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CNN 10 - March 22, 2018

CNN 10

Dozens of Kidnapped Schoolgirls are Returned in Nigeria; Facebook Admits that Some Users` Data was Handled Improperly; A Tour of Mont Saint- Michel

Aired March 22, 2018 - 04:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: This is CNN 10, your down-the-middle explanation of world news, and I`m Carl Azuz, anchoring from the CNN Center. We`re thankful you`re watching.

After weeks of suffering, hundreds of people are rejoicing in the African country of Nigeria, following the return of dozens of schoolgirls who were kidnapped last month. The Boko Haram terrorist group was blamed for the abductions. And a Nigerian official said it was also the Islamic militants who returned 104 of the girls, in addition to one boy on Wednesday.

Several girls are still missing. Boko Haram had captured a total of 110 people on February 19. The Nigerian government says it`s trying to find out if five of the girls died in captivity as some witnesses say they did. And one father who was interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation says his daughter is still being held captive because she refused to convert from Christianity to Islam.

Concerning those who were returned this week, the Nigerian government said nothing was given in exchange for them, though some experts say that`s unlikely that some sort of agreement was probably made. Amnesty International accused the government of ignoring warnings before the kidnapping took place. The Nigerian army says it had no warnings.

This abduction was similar to one that Boko Haram carried in 2014. In that incident, the terrorists captured almost 300 girls from a school in another part of the country. More than 100 of them are still in captivity.

The search for a serial bomber in Austin, Texas, might have come to an end. We say might have because there are still some questions, the biggest one being, why did he do it?

But the suspect behind the series of bombings is dead. Police say he set off a bomb in his car as law enforcement officers approached it early Wednesday morning. They tracked him down after reviewing video of a suspiciously dressed man dropping off two packages at a FedEx store earlier this week. They believe he`s responsible for five explosions throughout Austin and South Central Texas that all took place this month.

The blasts killed two people and wounded three others. Whether anymore bombs remain and whether the man acted alone are two of the other questions that police are working to solve.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these companies launched its website in 2004?

Facebook, Priceline, Twitter, or YouTube?

In 2004, a site known then as The Facebook was launched by a student at Harvard University.


AZUZ: That student, Mark Zuckerberg, is now the CEO of Facebook and he`s admitting his company has made mistakes when it comes to some users` information. Here`s what happened: years ago, a university professor created an application called "This is Your Digital Life". It included a personality test. Users who downloaded the app gave the professor permission to gather information about their locations, their friends and their likes. Under Facebook`s rules at the time, all this was allowed.

But what wasn`t allowed under Facebook`s rules was what the professor did with this massive amount of information. He provided it to a data analysis company named Cambridge Analytica. The firm had gotten information from 50 million Facebook profiles. And "The New York Times" reported that Cambridge Analytica was using this info to influence how Americans voted.

Facebook said it asked Cambridge Analytica to delete its information in 2015, and the company says it did. But over the past few days, Facebook says it found out that not all of the info had actually been removed and the reputations of both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook were damaged. The Internet company stock took a nosedive. As of Wednesday afternoon, Facebook had lost 8 percent or almost $35 billion of its value just this week. Investors filed lawsuits against Facebook, and the movement called "Delete Facebook" gained momentum.

CEO Zuckerberg addressed the controversy yesterday, posting, quote: We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can`t, then we don`t deserve to serve you. He says the company is working to make sure this doesn`t happen again. It plans to set new rules that make it harder for app developers to get users data and to offer a new tool that helps users revoke the permissions they`ve given apps.

The issue of online privacy has been debated since people started sharing information online.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Facebook`s most valuable asset is how well it knows you. Every post you like, every page you follow, every friend you make tells Facebook a bit more about who you are, and more importantly, what you buy or who might vote for.

Last year, Facebook made 98 percent of its revenue on advertising. That`s $39.9 billion. Advertisers pay for those personal insights to make sure their messages reach the right audience. Things go wrong when that data falls into the wrong hands.

The 2016 election was bad for Democrats. It was worse for Facebook. Russian operatives allegedly exploited the social network to interfere with the U.S. election, an epidemic of bogus social media posts made users questioned whether they could trust their newsfeed.

Then, revelations that a data firm called Cambridge Analytica acquired information on 50 million users for an app that Facebook says was billed as a research tool. That tool was essentially a personal test you took on Facebook. But what users didn`t know, when you took the quiz, it also combed your friends` Facebook profiles for data.

That changed in 2014. Facebook made changes to give developers stricter policies when it came to accessing our data. But years later, it became clear the damage was done. And it`s unnerving to think that researchers can learn so much about us from our social media profiles. It`s been more disconcerting that a political campaign could buy access to those insights without our knowledge.

But none of that is new. It`s called microtargeting and political campaigns have been doing it for years. In 2016, Donald Trump`s campaign paid Cambridge Analytica millions to target voters. But in 2012, Barack Obama`s team of data scientists were widely credited with helping him win.

But there`s a thin line between microtargeting and manipulation. And regulators in Washington are looking to draw that line. They`re also calling for more transparency, more accountability as Facebook takes yet another hit. Some are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress.

Sources inside Facebook tell me that they think more regulation is necessary when it comes to a standard for online advertising. As it stands, there`s barely any. It`s a pivotal moment for the tech giant.

Facebook has an extraordinary ability to influence its 2 billion users. And now, its impact will come under greater scrutiny as we head into the midterm elections.


AZUZ: We got a "Great Big Story" for you now about an abbey and fortress built on rock that has withstood the test of time and tide.

Mont Saint-Michel was named for the archangel St. Michael in the 8th century A.D. A local bishop built a place of prayer there. Today, it`s a small coastal town with a few dozen permanent residents, but it`s visited by people from all over the world.


REPORTER: Coastal at one moment, isolated island at another. Mont Saint- Michel is incredibly stunning, no matter the tide.

SUBTITLE: An Island Stuck in Time.

REPORTER: In between two powerful tides from Normandy and Brittany stands the gothic-styled Benedictine abbey named after and dedicated to the archangel Saint Michael.

Mont Saint-Michel wasn`t always an island. In prehistoric times, it stood on dry land. However, as sea levels rose, erosion reshaped the coast.

Even today, it only sits 600 meters from land. Although it has less than full-time residents, it is visited by more than 3 million people each year.

The climb to see the abbey isn`t easy. It`s around 900 steps. More than just a church on a rock, Mont Saint-Michel is a medieval time capsule and was one of the first monuments to be classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1979.


AZUZ: When we were little kids, a lot of us had those little glowing stars you stuck in the ceiling. But if you`re a huge fan of Disneyland and your dad just happens to be a stagehand in Las Vegas and he spends three months working with fiber optics, LED lighting, a video projector in his own talent, you get Disney on your ceiling.

The man`s daughter says of all the effects she now has in her own room, the fireworks are her favorite part.

Of course, you need to Disneyland the right equipment to create that Disneyworld of possibilities. The work was nothing to dis-miss (ph) at and it sure didn`t look dis-easy to make. But the result turned a bedroom in a truly Magic Kingdom so you`ve got to give the father credit.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.