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Eyewitness Report from Spain; Weiner Falls to Second Place in Polls; Examining Marriage & Monogamy; Rare Look Inside North Korea; Museum Features Fake Equatorial Line

Aired July 25, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Are they trying to acknowledge in some way this tremendous loss?

IVETTE RUBIERA, IREPORTER (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.


RUBIERA (via telephone): It's a very sad time for them.

HOLMES: Yeah, now are you there in the town still? This is the celebration for St. Francis, I think, or St. James rather. What is happening today? I know that there was a mass held at the cathedral earlier.

RUBIERA (via telephone): Right. There's going to be masses all day long and hold vigils for the people that lost their lives.

MALVEAUX: And, Ivette, we're looking at astonishing pictures. And we know you were there firsthand. How was it that the people who were first there on the scene, those rescue workers, were able to get people out of those cars so quickly? I mean, it looks like it was painstaking work that was involved.

RUBIERA (via telephone): Yes, it was. At first, the people who lived nearby ran down. There was a hill and everybody started running down with whatever they could, with a hammer and started hitting at the cars to see if they could get the people out. And the, as the rescuers came, then, you know, they brought more professional equipment.

MALVEAUX: What shape were people in, the passengers, as they were pulling them out of the wreckage? I imagine this was not a good scene.

RUBIERA (via telephone): No, it was horrific. It was so grim. It was so surreal. It felt like a horror movie.

HOLMES: And what are you doing today? Are you taking part in the religious, the significant religious -- this is a time where people make a pilgrimage, some of them walking right across the sort of the top, if you like, of Spain to get here. That's right, isn't it? RUBIERA (via telephone): Yes, it is. That's correct. Actually my brother and sister live in Santiago de Compostela, so I was going there to be with them, but they chose to take me out there. Now we're at Vigo.

HOLMES: Right. Ivette, thanks so much, Ivette Rubiera there on the line, and what a thing to come across.

In fact, we were talking about the Pope in Brazil earlier. He has already put out a call for prayer for the victims of this.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, I can't imagine what she is going to go through, Ivette, having seen that, over and over in your mind and thoughts and dreams, the kind of pictures and devastation of just seeing those people pulled out of that. It's unbelievable.

HOLMES: Virtually everyone on that train either killed or injured in some way.

MALVEAUX: Well, he got caught once, then again, Former Congressman Anthony Weiner's latest sexting scandal, how it is opening up the debate about monogamy. Can people really commit to just one person?


HOLMES: Perhaps not surprisingly, a new poll just out shows Anthony Weiner falling to second place in the race for mayor of New York.

MALVEAUX: It's the first poll since the new sexting admissions by Weiner. Well, the NBC 4/"Wall Street Journal"/Marist Poll shows that Christine Quinn at 25 percent ahead of Weiner at 16 percent.

Now the latest sexting scandal involving former congressman Anthony Weiner generating a lot of debate about marriage, about monogamy, what even constitutes cheating, all these things.

HOLMES: Yeah, a lot being discussed. When you think about it, is monogamy even realistic in today's sexually charged social media environment?

That question was a hot topic on "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" with the guest host, Donny Deutsch. Now have a list to what a sex therapist said about monogamy in today's society.


CHRIS DONAGHUE, SEX THERAPIST: Monogamy, marriage, these are difficult institutions for us. And with the 21st century and all the technology and having sex as readily available, there's going to be even more struggles with people maintaining boundaries around their sexuality.


MALVEAUX: Want to bring in relationship expert life coach Charles Johnson to talk a little about this. This is something that everybody is talking about now, right?

CHARLES JOHNSON, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Absolutely. It's the hottest topic out there. Is monogamy possible? And I say it absolutely is, provided you get a partner who believes in the same things you believe in.

HOLMES: Well that's easier said than done.

JOHNSON: Yes, it is. I think people go into relationships with the assumption that the other partner or both partners are going to be faithful and monogamous, but is that, in fact, true? I don't think a lot of people take the time to have the talk.

