Return to Transcripts main page

AROUND THE WORLD

Day Four of Mourning Period; Obama and Bush to South Africa; Storm Felt Across Nation and Stalls Traffic; Riot at Brazil Soccer Match; Kim Jong-Un Removes Uncle from Power; Hagel Visits Pakistan; People Remember Nelson Mandela

Aired December 9, 2013 - 12:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Leaders from around the world are arriving in South Africa, including four U.S. presidents and more than 90 heads of state, as the nation prepares to honor the life Nelson Mandela.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, boy. Falling ice in Texas, of all places, crashing into parked cars, thankfully, not people. Severe weather continues right across the country.

MALVEAUX: And soccer fans turning violent in Brazil, causing police to use tear gas and rubber bullets to stop the fighting.

Welcome to "AROUND THE WORLD". I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company. And we'd like to welcome our viewers not just here in the United States but indeed all around the world.

Day four of the mourning period for Nelson Mandela, and the world's focus on South Africa, unwavering.

MALVEAUX: And that is how it is done. There is sadness mixed also with celebration. You see the dancers there as mourners flock to Mandela's home. That is in Johannesburg. People of all different faiths, races, backgrounds together paying tribute to the icon who reshaped the country and really became a global symbol of peace. The diversity of the crowds, just a testament to what Mandela accomplished in that once bitterly segregated society.

HOLMES: Leaders from around the world, as we said at the top of the program, also starting to converge on South Africa. And you see there President and Mrs. Obama boarding Air Force One. They took off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland several hours ago now. They're well on their way. And former President George W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, are with the Obamas on Air Force One en route to Johannesburg.

MALVEAUX: That's a pretty rare move, actually.

Well, tomorrow, when the official memorial service is going to take place, it's at the city's soccer stadium. We want to go live to Robyn Curnow who's outside of the Mandela home. And tell us, set the scene for us, if you will, the mood. I mean this is day four of a 10-day mourning period.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I spoke to somebody close to Mandela and they said it wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to not only say good-bye to such a great man, but it also wasn't enough to organize all of this. Just imagine trying to organize more than 90 heads of state, plus more than 80,000 to 90,000 people in that stadium just for tomorrow.

And in terms of the way South Africa is saying good-bye, well, you can see it behind me. It's starting to rain. People are still out here, outside his home, and they've been here nonstop since that Thursday announcement.

And I think what is key is that they don't really care about what's happen inside the home. That everybody seems to have their own personal intimate connection with Mandela and they're coming here, laying flowers. It's a very, very special kind of feeling. A lot of party atmosphere in many ways. People celebrating his life, I must say. So, you know, I haven't seen these sorts of scenes in South Africa since 1994 when Mandela became the president.

HOLMES: Yes. And tomorrow's big service, as you say, it's going to be a nightmare logistically I imagine handling all of those leaders. I think it's 100 current and former world leaders who are flying in there, including some that Nelson Mandela, let's be realistic, was not always complimentary about because he was always a very brutally honest sort of fellow. What are the plans tomorrow?

CURNOW: Well, I think, I mean - I mean you've got to feel sorry for the South Africans. On one hand, you know, everybody here is so proud of this man. On the other hand, the logistics, like you say, are - I mean, imagine trying to liaise with more than 100 different security details for every single one of these heads of state or former heads of state. That's not to mention the more than 70 or 80 or 90 other eminent people, whether they're royals or, you know, the head of the E.U. or, you know, or the U.N. So, I mean, logistically, very difficult.

In terms of Mandela, you know, what a man. I saw him many times, you know, and he had connections with Gadhafi and Castro. And he really didn't care weather people were in favor in the western world or whether they were popular. He was very, very principled in the fact that if Gadhafi, if the Libyans or the Cubans had given assistance to the ANC in their times of trouble, he felt loyal. And he was very loyal to his friends, you know, that's -- he would show the friendship back.

So what you are going to see is a real mismatch of people. People who are celebrities, Naomi Campbell, you know, who's known for her temper and being a hot headed model sitting next to perhaps the, you know, the head of Iran, you know? I mean there's a wonderful image when you can see about tomorrow. So I think that is Mandela. As Zelda la Grange, his P.A., said today, he's bringing people together in death as well as he did in life.

HOLMES: Yes. MALVEAUX: And, Robyn, we're just looking at pictures of Mandela dancing. It was one of the things - I mean he was really somebody who celebrated life as well, bringing so many people together. And you just can't help but smile and be inspired when you - when you see those images.

Robyn, thank you. Really appreciate that.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, you know, the image of Bill Clinton there at Robben Island -

HOLMES: Oh, absolutely, yes.

MALVEAUX: What an amazing treat just to see that up close and hand in '98.

