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Bombing in the Afghan Capital Wounds Member of Parliament; Abe Pays Respects at Pearl Harbor; A Deepening Divide?; Paris Security Heightened for the Holidays; Remembering Carrie Fisher; Israel Defying the U.N. Security Council; CNN Given Rare Access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region; North Korea Rushing to Complete Nuclear Weapons Program. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired December 28, 2016 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A gesture of international harmony in a time of global uncertainty. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pays tribute to victims of the Pearl Harbor attack in Hawaii.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gets ready to lay out his vision for Middle East stability but his critics say he's just creating a greater rift. Plus -- a princess on screen, a queen of hearts off it. Friends, colleagues, and moviegoers remember "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church live from CNN global headquarters here in Atlanta. And this is "CNN NEWSROOM."

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls Pearl Harbor a symbol of reconciliation. Mr. Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama stood together in Hawaii paying tribute to those who died in the Japanese attack 75 years ago. They laid wreaths and bowed at the USS Arizona Memorial, holding a moment of silence for the victims. Both leaders reasserted their nations' alliance.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This harbor is a sacred place. As we lay a wreath or toss flowers into waters that still weep, we think of the more than 2,400 American patriots, fathers and husbands, wives and daughters, manning heaven's rails for all eternity. We salute the defenders of Oahu who pull themselves a little straighter every December 7th, and we reflect on the heroism that shone here 75 years ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn vow we the people of Japan have taken. Since the war, we have created a free and democratic country that values the rule of law and has resolutely upheld our vow never again to wage war.


CHURCH: Prime Minister Abe's visit comes seven months after Mr. Obama traveled to Hiroshima. CNN's Athena Jones has more on the leader's remarks.


ATHENA JONES, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. A historic day here at Pearl Harbor. A moment 75 years in the making. And pictures and videos the likes of which we've never seen before. These two leaders, a U.S. president and a Japanese prime minister are going together to the USS Arizona Memorial to pay their respects to the fallen.

Both leaders later delivering emotional, moving remarks. Both leaders evoking the sights and sounds of that day in 1941 when more than 2,400 people never made it home. President Obama saying that Abe's presence here shows what is possible between nations and how two former foes can become the closest of allies.

OBAMA: As nations and as people, we cannot choose the history that we inherit. But we can choose what lessons to draw from it. And use those lessons to chart our own futures. Wars can end. The most bitter of adversaries can become the strongest of allies. The fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war. This is the enduring truth of this hallowed harbor.

JONES: Prime Minister Abe saying that his visit to the USS Arizona left him speechless. Here's more of what he had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the prime minister of Japan, I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place, and also to the souls of the countless innocent people who became victims of the war.

[03:05:00] JONES: And so there you heard the Japanese prime minister offering his sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, but not offering an apology for the actions his nation took here 75 years ago.

But it's important to note that President Obama speaking at Hiroshima in May also declined to offer an apology for the U.S. action there, the dropping of the atomic bomb. Both leaders choosing instead to deliver forward-looking messages focusing on the future of the U.S.- Japan alliance. Athena Jones, CNN, Pearl Harbor.


CHURCH: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to give a speech in a couple of hours laying out the country's vision for Middle East peace. His remarks come as Israel defies a U.N. resolution by going ahead with plans to build hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem. The Security Council called for Israel to end its settlement construction there and in the West Bank. The U.S. abstained from the vote last week, allowing it to pass. Israel says it has evidence that the White House pushed for the resolution. The U.S., though, denies that claim. And CNN's Ian Lee joins me now from London with more on the rocky relationship between the two countries.

So Ian, we've not seen this amount of hostility between the two nations. And now of course Israel defying the U.N. resolution that was passed, moving forward with these plans to build hundreds of homes in the settlement in east Jerusalem. So what does this signal? And how can this go forward? Is it just a matter of Israel waiting for the new administration, for Donald Trump to take power in January?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Rosemary. This has always been a rocky relationship, even though the Obama administration and Netanyahu's government has said that things were close, although we saw that fall apart after this resolution. It's important to note that these housing units that Israel is building in east Jerusalem, this was the plan before this resolution passed.

