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IDESK

Zika Virus Transmitted Sexually; Disease Has Potential to Spread through Africa, Asia; U.S. Airfield in Syria?; Russian Opposition in the Firing Line; Somali Plane Tests Positive for Explosives; Trump Bashes Cruz for "Voting Violation"; Snow Delays Trains Ahead of Lunar New Year. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 3, 2016 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, welcome, everyone. I'm Robyn Curnow. This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

And we begin this hour with new evidence that the rapid spread of the Zika virus isn't just limited to mosquitoes. The U.S. Centers for Disease

Control has confirmed a case of the Zika virus being sexually transmitted within the United States.

The agency says the partner of a patient in Texas who had recently been infected while traveling has also tested positive for Zika. Now the World

Health Organization says it's aware of the new Texas case but that it wants to investigate further.

And also the American Red Cross is asking people who've traveled to zones with the Zika virus to delay giving blood.

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, joins me now on set.

Hi, there, Sanjay. Everyone's been keeping an eye on this but this is a worrying new development.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's a concern. There was suspicion that maybe this could be transmitted via sex before.

There were some isolated cases. But this is the first one that's been confirmed now. They look at the travel histories; in this case, a man had

traveled to Venezuela.

He came back. He was having some symptoms. He subsequently tested positive for Zika virus, as did his sexual partner, someone who had not

left the United States since 2008.

So somebody who could not have traveled to one of these countries. So they put all those pieces together and said, yes, this is a case of sexually

transmitted Zika. Now what this means overall is unclear still because the vast majority of transmissions are happening via mosquitoes.

But this is something they're going to obviously keep an eye on.

CURNOW: And the big questions -- and a lot of questions -- is how long perhaps does it last in semen?

Is it in breast milk, for example?

I mean, there is big questions about how long it lasts in your body and where.

GUPTA: Yes, there's no question. And some of this is going to be discovered as they learn more.

It's interesting because if you look at something like malaria, Robyn, transmitted via mosquitoes, not sex; HIV, via sex, not mosquitoes.

We know that for a fact now but we didn't know all of that at the beginning when these started to break out.

I talked to Dr. Tom Frieden, who's the head of the CDC, and asked him some of these very questions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CDC: What we know is the vast majority of spread is going to be from mosquitoes. There have been isolated cases of

spread through blood transfusion or sexual contact.

And that's not entirely surprising. The virus is in the blood for about a week. How long it would remain in the semen is something that needs to be

studied and we're working on that now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: So you hear that obviously some of those investigations are still going to be underway. But about a week in the blood is what he said. And

I think that's very important.

Some viruses stay much longer and you can be infectious much longer. Doesn't appear to be the case with Zika.

CURNOW: OK. And of course, all of this is concerning; if you get Zika and you're not pregnant, no problem. You get a bit of a temperature. It's not

a big deal.

If you're pregnant or wanting to get pregnant, that's where the concern is.

GUPTA: That's right.

GUPTA: So now then, my question is, if you have Zika, if you pick up Zika and you're pregnant, is it 100 percent chance that your baby will have

microcephaly?

Or is that also still unknown?

GUPTA: Well, it's a great question. It's still unknown but I can tell you it's probably going to be a very small percentage. Keep in mind the vast

majority of people will have no symptoms or very mild symptoms.

So, Robyn, there's probably a lot of people out there who've become infected with Zika virus in these countries in particular over the last

couple of years.

We've heard about some 4,000 cases of babies with microcephaly.

We don't know what the denominator is, if you will. We know the numerator, or the top number here, which is some 4,000, but the bottom number could be

hundreds of thousands of women who had Zika while pregnant and a very small number actually developed microcephaly -- a small percentage, I should say.

So we don't know the answer yet. That will come out over time. But I can promise you, I can say this with confidence, it's not 100 percent. You're

not going to have a baby with microcephaly if you had the Zika infection.

CURNOW: Why is it so virulent now?

Why are we looking at epidemic proportions?

What's changed?

