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Vatican Preps for Conclave; Americans Killed In Afghan Attack, Facebook COO's Book Dominates Discussion; Interview with Rene Syler; Women Balancing Work and Home; Queen Elizabeth II May Back Gay Rights

Aired March 11, 2013 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux in D.C. today.

Michael, great to see you. I missed you last week.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: I miss you now. I'm Michael Holmes. Good to have you at least back here on the program. We'd like to welcome also our viewers both here in the United States and also around the world.

We're going to begin today in Wardak providence. That's in eastern Afghanistan. It's not too far from Kabul. There has been another insider attack there. Two American soldiers killed this morning when a gunman wearing an Afghan security forces uniform opened fire on a group of NATO and Afghan service members. Ten other U.S. service members wounded in that attack. Coming up in a few minutes, we're going to go to our Nick Paton Walsh, who is following this story for us.

MALVEAUX: North Korea has declared the armistice agreement with South Korea now dead. It is the truce signed in 1953 that ended a three year war between the two Koreas. Since it is not a peace treaty, technically the two sides remain at war. Well, in the communist party's leading newspaper, "The Supreme Command," says it can now make a strike of justice at any target, any time.

Also, the scrapping of the agreement comes at a time when the U.S. and South Korea are conducting joint military exercises. North Korea has called these training exercises, quote, "open declaration of war." But South Korea insists the drills are only defensive in nature. Since the U.N. passed tougher sanctions on North Korea last week, the country has now escalated its threats.

HOLMES: Gathering today at a national memorial service on this the second anniversary of Japan's worst natural disaster in memory. Nearly 19,000 people died after a massive earthquake hit triggering that destructive tsunami. Today, Japan still dealing with the economic and environmental fallout. More than 300,000 people still living in temporary housing.

In Vatican City they are almost ready to begin the process of electing the next pope. Cardinals meeting earlier today in their final congregational meeting ahead of the conclave, which, of course, starts tomorrow, Tuesday. Staff helping with the conclave, including priests, nuns and doctors, take their oath of secrecy just about half an hour or so from now.

MALVEAUX: And take you now to the place where there are thousands, we are talking thousands and thousands of journalists from around the world covering one of this year's biggest stories. Of course we're talking about Vatican City. That is where the cardinals have gathered to select a new pope for the roman catholic church.

HOLMES: Indeed they have. CNN's Chris Cuomo and John Allen both in Rome.

Chris, I know you've spoken with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. What's he been saying and what else is happening there before they begin tomorrow's conclave and voting in the Sistine Chapel? I know this is not an exclusive for you. You're one of 5,600 accredited journalists.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know. At least, right? And for Cardinal Dolan, I'm certainly not exclusive in terms of who he's been talking to. He's very charismatic, very outspoken with the media. And it's interesting, I think it's a little bit surprising that he has gotten as much play over here during the general congregations as he has. The cardinal chooses to dismiss it with comic relief. Yesterday he was says he's ready to go home. He's out of socks. He wants green socks because it's going to be St. Patrick's Day. He's got enough red in his wardrobe.

But he also gave us a window into how solemn and how serious this occasion is. This is his first conclave, obviously, as cardinal to vote. And that there's an intensity of purpose here that even the cardinal with the smile on his face obviously betrays every time he talks about why he's here.

MALVEAUX: Hey, John, I want you to jump in here. I know Chris has his green on already, but tell us, who are the people that we should be watching for that the cardinals could be selecting as our next pope?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, first of all, Suzanne, we should say that Cardinal Dolan is not the only one playing down his chances of being pope. When Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who has also gotten a lot of buzz, is asked the same question, what he always says is, he bought a round trip ticket back to Boston and he plans to use it. So, you know, there's sort of an informal taboo against putting yourself forward as a candidate. These guys have got it down.

In terms of who to look for, here's what I would say. That the huge difference between the conclave of 2013 and 2005 is the last time we had a clear front runner in the form of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who came out as Pope Benedict XVI. This time what you've got instead are three, four, maybe even five guys who have strong support, but no one of them towers over the other. So guys like Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, a real intellectual but with lots of nuts and bolts experience, Cardinal Mark Willett of Canada, who's spent 12 years in Latin America and Columbia, now runs the Vatican's department for making bishops all over the world, Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Brazil, who is an old Vatican hand, but also represents the church outside the west, which is where two-thirds of those 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today live.

I think all of these guys are plausible. The problem is figuring out the math of how does any one of them get to that magic threshold of two-thirds of the vote, which is 77 votes.


