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Russia Proposes March 1 Cease-Fire in Syria; Yellen Warns about Risks to U.S. Economy; Pope Francis to Visit Mexican Prison; Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens in Nigerian Camp; Zika Tests Catholic Position on Birth Control; Trump and Cruz Slam Each Other in Ads; Long-Lost Lovers Reunite after 70 Years. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired February 11, 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: Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, world powers push for a cease-fire in Syria, global markets take another dive and dozens
of inmates reported dead at a Mexican prison.
CURNOW: Hi, there, everyone, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
We begin with a glimmer of hope in the Syria peace process. World powers are about to meet in Munich to consider Russia's proposal for a
cease-fire on March the 1st. But the timing is raising major questions as Russian warplanes hammer away at anti-government forces in and around the
city of Aleppo.
The U.S. says this is a make-or-break moment and it's pushing for an immediate cease-fire. Talks in Munich get underway in just under two hours
from now. Our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is there with the latest.
Hi, there, Nic. The question is, critics saying that the timing of this offer is very much in the favor of the Syrian government and the
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I think if we take a step back from that even, Robyn, you hear sort of another level
of criticism here.
The peace talks that were sort of almost up and running in Geneva that got, you know, the pause button got hit on those talks early last week,
that was because of the heavy Russian bombardment around Aleppo supporting the Syrian government's move on the ground with their troops.
It was really deemed by the U.N. at that stage the only way to save the peace talks then was to hit the pause button. So Russia comes into the
talks here. You got 16 countries plus the E.U., plus the Arab League and pretty much Russia and their ally in Syria, Iran, would be in one corner of
And all the other nations in there would be saying, look, you're the guys, you're doing the bombing, you're ostensibly why the peace talks are
So it's no surprise that, on the eve of talks, Russia would come up with an offer of a cease-fire. But what's of real concern here, the United
States, the opposition saying, look, if, Russia, you are serious about a cease-fire, then let's have it tomorrow, let's get it going.
So there's going to be a lot of pressure on Russia later today in that meeting to, you know, to move that deadline forward. But the reality is,
as we've seen, there's very little leverage over Russia at this stage. So it's very hard to know which way these talks are going to go.
But the real effort is you don't get the talks up and running soon, they lose momentum, it breaks down, concerns if you leave it two or three
weeks, anything can happen on the ground. So there are some very real worries. And this really is a make-or-break meeting here right now --
CURNOW: Indeed. That's why the timing is just so crucial. Many say this onslaught in Aleppo is an attempt to sort of change the balance of
power on the ground so that it's favorable to Syria. And that's why this timeframe is needed, essentially, by the Russians and the Syrian
ROBERTSON: Sure. If you're Russia and you are sitting there, looking at this, they are saying, look, we've had 500 airstrikes in the past week;
we've hit 1,900 terrorist targets with air at the request of the Syrian government. We're supporting the Syrian government.
They are making, after many, many months of bombings, some strategic gains on the ground.
From a military perspective, what incentive is there for the Syrian government and the Russians to back off now, when they feel the momentum is
finally, after many, many months of this, finally shifting in their favor?
Of course, the U.N. Security Council resolution, the international diplomats point towards this, saying Russia was part of that U.N. Security
Council resolution 2254 that called for these peace talks, that called for a cease-fire, that called for humanitarian help on the ground, that called
for a release of prisoners.
So the belief is that Russia has signed up to that political process. But on the other hand, militarily, on the ground, they would be seen to be
make being strategic gains that firm up the government, the Syrian government, President Bashar al-Assad, whom they are supporting -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Fascinating stuff. Keep an eye on it for us, Nic Robertson, thanks so much.
