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Former Spy Poisoned with Radioactive Substance; Russia Say U.K. Inquiry Politically Motivated; Falling Global Stocks Tied to Low Oil Prices; Winter Storm Threatens U.S. East Coast; Dozens Questioned in Attack on Pakistani University; Volvo Promises Death-Proof Cars by 2020; Sarah Palin Back in the Spotlight; Using Facebook to Fight Terror. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 21, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): And here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, a British inquiry points the finger at President Putin for the death of a


Will markets recover after a big selloff?

And Volvo promises death-proof cars.


CURNOW: Hello, everyone. Welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

We start with a stunning accusation in a decade-old murder case with Cold War intrigue. Britain implicating Vladimir Putin in the death of a former

Russian spy. A U.K. inquiry says Russia's president, quote, "probably approved" an operation to kill Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

British officials quickly summoned Russia's ambassador in London to the foreign office to talk about the finding. Litvinenko arrived in Britain

six years before his poisoning and became a whistleblower on Russia's spy service, the FSB.

Russia's foreign ministry dismissed the inquiry as politically motivated, saying it has darkened British-Russian relations.

Litvinenko was poisoned with a rare radioactive substance while he claimed he was meeting with former Russian operatives in a London hotel. CNN's Nic

Robertson has more on his death and the evidence that led to Thursday's inquiry report. Watch this.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): When this picture was taken 20th of November, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko knew he

was dying, even claiming he knew who had killed him with the rare radioactive poison, polonium 210, authorizing this statement on his death.

ROBIN TAM, LAWYER TO LITVINENKO INQUIRY: You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr.

Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The former KGB spy turned British agent had fled Russia in 2000 and was increasingly critical of President Vladimir Putin.

He said Russia orchestrated apartment bombings that killed hundreds and led to Russia's invasion of Chechnya.

In the days before he died, he told police he suspected the poison had been planted in tea he drank here three weeks earlier, in the upmarket Central

London Millennium Hotel. He told police he was having a business meeting with two Russians, his former KGB associate, Andrei Lugovoi, and Dmitry


Hotel security cameras caught vital moments. Minutes apart, both Lugovoi and Kovtun visit reception, then the lobby bathroom. Traces of the poison

polonium 210 were later found in the bathroom, on the chairs where the three met and in the teapot Litvinenko drank from.

So serious the evidence and allegations, the British government opened an inquiry. Putin was robust in his denials of involvement.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Alexander Litvinenko was fired from security forces where he served in convoy;

ministry of the interior didn't possess any secrets.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Denials escalated to tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats when Russia refused extradition of Lugovoi to face trial in the

U.K. Both Lugovoi and Kovtun deny allegations and Russia refuses to extradite them.

ANDREI LUGOVOI, INVESTIGATED ON LITVINENKO'S DEATH (through translator): Regarding my position on traces of polonium, I think these questions should

be addressed to U.K. security services as they had direct involvement in whatever was going on around Litvinenko.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): It is a denial the British police say doesn't stand up against the huge weight of evidence they have and until both

Lugovoi and Kovtun stand trial in the U.K., Litvinenko's murder remains an open case -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


CURNOW: Britain's home secretary announced European arrest warrants and asset freezes against those main suspects in the case. Our Matthew Chance

is following all of this from Moscow.

Hi, there, Matthew.

What's the reaction been in Russia to the release of this report?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been a pretty angry reaction, I think it's fair to say. Just a few days ago, the

Kremlin spokesman here was saying that this U.K. inquiry is not something we're concerned about. It's not on our agenda, trying to sweep it aside.

But the fact that the report came out, actually naming Vladimir --


CHANCE: -- Putin as the person who approved what it says was the operation to assassinate Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, I think has provoked

a stronger reaction from the Russians.

The Russian foreign ministry has issued several statements, one of them saying that this -- "We regret this was a purely criminal case, that it's

been politicized and has darkened the general atmosphere of our bilateral relations," indicating that this could be the start of a much darker, much

more problematic period in relations between London and Moscow, a relationship which has, of course, already been damaged severely because of

various other diplomatic incidents.