GUPTA: Well, there's a couple things that have changed. One is that we're a globalized society. So this was sort of relegated to the Zika Forest for

a long time. Started moving further and further away from that over time as people traveled.

They would get infection, they would travel to a place that had mosquitoes. Mosquitoes would bite them, bite other people; it started to spread.

But the big reason is a little bit more scientific and that is that this part of the world has never seen this virus before. So we have no immunity

to it. The virus can get into our body; it can replicate in large numbers, even if we don't get sick, you could have it and you could essentially

spread it to people.

Once we have more immunity to this, the virus will have a harder time moving person to person.

CURNOW: OK. So it picks up on our weaknesses essentially.

GUPTA: It does, yes. Smart virus in that regard.

CURNOW: Exactly. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

CURNOW: Well, the virus is being actively transmitted through mosquitoes in more than 2 dozen countries, mostly in the Americas, as Sanjay said.

[10:05:00]

CURNOW: But the WHO, the World Health Organization, is concerned it could spread even further. All of that means if the virus can also be passed

through sexual partners, that really could have frightening implications for women on four continents.

Let's head now to the continent with the largest number of Zika cases. Our Shasta Darlington joins us from Rio de Janeiro.

This is, as I said to Sanjay, a very worrying new development, but particularly for women where you are.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Robyn. But I think Sanjay made a very good point and that's that most health

officials and doctors are in agreement that the known vector, the known form of (INAUDIBLE) --

(AUDIO GAP)

CURNOW: Sanjay -- yes.

Sanjay Gupta was with us but Shasta Darlington seems to have frozen. We'll try and get her shot back.

In the meantime, we're going to move on to other stories here at CNN and, of course, we've been keeping an eye on politics.

The U.S. Republican presidential field has one less candidate today. Rand Paul is suspending his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW (voice-over): Paul received only 4.5 percent in the vote in Monday's Iowa caucuses, placing him fifth among the candidates. His poll

numbers before Iowa were low enough to exclude him from the main stage during a Republican debate last month. Paul is a U.S. senator from

Kentucky, elected during the Tea Party wave of 2010.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, now to the Democratic race. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are getting ready for a CNN town hall meeting Wednesday night

following the closest Iowa Democratic caucuses in history. Jeff Zeleny joins me now from Derry (ph), New Hampshire.

Obviously, all eyes on this conversation between these two tonight.

What does Hillary have to do?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think one thing that Secretary Clinton is trying to do is just continue making the case

that she is the experienced Democratic candidate. And she's been pointing out more and more that she is the true Democrat in this race.

Bernie Sanders has long been an independent. He's long been -- he calls himself a Democratic socialist. And the differences in that are pretty

significant. She's trying to remind those good registered Democrats here in the U.S. that she is one of them.

But Bernie Sanders has tapped into something that has been a big frustration to the Clinton campaign.

In Iowa, one number that really stuck out to us, Bernie Sanders won among voters age 30 and lower by 70 points.

So she acknowledged in an interview with Wolf Blitzer yesterday on CNN that that is something she has to work on. So it's really been an interesting

thing to watch here, Robyn, in the U.S., that Bernie Sanders is the oldest presidential candidate in this race. He's 74 years old. But he has a

committed young following.

So what Hillary Clinton is trying to do is to revive herself, get some energy going among younger voters and, of course, hold on to those

traditional older voters.

But I'm here in Derry (ph), New Hampshire, like you said. You can see behind me here, there's a crowd of voters. There are mainly older voters;

the young voters are probably working or at school. But she is going town to town, trying to win over New Hampshire.

There's no question that Bernie Sanders has a significant lead here. He's from next door in Vermont. And a lot of independent-minded voters here.

But she's trying to win here. I mean, she knows that this is going to be a much longer Democratic fight than she had ever anticipated. Bernie Sanders

announced he had raised some $3 million online.

(AUDIO GAP)

CURNOW: Well, we are not having good luck today, are we?

Second shot goes down. You're going to have to stick with us. It might get interesting as the show goes on.