Well, thousands of Syrian refugees are flooding into Canada after leaving uncertain futures back home. CNN's Drew Griffin looks at how the
city of Calgary is coping with the influx and the security concerns.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's quiet but Saad (ph) can barely contain the joy inside. This is Calgary's Margaret
Chisholm Resettlement House --
-- and it's dinner time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Huge families, huge smiles; cries, laughter and, everywhere, children. They are all Syrians, refugees plucked from
uncertain futures in Jordan and Lebanon, selected under the Canadian refugee resettlement program to be accepted as newly-landed immigrants.
Anoush Newman helps run this center. In three years, she says, everyone you see will be able to become a Canadian.
GRIFFIN: They really have nowhere else to go.
ANOUSH NEWMAN, CALGARY CATHOLIC IMMIGRATION SOCIETY: No, they can't because the surrounding countries, such as where they were, they don't give
them citizenship. So they will remain as refugees for the rest of their lives.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Zayed Handawi (ph) arrived just 10 days ago. He and his wife and four children fled Aleppo, Syria.
NEWMAN: They left because there was a constant bombardment and they were worried. Many times they came very close to death. So that's when
they decided that, let's leave before it gets worse. And he took his family and went to Lebanon to settle there as refugees.
GRIFFIN: Do you miss Syria?
NEWMAN: (Speaking foreign language).
ZAYED HANDAWI (PH), SYRIAN REFUGEE: (Speaking foreign language).
NEWMAN: Of course, of course. With all my heart. We're very, very happy. And very, very relaxed.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): For the first time in years, he feels his family is safe. But there's a long way to go. They speak almost no
English. They are new to just about every Canadian custom. They shake hands with men and boys but not with the women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we do a lot of parenting skills.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Fariborz Birjandin (ph), the director here, says that, too, will change and soon.
FARIBORZ BIRJANDIN, CENTER DIRECTOR: In a few months we talk to these children that they just arrived and you won't recognize them as a refugee.
Ten days ago, they didn't even know they were coming to Canada and now they are here, obviously. So we realized that we have a lot of fears and a lot
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Most arrive in families; there are only a few single Syrian men. And just as in the U.S., the program has raised
concerns about safety and terrorism.
GRIFFIN: I got to ask you. They don't look dangerous to me.
BIRJANDIN (PH): No, they are fantastic people. They have gone through hell.
GRIFFIN: While in the United States, there's still deliberation over just how many or even if Syrian refugees should be brought into the
country. By the end of February, Canada will have reached its goal of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees onto its soil.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Confident that its screening process can tell the bad guys from the good.
IAN HOWELL (PH), DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY LAW SCHOOL: Most Canadians are not that worried about the security issue for these -- for
the people we've selected.
Ian Howell, the dean of the University of Calgary Law School, also works with the Canadian government, reviewing its security intelligence
operations. He says the refugees Canada brings in are screened and, quite frankly, he sees them as no threat at all.
HOWELL (PH): We feel that we have been able to take reasonable measures to not guarantee, you can never guarantee these things but to do
everything we can to satisfy ourselves that the people we've taken in are not likely to be bad guys.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): To make sure Canada follows the progress of its newly arrived immigrants for two years, all the children will go to school.
Families will be helped to find work, housing and their ultimate goal, a permanent home in their new country: Canada -- Drew Griffin, CNN, Calgary.
CURNOW: Well, let's move on to business news and it's another day of shrinking stock portfolios across the globe. Stocks are plunging, taken
down by another big drop in the oil price and economic worry in Europe and Asia. Here's a look at the Dow early in Thursday trading, down nearly 200
Blue chips are very much down. European markets also in the red, mostly after a down day in Asia as well.
So to talk about all of these numbers, Maggie Lake joins me from New York.
More volatility. It's pretty ugly although these numbers aren't as bad as the U.S. futures predicted.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Let's look at the silver lining. It was shaping up to be even worse. Robyn, and really
it's the same thing we've been talking about over and over.
