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AROUND THE WORLD

Greenwald and Partner Sue Brits; CIA Admits Role in 1953 Coup; CIA Acknowledges Role in Iran Coup; Bolivian Man Oldest Person Alive

Aired August 21, 2013 - 12:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CO-ANCHOR: A journalist who helped expose the country's secret surveillance program file a lawsuit in Britain.

This is Glenn Greenwald. He sued after his partner was detain and questioned for nine hours.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CO-ANCHOR: The British authorities stopped David Miranda under provisions of Britain's terrorism law, but Greenwald says it was an effort to intimidate over his reporting. And Miranda said he was never asked about terrorism.

They appeared together in an "AC 360" exclusive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID MIRANDA, GLENN GREENWALD'S PARTNER: They changed the agents, bad cop, good cop, and all of them was telling me, if I did not cooperate, I was going to jail. They did that for eight hours straight. They didn't let me get my lawyer.

GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST, "THE GUARDIAN": They're trying to intervene in the newsgathering process and intimidate journalists out of reporting what's being done around the world, which is our job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: I want to bring in Atika Shubert from London.

So, Atika, tell us exactly what is Greenwald asking for in the lawsuit, first of all.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Basically, we have to understand that Miranda was detained for nine hours on Schedule VII of the Terrorism Act, and this allows British police to stop anybody going through a British border, basically for any reason that they feel might be connected to terrorism.

And because of this, Greenwald's and Miranda's lawyer sent this letter to Britain's Home Office, saying that the use of the Terrorism Act was illegal and was a misuse of that, and they want to know why it was used and what they were looking for, specifically when they confiscated his laptop, DVDs, game console and flash cards. They see this as an attack on the press and they're asking for acknowledgement of that by the government. And, if not, they say they will take legal action here at the high court, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, we'll be following closely. Thank you, Atika.

Just ahead on AROUND THE WORLD, she's known as Mexico's "Queen of the Pacific." We're talking about a female drug cartel leader.

Now she's out of a U.S. prison. That story, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD.

A convicted drug trafficker known as the "Queen of the Pacific" is now back in Mexico. Sandra Avila Beltran was deported from the U.S. this week after serving almost six years in prison for helping a Mexican drug lord.

Beltran stands out in Mexico's male-dominated drug trade. There's a book about her. There's even a ballad about her.

She is quite the character. Word is that she even managed to get a Botox treatment while she was in prison.

WATSON: Catchy tune.

Meanwhile, in Spain, a judge investigating last month's train disaster has filed charges against the state-run rail company responsible for safety. The crash killed 79 people and injured dozens more.

Until now, attention has been focused on the driver, who faces homicide charges. The main cause of the accident is excessive speed. The train was traveling at 95-miles-per-hour when it derailed.

Look at those pictures. That's almost twice the speed limit on that curve where the accident happened.

MALVEAUX: We're going to know next month when the late pope's John Paul II and John XXIII will become saints. Vatican Radio says that their canonization date will be announced September 30th.

John Paul II was the third longest serving pope in history and one of the most popular around the world. John XXIII is famous for making dramatic changes to modernize the church, known as the Second Vatican Council.

WATSON: Just ahead on AROUND THE WORLD, for the first time the CIA has released documents that show its role in a 1953 coup in Iran. We'll show them to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: It's actually been an open secret for decades, but for the first time now, the CIA has released documents that show its role in the 1953 coup. That is the coup toppled Iran's democratically elected prime minister. Mohammad Mosaddegh had moved to nationalize oil production in Iran.

The U.S. was concerned at the time that that would mean a victory for the Soviets in the Cold War. So shortly after his election, the CIA began to plan his overthrow, teaming up with Britain's MI6.

WATSON: Now the CIA, we see it spelling out its involvements in a series of newly declassified documents. These are the documents marked "confidential," "top secret," "eyes only." It's the stuff of crime and mystery and spy novels.

This one talks about the security implications of CIA letters of commendation for those who served in that operation, code name "TPAJAX."

And this one, dated July 22nd, 1953, almost a month before the coup, it talks about preparing an official American statement to follow a successful coup.

Let's dig deeper into this story. We're joined now by Middle East analyst Robin Wright. She's in from Washington.

Robin, this is an event that the Iranians talk about, 60 years later with surprising frequency. What have you learned from these documents that you got to get a look at?

ROBIN WRIGHT, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: I've written about this episode in three different books, so this is, as you point out, not something new, but the fact is the United States has finally openly provided the documents and details.

And it talks about how this was approved at the highest levels of government. It details the amount of money that went into buying -- currying favor among the various sectors of Iranian society.

