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Rouhani Captures Spotlight; Humans Cause Climate Change; Attackers Had Mall Store; Russian Coast Guard Arrests Greenpeace Activists; Indian Apartment Building Collapses; Japanese Cargo Ships Collide; NSA Tracked Lovers; Senate Votes on Spending Bill

Aired September 27, 2013 - 12:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for watching, everyone. AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: A shoot-out at a Kenya Mall was more calculated than originally thought. Kenyan intelligence say the terrorists rented a shop inside that mall a year ago.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Waters and temperatures are rising and scientists say who's to blame. Look in the mirror.

MALVEAUX: Plus, it's intended to protect people from radiation exposure. But a fence put around Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant now discovered that it has a hole in it.

You're watching AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company this Friday.

Well, it is that week every year when most of the world's leaders converge on the United Nations in New York. And, as you know, the man who's gotten a whole lot of attention at this year's general assembly is the Iranian president. Spoke to reporters just a few minutes ago actually.

MALVEAUX: We're talking about Hassan Rouhani of Iran. And he is before the general assembly talking. And his comments have, of course, made news around the globe. His comments about the Holocaust, his attitudes towards the west -- dramatically different than his predecessor -- his country's nuclear ambitions and, of course, about Syria. The new president making sure that nobody is confusing his message and where he's taking his country than from his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

HOLMES: And President Rouhani spoke just recently, just a few minutes ago, in fact. He was giving a news conference and spoke about Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.


PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): We believe that the solution to the Syrian crisis is not a military one but a political one. We also believe that countries that have shaped and -- the future of Syria should actually walk hand in hand in order to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people first and first -- foremost. We believe that the application of chemical weapons in the region is extremely dangerous. We seriously condemn its use and we are glad that the Syrian government has attempted to exceed (ph) to the convention on chemical weapons.


HOLMES: All right, Nick Paton Walsh is in New York. You're going to cover all of this for us.

Nick, first of all, when it comes to Hassan Rouhani, when he - when he met with the -- when his foreign minister met with the secretary of state, John Kerry, yesterday, it was an historic moment. But where do they go now? In terms of something tangible, concrete moves.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is what everybody's asking. And even with Hassan Rouhani's lengthy press conference still going on now in fact, he really hasn't given up any particular technical detail which would be the concrete substance everybody is looking for behind this kind of effusive positivity we've seen in the last week. I mean he repeated all those healthy signals, saying how, you know, the meeting -- the handshake between him and Barack Obama didn't happen because they didn't have enough time to prepare for it. That historic meeting, the highest level in 34 years you mentioned between Kerry and the foreign minister of Iran, Zarif, how that didn't happen simply because they didn't have enough time to prepare for it.

But the real issue at stake is what actually we're going to see concretely in terms of moves by Iran. They've talked about a quick deal, three to six months. That was adjusted to a year by most officials we heard yesterday. But we're still hearing about -- we need to hear about enrichment or potential inspections to see quite what the backbone behind all that happy messaging has been so far.

MALVEAUX: And, Nick, having covered many of these general assemblies, I mean Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he has always really been the person who was the pariah of this world organization. Now you have Rouhani amazingly saying, look, he's spoken to at least a dozen world leaders, he says he ran out of time, only was able to speak to CNN, PBS and "The Washington Post," our Christiane Amanpour. I mean do people really trust him? Do they trust this guy, that he is the real deal, that this is not simply a huge charm offensive?

WALSH: Well, the real issue is, what you make of him?


WALSH: I mean there's no doubt the consistency of this message. It's been everywhere. But there are moments, if you look at that U.N.G.A. speech, Suzanne, you know, that were parts of that which actually touched -- toned down and softened what we would have heard from Ahmadinejad last year, but was still reminiscent of it slightly, talking about the rights of Palestinians, condemning drone attacks on civilians. That was definitely a reference to U.S. foreign policy.

So there was plenty there, which would actually have placated hardliners back in Iran. And had, for example, there been a meeting hours earlier between him and Barack Obama, there would have been people in the White House, if they'd heard that speech afterwards, wishing they hadn't made that handshake happen perhaps. So there was a slight sense of him needing to appeal to conservatives back home in that speech and that will fuel those who suggest this is purely buying time. It's a charm offensive. But at the end of the day, you can't fault the fact that yesterday that the highest level meeting in 34 years happened.


WALSH: That was a big gamble on both sides. They took it. Now we have to see actually if there's something on paper, on the ground, that changes.


HOLMES: And, Nick, very briefly, we can't let you go without asking you about Syria. I mean dozens of people killed again on the ground with very conventional weapons today just outside Damascus. What's happening with the resolution on that? Where's that going?

