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At Least Two Killed in Texas Bus Accident; Funeral for Thatcher Next Wednesday; A Look at North Korean Refugees; Palestinian PM Resigns; Safe Harbor for Addicts in Vancouver; Madonna Gets in Feud with Malawi

Aired April 11, 2013 - 12:30   ET




In the Dallas, Texas, area, at least two people killed in a bus accident on the President George Bush Turnpike.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The charter bus was heading to casinos in Oklahoma when it struck an impact buffer, hit a concrete barrier and overturned. Thirty-six people now have been taken to area hospitals.

Going to have more on this breaking news story as we get more information, but you see those live pictures coming in, really just quite a mess there, and already two people who have died in that accident.

HOLMES: Yeah, a lot of injuries, too.

In London, the funeral for long-time British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher set for next Wednesday. And we found out today who will and who will not be attending.

All former U.S. presidents are invited, all former living British prime ministers as well. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip will be there. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will not be there. His health isn't the best. And, curiously, the president of Argentina -- well, that's not curious, really -- not invited at all. Of course bad blood between the U.K and Argentina dating back to the Falklands war.

Margaret Thatcher died Monday of a stroke at age 87.

MALVEAUX: It's the middle of the night in North Korea, but we saw more signs there today that a missile launch could happen at any time. At least one of those missiles on North Korea's East Coast was raised to firing position today and then nothing happened. Well, if all the activity meant to make people freak out in South Korea, doesn't seem to be working.

HOLMES: No, business as usual, we're told, in Seoul, Anna Coren telling us earlier.

We understand people are more interested in Psy's new song release and packing out a Julia Iglesias concert than any military threat from the North.

MALVEAUX: You are about to get a look at how a few people are managing to get out of North Korea, but really at an enormous cost here. We're talking about leaving their families behind and in a place that people say it is getting worse.

HOLMES: Indeed.

ITN'S Angus Walker with that story.


ANGUS WALKER, ITV NEWS REPORTER: Under the cover of darkness, smugglers cross the frozen river from North Korea into China, taking enormous risks and food and fuel back to their impoverished country.

This was filmed a few weeks ago. The footage even shows an armed soldier who's been paid to cover their tracks at first light.

Bribing the border guards and following in the smuggler's footsteps is how people escape from North Korea.

Now in hiding in South Korea, this woman defected shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power. We've protected her identity because she had to leave some of her family behind.

Fighting back tears, she tells me she got out, risking death if she was caught, so she could live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): My family had decided to commit suicide because for three days we didn't have anything to eat. We decided to starve to death. We said let's die.

But then I wanted to survive. I sold the house for 30 kilos of rice.

WALKER: Millions have little food. This footage smuggled out was filmed last month.

Reports from inside North Korea suggest food prices have tripled in a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): To survive I had to eat grass. People picked grass and leaves. They used them to make soup.

WALKER: What do you think of Kim Jong-un? And what do you think of what he's threatening to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): Kim Jong-un is trying to be more extreme than his father and trying to distract the North Korean people from their own problems and complaints.

WALKER: "Gangnam-style," South Korean pop in North Korea on a smuggled DVD, the sights and sounds of the 21st century for those trapped in time in an Orwellian nightmare.

It's a glimpse of another world so near and yet so far away. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: You know, you hear those stories about eating grass and bugs and things like that. That was one of the things that former President Bush just could not stand about Kim Jong-il, the father.

HOLMES: Yeah, that the people would starve.

MALVEAUX: That people were starving under his administration.

HOLMES: And a couple of hundred thousand people in the gulags of North Korea as well.

That was, by the way, ITN's reporter, Angus Walker, there.

For more on this, don't forget to watch "THE SITUATION ROOM" tonight at 6:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

MALVEAUX: This is a safe haven for drug users. More than 800 of them come here every day to get their fix. They do it in clean booths under medical supervision. We are talking about North America's only legal drug injection center, up next.


