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Super Typhoon Haiyan Pounds Philippines; Secretary of State Kerry in Switzerland; Mayor of Toronto Smoked Cracke Cocaine

Aired November 8, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: What are you seeing?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, at this point, yes, as you say, Suzanne, it is 1:30 in the morning, and we understand the sun comes up here at about 5:00 a.m. So until that time, officials really don't know what they have to deal with.

Now the second the light comes up, we're told by the military, they will be getting helicopters in the air to try and find out exactly where the worst hit areas are, and obviously, where the most remote places are, as well and where people need food, water and medicine.

Now, ahead of time, they have actually gone to some of these more remote areas and had given some basic supplies, thinking that maybe they would be cut off once this super typhoon hit. Certainly there's a hope that has helped the situation.

Schools were shut today. Offices were shut. The hope is many people would have gone into these evacuation centers. The hope, as well, is that these centers would have been sturdy enough to withstand the sort of winds we saw with this super typhoon.

Certainly in some of the smaller areas and some of these small villages, these houses may not have the stood a chance. They are not rich areas. It's not a particularly rich country, so certainly some of these houses would have been battered.

We've seen the footage of roofs flying off from some of the less well off houses. We're seeing trees falling across the roads, so the roads have to be cleared before some aid can get to where need.

We are also seeing flooded areas. So it really is a case of waiting until the sun comes up and then the search and rescue can operation can begin.

MALVEAUX: Considering this is a group of 7,000 islands that makes up the Philippines, you talk about people evacuating. How does that work and where do they go?

HANCOCKS (via telephone): Well, certainly in some of these areas, there wouldn't be anywhere to evacuate to.

If you're on a tiny island, you have to leave that island. There's not necessarily a more substantial area to wait out the storm within a tiny area they would have been on. There's only a handful of islands that are actually populated, so the officials are hoping they put enough groundwork in beforehand to make sure that these areas would have been evacuated.

They made sure people weren't going to stay in their houses if they were right on the beach. We have seen footage of some houses actually being destroyed by the storm surge and some flimsy houses being collapsed and just taken away by the waves, so certainly the hope is that those people moved on. People in low-lying areas were encouraged to go to higher areas because of that storm surge.

And I think there was enough warning, certainly, from the president, as well. He gave a televised speech which is fairly unusual, so the Philippines is no stranger to these typhoons. Hopefully they realized this one was going to be very deadly.

MALVEAUX: Paula, please be safe. We understand the president said the country is facing a calamity. It is that serious of a situation there.

Paula, thank you. We will get back to you as soon as you have more.

And, as you mentioned, of course, the light of day coming, just hours away, we'll get a better sense of what's taking place, the damage on the ground.

This is an amazing thing. Google has set up an online tool. This is to help locate people who are missing from the typhoon or separated from their families. What it is, it's called Person Finding -- Finder, rather, and it's set up specifically for this storm. So if you've got information about somebody or looking for somebody, I want you to go to this Web site to launch the Person Finder.

You've got to type the address all in lower case. That's important. Person Finder through Google to get connected to your loved ones there.

And this incredible rescue video coming in, the Philippine coast guard had to save at least 14 crew members. You see them there in the orange life jackets. These were aboard two cargo barges. This is off the island of Bohol.

Now, strong waves from the typhoon pushed the vessels off balance. And officials say that one crew member jumped into the sea. That crew member is still missing. You can imagine, when you see the waves, just how dangerous that situation is.

So there is now a rescue operation going on right now, trying to find that person in the water. I mean, this is just a -- this is a tough situation all around for a lot of people who are over there in that that part of the world.

Coming up, the Philippines, one of the most disaster-hit countries in the world, now it is dealing with the aftermath of one of the strongest storms ever to hit this year.

And it begs the question, is this all about climate change? Does that have something to do with this? That's next on AROUND THE WORLD.