WALSH: A deal seems to have been struck basically. We're waiting to hear from the U.N. monitoring group, the OPCW (ph), about how they can technically implement what was agreed in Geneva between John Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. But tonight, 8:00, everyone is expecting a text that's finally been agreed to be voted through the U.N. Security Council. It will probably pass without much problems. It won't have an automatic use of force in there if Syria's considered to be in violation disarming from its chemical weapons. There will be some language that will suggest a measure (ph) in the future. But the key thing is that they will need another vote of the Security Council to decide what those measures are and that gives Russia the veto again. We're back here all over again if the inspectors decide they're not happy with what Syria's doing disarming itself.

Suzanne and Michael.

HOLMES: And as we say, on the ground, the killings continue inside Syria.

Nick, thanks so much. Nick Paton Walsh for us.

MALVEAUX: And it all depends on what happens in the ground.


MALVEAUX: I mean it's amazing what's happened in New York, but - in the process. But what happens on the ground is really going to turn this around.

HOLMES: Yes. And up to 60 people killed today in one explosion.

All right, let's move on. A new report from the United Nations blaming climate change on us.

MALVEAUX: The independent panel of scientists find that 95 percent certainty that humans, us, we're responsible for at least half of the climate change problems. And we are talking about things like rising ocean temperatures crumbling the ice caps. We want to get right down to it.

Meteorologist Brandon Miller, break this down for us specifically. What kinds of problems are we talking about and what is the timetable to see some of this -- the most serious - the most serious destruction?

BRANDON MILLER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, this report from the International - or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is really looking through the end of this century. So really not that the far out. We're not talking hundreds or thousands of years. You're talking in people's lifetimes, in our children's lifetimes is what we're looking at.

And the biggest headline to come out of this report is, it is "extremely likely," is the verbiage that they use, that humans caused most of this warming since 1950. That "extremely likely" corresponds to a confidence level of 95 percent. Now, that's up from the last report six years ago in 2007 where they said "very likely." That was 90 percent. So we're really getting close to, in scientific terms, being as certain as we can be. They're not going to go much higher than 95 percent. Let's put it this way, if I told you there was a 95 percent chance that it was going to rain tomorrow, you would probably bring your umbrella. And that's what we're talking about.

Among scientists, there's not much of a debate on climate change. There's certainly some debate about what impacts and where and how much and when. But when it comes to whether or not humans are responsible for a lot of this change that we've already observed, that question has already been answered.

Now, sea level rise is one of those things that's a hotly debated topic and something that there's certainly a spread among these models going forward. Something the IPCC looked at was forcing these models, these global climate models that look out dozens of years to hundreds of years into the future and project what the climate's going to be like. This blue line right here is a pretty optimistic look. That blue line represents lowering our carbon emissions by a pretty good amount through 2100. We're still looking at a sea level rise of about half a meter. That's a foot and a half. But if we don't cut back our CO2 levels, we're talking at least double that. And that makes a one in a 100 year storm more like a one in 20 year storm.

HOLMES: Yes, they're all very depressing. I know there's a couple of other reports, part two and three of those reports are coming out on what happens next and what solutions might be in the works in the months ahead. Brandon Miller, thanks so much.

And, by the way, we've just gotten some reaction from former Vice President Al Gore on this report. Now, he calls it, quote, "a milestone in the study of climate change." He goes on to say, "the climate crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced from not only the warming of the earth with higher global temperatures but also from strengthening storms and expanding droughts to melting ice and rising seas."

MALVEAUX: This was a guy who told us this a long time ago too.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes.

MALVEAUX: Warned us.

We're also getting some new details on the deadly mall attack in Kenya, becoming clear that the terrorists actually began planning this brutal assault more than a year ago, if you could imagine that.

HOLMES: Unbelievable. Yes, that could explain why so many people were killed in the Westgate Mall siege and how such heavy weaponry was apparently now already there. Arwa Damon is in the city still reeling from the terror attack.

Tell us more about what you know about this store and the preparations that went into this.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it most certainly seems as if this was not just a sophisticated attack but one that al-Shabaab was planning on carrying out for quite some time now. They had rented out a store inside the Westgate Mall itself, which is raising a lot of questions as to whether or not they were able to bring weapons in well ahead of time. There is this sense that when the security at the mall gets comfortable with people, begins to get to know them, then they become a bit lax when it comes to checking everything that is coming in and out. So it's raising a lot of questions at this stage.