But of course, as we have been saying, you can watch this conversation between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face voters, answer their

questions directly and make their crucial closing arguments. Anderson Cooper is going to be hosting that and it's at Thursday at 10:00 am in Hong

Kong, 2:00 am in London, only on CNN.

You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Ahead, CNN goes inside Northern Syria for an exclusive look at an under-construction airfield, which

appears to be part of the U.S. fight against ISIS.

Plus the deadly investigation into a deadly explosion aboard a Somali aircraft mid-flight.

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CURNOW: It's 11 minutes past the hour. Thanks for joining us.

Now for the first time, women and children are the majority of migrants heading for Europe. And some are falling through the cracks.

The U.N. says as many as one-third of the migrants making the perilous journey to Greece are children. Some 10,000 of them, who were traveling

unaccompanied, are now unaccounted for. That puts them at risk for abuse and exploitation.

The latest statistics of children perishing on the journey, also very jarring: last month, one in every five people who drowned on the way from

Turkey to Greece was a child.

Now the United States is also looking for ways to intensify the military campaign against ISIS.

Of course, all of this is linked to the conflict in Syria. The Pentagon has already announced that some 50 special forces troops are operating in

Syria; recently published satellite images show an airstrip being extended in Kurdish-controlled territory in Northern Syria. The Pentagon only says

that U.N. forces in Syria are consistently looking for ways to increase efficiency.

Clarissa Ward is the first journalist to visit that airfield, amid a deepening relationship between the U.S. and their Kurdish allies.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This place doesn't exist, according to the U.S. Defense Department. But behind that berm of freshly

dug earth, a small agricultural airstrip is being turned into something very different: a military airfield just 100 miles from ISIS positions.

Satellite photos show the work that has been done here in recent months.

WARD: So you can see behind me they are working to extend the runway so that larger planes could land here and the advantage of this site is that

it's well secured inside Kurdish territory. So it could be used to supply U.S. special forces deployed here in Syria.

He's coming now.

WARD (voice-over): We were escorted away from the airfield as soon as we were spotted, told it was a military zone.

It's another example of the U.S.'s growing military footprint in this remote corner of Northern Syria and its deepening relationship with Syrian

Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG.

In an abandoned apartment building closer to the front line, we were given access to the YPG's joint operations room. It is a modest setup.

Twenty-one-year-old Daham Hasaki (ph) and his colleagues talked to their men on the battlefield; using newly provided tablets, they pass on enemy

locations to a coalition command center from where airstrikes can be launched.

"Right now this is the front line of Hasaka (ph)," he says.

"Our comrades there have seen the movement of two enemy fighters. And so we sent this message, along with their coordinates, to the general command

room."

When there are heavy clashes, the operations room moves to the front lines.

Immediately after the strikes, Hasaki (ph) and his men rush in to make sure that the right targets have been hit.

WARD: Who taught you how to use this?

WARD (voice-over): He tells us a group of foreigners and Americans trained his commanders, who, in turn, trained him and his comrades.

In the skies and on the ground in Syria, the U.S. is deepening its commitment to the battle against ISIS. Clarissa Ward, CNN --

[10:15:00]

WARD (voice-over): -- Northern Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Well, you can read more on our website about Clarissa Ward's visit to that airstrip and what the U.S. is doing to help Syria's opposition

fight ISIS. That's of course at cnn.com.

Well, coming up, the Russian opposition activist right in the crosshairs and it's all on video posted online. We'll have more from Moscow.

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CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow, you're watching CNN.

Well, for the first time since becoming U.S. president, Barack Obama will visit a mosque inside the United States. He's making a stop at the Islamic

Society of Baltimore this hour.

The White House says Mr. Obama hopes to defuse anti-Muslim rhetoric that's being used by some Republican presidential candidates. One of them, Donald

Trump, called for temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S. The White House calls such comments "cynical and offensive to a lot of

Americans."

