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Ecuador Earthquake Kills Nearly 330 People; Brazil's Lower House Votes to Impeach President; U.S. Defense Secretary Makes Unannounced Visit to Iraq; Saudis Threaten U.S. Assets over Proposed 9/11 Bill; Democrats Battle for New York Delegates; Vietnamese Girls Smuggled into China, Sold as Brides; Apparent Drone Hits Plane Heading into Heathrow. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 18, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, Brazil moves one step closer to impeaching its president.
The death toll rises after Ecuador's earthquake.
And the somber apology from Johnny Depp and his wife over their dog smuggling case.
CURNOW: Hi, there, welcome, everyone. I'm Robyn Curnow.
The death toll is still rising after Ecuador's violent earthquake. Officials there say nearly 350 people are dead, thousands were injured.
Rescue crews are racing the clock along the country's coastline, desperately combing through rubble for survivors.
Check out this incredible drone video from the harbor city of Portoviejo. Buildings have collapsed on themselves and the rubble has spilled into the
Well, let's get right to Ecuador; Boris Sanchez joins me now on the phone.
You are getting these updated figures. Tell us more about that, Boris.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, these are updated figures but they're not exactly hard numbers, it's more of an estimation that we
got from the security minister here in Ecuador a short while ago. He says that the death toll is now approaching 350. It started at around 270 this
morning and it slowly crept up.
Keep in mind it's not an official number and it is still expected to continue growing. Part of the reason it's been so hard to get to those
affected by this earthquake is that the infrastructure here in Ecuador has suffered considerably because of this earthquake.
Partly it has to do with El Nino, consistent heavy rain for weeks, weakened roads here and this earthquake essentially decimated them. So it's very
hard to get to some of the hardest hit areas.
I can tell you we're in the city of Guayaquil right now and we're heading to the epicenter in Portoviejo (ph). That's where most of the damage is
expected. But cities all along the coast have been badly affected; as of right now, there's a state of emergency for six provinces.
The president of Ecuador was actually at the Vatican this weekend when the earthquake took place and he cut that trip short to get back and try to
assist in the recovery and the search and rescue efforts.
We know there are at least 10,000 soldiers in the streets right now, helping in some of the most affected areas. There's also about 4,000
police officers that are helping to fix traffic and to bring the country back up to speed, so to speak.
I can tell you this is actually the second deadliest earthquake to hit Ecuador. In 1987, a 7.2 earthquake killed about 1,000 people. This one
was a 7.8, significantly stronger on the Richter scale. And so the hope is that after it's all said and done and they finally get a clear look at the
extent of the damage, this will not reach that kind of scope of devastation.
And it will hopefully get Ecuador on the right track back to recovering from such a devastating natural disaster -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes, but still, this is devastating. We're looking at pictures as you talk, not just the collapsed buildings but also the horror that people
have been going through. Tell us about the injured.
And also what are people saying to you?
SANCHEZ: Well so far many that we've spoken with seem here in Guayaquil, at least, to be relieved. A lot of people were very fearful. We got
reports that people were actually sleeping in the streets after the earthquake because they were afraid to go back inside their homes for fear
that they might not be structurally sound.
I got a chance to go inside a building that was badly damaged today; there were holes in the walls and plumbing that had ruptured and so a lot of
places seeing very serious problems. But there is a spirit of hope here among the people of Guayaquil.
CURNOW: Boris, thanks so much, coming to us there from Ecuador, Boris Sanchez.
Strong aftershocks are keeping people on edge after last week's devastating earthquakes in Japan. Several people are still believe to be trapped in
the rubble after two quakes struck Thursday and Saturday.
The overall death toll has risen there to 42 with more than 1,000 people injured. And tens of thousands of people are in emergency shelters. In
our next half hour, we will take a closer look at one of the hardest-hit towns.
Now to Brazil, where parliament's lower house has voted to impeach president Dilma Rousseff. For the details on that vote and the struggle
President Rousseff faces to stay in office, Shasta Darlington reports now from Brasilia.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A historic vote: amid shoving and shouting, Brazil's lower house of Congress
voted overwhelmingly 367-137 in favor of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff.