Another update also is that the Kenyan authorities are saying that they detained three individuals at the Kenyan-Ugandan border in connection with this attack. However, of the 11 people that were originally in custody, three of them have been released after questioning. There are forensic teams on the ground right now combing through the rubble, taking photographs, trying to fingerprint, identify the bodies, not only of the attackers, but potentially of any more victims that may be there. The Red Cross still saying that they have not been allowed access to this --

HOLMES: All right, Arwa Damon. Starting to lose the shot there from Nairobi. But just a terrifying thing that they've been there a year. Obviously been brought in those - because they had belt-fed machine guns. And you can't -- don't just walk in the front door with those. So, obviously, the store was a front.

MALVEAUX: Very much planned here. And also what's interesting is that they still don't have a definitive death toll.


MALVEAUX: They really don't know how many people were killed. We know confirmed 67 people were killed, but there's still about 61 people who are still missing, unaccounted for.

HOLMES: Yes. MALVEAUX: We actually want to hear from some of the survivors in their own words.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were helping everyone who got like shot or something, because they were all bleeding. So we had our aprons. So we had to give it to them. So they'd like stop bleeding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't sleep. It's -- you know, you just remember things. And at least there was one point I just thought I had lost her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been trying to look for our dad since Saturday. But today they found him, although he was dead.


MALVEAUX: It is so, so sad.


MALVEAUX: You know, there are authorities that are saying that five of the terrorists involved in the attack were killed. And as Arwa was mentioning, there's still a lot of questions about potentially who else was involved.

HOLMES: And escaped perhaps in the melee as it was continuing to unfold.

Now, check this out. A Greenpeace activist tried to get on board a Russian oil rig and this is how they were greeted.


MALVEAUX: And this coming up, pasta maker Barilla is in boiling water after the chairman said he doesn't want gays in ads. His comments now have people boycotting the company's products.

HOLMES: And then the Miss World final moves to Bali in Indonesia after religious protestor's rail against the pageant. How hundreds of police are now protecting the event.

You're watching AROUND THE WORLD. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: Welcome back.

The environmental activist group Greenpeace, butting heads, if you'd like to put it that way, with the Russian coast guard, and it got a little ugly.



MALVEAUX: So this is what happened last week. It's playing out there. Want you to just watch and listen here.

We're getting new details what all this was about, but this is way up. This is above the Arctic Circle at a Russian oil drilling platform.

Now, Greenpeace protesters, they were motoring up to this platform -- you see it there -- tried to climb up the side of the ropes.

The Russians responded with high-pressure water hoses and gunfire.

HOLMES: Eventually, Russian forces boarded and seized the Greenpeace ship. It doesn't end there either.

Phil Black is in Moscow. A couple of dozen people were arrested and they're being charged. What happens now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, after the ship was boarded by the Russian coast guard, using ropes and helicopters, the vessel, The Arctic Sunrise, was towed to the city of Murmansk where the 30 people board that vessel has now faced court.

Twenty-two of them have been remanded in custody for anything up to two months while a criminal investigation is carried out.

The eight remaining will face court again in the next few days. It's probable they will face a similar ruling when they face court again.

So it appears that they are all set for a lengthy court case -- sorry, a lengthy jail stay, I should say, while investigators determine if there is a criminal case to answer.

As I say, 30 of them from 18 different countries, Michael.

MALVEAUX: Phil, we're just taking a look at these dramatic pictures, lots of questions when you look at this.

Why did they feel like they need to fire on these folks in the first place? Are they explaining why they think this was a threat of some sort?

BLACK: The Russian view is that, yes, they believe they were dealing with a security threat of some sort, and they didn't know the precisely what security threat they were dealing with.

So, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has said, given the events in Kenya, given that they didn't know who these people were, claiming to be Greenpeace, then he believes that the coast guard acted appropriately.

The Greenpeace view is that Russia has overreacted at every stage. It has boarded their vessel illegally, all while Greenpeace is known what it is doing around the world, that is, climbing things they probably shouldn't be climbing just to get media attention, but doing so peacefully without any sort of violence, without posing any sort of security threat whatsoever.

They maintain that the boarding was illegal because it took place in international waters.

MALVEAUX: And, Phil, just quickly here, nobody was hurt, is that right? Nobody -- those bullets didn't hit anybody, did they?

BLACK: No, no, that's correct.

So while Greenpeace says bullets were used at various stages throughout the confrontation, you saw them there where the activists were actually trying to scale the rig, and later on they said they were fired across the bow of their big vessel, The Arctic Sunrise, to try to drive them away.

And they say again when they were boarded by coast guard forces that the crew was held at gunpoint.

No one has been hurt, but they are all now in jail waiting for their fate.

