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Zika Virus "Spreading Explosively" around Americas; Scientists Engineer Mutant Mosquitoes to Fight Disease; Trump Stands Firm on Skipping Iowa Debate; U.K. Creates Fund for Solo Migrant Children; Sweden to Expel Failed Asylum Seekers; New Video Reveals Evidence of El Chapo Escape; Iranian President Drums Up New Business in France; Freed U.S. Prisoner Describes Ordeal; Wall Street "Likes" Facebook. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 28, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, world health officials predict 3 million to 4 million cases of the Zika
Republicans prepare for a debate without Donald Trump.
And investors "like" Facebook's new numbers.
CURNOW: Hi, everyone, and welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow.
We begin with a warning from global health officials. The World Health Organization says the Zika virus is, quote, "spreading explosively"
around the Americas and that the level of alarm is extremely high. The agency will hold an emergency meeting on the virus Monday.
Zika is linked to a dangerous birth defect. And there's no treatment or vaccine. Now it's transmitted by the same mosquito that can carry
dengue and yellow fever.
Pregnant women are being advised not to travel to affected areas. Brazil has been particularly hard-hit by the birth defect called
microcephaly. Our Shasta Darlington is in the city of Recife and she joins us now live.
Hi, there, Shasta. There's a lot of new global urgency, alarming talk. But the realities of this have been felt for months where you are
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Robyn, we're actually right here at the Oswaldo Cruz hospital in Recife,
which has seen more babies with this birth defect, microcephaly, these small heads, underdeveloped brains, really looking at a life of
developmental issues and possibly early death.
This is also where some of the first links were made between the Zika virus and the microcephaly. So there's been a sense of urgency here for
quite a while. And we had a chance to talk of some of those most affected. Take a look at this.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): She was so excited. But the birth of her second child left Rafaela Oliveira more alone than she could have imagined.
At three months, Luis Felipe has a big appetite, just like her first baby. But he was born with a small head and brain damage: microcephaly.
"People here react like he's got some contagious disease," she says. "People look at him when we're in the street."
There was no warning. Doctors only detected the disorder after Luis Felipe was born.
"What gives me strength is the love I feel for him," she says.
Luis Felipe will need to be cared for his entire life.
DARLINGTON: So she's doing this three times a week right now, taking her son to physical therapy and yet she goes back to work in March. It's
not clear how she's going to do this. And she's also the only person in her family who has a job.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Here in the state of Pernambuco, we've seen the heartache and the financial burden this is putting on families. More
than 4,000 cases of newborn microcephaly have been reported in Brazil since Zika was first detected less than a year ago -- a third of them are here.
These babies and moms face endless jabs and tests. Dr. Angela Rocha, one of the first to make the link between Zika and microcephaly.
"These babies have brain damage, to differing degrees, which means inserting this generation into society is going to be very complicated,"
Research continues to establish a cause and effect with the Zika virus, spread by the same mosquitoes that transmits yellow fever and
dengue. There is no vaccine, no cure, which means the Aedes aegypti mosquito is public enemy number one.
JAILSON DE BARROS CORREIA, RECIFE HEALTH SECRETARY: All the effort has been put on having home prevention, by having the population of
mosquitoes under control.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): There are 200,000 troops now going door-to- door, eliminating the stagnant water that serves as the mosquitoes' breeding ground and educating families.
The health ministry admits it has been losing the war against the mosquito and mothers-to-be across Brazil see their moment of hope turned
into a moment of unbelievable anguish.
DARLINGTON: And really, from our perspective, Robyn, these numbers are not surprising. Here in Brazil alone, health officials say up to a
million and a half people may have been infected by the Zika virus and in 80 percent of the cases it's asymptomatic. So they will never know.
And that's what's perhaps most difficult for all of these pregnant women to deal with. If they had Zika, maybe they didn't know. They have
got to keep going in for tests, see if their babies are developing what it looks like it could be microcephaly.
Until that baby is born, it really is a moment of anguish -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Well, that was going to be my next question. We're already seeing Brazil struggling in many ways to manage this.
