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White House Faces Domestic Criticism Over Iranian Nuclear Deal; Israel Not Happy At Iranian Nuclear Deal; Snow and Ice Expected For Much Of Eastern U.S.; Boeing Issues Warning To Airlines Over Engines On Dreamliners; North Korean Tourism?
Aired November 25, 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, HOST: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Turning words into action: as the ink dries on Iran's nuclear deal, attention turns to making sure Tehran keeps its promises.
Plus, political tensions rise in Thailand. Find out why protesters are on the streets this time.
And have you ever wanted to visit the hermit kingdom? We'll take a closer look at tourism in North Korea.
There's jubilation in Iran and despair among many in Israel. One day after Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions, the significance of this interim agreement is still being digested.
France's foreign minister tells Europe One radio the partial lifting of sanctions could begin next month.
Oil prices tumbled on Monday with the prospect of more oil exports from Iran.
But Israel, and some lawmakers in Washington are deeply skeptical about this deal.
So, here's what's in the fine print. For the next six months, sanctions on Iran will be eased with about $7 billion in relief. In exchange, Iran has agreed to halt enrichment of uranium above 5 percent, dilute its stockpile of already enriched uranium so it cannot be used for military purposes and stop building or operating its Arak heavy water reactor, a second potential path to a bomb.
Iran also promised to be more open, allowing daily monitoring of its nuclear program.
The reaction by Israel has been swift as well as furious. CNN's Ian Lee is in Jerusalem. We will speak to him very shortly. But first we go live to Reza Sayah in Tehran.
Reza, what are Iranians saying about this deal?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pauline, the Iranians say they like this agreement. With the exception of the toughest, hardest hardliners here in Iran, most Iranians are very pleased with this deal.
Remember, for the past 34 years, especially on the world stage, Iranians haven't had much good news. And many here see this interim agreement as good news.
This is the front page of the English daily Iran Daily and it says "Breakthrough."
This is another Farsi language paper. It says, (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). It means, "This is Iran and everyone is happy."
The joy also apparent on social media. One Iranian tweeted she was shedding tears of joy.
We spoke to a number of Iranians today, here's some of their reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were happy actually. We were a lot happy. After all these tensions, we're going to finally reached an agreement so with the west that also protects our rights and also -- I mean, remove the (inaudible). So of course we are happy. I think that's everybody's reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very important for me. And I was very (inaudible) gave us many happiness for all of us, all of my members of family, because it was very I can say it's the greatest step in our -- in our country. The government has done a great step for our improvement. And I hope that these caps are removed very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: So, most Iranians happy. But Iranians are also very shrewd and perceptive. They understand that this is an interim agreement. It's not going to impact immediately the toughest sanctions on oil exports, banking restrictions Pauline. But they believe this is a positive step hopefully to get to that stage, but still a long ways away from that, Pauline.
CHIOU: Yes, still a long ways. But let's look into the future, Reza, because as you mentioned it is a six month agreement. Is Iran willing to concede more in order to get a more comprehensive deal to lift those tougher sanctions?
SAYAH: Well, if that final stage is going to happen, both sides are going to have to make concessions. It's difficult to say what Iran is prepared to concede, but we can tell you what they're not going to concede. They've made it clear that they're not going to concede what they call a peaceful nuclear program, and especially uranium enrichment. They believe this is their right.
And it's important to examine their position. Their nuclear program has become a source of national pride, a symbol of defiance against what they call western imperialism and hegemony and bullying. This is a nuclear program that started back in the 1950s with the help of the United States. It was only after the 1979 revolution that western powers, Washington and Israel, started sounding the alarm about Iran's nuclear program, that they may be building a bomb. They believe it's baseless, their position is not a single authoritative objective, unbiased government or entity, not even the IAEA has made public evidence that Iran is making a bomb, so they believe a peaceful nuclear program is the right, so is uranium enrichment.
And that's something else they're celebrating today, this agreement that recognized their right to enrich uranium at 5 percent, Pauline.
CHIOU: Reza, they are celebrating there in Iran. They are not celebrating in Israel, which has made it very clear they are not happy with this deal.
