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AROUND THE WORLD

North Korean Ship Being Searched; Royal Maternity Wardrobe in Spotlight

Aired July 18, 2013 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": ... June to be taken into custody.

Of course, he was on the lam for years, wasn't he, and finally caught up with by the long arm of the law, and that trial is just extraordinary at the moment.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": The details are amazing. Bulger has been charged in the deaths of 19 people.

This is over the course of two decades when prosecutors say, look, he was ahead of the Irish mob in Boston, a very, very powerful figure, a notorious figure, and finally in court this trial, of course, being conducted and one of the key witnesses, potential key witnesses, found dead.

HOLMES: Yeah, Steven Rakes body found, no obvious trauma. We'll keep you apprised as we get more information on that.

All right, the former South African president, Nelson Mandela, turns 95 today.

MALVEAUX: So, of course, you're watching the celebration. Many in South Africa want to wish him a happy birthday and people around the world, of course.

We're going to have a live report from Pretoria on how South Africans are honoring his legacy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: At the United Nations, it is Nelson Mandela International Day. This is a day honoring all good works for the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon, of course.

HOLMES: Yeah, this began four years ago, actually, as a call to promote world peace and encourage community service.

Now this morning former President Bill Clinton, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the actor Harry Belafonte all spoke at the U.N., praising Mandela's impact on racial justice and reconciliation in his country and, in fact, right around the world.

MALVEAUX: And they also wished him a happy birthday. Mandela turns 95 today. He is still in a Pretoria hospital suffering from a severe lung infection, but both South Africa's president and Nelson Mandela's daughter, they do say that he is getting better.

HOLMES: They do.

Robyn Curnow is live outside the hospital. Robyn, it's rather pleasant to be talking to you on this happy birthday here and people having a celebration unlike the conversations we've had over the last couple weeks.

What's happening there and what's his condition like?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And I think everybody here in South Africa is very much focusing on the positive.

You can hear the singing behind me. I don't know if you can see, but a lot of people have had balloons. They're wearing party hats. It's quite a festive atmosphere.

This is because, even though they know Nelson Mandela is critically ill in this hospital behind me, they're really, I think, not just celebrating his life, but paying tribute to him, and it's a really happy, joyful nation.

People have really come together in a spirit that Mandela created, this democracy.

MALVEAUX: Robyn, I know, a lot of people, they don't like to talk about specifics, but we did spend weeks hearing reports that he was on life support.

Do we have any idea, a real sense, of how he is doing at this time?

CURNOW: You know, we don't. As you know, there hasn't been a lot of information over these weeks.

Actually, it's been 41 days since he was admitted here, and all we got from the presidency today was, you know, thanks for all of the support and that doctors say he is steadily improving.

What that means, we just don't know because he is critical. He is stable. He hasn't been able to breathe on his own. He's been on dialysis.

So the fact that he is steadily improving in terms of what that means medically, I just frankly don't know. I don't think anybody here in this country knows.

And I think it is the way the family and the government want that. They want that sense of distance between his medical condition and the realities of the fact that people need to celebrate him for what he was and what he means to people, no matter whether he's here or whether he's not.

MALVEAUX: And, Robyn, the celebrations, can you tell us a little bit about the events that are taking place?

CURNOW: So then, I think you mentioned at the top of our report that it's Mandela Day and that that is, in a way, mandating, saying, go out and help somebody, spend 67 minutes doing something for somebody else because that's what he did. He spent 67 years in public service giving of himself.

And they're saying, listen, you don't have to go to prison for 27 years. You don't have to lead the country. It's the small things that matter.

So what we've seen across the nation are people making sandwiches for other people. A lot of people have been visiting or going to play with abandoned children or HIV/AIDS orphans. It is those kinds of things, planting trees.

And so they say it's simple, that you can be like Nelson Mandela if you just give a little bit of yourself.

MALVEAUX: All right, Robyn Curnow, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Nice to see celebrations in South Africa.

HOLMES: Yeah, it is.

Still not a great situation for him, but improving. It's a relative term.

One man, meanwhile, causing a great deal of friction between the U.S. and Russia.

MALVEAUX: We're talking about NSA leaker Edward Snowden, holed up in a Moscow airport asking for temporary asylum.

But if it is granted it could impact the Winter Olympics. We'll explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Still no movement in Moscow as far as Edward Snowden is concerned.

We're watching like everybody else to see if and when he makes a break for it or walks out of the airport with Russia's protection.

HOLMES: Yeah, that is the scenario that he has asked for, the walking out part, that is.

He handwrote that asylum request you see on your screen there to the Russian government this week.

The United States, of course, would like Snowden to pop back home so they can charge him over spying for leaking U.S. government secrets.