There is a climate of fear. People very concerned about the collapse we're seeing in commodity prices and what that ripple does to the global
economy. We heard Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, addressing Congress yesterday, saying, you know, things look OK here in the U.S. But we're
And it may be this global turmoil does feed back and hit the U.S. And even that suggestion that the Fed was worried seemed to once again bring
out the sellers right around the world.
European banks have been a weak spot throughout the entire week of trading. She's speaking again -- these are live pictures -- addressing
Congress again today. We'll see if she tweaks her message to try to reassure investors. But there's not a lot central banks can do at this
LAKE: We talked to a trader at the New York Stock Exchange, who said people are worried about big moves in currencies. We see a lot of
countries going negative on interest rates. It's just a very fearful time. It may turn out that some of these fears are overblown. We're watching
And in fact, some traders are saying there's a pitched battle going on, on some of these support levels. We're watching the big board. The
Dow right now in the U.S. but we're also keeping an eye on the Nasdaq. We're getting very close to bear territory. They are at 20 percent drop
from the 52-week highs. We're not there yet. But we're keeping an eye on that.
Right now no one seems to be able to find a reason to step in and buy and in that nervous environment you keep getting this selling pressure.
It's early in the session right now. As you said, down about 200 points. We'll have to see where the day takes us. If we are able to
recover and at least flat, that would be seen as a positive sign. If we break through some of the support, then watch out, there's probably another
letdown, Robyn. So very tense time right now.
CURNOW: OK. Thanks so much, as always, Maggie Lake.
CURNOW: Well, there's much more ahead here on CNN. Anxious families gather outside a Mexican prison after reports of dozens of prisoners being
killed in a riot. We'll get the latest in a live report. That's next.
Plus Bernie Sanders not only won the New Hampshire primary, he's winning over the Internet with his fundraising drive.
How will Hillary Clinton answer back?
We preview tonight's Democratic presidential debate. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Welcome back.
And we're following a developing story out of Northeastern Mexico, where dozens of people have reportedly been killed in a prison riot and
fire. Our Shasta Darlington joins us now live from Mexico City.
Hi, there, Shasta, some sketchy reports, been difficult to ascertain what happened and why.
What do you know?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn, we're actually just getting the details as we speak. A news
conference has started.
Officials have confirmed that at least 30 people were killed in this chaos in this prison in Monterrey. We're still trying to understand what
caused the riot, the clash. There have been reports that on the one hand, there was an escape attempt on the other then they set off a fire to cause
We're waiting for confirmation on that. It really is a developing story with all of the details coming out.
And of course with 30 dead and more injured, this is turning into a pretty massive scale prison riot, just the day before Pope Francis turns up
in Mexico for what's considered a very important visit for all of Latin America and one in which the security forces will be put to the test.
The pope himself has referred to the problems with violence and crime and drug wars in Mexico. Officials sort of bridled at those comments,
saying, well, he'll see the reality when he gets here. And it looks like just the day before he arrives --
DARLINGTON: -- the violence is rearing up again. So not a -- good news for the authorities and it will obviously put them to the test as they
try and keep Pope Francis safe as he goes around the country to some of the most dangerous locations.
Morelia, known for its drug wars; Ciudad Juarez, he's actually going to visit a prison, a notorious prison, where there was also a deadly riot
back in 2009 when some 20 people were killed.
So this again highlighting Mexico's problems with violence and crime on the eve of Pope Francis' visit and making it important for the officials
to ensure they've got that security detail on him as he wades into the crowds, which is what he loves to do, reaching out to families to show his
support for them in these difficult times -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Well, obviously not a lot of information, as we said, coming out. There've been, I understand, relatives, also very angry on the
outside of this prison, trying to get information, also causing some security issues.
But, as you say, I mean this is not the first time we've heard of some sort of riot in a Mexican prison. The real issues of overcrowding and
competing drug cartels very much playing into the dangerous scenarios that we find ourselves reporting on on these Mexican prisons.
