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All Eyes on the Vatican; Fatal Shooting in Upstate New York; No Bread For Obama At Jerusalem Hotel; Photos Capture Lives of Refugees

Aired March 13, 2013 - 12:30   ET


JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: 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 has a clear line-of-sight to the chimney. They will feed off the reaction of others in the square.

And, often, when the smoke first starts to come out, just on the basis of the hope, the kind of wing and prayer that a pope has been elected, you'll get an initial roar and then a kind of disappointed growl when it becomes clear that that actually hasn't happened.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360": And when word circulates throughout not only Vatican City, but also throughout Rome that a pope has been chosen, more and more people will come because there's about a 45 minute to an hour lag between the smoke and we first getting our glimpse of who the pope is.

ALLEN: Yeah, that's right. A lot of things happen between that moment when the pope is elected and the smoke comes out and him stepping out on that central balcony.

Remember, the pope himself has to be vested inside the room adjacent to the Sistine Chapel called the Room of Tears. Each cardinal personally has to come up and profess his loyalty to the new pope.

Meanwhile, the senior cardinal deacon will step out and make the "habemus papum" announcement.

And, between that announcement and getting your first glimpse of the new pope, normally, as you say, there is half hour to 45 minutes up to an hour, which means that lots and lots of Romans as the news breaks that there's a new pope are going to come flooding to the square to be part of history.

COOPER: Yeah, and ...

CUOMO: I think that we also have to start thinking about, let's say there's black smoke tonight, two unsuccessful ballots. It really changes the entire game, right, John?

ALLEN: Well, sure. We were talking earlier today, Chris, that in a way even though it's Wednesday, the Super Tuesday of the papal race. It's a chance for the front-runners either to close the deal or to look like they're never going to get to the two-thirds threshold, in which case the cardinals have to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and look for someone else.

So, if there is black smoke tonight, I think it would be reasonable to conclude that no one in the early rounds had such overwhelming support that they were a slam dunk, which may mean that the stage may be set for a surprise at the end of this presence.

CUOMO: The question becomes, well, who fits the bill, as that kind of surprise? Do you go to someone you have to completely reintroduced or do you go to someone safe so that you don't extend the conclave too much? That's the balance you were talking about earlier.

COOPER: Right. And certainly the concern about having a conclave that goes on too long, as we said before, is it does send a message of disunity which is the last thing a lot of these cardinals want to send.

ALLEN: Yeah, I think not only do they not want to send a message of disunity, but they also don't want the new pope to appear compromised. They don't want him to look like a pope of one faction, they want to look like a pope who has the unified support of the College of Cardinals.

And, so, there is tremendous pressure, I think, these cardinals feel. On the one hand, they want to get this right and take as long as it takes to get it right and it's worth reminding people there's no shot- clock on a papal election. They will go until somebody gets two- thirds.

On the other hand, they also don't want to project images of gridlock and paralysis, and they don't want the pope compromised from the get- go.

And putting those two things together is often very difficult to do in the pressure cooker environment of being inside the Sistine Chapel.

COOPER: You mentioned that all 115 -- or 114 cardinals then pledge allegiance to the new pope.

How factionalized, though, is Vatican City? Once the pope has become the pope, assumes power, there are still factions that remain, no?

ALLEN: Oh, sure. Look, the Vatican is like the White House or 10 Downing Street. It's a complex of bureaucracy and there are always going to be different currents within it.

And one of the most important things the new pope has to do is to indicate that he is not going to be the pope of one or another of those tribes, but somehow he's going to try to be a leader for all.

And, of course, that point doesn't just apply to the Vatican because the Catholic Church on the ground is often badly divided. We know that about the 65 million Catholics in the United States. You and I both know that on an average day those 65 million Catholics couldn't agree on what day of the week it is, let alone what direction the church ought to go.

The pope somehow has to try to appeal to all of that wild, riotous diversity in the church.

COOPER: And we're seeing a lot of that diversity not only in the cardinals who are inside the conclave, but out in St. Peter's Square, people from all around the world who have gathered waiting to see that smoke as we all are.

CUOMO: You hear these ambulances that are going by us now. There happens to be a hospital right near our position, so they mean no sense of urgency here, other than the obvious urgency that's going on behind us in the Sistine Chapel right now as we continue to wait between somewhere about 45 minutes and an hour between when this next vote will be tallied and then there will be smoke.

