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Israel, Iran, Double Standard on Nuclear Weapons; Rebels Attack Military in Damascus; Obama, Romney in Ohio at Same Time; GAO Urges FCC to Update Regulations on Cell Phone Safety; Whirlwind Days for U.N. Secretary-General; US Delegation Will Not Hear Ahmadinejad Address the UN; Iranian President Plays the Blame Game
Aired September 26, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Carol Costello.
Hi, everybody. It's 11:00 on the East Coast. It's 8:00 in the morning on the West Coast.
Let's begin with this, the biggest soapbox on earth and, at this hour, the lectern at the U.N. General Assembly will belong to one of the world's most divisive government leaders.
This is just the warm-up act, the President of Ghana, but the person I'm speaking of, none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You've heard of him. He's about to make his final address as the president of Iran.
And guess what? It is not going to be standing-room only, especially since the U.S. delegation has just decided that it's going to boycott the whole process. Not walk out, don't even walk in in the first place.
Here is the explanation that the U.S. delegation gave us and I'm going to read, verbatim. Spokeswoman Erin Pelton says, I quote: "Mr. Ahmadinejad once again uses his trip of the U.N. not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people, but to spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel." Does not seem to be much need to read between any of those lines.
In the past years, Western and Israeli envoys have decided, instead, to come in, but then do this. Walk right out again, once Ahmadinejad begins to speak.
This was the scene back in 2009. There they go, up and out. Then in 2010, it was the same thing all over, ear phones off, pages folded, collect your stuff. There goes the U.S. and they weren't the only ones. A whole bunch of delegations followed them up and out, as well.
So, last year, repeat. You could call it the three-peat. Looks almost exactly the same. but for a couple of other people involved and there go the other delegations, too.
So we've had three in a row of the walk-outs and, before that, we've had the boycotts. And, today, the United States will look a lot like France and these other empty seats, and Germany, et cetera. CNN's Jill Dougherty is an expert on this. She's watching today's action, as well.
So, Jill, I suppose the question would be, what is this all about? Does it seem a bit silly? But is there a difference between going in in the first place and then walking out or just boycotting it altogether?
JILLY DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Not really. I mean, it is, I suppose, a step stronger diplomatically, but the message is there, that they feel that Mr. Ahmadinejad speaks about things like Israel and really goes over the top.
I mean, he has made some pretty outrageous comments over the years and, you know, today could be another one. It's always interesting what is going to -- what he is going to say.
But, you know, Ashleigh, I think we have to look beyond the bluster. We really have to look at this man in terms of his economy, which is in very, very serious trouble.
So, he can bluster. He can threaten. Of course, a big issue is his nuclear program, et cetera, but in the end, he's a man in trouble. He's going to be out of office in June. Right now, he has high unemployment, high inflation. Because of sanctions, they can't sell their oil very well. There are a lot of problems on his plate.
BANFIELD: And, so, this may be his swan song, but what do you expect will be his main mission at that lectern today? Fire and brimstone to make people back home happy or maybe a legacy among all of these world leaders? A legacy among the U.N.?
DOUGHERTY: You know, I think, actually, it could be that legacy because, after all, he thinks of himself as a world statesman and a leader of the nonaligned -- in fact, Iran, this year, is in the rotating presidency at the U.N. for the nonaligned nations.
So, he thinks of himself as a leader of those people, those countries and his message is the United States is oppressing the world. It is, you know, an imperialist country and I, the leader of Iran, am leading the charge against imperialism. So, I think you're going to hear a lot of that.
Now, in line with that, he will often go over the top in terms of attacking Israel, talking about, you know, the terrible things the United States does, but I do think we might -- you know, we might get him trying to make his mark in history.
BANFIELD: I want to ask you, maybe we could switch to some pictures outside the U.N. because, as was not unexpected, Jill, here are the protests that typically follow this leader throughout New York, in fact. There have been protests outside of his hotel. Here are the live protests outside the U.N., various different groups, a lot of Iranian Americans.
And I'm also following live pictures inside the U.N. He's taken the chair beside the lectern. It will be interesting to watch to see if any other delegations walk out. Maybe others have joined the United Nations in boycotting to start with.