No less tension out on the front lawn of congress.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Police erected a barrier to separate pro- and anti-government protesters, one side more like a football fan zone,
cheering the downfall of a president they blame for the worst recession in decades and a corruption scandal that has ensnared top politicians from the
governing Workers' Party but hasn't implicated Rousseff.
Frustration and anger from Rousseff's supporters, denouncing the impeachment vote as an institutional coup d'etat, aimed at bringing down a
democratically elected leader on a technicality: breaking budget laws.
DARLINGTON: The problem for her supporters is that so many of the lawmakers leading the impeachment drive right here in Congress have been
accused of both corruption and money laundering.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): After Sunday's vote the attorney general said Rousseff won't give up.
BRAZILIAN ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translator): The decision made by the chamber today will not bring down President Dilma Rousseff nor will it make
her stop fighting for what she believes in.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): The impeachment motion now heads to the Senate, where a simple majority is needed for approval, which would force Rousseff
to step down for 180 days to defend herself.
CURNOW: Well, Shasta joins me now live from Brasilia.
And, really, Shasta, this political crisis not only continues to deepen; it seems that the one certainty is that uncertainty will continue.
DARLINGTON: You're absolutely right, Robyn. You know, on the one hand, this is a huge blow to President Dilma Rousseff. If the opposition was
able to get this two-thirds majority in the lower house of Congress, it seems pretty likely that when it goes to the Senate, they will get the
But she is vowing to fight this tooth and nail and this also sets up a very uncomfortable situation here in Brazil. It's a very polarized country
right now. So since her supporters are really looking at this as an institutional coup d'etat, they're not going to back down and say, OK, we
They're going to be out on the streets, protesting with every new development. We could see this leading right up to the Olympics now just
three months away. So this is far from over, as you say, Robyn. We've got a lot ahead of us.
CURNOW: Yes, even past the Olympics. And what is making this even more complicated, that this isn't just about the president; many of those
leading this impeachment drive are actually accused of graft themselves.
DARLINGTON: Exactly. It was very interesting being inside congress, which is right behind me and over half of the lawmakers in there have been
accused of one crime or another, many of them of corruption and of money laundering in this now-infamous corruption case, really centered on the
state-run oil company, where construction companies were paying bribes to politicians and to the oil company.
And these are the people who are saying, oh, we've got to clean up government and get rid of this woman who broke budgetary laws. It just
inflames the whole nation. People don't know which side to be on.
Although they're unhappy with the president's performance over now in her second term, they're unhappy with the whole political establishment --
CURNOW: Shasta Darlington, thanks so much.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has arrived in Iraq for an unannounced visit. Carter will meet with top U.S. military commanders as well as Iraqi
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Now the official traveling with Carter says the U.S. is beefing up resources there as it fights to recapture Iraq's second largest city from
ISIS control. Senior international correspondent Arwa Damon joins us now live from Baghdad.
Hi, there, Arwa. I mean, it really seems that there's a slow drip, incremental moves that point to an incorporating American escalation in
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And there is a recognition on the part of both the Americans and the Iraqis, that they do
need to beef up their already existing efforts here.
We heard Secretary Carter meeting with both top Iraqi officials to include the prime minister, the minister of defense and top U.S. officials as well,
whilst he was on the ground here.
Initially before his trip there were various reports that his trip would potentially lead to an escalation when it comes to the U.S. effort here
beefing up. What they are already providing to the Iraqis -- such as their advise and assist program as well as what is called enablers, and that is
military-speak for the airstrikes, the artillery support and other kinds of logistical support that the U.S. is providing as well.
Hearing right now that the U.S. is also going to be sending a few more hundred troops to Iraq to continue that advise and assist mission but also
that these troops will be advising and assisting at battalion and brigade levels. That means that they will not just be confined to a division level.
That means that they will be more involved in the intricate details and how those details are being executed on the ground as the Iraqis do end up
moving forward. This is something that both sides really wanted to see take place and it is largely --
DAMON: -- because, Robyn, the Iraqis have been seeing successes brought about due to this U.S. support.
