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AROUND THE WORLD
Violent Protests Sweep Across Turkey; Boston Bombing Suspect Calls Family; Turkey Protests Target Prime Minister; Pistorius Trial Delayed; More on Marine Kidnapping Case;
Aired June 4, 2013 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Therapy and learn to walk with a prosthetic leg. Her motto is, she's one tough cookie. She knows it will be a long road ahead, but with a send-off this sweet, Erika Brannock's fresh start at home will have a touch of Boston strong.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Boston.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Way to go, Erika.
Hey, by the way, after that piece ran last night on "AC 360," the program got a whole bunch of e-mails identify Joan (ph). And the "AC" team has made contact with Joan working to bring Erika and Joan together. And you can see the reunion on "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper in the next couple of days.
Thanks for watching. AROUND THE WORLD is next.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company.
MALVEAUX: We begin in Turkey, where two people are dead, thousands injured, as anti-government protests continue in the streets. Want you to take a look at this. so the protesters directing their anger at the government and at security forces who fired tear gas and water cannons at them. It's the biggest protest movement against the Turkish prime minister. We're going to have the very latest live from Ankara just ahead.
HOLMES: Also coming up, the FBI wants you to help them find a U.S. Marine reservist. They say Armando Torres was kidnapped, along with his father and uncle, by armed men just across the border in northeastern Mexico, about 170 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas. Three weeks ago, Torres drove across the border to visit his father. The FBI says they were kidnapped shortly after they arrived. They've not been seen nor heard from since.
MALVEAUX: And in South Africa, Oscar Pistorius, "the blade runner," as you know, appeared in court today. The is the first time in months. The Olympic and Paralympic track star charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day. Now he says he shot her because he thought she was an intruder. At today's hearing, the prosecution asked for more time to investigate.
HOLMES: A judge granted that request, delayed the case until August 19th. Ironically, that would have been Steenkamp's 30th birthday.
Got to begin in Turkey. Those sweeping protests across that country showing no signs of letting up. Early today demonstrators, trying to march to the prime minister's office, squared off against police. Have a look.
MALVEAUX: The streets around central square in Istanbul, they were calmer this morning. A little bit so. But the protesters seemed determined to keep these demonstrations going. Our Nick Paton Walsh is in Ankara.
Nick, I know our signal might be a little bit weak there because we are around the world essentially trying to communicate with you, but tell us, what is the scene now?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm in Ankara, the Turkish capital. And we've seen a very calm situation. Police changing their tactics entirely. No use of tear gas today at all leading to much less unrest. But things have changed in the last hour.
And I think we'll pan in to what's behind me over there. You can see four armored water cannon vehicles that have since moved in to face a large crowd of protester. And for some hours they've been trying to get into the central square. That's the large area you can see directly behind where I'm standing.
There's a line of riot police between them and those armored vehicles and another armored vehicle that keeps moving back and forth between them. This is the most amount of police resources we've seen directed towards the crowd so far today. As I say, much more peaceful.
But we've heard these consistent chants and consistent attempts for people to try and move into the square, interrupted by the police who, as I say, have made that clear decision not to use tear gas like they have in the past few days, causing that angry response from the crowd. But, I have to say, unfortunately, what we're seeing this evening is what many feared, that as crowds build up in number and dusk begins to fall, a more tense atmosphere is falling here, Suzanne.
HOLMES: And, Nick, the deputy prime minister had a news conference, apologized for police aggression against some of the initial protests. A far more consolatory tone than his boss used. And I know that earlier today I think you saw at rival of Islamists, let's say pro- government protesters. Is that a worrying development, civilian against civilian potentially?
WALSH: (INAUDIBLE), Michael, sense I spoke to you last, they do appear to have left the square. But what we have now instead is this traditional stand-off with (INAUDIBLE) police facing off an increasingly tired and might say angry crowd here. It is - there's been no violence today at all, but it has been remarkable to witness that in the absence of tear gas and a heavy-handed police response, the protesters have been remarkably calm.
And, in fact, the first one we saw today was mostly 16, 17, 18-year- olds just chanting and at some point dancing. Troubling in some ways because two of the young girls we saw there had, in fact, written their blood type on their arm, along with their age. That's something I've seen in war zones from special forces worrying about getting a quick blood transfusion in the event of them being injured. So certainly great fear amongst protesters here, but that seems to be a lot of the time what's spurring them on.