MALVEAUX: Tensions within the Palestinian government might be coming to a head now. CNN has learned the Palestinian prime minister has offered his resignation. There has been an ongoing dispute between Salam Fayyad and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

HOLMES: Yeah, they've disagreed a lot over the years, mainly about the extent of Fayyad's authority, this latest dispute about who had the power to fire cabinet ministers.

A source is telling us the president will most likely accept his resignation when he returns to Ramallah.

Fayyad is a man who is well-regarded by the West, although he and Mahmoud Abbas have not seen eye-to-eye for some time.

MALVEAUX: In Vancouver, Canada, drug addicts have a clean, modern place, which includes doctors, nurses. This is where they can actually shoot-up and taxpayers are paying for this.

HOLMES: They certainly are.

Paula Newton reports it is the only safe legal injection site in all of North America. Have a look.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sixteen years ago, Vancouver's downtown east side had the highest rate of HIV infections in the developed world, a sad statistic that illustrates the dangers of sharing needles. Over the last decade, things have improved for people like Leanne (ph), people whose daily life is controlled by their addiction, always seeking out the next fix. Kicking the habit is not a reality for everyone.

MARK TOWNSEND, SUPERVISED INJECTION CAMPAIGNER: The way in North America we deal with addiction is ridiculous.

We'll look back in history and think why did we treat human beings in such a brutal way?

NEWTON: Mark Townsend is a campaigner for so-called "supervised injection services," which reduce the risks of drug use and stop people from dying on the streets from infections or overdoses.

TOWNSEND: It didn't seem to us to be fair that the sentence for the scourge of addiction in someone's life was death.

NEWTON: Vancouver's drug addicts now have a unique resource. Located at 139 East Hastings Street is InSite, North America's only supervised injection center, a place to bring your drugs and use them.

This unassuming building that has blown wide open the debate in Canada about addiction treatment.

Addicts feel it's a safe haven. Opponents see it as condoning crime. All funded by taxpayers at the cost of $3 million a year.

TOWNSEND: This room is the only thousand or so square feet in the whole of North America where you can legally inject heroin or cocaine in a safe way.

So in this room, there are 12 booths. Addicts from the street bring the drugs that they've purchased in here. They sit in the booth.

We provide clean equipment and a nurse sits at the station to observe the addicts using and to see if they stop breathing and start to die, that they can be revived.

NEWTON: Eight hundred people use these booths every day. The atmosphere is clinical, each spot disinfected as soon as its occupant leaves.

JIM, DRUG ADDICT: Before this place was here, there would just be like 30 or 40 people crowded in the alley doing it.

There was needles all over the place, a lot of O.D.s.

NEWTON: There are nurses on site to revive users who stop breathing and even help them choose the safest vein.

Many addicts stop by several times a day to shoot-up.


HOLMES: And Paula Newton joins us now from Ottawa, Canada. I'm curious, Paula. You see in other places in the world where people can inject or there's needle exchanges and things like that.

Is there any evidence that this actually works in terms of addiction level?

NEWTON: That's a controversial question. It's a controversial topic.

Look, Michael, they say, the people at InSite that run this center, say in establishing a relationship and giving these people a safe environment that they can actually feed their addiction, and it is absolutely feeding their addiction, they say they build a relationship and that can lead to fulfilling effective rehab.

The statistics, though, are a matter of debate. And that is one of the reasons that this becomes so controversial. People are thinking, look, where does this end? We are paying for them to shoot-up? We want to pay to cure them, to rehabilitate them, if that's even possible.

MALVEAUX: And the one thing I don't understand is, is there an emphasis on getting them off the drugs? I mean, is that part of this program as well people are paying for?

NEWTON: You know, as I say, Suzanne, they do have a program in that same building. It is going to be up to the drug addict themselves if they want to participate.

Of course, they want these people to be rehabilitated, but in the meantime, they're saying the only humane thing to do is to make sure that they're shooting up in a safe environment.

