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Denmark to Vote on Controversial Migrant Bill; Democrats Face Voters in CNN Town Hall; French Taxi Drivers Strike over Alternative Services; President Rouhani Meets the Pope; People in Madaya Still Starving Despite Aid; New CNN/ORC Poll Shows Trump at Top. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 26, 2016 - 10:00 ET
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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, can migrants keep their valuables? Denmark vote on a controversial new law.
Iran's president meets with Pope Francis.
And his lead is huge. Donald Trump dominates his Republican rivals in a new poll.
CURNOW: Hello and welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
Right now, Europe's dilemma over what to do about the tide of migrants looking for a new home is playing out in Denmark. The Danish parliament
will vote any time now on a bill that, among other things, would require migrants to turn over cash and additional assets to pay for their stay.
The government says this would bring migrants in line with Danish citizens who claim aid from the state. Many see the bill as a deterrent to the
record number of migrants streaming in to Europe from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
As Europe grapples with that refugee crisis, this bill seems to get to the heart of Denmark's identity. For more, here is senior international
correspondent Arwa Damon in Copenhagen.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a volunteer-run center for refugees and those who are teaching the new
arrivals are appalled by Denmark's new legislation, coined the "jewelry bill."
Seventy-two-year-old Wiebke Keson is from Germany. She grew up in the ruins of World War II but has called Denmark home for decades.
WIEBKE KESON, VOLUNTEER: I was shocked when I heard about this idea of confiscating jewelry from refugees. Since I'm German, I was immediately
thinking about our own history.
DAMON (voice-over): The bill has been through several incarnations. Now it excludes items of sentimental value but anything worth more than $1,500,
cash or valuables, can potentially be confiscated from asylum seekers. But the larger aim of the bill is clear: to deter asylum seekers from coming
MARTIN HENDRICKSON, DANISH PEOPLE'S PARTY: We hope this will be -- start a chain reaction through Europe, where other European country can see there
is a need to tighten the rules on immigration in order to keep European culture.
DAMON (voice-over): He and supporters of the bill believe Denmark's very way of life is under threat from migrants and refugees from non-Western
societies. That said, there are plenty of people here who cannot believe that a Danish government would even debate this type of legislation, which
humanitarian and aid groups argue is only going to exacerbate the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their own attempt to find a common European solution to this, every country is now trying to fence themselves in, trying to scare
refugees and asylum seekers away.
And this is not going to work in the long run because we have a lot of people in need of international protection. And they are being pushed from
one country to the other.
DAMON (voice-over): Hardest for the refugees to bear is a new provision that will delay family reunification, extending the wait from one year to
three before an individual could even apply.
At one of the camps, Amani (ph) shows us pictures of her 9-year-old daughter, still in Syria. Thoughts that she might not see her daughter
until she is a teenager or that she might not even see her at all are just too much.
"Sometimes I say to my friends, I'm scared that if I die here, my daughter won't know where her mother is buried," she tells us.
"I'm scared that one day I will look online and see a picture of my daughter because something happened to her."
Those who wanted to keep the refugees out may have just succeeded. Amani (ph) has no intention of trying to stay here.
CURNOW: Now Arwa Damon joins us now from Copenhagen.
Hi, there, Arwa. This debate in parliament is continuing.
When do you think there will be a vote?
DAMON: Well, an hour ago we were expecting the vote at any moment and we are still awaiting; the debates surrounding this has been going on for
quite a few hours here.
Those support the bill are arguing that this is the only way that Denmark can protect itself and that even though some issues within it are painful,
such as the prolongation of family reunification, they believe that this is the only way to deter asylum seekers from coming here. And the bill is
expected to pass very --
DAMON: -- easily, to have a very easy majority. But those who oppose the bill are arguing that Denmark can't insulate itself in this way and that
this issue is not just a Danish issue. It's not an issue that relates to any one country. It's one that relates to all of Europe. And therefore,
solutions have to be Europe-wide. There has to be a quota system that is instated because the way this bill currently stands, it really is going to
add to the suffering of the asylum seekers who are already here or those who want to try their chances in getting here.
And it's really thrown Denmark into something of a moral dilemma with a fair amount of debate within parliament and outside of it as to what
Denmark was, what it is today and what is it going to be in the future.
What kind of a nation is it going to be in the future, as one opposition parliamentary member was arguing?