DARLINGTON: Exactly, Robyn. You'll find this throughout Latin America. Oftentimes the prisons are not run by the prison guards or the
justice ministry; they are run by the prisoners themselves.
So you'll have these rival factions within the prisons trying to gain control. They will often be operating their businesses, illegal
businesses, whether it's drug or arms trade, from within those prisons and it's important to maintain supremacy.
So whether we're talking about a prison break or, again, an internal warfare to see who is trying to maintain control, there is a lot of
violence in Mexican prisons and throughout Latin America. And it really highlights the inability of authorities to maintain what should be the most
basic institutions under their control -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Shasta Darlington, in Mexico, thanks so much for that update. Appreciate it.
Well, moving on, a source tells CNN a high-ranking member of the North Korean military has been executed. A South Korean official with knowledge
of affairs in Pyongyang says the chief of staff for the North Korean army was put to death for misuse of authority and corruption.
He was apparently appointed in 2013 and was seen attending various military drills with North Korea's supreme leader.
And the press is calling the South African president's week a week from hell and it just keeps on going after a show of outrage earlier in the
Demonstrators are holding more protests today against Jacob Zuma. There you see, it's the day of his annual state of the nation address and
protesters are keeping up the pressure across the country.
Also outside parliament in Cape Town, where he's expected to speak in the coming hours. They are incensed at the $15 million of public funds
spent renovating the president's private residence, among other things.
Boko Haram is accused of sending suicide bombers into a camp for people displaced by the terror group; 58 people were killed Tuesday when
two women detonated their vests, at least 78 others were wounded. Robyn Kriel has the latest from Nairobi, Kenya.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Emergency relief officials said the female suicide bombers were disguised as displaced people. They entered
the camp early in the morning and detonated their vests, killing dozens.
But a third female, also wearing a suicide vest, refused to detonate hers. She surrendered to officials. Her reason: she realized her family
was inside the camp at the time.
She says she was sent by ISIS-linked Nigerian terror group Boko Haram. Boko Haram have often used women or child suicide bombers in brutal attacks
such as this in the past. More than 50,000 people who fled attacks much like this one are sheltered inside that IDP camp under military protection.
The sort of brazen attack, experts tell CNN, shows that Boko Haram's operational capacity has not been diminished. Despite recent offensives
against strongholds along the border with Cameroon.
This attack also has major implications for Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, who has expressed plans to return displaced people to
areas liberated from Boko Haram -- Robyn Kriel, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.
CURNOW: Well, just ahead, Zika rages through the Americas with no vaccine or cure. But the virus isn't just causing medical problems; it is
putting pressure on the Catholic Church.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN.
More alarm and concern over the Zika virus. Brazil has now acknowledged three deaths from the virus, including a 20-year-old woman,
who was otherwise healthy.
This comes as the Catholic Church faces mounting pressure over its teachings on contraception in Zika-affected countries. CNN's Nick Paton
Walsh spoke to the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro earlier this week. This is his report.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Brazil's modern cityscape, the Catholic Church has been and is the most
influential force. But now on Ash Wednesday, as the Zika outbreak spreads with its panics, (INAUDIBLE) sex, does it give your baby microcephaly?
The church's rules remain set in stone. No condoms, contraception or abortion, just, Rio's top cardinal tells us, be sure you keep mosquitoes
WALSH: But you would still, at this time, tell people not to use contraception to prevent children being born with this awful deformity?
ARCHBISHOP OF RIO DE JANEIRO (through translator): The church doesn't address this with the congregation because the church believes that the
people should be responsible and, for example, if they have this or any disease, they should be responsible and not transmit it to other people.
WALSH: But there's been comparison to this virus to HIV and there was criticism at the time of HIV that the response of the world was not fast
enough to encourage safe sex.
Haven't they learned their lesson?
Should they not be pushing people in this time only to use contraception or condoms just to remove that risk.
