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Dow Hits Milestone; Suicide Bomber Hits U.S. Embassy; Israel Strikes In Syria; Protests Erupting in Egypt; Iranians Defy Ban, See "Argo"

Aired February 1, 2013 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We are taking you around the world in 60 minutes. Here's what's going on right now.

This is Ankara, Turkey, outside the U.S. embassy, where a bomb went off and killed a security guard. Police say it was a suicide bomber. We're live from Turkey in just a minute.

And here in the United States, CNN now confirming just moments ago, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is resigning. He is the latest cabinet member to inform the president he's not going to stay for the second term. Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin is reporting that there will be a number of officials that will make announcements as well.

And speaking of departures today, Hillary Clinton's last day as secretary of state. She says she is ready for some rest after logging almost a million miles in the air over the last four years. Her successor, John Kerry, is going to be sworn into office this afternoon.

And, editors at "The Wall Street Journal" say someone broke into their computer systems as well. The suspects, hackers in China. The paper says it looks like hackers were trying to find out how "The Wall Street Journal" was covering stories in China. It was just yesterday, "The New York Times" reported Chinese hackers stole some of their passwords. But newspapers say they have now beefed up their cyber security.

And we are also watching the markets, your money, as well. You're probably going to like what you see. This morning, the Dow hit 14,000. It's been bouncing around that milestone mark all day or so. It's the first time that the Dow has reached 14,000 since October of 2007. Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange.

Alison, tell us, how, why did this happen?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It really was the jobs number that pushed the Dow right over the edge to that 14,000 level. The jobs number was pretty strong. It showed that January jobs report, 157,000 jobs were added to the economy. But the way Wall Street sees it, it actually came in a little soft. Still, Wall Street is looking at it at a more broader view. They're looking at the momentum from November and December. There were upward revisions made on those jobs numbers. So you're seeing a stronger trend continue. So that's good news, obviously.

But then again there has been sort of this underlying optimism already in the market, and that's really being fueled by the Federal Reserve. You know, the Federal Reserve is buying up mortgage backed securities and treasuries. $85 billion of them every month. And that's driving interest rates lower. So the best game in town as far as investors see it to make some money is here in the stock market. So, in essence, the Fed is driving investors to the stock market.

As far as, you know, what moved the needle, it really was the jobs number. Now the next sort of milestone for the Dow is going to be the all-time high at 14,164. First of all, we'll see if the Dow can hold at 14,000 at the close, and then we'll see if it can get to the next level.


MALVEAUX: Alison, all the money from the Fed's coming in, pumping into the economy there. How much confidence do we have in this rally?

KOSIK: You know, some people don't have much confidence. Some people say this 14,000 number really is just a nice round number that we'd like to talk about. Others say what it really shows is that, look, stocks are making a comeback and so the economy is doing that as well. One well known economist, who is a bit of an optimist, talked about this. Here's what he had to say.


PROF. JEREMY SIEGEL, WHARTON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: I think that this predicates an improvement in our economy in 2013 that -- to signal that at least investors in the market think that the economy is going to grow at a decent rate this year. But certainly it doesn't mean that we're anywhere back to where we were in 2007.


KOSIK: And then, of course, there are the bears of the market. The more skeptical who say this rally that we're looking at is a correction waiting to happen. That you look at the economy, unemployment is still too high, economic growth was in the negative in the final quarter of last year, and the Fed -- the Fed keeps pumping up the numbers here when you see -- for stocks. So, you know, many people believe that they want to see if stocks can stand on their own once the Fed stops pouring money into the economy.

But at the same time, the naysayers also say at the same time that seeing that 14,000 level, it's a confidence boost to just the average consumer, to the average investor, and that confidence can be contagious and overall help the growth of the economy.


MALVEAUX: All right. Alison, thank you. We are following another story in Turkey. A suicide bombing at the U.S. embassy. Broken glass, ambulances, gaping hole in the outside wall of the embassy compound in Ankara. The bomber took one person with him, a Turkish security guard, who died in that blast. At least one other person is now wounded. Want to go live to Istanbul. Our Ivan Watson.

Ivan, first of all, I understand you've got new details about who's responsible for the bombing. What do we know about this guy?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The Turkish interior minister is coming out saying that this is a Turkish citizen, a member of an illegal leftist terrorist organization. Now, Turkish police sources have gone one step further. They've told our sister organization inside Turkey, CNN Turk, that the man they believe is a man named Egovic Shonly (ph) and that he was a member of a group called the DHKP/C, which translates as the "Revolutionary Peoples' Liberation Party/Front." And there's some video of him from 1997, Egovic Shonly, when he was arrested and convicted for attacking a Turkish police headquarters with a rocket and later released from prison as part of an amnesty.