Let's go straight to Ian Lee who is at CNN Jerusalem. And Ian, the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in fact said that this was an historic mistake. What is the chief concern there in Israel?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the chief concern, Pauline, is that Iran gets a nuclear bomb. And like you said, Prime Minister Netanyahu called it a historic mistake, saying that this is a step for the world's most dangerous regime on the path towards obtaining the world's most dangerous weapon, that's what he said in a statement yesterday his, one of his first statements. And they believe that the sanctions as well as the Iranian nuclear program, this combination in this deal just doesn't work out for them. They wanted to see Iran's uranium taken out of the country. They also wanted to see the centrifuges that enrich uranium dismantled and the heavy water plant in Arak dismantled as well. They believe that would have been a solid step toward any sort of deal, as well they believed if they did that they could lift sanctions then, that this was something that they would be OK with, and that they're not against talking to the Iranians or having these negotiations take place, but they just think a better deal could have been struck and that's why they're so against this one.
CHIOU: And so since Israel didn't see that fuller deal, they are angry.
Saudi Arabia is also very worried. How is this interim agreement affecting the region geopolitically?
LEE: Well, you're right, a lot of the Gulf states are apprehensive with this deal to say the least. They're nervous about Iran. They always had a regional rivalry with Iran. And what you've seen during this course of these negotiations, you've seen Israel and these Gulf states, typically enemies, or more or less have very cold relations, start to come together over this issue.
So you're seeing those countries kind of come together against Iran.
But Israel has another fear, they believe that if Iran is able to obtain the nuclear weapon, that this will start a regional arms race where other countries in the region feel like they need to also have the nuclear bomb to defend themselves against Iran.
CHIOU: All right. This story certainly not over yet. Ian Lee, thank you very much Ian there live from CNN Jerusalem, and also Reza Sayah live from the streets of Tehran inside Iran. Thank you to both of you.
And you can learn more about the nuclear deal on our website. This Q&A explains why Iran has faced so much scrutiny from the international community and why Saudi Arabia is unhappy with this agreement.
Well, more tension in the East China Sea. Japan's prime minister has a strong message for China over its new air defense zone. The zone, announced by Beijing on Saturday, covers airspace above islands which both countries claim as their own. The area is highlighted right here on the map.
Now Shinzo Abe calls China's move profoundly dangerous and says it, quote, escalates the situation.
China says the zone is for self-defense and that it will take defensive emergency measures against any aircraft within this zone that refuse to follow instructions.
Abe's comments follow a warning to China from the U.S. that the move could stoke the flames of a very delicate situation. But David McKenzie reports China is not backing down.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China has hit back at U.S. officials saying they should stop taking sides in its territorial dispute with Japan saying that the Americans should stop making inappropriate remarks.
(voice-over): The latest escalation of tensions comes after China announced an air defense zone over the weekend. The zone stretches deep into the East China Sea and covers a series of disputed islands known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and Senkoku in Japan.
Both countries claim the islands. And they're believed to be large reserves of natural resources.
On Saturday, China said it began patrols of the air zone. Japan said the Chinese planes came within miles of its airspace. In response, Japan scrambled fighter jets. The Chinese claims they moved out of the area.
Washington has warned that Beijing's actions could lead to a misunderstanding and miscalculations with its military ally Japan. Japan called it profoundly dangerous.
QIAN GANG, SPOKESMAN, CHINESE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY (through translator): The purpose of setting up air defense identification zones in the East China Sea is to defend China's sovereignty, secure China's territory and airspace as well as to maintain order and relevant air space.
MCKENZIE: He went on to call the criticism unjustifiable hype. While few people believe that China and Japan would purposely start a military conflict, many say that this latest move by China could escalate tensions in already troubled region.
David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.
CHIOU: Japan isn't the only country dealing with China about a territorial dispute. Take a look at this map. Vietnam, South Korea, The Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia are all involved in disputes over potentially strategic bits of maritime real estate.
Coming up next on News Stream, demonstrations in Thailand raise political tensions.
Ukrainian protesters clash with police on the streets of Kiev.
And as the northern winter approaches, Boeing issues an engine icing advisory for some of its aircraft.
CHIOU: You are watching News Stream and you are looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today. We've already brought you reaction from Tehran and Jerusalem to the historic deal limiting Iran's nuclear activities. Now in a moment, we'll explain why these people in Ukraine are angry with their government.