ARCHBISHOP (through translator): It's just a probability. And it hasn't been proven yet. I think that it still has to be proven and the
church recommends that people take care of the environment, that they don't allow the mosquito to proliferate and take care of their health.
WALSH: So even if it scientifically 100 percent sure that Zika can be sexually transmitted, there will be no change in the church's policy about
the use of contraception?
ARCHBISHOP (through translator): Young people are using this moment, this Zika issue, to try and use abortion to challenge the church.
WALSH (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) at the corner, Jesus' sacrifice, personal piety, but also around the corner the Brazilian Carnival goes on.
For just meters away, the party goes on and this is potentially where Zika could be spreading. In the face of this unprecedented outbreak, the
church's position, as it has been for decades, continues unchanged -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.
CURNOW: John Allen is CNN's senior Vatican analyst and the associate editor of "Crux" at "The Boston Globe." He joins me now live via Skype
from Denver, Colorado.
The pictures in that piece very beautifully echoing the contradictions that are here and let's talk about them. He -- Nick there mentioned the
parallels, perhaps, with HIV, particularly in Africa. I covered that story for many, many years.
Are there parallels?
And do you think there's going to be a change in the way the church dealt with that epidemic and this one?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SR. VATICAN ANALYST: Yes, Robyn, there certainly are parallels. I mean, the issue in both is, could the church ever sign off on
the use of contraception, not to prevent the creation of new life but to prevent the transmission of disease?
Now for the most part, at the peak of the --
ALLEN: -- HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, both the Vatican and African Catholic leaders essentially said, no, that is they felt that contraception
was not the answer; changes in behavior were the only reliable way to prevent transmission of this disease.
For the most part, that's the position they are now taking in Latin America with regard to the Zika epidemic. We have a piece coming on the
"Crux" site today, from my colleague, Ynez san Martin (ph), quoting church leaders, not just in Brazil but also in Honduras and Colombia and Peru,
saying essentially the same thing.
And of course, as you know, Robyn, all of this is coming at a time when Pope Francis is getting set to head in that direction. He leaves
tomorrow for a brief stop in Cuba to meet the Russian Orthodox patriarch and then he'll be in Mexico for six days.
Clearly questions about the church's response to this crisis probably will linger around the edges of that outing as well.
CURNOW: What I found in my reporting in Africa during those really bad years of the HIV epidemic was that, on the ground, you know, priests
who weren't -- they weren't being absolutely faithful to the doctrine, to the dogma. They kind of turned a blind eye to contraception, to condom
Do you think that's going to play into it?
Particularly because this pope was a priest administering to the poor on the ground.
Do you think that level of compassion or pragmatism will filter down?
ALLEN: Yes, I think it probably will. Let's acknowledge, first of all, that there is the slight degree of wiggle room in the Vatican's line
on the use of condoms with regard to HIV/AIDS. Over the years, the question came up, if you have a married couple, where one partner is HIV
positive and the other is not, could that couple use birth control to try to prevent transmission of the disease to the other partner?
And the Vatican has never officially pronounced on that question.
And on the ground, I think you're absolutely right, Robyn, that a lot of pastors and social workers and so forth in the church sort of picked up
on that and did not try to sort of cram the official teaching down people's throats. I suspect we'll see something like that in Latin America with
regard to Zika as well.
CURNOW: OK, John Allen, great to have your perspective. Thanks so much.
CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK on CNN.
U.S. Republican presidential candidates are canvassing South Carolina, site of the next primary, and the mudslinging could get down right nasty.
Our political man, Jonathan Mann joins me next.
CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK, thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off again at Thursday night's presidential debate in Wisconsin; as Joe Johns tells us
Sanders is working to build on his big win in the New Hampshire primary.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders raising over $6 million in the 24 hours after polls closed in New
Hampshire, gaining momentum before tonight's crucial PBS Democratic presidential debate.
