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Iran's Nuclear Plan; Turkey Prime Minister Security Scare; American Detained in North Korea; Cargo Plane Lands at Wrong Airport; Paris Shootings Suspect Arrested; Poland: The Overlooked Market?; Monty Python Returns to the Stage; Afghan Tribal Leaders to Debate U.S. Troop Pact; NATO Goods Being Sold at Market; Fifty Years Later, JFK Still Fascinates
Aired November 21, 2013 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN HOST: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. Welcome to NEWS STREAM where news and technology meet.
How close is a deal on Iran's nuclear program? We'll take you live to Geneva where intense discussions are underway to iron out the details.
Plus a French police reveal new information about the man suspended of opening fire outside a Paris bank and at a newspaper office.
Also Monty Python fans pining for a reunion get their wish. The iconic comedy group finally reveal their plans.
CHIOU: We start in Geneva, where world powers are trying to thrash out a deal on Iran's nuclear program. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany and of course Iran are now negotiating.
Already several senior officials have expressed optimism. But so far the key word in these negotiations would seem to be "trust." Iran says the lack of trust could be an obstacle to these talks, even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the sides are the closest they've ever been to a deal in a decade.
Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is live in Geneva and joins me now with more.
Matthew, does it look like this time around there will be a concrete deal?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very hard to say. Certainly you mentioned there John Kerry saying that the sides are the closest they've been for a decade. These have been painstaking negotiations that have taken the various parties through that last 10 years.
So there's the expectations are very high. And I think it's being seen as like perhaps on the last chance, but we're getting to the end of this process, is it worth continuing to negotiate with Iran if no agreement is going to be reached?
There's also been a number of incidences over the past decade where the two sides have been as close as this, or very close indeed, and yet still not managed to come to the right wording, to come to the right understanding that would give a sort of thaw and permanent deal to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, something, by the way, it says it has no intention of developing.
But to ensure that the checks and balances are in there, to make sure that Iran couldn't do that in the future, that's what this is all about.
The positions we're told by all the diplomats concerned are very close now. They're trying to hammer out the details and the gaps between their positions. They've been doing that late, until late last night here until about midnight. They resumed talks this morning. Within the next half an hour, Catherine Ashton, who's leading the negotiations at this stage for the P5+1, the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, is meeting with Mohammad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister who's leading the negotiators from the Iranian side in half an hour. And they're going to be continuing to hammer out the detail to see if they can come together and forge a final agreement.
But of course, long time seasoned observers of these negotiations are not ruling out the possibility that these talks will fail even though they are as close as they seem to be.
CHIOU: And Matthew, as they're trying to iron out some of these details, what exactly are the key sticking points?
CHANCE: Well, for a start, no one's officially speaking about exactly what's being negotiated. But the details of what a plan is going to look like have been emerging and they've been pretty clear all along, in fact. It's going to involve something along the lines of Iran capping its uranium enrichment activities, granting inspectors from the IAEA much more intrusive inspections into its nuclear facilities in exchange for some relief on the international sanctions that have been crippling Iran's economy over the past several years.
In terms of what the roadblocks are in that, well, about 11 days ago, when the world powers were here with Iran for the last time in Geneva, and when they didn't come to an agreement then, either, the roadblocks were twofold.
First, an insistence by France for more measures to be taken to ensure that Iran's heavy water reactor at Arak did not produce material that could be used in a weapons program. That's still being negotiated now.
Also the Iranian insistence that it's right to enrich uranium be formally sort of reaffirmed in any agreement about its nuclear program. That's something that was an obstacle last time and it's still potentially an obstacle this time as well.
And so these are essentially the two issues they're talking about broadly. But there are lots of other detailed matters as well, which could potentially hold up this negotiation, hold up this deal.
CHIOU: OK. Very good. I know not a lot of the diplomats are speaking, so you're still waiting for more details. Thank you very much for the latest update there, Matthew Chance, live in Geneva.
There has been a security scare at the prime minister's office in Turkey. Security guards captured a suspect allegedly wearing explosives, according to Turkey's Anatolian news agency. Now the person was apparently attempting to enter the prime minister's offices in the capital of Ankara. As you can see, security around the building has been stepped up following the incident.
The suspect has been detained and a bomb squad is investigating the possible explosive device.
Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is live in Istanbul following the story. He joins us now with the latest.
