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Immigration Deal Boosts Security; Stocks Tumble on Fed Fears; James Gandolfini Dies; Two Miracles for Late John Paul II Reported; 13 Children, Six Adults Dead in New Zealand Mall Fire

Aired June 20, 2013 - 12:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Have for you today. Thanks for watching. AROUND THE WORLD starts now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Shock and sadness around the world as news of James Gandolfini's death spreads. The actor being remembered for much more than his role as simply a mob boss.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: The Dow taking a nosedive. Down right now around, well, you see it there, 200 points. What's behind the big drop? Could it be something someone said?

MALVEAUX: And a blockbuster summer preview from the Vatican. It promises news of a miracle that will amaze the world.

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

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

Well, a group of senators reaching a deal that could add momentum to the push for immigration reform, designed to overcome the objections of Republicans concerned about border security.

MALVEAUX: A deal would strengthen security requirements on the immigration bill. It would also double the size of the border patrol from the current level of 21,000 agents. It also calls for 700 miles of fence along the border.

So I want to bring in a couple of players here. First of all, Gloria Borger.

Talk to us, first of all, what is important about this agreement and what do the Republicans need to actually get it over to not only the Senate but to the House?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, border enforcement is key to Republicans. It's also key to Democrats. Because when you look at the polls, by almost a two-to-one majority, Americans say that border enforcement should be first before we get to the path to citizenship. So this is a political imperative for them.

And particularly if you're Republican and you've got some constituents who are reluctant on immigration to begin with, this -- they're calling it a surge at the border. If you see that many more boots on the ground and you see that many more miles of fencing, the feeling is that government is actually serious about enforcement and will reach certain goals on enforcement and then they will get to the path to citizenship. So it's a way to kind of get those reluctant Republicans on board and a way to keep the Democrats there because some Democrats were worried that Republicans were putting too many poison pills in this legislation for them.

HOLMES: And, Gloria, Republicans, of course, everyone knows, took a beating among Latinos in the presidential election.

BORGER: Oh, yes.

HOLMES: Yes, the president got 71 percent of the Latino vote. Mitt Romney, 27 percent. So given all of that, how important is it for the GOP now to show that they're moving forward on this issue?

BORGER: I'm going to quote Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who said that the Republican Party was in what he called a "demographic death spiral," OK? And that includes young voters. It also includes minority voters. And so he's one of those Republicans who understands that the party needs to move a little bit where the country is and that the country - the country's minority population is growing and that Hispanic voters are a very important voter block for them that they could actually mine, and they haven't been able to do that because of immigration reform. And so there are some Republicans who say, look, we have to get over this.

But Lindsey Graham disagrees with a bunch of Republicans, particularly in the House, who are very reluctant to go along with this. And that's where the problem is going to come. I mean this has got to pass the Senate by a large margin because then maybe House Speaker Boehner will be able to convince more of his recalcitrant Republicans to go along with him.

HOLMES: All right. Gloria, appreciate it as always. Gloria Borger there.


MALVEAUX: That's a heavy lift in Washington.

HOLMES: That is, isn't it?

MALVEAUX: There's a lot of people looking at this thinking, boy, if you can get that done, that would be a major accomplishment.

HOLMES: Will it though? Will it happen?


HOLMES: That's the thing. All right.

MALVEAUX: We'll wait.

Stocks tumbling right now.

HOLMES: Oh, boy. MALVEAUX: I want to bring in Felicia Taylor, joins us from the New York Stock Exchange.

How are they doing? The Nasdaq, the Dow? Why is this happening?

HOLMES: Yes. The investors watched, they listened, they did not like.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, when Ben Bernanke speaks, we all listen. And, you know, this is a really interesting market, I have to tell you, because we're already well off of the lows of the day. We were down about 230 points. Right now we're down about 180 points on the Dow.

