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Suicide Bombing Rocks Istanbul Tourist Area; Aid Reaches Madaya; Speaking to Sister of "New Jihadi John"; Barack Obama's State of the Union; El Chapo Raid; Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall Are Engaged; Powerball Soars to Record $1.4 Billion. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 12, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, everyone, welcome to INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. There's a lot happening this hour.
Coming up, we have new pictures of Sean Penn's trip to meet El Chapo and we sit down with the sister of the British man being called the new Jihadi
But we start the show with a bombing in the heart of Istanbul's tourist district.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Here's what it looked like a short time after the attack. Turkish authorities say someone of Syrian origin blew him or
herself up right in the historic square.
Just moments ago the prime minister said at least 11 people were killed. It's not clear whether that includes the suicide bomber.
CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson spent five years in Istanbul reporting for us.
Hi, there, Ivan. You're in Hong Kong now and no doubt also monitoring the news as we have. And we're hearing from the prime minister in the last few
moments that all the people killed were foreigners.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And that he has expressed his condolences to the German chancellor Angela
Merkel and is calling, quote, "for everybody to stand in solidarity," quote, "We should stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder after the
Istanbul attack," Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, calling for a united stand against terrorism.
And with this blast, it's very clear that the war in neighboring Syria continues to spill over into Turkey and now appears to have made a target
of Turkey's tourism industry and, more specifically, of its foreign tourists.
In the past, ISIS have been linked to some horrific suicide bombings that have killed around 130 Turkish citizens, Robyn, within the last six months.
A blast in a border town of Suruc in July of 2015 and then a horrific double suicide bombing in the capital, Ankara, that targeted a rally of
leftist activists, and that killed around 100 people.
Now the target appears to have been foreign visitors in the cultural and historic heart of Istanbul, within sight of Hagia Sophia, a 1,500-year-old
basilica, built under the orders of Roman emperors. It will likely be a major blow to an industry that contributes a significant amount to the
Turkish economy -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed. And Ivan, any of us who spent time -- and many of our viewers who've spent time in Istanbul would have been there, would have
seen, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the obelisk, just give us some sense of what do you think the response now will be, that this has targeted the
very heart of Turkish tourism?
WATSON: Well, it has been clear already that Turkish security forces have been cracking down on what are believed to be ISIS networks in Turkey that
appear to have taken root during the years that Turkey has accepted some 1.7 million Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict, while also in the early
years of this conflict effectively turning a blind eye to the militants and jihadis and fighters who were streaming across the border from Turkey back
So Turkey is now facing some of the blowback from that essentially open- door policy and from supporting elements of the Syrian opposition that are now turning back and attacking Turkey after those years of hospitality.
The problem that is complicating things is that Turkey is also simultaneously fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK. These are
Kurdish militants from Turkey's largest ethnic minority, who have been in a simmering conflict with Turkey for around 30 years.
So ethnic tensions are bubbling while also facing this very determined terrorist enemy, ISIS.
These are two serious security challenges the Turkish government will face at the same time while also facing a very politically polarized
environment, where the Turkish population is divided between people who love or hate the elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. it's very
complicated right now for Turkey -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Very complicated and clearly very dangerous as well, escalating in terms of the vulnerabilities to that crisis next door.
Thanks so much for your perspective, your analysis, Ivan Watson there.
I want to cross now to Istanbul, where our Arwa Damon is on the scene. She has the latest.
Hi, there, Arwa, what do you see, what do you hear?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are at the scene of where the attack took place, just outside of the police cordon
Now we did just hear from Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who did confirm that the suicide attacker was, according to Turkish authorities, a
member of ISIS.
He also said that all nine of those who lost their lives in this horrific attack were, in fact, foreign nationals. And he did mention that he has
spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to extend his condolences for the German nationals that had lost their lives in this attack.
This is an attack that is horrific in its nature. Everyone's condolences and sympathies go out to those who lost their loved ones in this
inexplicable violence. It's also an attack that really strikes at the very core, in many ways, of Turkey's historic soul and of one of its key
industries, its tourism industry.