Descending on New York City in a victory lap, celebrating his sweeping win in Tuesday's primary, bringing his anti-establishment message to "The
Late Show" with Stephen Colbert.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our campaign finance system, our election system and our economy is essentially owned
and controlled by a relatively small number of people, whose greed, in my view, is really wreaking havoc with the middle class of this country.
JOHNS (voice-over): And to daytime talker, "The View."
BERNIE SANDERS: This country is supposed to be a nation of fairness. And we're not seeing that fairness.
JOHNS (voice-over): Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton laying comparatively low after her crushing defeat. No longer the undisputed Democratic front-
runner, tonight's critical debate could help get her campaign back on track.
The former secretary of state already making changes, promising a more aggressive edge. The challenge for Sanders going forward will be capturing
the African American vote, a key piece of the Democratic electorate in the pivotal South Carolina primary later this month.
Courting the African American vote, Sanders took his campaign to Harlem Tuesday, meeting with civil rights leader Al Sharpton.
CURNOW: Well, that was Joe Johns reporting there.
Now the debate over which Democrat will win the South and ultimately the White House heated up on CNN's "NEW DAY" this morning. Atlanta mayor
Kasim Reed, who is a Hillary Clinton supporter, debated the issue with Bernie Sanders' national press secretary, Symone Sanders. It's one of the
highlights from the past 24 hours on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASIM REED, ATLANTA MAYOR: We have been excited about the campaign coming South for some time. We think the more diverse the universe of
voters is, the better Secretary Clinton does. And I just know it from moving around Atlanta and moving around in South Carolina a good bit, the
energy feels terrific. So we look forward to the campaign.
SYMONE SANDERS, BERNIE'S NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY: What Senator Sanders is doing, what his candidacy is doing, is bringing these new people
into the party.
We saw record voter turnout in New Hampshire, Chris. We saw the second highest voter turnout in the Iowa caucuses in its history when we
were in Iowa. These are folks that were disengaged, that did not see themselves as a part of, you know, the Democratic Party, that didn't want
to get engaged and get involved.
Senator Sanders is bringing those people back into the party. We're building a new coalition, which Democrats will need if we want to retain
and keep the White House in 2016.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Lots of opinions out there. And the Democrats have been downright civil compared to what's going on with the Republicans. Jonathan
Mann, host of "POLITICAL MANN," joins me again.
So we understand South Carolina historically gets pretty brutal. I want to play an attack ad first; this is Cruz going at Trump. Let's
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I got the Trump action figure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does do he do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He pretends to be a Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: There's a lot of giggling but it can get --
CURNOW: -- very, very nasty and brutal.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It does. Exactly. Part of what we've seen is that the candidates have months to prepare for
Iowa and New Hampshire.
And then, all of a sudden, the pace of the campaign picks up very, very quickly and they have to go on to South Carolina with less than two
weeks. And what they do is get fast and get furious and get -- I guess feisty is the nicest way you can put it.
I'll give you an example. The most famous example of hardball South Carolina politics, John McCain, senator running for president in 2000, his
supporters were stunned to start receiving pollsters, purported pollsters, asking the voters of South Carolina if it would influence their vote to
learn that he had an illegitimate African American child.
In the racially charged Bible Belt, saying you've got a black baby out of wedlock, that really, really goes to the gut.
In fact, it's entirely untrue. But the poll seemed to push this story. John McCain lost. They pushed rumors that his wife was a drug
addict. Untrue. John McCain lost.
Mitt Romney in 2008 was running against the second George Bush. Mitt Romney, of course, is a member of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.
He's a Mormon, a persecuted minority in American religious history, in part because of its past of polygamy.
Well, someone sent out a Christmas card, reported to be from Mitt Romney, praising polygamy.
Merry Christmas and did you know God had multiple wives?
Romney lost. It goes on and on. The current state governor, Nikki Haley, she's a rising star in the Republican Party, there have been rumors
pushed for years that she's unfaithful to her husband.
