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Snipers Fire on U.N. Convoy; Knox Won't Return; Bo Xilai Trial Wraps Up After 5 Days; Zurich Sex Drive-Ins; Hard Work Conversations

Aired August 26, 2013 - 12:00   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Sniper fire hits a U.N. vehicle as it heads to the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Ahead, the dangerous road for insepctors.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Also, she spent years behind bars for the death of her roommate. But the conviction was overturned and now Amanda Knox is being tried again. She says she is not going back to Italy.

Plus -

MALVEAUX: The amazing rescue of a little girl trapped after falling into a deep hole in China.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

QUEST: And I'm Richard Quest, in for Michael Holmes.

MALVEAUX: Nice to have you here joining us.

QUEST: Good to be here.

MALVEAUX: I've got three cups of coffee waiting for you because your energy, you just don't have enough energy.

QUEST: I'm saying nothing at the beginning.

MALVEAUX: OK. We'll get there.

We have serious news. Snipers opening fire on a convoy of U.N. chemical weapons inspectors. This happened in Syria. The team was headed to the site of an alleged poison gas attack that killed more than 1,000 people.

QUEST: Both government and rebel leaders had agreed to grant the inspectors full access to the neighborhood. And now accusations are flying, and with that gunshots.

MALVEAUX: I want to go straight ahead to the Syrian capital. Fred Pleitgen joins us in Damascus.

And, Fred, first of all, we understand that no U.N. inspectors they were actually hurt in that fire when they opened fire, but do we know if the inspection team was finally able to reach that site where they believe chemical weapons were used?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they certainly were, but it did cause quite a big delay, apparently, to them. They have left where they're staying at in the morning hours and then apparently came under sniper fire as they were going through a buffer zone between the government controlled area and the rebel controlled area. It's unclear who fired their shots, but apparently the lead vehicle of their convoy was targeted deliberately, they say. But later they did manage to get on the ground in the Wadamia (ph) district, which is in the southwest of Damascus, and one of the places where allegedly on Wednesday chemical weapons were used against civilians. They were able to, on the ground, talk to some people there. They visited a field hospital. They got some samples. They took some soil samples as well. They said they were able to begin their investigation and they've now returned to the hotel where they're staying at just a couple of minutes ago, Suzanne.

QUEST: Now, the U.S. and others say pretty much there is no doubt that chemical weapons have been used, which raises the question even though the inspectors are there, has the evidence already been collected that gives rise to this certainty?

PLEITGEN: Well, the U.S. apparently says that it -- some of the evidence has already been collected, especially in the early hours on Wednesday by doctors in those field hospitals from the victims. But the U.S. also says, and other countries as well, that evidence is being compromised because of continued government shelling.

And, Richard, I want to show you something. Actually as we're speaking, these are the suburbs of Damascus and some of the place where these chemical weapons were apparently used. As you can see, there's massive plumes of smoke, basically a wall of smoke, because there is continued government shelling going on. It's been going on for the better part of the day. But it's certainly increased since we've heard that the weapons inspectors have come back for their mission.

So one of the things that the U.S. says is that potential soil samples on the ground there will probably need lead to any sort of conclusive evidence because they've been subject to this massive shelling that's been going on for the past couple of days, Richard.

QUEST: Fred Pleitgen, thank you.

MALVEAUX: And it might get even harder for the international community, which is weighing in now more heavily on what to do inside of Syria. Many people believe, and they've been demanding action after seeing some of these pictures. They are absolutely horrific. These are citizens. These are people - lots of men and women and children -- who have been killed.

Now, the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, told reporters that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity and must be punished. Now, France's foreign minister says that the west will decide on a response in the coming days. Britain says that a response could happen without unanimous backing of the U.N. Meanwhile, Russian is cautioning against assigning blame without a full investigation by those U.N. weapons inspectors. And the Russian foreign ministry says that chemical weapons claims must be thoroughly and professionally investigated and submitted to the U.N. Security Council.

