Return to Transcripts main page


Unrest Continues in Egypt; Google Maps North Korea for the First Time; Funerals Today for Victims of Club Fire; First Double Arm Transplant Success; Clinic Doped Baseball Stars; Tokyo Restaurant Serves Up Dirt

Aired January 29, 2013 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL": After overthrowing President Mubarak two years ago, many Egyptians thought they would have a better life.

But this was the scene in Cairo today, small groups of young demonstrators throwing rocks at riot police who in turn responded with tear gas.

The defense minister says political divisions, protests, a struggling economy threaten Egypt's security and future.

People are protesting President Mohamed Morsi's declaration of a state of emergency and a curfew in three provinces.

So, this is kind of amazing. Now, you can actually virtually explore one of the most secretive countries in the world, thanks to Google.

The Internet giant has unveiled detailed maps of North Korea now for the first time. We're talking about everything from its nuclear facilities to prison labor camps, monuments, and just regular streets.

Chad Myers here to map it all out for us. Chad, that's pretty awesome.


MALVEAUX: I mean, that's pretty incredible. When you think about North Korea, I mean, it was just blank. The rest of the world, you could see, North Korea, for years, blank.

MYERS: Well, let me tell you how this happened. Citizen cartographers took it on themselves to go to Google Map Maker and draw things in.

So, this isn't some official, you know, release from the government. This is actually -- these are citizens that are from there and they know what's there. They drew lines, they drew maps, they drew roads and they drew locations and now you can, for the first time ever, go to Google Map.

I'm not talking about the -- not Earth -- but the Map and you can see where the roads are. You can see how to get places in North Korea. And this was unheard of it. It was a big blank spot for a very long time.

You get north of the DMZ, there was nothing there. There was no "there" there, but now, finally ...


MYERS: Finally, there's some "there" there and you can see it.

MALVEAUX: What does it reveal? And is there any reaction from the North Korean government? I imagine they're not too pleased with this.

MYERS: There are only a handful of the elitist people in North Korea that actually even get the Internet, so to speak. So, this is not a widespread controversy with them at all.

Now, they know -- there were always roads there. We could always see them on satellite, but now things are identified. The road names are there. The churches are there. Whatever they might be. The soccer stadiums are there. The nuclear facilities are located there, where before we just had no idea where anything was.

MALVEAUX: Now, we know where it all is.

Does this have anything to do with the recent trip because, obviously, the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, he was there with former Governor Bill Richardson and took this amazing trip there, were taken on a tour, went from there to there.

The State Department wasn't thrilled with the fact they felt they were being used for propaganda purposes, but do we think there's any link to the timing of that, that that might have been something that happened that they coordinated in some way?

MYERS: You know, there's never a bad thing when people talk. Something can get resolved. Some things can happen for the good when people talk to each other, sit down and have a decent conversation.

Nobody's explaining that that happened or didn't happen and no one's saying that anything about -- that this is why from Point A to Point B and now we have Point C. Nobody's drawing that line.

MALVEAUX: That's pretty amazing. I wonder if there are any other blank spots in the world where you just can't see, like Google doesn't cover.

MYERS: There are. There are some, but ...


MYERS: Yeah, there are some, but -- and even when you look at the map and the logs and some of the roads are still old. It takes a little while.

But if you take -- look at some of these 3D buildings that are on Google Earth now. Go onto Earth. Go onto 3D. Show the city of New York City, how -- you can almost see the bricks on the building of the skyscrapers. And, yet, you go a little bit farther, just toward the Delaware water gap and don't see very much at all.

MALVEAUX: It's almost like a brave, new world. I don't know if I'm happy about this or not. But this is great, information out of North Korea.

Thank you, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

MALVEAUX: It is really quite an amazing story. He lost his arm serving his country. Well, now, doctors are giving him a new lease on life.


MALVEAUX: Mourners took to the streets of Santa Maria, Brazil, in remembrance of the 231 people killed in Sunday's fire at Kiss nightclub. White ballooned were released, each representing a life that was lost.

But the mourning turned into outrage as marchers demanded justice for the victims. Police say they have arrested four people in connection with that fire.

And we're taking a look at what is trending out of Hong Kong now. You might remember this story from a just few months back.

A billionaire Chinese real estate developer offering $65 million dowry for any man who can woo his lesbian daughter. Cecil Chao wants grandchildren to inherit his business and he's offering what he says is a moderately deluxe life.

Chao's 33-year-old daughter, Gigi, might be even harder now to convince. She has just wed her partner, a woman, in France.

An American soldier who lost all of his limbs in Iraq now has a new lease on life. Brendan Marroco has become the first service member to receive a double arm transplant.

