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AROUND THE WORLD

Spain Train Derails; Pope Visits Shanty Town; George Alexander Louis: What's in a Name?; Caroline Kennedy Nominated; Ferocious Fire in Gulf of Mexico; Eyewitness Report from Spain

Aired July 25, 2013 - 12:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Shocking video of the moment a train crashes in Spain, killing dozens of passengers. Survivors have to crawl through windows to escape and witnesses watch in horror.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard an explosion and, when I arrived, one of the carriages was already over the rail (ph) that comes out from there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And the Pope goes to one of Rio's poorest neighborhoods. He doesn't drive through the streets this time, he walks. Yes, walks. Can his security keep up?

MALVEAUX: Plus, a country we don't see often. And when reporters do get in, they have minders with them at all times. We're going to take you inside North Korea for rare access to the communist country.

This is AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

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

First let's start with that horror on the tracks. Spain reeling from one of the worst train crashes on the continent ever, certainly the last 60 years or so in Spain. You got 80 passengers now confirmed dead after a train derailed. You had carriages snapped in half.

MALVEAUX: Security footage shows the train speeding around the bend, then this -- look at that, unbelievable, puff of smoke, really a cloud of smoke, flies off the tracks onto its side, slams into a concrete wall. Just absolutely tragic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We heard a huge explosion. There were lots of people injured. We started to help the injured in that train car there. Then we went to the other cars and that was shocking. Indescribable. It was crazy. I was shocked. Wounded people carrying children. There are no words to describe it. I was devastated.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: Karl Penhaul joins us live from Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

And, Karl, first of all, I mean those pictures are absolutely extraordinary. Tell us, walk us through this. What actually happened?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. That's CCTV footage surveillance cameras. And those were just a few yards on from where actually the train crashed into that concrete column.

Now, as we see that footage, it doesn't have any audio, and you expect that. It's CCTV footage. But what our eye is drawn to, of course, is the locomotive. The back end seems to swing out from the tracks. Then that crashes into the concrete column, which is, in fact, part of a bridge, and then goes on its side and then brings the rest of the train with it.

But if you go back a fraction -- a fraction of a second before all that happens, go back to about midway along the train and you can make out a puff of something. Is it a puff of a little dust, is it a puff of smoke because (INAUDIBLE) train (INAUDIBLE) and you see the front locomotive come off the back (INAUDIBLE) pillar.

It must be said that where the locomotive comes off the track, that it, in fact, comes out of the bend. It was already going on to the straight, although, at the same time, the wagons that came behind it were still very much on that very tight curve, Suzanne.

HOLMES: And, Karl, Spain is known for having put a lot of money into its train system. The networks, the envy of a lot of countries. There are safety sensors, if you like, on some of these trains to stop them going too fast. Is speed an issue here? This was a train that was capable of high speed.

PENHAUL: Well, of course, all these elements are now under investigation and (INAUDIBLE), even as you and I are talking, the driver of that train, possibly the conductor as well, are undergoing a cross examination to see what they can tell investigators about the possible causes of this. Yes, this train was built for high speeds. On a normal day, that train is capable of speeds of up to 250 kilometers an hour, 155 miles an hour.

It's not the fastest train Spain has. This train was an express train. Pretty much a hybrid. Part of the route it would run along high speed tracks and part of the route would run on conventional tracks. But certainly it was prepared for high speeds.

But we don't know yet what kind of speed it was doing around that curve. We have heard from members of the government, one of the government ministers, in fact, that she said she believed excessive speed could be a factor. But the rest of the government and its head prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has kind of tailed back from that and they are saying they are still looking at all factors. They're still keeping an open mind on what could have been the cause for this.

What they do seem to be ruling out somewhat at this stage, they don't believe that terrorist acts were at play here. But say the prime minister is saying that he wants to keep an open mind on the rest of what's going on, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes, Karl, thanks so much. Karl Penhaul there in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

And the tragedy was that this is a religious pilgrimage and festival was going on in that town. A very important one for Catholics in that area. And a lot of the people on that train were headed just for that and look what happened. You had just over a couple hundred people onboard, 140 injured, 80 dead. So just about everyone onboard affected.

MALVEAUX: It's amazing that anyone survived when you take a look at those pictures there, 80 people who died.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: Well, Pope Francis was mobbed by well-wishers. This is out of Brazil. This was just about an hour ago. We saw these pictures live earlier. He visited a shanty town, this is in Rio. His visit here, favelas, was particularly amazing because, look at that, I mean there he is with the baby, walking through the crowds, despite the high security alert that he is under.

