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David Cameron Offers Condolences to Boston; Sochi Preparing for 2014 Winter Olympics; Barbaric Video of Syrian Rebel Shows Horrors of War; 24-Year-Old Chooses Double Mastectomy

Aired May 14, 2013 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The White House dealing with controversies on several fronts, the IRS targeting conservatives, to the Justice Department collecting journalist's phone records. Also, the continuing fallout of the terror attack on Benghazi.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Quite a full plate.

The White House briefing set to begin any time now. Will they be on time? We don't think so.

It's likely they're going to be hearing questions on all those issues and more. When it does get under way, we will take you there straight away so you won't miss any of it.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, we'll see. It's on the schedule.

HOLMES: You're betting a little late.

MALVEAUX: I'm betting it's going to be delayed, yeah.

British Prime Minister David Cameron offering now his condolences. This is to the victims and the people of Boston today. The visit comes just weeks after the Boston marathon bombings.

HOLMES: Just a short time ago in fact, he visited a makeshift memorial in the city square there along with the Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick.

Let's bring in Deborah Feyerick joining us from Boston. Deb, we noticed Cameron met with the president, of course, at the White House yesterday, but this visit was a lot more solemn, wasn't it?

What did he say? What did he tell people there?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This visit was a little bit different. You have to remember tomorrow will be four weeks to the day that those terrorists attacked the Boston marathon.

The prime minister's visit was really a show of solidarity. London and the U.K. have had their fair share of terror attacks. He knows what it's like to be hit. He knows what it's like to have people recover and try to get back on their feet. And he came here and he met with the governor. They discussed, among other things, the way to secure and be vigilant about certain terror attacks.

But they also discussed the threat of radicalization and the serious threat that it presents and the need for law enforcement agencies to coordinate in order to combat it.

Take a listen.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There's always more to do. Look, there is a really vital role for law enforcement, a really vital role for intelligence. There's a tough side to all this that we have to get right.

But there's also a side, as I said, of challenging the narrative of violence and extremism that we have to get right to stop young minds being poisoned by this dreadful, radical extremist narrative. And there's always more work to do on that.

But in the end, how do we do it? We stand up for the values we believe in, for freedom, for democracy, for the fact that we're proud to live in an open and tolerant society.


FEYERICK: And that's clearly a shared threat between the U.K. and here in the United States that the awareness of radical radicalization, whether it's radicalization online, whether it's radicalization by young men who are disenfranchised who are going elsewhere and be trained and then come back, a very real threat and a priority of both governments clearly.

We know the prime minister headed to New York. He's at the United Nations. He is focused right now on global development.

And, actually, the governor, he's headed to Ireland. So a little bit of a swap there.

Suzanne, Michael?

MALVEAUX: All right, Deb, thanks.

It will be one month tomorrow since the Boston bombings. And, of course, you're not going to want to miss Anderson Cooper's special report, "Back to Boston." That is this Friday night.

You're going to hear really some incredible stories from some of the photographers who captured the moments of last month's bombing. That is this Friday, 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: And the deadly Boston marathon bombings, of course, reviving fears about security at all kinds of sporting events. You've got the Winter Games coming up in Russia. That's not so far away. We're talking about Sochi. It's a resort town near a region where the Russian government is fighting an Islamist insurgency.

MALVEAUX: Officials insist they are prepared to protect the players, the fans as well as Russia's image.

Phil Black, he is in Sochi. Shows us just a part of what is the game plan.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These men are not elite athletes. They're all amateur ice hockey players. They're in Sochi, Russia's Olympic city, so they get a police escort.

And because they're playing in Sochi's new Olympic venue, the Bolshoi Ice Dome, every bus is scanned and everyone is screened as if they were boarding an international flight.

But it's even more thorough. Everyone gets a pat-down. Journalists also get the full treatment, all of this for an amateur hockey match.

The Russian authorities say it proves what they've been saying all along, that they've been taking security very seriously in this city long before the Boston attack.

Russia is racing to finish its new Olympic venues by the black sea and in the mountains above Sochi. And like all other host countries, its other priority is security.