MALVEAUX: Let's talk about what it's like around the world because you've traveled around the world. We both have as well and one of the things that struck me in covering President Clinton during the height of the Monica Lewinsky trial was that when we went to Europe, or in Latin America, or Africa, they were like, what's the big deal? Why are you guys investigating this? This is nothing. This is American prudishness or sexual immaturity. Why the difference here?

JOHNSON: I think the biggest difference is Americans believe in the Hollywood dream. It's the love story. It's forever after. I'm true to you forever. But in the rest of the world, it's not like that, for most -- for a lot of countries. For example, when I lived in Greece, the Greeks don't think that way. The Italians don't think that way. The French don't think that way. The Spanish certainly don't think that way.

You know, monogamy is something that's desired, but romance rules, so they believe that, yes, I have a husband. He's going to come home. He's going to behave himself, but when he doesn't, a lot of them simply look the other way.

HOLMES: A lot of it is economic, too, in some parts of the world, too, isn't it? Women feel that in some countries they've got the security, they've got the house, they've got the kids and you know, he's going to do what he does. Not that that's right, but that's the attitude.

JOHNSON: Absolutely, I saw that in Japan. When I was living in Japan, I saw that a lot where the men provided great homes, took care of the children, good finance, good for stability for the family. But every day after work, he'd go to the hostess clubs and sit down and drink with friends and with ladies that sit down and talk about the day's events and who knows what happened after that.

MALVEAUX: So I've got to ask you, though, about this. I don't think any of us have actually seen this anywhere, but maybe not. Is there a place where it's acceptable for women not to be monogamous? All these places, they certainly accept for men to behave that way. Any place in your travels in cultures you see it's OK for women?

JOHNSON: I haven't seen that.

MALVEAUX: Why the double standard? JOHNSON: I can't even answer that question for you, why there is a double standard, but the double standard has always been there.

MALVEAUX: Universal.

JOHNSON: If you take the Middle East, for example, a woman could be stoned for having infidelity. I mean, she just could.

HOLMSE: Whereas a man is allowed to have multiple wives and can even temporary marriages if he wishes.

JOHNSON: But, you know, even in the Middle East, a man may be allowed to have multiple wives, but infidelity is still considered a sin. It's considered evil.

HOLMES: Hence, you have the practice of temporary marriages which can be for a day or so and we know what that's all about and then you get a divorce and you go back to real life. You know, some Americans, some people think they're becoming more forgiving of spouses who cheat on their partners.

There was a part of the discussion on Piers Morgan last night. Let's have a listen to that.


DONNY DEUTSCH, GUEST HOST, "PIERS MORGAN LIVE": We've seen so many men come back from various scandals. Are we at a point, is the country desensitized that unless it's an underage situation, rape, that pretty much now the American public is like infidelity, eh, sexting, eh?

I'm not saying I feel that way, but when we see the way the world plays out there, seems to be a bit more like we've seen it all before.

GLORIA ALLRED, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I think there's a sense of forgiveness if people say they will get help, if they will acknowledge and take responsibility for what they have done and if, in fact, they do get help.


HOLMES: I don't know. I mean, most people I know they wouldn't say oh, well, it's OK. Do you think there's a growing sense of forgiveness or not?

JOHNSON: No, I don't, particularly not in the Western world. For example, there is a report that says that, one-third of marriages, the divorces filed in 2011, Facebook was in the text as part of evidence.

HOLMES: Really?

JOHNSON: That's amazing.

HOLMES: Really? JOHNSON: There was another survey by a prominent lawyer's divorce attorney that basically said 81 percent spike in their cases that have Facebook and social media and texting as part of evidence for grounds for divorce. So I don't think women or men are forgiving what's going on.

MALVEAUX: All right, well, thank you for your ...

HOLMES: One line secret to people who want to make it work?

JOHNSON: Hold someone accountable. Set boundaries and hold men or your woman accountable for what you expect for them to do, and make sure you have someone who believes in what you believe in.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: And check their Facebook.

JOHNSON: Check your Facebook. Check your texts. You never know.

MALVEAUX: That's the whole thing, really, when you think about it, social media and the role of sexting and Facebook and all of that.

JOHNSON: I always say, trust ...

MALVEAUX: It really makes a difference there.

JOHNSON: ... but verify.

HOLMES: Yeah, trust but verify.