HOLMES: And, Chris, I'm curious about this too. You know, in terms of making a cardinal a frontrunner, what would be the factors involved? Especially since you've got a situation with the differing views among the cardinals of what is required to get the church back on track. I mean could we end up with more or less a compromise candidate?

CUOMO: Right. And I think that's the right question. Obviously I benefit mostly from the knowledge of John Allen, who's been filling my head up with all these different permutations. But here's what we know. With Benedict resigning, it created a novelty, it created a potential watershed moment for change. That's what we're hearing from sources in the Vatican here, that this is real. When the foreign cardinals, as they're known, as opposed to the curia (ph), the Roman insider cardinals showed up, there was real friction. There was really, we need to talk. We don't want to set the conclave date right away.

And what that creates, unlike traditional or American politics, where, as Suzanne knows, when you have head-to-head competition and it's very close, the candidates make compromises to have consensus. Here, the cardinals could decide well neither John nor Chris has potential papal candidates -- I hope you're OK with that John for this hypothetical, that they will dismiss us both because maybe God intends neither of us to be pope. That's when you get a third man in. An insurgent. That's how in 1978 we got John Paul II. That's what gives hope for a Willett. That's what gives Americans a little bit, a whisper, a prayer of a hope that it could be a North American like Sean O'Malley, cardinal from Boston, or Cardinal Timothy Dolan. And if you're going to have a prayer in an election, this is the election to have a prayer in, obviously, at the conclave.

HOLMES: Yes. Good to see you both. Chris Cuomo, John Allen. Chris, I wouldn't rule John Allen out. I've known him a number of years. He could still be in play here. Good to see you both.

HOLMES: All right, I want to get back to our top story this --

ALLEN: People elected (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: Excellent.

Our top story this hour is this. Two American soldiers killed this morning in eastern Afghanistan. A gunman wearing an Afghan security forces uniform opening fire on a group of NATO and Afghan service members. Ten other U.S. service members wounded in that attack. Our Nick Paton Walsh following the story for us from Beirut.

Nick, just in the last little while, we've heard the green berets were perhaps involved in the attack. Tell us about that. NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are getting more details around this attack, Michael, of green berets involved. Not clear if they are amongst the dead or injured here. But this is at a joint base which they were using, along it seems with other U.S. type of troop and Afghan soldiers and perhaps police as well. We understand from Afghan officials that this one shooter, not clear if he actually was Afghan security forces or not, he left on the back of a truck and used a heavy machine gun to make this particular attack, as you say, that left 10 Americans injured and two dead.

This at a joint patrol base in the area known as Wardak, which is to the sort of southwest of the capital, Kabul. A vital area. Most important, though, the timing here. This is on a day in which President Hamid Karzai had asked that all U.S. special forces be removed from that province after allegations that a militia loyal to them was involved in a murder of a young man there. Vital timing, Michael, and a terrible incident.

MALVEAUX: Nick, I want to ask you this here because obviously Michael spent a lot of time in Afghanistan. I've had an opportunity to interview Hamid Karzai and he often says very inflammatory things just to see if he can get a reaction, if you will, out of the president of the United States. In this case, President Obama. He has now said that he believes the U.S. is in cahoots with the Taliban. But there's been a lot of back and forth over the U.S. and their discussions with the Taliban perhaps even a peace agreement at some point. What do you think is behind Karzai's accusation here?

WALSH: Let's put those comments in context. He said that a recent bombing in Kabul was perhaps the result of U.S./Taliban collusion. That the U.S. is somehow trying to foment violence with the insurgents to give a reason to have a more permanent military presence in the country. Dismissed out of hand by NATO, of course, and I'm sure many Afghans will consider that to be highly unlikely.

But it was made on the first visit of Chuck Hagel, the new secretary of defense, to Kabul, alongside the new ISF commander, General Dunford. So couldn't really have picked a worse time and make that kind of suggestion. And I think many are seeing him as playing to a domestic audience certainly. He's got a lot of challenges ahead in the months ahead. He's leaving power in 2014, has yet to anoint his successor who he can support in elections. And perhaps some say he's trying to play on the anti-American sentiment amongst many Afghans after this long and increasingly unpopular campaign in the hope perhaps that that will shore up his power base and try and keep the people he wants in power.


MALVEAUX: All right, Nick, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Here's more of what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD.

Lean in and go for it. That is what the COO of FaceBook is saying. Find out why she says many women are scared to go after leadership roles. What might actually be holding them back. Very controversial, Michael.

HOLMES: Very. And we're going to have an interesting discussion a little later in the program, too, two years after the tsunami that devastated northern Japan. Many say the environmental impacts still being felt thousands of miles away. Don't miss this story.

