Return to Transcripts main page


Obama, Abe Address Press Ahead of G7; Anti-Trump Protesters Clash with Police; Taliban Kills 10 in Kabul; Battles over ISIS-Held Cities; Ukrainian Pilot Freed in Prisoner Swap; Mt. Everest Climber Died of Altitude Sickness; Johnny Depp versus Australian Deputy PM. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 25, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN. And there you see the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe. He is having a

press conference with U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of the G7 summit. We are monitoring that press conference and we'll bring you any headlines

out of it.

In the meantime, I want to talk about the context of this visit with our Andrew Stevens. He joins me from Toba, Japan.

Hi, there, Andrew. This is historic, in many ways, this visit.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: It's certainly historic; it will be historic when the U.S. president visits Hiroshima, the scene of the

first atom bomb explosion, 140,000 people died.

The president will be visiting Hiroshima later this week as the first U.S. president to actually go there. And he did just mention at this press

conference we've been listening to, Robyn, how this is important in showing how former adversaries can become such close allies.

It's clear that the U.S. president will not be apologizing for what happened in August of 1945 but he will stress that Japan and the U.S. have

a shared vision for a nonnuclear weapons world. So that is -- that is the historic part of this.

He's just arrived here today, the U.S. president, from Vietnam; the G7 officially kicks off tomorrow. It began today with this bilateral with the

summit host, Shinzo Abe.

Rather interestingly, Mr. Abe, the first words he spoke at the press conference was about "a despicable crime," as he called it, of the rape and

murder of a young Japanese woman by a former Marine and contractor at a U.S. military base in Okinawa and that he urged the U.S. president to make

sure that this sort of thing never happened again.

And just listening now to the questions coming from the floor, the Japanese media, the first question they asked was about this issue.

So that's, obviously, very, very sensitive issue to the Japanese, U.S. forces on the island of Okinawa.

There's a whole raft of issues on the table of the G7, Mr. Abe saying that he wants the focus to be about the global economy, about kickstarting the

global economy.

Whether we'll actually get any concrete action on that, any specifics, it's difficult to say; it's unlikely at this stage, given the fact that there

has been some pushback from other members of the seven industrialized nations, as to what the best way forward is for their own specific

economies. But certainly Mr. Abe wants to make that a point.

And the other thing is, of course, security. Security is such a key issue now at these gatherings, the U.S. president talking about regional

security, the proliferation of North Korean nuclear weapons.

He also talked about the freedom of navigation, that's a reference to China, which has unilaterally sort of declared ownership of a swath of the

South China Sea.

So there is a lot on the agenda. A lot of the times these meetings don't come out with real specifics. But it is a chance for the leaders of these

powerful countries to get together face-to-face to discuss all these issues on the table.

CURNOW: Yes. And they continue to take questions from the floor, these two leaders.

And also let's talk about, when President Obama came into power; he talked about an Asian pivot; events, history got in the way and in many ways he's

still trying to realign the U.S. to Asia.

And, of course, the issue around a assertive China plays into that as well. So no doubt those conversations continue.

STEVENS: Yes. Absolutely. This is the president's 10th visit to Asia so he has made this region very much a priority for the administration. But,

as you point out, events have gotten in the way of what we've seen in the Middle East.

The refugee crisis from the Middle East into Europe, the rise of ISIS, what's been happening in Ukraine and so on and so on, these issues have,

obviously, diverted attention, the Obama administration attention, away from Asia.

One of the signature policies, if you like, that Mr. Obama is still very hopeful of pushing through is of course this Trans-Pacific Partnership,

which he would see as a major legacy for this pivot to Asia. This is a free trade deal that takes in some 25-30 percent of the global economic


And it is very much centered on the Asia Pacific region.

So if that goes through -- and there's still a lot of opposition in Congress, so certainly --


STEVENS: -- not a done deal at the moment. But if that goes through he would say that -- he could point to that as part of his legacy at least.

But I think probably, as he leaves office, there would be some underlying frustration perhaps if the pivot wasn't all that he wanted it to be when he

became president eight years ago -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Andrew Stevens, thanks so much. We will continue to monitor this press conference and, of course, bring you any news out of it as soon as we

get it.

