Return to Transcripts main page


Fukushima Report Shows Japan Withheld Risks of Nuclear Disaster; Inside Fukushima; Life in Japan One Year Later; Stopping Rhino Horn Poaching; Big Interview With Fashion Photographer Marco Glaviano; Parting Shots of Waiter Showering German Chancellor in Beer

Aired February 28, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Still to come this half hour on CONNECT THE WORLD, into the danger zone. Kyung Lah travels to the site of one of the world's worst disasters, nuclear disasters. Do stick around for that.

Tracking a killer to rescue a rhino. The anti-poaching technology used to help stop an international crime syndicate at the source. And --


MARCO GLAVIANO, PHOTOGRAPHER: She's the only girl that I know that could do this. Those hands, big hair, lifting up with two wind machines and keep her eyes open and look good.


ANDERSON: He is so charming. The photographer credited with creating the supermodel era. Stay with us for my big interview with Marco Glaviano.

All that after this.


ANDERSON: At just after half past nine in London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Let's get you a check of the world news headlines at this point.





ANDERSON: Video posted online appears to show a mosque being shelled in the Syrian city of Homs. Activists say 50 people died there today and that 52 others were killed in attacks elsewhere in Syria. CNN, though, cannot confirm these reports. Meanwhile, Tunisia's state new agency reports that the president of Tunisia is offering asylum to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his family.

A crippled cruise ship is being towed towards the Seychelles. The Costa Allegra was left adrift in the Indian Ocean when a fire swept through its engine room. One thousand passengers and crew members onboard are said to be fine.

Pakistan's Taliban are claiming responsibility for a deadly attack in the country's northwest. Eighteen Shiite Muslims were gunned down after armed assailants stopped the bus convoy that the men were riding in. Sunni men on the buses weren't hurt.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy wants a new version of a controversial law after the country's top court ruled it unconstitutional. The legislature made it a crime to deny the Ottoman Turks committed genocide against ethnic Armenians nearly a century ago.

Your headlines.

It was called Japan's biggest crisis since World War II.





ANDERSON: Almost a year ago, these were the images seen around the world after a powerful earthquake struck Japan, triggering a tsunami which killed at least 15,000 people.

But now, we are learning that it could have been much, much worse. An independent investigation has revealed that Japan's leaders were so concerned about the Fukushima nuclear plant that they feared for the country's very existence.

Three of the reactors suffered the meltdowns after the quake hit. Officials feared that they could spiral out of control, causing nearby nuclear plants to do the same. That chain reaction would have forced the evacuation of tens of millions of people from Tokyo.

While the report criticizes then Prime Minister Naoto Kan for failing to come clean about the dangers, it also credits him with the decision that averted what would have been the worst-case scenario. By refusing to evacuate workers, the plant was brought under control.

Now, CNN has become the first US network to be granted access to that site, and as Kyung Lah discovered, well, the dangers still remain.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A year after these reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant exploded in a triple meltdown, reporters were reminded, this is still one of the most hazardous places on the planet.

We wore head-to-toe protective gear, full facial respirators, and hazmat suits. And then, we drove up to the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

LAH (on camera): This is our first look on the ground at the reactors. This is the hood of the nuclear problem in Japan. What you're seeing over my shoulder are the reactors. There are four of them. The two that you see over my right shoulder, those are two of the reactors that exploded in the early days of this disaster.

When you take a look at the reactors, you can see that they have a long way to go. This is a year after this disaster, and you can see that the force of the explosion crippled those buildings. You can understand how so much radiation spewed from this point when you're standing here.

LAH (voice-over): An army of 3,000 workers are now here daily, in shifts, to control the melted nuclear fuel and contain the further spread of the radiation. Inside the onsite crisis management building of the plant, a control center monitors their progress and safety 24 hours a day.

"The highest risk we still see is if something goes wrong with the reactor," says plant manager Takeshi Takahashi. The plant is in cold shutdown, but the nuclear fuel needs constant cooling, and the situation is far from over.

TEPCO says the plant won't be decommissioned for at least 30 to 40 years. The challenges evident as we drive around the Fukushima plant. Debris, still mangled from the tsunami, sits untouched because of radiation concerns.