Is Denmark going to want to be perceived as a nation that deliberately keeps families apart, as one that does not try to be at the forefront of
these types of crises?
Or is it going to try to live up to its former reputation of a nation that is always at the forefront of humanitarian assistance, a nation that brings
families together -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. There's lots to talk about, Arwa Damon, thanks so much, coming to us there from Copenhagen.
I think what is important here is that the Danes have debated this bill publically.
But in Switzerland and Germany, laws have existed for decades, allowing assets to be confiscated from asylum seekers to pay for their stay.
In Switzerland, the government has the right to seize assets in excess of $1,000. There are dozens of cases where this has happened.
In Germany, it's up to individual states whether or not to carry out the federal law. It has reportedly been implemented in some southern states.
Well, in Denmark this proposed law has wide-ranging support across political parties. Now for a country that has a deep humanitarian
instinct, as Arwa was saying, this is an important point.
To understand why Danes, for the most part, are supportive of such tough legislation, I want to bring in Danish journalist and political
commentator, Thomas Larsen.
Great to have you here on CNN, Thomas. You spend your days, gauging the mood of Danes, politically and socially.
Why have Danes generally, across the board, supported these moves?
THOMAS LARSEN, JOURNALIST: I think a lot of Danes, they actually don't like the new bill and they don't like to see the criticism of Denmark in
the international media. Normally Denmark is portrayed as a very open, tolerant society with a lot of social security. And now we are portrayed
as a very harsh and tough society.
And of course that hurts a lot of Danes.
So why do Danes actually support and why do the majority of the political parties support this bill?
I think the real reason is that many people, they are afraid of the influence of the scale of the influx. They don't think that we can be able
to integrate the newcomers in the Danish society.
And also they think we have a very bad and I would say sad record when it comes to integrate people here in Denmark. Of course, during the last 20
to 25 years we have said welcome to many people from the outside worlds. And they have been able to get integrated. They have jobs, they get
education. Their families are thriving.
But unfortunately, we can also see that a lot of people have not been able to get integrated. They don't have jobs. They don't get the necessary
education. Some of the families, they tend to live in new ghettos. We have never seen that before in Denmark.
And also, as you know from other countries in Europe, some of the young people, they tend to make crime and, in the most severe instances, they
actually also get radicalized.
So a lot of things, they have lost their hope that this integration can be made in such a big scale which is necessary now when so many refugees come
I think that's the explanation.
CURNOW: So in many ways, it's a failure of integration, you are saying, based on past experience, based on Danes looking around them, fearful of
what that means on a larger scale.
Also, I mean I've spent many times and we've talked before in Copenhagen and Denmark, Thomas, about Danish national identity. It's a very hard-
fought, very passionate sense of themselves. And a lot of that is also based on the social welfare system. And there's also big debate on the
impact a huge migration would have on that. And it's a very real fear, isn't it?
LARSEN: I think there is a very important point this one because in Denmark, we are very proud of our welfare system. We are proud that we can
deliver free education, that everyone would have access to school, to university, free, that everyone can have health care, even though they
don't have a job, don't -- aren't a part of society financially but --
LARSEN: -- they always get help from the society. But, of course, this system is very, very expensive to run. Therefore, Denmark economically
needs a lot of good taxpayers. Because every Dane will pay a very, very high tax to get this system running.
Therefore, if you have a big number, many of the population who is not able to get inside the part of society, they are standing on the sideline to
society without job, and that has really been the case for many of the new people coming to Denmark from especially non-Western countries.
Then of course is an enormous economic burden on this society. And I think a lot of Danes, they are afraid of this.
Also I have to say, especially when it comes to people from a number of the other countries, we also have experienced in Denmark, like in other
European countries, some culture clashes when it comes to religion, when it comes to how we look at women.
In Denmark we have a long, strong tradition that men and women, they are totally equal and so on. So that's caused problems during the years. And
that's why the -- both the politicians also the Danes, they have changed their views on immigration. And also they are less inclined today to help
refugees, I think that's fair to say.
CURNOW: OK. Thomas Larsen, thank you so much for your perspective, for giving us an understanding of the mood there in Copenhagen on what is a
tough choice. Thank you so much, Thomas Larsen there.
