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AROUND THE WORLD

Weight More, Pay More on Flights; North Koreans Slam the Door; Spine for a Spine; Cancer Patients in Canada Received Watered Down Drugs; Joss Stone Murder Plot Foiled

Aired April 3, 2013 - 12:00   ET

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


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

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes.

We're going to begin today in the West Bank. Have a listen to this. This is Hebron, today, in the West Bank. It is the second straight day of street fighting between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers.

MALVEAUX: Now, Palestinians accuse Israel of allowing a Palestinian prisoner to die in custody. The cease-fire that kept things quiet in Gaza since November was violated with Israel hitting targets in Gaza from the air yesterday. This was in response to Palestinian rocket fire.

HOLMES: In Vatican City, Pope Francis making a private visit to the tomb of Pope John Paul II last night. Tuesday marking the eighth anniversary of John Paul's death.

MALVEAUX: Pope Francis waited for the basilica to close to the public before kneeling in silent prayer.

In South Africa, the news about Nelson Mandela is encouraging. Now the government says that Mandela is making steady progress and is doing much better.

HOLMES: He has been treated, of course, for pneumonia since being admitted to the hospital late last month. The former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner is, of course, revered in South Africa, indeed right around the world.

MALVEAUX: And if you weigh more, should you actually have to pay more when you fly? This is very controversial.

HOLMES: We've been talking about this all day around the newsroom.

MALVEAUX: Keep skinny.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly.

MALVEAUX: This is a new policy. This is at Samoa Air. The airline has begun to now charge passengers according to their weight. This is what folks -- this is how they're reacting to it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it's really fair because it's -- the skinny people will be paying less and the bigger people will be paying a whole lot more.

CHRIS LANGTON, CEO, SAMOA AIR: Right (ph) benefit to families. Makes it easier to work out your costs. We can carry everything that people want to carry on board. It makes us much more efficient.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Yes, the airline's website says -- and this is a quote -- they say, "your weight plus your baggage items is what you're going to pay for."

MALVEAUX: Right. So is this fair? Is it not fair? You know, I mean, it could just be Samoa, right? And that's a -- it's a tiny little airline.

HOLMES: Very small. Small planes.

MALVEAUX: But a lot of people are asking, could this actually be something that larger airlines actually decide is a good idea? Because now we have to pay for baggage. That's something that before people couldn't even imagine.

HOLMES: Exactly. I still can't imagine. Is this the next step for other airlines? To bring it all home to our viewers, Richard Quest is in London. He's also our -- you're an expert on everything, but airlines as well.

You know, do you see this as fair and the way of the future?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't. It's a --

HOLMES: Good.

QUEST: It's a very nifty -- it's a very nifty whease (ph) and a brilliant idea, but little Samoa Air, with its two planes shuttling around islands in the South Pacific. They obviously want to make sure -- I mean, first of all, those planes are not that big. And, secondly, fuel must be a very high component of their cost. So they want to ensure they get that balance right.

But for a major airline, it would simply be impractical. And that's why the airlines follow certain guidelines. So, for example, in 2003 the FAA in the United States increased the amount that they require airlines to predict passengers will weigh on average by 10 pounds. It went to 190 odd pounds. In Europe, they look at 90 kilos for a passenger and their luggage. And you do that for a variety of reasons. You do it for simplicity. You do it for fuel calculations. And you do it for economy. Because it costs planes more fuel to carry fuel to carry passengers to carry fuel.

MALVEAUX: But, Richard, OK, so one of our former colleagues, Miles O'Brien, who also happens to be a pilot, he says, look, you know, this is an issue of fairness, not necessarily discrimination. So he's defending this.

QUEST: Oh.

MALVEAUX: Listen to what he said, Richard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILES O'BRIEN, PILOT, AVIATION ANALYST: If the premise is it costs more to carry heavy baggage, which is true, then that premise should hold for heavier individuals. So in the fairest world, if you did a cumulative weight of the passenger plus his or her luggage and the discharge for that weight, that would be, by far, the fairest. That would be a level playing field.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: All right, Richard, so if we start eating more, what do you think, does Miles have a point?

QUEST: I love Miles O'Brien. He's absolutely spot-on correct. In a fair world, you would charge by weight. And that's what Samoa Air is doing. And it is absolutely the right, fair thing to do. Until your great Uncle Joe is obese, your neighbor next door is a little on the thin side, you, Suzanne, have got that vast steam of trunk of clothes that you wish to take.

MALVEAUX: How did you know that? How did he know I carry a huge bag?

QUEST: And Michael -- and Michael has just got a pair of body shots and objects to paying the extra (ph). So that's why airlines have to have this. In a perfect world.