He appeared at a news conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore just this past hour. Doctors used a new procedure they hope will prevent his body from rejecting his new limbs.


BRENDAN MARROCO, DOUBLE ARM TRANSPLANT PATIENT: Well, pretty much now, I can move my elbow. This is my elbow, the one I had before. I can rotate a little bit.

This arm is pretty much not much movement at all, not yet, at least. Hopefully -- we're hopeful for the future to get some pretty good function out of both of them.


MALVEAUX: Love that smile. Marroco, he's only one of only seven people in the United States who have undergone successful double arm transplants.

Next hour, we're going to take a look at how the surgery works and why it is such a breakthrough.

And baseball stars, heroes to countless Little Leaguers, now facing accusations of doping.


MALVEAUX: A report by the Miami newspaper, "News Times," claims that a clinic in Miami sold performance-enhancing drugs here to several Major League baseball players.

Want to bring in Richard Roth who is joining us here to talk a little bit about this.

What does this report say, first of all, and how big are these names?

I understand we've lost Richard. We're going to try to get him after a break. An important story that is developing. Richard Roth out of New York.

And we're going to move on here. Apple now has -- I'm -- we're going to get to the Apple story a little bit later as well. We're going to go to a quick break and we'll give you both at the other end.


MALVEAUX: I believe we have Richard Roth back. He is covering a report. This is by a Miami newspaper. This is the "New Times" that claims a clinic sold performance enhancing drugs to several Major League Baseball stars.

Richard, how big is this?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could potentially be very big. It seems like we've been down this road countless times when it comes to baseball, the national pastime, and performance enhancing drugs. According to a three-month investigation in the Miami "New Times" newspaper, various athletes, baseball athletes, baseball stars, including New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, are named in various records, turned over, allegedly, by former employees and customers of a new age anti-aging clinic, now shut down in the Miami area.

Now, Major League Baseball has responded officially to this article saying, quote, "we are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance enhancing substances. These developments, however, provide evidence of the competitive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our department of investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in south Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program." Those three players, not including anybody we've mentioned already, such as Alex Rodriguez. Three players who have already been suspended for drug use, not necessarily linked to this article.

It's a big issue, of course, in baseball and in all of sports. Baseball, Suzanne, seems to get the focus. Brief update here. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals pitcher, he is also named in this report. He has already tweeted about the owner of this now-shuttered clinic, Anthony Bosch, and this newspaper report. He said, quote, "I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and never will. I've never met or spoke with Anthony Bosch," the owner of that clinic, "or used any substance."


MALVEAUX: So, Richard, we've seen this whole thing with Lance Armstrong and the fallout here. It took years and years and year before he came clean. What do we anticipate is going to be the fallout of this report?

ROTH: And, of course, a big fallout has already been baseball's hall of fame, where famed sluggers, big star were not voted on to the ballot. I think baseball, sadly, has a huge image problem. It tried to get rid of this issue. It keeps coming back. Alex Rodriguez claimed he never used performance enhancing drugs after the year 2003. According to this "New Times" report, and we don't have a double confirmation of it, he's getting, according to the list, various creams and performance enhancing substances. He will be hounded by it. The Yankees, of course, have him on the hook for a five-year contract with $114 million.

It just doesn't go away. Baseball says it's investigating a recent agreement between the players union and Major League Baseball to do bigger, more significant testing on human growth hormones. I think this issue will still stay around.

MALVEAUX: Richard, do we have any sense of whether or not World Series -- who won, who lost -- whether or not that's going to make a difference if the, you know, all the record books get turned upside down because people were allegedly cheating?

ROTH: Baseball is not going back to change its records. The team that won this past year, the San Francisco Giants, I believe, hit the fewest home runs in baseball. You are seeing turn away from that famous phrase, "the chicks dig the long ball." Now, baseball teams seem to be configuring their squads to have some singles and doubles, and for pitching and defense. The steroid era drew millions of fans to the game, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire. McGwire then later admitted performance enhancing drugs. It's just going to have to play itself out. But athletes will always look, it seems, for that better competitive edge, sometimes illegally. But no confirmation yet doubly on this article yet. Still has to play out.

MALVEAUX: All right. So, Richard, let us know when you get the double confirmation. We will again go to you and try to get some more information. Could be a very big story that you are covering that's developing now. Thank you, Richard.

SO, this is a really fascinating story. If you think you're adventurous when it comes to testing the taste buds, we're going to take you to Japan. This is where dirt is on the menu at one restaurant. And customer are actually paying big bucks to eat it.