But international terrorism isn't the only concern here. This country is also dealing with an ongoing security threat within its own borders. Russia will host these him pick games while also fighting an Islamist insurgency.

And the fight centers on a region just 500 kilometers that way, across those mountains, in an area known as the North Caucasus.

It's a place where militants and security forces regularly clash and from where terrorists have planned numerous, devastating attacks in other parts of Russia, the most recent, a suicide bombing at Moscow's busiest airport killed 35 people in January 2011.

Vadim Mukhanov is an expert on the North Caucasus and the groups fighting there to establish an independent Islamist state.

VADIM MUKHANOV, CAUCASUS EXPERT (via translator): It's clear that having that kind of neighbor increases the risk for the Olympics themselves and for the people who visit.

BLACK: There's also a connection between the North Caucasus and the Boston marathon attack. Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited there in 2012 and was interested enough in the region's militants to post some of their videos online.

In Sochi, some are feeling the shockwaves of Boston.

This woman says she's worried about security of the games and since Boston she's been avoiding crowded places.

But Sochi's organizers say they still believe they can stage the safest Olympics ever, and this is part of that effort.

Sochi's deputy mayor, Anatoly Rykov, tells me this network of CCTV cameras has software that monitors crowd behavior to detect possible threats

Russia's security services were always planning a massive effort to protect the Olympics here. And they'll now face greater scrutiny after Boston reminded the world big sporting events are vulnerable targets.

Phil Black, CNN, Sochi, Russia.


MALVEAUX: Still ahead, shocking images from Syria. This time it's the rebels who are behind the atrocity.

We're going to show you just how ugly things have gotten there.


MALVEAUX: It actually could be a hopeful prospect in a dismal war. Secretary of State John Kerry says he expects both sides of the Syrian conflict to attend a peace conference. This is in June.

A visit to Stockholm, he told reporters that the Syrian government has given names of potential negotiators now to Russia.

HOLMES: Yeah, Russia, of course, a longtime ally of the Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, and Russia and the U.S. agreed last week, you may remember, to try to arrange talks despite about their differences about the Assad government.

MALVEAUX: So the prospect of any kind of peace really can't come soon enough. Our next story shows us this is really just how ugly things have gotten there.

This is a video of a Syrian rebel purportedly cutting out a government soldier's heart and eating it.

HOLMES: Taking a bite out of it, and the liver as well. It is gruesome stuff.

Mohammed Jamjoom has been following this from Beirut. Mohammed, clearly, a war crime on video, if this is confirmed. Tell us who this guy is and tell people who don't know about it what -- how gruesome it is, what we see.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, it's a video that really illustrates just how barbaric things have become in the Syrian civil war. Here is a video that so gruesome that even when it's heavily blurred we can only show you a few images from it. This was reportedly shot in Homs more than two weeks ago. The man in question, we're told by a Syrian rebel spokesman, that his name is Abu Sakar (ph), that he was one of the founder of the Farouq Brigade that's based in Homs.

In the video, you see this man standing over the mutilated corporation of a regime soldier. He then reaches into, starts carving into the chest of the Syrian soldier, rips out the man's heart and liver.

Looks up towards the camera, says, I swear to God we will eat your hearts out, you soldiers of Bashar, you dogs. and then proceeds to bite into the heart.

He looks very proud as he's doing this and proclaiming what he's doing to the camera

Now, this is a video that has shocked many. We can't independently verify its authenticity, but other members of the rebels that we spoke with confirmed that this did actually take place.

The opposition Syria National Coalition has strongly condemned this video. And I spoke just a few hours ago with Nadim Houry. He's with Human Rights Watch here in Beirut.

He showed -- he said that this really goes to show just how bad things have gotten in Syria. Here's more of what he told me.


NADIM HOURY, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: The clip is shocking, but what's even more shocking, frankly, is the inaction of the international community at this point.

I mean, every day there are atrocities taking place. Every day there is disturbing footage coming out of Syria. And there's no sense of urgency in the international community.