But now, let's turn to Thailand where tensions are once again heating up.
About 1,000 protesters are staging a sit-in at the finance ministry in Bangkok. And there are reports that hundreds more have occupied the foreign ministry building.
Protesters have taken to the streets over the last few days demanding the prime minister resign. Officials say as many as 100,000 took part in Sunday's demonstrations.
Well, these scenes are reminiscent of the mass rallies that turned deadly back in 2010. So what's driving the protests this time? Well, the demonstrators want to bring down the government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, but their real anger is directed at her brother the exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted in a military coup back in 2006. He fled Thailand and was later convicted of corruption and sentence in absensia to two years in prison.
Now Yingluck Shinawatra's government was trying to push through an amnesty bill that could have allowed her brother, Thaksin, to return to Thailand without having to go to prison. It failed to pass the upper house last week. But critics of the Shinawatra's still want Yingluck Shinawatra and her government gone.
The prime minister and her brother, however, still have pretty strong support. Thousands of pro-government demonstrators rallied at a football stadium in a suburb of Bangkok on Sunday night.
For the latest on what's happening in the Thai capital right now, I'm joined now by Thomas Fuller. He's the Southeast Asia correspondent for the New York Times.
Tom, thanks for being with us.
First, paint us a picture of what things are like in Bangkok now. Are there still thousands of protesters out tonight?
THOMAS FULLER, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I've just come back from the finance ministry where things are just getting going there. There are a lot of people who are going to camp out in the compound of the finance ministry and there are speeches and whistles being blown. It's a very kind of, you know, festive atmosphere as these protests have been with the exception of the violence three years ago.
But you know this is sort of recurring thing in Thailand now. We've had cycles of protests in Thaksin was in power in the early 2000s.
CHIOU: But this new cycle that we're seeing today largely has to do with anger over that amnesty bill that I mentioned. It was voted down in the upper house, so why are these protesters still out and demonstrating?
FULLER: Well, they want to take it further. The amnesty bill was the reason that they initially came down into the streets, but now there is a feeling that they want to, in the words of their protest leaders, oust the Thaksin regime, which is to say Thaksin, her -- his sister Yingluck Shinawatra who is now the prime minister, and the machinery that Thaksin established, very effective, very powerful machinery that has, you know, in place for two-and-a-half years this time and then previously Thaksin was in power for five years.
CHIOU: Now the prime minister has said publicly that she's making decisions for herself and for her government. But from covering Thailand, is it your view that Thaksin Shinawatra really is the one who is pulling the strings from exile?
FULLER: Well, the ruling party, Thaksin's party, makes no secret that their inspiration comes from him, that their ideas, that their policies come from him, that's been their policy, that's been their platform. Their election said, you know, "Thaksin thinks" and "Pheu Thai," the name of the party "does." So that's -- they're not trying to hide that fact. It's really how they got into office. It's Thaksin's popularity, it's the popularity of his policies that have propelled the government this far and which still maintain its popularity.
CHIOU: Tom, thank you very much for your perspective there from Bangkok. That's Thomas Fuller, the Southeast Asia correspondent for the New York Times.
Now to Ukraine's capital and two straight days of clashes between police and protesters there. Anger has boiled over in Kiev after the government suspended talks with the European Union. At stake is an historic political and trade agreement.
CNN's Phil Black is monitoring this situation from CNN Moscow and he joins us live now.
Phil, what is the main thrust behind these protests?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pauline, it is very much the Ukrainian government's decision and very short notice not to proceed with signing these very big, very ambitious free trade and political association agreements with the European Union. They've been under negotiation for years now. And they were due to sign them at a summit later this week.
The whole idea behind these agreements is about integrating the Ukraine more closely into the European Union, about establishing more of a link raising the level of its economy, its political system, its legal system and so forth so that it is in line with that of Europe. And it is this decision by the Ukrainian government not to proceed with that that has angered the people on the streets of Kiev. They believe that that agreement is very much marks a way for the future of Ukraine, of modernizing the political system and the economy as well.
Now it is no secret that Russia did not want this deal to proceed. Russia instead would rather see Ukraine as part of its own rival geopolitical bloc, which it is in the process of establishing, known as the Custom's Union, which currently consists of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Russia would like Ukraine to be part of that as well.
