CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

USS George Washington Arrives In Philippines; Controversy Over Sri Lanka Hosted Commonwealth Summit; Embattled Toronto Mayor Ford Refuses To Step Down; Worldwide Child Pornography Ring Exposed By Police; Janet Yellen Faces Senate Confirmation Hearing

Aired November 14, 2013 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, the survivors tales. As aid begins to arrive in the Philippines nearly a week after the storm, we report on the condition of the tens of thousands of typhoon survivors living in a state of misery.

Also ahead, going on the offensive, troubled Canadian mayor lashes out at his critics and is even threatening to sue some of his former staffers. We'll have a live report from Toronto.

And JFK's legacy: how America's 35th president continues to impact the country 50 years after his assassination.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.

FOSTER: The U.S. military is helping to bring medical relief and supplies to some of the hard to reach areas of the Philippines. The George Washington aircraft carrier arrived off the coast of Samar Island this Thursday along with seven support vessels. They offer a big boost to recovery efforts as they have helicopters that can get to more remote areas. Those supplies will begin to make their way inland in the coming hours.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has begun the grim task of burying some of those killed in mass graves. Officials say it's a temporary measure until the bodies can be identified.

The latest death toll figure stands at around 2,300. But with hundreds of people in provinces still unaccounted for, the U.S. estimates that that number will rise.

In the devastated city of Tacloban, aid is beginning to trickle through. But as our Nick Paton Walsh reports, the situation on the ground here can only be described as grim at best.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: If you needed evidence on how shattered the community of Tacloban City is, all you have to do is look at the darkness behind me. No light, very few signs of life in the dark. When you drive through, you see flickers of flames in the skeletons of what's left behind of buildings.

We drove through before dusk. I saw one government truck handing out food to long queues of people. The sheer volume of people looking for that kind of nourishment shows you what level of frustration there must be on the streets.

And yet again, we saw lining the sides of the roads dozens of corpses. The government says these are fresh, brought out every day by locals in a bid to have them cleaned up. We've seen many similar, though, day by day still left in place.

I saw the first truck I've seen -- In fact, at all, picking these bodies up and taking them away. That's a key health issue for those who've chosen to stay behind in Tacloban.

Many seeking to flee through the airport, getting on buses. Constantly, you'll see people with their suitcases just trying to get away, because there's very little really here to support life.

That aid effort is mounting. It's increasing in pace, but it's a challenge to the Philippine government to get the resources given to them by the international community out to the people faster now.

The USS George Washington due to arrive imminently. That's got 5,000 U.S. sailors on board and dozens of U.S. aircraft. That'll boost the capacity of the Philippine government, but it's not really going to make that transformation of the quality of the aid effort here that those staying behind really need.

Anger mounting. And day by day, the risk of disease picking up in this devastated community.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tacloban, the Philippines.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: A lack of supplies and no electricity is making a hard situation virtually impossible for doctors trying to treat the wounded.

Those who survived the storm have been flocking to makeshift hospitals for treatment and in some cases, just a shelter.

Anderson Cooper visited a clinic at Tacloban airport to see firsthand the conditions people are coping with.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): It's like this every day now. In this overcrowded clinic at Tacloban Airport, there are too many people, not enough supplies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a little bit chaotic because...

COOPER (on camera): It looks very chaotic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. As you can see, we don't have any medicines. We don't have any supplies. We have I.V. fluids, but it's running out. And most of the people here doesn't have water and food. That's why they come here. Most of the kids are dehydrated. Most of them are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Katrina Catavae (ph) has been here for three days. It feels much longer.

(on camera): What do you need here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mostly need food and water. That's the most important supplies that we need for all the people.

COOPER: So you don't even have enough food and water for the sick people coming?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.

COOPER (voice-over): More people just keep coming in.

Captain Lelanlol Abagnol (ph) stitches up a man injured in the typhoon. Used bandages lie in a pile on the floor. Nearby, a member of the Philippine military reads names off a list of those who get to be evacuated today.

(on camera): So who gets to be evacuated right away? What makes someone eligible?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, like the elderly, the children that are sick.

COOPER (voice-over): For some, the wait is too long. This man died last night. He lies on a gurney at the end of the hall. They have no place else to put him.

A mother plays with her child, and in a tiny side room, three babies have been born in the last three days.

(on camera): It's a very beautiful baby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a boy.

COOPER: I know. He's very beautiful.

(voice-over): A healthy baby boy named Haiyan, named for a storm he will know nothing about.