MALVEAUX: In the Philippines, a chilling message, this is the message. "Airplane ruined. Need assistance." That is the last communication that was heard from the Tacloban airport. That is a result of the Super Typhoon Haiyan after it hit.

There are widespread power outages, and not even authorities are able to figure it out to contact some people in various areas. They're concerned that these sheet metal roofs that are being ripped off houses are essentially turning into flying weapons.

It is now night in the Philippines. Break of day, daylight, will begin in a couple of hours, likely to see a lot more damage and destruction as the light of day begins.

It is -- want to listen to the country's secretary-general of the National Red Cross, what he said about the popular tourist resort of Boracay.


KATHY NOVAK, REPORTER (voice-over): We were told that about 90 percent of the infrastructures and establishments were heavily damaged.

We have sent some video clips and photos of what happened on the ground.

The wind was very strong, and there was a storm surge in Tacloban, or Leyte, which is the place where the typhoon made landfall. Until now, we cannot contact them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many of these provinces have no electricity and the communication has been cut. Some of the electricity has actually been cut off by the storm itself, and some was preventatively shutoff, but even authorities are having trouble reaching their counterparts in these badly hit regions there.

There's a total blackout of power in Bohol. Of course, that's the area where more than -- a few hundred people were killed in an earthquake just last about, and about 5,000 of those people are still living in tents in Bohol.

And they've been experiencing aftershocks since last month, and they're now sheltering in these evacuation centers that have themselves to be checked to make sure that they're still structurally sound after the earthquake.

We heard on the radio here, the civil aviation authority of the Philippines hasn't been able to make contact with some of the badly hit areas, including Tacloban. And the last message from Tacloban airport was a telex saying, "Airport ruined, need assistance."

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: So right now, at least one airport apparently wiped out in the Philippines. This is -- you know, it's only going to get worse and potentially very heartbreaking when you think about the kind of damage that we're going to see when the sun comes up.

Chad Myers is here to talk about where this storm is actually being tracked. And we know these are 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines, but, as Paula said, you know, a lot of these islands are not really inhabited by folks.

Where are the people located and where is this storm headed?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Most of the Philippines down south in the central islands Republican sparsely populated.

I'm going to say, you know, cities and towns of 100,000, 10,000, because that number increases so dramatically when you get from Manila northward.

This is the population center here that did not receive the eye. That's the only good news coming out of this entire thing.

Let's go back to when it made landfall right there. This whole side of the islands here had storm surges of at least 60 feet. We know that. So there's nothing left of any of those communities that were on water. They're completely washed away.

And let's talk about Katrina and we're going to compare Katrina to this storm. Katrina making landfall at 125, Super Typhoon Haiyan at 195. That seems -- well, you know, hey, like 70-mile-per-hour difference.

But here's the thing. Because the power of wind increases by the cube, you know, that little thing back in high school you "x-to-the-three" power? You have to multiply this out.

Hurricane Katrina, compared to Hurricane -- the power of Haiyan was 3.7 times the power of Katrina. If there was actually the wind gusts that they were predicting at 235, that would make Haiyan's wind gusts six times more powerful than the entire storm of Katrina when Katrina made landfall.

You can't put your head around three or six. How can something be three times worse than Katrina? That's what these people are still dealing with now.

The storm has moved away from the islands. It's getting a little bit better, but it's moving into the South China Sea and eventually right up here, right into the Vietnam and taking a little bit of a turn here at Ho Chi Minh City, but finally losing some power as it gets closer to Vietnam because it's going to get over land.

MALVEAUX: And, Chad, you know, it's hard to imagine. because you talk about just how huge this thing is.

And every time there's another storm, Super Storm Sandy, Katrina, you think, can it get any bigger? And this is another -- this is an just extraordinarily big storm here. Does this have anything to do with climate change and the fact that globe is warming?

MYERS: Yeah, you know, you can't blame one storm on climate change, but you just made a reference to so many.

Can you reference that Sandy, Katrina, Wilma, Gilbert, this thing, can you put climate change on the menu? Certainly when you've got that many things. You can't blame one storm on climate change. Any climatologist will tell you that.