Thanks to Andrew there.

Now to campaign chaos in the U.S. There's no delegate drama left in the Republican presidential race but there's plenty of anger and agitation

whenever, wherever Donald Trump goes and whatever he says.


CURNOW (voice-over): Look at this scene outside a Trump rally in New Mexico, reminiscent of those protests in Chicago back in March, when Trump

surged to the top of the Republican field.

There were smoke bombs outside after Trump hurled his own verbal bombs inside at Hillary Clinton. Jason Carroll has the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get back. Get back.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overnight, police in riot gear, blasting pepper spray.


CARROLL (voice-over): -- and using smoke grenades to disperse anti-Donald Trump protesters outside his rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hours after

the presumptive GOP nominee's speech.

Dozens of protesters stomping on police cars, throwing rocks and bottles at police, injuring several officers.

Earlier during Trump's speech at the city's convention center, protesters breaking through the metal barrier surrounding the venue, some making their

way inside only to be dragged out by security. Inside, Trump criticizing New Mexico's Republican governor, Susana Martinez, who is also Hispanic.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Since 2000, the number of people on food stamps in New Mexico has tripled. We have to get your governor to

get going. She has to do a better job, OK. Hey, maybe I'll run for governor of New Mexico. I'll get this place going.

CARROLL (voice-over): But the bulk of Trump's personal attacks were set on targeting Hillary Clinton, Trump opting to make fun of her voice.

TRUMP: I will never say this, but she screams. It drives me crazy.

CARROLL (voice-over): And using some of his harshest language yet against Clinton.

TRUMP: I see this lowlife she puts on an ad.

CARROLL (voice-over): Trump angry Clinton is painting him as a greedy billionaire, this based on comments he made back in 2006 when he said he

hoped to profit when the housing market collapsed.

TRUMP: They've got some clip of me from many years ago when I'm saying yes, if it goes down I'm going to buy. I am a businessman, that's what I'm

supposed to.

CARROLL (voice-over): Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren going after Trump for his past business practices.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (R) MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up more

property on the cheap.

What kind of a man does that?

It is a man who cares about no one but himself, a small, insecure money- grubber who doesn't care who gets hurt so long as he makes a profit off it.



CARROLL: And, Robyn, Trump also calling Warren a, quote, "total failure," also referring to her at one point during his rally as "Pocahontas," this

in reference to Trump's claim that Warren faked her Native American heritage, a claim she denies.

Trump already looking ahead to his next rally, his next stop; that's going to be in Anaheim, California, later today, where, once again, Robyn, more

protests are expected -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Thanks to Jason there.

Scottie Nell Hughes is political editor of and a Donald Trump supporter. She joins me now from CNN New York.

Hi, there. Thanks for joining us. Let's just start with the violence last night. Protests expected later today. It's not the first time there's

been violence at a Trump rally.

Could Mr. Trump do more to calm tensions at his gatherings?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I don't think so because these people that are gathering outside, that are attacking police cars, that are

sitting there and being violent are not Trump supporters.

They're the exact opposite. The ones inside the rally are actually very peaceful. The ones outside though, however, are there to sit there and


And as we saw last night, whether they have real grievances or not, that is thwarted by the fact that they're sitting there and they're attacking

policemen and they're going after people and they're sitting there and they're proud that they are illegally here and they're going to continue to

sit there and embolden people to act up in this civil disobedience.

That does not help their case and I think that only encourages more Americans and why Mr. Trump is so popular right now because we realize we

have a problem.

CURNOW: Talking about attacks, we saw in Jason Carroll's piece there, we saw Mr. Trump attacking a prominent Republican governor --


CURNOW: -- one of the more prominent Latinos in the party, saying he would do her job better.

Why do that?

What's the strategy behind that, especially at a time when Mr. Trump talks of being a unifier?

HUGHES: This is the funny thing about Susana Martinez. She's done some great things within her state. But the truth is that in 2015, New Mexico

was the number one state's most dependent on the federal government.