Anderson Cooper, CNN, Tacloban, Philippines.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, the UN is appealing for more than $300 million in international aid for the Philippines. So far, more than $117 million has been pledged by more than 30 countries and organizations along with thousands of private donations from around the world.

But the lion's share of the funding comes from four sources: the UN, the U.K., the U.S. and Australia. They're providing nearly three-quarters of the promised aid so far.

If you would like to help those affected by the typhoon, do log on to our impact your world website. There you'll find links to vetted charities and aid groups working to help those affected by the storm. That's CNN.com/impact.

Still to come tonight, push over the line: Toronto's embattled mayor says it's all too much. We'll have a live report over the latest controversy.

Shiite Muslims across the world celebrate the festival of Ashura. But the day brings misery for many.

And the woman up for the top job at the powerful U.S. Federal Reserve had to get through a Senate grilling today. How she fared just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Now the U.S. Senate began confirmation hearings for Janet Yellen today. She's hoping to make -- to take over from fed chairman Ben Bernanke when his term is up early next year. And the current fed vice chairman breezed through the questions and pointed to unemployment as her top concern.

Let's cross to Maggie Lake who has more from New York.

Is it getting more likely that she's going to get nominated, Maggie?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I think so, Max. From all accounts, as you said, she breezed through the testimony coming very prepared as is her reputation. But, listen, it's a tough job she's walking into. This is going to be one of the most powerful people in the global financial system who is going to be essentially operating without a roadmap.

She made it clear that she thinks the U.S. economy still needs stimulus, especially because unemployment remains stubbornly high. In addressing the quantitative easing, that unprecedented policy, she said bond buying, the benefits of it exceed the downfalls of it, the costs of it. So for the moment she thinks -- it appears she's still in favor of that.

But a lot of questions about how and when they're going to exit. And lawmakers did press her on that issue. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: But can it just continue indefinitely? I mean if the labor market doesn't improve to the point that you reach your target, how long can this continue. Do you agree that there has to be some point which we return to normal monetary policy?

JANET YELLEN, NOMINATED FOR FEDEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: So, I would agree that this program cannot continue forever, that there are costs and risks associated with the program. We're monitoring those very carefully. You noted potential risks to financial stability, and those are risks that we take very seriously.

The committee is focused on a variety of risks and recognizes that the longer this program continues, the more we will need to worry about those risks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAKE: So, we are getting closer to the exit, Max, but leaving the Fed the utmost flexibility in terms of when. So not necessarily December. We don't know when. They're going to look at all the data as it comes in. Again, jobs are going to be key.

She also made a point to say, listen, tapering is not tightening. Let's not confuse this. We are going to remain extremely accommodative for a very, very long time.

And to give you a sense of the -- why we all think she's going to get through, Max, is there were questions about the Fed policy, but really they also talked about things like income inequality and bank regulation, how to sort of, you know, prevent another crisis from happening. So that sort of tells you that a lot of them treating Janet Yellen like she is the de facto chairman, Max.

FOSTER: So when, if all goes as planned, will she be confirmed, do you think?

LAKE: Well, some are saying, because it looks like so many are in favor -- we really didn't see any opposition coming from the Republicans -- that the committee could vote on it and then maybe take it to the full senate perhaps as early as next week, which would probably be a relief for the Obama administration that is fighting so many problems on other fronts, if you get this key figure in place and a smooth transition, that's what's important for the markets, Max.

FOSTER: Maggie, thank you very much indeed.

Now, U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a major change in his signature health care act. The move allows Americans to keep their current insurance policy for one more year.

Obamacare has been troubled with botched website rollout and disappointing numbers of early participants.

Egypt's interim leaders are reviving ties with an old ally. Russia's foreign and defense ministers are in Cairo to discuss defense cooperation. Last month, Washington suspended part of its military aid to Egypt.

Tensions have been rising between the two countries since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsy. Russia's foreign minister had this to say earlier.

We'll bring you that later, but Russia is also cultivating its relations with Syria. An official statement said Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Thursday. Mr. Putin reportedly praised the Syrian leaders' willingness to be involved in peace talks.

Shiite Muslims across the world have been marking the holy day of Ashura. In Iraq, dozens of people were killed, though, as they celebrated. At least 27 died when a suicide bomber blew himself up in al-Sadiya (ph) around 120 kilometers from Baghdad. And a pair of blasts killed at least nine people in eastern Iraq as worshipers filled the streets.