HOLMES: But as we've said, you've got world leaders going there, including -- he was very critical of George W. Bush over the Iraq War.

MALVEAUX: Oh, absolutely.

HOLMES: And George W. Bush is heading down there. And he actually was critical of the United States way back in 2003. I think he said, if there's a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the United States. But this was a man who spoke from the heart, spoke his truth and people respected him for that.

MALVEAUX: It took a long time for the U.S. to divest in investments in South Africa.

HOLMES: Exactly.

MALVEAUX: That was a long process on those college campuses.

Well, the funeral for Nelson Mandela, it's going to be really one of the biggest funerals the world has ever seen. Officials now preparing to welcome, as we mentioned, more than 91 current, former heads of state for this memorial.

HOLMES: Current, yes.

MALVEAUX: And President Obama en route, along with former President George W. Bush. Rare that they're actually on Air Force One together.

HOLMES: On the same plane, yes.

MALVEAUX: Decided to get a ride. Hitch a ride for (ph) them.

HOLMES: Exactly. Hitched a ride. They're going to be joined, of course, by former Presidents Bill Clinton, who was also close to Nelson Mandela, as you said, and Jimmy Carter, too. He's going for the memorial service.

Some other world leaders who plan to attend for Mr. Mandela are the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the British prime minister, David Cameron, Prince Charles is going, the French president, Francois Hollande, and even the Cuban president -- we said he had ties with Cuba in the past -- Raul Castro. The list of dignitaries goes on and on.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, with President Obama and three of his predecessors going to South Africa, you can imagine what Robyn was talking about, and that is security and the kind of complex situation that they're dealing with, potentially a nightmare. Secret Service, they had very little time to even prepare for the trip. Want to go live to the White House. Athena Jones, who's joining us there.

And, you know, Athena, we're very much aware of what it takes. There's not a lot of advance work here when you have that limited amount of time. Air Force One expected to, what, touch down in Johannesburg early tomorrow morning?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Early tomorrow morning. That's right. I think about 1:00 a.m. They'll be making a fuel stop on the way. But bottom line, these are the kinds of trips that take weeks and months to prepare. And this was compressed into a very short timeline, just since last Thursday.

But I spoke with a spokesman for the Secret Service. They say they've done things in less time and they've been knowing - they've known that Nelson Mandela was ill for some time and so they've been working with the State Department, with the South African government. They have Secret Service agents who are based in Rome and in Pretoria who have been able to work on some of the logistics necessary.

And they're -- the same protocols are required any time the president is going somewhere. So even if they have a compressed timeline, they still have to get certain things done. Everything from securing walk- throughs, securing the motorcade route and hotel rooms, that sort of thing.

But the White House was asked about this on the Air Force One gaggle and they said that they haven't heard of any security concerns here. Any security concerns. And they note that South Africa was able to host the World Cup, which was a huge event. Not quite the same as this one, though, because we're -- as you mentioned, we're talking about nearly 100 world leaders. And in some cases, it's not just the current leader of a country, but several past presidents and leaders as well.

I can tell you that here in Washington, Vice President Biden just stopped by the South African embassy and signed condolences - a condolences book there, talking about the profound gratitude that America has for Nelson Mandela. And he's expected to speak as a memorial service here on Wednesday.

MALVEAUX: All right. Athena, you and I have been on many trips with the president. We know how that works. It is a lot of logistics behind the scenes. And we understand that the president is also going to be speaking at the memorial service.

HOLMES: He is. MALVEAUX: That is something that was worked out ahead of time.

HOLMES: Yes. You know -- unfortunately and sadly, because Nelson Mandela had been sick for so long, I've got to imagine there was some preplanning done.

MALVEAUX: Oh, absolutely.

HOLMES: Yes. So that probably - but, yes, to get it all off the ground, big job.

All right, here's more of we are working on this hour for "AROUND THE WORLD".

Cannot believe those pictures.

MALVEAUX: Wow. That's sheets of ice flying off the roof tops. This is in Texas. And now the East Coast getting hit with some bad weather.

HOLMES: Also, a soccer match turns bloody in Brazil. Fans rioting in the stands and, of course, we're talking about Brazil because that's where the World Cup is going to be. More security questions being raised now. We'll talk about that.

MALVEAUX: And Google, Facebook and other tech giants joining forces to protect your privacy. We're going to tell you what they are planning to do next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: We're talking about severe weather. It's just not going away. We are talking about people from California to Maine feeling all of this. Want to take a look at some of the people in Texas. This is what people in Texas have to deal with.