Now earlier we spoke to Major General Volesky, he is America's top military man when it comes to the Iraq portion of the fight against ISIS. And here
is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. GARY VOLESKY, U.S. ARMY: As you've seen the targeting and the strikes that have gone on against ISIL, haven't just targeted its military
capability. You've heard about the other areas that we've targeted to get after their ability to buy more weapons, to buy more explosives.
We saw early on this ability for them to mobilize 40, 50, 60 fighters to come in and attack. We don't see that anymore. We see them at 10 to 15
with maybe one vehicle-borne IED that do that. And it takes them time to generate that. We don't see them holding terrain. We see them falling
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: Now, Robyn, despite the fact, as you heard the general saying right there, they have managed to impede some of ISIS' capabilities, the Iraqis
themselves are still struggling.
If we look at the Mosul advance, for example, the Iraqi army there was able to push forward fairly quickly, recapture a handful of villages. But then
their push stalled and they have been attacked repeatedly by ISIS launching wave upon wave of suicide bombers, coming at them with vehicle-borne
improvised explosive devices.
And the Iraqis have really been struggling when it comes to trying to fight back against that having beefed up U.S. support in terms of airstrikes and
tooling other capabilities will presumably then allow the Iraqis to combat these various different ISIS tactics that they have been coming across on
the battlefield -- Robyn.
CURNOW: yes. And all of this, of course, coming as politics in Baghdad is becoming increasingly more fractious. Arwa Damon there in Baghdad, thanks
Coming up here at CNN, Donald Trump has fighting words for political insiders. We'll tell you why he's now sparring with the Republican
CURNOW: Hi, there, you're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.
U.S. president Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia this week just as Riyadh threatens to settle billions of dollars in U.S. assets over a
proposal to allow families of 9/11 attack victims to sue the Saudi government. Well, CNN's senior political reporter, Manu Raju, has more
Hi, there, Manu.
What is it that Congress is proposing here?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is this bipartisan bill that is being pushed by two very powerful leaders, one from
a Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York; a Republican leader, John Cornyn of Texas.
And what they're trying to do --
RAJU: -- is allow families who have been victims of 9/11 to sue foreign governments that may have a tie to terrorism, to maybe have a tie to a
Now victims' families who have victims from the 9/11 attacks have been trying to sue the Saudis for years, saying that they should be held liable.
But the Saudis have been able to really block those efforts in courts, largely because there's a 1976 American law that allows foreign governments
to invoke sovereign immunity in American courts and prevent these kinds of lawsuits moving forward.
So what this legislation is trying to do is to allow those lawsuits to actually happen, which is one reason why you're seeing a very intense push
by the Saudis and also the Obama administration to kill this, in light of all this tension between the U.S. and the Saudis ahead of the -- President
Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia this week.
CURNOW: Indeed. The White House has lobbied Congress not to pass this. Saudi Arabia is threatening a pretty serious economic response.
So what has the response been in the Capitol?
How is this going to play out?
RAJU: You know, we really haven't seen this really being fully litigated on Capitol Hill. This has passed one committee in the Senate Judiciary
Committee but it has to be voted on by the full Senate which has not happened yet. It will be interesting to see how party leaders on both
sides come down, given the Obama administration's pretty aggressive lobbying efforts.
But we do now if this does pass, this will only add to those tensions that we have seen between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia whether it's over Iran,
whether it's over ISIS, Yemen, Syria, you name it, this will really escalate things, which is one reason why the Obama administration is trying
to ratchet it down -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Manu in Washington, thanks so much.
RAJU: Thank you.
CURNOW: The casino owner running for president now says the deck is stacked against him. Big crowds back Republican Donald Trump. But party
leaders in some states can pick and choose how to pledge delegates.
In Wyoming over the weekend, Ted Cruz won all of the remaining delegates and Trump responded. He's amping up his complaints over the system.
Here's what he tells supporters and what a top Republican has to say to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have a system that's rigged, we have a system that's crooked, we have a system that's got a lot
of problems and we have a system that doesn't allow the people to vote, in many cases.
And if they do vote, their vote isn't really representative of what it should be. We have this delegate system which is a sham.