And it points out how important this was. Little did the CIA understand that this would have extraordinary repercussions, 25 years later.

MALVEAUX: One of the things that's fascinating, it's like, it is an open secret. This is something that we've heard from former secretary of state, Madeline Albright, President Obama as well, both of them referring to this as this cooperation that happened.

But the first time the CIA has acknowledged its role in this, do you think there's going to be any kind of shift or a change or a way that the president, the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, can open up a new dialogue with the United States?

WRIGHT: The release of the documents was a result of a Freedom of Information inquiry, so this was not something that the United States voluntarily provided.

But it does come at a very curious or interesting time because Iran has a new president who's talked about moderation and trying to engage in serious dialogue with the outside world, the world's six major powers, and even hinted at direct talks with the United States. And it's very interesting how this release of documents is playing in Tehran.

The fact that the United States has acknowledged it and put it out there on the table may actually help both sides get beyond it.

The United States has formally apologized for it in the past, but in vague terms. Now the details are known and kind of fessing up may change the atmospherics, at least.

WATSON: And, Robin, you know, this case, perhaps, explains to some Americans, to some of us, why our -- why in the Middle East in countries like Iran some of the public opinion is so mixed and negative, really, when it comes to the U.S.

We're still feeling the aftereffects of that coup which was carried out at the height of the Cold War, to this very day, right?

WRIGHT: Absolutely. And it did lead the - the abortion of the evolutionary political process led to a revolutionary process 25 years later for which the United States is still trying to recoup. Iran had been one of the two pillars of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and this was a tremendous loss, not just because it's an oil producing county, it has very valuable, geostrategic consequences.

And this is a moment that turned everything. Two very close allies against each other. And this is a moment that these documents kind of illustration the consequences of opting for stability over democratic values, which resonates in terms of what's happening in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East today.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: It has a regional impact.

Robin, thank you so much. We really appreciate that.

Also and just ahead around the world, is this the oldest living person? Fascinating story. Well, his family, they say, sure, yes. Others, not so sure.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WATSON: Welcome back.

This story may be interesting for those of us who complain about getting old in our 30s, 40s, 50s, whatever. There's a Bolivian man, he claims to be the oldest person alive.

MALVEAUX: Wow.

WATSON: He says he's 123 years old.

MALVEAUX: If only we could be that old. I don't know. Some experts, they actually are doubting that he's actually that old. Rafael Romo has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Is this Bolivian man the oldest person alive? Carmelo Flores Laura lives in the arid highlands of Bolivia at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet. Not only does he walk on his own, but his voice is still commanding.

CARMELO FLORES LAURA, CENTENARIAN (through translator): I was born here in the highlands. I was not a mischievous child. I was rather calm. I arrived as a young man in Frasquia and worked as a herder and farmer.

ROMO: His family claims he's 123 years old. A birth certificate, a national identity card issued by the Bolivian government, both show his birth date as July 16, 1890. But neither document is an original.

STEPHEN COLES, GERONTOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP: I was very skeptical.

ROMO: Stephen Coles is the director of the Gerontology Research Group, an organization that track, monitors and verifies claims of longevity. He says the fact that Flores is a man when almost all super centenarians are women, makes this case suspicious.

COLES: Ninety percent of the cases that we deal with are women. The oldest man in history was only 116. So how could it be that a man jumps to the top of the list and becomes the oldest person in history?

ROMO: The group says the oldest living person they have verified is Misow Okowa (ph) of Japan. She's 115 years old. The oldest living man right now lives in the U.S. and is 112.

ROMO (on camera): Cole says his researchers found a catholic baptism certificate that show Flores might really be 107 years old, and not 123. Back in 1890, the Bolivian government didn't record live births or any other demographic data, so it was up to the catholic church to do so. In any case, no one seems to dispute that the Bolivian man has lived well over a century.

ROMO (voice-over): Flores eats locally grown barley and kinwa (ph), drinks water from a nearby glacier, and chews on coca leaves, all under the loving care of his only surviving son who's 65 years old.

CECILIO FLORES, CENTENARIAN'S SON (through translator): He took care of me when I was little, so I'm taking care of him. Now it's my turn to make sure he's taken care of.

ROMO: No one in the Flores family doubts that the patriarch is 123 years old. There seems to be no doubt either when it comes to Bolivian officials. In fact, the government plans to honor Flores by declaring him a living heritage of the Bolivian people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON: Well, Rafael Romo is here.

It's a pretty remarkable story there. What can you tell us about the lifestyle of this guy? And did he smoke tobacco? Did he drink alcohol?