But the British government now, I think, has to balance the need to respond to this report with a need also to try and keep a working relationship with

Russia. And so I think its reactions, its measures it's going to put in place are going to be very careful, despite the words, are going to be

carefully examined.

CURNOW: Well, is it helpful then?

The report goes further, doesn't it. It mentions as well other cases, alleged cases of Putin critics who've met untimely deaths, all been

poisoned. There's some of them outside its borders. There's Litvinenko, of course, Viktor Yushchenko, also internally, the death of journalist Anna

Politkovskaya and Boris Nemtsov and others.

The intrigue, Matthew, is very James Bond-like.

But what do Russians say about this alleged patent of state-sponsored murder, particularly at home?

CHANCE: Well, I don't think ordinary Russians acknowledge that there is a state-sponsored campaign of murder, as you put it here. But you're

absolutely right to identify that, you know, with regularity, it seems, critics of the Kremlin seem to meet sticky ends. And that's something

that's not gone without notice.

I spoke to the daughter of Boris Nemtsov about a year ago, after the killing of her father on a bridge just in the shadow of the Kremlin as he

was walking home from a restaurant one night with his girlfriend. He was gunned down in the back. One of Russia's most prominent opposition


She said whether or not Vladimir Putin pulled the trigger or ordered the trigger to be pulled, he oversees a country where there is no legal -- you

know, where there is no legal response, an atmosphere in which it's OK essentially to kill members of the opposition, to kill critics of Vladimir


This report in Britain goes much further than that and actually names Vladimir Putin as having approved the assassination of Alexander


CURNOW: OK. Thanks so much. Great to have your perspective there from Moscow, Matthew Chance. Thanks so much.

Well, our Nic Robertson will be sitting down today with Alexander Litvinenko's widow, Marina. Hear what she has to say in that interview a

little bit later here on CNN.

For anyone who's been following the global markets, hasn't it been an exhausting month so far?

Stock traders have been making all kinds of faces over the incredible volatility they've been watching. Right now the Dow is getting a bit of a

reprieve. There you go. Up over 50 points in the first hour of trading. Those are the numbers.

Now the Dow has tumbled, though, more than 1,600 points since the beginning of the year. CNNMoney's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans,

looks at the nervousness tied to plummeting oil prices.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: On the spectrum of fear and greed, fear is what's driving stock markets and it's not because

of stocks. It's because of what's happening in oil. Take a look at the plunging oil prices. From above $100 a barrel just about 1.5 years ago to

now down to $27 a barrel.

When a commodity is so important as oil moves so dramatically, so swiftly in such a short amount of time, it is destabilizing for the producers, for

the financers and for anyone who's dealing with oil. You're already seeing small energy companies going out of business and you're seeing stress in

the credit markets that are tied to oil and oil contracts.

Gas prices though. This is the upside. This acts as a tax break to American consumers, to people who consume oil, $1.86 a gallon. Compare

that with last year, a vast improvement, back to seven years ago when gas prices were this cheap.

But that cheap oil is causing big concern, big concern in global stock markets. Red here, these are bear markets, a 20 percent drop from recent

highs to current levels in the stock market.

Take a look at this. What you see in yellow, these are corrections, a 10 percent drop from recent highs to where we are right now. That means

stocks are on sale.

Worried about China slowing. Worried about a crash in oil prices. And now with such big moves basically telling you, could there be a recession in


A word of caution there for those who are calling for a recession. The U.S. economy is --


ROMANS: -- still very strong. Still showing gains in auto sales, gains in home prices, gains in jobs. So maybe the stock market is ahead of itself.


CURNOW: Christine Romans there.

Well, does it look like there's a bit of a breather on Wall Street today after yesterday's crazy dips and swings?

What does all this mean?

CNNMoney correspondent Paul La Monica joins us now live from New York.

Hi, there, Paul.

