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Niger Mourns 92 Dead Immigrants Fleeing Country; Edward Snowden Writes Letter To German Parliament; President Obama Meets With Iraqi Prime Minister; U.S. Confirms Israeli Air Strike In Syria; Interview with Chris Hadfield

Aired November 1, 2013 - 8:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Now Edward Snowden says he looks forward to speaking with German authorities. We'll have the latest on the NSA leaker.

A milestone is reached in getting rid of Syria's chemical weapons, but at the same time, it seems Israel has recently struck a Syrian military base. We'll tell you why.

And he's arguably the most popular astronaut in cyberspace. We'll speak to Chris Hadfield.

Now, Israel is not talking, but a U.S. official tells CNN that Israeli war planes bombed a military base near the Syrian city of Latakia this week. And the target is said to be missiles that Israel feared might be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Now Israel has not confirmed the strike and declined to comment on the strike.

Matthew Chance is at CNN Jerusalem. And he joins me now with the very latest. And Matthew, we know that the confirmation came from a U.S. official. What more do we know about what happened about this incident?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not a great deal except what U.S. officials, Obama administration officials have told CNN in Washington. As you mentioned, neither the Israelis at this point nor the Syrian have commented on this strike, which is believed to have taken place on Wednesday evening local time.

But U.S. officials say that they believe Israeli war planes carried out the strike on a military base near the Latakia, which is to the northwest of the capital Damascus. U.S. officials say that they believe the war planes struck missiles and related equipment that might have been transferred to the Shit military group Hezbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon.

Now, of course Israeli has said that it has a red line when it comes to the transfer by the Assad regime in Damascus of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, because it believes those weapons could be used from there to threaten Israel.

Nevertheless, it's, again, not commented on this -- there's been comment in the Israeli newspapers, though, somewhat critical of this leak from the United States. One editorial in an Israeli newspaper saying that the leak could increase pressure on Syria to retaliate against Israel. In the past, there have been various air strikes that have been attributed to Israel by the Syrians, by the United States as well.

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has said that he would retaliate at the right time and in the right place for those missile strikes, but again so far there's been no comment from the Israelis or the Syrians on this latest attack -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: No official confirmation or comment from Israel or from Syria. But this has happened before, right? I mean, how many air strikes has Israel carried out in Syria? And could there be more?

CHANCE: Yeah, I mean, well it's been five or six air strikes, the exact number isn't entirely clear, because the Israelis and the Syrians often don't mention them. And so it's been happening somewhat increasingly since January. Remember, the Syrian war in the country has been raging since March 2011. Officially, Israel says it doesn't take part in it and it isn't on one side or the other. But it has been accused repeatedly of carrying out air strikes against various targets inside Syria. There was one back in January that again U.S. officials confirmed has been carried out by U.S. war planes against a convoy of weapons which they believed was destined for southern Lebanon to arm the militia, the Hezbollah militia in that part of the world, which was again struck from the air.

Again, the attribution was that Israeli war planes were involved, but no comment from Israel.

There have been various other attacks as well against various facilities across the country leading to concerns that despite what Israel says it is becoming increasingly drawn into that conflict across its border.

LU STOUT: All right, Matthew Chance reporting live from Jerusalem for us. Thank you.

Now the alleged strike came just as the Organization for the Probition of Chemical Weapons said that Syria had destroyed all of its declared chemical weapons' mixing, filling and production facilities.

Now this is the first key date in Syria's timetable for chemical disarmament. OPCW officials say that Syria has met the November 1 deadline for destroying the facilities.

The next deadline is November 15. And the OPCW must approve a detailed plan from Syria for the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. And then, under the time line, all of Syria's more than 1,000 metric tons of toxic agents and munitions must be eliminated by the middle of next year.

Now, the man who has been leaking secrets about U.S. surveillance programs says he might be willing to speak to authorities in Germany if he can be guaranteed a safe place to stay afterward and is assured he won't be deported to the U.S.

Now the German MP Hans Christian Stroebele met with Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday. And he spoke in Berlin just a short time ago.


HANS CHRISTIAN STROEBELE, GERMANY PARLIRMENT MEMBER (through translator): He didn't present (inaudible) and the American or -- as an enemy of America, but on the opposite he stressed many times to my question if he is ready in front of the German parliament to give information to clarify (inaudible). First he said I would rather with pleasure before the U.S. Congress, before the committee of U.S. Congress the facts to put on the table and clarify, because he sees his message in the U.S.