HOLMES: Yes. And these favelas, of course, shanty towns if you like, sort of perched in the hills around Rio de Janeiro, also a hotbed of crime as well as poverty. But there he was kissing babies, meeting with those very poor people. Miguel Marquez joins us now from Rio.

Tell us about the visit, walking through that favela. One imagines, I mean, he was being looked after security wise but these are, at times, very dangerous spots.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, it is amazing to see this guy move through a crowd. He loves to touch people, to -- and the number of hands that go out, the number of babies thrust into his hands almost as he's sort of driving along in the Popemobile, it's a little heart-stopping to watch at times.

The level of security has certainly gone up. He has 12 perhaps 15 of his own personal Swiss Guard and Vatican police around him and then uniformed police beyond that. And now the route along the way is now also uniform police, whereas before it was just volunteers who were linking hands.

I can tell you, there are -- he's now, right now, leaving the cathedral here in Rio, where he met with the Argentinean contingent that is here in Rio for World Youth Day. There were thousands inside that church, inside that cathedral. It looked more like a soccer stadium in there or a soccer match in there than it did a, you know, a service and a discussion with the Pope.

There were tens of thousands outside and here at Copacabana Beach there are tens of thousands more already packing the beach and lining the route, waiting for Pope Francis to come here this afternoon. This guy is getting rock star treatment here in Copacabana.

MALVEAUX: All right, Miguel, thank you. Appreciate that.

And obviously the message of the Pope has really been about social justice.

HOLMES: It has.

MALVEAUX: A lot of people looking and want to hear that message because they're so upset with their own government, the fact that there is a lot of expense and waste and people are doing so poorly in that country.

HOLMES: Exactly. And it is raining there and a lot of those people have been waiting there at Copacabana Beach for 12 hours already just to hear him speak.

MALVEAUX: Wow.

Well, he thought he would have gotten asylum by now but Edward Snowden still stuck in the transit lounge of Moscow's international airport. Well, the NSA leaker has been there for now more than a month. The U.S. wants Snowden extradited to face espionage charges.

HOLMES: And, of course, he has applied to Russia for what's being described as temporary asylum. That decision, though, could take months and the word is now he does want to stay in Russia. Yesterday, Russian media reported that Snowden would be allowed to exit the airport and settle, at least temporarily in Russia, while he awaits that decision, but then Snowden's lawyer said they never did get the paperwork for it so situation normal for Mr. Snowden.

MALVEAUX: Yes, unresolved.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: Here's more of what we're working on for this hour around the world.

Police now gearing up, bringing in reinforcements. This is ahead of major protests expected in Egypt. We're going to be live in Cairo.

HOLMES: Indeed. And also monogamy around the world. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal made us want to take a look at how other countries view relationships. Is monogamy even possible in some cultures?

MALVEAUX: And the center of the world. People from all over, they head to the special spot where they can see both hemispheres. But, get this, it is not really the middle of the earth. You're watching AROUND THE WORLD.

HOLMES: Close but not (INAUDIBLE).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: This is a sobering announcement from the United Nations today. We're talking about Secretary Ban Ki-moon says that the death toll now from the war in Syria has passed 100,000.

HOLMES: Unbelievable. Ban called for a peace conference, not for the first time, to stop the fighting on both sides. That hasn't resonated in the past. The latest violence happened today. A car bomb exploding near Damascus. Syrian State television says seven people were killed, 62 others were wounded.

MALVEAUX: Once a rising star in China's Communist Party has now been indicted. Bo Xilai is charged with bribery, corruption and abuse of power. He served as Communist Party chief in one of China's biggest cities.

HOLMES: Yes, he was a shining light in the party, headed for the top. His downfall came after his wife was accused of killing a British businessman. Now, the disgraced couple has been behind bars since last year. It is one of the biggest political scandals ever to hit China.

MALVEAUX: And Osama bin Laden's gun, it's actually on display now. This is inside a museum inside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Now, the public is not actually allowed into this museum, but an NBC camera crew recently was invited inside to take a look at the images of bin Laden's gun.

HOLMES: Yes, it's one of those Russian-made AK-47s. It was found next to bin Laden's body during the Navy SEAL raid on his compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Dozens of other artifacts from other military campaigns are also on display, including an underwater spy drone that looks like a catfish, but you can't just pop in and see it. It's not like --

MALVEAUX: No, it's too bad, but I guess the security is too much to --

HOLMES: Not like the Natural History Museum. Yes, just the CIA.

MALVEAUX: Egypt now on the brink of a fierce showdown. The country's military right in the middle of all this. The head of the armed forces is now calling for mass demonstrations tomorrow.

