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AROUND THE WORLD

The Cardinals Take Oath of Secrecy; North Korea Ramps Up Rhetoric; Hug Gets Ahmadinejad In Trouble; Europe Walloped By Winter Storm

Aired March 12, 2013 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And these holy gospels which I touch with my hand. That was the original chant in unison.

This is Cardinal Aviz, obviously, from Brazil, also being mentioned, South American, of course. What distinguishes him from Scherer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the main thing probably is that cardinal -- well, two things. One is that Cardinal Braz would be seen perhaps as a bit moderate, a bit more centrist than Cardinal Scherer.

The other is that Cardinal Braz is very close to the Catholic movement known as the "popolare." It's a movement born in Italy during the chaos of the second world war, emphasizing unity, formed by a Catholic lay woman by the name of Kiara Lubik (ph).

Interestingly, Chris, it's the only movement in the church whose constitutions mandate that the president must be a woman, and so it is known as a very effective movement at promoting unity and in a church, again, struggling with internal divisions.

CUOMO: An important moment to all those watching around the world right now, this is the last cardinal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, by the way, an American, Cardinal James Harvey.

CUOMO: Taking the oath. And this is the last act of the conclave that the public is allowed to see, so let's listen as it's about to begin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

CUOMO: If they feel the need to go to confession during the conclave, there are priests there available to do it for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) Passionists step out with the Passionist sign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) who is the vice director of the press office (inaudible).

CUOMO: Now, what is this vestment? With the hat? With the feather?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a Swiss Guard. CUOMO: Is there a specific name for that, so I don't get it wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the color coding of the Catholic Church, by the way, Chris, the purple usually designates a bishop or archbishop, whereas the red, of course is restricted to the cardinals.

You see there Archbishop Gaylord Gainswine (ph), who is right-hand man, private secretary, priest-secretary to Pope Benedict the XVI.

CUOMO: All right, now, as they all file out, this is the moment. The word conclave means with a key. They are locked behind the door, technically to do the work of electing the pope.

It seems like the last man is about to come out before the doors are shut.

The conclave, with a key, is the Italian right if you say, "Il porto e chiusa," "the door is closed."

Now, interestingly, Guido Marini on the inside of it, is there another exit where they leave out of?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Marini's last act to close the external doors to the Sistine Chapel, but you can leave from the corner on other side of the room behind the main altar.

CUOMO: And, so, the conclave has officially begun.

One of the few things we didn't see, which you were referring to, is that in the Sistine Chapel is, of course, "la stufa," the stove and the companion stove that shoots the chemical packets, this one simple task of getting smoke, white or black, seemingly impossible to get perfect.

Tonight, one vote, if they don't vote not to vote. Has there ever been a pope on the first vote?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a matter of fact, there has. Pope Gregory the XI in 1371 was elected on the first ballot.

You have to reach slightly farther than the last time a pope resigned to get to the precedent, about 50 years further back in time.

I think, Chris, it would be the shock of all shocks if that particular piece of history were to repeat itself here tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It might be interesting to note that, historically, it has not always been cardinals who elected the pope. In the early centuries, it was a very popular decision by the clergy of Rome and the people of Rome by acclamation. They would shout it out and that person was named pope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, of course, Father, you and I have been talking. If that practice were still in force now, I think Sean O'Malley might already be sitting on the Throne of Peter because I can't get into the cab, walk into a restaurant or get my hair cut without that guy saying, why don't they elect O'Malley as pope?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree. If it was popular acclaim, he would have it hands down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

CUOMO: But it really is much less that than any other type of election, right? There are a lot of other considerations that go into what is meaningful to the church and by the church you get into a clever definition.

Are we are talking about the College of Cardinals? Are we talking about the laity? Often, there is a disconnect, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, sure. Absolutely.

I think, you know, if you hold a plebiscite among the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, you might get a different result than when you get out of this election.

But, of course, in this case, it is those 115 cardinals under 80 who are going to determine the outcome in terms of who becomes the next pope.

CUOMO: Taking inside/outside, Miguel Marquez is right outside in St. Peter's Square on the verge of the Vatican.