LU STOUT: Comments there from the German MP made just a few moments ago.

Now Snowden's reported revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency tapped the personal cellphone of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel have shaken ties between Germany and the U.S. And here is what the German foreign minister told our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.


GUIDO WESTERWELLE, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We addressed our message in a very clear and in a very frank way. I understand that it is necessary to fight against terrorism, but you cannot fight terrorism by taping the chancellor's cellphone.


WESTERWELLE: I cannot exclude it, but I'm prepared to everything.


LU STOUT: Interesting exchange there.

Now so far Germany has been the most vocal critic of the U.S. surveillance program. So of course it is not the only alleged target. In recent weeks, leaks by Edward Snowden published in several newspapers alleged that the NSA collected data of millions of phone calls in France and Spain, something the NSA denies.

The reports also say that the U.S. monitored communications of Mexican and Brazilian officials. And leaders from those countries have said their relations with the U.S. have been severely strained.

But some key U.S. allies are taking a very different stance. British Prime Minister David Cameron, for example, has threatened to take unspecified action against the media in his country if it does not show more restraint in publishing sensitive information from classified documents.

And there are reports that Australia used its embassies in Asia to help the NSA collect information.

Now several intelligence experts have said that people shouldn't be surprised about any of this. After all, they say, a spy's job is to spy.

Now meanwhile Edward Snowden has started a new job in Russia. Diana Magnay has more from Moscow.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Edward Snowden starts his new job this Friday. It's in tech support, his lawyer says, for a major Russian website, though he won't tell us which one for security reasons.

There are some quite good indicators, though, that it might be the Vkontakte, that's Russia's version of Facebook. Its boss, Pavel Durov made a very public offer for Snowden, a job offer a few weeks back. He's made it clear that he thinks very highly of Edward Snowden and that he was inspired by Snowden to launch a new messaging system, which launched just a few weeks ago which provides highly encrypted messages which have features such as being able to self destroy after a few moments.

It's also the only Russian website which hasn't denied that it's hiring Snowden. It simply said no comment.

So this is reading between the lines, but it does seem like a good fit.

But don't expect to see Edward Snowden walking through its St. Petersburg headquarters any time soon. In his capacity of tech support, he'll probably just be working remotely from the safety of his own home.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Moscow.


LU STOUT: And that was CNN's Diana Magnay reporting from Moscow.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, 6,000 Iraqis have been killed in deadly attacks this year as the Iraqi prime minister asks for help in Washington.

Toronto's mayor is in trouble. Police find video evidence. Now many are calling on the mayor to resign. We'll tell you what is on the tape.

And we talk to legendary astronaut Chris Hadfield about singing in space and life back on Earth.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today. Now we've already told you about a recent air strike on a Syrian military base. And later, we'll tell you about the tragedy in Niger that has prompted three days of national mourning, but now let's turn to Iraq.

Now Iraq's growing tide of sectarian violence is on the agenda in Washington today.

Now Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is meeting U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Two years after American troops pulled out, Iraq is asking the U.S. for help to counter terrorism and to improve security.

Now this past year along more than 6,000 people have been killed in bombings and other attacks across Iraq.

Now Nouri al-Maliki says al Qaeda and its affiliates are largely to blame. And CNN's Arwa Damon looks behind the numbers at the victims of the violence.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know her age or her name. What we do know is that she and her classmates were at school in a predominately Shia area in northern Iraq. A suicide truck bomber exploded outside.

The violence never really ended in Iraq. Explosions that turn coffee shops like this one where people gather to watch a soccer game into a grave yard.

Much of the recent increase in attacks is blamed on the al Qaeda led group, the Islamic State of Iraq.

The U.S. military used to boast of the success of having broken the terrorist organization's back. But now, nearly two years after the Americans fully withdrew, al Qaeda has undeniably resurrected itself.

The country's security forces were never really capable of stabilizing the nation, especially without U.S. support and technology. And let's not forget that this is a nation where violence and politics go hand in hand.

Earlier this year, we traveled to Iraq's Sunni heartland in al Anbar Province, the epicenter of the mounting anger against Shia prime minister Nouri al Maliki's government. The men we met accuse the government of oppressing the Sunnis, and indiscriminately throwing them behind bars.

Political reconciliation, they believe, is an utter sham.

"We are certain that al Maliki is a liar. The political process is just a game," Sheikh Hali Hassan Suleiman (ph), one of the tribal leaders, told us.