CURNOW: What is becoming obvious is that this is a health crisis as well of scales unimaginable.
Are there going to be more ultrasounds during pregnancy?
Are health experts warning perhaps of an increase in abortions or, more worryingly, illegal abortions?
DARLINGTON: That is actually a very important question, Robyn, something that we're only beginning to delve in now. Abortion in Brazil is
illegal. And yet what doctors are telling us -- and it's very disturbing - - is that women who have the resources who were pregnant and had the Zika virus, they may be getting abortions and we're not aware of it.
And this is why we're seeing so many poor teenage women, an inordinate number of these women, giving birth to these microcephalic children. There
may be something going on that we're not aware of and it certainly will heat up the abortion debate here in Brazil and probably across the
And another thing that one of the doctors here told us is, she said, we want to alert the world. We think this is the tip of the iceberg. We
don't think we know what's coming.
CURNOW: OK, thanks so much for your reporting, Shasta Darlington there.
Well, now some say you have to fight fire with fire. And when it comes to battling the Zika virus, some scientists are working to fight
mosquitoes with mosquitoes. Erin McLaughlin has this angle on the story.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They look like glowing globules. These larvae represent ground zero in the fight against
mosquito-borne disease. The virus known as Zika continues to spread throughout South America and beyond, linked to thousands of babies being
born with shrunken brains.
Authorities don't know exactly what to do about it. There's no vaccine and fumigation is limited.
MCLAUGHLIN: A company here in England says the key to solving the mosquito problem is more mosquitoes like these.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Here at Oxitec Labs, they've been genetically modified to produce offspring that die before growing into
mature adults. Only male mosquitoes are introduced into the wild.
ANDY MCKEMEY, HEAD OF FIELD OPERATIONS: I just wanted to show you the males because we only release the males as they don't bite. It's actually
the female mosquitoes which bite and the problem is they transmit the disease.
So as you can see, this is only the males -- I can put my hand in here without worrying that I'm going to get bitten.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It's essentially death by sex. Once the genetically modified male mates with the female, it passes on the deadly
gene. That gene then spreads to the larvae. The larvae are then unable to grow into adults.
For tracking purposes, they also glow in the dark.
MCKEMEY: So here we can see six of these mosquitoes, three at the top and three at the bottom under normal light.
But it if I turn down the white light, you can see the ones at the top, there's a glow around the eye. Now that glow is due to a genetic
MCLAUGHLIN: And why is that important?
MCKEMEY: What we can do is look at the proportion of the mosquitoes we get back from the field and see what proportion have the gene, which
means that they are not going to develop to adults, as opposed to the proportion of wild type ones. And based on that ratio, we can adjust the
release rate of our males.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): So far that tracking shows promising results. One study done in the Brazilian city of El Dorado showed an 82
percent reduction in mosquito larvae compared to a non-treated area 1.5 kilometers away.
Scientists warn that the spread of Zika could spread into a global pandemic. Who would have thought that the key to stopping it could be a
glowing mutant mosquito? -- Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Oxford, England.
CURNOW: Donald Trump will be in Iowa Thursday night but not at the Republican presidential debate. The Republican front-runner is sticking
by his promise to skip the debate over his feud with FOX News.
Instead, Trump will host a fundraiser for veterans while the other candidates spar one last time before the Iowa caucuses. Despite his spat
with FOX, Trump appeared on the network Wednesday night and was asked to reconsider his boycott. Here's Phil Mattingly with more.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump, only hours away from hosting his, quote, "special event" to raise money for
veterans at Drake University in Des Moines. The televised affair airing the same time as FOX's Trump-less prime time debate.
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we have going and it's really important, it's a movement. It's not like a normal
MATTINGLY (voice-over): But the GOP front-runner's decision to stick it to FOX by dropping out is not without irony.
TRUMP: I was not treated well by FOX.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Trump appearing on the network last night, FOX News anchor, Bill O'Reilly, failing to coax him back to the stage.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Just want you to consider it. You owe me milk shakes. I'll take them off the ledger if you consider it.