Mohammed Jamjoom has more from Beirut.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Max, dozens were killed in Iraq on Thursday in sectarian attacks that were targeting Shiite pilgrims on one of the holiest days of the year in the Shiite Muslim calendar. Thursday was Ashura, a day which commemorates the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, a very holy day for Shiite Muslims, a day of severe sectarian violence in Iraq. It really highlights just how much the sectarian violence has increased over the last several months in Iraq. And it really shows just how much sectarianism has increased in the region in the last couple of years since the Syrian civil war has broken out.

Now on Thursday also Hezbollah, which is a Shiite militant group. Their secretary general Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech commemorating Ashura in southern Beirut and (inaudible), which is a stronghold of Hezbollah. He was there amongst a crowd of adoring people. He had heavy security around him. He spoke about how Hezbollah has participated in the Syrian civil war and said that Hezbollah was not going to withdraw from the Syrian civil war, that they would stay there as long as was necessary.

Now here's another thing that shows just how much sectarian tensions have increased in the last few months in the region as a whole and how the Syrian civil war really seems to be adding fuel to that fire.

SAYYED HASSAN NASRALLAH, HEZBOLLAH LEADER (through translator): Our presence in Syria, the presence of our fighters and mujahedeen on the Syrian land, as we have said before it's to defend Lebanon and Palestine and the Palestinian cause in Syria, which in its turn defends the resistance.

JAMJOOM: One of the reasons Syria's civil war has unsettled so many in the region is because people are concerned that it could continue to spill over and become a region wide war. One of the reasons for that is because since Syria's civil war broke out, you've had Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, they are arch foes here in the region, they are vying for supremacy. The tensions between them are growing. And it's really having a dramatic affect on the region, people are very concerned about what might happen next as proxy battlefields get larger and the sectarian divisions in this region only deepen -- Max.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: World leaders are arriving in Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth summit, which opens on Friday in Colombo. Allegations against the government of war crimes are overshadowing the summit. The allegations stem from the bloody end in 2009 to Sri Lanka's long civil war.

The leaders of Canada, India and Mauritius are not attending. The Sri Lankan president insists he has nothing to hide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, SRI LANKAN PRESIDENT: If anyone who wants to complain about human rights violations in Sri Lanka, whether it is torture, whether it is rape, whether it is (inaudible) you must -- we must -- you all must respect the system of a country, the culture of a country.

So we are ready to look into these things. If there is any violations, we will take action against anybody, anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Live from London, this is Connect the World.

Coming up, the three year investigation into an alleged Toronto based sex abuse ring has resulted in the arrest of teachers, law enforcement officials and even a youth baseball coach.

And desperate for information, an update on the search for loved ones in the Philippines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: disturbing allegations of child abuse surfaced in Canada as police release the details of a three year investigation into a video company accused of distributing child pornography. Nearly 350 people were arrested. And officials say they rescued even more children from sexual abuse.

Nic Robertson now with the story from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The scale and scope of what the Canadian police are announcing as quite staggering, Operation Spade involved investigations by 50 different police forces around the world. It began with an investigation October 2010, the first arrest coming in May 2011 when the premises of an online and mail order video distribution service was raided in Toronto. It was distributing, they say, pornographic child video.

Some of the people caught up and involved in this are many of the people subsequently arrested, spanning a huge cross section of the community.

GERALD O'FARRELL, UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE: The investigations involving these customers span across all segments of society. They include an attorney and youth baseball coach in the state of Washington who plead guilty to producing more than 500 videos of children all under the age of 16 who he sexually molested.

A school employee located in Georgia who plead guilty to receiving child pornography and admitted to placing a hidden video camera on the rest rooms that students used in an effort to videotape their genitals.

A preschool teacher who plead guilty of producing child pornography while he was employed as a teacher in Japan with the victims being as young as 5-years-old.

Lastly, a police sergeant in Texas who plead guilty to producing a video with a child involved in sexually explicit conduct.

ROBERTSON: And the arrests haven't just stopped in the United States and Canada, there have been arrests in Ireland, in Spain, in Hong Kong, in Greece, and seven arrests just coming just as the Canadian police were making these announcements, seven more arrests in Sweden.

The Canadians say expect the investigations to continue. Expect, they say, there to be more arrests.

Over 380 children, they say, rescued from this child pornographic ring involving children as young as five. Some of the worst images ever seen by Canadian police when they've reviewed some of this material. They've recovered hundreds of thousands of still images, thousands of videos, 45 terabytes of data just from the person at the center of this child pornographic sex ring.

