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Man With Cystic Fibrosis Beats Odds; Aiding Italy's Ailing Economy

Aired August 3, 2013 - 12:30   ET


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission is just how many Americans were there the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed.

CNN has now learned that number was 35 with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it's still not known how many of them were CIA, a source says 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

The lack of information and pressure to silence CIA operatives is disturbing to Congressman Frank Wolf whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

What do you think is going on here? Is this an elaborate attempt to cover this whole thing up and push it under the rug?

REPRESENTATIVE FRANK WOLF (R), VIRGINIA: I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think there is an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people feel the same way.

We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly and lay it out.

And there really isn't any national security issue involved with regard to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.

GRIFFIN: Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select House committee be set up, involving several intelligence investigators assigned to get to the bottom of the failures that took place in Benghazi.

More than 150 fellow Republican congressman have signed his request, and just this week, eight Republicans, including Senators and members of Congress, sent a letter to the new head of the FBI, asking he brief Congress within 30 days.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": That was Drew Griffin reporting there, and CNN's going to bring you much more on this story.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": Don't miss "The Truth About Benghazi." It airs Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

And there's been now a troubling increase in civilian deaths in Iraq. We have been watching this and it has been really disturbing.

United Nations now saying at least 4,137 people have been killed since January.

HOLMES: Yeah, 9,865 wounded.

But here's the really troubling figure, too. More than a thousand people were killed in the month of July alone, 2,300 wounded.

These are staggering numbers, the worst month for deaths in Iraq in six years since those terrible days of '06, '07, and a lot of people worried about this really sliding back into those terrible, terribly days.

MALVEAUX: And we remember those days, almost like it was just yesterday.

HOLMES: I was there. Yeah, it was horrible.

Every day, you would have 60, 70, 80 people found dead in the streets in the sectarian violence, shot in the head, tortured with drills and knives and eyes gouged out and dumped in the street.

It was a horrible time and it was all that sectarian violence that we're seeing unfolding in Iraq. It's a very, very a dangerous situation.

MALVEAUX: It's a troubling situation, and Egypt, as you know, on edge. The supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, they are now taking to the streets. This is what they're calling this Million Man March.

You're looking at live pictures here. This is out of Cairo, and, of course, the real concern is whether or not the demonstrators, those who are for and against the deposed president, if they're going to end up fighting as what had happened last time when those protesters were killed, en masse. This was just no more than a week ago.

HOLMES: More than a hundred people were killed. What's happening here is worshippers from mosques across the country were answer the call to hit the streets, this so-called Million Man March.

There's no evidence it was a million people out in the street, but it was certainly significant numbers.

It was organized by a group known as the Anti-Coup Pro- Democracy Alliance, and you can see there a bird's eye view of the crowd.

These people, of course, are demanding the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsy, the first democratically elected president, it must be remembered, in Egypt. He was overthrown by the military.

And, of course, the interim government has warned the people to go home. They instead have turned out in numbers. There is an awful lot of tension on the streets in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt.

MALVEAUX: And you've got Egypt's interior minister ordering those pro-Morsy demonstrators to leave the Cairo streets.

And local media, they are thinking that this is (inaudible) -- this is really a call-to-action for the security forces to crack down on those protesters.

And you heard former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saying, look, you know, U.S. has leverage because it's got money; it's got aid. But there's very little beyond that in terms of control.

HOLMES: And, really, the U.S.'s biggest problem is the -- is waning influence. Nobody's listening, really.

Reza Sayah has been inside the demonstrators' tents. Reza, give us a view of who these people are who are on the streets.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another blistering hot day in Cairo, and a tent made from bed sheets and strings is the only thing that shields Sakina and her two children from the searing son.

For weeks, this is where Sakina says she spent most of her days. She's not leaving, she says, until Mohamed Morsy is president again.

SAKINA, DEMONSTRATOR (via translator): Even if we stay for years, we'll still have hope. This is our God-given right.

SAYAH: Sakina is one of thousands of Morsy supporters at a massive, month-long, sit-in demonstration that's mushroomed into a small town.

The sprawling sit-in covers several city blocks of an east Cairo neighborhood that's now lined with hundreds of tents that house entire families. There's even one for Egyptian protesters visiting from abroad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm (inaudible), and I'm coming from the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is (inaudible), and I come from the U.K.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is (inaudible), and I come from France.

NOHA AL IRAQI, PROTESTER FROM IRELAND: The aim that we seek (inaudible), but if he doesn't come back then what law are we going to go by from now on?

SAYAH: A fortunate few get a soft place to sleep. Others rest on where cars used to park.

The Prophet lived much harder than this, says Ali. This is nothing.

But here, like most communities, you are going to find some familiar amenities and services, a community clinic for the sick and injured, a barber shop for haircuts and straight-blade shaves, scores of volunteers who cool you off, a kitchen that prepared thousands of ready to eat meals, a day care center for the hundreds of children at the demonstration.

