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Kim Jong-un Hosts Dennis Rodman; Water Guns in Church?; Preparing for the Papal Conclave; The Senate Voting Now on Hagel Nomination; Obama to Speak in Virginia; Pistorius Case Mirrors 2004 Case; Honey Boo Boo Goes Global

Aired February 26, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CO-ANCHOR, "AROUND THE WORLD": Welcome back to "Around the World." Here are the top stories that we're following right now.

In Luxor, Egypt, at least 19 people are dead after a hot air balloon filled with tourists exploded and crashed.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-ANCHOR, "AROUND THE WORLD": Yeah, this balloon was flying high above ancient Egyptian sites, about 1,000 feet up, actually, when the accident happened.

The local government has for now banned all balloon flights while they investigate.

MALVEAUX: In North Korea, Dennis Rodman, aka "The Worm," arrived in Pyongyang today with the Harlem Globetrotters. You might call it "basketball diplomacy."

HOLMES: Yeah, the eccentric, retired NBA star -- eccentric's one word for it -- he's there to film the documentary with the Vice production company for an upcoming HBO series.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is reportedly an avid NBA fan and had pictures taken with one Rodman's old teams, the Chicago Bulls, during his school days in Switzerland.

MALVEAUX: The weeklong trip is going to include a youth basketball camp for Korean children, as well.

And in Mexico, Catholic priests trying to get more young people interested in the church by employing some rather unusual tricks like this, using a water gun to spray holy water on the congregation.

Reverend Humberto Alvarez says kids don't have a chance to play in the streets much because of the drug cartels and the organized crime that's in the town.

HOLMES: Yeah, he says many of the kids have never played with a water gun. He wants to bring a sense of fun into their lives. Alvarez also entertains the kids by wearing robes decorated with images of superheroes.

MALVEAUX: I didn't know you were allowed to do that, use holy water in a gun.

All right, dramatic, new video showing a Sea Shepherd vessel sandwiched between a Japanese whaler and a fuel tanker. This is in the Antarctic Ocean. It happened -- this was actually on Monday.

HOLMES: Yeah, the Sea Shepherd, it's an environmental group based in Australia, actually. It's militantly opposed to Japan's whale- hunting, do get out there and protest all the time.

But look at what happened there. Each side, by the way, accusing the other of causing this dangerous collision.

No injuries reported, but this happening on the high seas, boy, that's dramatic.

MALVEAUX: All right, for the more than 1 billion Catholics around the world, this should be a time, of course, of celebration.

The cardinals, they're soon going to decide. They're going to choose a new pope, who's going to be the spiritual leader for, of course, a long time to come. Everybody's watching this, yes.

HOLMES: So many recent scandals, of course, surrounding the church. Many people are wondering whether the institution itself is troubled and needs a little guidance, as well.

Now, one indication that the church has strayed from its spiritual path, this is the priest sex abuse scandal that rocked the church to its foundation and it's still playing out of course.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, so, we're talking with two guests who actually know a lot about this, the scandal, as well.

Michael Rezendes, he's an investigative reporter with the "Boston Globe," shared the newspaper's 2003 Pulitzer Prize for the stories of the clergy sex abuse cover-up and, of course, John Allen, he's our senior Vatican analyst.

So, Michael, first of all to you, because a lot of us have been talking about this, you covered this for quite some time. Your investigation of priest sexual abuse in Boston, a long time ago, would turn into something that eventually would impact the whole Catholic Church around the world.

Did you have any idea what you were sitting on?

MICHAEL REZENDES, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "BOSTON GLOBE": Well, when I'm started the investigation with my colleagues on the "Globe Spotlight" team, I had absolutely no idea how big this scandal would be.

I had no idea big -- I had no idea how big it would be in the Boston archdiocese, never mind the United States and never mind the rest of the world.

It's much, much bigger than I had ever imagined. HOLMES: You're not the first one who did say this, but you did write that the gay priest issue in the church is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tell us what you meant by that because, as I say, you're not the only one saying that.

REZENDES: Well, I think it's the tip of the iceberg because it's pretty well known that there are a lot of gay clergy in the Catholic Church, and the church itself teaches that homosexuality is wrong, that it's an intrinsic disorder.

And I think the fact that you have so many gay priests in the clergy presents the Vatican with an issue of hypocrisy and it's bound to come to a head sooner or later, and it looks like that might be now.

MALVEAUX: We're hearing from those, Christiane Amanpour, talking to church officials, they say, really, that this is the next bombshell, that this is something that we're going to discover.

Make some sense of all this. Pick apart these two issues that are happening here.

Because on the one hand, you have priests taking the vow of celibacy which has been broken. On the other hand, you have homosexuality and then, over here, you have the issue of pedophilia.