The actions of the Shia-led government have made it easy for al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists to capitalize on the growing discontent, spread their influence and increase their attacks.

There have also been retaliatory attacks by the Shia against the Sunnis. And in recent months, the death toll has reached levels not seen in years.

The UN envoy to Iraq called it an accelerated surge in violence, an acceleration the Syrian civil war has helped fuel, blurring battle lines as al Qaeda expanded its Iraq operation into Syria over the summer.

Earlier this week, as Maliki Departed Iraq for Washington with whom there is a very tenuous relationship. He blamed the war in Syria for the resurgence of al Qaeda and the violence in his country.

"We, in fact, need defensive weapons to protect Iraq's airspace and sovereignty," he stated.

But it's not guns or air power that are really going to bring about stability. It's a political maturity that neither the prime minister or other key players in Iraq seem to have.


LU STOUT: Now let's go straight to Arwa Damon who joins me now where she's currently on assignment in CNN Johannesburg. And Arwa, we know right now the Iraqi prime minister is in Washington, D.C. trying to rally up and trying to lobby support. Let's talk about the U.S. military aid that he so desperately wants.

If he gets it, what impact would it have on just the rising violent and bloodshed there in Iraq.

DAMON: Well, here's the problem is that as we know only too well looking at what has happened in Iraq in the last 10 years, the situation there is not going to be militarily stabilized. The U.S. military with all of its might was barely able to bring the situation under control back in 2008, 2007 and that was really only because they were actually able to get the Sunnis who were fighting against them to turn against al Qaeda. It was only because some of the main Shia groups there actually agreed to lay down their weapons.

What the Iraqi prime minister is asking for in terms of the accelerated pace of delivering Apache helicopters, more sophisticated weapons, more sophisticated technology, that will help to a certain degree, but it's not going to resolve the problems in that country. The insurgency there is only too well experienced in fighting back no matter what technology is coming up to face it.

Plus, there is the additional concern that some lawmakers are raising and that is whether or not Maliki would then use these American weapons to further oppress the Sunni population inside Iraq, because the mainstream Sunni opposition to the prime minister is nonviolent and their grievances are very legitimate, Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, there are so many factors here behind the rising violence that we've been seeing in Iraq this year from the situation in Syria to the sectarian divide. But what is it going to take to bring a solution to finally resolve and bring some stability to the country?

DAMON: Well, at this stage it's really going to take, as you were hearing in that package, a certain level of political maturity that sadly none of Iraq's key players do really seem to want to possess at this stage. They are constantly bickering. There is so much infighting. And the tensions that exist, the sectarian tensions that exist in that country are very easily, as we have seen, aggravated. And of course it is the population that ends up paying the price for the rising violence.

The prime minister is blaming a lot of the violence on what's happening in neighboring Syria, blaming on al Qaeda, but there needs to be a lot of introspection as well as to see what can be fixed from within the policy that the opponents of the prime minister accused him of implementing.

They accuse him of being authoritarian, they accuse him of deliberately using the Iraqi security forces to go after the Sunni population.

These are all key factors that are going to have to change to ensure long-term stability, because with or without the war in Syria, Kristie, we would have still seen the violence continuing in Iraq.

LU STOUT: And military aid alone won't solve the issue. Arwa Damon reporting for us. Thank you so much for that.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, the delicate work of Iran's carpet weavers is known across the globe, but they say that western sanctions are putting them out of business.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

Now to Iran where a centuries old industry is struggling under the weight of international sanctions. Now Iran's intricate Persian rugs are known the world over, but sanctions are hurting the bottom line for millions of workers. Reza Sayah reports.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A master craftwoman at work. Her instrument a vertical loom, fingers that look like a blur bringing exquisite designs to life. Mariam Bezi (ph) has been doing this since she was six, weaving Iranian handmade carpets not from prepared design, but only from patterns tucked away in her memory.

"In the name of god, when you've weaved all your life, it just comes to you," she says.

But for Mariam (ph) and the roughly 2 million weavers in Iran, western sanctions that have banned exports to America and choked Iran's economy are taking a toll.

"All of Iran and all nations, they don't want sanctions," says industry official Mohamad Maharban (ph). "All these sanctions do is cause people to suffer."

Iran exported roughly $430 million in handmade carpets last year, officials say, a 23 percent drop from the previous year. Cheaper carpets from China and India, many of them machine made, are cutting into exports too, putting pressure on Iran's second biggest industry after oil and gas.

