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Prisoner X Found Dead; New Developments in Pistorius Case; Maker's Mark Stays Full Strength; Rubio Travels to the Middle East; Royal Love Affair Hits Big Screen

Aired February 18, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Australian officials have made no comment as to the Dubai connection, but they are looking into the Zygier case as far as his time in prison and how he died.

Now, when it comes to what they knew, Australian officials of the foreign ministry said that Australia did know that its citizen was inside an Israeli prison and died there, and the body was sent to the family.

The family, according to officials, never asked for an investigation. As you might imagine, this story is sparking a lot of debate here in Israel.

And, finally, the courts allowed the local media, and you can tell with newspapers with Zygier's face plastered all over them, that they are now allowed to report only what international media reports.

It has certainly sparked a debate about censorship in a country that's supposed to be a democracy and about prisoners' rights.

So far, the Israeli government has not said a word about the report or any details of the case.

Sara Sidner, CNN, outside Ayalon prison, Israel.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL": So, we do have an update on that because we finally heard from the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

And, Michael, it seems as if they are defending themselves, the way that they actually handled this ...


MALVEAUX: ... throughout the whole case.

HOLMES: This gag order that happened in Israel where they basically said is Israeli media can say nothing about this case at all, and they ended up having to cover it by quoting foreign media, as Sara was saying, was hugely controversial, but Benjamin Netanyahu, defending that by saying that pretty much we're a different case.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (via translator): We are not like other countries, we're a democracy and we guard the rights of defendants and individual rights no less than any other country.

But we are also more threatened, more challenged, and therefore, we have to ensure the proper operation of our security branches.

Therefore, I ask everyone to let the security services to continue working quietly so that we can continue to live in safety and tranquility in the state of Israel.


MALVEAUX: Another story we're following, we're trying to -- they are trying to get out any way that they can.

We're going to take you to a hiking trail. This is between Syria and Iraq. It means a difference between life and death for the refugees who are the run from that bloody civil war.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to "Newsroom International." We take you around the world in 60 minutes. Here's some of the top stories we're working on now.

HOLMES: Yeah, we're talking about the death of Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend. Well, police are saying she was shot four times through a bathroom door, and local media now reporting police are examining a blood-stained cricket bat which was found at the Olympic star's home.

He, of course, is facing a murder charge. He's going to be in a bail hearing tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: Coming off his State of the Union speech and his, of course, funny water-sipping moment, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is making a week-long trip to the Middle East.

He is visiting Israel and Jordan and meeting with Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers and Jordan's King Abdullah.

Rubio is seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, serves on the Senate intelligence and foreign relations committee.

HOLMES: Going to turn to Syria now. For tens of thousands of Syrians, every single day is a struggle just for survive. The fighting has forced so many people, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, to leave their homes.

MALVEAUX: In the north, they're making the long trek across the border into Iraq.

And, as Arwa Damon shows us, some families will stay while others will bring back supplies to those left behind.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The steady flow of man and beast extends as far as the eye can see.

Trudging along this old smuggling route between Syria and north Iraq, some too young to walk or know why they've left home, hunger forced them to leave.

Syria's Kurds have been spared the worst of Syria's bloodshed, but they are experiencing the same crippling shortages.

A man cradling his crying baby turns and says to us, "We can't live. We had to run away."

His family made the trip from a Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo. Weaving between front lines, it took them five days, most of it on foot.

The Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq have made this into a semi- official border crossing, run by their own fighters, the Peshmerga, not Iraqi guards.

It's an emergency step, they say, to deal with the numbers fleeing and make it easier for supplies to reach those who have stayed behind.

For some, it's a business, packing mules and horses with product bought in Iraqi Kurdistan to sell in Syria, or carrying as much as they can.

Along the side of the road around half an hour, 45-minute walk, from where everyone's crossing is this small market. And it sells just about anything that they can't find inside or that has become too expensive.

Here, we've got the stacks of frozen chicken, product of the USA. And inside, basic things, lentils, rice, macaroni, they're also selling a lot of candles and these lanterns here, too, because of the lack of power in Syria.

Sayid (ph) and his friends are determined to tough it out in home in Syria. But two years of upheaval have brought rampant inflation and unemployment.

"There is no work," Sayid (ph) says. "We can't afford to buy things at the market

So, once a week, they hike into Iraqi Kurdistan.

So even things like this are in short supply in Syria, your basic plastic pitcher to pour water from, so they've had to come into Iraqi Kurdistan to buy it.

In Syria, this costs around $2, and here, it's less than a dollar. And cigarettes, he bought cigarettes, as well.

It's far from your typical shopping trip. They want to show us how they get here. We climb a hill for a better view.

So, basically, they're forced to take this long winding dirt route. They can't just go straight over because they're concerned about the facts that the lands on either side are actually mined.