This area that we're in right now -- and you can hear the call to prayer as I am speaking -- but this area is the oldest part of the country.
This is where Constantinople was born; this is on your list of top attractions, if not main attraction when it comes to anyone who's going to
be visiting this area. Now this attack happened at about 10:15 in the morning, right around when it would begin to be getting busy with tourists
and locals as well, who regularly do come through here.
This attacker was earlier on in the day identified as having Syrian origins and being born in 1990. Now as I was saying according to the prime
minister, a member of ISIS, as well.
This most certainly is not the first time that ISIS has struck back in Turkey. In 2015, you had the twin suicide bombings that took place in the
capital, Ankara, that targeted a rally that left more than 100 people dead. That was the single deadliest attack in Turkey's modern history.
Prior to that, you had the attack that happened in Suruc over the summer that also left upwards of 30 people dead.
Now for the last year or so, Turkish authorities have been conducting massive countrywide sweeps, detaining hundreds of individuals, whom they
say have links to terrorism.
But as was so sadly evident on this day, the country still remains very vulnerable on the security front -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed, thanks so much. The implications being felt across the world, as we understand, at least some Germans have died in that attack.
Many others wounded. Thanks so much to you, Arwa Damon there in Istanbul.
Turning now to Syria, where the U.N. says 400 people in Madaya must be immediately evacuated or they could die. A humanitarian convoy has finally
been made it into the rebel-held town.
A government siege there has led to extreme starvation. Aid workers say they were reduced to tears by what they saw. CNN spoke earlier with a U.N.
coordinator, who was with the convoy. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw people who are traumatized. We saw people who are sick. We saw people who are tired but, perhaps more importantly, we
saw children that are severely malnourished. And we saw older people, who told us they have not had food for days. And they looked thin, they looked
frail and they looked tired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: OK, well, let's go to Nick Paton Walsh, he joins us now from Beirut.
So you've been in communication with a lot of people in that convoy as it made its way into Madaya and to those other two towns, Nick. We have been
hearing these stories of children eating grass.
And you know, was it as bad, as worse as people thought it was?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: I have to say, actually, even for seasoned aid workers who went in on that convoy, some were moved
to tears by what they actually saw in there, children approaching the convoy, politely, civilizedly asking if they could please have a biscuit.
Some just saying they wanted French fries and ketchup.
But even then, those aid workers, in a customary gesture of hospitality, were offered food, the little food that the residents seemed to have, which
was what they call besieged soup, which is basically hot water with spices and sometimes bits of wheat put in there as well.
They obviously refused because there's very little sustenance in there. But it's a cup of that kind of soup which has been sustaining some of these
children over the past days.
As you pointed out there, the U.N. relief chief, Steven O'Brien (ph), telling the Security Council last night that there are 400 people in urgent
need of evacuation. The key issue now, though, is those 44 trucks have moved in, carrying surgical supplies, medical supplies, food, as well.
You can't start immediately feeding the malnourished large amounts of food. It has to be done in a slow, very methodical fashion, often with medical
care as well, otherwise they can, in fact, become more ill.
WALSH: But as well inside there, aid workers seeing a very heavily emaciated man in what passes for the hospital now, a makeshift part of a
home with a veterinarian, two dentists and one doctor and nurses simply learning on the job medical skills, trying to care for those extremely
malnourished there as well.
And the fate of those 400 people so urgently in need of medical care, like the fate of the aid delivery that got through eventually yesterday, tied to
the fate of two towns in Northern Syria, Foua and Kefraya.
Unlike Madaya, which is held by rebels and surrounded by the government, those two towns in the north are held by government forces and surrounded
by rebels. And it's been a tit-for-tat exchange of aid between those.