Ivan, what else can you tell us about this incident?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was an emergency scare. And according to Turkish state media, the security forces outside the prime minister's office fired warning shots in the air and then wrestled the suspect to the ground, again, according to Turkish state media. They're reporting that the security forces, the police, had a tipoff that a man would be trying to approach the prime minister's office in the capital and they were looking out for the suspect. The man approached, a 52-year-old man without wires, evidently, dangling out of his clothes. They caught him, fired warning shots into the air, wrestled him to the ground. There had been some earlier reports on Turkish state media that he was perhaps shot -- that has since been denied -- and that he was carrying a device that was made to look like a bomb that didn't actually have any explosives in it. And the man may have been doing this, approaching the prime minister's office because he had financial problems and credit card debts. Thankfully, we're not getting reports of any injuries, any casualties, as a result of these -- this incident -- back to you.
CHIOU: Yes, that is the good news.
Ivan, thank you very much, Ivan Watson there live in Istanbul.
An 85-year-old American apparently has been detained in North Korea for more than three weeks now and his family is desperate to know what has happened to him.
Merrill Newman was on an organized tour of North Korea. His son says his father, a Korean War veteran, has a long-time interest in Korean culture. He says a day before his father's scheduled departure, he and his tour guide met with North Korean authorities.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JEFF NEWMAN, SON OF MERRILL NEWMAN: The Korean War was discussed and my dad's role in the service and the meeting concluded. I understand that my dad was a bit bothered, but really didn't go into any detail with his traveling companion.
They went to dinner; it was Friday night. The next morning they got up, checked out of the hotel, went to the airport, got on the plane. Apparently five minutes before they were ready to depart, an authority came on the plane, looked at my dad's -- asked for my dad's passport and he was asked to leave the plane.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CHIOU: Merrill Newman is the second American held by North Korea recently. Kenneth Bayh (ph) was arrested last year and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for alleged hostile acts.
Still ahead right here on NEWS STREAM, Afghanistan's president warns against trusting the U.S. at a key political meeting in Kabul today. We look at whether Mr. Karzai's words could jeopardize a bilateral security deal that's up for a vote.
And later in the hour, we've got new details about the suspect French prosecutors have in custody today.
Plus one Boeing cargo plane is stranded in the U.S. state of Kansas and cannot take off. What went wrong?
CHIOU: To France now and the capture of the man suspected in a series of shooting incidents in Paris. Abdelhakim Dekhar was arrested on Wednesday night in a Paris suburb. Police allege he shot a photographer at the newspaper, "Liberation," on Monday, gravely wounding him.
Dekhar is also suspected of walking into a TV station last Friday and threatening journalists with a gun there.
For more now on this arrest, senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann joins us live from Paris.
Jim, what else can you tell us about this man?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, he's got a fairly long track record as far as the police are concerned. It goes back to almost 20 years, to 1994, when he was arrested and convicted of supplying a weapon that was used in another shooting spree in Paris, and that shooting spree, a young couple went around with a sawed-off shotgun and killed three policemen and two other people in 1994. They were convicted. He was convicted of aiding them to the extent that he had supplied (ph) the shotgun. He spent four years in prison for that and then kind of disappeared off the radar, although he appears to have left the country and went to London, worked in London for a brief time. He came back here sometime in the summer and was living here this summer and then went on his own shooting spree in the last couple of days here, starting with the incident on Friday at BFM Television and the shooting at the newspaper and bank on Monday.
Police wasted no time in tracking him down; they had DNA evidence that they recovered from all of the various crime scenes and were able to make matches to his DNA. When they found him, he was, in fact, was in a parking lot, in a semi-comatose state. He apparently, according to the French interior minister, had tried to commit suicide. He has now since come around and police are beginning to question him. The Paris prosecutor held a news conference a short while ago. And in that news conference, he said that back in 1994, in fact, the perpetrator, the gunmen, Dekhar, had, in fact, shown some psychiatric disorderly signs. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In his psychiatric expertise, there was -- there was no -- he was not shown as being mad; in fact, in no psychiatric abnormality; it was just that the experts noted at the time, given the speech tendencies of being a possible -- what could be called obsessive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BITTERMANN: And in fact, that's one of the things that came out in a suicide note that he left, Dekhar left, when he tried to commit suicide last night. That note was described by a prosecutor as kind of rambling and delusionary with references to fascist plots and the manipulations carried out by the media.
In any case, he is now in custody and is being questioned, Pauline.