And for people like Abu Sakar (ph), the man who's identified in the video, there has to be a sense that there will be a punishment for this behavior.

Right now, there's complete impunity in Syria for both sides, and this is the outcome.


JAMJOOM: Mr. Houry spoke about how, even though there's been a preponderance of evidence to show that the regime in Syria has committed mounting atrocities, there's also mounting evidence showing that the rebels have really gone into lots of atrocities there as well.

And Mr. Houry says there has to be a mechanism in place by the opposition to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future.

HOLMES: Well, that is the problem, of course, that they don't really have any say or sway over the people on the ground inside the country.

Tell me this, Mohammed, though. By all accounts, this guy is part of a unit, a brigade, if you like, that is allied with the Free Syrian Army.

Now, this isn't al-Nusra, or some radical Islamic group. These are the guys that the West is debating whether to arm or not, or at least it's one guy that's part of a brigade that's still affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. Doing a lot of damage to them.

JAMJOOM: Absolutely. This is something that's extremely damaging for the rebels in Syria.

Now, the rebels, for their part, have condemned this. They have said this is not an action that should be carried out by anybody, that this goes against the morals of the Syrian people and the morals of the Free Syrian Army.

But there is a question as to how affiliated this man is with Free Syrian Army. Human Rights Watch is questioning whether or not the Farouq Brigade actually falls under the structure of the Free Syrian Army.

There's other people questioning if, in fact, this man split off and has his own independent brigade that is somewhat affiliated with the Farouq Brigade. These are all questions that remain to be answered.

But this is something that now really plays into the hands of the Bashar al Assad regime because they've stated for quite some time they believe that the rebels there are committing atrocities, and this does not look good for the rebels or for the Free Syrian Army.

MALVEAUX: Mohammed Jamjoon, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

And, you know, I mean one of the problems here, Secretary Kerry, he's trying to convince the Russians, you know, let's get to the table here, the bargaining table. He's got a very tough sell when you look at what is taking place on both sides now.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. It's just horrible stuff. And the Free Syrian Army is not going to be pleased about this, that's for sure.


Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy, it's got women all over the world wondering what would they do if they were in her shoes. Well, coming up, we're going to talk with a Miss America contestant who has confronted the very same tough choice.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.

Angelina Jolie's announcement that she had a double mastectomy has lots of people talking about that very procedure. MALVEAUX: So this 24-year-old Miss America contestant says she, too, now, is planning to have a double mastectomy because she also has a very high risk of getting breast cancer. Her mom died when she was just 16 years old. Allyn Rose is joining us now.

And you -- thank you for being so brave and very forthcoming about this. You are currently Miss D.C. for Miss America and you've now been faced with this decision. And this is a preemptive move, really, a preventive measure, is that right?

ALLYN ROSE, MISS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 2012: Yes. You know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time at the age of 27, with a really invasive stage three breast cancer. And it came back 20 years later on the other side. She was actually going in to have this exact surgery and that's when they found the stage three tumor in her other breast. And that's what ultimately took her life.

HOLMES: You know, I'm curious what your emotions are as you consider this. Is this - I don't know, does this provide in some ways a measure of relief, as I think Angelina Jolie was saying. It almost sort of, you know, takes away that equation.

ROSE: Absolutely. It's something where it's - it's a pretty daunting process, but at the same time it is taking away that fear of having to look over your shoulder for the rest of your life and think, you know, is this a disease that's going to take my life the way it took my mother's life, my grandmother's life, my great-aunt's. And I think she's incredibly courageous for coming out and saying, I don't feel like any less of a woman. You know, I have the support of my friends, my family, you know, my spouse. And, you know, I think it's a - it's a very powerful move for her. And I think it's going to inspire a lot of women.

MALVEAUX: Allyn, talk about your own journey, if you will, getting to this point. Because I imagine that it was probably a process that you had to go through to accept that you're going to have this kind of procedure.