MALVEAUX: And "Playboy" in the holy land.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are people telling me, why are you doing that? And then they like open their eyes like I'm doing something very wrong.


MALVEAUX: Details on Israel's new controversial magazine.


MALVEAUX: FaceBook's COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book "Lean In" being called the new feminist manifesto. But not all folks, not all women in particular, happy about the message. She is a very powerful mother of two and she says that women sometimes can undermine their own ambitions, holding themselves back from going for leadership positions. Mostly she says because they want a family.

HOLMES: Yes. And that message is causing surprise, surprise, a lot of controversy among working women everywhere. Also on the blogs and even in the boardroom. The 43-year-old spoke to "60 Minutes" about it last night.


SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK COO: They start leaning back. They say, oh, I'm busy. I want to have a child one day. I couldn't possibly, you know, take on any more. Or I'm still learning on my current job. I've never had a man say that stuff to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're suggesting women aren't ambitious?

SANDBERG: I'm not suggesting women aren't ambitious. Plenty of women are as ambitious as men. But I am saying, and I want to say it unequivocally and unapologetically, that the data is clear that when it comes to ambition to lead, to be the leader of whatever you're doing, men, boys outnumber girls and women.


HOLMES: And joining us now is Rene Syler, a former CBS News anchor. Spent 20 years in the business. Now she's written the book "Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting." That sounds like parenting to me. She also launched the website I got to go there. This sounds terrific.

Rene, now one of the messages of Sandberg's book is that often women leave before they lead. Meaning they hold back on their ambitions on the job because they want to have a better work life balance with their kids at home. Now, what do you think? Do you think that's true?

RENE SYLER, FORMER CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Well, first of all, I think there were probably a lot of women at home who were nodding in solidarity with a lot of the things that Sheryl Sandberg was saying when she talked a lot about even like negotiating for money and the work-life balance and having a partner who could actually help support your ambitions.

I mean, that's -- I myself was thinking, oh, yeah, yeah, that's right. She did state a lot of things that we already know. I'm surprised by some the backlash, frankly, and a little bit disheartened by it.

MALVEAUX: And, Rene, you and I have known each other for a long time. We know this business is not easy. This business is not easy for women and especially you. You're one of those people who does it all, right? I mean, CBS, you were waking up super early in the morning. You had the kids, so you're a mom. You're a working mom, all of that.

And, you know, it pains me sometimes to hear women talk about the guilt, but there is in some way that feeling, right? Always that kind of tug, if you will, about children and family and being able to really sustain a really tough and ambitious job.

What do you think of the point she made there? That that is sometimes you can make those kinds of sacrifices? Was that the case for you?

SYLER: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. I remember very clearly when I was getting up at 3:30 in the morning and I was anchoring the news at CBS and I was -- during the commercial breaks, I would run into the air lock and I would call home to make sure that everybody was awake and they were on their way to school.

And I remember I was getting ready -- there was a guest who was in the air lock with me and she said, I thought you would have hired someone to do that for you. And I said, well, I didn't have these kids to abdicate raising them to somebody else. I mean, they're still my children.

And I think it just speaks to the struggle that women have, no matter what your role, no matter what job you have, which is that you still have sort of one foot in the home front and one foot in the working world, and you're trying your very best to do both.

The whole premise behind was that, you know what, you don't have to be perfect to be a great parent. There are some things you're going to do very, very well, and there are some things that you're probably not going to do so hot.

And you have to be OK and understand that mistakes are learning tools. They're learning -- they're examples of things not to do again.

They're not the end of the world. In fact, I believe that there's a lot of learning to be done in the valleys, so, you know, that was kind of my message. HOLMES: I tell you, as a man, I'm surrounded by my producer at CNN International, the producer of this program, working mothers who get in at like 4:00 in the morning, 3:00 in the morning. What's your message to working mothers in America on your blog, you know, GoodEnoughMother?

SYLER: Yeah, well, the whole idea is that I think what Sheryl Sandberg is trying to say and I don't purport to speak for her, but I think that she's trying to say that this is not a one-size-fits-all. You have to find what your happiness is, what makes you happy. And you don't -- you sort of have to tune out all of the other stuff, the noise, the rhetoric, what society says is a good mom, and do what works for you.

You know, look, I'm on a job right now that has me on the road half of the time. Luckily, I have good support at home. I have a great husband, shout-out to him. And when she talked about that with her husband and her partner because, you know, there -- when she said her husband does laundry and that that was very sexy and that that -- and picking the right partner and things like that. I mean, that's very true.