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, RNC: I think everyone understands these rules have been in place for years; these plans have been released since October
of last year. There are a few states that pick delegates by convention; it's their choice how they allocate delegates. The candidates participate
in the process. It's been going on for a month in each of these states that do a convention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, Trump is poised to win in New York but the state parcels out delegates in a complex way, too, and Trump's rivals have a game plan.
CNN's Phil Mattingly joins me now from New York.
So it's not about Trump winning but by how much.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, Robyn. Both campaigns, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich willing to cede that Donald Trump
is going to win New York and he's going to win New York big.
But here's how they have to look at it. There are 27 different congressional districts in those states. Each of those districts gets
Now if Donald Trump wins more than 50 percent of the vote in those congressional districts, he sweeps all three of those delegates. The goal
from the Cruz campaign and the Kasich campaign is to target specific districts, keep Donald Trump under 50 percent and try and steal delegates.
Now, Maggie (sic), Trump's campaign is saying he could take as many as 85 or 90 of the 95 delegates available in this state. The other campaigns are
willing to concede that that's probably possible.
But it's all about stealing as many delegates here as he possibly can, trying to keep him from that magic 1,237 number before the convention in
Cleveland. Every delegate counts and that's what you're seeing the Cruz and Kasich campaigns do right now -- Maggie (sic).
CURNOW: It's Robyn here.
MATTINGLY: Robyn -- sorry, Robyn.
CURNOW: It's OK. It's Monday. We're all struggling through Monday morning.
Trump, he's not only clashing with the party on delegates but also the look and feel of the convention. He wants some more showbizzy vibe.
MATTINGLY: That's exactly what he wants, willing to say, that in 2012, the convention was so boring it was putting people to sleep. Now this is all
in an interview with "The Washington Post."
And you chuckle about it, Robyn, a little bit, but there's more to it than that. He's saying that because he has the most delegates he should be able
to control the program of the convention, he should be able to control the staffing of the convention and the reality is, if he is short of that 1,237
number, he doesn't get to do that.
So I think there's a lot of concern from the Republican National Committee side, which does control the operations of this convention -- and has been
working on it for years, Robyn -- that what Donald Trump is coming in to do right now is he's trying to take control of something that technically he
doesn't have control of.
So while you laugh about the idea that making a convention more showbizzy, making it more entertaining is just Trump being Trump, there are practical
MATTINGLY: There's a lot of work already going on in Cleveland.
And this is raising some concern back in Washington, what does Trump mean, what does he expect. And if he doesn't reach that 1,237 number, how much
control is he going to try and exert control that technically he shouldn't have available to him? -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. It's going to be interesting either way. Let's talk, though, about the New York primary coming up.
And Ted Cruz has been very specific about tone, isn't he?
MATTINGLY: Yes. That's exactly right. I think what you've seen over the last couple of weeks from the Cruz campaign, is that they've shifted the
dynamic of the race and Ted Cruz is continually attacking how Donald Trump has operated on the campaign trail.
Now throughout this entire period, since his big Wisconsin win, Ted Cruz has kind of swept behind the scenes these delegates, the very system that
Donald Trump decries. But Ted Cruz basically saying that what Donald Trump has been doing throughout this entire process is whining, whining because
he's losing, he's attacking because he's losing.
And Ted Cruz believes that this is a really kind of big moment in this race where things have shifted and that's why you've seen Trump kind of shift
his own tone on this.
One thing to keep in mind here, Robyn, the next couple of weeks are weeks that Donald Trump is going to do very well. There are weeks where the math
looks good for him starting in New York and continuing on among the Mid- Atlantic and the Northeast.
So how Ted Cruz survives these next couple weeks will really determine the future of this campaign, no matter how Donald Trump comes across in public.
CURNOW: Phil Mattingly, as always, thanks so much.
Well for Democrats, New York is even more valuable when it comes to delegates. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will split more than 200
delegates there. That's about a quarter of the delegates that Sanders holds so far.
But he still made time this week for a quick trip to the Vatican. And earlier today, Chris Cuomo asked Sanders what is motivating him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Where is the energy coming from?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's coming from a belief that, in this day and age, it is absolutely imperative that we
change course in America, that we get people involved in the political process, that we stand up to the 1 percent, that we create an economy that
works for all of our people.