So for the Israelis, it is business as usual. But there is a lot of concern from the Netanyahu government that the talk that John Kerry is going to give today to outline the vision of Middle East peace could be set in stone somewhat. There is a Paris Peace Conference on January 15th. That could be discussed then.

And there's fear in the government that this plan that Kerry sets out could become another resolution at the U.N. Security Council setting the parameters for what the future peace deal would look like.

CHURCH: And you mentioned that Paris Peace Conference in January because that's really what has worried Israel more than this U.N. resolution that was passed because that is not binding, is it? What is the big concern for Israel about what may very well come out of this peace conference?

LEE: Well, if this -- John Kerry's outlining today is seen as the parameters for a future peace settlement, if that at the Paris Peace Conference they discuss that, that gives them five days until the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump then becoming president Donald Trump, in that window.

They're afraid that you could see a more binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would hold Israel to these sorts of parameters. So there is that sort of fear that in the final hours of the Obama administration, that they could dictate, not only the Obama administration, of course there is other members of the U.N. Security Council, but the international community could dictate what sort of parameters there would be for a lasting peace settlement.

CHURCH: Right. CNN's Ian Lee joining us there live from London. Many thanks to you. Keeping us abreast of the situation in the Middle East.

France has been under a state of emergency since the deadly terror attacks in November 2015, but its bustling capital is getting the most security through the busy holiday season. Paris correspondent Melissa Bell joins me now live from Paris to talk more about this. So what is the scene there in Paris and what are people saying?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this sense, Rosemary, very much here that Paris and France more broadly remains in this state of high alert. Of course by definition this state of emergency has been extended by a further six months. That was agreed by the parliament earlier this month because so many extra forces, both policemen and military remain on the streets of France.

And of course in this holiday period with so many people expected out here on places like the Champs-Elysees over that period, extra policemen

[03:10:00] and military personnel that have been deployed to ensure that France remains as safe as it can be with all minds very much focused all the more on security by recent events in Berlin. We've been having a look at the Christmas market which is just there behind me on the Champs- Elysees to see how things were being prepared in the run-up to this holiday season. Have a look.

As in Germany, the end of the year in France means colorful and crowded Christmas markets. Even before last week's attack in Berlin, security here on the Champs-Elysees was tight, ensured by regular police patrols, 200 cameras, and 60 concrete blocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Large crowds means strong security measures with controls, searches, protected perimeters. And all of that was obviously taken into account well before what happened in Germany. Although of course, the Berlin attack reminds us of the need for vigilance.

BELL: Vigilance that will mean 10,000 soldiers on the streets of France over the holiday period reinforcing a police presence that is 91,000 strong. Extra security measures announced earlier this month by this man. Bruno Larue (ph) visited the Champs-Elysees on the very week of his appointment as interior minister. He called on Parisians to show their thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are citizens who are at the service of our security. They pay a heavy price, and I ask that in this holiday period, there be demonstrations of friendship, of solidarity towards those who ensure the security of the French people in this difficult period.

BELL: For more than a year now, France has been living under a state of emergency. Bernard Cazeneuve, the incoming prime minister, told parliament why it was both necessary and working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the beginning of the year 2016, 420 people with links to radical Islamism were arrested and 17 attacks planned on the French soil were foiled.

BELL: Also the speech MPS (ph) voted to extend the state of emergency until July of next year. But for those involved in policing the streets of Paris, the extra measures are beginning to take their toll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously we have the means to ensure Paris's security during the holiday period. Extra riot police will be deployed and also extra mobile units. But if I may ask, at what cost? What I mean is there is a human cost for the security forces in general. Whether policemen or gendarme (ph), we're really giving of ourselves, of our time and at a cost to us and to our families.

BELL: For now, the interior ministry insists that such sacrifices are necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to maintain this high level of vigilance in the face of a threat that remains very high. Even as we continue to live. To live freely. To live peacefully.




CHURCH: Another iconic star is gone much too soon. Carrie Fisher, the actress who won the hearts of "Star Wars" fans around the world as Princess Leia has died. She passed away Tuesday after suffering a heart attack on a flight to Los Angeles last week. Fisher's "Star Wars" co-star Mark Hamill had this to say about his long-time friend.