And the view from Brussels, from the European Union is that Russia is responsible for this last minute decision by the Ukrainian government. In a statement released today from Brussels' most senior officials, they effectively accuse Russia of bullying the Ukrainian government into taking this course of action. They say they are aware of the external pressure that has been applied on Ukraine and they strongly disapprove of Russia's position and actions in this case, Pauline.
CHIOU: And as a result, we are seeing these protests over the weekend and today as well.
Phil, thank you very much for the update from Moscow.
Well, coming up next on News Stream, three women are believed to have been held captive for 30 years. So how did their captors avoid detection for so long? We have the latest revelations from the investigation after the break.
CHIOU: More details are emerging about the London couple accused of holding three women captive for 30 years. It now appears that the pair may have moved residences several times. Police in London say they have linked 13 addresses to the alleged captors. The couple was arrested a few days ago about a month after three women were freed from a home in South London.
For more on these latest revelations, let's cross over live to Atika Shubert now in London.
Atika, what has been revealed about the couple and how they may have met these three women?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, apparently, this couple was -- shared a political ideology with the victims. And what police are saying is they formed a sort of collective. And as a result of that, they ended up living together in this collective. But what's not clear is how this collective went from being shared political ideology to basically entrapping the women. According to police, they say they were held there against their will.
Now, what's also interesting here is the timeframe. Keep in mind that one of the women claimed to have been held for 30 years. One of the young -- the youngest victim in the case is 30 years old. And what police are trying to figure out now is whether or not she spent her entire life with this couple in servitude. It's something they are still trying to figure out, the relationship between the suspects and the victims. But details are slowly trickling out.
CHIOU: Now, Atika, when you say collective, what exactly to police mean by that word? Are they talking about some sort of a cult or community living?
SHUBERT: Yeah, probably not a cult, exactly. Cult-like is one way to describe it. It's more -- perhaps something more like a commune.
So, this is what police are looking at at the moment to see what exactly were the living conditions like inside the home, you know, what sort of -- what was an average day like for these women?
It does appear, however, that the women were allowed outside. They were able to talk to other people, but they could only do so under very restricted conditions.
Part of the problem with finding out these details is that the victims are so deeply traumatized, they're not really able to give police the full story.
So we're getting these details little by little coming out. And it's why the investigation is going to take weeks, if not months, police say.
CHIOU: Certainly is a huge, bizarre mystery.
OK, Atika, thank you very much. Atika Shubert there live from CNN London.
You are watching News Stream. And after three decades of frosty relations it's being called a breakthrough. But not everyone in the U.S. is happy about the deal struck between six world powers and Iran. We'll tell you more just ahead on News Stream.
Plus, the pope and Putin -- why the head of the Catholic Church is expected to find some common ground with the Russian president. We will go live to Rome.
CHIOU: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headline.
France's foreign minister says Iran could see the partial lifting of sanctions starting early next month. It's part of an interim deal negotiated with six world powers in Geneva over the weekend which will see Iran limit its nuclear program.
More than 1,000 anti-government protesters have occupied Thailand's finance and foreign ministry buildings demanding the prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra step down. She has been criticized for being a puppet of her brother Thaksin, the exiled former prime minister. She has promised to stay in the job.
For a second day in a row, protesters clashed with police in Ukraine's capital. Demonstrators are demanding the government reverse its decision to cut off trade talks with the European Union. Ukraine has come under pressure from Russia not to join the European Union.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene peace talks on Syria early next year. The so-called Geneva II conference is to begin on January 22 bringing together the Syrian government and the opposition for the very first time. The aim is to negotiate an end to Syria's civil war.
The deal between Iran and six world powers is a preliminary agreement that covers the next six months. In that time, it is hoped that they can negotiate a more comprehensive deal. The White House is trumpeting this breakthrough, but in Washington even some Democrats are not convinced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: I'm disappointed by the terms of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations, because it does not seem proportional. Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions. That is not a proportionate agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: Senate Republican John McCain says, quote, "I am concerned this agreement could be a dangerous step that degrades our pressure on the Iranian regime without demonstrable actions on Iran's part to end its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.
