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Pope Celebrates Mass With Cardinals; Carnival Passengers Wait To Go Home; Terrorist Gang Uses Children as Bombers; Man Fights Shark, Fired for Skipping Work

Aired March 14, 2013 - 12:00   ET


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

Hey, Michael, good to see you, as always.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you, Suzanne. Looking lovely there in D.C. I'm Michael Holmes.

We'd like to welcome our viewers both here in the United States, also around the world.

We're going to begin in St. Maarten, which is in the Caribbean.

MALVEAUX: That is where a Carnival Dream ship is stuck at port, just a month after the Carnival Triumph ship was crippled at sea. Toilets are now backing up, overflowing. Miserable conditions caused by electrical problems. But these passengers much luckier than Triumph passengers were. We're going to tell you why up ahead.

HOLMES: President Obama is on Capitol Hill for a third straight day trying to reach a deal with the Republicans on the budget and the deficit. We're going to tell you who he's talking to today and if there's any real chance the two sides could reach a deal.

MALVEAUX: This is Baghdad. Smoke rising over the skyline today. Four explosions all went off about the same time. At least 18 people were killed. More than 50 others wounded. All the bombs went off near the fortified green zone. That is in central Baghdad. At least one of them was a suicide attack. No word yet on who is responsible.

And it's his first full day on the job. If it isn't exciting enough, billions of people are watching his every move.

HOLMES: Yes, that's right. The newly elected Pope Francis is saying mass actually this hour right now in the Sistine Chapel. He takes the helm of the roman catholic church, of course, during a tumultuous time. In recent years, the church rocked by sex abuse scandals, claims of corruption and mismanagement and infighting among the church hierarchy, it's a long list.

MALVEAUX: But, of course, before he deals with all the problems, Pope Francis, who's beginning his time at the Vatican with prayers. He is celebrating mass with the cardinals who elected him.

HOLMES: Yes. Let's bring in Miguel Marquez and CNN's senior Vatican analyst John Allen.

Miguel, let's begin with you.

Some new details today about Pope Francis. People already expressing some concerns about his health. Not everybody knew this.

MIGUEL MARQUES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, it turns out in the Vatican -- this was out there already, but the Vatican has confirmed it, that he had a piece of his lung -- one of his lungs removed some years ago. But there's not a huge level of concern being expressed by the Vatican, saying he's lived with this condition for some time and his health seems to be fine.

MALVEAUX: Miguel, we know that the pope is known for his humility. I want you to listen. This is what Cardinal Timothy Dolan told us earlier.


CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, NEW YORK: Even though he's kind of shy and humble, as you've already seen, he radiates an interior strength and energy. And it's already clear to me that he's got a great sense of the power symbol (ph). Can I give you a couple of --


DOLAN: He -- when he came out after getting his white on, you know, so he comes out from that little dressing room and we all applaud again to see -- he's supposed to go up these steps onto a platform and sit on the white throne and then we're each supposed to come to him and kneel in front of him to give him our love and our loyalty. So as the attendants began to take him by the arm to go up there, he just said, no, I'm going to stay down here and greet each of my brothers. Now that's a powerful sign literally on our level.


MALVEAUX: And, Miguel, I understand he took the bus as well. There are a lot of things that are very appealing about this pope. Do we get a sense, however, because he is so traditional, that there will be major reform within the church?

MARQUEZ: Yes, I do not sense that there's going to be major changes. I mean he said -- he does seem like a very humble guy. He seems like a guy with a very good sense of humor. I certainly got that sense from him even in his massive outpouring last night in his first public appearance as pope. But this is not somebody who is going to embrace gay marriage or adoption by gay parents or female priests, even conception. That was an issue for him in Buenos Aires in Argentina. So I don't think we're going to see major doctrinal changes like that out of this pope, although he will probably, it seems, at least from his first few days -- or his first day in the position so far, he's going to re-focus the position of the church, at least on issues of the poor.

HOLMES: Yes, and that -- and I want to bring in John Allen, soon, too. But, Miguel, let's stand by. We said this mass is underway and want to give people a bit of a sense of the flavor, the atmosphere. Let's listen for a moment.

Miguel Marquez and John Allen standing by there in Vatican City.

You know, I understand John's having trouble hearing us so I'll put this question to you, Miguel. You know, these days the pope really needs to be part saint and part MBA to operate as a successful pontiff. He's very much a pastoral (ph), this man, not a bureaucrat. Is it a sense that he has the chops for reform? And just as importantly, to battle the internal politics?

