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North Koreans Prep Missile; Cars Recalled Over Airbags; Anonymous Gets Activist; The Catholic Church and Science; Angelina Jolie Speaks Out Against Sexual Violence

Aired April 11, 2013 - 12:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes. Hello everyone. Happy Thursday. We do begin in Texas. Bad news out of there.

MALVEAUX: Breaking news. This is out of the Dallas area. At least two people have been killed in a bus accident. This is on President George Bush Turnpike. It's a charter bus that was heading to casinos in Oklahoma when it overturned. You can see it there, just a dramatic picture, tragic there. Two people have been killed. Dozens now taken to the hospital.


SGT. LONNIE HASCHEL, TEXAS DEPT. PUBLIC SAFETY: Thirty people that were passengers on the bus, we have two that are confirmed deceased right now. The passengers have been taken to various hospitals throughout the metroplex. We're very lucky to have a mutual aid agreement with several different fire stations, fire, police, EMS, that kind of thing. They're working to get the folks triaged. That's what you've seen in the live shots. That big yellow tarp that's out there, they're assessing injuries, determining who has the most serious injuries and then shipping those folks off to various hospitals depending on the severity of their injury.


HOLMES: And as we look at live pictures there coming from our affiliate WFAA, we'll continue to monitor the situation there and bring you more information as it comes to hand.

MALVEAUX: In North Korea, we're seeing more signs that a missile launch could happen at any time. At least one of the missiles on North Korea's east coast was raised to firing position. That happened today. But then nothing happened after that. But, still, people in South Korea taking all the tough talk, military action. They're trying to be calm about all this.

HOLMES: Yes, we're going to talk about that when we go live to Anna Coren in Seoul in just a moment. People there pretty gil (ph) at the moment.

To Syria. Human Rights Watch claims the government is carrying out air strikes against civilians. The group says Syrian fighter jets have been targeting -- deliberately targeting bakeries, bread lines, hospitals as well.

MALVEAUX: Local activists estimate that more than 4,000 civilians have been killed across the country since July. Now, a Syrian lawmaker says forces only strike terrorist groups.

HOLMES: The North Koreans gave another reason to think they're about to launch a missile, whether it's a test or a warning or really who knows what it is. American officials told CNN today that one of those medium-range missiles that are parked on North Korea's east coast was raised up to what's described as firing position.

MALVEAUX: But there wasn't a launch. The North Koreans could have just been practicing a firing procedure. And, of course, it's just a guess from U.S. officials. They don't really know what else would be going on. The whole escalation of North Korean aggressive talk is new, but it's a mystery to just about everybody in the diplomatic community and military circles. What do they plan on doing next? Want to bring in Anna Coren, of Seoul, with us to talk a little bit about, what do we make of the movements today?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Suzanne, they're keeping us waiting, that's for sure. As you mentioned, the news coming out of the U.S., that that mobile rocket launcher has been raised. We also know that it's being fueled and ready to go. Those two Musudan missiles positioned on the east coast of the country. These missiles have never been tested before. So it's believed this will be a test. But, obviously, that information yesterday about those multiple launches as well.

But a couple of hours ago, Suzanne, we got word from Pyongyang, more fiery rhetoric out of the North saying revolutionary forces ready to fire and warheads are set to precise coordinates. Now, read into you - read into that what you like. We don't know whether they're referring specifically to those Musudan missiles, whether it's artillery or other military hardware. But certainly the rhetoric is still coming out of North Korea, trying to, I guess, escalate, you know, tensions, which are already pretty heightened here on the Korean peninsula.

HOLMES: Well, while everyone just tries to work out exactly what it is that Kim Jong-un really wants. I mean it's becoming a bit ridiculous if it wasn't so serious. But the interesting thing where you are, and tell us what you've been seeing, South Koreans, I don't know if it's an element of cry wolf or something, they just sort of carry on.