But, Jill, there have been some conciliatory things that have been said by the leader. I'll get to that in a moment, but let's listen in as he takes to the stage.
PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (via translator): In the name of God, the compassionate, all place belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may peace and blessings be upon the greatest and trustworthy prophet and his people and progeny. He has chosen companions and upon all (INAUDIBLE) messengers. Oh, God, hasten the emergence of your chosen beloved. Grant him good health and victory. Make us his best companions and all those who attest to his rightfulness.
Mr. President, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I thank the Almighty God for having, once more, the chance to participate in this meeting. We have gathered here to ponder and work together for building a better life for the entire human community and for our nations.
Coming from Iran, the land of glory and beauty, the land of knowledge, culture, wisdom, and morality, the cradle of philosophy and mysticism, the land of compassion and light, the land of scientists, the scholars, philosophers, masters of literature and writers, the land of Adasena (ph), Feldosi (ph), Hafez, Maulana (ph), Atar, Hayam (ph), and Sharia. I represent a great and proud nation that is a founder of human civilization and an inheritor of respected universal values.
I represent a conscious nation which is dedicated to the cause of freedom and peace and compassion, a nation that has experienced the agony and bitter times of the aggressions and imposed wars and profoundly values the blessings of peace and stability.
I am now here for the eighth time in the eighth year of my service to my noble people in this august assembly of sisters and brothers from across the world to show to the world that my noble nation like its brilliant past has a global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquillity which can only be realized through harmony, cooperation and joint management of the world.
I am here to voice the divine and humanitarian message of learned men and women of my country, to you and to the whole world, a message that Iran's great orator and poet, Saadi, presented to humanity in his eternal two-line poetry.
Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain.
I have talked in the past seven years about the current challenges, solutions and prospects of the future world and, today, I want to raise and discuss such issues from a different perspective. Thousands of years have passed since children of Adam, peace be upon him, started to settle down in various parts of earth. Peoples of different colors, inclinations, languages, customs and traditions pursued persistently to fulfill their aspirations, to build a noble society for a more beautiful life blessed with lasting peace, security and happiness.
Despite all efforts made by righteous people and justice seekers and the sufferings and pains endured by masses of people in the quest to achieve happiness and victory, the history of mankind, except in rare cases, is marked with unfulfilled dreams and failures.
Imagine for a moment had there been no egoism, distrust, malicious behaviors and dictatorships with no one violating the rights of others ...
Had humanitarian values been viewed as the criterion for social dignity in place of affluence and consumerism ...
Had humanity not experienced the dark age of medieval periods and centers of power not hindered the flourishing of knowledge and constructive thoughts ...
Had the wars of crusade and ensuing periods of slavery and colonialism not happened and had the inheritors of these dark periods followed a course of humanitarian principles ...
Had the first and second world wars in Europe, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America and in the Balkans not happened and if, instead of the occupation of Palestine and imposition of a fake government, displacement and genocide of millions of people around the globe, the truth behind these wars had been revealed based on justice ...
Had Saddam Hussein not invaded Iran and had the big powers supported the rights of Iranian people instead of siding with Saddam, if the tragic incidents of September 11th and the military actions against Afghanistan and Iraq that left millions killed and homeless had not happened and if, instead of killing and throwing the culprit into the sea without trial or without informing the world and the people of America, an independent fact-finding team had been formed to make the general public aware of the truth behind the incident and to prepare to bring him to justice the perpetrators ...
Had extremism or terrorism not been used to secure political goals ...
Had the arms been turned into pens and military expenditures been used to promote well-being and amity among nations, had the drum of ethnic, religious or racial conflicts not been beaten and if differences had not been used for the purpose of advancing political agendas ...
Had the right to criticize the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionism been recognized to allow the world media to freely report and shed light on realities instead of taking deceitful gestures of backing freedom bent on offending the sanctities and most sacred beliefs of human beings and divine messengers who as the purest and most compassionate human beings are the gift of the Almighty to humanity ...