You've been out there, Miguel, the mood as they watch the big screens? The conclave has begun. What did you see and hear?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's mushy out here, but certainly the crowds are starting to gather.

People are starting to move away now from the square now that they have finished the huge screens out in the basilica and plaza in this basilica have gone to pictures of the basilica itself and the crowds are starting to leave. No one seemingly expecting black smoke or white smoke anytime soon.

There are a lot of people coming down here just out of curiosity to see smoke, just period. We expect that that might happen in the next two hours, perhaps three hours or so, to see that chimney just over there on the Sistine Chapel, and the smoke pour out of there.

We expect black smoke tonight. White smoke, as John said, would certainly be a very big shock.

The rain is damping spirits a little bit, but I think this decision is to big that, when it comes, this place is going to explode with excitement.

Chris?

CUOMO: Well, Miguel, nobody understands the conditions better than you. Do me a favor. When you take a look up at where the chimney is, with the density of humidity, with the wind, with the rain, do you have any concerns about whether or not you're going to be able to be our ace on "smoke-watch?"

MARQUEZ: That's -- that is the question. It's hard to say.

They have put up lights so that you can see the chimney and, if it is very heavy rain, it might be hard to see any smoke coming out of there.

The other thing that we do have, though, is this bell here on the left side of the basilica. That will toll perhaps a little better and a little quicker than it did last time around when Cardinal Ratzinger became pope. It took them about 15, 20 minutes to get the bell ringing.

But that bell will ring, as well, indicating a new pope.

So, no matter what the weather is, and it's looking like it's going to be pretty poor weather the next couple of days, we'll -- we will know one way or the other when that pope is selected.

CUOMO: Now, while the -- thank you, Miguel.

While there is tremendous pressure on Miguel Marquez to not get scooped by any other reporter when white smoke comes out of that chimney, inside, we're not in a situation where now that the doors are closed they take off their (inaudible) and they take off their -- all right, now, let's start getting down to business and the cigars come out.

This is a very different, solemn process. It is not a negotiation, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, that's absolutely right. What goes on inside the Sistine Chapel is much more akin to going mass than it is a political convention.

The first thing that's going to happen is that they are going to hear a reflection, a meditation, from one of their brother cardinals who is over 80, then other prayers will be said.

Then this very choreographed process of voting begins. It's not just raise your hand.

CUOMO: No discussion, no nominations, nothing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's not like somebody stands up and says, I think you ought to vote for the -- there's no campaign speeches, none of that.

There's a very complicated process of balloting that takes about an hour or so to perform and then they'll call it a night, so the kind of ...

CUOMO: Hold on. Don't run away from -- the detail, we love the detail, John, and you know them all.

So, they have a piece of paper. They literally write out their vote, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, that's right. They're given a piece of paper. They write out their vote in hand.

CUOMO: The name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the way, asked to disguise their handwriting, though.

CUOMO: Asked to disguise it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then very carefully fold the ballot into thirds.

CUOMO: Thirds?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's right. Not halvesies, but thirds. And then they process up in individually in the same order you just saw them place their hand on the gospel.

CUOMO: Holding the ballot a certain way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holding the ballot in the right hand, holding it aloft, they walk up to a table that has been erected in front of the fresco of the Last Judgment.

They hold the ballot aloft, recite, once again, that they are voting before God and in conscience with the man they believe should be elected, deposit it into a urn.

This happens 115 times then there is a team of three cardinals that takes the ballots out the urns, one by one. The first cardinal ...

CUOMO: Let's hold it right there because that is an exciting part, the detail we love it.

We're going it take a break. Right now, you're looking at live picture outside St. Peter's Square.

We're going to continue with live picture as much as we can as this process goes.

We're going to take a break. When we come back, I'll be with John Allen and Father Beck for our viewers in America, all around the world and we'll talk about the vetting process unlike anything you've ever heard of before in any election.

When we come back after the break ,we'll tell you what happens in the conclave.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": Welcome to "Around the World." I'm Suzanne Malveaux in Washington, D.C. today. MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": Good to see you, Suzanne.