CHIOU: All right. Thank you very much, Jim, for the latest on this arrest there in Paris.
Now let's turn to Poland. As we told you on Wednesday, the prime minister has shuffled his cabinet, and this man is the new finance minister. He is an economist with no background in politics, but Poland's economy has grown since the collapse of the Soviet Union. And as John Defterios explains, it's spent much of that time under the radar of much of the world.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It all began with a BRIC over a decade ago, an acronym for the fast-growing emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Adding South Africa, the BRICS spawned a new political voice on the world stage.
Then came a handful of others: CIVETS, MIST, MINT and theN11. With every new wordplay, a new group of hot emerging markets took center stage; new, must-have investments in global finance.
Yet one emerging market continues to fly under the radar.
RYSZARD PETRU, POLISH ECONOMIST'S ASSOCIATION: So when you look globally at emerging markets, usually you might name BRICS or Asia; usually you do not look at Poland.
MIROSLAW SZCZEPANSKI, WARSAW STOCK EXCHANGE: Sometimes we have such a feeling that they look at Central and Eastern Europe.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): But while the likes of China and Brazil or Indonesia and Vietnam garner the headlines, Poland has quietly taken care of business.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, its economy has grown on average between 4 percent and 5 percent a year. It's the only European Union country to avoid recession since the global financial crisis hit back in 2008.
And as a sign of Poland's economic health, the Warsaw Stock Exchange played host to the largest number of IPOs in Europe last year. It's an enviable track record. And when added to its geographic location, competitive labor costs, sizable local market and educated workforce, it's hard to see how Poland goes so unnoticed.
SZCZEPANSKI: We can say that our market is a little bit undervalued.
PETRU: Frankly, sometimes, Poland behaves (ph) differently than emerging market countries.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Not everyone has missed Poland's economic story; the likes of Cadbury Schweppes, Twinings, Electrolux, Credit Suisse and Dell have all moved factories to the country in recent years.
But the investment trend in emerging markets is, for example, to go from here in the Middle East to Far East Asia or south into Africa, where growth is ticking away at 6 percent to 7 percent. That level of expansion is encouraging foreign direct investment, although Poland sits within a market of better than a half-billion consumers.
PETRU: We do not experience the growth like new emerging markets, like 5 percent or 7 percent like in China. But we still have much better than average European growth.
DEFTERIOS: The IMF forecasts Poland will grow by 2.4 percent next year, not enough, perhaps, to put the P of Poland in the next acronym of the world's hottest emerging markets, but enough to make the last 20 years Poland's best period of sustained economic growth and give it the status of a leading emerging market -- John Defterios, CNN, Dubai.
CHIOU: Just after the break, a giant Boeing cargo plane is stranded in the state of Kansas. It landed at the wrong airport and now it's stuck. How did this happen? We'll have the details, coming up.
CHIOU: The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how a Boeing cargo plane ended up at the wrong Kansas runway. The Dreamlifter landed nearly 20 kilometers from its intended destination late Wednesday night and now it is stuck. The airport has no control tower and a much smaller runway, which is too short for this enormous plane to take off from.
So just how and why the plane ended up at the wrong Wichita airport is still under investigation and the dilemma right now is how to get it off that runway.
CNN's aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, is live in Washington with this story.
Rene, this is a bit embarrassing for the pilot. How exactly did this happen?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Embarrassing to say the least. And you know what? We still don't have an answer as to how it happened. But at this point they're trying to figure out how to get this plane out of that very small airport.
We know that it took off from New York to JFK and now because of the foul- up, they're stuck in an airport that is too small for this massive plane. And the FAA is trying to investigate what caused this confusion in the cockpit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH (voice-over): A giant cargo plane stranded in Wichita, Kansas, this morning, after making a big mistake, landing at the wrong airport, 10 miles away from where it was supposed to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giant 4241 heavy, confirm you know which airport you're at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we think we have a pretty good pulse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giant 4241 heavy, roger, you -- it appears you are at Jabara.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giant 4241 heavy, we saw the plane on the radar and it appears that you are at Jabara airport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say again the name of it again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jabara.
MARSH (voice-over): The jet was supposed to land at the McConnell Air Force Base Late last night but it somehow ended up at the Jabara airport.
Making matters worse, Jabara has no control tower and a runway that's only half the length of McConnell's, so as it is now the 747 Dreamlifter cannot take off from there, the runway is too short.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McConnell is nine miles southeast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, we just landed at the other airport.