"She was our princess and the actress who played her blurred into one gorgeous, fiercely independent and ferociously funny, take-charge woman who took our collective breath away." CNN's Paul Vercammen looks back at Carrie Fisher's life both on and off the screen.


CARRIE FISHER, ACTRESS: I should expect you to find (inaudible).

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER, PRODUCER: Carrie Fisher best known as Princess Leia in "Star Wars," has died. Fisher had a heart attack Friday during the final 15 minutes of a flight from London to Los Angeles. According to TMZ, Fisher was on a ventilator the entire time she was hospitalized, never regaining consciousness. She's seen here in an audition tape with soon-to-be co-star Harrison Ford.

FISHER: When (inaudible) has been safely delivered to my forces.

VERCAMMEN: Critics pointed to the strong chemistry between Fisher and Ford, and with good reason. Fisher recently revealed that she and Ford were offscreen lovers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty years, is that right?

FISHER: Forty years I thought I'd wait.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. So you revealed that you were having an affair with Harrison Ford.

FISHER: I was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you say it.


FISHER: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. So, how did that stay a secret for 40 years?

FISHER: I was good at that, wasn't I?

VERCAMMEN: Fisher was born in Beverly Hills. Mother, actress Debbie Reynolds. Father, singer Eddie Fisher.

FISHER: I was primarily brought up by my mother but I saw my father.

VERCAMMEN: Fisher poked fun at the absurdities of showbiz life and all manner of self-medication including taking pills to control her emotions.

FISHER: Any mood stabilizer is a weight gainer. So whether you feel better but then you're fat, so what you gain is a loss. It's just -- it's not a good situation.

VERCAMMEN: Fisher spoke about being bipolar and often turned pain into humor. Also writing "Wishful Drinking" and "Shockaholic."

[03:20:00] Fisher was briefly married to singer Paul Simon in the 1980s. Years later, she gave birth to a daughter, Billie Catherine, from her relationship with agent Bryan Lourd. She debuted in the acclaimed film "Shampoo."

FISHER: Like my mother.

VERCAMMEN: In between the "Star Wars" movies, Fisher landed a number of movie roles. In "Soapdish."

FISHER: I think we found our waiter.

VERCAMMEN: And as Meg Ryan's wisecracking friend in "When Harry met Sally."

FISHER: Someone is staring at you in personal growth.

VERCAMMEN: But nothing could, would, or perhaps should loom larger on screen than Fisher in "Star Wars."

FISHER: Transported you. It was extraordinary entertainment film making.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like the princess?

FISHER: I have her over sometimes. She's a little bitchy, you know.

VERCAMMEN: Carrie Fisher was 60.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Well, tributes to Fisher have been pouring in, especially from her "Star Wars" cast mates. On screen love interest Harrison Ford says Carrie was one of a kind, brilliant, original, funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life bravely.

My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd, and her many friends. We will all miss her. Other co- stars are also shocked and grieving. Billie Dee Williams AKA "Lander" (ph)


RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, CULTURAL COMMENTATOR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: ... got her first break at 19 with Princess Leia's role. And her mother, Debbie Reynolds, similarly at 19 did "Singing in the Rain," but she could see with the problems that she had unshared with us all. Indeed, it's important to remember this year that Harvard University gave her an award for humanism.

She could see Hollywood superficiality and yet also some of the glamour that questionably linked her to different roles. I would have loved to see her in more light comedy. She was remarkable in that -- you mentioned "When Harry Met Sally" and also "Hannah and Her Sisters."

CHURCH: Yeah, she was great in those roles, wasn't she? And it's worth mentioning too that Carrie Fisher, she actually beat out Jodie Foster, Amy Irving for that part as Princess Leia, which is extraordinary really because she didn't have the same track record that they had and she sort of became this feminist icon. She will be defined, that role defined her, even though so many times she tried to break away from it.

