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Chef Too Obese to Immigrate?; Audacious Taliban Prison Break; Dropping Refugee Numbers in Jordan; Fifty Shades of Red; Puzzle Over Mystery Coffin

Aired July 30, 2013 - 12:30   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: You know, he says he doesn't want to be the poster-child for immigration issues, but that he feels like what has happened is unfair. What else is he saying? It's not his only health issue, is it?

ERROL BARNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, this is certainly an interesting story. Albert Buitenhuis says, look, I'm a chef from South Africa. I moved to New Zealand with my wife to really start a new living.

He moved to Christchurch, a place where there was a devastating earthquake a few years ago. He went through that with his wife and has really set his roots into New Zealand. And he says now he's become -- you know, becoming a poster child for obesity, for immigration and for deportation issues. All he really wants to do is make his curry of the day, which he's become well known for there.

Take a listen to what he said to one of our affiliates when he tries to explain why he's been caught in the middle of such a dispute.


ALBERTUS BUITENHUIS, WORK VISA DENIED: I think it's because we applied for our permanent residence a while back and that caused a lot of questions about my health.

And they asked extra things and stuff because I'm overweight. And everything came back quite normal. My doctor actually did a health check on me and said that I've got a four percent chance of a heart attack in the next five years.

That is way below the average of 10 percent, so I'm really -- I'm dumbfounded. I don't know what it's all about.


BARNETT: Now we should mention that when Buitenhuis moved to New Zealand he was some 353 pounds, so, of course, morbidly obese. But he has dropped 70 pounds. He says he now weighs 278 and is trying to start a healthier life, but the officials say that it's possibly too late for him.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Errol, the immigration officials say that they didn't actually make their decision based on his weight, but on other health issues. What do we know about this?

BARNETT: Yeah, in the rejection letter they basically spelled out why his application was not approved and they cite evidence of a chronic knee joint condition, impaired glucose tolerance and an enlarged fatty liver. They also went on to list things that obesity can lead to. They list diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea, some cancers and joint disease.

And so we should also explain that in New Zealand health care is either cheap or -- very cheap or free, so it's not as expensive as it is in the United States. So the taxpayers would have to absorb the cost of caring for him should something go wrong.

But Albert even admits, hey, I understand people have to pay for what would be an expensive procedure, but we didn't know when we moved here. They have relatives there. They've developed a life there. And now that he's wanting to stay and work, they're telling him that his health is the reason he can't do it.

But they have appealed this decision. And the government will have a few weeks to decide. His doctor has, in fact, written him a letter of support, which is quite valuable, but he feels uncomfortable. Both he and his wife now have been kicked out of their home. Their phones have been cut off. They're living with relatives, all because of his health.

So it's also been quite embarrassing for them as well.

HOLMES: All right, Errol, thanks for that. Let us know what happens. Errol Barnett there in Johannesburg.

Other countries have rules like that.

COREN: Yeah, it's funny because you can see how he would become a burden on the health care system, so maybe he just needs to hit the treadmill.

HOLMES: Yeah. Or head back to South Africa. They'll all look out for him.

All right, now, let's show you the scene after at least 175 inmates escaped from a prison in Pakistan and how they got out sounds like a scene from an action film. Extraordinary tale, that's coming up, next.


COREN: Welcome back. We now take you AROUND THE WORLD to a story of an incredible prison break.

HOLMES: Yeah, this is an amazing story.

One of the most notorious jails in Pakistan housing a lot of high- profile, high-value prisoners, Taliban gunmen wearing police uniforms pulled off this brazen attack, allowing dozens of inmates to escape.

CNN's Saima Mohsin with more on that.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was bold, audacious and well planned attack, it would seem. The Pakistan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, and they came well prepared.

A bomb disposal unit expert and member of the team on-ground has told CNN they've discovered bombs up to 300 kilograms worth of explosives dotted around the prison, ready to be detonated.

Four suicide vests, as well, had to be diffused, a number of IEDs and an ambulance with chemicals and explosives packed inside.