Has the mood on Wall Street improved or not?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it has a little bit. When you look at how much obviously stocks have fallen so far this

year and how much oil has fallen, it is still very easy to be concerned about that and scared.

But we had a stunning rebound from the lows yesterday. At one point the Dow was down more than 560 points. So to finish down, you know, less than

300 points was a pretty remarkable comeback.

Now we're slightly higher so Africa this morning. I think that is a positive. But as Christine has pointed out, we still have to be worried, I

think, about what's going on in the oil market, the price of oil. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight for when it's going to stop falling or,

at a bare minimum, even if it stops falling, it may just stabilize. No one expects it to go dramatically higher any time soon.

CURNOW: Indeed because those underlying also political, geopolitical concerns remain, specifically around Saudi-Iran tensions and what that

means for supply.

LA MONICA: Exactly. We have concerns, of course, about demand with the weakening of China's economy but then the supply glut. Iran is going to be

putting more oil on the market and the Saudi-led coalition in OPEC that really is calling all the shots is showing no signs of wanting to cut

production, despite Iran coming into the market and despite the fact that many American oil producers are still looking to pump as much as they can

and get it on the market as well.

So if nobody blinks, we're still going to have this supply glut at the same time people are worried about demand.

CURNOW: Let's just talk, then, about this market because Christine touched on it.

You know, is this an indication, are these markets an indication of concerns over the global economy?

And "The New York Times" had a very fascinating article today, saying what's making these markets unnerving is that it's hard to tell a simple

story about what's driving them.

You know, is this a correction, is this an overreaction, what does this tell us?

LA MONICA: I agree. I think that right now a lot of people are trying to figure out if this is another 2008 all over again.

Do we really need to be that worried?

And the big difference at least so far between now and 2008 is we wake up every morning and we see what China's market did and we see what the oil

did in the U.S. markets and European markets, kind of take their cues from that.

But there isn't really a heck of a lot of tangible news. It's not like 2008 when you woke up and it was like, oh, here's a bank that's in trouble.

The Federal Reserve is doing. We don't really have concrete news. It's just we're following oil. We're following China.

Right now those are both negative trends. They may reverse themselves eventually. So I think right now the comparisons to 2008 are a little

overdone. This doesn't look like doom-and-gloom financial crisis 2.0.

CURNOW: OK. And that's good news. Paul la Monica, thanks so much.

LA MONICA: Thanks, Robyn.

CURNOW: Coming up, a monster winter storm is taking aim at Washington and threatening major travel problems across the northeastern U.S.





CURNOW: Welcome back. You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

It appears the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been destroyed. Imagery experts say it happened just months after ISIS took over Mosul.

They have based that observation on these before-and-after satellite images from 2014.

ISIS captured Mosul in June of that year. The terror group has not publicly claimed it destroyed the 1,400-year-old St. Elijah Monastery but

ISIS has been known to target historical sites.

The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of nearly $2 billion worth of weapons to Iraq. The deal is to include weapons for F-16

fighter jets, such as bombs, missiles and other munitions.

The U.S. Defense Department says the proposed sale directly supports Iraq and serves the interest of their people and the U.S.

Police now say 22 people were killed in an attack on a university in Pakistan. Witnesses say the gunmen were armed with AK-47s and grenades

when they stormed the campus on Wednesday. Four attackers were killed, as our Alexandra Field now reports.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bacha Khan's campus still bloodstained and bullet-riddled, the death toll climbing as authorities

uncover more clues about the attackers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are in possession of sufficient information, confirming who the attackers were, where they came from, who

prepared them, who supported them, who sent them and who made them reach here and who was behind the attack.

FIELD (voice-over): Around 50 people are being questioned in connection to the massacre. No arrests have been made. The four militants who stormed

the campus, all killed in a firefight with Pakistani forces. Their cell phones are now a key part of the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They had two cell phones with them. They had contacts, definitely. Even after the terrorists were

killed. one of the mobile phones was still getting calls, definitely, from an Afghanistan SIM card. More work is underway on this.