They had to be delivered simultaneously to both the rebel-held towns and the government-held towns for this deal brokered by the U.N. to really go
But the scenes inside that town, quite devastating for those who saw them and, of course, deeply traumatizing for those who have lived through this
now so far, enduring such starvation. Madaya years ago a peaceful resort town, middle class families, used to a comfortable life, now reduced, as
you said yourself, to boiling grass for their children to eat.
CURNOW: It is just horrifying and also horrifying if you put in context this is not an isolated incident.
Let's just talk about those 400 people, who must be evacuated immediately. Getting into Madaya was so hard for these 44 trucks, land mines, a lot of
negotiation needed to be done.
How difficult will it be to get these 400 people out?
WALSH: Well, the U.N. hope they can begin talks about that. But bear in mind, though, the social media campaign highlighting the plight of Madaya,
which I should say is just one of 15 towns across Syria, say the U.N., that's urgently in need of food, 400,000 people who don't get the food they
need, cut off from supply routes by this war.
It was essential that the social media campaign, it seems, built pressure during negotiations between the U.N., rebels and the Syrian government, to
get this exchange actually happening.
It will be hard for 400 people -- that's a large number -- to be taken out. The question is, where do you take them to?
And how quickly can you achieve that, given how the clock is ticking on their health and the urgency in which they need treatment, Robyn?
A tough task indeed.
CURNOW: Yes, indeed. Nick Paton Walsh as always, thanks so much.
Well, there's much more ahead here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver his final State of the Union
address. What he hopes to accomplish with the speech.
What can he accomplish as he prepares for his final year in office?
Plus, we are learning more about the unintentional role actor Sean Penn may have played in capturing the world's most wanted drug lord. All that after
the break. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Thanks for joining us. It's 14 minutes past the hour, I'm Robyn Curnow.
When ISIS released a new propaganda video --
CURNOW: -- last week, all eyes were on a man being referred to as the new Jihadi John.
Authorities say they are still working to confirm the identity of the British militant but security agencies are reportedly focusing on a 32-
In response to questions in Parliament recently, the U.K. home secretary wouldn't comment on his name, citing an ongoing investigation. Well, for
more on this, CNN's Clarissa Ward sat down with the man's sister. She joins us now from London.
Hi, there, Clarissa.
What did she say to you?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Well, to the outside world, this man is known as Abu Rumaysah. He is a British convert from Hinduism,
who became an outspoken radical Islamist and about a year and a half ago went overseas to Syria with his wife and small children to join ISIS.
But to 29-year-old law student Konika Dhar, he isn't Abu Rumaysah at all; he is Siddhartha Dhar or simply Sid, her big brother.
WARD: What was he like as a brother?
KONIKA DHAR, SISTER OF ABU RUMAYSAH: Typical brother, I think just into sort of -- he liked playing his basketball a lot, which he was quite good
at, video games and films and liked to collect comic books as well.
WARD (voice-over): But after converting to Islam as a young man, things began to change. He fell in with radical preacher Anjem Choudary.
And in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" shortly before he fled to Syria in 2014, he told me he was not able to love his mother or anyone in his
ABU RUMAYSAH, ISLAMIC RADICAL: I don't love them as non-Muslims but I desire for them to become Muslim and embrace Islam.
WARD: But you love her as your mother.
RUMAYSAH: She's my mother and she has rights over me so I have to take care of her.
WARD: But do you feel love for her?
RUMAYSAH: (INAUDIBLE) for me to love non-Muslims. So that's something that is a matter of faith.
WARD: What's your reaction to that?
DHAR: I was upset and sad more than anything because I don't understand it.
I'll be honest with you. One thing that I sort of noticed is that he has stripped his identity completely. And this is what's sad, because he had
the most colorful, creative personality and I don't know where it's gone and where we have gone wrong. But it's been lost.
WARD: You say "where we've gone wrong."
Do you blame yourself?
DHAR: I think, yes. Certainly there's an element of guilt.
I feel, why could I not stop it?
Why, you know, are we that bad that you have to leave, that you have to go and live another life?