What do you make of what is taking place, overall, the big picture in the Catholic Church?

REZENDES: Well, I think the church has an overall issue with sexuality.

But I think the two problems that you just mentioned are very different and that, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay. However, pedophilia, the rape of a child, this is a crime. This is a terrific and great wrong.

So -- but for the church itself, I think the overarching theme is how it addresses issues of sexuality. It has priests who are abusing children, there are gay priests who are having relationships, and you have a situation where the church does not allow women to be ordained.

So, overall, the church has this huge problem, I think, addressing sexuality.

HOLMES: Yeah, let's bring in John Allen.

John, I want to ask you, when the conclave gets together, do you sense that they're -- and we've got to remember that most of the cardinals voting were appointed either by Pope John Paul or by this pope -- is there any sense of appetite, given these issues that are, you know, really tearing apart the church in many ways, that there's going to be change?

Is there going to be a mandate for the new pope to do actually something that will be meaningful and effective?

JOHN ALLEN, NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER: Well, Michael, actually, to be honest, it's not just most. It is all of the 115 cardinals who will vote in this conclave who are were appointed either by John Paul the II or Benedict the XVI.

Therefore, on the kind of hot-button issues that we've been talking about during this segment, things like the ordination of women to the priesthood or church teaching on sexuality, I do not believe it is particularly realistic to think that whoever emerges from the Sistine Chapel as the next pope of the Catholic Church is going to be -- is going to overturn church teachings on those points.

I do think what is perhaps not only realistic, but quite probable, is that one thing that is very much going to be on the minds of the cardinals who are electing the next pope is that, whatever else they do, it is critical to make sure that whoever they pick has a profile of having clean hands on the crisis. That is, he has to come across as part of the solution to this crisis rather than part of the problem.

HOLMES: Yeah, John, thanks so much for your analysis as always. And also, Michael Rezendes, thanks so much for joining us here.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, coming up "Around the World," the Oscar Pistorius case now attracting worldwide attention. Everybody seems to have an opinion on actually what they believe happened.

HOLMES: Yeah, but wait until you see this story. A mother and father in South Africa, they know, they say, firsthand, what the athlete is going through.

We'll have that when we come back.


MALVEAUX: We've got some breaking news here. The Hagel vote happening now in the Senate floor.

Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.

So, Dana, I want to go to you. I understand 15 Republicans voting with the Democrats to move forward on the official vote for Hagel, Chuck Hagel, as defense secretary.

How did it break down? What do we know?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, after all of the division, all of the debate, and all of the delay, this was a pretty bipartisan vote to stop this filibuster and to allow the Hagel nomination to go through, 71-to-27.

That's right, 71-to-27. It wasn't even close to move this along. And we believe actually maybe more towards 18 Republicans. We're trying to get the final breakdown. It depends on how many Democrats votes. But we also can report that the final confirmation vote will now happen in about two hours-plus, 4:30 Eastern. So -- three hours, I should say.

So, by the end of the day, Chuck Hagel, according to that vote, will be officially confirmed by the Senate as the next defense secretary, after a lot of partisan division and pretty ugly back-and-forth about him and about his positions and it's gotten pretty personal.

MALVEAUX: And I want to bring in Barbara Starr at the Pentagon because, Barbara, obviously, there are some things he's going to be dealing with straightaway, the relationship with Israel, that was something that he came under fire, as well as unanswered questions about Benghazi, the attack in Libya.


And there is a plan in place here at the Pentagon already for him to basically, as they say, hit the ground running tomorrow morning.

Expect, if that vote happens on Capitol Hill late today, that Hagel will come to the Pentagon tomorrow morning, first thing. He will be sworn into office.

The plan calls for him now to meet very quickly with Pentagon workers and military personnel here, possibly to have a major town hall meeting.

Remember, he is coming here on the cusp of sequestration happening, something that could lead to 800,000 Defense Department workers being furloughed.

So, look for him to move quickly, to be very strong on his opposition to that, very strong on his support for the troops, and to give off that aura that he is now in charge and he will be the one dealing with the threats from Iran and North Korea.

The whole plan is to make sure after all of this, Chuck Hagel, sworn into office tomorrow morning, will be in charge and Congress, they hope, will deal with him.

That will be the big question. Is he so damaged by this nasty confirmation process that he's going to have to trouble dealing with Congress?

HOLMES: Yeah, Barbara Starr, Dana Bash, thanks so much. That moving on at last.

All right, we're awaiting President Obama's arrival, by the way, at a rally in Virginia. The president is to speak in Newport News about forced spending cuts that will take effect on Friday which we've been chatting about.