How big is Iran's carpet industry? Industry officials say roughly 8 million Iranians generate some kind of income from the carpet industry, that's about 1 in every 8 Iranian. Of course you have the carpet weavers, you have the wool shearers, the spinners, the dyers, the shippers, the retailers, and everyone else who makes these beauties come to life.

To fight off sanctions, Iran's carpet industry is on a campaign to promote exports to new markets with expos like this one in Tehran. The work of Iran's leading carpet producing provinces, like Tabriz, Isfahan and Kairman (ph) on display.

And then you have the cream of the crop, carpets woven in the holy city of Qom. High end carpets are usually made of pure silk. And you ask anyone here, they'll tell you the carpet weavers in Qom do it best. And here's one of their pieces. Incredible detail even up close. Smooth to the touch. Pricetag: $10,000.

"Others can talk about their carpets," say Maharvand (ph), "but the world knows Persian carpets are number one."

For now the fine works of Mariam Besi (ph) and her fellow weavers remain off limits to western buyers, but many here in Iran are hopeful that new efforts by Tehran and Washington to improve relations will bring better days for the industry and carpet lovers all over the world.

"We hope sanctions are removed and relations improve so people have access to these beauties," say Maharvand (ph). "People love beautiful things and so does god."

Reza Sayah, CNN, Tehran.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And up next in the U.S., flight restrictions are about to be relaxed. And soon passengers will be using some electronic devices from gate to gate.

And his YouTube videos have made him an Internet sensation. We hear from commander Chris Hadfield about his time in orbit.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headline.

Now a U.S. government official tells CNN Israeli war planes struck a Syrian military base near the city of Latakia this week. Now the official says that the aim was to destroy missiles and other equipment that Israel thought Syria might hand to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Israel is not commenting on the report.

Now with violence increasing in his country, Iraq's prime minister Nouri al Maliki wants help from the U.S. to fight al Qaeda. He's meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington today. Now the UN says nearly a 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in bombings and other attacks this past month.

Australia's ambassador to Indonesia has been summoned by the government in Jakarta. Now Greg Moriarty was asked about allegations that Australia used its embassy to spy on Indonesia as part of a U.S.-led eavesdropping effort.

And Edward Snowden says he might be willing to speak to authorities in Germany if he can be guaranteed a safe place to stay afterward and is assured he won't be deported to the U.S. Now the German MP Hans Christian Stroebele met with the former U.S. security contractor turned leaker in Moscow on Thursday. He says Snowden gave him a letter stating he would not only testify in Germany, but also to the U.S. congress if the U.S. drops its bid to prosecute him.

Now CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us on the line from Berlin now. And Fred, I understand that you've scanned that letter from Edward Snowden. You were there listening to the press conference with the German MP. Give us what you've learned.


Yeah, the press conference is actually still going on. I've just stepped out. And I do also have the letter that Edward Snowden apparently gave to the German MP Hans Christian Stroebele. He is also listed there as a witness. The letter is actually signed by Edward Snowden. And it says, and I quote, I hope that when the difficulties of this humanitarian situation, which is of course talking about that he's in Russian now, has been resolved I will be able to cooperate in the responsible finding of fact regarding reports in the media particularly in regard to the truth and authenticity of documents as appropriate and in accordance with the law.

LU STOUT: Now, Fred, what we're hearing from Edward Snowden through this letter and also through the German MP is that he is indeed the NSA leaker willing to testify in Germany to German lawmakers. That is if his security, his safety can be assured? And that raises the question about asylum. Is Germany willing to grant him asylum? Is that conversation taking place?

PLEITGEN: Well, at this point that conversation is taking place, but certainly it seems as though the German government and (inaudible) politicians would not be willing to do that simply for the fact that obviously this would cause great ruptures with the U.S. government.

Now this particular member of parliament who has always been one who has been sort of rogue, but yet very much in touch with what many Germans feel, he says that he does believe that there might be certain possibilities to get Edward Snowden to Germany or possibly, even, send a fact finding mission by the German parliament, some sort of parliamentary inquiry committee to Russia to try and question him there.

Of course, there's a lot of hurdles that are in place. On the one hand, of course, that is Edward Snowden's current status being in that sort of asylum limbo in Russia. Also, any sort of fact finding mission by the German parliament would have to work very closely with Russian services as well, with the Russian authorities as well whether or not they would allow German politicians to come over and question Edward Snowden about something that is very much unclear.

