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Greenpeace 30 Charged With Piracy; President Turns to Immigration Reform; Syria Civil War Stories from the Streets of Syria; Malala Yousafzai Meets the Queen

Aired October 18, 2013 - 12:30   ET


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, a fresh wrinkle to this story, to this drama, is that Greenpeace has released video, security camera video, from outside their offices in the Arctic Russian city of Murmansk where these 30 activists and crew members and journalists have been held.

This is outside the Greenpeace office. And it shows what Greenpeace says is six men in masks who broke into the area and stole a metal cage that was going to be used in a protest today against the detention of these 30 people.

The Russian police in Murmansk have announced they're investigating this and investigating reports that a car was vandalized in that area.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: So, Ivan, in light of all this, are they getting any kind of support? Are there people who are coming to their aid? Are there protests happening? I mean, what happens next?

WATSON: Well, Greenpeace has been trying to organize campaigns of protest in other countries around the world.

Yesterday, 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners, they sent a note, a letter. to Vladimir Putin calling for the piracy charges to be dropped, and for Russia to respect the right to peaceful protests.

And prisoners like Peter Wilcox, they have been allowed access to their lawyers and to diplomats, for example, from the U.S. general consulate in St. Petersburg. He's been able to visit.

They have not been allowed to speak by phone to family members overseas, though they have received some e-mails that have first been approved by the Russian court.

So they're quite isolated.

MALVEAUX: All right, Ivan Watson, thank you so much. We appreciate that.

The shutdown is over now. Next on President Obama's agenda, that, of course, immigration reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.


MALVEAUX: So will the Republicans need to bend again, or will the Democrats give on immigration debate?

That is next on AROUND THE WORLD.


MALVEAUX: With the fiscal crisis temporarily averted, President Obama made it clear, one of his next big priorities is to get an immigration bill passed.


OBAMA: We should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. There's already a broad coalition across America that's behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement.


MALVEAUX: Senate bill -- the Senate, rather. passed a bill earlier this year that creates a path to citizenship for the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, also allows more high-skilled workers to get visas. It also boosts security along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Republicans in the House have their own plan and want to deal with it more piecemeal, if you will.

Maria Cardona is a political strategist, and Adolfo Franco is a former spokesman for the Romney/Ryan ticket.

Maria, I want to start with you here first because a lot of Republicans have been responding to this call for immigration reform, including Congressman Labrador of Idaho.

He says the president wasn't willing to negotiate over Obamacare. Why should they expect any different when it comes to negotiating over immigration reform?

Does he pick up the phone? Does he make a call, talk to Speaker Boehner, and say, I want tonight start offering a deal, I'm going to sit down and talk to you first?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Look, Suzanne, the president has been very clear from the beginning this is one of his priorities, and he was clear yesterday that he is willing to negotiate.

He was very clear during the shutdown that he's willing to negotiate even over Obamacare, just not with like he likes to say a gun to the head of the American economy. Now that that's over, let's negotiate. Let's talk about what is next. Let's look at real solutions to really figure out how we do with the American people elected these people to do.

Frankly, it was the Republican who's kept saying during the shutdown that they want to negotiate, that they want to negotiate. Well, now, the president is ready and willing to negotiate.

But another point is, immigration has already been negotiated, Suzanne. There are bills in the Senate and in the House, so let's work on those.

MALVEAUX: Let's talk about the specifics, if we can, because many Republicans think that offering citizenship to undocumented immigrants equals amnesty.

There's really even a language thing here. You've got to get past that and start speaks the same language.

Is there anything that you would recommend specifically that is something that the president could give up or Democrats could give up when it comes to moving forward on immigration?

CARDONA: Sure. So that, frankly, has already happened.

As you know, the White House's plan called for an eight-year process for citizens to obtain -- I'm sorry, for undocumented folks to obtain citizenship.

What came out of the Senate was 10 years. What is presently being talked about in the House is up to 13 years. And so I think that it is certainly somewhere where there is room for negotiation.

MALVEAUX: All right. I want to bring in Adolfo here because she brings up a good point, that there is some room for negotiating here. What do you think of that?

You've got the House version, You've got the Senate version. We saw Republicans pretty much split over Obamacare and the budget. They're also split over immigration, as well.

What is the more reasonable plan, the Senate plan or the House plan?

ADOLFO FRANCO, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE'S HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL: Well, first of all, I hope there is a negotiation. I hope the president's rhetoric is actually matched with words.

The fact of the matter is, over the past five years we've seen very little negotiation. I hope Maria's right. I hope he actually picks up the phone and does that.

Obviously, this is a president that promised immigration reform his first year and a number of things, but we won't rehash that. That's behind us.