MARSH (voice-over): And it doesn't end there.
A tug that was on its way to help move the Dreamlifter broke down, according to Wichita affiliate KWCH. Landings at the wrong airport have happened before. Last year a passenger plane carrying 14 people landed at the wrong airport in West Virginia, and a military jet last year landed at tiny Tampa Airport in a residential area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giant 4241 heavy, that's J-A-B-A-R-R-A (sic).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. Well, copy that.
MARSH (voice-over): But neither of those planes were as giant as the Dreamlifter, the modified passenger plane that Boeing says can haul more cargo than any other plane in the world.
MARSH: Well, Pauline, we can tell you that official -- an official at the airport recently told CNN that a tug has turned the plane around; it is now at the end of the runway, and it has been determined that the plane will be able to take off from this airport. The scheduled takeoff time is roughly a little bit under five hours from now. Our affiliates are reporting they are simply at this point waiting for a new crew -- Pauline.
CHIOU: OK. Well, that's a good update. Hopefully that short runway is enough for that Boeing.
Thanks so much, Rene, Rene Marsh there, live in Washington.
In other news now, there have been cryptic tweets and whisperings for a while now. But today the surviving members of the British comedy group Monty Python have delighted fans by confirming those rumors. They will be reuniting for a live stage show. And it's set to take place at London's O2 Arena on the 1st of July next year. And just earlier, they had this to say about what fans can expect from that performance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC IDLE, MONTY PYTHON: "We will be twerking, absolutely. Or is that tweeting? One thing we are going to do is we."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: In typical Monty Python mischief, the comedy group all sat behind the wrong name cards at this press conference. Max Foster has more from London.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the moment that Monty Python fans around the world have been waiting for for 30 years. And finally the five surviving members of the group have relented. They're getting back together for a show; we're getting more details on that today.
We're also going to get a sense of whether that chemistry is still there. There have been rumors that the five of them fell out, but they've resolved their differences. And also, why are they getting back together? Is it for financial reasons? Either way, the fans are happy and they're also asking will there be new sketches, new ideas or are they going to repurpose old ones, like this classic, "Killer Rabbits," in "The Holy Grail"?
(PLAYING VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: It was only subsequently that we really understood the importance of Monty Python. That scene's still funny to this generation; this really stood the test of time. Lots of modern comedians really credit Monty Python with laying the foundations of future generations of comedy.
Also many people would say that, imagine a world, they define Britishness almost up there with the Queen, something that people think of around the world when they think of Britain.
So this is a big moment for Britain; a big moment for comedy. I think we'll have some fun -- Max Foster, CNN, London.
CHIOU: And if you want even more fun, you can head over to our website to check out what the Monty Python members have been up to lately. You can share your favorite sketches in the comments and you can join the conversation at CNN.com.
Afghan tribal elders have traveled to the capital of Kabul to consider whether to support the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond next year. We'll explain why their opinion is so important just ahead.
Also, 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we look back at this tragedy and America's fascination with Camelot.
CHIOU: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM and these are your world headlines.
Six world powers are meeting with Iran to discuss its disputed nuclear program. Discussions are going on right now in Geneva. On Wednesday, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said both sides are closer to a deal than they've been in a decade. But Iran has warned that trust remains a major obstacle.
Turkey's Anatolian news agency says someone allegedly wearing explosives has been captured by security guards after attempting to enter the prime minister's office in Ankara. Turkey's bomb squad is investigating and security has been stepped up around that building.
New details have emerged today about the suspect taken into custody in connection with a series of shootings in Paris. The prosecutor says Abdelhakim Dekhar has been hospitalized. He apparently was semi-conscious when captured late Wednesday due to medications he had taken. Dekhar is suspected of shooting a photographer at "Liberation" newspaper on Monday. The victim was seriously wounded and remains in the hospital.
In Indonesia, around 20 protesters burned the Australian flag at this protest in Joag (ph), Jakarta. Anger has been growing over allegations Australia's spy agency tapped the phone conversations of top Indonesian officials, including the president and his wife.
The Loya Jirga, a 2,000-strong assembly of Afghan elders is meeting in Kabul to consider a new security agreement between their country and the U.S. The pact would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan for at least a decade. But President Karzai kicked off talks today by saying that the security deal would only be signed after his likely successor was elected next year.