COREN: Yes, almost oblivious, Michael. It's quite strange. I know to the international community whose probably watching this thinking, oh, my goodness, you know, they're on the brink of war. Everybody must be, you know, hunkering down in their bunkers. It couldn't be anything, you know, further from the truth.

Basically, South Koreans are going about their everyday lives like they normally would. In fact, people are more concerned about the new single being released by the South Korean pop star Psy than they are to what's taking place, you know, north of the border. That just kind of - just gives you an idea as to the mindset here. The reason being is this country has been living in this climate for the last 60 years. Ever since the end of the Korean War when the armistice was signed, this has been the state of play. The two countries have technically been at war and we've also, you know, been getting this rhetoric out of North Korea on a very regular basis. So that is why people are a little bit blase.

Of course, the government and military taking this very seriously. Everybody is on heightened alert. But as far as the people here in Seoul, it's business as usual.

HOLMES: Life goes on. Anna, thanks. Anna Coren. Apparently a sold out Julio Iglesias concert last night in Seoul too, packed.

MALVEAUX: And obsessed with Psy, right?


MALVEAUX: The latest album Psy has out.

Well, there is somebody who is weighing in on this. This is somebody - this is a woman. She spied on North Korea. She even carried out a mayor terrorist attack. Well, she's got a theory about what is happening here. She believes that this is all about a young leader who is being tested.

HOLMES: Yes, her former homeland. Listen in.


KIM HYUN-HEE, FORMER NORTH KOREAN SPY (through translator): Kim Jong- un is too young and too inexperienced. He's struggling to gain complete control over the military and to win their loyalty. North Korea is using its nuclear program to keep its people in line and to push South Korea and the United States for concessions.


HOLMES: Don't even know what those concessions might be at the moment. That woman is Kim Hyun-Hee. She's actually very well-known in South Korea. She and another North Korean agent put a bomb on board a South Korean airliner, killed more than 100 people. That was back in 1987.

MALVEAUX: And she was actually formally pardoned. Now lives in South Korea as well.

Much more on North Korea ahead. We're going to show you rare video from inside of the country. Hear the desperate stories of hunger from a woman who has just escaped. And tonight at 6:00 Eastern, Wolf Blitzer is going to devote an entire hour to the crisis in North Korea. You want to tune in for that special edition of "The Situation Room." That is 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: Yes, when you think about it, you probably can't drive a block anywhere in the U.S., in many parts of the world indeed, without seeing a Honda, a Toyota, a Nissan or Mazda on the road. Well, if you drive one of those brands, you better listen up.

MALVEAUX: That is right. Four Japanese automakers recalling 3.4 million cars. That is across the world. And it all is due to a defect with the air bag. Alison Kosik, she's joining us from the New York Stock Exchange.

So, tell us which models are affected? It's a lot of people, a lot of cars.

HOLMES: I don't think she is hearing.

Alison, you got us yet?

Not hearing us. We'll move on.

Yes, but it's cars from 2001 to 2003 affected.

Alison, have we got you back?

MALVEAUX: Can you hear us?


HOLMES: OK. Yes, tell us, from 2001 to 2003, I think. Tell us what else we need to know about this?

KOSIK: OK. This is a huge recall, Michael and Suzanne. This recall really circles the globe. It affects cars that are in North America, in Europe, in Japan, in China. And it varies based on the automaker.

I want to show you the breakdown here. Most of the recalls are from Toyota and Honda. In fact, more than one million of those cars that are recalled are at each of those companies. At Toyota they include the Corolla, the Sequoia, the Tundra, the Lexus SC 430. And with Toyota, you know what, it's like a one-two punch because it's really bad timing. Toyota is just coming off a recall of 7 million vehicles last year. Eight million between 2009 and 2010.

Here's the issue with this recall. The passenger air bag can deploy with too much pressure. And let me break down to you what this means. What happens is, the pressure causes one plastic part, the inflater, it's casing can actually burst, sending pieces flying. Now, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda, they all use the same Japanese manufacturer, Takata. Now, Takata's stock, in fact, is closed down today 9 percent on this news.