WARD (voice-over): Dhar desperately wants to believe that her brother is not the man in the new ISIS video, though she has conceded that the voices
She says she is unable to reconcile that killer with the boy she grew up with.
WARD: Most people would say that anyone who joins ISIS, on some level, is evil, a psychopath.
Do you believe that to be true about your brother?
DHAR: Well, I can only speak in regards to my brother. And I can (INAUDIBLE) said that I don't agree with that. I see him as a
compassionate sort of family person, caring individual, somebody sort of who doesn't really engage in activities like --
WARD: Even after he's joined ISIS?
DHAR: Maybe I don't want to believe it. I don't know.
WARD: Do you believe that he's a killer?
DHAR: God, no. No, absolutely not. No.
WARD: Konika Dhar told us that she has spoken to her brother several times since he went to Syria but she said that he has shown no remorse for his
actions and he has told her that he is quite happy, Robyn, just where he is.
CURNOW: Yes, a brave, honest interview. Thanks so much, Clarissa, appreciate it.
Well, after the break we're going to talk about a talk that hasn't been delivered yet. Obama, President Obama, the U.S. president, is going to be
making his State of the Union address. Lots on that after the break.
CURNOW: Welcome back.
Well, U.S. President Barack Obama is giving his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Now it's as much a farewell speech as well as a call to
action for future presidents, we're told. Jim Acosta has the story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States!
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Obama years are flying by fast. Up next, his last State of the Union address.
In this video tweeted out by his chief of staff, the president said his speech will focus on his vision for the post-Obama years.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The big things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids,
the America we believe in.
Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.
ACOSTA (voice-over): At the top of the president's agenda for 2016: gun control. To remember victims of gun violence, one seat in the first lady's
box at the State of the Union will be left empty, as the president explained on a conference call with supporters.
OBAMA: We want them to, you know, be seen and understood that their absence means something to this country.
ACOSTA (voice-over): White House aides say the president will not only defend his executive actions on guns but will talk about his plan to close
the terror detention prison at Guantanamo, past criminal justice reform and take the fight to ISIS.
Obama administration veterans are getting nostalgic.
VAN JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is going to be an incredibly emotional moment, I think, for folks. I mean, I think about speech after
speech and this is the last one. This is the last State of the Union and there's no deceleration in this guy. There's no deceleration. This is the
guy that we voted for.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Heading into the eighth year, these speeches to the country, starting at the depths of a financial crisis.
OBAMA: Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president has turned gray right before our eyes. The most memorable moments, a Supreme Court justice, grimacing at the
president in 2010.
OBAMA: With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the
floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our election.
ACOSTA (voice-over): And Mr. Obama's last stirring tribute to families of mass shooting victims in 2013.
OBAMA: The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House has hinted there won't be a long laundry list of proposals in this final State of the Union, an
acknowledgment that time is winding down and Congress is looking to the next election.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's message is mostly going to be focused on, you know, looking beyond the next election
and making sure that we're making decisions that are going to ensure that our children and their children inherit a country that's as strong and as
safe and as prosperous as it's ever been.
ACOSTA: While the president has focused on his domestic agenda in recent days, White House officials say there will be a major portion of the State
of the Union dedicated to the war on ISIS.
In recent days the White House has revamped its efforts for countering ISIS terrorists on social media and, after Paris and San Bernardino, top aides
say defeating ISIS will be an overarching issue of the president's final year in office -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CURNOW: Well, thanks to Jim for that report.
And more on Mr. Obama's speech, I'm joined by Michael Waldman, he was the director of speechwriting for former president Bill Clinton. He's now
president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Thanks so much for talking to us.
Well, I mean, it doesn't get much better than that, President Clinton, I mean, he's a national orator; so, too, President Obama.
I mean, they are two of the greatest of our generation, aren't they?
So why is President Obama trying to do something different this time?
I mean, is he struggling to get attention here, rise above the cacophony of this presidential race?
Should he even try?
