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Terror Attack at Pakistani University; Markets Tumble as Davos WEF Begins; Jason Rezaian Appears for First Time Since Release; Red Doors Mark Asylum Seekers in England; Thousands of Syrians Trapped in Besieged Areas; French Program Fights ISIS Message; CDC Urges Zika Testing for Pregnant Women; Palin Endorses Trump for U.S. President. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 20, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, gunmen attack a university in Pakistan.

Another big sell-off across global markets.

And Sarah Palin is back in the spotlight, endorsing Donald Trump.


CURNOW: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. We begin with the terror attack in Northwestern Pakistan.

Militants killed at least 19 people at a university outside of Peshawar; dozens more are injured. The army says all four terrorists are dead. The

attack happened not far from a school where the Pakistani Taliban killed 145 people in December of 2014.

Now there are conflicting claims from within the militant group over whether it carried out this attack. Alexandra Field is tracking

developments from New Delhi.

Hi, there, Alexandra.

What more do you know?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, at this point, Pakistani Taliban is taking responsibility for the attack but there are voices within

the group, they're disavowing this attack on civilians.

Tonight security forces are saying that they believe that they have killed all of the attackers who were involved in this vicious attack on this

campus. But with so many civilians injured, there are still fears that the death toll could climb.


FIELD (voice-over): Forces swarm the university in Northwest Pakistan after militants stormed Bacha Khan's campus.

"We heard firing from the back of the campus," he says.

Four attackers opened fire Wednesday morning, taking hostages and lobbing hand grenades.

"Then we said, get into the rooms. Don't go out. Then the security forces came."

One student says his professor was struck by a bullet while telling others to hide.

There are too many injured to count and the bodies of the dead still inside the buildings.

Bacha Khan is in Charsadda, just northwest of Peshawar, the site of another deadly school attack. In 2014, more than 140 people were killed, most of

them young schoolchildren. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that massacre.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban is now claiming responsibility for this attack, calling it retaliation for military operations against the


But in a conflicting statement, a central commander for the group disavowed any role, condemning the attacks on civilians and saying they're not in

accordance with sharia law.


FIELD: And these conflicting statements do seem to speak to the fact that there are different factions that have emerged within the Pakistani

Taliban. For its part, the Pakistani government says that there is a forensics team that is en route to the university; they'll be there to

gather any evidence they can find and also any information that's available about these attackers.

There has also been a statement from Pakistan's prime minister, of course, widely condemning these attacks and saying that anyone who kills innocent

civilians and students are people who have no faith, no religion -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, this is horrifying. Terror experts, though, have been saying that the Pakistani forces, the military have been making ground and have

had some successes and that an attack like this is perhaps an indication of weakness within the Pakistani Taliban.

FIELD: Well, and you have this statement from the Pakistani Taliban itself, from one of the spokespersons who claimed responsibility for the

attack, saying that this was in retaliation for the military's operations against the group.

So there is that interplay there and that was the -- of course the explanation that came from within. But you do have the contradictory

statement, saying that it's against sharia law to attack civilians, to attack students.

But we do know that this is an area that's had a heavy militant presence for a long time and various groups that have been at play here. And, of

course, when we talk about this area what comes to mind for most people is that horrific attack just two years ago at that school in Peshawar, where

so many children were killed -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Indeed. Alexandra Field in New Delhi, thanks for that update. Appreciate it.

Well, to business news now. Crashing oil prices are triggering another steep sell-off in global markets. Right now in the first hour of trading

in the U.S., the Dow is down triple digits. Look at those numbers, down over 300 points. Oil in the U.S., too, has fallen below $28 a barrel for

the first time since September 23.

Well, as markets tumble, heavy hitters from global business and politics are getting down to discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos,

Switzerland. CNN's Richard Quest is there live for us --


CURNOW: -- yodeling away.

Hi, there, Richard.

Despite that, these oil prices really tanking and in that side, also spooking investors.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and the -- what you are seeing, of course, with the markets, is a self-fulfilling of what's known

as a feedback loop, where oil prices fall, profits go down, markets fall, oil prices fall and so it goes down.