Well, moving on, Russian opposition activists are accusing the Kremlin of not only turning a blind eye to threats against them but encouraging

attacks. And a video that recently surfaced appears to support that claim. CNN international correspondent Matthew Chance joins me now from Moscow.

Hi, there, Matt. Tell us about this video.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Robyn. Well, what opposition figures are saying is that there's an atmosphere of

impunity that's being created by the Kremlin because of its failure to act against those who are trying to intimidate the Russian opposition.

It all comes amid this growing row here in Russia about a menacing video that was posted online. it was posted on an Instagram account of the pro-

Kremlin Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov.

And essentially it shows two prominent opposition figures as if they are in the gun sights of a sniper. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE (voice-over): This is the chilling image posted online provoking condemnation. Two of the Kremlin's most prominent critics quite literally

in the crosshairs. This, in a country where opposition figures have been gunned down on the street.

One of the men pictured told CNN this was nothing short of incitement to murder.

VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA, POLITICIAN AND JOURNALIST: I think it just goes to show what we already know, that it's a dangerous vocation to oppose Mr.

Putin's regime.

CHANCE (voice-over): The fact the video was posted by this man makes it especially alarming. Ramzan Kadyrov is the pro-Kremlin strongman who runs

Chechnya and recently given to intimidating Russia's tiny opposition.

This recent post by a top ally of Kadyrov showed the Chechen leader handling an aggressive dog named Tarzan.

"His fangs are itching to bite important opposition figures," the post read.

"We can barely restrain him."

But fangs or even sniper's bullets aren't the only concerns. Vladimir Kara-Murza is only just back on his feet, he told me, after a mysterious

poisoning in May that nearly killed him.

CHANCE: Have the doctors found what the cause of that poisoning was?

[10:20:00]

KARA-MURZA: No, we don't know the precise cause of the poisoning other than to -- you know, that we believe it was something very sophisticated,

you know, some kind of substances that usually -- either they are special services or people from the special services have access to.

CHANCE (voice-over): He's now formally requesting an investigation into what he believes was a politically motivated attack.

CHANCE: Of course, the Kremlin denies any involvement in this alleged poisoning, as it has in others. But there's no escaping the fact that, in

recent years, there's been a very high mortality rate among prominent opponents of the Russian leadership.

One leading figure, Boris Nemtsov, was killed right here on this bridge next to the Kremlin. You can see there are tributes that have been laid,

marking the exact place.

CHANCE (voice-over): But almost exactly a year on, critics say those who ordered the killing have still not been brought to justice.

KARA-MURZA: The result of this impunity is that we are seeing these open threats from Mr. Kadyrov, from his henchmen, directed towards, members of

the Russian political opposition. We have seen their statements in the last few weeks. We've seen this new video a couple of days ago.

You know, Mr. Kadyrov wasn't even formally questioned by investigators.

CHANCE (voice-over): Sending a dangerous message, say activists, that opponents of the Kremlin are now fair game.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: Well, Robyn, there are calls tonight for the Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, to be investigated by the authorities and be held to

account. But there's no sign at this stage that the Kremlin is prepared to even distance itself in a small way from its strong Chechen ally at this

stage -- back to you.

CURNOW: And, Matthew, you talk about a culture of impunity. Your interview there talked about open threats. But it's also not just limited

to within Russian borders, as that recent British report on the Russian spy in London gave as an example.

CHANCE: That's right. And Vladimir Kara-Murza, that opposition figure, who I interviewed in that report, his poisoning, his alleged poisoning, has

striking similarities to the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London back in 2006. I mean, there's been no thorough investigation into it.

But of course, that London investigation, the British inquiry into the circumstances around the Litvinenko poisoning, found that two former

Russian agents were responsible for carrying out the attack and that the operation to kill Litvinenko was, quote, "probably known about by the

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, himself."

And so what Vladimir Kara-Murza said to me is that he believes the same forces may have been behind the attack against him.

CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that update from Moscow, Matthew Chance.

Well, two Israeli border policewomen have been wounded in a shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem. Now it happened near the Damascus Gate.