Had the Security Council not been under the domination of a limited number of governments, thus disabling the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities on a just and equitable basis, if the international economic institutions had not been under pressure and been allowed to perform their duties and functions by using their expertise based on fairness and justice ...
Had the world capitalists not weakened or victimized the economies of nations in order to make up for their own mistakes, if integrity and honesty had not prevailed on the international relations and all nations and governments were treated equally and justly in the global efforts to build and expand happiness for the entire mankind and if (INAUDIBLE) other unfavorable situations had not occurred in human lives ...
Imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been.
Let us take a look at the world situation today. A, the economic situation. Poverty is on the rise and the gap is widening between the rich and the poor.
Total foreign debt of 18 million (ph) industrial countries has exceed $60 trillion whilst the repayment of half of this amount is sufficient to eradicate poverty in the world.
Economies dependent on consumerism and exploitation of people only serve the interests of a limited number of countries.
Creation of worthless paper assets by using influence and control over the world's economic centers constitutes the greatest abuse of history and is considered a major contributor to global economic crisis.
It has been reported that only 33 (INAUDIBLE) of paper assets were printed by one government alone.
Development planning based on capitalist economy that runs in a vicious circle triggers unhealthy and devastating competitions and it is a failed practice.
B, the control situation. From the standpoint of the politicians who control the world power centers, concepts such as moral principles, purity, honesty, integrity, compassion and self-sacrifice are rejected as defunct and outdated notions and an impediment to the accomplishment of the goals.
They openly talk about their disbelief in the relevance of ethics to the political and social affairs. Pure and indigenous cultures as the products of centuries old efforts of nations, the common denominator reflecting human profound feeling and love towards beauty and the force which breathes diversity, cultural awareness and social dynamism are under constant attacks and susceptible to extinction.
The specific lifestyle devoid of individual social identity has been imposed on nations by organized and systematic destruction and accumulation of identities.
Families, as the noblest institutions of societies and a center emanating love and humanity, has been seriously weakened and its constructive role is under decline.
Women's sublime role and personality as a heavenly being, a manifestation of divine image and beauty and the main pillar of every society, has been damaged and abused by the powerful and the wealthy.
The human soul has become frustrated and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed.
C, political and security situation. Unilateralism, application of double standards and imposition of war, instability and occupation to ensure economic interests and expand dominance over sensitive centers of the world have served to be the order of the day.
Our slaves and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent.
Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments in due time is now being used as a new language of threats against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony.
Continued threats by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.
A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations whilst there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.
No one feels secure or safe, even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals.
D, the environmental situation. The environment as a common wealth and heritage of the entire human kind and a constant guarantor of man's survival has been damaged and devastated as a result of irresponsible and excessive use of resources, particularly by capitalists across the world, a situation that has caused massive drought, flood and pollutions, inflicting irreparable damage and jeopardizing seriously human life on earth.
Dear colleagues, despite advances in scientific knowledge and technology, the aspirations of Adam's children have not yet been fulfilled. Does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for the human society?
Today, everyone is discontent and disappointed with the current international order.
Dear colleagues, human beings do not deserve to be under continued sufferings of the present situation. God of wisdom and compassion who loves all human beings has not ordained such a destiny for mankind.
He has ordered humans as the supreme creature to make the best and most beautiful life on earth, along with justice, love and dignity.
We must, therefore, think of a solution. Who is responsible for all these sufferings and failures?
Some people try to justify that everything is normal and is a reflection of divine will, putting the blame on nations as responsible for all prevalent vices and evils. They are of the opinion that it is the nations that succumb to discrimination and tyranny. It is the nation that surrenders to dictatorship and greed.
It is the nation that accepts the hegemony of arrogance and expansionist powers. It is the nations that are influenced by the prodding and the tactics of powers and most all vices in our world are the result of the passive attitude with the inclination to live under the supremacy of the world powers.
These are the arguments raised by those who tend to blame nations for the unfavorable conditions prevailing in the world with the intention to justify the attitudes and disruptive behaviors of the ruling minority.
These claims, supposedly authentic, cannot in any way justify continuation of the present oppressive international order.
Indeed, poverty is imposed on nations and powers, ambitions and goals are pursued either through deceits or resort to force.