And U.S. House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers predicts the deal will backfire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE ROGERS, (D) MICHIGAN: We have just rewarded very bad and dangerous behavior. They have made no changes, no changes in the development of their nuclear weapon program. And I can tell you that with a high degree of certainty.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're going to verify and verify and verify. We have to know to a certainty so that Israel, Gulf States, ourselves, nobody can be deceived by what is taking place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: White House officials go on to say that the agreement will make Iran less of a threat to Israel and to the world.
Joining me now from Geneva is chief U.S. security correspondent Jim Sciutto.
Jim, you were right, it took the weekend to get this done. So what happens next?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pauline, and nice to hear from you, nice to be talking again.
First, they start with implementing the agreement. And that'll mean the start of IAEA inspections of Iran uranium nuclear sites, turning off some aspects of its program, but also as you mentioned to begin negotiating the next longer-term agreement. They're going to be doing this facing stiff opposition, not just from Capitol Hill, but from key allies in the region, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
But I have to tell you, being there as this deal was signed in the early hours of Sunday morning. You really do get a sense of history being made.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): A historic agreement sealed with a hug.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This agreement could not have been reached without the decision of the Iranian government to come to the table and negotiate.
SCIUTTO: After three weeks of intensive talks, the deal puts unprecedented limits on Iran's nuclear program. Iran limits enrichment of uranium to well below the level needed to make a nuclear bomb. Iran dilutes its existing stockpile of highly enriched uranium and it allows intrusive daily monitoring of all of its nuclear sites.
In exchange, the west economic sanctions on Iran will be eased, in all about $7 billion in relief. But in a case of diplomatic ambiguity, it allows for very different interpretations of Iran's rights.
KERRY: It is not in this document. There is no right to enrich.
SCIUTTO: In answer to a question from CNN, however, Iran's foreign minister say they gave Iran what it long sought, formal recognition for its freedom to develop a peaceful nuclear program including enrich in uranium.
(on camera): The White House says there is no formal right to enrich. How did you square that circle?
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We agree the current agreement, current plan of action as we call it in two distinct faces, had a very clear reference with the fact that Iranian enrichment program will continue and will be a part of any agreement now and in the future.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): The deal will only last for six months. It presses the pause button on Iran's nuclear program, but it doesn't press delete it and it will all happen in the face of bitter differences between the U.S. and America's closest ally in the region.
KERRY: Israel is in fact safer than it was yesterday.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: What was concluded in Geneva last night is not a historic agreement. It's a historic mistake. It's not made the world a safer place. Like the agreement with North Korea in 2005, this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place.
SCIUTTO: The White House tells CNN this morning that it's going to begin consultations right away with Israel on the outline of that longer- term agreement to try to get Israel on board. But Pauline, in light of its stiff public opposition to this deal. It's difficult to see how easily they'll be able to manage that.
CHIOU: Yeah, they have been very vocal about how unhappy they are about this.
But if this long-term deal does happen, what would it look like?
SCIUTTO: Well, the things they're talking about, for instance, are dismantling some of the 19,000 centrifuges that Iran has in place. Right now they've just agreed not to install any more. But, you know, to move forward longer-term they're going to have to dismantle many of them.
Also, converting, for instance, the Arak heavy water facility which can produce plutonium when it's complete, converting that to a nuclear power plant, something that could not then produce fuel for a nuclear bomb. Things like that, more permanent longer-term restriction on the program than really the temporary restrictions that are put in place now, Pauline.
CHIOU: Jim, thank you very much. That's Jim Sciutto there live from Geneva.
Well, Israel, as we saw, doesn't like this deal at all saying Iran will be allowed to continue to enrich uranium. The prime minister says Iran is only taking cosmetic steps, which could easily be reversed in a few weeks while sanctions that took years to put in place will be eased.
But nuclear weapons policy analyst and Ploughshares fund president Joe Cirincione disagrees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE CIRINCIONE, PLOUGHSHARES FUND PRESIDENT: These are real changes. This is a dramatic change in their program. There has not been a suspension of the program like this for over 10 years. This is something that the United States has wanted, that Israel itself has wanted. It's finally getting it.
I think Mr. Netanyahu has to learn to take yes for an answer. And remember it's just the beginning of the process. If there are concerns the he legitimately has, he's got six months to talk to his allies, including the United States, to make sure those are worked into a final agreement.