Black or white we don't know, but there will certainly be smoke at the end of the balloting for today.

As we sit here on "smoke-watch," let's head back into Atlanta now. Guys?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": Thank you so much, Chris, John and Anderson. We'll check back with you.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": Yeah, staying dry, I hope, too. It's been a miserable day there in Rome.

Now, when we come back -- yeah, very much so.

When we come back, this story is hard to watch. Forced out of their homes, Syrian refugees are going to show us the prized possessions they chose to take with them.


HOLMES: Yeah, and you're not going to miss a thing. We're continuing to watch the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel there into the fourth vote of the day, two in the morning, two in the afternoon.

No smoke from the first vote of the afternoon, which means inconclusive. They're now onto the fourth. Either way, after this vote we'll see white or black smoke.

WHITFIELD: And perhaps the first to sense something happening will be that (INAUDIBLE) right there.

HOLMES: That bird is going to get the shock of its life, yes.

WHITFIELD: That's right. All right, meantime, we also keeping a close watch on tragedy in upstate New York.

Our Alina Cho is in New York on a shooting that's resulted in at least four dead and others injured?

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Suzanne.

We're talking a multiple fatal shooting, happened in upstate New York today about 50 miles east of Syracuse, Herkimer County, New York, six people shot, four of them, as you mentioned, dead.

Happened at two different locations. Two apparently dead at a car wash. Two dead at a barbershop. Another two injured also at the barbershop. Still trying to determine whether these two shootings were connected.

Police have apparently released a photo to our local affiliates. The suspect is being described as 5'11". His name is Kurt Meyers, said to have grey hair, between 50- and 60-years-old and wearing a flannel shirt.

A local Utica newspaper is reporting that this suspect is currently, as in right now, holed up in a jewelry store. We are still trying to confirm that right at CNN.

I can tell you a little bit about this area. It's home to a Remington guns factory.

And in the wake of this shooting I can also tell you that lots of schools in the area are on lockdown, but just a bit of encouraging news is that one local official said with respect to the school situation that, quote, "everything is calm for now."

Again, multiple fatal shootings, six people shot, four dead, schools on lockdown in Herkimer County, New York.

We are watching the story very, very closely, Suzanne and Michael. We'll have more for you as we get details in. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Alina Cho. Appreciate that from New York.

HOLMES: Yeah, just in the last few minutes, too, we got word President Obama announcing that he intends to nominate Deborah Jones to become the U.S. ambassador to Libya. This is according to a press release from the White House.

WHITFIELD: A very high profile appointment, and surely coming not long after that incident in Benghazi involving the consulate there.

This position was previously filled by Ambassador Christopher Stevens who was killed, and that was in September of last year in Benghazi. And you're seeing the videotape from that, but this nomination now being handed over.

HOLMES: Indeed. We'll see what happens with that.

Meanwhile, President Obama is heading to Jerusalem this month, and he's going to stick to a kosher diet. WHITFIELD: Even the King David Hotel, well, it's not going to make any exceptions even if he were to say, I don't want kosher, I want something else. Nope, it's going to be kosher, period.


HOLMES: Welcome back to "Around the World," and there's that sea gull.

WHITFIELD: Still there.


WHITFIELD: It's waiting for the signal to come from that chimney over the Sistine Chapel while the cardinals have resumed voting on that new pope.

HOLMES: Yeah. If one candidate has 77 or more votes, that sea gull's going to be the first one to see white smoke rise from the chimney there.

WHITFIELD: And if the vote is inconclusive, then, of course, we'll have to wait. Black smoke is what this would mean.

We're watching the roof very closely, and whatever happens and whatever happens to that bird, we'll be able to bring it to you.

HOLMES: Waiting to hear it cough when the smoke hits it.

All right, President Obama's visit to Israel next week is going to be first as president, a second term of course.

WHITFIELD: But he may have a tough time adjusting to the food, particularly at his hotel in Jerusalem.

HOLMES: Yes, we're talking about the King David Hotel. A lovely hotel. It's going to be serving only foods that are kosher. Why? Well, the Jewish holiday of Passover approaches.

WHITFIELD: CNN Eatocracy editor Kat Kinsman joining us now from New York.

Kat, good to see you.