Nic Robertson, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: A horrendous story. And CNN has been a leader in highlighting stories such as this.

You can go to CNN's Freedom Project website to find out more. And also how you can help bring about change.

A team at Connect the World wants to hear from you generally on all of our stories: Facebook.com/CNNConnect. Have your say. You can also tweet me @MaxFosterCNN. You're thoughts please @MaxFosterCNN.

Lots of thoughts coming in on the Philippines, of course. And we also have a section on our website CNN.com/impact where you can find out how you can contribute to the cause in the Philippines. People worried about which charities to donate to, we have a list of better charities there for you.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, as the 50 year anniversary of JFK's assassination draws near, what questions remain about the popular U.S. president's death?

Plus, smiles in the aftermath of the storm. Meet the cheerleader in chief of this struggling orphanage in Tacloban.

And then the man who captured the attention of a billion people time and time again. A look at what's next for Sachin Tendulkar.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier George Washington has arrived in the Philippines giving a much needed boost to recovery efforts, but thousands of people remain in desperate need of aid. The official death toll from the storm is now more than 2,300 and is expected to rise.

The nominee to chair the U.S. Federal Reserve Janet Yellen has to get through questioning by U.S. lawmakers during today's Senate confirmation hearing. She defended the central bank's stimulus policies and pointed at unemployment as her top concern. Yellen is widely expected to be nominated.

President Barack Obama is urging U.S. lawmakers not to impose more sanctions on Iran. It comes after talks between world leaders and Tehran about its controversial nuclear program ended without agreement last week. Some in the U.S. congress want to increase pressure on Iran to tougher sanctions, but President Obama says that should only happen if diplomacy doesn't work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Other options remain, but what I've said to the members of congress is that if, in fact, we're serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically, because no matter how good our military is, military options are always messy, are always difficult, always have unintended consequences.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Let's stay with the U.S. and a former mobster has been given two life sentences. James "Whitey" Bulger had a hand in killing 19 people in South Boston during the 70s and 80s. During sentencing, the judge said his crimes were, quote, all the more heinous because they were all about money. Many in Boston never thought they'd see this day. That's because Bulger was at times protected by corrupt FBI officials. The 84-year-old gangster was arrested with his girlfriend after 16 years on the run.

Toronto's embattled mayor Rob Ford apologized earlier after making crude comments during a news conference. It comes a day after Toronto's city council voted for him to leave office, but Ford says he won't go. He also told reporters that he plans to sue former staffers for making claims against him.

Paula Newton has been following the saga. She joins us now from Toronto's city hall. And Paula, I've lost count of the apologies.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You and me both, Max.

You know, we've had several incidents today just from this morning that are just stunning. I want you to see the latest piece of video, though, and this is mayor Rob Ford after making his latest apology trying to escort his wife out of the press conference. I mean, listen to some of this.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWTON: I mean, he is yelling. He is shoving. He is pushing all in an effort to try and protect his wife, so he's trying to get her out of the press conference. Incredible.

Why did we get to this point today? Well, yesterday court documents revealed more allegations against the mayor. They involve more drug use, perhaps, being in the company of a prostitute, perhaps drunk driving. He claims all of these allegations are lies. And he is suing his former staffers who documented these details to police.

But that wasn't the punchline, Max, that came when he then went on to use incredibly vulgar language about oral sex involving what was alleged with him and a member of his former staff.

Max, at that point, he had to get out there and apologize. This happened early in the morning. Just a few hours later his wife, his lawyer at his side as he made this apology. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: I want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning. Yesterday I mentioned it was the second-worst day of my life except for the death of my father. For the past six months, I had been under tremendous, tremendous stress. The stress was largely of my own making.

I have apologized and I have tried to move forward. This has proven to be almost impossible. The revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts, prostitution, has pushed me over the line, and I used unforgivable language.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: It was certainly unforgivable, it was shocking. Clearly, his wife felt the same way. What is he all -- what is he doing after this, after he admits that he's basically becoming unhinged from all the stress? He's not stepping down, oh no. He's doubling down. And he has announced today that he will have a TV show with his brother that will debut next week. Max?

FOSTER: Paula, I need to ask you. We're all fascinated by this case. This is a person that we didn't know a few weeks ago. It's a very entertaining story for many people, but yesterday in that hearing, you got the sense of the seriousness that many Canadians view this. What is the general Canadian view of the international headlines around this man?