Well, in deadly stabbing in Sweden Monday has underscored concerns about the influx of migrants. Police say a teenage asylum seeker attacked a
Swedish woman at a refugee center where he was staying. She was an employee. Officials say this is the worst case of violence involving
migrants but not an isolated incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Many people have newly arrived in Sweden and we have responded to multiple disturbances on a weekly basis
around the western region and also in the rest of Sweden. We've had many alarms from asylum centers, perhaps because people just aren't feeling
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, Sweden took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers last year, it was one of the highest proportions of refugees per capita in the E.U.
Many of them are young men.
This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Ahead, the U.S. presidential campaign; Democratic candidates face off one last time before next Monday's Iowa caucuses. The tough questions they face on key issues on CNN.
Plus anger in the streets of Paris. Find out why taxi drivers are on strike. Stay with us for more.
CURNOW: The race is hotting up, isn't it?
Iowa caucuses are next Monday, the first contest for the 2016 U.S. presidential --
CURNOW: -- nominations. Democratic candidates faced off one last time before the caucuses at a town hall meeting hosted by CNN. Brianna Keilar
has the details.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We are live.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Less than a week away from the Iowa caucuses.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This calls for a standing-up response.
KEILAR (voice-over): The Democratic candidates are out of their chairs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not capable of doing Q&A in Iowa from a seat.
KEILAR (voice-over): And throwing soft punches in a final pitch to voters.
SANDERS: Experience is important but judgment is also important.
KEILAR (voice-over): Bernie Sanders kicking off CNN's town hall, going record-to-record with Hillary Clinton.
SANDERS: I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq.
I led the effort against Wall Street deregulation. See where Hillary Clinton was on this issue.
On day one, I said the Keystone Pipeline is a dumb idea.
Why did it take Hillary Clinton such a long time before she came into opposition?
KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton says one bad vote on the Iraq war is just a scratch, not a dent.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a much longer history than one vote, which I said was a mistake because of
the way that that was done and how the Bush administration handled it. But I think the American public has seen me exercising judgment in a lot of
KEILAR (voice-over): Former Maryland governor, Martin O'Malley, once again fighting for his place in this race.
MARTIN O'MALLEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND: I am the only one of the three of us who has a track record not of being a divider but of bringing
people together to get meaningful things done.
KEILAR (voice-over): Voters challenging the candidates on key issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you planning to ensure racial equality?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you going to fight for women's rights?
KEILAR (voice-over): The Vermont senator clearing up his stance on gun control.
SANDERS: If a gun shop owner should know why should somebody be buying 1,000 guns?
Somebody should be thinking that does not make a lot of sense. In that case, that gun shop owner or the gun manufacturer should be held liable.
KEILAR (voice-over): The former secretary of state leaning on nearly a million miles of travel to prove she's the foreign policy front-runner.
CLINTON: I flew from Cambodia, where I was with the president, to Israel, middle of the night, go see the Israeli cabinet, work with them on what
they would accept as an offer. Go see the Palestinian president, work with him to make sure he would back it up. Go back to Jerusalem. Finalize the
deal. Fly to Cairo. Meet with President Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, hammer out the agreement.
KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton not only highlighting her record but defending her character.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've heard from quite a few people my age that they think you're dishonest.
CLINTON: I've been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age. I have been fighting to give kids and women and the people who
are left out and left behind a chance to make the most out of their own lives.
KEILAR (voice-over): Throughout the night, one message was clear: dump Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are far better than the sort of fascist rhetoric that you hear spewed out by Donald Trump.
KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton taking it a step further.
CLINTON: We need a coalition that includes Muslim nations to defeat ISIS. And it's pretty hard to figure out how you are going to make a coalition
with the very nations you need if you spend your time insulting their religion.
CURNOW: Well, that was Brianna Keilar reporting there. Later we'll look at the Republican candidates and Donald Trump's surge in the polls.
Well, some nasty traffic jams and scuffles in the streets of Paris as taxi drivers strike over ride hiring companies like Uber. French air traffic
controllers are protesting as well, demanding higher wages, better pensions. Authorities are encouraging travelers to take trains whenever
Let's bring in our Maggie Lake in New York for more on the strikes.
Hi, there, Maggie, what's happening?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn. This is something we've seen before playing out. It's this clash between traditional
companies and some of these new disruptive technologies.
Once again, in France, taxi drivers saying this is unfair, the competition you are getting from these ride sharing platforms like Uber and politicians
who kowtow to them because they think they're creating all these jobs. They're not. For every job they create they take away one of ours. And
they're better jobs that we're losing.