MICHAEL WALDMAN, PRESIDENT, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: Well, I suppose the first thing I should say is I'll believe it when I see it. This --
these State of the Union speeches are, by their very nature, chockful of policy.
As many of your viewers may not realize, it's actually required in the Constitution --
WALDMAN: -- that the president report on the State of the Union. And it's -- for Bill Clinton and, to some extent for Barack Obama, it's been a way
of summing up the year's agenda.
It is the case that the last year of any presidency is less dramatic, usually, than the first but the president can also help try to set a
The interesting thing about the United States right now is that, as with so much of the world, there is really roiling discontent, unrest and concern.
But objectively a lot of the facts are very strong; unemployment is at 5 percent, the country is actually trending in a positive direction.
So from his political standpoint and from the standpoint of his party, he'll want to try to remind people, hey, things aren't quite so bad; calm
down a little.
CURNOW: They've also said and gone out of their way, the White House has said that this speech will try to impact the next generation of Americans.
I mean, first of all, can speeches do that?
Especially if the next generation is digesting information in 140 characters via cell, via selfies on Instagram or Snapchat. I mean, it's
very different from when you were writing speeches for Mr. Clinton.
WALDMAN: That's true, although, interestingly, people now have many more ways to see a speech like this than in the past. They can watch it online,
they can watch it in all other kinds of ways. They are not just waiting for a few TV networks to broadcast it.
And even now, even amid the cacophony of media opportunities of Twitter, of cable, of everything that people use to get information, there's still a
very large audience for the State of the Union because it's the only time in any year that the entire country gets to hear from the person who was
elected to be the president.
And so it's a smaller audience than it used to be but it's still pretty large. There's also issues that young people care about that we know
President Obama is going to talk about.
We know he's going to talk, for example, about criminal justice reform and we've seen with Black Lives Matter and the huge unrest in the United States
about mass incarceration that this is something that young people especially care about.
And I believe there's a real opportunity among Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation, to start bringing sentences down, bringing the prison
population down further. And we know the president's going to talk about that.
CURNOW: OK, so there is that laundry list in many ways. But there's also, I suppose, the real issue of the next election, the next president.
Does his party want him to weigh in on that?
Will it help Hillary Clinton, for example, if he changes the mood or changes the conversation in some way?
WALDMAN: Well, I think that the focus that he's had on guns, certainly jives with her strategy, both in the primary against Bernie Sanders and in
the general election, that it isn't just the NRA and pro-gun rights people who will vote but people who want stronger gun safety laws.
But I think it's also the case that, for the Democrats, for whoever the nominee is, for probably Hillary Clinton, the mood of the country will
affect how people see the prospect of a third term in a row for the Democrats.
It's hard to make the argument, oh, things are terrible, things are headed in the wrong direction, give us another chance we're going to turn it
But if you can show that things are actually moving in the right direction but they can be even better, that's a good overall atmosphere for whoever
the Democrat is.
CURNOW: Great chatting, thanks so much, Michael Waldman there, appreciate it.
And you can watch President Obama's state of the nation, State of the Union address and the Republican response on CNN. We'll have more on the IDESK
after the break. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Thanks so much for joining us. You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center. Here's a check of the
CURNOW: Well, it appears there's new evidence that American actor Sean Penn really was being followed before his allegedly super-secret meeting
with Mexican drug leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. CNN Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo shows us the new photographs.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Is this Sean Penn arriving in Mexico back in October on his way to meet the world's most
infamous drug lord?
Mexican newspaper "El Universal" claims this is indeed the two-time Oscar winner. "El Universal" also published several other pictures that
allegedly show Penn meeting with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's people.
A source with the Mexican government told CNN the pictures are legitimate and were taken by Mexican intelligence teams.
Sean Penn published an article in "Rolling Stone" magazine, Saturday claiming he met with Guzman in October in Mexico, an encounter brokered by
Mexican star Kate del Castillo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOAQUIN "EL CHAPO" GUZMAN, DRUG LORD (from captions): I want to make clear that this interview is for the exclusive use of Ms. Kate del Castillo and
Mr. Sean Penn.
