Return to Transcripts main page
AROUND THE WORLD
Doctor Accused of Selling Babies; Japan May Freeze Ground at Nuke Plant; Americans and British Flee Yemen; Acid Attack on British Teachers in Zanzibar; Man Wakes Up with No Knowledge of Who He Is
Aired August 8, 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: A doctor in China accused of selling newborn babies to human traffickers.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Also radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean. Japan's government looking for ways to stop it and one idea is to freeze the ground.
MALVEAUX: Another drone strike in Yemen. That is after U.S. officials warned all Americans to get out. We are live with the latest.
Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
HOLMES: Good to have you back. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.
MALVEAUX: Anxious situation, this is out of Tampa, Florida. It appears now to be over. But this is what happened. Police had issued a warning for thousands of people -- this is in southern downtown Tampa -- to stay indoors because a chemical fumes coming from the port.
HOLMES: A bit of a worry. Authorities say a small fire in a silo apparently released the fumes into the air, but that fire is now out, the fumes have disbursed and the order to stay indoors has been lifted.
MALVEAUX: And a doctor, he is now in custody, accused of selling babies. We're learning more about the allegations against this doctor. This is out of China. A baby boy, the doctor allegedly sold, is now back with his parents.
HOLMES: Yes, what a story. Police are now investigating 10 similar cases at the same hospital. Health officials are promising to overhaul hospital procedures. They are calling for severe punishment of anyone involved in trafficking. Here is David McKenzie from China.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an awful case of baby human trafficking in this city in western China that is shocking the nation. Take a look at these extraordinary images as a young mother is reunited with her newborn son who had been trafficked to a neighboring province. Here are the allegations, that a doctor in this town at a maternity hospital convinced the parents that their child had a congenital detect and took the child away from them and sold them on for some 3,000 U.S. dollars to human traffickers. It seems like this is a trafficking ring and that this isn't the first time. Scores of parents in the city have come forward to say that their children, too, might have been taken away and sold to traffickers, eventually through several steps to adoptive parents elsewhere in China.
Of course this is shocking China and shocked the government. They say they're going to have a national review of health care in the country to see where the loopholes could be to allow such an awful thing like a parent loosing their child to human traffickers.
David McKenzie, CNN, Shaanxi Province.
HOLMES: And for more on human trafficking and CNN's effort to stamp out modern day slavery, do visit the CNN Freedom Project website.
MALVEAUX: And Japan is promising to do whatever it takes to stop this massive leak we're talking about. This is at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. You'll recall 300 tons of radioactive water from this plant is seeping into the Pacific Ocean. This is every day, Michael.
HOLMES: Three hundred tons a day. There has been leaking at that plant ever since it was damaged in that major earthquake and tsunami a couple of years ago. Well, today, Japan's prime minister ordered the government to come up with several sure fire options to stop the spread of all of that contaminated water.
MALVEAUX: So, Tepco, this is the plant operator, is now proposing a plan that has actually never been done before. They're talking about freezing the ground surrounding this plant. I want to bring in our Chad Myers to talk about, what would that really entail. What does that involve?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Drilling a number of holes, putting many operators in an awful lot of radioactive dust, you know, as they're drilling this, and then pumping coolant down into these holes to freeze the ground around the plant itself.
What's happening is that they're still using water to cool these rods and these things that have actually melted into the bottom of these pools. And so they still have to pump water in and out every day. Well, they can't catch it all. Some is spilling over and has been spilling over for a while.
Now it's in the ground and now that ground water is seeping up again and back up into the ocean. So this is serious of a problem here as we've ever seen, especially now that it's spreading. For a while we thought, OK, it's just a little -- a little area. We can hold onto it. I know it's a big spill, it's a big meltdown, but now it's actually getting larger in scope due to the size of what's going to happen to the water. So how much is leaking into the ocean? Enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in one week. That's 94,000 gallons per day. So it's still an awful lot of water. You talk about the tons, it's hard to kind of get your handle - your mind around what a ton of water feels like. But you can think of what 1,000 gallons or 94,000 gallons of water looks like.
And so what can be done about this? They're going to try to stop the water from going into the ocean, even though it still is. And where are we going to go from here? So this is it.
Go ahead, Sean (ph). Go ahead and push this into the next graphics so we can take a look at what's going on. The next one. Here we go. What can be done? Underground barrier that they have already that was built before is actually working. It's keeping some out. But they're pumping 110 tons of water per day back and forth and they're using some recycled water. They're trying to recycle this water rather than have it spill out. They've made giant pools where the water gets pumped into the pool, and then pumped to cool it, and then back into the pool and then to kill it. Well, you can do that for a while and all of a sudden the waters not really going to do as much as it could. But they're thinking about trying to make this ice barrier that will stop all of the water from going around. It's going to be a large barrier. Could be thousands of holes that they have to drill, pumping down this very cold coolant, freezing the ground, as a big circular, round pool kind of a - a barrier we'll just call it, to stop that water from going anywhere but right there around that Fukushima - Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. What a - what a mess.
