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Cardinals At Work Picking Pope; Dead Pigs Floating in Rive; "Argo" Not a Hit Overseas; All Eyes on the Vatican

Aired March 13, 2013 - 12:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The whole world is watching, which is why it's perfect we will now go to AROUND THE WORLD with Fredricka Whitfield and Michael Holmes. It starts right now.


Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Suzanne Malveaux.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed. And I'm Michael Holmes. We'd like to welcome our viewers, both here in the United States, also right around the world.

Let's begin in Rome, shall we?

WHITFIELD: Let's go there. Vatican City. Day two of the conclave. We're closely watching the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.

HOLMES: Yes, earlier this morning we saw black smoke. Of course by now everyone knows that means the cardinals failed to elect a new pontiff.

WHITFIELD: We're keeping a close watch on that in Rome.

Meantime, here in the U.S., this just in. Police are searching for a shooter in upstate New York after four people were killed and two others wounded.

HOLMES: Yes. Now these shootings happened at two different locations. Herkimer and Mohawk in New York. We've got no other details at this time on the circumstances of the shooting, but we will bring them to you as we get them.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's return now to our top story.

Day two of the conclave. One hundred and fifteen cardinals gathering at the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope.

HOLMES: Yes, the show goes on. So far we've had three votes done. Two today. The second round of balloting for this day is happening right now.

WHITFIELD: Earlier today we saw black smoke rise from the chimney. We could have yet another signal within the hour. What color will it be?

HOLMES: Everybody's waiting for that. Yes, and this, of course, all happening in Vatican City. Crowds braving the elements in St. Peter's Square in hopes of witnessing an historic moment.

WHITFIELD: It's been very rainy, but people don't care, you know?

HOLMES: Imagine that.

WHITFIELD: They are hoping to be doused with the memory of history making right there in Vatican City.


WHITFIELD: There are thousands of journalists there, as well as the thousands of folk who have turned out. We've got our own CNN team there, of course.

HOLMES: Yes, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, senior Vatican analyst John Allen. A cast (ph) of thousands there at Vatican City.

Chris -- and it's good to have you back, John. On CNN International earlier, the weather was so bad we lost him three times.

Chris, we're going to keep you, I hope. Let's start with disappointment when the black smoke rose this morning. I mean what's the feeling there? No one knows what's going on and the black smoke not really a surprise, was it?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We don't know. There's such heavy expectations for what the world wants to see from the catholic church. We weren't surprised because we have John Allen and we knew that it's very unusual to have had a pope up to this point. But this vote is the one that brought us Benedict in the last conclave. So this is why we're watching, especially right now, because we believe they're about three quarters of the way through their first vote. So if there's any smoke right now, it would have to be white because they only burn ballots after two unsuccessful votes. So that's why we're a little bit on edge right now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is a lot of excitement here, Michael. I mean when you look at those -- at the crowd in St. Peter's Square, not a huge, huge crowd by standards that we've seen in the past or even yesterday. But you've got to remember, it is pouring with rain here. It is really miserable out. It is cold. These people have been waiting for a long time because they know in this afternoon's session there is the very real possibility of seeing a pope elected and they want to be there to witness that.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Absolutely. What I remember, guys, is that eight years ago we were sitting here after the inconclusive ballot in the morning, talking about a divided conclave and how we could be here for days. And then, of course, in the middle of that afternoon, white smoke and we had a pope. So I think that's why that crowd that you're talking about is on pins and needles because even though we knew coming into this conclave it was a wide open race, there were a number of very strong candidates, it would not be a stunner if we were here a couple more days. On the other hand, everybody remembers that this was the magic ballot eight years ago. And so there is a climate of anticipation right now.

CUOMO: It's also interesting. You know, we got a little reporting that as the conclave goes on and a cardinal's name starts to rise up in the balloting, they do get approached by other cardinals and asked questions that are relevant at the time. Certainly the very heavy issues now. And that cardinal has to make a very delicate judgment about how much to come forward and discuss these things and how much to retire and that Ratzinger was very retiring during this period when people would come up to him. And it has to be difficult because we keep hearing that these holy men can't show ambition, right, John?