NEWTON: Well, it's embarrassing, it's scandalous. They know that there are more serious issues in Canada. This belies what has become a growing gun issue in Canada, a growing gang issue in Canada, a growing drug problem in Canada, least of which, in this city right here.

Not to mention the fact, Max, that we have billions of dollars on the table in terms of a budget for this city. Is any of that being looked at? Who knows?

The point here, though, Max, is that there doesn't seem to be anybody who can take control of the situation. It is an absolute train wreck, on display for the entire world, and no one seems to have the power to do anything about it.

And that is what is incredibly frustrating for Canadians, even Canadians who agree with his politics and sympathize with his situation. Many are looking at him saying this is a man who needs help. The public spectacle needs to stop and he needs to get help.

I will add, Max, that he said in that press conference in his office a little while ago that he does have what he described as a team of health care providers giving him support right now.

FOSTER: Paula Newton in Toronto. Thank you

It's been nearly a week since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, flattening whole communities with winds three and half times stronger than 2005's Hurricane Katrina in the US and with a wall of water that washed away nearly everything in its path.

Aid is beginning to arrive, but it can't get to those in desperate need of it fast enough. Across the country, tens of thousands of survivors are thirsty, hungry, and homeless, waiting for supplies to reach them.

And the misery on the ground, remarkable tails of resilience are emerging. Andrew Stevens went to visit an orphanage in the devastated city of Tacloban and met one man who's become a hero to many.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a city where everyone is asking for help, Erlend Johannesen is a special case. He runs the Streetlight Orphanage here in Tacloban, and he's looking for food and water.

ERLEND JOHANNESEN, DIRECTOR, STREETLIGHT ORPHANAGE: So we would last for 72 children and staff for the rest of the day --

STEVENS (on camera): And then what?

JOHANNESEN: And then -- well, right now, everyone's looking. We're organized. Everyone is divided into different departments.

STEVENS: But you're not seeing the organized relief that you need, correct?

JOHANNESEN: No, no, we're not. We're not.

STEVENS (voice-over): Today, he's responsible for 72 orphans. At the orphanage, the kids are unaware their food security is hanging by a thread. They do what kids do when they don't have to go to school: they play.

(KIDS PLAYING AND LAUGHING)

STEVENS: Erlend is also cheerleader in chief, keeping up morale. In fact, these kids are the happiest, most-relaxed ones I've seen here, despite a terrifying experience just five days ago.

STEVENS (on camera): On the night of the storm, Erlend took 72 children and led them up to the second floor to this balcony, here, where the waves were starting to actually crash over the balcony, and got them onto this roof, where they stayed until the storm had blown through. Everyone here was safe.

STEVENS (voice-over): Their well contaminated by seawater, they new face a new threat just as serious and just as real. Every day, Erlend and the older children search for supplies.

JOHANNESEN: Plenty of places they can go to, but when they go there, there's nothing there. We've been told go here, go there, go there, but --

STEVENS: They've collected stores, but it's not much.

STEVENS (on camera): This is now the most important room in the house: the food store. Cans of sardines, more sardines, we're told, nothing's labeled here. We believe that's some sort of tomato paste. But most important is water. There is only one day of supplies here.

STEVENS (voice-over): There's only one solution: to get out of town. Erlend is trying to arrange transport to get them all to safety. For now, though, he has to keep up their spirits, knowing that the crisis facing him and his children is a long way from over.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Tacloban City, Central Philippines.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: When Haiyan first made landfall, it struck a remote town in the Philippines called Guiuan. The town lies on the eastern edge of the central islands and has been all but cut off from the outside world ever since. That's left families separated and desperate too learn whether their loved ones are still alive. But as Ivan Watson reports, people haven't given up hope.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a grueling 22-hour journey by boat, Adel Siguan has finally reached her hometown, and she only has one thing on her mind.

ADEL SIGUAN, TYPHOON SURVIVOR: I bring water for my son.

WATSON: Adel wants to see her eight-year-old boy, who she hasn't even been able to talk to since the storm cut off ties to this remote fishing town nearly a week ago.

WATSON (on camera): Not knowing about your son, how has it felt for you?

SIGUAN: Of course I can't sleep, I can't eat. I can't eat. I can't really -- I don't know what to do because I'm eager to know what's happening to him.

WATSON (voice-over): Adel can't believe how the typhoon devastated her town. The storm crippled the local government.

WATSON (on camera): Any phones?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No communication whatsoever outside.

WATSON (voice-over): But local officials are improvising. They set up a service to fly handwritten messages to the outside world.