QUEST: Now, in many ways, all eyes are on the actions of the United States. And the U.S. could be moving closer to taking action in Syria. The Pentagon has sent four warships, armed with cruise missiles, to the region without orders, though, for any missile launch. Senator John McCain has been demanding action and he's being critical of President Obama.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The president of the United States over a year ago said that if Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons, it crosses a red line. We know for sure that he's used them at least once. Now here's the second time. Horrific. Horrific. And if the United States stands by and doesn't take very serious action, not just launching some cruise missiles, then again our credibility in the world is diminished even more, if there's any left.


QUEST: A White House source today tells CNN, the president has a range of options available. He's not considering boots on the ground and not currently considering a no-fly zone. But beyond that, all options remain on the table.

MALVEAUX: And this is big news from Amanda Knox here. She's not going to return to Italy for retrial. This is the 2007 death of her British roommate, you might recall. That is according to a spokesman, actually, for the family.

QUEST: Two years ago, an appeals court acquitted Knox and her former boyfriend. They overturned the murder convictions from a lower court. Our Chris Cuomo talked to Knox a couple of months ago and she was clearly terrified about the possibility of having to face another trial in Italy.


CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": Will you go face the trial? Will you go back?

AMANDA KNOX, ACCUSED OF MURDER IN ITALY: I don't know yet. It's a really complicated question.

CUOMO (voice-over): The answer turned out to be simple. No. Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. In May, Knox relayed her deep and obvious worries about what might happen in a country where she spent four years behind bars.

KNOX: I'm afraid to go back there. I don't want to go back into prison. I don't want them to all of a sudden do a court order when I'm there just respecting the court going there and the prosecution ask that I be put in preventative detention again. I mean, I was there for four years.

CUOMO (on camera): Could you do it? Could you handle it? Could you handle it?

KNOX: I'm having to handle things. I'm not really being given a choice. And I think people sort of underestimate what that means and what affect that has had on me in my life. I'm -

CUOMO: To go back?

KNOX: I'm afraid. I'm so afraid.

CUOMO (voice-over): A fear born when Knox, at just 22 years old, was convicted of brutally killing Kercher in the villa they shared in this small Italian town of Perugia. That ruling was overturned in 2011 due to lack of evidence and Knox returned home to Seattle.

KNOX: Thank you to everyone whose believed in me.

CUOMO: Italian law doesn't recognize double jeopardy as in the U.S. And the supreme court there announced it would retry the case, saying the jury hadn't considered all the evidence and must resolve deficiencies and contradictions of witness accounts. The case made world headlines in large part because of the prosecutor's unorthodox theory. Knox and her then boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, killed Kercher in a sex game gone wrong. The media dubbed Amanda "foxy knoxy," though no concrete evidence justified the bizarre accusations or linked Knox to the murder.

KNOX: I mean no one has ever claimed that I was ever taking part in deviant sexual activity. None of my roommates, none of my friends, none of the people who knew me there. That is simply coming out of the prosecution. No witnesses have ever come out saying anything like that. They created this idea about me because it would legitimize their accusations against me.

CUOMO (on camera): So then that means, in your mind, you spent four years of your life in jail because of a perverted prosecutor?

KNOX: Yes, that's what I think.


MALVEAUX: Wow. And Italy could order Knox to return for a retrial. And if she refuses, Italy could request her extradition from the United States as well.

QUEST: And if that happens, all sorts of interesting legal questions will be raised about the U.S. extraditing one of its own because it's not even clear whether the U.S. would extradite Knox to Italy in these circumstances.

To China now. It's almost like the rescue dejour. In this case, the story of the amazing rescue where firefighters frantically tried to save a toddler. We're only smiling about it, of course, because of the result, which was a happy result. Chinese state television released this video.

MALVEAUX: It was a good one.


QUEST: So what you're listening to, you can actually hear her cries for help. This is a two-year-old girl. She's trapped after falling into this hole. This is at a construction site in Beijing. The opening, of course, it was too narrow for the firefighters to get in themselves.

QUEST: They used a rope, the lassoed the girl's body and pulled her to safety. Remarkably, she suffered no serious injuries. I think last week we had somebody falling off a balcony or through a grate on a balcony. There was another person who nearly fell off a bridge. Which begs the question, does this happen more often in China or are we just seeing more pictures of it?

MALVEAUX: I don't know, but thank God it's all good. They're all surviving these like crazy incidents, yes?

QUEST: That we know of.

MALVEAUX: That we know of.

QUEST: That we know of.

MALVEAUX: Here's more of what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD.

They are being called sex drive-ins. That's right. Why? Because customers in Switzerland, they can literally drive up and place an order for a sex worker or a prostitute. It's supposed to improve their safety and take the prostitution off the streets.

QUEST: Also, it's the conversation every single one of us dreads having with our boss. The question, is it a raise or I think you're doing a really awful job. How to bring up the question without hurting your career.

MALVEAUX: And, imagine this. You pick up the phone and someone says hello, it's Pope Francis. That is the surprise call that one teenager in Italy received. We've got all the details up ahead.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back. Here are some of the stories making news AROUND THE WORLD right now.

Deposed President Hosni Mubarak returns to court in Egypt. Now, it's a retrial in charges involving the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to him being forced out of power. Well, a court ordered the 85-year-old released last week and placed under house arrest. He had been held sense shortly after he was overthrown. He has actually suffered several health scares, including a heart attack. QUEST: Sex, lies, murder and power politics. After five days of riveting testimony, the trial of a former Chinese politician has finally wrapped up on Monday, not before he accused the former police chief who brought about his downfall of having a crush on his wife. Bo Xilai vigorously denies the charges of embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power. The scandal's extended well into his family. His wife has been convicted of murdering a British businessman. Bo could face the death penalty. The verdict will be announced later.

MALVEAUX: And this, the scene in the Philippines today. It was part of a million people march against corruption in that country. Now, organizers say that social media was instrumental in getting all those folks out there and organizing this march.

And this might sound hard to believe here. Perhaps people are going to think we're joking. But this is really happening. It is happening in Zurich, Switzerland. You are talking about sex drive-ins open for business.

QUEST: Now anybody looking for sex and willing to pay for it can make a visit to one of these places. We're not making this up. You place your order, you park your car at one of these so-called sex boxes, a sort of mini garage if you like, and a lady of the night will join you.

MALVEAUX: City officials say this is all about moving prostitution off the streets and improving the security for sex workers.

We're joined by Michael Herzig and he is the director of social services for sex workers in Zurich. And I want to ask you this first because you have mentioned this --


MALVEAUX: -- before. Hello. You have acknowledged that this project, first of all, is extremely controversial, but you say that prostitution is about morals and religion. You want to take that off the table and just talk about the business side of things and that there's a real humanitarian concern, that these women, if you don't do it this way, are not going to be protected.

Explain for us what is behind this and how does it work?

HERZIG (via telephone): That's the point. I mean, I heard a lot of jokes lately about that and, I mean, we are really very serious. We're serious about reducing the bad effects of exploitation, of poverty, of human trafficking.

And, for me, poverty is not a joke, it's not fun, and that's why we are -- we have to take the humanitarian approach towards prostitution. We want to reduce the violence. We want to improve the health condition of sex workers. We want to improve their life conditions, actually.

QUEST: But if there is an element of underground behavior about prostitution and you create these beacons where people can go, it's not going to stop those who are embarrassed or ashamed or those who don't want to be seen from going to these garages, is it? There's still going to be that part of Zurich where it will continue. You're not going to get it all into one area.

HERZIG (via telephone): Well, they're going to get those clients of prostitutes in cars in that area, the gated area, so it's quite discreet. It's more discreet than public space. I'm pretty sure they will come here. And for the prostitutes, it's more secure, so for them, it might be attractive think to work here instead of in the road where it's dark and nothing else is there. Nobody sees them. So we're pretty sure it's going to work.

MALVEAUX: Michael, explain this to us. Describe this for us because we've been talking about this all morning, quite frankly, and it is fascinating that you have literally these nine structures that look like garages, essentially, and that they are armed and that they are protected by armed people outside of these "sex boxes," if you will. What's provided to these women, to these prostitutes to help protect them?

HERZIG (via telephone): Our approach is to reduce violence. We have a lot of violence against prostitutes, really bad. And so this (inaudible) is constructed in a way that it's really safe. Not just because it's gated, there's an armed guard staff on the place. There's social workers. And that's really the target is to reduce harm for prostitutes.

MALVEAUX: And we're seeing some of the figures there. Fifty-two percent of the voters there approve of this facility here because they do feel like it in some ways it does help protect these women. And, also, interestingly enough, we saw some other figures, Richard, about prostitution around the world and where it is legal and illegal and a mix of partial legality here. I mean, it really is something that in a practical way they're dealing with. They're very pragmatic about it.

QUEST: But you can't -- Michael, thank you for joining us from Zurich and for putting that into perspective.

Of course, it's a straightforward discussion, frankly, between the practical and the moral, and those who will never want anything to do with it at all and those that will say, the oldest industry in the world, oldest profession in the world, make it as safe as you can.

MALVEAUX: And Michael also says, too -- he brings up the point that there are counselors there in case people want to get out of the business and do something else that maybe there's an opportunity for them to do that as well.

This here, I want a raise.

QUEST: You can't even say it.

MALVEAUX: No, I really do. I want a raise. Four words, pretty hard to say to your boss, right?

Up next, tough work conversations, the way of bringing them up without hurting your career because we want raises.


MALVEAUX: We want raises.




MALVEAUX: All right. Welcome back. We've all had these conversations, kind of tough at times here, a little awkward with your boss, yes?

QUEST: Alison Kosik is with us from the New York Stock Exchange. When we're talking about difficult conversations with the boss, Ms. Kosik, which are the most painful of all?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The most painful of all, OK, well, if you look at "Fortune's" list, Richard, it is the "I want to have a raise" conversation. That really is the toughest to have. But you know what? Hey, it could be the most rewarding as well if it goes well.

Experts say, whatever you do when you're having this conversation, though do not -- do not - give personal reasons for needing more money. What you probably want to do is look up what people in similar positions get paid and then give evidence of why your performance deserves a higher salary.

Here's another tough spot that workers may run into in the workplace, if they find out there's something shady or illegal going on at their company.

So if you discover that these so-called bad deeds are happening at your company, you probably want to be able to call that out without ruining your own career when you do it, and experts say that you should explain that you have your boss's best interest in mind and go through the negative consequences.

And if that doesn't work, go above their heads and if it seems to be a problem that's starting at the top, you may want to find yourself a new job. Suzanne? Richard?

MALVEAUX: Alison, give us the toughest conversations that sometimes got to have with your boss, but you don't want to sabotage your career?

KOSIK: The key to all of these, Suzanne, is really sticking to the facts and not becoming emotional. You don't want to put emotion into this.

And there are more of these conversations you want to be careful with like what do you do when your performance review was unfair if you think it was unfair? And how to handle it, if a strategy your boss has you working on, if you find it to be ridiculous. So diplomacy really is the key and what you say isn't as important as how you say it. So it's important to keep an ongoing dialogue with your boss so you're never caught off-guard with something negative. So you know what? It's just like our non-work relationship, communication, communication, communication.

MALVEAUX: Richard is dying to jump if here.

QUEST: I'm going to jump in here because I don't agree with a lot of people in the office who say that, particularly, for women the hardest thing is ask for raise. I think in the list, the hardest one is to say, your boss is an idiot and I don't agree with the strategy.

MALVEAUX: That's the tough one.

KOSIK: Well, maybe that's why you got so far, that you got to your position where you are because you just take the rules and you crunch them up and throw them out, Richard. Maybe we should take a tip from you.

MALVEAUX: I never have a hard time asking for me, but, you know, we could ask now, yes.

KOSIK: There you go.

MALVEAUX: Maybe it will be first time you'll be told no.

KOSIK: The stage is yours, Suzanne. Go for it.

MALVEAUX: I don't know if I have enough nerve right now. We want raises.

QUEST: The best tweet I've had this morning on this subject, @RichardQuest, somebody tweeted me and said the hardest thing to say to your boss is about the relationship I'm having with your wife.

MALVEAUX: Now that's a game changer. That's a career killer there. Good luck with that raise, Richard.

QUEST: Good luck with them. @RichardQuest, what's your hardest conversation with the boss?

MALVEAUX: And (inaudible) been locked in state of war. Now some wounded Syrians getting care from a surprising source. We're talking about Israel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the young men say they never thought in our wildest dreams that they would be treated inside Israel. They praise the hospital staff, saying they were being shown kindness.