ALLEN: Well, remember last time, based upon the reports we were able to reconstruct after the fact, Cardinal Ratzinger was just a handful of votes short of that two-thirds majority when they broke for lunch. Now, think about that. You've got four hours to grapple with the understanding you are on the precipice of the papacy. Imagine what that must have been like for those four hours. So it's not stunning to me that he was a little withdrawn and found it difficult to engage in chitchat because he knew there was a very real possibility that when they filed back in the Sistine Chapel, within a matter of an hour, hour and a half, he was going to become the pope of the catholic church.

COOPER: And once it becomes clearer, from your reporting and talking to cardinals in past votes, once the trend becomes clear and they are closer, then more cardinals sign on because they want to be part of it.

ALLEN: Yes. Well, they want to be part of it. And they also want to send a signal of unity behind the new pope. I mean, in other words, once -- as long as the race is open, then you can spread -- you can put your vote with the candidate you think ought to be elected. But when it becomes clear that a certain man is very likely to emerge, then everyone wants to signal. But whatever their initial desires may have been, they will stand four square behind the new pope. So from our understanding is that on that last ballot, that first afternoon ballot in 2005, there were 117 electors. Cardinal Ratzinger got something like 104 or 105 votes precisely for the reason that you're suggesting.

COOPER: And though we have talking a lot about the divisions going into this conclave and not as clear front runner like there was last time, there is a desire among these cardinals, as you said, to show a sense of unity, to not have this drag on for more than a week, for weeks and weeks.

ALLEN: Well, sure. For one thing, of course, they've got to sort of hard out, as we would say in our business, which is March 24th begins holy week. That's Palm Sunday. They want to have it done before then.

But the other motive is, they don't want to send an image of division and disunity and paralysis and in-fighting to the world. So there is tremendous psychological pressure on these 115 cardinals to try to wrap this up as quickly as they can. That said, of course, they're also aware of how momentous a choice this is and they want to get it right.

CUOMO: And it could be an unusually negative reaction to a pope if this pope doesn't come forward and either by biography or by his own first speech, first couple of moments, backup this expectation of change, right?

ALLEN: Yes. I think particularly when it comes to the idea that this is going to be a break from business as usual. That somehow this new pope is going to take the church in a new direction. And I think that's why those initial moments, beginning from when he steps out on to the central balcony of St. Peter's Square and delivers his first set of remarks to the people in the square, and then the next few days leading up to his inaugural mass, those moments are always closely scrutinized because we want to know who the new pope is. But in this context, these massive expectations of change that have been built up, I think those early moments when you have a chance to define who you're going to be are going to be especially crucial.

COOPER: As soon as the pope himself gets enough votes and their votes are announced inside that conclave and the pope himself -- or the future pope is asked if he's willing to become the pope, he's also asked to -- what name he is going to take. So all of these men have given it some consideration because they have a name ready to give.

ALLEN: Yes. What happens, obviously, inside the conclave, once you cross the 50 percent threshold, you've got that level of support, you know this is a realistic possibility. So obviously you begin thinking about it.

I mean what we should -- just for our viewers, we should set the stage. What will happen is that once somebody crosses that magic threshold of 77 votes out of the 115, the senior cardinal bishop in this conclave, who is Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Rey (ph), an Italian, will stand up and approach that man and will ask two faithful questions. One, do you accept your canonically valid election as the supreme pontiff? From the moment that man says yes, he becomes the pope of the catholic church. He possesses full supreme universal authority.

Second, he will ask, by what name will you be called? And obviously you've had some time at that stage to answer that question. And from that moment on, and even though there are a lot of formalities to be seen, from that moment on, the full burden of this office rests squarely in your hands.

COOPER: Do you read a lot into the names that they select? That an individual cardinal will use?