To justify their inhuman actions, they propagate the theory based on the survival of the fittest while in principle most governments and nations of justice-seeking people are humble and submissive in the face of right and are after fostering dignity, prosperity and constructive interaction.
Masses of people never want to expand their territories nor do they seek to obtain legendary wealth. They have no disputes among themselves in principle and have never played any role in the creation of any disastrous events in the course of history.
I do not believe that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others have any problems among themselves or are hostile against each other. They get along together constantly and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity.
They are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love. The general tendency of nations has always been to accomplish positive, common aspirations reflecting exalted divine human beauties and nobilities.
The current abysmal situation of the world and the people ...
BANFIELD: Well, the President of Iran certainly has a whole lot of blame for a whole lot of other countries other than his own, specifically those Zionists who he always calls the "uncivilized Zionists" and those nations with hegemony and arrogance, blaming the world's problems, like the environment and double standards and the cultural problems and poverty on many of those capitalist nations around the world.
Jill Dougherty is still with me from the State Department. Our top reporter who always covers that.
This is not what I was expecting, I have to say. There's always time for him to turn and get ornery, Jill, but I was expecting something much quicker, a lot more strident language right off the bat.
DOUGHERTY: Yeah, you know, Ashleigh, it's not over yet, so he could still do that, but I think, again, we're looking at a man who wants to depict Iran, which is a great country, Persia, and himself as a great man, a great leader who sees the world the way it is, which is controlled by -- he didn't say it, but -- the United States.
You mentioned, hegemonic powers and everything is rigged against the lower countries of the world who are striving to get out from under the bottom of this.
And it also plays into his interpretation of why Iran should have at least the capability of having nuclear power. He wouldn't say, necessarily, nuclear weapons, but nuclear power because, after all, the big countries do it.
And sometimes that type of message, you know, the big guys can do it, why can't we, does resonate with some countries, but you'd have to say that so far we haven't heard very much of anything.
It's the typical thing. In fact, I think there was only one reference, one or two, to Zionism, but it's blame, blame, blame.
And as I said, this is a man who has to blame because, otherwise, he is in trouble domestically with his economy.
BANFIELD: Well, Jill, if he is trying to give a message of a statesman, he's got a lot of ears because, so far, by our count, and I have to admit, we're not controlling the cameras, the U.N. is, it was just the U.S. and Israel that walked out -- or didn't even walk in.
But, you know, countries like Russia and the Palestinian delegation, the U.K., Iraq, Egypt, Libya, all seated and listening to the president's speech.
So, Jill, if you could stand by and keep an ear on things and then get us up to speed if things take that turn that you and I were talking about, we'd sure appreciate it.
Also want to let you know that, if you want to continue to watch this speech live, you can do so on the Internet. Just go to live.CNN.com and, when we come back, a whole lot more on why this is so significant.
BANFIELD: It's fairly fair to say that all the world knows that one of Ahmadinejad's favorite targets is Israel. The war of words between Ahmadinejad and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been at a fever pitch lately with Prime Minister Netanyahu warning that, if the international community -- and you can read United States -- doesn't do more to stop Iran's suspected attempt to produce nuclear weapons, well, Israel will be forced to act unilaterally.
But the critics, including those in Israel, as well, believe it or not, they're raising a very touchy issue of Israel's nuclear program and they're asking the same question that the leader of Iran just said at the lectern at the U.N. Is there a double standard?
He actually used the words "double standard" in front of the global community, but let's consider the facts here.
Israel has long refused to confirm or deny that it actually has nuclear weapons, although independent experts agree that it does, indeed, have an arsenal.
Israel has refused to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Iran has signed it, but critics say violate it all the time.
Israel has never allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its major nuclear facility. They have inspected Iranian sites, though, again, the critics say loads and loads of infractions with regard to those inspections in Iran.
Sara Sidner, joining us live now from Jerusalem.
Sarah, as we watch what's going on, on the global stage in New York at the U.N., you know, there are a lot of nations, not just Iran, a lot of Arab nations, a lot of Muslim nations that are very critical of what they say is a double standard when they say what comes to nuclear weapons and Israel.