Now, there's been a long history, Suzanne, of leftist groups carrying out violent attacks, particularly against Turkish security forces. This particular leftist group, the DHKP/C, Turkish police arrested scores of their members last month. And on top of that, these groups tend to have a pretty anti-American ideology as well. And there's a lot of anger within some leftist circles in Turkey about the deployment of about 400 American soldiers and patriot missiles just in the past couple of weeks to help protect America's close ally, Turkey, from the threat of missile attacks from neighboring Syria. All possible motives behind this deadly suicide bombing on the U.S. embassy.


MALVEAUX: And, Ivan, do we know -- do we have a sense of whether or not the embassy, the U.S. embassy, was the target, in fact, the target of this bombing?

WATSON: It looks like it. I mean it -- there's no question that the main bunker, the gate that visitors have to go through, bore the brunt of this blast. And that a security guard was killed. He was a Turkish citizen. And another Turkish woman (ph) wounded. The U.S. ambassador stepped out with the governor of Ankara and had this to say. Take a listen.


FRANCIS RICCIARDONE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: Right now we are all dealing with our sadness at the loss of our fellow member of our embassy. We salute his bravery, his service to Turkey and to Turkish- American friendship. Our hearts go out to his family.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATSON: And, Suzanne, this isn't the first time a U.S. diplomatic mission has been attacked. In 2008, gunmen attacked the very heavily fortified U.S. consulate in Istanbul. And Turkish police helped repel them. Six people were killed in that gun battle. They did not get into the consulate in that case either.


MALVEAUX: All right, Ivan, thank you very much.

We are also following in nearby Lebanon, Lebanese officials are accusing Israel of flying war planes over the southern border region. The fights come just two days after an Israeli air strike inside Syria. Our Sara Sidner has got details.


SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Israel north along the border, citizens are gathering their gas masks to prepare for the worst. That's not unusual, but reports of an air strike by Israel inside Syria has heightened awareness. The U.S. assessment is the battered Syrian regime may be trying to move weaponry over the border into Lebanon, away from Syrian rebels and into the hands of Hezbollah, its ally and sworn enemy of Israel.

Syria has its own version of events. On Syrian TV, officials blamed Israel for an air strike on a research facility outside of Damascus. Raanan Gissin, who was an adviser to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the site is well known to the Israelis.

RAANAN GISSIN, FORMER ARIEL SHARON SENIOR ADVISER: This facility is part of, I would say, the whole system that is built in Syria to support the development and the operations of weapons of mass destruction, which include chemical weapons, long-range missiles, and Syria has been developing this in order to achieve strategic parody, if you want, or strategic balance vis-a-vis Israel.

SIDNER: However, U.S. sources says Israel has only struck once and targeted a convoy. Questions remain as to who was responsibility for hitting the facility and killing two people inside. Analysts say no matter where the strike was, it is a clear message to Syria.

GISSIN: Whether Israel made the strike or somebody else, I think it was a wake-up call. A warning signal to -- a wake-up call to the world and a warning signal to the Syrians, a warning signal to all those groups who are now trying to seize those weapons, that this issue is not going to go on without a response.

SIDNER: The Syrian government has summed the head of the United Nations mission in the disputed Golan Heights to deliver an official complaint. The Israeli government, for its part, saying nothing. But Iran, Israel's regional nemesis, has jumped into the fray. According to a semi-official Iranian news agency, Iran's deputy foreign minister says Israel's attack will have dire consequences on Tel Aviv. Syria's implosion raising the temperature across the region.


MALVEAUX: Sara Sidner, she's joining us live from Jerusalem.

And, Sara, first of all, Israel being threatened by both Syria and Iran. How serious are they taking these threats?

SIDNER: Look, any time they receive a threat, it is taken quite seriously. And it heightens concerns, of course, in the country. Security analysts look at this and say, they're not quite sure right now, looking at this situation inside Syria, for example, if that regime can do anything but try to protect itself. When it comes to Iran, that's a different matter. But again, they're also dealing with very heavy sanctions and they have their own problem. So whether or not these threats will turn into actions is a whole different matter. And they're kind of just waiting to see what's going to happen. We do know though that today we were hearing from the Lebanese that basically they did see more sortis (ph) from Israeli planes over southern Lebanon.


MALVEAUX: All right, Sara, thank you. Appreciate it.

