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AROUND THE WORLD
New Possible Suspect in Mall Attack; Stock Markets; NSA Files Never in Russia; Nuclear Negotiations With Iran, Promising, Optimistic, Forward Looking; Tom Foley Dead; Greenpeace 30 Charged With Piracy
Aired October 18, 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: Police are looking at a possible suspect in the Kenya mall massacre. We have the terrifying videos from inside the attack.
Plus, the partial government shutdown might be over. The threat of default put off for now, but it is still hanging over the country. We're going to take a look what it means for your money and spending during the holiday season.
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MALVEAUX: It was supposed to be a peaceful protest, but it took a horrible turn with gunfire and arrests. Why a Greenpeace captain is accused of piracy up ahead.
Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
Police in Kenya investigating now a new possible suspect in the deadly mall standoff last month. This video, obtained by CNN, shows some of these gunmen casually walking through the crowded mall in Nairobi just opening fire on shoppers. Well, the terror group, al Shabaab, claims responsibility for that rampage that killed 67 people. This new angle of the investigation is now looking at a man believed to be connected to the al Shabaab commander who gave the orders. Nima Elbagir, she is in Nairobi, Kenya.
And, Nima, first of all, we've got this video. We've seen it this week for the first time. It is absolutely chilling when you take a look at these gunmen just plucking off, picking off people inside of the mall. Now we've got a new possible suspect. Could he be the one that they are looking for, that the terrorists actually were caught on camera, one of those people that we saw in that video?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Suzanne. This is new suspect is believed to have been identified from CCTV from inside the Westgate Shopping Center. He is believed to be a Norwegian of Somali origin and Kenyan counterterror sources are telling us that Norwegian intelligence agents are currently in Kenya at the moment investigating the suspected involvement of a Norwegian with the attacks.
But they're also investigating a separate link between him and the man, the high ranking al Shabaab operative that the U.S. Navy SEALs tried to grab a couple of weeks ago. They weren't terribly successful. But the sense is amongst the sources I've been speaking with that (INAUDIBLE), that's the one -- the U.S. Navy SEAL target, that he was key to identifying the target inside Kenya al Shabaab was choosing to go after, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And, Nima, we also have some word, it is possibly alarming, U.S. embassy inside of Uganda now warning Americans that a similar attack could actually happen there. What are we learning?
ELBAGIR: Yes, the U.S. embassy in Uganda has raised the terror alert levels there. They haven't gone into any details about what's sparking this, but they're asking American citizens to take every single precaution. On that video that we showed you, the CCTV video, you can see the attackers speaking on the phones throughout. Kenyan authorities believe that they were receiving instructions from other parts of their network across this region and some of those intercepts they say traced calls back to countries in in region, one of whom is Uganda. And that's definitely feeding into the broader sense that you have a very active, very agile terror network at the moment in this region and that Westgate could possibly have been just part of a broader plan, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Are they advising Americans to get out of the embassy? Are they doing anything with security that's any different than they normally do?
ELBAGIR: Well, we understand that actually the Ugandan armed forces have canceled leave for a lot of their security arms, that police officers have been told that they need to be on standby in case any backup is required. As you can appreciate, the American embassy doesn't normally like to get into details of their security precautions.
ELBAGIR: But we understand precautions are being taken, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Sure. Absolutely. Nima, thank you. We appreciate it.
And, of course, we are following this, the next fiscal face-off in Congress vowed to start, this is in about a week or so. There is a group of almost 30 lawmakers. They are charged with working out the budget and they're going to hold the meeting.
And, meanwhile, the stock market's still looking pretty good so far. Yesterday, the S&P 500 hit a record high. It is still going up there, but how long is this going to last? Alison Kosik's at the New York Stock Exchange, Christine Romans in New York to talk about the big picture here.
So, Alison, first of all, stocks, it looks like they're dipping a little bit here. It's going back and forth. Explain why this is happening in light of the fact that now people are going back to work but there's still that looming deadline in January.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still a day of records, Suzanne. You look at the S&P 500, even right now it's at a new record high from yesterday. You know, it's already been quite an amazing year for the S&P 500. It's up 20 percent so far this year. It's usually up around 8 percent. So, yes, the debt deal is done. You've got investors finally focusing on other news. There was a positive GDP report out of China. Also some solid earnings from companies you may recognize, Morgan Stanley, GE and Google. So, yes, speaking of records, Google topping $1,000. In fact, it hit $1,007 earlier in the session. It's backed off a bit now at about $997. That is certainly one stock we're keeping our eye on today.