MALVEAUX: Whatever Russia decides to do about Edward Snowden, it's going to be remembered long after this airport standoff is over because, right, in fact, the Snowden factor is actually right at the top of things to talk about when President Obama goes to Russia. This is in just a couple of week.

HOLMES: Yeah, Brianna Keilar, tracking that for us.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Michael and Suzanne, the White House is downplaying the suggestion that the U.S. should boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia, but what we were expecting to be a one-on-one meeting between President Obama and President Putin in Russia in September is more in doubt, a warning to Moscow as it considers Edward Snowden's request for temporary asylum.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: It could be a high-profile, high-stakes showdown between the U.S. and Russia. The future of NSA leaker Edward Snowden could impact a planned summit between President Obama and President Putin in September, or even Russia's 2014 Olympics.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Would I accept an invitation to sit by Putin? No.

I don't want to boycott the Olympics, but I want a policy that will get the Russians attention.

KEILAR: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has indeed gotten attention for his suggestion the U.S. boycott the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but the White House isn't playing.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to engage in speculation.

But you guys aren't jumping to a superficial headline, are you?

KEILAR: While not speculating on an Olympic boycott, White House spokesman Jay Carney seemed to be deliberately vague about Obama's plans to travel to a previously announced powwow between the U.S. president and Putin in Moscow tied to the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

CARNEY: The president intends to go to Russia in September.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you won't say Moscow?

CARNEY: I just have nothing else to say on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're being deliberately vague.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deliberately vague.

CARNEY: That's for you to decide.

KEILAR: But last month, the president was firm he didn't want Russia's refusal to extradite Snowden to adversely affect relations with the U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing.

KEILAR: Putin seems to agree, saying he wants this Snowden situation resolved.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (via translator): We have warned Mr. Snowden that any harm he might do to Russian-U.S. relations is unacceptable.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: President Obama has made clear he has bigger issues with Moscow than Edward Snowden. Russia has thwarted U.S. attempts to put more pressure on Syria and on Iran.

But Snowden being in Russia and possibly even working there under temporary asylum, that is not the backdrop this White House wants as President Obama heads to that country for the G20 summit.

Suzanne and Michael?

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Brianna.

Ahead on "Around the World," North Korea wants its ship back, but after the cargo hold was opened, unlikely to go.

HOLMES: Yeah, wait until you see what was inside. We'll give you all the details.

(Inaudible) Lee is down there in Panama for us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are some of the stories we are watching right now.

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry got a firsthand look at how Syrians are suffering.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he toured a U.N. refugee camp. This happened in Jordan. He's been doing a lot of meetings there. It is home to about 120,000 Syrians, most of them women and children who have, of course, been escaping the civil war.

MALVEAUX: Well, some of the refugees pleaded with Kerry for international action. One woman told him, if no help comes from the outside, they will return to Syria to fight government troops with knives.

HOLMES: An estimated 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the violence erupted in March of last year and, by all accounts, Mr. Kerry really did get an earful from some of those refugees desperate for help.

MALVEAUX: And the secretary is also focusing on Middle East peace. He met with Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas and with the leaders of the Arab League and there are reports that Israelis and Palestinians may be close to resuming those stalled peace talks. This is Kerry's sixth trip to the Middle East since he took over as secretary of state.

HOLMES: In Panama, a North Korean ship at the center of what is playing out like an international spy novel and authorities there, they want to know what the United Nations is going to do about the ship and its crew, all because of what it was carrying.

MALVEAUX: Yes. So the boat was seized in Panama. It headed from Cuba and North Korea loaded with weapons that were found hidden under these bags of sugar. Our May Lee actually went along with the security officials in Panama to inspect some of that cargo. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAY LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The intense search of North Korea's Chong Chon Gang cargo ship continues. And with each day, new alarming discoveries. Inside the Port of Colon, heavily armed military troops stand guard, acutely aware of the cargo onboard the North Korean vessel.

LEE (on camera): So they just opened up two containers that were removed from the ship today and you have to take a look at this. Both containers are full of weaponry. There was inspectors inside each container taking a look at what these items are. They're trying to figure out obviously.

JOSE RAUL MULINO, PANAMANIAN SECURITY MINISTER: For us, it's important to finish this operation, wait for the United Nations to come, and they will decide. Panama is completely transparent in this. We have no experience in dealing with this kind of problem.

LEE: Right now what's happening is that inspectors are inside each container. As you can see with their flashlights, just really taking a look at what they found inside. Who knows what this is. I think it's anybody's guess at this point. But it's pretty extraordinary that they found these two containers. And as you can see, the top of the container is bowed and that's because the bags of sugar that were hiding all these containers were on top. They were so heavy, that they actually crushed the container down.