ROMO (voice-over): The meeting was so secret, Penn said, that he and del Castillo were told to leave any electronics behind before boarding an
airplane, supposedly with a device that jams radar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO: But these new pictures suggest that Sean Penn's get-together with El Chapo might not have been so secret after all and was, instead, being
monitored by Mexican intelligence officials at all times. Now Mexican authorities say they want to question both Penn and del Castillo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Any concern about Sean Penn at all, if the Mexicans want him, will the U.S. make sure that they
are able to talk to him?
DENIS MCDONOUGH, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, it poses a lot of very interesting questions, both for him and for others involved in this so-
called interview. So we'll see what happens on that. I'm not going to get ahead of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO (voice-over): The meeting with El Chapo has been both praised and criticized by journalists and fellow actors.
RICKY GERVAIS, ACTOR: I want to do this monologue and then go into hiding, OK?
Not even Sean Penn will find me.
ROMO (voice-over): Among those condemning Penn is Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If one of these American actors, who have benefited from the greatness of this country, who
have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a
constitutional right to do it.
I find it grotesque.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO (voice-over): In the end, it seems, El Chapo wanted to have the meeting, an interview that might have cost him his freedom -- Rafael Romo,
CURNOW: Well, we'll continue to keep an eye on that story.
Meanwhile, David Bowie's musical legacy lives on. Sales of his final album are soaring after his death from cancer on Sunday.
Reports say that critically acclaimed "Blackstar" was the top selling album on Apple's iTunes in both the U.S. and the U.K. and it was the number one
best seller on Amazon's website.
Bowie's long-time producer called the album the singer's parting gift. It was released just two days before he died at the age of 69.
And it looks like wedding bells are in the future for media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former supermodel Jerry Hall. Yes, really.
Just two months after going public with their relationship, CNN's Nina dos Santos reports on the couple and how they announced their engagement the
old fashioned way.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN HOST (voice-over): More used to selling papers than being in them, media baron Rupert Murdoch announced his engagement to model
Jerry Hall with this discreet notice in "The Times."
The marriage will be his fourth and comes after a whirlwind four-month romance, during which time the couple have made increasing public
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): -- a former supermodel and actress, spent more than 20 years with the Rolling Stones' frontman, Mick Jagger, although in
divorce proceedings Jagger claims that they were never legally married.
Murdoch has been single since 2013, when he divorced from his former employee, Wendi Deng. Deng was famous for defending him in the face of a
custard pie attack at the height of the U.K.'s phone hacking scandal.
STEVE HEWLETT, WRITER AND BROADCASTER: Because the Murdoch family and the Murdoch business are so closely intertwined, it makes anything that happens
in the business and/or the family doubly difficult to deal with.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Murdoch built his multibillion-dollar empire from humble beginnings after inheriting two small titles in Australia from his
father in 1953, a business which he turned into 21st Century Fox.
With 12 percent of shares but a 40 percent stake in the voting rights, Murdoch's lifetime goal has been to ensure his family keeps control as he
begins to hand over power to his children.
HEWLETT: It would appear that succession planning, which is one of Rupert Murdoch's obsessions -- he has always been absolutely clear he wants to
hand the company to a member of the family.
James Murdoch is sitting as chief executive of 21st Century Fox. Lachlan is sitting as chief executive of News Corp, which is a newspaper interest.
And now, to cap it all, the icing on the cake, the announcement to the marriage to Jerry Hall.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): A match made in heaven?
Well, who knows. A match made in the media, that's for sure -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.
CURNOW: Let's talk about a different kind of lottery. Still ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, many Americans are dreaming big as the biggest lottery
jackpot in U.S. history ticks even higher, well over $1 billion.
What would you do with that money?
We'll look at the chances of winning.
CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Hi, there.