How does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu answer this? How does he rationalize and justify his global position when it comes to nukes?
SARAH SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, one of the things that they said is they have this policy of opacity where they say they cannot confirm or deny whether or not they have them. But the big thing they say here is the level of threats that you hear from Iran compared to what you hear coming out of Israel -- you talk to any of these political scientists here and they'll say we never threatened to annihilate anyone. We never threatened to wipe anyone off the face of the earth. We don't use that language and we don't threaten people with nuclear action. If, indeed, we do have nuclear weapons, we don't threaten to use them.
But the other side of the argument, obviously, Ashleigh, coming from a small group of people, a disarmament group that believes there should be fewer amounts of weapons of nuclear weapons, including here in Israel, worry that there is a double standard. It's merely Israel having those nuclear weapons, is threat to the neighbors to its neighbors and Iran considering the ratcheting up of tensions between the two. But let's listen to how Mr. Netanyahu reacts to that claim of double standard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We don't call for anyone's annihilation. We don't foster terrorism. We don't threaten to obliterate countries with nuclear weapons. But we are threatened with all of these threats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: So let me give you some idea of threats. Now, Iran has never said that it was going to use nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel. But what we did hear this month, for example, is from one of the commanders in the Iran army, and basically he said that if Israel were to strike Iran, there would, quote, "be nothing left of Israel." Those kinds of comments, Israel says, are just completely to be believed, and that they take them seriously, and it's something you should never be able to say about an entire nation, which is a very small place surrounded by what many perceive as enemies.
BANFIELD: Sarah Sidner live for us -- thank you -- in Jerusalem. Do appreciate that.
One other point on this issue as well. According to some of the analysts, the decision by the U.S. not to acknowledge or press Israel on its nuclear program dates back to what's considered a secret agreement back in 1969 between then Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, and then U.S. President Richard Nixon. We're going to continue to watch what's going on with Ahmadinejad's speech at the U.N.
You can continue to watch what's going on, live at CNN.com. Again, always time for the fire and brimstone to begin.
Evidence now that the crisis in Syria is creeping closer and closer and more significantly into the capital of that nation. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: A fierce gun battle breaking out between the rebels and the government forces after these two large explosions rocked the army's headquarters in Damascus. You do not often see giant billowing smoke like this in Damascus. This attack is the second though on a military facility in that city in two days. Iran's state-run Press TV says that one of its correspondents covering the attack was killed by rebel sniper fire. The Syrian government says that four of its guards were also killed and 14 other people were wounded. The rebel Free Syrian Army, for its part, is claiming responsibility for this. But the government, as it always does, says they are terrorists, not opposition members or Free Syrian Army, just terrorists. The opposition, by the way, is out with some brand new numbers, the casualty toll, saying that more than 30,000 people have been killed since the civil war broke out 18 months ago.
BANFIELD: Countdown, 41 days until the election, seven days until the first presidential debate. Exciting. So it's really no surprise that President Obama and Mitt Romney are in the same state today with dueling events at the same time. They're crisscrossing opposite sides of Ohio. Likely, not to see each other. It's ground zero for the jobs debate and for the battle for the middle class, which is exactly the focus right now.
As Mr. Romney wraps up his bus tour today in the buckeye state, his first stop, a rally in Columbus. Here it is, just this morning, where he was joined by -- and you'll recognize him -- hometown hero, Jack Nicklaus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK NICKLAUS, PRO GOLFER: We can write a better future for ourselves, our children and their children and begin by putting Mitt Romney in the White House.
MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But after the debates and after the campaigns and after all the ads are over, the people of Ohio are going to say loud and clear on November 6th, we can't afford four more years. We must do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: If you think that looks like the governor's working hard, he is. Based on the latest polls, he's going to have to do whatever he can to boost his numbers and get that campaign invigorated. Check out the new Quinnipiac, "New York Times," CBS polls coming out today. Governor Romney is trailing the president by 10 points in that state, 53 to 43 in Ohio. Keep in mind, no Republican candidate has won the presidency without taking Ohio. It matters. President Obama is nine points ahead in another state. Key one, Florida. And he's leading by 12 points in another big state, Pennsylvania. And as we speak, the president is on his way to the Buckeye State, headed to Ohio, like we mentioned. Due to land any minute. Bowling Green is the first of two campaign events in that state. We're going to bring you both the president's and Mitt Romney's speeches live from Ohio. They get underway about 1:00 p.m. eastern or so, so keep your eyes tuned. We'll have them live for you.