So we know the president loves burgers. Well, he loves food all the way around. He may have a hard time, however, next week since certain foods are off limits at the hotel.

HOLMES: Yes, what are we talking about here?

KAT KINSMAN, CNN EATOCRACY EDITOR: Well, you know, we do tend to elect some rather carb loving presidents, but anybody who is getting prepared for Passover has to -- any of these buildings, has to eliminate all hummits (ph) from the -- from the building. So that basically is grains that have a chance to ferment. So that would take bread and cookies and cereal and muffins and pasta and everything off the menu, as well as some alcoholic beverages as well if they happen to come from sprouting grains. And this one's going to hurt the president. No beer is going to be available. Anything grain alcohol or whiskey though. I'm sure there will be plenty of kosher wine in evidence (ph).

WHITFIELD: So these are all the banned things. What is allowed? What's left?

KINSMAN: Well, luckily, you know, Michelle feeds him plenty of vegetables at home. So he's going to be very, very used to that. You know, there are a lot of products that are made kosher for Passover. In fact, a lot of my friends in New York hoard up all of the kosher for Passover, Coke and Pepsi, because it's made with real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, which is off the list.

HOLMES: And just a bit of historical perspective. The reason that, like mataz (ph), unleavened bread, why it has to be so. You've got a -- explain to people who don't know.

KINSMAN: OK. So it's part of -- this hotel doesn't just keep kosher. It -- this is preparation to be kosher for Passover, which means getting rid of all of these grains that may have -- basically if they're in touch with water for 18 minutes, they may have sprouted. They also have to go through an intensive process to clean all the surfaces that may have come into contact with the traf (ph), which are forbidden foods during the time. They have to boil water and pour it over surfaces, heat ovens up to a certain temperature and also bring out special instruments and utensils that are only used during Passover. It's part of the ritual.

HOLMES: All right, Kat, good to see you. Kat Kinsman.

WHITFIELD: Fascinating stuff.

HOLMES: Yes. I think the unleavened bread is because when the Hebrew slaves fled from Egypt, the bread did not have time to rise so no risen breads are allowed, and pasta too because it makes contact with water. Just happen to know that.

WHITFIELD: All right. Fantastic.


WHITFIELD: We learn a little something every day. I like that.


WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Kat.

All right.


WHITFIELD: We know, still, no pope. No new pope in Rome. And, again, that bird remains on the chimney.

HOLMES: We're watching and so is he. He actually works for us. Did you know that?

WHITFIELD: That way we'll know first, as will you. You're watching CNN.


HOLMES: We've been laughing and joking about the sea gull that is sitting on top of the chimney there at the Sistine Chapel.

Breaking news, Fred.

WHITFIELD: That's right. It now has a Twitter handle.

HOLMES: Of course it does.



WHITFIELD: So you can tweet it or it will tweet you back.

HOLMES: Look. We're not kidding. It's got 70 followers now. Had 68 a minute ago. Yes, it's @sistineseagull.

WHITFIELD: And there, of course, is the -- one of the first tweets, "hanging out at conclave, loving life and cheetos." Sistine Chapel Chimney.

HOLMES: Seventy followers already.

And, of course, a bird would tweet.

Chad Myers just popped out here. And I've got to tell you too, we were talking about the bird being engulfed in smoke and having a bit of a cough when it all happens.


HOLMES: And Chad was telling us that they -- just before the smoke comes up, they heat the chimney to help with the flow of the smoke and put an exhaust fan on. So if you see the bird suddenly, you know, get a bit startled, that's because the heat is coming out.

WHITFIELD: That's right. The bird will know first when the smoke is on its way.

HOLMES: That bird is getting to be more -- getting more publicity than the cardinals.

WHITFIELD: It's famous now and it continues to, you know, kind of fluff its feathers knowing that it's being shown around the world. All eyes are on that seagull.

All right, also, all eyes are on Jordan today. On the border with Syria, refugees there got a visit from British royalty. HOLMES: Yes. Now this is a camp that houses about a thousand people from Syria who fled the civil war. You're looking at Prince Charles there. His wife Camilla, of course, the duchess of Cornwall. They talk to children and parents and teachers in a makeshift school at the camp.

WHITFIELD: The U.N. says about 7,000 refugees cross into Jordan from Syria every day.