WATSON (on camera): Incredible. There's a note here for Cesar Montanses (ph), and it's one sentence, like a telegram. "Pedro Valdez and Hermino Badillo (ph) are OK and alive. From Johnny Badoko (ph)."

WATSON (voice-over): The typhoon brought down the roof and facade of this church the Spanish built here more than 400 years ago. But this Catholic priest calls it a blessing in disguise because no one was inside when the roof came tumbling down.

ANDY EGARGO, CATHOLIC PRIEST: The irony of this is people -- people's faith gets stronger every time calamities like this happen.

(CHILDREN LAUGHING)

WATSON: Certainly, Filipinos here have not lost their sense of humor. They joke with a stranger even though their homes are damaged and their stomachs are empty.

WATSON (on camera): But you guys -- you guys are still laughing. You can still laugh.

CHILDREN: Yes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laughter is the best medicine!

WATSON: The best medicine, yes?

WATSON (voice-over): Across town, Adel Siguan has almost completed her exhausting journey.

(CHILD SHOUTING)

WATSON: After a week of frightening uncertainty, the mother and her eight-year-old son are finally reunited.

WATSON (on camera): How do you feel right now?

SIGUAN: I'm so happy that my son is OK. Yes.

WATSON (voice-over): They are both alive and OK.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Guiuan, in the Philippines.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: For more on our coverage from the Philippines, do head to our website, cnn.com. We have all the latest updates as they come in, plus behind-the-scenes pictures sent in from our reporters and contributors on the ground.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come this hour, we take you back to the day that changed America. Fifty years ago this month, US president John F. Kennedy was killed. What questions remain?

And the secrets of bird flight. Find out why researchers are using special cameras to study hummingbirds and parrots.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Most of us probably see birds flying every day, but exactly how birds stay in the air has long been a mystery. As Nick Glass discovers, researchers in the US are trying to uncover their secrets and recreate them in flying robots. There are some amazing pictures in this report. Just take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early morning in California and apparently nothing is moving in the cactus garden. Or is it? These are perfect conditions, as it happens, for a flying display and for some intensive hummingbird watching.

DAVID LENTINK, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: I study how birds fly, and I use it as an inspiration for developing new robots. Small, micro-air vehicles that can fly close to buildings or in a cluttered environment or in turbulence, they actually encounter the exact same problems that birds have encountered for millions of years and solved.

GLASS: Dr. Lentink's research students at Stanford University in Palo Alto are filming hummingbirds with a special new high-speed camera to see how they fly so brilliantly. To us, it all seems like a blur. But at over 2,000 frames per second, the camera captures things we can't see with the naked eye: the extraordinary bio-mechanics of flight.

RIVERS INGERSOLL, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: So, flies and bumblebees fly like this: they go downstroke and then upstroke, they flip their wings backwards, inverted. And most birds kind of -- use their downstroke to support most of their weight, like this. So, hummingbirds are interesting because they fly more like insects than actual birds.

GLASS: This new technology is revealing movement in birds that has never, ever been seen before, like hummingbirds performing barrel rolls and body shakes 55 per second, faster than any other vertebrate on the planet.

Dr. Lentink's research program has been going on for about a year and a half. This is the DelFly, probably the most successful of their flying machines so far, and able to stay airborne for 15 minutes or so, longer than any flapping machine in history.

Parrotlets, the smallest of parrot species, have a lab to themselves. The controlled indoor environment allows the team to train the birds and study the detail of individual wing beats. This blue parrotlet called Rue has been undergoing training for six months.

EIRIK RAVNAN, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: We actually don't know how birds fly. We can estimate maybe 70 percent of their lift, but we have no models telling us how they actually stay in the air.

GLASS: It's very repetitious and the birds take some coaxing. But when they take to the air, their movement is mesmerizing.

JAN WOUTER KRUYT, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: They actually have a very intricate motion that is very different in the downstroke and in the upstroke. So, what they're actually doing is going down like this, and then moving the wings very close to their body and going back up, and then moving down again. It's way more complex than I just showed you.

GLASS: One short flight for a parrotlet, one giant leap for flying robot design, or at least that's the hope.

GLASS (on camera): Right -- looking at the work desk in your lab, it looks like something that might have been created by the Wright Brothers.

LENTINK: I have to laugh, because I would never compare myself to the Wright Brothers. I think they're amazing. But what's similar is that we're really starting something new. We're trying to develop micro vehicles directly inspired by birds in ways that we have been struggling with for a long time.