MALVEAUX: So, the president, of course, is -- he's been holding various events, this one a campaign-style event. This is what you could call "military country" where local residents are going to bear the brunt of the mandatory cuts to defense spending.

In all, we're talking about $85 billion in cuts. How they're going to impact defense, social programs, unless Congress and the White House actually reach a new budget deal.

HOLMES: Yeah, we're going to carry those remarks, live, of course, right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: In South Africa, Oscar Pistorius' family says he's going to hold a private memorial service today for his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Pistorius, of course, is free on bail on murder charges after he shot and killed Steenkamp at his home. He has, of course, been arguing he thought she was an intruder .

MALVEAUX: In South Africa, the murder charges against him for the shooting death of his girlfriend, it is not the first such case. Actually, Nic Robertson reports there was a tragedy back in 2004 that is very similar to this shooting.

HOLMES: Yes, it brought back some horrible memories for a prominent South African sportsman and his family.


FRIEDA VISAGIE, SHOOTING VICTIM'S MOTHER: That is when the evening before (INAUDIBLE) was shot.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the last picture you have?

F. VISAGIE: The last picture.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Marley (ph) was 19. Just out of high school. Her mother Frieda, so proud.

F. VISAGIE: She was pretty. Even --

ROBERTSON (on camera): Oh, she's beautiful. She's beautiful.

F. VISAGIE: Even she's my daughter but she was pretty.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Frieda and her husband, Rudi Visagie, a former international rugby star, remember every detail of the night in 2004.

F. VISAGIE: Sunday morning, 23rd of May, about 5:00 in the morning, a sound, a noise woke me up.

ROBERTSON: Frieda thought Marley's car was being stolen and woke Rudy.

RUDI VISAGIE, SHOOTING VICTIM'S FATHER: I jumped up and I saw it. And I took out the pistol. ROBERTSON: Rudy was afraid. Two of their neighbors had been killed the week before. He broke the bedroom window and shot at the thief.

F. VISAGIE: I heard Rudy growling. And I wondered, what's happening now? And then he told me, but it's Marley in the car.

ROBERTSON: In that instant, their lives changed forever.

R. VISAGIE: So that -- that one shot out of a million, went right -- went right through the door, penetrated my daughter through the neck. And she was actually dead on the site.

ROBERTSON: Visagie was not prosecuted. The court decided he had suffered enough, saying we feel he has learned a hard lesson and the courts cannot achieve more than that.

F. VISAGIE: I wish she could be with me. And I see daughters with their little children. You know, I wish I had these little children.

ROBERTSON: And they feel the pain of Oscar Pistorius, "the blade runner," who shot and killed his glamour model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, he says fearing a thief was in his house.

R. VISAGIE: Nic, I can tell him, I feel with you.

F. VISAGIE: I couldn't forgive myself because I woke Rudi up. So I can sort of feel what he feels. Why did I do this? What if, you know, all those questions that goes through his head.

ROBERTSON: Today, both say their faith in God saved them. That Marley's death was part of God's plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women are being abused. Women are being raped. People are being oppressed.

ROBERTSON: At their evangelical church, they've become leaders, often sent all over the country to counsel trauma victims.

R. VISAGIE: I just want to encourage him to say, listen, there's a lot of people praying for you and know they feel for you for what you're going through now.

ROBERTSON: Both say, if he calls, they are ready to help.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Nelstrate (ph), South Africa.



HOLMES: We're fighting over who has --

MALVEAUX: Who has to tell the story.

HOLMES: Who has to tell this story.

Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD"

It turns out the United States isn't big enough for -- I have to say -- Honey Boo Boo.

MALVEAUX: Yes, we are actually saying it on our air. Neither one of us has seen the show, but we know who she is.

HOLMES: Oh, yes. Seen enough.

MALVEAUX: We know who she is, right?


MALVEAUX: The six-year-old. She's the beauty queen. The family, of course, all around her. Well, it's now going global.

HOLMES: The whole world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ice skating freaks me out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alana was pretty apprehensum (sic). Was pretty skeptical the first time. But once she got onto the ice, I couldn't get her off. It was --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's apstamentical (sic)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, the person in the family that has the most Olympic potential would probably be Kaitlyn, because you never known with them three thumbs, she might be able to spin a pirouette.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you -- don't you fall on me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mama walked out onto the ice and it didn't crack. It's a Christmas miracle!


MALVEAUX: All right. So this is going out to Sweden, Italy, Latin America, a whole bunch of places around the world.

HOLMES: For the edification of the viewing public internationally. Marisa Guthrie is a senior writer for "The Hollywood Reporter," follows reality television.

Say it isn't true.

MALVEAUX: Say it ain't so.

MARISA GUTHRIE, SENIOR WRITER, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": I'm sorry, it is so. She's actually already in eastern Europe where she's quite popular.