Good thing, though, no injuries or deaths have been reported, but there have been several crashes. You know, such a wide reaching recall. It can hit confidence. We saw this after Toyota's recalls in 2009 and 2010, but it recovered. As for Toyota shares that are traded here, they're actually up more than 1 percent. So not effecting the trade today.

Michael and Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. HOLMES: Going to be interesting to see, actually, because that company also provides parts for other carmakers as well. Let's see how this all unfolds.

KOSIK: Right.

HOLMES: And, meanwhile, while all this is happening, you've got the Dow and the S&P hitting record highs today. And I'm just looking at the board now. Another green arrow day.

KOSIK: And you know what -- which nice round number we're watching for now? We are on Dow 15,000 watch. You know, hearing 15,000 is incredible, but it got within 118 points earlier in the session. So, in the meantime, we've got the Dow, the S&P 500, they're hitting new intraday records. And the funny thing is, is other than a positive labor report that came out today, there is no major reason for stocks to be up today. So it really is momentum. The path of least resistance. It's higher. There's nothing really out there to make investors bail on the market. And every day investors are jumping in because they don't want to miss the train. They don't want to miss out on the rally. In fact, one analyst says, hey, this rally, it's still got some room to run.

Michael and Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Oh, good.

HOLMES: Yes, I'll do everyone a favor and stay out, because if I go in, it will tank, I'll tell you that.

KOSIK: Yes, stay out of it, please.


HOLMES: Yes, I will. Thanks, Alison. Good advice.

MALVEAUX: We appreciate it.

And, of course, we've been watching this ongoing story, this debate over tighter gun control officially underway on Capitol Hill. Senate just voted a little while ago to break a Republican filibuster. Now, the vote came down to 68-31. That clears the way for lawmakers to start debating different gun control proposals. That is the next step, of course.

HOLMES: Yes, that could - now, that could go on for some time, couldn't it?

MALVEAUX: A couple weeks (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: The things they could talk about include a compromised plan by Democratic and Republican senators to expand background checks. But a lot of the key things the president was talking about, you know, post mass shooting, off the table.

MALVEAUX: It's very watered down. HOLMES: It is, isn't it (ph).

MALVEAUX: But they feel like it's a beginning. It's a starter there.

HOLMES: That it's something. Yes.


Well, even al Qaeda had something to say about the availability of guns in this country. A video posted by an al Qaeda spokesman in 2011 said the U.S. now is overflowing with guns that are simply easy -- too easy to get even.

HOLMES: Yes, it was a video that recently surfaced on the website Bugsby. You may be familiar with that. And you may be familiar with the name Adam Gadahn. He is the al Qaeda spokesman who was actually born in the United States. Listen up.


ADAM GADAHN, AL QAEDA SPOKESMAN: Let's take America as an example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?


HOLMES: Yes, gosh, it's extraordinary.

MALVEAUX: It's crazy, right?


MALVEAUX: Al Qaeda weighing in on all of this.

HOLMES: On the gun debate, yes.

MALVEAUX: But, you know, he was - his remark was talking about fully automatic weapons is not true. They are legal, but they're very difficult to get. And, of course, it's tightly regulated in this country. But the point that he's making is that it's easy to get a gun.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly.


HOLMES: And how ironic coming from an al Qaeda spokesman.

Now, that video is actually a message to Muslims living in the U.S., urging them, obviously, to carry out individual attacks against Zionists, he says, and crusaders.

MALVEAUX: Here is more of what we are working on for AROUND THE WORLD. A lot of people think the Catholic church and science simply don't mix, but now the Vatican trying to change that. We're going to take a look at what is behind the shift.

HOLMES: And, check this out. A nice clean place to go and do drugs. We're talking heroin, cocaine and all of that. And it is all legal. We're going to take you inside the only supervised drug injection center in North America.

MALVEAUX: And, did Madonna act like a prima donna on her last visit to Malawi? Well, the country's government says so. They said she did. We're going to have the latest on the bitter war of words.