FIELD (voice-over): A Pakistani Taliban commander has already publicly claimed responsibility, calling the killings retaliation for the military's

operations against the militant group in Northwest Pakistan.

Another spokesman for the same group disavows the attacks, saying the killing of students and civilians is not sharia law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I looked through the window so there were two, three people firing and I think they were the terrorists.

FIELD (voice-over): Recent intelligence reports indicated an attack in the area was imminent. Security had been stepped up on the campus in

Charsadda. But officials say the gunmen managed to make their way over a low wall, later lobbing hand grenades then shooting at students. Their

timing intended to maximize casualties, coinciding with a big celebration at the school -- Alexandra Field, CNN, New Delhi.


CURNOW: Now to another attack, this time on journalists. Afghan news network TOLO TV says seven of its employees were killed in a suicide

attack. The explosion was set off in Kabul on Wednesday near a bus carrying members of the media.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility, accusing TOLO TV of spying for the West. The militant group have threatened the TV network for reporting on

rape allegations against Taliban fighters during the militants' capture of the city of Kunduz last year.

Coming up here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, Volvo says within years it has the technology to make fatal car accidents a thing of the past. We'll see

how close the auto industry is to making to make your commute a safer ride.





CURNOW: To the U.S. now. Washington and New York are expected to take a direct hit from a winter storm that could dump another 60 centimeters of

snow, bringing traffic to a standstill and potentially forcing airports to close.

Even President Barack Obama nearly slipped on the ice from the snow that already fell on Wednesday.

Well, our Rene Marsh shows the expected impact for more than 65 million Americans and those of you planning to travel in and out of America's



RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just talking with my photographer here. It took us hours to get home. We're not the only ones. Lots of people

driving in the D.C. area, they were stuck in traffic for hours.

This morning we saw people with gas cans. They had to abandon their vehicles because they simply ran out of gas.

And as you mentioned, Chris, that was just the preview.

MARSH (voice-over): A crippling evening commute causing a gridlock nightmare in the D.C. Metro area, people stuck behind the wheel for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty rough driving home and it took a while. It took him an hour to get four miles.

MARSH (voice-over): As the snow on slick and untreated roads turned to ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It usually takes me about 20-25 minutes. I've been on the road close to five hours now.

MARSH (voice-over): Causing more than 160 crashes, including one fatality in Virginia. Only one inch of snow wreaking havoc and it's only a preview

of the potentially historic blizzard to come. The nation's capital could be in the bull's-eye for a record-breaking 30 inches of snow by Sunday.

This traffic app showing the accidents inside and outside of the D.C. Beltway. An absolute mess, crashes snarling traffic for hours, forcing

drivers to abandon their cars.

Pedestrians not spared from the hellish conditions, including President Obama, nearly slipping as he exited Air Force One, the commander in chief's

motorcade slipping and sliding on snow-glazed streets, taking motorcade drivers more than an hour to get back to the White House.

Snow crews in nearby Virginia and Maryland scrambling overnight, piling up salt and positioning plows to prepare for the wintry onslaught. The

expected blizzard dredging up memories of D.C.'s "Carmageddon" in January 2011, when heavy snow fell fast across the region, knocking down trees and

cutting power to hundreds of thousands along the East Coast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still better than New York. I was living in New York this time last year and it was already pretty bad up there.

MARSH: All right, well, we are not far from Reagan National Airport. We are seeing flights take off and land here, not seeing a whole lot of

cancellations. But, of course, all of that could change within a matter of hours because what airlines want to do is pre-cancel those flights ahead of

the storm because what they don't want is their aircraft stuck. And they also don't want the passengers stuck.


CURNOW: That was Rene Marsh, reporting a little bit earlier on CNN. And, of course, she adds, since that report that airlines could start canceling

flights for Friday and Saturday as early as this afternoon. So if you are flying into this area, certainly check your travel plans.

