDENT (through translation): Nothing in secularism is opposed to the practice of Islam in France as long, and that

is vital point, as it complies with the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BITTERMANN: Well, that's kind of a reference, Robyn, to the burqini issue which came to the surface here in the late summer weeks over the fact that

some Islamic women were wearing burqinis at the beach were being banned from that practice. Basically, the President was saying that there

shouldn't be any laws that restrict Islamic practices. But, on the other hand, the laws of France should be respected as well. Robyn?

CURNOW: In Paris there, Jim Bittermann. Thanks so much.

Well, now to the controversy over the travel tips offered in Air China's in-flight magazine. Now the magazine has been removed from the scene, the

plane's seatbacks after travel advice for London tourist was called blatantly racist.

Isa Soares joins us now from London with more on the details.

That was some pretty low comments made there.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. As you can imagine here, Robyn, in London people are being pretty disgusted saying blatantly

ignorant and racist. Let me take you back.

So this is Air China. This is the national carrier of China. In it, they have, in their plane they have a magazine, an in-flight magazine, "Wings of

China." And it's a free magazine which offers advice wherever you may be going via London, Paris.

In this instance, it was London. It had a little blob about London for the Chinese travelers. This is what it read. Let me bring it to your

attention. "London is generally a safe place to travel, however, precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians,

Pakistanis and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when

traveling."

Well, as you can imagine, those comments set off a furor here in London in terms of social media. And I was quite surprised when I went to Brixton,

as you well know, Robyn, you've lived here. It's a multicultural community. People there seem to have very mixed opinions about this

statement. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's good that they inform their tourists because -- I mean, it's important. I mean, I would like, if I was Chinese,

I was going to a country and I would read this, I would says, OK, it's good to know. I'd be on my guard. I'd be careful. But I wouldn't call it

offensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think that's wrong, you know. It's not true. So the Chinese people need to come to Brixton and see, you know, how we

live here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: So it pretty makes sense. It's pretty much the tone we heard throughout. Look, it's not -- it was not very offensive, but, you know,

they should have taken, perhaps, a different tone.

Nevertheless, on social media the outrage has been huge. We were able to get reaction from the Chinese as well. Air China media which was

responsible for that magazine "Wings of China," they have, in a statement to CNN, they said they apologize for inappropriate expressions with their

words. And then the Chinese Foreign Ministry went further basically saying, we do oppose all forms of racial discrimination.

And that magazine, we've been told, Robyn, has been taken out of that plane. But as you all know, this is not the first time that China has come

under scrutiny for racist comments. At the beginning of the year, one Chinese company where a picture depicted a black gentleman going into --

being thrown into a washing machine. Coming out a slightly lighter skinned and Chinese, Robyn.

CURNOW: Yeah, I know. Concerns on that and certainly, outrage on social media. Isa Soares there in London. Appreciate it.

Well, it turns out that the $400 million in cash packed in wooden crates the U.S. transferred to Iran in January was just the tip of the iceberg.

Two more payments were made amounting to more than $1 billion.

Well, CNN Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott joins me now from Washington with more.

Hi there, Elise. I mean, the U.S. is saying this is money that was owed to Iran.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn. Well, this dates back to a long standing of failed arms deal with Iran from

the time of the Shah. And that the U.S. and Iran have been in an international tribunal court at The Hague to try and work this out.

They've been mediating this for years.

[10:25:12] And so, while the U.S. was working on the Iran deal and working on the release of those American prisoners, that prisoner exchange, they

decided to get this done all at the same time. You remember the $400 million cash payment that was very controversial. Well, now we understand

that the other $1.3 billion in that settlement was also paid via the same way. Basically cash payments to Iran flown in on cargo planes.

CURNOW: Yeah, in foreign currency, I think as well, some of it.

LABOTT: That's right.

CURNOW: So, are there likely to be anymore of those payments? How much is allegedly owed?

LABOTT: Well, it was a $1.7 billion settlement. The U.S. argues that they would have had to pay Iran a lot more if that mediation in The Hague went

forward. Iran was asking for about 10 billion and they say with interest in all. Actually l.7 was a bargain.

So, in terms of these cash payments, the reason that the U.S. said it needed to pay them in cash and it was paid in Swiss Francs and Euros and

other currencies is because of U.S. sanctions. But now that, you know, some of these international sanctions have been lifted, the U.S. says that

they wouldn't need to do that anymore. But certainly, will this is really the only cash payment, this $1.7 billion total payment that we're looking

at right now.