ROSE: Sure. Well, when I was 18, it was two years after my mom had passed away, my dad sat me down and he brought up the idea of having this surgery. And at first I said, absolutely not. Why would I have the surgery? And my dad looked me straight in the face and he said, you're going to end up dead like your mom. And that's a pretty, you know, aggressive thing for my dad to say to me, but my dad wanted me to be alive and he realized that I didn't have the luxury of my youth the same way that so many people do and I needed to be vigilant. And so, you know, as time went on, I saw the wisdom in that remark. And so I said, you know, this might be the right option for me.

HOLMES: And you don't have the gene mutation that Angelina Jolie has. Yours is just looking back, as Elizabeth Cohen was telling us earlier, you're just looking back at family history and going, chances have got to be good or bad or however you want to say it.

ROSE: Yes. Yes. Thankfully I'm BRCA 1 and 2 negative. But the hereditary link in my family, having my mom, my grandmother, my great- aunt, you know, BRCA 1 and 2 only account for a small portion of breast cancers. There - you know, there's so many other opportunities for breast cancer to affect your life and it actually only tests for about 90 percent of your genes. So we're very lucky that we live in the technological age now where we're able to map our genome. And I'm going to be doing that in the -- you know, pretty recent future, you know. And, you know, I just said, this is the right decision for me to, you know, to have this family history, I'm going to make the proactive decision.

MALVEAUX: And, Allyn, if you would, talk to young women. I think there are a lot of women out there who, you know, in some ways their value is tied up to the way they look, the way they present themselves. And you are a part, you know, of contests and Miss D.C., and this is obviously something that you've thought about very - very passionately about. Do you have some words for young women who are thinking about how that influences how they feel on the inside?

ROSE: Right. I mean, I work in the beauty industry. I'm a full-time model. I'm in -- competed in the Miss USA program, I competed in the Miss America pageant. And, you know, it's something that affects my daily life, making this decision. But, at the end of the day, I want to be alive. And, you know, having a body that people say is, you know, beautiful or, you know, iconic or associated with, you know, womanhood, that's not important to me. What's important to me, the same thing that Angelina spoke about, is being around for her kids. I know what it was like for my mom to struggle and to know that she was going to leave her most precious job of raising her kids unfinished. Angelina is making that conscious decision to not have to go through what my mom did, and so am I.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. Allyn, thanks so much.

ROSE: Thank you.

HOLMES: Very courageous of you and good information for people, too.

ROSE: Thank you.

HOLMES: Allyn Rose there.

And you and I were talking earlier too, and I think it's important to mention too, reconstruction is so good now.


HOLMES: You know, so it's not like, you know, disfigured for life or whatever, you know.

MALVEAUX: And it really is not about being incomplete. It's about being whole. (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: Exactly. Nicely put.

Yes, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight saw the end to over a decade of confinement, of course, last week in Cleveland.

MALVEAUX: But throughout the world, millions of victims still, of course, lack their freedom. U.N. Ambassador Mira Sorvino talks with us about the fight to combat human trafficking on "Impact Your World."


MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS/U.N. AMBASSADOR: A lot of what I've learned about human trafficking has been through direct conversations with victims. I've interviewed many, many victims in several different countries and different situations and different age ranges. Almost all the victims I've spoken to have been women. And most of them have been in sexual exploitation. Some of it is so shocking that it almost like ruins you for a few weeks. Like you can't actually escape the horrendousness of what people are telling you and the pain that they have lived through.

I met a little girl at a shelter and she was showing me her homework and it was her addition and subtraction and she was very proud. And then they took me aside and they said, her father murdered her mother in front of her and then he dropped her off with some relatives in Cancun and they sold her to a brothel at age four. Four to seven, she was working in a brothel doing things that she did not even know how to describe except that she knew they were incorrectos, incorrect, wrong. And then somehow she was liberated and ended up in this shelter.

To think that there's a sex tourism demand for children of the age of four, it's one of the most stomach turning things that I could possibly imagine as a mother. If all of us rise up and all of us fight this, it will end. This is going to change because it is morally intolerable.


MALVEAUX: That's it for us. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right after this.

HOLMES: See you tomorrow.