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CNN NEWSROOM

Syrians Hope for Peace; Fire in Bangladesh Factory; Harsh American Laws Force Immigrants to Return Home; Golf's New King; Assassin's Weapons Displayed

Aired November 26, 2012 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have maintained they don't attack civilians despite a consistent body of evidence, though I've seen various cities that it does appear civilians often end up being their target.

But at the end of the day, I think it's more about trying to create a climate of fear, certainly, amongst many Syrians than it is specifically about targeting certain things.

We've seen some of the planes they have in the sky lack the technology to pinpoint their targets and occasionally just drop explosives.

But a cluster bomb, if it was a cluster bomb, does tend to be used more specifically, more judiciously, and in this particular case, you could argue they may have intended to hit that target.

But no evidence to that effect right now, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Nick, explain to us, describe to us what it must be like, what these folks are going through in their lives.

Obviously, it must change their behavior in some way. I mean, if their own children are out there playing and then the playground is hit, they must feel like they have to keep their kids indoors. They can't really live a full life.

WALSH: That is a question many were asking, what are these children doing outdoors when there was military activity in the area?

And activists have said to me, well, it's because they're refugees. They don't have at adequate shelter and strong buildings to seek protection from this kind of thing.

But it really changed the mentality of people living now for nearly 21 months with this kind of bombardment or military presence or ongoing unrest.

I think many Syrians now have given up on outside help and really hope that perhaps that the radicals or military hardliners in their midst can see some sort of end to this conflict.

But also many Syrians we spoke to as long ago as two months ago already saying they just want the violence to stop, don't really care who comes out on top of it, just want life to go back to normal. Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Nick, are they responding? We know there are 400,000 people who have actually left Syria. They've gone to Turkey and Lebanon and elsewhere.

Are more people just giving up and thinking, you know what, we're just going to pack up and leave?

WALSH: The difficult question, exactly where do you go and is live going to be better for you in that particular case?

Now, certainly getting out of Syria is for many a huge plus.

It's difficult for them in Turkey in many ways. There are many Syrians here in Lebanon where I'm standing here trying to eke out a living, perhaps working as casual labor or staying in the camps, often unregistered around here.

But many people trying to find a life elsewhere in the region and that's where we see the spillover, the impact economically on the countries all around Syria and a real sense that this is to your knowledge into more of a regional problem after 21 months of this brutal revolt inside the country, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Nick, thank you so much. This is a disturbing story. Thank you for bringing it to us. It is so important.

For the second time in a few days, fire started in a Bangladesh clothing factory, and nobody was killed, but it took firefighters four hours to get this fire under control.

On Saturday, more than 100 people were killed in a fire at another factory. Thousands of workers have taken to the streets, now protesting the deaths of their colleagues.

There is movement now across the U.S.-Mexican border. It is actually not in the direction you might think.

We're going to take a look at reverse migration as some Mexican- Americans give up now on the American dream.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: "Show me your papers," that is the most controversial part of Arizona's tough immigration law.

It requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain, arrest, if there's reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.

Well, many undocumented immigrants from Mexico decided they could not take a chance. They headed back home, but for their American-born kids, the adjustment has not been easy.

Here's Rafael Romo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a remote town in Northern Mexico, a 10-year-old boy is struggling with his homework.

Oscar Castellanos is getting extra help from his father because he is having trouble adjusting to his new school.

When you left you were in, what, fourth grade?

OSCAR CASTELLANOS, CHILD, AMERICAN CITIZEN: Third grade.

ROMO: The fifth grader is technically a foreigner in his father's land. He was born in Arizona and is a U.S. citizen.

Do you know the Pledge of Allegiance? Yeah? Can you say it for me?

O. CASTELLANOS, CHILD: I pledge allegiance to the flag to the United States of America.

ROMO: His family moved back to Mexico after Arizona approved the toughest immigration law in the United States.

Has it been difficult for you to be here in Mexico?

O. CASTELLANOS, CHILD: Kind of.

ROMO: Why?