And in the absence of a reason to change, this is the way it continues. Now even Davos, they are doing their best not to get sidetracked, if you

like, by the crisis du jour, whether it's oil, whether it's the markets.

We've had the Iranian foreign minister, basically telling the Saudi Arabians not to panic. He described -- it was as though he'd described

the Saudis as being extremely nervous as a result of the Iran nuclear deal and he said that there was no need to have such nerves.

On the question of China: you've got people here saying, look, we know there's problems with China but 7 percent is still 7 percent growth.

Robyn, put it all together and you end up with people here saying wherever we look, we see risk and the problem is we can't necessarily see a way out

of it.

CURNOW: So all of this, then, heightening concerns about the global economy.

QUEST: The global economy is not going to collapse. You're not going to get anybody saying it's 2008 again or anything even like it. The

difficulty is when you end up with the U.S., that may only grow 1.5 percent this year, Europe ekes out 2 percent. China at 7 percent sounds good; it

thinks it will get to 6.6 in 2016.

Those sorts of numbers can feel almost like a recession. There's no wage growth. Unemployment doesn't come down much further. Opportunities for

advancement, a middle class that remains under threat, job losses as a result of extreme robotics, these are the issues that are now playing into

the global economy and at Davos they are absolutely determined to try and at least understand, if not master what happens.

CURNOW: OK, Richard Quest, thank you. And you're unpacking it all for us over the week. Appreciate it.

Now we're hearing more from two of the five American prisoners freed by Iran last weekend.

Jason Rezaian waved to reporters outside Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. It's Rezaian's first appearance since his release. "The

Washington Post" journalist mostly kept quiet. Now over the past few days, he and Amir Hekmati have had long-awaited reunions with their families --

look at those photographs -- and undergone medical check-ups.

Well, Phil Black was there when Rezaian appeared. He joins us now.

Yesterday Amir was quite verbal, looked incredibly emotionally and physically strong; however, Jason today was not as talkative. Give us a

sense of what it was like seeing him now.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, he was clearly, I think very thoughtful, pensive, perhaps you can even say somber, I think, as he walked

out. We've been warned in advance that he wasn't going to say anything publicly, wouldn't take questions.

He did at one point say very softly that he can't wait to get home.

Clearly, this -- you're right, comparing him to Amir Hekmati, who came out strong, clear, happy, much, much stronger, I think, in a very early public

appearance. These are two men who are responding to their ordeals perhaps very differently.

Jason Rezaian released a statement at around the same time that he walked out here and the opening line, I think, says a lot.

He says, "I want everyone to know I'm feeling fine."

Fine is not joyful but he's clearly very happy to be out. But he is a man who must now begin the process of dealing, recovering from his long,

difficult ordeal. He's been in an Iranian prison since around July 2014. So a lot to get through.

I want to read you a little bit more of this statement that he's released because I think it gives further insight into his state of mind.

In the statement, he goes on to say this, "I spent a lot of my life writing about the United States and around and I never imagined, I never wanted to

become a part of the story, particularly at such an extraordinary moment.

"I want to get back to writing about the U.S.-Iran story at some point in the future."

And he goes on to say, "But I won't be saying anything further for a while."

So he's happy to be here, happy to be with his family and I think it's interesting to note, while he looked a little somber, surrounding him, his

family was --


BLACK: -- beaming, really. That's his key support crew. These are the people that have fought in Iran, in the U.S., publicly, privately, lobbying

very hard to achieve this. So they're very happy to have him back. There's no doubt about that.

You saw his brother, his wife, his mother there. But for Jason himself, he has a journey ahead. And that's why he's here. This facility is all about

helping people who have endured difficult ordeals and trauma to begin the process of, in their words, decompressing, setting out their path to

reintegration, rejoining society and, in Jason's case, at some point, making up for the time that has been taken from him -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Thanks so much. I mean, look at those pictures; the joy on their face just says it all. Thanks so much, Phil Black there. Appreciate it.

Well, there's much more ahead here at the IDESK. Doors painted red in an English city, there are charges that they single out residents for

discrimination. More on that.

And a CNN exclusive; escaping the lure of ISIS. One woman's harrowing story and the group that's helping her return to a normal life.




CURNOW: Hi, there. Welcome back.