MALVEAUX: And, Chad, real quickly here, I know a lot of people wonder, is there any way that that radioactive material or that water could reach the United States in any way?
MYERS: Well, you know, the life expectancy, the lifespan, or the half- life as they call it on this stuff, is pretty long. I mean we're talking, for some spots, hundreds of years for some of these things. We're going to see (INAUDIBLE) 151 (ph) is going to take a while.
So, of course, we've already seen some of this, especially when it blew up and the steam and some of this did rain down on parts of North America, at least very minor. It was so minor that it would be less than you'd get on any of - a minor x-ray on a finger. But, sure, this water, this nuclear stuff is going to get in the water. It's not all just going to fall out. It's going to swim around for a while.
HOLMES: Well, we were seeing - of course we've seen all the - all the debris that's still washing up on shores all over the place.
MALVEAUX: Yes, still.
HOLMES: So, yes, very worrying. And they haven't even begun the thought of cleaning up generally the area, you know? Unbelievable.
MALVEAUX: Yes. People there a little bit weary now of nuclear power as well. Rethinking it.
HOLMES: Absolutely. Yes, exactly.
All right, China also suffering through an unrelenting and deadly now heat wave.
MALVEAUX: Hundreds of millions of people across the country are affected. Dozens now have died. These temperatures are scorching, not only in the day, but also during the night as well. In some places, high time lows are in the high 90s.
HOLMES: Yes, it's unbelievable. Records being shattered in several major cities, including Shanghai, the big sort of corporate capital, if you like. Today, temperatures expected to top 107 degrees in that city.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think that these days the weather in Shanghai is just like being in a sauna. Just taking a stroll outside leaves your whole body completely covered in sweat. You need to change to a new set of clothing for both morning and afternoon if you're outside since it's so hot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: The heat wave also having an economic impact. It is damaging the crops, as you can imagine. The roads across the country also, they're actually getting warped, if you can imagine, like the heat seeping down on the concrete there.
HOLMES: Yes. Yes. And the - absolutely. And the crops thing is a huge issue. A lot of farmers wiped out from this. Yes.
All right, the Middle East now. Nineteen U.S. embassies, as you know, also consulates, still closed there and across North Africa. Officials taking that threat of a terror attack very seriously.
MALVEAUX: This is Yemen, where American and British government workers are considered non-emergency. Well, they are leaving. Now, U.S. officials went even a step further, warning all Americans to get out of Yemen. It is just not safe. We're getting word now that there's been another U.S. drone strike in Yemen. So that makes two just today.
HOLMES: Mohammed Jamjoom is following things for us. He is in Beirut.
Yes, this becoming a daily event. And, again, we're hearing that civilians among the casualties. Tell us what's going on.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Michael, for the last three days in a row, there have been drone strikes. Suspected U.S. drone strikes in Yemen going after al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targets there. Now, there was one today around 1:00 a.m. local time in Yemen. That was in Mareb province, which is traditionally a hot bed for militants. And we've just gotten word that in the past few hours there was another suspected U.S. drone strike today. Local officials telling us this one also targeting AQAP fighters, that at least two were killed in that drone strike which happened in Shuvwat (ph).
Now, and this really underscores just how concerned the U.S. and Yemeni officials are about the heightened terror threat there. Many people in Yemen I've been speaking with the last few days, very concerned that an attack by AQAP, which is considered to be the most dangerous wing of the al Qaeda network, could be imminent against embassies there or other western related targets.
We should add, though, drone strikes in Yemen, quite a common occurrence the last few years. The U.S. and Yemeni officials, cooperating in their counterterrorism measures there, and, yet, even though there have been so many drone strikes, many analysts say they believe al Qaeda's leadership there has not been sufficiently weakened. And that's extremely worrying for that country, which is an environment where that group can really thrive.
MALVEAUX: And also, tell us a little about, you've got al Qaeda, you've got a - it's long since been really a hot bed of terrorism in Yemen. A lot of concerns about it. What are the leaders doing, the president, President Obama, the leadership of Yemen, in terms of trying to rein this in, in a way that both countries are cooperating?
JAMJOOM: Yes, Suzanne, it's a good question. I mean the leadership of the U.S., the leadership of Yemen, have been very clear in that they are cooperating and trying to vanish al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They've been cooperating on this for the last several years. Yemen gave entre to the U.S. to come in with their drones and try to take out these terror targets, these high value targets.