What's interesting about this market, and a lot of traders that I've spoken to have said, you've got to remember, this is data-dependent in what we heard from the Federal Reserve chairman yesterday. And, frankly, the economic news that's out there is still very mixed. We saw jobless claims actually rise, but yet existing home sales also rose. So you've got still a very mixed picture.

He has -- basically what they're saying is that, you know, the traders and investors are re-pricing the risk in the marketplace. He said, and kind of hedged himself on both ends, he's not going to make a move until he actually really sees economic numbers strengthen quite considerably. And he even forecasted that he doesn't believe the unemployment number is going to reach 6.5 percent until 2014. So this kind of a pullback, and I don't want people to think that this is anywhere near a correction because it's not.

HOLMES: Right.

TAYLOR: This is simply a pullback where the bears are now sort of stepping back into the marketplace as opposed to the bulls that have had such an incredibly strong run and a lot of people would argue out there that the bulls overran the market and this is a very natural thing.

HOLMES: Yes. And, of course, you know, with the Dow around 15,000, 200 points ain't what it used to be. But, you know, to still the name of our program, the numbers around the world, boy, the European markets, the Asian markets, none of them liked it at all.

TAYLOR: No, they didn't. And what's -- you know, what's also very significant about this is you've got to take a look at some of the commodities. Take a look at gold and silver. Those are down significantly. And the reason for that is because the dollar continues to gain strength. So what was traditionally considered, you know, a safe haven, may not necessarily be so coming -- going forward because as the dollar strengthens, those commodities get more and more expensive. So that's a real crux of this marketplace as well.

It's a very interesting time. We knew that at some point Ben Bernanke was going to have to quote/unquote taper, but it's very unlikely that we're going to see it happen in 2013. So the market is really just digesting some of the verbiage and trying to sort of, you know, understand what it means and decipher whether or not there are going to be stronger economic numbers going forward. And that's yet to be seen.

MALVEAUX: And do we know, Felicia, whether or not this makes a difference when you just look at main street people, whether or not they're going to - it's going to be harder to get jobs, whether or not it's going to be harder to get homes?

TAYLOR: Well, I think that's - I mean that's a whole different aspect of this equation. The job market just isn't strong yet. And, yes, the housing market is in a recovery mode, but it's a very slow recovery. There's only pockets of the United States where you're actually seeing home sales increase and people being able to feel a little bit more comfortable about shelling out that kind of money and being able to get loans in order to do so. So, again, it's still this very mixed picture. And that is a reflection of what you're seeing in the marketplace today.

Again, we're pulling back off of the lows of the session. So traders are still sort of, you know -


TAYLOR: There's a tug and a pull between the bears and the bulls -- the bulls and the bears right now as to who's really going to win.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. It was down more than 200 points earlier. So, yes, look at a little bit of light there.

All right, Felicia, good to see you. Felicia Taylor there.

TAYLOR: No problem.


JAMES GANDOLFINI, ACTOR, "THE SOPRANOS": I don't even know why I come here. Nothing else to do I guess.

LORRAINE BRACCO, ACTRESS, "THE SOPRANOS": Do you think it would help if you went some place so you could rest up a while?

GANDOLFINI: You mean like Vegas?

BRACCO: No, not Vegas. Someplace where you could be looked after.


MALVEAUX: Tony Soprano and his long-suffering therapist, Dr. Melfi. For six seasons on HBO, she tried to get through his thick skull the reasons why he was a sociopath, a racist, a gluten, a sex maniac and a killer.

HOLMES: Just to name a few things. Millions of "Sopranos" fans around the world, of course, could not get enough of it. You watched it? I was a huge fan of it.

MALVEAUX: I watched occasionally.

HOLMES: I watched every episode.

MALVEAUX: I liked his character. I liked the fact that he was in therapy. I thought that was cool, you know, kind of ironic.

HOLMES: Exactly. Humanized it, if you like. If you can say that.