One thing I noticed, though, there is still some hesitation in the market as we see the Dow in the red. You see the Dow down 21 points. So it is kind of a quiet rally. One that's really being made point by point with the S&P 500 because there is that underlying nervousness that Washington has only kind of kicked that proverbial can down the road.
MALVEAUX: All right. Want to talk about that can kicking with Christine.
Of course, we've been talking about this all week for the past weeks or so about this. So in the long haul, do we think investors, are they going to find themselves in an uncomfortable, unstable position here with another possible impasse January and February with the debt ceiling and the budget? I mean how secure are they that in the big picture this is going to work out?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's the thing. They pretty much know that there's going to be more budget wrangling. We are in this environment of budget battles and have been since 2009. And over that time, Suzanne, the stock market has gone up and up and up. Why? Because the Fed has been putting $85 billion a month into the economy. And the irony here is that Washington's dysfunction really means that the Fed is more likely to continue to keep pumping money into the system to keep the economy going. And that's what Wall Street likes. Their party will continue to go on because their elected leaders are so dysfunctional they're unelected Federal Reserve will likely keep pushing money into the system.
MALVEAUX: And, you know, we all have our 401(k)s here. So many people just trying to save and get ahead of the game here.
MALVEAUX: But the holiday season is coming up. Do you think that this is really going to spook folks, they're not necessarily going to do the kind of spending that they normally would and we might see those 401(k)s shrink?
ROMANS: I actually think it will in terms of consumer spending. We already saw that the most recent read of consumer confidence was, you know, actually showed the biggest drop-off since we've seen back in the Lehman Brothers debacle. So people are really noticing what's happening in Washington, but they're also noticing that job creation has been pretty, you know, pretty anemic most recently, you know, and so they're not feeling as confident.
We're going to closely watch Halloween spending. Something that is a big part of the bottom line for companies. Then after that comes Black Friday. And then after that, of course, the Christmas season. And I can tell you that retailers are nervous. They're nervous that we're going to spend only on the necessities and maybe a few splurges and we're not going to go crazy because we are feeling strapped. Consumers are feeling strapped.
So, it's also, I think, important to remember there are consumers and investors. About half the country is invested in stocks, but everybody is worried about jobs. So you might see consumers pulling back and still see investors making money into the new year, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: All right. Everybody looking for those Halloween costumes. We'll see how it all works out. Christine Romans, Alison Kosik, thanks for joining us.
Here's what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD.
Edward Snowden talking about what he did with all of the NSA secret files. Did he actually bring them into Russia with him?
Plus, incredible video of the oldest church, this is in the Philippines, now crashing to the ground. This is a terrifying scene for these folks who were on the ground there during a major earthquake.
Also, gunfire, chaos. Now Greenpeace activists, they are under arrest and charged with piracy. The family of a jailed American want him released.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you saw your father with handcuffs there, what kind of feeling did you have?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Angry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anger?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
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MALVEAUX: Somebody shot and killed a senior police official today. This happened in Libya. It happened in Benghazi. Now this is according to Libya official news service. Gunmen opened fire on the army's chief of military police as he left his home for Friday prayers. Now, intelligence analysts say that Libya has now become a haven for armed militia. Even al Qaeda is using that country to regroup.
Dynamic pictures out of Australia. This is where intense -- you can see this here -- the fires, bush fires, 98 of them burning in New South Wales. They have claimed now their first victim. A 63-year-old man died of a suspected heart attack while defending his home from those flames. Officials say hundreds of homes have been destroyed.
And more incredible video. This is the bell tower of a 450-year-old church. You can imagine this it crumbling to the ground. This is during a major earthquake. This is in the central Philippines. Now, Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude quake killed 161 people, injured hundreds more. Landslides, widespread power outages and damage to thousands of structures have now been reported.
And to Russia, where former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, he is speaking out about what happened to those secret government files that he leaked to the media. Well, in an interview with "The New York Times," Snowden insists that he gave all of those NSA documents to journalists in Hong Kong, that he never took any of them to Russia. That is where he fled in June. Snowden leaks a huge collection of documents of the NSA's surveillance program and anti-terror efforts and one of the journalist who received the information says that Snowden's claims do sound credible.