For more on this proposed security agreement between Afghanistan and the U.S., Nic Robertson joins us live from CNN New York.
Nic, do President Karzai's comments come as a surprise to you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly what it appears that he's doing at the moment is sort of trying to maintain a level of control, if you will, or influence, at least, in the presidential elections next year by saying that he won't sign an -- the security agreement deal until after the new presidential elections are over is an indication that he's concerned, he has worries that somehow the United States or others might try to influence the outcome of the election.
So this is sort of the last card in his hand. What you have here 2.5 thousand, 2,500 Loya Jirga members meeting over four days is generally believed that they will ratify this agreement because security of the country is bad; they recognize they need the help and they're worried about their future at the moment if they were left alone without an international help.
But of course it's the Parliament that has the power, therefore, to vote on it. But the president has to sign off on it.
Certainly international diplomats have found President Karzai to be mercurial, to be sometimes contradictory. And if you listen to what he said today, you can hear the contradictory nature of what he's saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN (through translator): My trust with America is not good. I don't trust them and they don't trust me. The last 10 years have shown that I have fought with them and they have raised propaganda against me.
If you accept and the Parliament passes the bilateral security agreement to be signed when our election is done without any problems, and with dignity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So on the one hand, he's handing off to the Loya Jirga an agreement with the United States but he's saying I don't trust them. And then on the other hand saying you can sign it with dignity.
So it does sound somewhat contradictory. But of course he -- what he's trying to do here is, in a way, protect his own legacy in the country and protect himself politically because if anything goes wrong with this 10- year plan, then President Karzai, looking back, will be able to say, well, it's not my fault; you, the people, of Loya Jirga, you passed it; you bear the responsibility.
So that appears to be what's going on here, Pauline.
CHIOU: So it sounds like he's playing a very delicate political chess game.
Now how much influence does this Loya Jirga have? In other words, if this assembly of elders passed this agreement, would it mostly likely pass the Parliament as well?
ROBERTSON: I think that's the perception because the parliamentarians are represented as from the -- from the part of the country that the Loya Jirga represent, if you will, the Loya Jirga is much more a traditional form of Afghan discussion, debate and processing ideas and coming up with solutions, what they will do, they will break away into about 50 small groups and each group will come up with a set of conclusions, having discussed and analyzed in detail the agreement and then put those conclusions forward.
And unless the weight of those conclusions are incredibly negative, it would seem that the Parliament will ratify it.
The underlying thing here is that when international forces, United States, NATO, went into Afghanistan, there was a civil war underway and everyone in Afghanistan recognizes those forces at work in the civil war then are still the underlying tensions in the country.
And if you pull out the international security forces, Afghan security forces aren't strong enough to manage the security in the country. And, therefore, there's a real question mark over the future of Afghanistan. And that really is the underlying thing. And I think everyone in Afghanistan perhaps a few with different interests, they recognize that. And that's their common interest, to keep the country stable and secure, Pauline.
CHIOU: And Nic, thank you very much for breaking all of that down for us.
That's CNN senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, joining us from New York.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Pakistan, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed six people in Pakistan's northwest Hangu district. Reports say the missile attack targeted a seminary belonging to the Afghan Haqqani Network. It is said to be one of the first U.S. drone strikes taking place outside of Pakistan's tribal districts.
NATO supply routes through Pakistan have been critical in the Afghanistan War but sometimes these goods are confiscated along the roadside. We take a look at one Pakistani marketplace that's taken advantage of this unlikely supply chain. Saima Mohsin takes us to Peshawar's shopping stalls.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is one of Pakistan's largest markets, Karikano (ph) Market lines the road leading from Peshawar to the Afghan border and on to Kabul. There are more than 4,000 shops here, selling everything from rugs, fruit, toiletries and stolen NATO supplies.
Hanging in full view is military equipment destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan, gun holders, rifle bags, camouflage jackets, you name it, you can find it here.
The stalls and shops here are run by both Pakistanis and Afghans with a huge amount of contraband from smugglers on sale, attracting customers from all over the city and country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We go hunting, so I come to pick up these knives, equipment for guns and rifles, stuff like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I've been coming here for years now. I come here to pick up things for hunting mostly, like knives, and the telescope lens that goes on rifles and binoculars.
MOHSIN (voice-over): CNN can't independently confirm where these goods are coming from. Vendors admit some of these are replicas from China. But off-camera, they're happy to tell us which of these products are original and which are off the back of the NATO vehicles.