GLASS: Do you dream of it?

LENTINK: I definitely dream of it. Actually, I dream most about birds themselves. I think their behavior is extraordinary.

GLASS (voice-over): By looking through a lens, we're beginning to see the dream, to see exactly how much they move in the blink of an eye.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, almost 50 years on, we take you back to the day when one of America's most popular presidents was assassinated. And 40 years old, millions of fans, cricket's Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar, plays his last test.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Now, to an afternoon that changed America forever, when arguably one of the most popular American presidents, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. It's almost 50 years to the day since it happened, yet questions remain about exactly what took place. CNN's Ed Lavandera reports from the scene of the shooting in Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fifty years later, people still come every day, point to the sixth-floor window, stand on the grassy knoll, imagining what that day was like. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy driving by, smiling.

They look down from the schoolbook depository building, imagining what Lee Harvey Oswald saw. The moment gunfire exploded, the piercing echos through Dealey Plaza.

WALTER CONKITE, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: The flash, apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time.

GARY MACK, CURATOR, 6TH FLOOR MUSEUM: Does it amaze me that people come to Dealey Plaza 24/7 scratching their heads and pointing and walking around? No, not at all. The Kennedy assassination story is modern folklore now. People just aren't satisfied with the official story that one man did all that damage, not only to a person, but to a country, and to the world.

LAVANDERA: The official story, of course, is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

RONALD JONES, PARKLAND HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR: Could he have survived this first wound?

LAVANDERA: Ronald Jones was one of the emergency room doctors who tried to save President Kennedy and vividly remembers the chaotic moments in the packed operating room of Parkland Hospital.

JONES: We knew we were working on the president, we were anxious, we were excited, we were doing what we would do in the care of a normal trauma patient, and yet, here was the president of the United States, nobody knew he was dead.

LAVANDERA: Dr. Jones says the first thing he noticed was a wound on the president's neck.

JONES: Initial impression was that this was that this is an entrance wound and this is an exit wound up here. We had no information as to how he was shot, with what was he shot, who shot him. We had no information whatsoever. We had not seen the Zapruder film.

LAVANDERA: Later on, the Warren Commission report would determine that neck wound was where the so-called "magic bullet" exited Kennedy's body before striking Texas governor John Connally.

JONES: This could have been an entrance wound or an exit wound. And I don't know if anything will ever come up. It's been 50 years, and nothing has surfaced yet that would indicate that there was a second shooter. Certainly that possibility exists, but right now, I would accept the Warren Commission report.

ROBERT GRODEN, KENNEDY CONSPIRACY THEORIST: It's a fairytale. It didn't happen. No bullet went through both men.

LAVANDERA: To conspiracy theorists like Robert Groden, the single- bullet theory is one of many problems with the official story.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So, the X there in the middle of the road? You put that down there?

GRODEN: Yes. I put that down there 19 years ago.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Robert Groden grew up in New York and moved to Dallas almost 20 years ago. Proving the Kennedy assassination conspiracy is his life's mission. You can find him on the grassy knoll every weekend arguing his case.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Do people come out here and say, man, you're just crazy?

GRODEN: Nobody says that.

LAVANDERA: Nobody?

GRODEN: Nobody. Nobody -- there's this, I guess, amalgamation between the mob and elements within the CIA.

LAVANDERA: All right. So the CIA an d the mob working together is the theory that --

GRODEN: Yes, although --

LAVANDERA: -- somehow --

GRODEN: -- most people that really know the case are somewhere in that ballpark.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): That is the legacy that still hangs over Dealey Plaza, one of the most tragic events of the 20th century, still shrouded, for many, in mystery.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: And CNN has a lot more special coverage of this story on our website, cnn.com.

We all know the great basketball player Michael Jordan, or boxing's Mohammed Ali. Sachin Tendulkar is cricket's answer to those legends, and he's about to bow out. The 40-year-old is retiring, much to the disappointment of his fans, after his 200th test, which started today.

The crowds went wild in his hometown of Mumbai as he began batting. Tendulkar finished unbeaten on 38th on the first day against he West Indies, and Indians have started paying tribute to their hero.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all come to watch Sachin play in his last test match, and I think it's great that he's lasted so long and played wonderfully, and he's given us a lot of joy and happiness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like his passion for the game, even after playing for 24 whole years, he still has the passion to play the game for many, I think. But he's retiring, so it's a sad moment for cricket.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's great, he's magical, and he's been an important part of my life growing up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Tendulkar says as a young boy, he dreamed of playing cricket for India. Well, he's been living that dream now for the past 24 years. CNN's Amanda Davies looks back at the career of the man affectionately known by Indians as the Little Master.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His life has played out like a Bollywood blockbuster movie, the humble Mumbai kid cracking it in the big time. Sachin Tendulkar made his professional debut at 16 and his international career lasted an astonishing 24 years.