FITZWILLIAMS: Oh, yes. That's true. Because her attitude to it unquestionably was that it's spiraled her to a peak of success that it was very, very difficult to deal with. But then there's nothing like "Star wars" and there's no question that as "Star wars," a special fantasy in that galaxy far, far away, which made I think her death so close

[03:25:00] and so personal to so many people. "Star wars," as you say, she beats an amazing list. Sometimes they do prefer her old franchise. And no one had the faintest idea that "Star Wars" was going to be the hit that it was. A new face. They certainly got one. One also who had this brought out in your package. A wonderfully acerbic wit. She really was in "Wishful Drinking," for example, I was watching some extracts from that.

Indeed, her novel certainly autobiographical "Postcards from the Edge" adapted into a film with Merryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. No question "Maps to the Stars" is also based on that. She had a knowledge of how Hollywood worked. And also one she was able to share. And then of course personally the demons that she had to fight, mental illness, drug addiction, and the way she also shared those to help others. CHURCH: Yes. And of course as always, when we lose talent like this we

revisit the work that they've done. And I think people will be doing that in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Richard Fitzwilliams, thank you so much for joining us from London. We do appreciate it.


CHURCH: For a long time, China has restricted Tibet from the probing eyes of western media. Next, CNN gets access to the fascinating region for the first time in 10 years. And why Kim Jong-Un is fast-tracking North Korea's nuclear weapons program. A live report coming your way in just a moment.


[03:30:00] CHURCH: And a warm welcome back to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta. I want to update you now on the stories we've been following this hour.

A bombing in the Afghan capital wounded a member of parliament, his son and three other people on Wednesday. The attack hit their car in Kabul. No one has claimed responsibility yet. Last week a suicide bomber targeted another member of parliament.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a historic visit to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday, offering condolences to those who died in the Japanese attack 75 years ago. Mr. Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke of reconciliation and affirmed their nation's alliance.

Israel is defying the U.N. Security council, moving forward with its plans to build settlements in East Jerusalem. The council approved a resolution last week, demanding an end to settlements in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank. In the meantime the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is giving a speech Wednesday laying out the country's vision for Middle East peace.

Tibet has long captivated millions around the world. The region has faced political and religious conflicts for decades. The Chinese government has harshly cracked down on activists demanding greater autonomy. And Tibet remains restricted to western media.

But for the first time in a decade a CNN crew has been granted controlled access to Tibet. And Matt Rivers was part of that CNN crew, and he joins us now live from Beijing. So Matt, I have to ask you, why would China have decided at this time

to let you go in and report on Tibet?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, far be it for me to speculate as to why this year was the year that CNN was allowed back in. Every year China usually takes in a group of international journalists. There are some years when they don't, but most years they do.

And this year for whatever reason we were a part of the group. As you mentioned, it's been since 2006 since CNN was allowed in. This was a six-day trip so we spent nearly a week there and yet most of what we saw or frankly almost everything that we saw was exactly what the Chinese government wanted us to see.


RIVERS: Sounds of spirituality punctuating the pre dawn quiet in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. This is the Jokhang Temple, one of Tibetan Buddhism's holiest places. But the peaceful setting belies the region's tumultuous history. The communist government in Beijing has controlled Tibet since 1951.

After a failed revolt against Chinese rule in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader fled abroad, simmering defiance from Tibetans who remained sometimes boils over into larger scale riots. Activists say hundreds have lit themselves on fire in protest of religious and cultural suppression. This is the Tibet the Chinese government does not want us to see.

In early September, CNN was given rare access to the Tibetan autonomous region, one of the most restricted places in China. We were allowed in only under the watchful eye of government minders, who organized our days from morning until night.

We saw art classes, an opera, new hotels, and an international tourism expo populated almost exclusively by locals. But for people who track daily life in Lhasa, they say the calm exterior masks tensions that still lie beneath the surface.

NICHOLAS BEQUELIN, EAST ASIA DIRECTOR, AMNESTY INTERNATONA: Tibet is one of the regions in China where the political suppression and religious suppression are at the highest point.