This is an issue politicians around the world have to grapple with as these companies come up. You're seeing it play out in France. I will point out
it comes a day after we saw the most sort of clear sign of this change and that is the most, the biggest traditional Yellow Taxi service in San
Francisco filing for bankruptcy.
They say it's because of passenger lawsuits but a lot of people think it's another tangible sign that the Uber-like and the Lyft-like ride sharing
platforms out there are putting traditional cab companies out of business.
LAKE: So there is a big strain and push in this part of the economy. We're loving this passengers.
But what is it doing to the jobs?
You can see in France these protests in the past have been turning violent as well. A lot at stake here -- Robyn.
CURNOW: A lot at stake here. Very emotional as well. Thanks so much. It affects people across the world, so many of us riding in Uber and Lyft and
of course implications for the drivers, as you say. Thanks a lot.
Still ahead here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, Pope Francis and Iran's president sit down at a Vatican desk. What they discuss -- next at the
CURNOW: Welcome back. You are watching CNN.
It's another day of market volatility around the world. Most Asia markets tanked earlier Tuesday but European markets recovered as oil ticked back up
above $30 a barrel. Wall Street is higher right now.
There are the numbers, over 220 points early in the trading session. That is what the Dow looks like right now. Investors, of course, watching those
fluctuating oil prices. We'll keep a close eye on stock markets throughout the day.
A handshake between the leader of the Catholic Church and the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pope Francis greeted Hassan Rouhani at the
Vatican just a short time ago. Iran's president is on the second day of his European tour.
He has also been meeting with top Italian politicians and business leaders and signing a flurry of trade and investment contracts. Mr. Rouhani's trip
is the first European visit by an Iranian president in 16 years. And it's coming as his country emerges from the burden of economic sanctions.
Our Erin McLaughlin joins us now from Rome.
Hi, there, Erin. Those images of that handshake, quite powerful. What a message.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn, and we understand from the Vatican that that meeting happened predominantly behind closed
doors, a closed-door meeting occurring for about 40 minutes. So we weren't privy to everything the two discussed.
But following the meeting, the Vatican, releasing a statement outlining some of the issues discussed by both delegations. Among those issues,
religious freedom and the situation of Christians in the region, of course, very important issue to Pope Francis.
They also discussed the general situation within the Middle East, according to the statement they discussed the, quote, "important role that Iran is
called upon to play when it comes to political solutions encountering terrorism."
Perhaps a reference there to the situation in Syria. We know that is a particularly important issue, the resolution of the conflict in Syria to
But other than that, it was an exchange full of smiles and handshakes. Vatican describing the atmosphere as cordial. Gifts were also exchanged.
Among the gifts given, the president of Iran giving Pope Francis a rug, handmade in the Holy City of Qom in Iran and the pope gave the president of
Iran a coin of St. Martin's, representing -- symbolic, rather, of the transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor, as well as his book written -
- that he wrote about the environment.
MCLAUGHLIN: So it all seemed a friendly atmosphere and certainly the two parting on friendly terms -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed, it looked quite buddy-buddy, didn't it?
Erin McLaughlin, thanks so much, reporting for us from Rome there. Appreciate it.
Well, President Rouhani is racking up business contracts in Europe and making friends with the pope but back home Iran is getting ready to
dramatically boost oil production. But as our Fred Pleitgen reports from Tehran, many Iranians are worried that low prices will bring little
benefit. Here's his report.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tehran's gas stations are almost always busy. The country with some of the
largest oil reserves has seen a boom in car sales in recent years.
While Iran wants to increase its share of the world's oil market, it also wants to drastically increase its capabilities in terms of refining to make
sure they can meet the needs of motorists here at home.
PLEITGEN: Among drivers we spoke to, oil was a major topic and a major point of concern, given the low international crude prices.
"The oil price is very important because it affects so many things in our daily lives," this woman says.
"In my opinion, the low oil price is very bad because it really hurts our economy," she adds.
"In my opinion, the low oil price is very bad because he really hurts our economy," he adds.
And this man says, "It's very bad because so much of our income is from oil."
Analysts say over half of Iran's budget comes from oil revenues.
No wonder then, with the lifting of nuclear sanctions, Iran wants to export an additional 500,000 barrels per day, even at a time when international
crude prices are tanking.