In the meantime, I know you use them -- cell phones. But we've always wondered, are they bad for us? Are they doing damage to us? It's been more than 15 years since the FCC actually set the radiation exposure limit for safe cell phone use, but you know a lot can happen in 15 years. We can get two phones, three phones, iPhones, all the rest. Today the U.S. Government Accountability Office is really urging the FCC to update those regulations, the safety issue.
CNN's resident brain surgeon, literally -- literally a brain surgeon. I love saying I get to talk to a brain surgeon --
-- joining us to talk about this and more.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ashleigh. How are you doing?
BANFIELD: Good. But I always worry, I spend so much time on two Blackberries. Are we still as safe as we thought we were? Has anything changed? Do know more than we used to?
GUPTA: I think we know a lot more than we did. We probably don't know enough. One thing to keep in mind, Ashleigh, when we think about cell phone usage in this country, it's been in widespread use since the late '90s, mid '90s. It hasn't been that long. It's relevant because there's not enough time -- there hasn't been enough data to actually answer the question definitively about whether these phones can be harmful. So I think we're still collecting more and more information.
BANFIELD: And as we do that, phones get cheaper, plans get easier, family plans come out. We buy more phones for our kids, even our little ones. And that brings up a whole other subject matter, and that is kids who use phones. It's not the same as you and me.
GUPTA: Yes. Let me start off by explaining, when we're talking about cell phones, we're talking about things like non-ionizing radiation. These are not ionizing. That's the thing that comes out of x-rays. We know too much of that can be bad. With this, there's been more evidence of saying, look, non-ionizing radiation can change the brain in some ways, make it, for example, take up more glucose, so it's changing the brain. It's also causing heat and that's important as well. But it's over the time period, using the phone a lot, for many years, what is the consequence of that? The World Health Organization saying, we call it a possible carcinogen.
When it comes to kids, Ashleigh -- and it's funny to look at some of the safety testing. I visited one of these labs where they do the testing and it was surprisingly low tech. They use a model essentially of an adult male who has a thicker skull, but kids have thinner skulls, so they can penetrate radiation more easily. They'll use phones their whole lives. We started using these phones as adults but the overall dosage will be much higher.
BANFIELD: Not to mention the fact that, you know, the guy in that example was probably upwards of, you know, 200 pounds.
GUPTA: That's right.
BANFIELD: My little guy, one of them is only 40 pounds. There's got to be a big difference there.
GUPTA: That's right. BANFIELD: Let me ask you this. A lot of us have started to notice all of the different apps out there, whether it's for your iPad, whether it's for your phone, Smartphone, that are kid friendly, that can be informative, educational, read a story to them. But doesn't that bring with it a whole slew of other problems?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I have three small children as well so I think about this a lot. From a radiation standpoint, solely, certainly, you know, if your device is on Wi-Fi, there will be less radiation there than if you're actually communicating with a cell tower. The best is to turn the device into airplane mode if your kid is actually using the device for apps or to read something. In terms of impact on the brain overall, there's a lot more evidence looking at what happens to the brain in someone who's constantly using these devices. We know, for example, it's a lot harder for them to turn their brains off, so to speak. A lot harder to get to sleep, much harder to multi-task, to toggle between activities. We thought the brain was designed to do a lot of that. Not so much when you actually look at these studies, so making sure kids are only working on one particular thing at a time, perhaps, not doing it too close to bedtime.
BANFIELD: You know what, I didn't get into, any time with the iPad reading you the story, is time that mommy or daddy is not reading you the story. I wish you lived in my house because I have these questions every single day and you always have the answers.
GUPTA: And I could read to your kids for you.
BANFIELD: Would you, Sanjay? Really?
I have a promise from you right here live on the TV.