An extraordinary detail, too, of the Taliban walked in and announced the names of their comrades and other militants, called them up and then took them away. At least 175 prisoners, including 35 high- profile militants have escaped.

This, of course, all on the eve of a presidential election here in Pakistan. President Mamnoon Hussain is the new president. The prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has named him, but let's not forget parliament now firmly has all the power. The chief executive is the prime minister. The presidency is merely a figurehead.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


COREN: There were 483 prisoners there at the time of the attack, and police say they now have a total of 200.

HOLMES: Unbelievable. And, apparently, they were so well organized that apparently they were using a loud haler, a megaphone, calling prisoners by name, basically saying, come on down.

Unbelievable, how that could happen.

COREN: Sounds like an inside job.

HOLMES: All right, well, thousands of Syrians fleeing the civil war are crossing into neighboring countries every day. But in Jordan, the number of refugees there is dropping, and that's not necessarily good news.

COREN: No. Activists and diplomats say the government has closed most of its border, but Jordan denies that, so our Nick Paton Walsh went there to find out and has this exclusive report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is no place to walk, Jordan's far eastern border. But some have no choice. It's their only way out of Syria from war-torn Homs, Aleppo, Damascus into Jordan, a country exhausted by a flood of refugees.

The army wants us to see this welcome, but there's something wrong with this picture.

The journey through this desert heat must have been hellish for them and you can only imagine what they left behind to this endure this, but this is the last point on the Jordanian-Syrian border that they are allowed to cross, diplomats and activists telling us they've shut most of the rest of the border.

This is the other side of the story, the Syrian town of Tell Shihab, just meters from the Jordanian border, that dotted line of trees. No refugees are crossing here.

Hundreds stranded, activists told us, not allowed to travel the remaining meters into Jordan.

They sent us this video of the squalor they endure nearby, living under trees, among trash, the regime nearby, and safety tortuously close, but out of reach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): We fled Aleppo six weeks ago, our homes destroyed, our young men and children killed. And we have nothing.

King Abdullah of Jordan, help us. Open the border and help us. Our children are getting sick.

WALSH: One local Syrian rebel leader tells us the Jordanian army has expressly told rebels not to escort refugees to the border as they will not be allowed to cross.

They told us 15 days ago they were closing the border as Jordan couldn't take any more refugees, he says, and hadn't gotten international support they were promised.

No one can come in unless they're bleeding heavily. Many who try are captured by the Jordanian army and taken back to Syria.

The U.N. has also noticed a change.

ANDREW HARPER, UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE TO JORDAN: Over the last two weeks, we've seen the numbers drop dramatically.

Earlier in the year, it was running at about 2,000 to 3,000 people crossing every night. That dropped down to about 500. Now we're only seeing about 100.

We know that there's tens of thousands of people who would want to come across and they're not coming across, so why is that?

We're trying to make sure the restrictions are certainly not on the Jordanian side.

WALSH: This is one reason why Jordan might want less refugees. One year ago, Zaatari was built to hold 5,000 Syrians. Now it holds 23 times that number, a fraction of the half million in Jordan.

The top border official denies there's any closure and says violence in Syria can cause numbers of refugees to fluctuate.

We've not received any order, he says, to close the border from any official inside Jordan. If 100 are allowed to cross, that does not mean the border's closed. There is a reorganization of our work.

But something must be wrong if this really is the only way out.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Amman.


COREN: Coming up on AROUND THE WORLD, debris flying everywhere, trees bending like sticks, alarms sounding, we'll have a look at what it's like inside a tornado.


COREN: Well, take a look at this amazing video from inside a tornado.


HOMES: Yes, this is in Italy, actually. It was in an industrial neighborhood near Milan. Now, according to reports, at least a dozen people were hurt. Several buildings and vehicles destroyed. And we can take this from the animals (ph) of do not try this at home. I think he broke every rule, one through 100, of what to do in a tornado.


HOLMES: Get away from the windows, man.

COREN: Exactly.

HOLMES: What are you, crazy?

COREN: Get into the bathroom, isn't it, get into the bath tub.