HOLMES: Yes, and the Muslim Brotherhood, for its part, calling for its supporters also to take to the streets. That's not a good recipe. Our Reza Sayah is in Cairo, joins us now on the line.

Reza, one would imagine where you are at the moment there is something of a sense of dread about what could come tomorrow.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): A little bit. And you can feel it, Michael. Of course we've seen a lot of these lead-ups to Friday protests and these dueling demonstrations, but this time it feels a little different. You can feel a bit of anxiety and concern. Of course we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but you get the impression that many think tomorrow could get ugly. And that's because of yesterday's announcement by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt's top general, calling on mass demonstrations tomorrow in support of the army, calling on the people to really give him the authority to fight terrorism and violence. Now, in his speech, he really didn't make it clear who his target is, but many are perceiving it as a veiled warning against the Muslim Brotherhood, against supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy.

In response, you have supporters of Mr. Morsy, the Brotherhood, calling for mass demonstrations, too. So it's going to be another day of dueling demonstrations. But again, these two factors make it different. One, the speech by General Sisi yesterday and then the fact that the violence is escalating on the streets. We're seeing more really nasty elements come out using guns. We're seeing more deaths. So there's certainly the potential of these elements coming out in mass demonstration to sow chaos. That's why, again, Egypt's bracing itself for another day of protests tomorrow, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes. All right, Reza, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much. Reza Sayah keeping an eye on that. A lot of people worried about what's going to happen on the streets.

MALVEAUX: And the Arab Spring. I mean you have the military that was coming out, cracking down on the protesters. Now you've got them calling for those protests.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: I mean it is not a good sign.

HOLMES: The same guys who said they didn't want to be part of governing the country, calling for demonstrators to come on the street. That's not a good sign.

MALVEAUX: Well, the guessing game, it's over. We finally have a name for the new prince.

HOLMES: Hugh (ph).

MALVEAUX: So why -- yes. Really? George Alexander Louis. Why that -- why that name? Special meaning for the name. We're going to explain, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: We still get the music.

HOLMES: I have to laugh every time I hear it. You love that. You're going to have that on a loop in your car. All things royal, isn't it? The deciding of a name, of course, of your child is always a big deal. I was hoping for Alan or Brian.

MALVEAUX: Too bad, Michael, it's not a Michael.

All right, but with the British royal family naming a prince, it's a big, big deal, yeah? It's a pretty big deal there, requires knowledge about the royal family tree, the history, all of that.

Erin McLaughlin, she's got all those details. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Introducing His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, the name is already a hit on the streets of London.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. A good old-fashioned British name.

MCLAUGHLIN: And a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, who met her great grandson for the first time Wednesday at Kensington Palace. George was the name of the queen's father, King George VI who famously had a stammer as portrayed by Colin Firth in the movie, "The King's Speech."

COLIN FIRTH, ACTOR: I'm not here to discuss personal matters.

MCLAUGHLIN: Alexander for Queen Victoria, whose name was Alexandrina.

And Louis is his third name, a nod to the queen's husband, Prince Philip, whose much beloved uncle was Lord Louis Mountbatten.

And unlike other royals, this little man only has three names.

KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL HISTORIAN: Most royals have four names. Some have five. Edward VIII had seven. What they're really trying to do here is make their son a bit more like all the other boys when he goes to school. The only problem is he's going to be a king.

MCLAUGHLIN: After spending his first night out of hospital in Kensington Palace, Kate and William whisked Prince George away to more humble surroundings, her family's home in Bucklebury.

They released a statement saying, "This is now a private and quiet time for them to get to know their son," the future king now living the quiet life in a commoner's accommodation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And Erin McLaughlin joins us now from outside Buckingham Palace.

Of course, if you're a king, you can call yourself anything you'd like once you get to the throne, but Prince William, Catherine, the baby, all at Bucklebury, how long are they going to stay there?

MCLAUGHLIN: It's not entirely clear, Michael. They did release that statement asking for privacy and quiet. We don't expect to hear much from them during the course of Prince William's two-week paternity leave.

That being said, it is interesting that they're staying in Bucklebury, this quaint, little English village where Kate Middleton's parents live, now home to not one, but two future kings, just one more indication perhaps that Kate and William really want a normal upbringing for little George.

MALVEAUX: Erin, I guess the next big event is going to be the christening, of course. Tell us a little bit about the preparations, what that might be like.

MCLAUGHLIN: There's a definite formula for a royal christening. Both Prince Charles and Prince William were christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace.