TRUMP: I said don't ask me that question because it's an embarrassing question --
O'REILLY: -- but I'm not going to --
O'REILLY: -- listen to any political person tell me don't ask me anything.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): O'Reilly repeatedly asking Trump to debate tonight.
O'REILLY: I'm asking you reconsider it.
TRUMP: A lot of milk shakes.
O'REILLY: If you don't want to, it's up to you.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): In Trump's absence, Texas Senator Ted Cruz running number two in the polls is likely to be pushed to center stage.
Now Cruz is doubling down on his challenge for a one-on-one debate with his biggest rival.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I'm going to propose a venue: Western Iowa Tech Saturday night in Sioux City. We already have it reserved.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Cruz's super PAC offering $1.5 million to vets groups if Trump agrees. And Carly Fiorina upping the ante, offering
$2 million to debate Trump at Drake. The media spectacle, rubbing the rest of the GOP pack the wrong way.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KY: I don't think he will be missed. In fact, I really don't think Donald Trump is a conservative.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ninety percent of their coverage is on this whole thing. This is not a show. This is
CURNOW: This is not a show, this is serious.
Phil Mattingly joins me now from Des Moines.
So we've have Mr. Trump attacking Mexicans, Muslims, many others and now FOX News.
These are not really random acts of emotion, are they?
Are they calculated, tactical moves and what's in it for Trump to skip this debate?
MATTINGLY: It's kind of amazing if you watch politics, particularly Republican politics, that any top candidate would ever take on FOX News.
That's generally a losing proposition.
Somehow Donald Trump has figured out a way, Robyn, to get the upper hand here. And that's been what's most fascinating about this absolute
plot twist over the last couple days.
Donald Trump not only willing to buck FOX News but really to steal viewers from them. So he's not just hurting them on the reputation side,
he's also hurting them on the ratings, potentially the advertising side as well. Robyn, this is really a shift in Republican politics.
But to your point, there doesn't seem to be a lot of people that Donald Trump won't attack if he gets the opportunity. The strange thing
about it, it only helps his numbers -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Only helps his numbers.
Then what about the others?
We heard some of them there.
If he's not on that lineup, what are these other candidates doing?
Is this a vacuum of opportunity?
Or do they bash him while he's not there?
MATTINGLY: Well, look, you heard it in the piece. There's a lot of frustration right now, Robyn. And it's a recognition that Donald Trump is
sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. You have four days until Iowa voters come to the caucuses.
Candidates need to be out there. They need to be in the bloodstream. They need to be getting their message across. Most notably, Ted Cruz, the
man who's really moved us into a two-man race with Donald Trump, Iowa is crucial to his campaign having any chance of moving forward. He needs to
do well here.
You heard in that piece, he's frustrated. He's challenging Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate, trying to figure out some way to keep his
name out there, to keep reaching voters.
But, again, the difficulty they face these last couple days but also throughout this entire campaign, Donald Trump is a massive presence and
seems to draw the attention wherever he goes. He's doing it again tonight when he decides not to show up on that debate stage in the building behind
me -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Even by a no-show, he's still managing sort of to control the news cycle.
But also from a political point of view, it kind of works in his favor, doesn't it?
He's in the lead. He doesn't need to explain himself anymore. Just showing up probably might even hurt him.
So for him, it seems like a win-win situation, doesn't it?
MATTINGLY: Yes, there's always a question with Donald Trump whether his decisions are strategic or emotional or maybe a combination of both.
But there's no question, Robyn, that there's some strategy here. He's up by 5 or 6 points on most polling in Iowa right now.
Why put himself, why subject himself to six or seven other candidates, taking shots at him all night, which almost certainly would happen?
Again, mentioning Ted Cruz, a debate champion at Princeton, somebody you don't necessarily want to tangle with on the stage. So now Donald
Trump could still avoid that, kind of run out the clock a little bit.
So again, there's a lot of question why he came to this decision but there's no question about the fact that, while this is a risk in some
respects, this absolutely can and probably will work out in his favor over the next couple days.