Right now on, you can join a conversation with my colleagues and friends. Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jeffrey Toobin. They're having an online chat about guns. And with your help, what they're doing, they're continuing the conversation that they started last night in the town hall all about gun violence in America. So please join in now at

And here's more of what we're working on for this hour of NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. We are taking you next to China, where a truck full of fireworks explodes, blows out a bridge.

And later, the Fab Four like you've never seen them before. We are talking about a treasure trove of unseen Beatles images now coming to light.


MALVEAUX: In China, a rescue mission is now underway after a truck carrying fireworks exploded. It happened on a highway bridge in the central province of Henan. The blast was so powerful, part of that bridge collapsed, sending dozens of cars plunging to the ground 100 feet down. Chinese media says at least eight people were killed, 13 others were hurt.

In France, President Francois Hollande is preparing to head to the African country of Mali. French forces have been battling Islamist militants there for now three weeks. Tomorrow, Hollande will meet with the country's interim president before heading to Timbuktu. As you know, that historic city, that French and Malawian troops recently took back from those militants. This week, those troops have been able to push the extremists from several strongholds in northern Mali.

In the U.K., there are not going to be any charges that are filed in that prank call to the hospital room of Duchess Kate Middleton. Now, you might recall those two Australian radio talk show hosts, right, called the hospital back in December, pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles while the pregnant wife of Prince William, Kate Middleton, being treated for acute morning sickness at the hospital. Days later, the nurse who took the call committed suicide. Well, now, British prosecutors say there is no evidence to charge the pair of radio hosts with manslaughter.

In one part of London, some hard-line Muslims have formed their own neighborhood watch. They are not looking for criminals. They're looking for people who are breaking Sharia law on drinking and sexuality.

Dan Rivers investigates.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Whitechapel in East London, a hard-line vigilante group is trying to impose Sharia law on unsuspecting members of the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muslim area, OK? Alcohol bad. It's a Muslim area.

RIVERS: It's not just drinkers being targeted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You're gay. Get out of here, you fag.

RIVERS: And women wearing skirts above the knee are also being harassed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot dress like that in Muslim area.

RIVERS: Only a handful of men are involved in the self-styled patrols. Five have been arrested on suspicious on harassment, but we joined others who haven't been picked up by the police.

These men claim they're simply tackling drunken behavior where alcohol's already banned from the streets.

But they do share many of the same hard-line beliefs as those arrested.

ABDUL MUHID, MUSLIM PATROL: Alcohol is causing so much problems that, in fact, it's blighting the area. It causes crime. It causes people misbehaving and drunk and disorderly behavior.

RIVERS: Would you condemn the more intimidating roles where they seem to be trying to impose Sharia law in a part of London.

MUHID: I am not here to condemn or condone anyone's action. What I am here to say is that there is a problem.

RIVERS: Those doing these patrols are reveling in the media spotlight, but, actually, the number of people involved is very, very small. The vast majority of Muslim people living in these part of East London want nothing with vigilantes whatsoever.

At the local mosque, Muslim leaders are appalled and have condemned the patrols which they say are stirring up hatred.

SALMAN FARSI, EAST LONDON MOSQUE: It has done a huge amount of damage to the Muslim community, and it's no doubt going to increase Islamo- phobia.

RIVERS: Police patrols in the area have been stepped up as the authorities take a tough line.

WENDY MORGAN, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: We will not accept such behavior. It's unacceptable.

RIVERS: But Britain isn't the only country struggling to contain such bad behavior.

In Denmark, an Islamist from another so-called "Muslim patrol" stands menacingly outside a polling station, vowing to stop Muslims voting.

In Belgium, these extremists want existing Sharia courts, which handle family matters, to be expanded to cover criminal matters, including un-Islamic behavior in Muslim areas.

And in Lerida, Spain, hard-line Salafist groups have angered locals by demanding pet dogs are banned from public transport and Muslim neighborhoods. Several dogs have been poisoned.

Leading British Muslims, like Baroness Warsi, have warned their communities need to integrate better into wider society to stop extremism.

In a speech in November, she said, "We've been treating our communities like foreign embassies where rules from abroad apply and wider society keeps well out of it. And for too long, cultural sensitivities have often led our leaders to become morally blind."

But there is evidence that the lack of integration is partly because, in many cities across Europe, white people are moving away from ethnically-mixed neighborhoods.

PROFESSOR ERIC KAUFMAN, BIRKBECK COLLEGE: Even without many whites consciously fleeing, you can get a change that is quite dramatic in the character of an area.

So, here in London between 2001 and 2011, an area like Barking and Dagenham, a third of the white British population has left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muslim Patrol, move away from the mosque.