Well, automaker Volvo is promising that, in just four years, no one will be killed in any of its new vehicles. Safety experts say there are already

nine cars on the U.S. roads in which no one has died in the past four years. Maggie Lake joins us from New York.

This is a very bold claim from Volvo.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is, Robyn. And you'd be forgiven for not recognizing that because of all those headlines on safety

recalls that have dominated over the last few years, for noticing that the auto industry is actually making a lot of strides when it comes to safety.

And it's not just Volvo. There are other automakers, as you just mentioned, that have had really great records for the past four years:

Subaru, Mercedes, Toyota, even Kia among them. But what's different about Volvo --


LAKE: -- is that they're making this very public claim and putting a timestamp on it, saying by 2020 they're going to have all of their vehicles


And how are they going to make them crash-proof or death-proof?

It's really about the technology. Swap those words out with autonomous driving and you know that we've talked a lot about that and a lot of

carmakers are rushing.

So this is what they're planning on putting in their cars. And, again, not the only ones putting some of this technology in. But they're the ones who

are going to combine all of it together.

And they include things like adaptive cruise control. We've all heard of that. Some of us may already have it in some vehicles. Auto lane keeping

assistant, collision avoidance, pedestrian detection.

And there's one more that Volvo has. And we think they may be the only ones to have this. It's not -- there we go. Large animal detection -- not

sure you need it when you're in New York City but I was just driving home and had a deer go right in front of me. So it is more common than you

think. They're going to put that all together.

And it is really this advance in technology, this push toward autonomous driving that is going to let them make this claim. Now 2020 may seem like

a long way off. That's when they're going to have their entire fleet. But a lot of these carmakers when they're coming out with new models are

already installing them with some of this technology -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, I once had an unfortunate incident with a goat. But that's a whole other story.


CURNOW: Let's just also talk; Volvo is still based in Sweden. But they're Chinese owned.

Is this perhaps also a chance to sort of change that poor quality image associated with anything China?

LAKE: Yes.

It's interesting, isn't it?

I'm sure they're going to try to make a lot out of that. I'm sure you remember when Geely bought Volvo, that entire brand built on quality and

safety, a lot of people thought, ooh, how is this going to work out?

They have, for the most part, left them alone in Sweden to continue to engineer the cars there. Now some are going to be manufactured in China,

put together there. And they're actually sold in places, including very soon in the U.S.

We haven't seen a lot of that but they are coming to market. But the reason they're sort of hanging onto that quality is because, as our expert,

car expert at CNN, Peter Valdez de Pena (ph) just told me, it matters who engineers the cars and who comes up with that blueprint, less about who

actually assembles the car.

So I don't know if the Chinese are going to -- it's going to help that much with the overall brand image because it's still very much considered a

Swedish car. But it's going to help if you can keep that reliability. It may lay the beginning groundwork that the Chinese can then build on if they

try to sell their own cars.

But that is really what's going to tip the scale, Robyn, when those Chinese-engineered, manufactured cars are able to get that kind of safety


CURNOW: Yes, indeed. And also big conversations on whether this is just one step now ahead toward sort of a driverless car future. And that's a

whole other conversation we've been having here at CNN.

Maggie Lake, as always, thanks so much.

LAKE: Sure.

CURNOW: You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. Much more news after the break. Stay with us.





CURNOW: Welcome. This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Let's get you caught up on the headlines.


CURNOW: In U.S. politics, everyone is talking about the it couple of the moment: Republican front-runner Donald Trump and his biggest, newest named

supporter, Sarah Palin. The former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate is no stranger to controversy but she still can also

fill a room like few others.

After a joint campaign appearance in Oklahoma, Trump spoke to our Don Lemon. Take a listen.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What was it like with Sarah Palin on the campaign trail for the first time?

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had to send away 5,000 people. You saw the arena today -- I hope you saw the arena.

LEMON: I did. And it was full.

TRUMP: It was massive. It was like a -- it was incredible.

LEMON: But there was no negotiating over, you know, if she would join your campaign?