She's done very little actually to curtail this, I think it's ranking number two right now. And she just passed a great thing, a great

legislation about making sure that illegals cannot obtain driver's license.

But at the same time, she has taken this tone now with Mr. Trump several times also at the governors' meeting, where she made some very disparaging

comments about him.

But then when she said she was too busy yesterday to come to his rally, it's comments like this that I think Mr. Trump like, OK, if you're not

going to come and work with me, they also have to meet him. I am so tired of this monologue that we have to sit here and Trump has to keep going and

pandering to people.

He does not pander. People need to come together, sort of, like what he and Paul Ryan did last week in Washington, D.C., that is a great example of

how you bring people together.

Both sides have to be willing to talk. What Susana Martinez did yesterday was a very public backhanded slap to Mr. Trump and he responded by pointing

out the fact that she's not done much for the people of New Mexico.

CURNOW: So what you're saying is that the Republicans need Mr. Trump more than Mr. Trump needs the Republican Party that he's just been voted as the

figurehead of?

HUGHES: Well, you have to sit there and wonder, he has spent less, he -- than most -- than any political campaign probably in history and is still

the front-runner of both the Republican and the Democrat side. He has more votes than the -- accumulated more votes than any other Republican nominee

eve. And that's with spending the least amount of money.

That means what's powering him is the people. Now I do think there is a great need for the Republican Party. We need the structure that the

Republican Party can bring to Mr. Trump and to his campaign. But they both have to mutually respect each other.

And so far, very little is being done by those establishment folks, I'm not saying Susana Martinez is one of them, but comments that she makes like

that does not help in encouraging and it needs to be both sides that are saying we need to come together and make an example of it, not just

constantly saying Mr. Trump has to be the only one doing it.

CURNOW: Today there's a headline that says, "Donald Trump is campaigning like it's 1999."

Why is he dredging up Bill Clinton's indiscretions, using them to attack his wife?

Isn't there the danger this could all backfire?

HUGHES: Well, let's point out that he brought this up. He released this ad on Instagram, which is typically a Millennialesque social media. And

these are people that were not around in the '90s that did not understand this, that did not know about Bill Clinton and what was going on.

There were different 17 allegations right now against Bill Clinton and when Hillary Clinton's out there claiming that she is the only person for women

and she has her super PAC and her minions for $136 million going after Mr. Trump saying he's sexist and he's anti-women then it's only fair that he

act in defense of himself and pointing out, you stood by your man as these 17 different women, which have been proved, one of them has been settled in

court by the Clintons, others have actually also -- you know, we saw obviously the impeachment trial regarding Monica Lewinsky --


CURNOW: Mr. Clinton --

HUGHES: -- trying to even the playing field.

CURNOW: -- by Congress. And none of those allegations have been proven true.

The question --

HUGHES: Well, he was impeached. The president was impeached.

CURNOW: -- why attack his wife?

HUGHES: Well, the president was impeached. And the real issue also you have to realize is Hillary Clinton is bringing Bill Clinton out on the

stump. He's out there. He's probably one of her best surrogates out there and she has even referenced that he will be a part of her administration,

possibly in charge of the economy.

So it's not like Bill Clinton has been sitting here on the back, so kind of being quiet in the corners. He's out there just as much in front, he

referenced it last week and I think this is all Mr. Trump is doing, say, listen, you want to bring out my past, you want to sit there and dig

through when I wasn't a politician, let me pull out the things that happened when your husband was in office, when you've been in office and

the truth of it is, it's really getting underneath her skin as she has to wonder, I hope that there's no other things that come out regarding his

personal life since we've been out of office.

CURNOW: Well, let's not forget that when Bill Clinton left public office, he had an over 60 percent approval rating.

The question I asked was, will this backfire?

Because Mr. Trump himself, you know, people could turn around and point fingers at Mr. Trump's own discretions and his attitudes towards women.

HUGHES: Oh, absolutely. And it could necessarily but the key is this has actually speaking to Millennials, someone that -- the group that Hillary

Clinton is already having an issue with. Bernie Sanders does very well with the Millennials.