RIVERS: The Chinese government has invested billions of dollars into transforming Tibet. They say the standard of living has risen dramatically. There is new infrastructure, new schools, but also massive migration of Han Chinese, the dominant ethnicity in China. For all the development in and around Lhasa, though, there is still a lot of poverty.

Neighborhoods with homes like these built of nothing but cinder blocks, no insulation, patched roofs, and many of these neighborhoods are populated by Tibetans. Many of whom say they feel like second- class citizens in their own homeland.

This is the only ordinary Tibetan we managed to speak with independently after leaving our minders behind during a lunch break. He didn't go to school and works as a laborer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When we are doing the exact same work, the Han people get, say, 300 kwai and the Tibetans get 200 kwai. He says the Hans get paid more than we do. He's frustrated but says there's not much he can do. If he protested, activists say he could be questioned and jailed without a second thought.

[03:35:01] BEQUELIN: The lack of space for any kind of dissent, even peaceful, will continue to drive deep resentment in Tibetan society.

RIVERS: Many of those recently detained have been protesting over the lack of religious freedom and economic equality and in support of the exiled Dalai Lama, who has been advocating greater autonomy for Tibet. We went to the Potala Palace where he used to live, but during an hour-long tour inside he was scarcely mentioned. Just at the end of the tour we asked our tour guide one question about him and the government minders immediately said it was time to move on to the next activity.

The lack of access to anything controversial over the ability to ask any real questions was a theme of this trip. We'd hoped to ask this Chinese official, the region's vice chairman, some difficult questions. Instead we were forced to sit silently as he spoke for 80 uninterrupted minutes, talking about how everyone in Tibet is happy and content, a picture in stark contrast to the one painted by human rights activists.

The Chinese government will tell you the piece of early morning prayers at the Jokhang Temple is emblematic of broader Tibet. Others will tell you that demonstrations of dissent are just a spark away from being reignited.


CHURCH: Matt, great report there, but it begs the question, doesn't it? Such a controlled guide into Tibet for your reports, but none of this was allowed to air in China.

RIVERS: That's right. Actually, we've been playing this story now for our viewers for the last 12 to 16 hours or so now and every time this report comes on, including just now, Rosemary, if you wanted to watch this particular story in your broadcast right now if you were here in the mainland and you turned on CNN, you would see nothing but a black screen.

And that's because there are censors here in China who believe it or not watch CNN 24 hours a day and when they see something that comes up that is controversial in their minds like talking open and honestly about the current situation in Tibet, they hit the big red button, then they cut out CNN's signal in China until the story, this report is over and then the signal will come back on.

This something we have experienced before and we were frankly expecting it to happen on this one. But it does show you how seriously the Chinese government takes this issue and how sensitive it remains.

CHURCH: Absolutely. All right, Matt Rivers with that report, many thanks to you. It is 4:37 in the afternoon there in Beijing. Appreciate that.

Well, it appears North Korea is now rushing to complete its nuclear weapons program. A high-profile defector from the north says Kim Jong Un wants it developed by the end of next year at all costs. CNN's Saima Mohsin joins us now from Seoul, South Korea with more on this. What more are we learning about what this defector has said?

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, we're learning a lot that our analysts have long suspected but few had been able to confirm. Now, as you say, this is a high-level defector. He was a former deputy ambassador in the North Korean embassy in London. So, we would assume he had access to this kind of information that he's now shared with the local media here in South Korea since his escape this summer.

Now, what he's saying is that not only as you say is North Korea adamant to pursue its nuclear program but it aims to complete it by the end of 2017. Now, 2017, why? Well, it's a crucial year for both Seoul and Washington, D.C. There's going to be a new president in the White House, president-elect Donald Trump. And there's going to be a new president here in South Korea.

Now, what were this defector, Thae Yong Ho, has said is that Kim Jong Un has calculated very carefully that this would be a good year to continue pursuing his nuclear ambition because the hands will be tied effectively of these two new administrations, they won't be able to take any kind of action or military action even against North Korea to try and stop them and so, he believes this is the year that they should forge ahead.

And not only that, Thae Yong Ho has also shared that he believes that this is part of a wider plan for Kim Jong Un because he wants to be recognized as a nuclear state to redress that balance of power, Rosemary.