CURNOW: Phil, thanks so much for your perspective. Keeping us honest, and we'll, of course, check in with you. I'm sure there will be
another twist or turn to this story. Thanks, Phil.
Well, a new poll shows Donald Trump with a clear lead over Ted Cruz in Iowa just four days before the caucuses. The NBC News " Wall Street
Journal" Maris poll has Trump with 32 percent support, seven points higher than Cruz. Marco Rubio is next, followed by Ben Carson and Jeb Bush.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa. Other polls have Sanders with a slight lead over Clinton.
You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Sweden says it plans to force tens of thousands of asylum seekers out as European nations struggle with the
growing migrant crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): France honors the Iranian president with a formal welcome ceremony in Paris. There are plenty of hopes riding on this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Welcome back.
Dozens of migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean after their boat capsized in the waters between Turkey and Greece. Ten of them were
children. The search continues for 11 who remain missing. And as E.U. states tighten their borders in the face of this ongoing migrant crisis,
Sweden says it intends to expel 80,000 failed asylum seekers.
The U.K. meantime says it'll take in more unaccompanied child refugees from Syria and other conflict regions.
Well, I wanted to bring in our Diana Magnay, who joins us now live from London.
Hi, there, Di. The Cameron government has been under pressure to do more.
So this announcement to take in unaccompanied children, how's that being received?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, some is better than none, I think is the view here, but the opposition parties in Parliament and also
Save the Children, advocacy groups have been demanding that Cameron take in as many as 3,000 unaccompanied minors.
And the promise that the government has made today is just to take in several hundred. The U.K.'s policy has always been to help in the region
in Syria itself and in the camps around the region.
So what David Cameron has announced now is that he wants to bring several hundred children over here, those who U.N. officials identify as
really being in need of this kind of assistance. And the bulk of the funding from Britain will continue to go to the region itself.
But of course, this brings a lot of criticism from European leaders who say that Cameron is ignoring the problem in his own back yard. He has
said that he will give $14 million to Italy and Greece to try and help with the problem of unaccompanied minors there.
But that is a drop in the ocean compared to the $1.6 billion that DFD (ph), the development ministry here, is spending on the region -- Robyn.
CURNOW: And also let's talk about this Swedish plan to expel 80,000 failed asylum seekers. Tell us more about that.
MAGNAY: It's not perhaps as dramatic as it sounds. Basically, if you file for asylum in Sweden and you don't get accepted, then you are going to
have to leave. And you either do that voluntarily or you'll be deported and that is the policy.
Last year, though, of course, the number of asylum seekers has risen hugely, more than doubled in Sweden. And that means they will have many
more who will have to be deported and that's why they are now announcing that they might be having to look at chartering aircraft, for example, to
take those who haven't been granted asylum out of the country.
But this won't happen immediately. This process takes a long time. Seeking asylum takes a long time and for that application then to be
rejected and then to decide how you're going to leave. So we're not going to see charter --
MAGNAY: -- flights full of refugees leaving over the next few weeks. This is just over the next few years you can expect to see 60,000 to 80,000
asylum seekers who have been rejected asylum leaving from Sweden -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. And Sweden says they might work with Germany on that.
Di, thanks so much for that.
Well, as Di mention there, Sweden is currently looking at the cost of charter flights to deport the refugees who are not being given asylum
status there. Well, Arwa Damon shows us what life is like for the thousands of refugees waiting to begin new lives.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Jamal al-Amish (ph) married his wife, Enbara (ph), he promised he would one
day take her to Scandinavia. But it was supposed to be a dream holiday, not a one-way trip brought on by Syria's war that forced the whole family
"Going to school was scary," 13-year-old Ina (ph) says. She wants to be a doctor. Her two older brothers already made the journey to Sweden on
"You don't know the state I was in in Damascus," Enbara (ph) remembers.
"I told my son, I'm going to lose you. If you stay here you will die. I'm sending you off. I'm sending you to God."