HOLMES: Really?

GUTHRIE: Really.

HOLMES: The obvious question is, why?

MALVEAUX: What's the deal? Tell us what -- yes, tell us what's the appeal here?

GUTHRIE: Well, I think the appeal of the show -- I mean when you really sort of get down and, you know, borough into the psychological layers here, is that it's about unconditional love. You don't have to be successful. You don't even have to have all your teeth, but your family will be there and they will love you.

HOLMES: There's a lot of reality TV shows out there that exploit, you know, parts of American culture, I suppose. You know, you look at "Jersey Shore." I once caught my daughter watching the Kadardashians --

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes. OK.

HOLMES: And, of course, leapt in front of the TV in the defensive position there. You know, why -- why -- I suppose we can be a little bit sensitive about it, can't we, you know?

GUTHRIE: Well, I think, look, I mean this is -- these are subcultures that, you know, a lot of us aren't living. So it's interesting to look at them and see how these other people live. I mean you can think of it as, you know, maybe is this exploitation because she's a seven- year-old child? But, you know, ultimately, at the end of the day, you know, there's so many of these shows that you need to really rise above the noise with something different and this is -- has fit that bill.

MALVEAUX: Marisa, tell us a little bit about the fact -- I mean it's nothing new that you've got shows that are exported. Michael and I were talking about it. When you live overseas I remember it was "Dallas," "Falcon Crest."


MALVEAUX: There's always this big question of whether or not people are going to assume that this is the way all Americans live their lives or all Americans are this way. What do you make of what people think of this show? Honey Boo Boo in the larger picture of, you know, are American kids like this?

GUTHRIE: Well, I mean, it has certainly come in for a lot of criticism here. But we export so much content to Europe, to Latin America, to eastern Europe -- to Asia, I mean eastern Europe. So I think that, you know, we're -- I think other countries know that we're not sort of a monolithic society. And, you know, what's interesting about this is that, in Latin America, they're apparently going to dub Honey Boo Boo and it already airs in English with subtitles. So it's going to be interesting to see, you know, if there is something actually lost in translation when it's dubbed.

MALVEAUX: Yes. It's a huge hit. HOLMES: It is. And I'll tell you what, at the end of the day, they're laughing all the way to the bank, too. That's the other thing.


HOLMES: They're making a fortune.

MALVEAUX: They're doing pretty well, I'm sure.

GUTHRIE: Absolutely.

HOLMES: Yes, good to see you, Marisa. Marisa Guthrie there.

GUTHRIE: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: All right, thanks.

Coming up AROUND THE WORLD, Michelle Obama presented the award for best picture.

HOLMES: Yes, at the Oscars. Remember that. But Iran thought her outfit needed a few accessories. The altered version coming up.


HOLMES: All right, got some new video in for you. This is President Obama just moments ago actually touring the Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility. You've never heard of that? Really? This is a large building at the Newport News shipyard, actually, in Virginia.

MALVEAUX: So, what it does, it supports the building of large sections of nuclear attack subs, specializes in the construction of these -- the front end of these submarines. We're standing by for the president to speak about it and the kinds of cuts, the spending cuts, that are going to go into effect on Friday, how it could actually impact this particular shipyard. We're talking about $85 billion in cuts. It's going to impact defense, social programs, unless Congress and the White House reach some kind of new budget deal by Friday.

HOLMES: Yes, we're going to carry those remarks, of course, live right here on CNN in about 15 minutes. And just repeating, it's from the Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility.


HOLMES: Have you been there?

MALVEAUX: No, I haven't.

HOLMES: No. Me too.

All right, when Michelle Obama presented the Academy Award for best picture, in the U.S, ladies, her first gown was a bit of a hit.


HOLMES: But not so much in Iran.

MALVEAUX: Yes, this is kind of interesting. So the Iranian news agency, they made some virtual alterations to this Oscar night wardrobe, adding the sleeves, raising the neckline on this glittery gown before circulating the image. Of course, it was considered too revealing for those in Iran.

HOLMES: Yes, and this is, of course, before announcing the best picture, Mrs. Obama wore the dress to a White House dinner for the nation's governors but as far as we know did not complain, about the gown that is. And, of course, it was "Argo" that won which is seen by Iran as being anti-Iranian and all.


HOLMES: It's not the first time they --

MALVEAUX: They had to make it a little bit more modest.


MALVEAUX: It was gorgeous.

HOLMES: Yes. It was --

MALVEAUX: It was very nice.

HOLMES: Yes, it was lovely. All right, that'll do it for me. Thanks for watching "AROUND THE WORLD." You carry on, won't you?

MALVEAUX: I will. I'll carry on, mate.

HOLMES: See you tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: All right, good deal.