HOLMES: Yes, go hide. Oh my goodness.

COREN: Well, now to this. Actress and singer Katharine McPhee is on a mission to stop one of the deadliest diseases in Africa. And she explains in this week's "Impact Your World."


KATHARINE MCPHEE, ACTRESS/SINGER: Hi, I'm Katharine McPhee, and we can make an impact on malaria.

Through a personal connection to West Africa, I had the opportunity to build a preschool. The school master, a wonderful woman there, she came down with malaria. I had gotten together with Malaria No More, saying I would love to get to Africa and see what we can do for her and for all the people that she worked so hard to help.

Every minute a child dies from malaria. It's something that doesn't need to happen. Something that's curable, preventable. It's nothing we would ever have in the United States, but it's something that's very - it's devastating to their lives and there's so much to be done that you can feel overwhelmed with like, what can I actually do?

The truth of it is, a $10 net can save lives. That's why we're working so hard with Malaria No More to end malaria deaths by 2015.

Join the movement. Impact your world.



HOLMES: So, what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bed, right? Well, don't tell that to London firefighters.

COREN: That's right. They say they're getting more and more calls to save people stuck in handcuffs and in other delicate situations. In the erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey" may be to blame.

HOLMES: Atika Shubert is in London. And, Atika, you don't know this but we were watching you during the commercial break and you were enjoying that whip a little too much.

COREN: We saw.

HOLMES: Look, if there's anyone on the planet who doesn't know about this book, fill them in and what it has to do with what you have in front of you.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I've got a whole assortment of items here.

Well, this is one of the "50 Shades of Grey" trilogy books. And, of course, one of the most best-selling, erotic novels ever. And, you know, it's about an S&M relationship between a college grad and a banker, which has encouraged many in the mainstream to go bondage, which is fine except that, unfortunately it means people are getting a little bit carried away. According to a London fire brigade, they've had 1,300 calls since this book was published with household emergencies such as getting stuck with a pair of handcuffs and not being able to find a key, and even worse, getting your manhood stuck in a toaster and a vacuum cleaner.

COREN: What!

HOLMES: Oh, man. What?

SHUBERT: And those are just some of the -

COREN: How does that happen?

HOLMES: Clearly I have not read this book.

SHUBERT: Neither have i.

HOLMES: I'm trying to get - no, actually, I don't know if I want to know about the toaster relationship.

COREN: No, I do. I do. How do you get your manhood stuck in a toaster?

HOLMES: Because you're wicked. Oh, my God.

SHUBERT: I think the bottom line is, you know, we went to an adult store for some expert advice and basically they said, you know, they sell a lot of items, like the handcuffs, that are safe. There's a lot of, you know, easy catches to make sure you can free yourself.

HOLMES: Uh, oh, (INAUDIBLE) brigade.

SHUBERT: But when you decide to go DIY, that's when you start to get into some problems. They say stay away from the household appliances and stick to the things you can buy in the store.

HOLMES: And they're dead serious about it. This is a problem.

SHUBERT: This is a problem because what it means is it costs about 300 pounds or about $500 every time there is an emergency call like this. The emergency fire engine goes racing across town and finds you stuck in your handcuffs, that means it ties them up so that they can't go fight fires and do other emergencies. And all in all it cost taxpayers more than $500,000. So, it's expensive, its costly. Just don't do it.

COREN: Atika, I want to know, are you going to return those items are you just taking them home?

SHUBERT: Oh, no. Oh, no. This is mine.

HOLMES: And that from the book of don't try this at home. Atika Shubert. I don't - I don't know what to say. I really don't. And there's men all over the country right now who are thinking about that toaster and going, oww (ph).

COREN: Or Atika and that whip I think is what they're thinking of now.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, we were watching you. You were hitting your hand and all sorts of -

COREN: She's got a good skill there.

SHUBERT: The question is, would you do it if I asked you to? I think that's what it comes down to.

HOLMES: I've been -- I've been very bad. I need to be punished. Oh, my God, that's just - Atika, get out of here before we get into trouble. That is - that is just like head shaking.