One of her sons, Aynah (ph), arrives at the transit center just before the family is moved on. He's himself is still struggling to adjust to life
"Everything is strange when you don't speak the language. You feel really lost," he says. But he's learning.
This is one of the first transit centers that asylum seekers find themselves in. A Best Western hotel rented out by the Swedish migration
agency for the next six years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we're seeing -- we're registering 800 people per week.
DAMON (voice-over): Last year Sweden had 160,000 people register for asylum. The country has taken in the highest number of refugees per capita
of any European Union country. But it is causing a strain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The huge challenge for us right now is to find accommodations for everyone that is coming. So that's a huge challenge for
the Swedish system. Yes, it is.
DAMON (voice-over): In some instances, frustration among those waiting has led to unrest. And in the most recent incident, death. A 15-
year-old male allegedly stabbed and killed a female volunteer. He's being held on suspicion but police say it might have been an accident.
Sweden has had to divert police to secure asylum centers, to set up identification controls where there were none along its border with Denmark
and other areas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need more police officers. There is -- since all the police are here, we're missing other things that we have to do
normally, like drugs and everything. It's not possible for us to do everything here.
DAMON (voice-over): Leading Sweden's national police commissioner to call for additional recruitment. Unlike its neighbors, Sweden is not
actively discouraging asylum seekers from coming here. But there is a growing sense that perhaps they are helping too much while other European
nations try to insulate themselves from the growing crisis -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Malmo, Sweden.
CURNOW: Coming up here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, the Mexican government is revealing new information about the daring escape of drug
kingpin El Chapo. And there's new video showing what his life is like back behind bars.
CURNOW: You're watching CNN.
The Mexican government has released new video of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman that showed him being booked into jail shortly after he
was recaptured earlier this month and reveals new evidence in his daring escape from prison last year. Rafael Romo has it all.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as he has never been seen before. For the first time, this
video released by Mexican authorities shows the drug lord being fingerprinted, giving a blood sample, standing for a mug shot, signing
documents and being questioned.
It also shows facial comparisons from his first arrest in 1993 and the capo's most recent capture earlier this month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
ROMANS (voice-over): The 19-minute video released by the Mexican attorney general's office narrates with great detail how the drug lord
escaped last July from a maximum security prison.
It shows pictures inside the house used by the drug lord's associates to build a tunnel he used to escape and the power tools they worked with
inside the mile-long tunnel, fitted with lighting and ventilation systems.
Mexican officials say the workers used two motorcycles modified to run on tracks.
ROMO: The Mexican attorney general's office says it took between eight and 10 months to build the tunnel. As many as 15 people worked
nonstop to build it. They used a compass to dig in the right direction and hydraulic tools to break through concrete and metal cutting tools to cut
the rebar in Guzman's cell concrete floor.
ROMO (voice-over): The video also includes an animation showing how Guzman changed clothes inside the tunnel and how he was transported on a
cart pushed by a motorcycle. Authorities say a pilot took off with El Chapo from an airstrip for crop dusters and flew him to Sinaloa, Guzman's
Weeks of multiple operations followed, officials say, in the region known as the Golden Triangle. The Mexican navy pinpointed El Chapo's
location in October but he escaped, using a young girl and at least one woman as human shields.
Intelligence work took investigators to this house in the coastal city of Los Mochis. El Chapo would use a tunnel to briefly escape again, only
to be caught moments later with an alleged accomplice in a stolen car as they were trying to flee -- Rafael Romo, CNN.
CURNOW: Fascinating stuff.
Still ahead, the French president welcomes his Iranian counterpart. His country is now free of many sanctions and flush with cash.
CURNOW: Hi, there. Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: With economic sanctions freshly lifted, Iran's president is now in Paris, getting down to business. First, he received a red carpet
welcome by the French president.
This could also be a lucrative visit for France and its struggling economy. There's talk of some big business deals being made. Fred
Pleitgen joins us now from the Iranian capital.
Hi, there, Fred.
How is this deal -- how is this trip playing out in Iran and particularly talk around these big deals?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, certainly, people are optimistic about this trip. And people are
seeing this trip as a big success. One of the things that is clear is that France is in a very good position when it comes to investment in Iran.