But this could be the community's most critical feature, its volunteer security force. For days, Egypt's interim government has delivered failed warnings that a crackdown is coming.

If an attack comes, Morsy supporters say they're ready. This is one of the entrances to the sit-in and it's lined by a lengthy, six-foot brick wall backed by sand bag.

Behind this first barrier, a second barrier. Behind a second barrier, a third and a fourth barrier.

Volunteer guards here says they are ready to lay down their lives, even those who've never seen adulthood.

"This is better than playing," says Ali, who said he was 15, but looked closer to 10. "If I die, I die a martyr."

All for a makeshift town that's become a symbol of defiance for Morsy supporters, but whose days could be numbered.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.


MALVEAUX: And, of course, you're looking at live pictures there out of Cairo.

We are watching the scene on the streets there to make sure -- to see if all remains peaceful or if, in fact, the call to prayer, that things start to heat up and get violent as we've seen in previous weeks.


HOLMES: It is China's most populous city and soon Shanghai is going to be home to the country's tallest building.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, that's right. The Shanghai Towers stand more than 2,000 feet.

Our David McKenzie takes us to the very top.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we're heading up to the Shanghai Towers, not finished yet, but when it's done, it's going to be more than 600 meters, more than 2,000 feet. It's going to be the tallest building in China. One of the hardest challenges they had was the type of soil and ground here in Shanghai. They had to pour an enormous amount of concrete down just to start the building process and then, of course, they had to go way up.

Basically, it's not just one building. It's eight buildings on top of each other.

So the architects have designed these so-called "sky gardens" in each separate building within the larger building. They want to develop this atrium where they're going to put plants and trees.

This building, they say, is going to be one of the greenest in China. Because it's so huge, they need these outer and inner skins to try and do that.

Would you like China to have the tallest building in the world one day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't mind that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because that's needed and China has the most population in the world. The vertical development fits a country like China, but the key is how -- if you do it not the tallest, but the best as well.

MCKENZI: And here at the very top of the town, it's quite extraordinary how it dwarfs these tall building next to it. You can see almost the whole of Shanghai.

But there are already taller buildings in the works here in China. And with the economy slowing down, it still seems to be that in China bigger is better.

David McKenzie, CNN, Shanghai.


MALVEAUX: I love that piece.

HOLMES: He's way up there.

MALVEAUX: It's amazing.

HOLMES: Probably in China these days, when the pollution rolls in, you won't be able to see anything.

MALVEAUX: Yeah. You could get altitude sickness, too, I imagine, if you're that high.

But he had a little helmet on. I wonder if there would be debris that would be flying there.

HOLMES: Just stands out, doesn't it? All right, coming up, this, the world's largest geyser putting on a very rare show, the first time in nearly a decade people have seen that.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, it's pretty amazing.

You're watching AROUND THE WORLD.



MALVEAUX: Welcome back.

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming this week got a big surprise here. Somebody got lucky enough to be just right in the right place at the right time. So watch.

HOLMES: Pretty impressive, isn't it? It's the world's tallest active geyser. It's called the Steamboat and it's actually rather unreliable. The last time it erupted was eight years ago. Then suddenly on Wednesday, without any warning, there you go, Steamboat shot hot water and steam 400 feet in the air.



MALVEAUX: That's amazing. It lasted just a couple of minutes and then it was quiet again. We don't even know when it's going to erupt next. Could be next week, could be years. It's - yes, they call it Old Faithful, but it's not so faithful, right?


MALVEAUX: We don't even know.

HOLMES: That ain't faithful.

MALVEAUX: It's pretty cool.

HOLMES: Apparently sometimes it's gone as long as 50 years between doing that.


HOLMES: So, yes, people got lucky.


HOLMES: Right place, right time, geyser. There you go.

MALVEAUX: There you go.

This week's "Human Factor," Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he introduces us to a man who essentially is beating the odds here. He has cystic fibrosis and he is living longer than most people could ever imagine.



SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day now Chuck Fox is beating the odds.

FOX: When I was born, the average life expectancy for somebody with cystic fibrosis was 18 years old. Currently they estimate it to be 38 years old. Last year I passed that threshold.

GUPTA: When he was born, Chuck's parents were determined to see him thrive, even though doctors warned he may not survive.

FOX: I have to wear this mechanical vest every day to just help keep my lungs clear and help me breathe. I get hooked up to that. And it's basically like doing physical therapy for your chest and for your lungs.

GUPTA: And like his parents, Chuck didn't allow the skepticism he encouraged discourage his dreams of becoming a doctor himself and having a family.

FOX: If anything, it just sort of made me want to do it more and just prove that I could do it.

GUPTA: And that's exactly what he did. Dr. Fox graduated from Harvard Medical School and he's been a practicing gastroenterologist now for eight years. He and his wife Amy, they just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary and they're proud parents of 11-year-old twins, Sydney and Ben.

FOX: I would say I'm the luckiest person I know.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.