In a town in Northeast England, if a home's door is painted red, it's likely that the people living behind it are seeking asylum in the U.K.

Well, that's the claim in a "Times of London" report, alleging that the distinctive doors make them easy targets for abuse.

Well, the report has sparked charges of apartheid and vehement denials of a so-called red door policy from the caretakers. Well, CNN London

correspondent Max Foster joins me now with more on this story.

Hi, there, Max.

What's this all about?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think "The Times" went out and did an investigation, put an awful lot of work into it and everyone has had to

accept that what they're saying fundamentally is true, that, in this area, most of these red doors show houses where there are asylum seekers, whether

in private or public accommodation.

It's slightly complex in the fact that the government is responsible for these things. They've got a contractor, G4S (ph). They, in turn, have got

a subcontractor and they've accepted that many of these red doors do belong to the homes of asylum seekers.

What they are absolutely denying is that there's any policy in order to say somehow marking out these homes as red doors and as asylum seekers' homes.

In fact, what this contractor is saying, G4S is saying, it's a grotesque thing to say that we're equating this with any form of discrimination.

The government, though, the British immigration minister, saying he's quite concerned about it and he's asked for a full investigation. He's deeply

concerned by this issue. He's instructed his officials to conduct an urgent order.

He also said if we find any evidence of discrimination against asylum seekers, it will be dealt with immediately as --


FOSTER: -- such behavior will not be tolerated. The fact is, it has happened; it's what the motivation was behind it -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Indeed and all of this taking place within an atmosphere or growing atmosphere of anti-immigration sentiment.

FOSTER: Absolutely. And there's certainly evidence, according to "The Times," that people living in homes with red doors have been abused.

They've had eggs thrown at them, rocks thrown at them, and those without red doors haven't suffered the same sort of abuse. So there has been a

comeback here.

What one of the contractors is saying, though, is that as any landlord knows, you try to save costs. When you go out and buy paint to paint

doors, you buy in bulk. And they say it's purely down to that. They have, however, agreed to repaint the doors and when you see them, Robyn, in

different colors this time.

CURNOW: OK. Max Foster from London. Thanks so much.

You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

Coming up, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joins me from Davos. His thoughts on the war in Syria and why it took so long for aid to reach the

starving people of Madaya. That after this break.




CURNOW: Hi, there. Thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow.

Now a Syrian rights group says ISIS has released more than half of the people it seized over the weekend in Syria; 400 people were abducted in the

strategic city of Deir ez-Zor, where fighting has intensified recently.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Refugees says 270 freed abductees include women, children under the age of 14 and men older than 55. ISIS has

controlled most of Deir ez-Zor for more than a year but some areas are still held by the government.

Well, the devastation of war is evident all over Syria but some of the most dire stories recently have been coming out of the besieged city of Madaya.

More than 30 people have starved to death in the last months. Last week, aid workers from the U.N. were able to make two emergency deliveries of

food. But since those deliveries five more people have died.

Syrian government forces and their allies have surrounded Madaya since July, restricting movement and using the siege as a weapon of war. And

Madaya isn't alone in its hunger; other Syrian towns are besieged, some by the government, some by rebel forces, leaving an estimated 400,000 Syrians

trapped without adequate food or supplies.

Well, the head of the U.N. says using starvation as a weapon of war is a war crime. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joins me now to discuss that

from Davos.

Thanks so much for talking to us, appreciate you taking the time.

Mr. Secretary-General, if war crimes are taking place in Syria, who are the war criminals?

Who is guilty of perpetrating these crimes specifically?

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: It has been a very painful and heartbreaking weeks for us, for international community, to see all these

many people besieged in the conflict areas.

The United Nations has been mobilizing immediately together with International Red Cross and other humanitarian workers to provide the life-

saving humanitarian assistance.

I have been urging repeatedly, publicly and privately, that they should open all this road, road check, road and security --


KI-MOON: -- that should be open to humanitarian convoys. I, again, made it quite clear that the starving people as weapon of war is tantamount to

war crimes.

We will continue to provide the humanitarian assistance as much as we can. But these many roadblocks and security situation, it has been quite

difficult. Fortunately, we have been able to provide the life-saving humanitarian assistance.


