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U.S. Tracking Verizon Calls; Tropical Storm Andrea To Hit Florida; Europe Battles Deadly Floods; Search for People in Philly Rubble Continues; Bowe Bergdahl is Still Alive; Protests Continue in Turkey; "Happy Prostitute" Ads Pulled

Aired June 6, 2013 - 12:00   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: And, Brazil is no longer happy with its so-called I'm happy to be a prostitute campaign. That's right. We're going to tell you why the health minister changed his mind.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.

Now, if you are a Verizon customer, the federal government may have your number and the number of everyone you've been talking to here in the U.S. and overseas.

MALVEAUX: So this is according to "The Guardian" newspaper. The government asked for and got a secret order requiring Verizon to turn over millions of phone records. Now, privacy advocates, as you can imagine, are outraged. The Obama administration says it is about tracking down terrorists.

HOLMES: Dan Lothian is at the White House for us.

Dan, the former vice president, Al Gore, calls this, I think his words were obscenely outrageous. The ACLU says beyond Orwellian (ph). Some see this as the administration using the tools the Bush administration put into place to track potential terrorists. What is Verizon saying about it?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, as you know, there have been a lot of questions, not only the Obama administration, but Verizon as well. And so far they have been saying no comment. They still have not given any official comment to the media, but there was an internal memo that CNN did get a hold of.

And as part of that memo it reads, quote, "Verizon continually takes step to safeguard its customers' privacy. Nevertheless, the law authorizes the federal courts to order a company to provide information in certain circumstances. And if Verizon were to receive such an order, we would be required to comply." So in that statement, Verizon not specifically, you know, addressing an order, but yet talking about the guidelines and what they would do.

As for the Obama administration, officials here not denying or confirming this order. But a senior administration official, in a statement to CNN, said in part, quote, "information of the sort described in "The Guardian" article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorists threats to the United States." The official going on to say that this is a tool that counterterrorism personnel could use in order to track or connect dots between a suspected terrorist and someone else who might be here in the United States. Officials, again, stressing that what we're talking about here is metadata, such as time or location of call, but we're not talking about listening in to conversations that people might be having.

MALVEAUX: And, Dan, we exclusively heard from Diane Feinstein, the top Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and she seems to be defending this, although there are a number of Democrats and other organizations who think this has definitely crossed a line from what the Bush administration used to do.

LOTHIAN: That's right, because when you look back at what the Bush administration did, yes, it was the same kind of activity that was more or less targeting phones overseas. So maybe communications between folks here in the United States and people overseas. But this is really focused internally within the United States. So raising a lot of questions there. But as you pointed out, Senator Feinstein, a short time ago, defending this practice and shedding a little bit more light on how it all works.


SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN (D), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRWOMAN: As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the FISA court under the business record section of The Patriot Act. Therefore, it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress.


LOTHIAN: And officials pointing out that as part of this FISA system that there is sort of oversight, not only from a court, but also from the Justice Department. That in an effort to essentially relieve a lot of the concerns out there that this could be something that could be used for the wrong purposes.

I should point out, a short time ago Attorney General Eric Holder was testifying up on Capitol Hill. He was asked to comment on this. He declined to comment. But he was asked by one lawmaker to brief lawmakers later, not only the attorney general, but also the NSA, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Dan, thanks. I believe we actually have some sound from the attorney general who was just asked about this. I believe that he actually addressed this. I want to listen in here.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue. I'd be more than glad to come back in an appropriate setting to discuss the issues that you have raised. But I -- in this open forum, I don't think (ph) I could do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would - I would interrupt you and say the correct answer would be say, no, we stayed within our lane and I'm assuring you we did not spy on members of Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I'd like to suggest something here. When I read "The New York Times" this morning, it was like, oh, God, not one more thing. And not one more thing where we're trying to protect America and then it looks like we're spying on America. I think the full Senate needs to get a brief on this.


HOLMES: A lot more to be discussed, obviously, on that. A lot of questions.