HOLMES: And waiting for, perhaps, months, too, before it's all wrapped up, one way or the other.

Phil Black, thanks so much.

And, of course, Greenpeace saying that the drilling in that sensitive part of the world is what they're protesting against, that it's not the place to have an oil rig.

MALVEAUX: Right, and dramatic pictures there.

There's also a frantic rescue operation that's actually under way right now. This is in Mumbai, India.

This is a five-story apartment building that has collapsed. You've got dozens of folks who are believed to be actually buried in that rubble.

And it really is, if you think about it, a race against time just to reach the people, the potential survivors.

The owner of the building says about 22 apartments were occupied on those upper floors.

HOLMES: Yeah, family members have gathered there hoping loved ones will be pulled from the rubble alive.

The rescuers haven't brought in heavy machinery yet. They're digging by hand and with small tools because they don't want to upset what remains of the building.

It's confirmed at least six people have been killed in the disaster, but a lot of people are still missing, unaccounted for, and there is outrage, too, because guess what? This is the fifth building is collapse in India this year alone.

MALVEAUX: I can imagine how angry that would make people.

HOLMES: It is almost a common event in India. It really is.

MALVEAUX: And this is a Japanese cargo ship after it smashes into another cargo ship. This was earlier today. This is just south of Tokyo.

It tipped over. At least five members of that crew are reported killed.

And when we last heard, the rescue crews, they were searching the wreck for a sixth crewman still missing. Maybe he survived. It's hard to tell.

But nobody on board that other ship was actually hurt. And it's not even clear what caused the two vessels to collide in the first place.

HOLMES: The NSA was tracking your phone records and e-mails. Guess what? Now we've found out some NSA employees were also using the technology to keep track of their lovers.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.

The nation's spy agency, you probably already knew, could track your e-mails, your phone calls. Well, guess what? Now we're learning that some of its employees are using their spying powers to snoop on their own lovers.

Well, that is the latest disturbing revelation about the misuse of authority at the National Security Agency.

Evan Perez joins us now from Washington. And, Evan, how widespread was what was really an abuse of power at the NSA?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTERS: Well, it is an abuse of power. And you know, the good news here is that it appears to be pretty rare.

We have about a dozen incidents over the past decade that the NSA's inspector general, in a letter to Chuck Grassley of Iowa, detailed yesterday.

And one of the things is, this basically relates to signals intelligence, which is the NSA's power to spy on targets overseas.

And it appears what has happened is you have these employees who decided that they were going to use it to snoop on girlfriends or husbands to try to figure out if they were cheating on them and so on.

One employee, for instance, used it to spy on apparently nine girlfriends over the period of five years.

So it is one of those things that, you know, the strangeness of the incidents really is, you know, raises eyebrows, but it looks like the NSA systems are there to catch these relatively quickly and these employees are punished, usually by being forced to resign or getting fired.

HOLMES: You know, obviously, it took awhile to catch him if it had been going on for a decade.

What does it mean in terms of what these employees can do, what their access is, how broad it is and what's being done to keep an eye on who is getting spied on?

PEREZ: That's one of the scary parts of this. The NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, who has been revealing a lot of details of this, one of the things he said is that the NSA employees can just dip into this stuff whenever they want.

And so this -- these revelations show that these employees, if they're not watched closely, can going in all kinds of directions looking into their husband's e-mails and phone numbers if they want to, and the systems have to be there to catch them when they do.

HOLMES: Evan, thanks. Evan Perez in D.C., thanks so much.


MALVEAUX: A possible government shutdown just a few days away. The Senate is about to vote on a spending bill that funds the government but defunds ObamaCare.

Now, ObamaCare provision is expected to be killed.

After that, the bill heads back to the House. Chances are very big they're not going to like the Senate's changes.

So the fight, the timing, of course, could come up in days before a government shutdown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been very hopeful that Obama care would be implemented and give us the opportunity, not to get a free ride or free insurance or have everything paid for, you know.

But health care costs are astronomical. They are financially out of reach for most hardworking Americans.



MALVEAUX: So right now, the Senate about to vote on a spending bill to keep the government from shutting down on Tuesday. This is the same bill that the House passed that defunds ObamaCare.

But the Senate, controlled by Democrats, is expected to strip out that provision then send it back to the House where more tinkering is expected, leaving very little time to get this thing passed.

HOLMES: Yeah. Also on Tuesday, another big step for President Obama's affordable healthcare act, 48 million American who don't have insurance will get the chance to buy it through the so-called healthcare exchanges.

Now, if they can't afford it, the government will help out with subsidies.