Fear is a bad, bad thing, and I know in my own situation the times that I've leaned back is because I was worried about what people would say, how they would react, what they thought if I stood up and said, hey, I don't like that. I was worried about what people thought, and that's really not the way to go. You know, my message to women, to my daughter, is not everybody's going to like you, so let that be their problem.

MALVEAUX: All right. Amen, Rene.

HOLMES: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I -- to be honest, I don't know these days why there's even a question about the dads chipping in, the partners chipping in and making it easier for the moms to be in the workforce. I don't get that to be honest.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, and, Michael, you're a good dad.

SYLER: Michael, you'd be surprised.

HOLMES: I try to be.

SYLTER: You'd be surprised how many people write in with that very thing, Michael, about, you know, I work all day and I come home and my husband doesn't help at all. I hear that a lot, sadly.

HOLMES: Yeah. Crazy.

MALVEAUX: Wow. Well, Rene, thank you very much.

And, Michael, we know you do a lot of work. We know you're doing laundry and cooking and all that good stuff.

HOLMES: I do. I do. It's manly.

SYLER: Michael, and, by the way, that is very sexy, so keep doing that.

HOLMES: Good to know. I'll pass that on, by the way. Good to see you, Rene.

MALVEAUX: All right. Rene, good to see you.

Queen Elizabeth apparently still under the weather now, forcing her to miss an event today, but it's not enough to keep her from signing a charter for equal rights. We're going to go live to London.


MALVEAUX: Sweden is mourning the death of the oldest member of its royal family. Princess Lilian died in Stockholm at the age of 97. She is perhaps best known for causing an uproar when, at age 28, she met Prince Bertil, fell in love and divorced the man she had been married to.

The former "Vogue" model and prince then lived together for 30 years before getting married. That is because in 1945 the country would not permit a contender for the throne to marry a commoner, so they waited and married 33 years later when the rules changed.

HOLMES: Yeah, that was quite a love story.

Queen Elizabeth, by the way, tried to go back to work today, but the palace says she needs more time to recover. The 86-year-old monarch was admitted to hospital on March 3. She had a stomach bug. She was released the following day. The queen missed a service today celebrating the commonwealth, but is expected to attend tonight's reception.

Now, the queen is set to sign, also, a new charter calling for equal rights across the entire commonwealth.

MALVEAUX: For more on this, we're joined by our royal correspondent, Max Foster.

So, Max, first of all, she issues this statement, this message today. What essentially was the point?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you imagine the commonwealth, a huge organization, 54 countries representing 30 percent of the world population, and they've managed for the very first time to come up with a central document. It's their charter, and this is what the queen will be signing later on today.

And what people are particularly picking up on is a line that talks about the signatories, those 54 countries, opposing all forms of discrimination whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or, crucially, other grounds and people are reading into that sexuality.

So, for the first time the commonwealth and the queen perhaps backing gay rights. But they're not putting it in words, I have to say Suzanne, because these are many countries -- many of these countries -- where homosexuality's outlawed, so seen as a step in the right direction. At the same time, the queen issued an annual address to the commonwealth and she alluded to this as well.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED KINGDOM (voice-over): Our shared values of peace, democracy, development, justice and human rights which are found in our new commonwealth charter mean that we place special emphasis on including everyone in this goal, especially those who are vulnerable.


FOSTER: So there you are, a suggestion perhaps that she's opening up, you know, these rights to all sorts of different groups, not just religious groups and other groups we often hear her talk about.

MALVEAUX: Interesting.

HOLMES: Yeah, you don't hear the queen say something in an official statement without the wording being very, very specific, gone over with a fine-tooth comb. But as you say, Max, the idea of other countries, particularly you could name several where it's -- you're actually put to death in some cases for being homosexual, whether it's going to mean anything. What about the queen herself? She is going to attempt the reception tonight. How's her health?

FOSTER: Well, she was meant to go to a service at Westminster Abbey and she canceled right at the last minute, understand that doctors advised that. It's very, very cold here in London at the moment and she wasn't up to it, the palace saying she's at the tail-end of this illness she had, gastroenteritis, but some suggestion actually that she might not make her engagements, all of them, this week.

So, this will be two weeks worth of illness, but they're saying she is getting better. She will be going to sign this document tonight. But I think that actually adds more weight to what she thinks about this and how important she thinks it is.

HOLMES: Yeah, 86-years-old, doing well, really. Good to see you, Max. Thanks a lot.

MALVEAUX: She's always looking great when she's in public in those beautiful outfits and the way she dresses. Fantastic. We wish her the best in her health.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai dishing out some harsh criticism of the United States. Some say he blatantly snubbed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit over the weekend.

Plus, another insider attack today has now killed two U.S. soldiers.