He feels that it's only once North Korea is a nuclear state will people then take them more seriously and then he will come to the table for some kind of dialogue and negotiation. And Thae Yong Ho said, look, you're not going to be able to stop him.

[03:40:00] While Kim Jong Un is still in power, North Korea will continue to pursue their nuclear development program and it doesn't matter what economic incentives you offer, whether that's $1 trillion or $10 trillion, he will not stop. And that's why he says he wanted to defect. He wanted to dismantle Kim Jong Un's regime no less, and to save his people, Thae Yong Ho says, from approaching nuclear disaster. Rosemary?

CHURCH: And so Saima, so he's suggesting that there's nothing that anyone can do at this point to stop Kim Jong Un. What is he saying beyond this nuclear effort here about others -- other high-level personnel within the system there that maybe want to defect as well?

MOHSIN: He hasn't in this particular briefing mentioned anything to do with that. He was questioned though whether he feels safe or not. He said he feels safe, Rosemary. And of course we've seen hundreds -- he's not the only defector. We've seen hundreds in the first part of 2016 alone to defect.

But this is the second highest diplomat to defect from North to South Korea. Thae Yong Ho is particularly someone, but South Korea will be keen to continue speaking to him for the information he can share. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right, Saima Mohsin joining us there from Seoul in South Korea, 5:41 in the afternoon. Many thanks. Well just ahead, we will introduce you to women in Costa Rica who were

promised a better future but ended up as victims of sexual trafficking. And how another woman is saving them from the streets. We're back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: On the streets of Costa Rica a tragic but familiar story. Women who were promised a new and bright future instead ending up as victims of sex trafficking. One woman's mission aims to help survivors of the sex trade. CNN's Shasta Darlington has more in a Freedom Project report.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's Saturday night in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica. A vibrant nightlife keeps the streets full and the clubs crowded well into the early morning hours.

But away from the bright lights in the shadows you can find sex for sale on nearly every corner. Some are not here of their own free will. Victims of sex trafficking. Marilia Morales says she was called by God to pull as many off the streets as she can.

MARILIA MORALES, FOUNDER, RAHAB FOUNDATION (through translator): We go out on the streets to look for them, night after night, week after week. We talk to them.

DARLINTON: Morales runs Rahab Foundation a non-profit she founded nearly 20 years ago that rescues, rehabilitates, and supports survivors of sexual exploitation.

MORALES (through translator): These men and women who come here come to build a new dignified life so they can live in peace.

DALINGTON: Like Karina who spent her childhood begging in the streets. By 15 she was selling sex for money and drugs. She wanted out but didn't have anywhere to go until she met a woman who offered her a good job in Mexico. Karina says she made it sound so easy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She told me they got you a passport and gave you money for your family and if you didn't like the place you could go back. So I asked her what type of work was available there and she said there was work as a waitress or at an office, nothing to do with prostitution. It was all good.

DARLINGTON: It was all a lie. When she arrived in Mexico, Karina says she was immediately forced into sex slavery. Held against her will, forced to have sex with as many as five men at a time and paid nothing. She managed to escape and made her way back to Costa Rica and eventually to Rahab Foundation. She says this place changed her life.

How do you feel about your future now? How do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel it's more promising. I have higher expectations about the future. But the past always follows you. The memories always haunt you. Sometimes I'm fine but then other times I remember and I cry. It's not easy. Even though it was many years ago, for me it feels like it was yesterday.

DARLINTON: Although Karina was trafficked out of Costa Rica, Morales says many are trafficked into the country.

MORALES (through translator): We have a lot of undocumented victims, especially from neighboring countries. Migrants are so vulnerable that whoever offers a good job they believe it. They are trusting and want to believe that human beings are still good.

DARLINGTON: (INAUDIBLE) says that's what happened to her. She was struggling to support her family in the Dominican Republic when she heard about a good job as a house maid in Costa Rica.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They told us that you can earn $500 a month, working family homes, but when you arrive here what they want you to do is prostitute yourself. They keep your passport and they told us we couldn't leave. You are a prisoner there because you have debts to pay. They want you to work hour after hour in the bed.