And it's just one of those things. When you're in South Carolina, it gets dirty. Everyone is saying this is really when the campaign is going
to go from being spirited to slimy and we're all waiting to see.
CURNOW: Well, using those words, they've got a pretty good punching bag in Donald Trump. I mean there's a lot of material, isn't there?
MANN: There is an awful lot of material.
Where to begin?
He's been married three times. He's boasted in "The Art of the Deal," a book he continues to push on the campaign trail, that he has slept with
other men's wives.
He's the only candidates who have ever appeared -- only candidate in this race and probably ever -- to have appeared on the cover of "Playboy."
It was back in 1990 but already pictures of that "Playboy" cover circulating online.
And he's the only of the candidates -- he not only owns casinos, remember evangelicals don't love gambling -- he owns at least one casino
that employs strippers. He was the first casino owner in Atlantic City to introduce his own staff strippers. So there's a lot to work with without
digging very hard.
CURNOW: We're going to have a lot to talk about.
MANN: We sure are.
CURNOW: I'm quite excited.
MANN: OK. If that's your idea of politics --
CURNOW: -- I know, it's just amazing, isn't it.
MANN: -- you'll be entertained. He's a fascinating guy. And really, as a politician, he has no record as a politician. He's never run for
public office. So this is his business career and his personal life and we've barely begun to scratch the surface of his personal life.
CURNOW: Jonathan Mann as always, thanks.
MANN: You bet.
CURNOW: And of course, Jon Mann presents a show every week that covers the candidates, "POLITICAL MANN" is on Saturdays at 7:00 pm in
London. Be sure to watch every week for the entire campaign season.
Well, still to come at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, a misunderstood marriage proposal in this letter led to decades apart for an American
soldier and a British schoolgirl. Next, their touching reunion, just in time for Valentine's Day.
CURNOW: Well, this is a story just in time for Valentine's Day, a touching story of lost love.
The last time they saw each other, he was an American soldier in World War II, she a British teenager. But seven decades later they reunited.
Ivan Watson brings us this wartime romance story.
NORWOOD THOMAS, WWII VET: I'm going to give her a squeeze.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Norwood Thomas never stopped thinking about Joyce Morris. The pair first
met in 1944, she a 17-year-old British girl living in London, he a 21-year- old paratrooper for the U.S. forces.
Young love blossomed.
JOYCE MORRIS, BRITON: We snogged, as you call it, you know, when it was dark and -- because --
WATSON (voice-over): But their brief romance was interrupted when Thomas was deployed to Normandy to fight in World War II.
After the war, he returned to the U.S. and invited Morris to join him. But she misunderstood his letter and thought he was already married. So
she refused his invitation and they went their separate ways. They married other people.
Thomas eventually became a widower; Morris got divorced. Last year, one of her sons found Thomas online and they reconnected on Skype after
more than 70 years.
MORRIS: (INAUDIBLE). And I say good morning to you every morning.
THOMAS: And I will always say good night.
MORRIS: And I will say, (INAUDIBLE).
THOMAS: And I will say good morning back to you.
You broke my heart.
MORRIS: Oh --
MORRIS: -- I don't believe that for a moment.
THOMAS: What would you do if I could give you a squeeze?
MORRIS: Oh, it would be lovely.
WATSON (voice-over): A crowdfunding campaign raised enough money to make that actually happen.
This week, Thomas made the journey from Virginia to Adelaide.
MORRIS: Well, you're still vertical.
THOMAS: Let me give you a squeeze.
WATSON (voice-over): A couple that first met just before D-Day, reuniting seven decades later, just in time for V or Valentine's Day.
THOMAS: This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me.
MORRIS: Yes, it could.
WATSON (voice-over): -- Ivan Watson, CNN.
CURNOW: They still got chemistry, haven't they. What a hug.
Well, thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. This has been the INTERNATIONAL DESK. We'll be back in just over an hour. Don't go
anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with Christina Macfarlane is up next.