So, the Peshmerga have given them these leaflets warning about the mines and the unexploded ordnance that exists.

Twenty-four-year-old Asim's (ph) voice echoes through the hills, a song he wrote about all they've had to endure.

"We don't want death and killing," he says he's singing. "We want peace and freedom and security."

Peace, freedom and security, a dream far more distant than these hills.

Arwa Damon, CNN, on the Iraqi-Kurdistan-Syria border.


MALVEAUX: That's amazing long trek that they have to go through, back and forth, just to stay alive.

Michael, you have been up on that area?

HOLMES: I have been up on that Iraqi border there. Yeah, no, it's very mountainous, as you say. The terrain there is quite harsh, and especially in summer.

Of course, it's a little bit cooler now than it would be in summer. Very, very harsh and it's hard to imagine those people going through that.

Of course, smuggling across that border and also the Lebanese border is really a way of life, in peace-time, let alone wartime. This, though, is more literally to stay alive. Yeah.

Look, when we come back, I know you -- you don't look like a bourbon drinker, do you?

MALVEAUX: I'm not a bourbon drinker. I'm a wine gal myself.

HOLMES: I was going to say champagne. Yeah, champagne? Sauvignon blanc?

I mean, I'll lose my man card in Australia for saying I've gone off the beer lately. There's a little bit of that.

But, you know, there is an odd expression. We'll talk about that over drink later.

Another -- never water another man's whiskey. That's what they say. Well, the manufacturers of Maker's Mark bourbon have just learned that the hard way. MALVEAUX: I think they're threatening now to -- they're planning to water down the product because there's so many demand for bourbon, all over the whole world.

HOLMES: We'll tell you why after this.


MALVEAUX: All right. Maker's Mark is saying uncle.

The Kentucky bourbon maker now swears it's not going to be watering down the booze after all.

Last week, the company said it couldn't keep up with all this demand for, of course, its premium product, so it was going to stretch out the supply, until drinkers just went outright crazy.

Big revolt there, I want my bourbon!

HOLMES: What were they thinking? I mean, how do you say that to your market?

MALVEAUX: I think they can always up the price, you know, and the demand goes down a little bit, but ...

HOLMES: Yeah. Well, yeah, you'd think that'd be the way to go.

MALVEAUX: But people might get upset about that, too.

HOLMES: Who would turn around and say, we're going to water down the product. Really? Everybody went nuts.

Of course, one of the reasons demand is so high is that bourbon is apparently becoming, and I'm sure you knew this, more popular outside of the United States.

Why is my country highlighted? We don't drink that stuff.

Kat Kinsman joining us. She's the managing editor of CNN's Eatocracy. And if you haven't seen it -- you read that? I mean it's a great website.

MALVEAUX: Oh, I love it.

HOLMES: It's fantastic.

MALVEAUX: So, Kat, tell us about this. What they're now -- people are drinking in India, Japan, other folks, U.K.?

KAT KINSMAN, MANAGING EDITOR, CNN EATOCRACY: Oh, my goodness. This hit me really close to home. I grew up in Kentucky. They took us on class trips to the distillery.


KINSMAN: And -- yes. MALVEAUX: Are you serious?

KINSMAN: I am serious. My first sips of alcohol was bourbon. And it's got this --

HOLMES: I'm not going to ask how old you were.

MALVEAUX: Yes, this is a field trip for kids and you're drinking bourbon? Really?

KINSMAN: They -- well, no, we didn't -- I will clarify you. It wasn't on the field trip that we did -- that they -- they took us to.

HOLMES: You better move on right now before we --

MALVEAUX: This is a whole nother story.

KINSMAN: Right. But, you know, it's part -- it's engrained in the culture there. So it shocked everybody that they would be willing to leverage this long tradition that they had to satisfy a new market, rather than satisfy their ongoing loyal customer base. And believe me, they heard about it on social media from other distilleries and stuff, asking how could you? And they had to relent.

HOLMES: You know, it's a bit of a duh thing, really, when you think about it. Why would you do that? Now -- but for those who are uninitiated, and I think we are being wine drinkers, what's the difference between the regular whiskey and bourbon?

KINSMAN: OK. So whiskey is the larger group. Bourbon is a subset. And they're very particular things that you had to do in order to have it be considered bourbon. It has to be -- the mash mix of grains has to be at least 51 percent corn. It has to be aged in charred, white oak barrels. It can only have water added to it, whereas whiskey can add all different kinds of flavorings to it to get to where they need to go.

MALVEAUX: And, Kat, one of our producers told us, like, don't dare put an ice cube in bourbon, if you haven't said that's OK, because that's like --


MALVEAUX: That's a big, big faux pas, yes? No --

KINSMAN: Well, no, it really -- I think whiskey is a deeply, deeply personal thing and everybody has their own way that they like to drink it. Some people with cola, some people with ice, some people with a little bit of water --

HOLMES: Yes, you just don't -- you just don't do it to someone else without asking, I think that's it.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I think that's the main thing.