But in the meantime, Israel is safer than it was before this deal was reached. The fuse has been lengthened. It would -- if Iran were to break out of this agreement, it would now take it twice as long to build a bomb as before they entered into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: And Cirincione says the next six months of negotiations will have to deal with secret facilities in Iran.
In Afghanistan, a security deal with the United States appears to be in limbo. It would allow some U.S. troops to stay in the country after most NATO combat troops pull out next year.
Now, a key group of Afghan tribal elders voted to recommend the deal on Sunday and urged President Hamid Karzai to sign it before the end of the year. But he now says he won't approve the agreement unless at least one further condition is met.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN (through translator): While we're ready to give basis for Americans on our soil, we have a condition concerning security, security from today onwards, meaning from now on American forces are banned from launching operations on Afghan houses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging the Afghan president to sign the agreement in short order. But Mr. Karzai says he won't sign until after the presidential elections in April.
Well, you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, Boeing warns airlines to keep some its Dreamliners clear of certain storms where there could be engine problems. We'll tell you more about this safety warning after this break.
CHIOU: Russia's president Vladimir Putin is preparing for his first meeting with Pope Francis. They will sit down for talks at the Vatican as part of Putin's two day trip to Italy. The meeting is expected to focus on the conflict in Syria as well as ways to strengthen cultural and educational ties.
Now the Pope has previously contacted President Putin urging a solution to the Syrian crisis without the use of force.
For more now, senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us live from Rome. Ben, what is expected from these talks?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pauline, we understand that the real focus is going to be on the Middle East where, for instance Pope Francis back in September during the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg did send a message to Putin expressing his hope that force is not used to resolve the conflict in Syria.
Both these leaders have expressed repeatedly concern about the plight of Christians in the Middle East who very much have been caught in the crossfire, specifically in Syria itself. So they do have areas of mutual interest.
Now the schism, so to speak, between Russia or specifically the Orthodox church and the Latin church goes back to 1054 when Christianity split between Latin and eastern churches. And those differences are probably not going to be dealt with, because of course President Putin is coming here not as a representative of the Orthodox Church, but rather as the president of Russia. Those issues go back much further, are much deeper and probably won't be resolved as a result of this meeting.
Now it's important to keep in mind also that President Putin has met three times with other popes. He did meet twice with Pope John Paul II and once with Benedict XVI. But certainly this pope, Pope Francis, is somebody who has made already quite an impression. And he hasn't even been pope for a year -- Pauline.
CHIOU: All right, Ben, thank you very much for a preview to this meeting between Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin, rather.
Well, now let's get a check of the weather forecast. And it looks like we've got some rough weather during this holiday week. Keep in mind, it's Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Tom Sater is live at the world weather center with more. So, Tom, how is it looking for people who are going to hit the roads pretty soon?
TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Roads or rail or by air, Pauline. 43.4 million Americans expect to travel this week. Already, one storm has affected seven states and we have 10 fatalities. And mainly these are because first-time of the year that they have this snowfall, terrible conditions. It doesn't look like much. Moisture streaking across the south. From Canada, sent with love, is Arctic blast of cold air.
Here's the edge and back around in areas of Colorado.
So this storm system is going to plow across areas of the southwest. Here it is, already 300 flights canceled out of Dallas also Oklahoma City. Little Rock, Arkansas, they're the pink here, this is the freezing rain and the sleet.
They picked up around 50 to 60 millimeters of rain in parts of Pheonix, Arizona, the second wettest November day on record for the desert of the southwest.
The system is really going to start to get its act together, but I think it's going to be southern snow for many that typically just do not have snow. This is going to cause problems for those that are going to be on the roadways from areas of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Look at this, down in Mississippi, Alabama, very close to Atlanta where we could have a little mix of freezing rain and sleet.
But this is the mess that we've had, the heavy rain starts to change over. And it starts to mix. Then what will happen east of the Mississippi River? Several more states could see a first accumulating snow. But it's going to drop over 100, maybe 150 millimeters of rain first in the Atlanta area. And then on the back edge is where we find the snow.
So one airport after another, most likely, will have some delays, again it's Dallas today, Little Rock possibly after that it'll be Nashville, Cincinnati, possibly D.C., Philadelphia up to New York.