MALVEAUX: Love his story.

HOLMES: That is an uplifting story, isn't it?

MALVEAUX: That is so great to see.

HOLMES: Yes, good aim (ph). Yes.

All right, coming up, Italy's economy has not rebounded. It's been in recession for almost a decade now.

MALVEAUX: So people, of course, looking for answers. Could the fashion world actually help?


MALVEAUX: Well, Anna Wintour's fashion sense is world renowned. She, of course, as you know, the editor-in-chief of "Vogue" magazine and the newly appointed artistic director of Conde Naste.

HOLMES: Yes. But her latest venture is to help Italy's ailing economy through education. Our Alina Cho recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Wintour to talk about this new initiative.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As "Vogue" magazine's legendary editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour routinely travels the globe - London, Paris and Milan. It was in Milan recently that Wintour noticed something that concerned her.

ANNA WINTOUR, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CONDE NASTE: The Italian economy was suffering. What they believe in, which is quality and luxury and tradition, has really lost a bit of luster to the fact that you can get it quicker and cheaper in places like eastern Europe and China.

CHO: Italy, the world's ninth largest economy, is in its longest recession in 20 years. Nearly half of young Italians can't find work.

STEFANO TONCHI, EDITOR, "W MAGAZINE": That's why I'm here, I would say.

CHO: "W Magazine" editor Stefano Tonchi left Italy some 30 years ago. He's afraid the exodus today will cause Italy to lose out on the next generation of Michelangelos and Miuccia Pradas.

TONCHI: There have been so many cuts that we notice how many institutions need help.

CHO: So an idea was born. College scholarships for Italian students funded by Conde Naste.

WINTOUR: Our idea was to look at what Conde Naste stands for. And in those areas, journalism, art and fashion, we really, really wanted to start these scholarships.

CHO: Conde Naste's CEO Chuck Townsend green lighted the initiative.

CHUCK TOWNSEND, CEO, CONDE NASTE: You know, they're struggling as an economy and this is an ideal moment for us to give a little bit back.

CHO: This fall, the giving back begins. Conde Naste will announce the winners of five full college scholarships for young Italians who show promise in fashion, film, journalism and art.

WINTOUR: Italy has always stood for so many wonderful things. We really wanted to explain to these young people that there is hope. That you can get recognized. That there can be a future.


HOLMES: And Alina joins us.

Now this sounds like a pretty big endeavor. What's the feeling about whether it will work? CHO: Well, Michael and Suzanne, here's what I can tell you, fail is not a word that is in Anna Wintour's vocabulary. In fact, she is personally reading through these applications herself. She told me that she's even going to arrange for some Skype interviews with the candidates because, in her words, it's hard to really get a sense of the person on paper. Sketches simply aren't enough.

I can also tell you that other big Conde Naste editors, like Graydon Carter of "Vanity Fair," David Remnick at "The New Yorker," Jim Nelson at "GQ," they are also reading applications. So, Suzanne and Michael, we're talking about an esteemed group of editors. When they announce the winners of these scholarships this fall in Milan, you can bet they will be the best of the best.

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

HOLMES: All right. Coming up, American travelers worldwide are warned of a terror threat. U.S. embassies are being closed down in a lot of that region. Al Qaeda is blamed.

MALVEAUX: We are also watching this. Live pictures of Cairo this hour. This is pro-Morsy supporters. Those for the deposed president. They are holding a rally there. And, of course, we are watching to see if this remains peaceful or if the military is going to come in and, as they did in previous weeks, going on the attack.


MALVEAUX: And you are looking at live pictures here. This is out of Cairo. This is a million man march. We've been talking about this, been watching very closely. We don't believe that it's a million people, but certainly there is -- it looks like it is time of prayer and many there praying.


MALVEAUX: Looking at -- to make sure that this remains peaceful.

HOLMES: This is Nasser Square. This is where the pro-Morsy demonstrators have pretty much headquartered themselves. That's not the only place in Cairo where they have gathered, but it is the main meeting point. Of course the concern here is that you had the interim government just yesterday saying, all of you people go home or we will break up this demonstration. Now, they have not gone home. They say they're staying put until Mohamed Morsy is president once again.

Interestingly, Suzanne, state television was saying that there was going to be a move to break this up and then the government is saying that that's not the case yet. In fact a government spokesman was saying we have a plan, the first part of which we announced last night. But not saying that this is going to be wrapped up in 48 hours, as state television was saying.

MALVEAUX: And we certainly hope it is not a repeat of what we saw in previous weeks where there was a violent crackdown of the people on the streets there who were protesting and - HOLMES: More than 100 killed.

MALVEAUX: Yes, absolutely.


MALVEAUX: So we're going to keep a close eye on that as well.


That will do it for me for AROUND THE WORLD, but you're not allowed to go yet.

MALVEAUX: Have great weekend, Michael.

HOLMES: You too.

MALVEAUX: All right.

CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.