MALVEAUX: Yes, the Bush administration got a lot of heat for just allowing those conversations or even those records overseas to be tracked.

HOLMES: Yes. Overseas, yes.

MALVEAUX: Now this -- it looks like it's one step further. So people really want to know what's going on.

HOLMES: U.S.-to-U.S. calls as well.

All right. Well, we talked to some Verizon customers to get their reaction to all of this. Have a listen.


MARY JACKSON, VERIZON WIRELESS CUSTOMER: I guess I just would want to know, you know, what the purpose of it is, you know. And then once I could know what the purpose of it is, then maybe I would be OK with it.

SHAWN BELL, AT&T WIRELESS CUSTOMER: I think it's a huge invasion of privacy. And I think it's very scary because, you know, what will that lead to next?

GERI CORNELL, VERIZON WIRELESS CUSTOMER: If it's helping them to find terrorists or to prevent things from happening, absolutely I would be willing to give that information, but I think it should be requested.

DONNA MACK, VERIZON WIRELESS CUSTOMER: Who knows what they're going to do with it or whose hands it will get into. No, I don't agree with that at all.


MALVEAUX: And later during the hour we're going to talk with a national security analyst, Fran Townsend, about whether or not this is actually good national security policy, or whether or not this goes too far, because it really is about connecting the dots leading to terrorism. HOLMES: Yes, a lot of people think that, you know, you've got a database of bad guy numbers. You run it against millions of other numbers without listening in to the phone calls. You might get a hit and, you know, that's all part of national security. But a lot of debate on it.

MALVEAUX: Uh-huh, privacy issues.

Israeli tanks, we are watching here, have taken up positions, this is on Israel's side of the Golan Heights. And this move comes after Syrian forces battle the rebels right there. That happened earlier today.

HOLMES: Yes, the rebels briefly captured Syrians only crossing into the Golan Heights, which has strategic and symbolic importance because of its proximity to Israel. It's also a link, if you like, geographically between the south of the country and the capital Damascus.

MALVEAUX: Fighting could be seen for miles. And Syrian forces, they retook the crossing after pounding rebel positions with tank fire. Now, Israel's military says it is trying to prevent a spillover of the violence.

HOLMES: Well, millions of people in the United States are about to get hit by Tropical Storm Andrea.

MALVEAUX: Andrea is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season and is expected to make landfall, we're talking about Florida panhandle, in just a couple of hours. Plenty of folks already feeling the impact of this storm.

HOLMES: Yes, George Howell is in Clearwater, Florida, for us.

George, what's it like? What's happening around you? Paint a picture for us.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, Suzanne, good day. Yes, no, it's what a difference an hour makes because just an hour ago we were hit by this torrential rainfall. The winds were very intense. It's died down a bit. At least the rain has died down. And, guys, we're still feeling the winds come in though.

From what I understand, with this particular storm, the wind gusts sustained right around 60 miles per hour, can get up to 70 miles per hour. And I tell you, we've seen it. I mean it's blown things around as it's come through. Keep in mind, though, this is a minor tropical storm. So certainly a good knock on the door that hurricane season is here.

I want to pan out here and just take a look at what we're dealing with. You can see the white caps out there on the water. You get a sense of just how intense the winds can be out here. And the water level, I have to say, guys, it's a lot higher than it was this morning. This morning we saw all the rainfall come in, all of the winds. There was a concern about tornadic activity associated with several of these storm cells. There's the wind again coming through. You know, from what we understand, minor damage, minor reports of damage, but no major damage at this point.

And the storm continues to track to the north, as you mentioned, through the Florida panhandle, up through south Georgia. And, you know, at this point it seems like we've seen the worst of it here on Clearwater Beach.

MALVEAUX: Do we think there's going to be a real big impact from this tropical storm later?

HOWELL: A big impact? Please say again?

MALVEAUX: Yes, do you think there's going to be a real big impact as we see this developing throughout the day?