We didn't have much time to look around for our own safety and the shopkeepers were uncomfortable with our filming and suspicious of people asking questions. But we did catch a boxful of Captain America comics, perhaps en route to bolster morale among the troops.
This stall has an assortment of penknives, spoons, forks, binoculars, scopes --an assortment of them -- for rifles and a whole array of knives and daggers.
We also found TASER guns. NATO trucks are regularly attacked while making their way through the tribal areas of Pakistan. Experts and local police told us the goods on board are often looted first before the trucks are set alight and destroyed. The government has tried to crack down on smuggled ad stolen goods here. So many of the deals are done under the table.
But the shopowners weren't willing to tell us what other equipment they had for sale -- Saima Mohsin, CNN, Peshawar, Pakistan.
CHIOU: Let's take a look at the weather forecast right now. And in the Middle East, we're seeing a whole lot of rain. Meteorologist Mari Ramos is live at the World Weather Center with more details.
MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hello, good to see you again, Pauline.
This is a broad area of low pressure. Basically that means it's affect a lot of different people, not just one particular area. We've been talking about this rain for days already. And we began over the weekend in portions of Saudi Arabia, back over toward Jordan. We had rain yesterday, very heavy rain in Baghdad and also in Tehran. And you can see that moisture continuing to spread not just northward but also into areas farther toward the east and to the south. Now all across the UAE, we've had some significant rainfall. (INAUDIBLE), you guys are finally starting to dry out. Abu Dhabi, raining in the last couple of hours, I think that rain will be tapering off as we head into the later evening hours, but notice the moisture continuing to trail back over now into southern parts of Iran here and over toward Amman and Muscat. That's going to bring you some pretty unsettled weather, to say the very least.
Let's look at some of these rainfall totals in Iran. They had in two days, in three days, 108 mm of rain. Compare that to their monthly average of about 27, so that's pretty significant rainfall in just a very short amount of time. In Amara (ph) in Iraq, also very interesting; normally they get the entire month of November about 20 mm of rain. They had 90 mm in two days. So that's pretty significant and that is why we've had such widespread disruptions to travel in particular.
Even if you have elevation, everything is so flat here that the rain -- this is in Aljuf (ph) to the north of Saudi Arabia, you get -- water goes everywhere and it happens very, very quickly. It doesn't even have to be raining where you are to get those wadis filled up with water very, very quickly and it causes a huge threat for people in this region.
So notice the rain tapering off across Iran throughout the overnight hours tonight, but very heavy rain across southern parts of Iran, moving into Pakistan and even into Afghanistan. And then, still, across this corner here of the Arabian Peninsula, we're going to see some more heavy rain with the potential for, unfortunately, more flooding and all of this shifts toward the east as we head into the weekend.
Before I go, Tropical Cyclone Helen expected to make landfall, already bringing rain here across this portion here of India. These are some of the very same areas that were affected by that huge cyclone last month. So they're still recovering from this, this one not as intense, only winds close to 100 kph. But it's still going to cause some problem with flooding along this region, and we go from this to winter weather. Let's go ahead and look at the pictures from France and you know, Pauline, we were talking about this yesterday, this very heavy snowfall. In some cases, they had over 30 cm of snowfall across some of these areas here of France. Beautiful, beautiful day for so many people, but as you can see here, many, many areas are under alert because of snow. In Italy, 27 cm, if you can get there. I'm sure it's going to be beautiful. The weather will start to improve as we head into the weekend, very gusty, very wet across much of Western Europe. It hasn't changed too much, at least not (INAUDIBLE).
CHIOU: They could use some of that salt from that huge stockpile you showed us in that photo yesterday.
RAMOS: You remembered.
CHIOU: I think it was in the Netherlands, yes.
All right, thank you very much, Mari, Mari Ramos there at the Weather Center.
Well, it has been 50 years since he was assassinated. But the legacy of John F. Kennedy lives on. Just ahead, on the anniversary of his assassination, we'll look back on the life and enduring vision of the late U.S. president.
CHIOU: She was just days on the job. And today, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy met with U.S. military personnel at Yokota Air Base. Ambassador Kennedy arrived via helicopter. The commander of U.S. forces in Japan gave her a tour.
Later, the ambassador met with about 200 troops and their families and thanked them for their service.