Israeli police say the officers were attacked by three terrorists, quote, who were killed. The assailants were armed with rifles, knives and

explosive charges. One policewoman is critically wounded.

And authorities are investigating whether a midair explosion that blew a hole in a Somali airplane was an act of terror. They believe one person

went through the hole and fell to his death and the pilot, though, was able to safely land this Airbus, amazingly. Robyn Kriel has all the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over); The terrifying moments after a massive explosion on a Daallo Airlines flight shortly after takeoff.

A calm flight attendant urges passengers to move to either the front or back of the plane. A gaping hole from the blast in the middle of the plane

is sucking anything nearby out of the aircraft. But the pilot turned around to make an emergency landing.

One man, CNN is told, was blown out of the plane by the blast and plunged to the ground. The explosion ripped through the plane's fuselage.

Women and the elderly are helped out of their seats in the danger zone; passengers are clearly horrified.

The investigation is ongoing and the airlines' CEO reportedly says it's too early to say what caused the explosion.

KRIEL: A post-blast investigation of the plane on the ground in Mogadishu tested positive for traces of explosives. A source close to the

investigation tells CNN, we also know, according to a report sent to all airport officials, that the plane was delayed in taking off.

If this was indeed some kind of planned attack, experts say, a device with a timer could have been set to go off when the plane was much higher. And

that, we're told, could have had catastrophic results.

The plane, however, because of the delay in takeoff, was only 12,000-14,000 --

[10:25:00]

KRIEL: -- feet in the air. The cabin had not fully pressurized yet, which meant the blast was much smaller and contained.

If this incident is terror related, no one has claimed responsibility. Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group Al-Shabaab launches regular attacks in

Mogadishu against government African Union forces and civilians.

But they have been silent. Security at Mogadishu International Airport has been tightened as airline pilots say they worry this might have been a dry

run for something much worse -- Robyn Kriel, CNN, Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Very lucky passengers there.

Still ahead on the IDESK, we return to the U.S. presidential race. Why Donald Trump says Ted Cruz committed fraud in the Iowa caucuses. Live

analysis with our Jonathan Mann.

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CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow, it's 29 minutes past the hour. And here's a check of the headlines.

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[10:30:00]

CURNOW: After a humble concession speech to Ted Cruz in Iowa, Donald Trump is back in attack mode.

Wednesday morning, he tweeted, "Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it."

Trump says, based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results

nullified.

Now on Tuesday, Trump acknowledged that skipping the final debate in Iowa may have cost him votes. But he said he would make the same decision again

because he raised $6 million for veterans' charities at his debate night fundraiser.

Well, Trump also blasted the media, claiming they portrayed his second place finish as disappointing while treating Marco Rubio's third place

finish as a de facto victory. Rubio says the Iowa results are a sign he can unite the Republican Party and win the presidential election in

November.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What people are going to start realizing is I give us the best chance. My candidacy gives us the

best chance to nominate a real conservative who can unite the party, grow the party, take our message to people that haven't voted for us in the past

and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

The Democrats know this. They admit that I am the one they don't want to run against. And that's why I think ultimately I will be our nominee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, Jon Mann is here to unpack this all for us.

I want to get to Marco Rubio in a moment.

But why do you think Mr. Trump is lashing out?

I mean, that tweet was pretty serious stuff.

JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he tends to be pretty angry against any perceived slight. We have seen that before. And

this wasn't just a slight. This was a second place finish in a place where he expected -- he had boasted about being destined to come first.

What he's pointed to, though, in the Cruz campaign is a remarkable thing. It was this piece of mail that went out that frightened voters and may have

presumably altered their intentions a little bit.

But basically he's accusing Cruz of fraud -- and he's probably right.

CURNOW: Really?

MANN: The mailer said -- and here's a copy of it -- it looks like an official government form.

And it says, "You're receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Voting Violation. Your individual voting

history as well as your neighbors are public record. Their scores are published below and many of them will see your score as well. Caucus on

Monday to improve your score."