O. CASTELLANOS, CHILD: Because I have to speak another language.

ROMO: Oscar's 6-year-old sister, Angie, also is an American citizen.

She says she misses American stores, bigger houses, and parks.

Their parents, Oscar and Maria Castellanos, lived in Arizona for 13 years as undocumented immigrants.

MARIA CASTELLANOS, MOTHER (via translator): We would feel persecuted and harassed. We felt bad. It was nerve racking, especially when we had to go out to go to work.

OSCAR CASTELLANOS, FATHER (via translator): It was difficult because we had everything there. We had to leave everything behind and return to Mexico. It was difficult.

ROMO: Castellanos says they endured years of living in fear in the U.S.

Public sentiment was growing against undocumented Mexicans, so shortly after the strict Arizona immigration law passed in 2010, they moved back to Mexico.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, net migration from Mexico to the United States fell to zero or less from 2005 to 2010.

This means the number of immigrants coming into the country is likely equal or smaller than the number of those leaving, although the study said some left the U.S. unwillingly. They were deported.

Back in Mexico, Angie Castellanos sings her ABCs in English.

ANGIE CASTELLANOS, AMERICAN CITIZEN: A, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p ...

ROMO: She has yet to learn them in Spanish.

The Castellanos family is among the fortunate ones. Oscar was able to find a job only a few months after returning here to his hometown in Northern Mexico. Maria is managing a restaurant and both kids are enrolled in school.

Maria has been helping Angie with her Spanish while Oscar teaches his son math.

Both parents say they try not to think about what might have been while the children frequently seem to miss the life they had across the border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Rafael Romo joins us.

So, Rafael, you spent some time with that family. How are they doing? Do they think they've made the right decision?

ROMO: They think they made the right decision for their kids, but when you are with them, it's very noticeable how the kids feel out of place, especially at school.

MALVEAUX: They don't speak Spanish.

ROMO: They don't speak Spanish to begin with and Oscar was telling me that one of the things that he enjoyed at his school in the United States was the fact that he had all these books on all kinds of different topics that he could read and in Mexico that's quite limited and one of the problems that he has had, so one of the things that he misses.

And Angie was saying I miss the parks. You know, we would go to the parks, and the parks there are bigger, and you have a lot of playgrounds and that's one of the things that they miss.

MALVEAUX: Did they ever consider to apply to become legal? Say, OK I'm going to go through the application process so my kids can stay?

ROMO: The migration reality for that family is that they were not eligible to apply. The parents had been in the United States for 13 years and, in the best of cases even if they went back to Mexico and applied, there would be a 10-year wait.

Now, because the children are American citizens, once they turn 18, they do have the option of returning to the United States.

MALVEAUX: As citizens, yeah. ROMO: But, you know, God knows what's going to happen in the next 10 years.

MALVEAUX: Is it just the immigration laws that are making people now go back? Is that part of the problem -- the solution or the problem, depending on how you look at it?

ROMO: For this family it seems to be the driving factor, but when it comes to all the other families who have left, you have to talk about the state of the economy

They are not able to find jobs that they used to and, also, it's becoming more and more dangerous to cross the border not only because of the -- what happens at the border, but because the Mexican border states are increasingly under the control of Mexican drug cartels.

So, if you put all of that together, it's creating this situation where Mexicans are returning to the United States in record numbers.

As a matter of fact, a million Mexicans return to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, a rate that has not been seen since the 1960s.

MALVEAUX: And that family, finally, do they a desire for their kids to go back when they turn 18, to go back to the United States? Is that part of the plan?

ROMO: The main problem right now is trying to redefine their life in Mexico. Luckily, both parents have been able to find jobs. The kids are going to school, so that's not necessarily a case for some of the families who have returned.

But the big question now is now what? Do we just forget about the life we had, or do we somehow try to apply or hope that the new Obama administration may introduce a bill that would benefit families like them.

MALVEAUX: Keep up with them because we want to keep up with you and want to keep up with that family and see what happens. Rafael, thank you. Very interesting.