And then of course the big question is if he comes over here to Germany would he be able to go back to Russia, most probably not. Would Germany be willing to grant him asylum? Also most probably not.

Apparently there are some provisions in German law that if someone is asked to testify before a parliamentary inquiry committee that then Germany has to allow that person to stay in the country. Whether or not that's going to be met here is really very much the question.

So it really is up in the air.

There do seem to be some possibilities that theoretically are out there. But whether the political will will ever be there here in Germany is something that's very much in question, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and I can't help but comment on that video that we saw just then, the handshake between the NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the German MP. And I only wonder how that is going to be perceived, especially in Washington.

Unfortunately we're going to have to leave it at that. Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much indeed for calling in, giving us the very latest on this meeting that took place between this high profile German politician and the NSA leaker.

Now, frequent flyers will want to pay special attention to this one, this next story. U.S. aviation officials, they have finally decided to relax some rules on the use of electronic devices in flight.

Now let's bring in our chief business correspondent Christine Romans. She joins us live from CNN New York. And Christine, please walk us through these new rules?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How many times have you heard a flight attendant say please stow your electronic devices, anything with a power button must be powered down. Those rules are changing, will soon be changing.

Here's what will now be allowed below 10,000 feet. You will be able to use a tablet, a laptop, you'll be able to use eReaders, cellphones in the airplane mode. You'll be able to use wi-fi and Bluetooth once you reach 10,000 feet.

So that's now approved for use -- you know, when you're landing and taking off. Cell phones in the airplane mode is key here. You won't be able to send emails, shouldn't send emails or text with your cellphone during takeoff and landing.

What's not OK during the flight, at any time, is chatting on your cellphone, cellphone calls that's still not OK for flight. But the FAA basically saying after years of exhaustive research that they don't think that these things are going to interfere with the communications of the plane, Kristie.

LU STOUT: OK, got it.

And what do these new rules mean for international air travelers?

ROMANS: It means that if you're on a U.S. carrier and the U.S. carrier is probably by the end of the year we'll see the U.S .carriers showing the FAA that they'll be able to follow these guidelines, probably starting some time early next year international travelers on these U.S. airlines will be able to use these new relaxed rules, you'll be able to use your electronic devices, you'll be able to read downloadable material or play games on takeoff and landing.

And that is a real big change for some travelers and big change for international travelers.

It's interesting, because right now most countries have the same kind of rules that the FAA does, whether they have these big restrictions on the use of these devices. I think what you'll probably see is other countries, then, will also follow suit or will start to go down the path of the FAA and the United States have taken here.

LU STOUT: And when will we be able to fire up our devices from gate to gate while traveling in the United States? I mean, because there's going to be sort of a slow implementation process, right?

ROMANS: Right. So you've already got Delta and JetBlue have already petitioned the government to be allowed to do this. We've got other companies that have been getting -- slowly getting as well probably by the end of the year. I think the experts who watch this, Kristie, are saying that probably by the end of the year you're going to be able to -- I mean, today, certainly I think there are going to be a lot of people who when they're told to power down are not going to power down. And we know that surveys have shown that about a third of people don't power down anyway if they can get away with it.

But it will be official and allowed probably starting in the beginning of the year.

LU STOUT: Yeah, well, these new FAA rules welcome news for many, many travelers out there. Christine Romans joining us live from New York. Thank you, take care.

Now this man, he knows a thing or two about communicating while on flight. Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. He gained an extensive Twitter following during his time in the International Space Station. He provided people with a behind the scenes look at life in space with photos and YouTube videos like this one.

But you may know Hadfield from his music video.




LU STOUT: I can't get enough of that clip.

Now Hadfield has now written a book. It's called "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything."

And he joins us live from CNN New York.

Commander Hadfield, welcome to CNN International. Thank you for joining us.

And let's talk about another video, one of your first YouTube videos, it's when you opened a can of nuts in space. And when we looked at it, it looked like a bunch of buzzing insects inside. And when that video, when you shared it to the world, we aired it right here on this program.

And I wanted to ask you, what inspired you to take these videos and to share these videos from space?

CHRIS HADFIELD, RETIRED CANADIAN ASTRONAUT: Kristie, thanks for having me on.

The experience of flying in space is right on the edge of miraculous. It's an amazing human experience. And I've flown three times in space and I wanted to share the experience to the best of my ability, but this time I was living on the space station for almost half a year. And I had a chance to really have not only the time to do it, but the technology to do it, the bandwidth.