I'm Michael Holmes here in Atlanta, and we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the U.S. and also right around the world.

And where else to begin, but Rome? The papal conclave officially under way in Vatican City. The cardinals are in the Sistine Chapel, as you heard before the break. That is where the vote for the next pope is going to be held. Everything that goes on in there, now that those doors are closed, remains a secret. The first vote by the cardinals could come at any time?

MALVEAUX: We are also watch another story following (ph) now. Five American troops died in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed during a rainstorm. It happened in southern Kandahar province. U.S. officials say there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of that crash.

HOLMES: In South Africa, Oscar Pistorius trying to get some of his bail restricts changed. The Olympic athlete known as "the blade runner," of course, charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day. A family spokesman tells CNN, Pistorius wants to travel overseas and sell some of his assets, like his house, to pay legal bills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Weapons of mass destruction development and proliferation is another major threat to U.S. interests. North Korea has already demonstrated capabilities that threaten the United States and the security environment in East Asia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: That, of course, was the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, at a Senate hearing today. In the last few days, North Korea has now ramped up its threats against the U.S. and South Korea. Most recently, North Korea scrapped the 1953 armistice that ended the fighting with its war in the south. Well, Anna Coren is at the heavily fortified border between the two countries watching the tensions unfold.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, as North Korea continues to threaten war on the Korean peninsula, the military here in South Korea remains on high alert. We are on the border near the DMZ. This is as close as we can get to North Korea. The rail line behind me used to go all the way to Pyongyang. Well, now, it just crosses the river into the Demilitarized Zone.

Well even this location is now considered highly sensitive. The South Korean military have asked us not to reveal their posts, identify their troops or show their defense systems.

Well, this, of course, comes in the wake of North Korea scrapping the armistice agreement that end the Korean War back in 1953. They've also severed the emergency hot line between the two countries, which means that if there is a military provocation, there's no official way of communicating.

Now, Kim Jong-un has reportedly been on the border addressing his front line troops. He has told them to throw all enemies into the cauldron, to break their waists and crack their windpipes on his orders. And he's also threatened to launch an attack on the headquarters of the South Korean marines who are stationed on an island very close to Yongbyong (ph) island, which was attacked back in 2010.

Now, while Kim Jong-un may be rallying his troops, the United States and South Korea are holding their own joint military exercises on the Korean peninsula. And Seoul says that if there is any military provocation from the North, it will respond in a resolute and destructive manner.

Suzanne.

HOLMES: All right. When we come back, outrage over a hug. You heard right. Iran's president under fire for giving comfort to Hugo Chavez's mom. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back. So, what could be wrong with consoling a mother after her son has died? The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was doing just that at the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

MALVEAUX: But it's actually how he did it that has stirred the most controversy back home in Iran. I want you to take a look at this. This is a photo. The image has gone viral around the world. Now, why? Muslim men, by tradition, not allowed to do this at all, that is touch women outside of their families.

HOLMES: It's a big no-no. Reza Sayah covers Iran for us. He joins us now from his usual pad (ph) in Cairo.

Reza, tell us about the backlash and what sort of impact it could have on President Ahmadinejad. It's not like he's running for office again anytime soon.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's not. He's going to be done in a couple of months. I don't think this is going to have big political implications for President Ahmadinejad. But it really shows that his political enemies, domestically within Iran, are increasing in number and they're increasingly become aggressive in going after him.

And if you look at this picture in a YouTube video of this exchange that's available, to a lot of people it looks like a very innocent, comforting consolation hug and a holding of the hand. This happened this week at Hugo Chavez's funeral. President Ahmadinejad was there. At one point he comes face-to-face with Hugo Chavez's mother. The two have what looks like an emotional exchange and at one point President Ahmadinejad reaches over and touches Hugo Chavez's mother's shoulder. This is the exchange that sparked the controversy in Iran. A country where the strict interpretation of Islamic law says, if you're a man, you can't touch a woman if she's not related to you. Several clerics criticize President Ahmadinejad. One said he was clowning around and failed to uphold the dignity of Iran and the presidency. Another said what Ahmadinejad did was a sin and delivered a reminder that men can only touch women they're not related to only if the woman is drowning or in need of medical attention.