HOWELL: Sorry, it's hard to hear. Possibly, especially when it comes to tourism. Keep this in mind, people may have planned vacations to come here along the Florida coastline and found themselves in the middle of this. Again, it was a minor tropical storm, but just enough to cause inconvenience. You know, there's a concern about rip tides out there, so you can't get in the water. The winds are really intense. So, you know, for people who may be here in hotels, they may just have to wait a day or two until this situation subsides.

MALVEAUX: All right, George, be safe out there. We'll be keeping up with you throughout the day.

HOLMES: Well, central Europe already dealing with massive flooding. We've been reporting on that. Fifteen people said to have died after days of intense rain and the flooding that followed.

MALVEAUX: And you've got homes, businesses under water. This is in the Czech Republic and Germany as well. Tens of thousands of people have now evacuated that area. The situation could get even worse.

HOLMES: Yes, the swollen river Elbe, it could overflow it's banks in Dresden, Germany, today. Matthew Chance joins us from there.

Matthew, describe what's going on there. The river is cresting in certain parts and it's not even close to cresting in others as it moves on down.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean the dangers and the risks have been shifting along with the waters all the way down the Elbe River and along with all the other rivers that crisscross this part of central Europe.

Let me just step away from the camera for a moment to show you the flood defenses that have been built here in the western part of Dresden. You can see the sandbags that have been loaded up there. They're already soaking wet. And just behind the sandbags you can see the water from the Elbe River has already broken through. We're about 500 yards or so from the river banks itself. And so, at the moment, it seems that the emergency workers who have been laboring to get these sandbags in place have contained the deluge. And it looks like that's going to be the end of it for Dresden at least because it looks like the waters have peaked at this point and they're probably not going to get any higher.

Now, it's a very different story elsewhere in the region. I took a helicopter flight earlier today. And we look at the scenes of utter devastation across this entire region with whole communities that have been inundated with water. Really quite dramatic scenes. Thousands and thousands of people have been displaced. Twenty-five thousand in Germany alone, at least, and many, many more across the various countries here that have been so badly affected.

MALVEAUX: Unbelievable pictures there that you're watching there. Exclusive pictures.

Matthew Chance, thank you so much. We appreciate it. We'll be keeping a close eye on that.

It is now more than 24 hours since the building collapse in Philadelphia. Rescuers still looking for possible victims.

HOLMES: Yes. A 61-year-old woman one, bright moment, was pulled out alive. That happened just before midnight. The rescue of Myra Plekam gave discouraged responders some joy because throughout the day they had carried out six people in body bags.

MALVEAUX: And Plekam, she was the 14th survivor. Philadelphia's mayor says most of the site has now been combed through and searched.


MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, PHILADELPHIA: Seventy-five percent of the site has been searched. Obviously that means that 25 percent yet still remains, part of which is the actual structure that you see behind you with the thrift store sign on it. There is also a wall to the south of the building that needs to be taken down. Firefighters and search and rescue folks are very concerned about that.


MALVEAUX: Mayor Michael Nutter says that he expects the search is going to continue throughout this afternoon. And families of the six people killed, they're still being notified as we speak, which is why the victims' names have not yet been released.

HOLMES: Yes. Of course that all unfolding here on AROUND THE WORLD yesterday. But, yes, six deaths now.

And here's more of what we're working on this hour for AROUND THE WORLD. She has become now the face of the Turkish protest movement. But it turns out, the woman in the red dress is a little reluctant about her new role.

MALVEAUX: And remember the Australian deejays who prank called the royal family. Well now one of them has been named best deejay in the land. That's right. We're going to tell you how he was chosen for that honor. HOLMES: And did the former head of the CIA leak classified information to the filmmakers of "Zero Dark Thirty"? Well, a new report says yes. We'll tell you how it happened.


HOLMES: All right, just some of the stories making news "Around the World" right now.

