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AROUND THE WORLD
Roma Parents Reunited With Daughter in Dublin; Finger-pointing at Obamacare website Glitch Hearing in House; Toure Claims Russian Racism at Soccer Match; Syrian Snipers Target Pregnant Women; Assistant Bishop Loses Paternity Suit; Piracy Charges Dropped
Aired October 24, 2013 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: A little girl in Ireland, she's back home with her parents, after a DNA test confirmed that she is, in fact, the couple's biological daughter
The 7-year-old child, she's blond and she has blue eyes. Her parents are Roma, an ethnic group commonly known as gypsies, who typically have darker complexion.
Well, police acted on a bad tip, to say the least, that the child may be a kidnap victim.
Her family spoke out about the ordeal after being reunited with their own daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're very happy that this is done and the I.D. is positive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want to happen to any family --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- for everyone, from all the world.
So that's all he wants to say. He's very happy. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the first thing she said when you spoke to her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she's very happy. No, she was crying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Now the identity of a different blond, blue-eyed girl in Greece is not yet known.
Now she was taken from the home of another Roma couple who has since been charged with abducting the girl.
The couple claims they adopted the child from a Bulgarian woman.
In the hot seat for more than three hours, still nobody, nobody's taking responsibility for the botched launch of the Obamacare website.
The House energy and commerce committee, they are grilling executives from four of that tech companies that built healthcare.gov. They each claim their portion of the site worked just fine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHERYL CAMPBELL, SENIOR V.P., CGI FEDERAL: From a CGI perspective, our portion of the application worked as designed.
ANDREW SLAVITT, GROUP EXECUTIVE V.P., OPTUM/QSSI: When occasional discrete bugs in the data services hub were identified, we promptly corrected them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: CNN's money -- technology correspondent Laurie Segall, joining us New York, and so, Laurie, it's so frustrating.
It's almost maddening when you listen to the testimony because it seems as if each person is insisting that their piece of the puzzle worked just fine, but when you put them altogether and the system was integrated, it all fell apart.
Was it tested? Was the integrated system tested before the site launched?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't appear so, and what we keep seeing is there were so many cooks in the kitchen, and an entrepreneur I just got off the phone with, he said it very, very well. He said, because everybody's responsible, nobody's responsible.
And, look, what we heard in that hearing was we heard Cheryl Campbell say that -- and she's part of CGI. What she said was, OK, part of our technology didn't work, but it was because another technology didn't -- we were overwhelmed because another part of the technology from another contractor, something called the EIDM, which is that registration process when you first get in, they prompt you to register. She said because that didn't work.
Now, we go to Andrew Slavitt, who was in charge of that, he said the government, they came to us last minute and said we needed to add a registration process.
Now, you know, that kind of decision last minute would require a lot of time, it would require a lot of testing, that it seems like they simply didn't have time to do.
So you have all this finger-pointing and really no concrete answers.
MALVEAUX: Everybody's doing, one of these numbers, pointing at everybody else. How do they fix this thing? Can it be fixed?
SEGALL: You know, a lot of folks were frustrated, saying how do we fix this?
We didn't get direct answers, but you know, there were reports that there was a massive amount of coding involved in this project, something like 500 million lines of codes, and 5 million lines of code needed to be fixed. This is a report.
You know, they actually asked this to Cheryl Campbell. She -- again, she's the V.P. of one of these contractors.
Listen to what she said. Listen to her answer, Suzanne.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN (D), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE: Does CGI have to rewrite 5 million lines of code to fix the problems we've seen thus far?
CAMPBELL: No, sir. I can tell you the 300-plus employee that I have back in the office would -- I think they'd all walk out if I told them they had to rewrite that many lines of code.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: You know, so she says maybe this kinds -- this number might be inflated, but we don't get answers as to the timing.
Could this take 30 days? Could this take three months? We just don't really get that.
And I should note this, that when you look at government contractors, and I spoke to an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who has a lot of knowledge of this, they are paid for these lines of codes and they are paid for the body.