Some experts fear Tehran's reentry into the market will cause an even further decline. And of course, Iran would also make considerably less
selling while prices are down.
But analyst Saeed Laylaz tells me, Iran's hydrocarbon strategy is about more than just money.
SAEED LAYLAZ, IRANIAN ECONOMIST: This is a geopolitic agent for the country, not just economic one. This is not the subject of the money.
This is the subject of the share of the market which is very essential for the country.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): There is little doubt that Tehran will quickly re- establish itself as an oil powerhouse. Even if revenues start off weak in the current market climate, Tehran's influence is expected to grow with
every additional barrel it's able to export -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.
CURNOW: Thanks to Fred for that report.
Coming up here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, real concern about new reports of people starving to death in the Syrian town of Madaya even after the
delivery of food aid. We'll have more on that after the break.
CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: In Syria it's been about two weeks since desperately needed food aid reached Madaya. But new video is emerging from the besieged town and
it shows a level of starvation that seems as stark as before. Our Nick Paton Walsh has more but a warning: some of this footage is really
difficult to watch.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: At a U.N. meeting in Geneva today, there was great pressure from aid workers against both sides in the
Syrian conflict to stop using food as a weapon of war and allow unimpeded humanitarian access to the 15 towns, the 400,000 people who are said to not
be getting the food they need.
And recently in the spotlight was the town of Madaya. That is besieged by the Syrian government and held by rebels. And even after aid began to get
in in the past weeks, people there are still, we're told, starving to death.
WALSH (voice-over): ISIS has now gripped the town of Madaya, adding to the siege and starvation gnawing away of what's left of life here.
Aid came briefly along with global attention but now it's gone and the weak here are still said to be dying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
WALSH (voice-over): This is Dr. Mohammed (ph). He shows us Fawaz Saif Alden (ph), age 50, so malnourished he can't cope with food, only drip
Held here, almost a ghost, edging towards death. Like his granddaughter, Lama (ph), just 9 months old, she seems dazed.
We were told two people died in Madaya Monday from hunger but can't confirm it independently.
"For more than seven months, we've not had electricity," explains the doctor, "we've nearly run out of wood."
Now plastic is often burned.
The weakest, immobile, activist Abdullah (ph) shows us.
ABDULLAH (PH), ACTIVIST: This child here is very ill. He eats leaves, tree leaves, and he get sick and ill and his stomach, his stomach is
really, really hurting. He needs immediately go to hospital outside in Madaya.
WALSH (voice-over): The little food here probably won't save the acutely malnourished who need urgent medical help, but it is handed out slowly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And actually, if they don't bring food for people, the people here will die because of starvation.
WALSH: Here, in a makeshift hospital struggling to keep the lights on, is where they come, hoping to find help.
"In the past 10 days since the arrival of relief supplies," the doctor says, "there have been 10 deaths. Scores of people have arrived at the
clinic unconscious. We have around 500 sick people in the town that need hospital treatment."
Syrian rebels have said they won't talk peace until sieges like these by the government are lifted. The rebels, too, are besieging other towns in
the north. Hunger, a weapon of war, leaving 400,000 Syrians without the food they need, neither truly alive nor dead.
WALSH: Now of course, as you point out, both sides are accused of using food as a weapon of war. Other towns are held by the Syrian government but
besieged by rebels.
And there's been great politicization of the images coming out from these besieged population centers. For our part, in preparing that report, we
asked activists who filmed the video to hold up the home pages of a newspaper from this weekend to prove the images were not old and we also
spoke to aid workers, who recognized a number of people in those videos as being from the town of Madaya.
And frankly, regardless of our inability --
WALSH: -- to prove or independently confirm the medical conditions of those shown in that video, it is quite clear they are suffering from severe
malnutrition -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Beirut.
CURNOW: Thanks to Nick for that report.
And if you remember, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told us last week that, quote, "looking back, we should have done more."
You're watching CNN. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Welcome back.
Not much has changed, has it?
A new CNN/ORC national poll shows Donald Trump dominating the Republican presidential field. Trump has 41 percent support among Republican voters.
That's more than double Ted Cruz's number.
All the other contenders are in single digits. Donald Trump campaigned on Monday in New Hampshire, where he also has a big lead in the polls. He
once again called Ted Cruz "a Canadian," questioning his eligibility to run for president. And he said Ted Cruz failed to disclose loans during his
2012 Senate campaign.
CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston joins me now live from Des Moines, Iowa.