CURNOW: OK, thanks so much. Elise Labott there in Washington. Thanks for briefing us.

Well, still ahead, Donald Trump visits Mexico. Now, a top Mexican official is out of a job. What sources are saying about whether the two events are

linked.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Hi there. Welcome to the "International Desk." I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.

The U.S. and Russia plan to try again to reach a deal on conditions for ceasefire in Syria. The U.S. Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign

Minister are expected to meet in Geneva, Friday. An agreement would be just one step in a long process aimed at ending Syria's civil war.

Hillary Clinton just wrapped up a news conference where she say Donald Trump failed a key test last night. The two U.S. presidential candidates

we're grilled on a number of issues at a military forum on Wednesday. Trump told the audience, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has hindered the

U.S. generals.

[10:30:04] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke briefly with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the ASEAN Summit in Laos. The White House

canceled planned talks with Mr. Duterte after he appeared to insult the U.S. President earlier this week using lewd language. Mr. Obama says he

does not take it personally.

And a top Mexican official apparently linked to Donald Trump's visit there is out of a job. The Finance Minister offered his resignation to Mexico's

president.

Well, Rafael Romo joins us here on the set. I mean, there was outrage and dismay in Mexico to Trump's visit. Is this a direct consequence of that?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: That and just made to say the least. It appears to be the case. CNN checked with two

different sources. One, Mexican official within the government and another one a source close to the government and both said that the idea of

inviting Trump came from the Finance Ministry. And the question today in Mexico is was the Finance Minister, the fall guy to last week's Trump's

visit fiasco, there was no official explanation given.

President Enrique Pena Nieto simply said he had accepted his Finance Minister's resignation. Luis Videgaray has been the President's right hand

man since Pena Nieto was the Mexico state governor. Videgaray was also the President's chief architect of his presidential campaign and the brain

behind the President's economic and education reforms.

A Mexican government official and a close source to the Mexican government, like I said before, both told CNN previously that the idea to extend

invitations for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to meet with Pena Nieto came from the Finance Ministry. And last night, at a candidate's forum

held in New York by NBC, Trump again made it clear he thinks he put the Mexican President in his place. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think if you saw what happened in Mexico the other day where I went there. I had great relationships, everything else. I let them know

where the United States stands. I mean, we've been badly hurt by Mexico both on the border and were taking all of our jobs or a big percentage of

our jobs. And, if you look at what happened, look at the aftermath today where the people that arranged the trip in Mexico have been forced out of

government. That's how well we did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMO: Now, Donald Trump is almost universally despised by the Mexican as result of comments he has made on the campaign trail, calling Mexican

immigrants criminals and rapists and promising to build a wall at the border. And, Robyn, the Mexican President is not much more popular than

Donald Trump in Mexico. His popularity rate stands at about 23 percent according to a recent poll by a Mexican newspaper.

CURNOW: And the "New York Times" is saying that this is significant because the Finance Minister in many ways was a very key ally of the

President and that he's now politically offend, so to speak.

ROMO: It is true. They had been together since Pena Nieto was a state governor, the Mexico state governor back in 2005. And he was seen as the

brain behind the face. A very astute operator. A key aide. And no one closer to the President.

They are personal friends and the President said so himself when he made the announcement. So, I mean, there's a little less than two years left in

office for Pena Nieto and he's going to have to find somebody who can at least compare to what Videgaray brought to the table.

CURNOW: And is there any suggestion on why the Finance Ministry thought it was a good idea to bring Mr. Trump?

ROMO: There's no indication and, you know, we've been talking to experts in Mexico and outside of Mexico, why would he do something like that.

There was nothing to gain for the Mexican President. And it is interpreted as the Mexican President essentially serving the country on a silver

platter to Trump for him to do whatever he wanted to do. And as we saw, that's exactly what Trump ended up doing.

CURNOW: Certainly not a popular decision either way. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Well, every year, people who wanted to have children find surrogate mothers in India. However, now lawmakers are considering ending commercial

surrogacy. Alexandra Field has more from New Delhi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDNET: That's the sound they waited 22 years to hear.

He said it was a labor of love, requiring the help of a surrogate mom, which is big business in India.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations.

FIELD: The country has been called the womb of the world. A few years ago, CNN took you to heart of it, a town filled with women dubbed by

critics as having wombs for rent. Now, the government is working to put the whole business out of business.

SOUMYA SWAMINATHAN, HELPED DRAFT SURROGACY BILL: We thought the government says that it's very, very important that we move a bill to protect these

women. We received a large number of complaints, but more so the complaints are about people who were either not given the amount that they

were promised or who had some complications that were not covered medically or to do with the children who were left behind.