And so when I opened that can of nuts and I looked inside and it looked like a whole bunch of bees buzzing around inside, I thought that really looks cool. And if it looks cool to me, I bet you it would look cool to everybody on Earth. And so I just did a quick iPad video of it really -- really just 10 or 15 seconds and it turned out millions and millions of people watched that YouTube. They all agreed, that's a really cool looking thing.

And when you start people thinking about the differences of exploration, about what you can do when you take away gravity, not only do your peanuts float around, but you can do experiments and think of things that you just never would have thought of on Earth. So I just tried to open up the doors and let people on board.

LU STOUT: Yeah, I'm so glad that you did that. And also in your book I read that you gave props to your son, Evan, for giving you that social media nudge, which is nice.

Let's talk about Major Tom next. I mean, that video it went viral in a big way. How are you able to sing in space and play the guitar, again, in zero gravity. What was that like?

HADFIELD: It's hard to play guitar without gravity. It floats. For the guitar players out there, when you move your hand a fret and down the neck the whole guitar takes off with you and it's kind of noisy and poppy.

But it was my son Evan's idea to record Space Oddity. He's a -- I don't know, a social media expert, or a savant. And he really assisted me greatly. And it was his idea to do this video. And I recorded the audio and then I did the video afterwards. And, gosh, when you look at all the rebroadcasts it's hundreds of millions of people have seen that now. So Evan had a really good idea. All fathers should listen to their sons.

LU STOUT: I like that.

Now you said being an astronaut is like -- it's a job full of dreams, but it's also a dangerous job. And there's one story in particular, I was wondering if you can share it with us. It was when you went out during a space walk and your eyes started to well up with tears and that was an event that nearly killed you. Tell us what happened.

HADFIELD: Yeah, there was contamination inside my spacesuit that got in one eye and caused it to just be painful and tear really badly so I couldn't use it. And then the contaminated tears crossed across the bridge of my nose and went into my other eye until both my eyes were -- you know, if you squirted something caustic into your eyes.

And it took a long time to solve -- well, relatively long time, somewhere like a half hour, which seemed like a long time when I was blind hanging on the outside of a spaceship.

But I had expert help from mission control. I had another spacewalker out there with me.

But the real key to it is how do you handle fear? And how -- a lot of people live fearful lives, because they are afraid to prepare for something or visualize it or think about it. And what really saved the day there was the preparation. And that's really what the book focuses on quite a bit as well is how do you recognize the things that are a threat to you, how do you prepare for them properly so that when they do happen they don't just turn you into a, you know, a crying mess, but actually into someone who can deal with it and can lead a life despite some fears.

LU STOUT: Were you ever afraid while in space or during a space walk? And did that fear ever make you pull back from considering doing another journey into space?

HADFIELD: I think I would have been. If they just -- if they just grabbed you, Kristie, off the street and stuck you in a spaceship and said you're going to launch in 10 minutes and if you push the wrong button you'll die it would be terrifying.

But what we do instead is we take very qualified people and we train them for like a decade of super accurate simulation and visualizing disaster constantly, visualizing failure so that you really get used to the idea this may fail, this may fail, and therefore I know and I've learned exactly what I'm supposed to do when that thing happens.

And it doesn't just work in spaceships, I mean it works just generally in my life. And that's part of the reason for writing the book was to look at the way that NASA and the space agencies prepare us for what would be inherently terrifying and yet where you can be calm and do the right things as a result.

And so the answer to your question is, no, the only time I was ever scared in space was when I saw a meteorite enter over Australia, a big one, a big shooting star. And that kind of sent a shiver up my back thinking about that that big dumb lump of rock could have just as easily hit our spaceship.

But otherwise, no, it's not a scare inducing experience if you get yourself ready.

LU STOUT: But great advice there from an astronaut to all of us just how to handle fear. In other words, just gaming out all the various scenarios and to always be prepared.

And I also wanted to ask you, Commander Hadfield, what was it like to adjust to life back on earth? And how do you feel now knowing -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- now that you'll never go back into space again?

HADFIELD: You know, when people ask me before the flight, I kept telling them, oh it'll take about the same number of days on Earth as it took for days in space to recover. That sounded nice in theory, but when I got back I realized, oh I've got five months of rehabilitation to go. And it really did take about five months.

At first, you just feel awful. You feel nauseous, weak, it's like you're just recovering from a bad illness on top of being on a really wild ride at the fair.