ALLEN: Well, sure. I mean obviously it's like the election of a president or a prime minister. We're looking for clues as to what kind of man they're going to be. So we will attach significance to the selection of the name.

COOPER: Yes. CUOMO: Well, I just can't keep my eyes off the chimney. I've been listening. It's interesting, but I keep looking at the chimney because we are right at that moment now. This vote has to be wrapping up right now at this time, about 5:10 local time. We know they're taking about an hour. So if this vote were successful, we should be seeing smoke imminently. So we'll keep our eyes on their chimney. But for the meanwhile, we go back to you in the studio.

HOLMES: All right, Chris. Yes, we could listen to you all day too. We're sitting here fascinated by the discussion. We'll check in with you a little bit later.

WHITFIELD: Excellent. All right, so here's some of the -- a look at some of the other stories that we're following around the world for you.

First it was thick dark smoke. Now there are dead pigs in the river that supplies the drinking water. We're talking about China. And the government says that's OK.

HOLMES: Thousands of them too.

Plus, if you had to leave your home, what's the one thing you would take with you? We'll tell you what some Syrians wouldn't live without.

WHITFIELD: And the movie "Argo" was a hit here in the U.S., but that's not the case in Iran.

HOLMES: Right. In fact, Iranian officials plan to sue Hollywood over the film.


WHITFIELD: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are some of the stories that we're following.

In San Francisco, Muslim groups were very angry about these ads appearing on the sides of city buses.

HOLMES: Yes, they feature pictures, and as you saw there, inflammatory quotes of known Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden. Those ads were paid for by an anti-Muslim group and look just like a series of ads bought by a pro-Muslim group earlier this year.

WHITFIELD: Some people were actually calling the images racist and hateful.

HOLMES: Now, Britain's Queen Elizabeth canceled all public appearances planned for today and tomorrow. And that raises public concerns about her health.

WHITFIELD: The queen spent a few days in London in a hospital this month with a stomach bug. Apparently she isn't quite back, quote/unquote, "in the pink."

HOLMES: That's what they say there. WHITFIELD: That's what they say in the royal statement.

HOLMES: Yes, healthy.

WHITFIELD: Just spelled it out that way. It says that she will work from home, Buckingham Palace, for the rest of the week.

HOLMES: Yes, Queen Elizabeth, of course, turns 87 next month.

Well, weather conditions across Europe looking a little better today, but snow and ice still bogging down travel across the region.

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. Eurostar trains are running, but on a rather limited schedule. And travel times are longer than usual.

HOLMES: Yes, remember Frankfurt Airport, a major hub for flights from the U.S., all around Europe as well. That's back open after being closed for several hours on Tuesday. About hundreds of flights, in fact, were canceled.

WHITFIELD: Six thousand dead, rotting pigs are floating in the river.

HOLMES: Yes, just picture this. This is a river that actually flows right through the center of Shanghai. Of course, major commercial hub of China. How they got there is still a mystery.

WHITFIELD: And while Chinese officials try to get to the bottom of it, they claim the water actually is fine. No pollution has been found.

HOLMES: Yes, but people who use and drink that water, yes, it's drinking water supplies, they're not buying it.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the Huangpu River, which leads into Shanghai. It's a busy shipping lane, but it's also one of the main sources of water for the some 23 million residents of the city in China. And those residents have been very nervous in recent days.

Now, I'm standing on just a pile of junk and trash next to the river. There's always pollution problems here. But what's really disturbing, in the last few days, there have been pigs, thousands of dead pigs, floating on this river. They've been fished out by the authorities and people are asking questions, how did this happen?

MCKENZIE (voice-over): "There were dead pigs all around and they really stank," he says. "Of course we are worried. But what can you do about it? It's water we have to drink and use."

MCKENZIE (on camera): Despite the authorities saying that they've tested the water and there's nothing wrong with it, people here don't know who to trust because of all of the food safety issues in China and the water pollution scandal.