But I want to point out, Suzanne, look, this is highly controversial throughout Canada even though this program was upheld by the supreme court of Canada just a few blocks from where I am now. The government recommended that there be another safe injection site here, at least a government study did.

And everyone in this community said, no way, everyone from the police chief to the provincial ministry to the local government said, no, we don't need a safe injection site here.

Highly controversial still, very much so.

HOLMES: Yeah, Paula Newton on a windy day in Ottawa. We'll let you get inside. Thanks, Paula.

MALVEAUX: Jay-Z has written a song, a rap, defending his trip now to Cuba and the White House weighing in.

We'll have that for you, up next.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. In the South American country of Uruguay, supporters of same-sex marriage are now celebrating a key victory. Lawmakers in both the house and senate have now approved a marriage equality bill.

HOLMES: And the president has indicated, yep, he's going to sign it. And if he does, Uruguay will become just the second Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. Argentina legalized them back in 2010.

MALVEAUX: In China today, the screen life of "Django Unchained" did not last very long. The movie premiered and then suddenly it was yanked from the theaters all over the country. The filmmakers had already made a bunch of changes to get this movie past China's censors.

HOLMES: Man, you ought to see on FaceBook and Twitter, it's blowing up. And people in China want to see it. No official reason has been given for the movie's cancellation or if it's going to be allowed back onto theater screens.

MALVEAUX: And who knew, John Kerry, such a passionate fan of women's ice hockey.

HOLMES: Who isn't?

MALVEAUX: But we -- I don't watch it. But apparently he made a bet here with his counterpart from Canada, of course. He was watching this week's world champion match between the United States and Canada. And John Baird, the foreign minister of Canada, he says, OK, I'm going to take you on here.

HOLMES: Yes, and he made the bet. Team USA won. So look what Baird tweeted. There it is. He says, "I'll be sending Secretary Kerry some Beau's All Natural and Molson Canadian." Yes, it was a beer bet. Kerry, the great winner, he tweeted this, calling Baird "a real gentleman and a great rivalry on ice." And here's the big moment. Baird did pay up. A case of Molson Canadian was dually dispatched.

MALVEAUX: Well, look at that.

HOLMES: Yes, better luck next year, Canada.

MALVEAUX: All right.

Traveling now to Cuba. A trip, of course, you might recall. Two a-list celebrities recently made. They are now defending themselves, Beyonce and Jay-z. They traveled to Cuba. That happened last week. And it angered two lawmakers who claimed that the couple violated a ban on Americans vacationing in Cuba. Well, last night, Jay-z recorded a song, a rap, taking on the critics. Let's listen.


JAY-Z, MUSICIAN (rapping): I done turned Havana to Atlanta, Guayabera shirts and bandanas. Politicans never did (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for me, except lie to me, distort history. Wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime. I'm in Cuba, I love Cubans. This communist talk is so confusing. When it's from China, the very mic that I'm using (EXPLETIVE DELETED), Idiots wind (ph), the Bob Dylan of rap music.


MALVEAUX: All right, so Jay-z and Beyonce's trip, it was approved by the U.S. government. Officials say there was an educational element to this. And just a little while ago, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, was asked about the controversy and the song. So they weighed in.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to turn to Beyonce and Jay-z. Jay-z released a rap today. I know the other day you said that Treasury was the one that clears their trip. He suggested that he got White House clearance and that he personally spoke with the president. I'll just quote, "I turned Havana into Atlanta, boy from the hood, I got White House clearance. Obama said, quote, chill, you gonna get me impeached. You don't need this expletive anyway. Chill with me on the beach."

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury. Because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know. And the White House has nothing to do with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So are you saying that he did not -- the president did not have a conversation with Jay-z?

CARNEY: I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's personal -- anybody's travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles.



CARNEY: (INAUDIBLE) back Treasury. These are tough words to rhyme.