KI-MOON: -- the Syrian authorities to --

CURNOW: Would you accuse the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, of war crimes?

KI-MOON: Yes, I have made it quite clear that this will be war crimes if they try to starve their own people as a means of a war. Then that is war

crimes. And I also report to the Security Council already several months ago that this case should be referred to international criminal case.

CURNOW: With Madaya, there's some focus from the Syrian aid activists that the U.N. knew about the situation in Madaya for months and that it only

took until January to provide humanitarian assistance.

Why the delay?

KI-MOON: This kind -- this kind of security concerns and dangers where all is security checks and roadblocks have prevented the United Nations from

entering into besieged areas. There is 400,000 people have been completely besieged. Still there are so many people who are living in hard-to-reach

area and besieged areas.

And we've been trying our best to negotiate with the Syrian authorities and other Syrian armed groups. So you should also understand that it has not

been very -- it has not been easy.

It has been very dangerous. That is the reason why we have not been able to deliver as expected. But looking back, we should have done more but we

are doing our best now.

CURNOW: Should have done more; again, accusations in an open letter from many -- from Syrian workers that have blatantly accused the U.N. of

kowtowing to the Syrian government. They say they accuse the U.N. of chasing permission you do not need, that the U.N. has become a symbol of


You acknowledge that it has been difficult.

But has the U.N. relied too much on getting Damascus' permission?

KI-MOON: That's completely wrong perception. That's not true. United Nations, under dangerous circumstances, together with many international

humanitarian workers, working very hard. We've been very strong and vocal to Syrian authorities.

Now while many people are now starving to death under difficult situations, United Nations is working very hard with my special envoy on Syria, Mr.

Staffan de Mistura, to convene the peace talks in Geneva on January 25th.

There is no military solution. This is going to be already complete five years. It's morally and politically wrong if we do not take urgent actions

to put an end to this violence.

That is why the political solution, dialogue will be extremely important. That's what we are doing now. We are still remain committed to convene

January 25th peace talks in Geneva.

CURNOW: Is that confirmed?

Are they going ahead on that date?

KI-MOON: It's not yet confirmed. As you may expect, this kind of big conference as well as very delicate peace talks will require a lot of

preparations. That's what Staffan de Mistura, we are working very closely with the United States and Russia and other members of the international

Syrian support group.

They are all in one mind but there are certain technical but politically sensitive issues, who should be invited to this conference. We hope that

the party's concerned will show their flexibility.


CURNOW: If this doesn't take place on the -- excuse me, sir. If -- sorry.

If this doesn't take place on the January 25th, isn't that an indication, some might say, of failure and particularly --


CURNOW: -- in this time, the Syrian government has made some gains.

If it doesn't happen on the 25th, what does that mean?

KI-MOON: I make it clear that the United Nations and the international community are not working for failure. We are working for success.

There is a matter of how much preparations we can make and how we can make this negotiations success. It may require some more preparations. I

understand at this time the foreign ministers of United States and Russia are meeting together to deal with all this issue at the last minute.

I had a meeting with Staffan de Mistura this morning in Geneva and I have given him full authority to make this 25th of January meeting. First of

all, to be convened and once it is convened, that should be a success. We will do our best for humanity and for Syrian people. If this meeting is

not held, it will be again continuing misery and tragedy for the Syrian people.

CURNOW: Indeed. Thank you so much. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joining me there from Davos, appreciate you taking the time to talk to us,

sir. Thank you.

Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, growing concerns over the spread of the Zika virus. We are live in Brazil with what U.S. health officials are

telling pregnant women, who have traveled to more than a dozen countries.




CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here is a check of the headlines.



CURNOW: And despite its well-publicized brutality, ISIS continues to appeal to vulnerable young people. But often those who are lured to join

the group find their promised paradise quickly become a nightmare. Atika Shubert shows us how one woman fell into the ISIS trap and then managed to

escape in this exclusive report.



ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hanane was lured to ISIS territory in Syria with pictures like these, promises of an Islamic

caliphate that was, in her words, "a paradise without racism or greed, guided purely by Islamic principles."

