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AROUND THE WORLD

Bird Flu in China on the Rise; Remembering Margaret Thatcher; Vacationing in Pyongyang?; NASA to Tow Asteroid to Moon; Skiers Take on Himalayas

Aired April 8, 2013 - 12:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back, everyone, to AROUND THE WORLD.

And right now in China, more cases of bird flu are being reported. The country's state-run news agency, Shinghua (ph), says 21 people now infected with a new strain of the virus.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Six people have already died. The World Health Organization says there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Now, investigators have not been able to identify actually the source, however, of this outbreak.

In Cairo, Egypt, fighting between Coptic Christians and Muslims has left one person dead, 66 injured.

HOLMES: You see the violence there, this all happening outside a church as mourners gather to remember four Christians killed in other fighting with Muslims.

These incidents not news, sadly, in Egypt, the Christian minority there has been the target of high-profile attacks in the last few years. This is a real test for President Mohamed Morsi.

MALVEAUX: Across Israel today people are now stopping what they're doing and pausing to remember the six million people killed in the Holocaust, everything basically coming to halt for two minutes as the sirens filled the air.

It is part of ceremonies across the country marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

HOLMES: Back to the death of Margaret Thatcher now.

Her political toughness earned her the nickname, ironically from the Soviets, by the way, of "The Iron Lady."

Well, today, leaders from around the world remembering the former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

MALVEAUX: She died of a stroke at the age of 87, and she was Britain's first and only female prime minister.

Richard Quest is in London. Richard, you've been following this for us quite extensively. And there are amazing things, quotes, of what she has once said, one-liners.

This is one thing she said, "If you want something said, ask a man, but if you want something done, ask a woman."

What do you make of her statements? And really just the strong power that she brought to the table?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN INTERNATIONAL'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": She brought complete and total power to the table, and she did it in a very feminine way. And that I think is what people fail to understand about the way Margaret Thatcher ruled.

Francois Mitterrand regularly to say that she was flirting with him, and indeed, if you do see Margaret Thatcher and you look at those old pictures of her at G-7 meetings, she used every wily, female, femme fatale charm that she had to get her way. And that was one of the great attractions.

Some would arguably say, whenever you saw Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher together, they were almost flirting with each other.

And I think that that has to be the overarching -- she knew how to use her female skills. Let's put it like that.

HOLMES: And, Richard, of course, when we talk about Margaret Thatcher, I mean, she was the -- she had her own title, Thatcherism, a champion of capitalism, sometimes many would say with a sledge hammer.

This is in your wheelhouse. Talk about her influence on the economy, both in Britain, but also beyond.

QUEST: Total and absolute. She took Britain, which was moribund, virtually bankrupt, was beset by strikes in 1979, the so-called "winter of discontent," where even the dead weren't being buried, and she transformed it.

Not single handed, but it was monetarism of the Milton Friedman variety. It was privatization. If it had a British before it, it was privatized. It was all predicated around the idea of those who work would benefit.

But at the same time the national health service was not destroyed as many people feared. There were major cuts in the education system. Some say she destroyed, in large part, the education system.

But fundamentally -- I think, look, even some of her critics, Tony Blair for one of them, who never changed many of the reforms that she introduced, for example, on industrial relations or uniforms -- unions, many of them would say that she was the woman for the times that she was ruling in.

And they were times when there seemed to be too much union power, society seemed to have lost its values and she would seen to be the person to put it right.

The critics say exactly the opposite. They say she brought in a society that was riddled with divisiveness, totally about money and absolutely morally corrupt.

HOLMES: Yeah, many thought it an uncaring philosophy on a social level, but economically you're right. She certainly made a difference.

Richard, good to see you. Richard Quest there outside the houses of parliament.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, we want to bring in Fareed Zakaria, who knew Margaret Thatcher well, to share some of his insights here.

Fareed, give us a sense of what was her influence on former President George H.W. Bush?

We know that when Iraq invaded Kuwait, she was the one who famously kind of turned to Bush and said, don't get wobbly on me here, to go in and take on Saddam Hussein.