Caroline's father, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated 50 years ago this week. And Americans, and indeed many others around the world, have been looking back at his legacy.
CNN's Jonathan Mann tells us why President Kennedy has had such an enduring impact.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He died at age 46 50 years ago, but he endures in aging black-and-white images and indelibly in America's imagination, a popular young president with a beautiful wife and an easy manner, projecting the optimism of an era that some historians would call the American Century.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
MANN (voice-over): Jacqueline Kennedy was 31 when they entered the White House and widowed at 34. She called their time, "Camelot," likening the Kennedy administration to a royal court and her husband to the legendary King Arthur.
The Kennedys did become a kind of American royalty, a dynasty in national life, brother Robert, a senator, assassinated as he ran for the presidency; brother Teddy, a senator who served for decades. And daughter, Caroline, today serving as the new U.S. ambassador to Japan.
In his own day, John Kennedy was hardly a king, but he was a Cold Warrior. He challenged the spread of Soviet influence. He set America on a path to the moon and a path to its national nightmare in Vietnam.
In America's collective memory, the Cuban missile crisis, a standoff with Moscow that brought the superpowers to the brink of war, he's recalled as a winning example of American resolve. Kennedy's decision to order the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion fiasco in Cuba tends to be forgotten -- or forgiven.
Kennedy was president for barely more than a thousand days. On his last day, riding through Dallas, he was assassinated in an open car at a time when wanton violence in broad daylight was even more shocking. It was an abrupt end to a more innocent time. The images are still sobering half a century later. But Kennedy's killing was the first time that America shared a national tragedy through the medium of television.
Adding to the shock, Kennedy's assassin was himself assassinated before he could fully answer for the crime. So some Americans wonder to this day if they really know how John Kennedy died or who was responsible for it. A president's life has myth, murder, mystery; it's no wonder America hasn't let go of the memory -- Jonathan Mann, CNN.
CHIOU: As Jonathan just said, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, and the image of him traveling in that open car has stayed in many, many people's minds.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in Dallas ahead of Friday's 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death. He joins me now live.
Ed, how is Dallas commemorating Kennedy on this anniversary?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have a commemoration ceremony planned for tomorrow, leading up to the very moment when John F. Kennedy was killed.
But when you look at the rundown for what will happen here in Dallas tomorrow, at everything that is going on in Dealey Plaza, the area where Kennedy was assassinated, it really speaks to the struggle that this city has gone through in the last five decades, trying to come to terms that the assassination here, this event, that really changed the course of the 20th century, happened here in this city.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): To honor the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's death, President Obama and the first lady laid a wreath at his grave site in Arlington National Cemetery, joined by former President and Ms. Clinton. Fifty years later, the eternal flame still burns.
Meanwhile, in Dallas, curious tourists still come to this place, the place where those fatal shots were fired half a century ago. For this city, tomorrow will be a delicate balancing act of honoring Kennedy's memory without sensationalizing his murder.
GARY MACK, CURATOR, THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM: The city, in general, was highly embarrassed and ashamed. But what made it even worse, the city was branded unfairly as a city of hate.
AVANDERA: Dallas has spent decades trying to shake off the reputation as the city that killed Kennedy, which is not easy. As that dark day of history is rehashed daily by trolley tours -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, look upon this corner right here up to the sixth floor window.
LAVANDERA: -- and by those who don't believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, conspiracy theorists sell JFK memorabilia and tell their version of what happened every day.
ROBERT GRODEN, JFK CONSPIRACY THEORIST: It's an embarrassment to the city and, well, it should be. But, you know, the city didn't kill the president. Somebody else did. And it wasn't Lee Harvey Oswald.
LAVANDERA: What will not be present tomorrow, those X's that for years have marked the spot on Elm Street where the president was shot. The city says it's relaying asphalt to level out the streets and remove any trip hazards. But undeniably, all eyes will be back on this city tomorrow. Generations have passed, but the fascination with what happened here remains.
HUGH AYNESWORTH, JOURNALIST: It changed the course of history in many ways. What would have happened if Kennedy had lived?
LAVANDERA: And, you know, city officials that are putting on this commemoration ceremony tomorrow want this to be a dignified ceremony, free from all of the controversy and the conspiracy talk. But remember, for decades, conspiracy theorists have gathered on that grassy knoll and talked about what they think really happened on that day, November 22nd, 1963.