Instead, she says, she was imprisoned, beaten and accused of being a spy after refusing to marry an ISIS fighter.

HANANE (PH) (through translator): I did not understand. These girls were supposed to be my sisters. They said they loved me. They said I was smart

and important to them.

They'd invited me to their house. We ate together. We were doing everything together. I never did anything wrong to them but they wanted me

dead because I refused to get married.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Hanane was lucky. An ISIS court ruled there were not enough witnesses to convict her, she says. She managed to convince her

jailer to let her go. She spoke to us on condition we do not reveal her face. She is now in France under police observation.

HANANE (through translator): When I got back to France, I was considered as a girl who tortured people, like a monster who came back, pretending to

be a victim. I didn't hurt anybody there. The only person I hurt was myself.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Dounia Bouzar is the woman spearheading France's deradicalization program, also Hanane's counselor.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Muslim and outspoken, Bouzar says she understands victims like Hanane because she was the victim of an abusive relationship


DOUNIA BOUZAR, DERADICALIZATION PROGRAM (through translator): The fact is I went through a moment of my life when I didn't feel like myself, when I

was dominated, when I thought everything was over.

I think that's now a strength that shows that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. There is a future. I tell those parents that their children

are going to make their way through this difficult moment.

Your child will save others.

I'm sure that their experience will help France in the fight against terror.

(Speaking French).

SHUBERT (voice-over): Bouzar says the testimonies of returnees like Hanane are critical to turning recruits away from ISIS. But her work has also

made her the target of ISIS death threats. She travels with at least two bodyguards.

BOUZAR (through translator): We are caught in a human chain and we become a wave, crashing against these ISIS words. We will win because we love

death more than you love life. We are constantly trying to prove that we will win because life is stronger than death.

We get sucked into it. We need protection such as bodyguards so that we don't forget that there's still the danger out there.

SHUBERT (voice-over): That is something Hanane cannot forget.

SHUBERT: For those people who want to come back and feel like they won't be accepted back into society, what have you learned from the process and

from speaking with Dounia?

HANANE (through translator): I always think of these girls. I'm angry at myself because I could get out but I left them over there. Sometimes I

think I should have stayed to plan a better escape and leave with other people who wanted to leave Syria.

I know there are some girls who want to come back but they just can't. It's torture for a woman there, like you can't even breathe.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Hanane says she now knows that paradise she was looking for exists only as ISIS propaganda, a catastrophic mistake she is

hoping that Bouzar can help to slowly undo -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Paris.


CURNOW: Thanks to Atika for that.

Well, U.S. health officials are asking pregnant women who may have been exposed to the Zika virus to get tested. The mosquito-borne disease can

cause a brain disorder in unborn babies. Now it's prevalent in a number of countries in the Americas. Brazil is ground zero.

Shasta Darlington joins us now from Rio de Janeiro.

Hi, there, Shasta. We are hearing some local authorities telling women not to get pregnant. That's how bad this is.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn. It's a real panic here in Brazil, especially in the northeast part of the

country, where there's an emergency, a health crisis.

Basically, the Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness. It's carried by mosquitoes a lot like dengue fever or yellow --


DARLINGTON: -- fever and it cropped up in Brazil in the first half of last year with such mild symptoms that people really shrugged it off at first.

But a few months later doctors noticed a huge surge in birth defects.

And with some studies, they've linked the two, the Zika virus to these birth defects. And what we're talking about is microcephaly, when babies

are born with small craniums, underdeveloped brains that mean that they will have developmental problems their entire lives and shortened lives,

some even dying in the womb.

So this is a serious problem and what we've seen are not only doctors but health officials telling women, if at all possible, put off that pregnancy.

Let's get through the rainy summer right now. Let's do more research so wait if you can at all. And you're hearing that not only in Brazil but in

other Latin American countries now, where the Zika virus has spread.

And in the meantime, of course, they're tackling the mosquito problem on the ground, something that used to be always worry health authorities,

dengue fever and yellow fever has now become a serious priority. And they've sent the army out to try and tackle the pools of water that gather,

that people even store in their homes during a serious drought in the northeast.