So you're seeing a lot of inefficiencies come out without many people being able to take responsibility because, if you look at it, there was no, quote/unquote, "CEO" here in charge saying, you should do this. It was just so fragmented.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, it's so frustrating when you listen to the hearings and realize that perhaps no one is going to be held accountable.
Laurie, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
We're following this story as well. One of the most famous soccer players in the world, Yaya Toure, well, he's taunted on the field.
We're going to tell you essentially what did the opposing team say to him, up next.
MALVEAUX: Just a few month away until the Winter Games kick off in Russia, but today now, there is growing concern on whether or not Russia is even the safest place to host the games.
European soccer governing body is now investigating a Moscow soccer team after star African soccer player, Yaya Toure, claimed that fans of the Russian team chanted "monkey" slurs at him.
Now the team denies the allegations, and Alex Thomas, he's in London with more to talk about, first of all, what are the allegations? What does he claim? And how are they responding?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this all occurred in a champion's league match, one of most high-profile soccer competitions on the planet, Suzanne.
And Yaya Toure, who's the African footballer of the year, plays for Ivory Coast, used to play for Barcelona, now plays for Manchester City in England, and is very, very famous, said fans were making "monkey" chants.
Here's what he had to say after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YAYA TOURE, MIDFIELDER, MANCHESTER CITY: It was a few times when I went into the goal and tried to score and I miss it -- and some fans were reacting badly, but it's always the same.
They say (inaudible) some blah, blah, blah. They have to stop it now, you know. We are not kids, and I hope that we take action on bad actors. We want to stop that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: His team have launched an official complaint -- lodged an official complaint with Uefa, Europe's governing body.
And CSKA Moscow have denied this, and said that one official Uefa delegate puts in his report that there was no racist chanting.
And in a statement from CSKA Moscow, they went on to point out that, "Having carefully studied the video recording of the match, have not found any insults of a racist nature.
"It is also a significant fact that throughout the history of playing in European cups, our club has never been recorded, still more punished, for the manifestation of racism by the fans."
So a real "he says"/"she says" case at the moment.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, and we know that this is not just a single incident here. The Olympics are fast approaching and the country's going to be hosting the 2018 World Cup.
What do they say about the other allegations of racism that have been made in the past? Are the players really even really safe?
THOMAS: There have been mixed reports. There have certainly been punishments for some Russian soccer clubs when it come comes to black players being racially taunted, even bananas thrown onto the feel of play.
But as far as the Winter Olympics are run, clearly they're run completely differently to soccer. There have been concerns about the anti-gay propaganda law in Russia.
But just interviewing someone live on CNN International, our sister station, actually a second ago, two former American gold medalists, they said that in speaking to people in the current U.S. Winter Olympic team and they're not worried about competing there at all.
MALVEAUX: All right, Alex, thank you. Appreciate it.
This is a very disturbing story, pregnant women targeted by snipers in Syria. This is the latest horror in a civil war now that has killed more than a hundred thousand people.
We've got a special report, up next.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are the top stories we're following right now.
Lawyers for Michael Skakel are preparing a bail application to get their client out of prison. Well, you know, Skakel is the nephew of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. And 11 years ago he was found guilty of killing his neighbor, Martha Moxley, when they were both just 15 years old. But yesterday a Connecticut judge granted him a new trial, saying his defense was inadequate. Prosecutors are now planning to appeal.
In Italy, more troubles for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He has now been ordered to stand trial for corruption. Berlusconi allegedly paid more than $4 million to buy a politician's influence. Well, that helped bring down the Italian government. That was back in 2006. His lawyer says there is no substance to that allegation. In August, Berlusconi was convict of tax fraud.
And now this, the violence in Syria has taken a horrific turn. There's evidence now that snipers are targeting pregnant women and children. Atika Shubert, she's got the story. And we've got to warn you that the images are graphic and this is disturbing.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a chilling image of just how horrific the Syrian civil war has become. A sniper's bullet in the skull of an unborn fetus. The pregnant mother was the victim of a sniper attack.