Well, news of Tony Soprano himself, the actor James Gandolfini, is dead has now, of course, spread around the world. You know he was in something like 50 TV shows and movies, but that one show, "The Sopranos," made him and that character a superstar everywhere.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I want to bring in Barbie Nadeau in Rome.

Of course he was in Italy when he died. And his most famous character made a huge deal, "The Sopranos," about being Italian. Tell us about the connection here. Italian-American. He was in Italy at the time. How are people responding?

BARBIE NADEAU, JOURNALIST: Well, people are very sad here, very shocked. Of course people -- Italians consider him Italian. His mother grew up in Naples. He didn't grow up here, but that's close enough for many Italians. He grew up with such a close influence of the Italian culture. And it showed very much in the way he played his roles.

He was here, of course, with his son, his 13-year-old son, just the two of them on their way to Sicily, where he was going to be honored at a film festival for a lifetime - with a lifetime achievement award. And he had spoken to the organizers of the film festival just two hours before he died and expressed that he was excited to show his son Sicily and to, you know, take his son sort of back to his roots. So that adds, I think, sort of a, you know, a poignancy to all of this. It's sad, perhaps, fitting that he died in Italy, but it's a life that will be celebrated here certainly as much as in the United States.

HOLMES: Yes, part of one of his reasons for going was to sort of explore his Italian roots. You know, I suppose you've got to look at the logistics now. You know, he is American. What is the procedure now for getting him back to the states? One presumes he's still at the morgue there.

NADEAU: That's right. Within 24 hours, the Italian authorities must perform an autopsy. That's a legal bit of bureaucracy that they cannot get around even if they know the cause of death. Only at that time does the American embassy step in. And they'll have to issue a death certificate by the American embassy here in Rome before they're able to expatriate his body, his remains back to the United States. So that process, that autopsy, is being completed something today. And, you know, we're nearing the weekend and things like that. So, with luck, things will move a little bit faster than they normally do here for the sake of the family and they'll be able to get that death certificate and get his remains home, if that's the intended destination.

MALVEAUX: Do we know where his son is? Do we know if his son has been able to return back to the United States? Or is with family I presume? NADEAU: Well, at this - at this point people are coming here as we understand. And he's got, of course, family in Naples still. Those relatives of his mother are, as we understand it, on their way here to take care of the son and to provide, you know, some sort of comfort and care.

At this point, you know, the American embassy is not involved, but there are people in councilor (ph) positions that can provide aid and care. He's a 13-year-old boy. He's a minor. So somebody is taking care of him. He can't be on his own.

But only until the wheels of bureaucracy get into play will they be able to send him back to the United States. And we don't know yet if his wife is coming here. Of course they have a nine-month-old baby, whether or not he'll come here to - or she'll come here to retrieve her - the remains of her husband. Those are details we haven't been told quite yet.

HOLMES: All right, Barbie, thanks so much. Barbie Nadeau there in Rome.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, there was so much more to his career than just playing the mob boss in "The Sopranos."


MALVEAUX: In about 25 minutes, we're going to take a closer look at the many other roles and his accomplishments as well. You're going to want to stick around for that.

HOLMES: Just 51 years old too.



MALVEAUX: And possible peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban raising some new hopes that a captured American soldier could be released.

HOLMES: Yes, we're talking about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. He was held captive since 2009. There have been videos released. You see one of them there. U.S. officials planning to push for his return in talks with the Taliban. Prisoner exchanges are on the agenda, we are told.

MALVEAUX: A senior administration official says that those talks could start in the next few days.

And the U.S. is now pushing ahead, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai is angry over the talks. He points to Taliban rhetoric about continuing to fight against the Afghan government and foreign fighters. Well, President Karzai also upset about a new Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.

HOLMES: Yes, he was complaining specifically about the Taliban presenting it or seeing if it could present it as an alternative Afghan government. More of an embassy than a place to hold talks, which is how it was set out to be.