They wore a special ornate christening gown. It was the same christening gown that was worn by Queen Victoria's first daughter, Victoria, in 1926.

The christening was presided over by the archbishop of Canterbury, so we do expect George's christening to follow suit. Royal experts tell me that it will likely take place in September/October, although we don't have an exact date just yet.

MALVEAUX: All right, that's the next big event.

HOLMES: It is. Erin, good to see you. Erin McLaughlin there on duty outside Buckingham Palace.

MALVEAUX: Cue the music until the next big event.

HOLMES: I'm sure we'll have another week.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely.

Well, there's another Kennedy who is poised to step into the political spotlight.

HOLMES: Yeah, Caroline Kennedy, we're talking about, of course, the daughter of the former President John F. Kennedy. Well, she's been nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan, President Obama making that announcement yesterday.

MALVEAUX: Kennedy was an early supporter of Obama's presidential campaign, saw her often traveling with Michelle Obama and delivering a keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Now if confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman U.S. ambassador to Japan.

HOLMES: All right, when we come back, that terrifying train accident in Spain, the high speed passenger train crashing while coming around a curve.

Up next, we're going to talk to an American tourist who rushed to the scene moments after it happened. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD, everyone. Here are some of the top stories we're following.

In Ft. Meade, Maryland, closing arguments under way in the court- martial of Bradley Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is charged with the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. MALVEAUX: He's accused of handing over a trove of documents to Wikileaks. One of the most serious charges Manning faces is aiding the enemy. which could carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. Now Manning has already pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen lesser charges that carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

HOLMES: Check this video out. A Wisconsin state trooper escapes injury when, wait for it, a semi clips the side of his patrol car all caught on dash-cam as these things are.

MALVEAUX: And Trooper Jim Reese had to stop a driver for speeding. He was walking back to the vehicle when all of this unfolded when that crash happened. Now the truck driver was cited for not paying attention, obviously, failure to move over. Unbelievable.

HOLMES: You're going to clip a car, don't make it a police car.

Now that ferocious fire that we've been following aboard a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico now, thank goodness, nearly out. Federal officials also tell us that gas has stopped flowing from that damaged rig. This fire broke out two days ago after workers hit an unexpected pocket of gas.

MALVEAUX: Everyone was evacuated safely, thank goodness. Officials say the only contamination so far has been a light sheen that appeared to quickly dissipate. Now it's unclear just how the crews plan to secure that well.

HOLMES: And back to our top story, that train crash in Spain, I mean it's just unbelievable when you see the pictures, horrible accident caught on video, this by a surveillance camera. You can see just how it flies off the tracks.

HOLMES: Yeah, unbelievable. The car behind the lead car seems to go off first.

Officials say now that 80 people have been killed in this accident, 140 or so injured.

One of our iReporters was actually near the scene of the crash when it happened. Ivette Rubiera took these photographs you see there, smoke coming from the wreckage, the train lying on its side, the first locomotive that we see there on fire, some of the carriages split in two, just a scene of utter devastation.

MALVEAUX: Ivette joins us on the phone from Spain.

And, if you could, you went running to the scene. What did you hear and what did you see?

IVETTE RUBIERA, IREPORTER (via telephone): Well, we were driving toward Santiago de Compostela. We were coming from Coruna and we saw the traffic stopping, and assumed it was an accident on the highway but it wasn't.

It was actually -- you know, my husband said, look to the right, and when we looked to the right, we saw the huge flames and the fire so we stopped, but we really couldn't do much. We just stood there. Everybody was in shock and in horror because it was a really devastating, devastating sight to see.

HOLMES: I can imagine it. And how quickly did help get on the scene? This is a pretty populated area.

RUBIERA (via telephone): Well, it took, because it was during traffic time, so it took them about five minutes.

HOLMES: Right. Right, now ...

RUBIERA (via telephone): For the first ...

HOLMES: Yeah. We were saying earlier, too, and give some context for us about why so many people are in that area, or in Santiago de Compostela.

It's a very significant time for religious people there.

RUBIERA (via telephone): Yes, it is. It's actually a national holiday. Today they celebrate one of the apostle's day, so what they do is they do celebrations last night. They were supposed to, and they were supposed to do celebrations today. But due to what happened, nothing is going to be done.

MALVEAUX: I can only imagine the mood there today, the day after something this horrific is happening. What are people saying? Are they praying? Are they trying to acknowledge in some way this tremendous loss?

RUBIERA (via telephone): Well, it's a -- you know, it's a small town, so everybody kind of knows someone. So, you know, it's very sad.