We reported on this a few days ago. In India, police have now arrested three men for the alleged gang rape of an American tourist. This attack happening -- it was about 1:00 on Tuesday morning.

MALVEAUX: Authorities say that the woman had been visiting a popular Hindu temple, couldn't find a taxi to take her back to the hotel.

So she says she accepted a ride from three men who took her to a wooded area, raped and robbed her.

HOLMES: In Kenya now, compensation now, finally. for thousands of people tortured by the British during the colonial era. This is in the 50's, early 60's.

Mau Mau fighters told today that Britain will pay about $30 million to survivors who suffered horrific atrocities during Kenya's fight for independence.

MALVEAUX: Women were sexually assaulted. Men were castrated. They were beaten and starved.

The victims, they are now survivors, they are elderly and they have waited six decades for this very settlement.

HOLMES: Well, Bowe Bergdahl is still alive, it would appear. That is according to his family who received a letter from him not long ago.

Bergdahl is that U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban four years ago in Afghanistan.

MALVEAUX: Bergdahl's family didn't say exactly when they got this letter, only that it was recent and reached them through the Red Cross.

Now the Pentagon does not know where Bergdahl is being held. The Taliban have released four videos of him over the years, none since 2011.

HOLMES: Well, the sky over Istanbul a little clearer today. No tear gas for the first time in, what, a week now.

MALVEAUX: Angry protesters, you know, they've been fighting along, fighting with riot police. This is not just in Istanbul -- you see these photos here, very dramatic -- but in cities throughout Turkey.

More than 4,000 people reportedly hurt from all this, and it started when an environmental group came out simply against plans to bulldoze a park in Istanbul.

HOLMES: Yeah, the police response was brutal. And public protests spread right throughout the country.

The prime minister -- the deputy prime minister, we should say -- later apologized for the use of force. People, though, still demanding that the p.m., Erdogan, step down. And this has become about so much more than just that park and the prime minister saying today they're still going to raze that park.

MALVEAUX: The anger, the symbolic -- the symbol of that anger really against the Turkish government, it now has a face. We are talking about this woman right here.

It was captured, a very powerful photo. Now, an unlikely celebrity. Protesters in Istanbul say that she represents all of them.

HOLMES: Yeah, it's dramatic stuff. Becky Anderson has the story on her.


BECK ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A young woman in red, unaware that she's about to become an inspiration.

One of thousands of people protesting the razing of the Gezi Park last Friday, she was pepper-sprayed by Turkish police.

Within 24 hours of the image being shot, it was blown up on posters, one of which was plastered onto this wall near Taksim Square. It's since been taken down, who knows by whom, but there is no doubt that that vision of one young woman has become a symbol of the resistance here in Turkey.

The picture has swept social media and been used by newspapers and cartoonists. And as Iris, who we met while filming this piece showed me, almost everyone in Taksim Square has something to say about her.

IRIS ANLIATAMER, PROTESTER: Does she look like a terrorist to you, or does she look like a vandal?

She was just a normal girl, as me, as you, a normal woman, who came here to protect her rights, and she got pepper-sprayed in the face.

ANDERSON: Can I ask this lady whether she believes that that symbol has become iconic for the resistance?

ANLIATAMER: She said it was a really violent image and the police is attacking a woman, especially a woman doing nothing.

She said, we're all images. Also this lady in red, we have been here since the day one. We're all images.

ANDERSON: Indeed the lady in red, recently identified as Ceyda Sungur, has described this as a people's revolt.

And she tells CNN she doesn't want to be the sole poster girl for the protests.

Becky Anderson, CNN, Istanbul.


MALVEAUX: An incredible image when you take a look at that there.

Up ahead here, this is bizarre.

HOLMES: It is bizarre.

MALVEAUX: Want to warn our audience, bizarre.

Brazil scratches its so-called "I'm happy to be a prostitute" campaign. We're going to explain what is behind this about-face.

HOLMES: How odd.

Also, this Sunday night, don't miss the season finale of "Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown," our favorite show.