And that apology from the deputy prime minister, well, it went as far as to apologize to the environmentalists for the initial protests at (INAUDIBLE) park in Istanbul, but it then went on to say that, look, they weren't going to allow the freedom of life of other people to be disrupted by protests. So that hasn't really been enough for the people we've spoken to here that really want to hear directly from Prime Minister Erdogan himself and want to hear a pretty much non- caveated open apology.
HOLMES: All right, Nick, appreciate it. Let us know if anything develops there. Nick Paton Walsh in the Turkish capital Ankara.
MALVEAUX: And Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been allowed to talk to his parents. He actually called them from the prison hospital, this is in Massachusetts, where he's being held. And as you know, the parents, they are in the Russian republic of Dagestan.
HOLMES: Yes, we're told the conversation actually happened last week. His mother recorded it. Phil Black following this story from Moscow.
Phil, this is the only phone conversation the parents have had with their 19-year-old son since he was taken into custody back in March. What do we know about what was said?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, in the recording you can hear Dzhokhar speaking Russian. And as his mother is listening to this recording a week or so later after the call, she's again still clearly very emotional. Still very upset by this.
We are told that at the time the conversation took place, they were not allowed to discuss details of the Boston case itself. The attack or any sort of information specifically relating to that. So it's very much dominated by his parents expressing concern, asking questions about his health and well-being and trying to comfort him. But it often sounds like he's the one doing comforting.
At one point he is asked, is he in any pain. And this was his reply. He says, "no, of course not. I'm already eating and have been for a long time. They are giving me rice and chicken now. Everything's fine." His mother says, "you have to be strong." He replies to that, "everything is good. Please don't say anything."
His mother said that she was surprised by how calm, clear, and in control he was. She expected him to be far more emotional, to be demanding answers to his precise circumstances, what's going on, why is he there and so forth, but she says that quite often it was him calming her and telling her that everything is going to be OK in the end.
MALVEAUX: And, Phil, the parents have always insisted from the start that their sons were innocent and the mother initial called these allegations, bombing allegations, a setup here. Are they sticking to all of that considering all the information that has come out since the investigation?
BLACK: They are, Suzanne, yes. After this conversation, they say that the issue of his guilt or innocent didn't even come up when they were speaking and they say it wouldn't have even if there wasn't that restriction on what they were able to talk about because they believe very firmly that both he and his older brother, Tamerlan, were innocent of what they're accused of and they still believe, very strongly, they say, that they are victims of some elaborate setup.
HOLMES: And there's also, Phil, what do you know about the reports of donations coming in to the Tsarnaev family from people around the world? I mean a lot of Americans would be surprised when you consider, you know, four people killed, more than 260 wounded in the attacks. What does mum say about that?
BLACK: Well, again, this comes from that interview, that conversation they had with their son. They say that they've received as much as $8,000 worth of donations from -- they didn't specify the sources, but they said around the world, from people who either sympathize with Dzhokhar or, like them, believe that he is simply innocent. They said that when they talked to him on the phone, they raised the issue of money and they say that he'd said he didn't need it because he has also been receiving money. Again, he didn't specify the source, but he said that he's already received around $1,000 or so.
HOLMES: All right, Phil, good to see you. Phil Black there in Moscow.
MALVEAUX: A fascinating conversation.
MALVEAUX: Here's more of what we're working for AROUND THE WORLD.
A U.S. Marine reservist, an Iraq war veteran, kidnapped in Mexico. We're going to tell you who authorities think is behind it and what they're doing to try to get him released.
HOLMES: And the royal family returns to Westminster Abbey to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. We'll show you all the pomp and pageantry and maybe a baby bump.
HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. Here are some more stories making news around the world right now.
U.N. investigators report reasonable grounds, their words, to believe chemical weapons have been used recently in Syria by both sides.
MALVEAUX: This war has been escalating over the past 26 months leaving about 80,000 people dead. Well, today's U.N. report says both government and rebel forces are accused of using toxins. But the findings, they are still inconclusive because more evidence is needed. The U.N. says war crimes and crimes against humanity have reached new levels of brutality.