The Cruz people targeted their own supporters with this, trying to get them frightened into making sure that they would go out and caucus.

In fact, the government of Iowa says there's no such thing. It's a complete lie.

And Ted Cruz himself acknowledged that they did send out these mailers because, as Cruz said, anything they can do to increase voter turnout is a

good idea.

So the Cruz people aren't disavowing this piece of literature. They sent it out and did it have any impact?

It's hard to tell.

Was it a complete lie?

Yes, it was. So he's got a point.

One other thing, Ben Carson, who was a distant also-ran at this point, but once seemed like a powerful force among evangelical voters in Iowa, let it

be known before caucuses -- or actually while the caucuses were going on -- that he would not be continuing from Iowa to New Hampshire, like every

other -- most of the other major candidates would.

He would be taking some time off to go to Florida. He was going to go home and get some clothes.

But the idea that he would go to Florida rather than New Hampshire was interpreted by some people as a sign that maybe he wasn't fully committed

to staying in the race.

CNN reported Carson is going to Florida, not New Hampshire. The Cruz people acknowledged they told their own staffers Carson is going to

Florida, not New Hampshire.

And the Carson people allege and Donald Trump alleges that it was announced that Ben Carson is dropping out of the race.

It's not clear anyone ever said that. The Cruz people have apologized if ever they gave that impression, though they are not acknowledging ever

having said it.

But for Donald Trump, it's one more evidence of fraud. Trump started this campaign, saying he was looking forward to running and running as a

Republican if the party treated him fairly.

That's a big part of his narrative. He doesn't like to be slighted. He was slighted by Cruz, he feels, and so once again, dominating the news

cycle with a whole story about Donald Trump on a day when we otherwise would be talking about Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

CURNOW: Indeed. I mean, he came second, which he has a problem with.

But let's just talk then, despite all of this and the messiness of what you have just described. Donald Trump didn't have a good ground game. That's

what the critics are saying. I want to play some sound of that just so we can talk about it with Jon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: One of the big problems that he faced was, for all of their free media and all of the buzz that he created, he

had very little infrastructure to deliver a win in a place like Iowa where it matters. It similarly matters in a place like New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: So when it comes down to it, despite all the so-called "free media," American voters want to be engaged personally.

[10:35:00]

MANN: Well, they do in Iowa. They certainly do in Iowa. And that's one of the things that makes Iowa so distinctive. It's one of these cliches

you keep hearing: infrastructure, ground game.

What does it really mean?

There were 1,681 precincts holding caucuses. You have to have people in 1,681 precincts not only to help run the vote and convince voters to show

up but to make sure they get there.

Maybe do they need a ride, do they need babysitting help, do they need some kind of questions answered?

That is the famous ground game everybody talks about, having enough volunteers across 1,600 different areas --

CURNOW: And that's just on the day. I mean, there's a lot of work beforehand, too.

MANN: There's a lot of work beforehand. The really careful campaigns call, they identify their sympathetic voters and then they call them every

week. They might send them an email every week.

Donald Trump, his people were brilliant at using the mass media. They were very good at using the Internet and they got a lot of names and e-mail

addresses.

But did they call every one of their voters once or twice or three times before the caucuses?

We don't know that. They claim to have a good ground game. Everyone was wondering, well, do they?

We couldn't really tell. There's no -- it's not really a transparent public process. These phone calls go on behind -- they go on in private.

So if Ted Cruz's people are calling and Marco Rubio's people are calling, what were Donald Trump's people doing?

We don't know. We just know that his massive lead in the polls didn't turn out on caucus night.

And that may have been the reason, the ground game.

CURNOW: OK. That really is interesting.

So then now we get to Marco Rubio. I also want to play a little bit of sound about that and why Mr. Trump complained about the fact that Mr. Rubio

had been given too much media for coming in third.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We finished number two, and frankly, had I known we could have finished number two, maybe I would

have spent more time there. I would have taken a day or two off from here. But that wouldn't have been good.