But it took about four months before I could run again properly, where my body could get the blood lifted against gravity back up to my head so that running felt normal.

The only real lingering thing is growing bone back. We've almost stopped osteoporosis caused by weightlessness. As I sit here my body is growing my hip bones back, my body is reversing osteoporosis. So it's a great laboratory rat of a human body that they can study.

And then to answer the final part of your question, I feel immensely satisfied with the space flight experiences that I've been on. I flew three times. I worked as an astronaut for 21 years. I supported so many flights helping other flights be successful and helping other astronauts' families. I can look back on it all as just a wonderful part of life. And it really gives me a lot of confidence and capabilities now for the next 30 or 40 years of my life and hopefully be able to continue to do thing that I think are worthwhile.

LU STOUT: For sure.

And a final question for you. We know that next week, India will launch the Mars probe. What are your thoughts on that and where you think space exploration should go next?

HADFIELD: I think the space station is a wonderful example of how we might do this. It's an international cooperative effort by countries that don't cooperate on everything else, that have been enemies not very long ago. It provides a very visible example going across the morning and evening sky all around the world of what we can do when we do things right.

I really commend India for their space program and for the launches that are coming up. Mars is a fascinating place. The Curiosity Rover that NASA put up there in the last month found that in every block of dirt about this big, about as big as a piece of paper in a cube, in every one of those blocks of dirt there's a liter of water. Mars has oceans of water just under the surface. And it has the biggest volcano in the solar system.

So anywhere on Earth that there's heat and water, there's life. And so Mars is a pretty alluring target to go see if we're alone in the universe or not. And the more that we can cooperate on Earth to face the rest of the universe, I really think -- I've been around the world 2,500 times. I really think it provides a good example for everybody around the planet.

LU STOUT: Yeah, not many people can say that out there.

Well, Chris Hadfield, thank you so much for the conversation. I mean, you are a fun astronaut. And you also, I've got to say, a fine communicator. I think you so much for humanizing space and the experience out there through social media now through your new book. Thank you so much. Take care.

HADFIELD: Thank you very much. Nice to talk with you.

LU STOUT: All right, you're watching CNN International. This is News Stream. We'll be back right after the break.


LU STOUT: All right, welcome back.

Now in Niger, three days of national mourning have been declared for the 92 migrants whose bodies were found in the Sahara Desert. Most of the victims were women and children.

now a non-governmental organization says that they died of dehydration after their vehicles broke down.

Now Vladimir Duthiers reports.


VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the latest tragedy to befell African migrants simply trying to find a better life for themselves and their families. At least 92 bodies recovered in the Sahara Desert, almost all of them women and children.

According to the NGO group Synergy, the migrants were trying to reach Algeria. But at some point in the journey their vehicles broke down in the unforgiving conditions of the desert. Stranded, without any means of escape, the migrants slowly died of thirst.

When they were found, many of the bodies were badly decomposed and appeared to have been partial eaten by wild animals.

Now the migrants were trying to leave a terrible existence in Niger, a country that is second from the bottom in the UN human development index. Now over the years Niger has suffered droughts, floods, locust infestations that destroy meager crops and chronic food insecurity.

The World Bank puts the annual per capita income at just $360, that's less than a dollar per day.

Conditions are so bad, life expectancy there is only 57.5 years. And those are the conditions that drove these migrants to risk a journey across one of the world's harshest terrains, a journey that came to a tragic end.

Vladimir Duthiers, CNN, Lagos.


LU STOUT: Very desperate and tragic situation there.

Now let's give you your global weather forecast. And in particular we're tracking the typhoon Krosa with Mari Ramos. She joins us at the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, good to see you.

You know what, we're going to go ahead and -- first of all, just something on this typhoon, because it has been a pretty dangerous typhoon already as it was crossing the northern portion of the Philippines, but now here we are a day later it's made its way across the South China Sea.

For you guys in Hong Kong, I know you're watching it closely. You have the typhoon one signal hoisted already. That means a typhoon is nearby. It could affect you. But I think the effects of this storm in this case will be indirect effects for you guys in Hong Kong.

We'll show you the forecast in just a moment. But let's talk about the Philippines. Clear conditions now, but you can see as that storm was moving on through some pretty significant rainfall totals. 250 millimeters of rain in Aparri to the north. Winds over 100 kilometers per hour. Laoag, similar situation, 122 millimeters of rain.