RIVERS: Enormous demographic changes resulting in profound challenges like the so-called "Muslim Patrols" which the communities themselves are now trying to tackle.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


MALVEAUX: We have live pictures here, breaking news happening out of Cairo. Want you to -- this is actually taking place now. These pictures, these are the streets and they are erupting now, we understand, with water cannons, tear gas. This is just outside the presidential palace, as the scene there turning violent.

We're going to have a live report out of Cairo after this very quick break.


MALVEAUX: We are following breaking news out of Egypt. You're taking a look at live pictures out of Cairo. Several thousand people have gathered outside the presidential palace there.

Our Ben Wedeman who is on the ground, he is reporting there are rocks and Molotov cocktails being thrown over the wall of the palace there. The Egyptian security forces, they have been fighting back, firing back with tear gas and water cannons. You've got a fire that is burning at the entrance of the palace here, and we're not exactly sure what is burning, but there is a fire.

And clearly, all these protests against the government, real frustration against the president there that people are unemployed, that they do not have the kinds of freedoms that they had expected after overturning the former president.

And again, violence erupting in the streets of Cairo. We're going to try to bring our live reporter up as soon as possible. We're keeping a close eye on that.

We're also watching what is taking place in Iran. There is a big topic, and it's quite a conversation. This is happening in cafes and living rooms, and it's all about a Hollywood movie. And we say quite conversation because this movie -- this is not even something that Iranian people are officially -- they are not even allowed to see this and it is "Argo."

You know the film, the Oscar-nominated movie of the mission to rescue American hostages in Iran. The government in Iran, it's got big problems with the story, as well as the director, you know, Ben Affleck. But we learned that this week, despite this ban, thousands and thousands of people inside Iran have seen the movie. How is this happening?

Azadeh Ansari, she's our international news editor here at CNN. It's a phenomena, right? How does that happen that they're able to see this forbidden movie, and it seems very popular.

AZADEH ANSARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR: That's so true, Suzanne. And the thing is with the Iranian people, they are so resilient and they have this curiosity that extends beyond their borders. And even though, politically, they might be marginalized, but the people will find a way to find out what's going on overseas, and this is just the most recent example of how that's happening. If we take this conversation that's taking place, it's happening in circles of -- very progressive circles, right? So, it's on college campuses. It's with people who were on the frontline of history when this whole hostage crisis unfolded. These are the people who are talking about it. It's not the people working in the fields and what have you in the villages, but again, it's a huge topic of conversation within those specific circles, certainly.

MALVEAUX: And you have family in Iran. You know very closely, very intimately, how things work, how people communicate, how they pass it along. How did this start when they realized there's this hot film out, we need to see it?

ANSARI: Like it did, it always does. It's always under the veil. Everything's under the veil. What I mean by that is that there's a movie out and someone wants to see it you can't just go to a video store like a Blockbuster, even though, you know, we don't find them here anymore either, but that's aside.

But anyway, so the thing is you go to your friend. You say, I want to see this video. So, the friend tells another friend who tells another friend and then, finally, it's hand-to-hand, backpack-to-backpack, and you have a copy of the video. And it's really just -- it's word of mouth that gets these things going.

MALVEAUX: So, the Iranian government has big problems with the storyline. They say this is not an accurate portrayal. Folks who are getting these bootleg copies, what do they think of this? What do they make of how Ben Affleck is tell, retelling, the hostage crisis?

ANSARI: Sure. I talked to people in Iran and also people in the Iranian-American community here in the States and it's this whole issue that they have with Hollywood, per se. It's that this anti- American sentiment is heightened. Those stereotypes are blown out of proportion, right?

And, so, this is more or less the issue that's going on. And we saw that in the movie, "Not Without My Daughter " in 1991 and then you had it again with "300," so it's a continuation of the narrative.

MALVEAUX: And Azadeh, if you're one of those people who's got a bootleg copy in Iran, do they come after you? Does the government come after you? Do they enforce this kind of thing or do they kind of ignore it?

ANSARI: It's -- well, you know, they know it's happening. It's like the big elephant in the room. Everyone knows it's happening. It just depends on what their mood is.

But I watched the "Titanic" for the first time in 1997, I swear, on a bootleg copy which was on VHS tape, and I think the video crashed more times than the actual ship sank, and I was like finally the ship sank, end of movie.

MALVEAUX: Sometimes you've got to see it that way, I guess.

All right, thank you, Azadeh.

ANSARI: You're welcome.

MALVEAUX: Really appreciate it.

Just two days away from the big game and the commissioner of the NFL is about to come out, face the media and possibly some tough questions about the future of the sport.

We're going to bring it to you live as soon as it starts.