MALVEAUX: And in Brazil, a victory, this is for the anti-government protesters. They've been pouring into the streets. This has happened just the last couple of weeks ago. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, have decided now to roll back these bus fare increases that were supposed to happen here.

HOLMES: Yes, they -- that's what kicked it off. But then it broadened out. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, of course, hiked fares by just nine cents recently, but that's a lot for many people who use public transport. And that sent the protesters, of course, out into the streets. You saw a scene there in Rio where an angry mob was trying to turn over one of the city buses.

MALVEAUX: And the movement has spread across the country now includes a number of issues. We're talking about health care and education. They want improvements in all different types of areas. The protesters say that the government really needs to spend more on those kinds of services, a lot less on the big sports events like the World Cup.

HOLMES: Yes, and the Olympics also coming up. A lot of people worried about those sorts of things.

Meanwhile, here's more of what we're working on this hour for AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: The Vatican says it's going to announce another miracle, pushing Pope John Paul II closer to sainthood. We're going to talk with a church expert about what that miracle might be.

HOLMES: And speaking of miracles, investors could use one today, that's for sure. As you know, we've been keeping an eye on the markets. The Dow down around 180 points or so. It was down more than 200 earlier. We're keeping a close eye on that. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: You're going to love this video that came out of the Vatican today. Check this out.

MALVEAUX: Here's Pope Francis taking a ride on his Pope-mobile with a teenage boy who has Down's syndrome. That's pretty cool.

The pope saw him admiring the Pope-mobile and he asked him if he want today go for a ride, so you might notice the boy wearing an Argentina soccer shirt. Well, that explains the lucky break.

HOLMES: It could, couldn't it? I hadn't noticed that one. The pope after all is from Argentina.

That will do it for you. Now you know when you go to the Vatican ...

MALVEAUX: Yeah. Sport the shirt there.

The Vatican says a miracle has taken place that's going to amaze the world. HOLMES: They say it's a miracle the late-pope John Paul II needs to actually be on the books for him to officially become a saint.

All right, let's go to John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst joining us. Tell us about the miracle and how big a deal it is.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Hi there, Michael and Suzanne.

Well, it's a very big deal because, as you say, it clears the way for John Paul II to be formally declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Now the Vatican hasn't officially revealed any details because they don't, typically. They wait for the process to be completed.

But what we know on background is that it apparently involves the healing of a woman in Costa Rica who was suffering from a severe brain injury who prayed to the late-pope for assistance and the reports are that on the evening of May 1st, 2011, which was the day that John Paul was beatified which was the final step before sainthood, she reportedly was heeled.

Vatican officials, Michael and Suzanne, are actually calling this a double miracle because not only did she apparently recover from this brain injury, but members of her family who have lost their faith have also returned to the church.

So they're claiming it's sort of a double play for the late pope.

MALVEAUX: And, John, explain how this works. I mean, you know, just for folks out there who might not understand, how do these miracles actually verified or made public or made official in some way?

ALLEN: Well, the theology of sainthood is that a saint is somebody who lives such a holy life that they are already in heaven with God.

Now, the question, of course, is how in the world do you know that? And the answer that the church has traditionally given is that, if somebody is able to engineer a miracle, that's proof that they are close to God and able to intercede to help somebody out who is still on Earth.

In John Paul's case the miracle for his beatification and, of course, there's one miracle required to be beatified and another for canonization. The miracle for beatification in 2011 was the healing of a French nun from Parkinson's disease, of course, the same ailment from which John Paul himself suffered.

And in this case, it's the woman from Costa Rica. These miracle reports are reviewed by a team of doctors to make sure that they're inexplicable, medically and scientifically, then by a team of theologians to make sure they pass spiritual muster.

Then there's a body of cardinals that has to sign-off and finally the pope himself.

Once that's done the Vatican is saying this canonization could occur as early as next October, which, Michael and Suzanne, would be an all- time land speed record. Normally, you know, the Vatican thinks in centuries. In this case it could happen as quickly as eight years.

