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NSA Leaker Leaves Hong Kong Hotel; Turkish Protesters Fight Police; Diplomat Sought Sex with Kids; Taliban Denies Responsibility for Beheading Children; China Ramps Up Space Program

Aired June 11, 2013 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The NSA leaker is on the run and more secrets about U.S. surveillance programs could be revealed at any moment.

Tear gas, blasts of water, Molotov cocktails all flying through the air. This is Istanbul today as police move in on those protesters.

And up, up and away. China launching its newest spaceship and CNN is there to see it all.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Michael Holmes is off today.

We get directly to tracking new developments in the leak of classified government surveillance programs. Now here is the latest. A law enforcement official says that authorities are preparing now charges against the man who leaked the information. His name, Edward Snowden. Government contractor Booz Allen says that Snowden worked for the company and was fired yesterday after less than three months on the job. Booz Allen also says his salary was $122,000 a year, not $200,000, as Snowden claimed.

Also, the journalist who broke the story about phone and Internet surveillance is promising more secrets are going to be revealed. And that's going to happen soon. "The Guardian" columnist Glenn Greenwald told our Christiane Amanpour that he is working on stories right now but not necessarily getting into the details. Listen to this.


GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, "THE GUARDIAN": I'm not going to give you a preview in any meaningful sense. What I would say is that there are extremely invasive spying programs that the public still does not know about that the NSA regularly engages in, or other capabilities that they're developing, that to the extent we can shine light on them and bring transparency to them consistent with national security. We fully intend to do so and to do so as quickly as we can.


MALVEAUX: As for Snowden, he has left that hotel in Hong Kong. Still believed to be in the city, however. Anna Coren is following that part of the story. ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, the whereabouts of Edward Snowden remains unknown. However, we do believe that he's still here in Hong Kong after checking out from a hotel. Now, we have managed to track down the hotel where he was staying for the last three weeks and this is what we found.


COREN (voice-over): Somewhere under these dark and stormy skies in Hong Kong is believed to be the source of one of the biggest leaks in American intelligence history. Edward Snowden has been hiding in this densely populated city of seven million people, basing himself in this luxury boutique hotel.

The 29-year-old checked out on Monday and has gone to ground. But staff were willing to give us a tour of where the infamous American had taken refuge.

COREN (on camera): This is the last place that Edward Snowden stayed. The luxurious Mira Hotel here in Hong Kong. Well, this is a standard room. It goes for about 400 U.S. dollars a night. We understand that he stayed here for roughly three weeks. Well, that's a hotel bill of almost 8,000 U.S. dollars.

It's believed he had every single meal inside here. He rarely went outside except for three occasions. He really spent all his time here and this is was where he leaked that highly sensitive information.

COREN (voice-over): Since revealing his identity during an interview with "The Guardian" newspaper, there has been no word from the former CIA computer technician. Snowden said he'd consider seeking asylum in Iceland because of the government's views on Internet freedom. But one of the journalists who interviewed him told me he firmly believes Snowden is still in Hong Kong. A big mistake according to one Hong Kong politician.

REGINA IP, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF HONG KONG: If he thought there is a legal vacuum in Hong Kong, which renders him safe from U.S. jurisdiction, that is unlikely to be the case.

COREN: Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, has an extradition treaty with the United States, though it does have exceptions which include political crimes. For now, he's believed to be nearly a quarter of the way through his 90 day tourist visa, but some people believe he should be given asylum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think, wow, he chose Hong Kong. Yes, so I feel a bit (ph) proud of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's in a bad position. I think he's in a precarious position he's put himself in for sure.

COREN (on camera): This is obviously a huge story here in Hong Kong. Everyone is intrigued as to why Edward Snowden chose this city to flee to. Well, the (INAUDIBLE) says, "the world's most wanted man breaks his cover in Hong Kong," while 'The Local Daily," this one says he's a CIA traitor, while this newspaper says, "CIA agent flees to Hong Kong and begs for his life."

COREN (voice-over): While the media may be having a field day, the Hong Kong and Chinese governments are refusing to comment. No word either from the U.S. embassy as the world waits to see where Snowden turns up next.


COREN: Now, the British "Guardian" newspaper that broke the story and spoke to Snowden say they will be releasing information from him in the coming days, no doubt further angering U.S. authorities.


MALVEAUX: Thank you.

The head of a group known for leaking government secrets has some advice for Edward Snowden. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that Snowden should head south. He says the best chance for finding asylum is in Latin America.


JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: We don't know all the strategy that Snowden and perhaps the journalist and his advisors have put together. I hope that there is something really solid there. But looking at it from the surface, I would strongly advise him to go to Latin America. Latin America has shown in the past 10 years that it is really pushing forward in human rights. There's a long tradition of asylum.


MALVEAUX: Add Russia to the list of possible places for Edward Snowden to seek asylum. Russia's presidential spokesman says that the country would consider a request from Snowden, but he says so far no request has been made.