They do have a long history.
If you look at one of the deals, for instance, Robyn, that was signed today, the one by carmaker Peugeot for about $440 million, Peugeot is
essentially not going to Iran. They are coming back to Iran. They have about 30 years of experience making cars here. A lot of the Iranian cars
are actually Peugeots and Renaults that are made under license. So they certainly do have a history with Iran.
One of the other big deals is of course going to be the one with Airbus, where Iran wants to buy over 100 aircraft from that plane maker and
from that vantage point, the Iranians here are seeing possible investment come to their country.
They are seeing their own country invest as well. That certainly is something that is exciting for them.
And one of the messages that Hassan Rouhani had today, not just to France but to other countries as well, is that Iran is open for business.
Let's listen in to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have gathered here to say that France is once again ready to get involved in
economic and developmental activities in Iran, with new energy and greater motivation within the framework of the policies pursued by today's Iranian
government. We have come here to welcome all investors and business leaders to get involved in Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: There was talk also of French oil companies potentially getting into the Iranian market as well. We'll see if anything is
announced in that regard.
But certainly if you look at the people here in Iran, if you look at the press here in Iran, they certainly are saying that they believe that
the trip both to France and to Italy so far has been very successful from the Iranian vantage point -- Robyn.
CURNOW: So Mr. Rouhani is getting red carpet treatment in Paris, as we've just seen.
Domestically, though, how secure is he, particularly with these parliamentary elections coming up?
PLEITGEN: Well, his position at this point is still very secure.
However, will he have the amount of power that he has right now?
That is not clear. There are very important elections coming up both for the parliament as well as for the body that will elect the next supreme
leader. And there is certainly some controversy there.
There are supporters of Hassan Rouhani, Iranian moderates, who say that a disproportionate number of moderate candidates have been
disqualified from being allowed to participate in these elections and they believe that this could be the hardliners here in Iran trying to cement
Now I've spoken to hardline candidates as well. They deny all of this. They say that that is not the case.
However, this election will be very, very important and who is allowed to run in that election will certainly also be important for the amount of
power that Hassan Rouhani has and also for Iran's future relations with the West as well and whether or not it will continue this course of opening up
to the West and of course also eventually to the United States as well -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Thanks so much, Fred.
Fred Pleitgen there, reporting from Tehran.
And also just a note to our viewers. Hassan Rouhani and Francois Hollande will be speaking to the press in the next hour. And of course, we
will keep an eye on that and bring you that as soon as they do.
Well, it's been almost two weeks since Iran released five Americans, four of them in a prisoner swap. Here's a look at what the five men are
"The Washington Post" reporter --
CURNOW: -- Jason Rezaian is back home and due to attend the grand opening of his newspaper's new headquarters. That's also happening this
U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati reunited with his family in Michigan.
Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor, was also back in the U.S.
On Wednesday his wife actually said on her Facebook page that she'd experienced marital abuse but she hopes to reconcile with her husband.
Another freed prisoner, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari initially chose to stay in Iran. Little is known about him or his current whereabouts.
Matthew Trevithick is the one freed American not part of the prisoner swap. Trevithick says he went to Iran to study Farsi and ended up in
custody for nearly six weeks. He says he was charged with personally trying to overthrow the Iranian government.
He spent almost a month in solitary confinement after denying that charge. Trevithick sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper and described the
tense moments in the final hours before his release.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I'm sitting there, the spotlight's on me.
MATTHEW TREVITHICK, FORMER IRANIAN PRISONER: And they say, "Matthew, Matt, this is your last chance. Admit why you are here. Admit that you
are here to overthrow the government. Admit that you work for the U.S. government. Admit. Admit it. Admit the truth.
And, you know, this was a particularly proud moment for me. I contemplated it.
They said, "Do you need time to think?"
And I said yes. They said we'll give you a few minutes, be this is your last offer. This is the last chance. We have been very nice to you
And I believe what they are saying. Like you say, I haven't been physically tortured. A lot of mental games but the situation always could
have gotten much worse, particularly in a place like Evin.