LEE (voice-over): May Lee, CNN, Manzanar (ph), Panama.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Well, it wouldn't be an hour of news without talking about the baby watch. The royal baby watch. It is in overtime now. Aren't we excited.

MALVEAUX: Oh, I am excited, actually. This is overdue now. We want this to happen. We're (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: I bet she does.

MALVEAUX: The duchess of Cambridge well past the due date here. We're going to have the latest from London. Plus, hear why her clothes are getting almost as much attention as the pregnancy.

HOLMES: She's quite frugal, you know.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Right now the world's eyes all fixed on St. Mary's Hospital in London, waiting for any signs of the royal baby on the way.

HOLMES: I bet she is saying get this thing out of me. Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, of course we're talking about, Prince William expecting their first nipper, as we say in my country, and anticipation growing every day since the baby's official due date, which was five days ago.

MALVEAUX: Five days ago. Let's make this happen.

HOLMES: It's going to be overdone. Yes.

MALVEAUX: Throughout her pregnancy, the duchess, she's been in the spotlight, of course, but also the wardrobe as well making a splash.

HOLMES: Yes, that's an interesting aspect of her. Atika Shubert explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been nine months of watching the royal baby bump bloom. And to the delight of fashionistas everywhere, the duchess of Cambridge has made mom to be the look to have.

SHUBERT (on camera): How did it feel when you were hand-delivering these dresses to the palace?

CHELSEY OLIVER, SENIOR DESIGNER, SERAPHINE: Ah, that was a pretty exciting moment for us as well. It's a real accomplishment for Seraphine.

SHUBERT (voice-over): The duchess of Cambridge has brought about a dozen dresses from Seraphine, her preferred maternity brand. But this is no high priced designer label. It's shop is one of many on the high street and most dresses here cost less than $100, including this royal favorite.

OLIVER: It works really well because it has segality (ph) tales (ph) on the bump, which allow it to drape really beautifully at the beginning of your pregnancy. And then as your bump grows, it kind of accommodates the bump.

SHUBERT: Mixing designer labels with high street fashion, making her both glamorous and accessible. OLIVER: Her hem lines actually became a little bit shorter. She showed off her great legs. I think that's really great. I think you don't need to hide away when you're pregnant. Show off your best bits, you know. Everybody loves her because they think, you know, I could be her, too. And, you know, this is kind of - there's this feeling of being inspired, but not intimidated by her.

SHUBERT: Always a style icon, the duchess of Cambridge has made even her royal bump a boon for fashion.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: The royal bump.

HOLMES: The royal bump.

MALVEAUX: Love it.

HOLMES: The royal bump. OK, tune in tonight, by the way. CNN has a special, "Will and Kate Plus One," and you'll hear from the royal couple's family members and friends.

MALVEAUX: 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And also, this artwork can turn up in the strangest of places here.

HOLMES: Look at that.

MALVEAUX: This is something, you've got to see this. It's really amazing. A tribute to an American icon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Just when you think you've seen it all, there's something else that will get you buzzing.

MALVEAUX: Yes, we said buzzing. In Britain, a tiny bumblebee seems to be high-fiving a man who might be a little drunk here but is quite delighted. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, bee. Hello. Oh, he just went high five. High five. Yeah, high five to you. (INAUDIBLE). Do it again. High five. He did it again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: I can't really see that. I -

MALVEAUX: Maybe a little bit, I guess.

HOLMES: Maybe a little.

MALVEAUX: The video -

HOLMES: I think he was actually saying, leave me alone. This being the era that it is, it's gone viral. (INAUDIBLE)

MALVEAUX: Yes. Yes. This is viral. We want to show you this, too. This is some elaborate artwork. It's turning up in all places. This is a rice field in Japan.

HOLMES: This is wonderful. Have a look at the pictures. Imagine creating enormous murals like that and getting it all in perspective and the like just using colored race plants. That's what happened.

MALVEAUX: Yes. So this rice patty, it's one and a half times bigger than a football field. So you can look at this and you see these intricately designed Japanese (INAUDIBLE). And there's an American movie icon, well, of course, Marilyn Monroe. And there are huge crowds that are just showing up to see what they've actually created, these pictures in the rice fields.

HOLMES: Yes. The thing is, you've got to be up high to see it, don't you?

MALVEAUX: Yes, I imagine so.

HOLMES: BYO helicopter to get the full effect. Amazing stuff.

MALVEAUX: Pretty cool.

HOLMES: All right, that will do it from us.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: Thanks for being with us today.

MALVEAUX: Appreciate you watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM continues after this.