Charles Johnson, also the author, we meant to say, of "How to Find the Right One and Make It Last." Let's hope that comes true. Good to see you. Thanks, Charles.

JOHNSON: Thank you very much.

MALVEAUX: Good advice.

HOLMES: That's a loaded subject, isn't it?

All right, up next, we've got -- this is always good to get -- rare access inside a country we do not normally get to see.

MALVEAUX: We're talking about North Korea. This is where reporters are invited to visit, but they must have government minders with them at all times.


HOLMES: OK, now a rare glimpse inside the super secretive North Korea. The government keeps very close tabs on western journalists, even if they get to operate in the country.

MALVEAUX: Reporters are actually escorted by government minders and the journalists, they don't even know where they're being taken until they're on the government bus. CNN's Ivan Watson, he's allowed inside of the country to witness - these are the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the agreement that ended the fighting in the Korean War.

HOLMES: Now, while his movements were obviously restricted, he was able to talk to visitors and get some remarkably close access to North Korea's reclusive leader. Here's (INAUDIBLE) report.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is your father? What's his name?


WATSON: It's your father here, yes?


WATSON: Yes. And his name?


WATSON: This is a woman visiting the tombstone of her father, one of the veterans of the Korean War, at this just opened cemetery to veterans of the Korean conflict. And as you can see, people coming through, milling through. Some of them are North Korean veterans still alive. We have some foreign visitors as well. At least one U.S. veteran of the conflict and one Russian veteran as well who would have fought with the Soviet military at that time.

The young leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, moments ago cut the ribbon, opening this new cemetery. And as we can see -


WATSON: And her mother.


WATSON: They're here to visit the grave of this officer over here.

This is just the beginning of what will be days of ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that brought an end to this bloody conflict. A day that the North Koreans view as a victory.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Pyongyang.


HOLMES: All right, interesting stuff.

Well, people all over the world want to stand over this special spot. We're talking about the middle of the earth.

MALVEAUX: Yes. There's even a yellow line that's marking that spot. But, guess what? It's not really the halfway point. We're going to have that next.

HOLMES: Oh, no!



HOLMES: OK. Now to a museum in Ecuador that gets about 400,000 visitors a year. It is called the Middle of the World Museum.

MALVEAUX: And that's an appropriate name, I guess, maybe. So this actually has a yellow line. It's supposed to be on the equator. That's the line separating the northern hemisphere from the southern. Turns out, however, the line, not exactly in the right place. Rafael Romo tells us why.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): The sign says "equator, latitude zero." It's a magnet for tourists from all over the world.

JESSICA REDDICK, LOS ANGELES TOURIST: Just to put one foot in winter and one foot in summer.

ROMO: Welcome to the Middle of the Earth Museum in Quito, Ecuador. It features a 30 meter tall monument, almost 100 feet, with a globe on top. There's also a village with shops, restaurants and exhibit halls. But the main attraction is a yellow line that runs through the facility. It marks the equatorial line that divides the earth between the northern and southern hemispheres, or does it?

ROMO (on camera): You know already that it's not the actual line?


ROMO: Does that -- is that a spoiler for you?

VANZUYEN: No. No. No, it's -- got to pick a place, right? It's practical.

ROMO (voice-over): Museum authorities do not dispute the fact that this is not the actual equatorial line. A French expedition drew the line in the 18th century.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a symbolic place that we have that was settled here according with the meditiaonals (ph) that we had 200 years ago in 1736.

ROMO: The error was discovered only a few years ago thanks to Global Positioning Technology.

ROMO (on camera): In fact, we can talk about three different equatorial lines. The symbolic one here at the Middle of the Earth Museum is this yellow line where most tourists take their pictures. The second one is where those two mountains intersect and a v shape is formed, that's where the ancient people of this area believed was the center of the world. The third one is located about 200 meters in that location. That's where most modern GPS systems indicate latitude zero is located.

ROMO (voice-over): For this American tourist, the current line is just fine.

REDDICK: If you stand on a state line in the United States, one foot in California, one foot in Arizona, you know, -- I mean it doesn't really matter, but it's just a little - a symbol of being two places at once.