So all this is doing is I think Mr. Trump sees that those Millennials out there are a good sector that he could possibly recruit those numbers over

to joining him in November.

So you know, it could possibly backfire but I actually think it's going to be, if anything, level the playing field, get out this sort of emotional

social issues and let's actually focus on policy which is what Mr. Trump is trying, Hillary Clinton says that she wants to but, unfortunately, all of

this other riffraff continues to get in the way.

CURNOW: Scottie Nell Hughes, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

HUGHES: Thank you.

CURNOW: The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul that claimed 10 lives. The suicide bomber was targeting a vehicle

carrying court employees of a neighboring province.


CURNOW: That's according to an Afghan interior ministry spokesman, who adds two children are among the injured.

And there's a new man leading the Taliban just days after a U.S. drone strike took out his predecessor. A Taliban source describes the new boss

as educated with the respect of the rank and file. Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Beirut with the details.

What more do we know about this man?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: He's not a particularly public figure until this point. We knew that he was the deputy to Mullah

Mansoor, his death at the hands of that drone strike inside Pakistan over the weekend, but he's known to be in his 50s, have stemmed from Kandahar,

where the Taliban has a lot of his passion and constituency, the cleric ostensibly with little military experience and held a post in the

judiciary, quite senior post, when the Taliban had that brief period in power in Afghanistan.

But we are not really expecting any major, in fact, change in policies as a result of him coming to power.

Now the key thing the Taliban didn't do was appoint his military deputy, I should say, Mullah Mansoor's military deputy, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the man

who the U.S. called the chief facilitator of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. They didn't give him the top post. In fact, Haqqani stays in that same place as

the deputy, the other Mullah Mansoor deputy, Mr. Akhunzada, taking the main role here.

The key question for the White House, they thought the death of Mullah Mansoor might remove an obstacle to peace talks.

The key question for Washington is does Mr. Akhunzada's leadership potentially bring the day where the Taliban might decide to talk peace


I have to say I think few people think that is likely. Mullah Mansoor, when he took power basically tried to prove himself and shore up different

factions in the Taliban through battlefield victories. It's quite likely that Haibatullah Akhunzada will try something similar perhaps in the months


We have to try and find out, though, Robyn, quite what his policies are. As I say, it's an uncontroversial choice, frankly, and a man who's not

particularly well known in public. So people are looking now to see exactly what that means for the Afghan Taliban, who have been doing very

well in terms of capturing territory in the past months -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much, reported extensively from Afghanistan, appreciate your analysis.

Fighters are now battling ISIS on two fronts in two countries. In Iraq, the army is driving in to the key city of Fallujah. And in Syria, an

alliance is working to push ISIS out of its de facto capital, Raqqah. Our Ben Wedeman has covered the region extensively. He joins us now from Rome.

Hi, there, Ben.

What do you make of these reports that civilians have been allowed to leave Raqqah?

What does that indicate?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say what it would indicate. What we understand from reports from Raqqah itself

is that restrictions that have been in place on civilians in the city for quite some time have been eased, allowing them to go to the countryside

outside of Raqqah and as far east as Deir ez-Zor in the Eastern Syria, another city largely under the control of ISIS.

Now we do know that, for instance, in recent weeks, the coalition has dropped leaflets on Raqqah, calling upon people to leave the city and, of

course, many people say, well, how can they leave the city since they're being stopped by ISIS?

Now there's currently an offensive to the north of Raqqah, being conducted by the so-called Syrian Democratic Front, that's an umbrella alliance of

groups, including Kurdish militias and others, who say they want to clear ISIS out of the countryside to the north of the city.

And we do know that there's been an intensification of airstrikes in that area. However, this does not appear to be the long-awaited offensive that

would retake Raqqah from ISIS, Raqqah of course being the first city that ISIS was able to take control of in Syria.

CURNOW: And, of course, Fallujah was the first city they were able to retake in Iraq, there are these twin assaults on both of these cities.

And also just, again, underscoring the instability in the region and, particularly in Baghdad, I want to bring up some images of a suicide bomber

that was arrested at a checkpoint in Baghdad, some very dramatic images of the man who was --


CURNOW (voice-over): -- there's the bomb strapped onto him.