MALVEAUX: Here are the stories making news around the world right now.

The activist group Anonymous getting involved in the case of a Canadian teenager. This is a tragic story. She killed herself after allegedly being gang raped. The group is warning Canadian police to file charges against a group of boys accusing -- accused of attacking, rather, this 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons, back in 2011. If no action is taken, the names of the boys will be revealed. Now, Parsons' family says they are opposed to any vigilante justice.

HOLMES: In Hong Kong meanwhile police have charged two ferry boat captains with manslaughter in a terrible collision that killed 39 people last year, the city's worst maritime disaster in four decades.

Passengers flung into the water when the ferry collided with another boat heading to a fireworks show, dozens of people injured. Survivors had only moments to escape.

MALVEAUX: In Paris, pickpockets have now become such a huge problem at the world renowned Louvre Museum that the staff actually walked off the job in protest.

It's a gorgeous museum. I know we've both been there. The museum was forced to close on Wednesday. It reopened this morning.

Now "The Guardian" newspaper reporting that pickpockets not only targeting tourists, but now museum staff as well.

HOLMES: They're incredibly organized. They work in gangs. And what was worrying the workers there was they're increasingly using violent tactics, including spitting and kicking, to create diversions as they moved in.

MALVEAUX: Glad it's reopened.

HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah, me, too.

MALVEAUX: Beautiful museum.

Science and the Catholic Church have always -- at times they have been at odds, a stormy history, for example, back in the 17th century, scientists like Galileo, right, either put behind bars or put to death because their theories essentially disagreed with the church, right?

HOLMES: Exactly. A lot has changed fortunately in the last 400 years. Today the Catholic Church has a new pope who is actually -- not everyone knows this -- a trained scientist. And now the Vatican is trying to show the world how much of its views of science have changed.

MALVEAUX: So today they're hosting a conference that's actually on stem cell research.

The Reverend Edward Beck is joining us from New York to talk about it. What do you think -- what kind of changes do you imagine that the church will take? What kind of different positions here with the new pope?

REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, I'm not sure there will be much of a difference.

I think it's a misconception to think that the church has been in opposition to science.

If you look historically at all of the universities, the medical hospitals, the research institutes that the church has sponsored, there's always been a melding with religion and science.

John Paul II in an encyclical said that faith and reason are two wings that lead us to truth.

So despite the Galileo example, which, of course, I understand, I don't think there's always been this opposition.

I think what there has been is sometimes disagreement with the conclusions of science and the church hasn't always agreed, so some have said, therefore, oh, well, the church is scientifically archaic where I'm not sure that's true.

Now having said that, we have a new pope who was indeed a chemist, and, obviously, there is kind of a leaning toward putting the best foot forward with regard to scientific discovery with stem cell research.

And I think we'll see a bit more of the church touting its confluence of the two, rather than an opposition.

I don't think they've been in opposition, but I think that's kind of been the perception.

HOLMES: Yeah, disagreement on conclusions, that might be one way of putting it which might satisfy everybody.

With these kinds of efforts, do you think they're going to help improve the church's image overall?

BECK: Well, I suppose if the image is that the church is in the Dark Ages and needs to come into the modern world and if people see scientific discovery and agreement with some of that discovery as an image improvement, then I suppose so.

But again, I think it's a matter of looking at what the distinctions are. Stem cell research, we're still talking about adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, so there's no change in the church position there.

So it's interesting that some things are making news that the church has always taught anyway.

The environment, I mean, Pope Francis has spoken a lot thus far on the environment in the few speeches that he's given. Well, Benedict talked about that, too. His new Ten Commandments said, thou shalt not pollute, a stewardship of creation.

So these have been longstanding teachings of the church coming to light, and I suppose that's good P.R. if you want to put it that way.

MALVEAUX: I'm curious. Do you think there are any ways that the Catholic Church can improve, that there is room for improvement in its cooperation with science? Do you have any suggestions?