And you are looking here at Turkish riot police, that's right, taking on protesters in the iconic Taksim Square. This is the heart of Istanbul. Now, protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at the officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannons.

Arwa Damon is in the square.

And, Arwa, if you can hear me, tell me what you're seeing.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the situation has changed pretty dramatically throughout the entire day. Those clashes began at around 8:00 in the morning and then there was a fairly intense back and forth where the riot police would move in firing tear gas, water cannons, at one point even using rubber bullets, trying to clear Taksim Square. Right behind me there, that is Gezi Park. It -

MALVEAUX: Yes, we're having - DAMON: It is (INAUDIBLE) at Gezi Park that all of this began and then took on a life of its own. Now we are actually seeing demonstrators flood in to Taksim Square itself, but the riot police staying barely on the outskirts. We were speaking to one of the commanders who told us that they --

MALVEAUX: Arwa Damon there. You can see her reporting here. We're going to continue to monitor this. obviously we are, you know, around the world, taking you live to these pictures and to our reporters who are on the ground in Istanbul in the middle of that square where things are radically heating up. So we're going to go back as soon as we can get a better signal there.

We're also watching in Syria a pair of suicide bombers struck today killing at least 14 people, injuring 31 others. The attacks happened near a police station. This is in central Damascus. And there was no immediate claim of responsibility. The violence now between the government forces and the rebels very consistent around the capital. And the United Nations, it has warned that all sides are going to be held accountable for the killing of civilians that is taking place almost on a daily basis in this civil war.

We move on to South Africa. Authorities increased security today outside the hospital. This is where Nelson Mandela is being treated. Now, police set up the gates, the fences around the hospital. They checked cars as they entered the building there. Mandela was rushed there. It was three days ago with a lung infection. It's a reoccurring problem for Mandela. He is in serious, but stable condition. And outside his home in Johannesburg, children now from an elementary school are delivering a musical tribute.


MALVEAUX: These children, they're from the Rainbow Hill Christian Primary School. They also left messages outside of his home. We wish him the very best.

And call this sex, lies and the State Department. That's right. There are now allegations this morning that the State Department officials, some of them, may have tried to cover up alleged sexual misconduct at American diplomats - by American diplomats serving overseas. There is a new report now from the department's inspector general and it's laying out some of these details. And it sounds pretty troubling.

I want to bring in our Jill Dougherty, who's at the State Department.

I want to ask you specifically about one of the charges here, one of these allegations, that an active U.S. ambassador, quote, "routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children." What do we know about that?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, I think it's important to back up here and say that that comes from a memo which is part of this internal State Department investigation by the inspector general. And in that memo, it does lay that out. Now, that is an allegation. So the allegation again is this ambassador went to a park, ditched his security detail and engaged in some type of activity with prostitutes and with minors.

Now, that ambassador is denying those allegations, calling them baseless. And there are other allegations. All of this, just to back up, Suzanne, is part of this State Department internal investigation by its inspector general. And at this point it's not only that, but it's the allegations that these things were covered up, not investigated or investigations were stopped. And in this particular case with the ambassador, it is alleged that a senior official back here at the State Department ordered one of those investigators not to open investigation.

Let's listen to what the spokesperson for the State Department, Jen Psaki, said about all of this.


JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: I can confirm they would be fully investigated. I'm not going to talk about specific cases. But I can say broadly that the notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in a case, in any case, is preposterous. And we've put individual behind bars for criminal behavior. There is record of that. Ambassadors would be no exception.


DOUGHERTY: So, Jen Psaki and, of course, Suzanne, there will be more today here at the State Department as we have our usual briefing. I'm sure this will come up in great detail.

MALVEAUX: And, Jill, there are other allegations as well that when you had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in office there, that her security detail hired prostituted while on trips overseas. Is that also part of this investigation?

DOUGHERTY: It is. It's part of - there are eight examples that are included in this memo. That's one of them. There was another one that there are allegations of underground drug ring in Baghdad and another one that a State Department security officer engaged in sexual abuse of local employees who were security guards. And then, in that case, they said, the investigator didn't have enough time, or wasn't given enough time, to investigate. So these are all part of this.

By the way, we have to say that just a few minutes ago Elise Labott, our State Department reporter, did get reaction from Hillary Clinton's people, Nicholas Merrill, saying that she was unaware of any of those investigations mentioned in the OIG report and that memo and that we learned of it, he says, from the media and we don't know anything beyond what was reported.

MALVEAUX: All right.

DOUGHERTY: I think we -- we'll have to get into a lot of detail. There is a lot of detail and, again, a lot of -- it is allegations.

MALVEAUX: All right, Jill, thank you so much. We're going to be following that story, that breaking news.

Here's more of what we are following -- working on for AROUND THE WORLD.

He's only 29 years old, not even a government employee. So, how did Edward Snowden get access to so much sensitivity information? We're going to investigate that.