He became revered around the world for both his elegance and power at the crease, and became the only batsman to score an incredible 100 hundredth in internationals.

(CROWD CHEERS)

DAVIES: Milestones have fallen, but they've never been important to the Little Master.

SACHIN TENDULKAR, CRICKETER: No, I don't play for milestones. I play cricket and I want to enjoy cricket, and it's somehow the perception or it's created by possibly a few of you guys sitting here because you write. I don't play for milestones. While playing, this is a journey where you end up breaking records and all that, but I don't play for that.

DAVIES: One of Tendulkar's finest moments was winning the World Cup with India in 2011. In front of an adoring home crowd, the hosts beat great rivals Sri Lanka, sending over a billion Indians into raptures. But despite all the success, it's Tendulkar's humility that's bowled people over.

MAHELA JAYAWARDENE, FORMER SRI LANKA CAPTAIN: What he as achieved as a cricketer is phenomenal. But same thing as a person, I think he's a fantastic guy, especially with one billion people's expectations on his shoulders. That's something that you have to admire.

DAVIES: Tendulkar has broken nearly every run-scoring record there is, and it's not surprising over his career, he's had phenomenal commercial success. "Forbes" put his earnings for 2012 alone at $18.6 million. But for all the fame and fortune, it's living his childhood dream that's brought him the most joy.

TENDULKAR: I remember when I first held a cricket bat when I was probably four or five, and the love for cricket only grew bigger and bigger after that. And it hasn't stopped. Every outing is a special one, and that is what I've dreamt of as a kid, and I'm living that dream.

DAVIES: One record Tendulkar doesn't hold is batting average. That's held by another giant of the sport, Australia's Don Bradman. But when the Little Master calls it a day after the home series against West Indies, few would argue against him being ranked alongside Bradman as the greatest batsman in history.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Amanda's with me. Is he the best or isn't he? You sitting on the fence, there?

DAVIES: Oh, it's a real -- yes, I am going to sit on the fence. Brian Lara, who's another one of those who's up there, he paid tribute today. He said the Mohammed Ali and the Michael Jordan of cricket, Tendulkar has had the greatest career of anyone who has ever played the game.

You look at the stats, and yes, he's broken virtually every record there is. And it's not just him as a cricketer, it's how he's inspired a whole --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Yes, he's got a following hasn't he?

DAVIES: He's got a following. It's a whole country, 1.2 billion people were there. The center of India today was the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. There's not many other people who would get 20 million requests for tickets --

(LAUGHTER)

DAVIES: -- in one hour. That wasn't in a day --

FOSTER: Yes.

DAVIES: -- that was 20 million requests in an hour, which is just incredible, that the whole street came to standstills, the banners were hanging, the bunting was flying. And it was all about Sachin Tendulkar, and it will continue to be.

My favorite banner that I saw in the crowd today was "Other cricketers have a past, Sachin has a history," and he's been playing for a whole generation of people's lives --

FOSTER: He's 40.

DAVIES: He's 40.

FOSTER: What a hero!

DAVIES: He made his debut so young, and it was really a perfect sendoff today, or beginning of a sendoff, should we say? West Indies, they knew it wasn't about them. They were all out for 182.

Sachin came in, and I have to say, the man who got out, Murali Vijay, probably had the best reception for an Indian batsman getting out ever, because that meant Tendulkar was coming in. He got a guard of honor from West Indies as he took to the field.

And he was pretty nervous to start with, which is quite unusual for him, but perhaps not surprising. He put in a very confident 35, and that means that he's in there overnight, so he comes back for day two.

But I suppose the downside of the West Indies' performance and being out for such a low score is this might be the final innings. He might not get a second innings in bat. So, the big question is, can he go from 38 to maybe a half century to maybe go out? It would be perfect, wouldn't it, to go out with that century?

FOSTER: His place in history is assured.

DAVIES: Yes.

FOSTER: Even before. Amanda, thank you very much, indeed. We'll hear more from you later --

DAVIES: Yes.

FOSTER: -- on CNN. I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you very much for watching.

END