HOLMES: Very worrying. Well, the protests sweeping across Turkey we've been reporting about, no longer about a park. They are targeting the prime minister and increasing Islamism in the country. Demonstrators were back in Istanbul's central square today, also in Ankara, the capital. Thousands injured in the chaos yesterday and Sunday. At least two people have died.
MALVEAUX: Want to bring in Fareed Zakaria, host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
Good to see you, as always, Fareed. Let's talk about Turkey. Let's start off with Turkey, an important U.S. ally in the region and, of course, around the Muslim world. The prime minister, Erdogan, was at the White House just two weeks ago. This really look likes one of the biggest protest movements against him in nearly his decade of power. So, realistically, what kind of trouble is he in at this moment?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's in trouble, but it's a sign of Turkish democracy deepening, widening, consolidating. Remember, Erdogan has won three elections with ever increasing numbers of votes. Turkey has a divided system, so lots of parties. His party won almost 50 percent of the vote in the last election. So he's a popular man. He's the most popular Turkish leader since Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the republic.
But he's also a very polarizing figure. And what I think you're seeing is that 10 years of rule, of somewhat authoritarian style, is finally producing a very strong backlash among his opponents. I don't think this means that he's politically in trouble in the sense that he's, you know, he's going to have to step down or anything like that, but I do think it means he's going to have to in some way address this issue and recognize that he has had a fairly polarizing effect. There has to be some bridge building, some healing, between this great divide in Turkey among the, you know, the Islamists or even just regular Turks on the one hand and a secular elite in Istanbul on the other.
MALVEAUX: And are we looking at a - potentially a Turkish spring here, Fareed?
ZAKARIA: No, not at all. Remember, Turkey is a democracy. Erdogan has been elected and re-elected and then re-elected again. The party is popular. He is popular. But there's an opposition that really doesn't like him.
If you want -- if you are looking for an analogy, this has more in common with the polarization of politics in America where you may win the election by 51 percent of the vote, but the other 49 percent really doesn't like you and is out on the streets to prove it. HOLMES: While we've got you, Fareed, I want to ask you about Syria, that U.N. report that says U.N. saying reasonable grounds to believe chemical aides used by both sides and new levels of brutality in Syria.
I was just reading that there's fears of water-borne illness in the summer. The health care system is shot.
I'm curious what you think about the chances that this country could end up already be irretrievably broken in a societal sense, becoming increasingly difficult now to see a unified nation, isn't it?
ZAKARIA: I think that's a very, very important and interesting question. Because at this point, from what I can gather, Joshua Landis, the best scholar on Syria, says there are 1,000 militias operating in Syria.
Some of these are pro-government. A lot of them are anti-government. Then there are government forces. As you point out, they're both certainly committing war crimes. Both sides may have used chemical weapons.
In that context, how do you knit back this country? Now it did happen in Lebanon, after 15 years of a bloody civil war, but you needed a pretty brutal, bloodletting and deal-making.
I think in Syria we're still in the bloodletting phase, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. And I don't know what anyone can do to stop it because these forces are so -- you have this minority regime that's ruled the place for six decades. The lid has come off, and there are all these groups inside, and it's turned into a kind of free-for-all.
HOLMES: And quickly, before we run out of time, I did want to throw in Iraq, just across the border, Iraqi jihadists being seen in Syria.
And when you look at Iraq and its position in the middle, you've got Iran running weapons through Iraq to get to Syria. Iraq's a worry.
ZAKARIA: Iraq's worry. The whole region is a worry.
Look, we think of this region as being comprised of nation-states, but what's really happening is you're getting a kind of Sunni bloc, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, spearheading, and then a Shia bloc.
Iraq's part of the Shia bloc. So it's Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran, arrayed against the force of Sunni Islam. The great divide in the Middle East has become sectarian, not national.
MALVEAUX: And, Fareed, do you think peace talks in Geneva next month, this month will make any difference?
ZAKARIA: I hope they will because, you know, the only way these things end is with some kind of political deal. As I said, in Lebanon it ended finally with some kind of deal.
But here's the awful part. These guys have got to all live together, and is that possible? As John was saying, this is a very tough situation.
You might have to end up with a situation where Assad stays for a while. The Alawites are given some protections because otherwise, if Assad is deposed, there will be a massacre of the Alawites and they're 15, 14 percent of Syria.