There were 17 people when we started. Now you have 11. I come in second. I'm not humiliated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: OK. So we're not playing hockey at school all many years ago. My old hockey coach used to say coming second is losing. I mean, many ways,

this coming third is winning.

MANN: Well, in Donald Trump's case, he could be your hockey coach because that's what he has said, too. The thing about coming in third, Marco

Rubio, is there were several things going on. But the most important thing is this: the media dominate the American political process. We're in the

media. We're news people. We like stories.

The story about Donald Trump is he's a winner, he will win. That's the Trump story. That didn't turn out to be true.

Rubio was barely in the story but the story was going to be, can anyone even conceivably challenge Trump from the mainstream of the Republican

Party?

And that was the story.

Who is going to be that person?

Now Rubio has become that story.

CURNOW: And that's why Iowa is so important because, in a way, sometimes it changes the narrative, which of course has implications.

MANN: It has.

CURNOW: Jon Mann, thanks so much.

MANN: Sure thing.

CURNOW: Well, CNN's "POLITICAL MANN" has the U.S. presidential race covered. Join host Jonathan Mann Saturdays at 8:30 am in London, only on

CNN.

Thousands of travelers in China are stranded as they try to get home for the Lunar New Year. We'll have a live report, coming up.

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[10:40:00]

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CURNOW: Welcome back. More trains are moving through a station in Southern China but 33,000 people were still stuck there Wednesday morning.

It's a very busy travel time for the country as millions of people go home for the Lunar New Year. Well, CNN's Alexandra Field joins me now live from

the main train station in Guangzhou.

Hi, there. I mean, you're really getting a sense of just how many people are on the move.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the humanity, we know that there are going to be more than 330 million train trips over this Lunar New Year

travel period. And to put it into perspective, you have got 175,000 people coming through this train station alone at the height of this travel

weekend.

So, so many people continuing to flood through here tonight. It's let up a little bit as it gets later into the evening but they will come roaring

back here again tomorrow. And they have had a lot to contend with this week, Robyn.

Earlier this week, some 100,000 people were stuck here. Then it was 50,000. Now about 30,000. So it was moving in the right direction.

Officials are saying the problem is the weather in the north, which had delayed trains from arriving to this station in the southern part of China.

But it's critical for all these people to get home for the holiday because so many of them in this area work at factories.

This is the one time of year where they get to leave town, go home, see perhaps their parents or their children, relatives who they don't see at

any other time of year.

So we are talking to a lot of people who are out here. They say they are going to spend the night out here. They're going to wait as long as it

takes to get on their trains but the officials are saying that the trains are beginning to run again, back on schedule. A big relief for all of them

-- Robyn.

CURNOW: A big relief indeed and I understand it's coming up to be the Year of the Monkey. This is a very important cultural time for many people.

And as you say, though, the weather and of course a lot of these complications have made it difficult.

FIELD: Yes, when you talk about this many people moving, though, I think that people come into this knowing and fully expecting that you don't get

home without a bump in the road.

These are people who are telling us that they took a bus or two buses to get to this train station. A lot of them are prepared to be on the train

for maybe eight, 12, 15 hours. They are doing really vast stretches of travel here and then will take a few more buses to get to wherever they are

going.

So for a lot of them, this is a days-long travel process. They know that they could add a few hours on either end, given delays because of the

weather or just the general traffic and congestion. So people are taking it in stride. They are also looking at their mobile apps.

The officials here have asked them not to come to the train station more than three hours before their train is scheduled to depart. So they are

looking at the apps and they're knowing if their train is delayed so they can stay away.

But a lot of people aren't even heeding that message. They're just coming here. They're waiting it out. There are a lot of officers on the ground,

more than 6,000 officers at this station, just to handle the crowd of this size because again, Robyn, they know that this crowd comes through here

every year.

CURNOW: OK. Alexandra Field on the ground there in Guangzhou, appreciate it.

Well, that does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. I will be back in just over an hour with more news. But in the

meantime, "WORLD SPORT" is next.

END