CHIOU: Oh, gosh. And looking at that map, up in the northeast it looks like they're going to hit pretty badly and that's where my entire family lives.
SATER: Yes, probably by Thursday.
CHIOU: So, good luck to them.
SATER: Yeah, right.
Well, you also have your eye on a cyclone in another part of the world, Tom.
SATER: Absolutely. This one in the Bay of Bengal. Remember Phailin. It gained strength, got to 160 kilometers per hour tying the second strongest ever on record. We're already at 120 and this is Lehar. Lehar is going to get stronger than Phailin, but it should lose a little bit of its strength before making landfall, maybe, you know, this is 185 kilometers per hour. Phailin was just to the north in the state of Odisha, but Andhra Predesh Thursday morning, Pauline it looks like landfall could be as strong as a category three or even a category two, category three cyclone.
Again, not as strong maybe on the initial side, getting stronger than Phailin and then losing strength.
But again, we're watching this one closely because we're about 60 hours away from landfall.
CHIOU: OK. Watching that one, and also watching the system there in the United States.
Thank you very much, Tom. Tom Sater there at the CNN weather center.
Now, we want to tell you about a new warning from Boeing about a problem in some of its airplanes. The manufacturer is advising airlines to keep some 747-8 and 787 Dreamliners away from certain storms because of possible engine icing. It is the latest in several problems for Boeing.
Let's get some perspective on how significant this advice is. And this doesn't make me feel any better, Christine, because we just talked with Tom Sater about all the storms there in the U.S. Christine, joins me now from New York.
Christine, exactly what prompted this warning.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there were six episodes between April and November of this year where flying very close -- at high altitude, very close to thunder storms, there were some ice crystals that developed on the other side of a front fan and that cause the airplanes, in these cases, these six cases, to lose thrust.
Now, in the end, GE, the maker of the aircraft engine, and Boeing are saying, you know, these flights ended with no problem. I mean, they didn't lose thrust for the entire flight. They were able to regain power. But it just shows you that because of this flying at a very high altitude, close to a thunderstorm, these ice crystals formed inside the engine and that caused a problem.
CHIOU: So, we're talking about two about two models here, 787 the Dreamliners, as well as 747-8s. So in all, how many airlines are going to be affected?
ROMANS: So you've got about 17 airlines who are going to have to take a very close look at how and where they're flying these planes. I mean, Japan, Airline JL has said that they're going to -- they're going to pull this particular aircraft from a couple of their routes. So that's one example of where this is going to happen.
This is what Boeing says specifically. They're warning to aircraft. They say they're revising their airline, airplane flight manual which will prohibit flight within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.
So you've got Japan Airlines, Luthansa, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, all of them flying these planes on routes they'll have to stay, according to Boeing, within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms.
CHIOU: Now, the Dreamliner has had some bumps in the road already, because we remember what happened when that entire Dreamliner fleet was grounded. Remind us again some of the problems that Boeing has had with the 787?
ROMANS: Now remember this is an incredibly complex, complicated piece of machinery. It has been designed and assembled all over the world. And it's got some of the most high tech electronics, the composite -- I mean, it's very, very -- just a piece of engineering that it is is quite amazing. And so whenever there are problems with this amazing piece of engineering it gets a lot of attention.
Earlier this year, the FAA, you know, pulled the entire -- grounded the entire Dreamliner fleet at that time because of some of these problems that they were investigating with lithium batteries. There actually had been fires aboard some of these flights. And even on a couple of grounded aircraft as well. So there was a big investigation into that.
And now this.
Now GE and Boeing working together to make sure that they -- that they fix this and we're told that they'll likely be a software -- some kind of a software fix that they'll be able to do with the engine intact. It won't take very long. They hope to have that finished by some time in the spring.
In the meantime, Boeing telling these airlines that are flying this stay 50 nautical miles away from thunderstorms.
CHIOU: Oh, gosh. You know, this is just not the kind of news you want to hear before peak holiday travel season, before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
All right, Christine, thank you very much for the update there.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
CHIOU: Well, speaking of travel, when you think about vacation destinations -- Paris, Hong Kong might come to mind, but what about Pyongyang or other parts of North Korea? Coming up next on News Stream, we'll tell you why the country is actually becoming more popular among tourists.