Let's talk about the Donald. Earlier Ted Cruz, "the Canadian," as he's been so insulted, was saying that Donald Trump is unstoppable. I want to
play this clip and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will say right now between Donald and me, this is neck and neck. It is an absolute dead heat. And if Donald wins Iowa,
he right now has a substantial lead in New Hampshire. If he went on to win New Hampshire as well, there is a very good chance he could be unstoppable
and be our nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, a lot of people might not agree with Ted Cruz on many issues but they might agree with him on this one.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, they certainly agree with him on the fact that if Donald Trump is able to win Iowa next week, he will be
going into the state of New Hampshire with a very sizable lead.
And if he were to win the state of New Hampshire, we are now talking about a snowball effect potentially, where Donald Trump could start running the
tables, potentially be the Republican presidential nominee.
No, this is amazing because if you were to go back six or seven, eight months ago, there is no way any of us would have thought that Donald Trump
had a shot of even being close, let alone becoming the Republican presidential nominee.
So Ted Cruz, in his closing statement to the Iowa voters here, here in the heartland of the United States, is not only talking about his conservative
policies but is also talking about the threat that Donald Trump could become the nominee. It's a pretty interesting argument to make but one
that Ted Cruz has to make.
CURNOW: OK. Well, I mean, you talk about six or seven months ago, how many of us would never have thought that this is where Donald Trump would
still be --
CURNOW: -- because it seems like not much has changed. He still seems to be quite low on detail, high on hyperbole. Just take a listen to his plans
for his fight against ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bottom line, I will do a number on ISIS like you wouldn't believe. But I don't want to sit here and
tell you every single thing I want to do.
You know, at some point we're warriors, right?
At some point you have to surprise the enemy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So like I say, he doesn't give a lot of detail but that doesn't seem to matter still.
PRESTON: No. And I've got to tell you what, I don't think I've ever heard it said so succinctly as you just said, Robyn, low on detail, high on
hyperbole. My gosh, you're absolutely right
Donald Trump just goes out. He tries to destroy his enemies. At the same time he is very vague in what he would actually do to try to deal with some
of the threats facing the United States and, quite frankly, the world, ISI being chiefly among them.
He says he is going to go over there, he's going to destroy them. He's going to make America great again. He is going to force the Mexican
government to build a wall between the United States in the U.S. None of that could ever happen.
The question is, if Donald Trump does become the Republican presidential nominee, will he modulate his rhetoric a little bit to try to appeal to
more independent voters?
Because going through general election, he is going to have to start offering details. He's also going to have to reach beyond those folks who
are supporting him, who are supporting him really because they, too, are angry at how this government is operating right now -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes and he's really been fueling -- well, he's been manipulating a lot of that anger and fear.
Let's go back to the beginning here. This has been a very full Republican field.
Is there a growing exasperation by many Republican leaders that the middle- of-the-road candidates seem to be cannibalizing each other, attacking each other?
And for there to be a credible alternative to Cruz or Trump, that seems to be running out.
PRESTON: The establishment Republicans in the United States right now are beside themselves. They can't rally around one candidate right now to try
to take out Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, two gentlemen who really have made the key points of their campaigns about trying to go to Washington and
trying to destroy it.
By doing that, it really puts in jeopardy and peril the Republican Party in many ways.
So yes, you're absolutely right. Middle-of-the-road, the centrist Republicans need to come together if they have any shot of trying to take
out Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
CURNOW: OK. Mark Preston, as always, thanks so much for giving us your perspective. We'll talk again.
Well, I just want to update our audience on some breaking news.
According to Reuters, moments ago, lawmakers in Denmark passed a controversial bill aimed at asylum seekers. That is no surprise. Now the
so-called "jewelry bill," although it's not about really jewelry, allows the seizure of valuables worth more than about $1,500.
Danish officials say the items of special sentimental value -- wedding rings, engagement rings, family portraits -- would be exempt. It would
also extend the process of reuniting family members to three years. Now Denmark's ruling liberal party says this is more about ensuring that asylum
seekers contribute to the country's welfare state.
Critics argue the measure does go against Denmark's long-standing reputation for tolerance and social values.
On that note, that's all from us at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining me. A lot to talk about this hour and
much more in an hour or so, when I'm back here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. But in the meantime, I'm going to hand you over to "WORLD SPORT" and Amanda