Sanjay Gupta, always good to see you.
GUPTA: Thank you, Ashleigh. You've got it.
BANFIELD: Appreciate it.
Be sure to check out CNN.com/ourmobilesociety from the good doctor and how mobile technology is really changing our kids, changing us, and changing our world.
BANFIELD: All right. So, look, the swan song for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was a mild speech. While we expected like every other year he'd blame us for 9/11 or something along those lines, that didn't happen. He wrapped it up with what might be potentially considered a statesman's speech. How about that? Who knew? Nice to know though, isn't it?
So navigating dangerous, somewhat dangerous, or dangerous sounding people, like Ahmadinejad, can be a dangerous thing to do, especially if you're trying to navigate somewhere around 200 world power brokers from Communists to war lords. It could be some of the toughest jobs on the planet. It makes the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon extremely powerful, very, very important, and the only person who our president decided to meet with formally while he was here at the U.N. yesterday.
So in what is arguably the busiest week for arguably one of the most important men in the world, Alina Cho just happened to spend a whole bunch of time with him.
First of all --
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A couple of hours.
BANFIELD: I can't believe it. On the opening day of the U.N. G.A., you get this incredible access to this man.
CHO: Incredibly lucky.
BANFIELD: -- follow along with cameras and all that.
CHO: We were traveling in his convoy. We started at his residence at about 7:30 in the morning.
CHO: It was incredible access. I have to thank the secretary- general's office for that. It was unprecedented.
Having said that, you know what the U.N. G.A. is like. It's so busy that the secretary-general likens it to speed dating.
BANFIELD: Speed dating?
CHO: Speed dating -- his words.
You know, he is a man that every world leader wants to meet, and Ban Ki-Moon is more than accommodating. Such a nice man. He takes hundreds of meetings, thousands of hand shakes, and very little sleep during this period.
So, as Ashleigh mentioned, we were with the secretary-general on the opening day of the U.N. G.A. We got a glimpse at how this powerful man manages to do it all in nearly record time.
CHO: Good morning.
BAN KI-MOON, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: Good morning.
CHO: So nice to see you. Very early.
(voice-over): It's just after 7:00 in the morning and we're at the home of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
KI-MOON: I normally get up at 4:00, 4:30, particularly during these days.
CHO: Especially on this day, the opening day of high level debates at the U.N. General Assembly.
(on camera): They call the U.N. G.A. the Super Bowl of diplomacy.
(voice-over): For Ban Ki-Moon, it's the busiest time of the year.
KI-MOON: This week we have around 190 leaders above the level of foreign ministers. Above the level of prime ministers and the president, we have more than 120. I'm going to meet most of them.
CHO (on camera): How much pressure do you feel?
KI-MOON: Of course, I am under a lot of pressure.
CHO: So much so.
KI-MOON: I don't sleep more than four hours. I have 24 hours like everybody else.
CHO (voice-over): In this 24-hour period, Secretary-General Ban will meet with the leader of the free world.
(on camera): What will you say to President Obama today?
KI-MOON: We need U.S. leadership, President Obama's leadership and influence. You see how tight the security will be yourself.
CHO: We're off. The secretary-general and our camera man in one car. We're behind him in what's called the blanket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Post 500 from blanket.
CHO: We quickly learned, being the S.G. has its perks.
CHO: Minutes later, we arrive at the United Nations and the handshakes begin.
CHO: Once inside, more handshakes in multiple languages.
CHO (on camera): How many hands did you shake? (LAUGHTER)
CHO (voice-over): The S.G.'s schedule is minute by minute.
(on camera): How do you read that?
KI-MOON: We can -- you have to have very fine glasses.
CHO: A quick meeting with Brazil's president and it's nearly time.
(on camera): Deep breath.
KI-MOON: Deep breath.
CHO (voice-over): Time for Secretary-General Ban to address the world's leaders on a world stage.
(on camera): Good luck.
CHO: I have to tell you, to be inside that chamber was pretty amazing, and with the secretary-general no less.
Now, how does he manage to do it all? Well, his advisors say that the secretary-general has two qualities that really help him. Number one, he has a photographic memory, so he can look at that tiny little diary and commit his schedule to memory. That is incredibly helpful.