CHIOU: The U.S. is trying to find out what happened to this 85-year- old American man who is being detained right now in North Korea.
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman has not been seen since he was pulled off a flight just before it departed Pyongyang a month ago. He's just one of many people who are traveling on vacation, that's right, vacation to North Korea. And while it might seem like a strange tourist destination, CNN's Nic Robertson found out it does hold a certain allure.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Koreans as you've never seen them before. Having fun at the beach. Stefan Krasowski, an insurance salesman from New York shot this video on his North Korea vacation a few months ago.
STEFAN KRASOWSKI, TOURIST: Pulled me right into their dance circle and we had a great time for about an hour and a half.
ANDREA LEE, URI TOURS: We actually have a beer tour. Beer and fishing.
ROBERTSON: A beer tour in North Korea?
LEE: Yes, we have beer, fishing, boats and guns tour.
ROBERTSON: Beer, fishing boats and guns.
LEE: All four, yes.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Andrea Lee runs Uri tours, helping hundreds of Americans get to North Korea, the so-called hermit nation every year. Week long packages to the nuclear armed dictatorship begin around $2,200. Expect surprises, she says.
LEE: I think that most people don't know that North Korean beer is very good.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Really?
LEE: Yes, it is. It is.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Her clients range from Dennis Rodman -
LEE: Yes, that was very interesting.
ROBERTSON: To the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and beyond.
LEE: We do a lot of students and scholar, the more academic travelers. We draw adventure travelers.
ROBERTSON: ...went because...
STEFAN KRASOWSKI: I had to see it.
ROBERTSON: He admits what he did see was heavily controlled by the government. But, at the beach and the military parade where he shot this video, he says he got closer to reality than the government knows.
KRASOWSKI: The person next to me got splattered with tank grease when we're right up there and having a great time - although many of the North Korean next to us have this look of "Do I have to still be here?"
ROBERTSON: Did he ever feel unsafe?
KRASOWSKI: In many other aspects, I feel that it's about the safest place I can go because everybody is making sure I don't get into trouble. But none of that explains this. 85-year-old American Merrill Newman, a Korean war vet pulled off his plane at the end of his nine day North Korea vacation.
JAY NEWMAN, SON OF DETAINED AMERICAN (ON THE PHONE): Five minutes before they were ready to depart, an authority came on the plane, looked at my dad and asked to see my dad's passport and he was asked to leave the plane.
LEE: Never. This is very unusual and rare. We have taken Korean war vets in the past as well.
ROBERTSON: Newman's plight has prompted Lee to put a cautionary blog on the tour company's website. So far, she says, no cancellations.
(on camera): If you are thinking about going to North Korea right now, she tells me that it takes about two weeks, one week if you're lucky, to get a visa to go to the country. Reasons to go this winter? She says North Korea has finished building its first-ever ski station. And, for the first time ever, they're letting outsiders, tourists, share their New Year celebrations.
Nic Robertson, CNN, New York.
CHIOU: Who knew that North Korea had good beer.
Well, on our website, you can find out more information about what it takes to travel to North Korea. You can head to our website CNN.com/travel. And you can also check out these photos by Swedish journalist Johan Nylander. He was the only western journalist invited to cover an international bike race from China into North Korea.
Now we want to bring you a special behind the scenes look at airports. Now of course they generally serve as the gateways to our travels, not the final stop. But for 24 hours, we made the world's busiest airport our destination. CNN spent a day at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. And we want to show you how human and canine teams are keeping planes safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She takes one step, I need to take two. It's just like a song and dance.
Zira (ph) and I, we became partners in 2010. And we have been together ever since. A daily life with Zira (ph) is a great thing. The dog is highly intelligent and I am always driven by that fact.
We screen cargo that is uploaded to passenger aircraft. It may seem chaotic. It's symphony to me. It's the play of music. When we do get to that point where the dog encounter odor, that's the fun of the game.
You're looking to see if that dog will actually sit. You want that dog not to nudge it or not to touch it, it can be very sensitive. It can literally, you know, trigger something that you and I don't want to be here today talkinga bout.
What's most important, ensuring that we're doing every single thing that we can do to ensure that nothing harmful has been uploaded to any of these aircrafts.
CHIOU: And that is a peek behind the scenes at Atlanta's international airport.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues right here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.