CARNEY: It's a song, Donovan (ph). The president did not communicate with Jay-z over this trip.


MALVEAUX: All right, so that's the first time, in all my years of covering the White House, that anybody has quoted a rap and asked the press secretary about it.

HOLMES: I want - I wanted to see the reporter and then he said -- I'm turning Havana into -

MALVEAUX: Expletive, expletive.

HOLMES: Beep, beep. MALVEAUX: Yes. But you know what, they got into hot water -- Jay-z got in hot water before.


MALVEAUX: They were in the situation room. They were visiting. They took pictures. They were sitting -- he was sitting where the president normally sits.


MALVEAUX: And the White House took a little bit of heat on that as well because we've -


MALVEAUX: We've seen, you know, there's clearly a relationship there -

HOLMES: Right.

MALVEAUX: And they wanted to know, did they really speak?

HOLMES: Uh-huh.

MALVEAUX: You know, he says they didn't speak. But they, you know, they do know each other.


MALVEAUX: And, of course, Beyonce, very much involved in the White House as well.

HOLMES: That was a moment right there hearing that reporter do that. Yes, I - and if you know what rhymes with Treasury, do let us know.

MALVEAUX: We could rap the rest of the show, if you like.

HOLMES: You don't want to hear that. You don't want to hear that.

Hey, speaking of music stars, Madonna in the middle of a war of words with the government of Malawi. They say she demanded VIP treatment, even literally a red carpet for her visit to the country last week.

MALVEAUX: She says this isn't true. We're going to dig deeper into the fight, up next.


MALVEAUX: Madonna getting into a war of words with the government of Malawi over her recent trip there. This was a good will visit to the African country, but it has now resulted in some bad publicity.

HOLMES: Yes, Madonna denies accusations by the government of Malawi that she tried to bully her way into getting VIP treatment.

MALVEAUX: So, is it true or not true? Nischelle Turner joining us live.

What do we know?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, you know, this is actually a pretty complicated story. Even if it seems on the surface to be a case of he said/she said.

Now, Madonna adopted a son from Malawi in 2006. And her ties to the nation do run deep. She also adopted a daughter three years later. She's had several education projects in the nation.

But to break down the accusations out there, the government of Malawi says Madonna arrived in their country demanding unreasonable star treatment. A government spokesperson also says that the pop star's overstated her contributions to the country by saying that she's built schools when they say she's only added classrooms to existing schools.

And you know Madonna, she's not backing down. She released a statement calling these accusations lies. She says this is a personal dispute that started when her local charity fired the sister of the country's president. And, you know, while the government dismissed the idea that this firing had anything to do with all of this, the president's sister did sue this nonprofit for wrongful termination.

HOLMES: Yes, that's the interesting thing. Joyce Banda, her sister, getting fired from the charity was -- that's what Madonna's people say is behind this and it's sour grapes.


HOLMES: Any indication whether it might affect her work there?

TURNER: Well, you know, Michael, it doesn't look like it. She took her kids on this trip as well and she says that she's determined to remain involved in Malawi. Her statement that she released went on to say that, quote, "I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations. I came to Malawi seven years ago with honorable intentions. I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit."

And we should always point - we should point out, guys, that there has always been a lot of controversy surrounding Madonna's activities in Malawi. Both of her adoptions were under fire at different times from local officials. And she even had to go to court to complete the adoption of her daughter.

MALVEAUX: All right, Nischelle Turner. Thank you, Nischelle. Appreciate it, as always.


MALVEAUX: Ryan Seacrest getting pranked here. He's just the latest of many, including Russell Brand, Rihanna, Ashton Kutcher, all of them swatted. That's what it's called.

HOLMES: Yes, which isn't funny and the cops are looking for swatters.

What is swatting? Why do people do it? We'll explain at the top of the hour.

Meanwhile, that's it for me. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. We're both off tomorrow. You have a good weekend.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I'll see you Monday.

HOLMES: All right.