But when you start adding up everything, you hit me so many times with a hammer, I'm going to tell you to stop. And I think that's what we're getting here, this getting hit on the head with a hammer. Every single time, these storms are the biggest, the biggest, the biggest, the deepest, whatever. Something's to blame.

MALVEAUX: Yeah. Yeah, this could be the biggest ever. Thank you, Chad. Appreciate it.

If you are impacted by the storm, if you are in an area where you are seeing things and you want to share your story, because we would like to tell your story from your perspective, as well, on the ground, if you know people who are there, please send us your videos or your pictures.

We want to know how you're doing. Make sure, you know, you are still safe while you're doing this. Please visit CNN iReport for more.


MALVEAUX: Secretary of State John Kerry is in Switzerland right now at what some analysts call the verge of a break-through with Iran over their nuclear program. Now, Kerry dropped all plans today to rush to the talks and so did top diplomats from France, Britain and Germany.

Now, a deal on the negotiating table in Geneva would ease some sanctions against Iran if, only if the country takes some pretty big steps like freezing uranium production and getting rid of the uranium it already has.

I want to bring in Nick Burns, he is a lifetime diplomat, professor at the international relations for Harvard, senior columnist for the global policy and a former U.S. ambassador to NATO.

So Nick, good to see you. All things here on U.S. and Iran, it's extraordinary when you think about it. You got John Kerry, secretary Kerry in Geneva right now. The EU calling these talks rather intense. Do you see a potential break through?

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: I think, Suzanne, it is a potential break through. You know, it's been 34 years since we've had a sustained conversation. It's been 7 1/2 years since the Bush and Obama administrations have been trying to negotiate. And today is a day where the administration could achieve what they're calling a partial or limited deal. Iran would suspend its current enrichment efforts in return for which the United States and other countries would lift not all the sanctions, they are not even the most serious sanctions, but some limited sanctions. I think it's a sensible way for the administration to proceed. We'll see if they can get the deal and the negotiations under way right now.

MALVEAUX: How important is it for Israel to be on board? Because we've heard some very strong statements from Benjamin Netanyahu who is very much against the idea of the talk and the negotiations and disagreement calling it a monumental mistake. Does Israel need to be on board to make this happen?

BURNS: It doesn't need to be on board but it's desirable. I think a lot of people are very sympathetic to the concerns Israelis have. And if Iran gets nuclear weapons capability, it's a fundamental threat to the Israelis themselves. But you know, it's better to argue in private not in public. When prime minister Netanyahu went public in such a bold way when he separated himself from the United States, it did hurt the cause. It's better for the United States and Israel to be standing together. And I think that the prime minister went too far because this deal hasn't even been finished yet. It hasn't been announced. And Israeli interests would be to support the United States in trying to leverage Iran and we'll do that much better with Israel beside us, not arguing with the United States.

MALVEAUX: And Nick, finally, you and I were at a dinner last night in which the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger spoke about this. And he said the one thing is if you take the nuclear problem off the table, there will be no problems between the United States and Iran. Do you agree? Do you think it's true?

BURNS: Well. I do think it's true. You know, if this problem can be resolved, it's going to take months to do. They are months ahead of us even if a partial deal is made today, Suzanne . Then, the United States and Iran have a lot to talk about in Afghanistan, in Syria, and Iraq and there's a promise that we could go far forward and finally having some kind of sensible relationship with Iran. But the Iranians need to make it possible by making these compromises today and in the future in Geneva.

MALVEAUX: All right, Nick Burns, good to see you as always.

Thanks, Nick. Appreciate it.

BURNS: Thank you, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: We're going to have more on super typhoon straight ahead.

Plus, just days admitting he smoked crack cocaine, Toronto's embattled mayor now explaining more bizarre behavior. We're going to play the video up for you up next.