MARQUEZ: Yes. I think, John, are you hearing that question? I mean he's talking about the internal politics and does this -- does this pope have --

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Does he have the steel and the spine to pull it off? Listen, Michael, I will tell you, that is the central question. And I think there is no doubt that the 114 cardinals who elected Pope Francis wanted a reformer. They want someone who can get his hands around the bureaucracy of the Vatican and shake the place up. Part of the reason -- part of his appeal was that he's an outsider to that environment. Never worked in the Vatican a day in his life. He has run a conquest institution in the archdiocese of Sal Palo in Argentina.

But I think, in a way, this is a roll of the dice. I mean they have taken someone who is an outsider to this environment, who does not know where the bodies are buried, and, of course, is 76 years old and they're hoping that that's going to be the guy who is going to bring a new broom in and sweep clean. I think it's going to remain to be seen how well that's going to play out.

I will say that although we've only seen five minutes really of the pope in public last night, he is certainly off to a promising start, particularly with the choice of his name, the name Francis, that in the catholic imagination in an instant, in a flash, summons images of a different kind of church. Humbler, simpler and closer to the poor. That's the idea. If that becomes his program of governance, if that becomes his style of business management, Michael, we could be in for some very interesting days ahead.

HOLMES: He certainly started off in a humble way, as we were saying, catching the bus today instead of a papal vehicle and all the rest.

John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst. Miguel Marquez. Thanks so much to both of you.

MALVEAUX: Now to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. This is where thousands of folks of Carnival Cruise ship passengers, they are waiting to be flown back home. It was just a month after Carnival's Triumph ship lost power, stranding passengers in just horrible conditions. The Carnival Dream cruise, it also got stuck. The boat's emergency generator has failed, preventing the boat from leaving port in St. Maarten. Now, passengers, they're going to be flown back to Florida, but they have been on the boat now for hours. Some pretty bad conditions.


GREGG STARK, CARNIVAL DREAM PASSENGER (voice-over): The bathrooms are not working. They're backing up. There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms. We spoke to somebody at the front desk and asked them if we could just disembark the ship and go stay at a hotel and then, you know, provide our own transportation back home and they would not allow us to do that.


HOLMES: Cristina Puig is at Carnival Cruise headquarters in Miami.

Cristina, Carnival flying them back to Orlando, we hear. There's worse places to be stuck than St. Maarten. Are they being allowed off the boat right now?

CRISTINA PUIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're not allowed off the boat just yet. This has become -- this Carnival Dream cruise has become another nightmare for the cruise line. As you mentioned, after what happened with the Triumph just barely a month ago. We're not quite sure how many passengers are on the ship. They say they can carry as many as 5,000 passengers.

But what we do know is that Carnival released a statement regarding the transfer of passengers. They say that they're flying all passengers home on charter flights to Florida. They're giving passengers a three-day refund, plus 50 percent off future cruises. Also, they announced the cancellation of the next scheduled cruise that was scheduled to leave this Saturday from Port Canaveral. They too will receive 25 percent discount additionally to that cruise that they were supposed to take.

Now, that's the information that they're releasing right now, although they do say that the ship is fully operational.

MALVEAUX: Huh. Cristina, can you tell us why it was they didn't allow the passengers off the boat after the generator first went down? We saw in the last go-round that at least for the other one, Triumph, that they were on that ship for about a week or so.

PUIG: That's right, Suzanne. This boat happened -- this ship happened to be at dock in St. Maarten. And the reason Carnival is saying that they didn't allow any of the passengers to get off because they were on the last leg of the ship and they feared that some of the passengers might be left behind and therefore complicating matters to get them back here stateside.


HOLMES: Yes, and, of course, no one forgets those images just a month ago with that Carnival Triumph stuck, as Suzanne said, at sea for almost a week. You know, you've got to imagine, it's all about perception in that industry, that's for sure. What kind of PR hit is the cruise line taking? PUIG: Well, this is certainly not boding well for the cruise line. They just announced, as a matter of fact, two days ago that they were going to do a complete revision overhaul of its 23 cruise ships. So obviously there is something happening there and they're trying to be proactive now in order to avoid something like this from happening again.

HOLMES: All right. Appreciate that. Thanks so much for being with us and updating us on all this. What a story, I've got to say.