ROMO: And so the tourists keep coming, about 400,000 a year, to have their pictures taken at a symbol that remains more powerful than the truth.

Rafael Romo, CNN -

ROMO (on camera): Should we then just keep it a secret among us?

VANZUYEN: Just among you and I, yes, I think that's a good idea.

ROMO (voice-over): Not exactly at the equator.


MALVEAUX: We've been laughing during this whole piece saying that's just wrong. That's wrong.

HOLMES: I want my money back.

MALVEAUX: It's not the real deal.

HOLMES: I think it's over there. No, it's over there. No, it's a couple of yards that way. Make up your mind.

MALVEAUX: Rafael, so I was in Kenya at the equator and we took pictures, did the same thing with the line. I'm assuming that that really was the right place, right?

HOLMES: Yes, but was it?

ROMO: Well, you never know. The fact is that this particular line was drawn 200 years ago, actually in 1736. So, you know, in their defense, back then the technology was not in a position to estimate exactly or to guess exactly where the line should be. And they have a -- let's call it a don't ask, don't tell policy. If a tourist is not going to ask him -- doesn't ask if that's the real line, they don't say anything. But if the tourists asks, and we knew that and we asked, they don't hide it. They say, well, it's not exactly that. And it's only about 200 meters away, about 650 feet. So when you think about the size of the earth, it's not too bad.

MALVEAUX: Yes, do -

HOLMES: What do you work for the Ecuadorian Tourist Authority? I mean --

HOLMES: Do they take pictures at the real spot? Do some people do that?

ROMO: People don't - it's just a street. You know, there's nothing there, although they have plans in the future to build a mile high, they say, tower that is going to be located precisely where the line should be.

HOLMES: Yes, but do we believe them? It's those French. I mean you've got to blame the French (INAUDIBLE).

ROMO: Well, they have GPS now so -

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. That's right.

MALVEAUX: Yes, it's accurate.

ROMO: They should have no excuse.

HOLMES: All right.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: Rafael -- see you can't - you can't say you're not informed on this show, can you? I mean now you know.

MALVEAUX: You get the real deal.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: Now you know.

MALVEAUX: Coming up in the next hour, this week we're going in-depth on our series about ALS. It is a fast moving mysterious and fatal disease that impacts more than 30,000 Americans. It is indiscriminate. Anyone can get it. Well, next hour, we're going to take an in-depth look at people who are coping with it, including former NFL player Steve Gleason. He is just 36 years old, speaks with a machine because ALS has paralyzed him. I'm also going to talk to Buddy Valastro. He is the baker from the reality show "Cake Boss." But his mom has ALS and he's trying to make a difference. That is the next hour in the 1:00.


MALVEAUX: I love this story. Former President George H.W. Bush is sporting a new look for a good cause.

HOLMES: He is.

MALVEAUX: Bush 41 shaved his head in solidarity with a young cancer patient. This is the son of one of his Secret Service agents who is battling leukemia. HOLMES: Yes, what a story. And there's more to it, as you can see it there. The former president joined his entire security detail in showing their support for two-year-old Patrick. He also made a donation to Patrick's treatment fund.

MALVEAUX: President Bush and his wife Barbara lost a daughter to leukemia at the age of four.

Several stories caught our attention today, photos as well. Take a look at this. This is Mumbai, India. It's monsoon season. These people getting a double dose of wet. Yep.

HOLMES: Soaked in the rain, splashed by huge waves near a sea wall, all happening now.

Let's go to England. There's a new version of the royal family. It is the Lego edition.

MALVEAUX: That's the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their newborn, Prince George.

HOLMES: You can recognize them.

MALVEAUX: Yes, yes, yes. All made out of Legos. The model is set up at a Lego Land Resort to celebrate, of course, Prince George's birth.

HOLMES: Couldn't miss them. Beautiful likeness.

Now there's another angle set up. The designer used 55 Lego pieces to make the baby and the carriage. The scene, it took 36,000 Lego pieces to recreate Buckingham Palace. Looks like a giant there.

All right, that will do it for me.


HOLMES: Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD today. I'm out of here.

MALVEAUX: Good to see you. All right, we'll see you tomorrow.

CNN NEWSROOM starts now.