ROMO: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: This guy, he is ending the year on a high note. Rory McIlroy is not only the world's number-one golfer, but he is one of the richest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: To sports now. The end of a magical season for one young golfer. His name is Rory McIlroy and he is just 23-years old.

He's already has two major championships under his belt and he is the number one player in the world. And with this week -the win this weekend he's cemented his reputation.

CNN's Don Riddell is joining us to talk a little bit about this. Wow. So I don't follow golf. You got to fill me in because this guy sounds like is he it. He is the real deal.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS: Absolutely, you know, he has been up and coming for a few year's time. He has just had a phenomenal year.

He has idolized Tiger Woods throughout his teens, and city target to look more and more like Tiger Woods, playing in a red shirt on a Sunday, scoring five birdies towards the end of a round when the pressure is on. He's just becoming a really dominant player.

And in Dubai on Sunday, he did something which really marks him out as arguably the next Tiger Woods, because he topped Tiger's earnings from Tiger's incredible 2007 season. He finished way ahead of him. Back in '07 --

MALVEAUX: Do you know how much?

RIDDELL: Yes, I can tell you exactly how much. Tiger won $10,867,000 and a few cents on top of that. But Rory, for 2012, has won almost $12 million. An absolutely staggering achievement. He topped the money list in both the U.S. and in Europe, and he just had a phenomenal year of winning.

MALVEAUX: And he was tweeting about it too. I want to read this quick tweet. He said, "what an unbelievable way to end an unbelievable year. Couldn't be happier. Thank you to everyone for their support throughout 2012." Anything more for this guy? I mean, where does it go from here?

RIDDELL: Oh, he's just getting started. He's just getting started. I mean he's only won two major titles and he says he wants to win two more next year. The two he's won so far, by the way, were absolute blowouts where he beat the opposition by eight strokes on each occasion, which is actually (ph) a huge margin of victory in golf. He was a huge star of the Ryder Cup this year. Do you remember, he was the player that nearly missed his tee time and he had to arrive in a police car.

MALVEAUX: Oh, right. Right.

RIDDELL: Then he jumped out and he still won his match with no warm- up. There's just nothing this guy can't do. I mean I think the big thing for him next year is that he's now signed a contract with Nike. So he's not going to be using his Titlist clubs. This is going to make him a lot richer. He could earn something like $250 million over the next 10 years with Nike but, of course, he's going to have to play with some new clubs. So, can he adapt to those? I think he probably can, by the way. He's just a very talented guy.

MALVEAUX: Yes, he probably can. He's very good. Tell us very quickly here a little bit about him personally. Because, we know, you know, Tiger Woods got caught up in the scandal and all that and that's going to -- now part of his story, his life story. What do we know about this guy? He's only 23. RIDDELL: Yes. Well, he is from a town where you could perhaps say he was destined for greatness. He was born in Hollywood, northern Ireland. He already is a major, major star. He was a very, very promising youngster. I said he turned professional five years ago in 2007 when he was the top amateur at the British Open.

People who read gossip magazines might know him more with his relationship with a very famous tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki. They've been dating for one or two years now. You see Caroline quite a lot on the tour with him. Her game hasn't gone so well since she started dating Rory. He seems to have gone to bigger and better things. So I think --

MALVEAUX: All right. Well, hopefully they'll grow together, you know. Grow together --

RIDDELL: Yes, they look like a young, fun couple. And she's hoping to take some inspiration from his great play.

MALVEAUX: All right, Don, very nice to have you on.

RIDDELL: Good to be here.

MALVEAUX: Well, what you think we're about to show you is actually a clip from a new James Bond movie, right? But this is real. We've got the exclusive pictures of an alleged North Korean spy's secret weapon. This is something the South Koreas say he was planning to use for an assassination.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: A spy on a mission to kill caught with poisonous pens and a flash light that shoots bullets. Sounds like gadgets from a James Bond movie, right? Well, South Korean authorities say they seized the weapon from an assassin from North Korea. Our Paula Hancocks got an exclusive look at them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An assassination attempt foiled. A North Korean spy is arrested on the streets of Seoul. This was a year ago. And this is the first time South Korean intelligence officials are showcasing the weapons, exclusively to CNN.