And I think. And they come back into the room.
And I look right in the camera and say, "I have said everything I have to say," and I stand up and turn my back to the camera.
And you know, you're -- again, you have the metacognition going. You're your inner critic is, "Matt, what are you doing?"
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
This is -- this could be a very bad decision. I really just felt like the right thing to do. And I gave into it, as a kind of surge of
confidence. And I gave into it against probably my better judgment.
I believed the threats that they were saying and I turned my back and they kept saying, well, you have made a very bad decision now.
Ripped me out of the cell, threw me up against the wall. I stayed there for several minutes and then I'm rushed back to my cell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: What an interview.
Well, Trevithick also -- Trevithick also told Anderson that shortly after he refused to admit guilt, he was removed from his cell then, given a
quick medical checkup and released into Swiss custody.
Moving on, investors on Wall Street press the "like" button when it comes to how Facebook is being run. Profits and the site's stock are
soaring. More live from New York, that's next.
CURNOW: Thanks for joining us. I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN.
No doubt that Wall Street likes this. Facebook reporting far better than expected earnings for the final quarter of 2015 and with a massive
leap from a year earlier. Well, CNN's Maggie Lake joins me now live from New York.
Hi, there, Maggie.
What's driving this growth?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Way too many of us are spending way too much time on Facebook, I guess, Robyn. They're going to
have to that like button to a fist pump if you're a shareholder. Listen, Wall Street is a hard group to impress but a lot of jaws dropped when they
saw these numbers.
This is a big company and they are still growing incredibly rapidly. You see the response in Facebook stock. Profits up 123 percent. I had to
look twice at that number because it's unbelievable. Mobile revenue up 81 percent is now more than 80 percent of the company's revenue coming in. So
they are just firing on all cylinders.
Take a look at the stock. I think we have a year look at that stock chart on this. And while we've had all these, it's not immune to the
market meltdowns we saw both in August and then again in January, you do see a little dip down like that. But other than that, it's kind of a
straight line up.
Zuckerberg doing a fantastic job -- I guess we don't have that stock chart -- but a fantastic job growing this business. It's really solidified
him and changed the narrative from that kid in the hoodie who was not doing great on the road show and they were going public to a CEO who is really in
control of the company and very visionary, able to see and execute on what's coming next -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed and a big part of this is Instagram, isn't it?
LAKE: That's right. It's not all Instagram but what Instagram shows -- and they were bullish on that -- they are pulling in revenue -- and
Sheryl Sandburg on the call, talking about how the fact that a really high percentage of advertisers who advertise on Facebook also advertise on
And what that shows with that very popular service is really a vindication of Zuckerberg's decision to buy it back in 2012 for a billion
dollars. A lot of people were looking at that and thinking, is that the right move. That's an awful lot of money.
Is he overpaying?
And clearly not. That's paying off for him now and again it shows that that CEO is willing to make those bold moves and see what's coming
next. Holding the competition under the hood to keep us all in that Facebook ecosystem, really paying off for them.
So it's a really interesting narrative. Great for the shareholders today, up another 12 percent. But also really good news for Zuckerberg as
he elevates himself to that next level of tech leader -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. As you said, it's more of a fist pump than a thumbs-up.
Maggie Lake in New York, as always, thanks so much.
LAKE: Sure thing.
CURNOW: Well, finally it might be the coolest thing you see all day. Take a look at this.
A Spanish acrobat paragliding in Norway with the Northern Lights as a backdrop.
Wow. This fantastical flight is courtesy of beverage company Red Bull, of course. But it took a lot more than an energy drink to complete
this. The paraglider needed a wet suit and battery heated gloves to fight the subzero temperatures and bring us this amazing video.
Well, on that note, goodbye from us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. I'll be back in just over an hour with more on the Zika
virus. And we're going to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about that. He will be joining me in the studio. In the meantime, though, I'm going to hand you
over to Alex Thomas at "WORLD SPORT."