We've just been here a few moments and already we found a dead pig lying in the water. They don't know exactly what this is from, but authorities believe it could be the porcine circovirus, which is dangerous to pigs but doesn't affect people.

The U.N. estimates that there are nearly a half billion pigs in China. And as the urban middle class grows, they worry, can authorities keep up with the demands and keep people safe when disease strikes?

David McKenzie, CNN, Shanghai.


WHITFIELD: Gosh, I think we just spoiled a lot of people's lunch.

HOLMES: Lunches, yes, here in the U.S., absolutely. My goodness, yeah, if it's not pollution, it's pigs.

Now, when we come back, we'll talk about a movie that won an Oscar for Best Picture here in the United States.

WHITFIELD: But the movie, "Argo," isn't so popular over in Iran. Officials are calling it a hoax of Hollywood, and they plan to sue.


HOLMES: Of course, the world anxiously waiting for any indication of a new pope.

WHITFIELD: That's right. One big indication would be chimney coming out of that smoke and it would be white if there were a decision above the Sistine Chapel.

There could be another release of smoke, however, a little bit later in this hour.

HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah, it could happen shortly. It's the first vote of the afternoon. There are two votes in the afternoon and, as Fred said, white smoke means the cardinals have elected a new pope. Black smoke means it was inconclusive.

WHITFIELD: Either way, we'll be bringing that to you live as it happens.

All right, the movie "Argo," did you see it?

HOLMES: Oh, yes. Absolutely. I liked it.

WHITFIELD: OK, yeah, everyone liked it. Everyone saw it, it seems.

Well, apparently, it may have won a whole lot of awards, but it's not necessarily a big hit overseas, particularly with the government of Iran.

HOLMES: Yeah. We're talking about Iran.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're asking us to trust you with our lives.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR, "ARGO": This is what I do, and I've never left anyone behind.


HOLMES: "Argo," of course, is based on a real life CIA operation that rescued six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis.

WHITFIELD: The Iranian government had always been angry about the movie, saying it's inaccurate and makes the country look bad.

Well, here come the lawyers, and here come the lawsuits.

HOLMES: Yeah, of course.

Let's go live to New York now where "Showbiz Tonight's" A.J. Hammer is on the entertainment beat today.

Of course, A.J., I don't know. Can a country sue Hollywood because it doesn't like a movie?

A.J. HAMMER, HLN'S "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, Michael, Fred, as we know these days you can sue just about anyone for anything, but it is unclear if they can win a lawsuit in any internationally respected court, and we'll have to see if this becomes a real legal case or just some kind of a publicity stunt.

Now, this news is coming out of a conference in Iran called "The Hoax of Hollywood" where "Argo" was officially screened for probably the first time in Iran, but the back story here actually sounds like a plot to a movie in its own right.

Now, according to Iranian state-run television, the attorney that they've hired is a French lawyer who represented and then married convicted terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

She is saying that she plans to defend Iran against all sorts of Hollywood films looking to spread "Iranophobia," Fred and Michael. And it's not just "Argo" here.

WHITFIELD: OK, and what in particular if there's one thing that upsets the Iranian government about "Argo," what is it?

HAMMER: Well, the Iranian government has been upset with the film ever since it opened, saying that "Argo" is, as they put it, a far cry from a balanced narration and is replete with historical inaccuracies and distortions.

I want to read how the official Iranian news agency put their complaint. They say, "The 'Iranophobic' American movie attempts to describe Iranians as an overemotional, irrational, insane and diabolical while, at the same, the CIA agents are represented as heroically patriotic."

But, if you read between the lines, some people think that the average Iranian doesn't understand the divide between Hollywood and the U.S. government and sees "Argo" as some type of propaganda, and, Fred and Michael, we know that was likely exacerbated when Michelle Obama personally announced that "Argo" was the winner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

HOLMES: Yeah, that did raise some eyebrows, didn't it?