Now we've seen in the last week, Yemen's president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, he went to the White House. He met with President Obama. They both stated their intention to continue these counter terror measures. But in the last couple of days, there's been what appears to be a rift develop between the relationship because after the U.S. and Britain announced that they were going to evacuate embassy personnel, you had the Yemeni embassy in Washington, D.C., sounding very displeased about that, saying that this only serves the interest of extremists there, that this would undermine the counterterrorism measures that were being taken.
So it will be interesting to see, with its key partnership, if it recovers and how this will develop over the coming days and weeks at a time when more and more drone strikes are happening, at least six in the last two weeks alone.
HOLMES: Now, Mohammed, just very quickly, almost out of time, I've got to ask you this, though. A lot of people are now starting to say, we're not going to see any, you know, U.S. troops on the ground per say, but there is whispering, if you like, about special operations being perhaps considered. They've been there training in places, but actually pulling triggers, is that even on the cards? JAMJOOM: When you speak to U.S. officials, Yemeni officials, they say absolutely not. The U.S. has been loath to talk about any kind of training missions they have there or if they have any boots on the ground there. Clearly the U.S. wants to maintain that their only presence there will be with drones. But we know from Yemeni officials the last few years that there is at least a small presence of U.S. and British troops there in a training capacity for the Yemeni counterterrorism forces.
HOLMES: All right, Mohammed, appreciate that. Mohammed Jamjoom there in Beirut. He's been to Yemen many times.
A bomb went off - this is in Pakistan today. At least 30 people were killed. Police are convinced that this was a suicide bombing. This happened at the funeral for a police officer who was shot to death just two days ago.
HOLMES: Yes, the victims were actually lining up for the funeral procession. One of the officers saw somebody suspicious. They went over to talk to him and he blew himself up. In addition to the people killed, at least 40, some reports say 50, are injured.
MALVEAUX: Here is more of what we're working for AROUND THE WORLD.
Men on a motorcycle, they attacked two British women with acid. The women were volunteer teachers. We're going to have the very latest on the hunt for these attackers.
HOLMES: And, look at this. Your phone may be spying on you. Yes, it is possible. Hackers have figured out ways to watch from you your phone while you go about your business. We've got some tips for you coming up.
MALVEAUX: And catch of the day, not the fish, but the fisherman. That's right. You've got to see this. A Russian diver tries desperately to free himself from the jaws - this is of a monk fish with -
MALVEAUX: He's got razor sharp teeth. We're going to show you the video of how that all turned out.
HOLMES: Fish bites man. Yes, we'll have that when we come back, too.
HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.
Flights are taking off and landing at that airport in Nairobi, Kenya, we told you about yesterday that was shut down after that huge fire that took place. Officials saying more international flights are expected to resume later today.
MALVEAUX: So you see there they set up tents to accommodate passengers after that fire destroyed the international terminal.
There is still no word on actually what caused this fire at east Africa's busiest airport. We both have been there. Flowers and agricultural products, they travel there to Europe, so a very important airport there. Those exports plus tourism add about $1 billion a year to Kenya's economy.
HOLMES: That's just a mess. It's going to take years to fix.
In Brazil at least six people are dead, dozens more hurt after a bus plunged off a bridge onto train tracks below, just a terrible story, the packed with commuters heading home from work.
MALVEAUX: The driver apparently lost control as he crossed an overpass. This is just outside Rio de Janeiro.
Now according to a Brazilian news agency, the number of injured could reach almost 30.
HOLMES: And you remember that horrific train crash last month in Canada near the U.S. border. Yeah, it caused that fire.
At least 42 people died when the runaway train loaded with oil barreled through the center of Quebec, burst into flames and did so much damage.
MALVEAUX: So now the Montreal Main and Atlantic Railway Company has filed for bankruptcy in both Canada and the United States.
Now the engineer had parked the train for the night when it broke away, this accident still under investigation.
And police are trying to find out who carried out this horrifying attack on two British teachers. It's just an awful story.
HOLMES: A terrible story. This is the east African nation of Tanzania. Officials say the women were on the island of Zanzibar. It's a very important tourist place for Zanzibar.
A couple of men came by on motorcycles, threw acid in their faces, these young girls.
Nima Elbagir joins us from Nairobi, Kenya. What have you been able to learn about the motive for this? There's been a lot of talk about growing Islamism in this place.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's been no admission of guilt. There's been no claim of the incident, but a lot of people that we have been speaking to say that there has been a lot of worry for a while in Zanzibar about this growing trend towards anti-Western sentiment, this growing trend towards Islamist fundamentalism, I should say, not conservatism.