[10:35:13] FIELD: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, director general of the Indian Million Research Council helped draft the bill. It would clamp down on the

more than 2,000 under regulated fertility clinics operating in the country. Its task, it would put an end to paid surrogacy and end the paychecks worth

thousand of dollars for these women among the country's poorest. Women who might otherwise earn a few hundred in a year.

They didn't want to be identified because they say there's a social stigma surrounding surrogacy.

"With the money the future of our children will be good. We will educate them. We are benefiting from it and also we're helping others who don't

have children," she says.

FIELD: If passed, Indian's plan to ban surrogacy would not only prevent a number of poor women from making a substantial amount of money as

surrogates. It would also stop people from all over the world coming to India to have babies. And that includes Indian parents, gay couples and

single women.

The only people that could have surrogate babies would be married heterosexual Indian couples who have been unable to have a baby for at

least five years and who are unable to find an unpaid surrogate family member.

Dr. Kaberi Banerjee works with surrogates as part of her fertility practice. She delivered baby Cathy and a hundred other babies from

surrogate mothers. She argues the government is stripping women of the right to make choices about their bodies and to earn money they need.

KABERI BANERJEE, OPPOSES SURROGACY BILL: Perhaps the intention is good of the government, but I feel they are ill-informed.

FIELD: A disservice she believes towards the women who depend on the paychecks and the ones who still hope to hear this.

Alexandra Field, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: An important piece there from Alexandra. Thanks for that.

Now, you're watching CNN. And there's been an alarming sight in Russia's far north. This Siberian river has suddenly turned bright red. Look at

that. No one knows exactly why it happened.

One theory though, a chemical from a nearby metal working plant could be responsible. The company that runs the plant says it's not to blame. Now,

the area is heavily polluted and people who live there say they've seen the water turn red before, well.

Still ahead, doctors didn't know if this Paralympian would live after he was born without the lower portion of his spine. His story of

determination and courage coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks for joining me. You're watching CNN.

And Michel Temer's debut as Brazil's new president has not gone very well. Take a look at this.

[10:40:03] CURNOW: Crowds booed Mr. Temer when he appeared at Independence Day's celebration in Brasilia. He was booed again when he open the

Paralympic Games in Rio. Mr. Temer was sworn in as Brazil's president last month when former president, Dilma Rousseff was impeached.

Now more than 4,000 athletes will compete over the next 11 days at the Paralympics. This is one story of an athlete who showed an extraordinary

determination and sacrifice. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURT FEARNLEY, THREE-TIME PARALYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST: There was no indication that I was going to be any different to any other of the four

other kids that mom had had. There was a period of time where they weren't sure whether I would live out the hour, the day, the week, the month.

I was born without the lower portion of my spine. My name is Kurt Fearnley and I'm a three-time gold medal winning Paralympian.

My life motto is probably that struggling is all right. If anything struggling is strengthening.

At the Paralympics I compete in the 1,500 to 5,000 at the marathon. I won two silver medals in Sydney, two gold medals and a silver medal in Athens,

gold, two silvers and a bronze in Beijing and a silver and a bronze in London also.

I grew up in a little town called Carcoar. It's a town of 250 people and we had this incredible kind of family atmosphere.

Introduction to wheelchair sport, it changed my world. I saw wheelchair racing in 1994. I saw these guys who were just these men, you know,

they're better than any football field or cricket out there. They were these gladiators and I loved it.

I kind of just, you know, fan where I meant to be. Most people were surprised. Telling your mom and dad that you're going to turn down your

traditional kind of place at university to be a wheelchair racer, you know, I could have been sitting across from them saying that I wanted to be a

professional unicorn hunter, you know, like it was just -- it was a bit of an unknown experience.

I've won 35 marathons placed in another 15 all around the world. I've crawled the Kokoda Track and I've won a Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

I think that my biggest dream is that the day that I stop racing wheelchairs there's no (inaudible). There have been just occasion after

occasion that I wonder whether I'm living someone else's life when you're going through these things. But those moments, those things that you never

saw coming, they are some of the most memorable and some of the most incredible experiences.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: What a guy. And of course, CNN will continue to cover the Paralympics the coming week or so. 4,000 athletes, all of them champions

in their own rights. And we will bring you all of their stories of the next 11 days.