Moving forward, though, I think the president if he is serious about this, all Republicans want immigration reform. The speaker has said he's committed to doing it. There's just different visions of what is encompassed in a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The House approach is going to be to take a look at what the Senate has done, but not take up a comprehensive bill, but to look at this, as you've articulated, in different pieces and study it, I think, in a way that we didn't do with the health care bill where we passed this large bill. Speaker Pelosi said nobody's read it.

We don't want the situation to happen in immigration. So if the president approaches us in good faith, obviously, we can get a good deal, and we can get a good deal done this year.

MALVEAUX: And, Adolfo, the big picture here, the president won the Latino vote three-to-one when he was re-elected.

Obviously, Republicans need to get a much better handle on that demographic here, get the Latino vote, at least get a little bit more in terms of support for winning the next presidential election.

How important is this issue to your party?

FRANCO: I think the issues very important. There's a committee, there's a course by the Republican leadership to get this done. Absolutely, it's been done in a bipartisan way, a version of it in the Senate of the United States with four Republican senators and four Democrats, so I think it's very important to do this.

However, I think an appeal to Hispanic voters on immigration alone is not the only way -- the only Republican message. It's about, I think, the economy, creating jobs, and other opportunities that I think there's been a failure by this administration to deliver on their promises to the Hispanic community.

So I think it's important, however, I will say this. The president has a lot to explain to Latinos because he's deporting people at reported numbers. His own supporters, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, have been extremely critical of him as well as the "Dreamers" and others in the Latino community.

MALVEAUX: All right, Adolfo, we've got to leave it there.

Maria, Adolfo, thank you so much for a really good discussion on this. And, of course, we're going to keep talking about this. Two months or so we have to hash it all out with the immigration reform bill.

Thank you, good to see you as always.

FRANCO: Thank you.

CARDONA: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: And it is an ongoing battle in Syria. We're talking about a civil war. It has led to more than a hundred thousand people killed since anti-government protests began more than two years ago.

Our own Nick Paton Walsh, he was there from the very beginning.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's that sound that terrifies ordinary residents of Aleppo daily, jets coming in low overhead and never knowing really until you hear the blast exactly what their target is.


MALVEAUX: Nick shares his Emmy Award-winning reporting from the front lines, Syria. He is here with us in Atlanta in the studios, and he's up next.


MALVEAUX: For more than a year, our Nick Paton Walsh has been reporting on the civil war in Syria, bringing us stories from the streets as well as the front lines, showing us that it is really -- what it is really like to live under that bloody conflict, that civil war that has torn that country apart.

I want you to take a look at this.


WALSH: It's that sound that terrifies ordinary residents of Aleppo daily, jets coming in low overhead and never knowing really until you hear the blast exactly what their target is.

One morning I was just speaking on a satellite phone for a couple of minutes and a helicopter started swirling around us. We didn't quite know why that was. Shortly afterwards, the helicopter fired a missile at some nearby buildings. And it was a house of a family who was sort of all asleep at the time of the actual strike.

They say the air strike came in about four hours ago, but still they're racing frantically to call what they say are nine people still stuck under that rubble, including a mother and child.

I think the thing that stuck with all of us most was the child who was born less than a year old who was sheltered by his mother's body. The mother was killed, but he was breast-feeding at the time and was able to be pulled out alive from the rubble.


MALVEAUX: Well, now Nick Paton -- great work -- has been recognized. He just won an Emmy for outstanding writing, and he joins us.

And, Nick, you know, it's good to see you in person. It's good to see that you're safe. Really telling, very compelling reporting that you did, and especially about that young baby that was breast-feeding as his mother was killed. You saw that. What happened?

WALSH: Well, this air strike came in, hit the house they were in and, over the hours ahead, because people think these things happen very fast, but it takes hours for the people who are living in the area around to get to the site. And then it's often a case of using their hands to pull out incredibly heavy pieces of concrete. Because when a house collapses, every single pillar, wall, the roof comes in and just, in the most chaotic way imaginable, flattens everything beneath it.

So it took time. It took electric drills. You saw there the saws used. And slowly they started bringing out one child after another after another because the whole family had been effectively squashed by much of the rubble.

We went to the hospital and eventually saw nine bodies stacked up in the back of a lorry there. But the picture you see just there, that's the child who was rescued. His mother's body was actually sheltering him from the rubble. She was crushed. He was spared. And it's quite a remarkable site to be saw to see him being cleaned down (ph) to the dust, an orphan.

MALVEAUX: It is hard -- it's hard to see the pictures. You've seen it in real life. And I imagine that a lot of people there who are living this experience are living it over and over. What do you get -- what is the sense that you get from them in terms of, what is it like?

WALSH: Well, this happened 15 months ago and things have gotten exponentially worse. I mean now there are hundreds dying every day, 5,000 a month by some counts. A war that has changed completely in characteristics since we did that reporting in September, August of last year. We now have a massive infiltration of Al Qaida jihadists in the north, in rebel ranks, making it, for many journalists, in fact most journalists, a no go area.