HANCOCKS (on camera): So how does this work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This poison needle was made to look like a Parker (ph) ballpoint pen. There was a tube inside here. In order to activate it, we have to twist it towards the right three to four times and then press the top part like this.

HANCOCKS: If you're shot by this pen, what happens to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would cause muscle paralysis very quickly, which would lead to suffocation and death.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The second pen shoots a poison-filled bullet which penetrates the skin. The powdered poison is then released.

HANCOCKS (on camera): Now, these pens look like they belong in a James Bond movie. Is it new technology, or is this quite old, quite basic technology?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These pen weapons are not new. North Korean spies have had this technology for about 10 years. But this flashlight is new. We've never seen this weapon before. If you look at the front, there are three holes. There was a bullet in each hole, and here is the trigger. This is currently loaded and dangerous. Two bullets remain.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Forensics experts fired one bullet to test the gun disguised as a flashlight. It was accurate and deadly and almost impossible to identify as a weapon. When police arrested the would-be assassin, he was carrying all three weapons. None had been fired.

This man was his target. Defector and anti-Pyongyang activist Park Sang-Hak, renowned in South Korea for sending anti-regime propaganda leaflets across the border in balloons. He was due to meet the would- be assassin who had claimed he wanted to fund his activism. South Korean intelligence agents stopped him at the last minute.

PARK SANG-HAK, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR AND ACTIVIST (through translator): I didn't believe they would try and kill me on the crowded streets of Seoul. I thought the national intelligence service was overreacting.

HANCOCKS: We showed Park the weapons intended to kill him. He hadn't seen them before in such detail and seemed shocked.

SANG-HAK: You would note the gun, but these weapons are so innocuous, you could easily kill someone. I would have been killed instantly.

HANCOCKS: Park knows he's at the top of North Korea's hit list and has round the clock police protection. Having seen the weapons intended to kill him, he says he knows there will be more assassination attempts, but he will not stop his activism.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Want to get a quick look at the stock market update. First full day of trading since last week's Thanksgiving holiday. Investors seem more concerned with the fiscal cliff than with reports that the holiday sales were up sharply over the weekend. The Dow down 71 points. As the week rolls out, we're going to also be watching talks in Europe over the latest release of bailout funds to Greece.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: All right, when you think about the cha-cha, you might think of Cuba, where it originated. But one band from Bulgaria trying to change it. Take a look at what is a hit right now on Bulgarian radio.

(VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: I love it. That was Nina Nikolina and Tumbarto (ph) and their take on the cha-cha.

All right. Move over Justin Bieber. You have been booted right out of YouTube record books. That is right. South Korean rapper Psy now has the most watched YouTube video ever. People have watched his "Gangnam Style" video more than 800 million times.

Even Christmas going "Gangnam Style." Take a look at this. Yep. The owner of this house in Texas just moved into the neighborhood. He is making quite an impression. He programmed thousands of lights to sync up to the hit pop song. The display uses LED lights, so the show is only going to costs him about $15 for all of December. That would drive me crazy.

And the Rolling Stones' first concert in five years proves one of the world's greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time still has got it. John Kennedy, he was in the White House when The Stones first took the stage. Well, last night, they took the stage again in London to celebrate 50 years of music. The band's two-hour high octane concert included old favorites like "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Gimmie Shelter."

And several photos from around the world caught our attention as well today. Take a look at this. In England, Queen Elizabeth met a British sniper dressed in full camouflage while touring the home of the Household Calvary. They provided security for the royals. And this is one of our favorites of the day.

In Japan, celebrities unveil a stack of 600 million yen. That is $7.3 million. Tickets for Japan's year end jumbo lottery went on sale today. All winners going to get a lump sum without taxes.

And in Tokyo, a shopping center light up like an ocean of blue lights. They're going to be on display for the next 28 days, until Christmas.