Lottery players in the U.S. are dreaming big, very big, as they snap up tickets for the largest jackpot in U.S. history.
A single winner in Wednesday's Powerball drawing could hold -- and wait for it -- $1.4 billion paid out in 30 annual installments. The mega jackpot
left state lotteries scrambling to fix their billboards; many only went up to $999 million.
CNNMoney digital correspondent Paul La Monica joins me now from New York.
I mean, Paul, hi, this is such silly money. It's -- I mean, the mind boggles, particularly with exchange rates if you're outside of this
What are the odds of winning?
Is it quite impossible?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: The odds are not very good, Robyn. In fact, they are 1 in 292 million. There are many things
that are more likely to happen to you than winning the Powerball jackpot, including the preposterous scenario --
LA MONICA: -- where you would be struck by lightning while drowning.
I wouldn't recommend swimming during a big thunderstorm, by the way, but that is one thing that could happen rather than winning the Powerball on
CURNOW: OK, or being killed by an asteroid.
OK. So put it in perspective for us.
I mean, who is worth, what is worth this kind of money?
Just where does $1.4 billion fit into things?
LA MONICA: Yes, $1.4 billion, obviously, that's not what you would take home because of taxes and also most people prefer that lump sum option as
opposed to spreading it out over 30 years. But let's just use that $1.4 billion number for fun.
Michael Jordan, the professional basketball player, who's now an owner in the NBA, he's worth only about $1 billion, so you could instantly become
about as wealthy as him without doing all the hard work that he did to earn his money.
And $1.4 billion could actually buy you some well known U.S. companies with market value is less than that. Barnes & Noble, Crocs, U.S. Steel,
amazingly enough, the former industrial giant that famously was referenced in "The Godfather: Part II," when you know, one of the gangsters said to
Michael Corleone, "Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel," you, too, could be bigger than U.S. Steel.
CURNOW: Excellent. This is very exciting.
So I've been getting text messages and WhatsApps from all my family in South Africa, who are insisting I go out and buy tickets for them.
If you're not in America, you can still buy a ticket, am I right?
LA MONICA: Yes, that is correct. In fact, there was a person in Baghdad, in Iraq, who used an online service that pays people to go buy these
tickets physically in the states where the Powerball is available. He won more than $6 million in the state of Oregon and then showed up to collect
it late last year.
And after a legal review, people found in Oregon that he was eligible for the prize. So you have to do it through either one of those services;
online the only places that you can buy a ticket and you have to be a state resident there, Illinois, as well as Georgia.
CURNOW: Or you're just going to have to text me and I'm going to be going, doing a haul at the local store after this show.
Meanwhile, it could get bigger.
Is there a cap at some stint?
LA MONICA: There is no cap. I would be shocked if the number does not go higher than $1.4 billion. Keep in mind, this is just Tuesday morning that
we are talking; the drawing is Wednesday night.
So it already went from $1.3 billion after no one won on Saturday, to $1.4 billion yesterday. I suspect it will climb probably north of $1.5 billion.
How high it goes is anyone's guess. And if no one wins on Wednesday, it really is staggering to think what we might be talking about come next
CURNOW: Yes. I mean even if none of us win, which, as you say, we have more likelihood of being hit by an asteroid, it's still quite fun deciding
what you'd do with that money and who you would or wouldn't give it to. So I think that in itself is a joy.
Thanks so much, Paul La Monica, appreciate it.
And before we go, a stunning sight over Israeli skies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Starlings are migrating from Russia and Eastern Europe -- look at these amazing pictures -- for the winter and they are
showing off with these twisting acrobatic shapes. It's part of the birds' way of confusing predators. Their movements can even create a breeze to
push hawks and falcons away.
True example of safety in numbers.
Well, thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow, this has been the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'll be back in just over an hour with more on that
suicide bombing in Turkey, as well as a U.S. airstrike that targeted millions of dollars in ISIS money. All that, but first, "WORLD SPORT" is