TRUMP: If she would work with the campaign, probably. But in terms of if I win, will she want a job or want some kind of a thing, zero. Absolutely

not even discussed.

And it's frankly very impressive that she doesn't discuss it. But every one of the candidates wanted her endorsement. And, in particular, Ted

Cruz, who right now is having tremendous difficulty. I mean, he's got a loan problem where, as you know, he didn't, on his financial disclosure

form, he didn't list that he borrowed a lot of money from Goldman Sachs and from Citibank. That's a big thing.

This country needs help. It needs leadership, Don, and it needs it fast. And Ted is not the right guy. Hasn't got the temperament.

Hasn't -- I mean, look. Everybody dislikes him. I mean, he's a nasty guy that everybody dislikes.

And he's got another problem, Don, that you haven't mentioned yet. But he was born in Canada.

LEMON: This is showing up in the polling, Mr. Trump. And this is in this new Monmouth University poll. It shows you with a bit national lead, 36

percent to 17 percent, which for Ted Cruz, 11 percent for --


TRUMP: Oh, wow. I didn't know about that.

LEMON: But there is a --

TRUMP: -- tell me about polls I don't even know about. That just came out, I guess.

LEMON: -- but there's another interesting result that goes along with what you're saying. A third of Republican voters, a third of them are

questioning Ted Cruz's eligibility for president.

You think that's --

TRUMP: I understand that.

LEMON: -- due to your very public discussion on this issue?

TRUMP: Well, I understand why they would. And by the way, I'm not -- you know, this was a question posed to me --

LEMON: By "The Washington Post."

TRUMP: -- go by "The Washington Post." OK? It was one of 10 questions.

Do I think that he has -- and I said I don't know. And that's a big problem when you say you don't know.

We will find out someday -- as you know, it's been untested. Nobody really knows. And that's a problem.

LEMON: You said this was a question from "The Washington Post." But you have been and, as you said, you care about him and that's why you don't

want there to be any question about whether he's eligible.

TRUMP: I don't care about him. I care about the country.


TRUMP: I care about the country. I also care about the party. And he's going to have to clear that up.


CURNOW: Now calling it a spade a spade there. Donald Trump talking to our Don Lemon.

Well, let's talk more about Sarah Palin.

Remember her?

She was catapulted onto the national stage in 2008 when she ran as presidential candidate John McCain's running mate. Now after her

endorsement of Donald Trump, many are asking what she's been up to lately. Here's our Kyung Lah with that story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day two of a political marriage made in sound bite heaven:


LAH (voice-over): It's not so much what Palin says, it's what she brings, says Christian Ferry (ph), the deputy campaign manager for McCain-Palin.

Ferry (ph) saw it in 2008.



FERRY: -- rallies of 8,000 people to 15,000, 20,000, 30,000, even 40,000- person rallies after Sarah Palin joined the ticket.

LAH (voice-over): And she continues to fascinate. Ferry calls Palin's endorsement the difference maker in 2010 when Nikki Haley ran for governor

and Ted Cruz as he won his Senate seat.

But now for Trump?

FERRY: What are we not talking about?

We're not talking about Jeb Bush, we're not talking about Chris Christie, we're not talking about Marco Rubio and we're not talking about Ted Cruz.

And that is really, I think the big deal out of all this for Donald Trump as he again has found a way to dominate the news cycle for multiple days.

LAH (voice-over): The reality TV star turned politician finding traction in a politician turned reality TV star. In 2009, Palin resigned as

governor of Alaska and entered the land --

PALIN: Pull!

LAH (voice-over): -- of entertainment.

"Sarah Palin's Alaska" aired on TLC in 2010, canceled after one season.

A second show followed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where you heading?

PALIN: Somewhere amazing.

PALIN: "Amazing America" on the Sportsman Channel. Since her vice presidential run, Palin helped pen three books, earning millions in the

process. She hit the speaker circuit, pulling in a reported $100,000 an event.

She joined FOX News as a commentator. And was feature parody on "Saturday Night Live."