MALVEAUX: Michael, do you take cruises? Do you like --

HOLMES: No, I've never been on one. Never. And I --

MALVEAUX: I've been on one and I'll never do it again. I'm not a big cruise person.

HOLMES: I don't think I'm in a hurry now.

MALVEAUX: I'm telling you, enough nightmare stories about this. Stay on land. Stay dry.

HOLMES: Exactly.

MALVEAUX: It's a good place to be.

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

First, kids as young as eight delivering bombs in Pakistan. Doing it for as little as $25.

HOLMES: Extraordinary story.

Also this. Venezuela's acting president wanted to put Hugo Chavez's body on permanent display, but they forgot some crucial steps that would make that possible.

MALVEAUX: And rhinos killed for their horns. Now U.S. special forces are getting involved to save them. That is right. Green beret and retired Navy SEALs on the hunt for poachers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Team leader. We're not afraid to go after the --



HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. Here are some of the stories making news around the world right now.

The pope has begun his first full day on the job. And there you're looking at live pictures coming to us from the Sistine Chapel. Pope Francis celebrating mass there. His next few days are going to be busy, perhaps not surprisingly. The pope is going to meet with all the cardinals tomorrow and then he's going to hold an audience with the media on Saturday. Should be interesting.

MALVEAUX: In Venezuela, the government hit a snag in plans to embalm the late President Hugo Chavez. Acting President Nicolas Maduro says it may not be possible at this point. The government planned to preserve Chavez remains for eternity, but scientists say the process should have started much earlier. Chavez passed away last week after a two-year battle with cancer.

HOLMES: And in China, you'll remember this story. Officials have found the source of the thousands of dead pigs dumped in a river that runs right through Shanghai. A farm south of the city has admitted to dumping the carcass. About 6,000 of them pulled from the water this week. The local government says about 70,000 pigs actually died from poor raising techniques and also some bad weather earlier this year, but those carcasses were disposed of safely.

MALVEAUX: And in Pakistan, police say they have busted a terrorist gang that actually uses children as young as eight-years-old as bombers.

HOLMES: Yeah, they're just kids.

Now, this gang is a separatist group in the poorest part of Pakistan, a group that's been fighting for self-rule for years now.

Saima Mohsin reports on how these children are being used to carry out deadly attacks.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, police have told CNN that they discovered these young men during a raid at a militant hideout, some of them as young as eight-years-old, no older than 15.

Police say they were from low-income, poverty-stricken families and they were, therefore, being paid to deliver these bombs to the ringleader's chosen targets.

We don't know if they knew what they were doing, but the police chief has told CNN that at least one of them has allegedly confessed to being behind a bombing in which 11 people were killed and at least 67 injured in (INAUDIBLE) in January.

And as far as we understand, they were taking the packages to the location. It had half-an-hour time device in which they can place it and leave the area.

Now, they are currently being questioned by police. The courts have given them six days to question them after which they'll be transferred to a juvenile ward of a jail awaiting trial.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Islamabad.


HOLMES: Of course, police are saying the group used the kids there because, of course, as kids they rarely arouse suspicion.

And it's not the first time children have been used to deliver bombs in Pakistan. A top Taliban leader used them back in 2009. A really disturbing story.

MALVEAUX: It's just a shame when you think about that, Michael.


MALVEAUX: This is a very interesting story. This is a man who wrestles a shark and he's protecting these kids who are nearby, right?

Well, then he gets fired from his job. We're going to tell you why.


HOLMES: Going to take you to Australia now, the sunshine coast of Queensland, warm weather, water, beaches, all that stuff and, of course, the occasional as we say in Australia Noah's ark, or shark. We're going to show this amazing video.

We do say that, first. You see this guy, runs into the water, grabs a six-footer by the tail, pulls it away from a bunch of kids. This is kind of a Steve Irwin want-to-be, if you like, caught on camera.

So what happens? The video goes viral. And, of course, that's how heroes are made, right?

But, no, we're going to learn that no good deed goes unpunished. Amy La Porte is here. And, of course, Amy, you know, being Aussies, this is no scrub. We do this in Australia. We do this all the time.


HOLMES: What we do on the weekend.

LA PORTE: Exactly. There we go. We are all Steve Irwin wannabes, right?

HOLMES: We are. I'm kidding.

What's he doing?

LA PORTE: OK, this is a good guy. I want to press this and paint a picture of this guy.