Chris, I worry so much about the major crises facing our country. I worry about climate change and what happens to our kids and grandchildren if we
don't transform our energy system. Worrying about kids leaving college $50,000, $70,000 in debt.
I'm worried about this country moving toward an oligarchic form of society. We have a handful of billionaires raising huge sums of money to elect
candidates who are there for the rich and the powerful and ignore the needs of working family and the poor.
That's what motivates me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Strong message there and one that might draw big crowds to Sanders' next rally. And he's meeting supporters in Queens in just a few
CURNOW: The CNN Freedom Project is shining a light on human trafficking and hoping to end modern-day slavery. We're learning of girls in Vietnam
who are tricked into crossing the border with China and then forced into marriage.
CNN's Alexandra Field reports on why they're in such high demand and spoke to some women who managed to escape.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Crossing the border separating China and Vietnam can be as easy as this.
As soon as we reached the river, we see people paddling between the two countries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They told us to start moving. They forced us into a car.
FIELD (voice-over): A survivor of human trafficking tells us how quickly it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was just me with six Chinese men. They called a lady to come and buy me.
FIELD: You were tricked into crossing the border into China.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They not only tricked me but so many others, I don't know how many people.
FIELD (voice-over): In the mountains of Northern Vietnam, a group of women tells us first they were sold simple lies then brought to China to be sold
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She said that her friend asked her to come visit his house.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My friend came and said that her boyfriend will come to Laokai (ph) and she wanted me to go out with him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I woke up I didn't know I was in China.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some say I expected to be married by 14, 15.
FIELD (voice-over): Diep Thanh (ph) started the Pacific Links Foundation to fight human trafficking. She tells us this marketplace is a prime
hunting ground for the handlers and traffickers who form a pipeline to China.
FIELD: What's the going rate for a bride in China?
DIEP THANH (PH), PACIFIC LINKS FOUNDATION: The end buyer, we've been told that the prices have been $3,000.
FIELD (voice-over): Girls in Vietnam's ethnic minority groups are common targets. Diep (ph) says that's because they share cultural similarities
with Chinese men on the other side of this border, who struggle to find Chinese wives.
DIEP (PH): You have the one-child policy that has favored sons in general, right.
DIEP (PH): And over time, this has exacerbated in such a way that they need more and more women.
FIELD (voice-over): We are not identifying the women we spoke to, to protect them from retaliation. They don't know how much money they were
sold for but they say they were forced into labor, threatened with working brothels and that their husbands got money-back guarantees.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They said if I didn't agree to get married, they would beat me and kill me. I had to go.
FIELD (voice-over): Today she lives in a shelter with women who fought to find a way out, even at the cost of leaving children behind.
FIELD: What would you say to your daughter, if you were able to say something?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I would apologize for leaving her there. I hope she'll have a better life there.
FIELD (voice-over): Her baby was 5 months old when she made a daring escape. After two years in China, she said she and another bride finally
found an opportunity to take a taxi to a police station.
FIELD: What were you most afraid of in the time you were being kept there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): That they would sell me to a brothel and I could never come home.
FIELD (voice-over): Those who did come home want to spread the word.
DIEP (PH): For us the most important thing is to do this, to make sure that people don't cross the border.
FIELD (voice-over): The survivors return now to the same places traffickers target to try and warn more unsuspecting girls -- Alexandria
Field, CNN, Northern Vietnam.
CURNOW: Powerful piece there, thanks to Alexandra.
Well, still ahead here at CNN, drone video shows the damage from one of the many landslides in Japan following two deadly earthquakes. A look at one
of the hardest-hit areas. That's next.
Plus: there was no conviction but there is a somber apology over last year's canine contraband. We've got the remorse-filled video about these
dog owned by Johnny Depp and his wife, here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.
CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: In Japan the death toll from earthquakes on Thursday and Saturday now stands at 42. Search and rescue crews continue to look for survivors
in crumbled buildings and in areas hit by landslides.
Our Matt Rivers reports from one of the hardest hit areas.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are right outside the village of Minamiaso, one of the harder-hit places. And we wanted to give you an
example of just how bad the destruction from these two earthquakes can be. Take a look at this house here.