HOLMES: Amazing. Jordan has, I think, 400,000 Syrian refugees at the moment.

And Syrians in one other city, one city after another, of course, have had to face the reality of war.

WHITFIELD: Hala Gorani has this look at a new photo essay that follows their lives.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL (voice-over): If you had to leave your home and escape to another country, ask yourself, what would be the one thing you would take with you? The U.N.'s refugee agency asked Syrians that question. Documenting their answers in a moving photo essay. As over a million refugees have fled across borders, sharing their personal stories of a brutal civil war.

Abdul carried with him the keys to his apartment in Damascus. He, his wife, daughter and her children fled after his wife was wounded in the fighting. They now live in a plywood shelter in Lebanon's Becca (ph) Valley. He's not sure what's left of his home, but he says he dreams every day of returning. "God willing I will see you this time next year in Damascus," he says.

Usif (ph) took his mobile phone with him when he fled Damascus. He now stays in buildings in Lebanon's Becca Valley and says this small piece of technology is his lifeline to his family. Both hearing their voices and seeing pictures he saved on his phone. "With this, I'm able to call my father," he says. "We're close enough to Syria here that I can catch a signal from the Syrian towers."

Layla (ph) is only nine. After her neighbors were killed, she and her family escaped. Their temporary home, a partially constructed house in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Layla took with her a special pair of jeans she wore to several weddings. "When I saw these, I knew instantly that these were perfect because they have a flower on them and I love flowers."

Tamara (ph) and her family left Syria after their home in Idlib (ph) was damaged. "When we left our house, we felt the sky was raining bullets," she says of their journey to the Turkish border. The 20 year old proudly holds her diploma. The refugee camp where she stays, visible behind her. Tamara plans to continue her education in Turkey.

And the most important item to take with doesn't have to be an object. Eighty-two-year-old Iman (ph) says his wife, Yeasmin (ph), is his most prized possession from his homeland. "She's the best woman that I've met in my life," he says. "Even if I were to go back 55 years, I would choose you again." The couple left their quiet life on a farm in Aleppo after their neighbor was killed and nearby homes were looted and set on fire.

They are the true faces of Syria. Lives that will be forever changed. Escaping from war, separated from everything they know and hold dear. Taking with them their pride, their heritage and a little piece of home.

Hala Gorani, CNN.


WHITFIELD: And the snow keeps coming in Europe.

HOLMES: Yes, we're talking about stranded cars, no electricity. Some incredible photographs coming up, next.


HOLMES: All right, let's update you on what is trending around the world right now.

WHITFIELD: A diplomatic standoff between India and Italy trending in India. The country's prime minister warning of consequences if Italy doesn't turn over two marines facing trial in the killing of two Indian fishermen.

HOLMES: And a curious story. The marines were allowed to go back to Italy from India to vote in the elections that took place in Italy recently. The government's promise was that they'd be sent back.

WHITFIELD: But so far, they have not. And Italy has reached out to India to try to find common ground.

HOLMES: I want to show you some candid moments now from around the world.

Let's go to northern France. A woman taking a photograph of the wall of snow towering over, as you can see there.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. That is some snow. Sixty-eight thousand people don't have power because of that snow.

HOLMES: Yes, as much as 20 inches fell in northern France. That's the most snow its had in 25 years.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And then outside the Vatican, three men carried a cross through St. Peter's Square as thousands gathered in the rain to see if the new pope will be elected today.

HOLMES: Yes, and as one man holds a cross, the crowd and the world wait for white smoke to come out of that chimney to signal a new pope. Have we got -- yes, we've still got -- the seagull's still there. It is still tweeting @sistineseagull. Has 1,000 followers now. WHITFIELD: Still there. I can't believe. It happened within minutes.

HOLMES: Within minutes it was --

WHITFIELD: Huge following.

HOLMES: The last tweet, "I can see him voting from up here, by the way."

That will do it for me. I've got to go now.

WHITFIELD: Oh, good to see you.

HOLMES: Thanks for watching us. I'll see you tomorrow.

WHITFIELD: All right.


WHITFIELD: See you then. Thanks so much.

The CNN NEWSROOM continues right now.

Might today be the day? The cardinals at work electing a new pope. They're inside the Sistine Chapel right now for the day's second round of voting. We'll bring you the latest from Rome in just moments.