DARLINGTON: (INAUDIBLE) says she was stuck in slavery for six months, unable to contact her family back home until she was rescued by Rahab Foundation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My future is good. Things are going well. Above all they help me with self-esteem. I've learned a lot here because I tell you, they helped a lot.

MORALES (through translator): She has succeeded in overcoming. She has succeeded in restoring her life. But it's still a process.

DARLINGTON: A process that Morales cherishes. And she says this isn't just her mission in life, it will be her legacy.

MORALES (through translator): I am leaving something for my grandchildren. For future generations so they can live in peace. When I'm gone, when this is gone, I left something, a contribution.

DARLINGTON: Shasta Darlington, CNN, San Jose, Costa Rica.


CHURCH: Extraordinary work there. And tomorrow you will hear how some border towns in Latin America are using education to combat the human trafficking problem. Part of our "Freedom Project Special Series, Perilous Journey," only here on CNN.

[03:50:01] How many people showed up to your last birthday party? I bet it wasn't thousands. Next, how a Facebook post made one girl share her celebration with the worlds. We'll explain.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Days getting slightly longer every single day across the northern hemisphere by about one to two minutes across much of the United States and temperatures still going to get cooler over the next several weeks. Of course historically speaking it is the middle to latter portion of January where the coldest temperatures begin to move in across the United States.

But notice there's one shot on Wednesday, a second reinforcing shot of cold air comes in Friday into Saturday and potentially a third reinforcing shot comes in into late this weekend. And mild temperatures should remain across much of the deep southern United States. But notice the seesaw battle between the seasons there from the nation's capital going in from 10 down to 3 then back up to 8 degrees over the next few days.

And still see some lake-enhanced snow showers across parts of the Eastern Great Lakes. Looking at the overall coverage of ice across this region, up to about 3 percent, which incredibly it is more than the last couple of years for this time of year at about 3 percent ice. (INAUDIBLE) typically once you get that coverage it is a 70 to 80 percent then the lake effect snow machine shuts off across that region.

Watching some Pacific moisture also surging parts of the western United States. It could bring in some high elevation snow showers around portions of the Bitterroot Range and eventually out toward the Cascades as well. The flood threat that was in place certainly all gone across this region, but notice of course it is all about the high elevation snow showers across parts of the cascades over the next several days. Take care.

CHURCH: An accidental Facebook post led to a teenager having probably the biggest party of her life. Not many little girls get to hold court over thousands of guests, all wanting to celebrate her. Michael Holmes explains.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thousands of people crowd the stage in rural Mexico. But they're not here for the music. They're here for Ruby Ibarra's quinceanera. The family never expected an event quite like this. When Rubi's dad posted an invitation to her 15th birthday celebration on Facebook he didn't realize the post was set to public or that when he invited everyone, 1.3 million people from all over the world would RSVP.

[03:55:01] The invite had gone viral along with hashtags like #rubi15. The family honored the invitation, planning festivities for thousands of people instead of the 800 they originally expected. As word of the event spread billboards went up.

Mexican airline Interjet offered discounts for attendees, and Spotify even released a Rubi's quinceanera playlist. On the day of the event, a few thousand people waited in long lines to enter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We found out on social media and we said let's go, everyone is invited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I would have liked to have had a 15th birthday party but I couldn't. And the truth is it's so nice to be here.

HOLMES: Although the celebration was largely a success with lots of fanfare and dancing, it is also overshadowed by tragedy. A 66-year-old man was trampled to death at a horse race for the birthday party. For better or worse the party is one that Rubi and her parents are not likely to forget. Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.

CHURCH: Hope this story gets your seal of approval. This large fur seal was spotted Monday on top of a car in an Australian neighborhood some 50 kilometers from the sea. Now, officials say he probably got here through nearby river systems. Folks on social media quickly embraced the big guy, some even calling him an interesting hood ornament. He was eventually captured and reportedly returned safely to the wild. How about that?

And thanks to everyone around the world for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on twitter @rosemaryCNN and stay tuned for more news with Isa Soares in London. Have yourselves a great day.