What does that tell you as well; as these offensives continue, there's still, of course, huge danger, particularly within the capital?

WEDEMAN (voice-over): This really underscores the sort of challenge these Iraqi government is having to deal with in Baghdad for a very, very long

time. It must be stressed, there have been a spate of bombings in Baghdad recently, claimed by ISIS, killing more than 200 people.

Now in this video released today by the Iraqi interior ministry, you see this man who went -- tried to go through a pedestrian checkpoint, going

into el-Khadamiyah, which is a predominantly Shia part of the Iraqi capital --


WEDEMAN (voice-over): -- where there is an important Shia shrine as well. That area is -- I mean the entry is very restrictive in terms of people

going in and out; cars and pedestrians are searched.

In this case, the man is stopped. They find a suicide vest on it. You can see when they -- the still shots of the vest on the ground, that it is full

of pieces of metal. When these things -- these bombs go off, they throw jagged metal in every direction. The harm they cause is absolutely


And so the Iraqi government, which, of course, is now conducting an offensive to retake Fallujah, has long felt that many of the car bombs, the

suicide vests, are being manufactured in Fallujah, which is really just a half-hour or so drive from the Iraqi capital.

So they feel that if they can crush ISIS in Fallujah, the threat to people in the Iraqi capital will be significantly reduced -- Robyn.


Thanks so much, Ben Wedeman there.

You're watching CNN. Coming up, risky conditions, bad weather and difficult terrain: despite all of that, Mt. Everest has lured people to

its peak for generations. Now it's proven to be a deadly week.

We speak to the mother of a climber who died this week -- after the break.

And also, after almost two years in a Russian jail, this woman is back home, a political hero. Our correspondent in Moscow has the latest on a

high-profile prisoner swap.




CURNOW: Well, after almost two years in a Russian prison, a Ukrainian pilot is back home. Nadiya Savchenko has long maintained her innocence and

critics have called her trial a sham. She was released in a prisoner swap with Moscow. Our Matthew Chance is in the Russian capital. He joins us


She's just been awarded a commendation. She's made comments -- a hero, a hero's welcome.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. She got something of a hero's welcome when she flew back into the Ukrainian

capital, Kiev, within the last couple of hours on a presidential aircraft. She was greeted by crowds of media, crowds of supporters as well, she's had

a joint press conference with President Poroshenko of Ukraine as well.

And she got off that airplane after two years almost in captivity, behind bars in Russia, and she was still very defiant, even very angry, when she

made her comments, her address, to the crowd that was waiting for her at the airport. Take a listen to some of the stuff she had to say.


NADIYA SAVCHENKO, UKRAINIAN PILOT (through translator): The first thing I want to say is I am free. I would like to apologize to all mothers whose

children could not come back.


SAVCHENKO (through translator): But I am still alive. I would also like to apologize to those mothers whose children are detained. But I am free.


CHANCE: Well, there is Savchenko there, sort of basking, if you like, in her heroine status that she's acquired since she was captured by pro-

Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine, is actually she was captured inside Russia and was accused of illegally crossing into Russia from Eastern


She was convicted in a Russian court of directing the mortar fire back in June 2014 that killed, among other people, two Russian state television


Vladimir Putin, who is the Russian president, of course, has said that he only agreed to issue the pardon for Nadiya Savchenko after he had consulted

with the widows of those two Russian journalists and that they had personally appealed to him to set her free.

He also said that he hoped that her pardoning and the prisoner swap deal would do something to ease the tensions in the conflict zone as well. And

so Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, saying, look, I only did this for the family members of the Russian journalists who were killed -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Will this ease tensions?

CHANCE: It's unlikely to go very far in that regard, to be honest, although it closes a very difficult and acrimonious chapter in relations

between Russia and Ukraine.

Nadiya Savchenko has become something of a cause celebre here in Russia. Many foreign leaders as well as the Ukrainians, of course, have strongly

criticized her trial as politically motivated.