Suzanne. Michael.

MALVEAUX: So, explain this to us. How could this weaken him in some ways? And how is the ayatollah, the split with the ayatollah, how does that weigh in with what has happened here? Could this make things very, very hard for him to actually lead in some way?

SAYAH: Well, look, I mean, this is a fascinating story in and of itself. But what you have to look at is the big picture. What's happening in Iran is a remarkable conflict within the political establishment. Where, on one side, you have President Ahmadinejad and his supporters. On the other side you have the clerical elite, the supreme leader himself, and other members of the clerical establishment. Many critics of President Ahmadinejad believe that he's overstepped his authority during these past two terms, he's become too prominent and too powerful. And every time that he does a misstep like this, you can see his political enemies going at him. This type of conflict would have been unheard of several years ago in Iran, but you're seeing this rift that's growing within the establishment in Iran.

MALVEAUX: All right, Reza Sayah, thank you very much. It's absolutely fascinating, yes, Michael, I mean just to see that kind of division there and to see -- I mean Ahmadinejad has been in some trouble before, and it just looks like he keeps getting weaker and weaker in his own country.

HOLMES: Yes, and it's interesting, too, there was images of him kissing, not the mother of Hugo Chavez. I think we've actually got what is now being alleged to be a photo shop of him kissing -- that's Mohamed ElBaradei. And, yes, this was shown in Iran, on Iranian website. So the accusation is that they cut Hugo Chavez's mother out and put ElBaradei in, which -- just to sort of try to soften the blow, but it's not working, that's for sure.

MALVEAUX: Yes. And, you know, it's hard to know actually what's real and what's not real in Iran when you think of the closed media. It's true.

HOLMES: Indeed, technology at work.

We're going to take a short break. When we come back, imagine being stranded in our car for hours in snow and ice. That's what drivers in Europe just went through. The big freeze, not over yet either.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone, to AROUND THE WORLD.

Another big snow storm, but this time, Suzanne, not in the United States. We're talking Europe.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes. I mean, just look at that. The traffic at a standstill. This is across parts of western Europe and England. Germany is actually among the hardest hit. Hundreds of flights actually had to be cancelled. People basically stuck.

HOLMES: Yes, let's get Chad Myers in here.

Chad, I know you travel. I've certainly been through Frankfurt Airport more than I can count. It is one of the biggest hubs in Europe.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: They shut that place down. Oh, my God, that's got to be chaos.

MALVEAUX: Wow.

MYERS: You know what, they have four runways. They couldn't keep one open at any one time today. It was snowing so hard, they were -- as soon as they'd get all the way to the end, it would be covered up again and they couldn't see the runway.

Now this storm is moving on off to the east. There's a low right here and another low right here making rain for Rome, too. Saw an awful lot of rain and thunderstorm activity earlier today. But there is more snow to come for Frankfurt. So just because maybe you're sitting there hoping to get out, you may not. The snow is still coming in. Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt.

And the forecast could be up to about six inches or even about 10 centimeters in some spots up to 20 centimeters, if you're watching from over there. And there you go, there's the bull's-eye. Here's Frankfurt. And even some snow from Paris, all the way back. Even that's about Eperna (ph). I've been right there as well. And then all the way across.

Now it is winter. You know, it's supposed to snow. But it was 15 degrees above normal last week. Now all of a sudden they're back into winter. (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: Oh, my goodness. I cannot imagine what Frankfurt Airport looks like. Chad, good to see you.

MYERS: Y Es.

MALVEAUX: That is so true.

HOLMES: Oh, my goodness.

MALVEAUX: Michael, like everybody's stuck. They all use Frankfurt. It's the point you get from -- you know, you can go to Africa, anywhere in the world if you stop in Frankfurt.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Middle East. Oh my goodness, me, that's not the airport to get shutdown.

MALVEAUX: Geez.

HOLMES: A short show for me, but not for you. I'm out of here, but do carry on.

MALVEAUX: I missed you. All right.

HOLMES: I missed you too.

MALVEAUX: We're going to do a full hour