COREN: I know.

HOLMES: Toaster?

COREN: I know. The visuals, scary.

HOLMES: All right. We're going to go to break. We'll be back. Maybe. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: British archaeologists have found a rather mysterious coffin within a coffin. This was uncovered in the same parking lot where the remains of Britain's King Richard III were found. This is in central England.

COREN: Archaeologist have a pretty good idea of how the king ended up there. Well, now they're trying to solve the new mystery that has cropped up at the excavation site.

HOLMES: Yes, Dan Rivers is in London for us.

Yes, Dan, they were pretty amazed when they made the original discovery, but now the double coffin.

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is the archeological site that just keeps giving, isn't it? I mean they found an archaeology needle in haystack by finding Richard III pretty much at the beginning of the dig there. No one thought they would really find any trace of him and yet pretty much right at the beginning they found a skeleton with a misshapen spine. And DNA testing later proved it was Richard III. An incredible discovery that made headlines all around the world.

Now they've gone back. They've excavated out a bit further. They found, as you say, a coffin within a coffin. This lead casket inside a very fine stone coffin. An amazing discovery. And now they're preparing to open that lead casket and find out what's inside. Very delicate work this, of course. They don't want to lose all the information that could be contained inside.

As for who they think it could be. Well, there's three candidates they're talking about. Local nobles of the medieval period. Peter Swynsfeld, William of Nottingham and Sir William de Moton. All kind of local dignitaries but the last one was a mayor of Leicester, for example. They are possibilities.

But what's really exciting about this is the organic material they may find inside. I've sort of said to the archeologists, are you hoping to find a sort of sword or a crown or something? No, he's interested in the organs of the body, believe it or not, because that would tell them a huge amount of information about what they ate, their diet of the medieval period, diseases that may have killed the person and so on. So they're hoping the body is really well preserved inside.

HOLMES: Goodness me. Yes, how extraordinary. Dan, thanks so much. Yes, the organ - the material, as he called it.

COREN: I love the coffin that keeps on giving.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Dan Rivers there.

All right, now we're going to turn to Thailand, where a popular beach has turned black from a huge oil spill.

COREN: Well, tourists staying on Thailand's Koh Samet Island have been evacuated. Officials say about 1,300 gallons of oil have washed up on the island.

HOLMES: Yes, they think the spill may be actually worse than they first thought with more than 13,000 gallons of crude leaking into the ocean. This is coming from an offshore pipeline, by the way. These are beautiful beaches too, aren't they, around Thailand?

COREN: Stunning. I know.

HOLMES: That's just a tragedy there.

COREN: Hope they can clean that up quickly.

Well, --

HOLMES: Oh, prompt (ph) time.

COREN: We've got something for you.

HOLMES: One of these. Yes.

COREN: We want to end the show on this.

HOLMES: Uh-huh, the Rubik's Cube. You ever try to solve one of those? Did you - I could only ever get one side. I could only get the one side.

COREN: I gave up. Well, you can pull the stickers off and, you know -

HOLMES: Oh, you could cheat. Yes, you are a cheat, aren't you?

COREN: I know. I'm naughty. I'm naughty.

HOLMES: Oh, my goodness. Yes, OK. How long did it take you to do it if you did get it right? A week? A decade? Ever? Well, check this guy out.


HOLMES: Wow. A little over seven seconds. He's Australian, of course, because they've got nothing better to do down there. Felix Zemdegs is his name. Finished on top of the Rubik's Cube Championship in Las Vegas. Yes, they still do that.

COREN: Incredible. Incredible. He finished the puzzle in an average 8.18 seconds.

HOLMES: Yes, they average it out over a couple of attempts. The second place finisher wasn't too far behind, 8.65 seconds.

COREN: I missed that class.

HOLMES: Who knew they were still doing this. The '70s called, they want their Rubik's Cube back. There you go, Aussies to the (INAUDIBLE).

That will do it. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD with us. COREN: Yes, thank you. I'm Anna Coren.

HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes.

"CNN NEWSROOM" right now.