MALVEAUX: It's hard to imagine a rougher week for the mayor of a major city, Rob Ford finally fessing up that he actually did smoke crack cocaine after months of denying media reports that he was actually caught on camera doing just that. He told reporters that he smoked crack during what he called a drunken stupor and now the mayor of Toronto is trying to explain more bizarre behavior. Watch this.


MALVEAUX: This video obtained by the "Toronto Star" newspaper shows Mayor Rob Ford staggering around, ranting and swearing and threatening to kill some guy. Nobody actually knows who he's talking about. And his response to this tape has been, I was drunk.


MALVEAUX: So despite admitting that he smoked crack, despite admitting that he's prone to drunken stupors, and despite the denials and apology, well, the mayor Rob Ford says he's not stepping down, that he is staying exactly where he is, staying put.

So we've got the perfect guy to talk about all this Don Goldberg. He ran damage control at the White House during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

And Don, I remember covering that very well, it was a bizarre time to be covering the White House. But the president survived it, he moved on. He's doing very well. Is there a difference here? I mean, you know, how would you counsel this guy compared to Bill Clinton?

DON GOLDBERG, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION DAMAGE CONTROL SPECIALIST: Well, President Clinton had his issues but a lot of it had to do with he could admit the relationship he had with women including Lewinsky. The problem with the mayor of Toronto is you don't know what's going to happen next. And while it's great theater as a crisis management person, it's a very difficult situation to get your arms around. You don't know what's going to happen next.

MALVEAUX: So, he is admitting to everything, right? I mean.

GOLDBERG: Finally, yes.

MALVEAUX: President Clinton didn't admit to match in up in the beginning. But certainly, this guy is admitting to everything. Does that help or hurt him in his cause?

GOLDBERG: I think you could argue that it helps him. The issue is, what does he do about it now? He's got to show compassion, some contrition. He has done a little bit of that, but what's the path forward? He can't or at least he hasn't shown any willingness to go into any kind of counseling or rehab. He's got his family members, his mother out there talking. None of this is good. In president Clinton's case, the issue is how are you going to handle the cover-up and lie. This is a much trickier situation. But, he's told what's, at least we think he had told what has happened so far so that's a step in the right direction.

MALVEAUX: I'm a little alarmed by video, the last video you saw there. Because I don't know what to make of that. There is no context for that. Should people be afraid of him? Should they think he's violent? Should they take him at his word that he wants to hurt somebody?

GOLDBERG: I couldn't tell what was going on either. He clearly has anger management issues and probably some substance, alcohol issues. And I think, you know, even though we are in a society, we've become more tolerant of drug use but crack cocaine is a different issue. Something crack is not a good thing. If you take those all together, yes, this is a character you probably don't want as your mayor, quite honestly.

MALVEAUX: And at this point, how long does he survive? How long does this go? Does he need -- does something else need to come out to be a smoking gun? You think using crack and threatening people would be enough.

GOLDBERG: Yes, I don't know. He clearly has shown no willingness to want to step down. You know, his attitude essentially is let the constituents, the voters tell me whether I'm a good mayor or not. He seems to have some support there, at least from voters, not from the any of the observers. I think if anything else comes out, he's definitely going to have to get out of there. But I think he's holding on for dear life.

MALVEAUX: Rob Ford, thank you so much. Appreciate your perspective. We'll be following this story and see how it goes.

Well, that That is it for AROUND THE WORLD. Have a great weekend. "CNN NEWSROOM" starts now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right now, millions of people are feeling the wrath of a monster typhoon, possibly the strongest storm ever to make landfall anywhere on earth. We'll show you remarkable images from space and the storm zone.

Also right now, we are just moments away from President Obama, he's live in New Orleans. Will be in just a moment. He is scheduled to give a speech on the economy and infrastructure. But he may also have more to say on problems with the affordable care act.

And bright now on Wall Street, the Dow is up. Today's jobs report shows an unexpected surge in hiring last month. Still the official unemployment rose slightly to 7.3 percent.