So whatever the deal, it will be very unsatisfying morally because no one side will win. That's nature of a political bargain.
HOLMES: Yeah, Fareed, always great to have you on the program and getting your perspective on a very worrying situation in the entire region. Fareed Zakaria, thanks so much.
MALVEAUX: Thanks, Fareed.
HOLMES: Fareed's point, the great point that this is sectarian. It's no longer nation-states. This is religious divide.
MALVEAUX: And it's a proxy war. Potentially a -- not a civil war, a regional war.
HOLMES: It is happening.
MALVEAUX: Still ahead, we are covering, as well, the Oscar Pistorius murder case delayed for two months in South Africa.
We're going to take you to Johannesburg to find out what it means for the Blade Runner, up next.
HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.
The man known as the Blade Runner back in court in South Africa today. A murder case that, of course, set off a media frenzy.
MALVEAUX: Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, well, today the prosecution asked for and was granted a delay in the case with the focus on the defendant.
Here's Robyn Curnow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here he comes. Here he comes.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oscar Pistorius emerged out of his car facing the onslaught of the world's media.
Police clearing a path for him into the courthouse, and inside the courtroom, another media frenzy.
The first time the world has seen Pistorius since his February bail hearing. In the courtroom, he was surrounded by his family.
Pistorius is charged by the police with premeditated murder for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
But he denies the charge. Pistorius says it was a mistake, a tragic accident, that he thought an intruder was in his home.
At the hearing, which lasted less than 15 minutes, proceedings were postponed because the state needs more time to investigate.
KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The postponement can indicate one of two things.
It will either be an indication that the prosecutors are losing a bit of confidence in the basis of their case.
Alternatively, it could be an indication that the strength with which they came out of the gate at the bail hearing was a strategic ploy, that they didn't necessarily know that they had evidence, but they hoping to flesh out the details of his defense.
CURNOW: The intense media interest also has the potential to complicate this legal process.
Inside the courtroom, the magistrate warned about this case becoming a trial by media after photographs of the alleged crime scene were leaked to the press last week.
He said that this kind of action could, in his words, "jeopardize the sanctity of justice" and he urged the prosecuting authority and the police to take such security breaches seriously.
The next time Pistorius appears in this court is on August 19th, and a trial date should be set, and he'll be given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against him.
A day of legal procedure, but also, August the 19th is Reeva Steenkamp's birthday. She would have been 30.
Robyn Curnow, Pretoria magistrate's court, South Africa.
HOLMES: Now to the case of a U.S. Marine reservist hasn't been seen or heard from since May 14th, the day he was kidnapped at gunpoint from his father's ranch in Mexico.
MALVEAUX: We're going to find out what's actually being done to find him, up next after a quick break.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are some of the stories we are following right now.
In Washington, D.C., President Obama meeting with the president of Chile, the White House says they'll talk about working together on key issues. We are talking about energy, education, conservation efforts as well as economic development in Latin America.
HOLMES: Hard to believe, but it's been 24 years since Chinese troops and tanks moved in to crash a pro-democracy protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
That there on your screen, perhaps the most iconic image that sums up the brutality of the crackdown, that young man facing off against a line of tanks.
MALVEAUX: Hundreds and possibly thousands of activists were killed in those protests. Now the Chinese government has never given an official death toll.
The FBI is now asking for help for finding a U.S. Marine in Mexico. We're talking about Corporal Armando Torres, kidnapped with his father and uncle by gunmen who showed up at his father's ranch.
HOLMES: Now this happened just across the boarder in northeastern Mexico. It's 170 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas.
It has been now two-and-a-half weeks since anyone has seen or heard from them, which is very worrying.
Rafael Romo joins us now. These kidnaps have been going on in Mexico practically every day, and you've got some startling figures about it.
Tell us about those figures and what happened here.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: In the last six years, about 26,000 people have been kidnapped in Mexico.
And just for the benefit of our viewers, this area that we're talking is located near McAllen, Texas, on the Mexican side of the border. There's Reynosa. He was from Harlingen, also on the border.
Exactly three weeks ago on May 14, he decided to go across the border in Mexico to visit his father who owns a ranch in the town of La Barranca.