At the same time, there were a couple of Russian citizens who had been held and tried and convicted inside Ukraine as well, sentenced to 14 years in

prison for terrorism, on terrorism charges. They confessed when they were in custody of being members of Russia's special forces, although Russia of

course denies sending any of its troops to Ukraine.

And so as part of the prisoner swap, Russia gets back those Russian citizens as well, which, again, is -- it goes some way towards decreasing

the tensions between the two countries.

CURNOW: In Moscow, thanks so much, Matthew Chance there.

Still ahead, this climber said reaching the top of Mt. Everest would prove that vegans aren't weak. Now her family is mourning her loss. We'll speak

to Marisa Strydom's mother -- that's next.





Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW: It's the world's highest peak. The journey up there is dangerous and, in the last week, it's proven deadly once again. At least four people

died in just four days on Everest. Let's take a look.


CURNOW (voice-over): This is 36-year-old Eric Arnold, at the top of the mountain. He's believed to have died of a heart attack last Friday as he

made the descent down from the summit.

And this is Phurba Sherpa, a member of the climbing crew, he was working to clear the route ahead when he fell to his death.

And this was a group of Indian climbers trying to reach the top. The man on the far left, Subash Paul, died at a base camp because of altitude

sickness. Two Indian climbers from this team are still missing after they got lost in bad weather.

And this is Australian citizen Marisa Strydom. She also died of altitude sickness. Her body had problems dealing with the low amount of oxygen in

the air.

Earlier I spoke to Maritha Strydom, Marisa's mother. I started by asking her how she had managed to deal with her daughter's death in these past few



MARITHA STRYDOM, MARISA'S MOTHER: It's the toughest, toughest, toughest thing that's ever happened in my life. It's very, very tough to hold it

up. She would expected me to be happy and it would devastate her if I was devastated, which I am, but I'm trying to keep it up.

CURNOW: How did you learn of your daughter's death?

STRYDOM: I was worried when the pings stopped and we started calling but no one could give us any answers and no one answered their phone. So my

other daughter, who also lives in Brisbane, just before bedtime, Googled and found in "The Himalayan Times" that my daughter had passed away 11

minutes earlier.

CURNOW: So you learned via the Internet.


CURNOW: Nobody contacted you.

STRYDOM: No. For two, three days, not a word until someone asked them to contact us when we -- you know, they saw on the Internet and then we got

contact from them. That was about a day ago, to just say that they didn't realize we weren't contacted.

CURNOW: Do you know what happened to her, her last moments?

STRYDOM: According to, if I've listened to what Arnold says and --


CURNOW: Who is Arnold?

STRYDOM: Arnold Kostas (ph), the expedition leader from Seven Summit Treks. And according to him, halfway between Camp Four (ph) and the

summit, she didn't feel good. She felt weak and decided to turn around.

And there is a gap in between that I don't know. It's a fairly big gap. When they caught up what Rob knows is that she fell ill, she got

medication, she looked a bit better. And when he tried to get her down to Camp Three, she suddenly collapsed.

CURNOW: What else has he said?

This is your son-in-law. He was with her.


CURNOW: What has he said in terms of conversations with you over the phone?

STRYDOM: He's absolutely devastated. He still has altitude sickness, too, as many of the seven had. And he's absolutely devastated and just said his

life is over and he can't live without her.

And he blames himself because he didn't bring her home healthy and alive. But it was out of his hands. They were over 8,000 feet -- meters in the

death zone and it was out of his hands.

CURNOW: Did she say anything to him before she collapsed?

STRYDOM: He said they took medication to take in case they did get altitude sickness and he gave it to her. She felt a bit better, she could

start walking and suddenly she just collapsed in his arms and passed away.

CURNOW: Did she say anything?


STRYDOM: Nothing.

CURNOW: Did she -- she obviously, knew the dangers.

Did she speak to you before she left?

Did she understand the risks?

Did she tell you anything before she left?

STRYDOM: She did know that one out of 21 come back but they were very experienced mountaineers. They knew the risks, they had the medication.

She knew there was a one in 20 risk, yes.

CURNOW: And when --


STRYDOM: -- that one in 20.