Ashleigh, the other quality that he apparently possesses, incredibly helpful, is that he has an amazing knack for names. 193 member states, you need to know names. He is --
BANFIELD: They don't stay the same every year.
CHO: No, they change. He can speak three languages, English, Korean, and French. He is learning many, many more. That's what happens when you are the U.N. Secretary-general.
BANFIELD: By the way, he is like a year and a half into his second five-year term. 2016 would be --
CHO: 2016 is when, and then after that, we'll see what happens. But he has been in public life much of his adult life, so. BANFIELD: So when we go to break, you're going to give me the skinny on how you scored. That's awesome.
CHO: I will.
BANFIELD: Alina Cho, everybody. Thanks so much.
Back in a moment with something remarkable with regards to cancer patients and how eating well can really change things.
BANFIELD: Eight years ago, Fabian Navidi-Kasmai was diagnosed with cancer and with that all the other problems. He lost his appetite, nothing tasted the way it used to before he got sick. Finally, foods that he could actually eat was critical. He needed eat to stay strong and beat this thing. He did. And now Fabian and his mom are using their success, of course, to help other people do the same.
Sanjay is back right now with this story in today's "Human Factor."
GUPTA (voice-over): Fabian Navidi-Kasmai is what you would call an old soul. He has always been advanced. When he was 10, he won a writing contest that gave him an opportunity to interview First Lady Laura Bush. He has been constantly challenging himself. But at age 11, Fabian faced his biggest challenge of all. He was diagnosed with stage-three Hodgkin's lymphoma.
FABIAN NAVIDI-KASMAI, HAS CANCER: Then it becomes a blur. Just tests and all kinds of scans and they put me in surgery.
GUPTA: His mother, Danielle, watched Fabian go from a happy, healthy boy to a very sick child.
DANIELLE NAVIDI, FABIAN'S MOTHER: There's no greater nightmare. He was left more ill as a result of the treatments. You know, the rebuilding was such a journey getting him back his strength back and his health back.
GUPTA: With chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Fabian began to lose his appetite. His mother became frustrated looking for new ways to feed her son. The things he used to like no longer tasted any good. So Danielle kept experimenting with foods, cooking things he would eat, but were also healthy for him so he could fight the cancer.
NAVIDI-KASMAI: It still boils down to the fact that you can do it or you can't do it. We're going to do it. So we got to do the best way we can.
GUPTA: It's been nearly 10 years since Fabian's diagnosis, and after a year of treatment and countless follow-up visits, he remains cancer- free. NAVIDI: Do you like blueberries?
GUPTA: His mom is now a certified nutritionist who teaches other families how to cook healthy meals that taste good for children who have cancer. Some of her recipes can now be found in a cook book entitled "Happily Hungry," which Danielle and Fabian collaborated on because there's so little information to help children with cancer eat healthier during their treatment.
NAVIDI: You have to look at it as an opportunity to rebuild them in the best way possible.
GUPTA: The book is full of colorful recipes designed with a child in mind. It's categorized by a symptom describing why each recipe is important. They hope the dishes will help children get well just like they did for Fabian.
Today, Fabian is a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia studying film. He is back to challenging himself by graduating from college next May at the age of 19.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN.
BANFIELD: Thank you, Sanjay.
I have some sad news to bring your way. Andy Williams, the man who rose to fame with songs like "Moon River," has died.
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BANFIELD: Still love that song. Andy was 84 years old, and he had been fighting bladder cancer for about a year now. He began his solo singing career back in 1952, and in 1962, he started this, "The Andy Williams Show" on NBC.
In an interview with Larry King in 2000, he talked about his career and his singing. Have a listen to this.
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ANDY WILLIAMS, SINGER: I think the best time that I ever sang was in the 1960s and 1970s. Then it's just a matter of you still sing good, but you don't sing -- the voice isn't quite as good.
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BANFIELD: Andy Williams had 17 gold and three platinum records. He's survived by his wife and three children. And with that, I turn it over to my colleague, Suzanne Malveaux, for NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL.