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Venezuela Wants U.S. Apology; Computer Animation of Navy Yard Shooting; New iPhones on Sale; Iran President's Op-ed

Aired September 20, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CO-ANCHOR: And, Arwa, we've seen these reports about satellites actually showing trucks moving in and out of sites where Syria is known to be storing its chemical weapons.

So what does that suggest to the inspectors? Are they moving these things around to hide them, consolidate the stockpiles? What do we know about that?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the big question. Right now, we do not note what the motivation is behind the Syrian government's decision to begin moving -- at least what U.S. officials say was it moving its chemical weapons arsenal.

We do know that at the beginning of the civil war in Syria, the government did, in fact, move some of its chemical weapons stock stockpiles, especially those that were in areas with are there was a lot of fighting, outside Aleppo, for example.

And the Americans and other spy agencies have been trying to monitor the movement of Syria's chemical weaponry, but at this point in time, there's not a lot of faith in the Syrian government.

So it most certainly does not look good they are potentially moving those chemical weapons again.

But it could be they're trying to consolidate them for the time getting ready for when the inspectors would be arriving in country.

MALVEAUX: All right, Arwa Damon, reporting from Beirut, thank you. We're going to have more on that coming up, as well.

MICHAEL HOLMES: To Caracas in Venezuela, officials say the U.S. has some explaining to do. The U.S. begs to differ.

What happened was Venezuela's foreign minister says that the State Department tried to prevent President Nicolas Maduro's plane from entering U.S. air space over Puerto Rico.

MALVEAUX: But a senior State Department officials tells CNN that it is not true, that Maduro's office also said the U.S. denied visas for several members of their delegation.

They are, of course, heading to the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week.

But the State Department also struck that down saying they have issued those visas and they are have been approved.

HOLMES: Now to Yemen where suspected al Qaeda militants killed at least 26 soldiers and police officers, two attacks in a province in the south of the country where al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula is very active.

You see there the bodies lying on the ground outside a military barracks where witnesses say gunfire and several explosions rang out this morning. This happened under the cover of a heavy fog.

MALVEAUX: And Friday's attacks were the deadliest in the country against the military since May when a suicide bomber killed more than 90 soldiers in the capital.

HOLMES: Red flags, unexplained etching on a gun and new details that the shooter started his attack after darting into a bathroom.

MALVEAUX: The latest on the Washington Navy Yard shooting, up next.


MALVEAUX: Surveillance video from the Navy Yard has allowed us to piece together critical early moments of the massacre.

We have put together an animation based on the information from authorities.

So take a look. Here's how it unfolds.

The FBI says that Aaron Alexis was spotted entering a bathroom with a bag.

HOLMES: Now minutes later, he emerges with a sawn off Remington 870 shotgun.

8:12 a.m. the first shots are fired from the fourth floor. He then goes down a stairwell and emerges on the third floor.

Now, at this point, he is seemingly picking his victims at random.

MALVEAUX: At 8:26 a.m., Alexis then heads to the first floor, shooting a security guard, taking his handgun.

And investigators say he runs out of ammunition, uses the guard's gun to continue shooting his victims,

HOLMES: And, of course, we know Alexis killed 12 people in that shooting rampage.

Evan Perez is following the investigation in Washington, and what is the latest information you're getting there from law enforcement?


That's right. The authorities today are still trying to interview witnesses. They're trying to go through all the videotape. They trying to make sure that they will try to figure out exactly what the order of events was on Monday.

We know he entered Building 197. He goes up to the fourth floor, as you just showed. He comes out and appears that he starts shooting randomly. He's not hunting anyone in particular.

Now on the fourth floor, the authorities say that there is some I.T. support office there which he may have been familiar with.

And one of the questions, obviously, is was there a workplace issue? Was there something that set him off that brought him there on Monday to start shooting?

That is still something they're struggling with. They don't quite know how to put it together.

But at this point, it looks like he goes through the building, shooting randomly, goes down to the first floor then back up.

All of this goes down about 30 minutes before the authorities are able to bring him down and shoot him dead on Monday morning.

And like I said, right now, it's still very much an effort to try to figure out what might have motivated this on Monday morning, Michael.

MALVEAUX: And, Evan, there is some reporting perhaps he was -- had he worked with some of those individuals that he was targeting or that he shot.

Is that true? Did he actually know the people that he was shooting?

PEREZ: That is still an open question. The FBI is going through, like I said, interviewing witnesses.

As far as we can tell, they still are puzzled by the idea of how he started doing this on the fourth floor.

It doesn't look like he was trying to shoot anyone in particular, according to the video.

HOLMES: All right. Evan, thanks so much, Evan Perez there, reporting from D.C.

MALVEAUX: And coming up, it is, of course, drawing crowds AROUND THE WORLD.

The new iPhone, it is the 5C and 5S. People are lining up at the Apple stores for hours to buy the new smartphone.

HOLMES: Really? I mean, really? Really?

We're going to have a look at the craze when we come back. I mean, really?

MALVEAUX: They really are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: Just moments ago, the House voted to prevent a federal government shutdown, but -- always a "but," isn't there -- to take away funding for the president's signature health care law.

The final vote tally, 230-to-189. That's pretty much along party lines, so what next and how will this action affect financial markets?

MALVEAUX: It's already been a wild week on Wall Street. We've seen record highs for the Dow and S&P index.

Taking a look at the numbers now, the Dow Jones up -- rather, down, 79 points.

HOLMES: Half a percentage point.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, all this as the president is in Kansas. He's getting ready to talk about the economy. We're going to go live as soon as he starts speaking, as well.

HOLMES: Market a little bit nervous there by the look of it of what it's seeing in Washington.

All right, now we're going to talk about -- you've got the -- I'm an equal opportunity. I'm iPhone and Android, so there you go. I got a BlackBerry. We've got them covered. We've got them covered.

But it is iPhones today. They've gone on sale. Have you seen them yet?

MALVEAUX: I have not seen them yet, but I hear they're pretty snazzy, the iPhone 5S and 5C, and they're hitting the shelves AROUND THE WORLD, China's financial hubs, of course, Shanghai, Hong Kong, folks lining up to snatch them.

HOLMES: That is the market that Apple would like to snare even more of. China.

In Australia, you can see there, Sydney, people camped overnight on the streets to get a good spot in the line.

Now, that looks like London actually, where it was rather chilly, but there was quite a hubbub as the stores opened, everybody sort of flowed through.

MALVEAUX: There's probably a lot of buzz in New York.

Zain Asher, what are you seeing?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. I'm outside the Apple store on 67th and Broadway.

Right now the line has roughly around 100 people. Believe it or not it actually stretches all the way around the corner.

I did actually speak to one woman who said that she was waiting outside the flagship store on Fifth Avenue for 14 hours, get this, only to find out the phone she was waiting for had sold out. She then came here, so she actually had to take two days off work in anticipation of getting the iPhone 5s.

I said, listen, what are you going to do when you get the phone in your hand? She said she's going to sleep. She does not want to be bothered.

I should also mention that the NYPD has set up shop right outside here. They are encouraging people to register their iPhone 5S.

Obviously, guys, you know, iPhone theft is amazingly rampant in New York, so that is what the NPYD is encouraging people to do.

HOLMES: I'm a geeky guy. I'm what they call an earlier adopter. I love to get the new -- but I can wait a week.

What's up? Did you ask her, why?

ASHER: I'm sorry. I'm having trouble hearing you guys.

HOLMES: Did you ask her why she would take a couple days off work and all these people standing out there for hours and hours and hours and hours?

ASHER: There is so much brand loyalty among iPhone fans. You know, there was about a year ago when Apple last released its last device, the iPhone 5. That sold around 5 million units. They're expecting the iPhone 5S to sell around 7 million units.

And, lastly, you know, this is really momentous, because this is the first time that Apple has released two devices in one go and in several different colors.


MALVEAUX: Zain, can you get it online? Do you have to wait in those lines for hours?

HOLMES: Of course you can.

ASHER: Yeah, people are waiting in line for hours here. It's not as bad as the flagship store on Fifth Avenue, but this line, they're waiting several hours right now.

MALVEAUX: All right, Zain, thank you. Appreciate it.

HOLMES: I'm way too lazy to do that. There's a new operating system out too for the iPhone, too.

MALVEAUX: You've got to be patient, too, because if you can wait a little while, you'll get it next week.

HOLMES: Exactly, yeah. Well, I admire their persistence.

You can go -- there's a lot of this, by the way, on, a lot of the information and all the good stuff like that. MALVEAUX: I'm going to hang on to mine. This is all right. It's all right.

HOLMES: Yeah, my daughter wants this one, so I might end up getting a new one.

MALVEAUX: You'll be in that line.


MALVEAUX: We are also following this, Iran's new president extending an olive branch to the United States.

We're talking about President Hassan Rouhani. He is asking for an end for what he causes unhealthy rivalries.

HOLMES: He's also offering to help negotiate peace between Syria's government and the rebels. It's all in an op-ed. There is a charm offensive underway, diplomacy by op-ed. We're going to talk about it with Fareed Zakaria.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here's a quick look at what is coming up next.


ANNOUNCER: CNN tonight. At 8:00 on "Anderson Cooper 360," a new resident of a small North Dakota town wants to make it all white.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not hate, it's the First Amendment.

ANNOUNCER: But see how some long-time locals are fighting back.

And on "Piers Morgan Live" at 9:00, who's really to blame in the death of Michael Jackson. As the defense rests in the wrongful death trial, what does it mean for the doctor already behind bars for his death? Piers gets Conrad Murray's side of the argument.

It's all on CNN tonight. Starting with "Erin Burnett OutFront" at 7:00, "Anderson Cooper 360" at 8:00, and "Piers Morgan Live" at 9:00 tonight on CNN


HOLMES: All right, when we come back, are we witnessing a new Iran. Are they opening the doors, the charm offensive underway? Do they mean it? That's what's being asked in the U.S. We'll discuss when we come back.


HOLMES: Welcome back.

German voters go to the polls this Sunday. The election in Europe's largest and really most important economy is going to having ripple effects right across the continent. All of the eyes are on Chancellor Angela Merkel, often called Germany's "iron lady."

MALVEAUX: She is trying to win a third term in office and Forbes dubs her the world's most powerful woman. Now, Merkel's main rival, who is a man who once worked for her, Peer Steinbrueck, served as finance minister in her first coalition government.

Iran's new president now offering to play peacemaker in Syria. Hassan Rouhani, of course. He is ready, he says, to help facilitate dialogue between Syria's government and the opposition.

HOLMES: Yes, that offer is part of a remarkable op-ed written by President Rouhani in "The Washington Post." Part of what he says is this, quote, "we must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart."

This is, of course, the third high profile political op-ed in the last two weeks. Of course we had the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, coming out with his in "The New York Times" and then John McCain responding on a Russian website. All three taking a rather different tone. Now, Fareed Zakaria is following all of it, joins us now from New York.

And quite apart from diplomacy by op-ed, this is quite remarkable, isn't it? You've got a new Iranian president saying, no nuclear weapons. Take that as red. We'll help out in Syria. This is getting warm and fuzzy here. Do you take it seriously? How do you read this? Could they meet in New York, Obama and Rouhani?

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Yes, yes, and yes, Michael. Look, it's very serious. This is the newly elected president of Iran. It's also important to note, this is a guy who comes from the heart of the Iranian establishment. He has been involved with Iranian politics at the highest level for 25 years. He has known the supreme leader since 1980.

So this is not like Ahmadinejad, who was an outsider. He was a populist mayor of Tehran who came to power. Rouhani comes really out of the heart of the establishment. And ever since his campaign, he's been talking about a more moderate foreign policy, trying to find a deal on nuclear issues.

It's not just the op-ed. He's been tweeting, as you know. Very famously, a Twitter account maintained by him tweeted happy new year to all Jews worldwide. The foreign minister did the same thing. They've both made conciliatory statements. So, this is not an isolated op-ed. This is part of a concerted strategy the Iranians are putting forward.

MALVEAUX: Fareed, you bring up a very good point there. I mean who could imagine, this was just two weeks ago when it seemed like the U.S. was on the brink of war with Syria, aimed at launching a military strike, and Iran was still public enemy number one to the Obama administration. Do you see this time - this particular time as a real breakthrough, an opportunity for diplomacy not only with Iran but also with this chemical weapons deal with Syria?

ZAKARIA: Absolutely. I think they are somewhat separate. I think the chemical weapons issue is going to have to be sorted out with the Russians and getting a certain amount of cooperation from the Syrians. I'm optimistic there.

Iran is a much more historic opportunity. This -- remember, we have not had relations with the Iranian government since 1979. Iran has been locked out of the world. It's one of the most important countries in the region. One of the most important countries in the world really. If there were a way to bring Iran back into the global system, this would be huge. This would be not quite on the order of Nixon and Kissinger bringing China back, but it would have huge ripple effects.

Of course, that's a big if. But I think the Iranians, you know, are getting to the point where they realize the price they are paying by being isolated and sanctioned is very high. There is a big debate in Iran about what to do, and clearly Rouhani represents one part of it. But if they win and, you know, and if we're able to reach out and come up with a deal -- remember, we have to give them something, as well, relaxation of sanctions. If the Congress were to agree to that, and that's the big if on our side, you could imagine this moving in a very, very positive direction.

HOLMES: Yes. And in many ways he's speaking not just to the U.S. and to the international community, he's speaking to his own audience back home. As you say, you've got a crumbling economy there largely due to sanctions and a young, very hip population. And so he's talking to them as well saying, hang on, let me (INAUDIBLE) this.

MALVEAUX: Yes, sure.


MALVEAUX: And, Fareed, I want to turn the corner, if we can, because I know you just spoke recently to former President Bill Clinton and you asked him the question that's on so many people's minds, whether or not Hillary Clinton is going to run.

ZAKARIA: Well, as you can imagine, he is very, very skill at dealing with those kinds of issues. And he said, you know, somebody may know, but it's not me. And what he did say is that he thought that one of the reasons she was - I said to him, how can another Democrat even compete with the kind of poll numbers she has. If I were another Democrat, I don't think I'd be able to raise any money for a campaign because everyone would assume she's going to get the nomination. And he chuckled and said, well, I think it has to do with the fact that she's been a very good secretary of state and people have seen her in office and they see what a good job she does. So very loyal, very supportive.

Also talked about Chelsea Clinton's potential political career, which I thought was interesting.

MALVEAUX: All right. Let's listen.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't. Somebody may know, but I don't. I'm not one of the people who does.

ZAKARIA: When you look at her poll numbers, can any other Democrat even get into the race? I mean how would you raise money when you have - I don't think I've seen numbers like this. It's close to 70 percent Democrats say they would vote for her.

CLINTON: Well, I think partly that's because she served well as secretary of state and because people across the political spectrum finally got to see her the way those of us who know her see her. And, you know, when you're -- when I was president and she, like me, was subject to long line of relentless criticism, and she did in the Senate. She made a lot of friends in the Senate among Republicans, as well as Democrats. People in New York liked her across the political spectrum. I mean it was the first time the country had ever gotten to see her as somebody who just what you see is what you get. She shows up to work every day, gets stuff done and is very strong about it. I - I think that's -- but these polls don't mean much now. We're a long way ahead. I think she'd be the first to tell you that there's no such thing as a done deal ever by anybody, but I don't know what she's going to do.


MALVEAUX: Did you believe him, Fareed?

ZAKARIA: No, no. I think that the -- the body language -- the body languages all suggest that she is going to run and she's going to mount a very, very impressive campaign.

HOLMES: Yes, what they call in England, a nudge nudge, wink wink. So, yes, all right, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Precisely.

HOLMES: Yes, terrific. Thanks so much for talking to you on that and also on Iran.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Fareed.

HOLMES: The United Nations Security Council, of course, expected to meet, possibly this weekend. That's ahead of the U.N. General Assembly. Watch this space on Iran. That's the big talk of the day.

MALVEAUX: It's going to be a huge week next week for major (ph) news (ph).

HOLMES: Things for change. Things are changing.

MALVEAUX: Yes. All right, that does it for us, AROUND THE WORLD. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. Wolf Blitzer takes it from here.