ROMO: He -- he never smoked. He had a very quiet life. He always lived in the same general area where this story is from. He eats, what you heard in the story, just locally grown foods and drinks water from the nearby glacier. Something else that he said that caught my attention. He said he had a very happy marriage and that he never cheated on his wife.

MALVEAUX: There you go. That's the - that key to longevity. Is that how -

ROMO: I don't know if that's the secret, but --

WATSON: Great karma.

MALVEAUX: A lot of people living to be that old. So does he have any advice? Does he - you know, does he have anything that he wants to, you know, tell the rest of us in terms of how do we -- how do we live that kind of life, you know?

ROMO: Not necessarily advice, but what he said was that he lived the life that was always very much following a routine. He never did anything in excess. He never got into much trouble. It was just a very normal, simple routine for all those years. And regardless whether you believe in that he's 123 or not, I mean 107 years old is still pretty old. It seems like whatever he did worked. And the expert that we spoke with, Dr. Coles from UCLA in California says that it doesn't really matter where you're from, what you eat, what kind of exercise routine you follow, but it's actually in your genes. The oldest woman ever lived to be 122 years old. The current oldest person alive is 116. The oldest person in the United States is 112. So we have centenarians from really all over the world and there's really no common denominator other than they had relatives who lived to live a long age.

MALVEAUX: Is there a big difference between like one part of the world, another part of the world, in terms of how old people live?

ROMO: Well, there's one city in Japan, Okinawa, that has the largest number of centenarians per capita. They used to have a very good diet of fish and potatoes. But now, guess what, their diet has changed dramatically, fast food and all kinds of different problems.

And then when you look at life expectancy around the world, Monaco of course, is the country where the life expectancy is the highest. Here in the United States, we're number 51 of a list of 223. And back in 1900, we used to live only 49 years. Now we're up to 78.

MALVEAUX: All right. Could be so lucky.

WATSON: I love that guy's blue hat. And it's incredible that he can walk around, kind of still move around.

ROMO: And he's still very sharp. A good memory.

WATSON: Yes. MALVEAUX: Yes. Didn't cheat on his wife. I like that. Key to longevity, all right, men? Just telling you. Just putting it out there, all right?

WATSON: A lesson to men everywhere.

ROMO: That's the secret right there.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Rafael. Appreciate it.

ROMO: You got it.

MALVEAUX: Just ahead on AROUND THE WORLD, Dubai's government issuing an unusual weight loss offer. Lose weight, get gold. We're not kidding. Up next.

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MALVEAUX: All right, most of us download our music here in the United States, but not in Japan.

WATSON: Not so much. While other countries are going digital, Japanese music lovers are sticking with something I really didn't like, compact discs, CDs, you know? The Japanese stores are giving the fans what they want. Artists often issue limited edition CDs and add elaborate packages for intricate art work.

MALVEAUX: So, the Japanese buy more CDs than consumers in any other country. And CD sales in Japan rose last year, while the number of digital downloads actually fell. And industry experts say the major factor is the value Japan consumers place on having a material item.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOTARO TAGUCHI, RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF JAPAN: One time a foreign (ph) retailer told me that Japanese people don't mind the prices but do care about what comes with the CDs. That made me realize that in Japan's packaged music culture, CDs always come with special goods, like DVDs, booklets and photo albums.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: I like that stuff, you know? I mean, I still have albums.

WATSON: You're still pulling out the vinyl, right?

MALVEAUX: I do. I play them every once in a while. I've got a turntable. And old school - we're talking old school here. I should mention cassettes also making a comeback. September 7th, International Cassette Day, right?

WATSON: There's an International Cassette Day?

MALVEAUX: Cassette store (ph) day. Just, you know, put in your cassette.

WATSON: I don't think I have a tape deck.

MALVEAUX: All right.

WATSON: I don't know what I did with that, but I did hear that Suzanne's got a Jackson 5 record.

MALVEAUX: I do. I have a Jackson 5 record.

WATSON: Yes.

MALVEAUX: I might play it sometime.

We're also watching this. Persian Gulf nations becoming increasingly inventive, you could say, when it comes to helping people lose weight. Now, during Ramadan, Dubai residents were really worth their weight in gold. The Emirate offered a gram of gold for every kilogram, that's a little more than two pounds, for people that loss over a course of a month or so.

WATSON: And in Qatar, people are being encouraged to go shopping, or at least to go to the malls, in a program called "Walk More Walk the Mall." Shopping centers open early and close late to accommodate the walkers.

That's it for me. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD

MALVEAUX: I'll see you tomorrow.

WATSON: All right.

MALVEAUX: All right. CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

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