Wow. That is unbelievable. I mean you don't even expect something like that. But in Texas, this is pretty scary. This is a suburb of Plano. Thankfully, this - this is sheets and sheets of ice falling down. Didn't actually hit anybody, did some severe damage to the car, as you can see it there. This has been building up for days. And the temperatures, they rose just a few degrees and it just -- the ice just slid off the side of the building.

HOLMES: Unbelievable.

Also, hard to believe, but what you're about to see there, that's an interstate. It is not a parking lot, although indications would appear otherwise. A snowstorm that hit the northwest Arizona over the weekend triggered a chain reaction crash, as these things sometimes do, shut down a 30-mile stretch of I-15.

There were no reports of injuries, thank goodness, but hundreds of people were stranded, some for up to 12 hours, hoping they wouldn't run out of gas and therefore the ability to stay warm. State troopers and other crews patrolled the road giving out blankets, water and gasoline. The interstate, thankfully, now back open. MALVEAUX: And flying not that much easier, as a matter of fact. You're talking about, so far today, at least 1,500 flights that have been canceled. Right now it's looking like the weather is going to get worse before it actually gets better.

So let's bring in Chad to talk about all of this, because it really is quite surprising. This is before you would expect like some really severe weather.

HOLMES: All that ice in Texas.

MALVEAUX: Isn't that amazing.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I can't wait till January.

HOLMES: Yes, really.

MYERS: I'm going to be really busy in January. I'll cancel all my vacation.

Yes, you know, I mean, literally, with that ice falling off that building, I mean I've heard of golf ball sized hail, but never like pool table sized hail.

HOLMES: Yes.

MALVEAUX: That is amazing.

MYERS: That was just incredible.

HOLMES: Imagine being - nobody was there, thank goodness.

MALVEAUX: I mean how much do you think that weighed just coming down like that?

MYERS: Oh, yes. Oh, 500 pounds easy.

MALVEAUX: Really?

MYERS: Yes. You know, you talk about one to two inches of ice that was just coming down all at one sheet. That car down there is done.

HOLMES: Yes.

MYERS: You don't -- you're not going to rebuild that. That's going to be a parts car. You take the - take the tires and wheels off and put it on a different car.

But, you know, the problem is again, airports. You mentioned that just for a second. Over 5,000 planes with more than 100 each passengers on those planes were canceled this weekend. That's 500,000 people - or 500,000 people flights not going somewhere. So someone didn't make it to where they were going or they're still trying to make it to where they're going.

And if you're on an airplane today, plan on every single seat being sold out. Don't have anything next to you. Try to pack and put it under the plane if you can. There's not going to be any extra space on those planes whatsoever. If you're last the last on the plane, they're going to tell you to gate check it anyway.

HOLMES: Oh, wow.

MYERS: There's another round of snow coming for D.C., Philadelphia into Baltimore for tomorrow. About a four-inch snowfall. Not a big deal and it's not ice. That's something better. But do we need more snow in D.C.? I mean do we need another snow day for these kids? Philadelphia picked up almost eight inches of snow and another four to come tonight and into tomorrow.

HOLMES: Yes, I was watching the football. Really, have you ever seen a game with that much snow?

MALVEAUX: Oh, yeah, that was amazing, actually. Chad, you know I'm always traveling. A couple of days now, am I clear if I'm traveling in a couple of days to the D.C. area?

MYERS: On Wednesday?

MALVEAUX: Yeah.

MYERS: On Wednesday, you're fine. Tomorrow, probably not. They're still going to have pre-canceled flights for tomorrow.

HOLMES: Wow. All right. Yeah, having a huge impact here in the U.S.

Chad, thanks so much.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Chad.

HOLMES: Chad Myers are there.

MALVEAUX: Always check with Chad on my travel.

HOLMES: You do, don't do?

MALVEAUX: Personal guide, always.

HOLMES: All right.

MALVEAUX: And the storm, of course, really rough on Dallas, because we're talking about travelers who've been stranded. This is for days at the airport

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES ARCHIBALD, STRANDED IN DALLAS: This is day four, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Times are getting desperate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Can you imagine that guy?

HOLMES: Day four?

MALVEAUX: That poor guy.

HOLMES: Day four?

MALVEAUX: I would be getting pretty frustrated.

Yeah, hundreds of more flights canceled today. Could be another day of the so-called "Camp DFW" is what they're calling it for the stranded folks out there.

Going to take you live in just a couple of minutes.

HOLMES: Also, some rioting in the stands at a soccer match in Brazil where fans brutally attacked each other, as you see there.

We've got the details of that and also what that means for people who might be headed for the World Cup.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: It's pretty crazy. This is out of Brazil, actually, pretty disturbing, as well.

This is something that just happened, rival soccer fans essentially going wild in the stands, fighting breaking out all over, getting ugly pretty fast.