These blue tanks and these larger gray ones hold water contaminated with radiation. TEPCO is continuously challenged with finding more space for the water. Work conditions and safety, while they've improved since the early days of the disaster, remain a constant concern.

Saori Kanesaki used to give tours to the public at the Fukushima nuclear plant. "Before the accident, I explained to many people that the nuclear power plant is safe," she says. "Now that this has happened, I feel very sorry I ever said that."

Kanesaki also lived here, in Tomioka. She's now an evacuee, uncertain of when or if she can ever return home. A year later, she and 78,000 others are the legacy of this accident, paying the price when nuclear energy goes wrong.

Kyung Lah, CNN, at the Fukushima nuclear plant.


ANDERSON: Well, after that quake struck, millions took to the internet to share the news and tell their own tales of shock and survival.


RYAN MCDONALD, IREPORTER: Oh, my God! That is the biggest earthquake to date.

It is still going. Oh, my God, the building's going to fall!


ANDERSON: Well, this video was uploaded by iReporter Ryan McDonald, who's a teacher who lives and works close to the Fukushima nuclear plant. As the scale of the disaster became clear, Ryan continued to document the devastation.

Earlier, we caught up with him a year on to find out how life has changed. This is what he told us.


MCDONALD: For me, life is pretty much back to normal, but a lot of other people are having problems. One example is families. A lot of the families that lived in the zone that is now the evacuation zone moved out and have -- are now in evacuation shelters around the prefecture.

And in Japan, typically, you live with your parents and your grandparents. So, the problem is that the children and the parents don't want to return to the evacuation area if the evacuation zone is lifted. But the grandparents who have lived there 50, 60, 70 years, want to return.

So, now these families are having huge arguments that sometimes split up a family because half want to return and half don't. So, they're having major problems.

Some other people that are having problems are universities, students from other prefectures aren't coming to Fukushima, so the population is declining rapidly at the universities.

Companies are having trouble recruiting employees up here, hospitals are having a difficult time getting doctors to come up here, and there's a big need for doctors now. So, the ripple effect is just causing a lot of problems right now.

I think things will possibly get back to normal in 10 to 20 years. I think right now, we're beginning to see the start of a decline in Fukushima. And I hate to say that, because I've lived here for 10 years, but it's --

We're only a year into it, so now we're starting to see the universities, the number of students at the universities are declining, so that means they're going to have to start laying off teachers. And now, those teachers and their families are going to move away.

Same with the resorts, same with the orchards. Anything that is labeled "Fukushima" is kind of a bad word of sorts. Fukushima rice, Fukushima vegetables. So, the farmers and their families might start moving away.

I think it's going to go downhill, and I'm afraid that it's going to take 10 to 20, maybe 30 years before it really comes back.


ANDERSON: Your report from the ground, there, our iReporter a year on from what was a catastrophic disaster.

Still to come here on CNN, saving a species and topping the smugglers. The military-style spyware which could protect South Africa's rhinos from poachers. Do stay with us for this.


ANDERSON: They are gathered illegally in South Africa, shipped through the Americas bound for Asia. The horn is not only a rhinoceros's greatest asset, it's also the animal's biggest liability as poachers pursue what is an ugly global trade.

This lot was seized by US authorities in Los Angeles last week. It was bound for China, where the rhino's horn is sought after for its perceived medicinal qualities. Seven people were arrested but, as we are about to find out, authorities are much more concerned with stopping this international crime ring at its source.

Live now for you to Johannesburg, where CNN's Robyn Curnow has more. Robyn?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Well, Becky, just imagine that you're a tourist, you're on one of those open safari vehicles, you're driving through the African bush in the Kruger Park, and instead of seeing some animals, you stumble across two rhino corpses, carcasses fresh in the bush.

Well, that happened today here in South Africa. Just another story of another group of rhinos that are being slaughtered continuously, hundreds of them over the past few years, at a rate of about one a day.

Now, with that kind of rate, South African conservationists are literally getting desperate. They're trying everything. And their latest suggestion is pretty high-tech. Take a look at this.


CURNOW (voice-over): Spy ware, normally used on a battlefield, set up for demonstration on a South African wine farm. But it's for good reason these weapons of war scan this gentle landscape.