Up until Saturday, when the second earthquake struck, this was a two-story structure. But according to the owner, what happened here was once the
earthquake started, the foundation actually started to slide down this hill. There's a pretty big slope here. We're on the side of a mountain.
It started to slide down the mountain. That collapsed the first floor of the house. And take a look right here. You can see that the force was
strong enough that it ripped apart the asphalt here and actually separated the earth.
And in some spaces, if you walk over here with me, you can see how deep this trench here, probably about two meters or so deep. So really just an
incredible show of strength by this earthquake on Saturday.
But while homeowners here, the homeowners of places like this, now have to focus on rebuilding their lives, the main focus for authorities has been
search and rescue efforts.
We spent most of our day on Monday watching one of those rescue efforts and really the big thing outside and inside this village here have been
landslides. This is a mountainous area; these earthquakes triggered several landslides and then it rained.
And so there was very muddy conditions for rescuers to try and save the people that were trapped. They were able to save a few people. But their
efforts continue and that is something that's going to go on for some time, really the impact of these two earthquakes in this community cannot be
The negative impacts, frankly, will be felt for some time to come -- Matt Rivers, CNN, in Minamiaso Village, Japan.
CURNOW: Thanks to Matt for that report.
Now the earthquakes in Japan, Ecuador and also in Tonga happened along the so-called Ring of Fire and that has some wondering if they are related.
Chad Myers joins us now.
Hi, there, Chad
Is there any connection?
Unlikely; they're all so far away, these locations.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Robyn, yes, they're a third of the world away. You have to understand really how big the Pacific Ocean is. And I
understand that all of these plates are bouncing off each other here in the Pacific.
The Ring of Fire, all the way around here and all the way back up the coast. So if we talk about an earthquake that was here, compared to one in
Japan, a third of the world away.
Now I understand that if there were more earthquakes in Japan along the faults there, yes, they would likely be related. And all of the
aftershocks are related, of course, they are. And all of the aftershocks here are related and all the aftershocks we've seen in Chile are related.
But are they related to each other?
One of the Cal State tech guys, the geologist yesterday, Mark Sideman (ph) said, if a tree falls in Canada, does that make a cactus fall in Mexico?
No. Not really related. We should have 15 7.0 to 8.0 earthquakes a year and so far this year we've had five. And so we're almost on track. But
this is the Ring of Fire, where 450 volcanoes are, 90 percent of the earthquakes.
Other than these Central Asia plates, you know, Afghanistan, all those earthquakes there in China, that's a different plate boundary interaction.
But 90 percent of everything takes place here.
So the five so far -- United States, Russia, Indonesia, Japan and Ecuador - - those are the five that have hit this year so far and they are completely unrelated to each other, although when the Earth shakes, it really doesn't
matter. These are big earthquakes. And obviously now hundreds of people have died just since the first shake happened on Thursday -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Thanks for putting it all in perspective, Chad Myers there.
Well, when North Korea carried out its latest nuclear missile, it was hit with a new round of U.N. sanctions. But a CNN team invited there has only
been shown signs of apparent economic growth. As our Will Ripley reports, the regime seems determined not to buckle under mounting international
RIVERS (voice-over): Something unusual happened while driving around the North Korean capital. We got stuck in traffic.
Even in the last year and a half that I've been coming here, there's a noticeable increase in the number of cars on the streets here in Pyongyang.
The North Koreans will say they have more traffic than they ever have before here. And so even though there are some of the strongest sanctions
that have ever been in place against this country, here in the capital city, North Koreans say they're not feeling the impact -- at least not yet.
RIVERS (voice-over): Tough U.N. sanctions intended to stop North Korea from developing dangerous weapons seem to be having little, if any, effect
on life in Pyongyang -- at least the parts we're allowed to see.
The sanctions follow this year's satellite launch and claimed H-bomb test, actions condemned even by North Korea's most powerful friend and trading
partner, China. Chinese state media says the sanctions will begin to hurt within a year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And trying to see for ourselves how the --
RIVERS (voice-over): A CNN crew in this Chinese border city last month could not independently verify if cargo to North Korea is being inspected
as the sanctions require.