In fact, just two weeks ago, a Zanzibari businessman of Arab descent also was injured in a very similar acid attack, and he was accused because he built a mall with shops that people said sold clothing that they felt was inappropriate.
They accused him of being un-Islamic. That businessman is now seeking further treatment in South Africa.
I do have a little bit of good news for you, though, Michael. The two girls, we have been told, have now been given the all-clear by their medical teams and they will be heading home this evening to their families.
MALVEAUX: And do we have a sense of their injuries? Do we know how they're doing physically and emotionally as well?
ELBAGIR: I can't even imagine how they're doing emotionally. You can appreciate two 18-year-old girls who are only out there volunteering for a few weeks. In fact, if this was meant to be the last week of their time there. It must have just been an absolutely horrifying attack.
But in terms of their actual injuries, Zanzibari authorities say that they believe and we'll obviously have to wait to hear what the girls' doctors say when they get back to the U.K.
But they believe that they did get treatment to them in time and that although the acid was splashed on their chests, their faces and their hands, that these injuries were caught before they could have caused much more extensive and lasting damage, Suzanne.
HOLMES: A terrible story. Nima, thanks so much, Nima Elbagir there in Nairobi.
And as we said, the government there is really concerned because Zanzibar is a huge tourist destination as well. If foreigners start to get worried about going there, that could have massive economic impact.
MALVEAUX: And when you think of the kind of attack, I mean, that is just cruel when you're talk about acid being thrown. I mean, that is very much a detriment, deter anybody to go someplace like that.
MALVEAUX: Thank you.
Well, this American man, amazingly, woke up one day with no memory. Not only that, he forgot how to speak English and he could speak Swedish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: He told our producer, "I'm scared because I don't know what's going to happen to me next."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Welcome back.
Now imagine this, waking up and having absolutely no memory of who you are.
MALVEAUX: That is so crazy, but this actually happened to this guy. This is a man from Southern California.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how.
GUPTA: Suzanne and Michael, we know Michael Boatwright, is his name. He's 61-years-old. We know he was born in Florida and was in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam.
We also know that he taught English while he was living in China.
But it's over the last few months that he says he simply cannot remember anything about his past, including his native language of English, and all he can speak now is Swedish.
Take a look.
GUPTA: Michael Boatwright's bizarre story began five months ago when motel staff found him unconscious in Palm Springs, California, the only clues were I.D.s in his wallet and evidence that he had flown from China to Palm Springs a few days prior.
Boatwright was then taken to Desert Regional Hospital, and he was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia. That's a rare psychiatric condition that's typically associated with a traumatic event.
Boatwright awoke in the hospital, insisting he had lost his memory and forgot how to speak English. Eventually it was a hospital social worker who uncovered his years live ago broad, in China, Japan, and, yes, Sweden.
This week Boatwright was released from the hospital and he now lives at this homeless shelter.
In our exclusive interview, speaking only in Swedish, Boatwright says he has recurring nightmares that are too disturbing to describe.
He told our producer, "I'm scared because I don't know what's going to happen to me next."
One bright spot, Eva, an ex-girlfriend who says she dated Michael in the 1980s.
Talking to her on the phone here, he suddenly seems at ease, even though he says he can't remember her.
Eva wants me to go back to Sweden. That's what I want, too, he says. I feel like a stranger here. Sweden feels like home.
GUPTA: So Suzanne and Michael, the first thing you might think, is this a hoax? Is he malingering in some way?
I tell you, doctors don't seem to think so. First of all, this has been going on for quite some time, and no one has seen any evidence of a hoax and no one caught him off guard.
From a brain perspective the other thing you wonder is, was there some sort of brain injury or stroke or seizure, and again, they don't think that that's the case and typically with a brain injury you can lose memory, but not sort of your entire past or a very specific language like this.
The third thing is sort of this idea of a dissociative amnesia, usually a psychological cause, sometimes because of some traumatic event. And you Mr. Boatwright talking about the fact that he had some sort traumatic memories that he couldn't talk about, so that may not cause.
Again, we don't know for sure, but we do know if it is that sort of third cause, people can sort of snap out of this. They can improve. Sometimes it requires anti-anxiety medications. Sometimes it just takes time.
Suzanne and Michael, back to you.
MALVEAUX: Wow, a fascinating story. Unbelievable when you think about it.
HOLMES: Yeah. Sanjay Gupta there.
Now this is a story that's worrying a lot of people, the Internet transforms what used to be the school playground bully into a very serious threat.
MALVEAUX: Up next, we're talking about the tragic case of a young British girl and the abuse that pushed her over the edge.