And we now have a regime which have been on their back for -- many think for some time, but suddenly we gain a narrative by deciding they want to give up their chemical weapons. So a phenomenally confused picture changing landscapes and a rebel force that was so long fractured and is now frankly hostile, I think, to many of the people in the west who did want to help them originally, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And, Nick, it's not just the Syrians, but they're also displaced. I mean they're in Lebanon, they're in Turkey, they're in Iraq. What is it like for those to - you know, to -- leaving their country, they've been forced to leave? Do they want to come back? Do they feel like there's a sense of optimism that this, in some way, can -- the horror can end and they can go back home?

WALSH: No, there's no optimism. I mean the fascinating thing to see is the impact it's having on neighboring countries. It's hard to visualize for people because it's a slow process, but there's 1.4 million some say Syrians in Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people. That's changing the makeup of that. There were refugees I've seen in Jordan, the huge Zaatari refugee camp there. They seem to double in size every month you would go back.

The last time I was there, there was a bus of men trying to get back into Syria because conditions in that camp were so bad, they wanted to cross back into dangerous territory and take the fight back towards the regime. That's the impact that's living on. And as the conflict gets so increasingly hard to even understand or explain to people, that impact filters into Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and that's what we'll see in the years ahead still playing out.


MALVEAUX: Nick, I appreciate - really appreciate your being here and your reporting. It just - it's excellent work you do and it's such an important story. Thank you, Nick.

WALSH: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: She survived an assassination attempt that left her even more determined to urge girls, get an education. Well, today, Pakistan's teen activist, Malala Yousafzai, she met the queen of England. What she brought her to the palace, up next.


MALVEAUX: Well, an invitation to Buckingham Palace. Not too many folks lucky enough to get that. But a much deserved invite did go out to Malala Yousafzai. Well, she is the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban just for promoting education for girls. Christiane Amanpour, of course, asked her about the honor last week. Here's what she said.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The queen of England has invited you to the palace. You're going, right?

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST: Yes, I am going because it's the honor of the queen.


MALVEAUX: So she obeyed the command. She met Queen Elizabeth today. Max Foster, he's got more on this remarkable meeting of these two. Watch.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, two iconic women came together here at Buckingham Palace today, one in her 80s, one in her teens. Malala discussed with the monarch the cause that she's come to symbolized, education for all.


MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST: So today is Friday and I had to miss my school because I was meeting the queen. And it was -- it's such an honor for me to be here now in Buckingham Palace, and it was really an honor to meet the queen. And because I also wanted to raise the issue of girls not being educated on a higher platform.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FOSTER: It was only a few days ago that Malala met President Obama in the White House. She's becoming this historic figure. And these images really illustrate that. There's also some fun here at Buckingham Palace. Malala met Prince Philip, who appears to have made another gaffe.


YOUSAFZAI: He said like parents are tied of children, that's why they sent them to school. Something like that. I'm not sure. But I laughed. And he was laughing.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, at the other end of London, at the Olympic Park, a future queen, the Duchess of Cambridge, was showing off her sporting prowess. She was there to support future Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. It was her first solo outing since she had a baby. And we'll see her again on Wednesday at the christening of Prince George.


MALVEAUX: Great assignment.

Coming up, Anthony Bourdain heading to South Africa.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": A really great travel writer, who I admire a lot, said something that I often refer to. He said, "The more I travel, the less I know."


MALVEAUX: What Bourdain learns from his trip to South Africa, up next.


MALVEAUX: Each week, Anthony Bourdain visits a new part of the world, taking a look at the culture and the cuisine. Well, here's his takeaway from his trip to South Africa.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": So a good friend of mine, a really great travel writer, who I admire a lot, said something that I often refer to. He said, the more I travel, the less I know. I feel that particularly strongly here in South Africa, a place I came in a state of near total ignorance, loaded with preconceptions. And I can't say that I'm leaving any smarter.

Here's what I do think is -- it's a hell of a lot more complicated here than I thought it was going to be and I do feel very much that if things work out here, if the human race is capable of getting it right or even remotely close to right here, maybe there's hope for us all. But I just don't know. Do you? (END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN," airs this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Well, we came pretty close to an outer space fender-bender. That is right. It happened last month. I bet you didn't even notice. It was an asteroid cruising through the solar system, zipped by our planet. This was on September 16th. A little more than 4 million miles away.

But in space terms, that's not actually far away at all. It's a pretty big rock, about four football fields long. If you missed it, wait 19 years because that's when it's going to be coming back. Scientists discovered the asteroid earlier this month but NASA couldn't tell us about it. They were part of a government shutdown.

Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM with Wolf Blitzer starts right now. Have a great weekend.