A long-time diplomat and former ambassador who now runs a Pyongyang think tank believes sanctions won't hinder North Korea's military or economy.
"We built a socialist country under U.S. sanctions ever since our liberation," says Ri Jong Yul (ph).
"Under our beloved comrade Kim Jong-un's lead, everyone is working hard. He's ordering more weapons tests, including a recent apparent failed
missile launch. We assert the U.S. is the real culprit of the aggravated situation in the Korean Peninsula," Ri (ph) says, referring to eight weeks
of U.S. and South Korea military exercises.
"We must defend our supreme leader's dignity, our republic's sovereignty and our people's right to live," he says, "at any cost."
The U.S. calls it a path to further isolation and hardship. North Korea calls it the only way to survive -- Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.
CURNOW: Great having Will there in Pyongyang.
And coming up after the break, we're going to turn to a lighter story.
Are two celebrities terriers howling a sigh of relief after their owners are cleared of pet smuggling?
We'll have the apology from one of the world's most famous pirates of the Caribbean.
CURNOW: Authorities are looking into a British Airways report that one of its plains heading into Heathrow Airport was hit by what's believed to be a
drone. The plane landed safely but a drone crash could have calamitous consequences.
Our Fred Pleitgen joins us now from London.
Hi, there, Fred.
What exactly happened, do we know?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly a great deal of concern, Robyn, there. This flight was apparently coming
from Geneva here into London, so it's about a 1.5-hour flight, a BA flight.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320 with 132 passengers on board and five crew members, so a fairly full flight. And it was really on its final approach
when the pilot said that an object hit the front of the plane.
Now he apparently told authorities that he believes that that object was a drone, was an unmanned --
PLEITGEN: -- aerial vehicle.
After landing, he notified the authorities. The authorities then immediately started their investigation, also of course notified BA as
well. And what happened then was that technicians took a look at the plane on the ground and determined that the plane was safe to fly again and
apparently then did fly on that same day.
So there wasn't any serious damage. But, of course, still, a lot of cause for concern that a drone would come close enough to an aircraft to actually
hit that aircraft, is something that, of course, the pilots are very much wary of and have been for quite a while.
What we're hearing from the metropolitan police is that they are investigating but so far no one has been arrested yet -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed. This is a huge concern and there have been warnings for a while now.
CURNOW: But how big a security concern is this for the aviation industry as a whole?
PLEITGEN: It's quite big. And it's interesting also when you look at this, this isn't a British problem or a European problem. It's something
that you find in airports around the world.
There have been hundreds of incidents in the United States with drones flying fairly close to landing aircraft or aircraft taking off and a lot of
near misses apparently as well.
If you look at Britain particularly, there was study that was done here for about six months in 2015 that found 23 incidents of drones flying close to
aircraft and in 12 of those cases they deemed that it was a security hazard.
Now yesterday after this took place, the British Pilots Association came out and said it was only a matter of time before a drone would hit an
aircraft and something they've been warning about for a long time.
They want better training for drone pilots. They want more strict enforcement of the laws banning drones from flying around airports.
So clearly they've seen this as a problem and they believe that, for instance, if a drone or at least a larger drone were to not hit the front
of an aircraft but for instance hit the engine of an aircraft, that that could have disastrous consequences for that plane.
CURNOW: Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much, putting it all in perspective.
Well, actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have reached the end of their so- called war on terrier saga. Heard has been spared a conviction for pet smuggling after she and Depp illegally brought their dogs into Australia on
a private plane last year.
Now the famous pirate of the Caribbean and his wife have issued a somber apology for sneaking their pooches into the country. Take a look at this
rather bizarre video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER HEARD, ACTOR: Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.
JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: It has to be protected.
HEARD: Australia is free of many pests and diseases that are commonplace around the world. That is why Australia has to have such strong
DEPP: The Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.
HEARD: I am truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important.
DEPP: Declare everything when you enter Australia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Heard did plead guilty to knowingly producing a false document; however, I sincerely doubt that Qantas is going to be playing that video on
incoming flights into Australia.
That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is up next.