CURNOW (on camera): Now, the company that markets this equipment here in South Africa says it's used by the US military in Afghanistan and on the border between Mexico and the United States.

Infrared, radar, comms packages that are used to protect US soldiers or to stop illegal immigration. Military hardware that many people here hope will be deployed in the fight against rhino poaching.

CURNOW (voice-over): Hours away from the wine farm, and even further away from war zones, rhinos graze in a South African bush felt, targets of poachers who sell rhino horn to Asian markets, where it's wrongly believed to be a medicine.

The World Wildlife Fund says nearly 450 were butchered for their horns in South Africa last year. And with an estimated global population of around 20,000, survival of the species is threatened if that rate of slaughter continues.

LESLEY STEENKAMP, DICEROS: The system has got the capability of seamlessly integrating to a drone.

CURNOW: Lesley Steenkamp's company is looking to import this technology from the US, hoping to sell it to private and public game parks as a high-tech solution to the rhino poaching crisis.

CURNOW (on camera): I mean, it's crazy that we're sitting here talking about this.

STEENKAMP: It is. It is. This is high-tech equipment, it's military specification equipment. All of the equipment we use is military equipment, but I think the fight has gone further. We need to fight fire with fire.

CURNOW (voice-over): It's a battle that's seen the South African military patrolling borders to stop poachers sneaking in. They have darted rhinos from helicopters and drilled holes into their horns to insert GPS and radio transmitters. This project failed because batteries just didn't last rattling around inside a rhino's horn.

But even as they test infrared binoculars, all part of this military solution, environmentalist Dr. Simon Morgan says South Africans are just running out of options. Their arsenal doesn't match the might and many of organized Asian crime syndicates.

SIMON MORGAN, DICEROS: And if we're not being innovative continuously and/or looking at the various solutions holistically, we're not going to be able to catch up with them and beat them. So, this type of technology that we're talking about is crucial in this fight against the poachers.

CURNOW: Technology that already protects some of the world's more valuable commodities, says the man behind the US company that develops it.

DAVID CROCKETT, TELEPHONICS: Any of the cameras and sensors in this mobile surveillance capability are also the same sensors and radars that you might use to protect a vital resource.

CURNOW: Is the rhino a vital resource worth protecting as the fight continues on all fronts?


CURNOW: OK, Becky, now this is, like I said, a fight, a race for the future of one of Africa's big five. But for conservationists here, it's not looking so good, because the rhino is worth more dead than alive.

ANDERSON: Remarkable stuff. Great piece. Robyn, thank you for that, Robyn Curnow, for you, out of Johannesburg this evening.

All right, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. When we come back, the drinks are on her. All five of them. Why the German chancellor might want to bring a change of dress coat next time.


ANDERSON: I don' think you need reminding that we are in one of the most fashionable months of the year. In February, the spotlight turns to catwalks in New York, London, Paris, and Milan for a glimpse of what we will all be wearing next season, men and women alike.

Well, the models and designers are, of course, on show, but in tonight's Big Interview, we are going behind the lens with one of the fashion industry's most iconic photographers. Iconic because Marco Glaviano is considered a pioneer of two ears in this glamorous world: that of the supermodel and digital photography.


ANDERSON (voice-over): He has spent his life surrounded by some of the world's most beautiful women. Among them, the Italian screen siren he called Aunt Sophia.

MARCO GLAVIANO, PHOTOGRAPHER: My first experience in London, I was being a guest -- prisoner of Sophia Loren. I was under age, and she wouldn't let me go out, because she was afraid. And sometimes, she took me out with this huge Rolls Royce she had. I was so embarrassed, because I tried to go to young places.

ANDERSON: More than five decades later and still young-at-heart, Marco Glaviano has returned to London, this time, for an exhibition of the stunning icons he helped create in the 80s through the lens of his camera.

ANDERSON (on camera): Let's talk about the supermodels, because you are credited with effectively creating an era.

GLAVIANO: It's quite -- it's quite true, really. I didn't do it by myself, it was three of us. It was Patrick Demarchelier, me, and John Casablancas. We decided this girl deserved a little more than just a shot at the studio and being abused. With the suitcase with the wigs that they always had.