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GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, "THE GUARDIAN": Whether he took any to Russia, I obviously can't say for certain, but I know for certain that his intention was to undermine the ability of states to engage in mass surveillance, not to help states do so by giving documents to other governments. So it's certainly credible. There's zero evidence that he ever gave any documents or let any of those documents out of his control despite the desire of people in the media to simply assert it without evidence.
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MALVEAUX: We now get more on Snowden's claims. This is from Phil Black in Moscow.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, one of the more persistent criticisms of Edward Snowden is that he has betrayed his country by seeking asylum here in Russia because he must now be a Russian intelligence asset. That whatever information he was traveling with must now be in the possession of Russian security and intelligence services. Edward Snowden has answered back to this in this interview with "The New York Times," which was carried out over an online encrypted service. And he says that is simply not possible because he didn't travel with any classified documents. He said they were all left in Hong Kong with the journalist that he was working with there. He said there are no copies. It made no sense. There was no value in traveling with copies. It won't have served the public interest. That's what he said, in his words.
He's also pretty sure that China has not been able to access that information, he says, because his technical knowledge of China's capabilities was such that he believes that he was able to protect it, to secure it from China accessing and its experts accessing that information.
His father, Lon Snowden, made a very similar case when he was here in Moscow earlier in the week visiting his son. I asked him what sort of contact his son was having with Russian intelligence. And he said, none. He said Edward had assured him that he had not been debriefed by any spy agency from any country since he fled the United States.
MALVEAUX: Thanks, Phil.
Promising. That is actually one of the words that is being used to sum up U.N. nuclear talks with Iran. But a nuclear deal, not close - not close yet. What this means now for U.S.-Iranian relations. We're going to take a look at that up next. You're watching AROUND THE WORLD.
MALVEAUX: All right, so here are some words that you rarely hear about when talking about nuclear negotiations with Iran, promising, optimistic, forward looking.
This is a new tone. This after two days of talks between Iran, the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. The P5-plus-one, it's called.
Iran's top negotiator said that he presented his framework in Geneva this week and that the Security Council accepted it.
So, gone for now the tension that colored nuclear talks under Iran's previous administration.
Want to go to Jim Sciutto here. And, Jim, you know, I've covered these before, these talks before under President Bush. They have failed repeatedly.
But you describe this as more serious, more technical in this round of negotiation. Tell us what that means and why it's a good thing.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, clearly, this is the first step that we've seen after the Iranian president has taken this new approach towards the West, what we saw in New York during the U.N. General Assembly, the phone call between President Obama, President Rouhani, this kind of thing.
So here now, we're moving to the substance of that, what is really behind this and will it be followed by real action? And what you've got in these talks was a more detailed proposal than the Americans or the Europeans have ever seen from the Iranians, and more candor, more directness. This is what U.S. officials were telling me while I was in Geneva.
So clearly more promising than what we've seen, but still a long way to go. And the key thing that this is going to come down to is sanctions, a chicken and the egg problem.
Do sanctions relief come first, or do the Iranians give something on restrictions on their program first? The U.S. and the Western position is they need to see hard restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program because before there's any sanctions relief.
And, in fact, the senior administration official told me while we were in Geneva, the two sides are still very far apart on what sanctions relief is appropriate.
MALVEAUX: So, Jim, you know, there was always a bit of tension here between President Bush, the former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and it really set the tone for the diplomatic talks.
Now you have two very different leaders at the helm. You've got President Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani.
I know they don't sit at the negotiating table, but they certainly do influence the tone of the talks. Tell us how it's changed a little bit.
SCIUTTO: No question, and not just the presidents, but also the foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who is leading the talks for the Iranian side in Geneva, English-speaking, in fact, the Iranian proposal delivered to the Americans and Europeans in English for the first time via PowerPoint presentation.
So you have these little symbols in addition to the substance in how the relationship is different, and that makes a big difference.
When I spoke to U.S. officials involved in these talks, they said they had never been involved in talks so substantive with the Iranians in years, really in recent memory. So it already makes a difference.
And like you, Suzanne, I've covered some of these talks before under the Bush administration, in fact, in the very same hotel in Geneva where we were just this past week, and the difference in tone and substance really striking.
But again, it's early stages, so a long way to go to getting to a point where they can reach agreement.
MALVEAUX: So, Jim, it sounds optimistic. You're talking about early stages, long way to go.
Do we have a timetable? Do we have a deadline or even a target that would say, you know what, we're on the right track and this is successful?
SCIUTTO: No deadline, but an ambitious timetable from the Iranian side. The Iranians say they want to have a deal done and believe a deal can be done in six-to-12 months, really remarkable when you think just a couple months ago this wasn't on the radar screen to have substantive talks with the Iranians. So that's aggressive.