Shasta Darlington actually has the story behind this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A bloody riot between rival soccer fans broke out at a game here in Brazil over the weekend. Several people were critically injured. One man was airlifted out.

The game between Vasco Da Gama and Atletico Paranaense was halted for more than an hour while players and coaches pleaded with the fans to stop the violence and police shot rubber bullets into the crowds. Unfortunately, soccer violence is a chronic problem for the host of the next World Cup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Really crazy.

HOLMES: That's worrying a lot of people.

Now in North Korea, some political upheaval there, and that's putting it mildly. The leader there, Kim Jong-un, has kicked his own uncle out of power, a very powerful uncle. Jang Song Thaek is accused of corruption, drug use, even womanizing

MALVEAUX: He and his allies are accused of trying to build their own power base and sell off the country's resources. And analysts say that Kim's removal of his uncle indicates that he is consolidating his power, getting rid of the old guard who were close to his father.

HOLMES: And U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Pakistan today, he is talking with the prime minister there and other top officials. His first meeting was with Pakistan's new army chief of staff.

MALVEAUX: U.S. officials say that they are hoping to reach an agreement on reopening a key border checkpoint that American troops use to bring military equipment out of neighboring Afghanistan. Now, Hagel is the first defense secretary to visit Islamabad in nearly four years.

MALVEAUX: Well, she was one of the people who knew him best, that lady there, Nelson Mandela's personal assistant, talking about her last visit with the man so revered by his country.

That's coming up, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Welcome back to "AROUND THE WORLD". I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes.

All around the world, people, of course, remembering Nelson Mandela and preparing for his funeral this weekend.

MALVEAUX: It is a week full of events. Tuesday is memorial service which President Obama and other heads of state will attend. There are going to be public viewing areas throughout the country, as well.

HOLMES: Wednesday through Friday, Nelson Mandela will lie in state at the seat of government, which is, of course, Pretoria, and on Sunday, the state funeral will be held at Mandela's ancestral home, which is Qunu, which is in South Africa's Eastern Cape region.

MALVEAUX: And just moments ago, we heard from Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking about Nelson Mandela, how he prevented an all-out racial war after leaving prison.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS, ANGLICAN CHURCH OF SOUTH AFRICA: Everybody was saying we would have gone up in flames. And no, no, no, no, no.

And he was like -- here he was like a magician. He really was like a magician with a magic wand, turning us into this glorious, multicolored, rainbow people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Speaking of iconic figures -

MALVEAUX: Yeah - HOLMES: -- Desmond Tutu.

MALVEAUX: Desmond Tutu spoke at my college when I was -

HOLMES: He did?

MALVEAUX: He led the divestment movement.

You have the shantytowns, everything, the tents in the yard and everything as people were basically protesting investment in South Africa. He was one of the people who spoke to us.

HOLMES: He's quite the character, that's for sure.

And one of the people who was actually closest to Nelson Mandela is his personal assistant, Zelda la Grange.

She spoke with CNN's Robyn Curnow and in the interview tells us about her last visit with Mandela.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZELDA LA GRANGE, MANDELA'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT: It's obviously sad. There's sadness in the house, but there is also, definitely, I have to say, an undertone of celebration almost, I want to say.

People are celebrating Madiba's life. They are grateful. They are -- people are coming together, people who haven't seen each other for years.

So that's the incredible thing about Madiba. He's bringing people again together, even in his death.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He was suffering, I understand, quite a lot in those last few months. Is there a sense of relief, perhaps is the wrong word, that he's at least free from that?

LA GRANGE: Yes, well, you know, the family made sure that wasn't in any pain through the doctors, of course, and he wasn't suffering.

But you know, Madiba was such an independence person; he was such a proud person that it must have been difficult for him. So it is in a way -- it is letting go. It had to come at some point, yes.

CURNOW: What was it like when you saw him for the last time? Did you know you were saying goodbye?

LA GRANGE: At the time, I didn't. But I made sure that I said the things that needed to be said.

CURNOW: Do you think he heard you?

LA GRANGE: Yes.

CURNOW: What did you say?

LA GRANGE: Now I told him I love him.

CURNOW: Was it hard seeing him like that?

LA GRANGE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Emotional stuff.

Robyn joins us now from Johannesburg. A moving interview, Robyn, and she's an impressive lady. She was very close to him, wasn't she?

CURNOW: Absolutely. He called her his rock, and literally she spent the last 18, 19 years with him.

And you know what was incredible about her role in his life was also incredible about the way he was such a leader, was that he picked her out of the typing pool when he arrived at the presidency.

She had been working. She's Afrikaans. She's white. She represented the old order, the apartheid regime.