And, Pauline, it is really fascinating, as someone who's lived in this city a long time, it is fascinating to see still to this day, not just because we're leading up to this 50th anniversary, but people still come to Dealey Plaza, stand on the grassy knoll.
I'm just struck, five decades later, how you still see that almost every day of the year, Pauline.
CHIOU: Yes, and Ed, in fact, I've been to that book depository and also to Dealey Plaza. It's just one of those places, whether you're American or not, that if you're in Texas, you feel like you really have to visit.
Ed, thank you very much for that story, Ed Lavandera, live in Dallas.
And we want to share this programming note with you. Tonight, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, former Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, on sexism, politics and the continuing fallout from the NSA spying allegations. They spoke earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Did you ever knowingly have your intelligence services tap other leaders' phones?
JULIA GILLARD, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, I'm going to have to give you the very standard answer, which is that I wouldn't have commented on those intelligence questions as prime minister and it's not appropriate for me to comment in my current status, having been prime minister.
There is a big issue now for Australia with our relationship with Indonesia about these revelations about President Yudhoyono's phone. I think, you know, sitting here in America, President Obama handled it well when there was a comparable problem about Chancellor Merkel's phone, where President Obama said that he was not aware that it had been done. If he had been aware, he wouldn't have authorized it and he could certainly say for the future that it wouldn't happen again.
And I think that that's an appropriate response from Australia to Indonesia at this very difficult point in our relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: And you can see the full interview with Julia Gillard tonight on "AMANPOUR" at 7:00 pm London time, 8:00 pm Berlin time.
Still ahead, right here on NEWS STREAM, find out how this bright, modern museum rose out of a part of Warsaw with a very dark past. We'll be right back.
CHIOU: This week, CNN's "On the Road" is bringing you greater insight into the customs and culture of Poland, from underground treasures to their innovation in dance, Paula Newton explores the people and passions unique to this East European nation.
Well, today, we take you to a museum in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw, an area the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's what architecture aspires to, seamlessly molding form and function into profound meaning. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a bold statement in the middle of Warsaw. Its lines are broad and transparent. Inside, it's all about the rupture, the divide that lets light in.
Zygmunt Stepinski is the museum's deputy director.
ZYGMUNT STEPINSKI, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS: I think this empty place between two curving walls, this is a very special effect, because it opens to the main hall of the museum, so people coming here and standing in the middle of the hall, first is the wow effect, because they are totally shocked.
NEWTON: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is the director of the exhibits here, and when she speaks, you realize she, too, is a treasure for this place. Listen to her passion as she draws us into the prized exhibit here.
NEWTON (on camera): So, it looks like we're entering a bit of a construction site here still.
BARBARA KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CORE EXHIBITS: It is. This is the exhibition under construction.
NEWTON: Painstaking work, I'm sure.
KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT: It is indeed. And this is it.
KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT: This is our wonderful painted ceiling of our timber-framed wooden synagogue that once stood in Gwozkziec, which is today in the Ukraine. During the 17th century, there were terrible wars, pogroms, massacres, the Minsk Uprising, and the country was devastated.
And in the period that followed after 1648, there was a sense that somehow one looked for some kind of explanation, wider meaning. And so we see that in this beautiful painted ceiling. We see messianic symbols, we see the leviathan, we see the red bull that when the Messiah arrives, the righteous will feast at a banquet and they'll eat the flesh of the leviathan and the flesh of the red bull.
NEWTON (voice-over): This splendid cupola represents a sort of high-water mark for Jewish art and architecture; reproducing it here exactly as they would have centuries ago, no modern techniques, is like a Jewish historical restoration. It's just beginning now in Poland.
KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT: First of all, this for me is an exquisite example of what I would call distinctly Jewish -- if you will, categorically Jewish and uniquely Polish. And that is it's a symbiosis. It brings together the Jewishness and the Polishness of Polish Jews in one place.
This is about hope. This is about yearning. This is about, if you will, spiritual imagination. This is a celestial canopy. Some have even said it's our Jewish Sistine Chapel.
NEWTON: Just outside the museum stands the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. More than 3 million Jews lived in Poland before World War II. Today, just a few thousand. Resurrecting what the Nazis incinerated, embodied now in a place of Jewish history, not only Jewish trauma, may help Poland recover just a small bit of that Jewish history -- Paula Newton, CNN, Warsaw.
CHIOU: That is NEWS STREAM. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is coming up next.