BECK: Well, you know, I think what has to be seen is I think sometimes the perception is and sometimes the reality is that the church comes out as negative, opposed to.

So, say something like contraception, if the church is opposed to the use of condoms and contraception, people say, well, they're against science.

But there's a difference. You can be against what science would be telling everyone to do and still know that scientific research says something that's true. And so I just think that that distinction is important.

I think the church, yeah, can come a long way in certain areas and it will continue to do so. The church evolves, albeit more slowly than perhaps the scientific community.

And that's always been known the church is kind of dragging its feet to catch up at times.

But I think slowly you'll see kind of more of a melding together than we may think.

HOLMES: There's not really a dispute when it comes to condoms and AIDS, is there, really?

BECK: Well, not to dispute -- the dispute -- the Catholic Church would teach that condoms is not the answer to ending HIV. Abstinence is more effective than the use of condoms.

Condoms can break. Condoms can be used incorrectly. Promiscuity maybe can be prompted by proliferation of condoms.

So then the distinction the church would make is abstinence is better. So don't say condoms is the solution. Say abstinence is the solution. MALVEAUX: All right. Reverend Beck, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

It will be very interesting to see how the pope reacts and the scientific community reacting to the pope willing to go out there and be a little bit more open and embracive of technology and science.

Angelina Jolie is speaking out against violence, particularly sexual violence. She's telling world leaders they need to do more to protect women during wartime.

Angelina Jolie in her own words, up next.


MALVEAUX: Rape, of course, not a woman's issue, it is a global issue. That is what actress and activist Angelina Jolie said today on behalf of victims who were sexually assaulted during war.

HOLMES: And there are millions of them.

Jolie spoke at a meeting of foreign ministers from the G-8 group of the world's wealthiest industrialized nations, that group pledging $36 million to help end sexual violence in conflict.

MALVEAUX: And Jolie says, of course, those who carry out those attacks have to be punished.


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: Rape has been treated as something that simply happens in war. Perpetrators have learned that they can get away with it, and victims have been denied justice.

But wartime rape is not inevitable. This violence can be prevented, and it must be confronted.

There are many individuals and NGOs who have worked tirelessly to address these crimes for years, but the international political will has been sorely lacking.

I have heard survivors raped in Bosnia to the DRC who say that they feel that the world simply does not care about them. And who could blame them? For too long, they have been the forgotten victims of war, responsible for none of the harm, but bearing the worst of the pain.

But today I believe their voices have been heard and that we finally have some hope to offer them.

I welcome the long overdue stance that the G-8 has taken and this landmark declaration, and I want to thank the governments of the countries that have made funding commitments today.

I particularly endorse the declaration's strong words on rights and freedoms for women and children and its promise to include women in peace processes and democratic transition.

I welcome the recognition of male victims of sexual violence and the practical action promised to help to lift a stigma from survivors and provide rehabilitation, particularly for children.

There is no choice between peace and justice. Peace requires justice, so I welcome the pledge by the G-8 to regard rape and sexual violence in armed conflict as grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and to give no amnesty to those who commit these crimes.


MALVEAUX: I'm really glad she uses her celebrity for that. We were talking about the fact that people pay attention when often ...

HOLMES: Yeah, that's the shame. It's a shame that it takes celebrity to get that message out. But she's using it in a good way, and if she gets heard, that's great.

MALVEAUX: And she also talked about the young men, too, and a lot of people don't mention that. They don't talk about the sexual abuse of men as well.

HOLMES: Exactly. In conflicts. Yeah.

All right, by the way, the G-8 foreign ministers adopted a statement, a formal statement, that rape and sexual violence in conflicts are war crimes. They are violations of the Geneva Convention.

MALVEAUX: And CNN is also joining the fight to help end modern-day slavery. For more on how you can help, visit the Freedom Project on

Now this story, interesting. Her family so hungry, they ate grass to survive.

We're going to hear about the dire food situation inside North Korea from a woman who just escaped to the South. That's up next.