HOLMES: You took our next question and answered it. Yeah, because this has been a pretty speedy path to sainthood.

John, always great to have you on the program. John Allen there.

MALVEAUX: And still ahead, a rare punishment in Qatar, a member of the royal family now going to prison after he's held partly responsible for a fire that killed 13 toddlers.


MALVEAUX: In Qatar, five people were found guilty today of death by negligence. This is a tragic fire that happened that killed 19 people, including 13 toddlers. The fire happened in May of last year at a daycare center in a mall in Doha.

HOLMES: Yeah, a fancy mall, but it turned out it was all smoke and mirrors when it came down to safety.

One of those convicted and sentenced to prison is a member of Qatar's royal family actually.

Now more on the story from CNN's Germana Karachi (ph).


GERMANA KARACHI (PH), CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher Weekes celebrate their second birthday.

But within months of the celebration, the triplets from New Zealand were dead, along with ten other children who perished inside a day care center in Doha's Villagio mall.

Parents Martin and Jane Weekes are left with their memories and questions.

MARTIN WEEKES, FATHER OF TRIPLET VICTIMS: The phrase we tend to use is that we're deafened by silence, silence in our house, because, I mean, we had a really busy house with three two-year-olds.

And similarly we've been deafened by silence from the authorities in Qatar who just fail to communicate or show any interest.

KARACHI (PH): Qatari authorities have not responded to CNN's calls and e-mails, but in the aftermath of the tragedy, officials offered their condolences to the families and launched an investigation that concluded that the fire was caused by a short-circuiting light bulb and quickly spread because of flammable paint.

Witnesses describe a chaotic rescue operation that lasted for hours. In their daycare center, the children and their helpers were trapped. Four nursery staff and two firefighters died along with the 13 children. WEEKES: The second exit out of the daycare, which the children could have used to escape, was locked shut from the outside, so they couldn't get out.

The emergency services had no map of the mall, seemed to be completely oblivious of anything that was in there.

KARACHI (PH): The investigation cited safety issues and blamed the incident on, quote, "lack of adherence to laws, systems and measures by all concerned parties to different degrees."

But the investigating committee has so far only released highlights of its findings. The Weekes and other families want the entire report made public.

Given the findings of the investigation, many question whether Qatar is ready to host a growing number of tourists and the 2022 football World Cup.

SHABINA KHATRI, EDITOR, DOHA NEWS: The awareness is higher on all ends from the people who hear fire alarms to the people who respond to fire alarms, but the problem is there just aren't enough people.

There are not enough civil defense firefighters and officials to look into all the different buildings that are not safety compliant.

KARACHI (PH): This is one of the last videos the Weekes family have of their children, something to hold onto as they wait for answers.

The couple also await the arrival of twins this coming August.

WEEKES: We almost haven't allowed ourselves to really celebrate and enjoy it, which in itself is a shame. Our new children can never replace Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher.

KARACHI (PH): Germana Karachi (ph), CNN, Abu Dhabi.


MALVEAUX: God, that is heartbreaking.

HOLMES: It is mind blowing. And, you know, I was saying I actually went to that mall about three or four years ago, and it is, as they say, it had like canals running through it and gondolas. It was sort of a Venetian theme to it.

Absolutely spectacularly beautiful on the inside, but it was behind the walls that there were these problems with electrical. The paint was flammable and noxious. And there's a lot of worries there in Qatar about other places like that.

MALVEAUX: Yeah. The regulations, are the regulations in place?

HOLMES: Not enforced. It depends who owns it. Are you a powerful person? What gets seen? What doesn't?

So there's a lot of concern in Qatar about that about the standards.

MALVEAUX: Justifiably so.

HOLMES: Yeah, absolutely, when you see something like that, horrible.

MALVEAUX: He played an arrogant mob boss, but in real life, James Gandolfini, he was private and shy, even.

We're going to hear one of his rare interviews right after the break.