So they're trying to eliminate the pools of water, to put chemicals in them so that they can kill the larvae and, again, get through this rainy, wet

season and then hope that they can do a lot more on the research and possibly come up with a virus there, Robyn --


DARLINGTON: -- a vaccine for the virus, yes.

CURNOW: The fact is, though, that this warning is put out but Latin America, much of it is Catholic. There's in these rural areas, there's not

a lot of access to contraception if people even want to use it. Also a lot of women are pregnant now. There's not a lot of access to abortion if they


This is deeply concerning for women who are pregnant or who don't have the ability to not get pregnant.

DARLINGTON: You're right, Robyn, and especially because this is occurring in parts of the country that are impoverished. So you will see parents who

already have three or four children. If they're now having a fifth child, let's say, with serious birth defects, they're going to have to quit work,

take care of this child and this is at a time when Brazil's going through a serious recession.

So there's already high unemployment, high inflation. This is causing a huge burden on the health system at a time when they're slashing budgets.

In the northeast, a lot of doctors are talking about this as being a scarred generation or a lost generation because so many infants have been


I'm talking about since the Zika virus was detected earlier last year, 3,500 cases of microcephaly have been reported. It's a huge number, Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, it's devastating. Thanks so much, important reporting. I think we'll talk to you about it again in the coming days and weeks.

Thanks so much, Shasta. Appreciate it.

Coming up, a look at U.S. politics. Donald Trump gets an Alaska-sized endorsement for his bid for the U.S. presidency.

There she is. We'll talk about it after the break.





CURNOW: All this just gets better and better. U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump is campaigning in Iowa right now with an important sidekick,

from vice presidential candidate and small government advocate Sarah Palin.

CNN's Sara Murray looks at how Palin's endorsement could help Trump in the campaign.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Are you ready to stump for Trump?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sarah Palin is back, center stage and throwing her support behind Donald Trump.


MURRAY (voice-over): Nearly a decade after the conservative firebrand rallied raucous crowds as John McCain's 2008 running mate, Palin is taking

on a new mission, shoring up Trump against some of his rivals' most potent attacks.

And Sarah Barracuda came out swinging.

PALIN: You ready for a commander in chief who will let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS' ass?

No more pussyfooting around.

MURRAY (voice-over): Slamming GOP leaders.

PALIN: They've been wearing this political correctness kind of like a suicide vest.

MURRAY (voice-over): And reassuring Iowa voters that Trump, a former Democrat, is a true conservative.

PALIN: Oh, my goodness gracious, what the heck would the establishment know about conservatism?

MURRAY (voice-over): Palin even casting the business man as a populist who just happens to be a billionaire.

PALIN: Yes. Our leader is a little bit different. He's a multibillionaire, not that there's anything wrong with that.

But it's amazing. He is not elitist at all.

MURRAY (voice-over): Yesterday, Trump pressing pause on his primary battles.

TRUMP: I'm going to be non-confrontational today for a change.

MURRAY (voice-over): To relish his celebrity endorsement.

TRUMP: This is a woman that, from day one, I said if I ever do this, I have to get her support.

MURRAY (voice-over): As Cruz ended a tough day on the trail with a double whammy, losing Palin.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Regardless of what Sarah decides to do in 2016, I will always remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin.

MURRAY (voice-over): -- and facing new attacks in Iowa as Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican heavyweight, said Cruz needs to be defeated.

GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: He hasn't supported renewable fuels and I believe that would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him.

MURRAY (voice-over): It's a jab Cruz says was to be expected.

CRUZ: Look, it is no surprise that the establishment is in full panic mode.


CURNOW: Sara Murray reporting there. And Sarah Palin plans to spend all day campaigning with Donald Trump in Iowa. The first vote in the U.S.

presidential race, the Iowa caucuses are less than two weeks away.

Well, there is a social media mystery involving a little boy and a football star that surrounds this photograph which shows a boy wearing a makeshift

jersey with Lionel Messi's name and number 10 written on it. The photo first surfaced on Turkish websites last week. It claims the boy is from

Iraq. Messi fans hope to find him to get him a real jersey.

Well, that does it here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. And I'll be back in just over an hour with more on that

deep dive for the U.S. markets but "WORLD SPORT" with Amanda Davies is up next.