He's going to take us on an adventure of a lifetime, something he has wanted to do all his life, go down the Congo River.

MALVEAUX: That is this Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern, only here on CNN. Up next.


MALVEAUX: All right. We've got this safe sex campaign in Brazil really triggering a public uproar over this.

Prostitution, as you know, legal in Brazil. The government campaign is meant to encourage prostitutes to use condoms, also take away the stigma surrounding their job here.

HOLMES: Yeah, but a lot of people say it goes too far, way too far. They say the campaign name alone should have raised red flags. It is called "I am happy being a prostitute."

MALVEAUX: Rafael Romo joins us to talk a little bit with us.

Michael and I, we were just discussing this with you earlier. Who's happy to be a prostitute, for God's sake? How did they come up with this name? That's ridiculous.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: It was the director of the ministry of health's office of sexually-transmitted diseases, AIDS, and viral hepatitis.

And the idea was to, in a way, reach this community, the community of prostitutes in Brazil, which is very large, and tell them about prevention programs to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

But definitely, as you can see, it backfired. And let's look at the image so that our viewers can decide for themselves if it's a little too much. The image in question was used publicly in Brazil, and here it is. And it says in Portuguese, (untranslated Portuguese); in English, "I am happy being a prostitute."

Of course, a lot of people very uncomfortable in Brazil about this. Brazil remains the country in the world with the largest population of Catholics. There's also a large population of evangelicals, and they were complaining about this. They're saying that this goes way too far, Michael and Suzanne.

HOLMES: Yeah, you've got, of course -- you know, you've got the World Cup coming. I think there's another big football competition coming up before that.

But then the World Cup, the 2016 Olympics, is the government trying to get ahead of that?

ROMO: Well, you have to put everything in perspective. On the one hand, the government of Brazil and the ministry of health had been internationally recognized for being proactive.

The approach to the problem of prostitution from the ministry has been, we do have a big problem. We have to do something about it. We cannot hide it.

And so what they have done is reached out to this community by the free distribution of condoms, by prevention programs that have worked very well.

Now, you mention that there's two very large international events next year, the World Cup and in 2016 the Olympics. Of course, you're going to have probably an increase in the number of prostitutes in Brazil. And the idea behind the campaign was that, to try to increase the knowledge, but then as you can see it backfired.


ROMO: A lot of people complaining about it.

MALVEAUX: I notice, too, all of the ads here they have women, and I know, you know, prostitution is legal in Brazil.

What about the men? Obviously there are male prostitutes as well. Is there some sort of -- is this directed towards them, this campaign?

ROMO: It is directed to both women and men, but by far, this problem is affecting women.

And the other part of the campaign was trying to prevent abuse against prostitutes.

But there's also the component of and the main criticism from some of the conservative groups in Brazil was we have a problem with very young people in their teens trying to enter the prostitution world and, from their perspective, this kind of campaign promotes and encourages that kind of behavior. HOLMES: It glamorizes it.

ROMO: Letting people know in a way that it is OK, that it is recognized by the government and that the government doesn't have a problem with it.

So that was one of the main concerns and problems.

HOLMES: But ironically, I suppose, at the end of the day, it's a public information campaign. We're talking about it. I bet this row has given them all the publicity in the world.

ROMO: Let me tell you what the minister said about this, and he was very firm about his reaction.

He said, "For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns." This is Alexandre Padhilha, the Brazilian minister of health.

I guess that puts an end to the whole controversy.

HOLMES: But they got the headlines already, which I guess was the point., so interesting.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, Rafael, thank you.

You know, you kind of wish that they'd spent the money and the resources just trying to educate and help young people find alternatives to, you know, the life of prostitution, right?

HOLMES: Got to be the oddest line for an ad campaign ever.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.

U.S. government makes Verizon turn over millions of Americans phone records. Now, is this an invasion of privacy, or is this crucial tool in the fight against terrorism? Up next.