Well, thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. This has been the "International Desk." I'm going to hand you over to "World Sport" with

Alex Thomas right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:45:22] ALEX THOMAS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CNN "World Sport." I'm Alex Thomas in London.

It's women's semifinals day at the U.S. Open and Serena Williams has moved a step closer to rewriting the tennis record books once again. A

quarterfinal against Simona Halep on Wednesday was, as predicted, her toughest test so far.

Williams dropping a set for the first time in this year's event before winning in three. If she remains on course, the record, seventh U.S. Open

crown and a 23rd career Grand Slam singles title. And that would move her within one of Margaret Court's all-time mark. Although Williams suffered a

shock to semifinal exit 12 months ago.

Our tennis expert, Ravi Ubha, doesn't expect another one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAVI UBHA, CNN TENNIS CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not sure she will. Different type of player, Caroline Wozniacki. I think Serena is more comfortable facing

those types of players with big hitters, players with the big serve. She could handle that as players like Halep more so, I think. But give her the

trouble, this stage of her career knowing mentally going into a match like Halep. She's going to have to hit a lot of balls. She made 25 unforced

errors alone in the second set of that match. And she'll know into the final hour that you're going to face somebody similar, you know, Kerber, or

Wozniacki playing or serving .

THOMAS: Which would you prefer of those to see?

UBHA: It's a good question. I think she would prefer to face Wozniacki because, obviously, what's happen is Kerber beat her in Australian Open

final. Kerber is playing the best tennis of her career. And she just has that bit of extra aggression, that Wozniacki does have. So besides chasing

down on the balls, she could counter-act with some aggression that she had herself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: And there is one win away from a second U.S. Open final appearance. After ending Andy Murray's triumphant recent rant, Murray's

reached the final of every Grand Slam event this year until now. The Wimbledon and Olympic champion did race until one set leads Nishikori flag.

He'd only lost once to an eight previous meetings.

However, the momentum of the match completely changed after it started to rain and the new multi-million dollar roof was closed. When the action

resumed, Murray was under pressure. As you can see here with his angry reaction when the stadium tunnel ascend, it went all through in a crucial

points in the full set. Murray lost that set.

A butterfly fluttering around the net flustered him even more and it all resulted after several breaks of serve in the fifth and final set with

Nishikori claiming the victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY MURRAY, TENNIS PLAYER: I'm not too disappointed. It was, you know, a good match, could have gone either way. Obviously, I would have loved to

have won, but, you know, I've had a good run the last few months. I mean, you can't win every match. And, you know, it's obviously a shame. I would

have loved to gone further but it wasn't to be today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: Nishikori's next opponent will be Stan Wawrinka the number three seed on beating the resurgent Juan Martin del Potro in four sets to reached

the semifinals at Flushing Meadows for the third time in four years.

Ravi Ubha says Wawrinka poses a big threat to defending champion Novak Djokovic no matter what went wrong for Murray.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UBHA: So one thing that has been really mentioned a lot is how much tennis Murray has played over the past few months. And I think that effected him

and things like the roof closing, things like the tunnel or the sound going off. That maybe would not have affected him if he was a bit more fresh

mentally.

THOMAS: That's not the old Murray, isn't it, getting distracted by that.

UBHA: Exactly. And you think yourself, he's the number two player of the world, should he have been that distracted especially by this tunnel and

thing happening. I mean, he's still had the break point on the replay point and he admitted in his press conference that it affected him for at

least two or three games.

He went on, in fact, with his seven games in a row and was down two level to fifth. Miraculously, had a chance to win the match. Nishikori almost

blew up but he recovered.

THOMAS: Yeah, definitely Nishikori, but he now plays Stan Wawrinka who was, we were mentioning on this show yesterday, quietly but impressively

moved through the draw.

UBHA: I think it's going to be a fascinating match up because in terms of their head to head edges is just a little bit. They met this summer and

Wawrinka lost that match here, he had some back issues. But, when they played also at the U.S. Open in

2014, Nishikori won that in five sets.

And you like the fact that has gone under the radar. He's keeping too his own business playing his good tennis after saving the match point against

Daniel Evans in the third round.

So, we're talking about luck with Novak and the injuries that he's had on the other side of the net. Well how about Wawrinka, perhaps lucky to be in

the tournament after that third round win and then though he upped his level against Del Potro tremendously.

THOMAS: Well, how much will Murray's exit please Novak Djokovic?

UBHA: That's a good question, you know. I think many will think, OK, Murray is out. He's played the best tennis of his life. It's going to be

a little bit easier now for Novak. I'm not so sure because I think it was five straight times at Grand Slams Novak has beaten Andy.