And I think there's been some pullback, a little bit of adding, you know, some context to this from U.S. officials in recent days, saying, hey, wait a second. We're still far apart on the sanctions regime, et cetera.
But remember this, there are still people speaking in Geneva right now, experts on both sides, and already the principal players are going to come back December 7th and 8th for more talks.
They wouldn't be proceeding with a schedule like that unless there were real things to be discussed, unless they were making progress behind closed doors.
MALVEAUX: All right, so Jim, an amazing turn around when you think about it from the previous administration not talking at all, really.
Jim, thank you. Good to see you as always.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
MALVEAUX: Another story, held at gunpoint, shot at and captured, that is what happened when a group of Greenpeace activists, they tried to board, you see there, here, this Russian oil rig.
Russian authorities, they are calling the activists, along with their captain, pirates. Coming up, we're going to have an exclusive interview with the captain's family.
NATASHA WILLCOX, PETER WILLCOX'S DAUGHTER: I would ask them to open a dictionary and read the definition of piracy.
MALVEAUX: Breaking news now on CNN, we have just received sad news, confirmation that former speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington Democrat Tom Foley, has died.
He was House speaker during the terms of the first President Bush and President Clinton. He was first elected to Congress in 1964. After leaving Congress, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Tom Foley had been in declining health for some time. He was 84-years- old. We wish our condolences to his family.
They are being called the "Arctic 30." These are 30 Greenpeace activists, two of them journalists, and they have been sitting in a Russian jail for about a month now.
They were arrested after trying to board an oil rig in protest of plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean.
Well, the captain of their ship is 60-year-old Peter Willcox, faces 15 years in prison on charges of piracy.
His family now, they're speaking out for the first time since he was arrested and they spoke exclusively with our Ivan Watson.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Gunshots in the Arctic, this was supposed to be a routine Greenpeace protest against a Russian energy giant drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
But the September 18th protests took a horrible turn. Russian authorities arrested 28 activists and two journalists aboard a ship owned by the environmentalist group Greenpeace.
A court later charged them with piracy, authorities claiming their actions endangered the oil rig's crew.
Among the detainees, an American, the ship's captain, Connecticut native Peter Willcox.
MAGGIE WILLCOX, WIFE OF PETER WILLCOX: The situation he's in now is just way too extreme.
WATSON: Maggie and Peter Willcox married nearly eight months ago. Speaking exclusively to CNN, she shows me the last postcard she received from her husband, sent during a stopover in Norway on the way to the Arctic.
M. WILLCOX: His last sentence is, "It should be a cool action if the Russians can keep their sense of humor."
WATSON: But no one is laughing now as members of the "Arctic 30" face up to 15 years in a Russian prison.
Willcox spent decades with Greenpeace, protesting to protect the environment.
M. WILLCOX: We all like to think we try to make the world a better place in our own small way, but it's rare for someone to devote their whole life to this, and Peter has.
WATSON: For his 18-year-old daughter Natasha, a college freshman, hearing her father called a pirate is a shock.
When you saw your father with handcuffs there, what kind of feeling did you have?
N. WILLCOX: Angry.
WATSON: Anger, huh?
N. WILLCOX: Yeah.
WATSON: Is there a message you would want to send the authorities in Russia right now?
N. WILLCOX: I would ask them to open a dictionary and read the definition of piracy.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Yeah.
WATSON: In fact, Russia's powerful president, Vladimir Putin, told journalists last month it's obvious Wilcox and the other activists are not pirates, but that hasn't stopped a Russian judge from denying bail to the Greenpeace prisoners.
Natasha says Russian authorities have not let her speak to her father since his arrest.
N. WILLCOX: He's a dad, and he's a husband. He's a brother and he's more than just someone who was in charge of a crew who scaled an oil rig.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did they do to him?
WATSON: For now Peter Willcox, also a prisoner and an alleged pirate, whose family can do little more than wait and hope for their captain to come home.
MALVEAUX: Ivan Watson, he's joining us live from New York.
Excellent reporting, Ivan, and I have to ask you. First of all, do we think, is there any chance, in light of the attention that's been raised, that he will be released in any way?
What is the process of actually letting this play out in Russia?
WATSON: I think the opposite is happening, Greenpeace announcing that two more of these detainees have been denied bail, and Peter Willcox was already denied bail.