He's a charity worker back in Wales. He is actually such a good guy that he has had charity awards. He's met Prince Charles. He works a lot, right?

So, he goes on this vacation to Australia with his wife who also works for this charity. He is on the beach having a barbecue when someone yells out, help, help, shark.

Immediately, without thinking, he sprints down to the water, shallow water. There are kids around, toddlers, so he decides, grabs the tail of this six-foot shark, pushes it out.

You can see there, actually the shark is thriving and these things are strong. So it knocks him into the water. It's biting at his legs. He manages to fight it off, and it eventually goes out into open water.

MALVEAUX: All right. So, Amy, I got to weigh-in on this. I've got to ask you. Because, you know, you've got two Aussies in the house here. Why did this guy lose his job? What happened?

LA PORTE: OK, well, here's where it gets really interesting.

So, he arrives back home and he arrives to a letter, and we actually have part of that letter here I want to read to you.

So, this is from his employer. "Whilst unfit to work, you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail. We find that dismissal is the only course of action we can recommend."

Of course, so, what had actually happened there was a news crew on the shore, and they captured the whole thing on video, ran it on their nightly bulletin. The national news picked it up.

It went viral as these things do. He's hailed a hero, internationally, and, of course, it gets back to his small village in Wales.

HOLMES: But the twist of this is he was on sick leave not because he'd done his back in or pulled hamstring. He was on sick leave for stress.

LA PORTE: That's what it comes down to and that's the clincher.


LA PORTE: So, he lost his job because he took this vacation because he was stressed.

HOLMES: Right.

LA PORTE: And I guess it raises the issue that his doctor had told him, you're stressed mate, go on a holiday.

So, if you've got an infection, you get antibiotics, right? You have work-related stress. You go on a holiday.

And I actually went onto Twitter and I thought, overwhelmingly, people are going to be in support of this so-called "shark man."

HOLMES: Right.

LA PORTE: Not so much. Actually, it was split. There were a lot of people saying he cheated the system.

If you are too unwell to work, then you are too unwell to wrestle a shark.

HOLMES: There's an ongoing debate about this, Suzanne, but of course, it's ...

MALVEAUX: Oh, come on.

HOLMES: It's happening in England. There's a lot of -- there's talk that they're going to negotiate and blah blah blah, but at the moment, no, he is fired.

But, yeah, if it happened in the U.S., he'd probably get 10 million, go to court, sue and all of that.

But, yeah, no, at the moment, it's up in the air whether he's going to get his job back or not. It's not looking good, though, different mores over there.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, some people go on antibiotics to relieve stress. He goes, you know, attacks sharks.

LA PORTE: Rest and relaxation, right?

HOLMES: No big deal. Shark wrestling, normal.

MALVEAUX: I can't hang with the Aussies. I'm sorry. I just can't do it.

LA PORTE: You Americans can't cut it.

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Amy.

President Obama, he's heading to Capitol Hill for a third day. He's going to try to score some points, get his budget through if he can. We've got a live report up next.

HOLMES: Yeah. And also a reminder for those of you watching us here in the United States to watch CNN's new lead show -- the new show called "The Lead With Jake Tapper."

Now, this starts Monday afternoon, 4:00 Eastern, again, for our U.S. viewers.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to "Around the World." Here are the stories that we're following right now.

You're looking at live pictures from the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis celebrating his first mass as the head of the catholic church.

Today, Vatican confirmed the new pope had part of his lung removed when he was younger, but they assured everybody that the 76-year-old is in good health.

HOLMES: We've got an update for you on Britain's phone hacking scandal, London police arresting four people for allegedly conspiring to hack voicemails, four old journalist or former journalist for Britain's Mirror Group newspapers.

Police say the investigation centers on "The Sunday Mirror" newspaper. The media company says it is cooperating with police.

MALVEAUX: And he speaks French rather well, also Welsh. Well, now, Britain's Prince Charles trying to learn a new language, proving a little bit difficult, a little challenge for him. A palace aide confirms he has been taking Arabic lessons.

The prince told guests in Qatar that the language goes in one ear and out the other. The Prince of Wales is on a tour of the Middle East with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

HOLMES: And here in the United States, part three of President Obama's Capitol Hill so-called "charm offensive." For a third straight day, he's meeting lawmakers on their territory trying to find some common ground on the budget and the deficit.

MALVEAUX: So, our Dana Bash, she's joining us from Capitol Hill. Dana, do we think this is making any difference at all?