MALVEAUX: OK. I love this story. This is a new French restaurant in Tokyo that is offering up dishes with a very unusual ingredient. It is dirt. A full course of it from appetizer to dessert. Kat Kinsman, our Eatocracy editor, is in New York.

Kat, I thought you'd bring us a sample or something.

KAT KINSMAN, CNN EATOCRACY EDITOR: I brought you a snack. Hungry?

MALVEAUX: Oh, nice. Nice. OK. So I understand the first course is a potato starch and dirt soup served in a shot glass. Tell us what -- what is going on, really? Is it really dirt?

KINSMAN: Well, first of all, I'm going to say, you can walk to the vending machine and get stuff that's way creepier than that. But -- so what we're -- I want to clarify what they're calling dirt here, because they're not just walking out to the little garden patch behind the restaurant jamming stuff in their mouth. They're working with a company called Protoleaf (ph) that is making essentially a clean dirt for them, where they're getting kind of -- you know those plant liners made out of coconut shells?


KINSMAN: That's a big part of it. Mixes with coffee grounds and really sort of eco-friendly compost. So it's not coming right from the earth. It's made pretty specifically for them. But it's in every course of this menu.

MALVEAUX: OK. The next course is salad, I understand, with dirt dressing, followed by a seafood course called minerals of the sea, minerals of the land. And for dessert, dirt ice cream, dirt gratin. Why are they serving dirt? I guess this is for -- it's healthy stuff, it's good stuff for you?

KINSMAN: Well, a lot of these chefs are doing in homage to this amazing French chef named Michel Bras (ph), who had a dish in the 1970s called gorgou (ph), if I'm saying that correctly, where essentially he wanted to mimic dirt. So here's -- you know, he does beautiful dishes that are basically like a field of flowers. And he would get things like bread crumbs and dried olives and things to mimic dirt in this really incredibly, beautiful way. And there are a lot of chefs at places like Nomash (ph) and chefs like Rene Redzepi, chefs like David Kinch who, in homage to him, are bringing in dirt to really bring this sort of feeling of freshness to their food.

MALVEAUX: How does it taste? Kat, I've got to ask you, how does it taste? Do people like it? KINSMAN: OK. Well, here's my dirty secret. I haven't eaten it at a restaurant like that. I have a friend whose got what they call geofagi (ph), which is a very common thing around the world, where people aren't going to fancy restaurants, they are just eating dirt as sort of part of the culture to get certain minerals into their lives, and she never travels without a little baggy of dirt in her purse. So she let me try it. It was surprisingly good.


KINSMAN: I won't go so far as tasty, but if you like really minerally wines, you wouldn't mind it so much. And, again, there's weirder stuff in the vending machine over my shoulder.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I can only imagine. There's some creepy, scary stuff in the machines. Is it expensive to -- some of these dishes?

KINSMAN: Yes. Well, anywhere that is a restaurant that is serving -- and, again, I'm going to say that most of what the restaurants are serving is not actual dirt, the a tribute, an homage to dirt. That particular dish I think it was something like $110 equivalent. So none of your higher-end restaurants are going to go cheap on this one. But you can, in fact, go to the farmer's market not so far from you in Atlanta and buy what they're calling "white Georgia dirt," which is -- they say it's actually not for consumption, but a lot of people like to snack on it.


KINSMAN: As a little nutrient throughout the day.

MALVEAUX: Kat, I can't tell you I'm actually going to go and do that, but I appreciate the suggestion. I'm going to pass on that one if you don't mind. But fascinating story. Appreciate it, Kat.

Apple has a new iPad. It's on the way. The new device comes up with beefed up memory, beefed up price. Of course it's going to have twice as much memory as the current version. Target market for the new device is the working professionals and not so much the average consumer. Hits the shelves next week.

And in Poland, what do you do if you have some time in between classes? Check it out. This is -- oh, it's cool. I wish I could do this. Snowball battle. This one taking place (INAUDIBLE) Technical University. This is a big one. Students fighting using snowballs against a team they called the rest of the world. They played two rounds of capture the flag and battlefield domination.

And the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. You might remember Tom Cruise scaling the tower in "Mission Impossible 4."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4": OK. This is the slight wrinkle. We're going to have to go into the server room from the outside. TOM CRUISE, ACTOR, "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4": We?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm on the computer.


MALVEAUX: Well now you can have a similar bird's-eye view with just a click of a mouse. This image is composed of 70 photographs. It can be zoomed, tilted, rotated to give you the feeling that you are sitting on the top of the tower. Now you might be wondering, why is this view special? Well, the elevators at the Burj Khalifa stop at the 160th floor. To get to the top, you'd have to take a steep ladder up another 656 feet.

I'm Suzanne Malveaux. President Obama on his way to Las Vegas now.