British surgeon Dr. David Nott volunteered at several hospitals in northern Syria with a charity Syria Relief.
DR. DAVID NOTT, VOLUNTEER SURGEON: You actually see the bullet hole here going from one side of the uterus to the other side and the baby was caught in the middle.
SHUBERT: These images are graphic, but they are all survivors. Dr. Nott says 90 percent of the surgeries he performed on any given day were sniper wounds, up to 20 gunshot wounds a day. Syria Relief provided CNN with these pictures of sniper victims in order to raise awareness of the growing violence. Dr. Nott says he believes snipers are specifically targeting pregnant women and sometimes children in a vicious game of war.
NOTT: The one day we would see, say, 15, 16 gunshot wounds, and of that eight to nine were targeted in the left groin only. And then the following day, they were targeted in the right groin only. I think definitely there was a game going on.
SHUBERT (on camera): A targeting game? A targeting (INAUDIBLE)?
NOTT: A targeting game.
SHUBERT (voice-over): In this video from Aleppo, men, women, and children try to outrun snipers' bullets as they cross in the regime- controlled enclave of the city to the rebel-held areas. It's not clear who is pulling the trigger in this video, but innocent civilians are literally being caught in the crossfire. They risk their lives because food and provision are on the rebel's side, but their homes and families are on the regime side. Desperate, they make a dash for supplies, but not everyone makes it through.
MALVEAUX: Atika Shubert joins us live from London.
Atika, it's just even hard to watch what we have just seen, to even understand what is going on here. But what is behind this? Is this some sort of sick motive to terror, a whole society, a particular group? What is going on?
SHUBERT: Well, it's clear that the snipers are shooting at civilians, essentially to terrorize them. But we don't know who is pulling the trigger, who the snipers are, or if they're targeting anybody in particular. But there does seem to be, as Dr. Nott said there, a kind of a game. And he had even heard reports that they would - that some of the snipers were getting rewards, like cigarettes, for targets achieved, which is a really horrific and chilling thing to even think about.
But it goes mostly to show just how far the civil war has descended into - in Syria and the fact that you have regime-controlled and rebel-held areas, and civilians are getting caught in the middle simply because they might have family on one side but what they need in terms of food and medicine is on another.
MALVEAUX: Atika, thank you so much. Again, thank you for following such an important story. I know it is difficult to see those images, but we really need to bring this to the world. Thank you, Atika.
SHUBERT: Ahead, an assistant bishop with the Catholic Church speaks out about his relationship with a woman who is 23 years younger than he is.
And this important programming note. This is a fascinating, must-see watch. Orcas thought to be one of the most intelligent creators in the animal kingdom. Well, now CNN Films follows the history of killer whales in captivity, leading up to the death of a SeaWorld trainer that happened back in 2010. I want you to watch the premiere of "Blackfish." That is tonight right here on CNN at 9:00 Eastern.
MALVEAUX: An explosive, new scandal in the Catholic Church. This comes just a day after Pope Francis suspend the so-called "bling bishop" for allegedly spending $42 million of the church's money to renovate his home. Well, the latest scandal involves a secret relationship of former assistant bishop in Lima admitted to having with a young woman. Well, she sued him claiming he is the father of her two-year-old daughter. Rafael Romo has the story.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): In the eyes of the world, he was the assistant bishop of Lima, the Peruvian capital, serving one of the largest catholic diocese in Latin America. But Monsignor Guillermo Abanto had a secret, a hidden relationship that would eventually put his church career in jeopardy. Meet 26-year-old Alexandra de la Lama. She sued the 49-year-old bishop four months ago claiming Abanto is the father of her two-year-old daughter. Just last week, the judge in charge of the case ruled in her favor.