But just imagine -- just imagine an A380 with 500 people on board and everybody's getting on and off, on and off the scales weighing themselves and then working out what the --

HOLMES: Ridiculous.

QUEST: And then you had a big lunch, so that's a bit extra. Oh, and you've got that and that's a bit extra. Oh, no, but you went to the bathroom before you got on. So we'll take a bit off. I mean it would (ph) a nightmare.

HOLMES: And, also, it's not that you -- if you -- I'm 6'4," and you're -- you're --

MALVEAUX: 5'3", I'll say it. 5'3".

HOLMES: Yes, tiny. But I don't take up more space, you know, in the seat. That's not fair. That's how you're born. That's not a mistake of, you know, overeating or something.

QUEST: Right. But, but, but, but, but, Ms. Malveaux, do you object to paying the extra fuel cost that luggins (ph) next to you would take because he's heavier?

MALVEAUX: I carry the big bag.

HOLMES: Of course you don't.

MALVEAUX: I know. I have to pay extra for the big bag.

HOLMES: Yes, she's got the shoes. I've got the body (ph) shorts.

MALVEAUX: I do have the big bag, yes.

QUEST: And just imagine -- just imagine when you're sitting on a plane if you see a truly obese person walking towards you. You really would want to tap them on the shoulder and either ask for some --

HOLMES: That's a space issue. That's a space issue. I don't take up more --

QUEST: No, it's not. It costs -- you know, it costs a -- it costs more money to carry that passenger because they're going to burn more fuel.

HOLMES: Yes, that's true. If they're sitting next to you, it's a space issue though.

MALVEAUX: Yes, but it's also --

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: It can also be seen as a discrimination issue too. I mean that's one of the points as well.

QUEST: It's a brilliant -- it's a -- which is a brilliant --

MALVEAUX: But, Richard, we've got to let you go.

QUEST: It's a brilliant idea that is totally unworkable in a major airline.

HOLMES: In the real world.

QUEST: Period.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: Richard, terrific. Always fun. We could go on, but we can't.

MALVEAUX: Yes, awesome. But we do have more news.

HOLMES: Yes, we do. Good to see you, mate.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Richard.

HOLMES: Luggins, indeed. All right, let's talk about North Korea now. North Korean officials did more than what they have been doing, and that is talking tough today. They actually took some action that analysts are seeing as perhaps stirring up more trouble on the Korean peninsula now.

MALVEAUX: So we're talking about an industrial complex. Now, it's on the border, but technically inside North Korea. It is where South Koreans and North Koreans work together to show that they are cooperating. Well, there is none of that today. The North Koreans sent all South Koreans home, told them not to come back. Our Kyung Lah, she is nearby and has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just south of the DMZ and North Korea's capital Pyongyang, the road to the one place the two Koreas work together. But not today. South Korean vehicles pulled out one by one, nearly 400 of them. Workers turned away. Where they want to go? Kaesong industrial complex. An unusual place on North Korean territory. Here, 123 South Korean manufacturing companies employ 50,000 North Korean workers, pumping out hundreds of millions of dollars in products. An island of peace between cold war nations.

But like the angry threats stemming from Pyongyang this week, the North's president Kim Jong-un, struck again. South Koreans could leave, but not come in to Kaesong. Beyond the dark green gate, the border of North Korea, about 800 South Koreans remain on the other side.

LAH (on camera): Do you think those workers will eventually come out?

LAH (voice-over): "Of course they will," says this Kaesong worker who was turned away at the gate. "I'm confident they'll come out."

The anxious wait begins.

LAH (on camera): These are the last few cars that we've seen coming out of Kaesong. A second wave of workers. We were expecting many more. But so far, these are the only vehicles we've seen.

LAH (voice-over): A small trickle of cars emerging every hour while the South Korean government pledged to protect its citizens still inside. The manager at a Kaesong plant came out late in the day telling reporters his colleagues refuse to leave, worried the North Koreans would not let them back in to keep their companies running.

"It's very serious," he says. "Not just that the factories will stop running, but that there won't be any food for the workers." He added, "the stores were running out of supplies already. The countries need to negotiate," he says.

The day ends with hundreds of South Koreans still behind the North Korean curtain with an unpredictable tomorrow.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Paju, near the North Korean border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: On to Saudi Arabia now. And you might have heard an eye for an eye. But what about a spine for a spine? A bizarre story.

HOLMES: This is an incredible story. Amnesty International outraged over reports of a man sentenced to paralysis as punishment. The human rights group says it amounts to torture.

MALVEAUX: Mohammed Jamjoom, he is following this story from Beirut.

And, Mohammed, what do we know about this case? And what was behind this?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, it's an absolutely shocking case. A man in Saudi Arabia reportedly sentenced by a Saudi court to be paralyzed because he had allegedly stabbed and paralyzed his best friend 10 years ago. Now, local media reports started emerging about this case over the weekend. Saudi newspapers saying that a court there was sentencing Ali Alkawahil (ph) and demanding that he be paralyzed from the waist down if he was not able to come up with around $270,000 that would be paid to his victim as compensation.

Amnesty International issued a statement just last night in which they said that this sentence was "outrageous and should on no account be carried out." That statement added that "paralyzing someone as punishment for a crime" was absolutely wrong and "would be torture."

Suzanne.

HOLMES: Yes, Mohammed, Amnesty also says that there have been other retribution cases. Things like even eye gouging, pulling of teeth. You know, at a time when Saudi wants to be seen as having sort of incremental, if that, reforms, you know, what -- how does this all reflect on the judicial system there?

JAMJOOM: This is not the kind of case that the Saudi government would like to appear in international media. Saudi Arabia is a very conservative, deeply Islamic country. It practices a very puritanical strain of Islam. And under Sharia law, as it's practiced there, Islamic law, you do have eye for an eye retribution style punishments being doled out. The Saudis don't like the media talking about it so much because that is their law over there and because it makes them look -- it just makes them look bad to international rights groups and other international governments.

But the fact of the matter is, it depends on the type of crime that's committed as for if these types of punishments are being doled out. When it comes to murders, convicted murderers being executed, that is quite common. In fact, Amnesty International reported that in 2012 at least 79 people, convicted murderers in Saudi Arabia, had been executed.

When it comes to this type of a case though, paralysis as punishment, that's much less common. You don't hear about that a lot. The last time we heard about a case like this was in 2010 when there were reports that another victim, who had been paralyzed, was demanding that his attacker be paralyzed. The Saudi justice ministry eventually denied that that type of punishment was even being considered by the court.

Michael.

HOLMES: Mohammed, thanks so much. Mohammed Jamjoom there in Beirut.

MALVEAUX: Here's more of what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD this hour.

An unbelievable story. This is out of Canada. More than 1,000 cancer patients got the wrong dose of the chemotherapy drug that they were supposed to have to save their lives. We're going to explain how this happened and who's to blame.

HOLMES: Jewish students in France going head-to-head with Twitter. They want the company to identify users who posted anti-Semitic comments. The case could cost Twitter $50 million and could affect users all over the world.

MALVEAUX: And what does it take to put on a perfect show when you're on the road 300 days a year? We're going to go behind the scene with the cast of Cirque du Soleil, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. Here are the stories making news "Around the World" right now.

MALVEAUX: Wow. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a terrible bush crash that happened last night, seven people died when this city bus went over the guardrails of an overpass.

Tumbled more than 300 feet -- rather 30 feet to the street below. Everybody else on the bus, they were hurt and taken to the hospital.

HOLMES: Police in northern India looking for two men on a motorcycle who witnesses say threw acid on four women walking along a road. The women, all of them sisters, three of them have severe burns from the acid.

Police say the attackers were on a motorcycle and shot the acid from a water gun. No word yet on why those women might have been targeted.

MALVEAUX: And in China's Hunan province just getting to school takes some effort. This 14-year-old and his sister, they climb ladders up steep cliffs as part of their monthly trek to the classroom.

Now these ladders were actually built after the bridge collapsed. Now, even the dog has learned to climb. Be pretty hard to do this every day. It's 21 miles to school actually for ...

HOLMES: Twenty-one miles.

MALVEAUX: Twenty-one miles, can you imagine that?

HOLMES: Every day. Oh, my word.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, I just caught the school bus.

HOLMES: Yeah, really. Exactly. Oh, my word, that's dedication.

There's the dog. We were waiting for the dog. There he is, good. We told you the dog could do it.

Now this is a disturbing story. You have somebody who's fighting for their life, they've got cancer and then they find out that the chemotherapy drugs they were being given had been watered down.

MALVEAUX: So that is actually what happened to more than a thousand patients. This is in Canada.

They received doses of chemo in what were lower than what they had intended and authorities are now investigating how did it happen and how does it affect all those patients who had those drugs.

HOLMES: Really worrying stuff. John Vennavally-Rao of CTV has the details for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN VENNAVALLY-RAO, CORRESPONDENT, CTV: It's a stunning revelation. Two commonly used chemotherapy drugs provided to four Ontario hospitals had lower than intended doses. In essence, the drugs were watered down.

According to Cancer Care Ontario, the chemo meds were up to 20 percent less powerful than they should have been.

DR. CAROL SAWKA, CANCER CARE ONTARIO: The assumption is that up to a thousand people may have received doses that are less than what was intended.

VENNAVALLY-RAO: Not only were the doses less powerful than intended, but some patients were getting those lower doses for up to a year says oncologist Dr. Carol Sawka from Cancer Care Ontario.

She says it's impossible to know how this will affect the cancer and whether it puts patients in more danger.

SAWKA: Will they worry? Sure. That's the nature of being human and having a condition.

Of course I think that that's -- it's a cause for some worry. But it's the job of the oncologist to discuss with them whether that worry is justified or not.

VENNAVALLY-RAO: The drugs came from a supplier who was responsible for mixing and labeling the medication then providing them to the hospitals.

The problem was uncovered by a hospital pharmacist in Peterborough who tested the suppliers products. All Ontario hospitals are now mixing their own doses and the supplier is no longer being used for these meds.

The four hospitals in Windsor, London, Oshawa, and Peterborough are now arranging special meetings for the patients and their oncologists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: A hundred-eighty-six patients at a hospital in New Brunswick also received these watered down drugs.

You can imagine how concerned people are about all of this.

HOLMES: Staggering stuff. In all, officials say almost 1,200 patients were affected by that mix up.

MALVEAUX: And just in, a guilty verdict for two men who plotted to murder Joss Stone.

Up next we'll tell you what the singer herself has to say about all that. Actually surprising.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: This is in England, a scary case for soul singer Joss Stone. She might be breathing a sigh of relief today. Two men who have actually been planning and convicted of planning to rob and actually kill her.

HOLMES: A bizarre story, again, let's get to Erin McLaughlin in London.

Erin, I know you've been following this story for a long time. Tell us what the court found.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Michael.

Bizarre is the word Kevin Liverpool's own attorney used to describe his client's own behavior.

Today's guilty verdict not exactly surprising given the weight of the evidence against the two men. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: It's a story that could have been scripted in Hollywood, a bungled murder/robbery plot targeting well-known pop singer Joss Stone and two criminals allegedly caught with incriminating notes, a map, body bags and a samurai sword in the small car they crashed before reaching their destination.

JOSS STONE, SINGER: They definitely went "Kill Bill" on it. It's like they sat and just watched like way too many movies.

MCLAUGHLIN: Prosecutors say Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool drove some 230 miles across England with the intent to rob and kill the 25- year-old soul singer at her home in an idyllic, quiet section of Devon.

On the way over, the duo, whose behavior anything but dynamic, crashed into a fence. Their Fiat was badly mangled.

Apparently lost, the pair was spotted on this main road just miles from the singer's home. Their car was packed with what seemed to be a stash of weapons.

A knife, a hammer, black bags and tape, they were hard to miss in this town not used to strangers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just getting ready to set up for lunchtime, I think it was, and we just saw the car pull up outside.

We did think that they looked a little bit suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The salon was shut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I don't know why they were banging on the door.

MCLAUGHLIN: There were stopped outside of this hair salon. Police found a picture of Stone and some handwritten notes.

The notes read "Jocelyn RIP, " and, "Once Jocelyn's dead find a river to dump her."

Beyonce and R. Kelly among other famous names mentioned in their writings.

The notes also detailed a possible motive, Stone's royal connections. She was a guest at the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

One of the notes called the Queen a "she-devil" who loves Joss Stone.

Bradshaw and Liverpool never made it here to the gates outside Stone's house. The singer says she was home, doors unlocked, at the time of their arrest.

STONE: I tell you what, if they had've come, the farmer would have come up with a big shotgun. They would have had the shock of their lives.

Don't really feel it that much because it didn't happen.

MCLAUGHLIN: Bradshaw suffers from schizophrenia. He says he thought he was going on a harmless day trip. He testified that he didn't even know who Joss Stone was.

It's a defense that didn't hold in court. Both Bradshaw and Liverpool were found guilty of conspiring to rob and murder the singer.

Kevin Liverpool has been sentenced to life in prison. Sentencing has been adjourned for Junior Bradshaw pending medical reports.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Both men will have the opportunity to appeal, though it's unclear at the moment whether they plan to do so, Michael.

HOLMES: All right, Erin. Thanks so much.

Erin McLaughlin there, covering that.

MALVEAUX: Glad she's OK. I love Joss Stone. She's so talented. I love her. I've seen her, yeah.

HOLMES: Yeah, amazing. Well, she's good.

MALVEAUX: She is good.

Twitter getting sued now for anti-Semitic postings. A group of French students say that either tell us who posted these slurs or fork over $50 million.

That story up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)