CURNOW: When was the last time you spoke to her?

STRYDOM: Because they were going up and down, we mostly communicated via satellite phone. And the previous night she sent us a message and said,

"I'm spent," and which means she was very, very tired. And that was very strange to me.

But on the other hand, they just went up vertical ice walls, you know, for hours and hours. So I could understand that.

CURNOW: When was the last time you saw her daughter?

STRYDOM: I flew to Melbourne to say goodbye. I just had this urge to fly to Melbourne a week before they went. They had been away for seven weeks

when this happened already.

And I went there, had a wonderful weekend with her and said goodbye and so glad I did it.

CURNOW: On Facebook, you've asked questions of the company.

Do you feel that there was some sort of negligence?

STRYDOM: There is a big gap. No one's supposed to stay in the death zone longer than 15 to 20 hours. If you stay there longer, you will be dead.

And there's a massive gap in between the last ping, where she turned around, and where the story continues. And no one can tell me what

happened in between yet. And I don't think I'll find out before Rob is better and he's got, you know -- he can tell us what happened.

CURNOW: So are you pushing for these answers?

Do you feel that there's some sort of criminal case here?

Is that how concerned you are?

STRYDOM: I am very, very concerned. I'm concerned about a lot of things. In their itinerary, it was suggested they would sleep over at Camp Three

for the acclimatization. They didn't. They went up to close to Camp Three or went back to Camp Two. So then it was (INAUDIBLE). When they went up

for the push, they skipped a camp again and went up very fast. That's why she was spent.

And, yes, I think she might have been in the death zone too long.

CURNOW: What next for your family?

STRYDOM: We are totally devastated. We are absolutely devastated. And our whole -- everything we did was to get her body back because they just

abandon bodies on the mountains.

If they're dead -- if you're alive, they try to rescue you, like they did with Rob. If you didn't survive, they leave you on the mountain. So our

whole fight was just to get her off that mountain and back home.

CURNOW: You didn't want to leave her behind?


I don't know how I'm going to live without her. But if she was abandoned on that mountain, I know I wouldn't have made it.


CURNOW: That was Maritha Strydom, the mother of Marisa Strydom. And we know according to her mum, a team is taking Marisa's body down to Camp Two

right now. She will then be flown to Kathmandu by helicopter and then on a flight to Australia.

The INTERNATIONAL DESK continues after this break.





CURNOW: The war of words has heated up again between movie star, Johnny Depp, and Australia's deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce. The two have

been sparring in the media since Depp illegally brought his dogs into Australia last year. Rosemary Church has the latest on the war on



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The so-called war on terrier just got some extra bite.

Ever since Johnny Depp and Amber Heard illegally brought their dogs, Pistol and Boo, into Australia last year, the famous couple have found themselves

locked in battle with Aussie authorities, none more so than Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Joyce's agriculture department posted a now-infamous video apology, in which an awkward-looking Depp told the world that Australia's laws should

be respected and Heard read what sounded like the opening lines of a tourist brochure.


AMBER HEARD, ACTOR: Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: It has to be protected.

CHURCH (voice-over): Just this week, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel attempted to get the full story behind the video.

JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST: Who wrote that?

DEPP: A genius.


KIMMEL: Did you watch it back afterwards before releasing it?

DEPP: No, because I didn't want to kill myself.



CHURCH (voice-over): After what seemed like a deliberate humiliation of Hollywood royalty, Barnaby Joyce has been reveling in his own celebrity,

now boasting about his terrier triumph with a bizarre analogy.


BARNABY JOYCE, AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I think I'm turning into Johnny Depp's Hannibal Lecter, aren't I?

I'm inside his head. I'm pulling little strings and pulling little levers. And long after I've forgotten about Mr. Depp, he's remembering me.

So just keep on advertising me, Johnny. The thing is, the Australian people know that we did the right thing. We are not walking around the streets of

Tamworth or the streets of, you know, the streets of Bundaberg or in the whole Martin Place in Sydney, whether they've -- to be honest, whether they

like me or not, they say, oh well, you know, don't completely like you but you're right on that one. You know, we can't have --