And I think the Iranians are talking about making a movie of their own. We'll see what happens with that.

Good to see you, A.J. thanks.

HAMMER: You got it.

WHITFIELD: All right, again, no new pope yet, but we could see smoke signaling some sort of decision or lack thereof somewhere in this hour.

HOLMES: Oh, we're watching. We're watching. We're live next in Rome.

WHITFIELD: And a reminder to watch CNN's new show, "The Lead with Jake Tapper." It starts Monday afternoon.

HOLMES: I can't wait to see this. It's 4:00 Eastern if you're here in the United States.

We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Let's go back to our top story.

HOLMES: Yeah. All eyes on Vatican City, of course. A hundred-and- fifteen cardinals meeting to decide on a new pope.

WHITFIELD: It will take 77 in order to make a decision on the person who will be chosen to be the new pope.

They have resumed this afternoon's session, that is the voting process.

HOLMES: Yeah. Two votes in the afternoon, two in the morning.

Let's bring in Chris Cuomo. Also there, Anderson Cooper, been heading up our coverage, and John Allen, who I still think is a dark horse to be picked.

Chris, over to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. Well, we're doing what we're doing here. We're watching this chimney.

We believe that the cardinals finished their first vote. There was no smoke, so now they've moved onto their second vote of the afternoon. There will certainly have to be smoke after this vote is tallied because they burn the ballots after every two unsuccessful votes, right?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Yeah, that's right, Chris. Although, of course, this ratchets up the drama because, if we had smoke this time, regardless of what it looks like when it came out of the chimney, we would have known it meant a pope because, if the result had been inconclusive as we have seen, there would be no smoke.

This evening, we're going to get smoke regardless and we're not going to know immediately whether it's white or black.

So, remember, let's remind our viewers. There may be a few moments of uncertainty when that smoke begins to come out.

CUOMO: A heavy burden on Anderson Cooper because I will wait for him to make a call on the smoke.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360": I'll wait for you on that one.

We have a number of correspondents really fanned out throughout Vatican City and throughout Rome.

Let's check in with our Becky Anderson who is over near St. Peter's Square.

Becky, this rain is certainly not helping anything in terms of getting crowds out, but there are a lot of people there and certainly hasn't really dampened too many moods.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there are a lot of people out. Listen, let's not give up on these guys. They've got a tough job on their hands and I think that's what everybody here feels.

A hundred-and-fifteen of them, one will emerge, of course, as pope. Like you said, we're going to keep an eye on that smoke which we would expect now in the next sort of 90 minutes or so.

But there are lots and lots of people. Every time there's a period at which the smoke may come, you see hordes of people making their way up to the square, and then suddenly you realize that the square has got thousands of people in it. It's remarkable because, sort of down- times, there's maybe 200 or 300 people away.

So, there's a real sense of drama here just outside Vatican City, and everybody you speak to here says, whether they're just tourists, whether they're pilgrims, whether they are of faith or not, they're here for what is this incredible event.

Many of them say it's an unscheduled event on their tourist itinerary. They're so pleased they're here and then others, of course, knew exactly why they were coming to Rome over the past couple of weeks.

So, yeah, we're hanging on in there. I keep looking over my shoulder. I mean, it's quite incredible. You spend hours in the rain looking at a chimney. It sort of feels a bit mad, but it's not. We're here for a reason, and we'll keep doing it.


COOPER: Yeah, and, certainly, the view that we have and the television public has on the television screen is a lot better than the view most people have in St. Peter's square because it's actually quite -- the pipe is rather small. The chimney is rather small.

ALLEN: Well, it certainly looks small on the television screen, although it's actually bigger than a human being when you see it being installed, that the guys who are putting it in are actually dwarfed by that chimney.

Just when you see it framed on the screen against the majesty of the Apostolic Palace and so forth, it looks diminutive.

But, look, what's going to happen in the square, of course, is that not everybody in there has a clear line-of-sight to the chimney.