We liked the girls a lot, and so we started talking those pictures. And then, there came the calendars, and then all of a sudden, it was late, because the girls picked the photographers. I was liking that some of them picked me.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Cindy Crawford, Paulina Porizkova, Eva Herzigova. All supermodels he helped shoot to stardom.

ANDERSON (on camera): How did you get the best out of these supermodels?

GLAVIANO: I think I have an easier relationship with difficult people than with plain people. I always have a great time with the hardest -- I don't know -- people who were legendarily difficult, like Diana Ross. Best friends after three hours. I don't know. Maybe because I'm not easy myself.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Difficult he may be, but Glaviano is also one of the world's most prolific photographers. His work appearing on more than 500 front covers, editorials, and calendars.

GLAVIANO: One of the questions that I've been asked more frequently, how do you convince all these girls to get naked? I don't ask them. They ask me. They go, "Marco, can we take some nudes?" This has been always like that.

ANDERSON (on camera): It's a great career.

GLAVIANO: But they trust me, because I never gave it away to people and I didn't sell them to strange people, I never did it with that, and so --

ANDERSON: And that element of trust --


ANDERSON: -- that must be important.

GLAVIANO: It's the most important thing.

ANDERSON (voice-over): That trust has led to iconic images like this.

ANDERSON (on camera): Tell me about Cindy.

GLAVIANO: She's -- Cindy's fantastic. Always been great. Except when we're doing the calendars. We had the worst fights every time./


GLAVIANO: Because all -- I think all the models that did well are very smart, because you cannot just be pretty. It doesn't work. To make a career, you have to be intelligent. But she wanted to show it. She was determined to prove that she was smart.

So, I'd say, "Here, we do it here."

She said, "No, we do it there."

"Stand there."

"No, I want to do it from the front."

And she had good ideas, but sometimes the light was wrong, and I couldn't do it, so I would say, "We're never going to do it again!" at the end of every shoot. And then, of course, we did it again.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Czech-born Paulina Porizkova, who appears on the front cover of one of Glaviano's books, also features in the exhibition at London's Little Black Gallery.

GLAVIANO: She was my favorite at the time. And we did it just for the book. For this collection. And I said, "Paulina, come out please." At the time, she wouldn't get up from bed, and there goes $60,000. But she's the only girl that I know that could do this. Those hands, big hair, lifting up with two wind machines and keep her eyes open and look good.

ANDERSON: So, too, Glaviano saw something special in the Marilyn Monroe-like bombshell Eva Herzigova.

GLAVIANO: Eva, she came at the end. She came in the 90s, and she came at the wrong moment when, unfortunately, there was the change. The Kate Moss type came in. Thin and -- so, I liked her a lot, and I think, to me, she was the last of the supermodels.

ANDERSON: Glaviano laments the end of the 80s era, a time when magazines were under the stewardship of editorial directors such as artist Alex Liberman.

GLAVIANO: The 80s was amazing, because we had good magazines. That was before the advertising department took over the magazines. They still had fashion editors that decided to put a Channel jacket with jeans. Now, you cannot do that. They shoot you.

ANDERSON: It was with Liberman's encouragement in 1982 that Glaviano pioneered another new ear, that of digital photography.

ANDERSON (on camera): I wondered whether the great photographers like you wouldn't see this as sacrilegious. Is there anything that you feel that you lose?

GLAVIANO: I feel good about it because I spent my life in the darkroom.

ANDERSON: Do you miss that?

GLAVIANO: No, because it's a time of my life, I spent, it was wonderful. I loved my darkroom. And now, so, we lead that the world goes in only one direction. Good or bad, but it's always ahead. Can't go back.

ANDERSON (voice-over): But you can look back and, through Glaviano's lens, the view more than 20 years on, remains picture perfect.


ANDERSON: Charming man, he is. In tonight's Parting Shots, Germans love a beer, and that includes the chancellor, Angela Merkel, apparently. But not five of them all at once, and certainly not down her back.

Keep your eyes on the water serving -- or the waiter, sorry -- serving behind Mrs. Merkel. He loses control of the tray, showering the chancellor in beer. He insisted it was an accident. As for Mrs. Merkel, well, she wore it well. And for that, we say cheers, Chancellor. Or Prost!

Thanks for watching. The world news headlines and "BackStory" are up after this short break. Don't go away.