And China launches its longest space mission yet as the world watches, wondering what this means for the space race.

And James Bond fans, well, they know this place. This is an island. This is where the bad guy lives, right, in the movie "Skyfall." But the island's real life story almost as dark as the movie. We're going to take you there.


MALVEAUX: Here are more stories making news "Around the World" right now.

In France, sex charges have been dropped against Dominique Strauss- Kahn. He is the former head of the International Monetary Fund, who had been accused of assaulting a maid in a New York hotel back in 2011. Well, those charges were eventually dropped.

In France, he was accused of pimping out prostitutes at a sex party at a French hotel. Today, prosecutors said there's not enough evidence against him to prove that.

In Afghanistan, there's a strong denial, this from the Taliban. They say they're not responsible for beheading two children in Kandahar Province over the weekend.

In an e-mail message to CNN, a Taliban spokesman says that the militant group has launched an investigation into find out who killed those boys.

The 10-year-old and 16-year-old were beheaded on Sunday.

The Kandahar governor's office said that Taliban militants were responsible. He's blaming them.

In Venezuela, state-run TV says a plot to assassinate the country's president has been foiled. Two paramilitary groups made up of Colombian nationals were arrested on Sunday as they tried to enter the capital.

President Nicolas Maduro was elected in April after the death of Hugo Chavez, you might recall. Relations now between Colombia and Venezuela have been strained since 2007. That's when Chavez threatened to cut ties because he said Colombia was too friendly with the United States.

And just got a little bit more crowded. This is in space, we're talking about. Three Chinese astronauts blasted off into orbit. That happened earlier today. Check out those pics. The crew is off to resupply a space lab and test technology for a new space station.

Nic Robertson, he explains it's all part of China's efforts to ramp up its own space program.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Countdown to liftoff, China's longest space mission yet, 15 days.

It's carrying not just three astronauts and a payload full of experiments, but the hopes of a nation that they can push ahead in the race to space, the Shenzhou-10 capsule atop the Long March space rocket on its way to dock with the Tiangong-1, China's unmanned space lab.

A few hours earlier, China's president came to visit the two men and one woman who make up China's fifth-ever manned space mission, telling them they will realize China's space dream.

Then a farewell for the astronauts, which, like the launch, was broadcast live by state TV, an effort to build popular support for this costly program.

During their journey, the astronauts will give lessons for schoolchildren back home.

China is racing to catch up with Europe and the United States in space development. Currently it lags well behind.

At the launch site just a few hours before the lift-off, the site director admitted this could well be the last mission for the aging space lab.

The plan is almost fixed, he says, but the time is not confirmed. But we do have plans for another space lab and more space capsules.

What happens next in China's space development is unclear. The current space module is reaching the end of its life, but much of this mission is about figuring out how to live longer in space, raising the possibility that the next launches from here may be to a much larger, more permanently-manned space station.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Jiuquan Space Center.


MALVEAUX: And coming up, a young woman in Peru dreams big, thanks to inspiration from her dying father. Her story is up next.


MALVEAUX: All this week, we are focusing on girls' education around the world, and today we're looking at Peru.

In a small mining town there, living conditions are harsh, but one girl is doing everything she can to overcome them and to learn. Here is today's "GIRL RISING."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Senna. La Rinconada, this is not a good place for kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: La Rinconada, for me, was an absolutely breathtaking experience. I felt I was stepping back in history, something very medieval about it, the misery of life, the lack of water and sewage.

Education is really very low in the sense of priorities. In the case of Senna, her father was such an inspiration. He said, don't be like me. I never stepped foot inside a school. You can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I found out that my father was dying. I cried and I cried, and I told my mom don't cry. I will succeed with or without my father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a place that is dark and ugly in so many ways, this child has such a great appreciation for words.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): My poem would be like an acrostic. It would be, I dream of being an engineer. I'm excited to grow. I will never let my dad down, and I will never fall behind.


MALVEAUX: Good for her.

Senna's in high school, on track. She plans to attend college.

To learn more about supporting girls' education around the world, go to It is a beautiful documentary, and that film airs this Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Under the Dream Act, students are allowed the stay in the United States while their parents are often deported. Today some of those kids are going to reunite with their moms and dads.

We're going to tell you about the program that is making that possible.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are the stories we are working on.

It is day two of jury selection. This is in the George Zimmerman murder trial. It is moving slowly. Attorneys, they're trying to seat a panel of six men and women, plus four alternates, for this highly, highly publicized case. You know what it's all about.

As far as they're concern -- they're concentrating, rather, on potential jurors who they say have not followed the case slowly. Zimmerman admits shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in February of last year, but says he acted in self-defense.

And they never even made it to the negotiating table. We're talking about North and South Korea.

The first high-level talks between the two countries in years was due to start tomorrow, but the plans were scrapped. It's because of a seemingly minor disagreement over who would lead each country's delegation.