ALEXANDRA DE LA LAMA, SUING BISHOP (through translator): When I met him, I wasn't a minor anymore. But I was really still a young lady. I reacted like any young girl who's still growing up and developing would. He approached me trying to be protective and paternal. Like any other girl, I never doubted his motives.
ROMO: De la Lama says at first she approached him for spiritual guidance, but over time their relationship became romantic. When the baby was born, Abanto baptized his daughter and became her godfather.
ROMO (on camera): But the secret was revealed this summer when de la Lama filed the paternity lawsuit. Back then, Abanto told Peruvian media that both he and de la Lama had mutually agreed to keep their relationship and their daughter a secret forever, but assumed responsibility when the scandal broke out. He also said he never took advantage of the woman who's 23 years younger than him.
ROMO (voice-over): "I have never denied that the girl is my daughter," he told a local television program this month. "I never tried to sidestep my responsibility. What I had asked, though, was time so that we didn't have to rush things so that we didn't create a scandal."
But his former lover's attorney says Abanto was rather vindictive.
MARIA DEL CARMEN BARRAGAN, LAMA'S ATTORNEY (through translator): If he originally denied his paternity, he will also probably avoid paying child support. It's common sense. Something that also worries me, as Alexandra's attorney, is that he appealed accusing my client of defamation.
ROMO: Abanto has resigned as assistant bishop and the Peruvian catholic church is publicly supporting the mother and her baby girl. Cardinal (INAUDIBLE), archbishop of Lima, asked Abanto to assume his responsibility as a man and confirmed that the Vatican has accepted his resignation.
MALVEAUX: And Rafael joins us to -- for the back story of this and why -- there's a back story to why she actually sued the bishop.
ROMO: Well, exactly. It happened two years after the girl was born. So the back story is that the relationship was probably still going on in secret and at one point the relationship might have soured and this woman decided that she was going to try to get child support for the baby because there was no clear indication from the bishop that he was actually going to take responsibility for paying expenses for the girl. So that's apparently what finally brought the case to the courts and then the bomb exploded and the scandal was created.
MALVEAUX: And so do we know if he's now - I mean he's no longer an assistant bishop. Do we know if he's paying child support? Is he taking care of his child? I mean, what next?
ROMO: He's paying child support. He's going to take care of the child. He said that multiple times. But it's not clear what he's going to do because he's resigned. So essentially he doesn't have a job anymore. And we don't really know what - what he's going to do next.
MALVEAUX: Yes, you wonder with the bling bishop and this guy, what is next? What is going on?
ROMO: It's a tragedy. It's bad.
MALVEAUX: Yes. All right, Rafael, thank you. Appreciate it.
In Russia, piracy charges, they're now dropped. This is against a group of Greenpeace activists. They were arrested last month, you might recall, for trying to stop oil drilling in the Barents Sea. Our Phil Black, he's got details on what charges he'll face.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Greenpeace, government, Nobel Peace Prize winners, they had all told the Russian government that climbing an arctic oil rig was not an act of piracy. And now finally Russian investigators agree, they are dropping the piracy charge and instead charging those 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists with hooliganism.
But Greenpeace isn't satisfied. It says its activists are no more hooligans than they are pirates and it will continue to fight this, because in Russia, the charge of hooliganism can be punished with prison time.
Back to you.
MALVEAUX: All right, thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. Have a good afternoon.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Right now the blame game over the Obamacare website is in full swing up on Capitol Hill. Contractors who worked on the site are testifying at a House committee hearing. We have details and a live report. That's just ahead.
Right now, President Obama's reinforcing his desire to get immigration reform passed. At a White House event just a little while ago, he said it's time for both sides to work together to get a final immigration bill done right away.
And right now, a Massachusetts town grieves for a beloved teacher, allegedly killed by one of her students. We have new details. Details revealing the shocking way she died.
Hello. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting today from Washington.
The contractors behind the Obamacare website, they get grilled over the technical blunders surrounding the launch of healthcare.gov.