KINSMAN: Oh, no, -- that -- I think that is a crime actually on the books in Kentucky.

HOLMES: Right. You've got to check out Eatocracy, too.

MALVEAUX: I'm going to stick with my wine.

HOLMES: Well, you do -- you know it. Yes, me too.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I'm going to stick with my win, my chardonnay. I'm more comfortable with that.

HOLMES: Yes. After the show, all right, all right?

Kat, we won't ask again about when you started drinking bourbon, but a great Web site, Eatocracy. Good to see you, Kat.

KINSMAN: Thanks. Good to see you too.

MALVEAUX: Another story we're following. A real life love affair involves a mentally ill king, an adulterous teenager and a doctor. And there's no wonder the story, of course, made into a movie. It's now up for an Oscar. We're going to give you a behind the scenes look at the film's director.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone, to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we take you around the world in 60 minutes. We've used about 50 of them already.

Now, coming up, this is a love affair involving a mentally ill king, a doctor and a teenager. Sounds like a movie. Guess what, it is.

MALVEAUX: But it's a real-life story, actually. One that took place in Denmark. This was n the 1800s. Becky Anderson, she takes us to an inside look. This is an Oscar-nominated movie and it is based on the affair.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a story that has gripped Denmark for generations. A love triangle involving a mentally ill Danish king, his most trusted adviser, and his adulterous teenage wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our affair will change a nation forever.

ANDERSON: Now this 18th century scandal has come to the silver screen thanks to Danish writer/director Nickolaj Arcel. "A Royal Affair" is his first major feature film and it's in the running for best foreign language firm at the Oscars.

ANDERSON (on camera): It feels much darker and much grittier than a Hollywood historical or period piece. Was that intentional?

NICKOLAJ ARCEL, DIRECTOR, "A ROYAL AFFAIR": We really tried to stay very close to the characters and be very intimate with them and try to sort of imagine how it would be to be living in that world at that time and experiencing these things instead of just pulling back and looking at all the nice dresses, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You recognize me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I would recognize you blindfolded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bu you costume is not very imaginative.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The film stars Danish movie icon Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role, but Arcel took a risk in casting two unknowns actors as the royal couple.

ANDERSON (on camera): Talk to me about the casting. I'm fascinating. Mikkel, who plays the king, I believe he's still in acting school. And Alicia, who plays the queen, was unknown when you cast her. What were you thinking?

ARCEL: I was trying to find, you know, an actress with that certain regal quality to her. That had -- and then I found Alicia in Sweden, actually. She had to learn Danish for this part. And she had that special qualities. She was a dancer before she became an actress. She was an unknown, but she was so right for the part.

And the same with Mikkel, you know, who plays the king. He was in drama school when we found him. He had never done anything before. But, again, when you find somebody who's that right for the part, you can't let that go.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Arcel's mentor, celebrated Danish director Lars von Trier, is an executive producer on the film.

ARCEL: I wanted somebody who was totally different from me to have that other kind of set of eyes on the film. And I think that was so helpful in so many ways, especially in the editing where he came in several times and sort of saw the film and gave his notes and so that was really good.

ANDERSON: Arcel is one of a number of Danish directors influenced by von Trier who are now making their mark on the global TV and film industry.

ANDERSON (on camera): Danish directors have had quite considerable success in Hollywood of late. I'm thinking "Drive" and "Antichrist." What is it about Danish movies that are resonating, do you think, specifically in America?

ARCEL: I think the films are -- they have a slight edge that people really love, but they're also quite mainstream in the actual storytelling, as well as "Royal Affair" is. So I think that that's probably one of the reasons, it resonates.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MALVEAUX: Fifty years after Camelot, some of JFK's personal items have been auctioned off, including his bomber jacket. We're going to tell you how much it actually went for.


MALVEAUX: An Air Force One bomber jacket once worn by JFK, it was a top seller at an auction of Kennedy family memorabilia. The leather jacket with a presidential patch sold for $629,000. A lot of stuff.

HOLMES: Unbelievable.

MALVEAUX: Can you believe that they -- I mean, that's huge?

HOLMES: That is huge. That's a lot of money.

Now, other items that were up, by the way, including a birthday card from John-John to his dad, and a marked up itinerary for JFK's 1963 trip, of course, to Dallas. Now, relatives found those items at the home of one of JFK's special assistants.

Now, that will do it for me. Day one of (INAUDIBLE) pretty well (ph).

MALVEAUX: Will you come back tomorrow?

HOLMES: I would be delighted.

MALVEAUX: I think it worked out pretty well.

HOLMES: I enjoyed it so much. That will do it for me, but you'll be back.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I'll be back, of course, for more of CNN NEWSROOM right after this break.