You know what, we have video to show you what it looked like across the northern Philippines as the storm was moving on through. This is dash cam video. And I can't believe people were still out and about.

Winds were gusting to nearly 160 kilometers per hour at times. There are reports of flooding. There are reports of some damage to buildings, as you can see here. There were also some significant coastal flooding. And people that have to be moved to evacuation centers.

No fatalities that I know of so far, but there were some reports of injuries, conditions have improved significantly, and you can see how rough the seas were. Of course, this community, so many of them rely on the sea and transportation also. So, you know, we're starting to see quite an improvement across that area.

So come back over to the weather map, look at that, the outer bands of the storm are already approaching portions of southeastern China here, including Hong Kong.

Overnight, don't be surprised if you get a passing rain shower. Then it will clear up again.

But the forecast itself has the storm headed west and then south, we think, possibly more toward Hainan But we'll just have to see what happens.

Tomorrow will be a critical day to see exactly what path the storm takes. It could be close to you as it moves just directly south of you about 24 hours from now. So be very, very vigilant throughout the day tomorrow in that area.

Other places to watch, we're still looking at relatively drier weather across much of eastern China. And in Beijing, we did have a little passing rain shower, nothing too significant to give you any kind of break from the pollution.

Some very heavy rain across northern Argentina and Uruguay. We're still seeing the potential for some severe weather coming across these areas.

Look in Cordoba, they had over 90 millimeters of rain, that's more than their average. That's just in one day they got more than a month's worth of rain.

That could be possible across some of these others areas as we head even into Saturday, Kristie, the rainfall totals could be significant.

Overall, this is beneficial rain, because it has been very dry here, but we could also see some significant flooding and still the potential for some strong winds.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Mari Ramos there. Thank you.

Now coming up right here on News Stream, an angry confrontation between a mayor and the media.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it off my property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it off my property.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, thank you. Thank you very much.


LU STOUT: That is the mayor of Toronto. And he is hounded over allegations that he smoked crack cocaine.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now for months now, the mayor of Canada's biggest city has repeatedly denied allegations that he smoke crack cocaine, but now Toronto police say that they have recovered a video. And they suggest it appears to show Rob Ford doing just that.

Now Adrienne Aresenault of CBC news has the details.


FORD: What don't you understand? Get off the property, partner.

ADRIENNE ARSENAULT, REPORTER, CBC NEWS: Clearly fed up with pesky reporters and clearly Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sensed this would be a bad day.

FORD: Get off -- get off my property.


ARSENAULT: Within hours, a seismic statement from police. They have a video. It is consistent with one talked about for months allegedly to show Ford smoking crack cocaine at the house in this picture. It's the photo of Ford with drug and gang figures, one who is now dead.

CHIEF BILL BLAIR, TORONTO POLICE: The digital video file that we have recovered depicts images which are consistent with those that have previously been reported in the press.

ARSENAULT: Chief Bill Blair added the video does show Ford and for a police chief trying to be careful, he then offered an opinion.

BLAIR: I think I just said I'm disappointed. I know this is a traumatic issue for the citizens of this city and for the reputation of this city. And that concerns me.

ARSENAULT: Does the video concern the mayor? When news of it first broke in May, there was a robust denial.

FORD: I did not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I've never seen or does not exist.

ARSENAULT: A far more subdued mayor.

FORD: I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately, I can't because it's before the courts.

ARSENAULT: What he now knows is that there are actually two relevant video files police picked up in a June raid. Videos that had been deleted but have since been recovered by the cops. A close associate of the mayor, Alexander Lisi, sometimes called the mayor's occasional driver, was arrested on charges of extortion in connection with the video.

Torontonians are starting to know Lisi, an alleged drug dealer, his name, with Ford's, pepper more than 400 pages of court documents and surveillance images released. Documents heavily redacted. Hundreds more pages may come soon.

So any charges against Rob Ford? No. The police say there's nothing in the video or the documents to support a charge and that they have tried to talk with as many people as possible, but some have refused. Rob Ford it seems has not spoken with the police but they won't say why that is.

Adrienne Arsenault, CBC News, Toronto.


LU STOUT: And that wasn't the only big story about cocaine to come out of Canada this week. Now we all know that Thursday was Halloween. And just take a look at what officials at the Montreal airport found. Now officials say that these three pumpkins were stuffed with 2 kilos of cocaine. Now border agency officers, they came across them while searching the luggage of a female traveler at the city's international airport. And police there are conducting an investigation.

That is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.