LAH (voice-over): The Palin name so potent, her daughter, Bristol, got her own reality TV show about being a single mom.

Even Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's first baby, made a few bucks on some nuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Levi Johnston does it with protection.

LAH (voice-over): Her evangelical base more entranced by Palin's promises to shake up the establishment than family troubles. And today the

conservative crowd once again embracing Palin as she addressed her son's arrest this week for assault, calling it the effects of PTSD after serving

in Iraq.

PALIN: When my own son is going through what he goes through, coming back --

LAH: So where does Palin go from here?

The 2008 McCain-Palin deputy campaign manager says his advice?

Get her on the road as much as possible -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


CURNOW: That means we're going to be talking about her a whole lot more.

Well, still to come at the IDESK, fighting terror and hate speech online. How one social network says you can do your part with the click of a





CURNOW: You're back at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for joining us.

Facebook has a novel idea to fight terror that you may or may not like. The company's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, says the best way

to fight hateful speech and propaganda on the social network is to flood it --


CURNOW: -- with messages of hope. Samuel Burke joins us now live from New York.

Essentially she's saying love-bomb jihadi websites.

Is there any reason to think that might work with a group as prolific and hateful as ISIS?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Counter speech: that is what Sheryl Sandberg is pushing here, Robyn, where you see hate speech, go and

counteract it with positive messages.

She gave the example of a German Facebook group, trying to fight the message of a right-wing political party in Germany and literally inundated

their page with 100,000 what they viewed as positive messages to try and fight them and a success there.

But she went a step further, saying that this could apply to ISIS. Just take a look at what she said during this forum in Davos, saying the


"The best thing to speak against recruitment by ISIS are the voices of people who were recruited by ISIS, understand what the true experience is,

have escaped and have come back to tell the truth."

And so while this may sound wishy-washy on the surface, just inundate the Facebook pages with positive messages, actually this is what we hear time

and again from counterterrorism experts, saying there needs to be a counter-narrative, especially for Muslims all around the world.

So this is in no way a holistic approach to combating ISIS online. But, again, this is what experts say over and over again. It does exist out

there. You and I have talked on your show, Robyn, about #NotInMyName from a group of British Muslims.

But what we hear over and over again is we need more and more of exactly what Sheryl Sandberg is talking about.

CURNOW: And the critical mass of everybody getting together, I think that's what's key here.

So with that in mind, what are the social networks doing to combat extremism on their platforms?

I mean, the White House is very involved in this.

BURKE: Very involved and this is actually good because we're starting to hear more dialogue. From Sheryl Sandburg, much of what they've been doing

has been behind closed doors. And it's been us journalists trying to fight to find out what's happening.

In the past two weeks, we've seen top counterterrorism officials meeting with the executives of Facebook and Apple and Twitter in Silicon Valley.

Now we're starting to hear some of what's happening with what many have called a very positive dialogue.

For the most part, to answer you question, Robyn, self-policing. These social networks rely on users like you and like me to flag up the content.

So a lot of people say that's what hinders them, though we're seeing them take a slightly more proactive involvement, let's say, as the fight against

ISIS goes on.

What I see, I cover the business of tech a lot. And what I see here is a real problem.

On the one hand, you have the business community telling networks like Twitter, make it easier to sign up. But that makes it harder to fight ISIS

because then when you take down their social media accounts, then they can just open up their Twitter accounts again.

So what I see constantly in coverage both of these worlds is the business pressures really not being in line for what's good to fight terrorism

online. I think Facebook is the real leader here and a lot of the other social networks have to catch up to Facebook.

CURNOW: Yes. Really does having some sort of online Kumbaya make a difference when it comes to ISIS. I mean, that's the question. At least

that conversation, as you say, is taking place and taking place out in the open.

As always, Samuel Burke, thanks a lot.

Well, that does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks a lot for joining me. I will be back, though, in just over

an hour with more on those accusations against Vladimir Putin and the death of a former Russian spy. In the meantime, I'm going to hand you over to