HOLMES: Saddam, yeah.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" (via telephone): You know, she was a very determined woman who believed that issues of international relations were ones fundamentally about morality, so she saw the invasion of Kuwait as essentially a violation of international law.

I think the Bush people including the president have always felt that by publicly reminding him not to go wobbly, she did him a disservice, that George H.W. Bush had no intention of going wobbly.

But in any event, you saw the way she reacted to the Falkland Islands business when the Argentine tried to take over the Falkland Islands. You saw it with regard to the Cold War, in general, where she was very tough. And the you saw it with the Gulf War.

Her response in these situations was almost a kind of a snap moral judgment, the details followed later.

HOLMES: And, Fareed, you know, her legacy is really going to be a tapestry, a rich one and a varied one. To her, compromise was a dirty word, wasn't it?

ZAKARIA (via telephone): To her, compromise was a dirty word, and what she felt was that too many people in the West began their negotiations by compromising.

Her feeling was, I'll put out my vision of what the world should look like, what Britain should look like. Let the other side put it out and let compromise arrive as a middle point between. But I'm not going to begin by sounding reasonable.

She never felt the need to sound reasonable. She never felt the need to please the establishment.

She was a unique figure in that she was the head of the conservative party in Britain, which is one of the oldest establishment positions you can have. And yet she was deeply anti-establishment.

MALVEAUX: All right. Fareed, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

A lot of people, of course, are weighing in today, world leaders, but also Meryl Streep. She's also paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS, "THE IRON LADY": We will stand on principle, or we will not stand at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, Margaret, with all due respect ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So you recall she played Thatcher in the 2011 film, "The Iron Lady." She won her third Academy Award for her performance. And here's what she said about Thatcher in a statement today.

HOLMES: Yeah, she said this -- it was a terrific performance, wasn't it?

She said, "To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being a princesses with a different dream, the real life option of leading their nation, this was groundbreaking and admirable."

MALVEAUX: And some people say, too, she went beyond gender. They never thought of her -- whether as a female or a male. She just represented power ...

HOLMES: Strength.

MALVEAUX: ... which is iconic.

HOLMES: Yeah, absolutely.

MALVEAUX: Power.

Well, this is an interesting story, right?

HOLMES: It is. April in Paris, sure. But what about April in Pyongyang?

MALVEAUX: Two American tourists spent their vacation there. We're going to have their story, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Where do you vacation, Michael?

HOLMES: Not North Korea. Not normally.

MALVEAUX: It's lovely this time, right?

HOLMES: I went once in 1984, but I didn't go on vacation.

The country, though, has opened itself up to tourists, believe it or not, including Americans.

MALVEAUX: Yeah. So I guess there are some folks who are going.

Of course we saw and remember Dennis Rodman just a few weeks ago.

Well, David McKenzie met some Americans who've just gotten back from North Korea and they were just chilling, taking a vacation.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Korea's propaganda target is pretty clear.

On state TV, a nation on a (inaudible), ready to smash the United States.

So North Korea is probably not where you'd plan your next trip. But this group of Americans did just that.

PATRICK BYLER CLARK, AMERICAN TOURIST: No, it's not a place to go on vacation. And, you know, my mom was very supportive. My girlfriend broke up with me over it.

MCKENZIE: I caught up with Patrick Byler Clark and Josh Thomas, two American tourists who just braved a trip to Pyongyang.

JOSH THOMAS, AMERICAN TOURIST: My parents actually didn't know. They still don't know. They'll find out tomorrow.

MCKENZIE: And instead of mass rallies in Kim Il-sung Square, they reality they witnessed, rollerblading. Apparently it's the latest fad.

CLARK: Out in the large square, a lot of kids rollerblading. That's super popular right now.

North Korea is not just military goose-stepping across their main square.

MCKENZIE: For these Americans, it was tasting traditional tea, posing with extras in a war film, attending a North Korean wedding.

JOSEPH FERRIS, TOUR GUIDE, YOUNG PIONEER TOURS: I've been around the world to about 100 countries and, as America, North Korea has been one of the forbidden countries.

MCKENZIE: Joseph Ferris guided the group. When North Korea opened up for American tourists in 2010, he rushed in, posting his experiences and photos on a popular blog, an American in North Korea.

FERRIS: The tension that's been talked about around the world is not felt when you're there.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Not on a personal level?

FERRIS (ph): I mean, the guys that we work with are good friends of mine. And I've worked with them before. And they're lovely people.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): So while thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops guard the DMZ, senior North Korean officers gave a tour of the frontline to their American guests, treating them like VIPs. Josh and Patrick know they only got to see what the government minders let them, but they say it was worth it and came back with an opinion that will surprise some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I truly, to the bottom of my being, believed that North Korea was not quite as crazy as the rest of the world seemed to think it was.

MCKENZIE: David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Now, you and I both reacted to one thing there.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The girlfriend.

HOLMES: The girlfriend broke up with him. She (INAUDIBLE).

MALVEAUX: Over the trip. Hey, we're going to get the girlfriend on the line. We'll find out if it's the real story or not.

HOLMES: I think we do. She might have another viewpoint. Yes.

MALVEAUX: Might be a back story.

HOLMES: There could be a back story there. (INAUDIBLE) for going. (INAUDIBLE) check out something different.

MALVEAUX: Wolf Blitzer's been to North Korea, of course, as a journalist. And tonight he's going to devote an entire hour to the crisis in North Korea. Turn in to a special edition of "The Situation Room" later today.

HOLMES: Maybe he'll get the girlfriend on.

MALVEAUX: Yes. You know, somebody's got to talk to the girlfriend.

HOLMES: There you go, Wolf can track that down. We're not buying it.

All right, if it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, well, NASA's plans to lasso an asteroid. Do we say lasso?

MALVEAUX: Lasso. Lasso. HOLMES: Lasso. That's the whole foreigner thing. But, we're going to explain how it works.

MALVEAUX: That's the American version.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Sounds like something you'd see on a sci-fi channel, but actually this is real. This is coming from NASA. It's pretty cool.

HOLMES: That's what they say. They --

MALVEAUX: Can you say the word, lasso?

HOLMES: I'm not going to say it anymore. No, you've been --

MALVEAUX: Lasso.

HOLMES: You've been taking the Mickey out of me for the whole commercial break. It's lasso.

MALVEAUX: Lasso.

HOLMES: And asteroid. And put it in orbit around the moon. That's what they want to do. Lasso. Lasso.

MALVEAUX: So Chad can explain.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is. Yes.

MALVEAUX: Explain it for us.

MYERS: He said lasso.

HOLMES: I did.

MALVEAUX: It's lasso.

MYERS: If you take -- if you take your car and you drive in the driveway and then you drive it into the building and you put the door down, what is that called?

HOLMES: What -- you put the door -- you close the door?

MYERS: Is it a garage?

HOLMES: It's a garage.

MYERS: It's a garage.

MALVEAUX: A garage. It's a garage.

HOLMES: Yes, it's a (INAUDIBLE).

MYERS: All right, I digress. There are asteroids up there.

(CROSS TALK)

MYERS: There's asteroids up there about the size of let's say a bungalow house. They want to get one. They want to bring it back, unmanned, and make it orbit around the moon to see if we can go land on it with another spaceship and then take off again. Why do we want to do this by 2025 at a cost of $2.6 billion? Because if we're going to go to deep space, we probably would not have enough fuel on board to get where we wanted to go or get back. Could we land on an asteroid, mine the asteroid, get the fuel and the water out of the asteroid and then keep going? That's why we want to do this.

MALVEAUX: Can it be done?

HOLMES: I'm one of those who says, this is a great idea. I love it.

MYERS: This is good stuff.

HOLMES: But the orbit thing, does that make it more stable to land on? Is that the idea?

MYERS: We don't want it to fall back to earth --

HOLMES: Right.

MYERS: And then it just burns up and turns into nothing. Turns into a meteor.

MALVEAUX: That would be bad.

HOLMES: And if you just jump on it while it's going past, you'll end up somewhere you don't want to be.

MYERS: Yes.

MALVEAUX: Are we close to any of this or this is all --

MYERS: No. No. This is --

MALVEAUX: Oh, far, far, far down (ph).

MYERS: $2 billion and 12 years away. But when we -- when we set our minds to something, the U.S. will get it done.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: Yes. I'm sorry, I love it. I love all that. Do it.

MYERS: All right.

HOLMES: Get on that, will you? Lasso the asteroid.

MALVEAUX: Lasso.

HOLMES: Put it in the ground.

MALVEAUX: Lasso. HOLMES: All right.

MALVEAUX: All right, when you think a world class skiing, you probably think of places, right, the Alps or Colorado. But some of the world's best skiers, they're actually looking to the mountains of Pakistan.

HOLMES: Check it out. The only problem, you have no ski lifts. We'll show you how they do it when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: (INAUDIBLE) or Aspin, but skiers now flying to the top of the world to take on some of the slopes that are really amazing. Never tried before, actually.

HOLMES: Pretty scary. The only way to get there by helicopter and military helicopter. Pakistan's military supplying them. And Pakistan hopes it's going to jump-start the country's tourist industry. OK. Well, let's see what CNN's Saima Mohsin has got to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the world's highest mountain range, but that hasn't stopped a team of extreme free-ride heli skiers from taking it on. Brice Lequertier is leading the team. In 2003, he climbed Everest, then skied back down. Now he's set for his biggest challenge yet.

BRICE LEQUERTIER, HELI-SKI TEAM LEADER: Well, the Himalaya is the biggest, highest mountain range in the world. You have a unique terrain that's so big, so high and so wide. Completely undiscovered. The place we flew today to, nobody's ever been there. Nobody ever stepped a foot there. So it's exciting. It's just an adventure to start (ph).

MOHSIN: Some of the world's best skiers and snow boarders have flown in from Russia, Canada, France, Serbia and Switzerland for the pioneering project. There are no resorts or commercial heli teams here, so this team is working with the Pakistan military to get them to the top of the mountain.

MOHSIN (on camera): We're just trying to scout out a location where the helicopter can land, where it's safe to go heli-skiing.

MOHSIN (voice-over): And when they found a spot, Samyra Rashid is the only woman and Pakistani on the team.

SAMYRA RASHID, FIRST WOMAN & PAKISTANI TO HELI-SKI KARAKORAM: It's absolutely incredible. I can't tell you what a thrill it is to have had the opportunity to come here in this area of outstanding natural beauty to bring people from abroad all over the world who have skied everywhere and myself. I mean, we're all blown away. There's been nothing like it ever anywhere.

MOHSIN (on camera): Were you nervous?

RASHID: Extremely nervous. Absolutely petrified. Getting up there in the really high region was terrifying, but incredible.

MOHSIN: The Karakoram mountain range in northern Pakistan is home to the highest concentration of peaks. Over 8,000 meters to be found anywhere in the world. The team that's come here has 500 kilometers of mountain peaks to discover.

LEQUERTIER: Returning here would be a dream because what we discovered here, flying around the last two days, is basically that you could spend a full life or even 10 life discovering terrain here.

MOHSIN (voice-over): With untouched slopes where nobody has ever skied before, this international team has plenty of adventures ahead. While locals are hoping this will be the kick-start they need to boost Pakistan's winter sports and tourism industry.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, in the Karakoram mountain range, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: That's pretty awesome.

HOLMES: That looks fantastic.

MALVEAUX: You know, once you're up there, though, there's no ski lift. So you've got to go down one way.

HOLMES: You have to -- yes, you cannot chicken out. I -- my immediate thought as they're carving it up down there, avalanche.

MALVEAUX: Yes.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: It's never been skied before. You don't know. That's the risk.

HOLMES: Exactly.

MALVEAUX: That's a risk you take.

HOLMES: Spectacular. That will do it for me. I'm out of here. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: I'll see you tomorrow.

HOLMES: Carry on, will you.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Michael.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)