Whereas, if you look at Stan Wawrinka, last five Grand Slam matches he has played against Novak Djokovic, Novak leads 3-2. Four of the five have gone

five sets. The one that didn't, that was won by Stan in French Open Final Cup two seasons ago. So think if we get to Wawrinka, Djokovic final, which

I expect to be the case, it could be a blockbuster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[10:50:17] THOMAS: Ravi Ubha speaking to me a little bit earlier.

Tiger Woods have announced the date to prove that his golfing career isn't over yet. While we get ready to welcome him back, get prepared to say

goodbye to F1 Supremo, Bernie Ecclestone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

THOMAS: You're watching CNN "World Sport." Welcome back.

It looks as if we're about to see the biggest shake up in 40 years of motor sport most glamorous franchise Formula One. And it could spell the end of

Bernie Ecclestone's grip on the sport.

American company, Liberty Media, has announced its taking control of F1 in a deal worth $8 billion. Liberty Media has bought an 18.7 percent stake in

the business and says the acquisition will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Liberty Media is one of the world's largest T.V. and broadband company. And is run by media mogul John Malone. They own the Atlanta Braves

baseball team but the global sport of Formula One is a different proposition. Its annual turnover has been estimated at almost $2 billion.

The new chairman of the F1 board of the U.S. Executive Chase Carey, although Ecclestone expected to remain as CEO for the next few years. And

the editor of "SportsPro" business magazine, Eoin Connolly told us earlier why that's important.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EOIN CONNOLLY, SPORTSPRO MAGAZINE EDITOR: Basically, he's a guy who's made most of the key deals in Formula One for the last 40 years or at least has

kind of been the arbiter of last resort and arranging things like the Concorde Agreement with teams and various hosting agreements like the one

that was just signed with Monza less than a weak ago.

So, I think the fact that he knows the interior of the sport is going to be very important to the new owners whether strategically he has the answers

to take Formula One into the 21st century is another question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: Formula One may be about to say bye bye to Bernie but golf is about to say hello again to Tiger Woods, one of the games greatest set of

players, hasn't competed in the tournament since August of last year. After back surgery, his return was pushed back more than once, increasing

speculation his career may be over. However, the 40-year-old has announced to play on the PGA Tour next month at the Safeway Open in California.

Part of the statement read, "It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me. But this time I was smart about my recovery and didn't

rush."

Now, let's take a look at the scenes of celebration at the opening ceremony of Rio's Paralympic Games. That was the traditional lightning of the

cauldron . The end of the torch relays as well Samba dancing and drums, the cities famous Maracana football stadium illuminated in a spectacular

firework display.

Although Brazil's new President was booed during the ceremony. There was a send out crowd.

[10:55:01] Shasta Darlington has more from from Rio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Paralympic Games have begun. Less than three weeks after the closing curtain fell on the Olympic Games

here in Rio de Janeiro, another opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium. With fireworks, Samba music and some pretty unique elements starting at the very

beginning with a wheelchair extreme athlete, Aaron Wheelz who's zipped down a mega ramp through a circle of fireworks.

Instead of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, we had a surprise visit from the Olympic mascot as he shimmered down in his golden gown. Also, some unique

performances by the some of the Paralympic athletes.

Now the games begin. 4,300 athletes, they run through September 18. People coming from more than 160 nations. Noticeably absent is Russia.

Their entire Paralympic team was banned as a result of the state-sponsored doping scandal.

Plenty of problems here in Rio as well. They got off to a shaky start with some financial problems, but now organizers say 60 percent of tickets have

been sold. They are optimistic more will be sold now that the opening ceremony has set the tone.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: Well the action itself has been underway for a couple of hours now. We picked out four Paralympians to look out for over the next week

and a half or so.

American Tatyana McFadden is hoping to become the first track and field athlete to win seven golds at one Paralympic games. At 74, yes, 74 years

of age, Australian shooter Libby Kosmala is, you won't be surprise to find out, the oldest competitor. This is her 12th Paralympics, making 51-year-

old Swede, Jonas Jacobsson, a relative youngster. This is only his 10th game.

Brazilian fans have their own version of Michael Phelps to cheer on. Swimmer Daniel Dias has 10 golds to his name from two Paralympic

competitions.

That's all for this edition of CNN "World Sport," I'm Alex Thomas in London. I'll see you at the same time again tomorrow.

Coming up next, Becky Anderson live for you with the latest "Connect the world." Thanks for watching. Bye bye.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END