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How Long Will Fed Continue Q.E.?; Man's Hand Saved; Video of Humiliation; Doomsday Guru Meets his Doom

Aired December 18, 2013 - 12:30   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They've been doing it to try to support the economy, to keep interest rates low, and to give the necessary stimulus, not so that the economy doesn't slip back into recession, but to give it a boost so it gets to warp speed, or at least escape velocity.

Now, we know it's coming to an end. It's an if, not a when. The question is whether that "if" begins now. Do they start to take the punch away from the party?

Think of it this way. Imagine you're at a party, all right? And the party is starting and getting going quite nicely and the waiters are still pouring the drinks.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CO-ANCHOR: And you've had a couple.

QUEST: And you've had a couple, but you're not raucous.

HOLMES: You're not out of control.

QUEST: Not yet.

HOLMES: Right.

QUEST: What Bernanke has to do is decide when does he say to the waiters, Time to stop pouring the drinks.

HOLMES: Or slow it down.

QUEST: Slowing the -- he wants you to -- he's going to take a couple of waiters away.

He's still going to leave some in the room to pour the drinks, but what he doesn't want is a frat party.

HOLMES: He doesn't want a frat party.

QUEST: No, absolutely not. Not three kegs.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CO-ANCHOR: So what happens? What do you think he's going to say? What do you think he's going to announce -

QUEST: Today -

MALVEUX: -- in 90 minutes?

Yeah, we've got to the figure this thing out.

QUEST: The best guess is there will be no tapering today. No tapering today. It's going to be in the first quarter of next year, January or March meeting. Because what the Fed has said again and again is that their decision will be data dependent. What's the numbers showing?

Now, yes, they showed in the last quarter the U.S. economy growing 3.6 percent annualized. And we know unemployment is now the down at 7 percent, which was his so-called "target" for tapering.

But he's going to want to see firmer evidence, consumer confidence, durable goods, number of hours worked, the real nitty-gritty details that tells you the economy is picking up. And frankly, although we know things are getting better, they're not going to -- they want the insurance of a few more months.

MALVEAUX: And just to use your analogy, this party here, how many more -- at what point do more people get invited to the party?

They're doing well economically. They get to drink the drinks. They get to have some fun.

QUEST: That's why he's not doing it. That's exactly why they're not tapering now. Because, although the party seems to be going quite nicely, there's still -- I'm not making light here. It is just the best way to describe it.

There are still a lot of people in this country who are outside who are basically saying, never mind those inside having a party. We're outside in the cold. We're not -- we haven't got jobs, we're still having difficult paying the bills, we still can't afford a mortgage, all these sort of issues.

So the Fed is quite clear it is not going to take its -- to mix my metaphors, it's not going to take its foot off the gas until it knows there's some real speed going forward.

MALVEAUX: We'll be watching.

HOLMES: Slowing down the drinks but not taking away the punch bowl.

QUEST: No, not yet.

HOLMES: Exactly.

QUEST: We've a long way before the punch bowl goes.

HOLMES: The markets doing nothing yet. They're all waiting, 30 points up.

OK, Richard Quest there.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Richard.

HOLMES: Love the way he breaks that down.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, 90 minutes, we'll see how the party's going.

HOLMES: Exactly.

MALVEAUX: Just ahead, we have shocking video from a detention facility on a remote Italian island.

Imagine this, the humiliation of standing naked in public, being hosed down. We're going to have a live report from Rome on the outrage that this video is causing across Europe.


MALVEAUX: This is a human rights nightmare coming to light. This is on the Italian island of Lampedusa. It's a tiny spot of land in the Mediterranean near the coast of Africa, and a prime destination for people trying to enter Europe.

HOLMES: Yeah, it's been in the news lately with refugees coming ashore there when boats have capsized.

Now, the video we're talking about is at a detention center, and what it does is it shows -- you see it there -- it shows naked migrants being hosed down, allegedly to prevent the spread of a contagious rash.

Now, Lampedusa, as we said, last October it was, hundreds of African migrants drowned just offshore. Countless others have been rescued over the months from flimsy and overcrowded boats.

MALVEAUX: Our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us from Rome.

And Ben, first of all, I mean, tell us how people are responding, reacting to this video showing these migrants in this kind of -- being treated this way, being hosed down publicly, and a lot of people are starting to talk about this and wondering what is going on.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly in Italy and across Europe really, there's been quite a good deal of shock expressed.

We heard, for instance, Laura Boldrini, who's the speaker for the lower Italian house of parliament, saying that this is degrading treatment, not worthy of a civilized country, in her words.

Now, the Italian interior ministry has launched an urgent inquiry into what is going on down there in Lampedusa.

Now, we did reach out just a little while ago to the director of the camp where this video was shot, and he told us, he insisted, that he is not, in his words, "running a concentration camp," and that the migrants are not being treated, as he said, "like animals."

He tried to put it in context, saying that, essentially, on the day when that video was shot, that they were dealing with a much larger number of migrants than is usually the case, and that some of the migrants became impatient after waiting for an hour and a half, took off their clothing and said, look, spray us down for what's -- with this medical treatment for scabies, which is a contagious skin disease.

They said, Just do it. We don't care if it's outside. It's normally done in a cabin so that people are not exposed to other migrants, but in this case, they became impatient. They said just do it here and do it now.

But certainly it doesn't underscore the pressing problem with migrants in Italy. The Italian authorities say between the beginning of January and the beginning of December this year, more than 40,000 people from Africa and the Middle East arrived on the coast of Italy and that they simply don't have the facilities to deal with them.

And, certainly, that is what is what this video would underscore.

HOLMES: Yeah, because, Ben, in Lampedusa, the locals there were shown as being very welcoming and sympathetic to the plight of those who were in that capsizing and the like.

What is the general attitude there to the immigrants, particularly in the numbers in which they're coming?

WEDEMAN: Well, there's a surprising amount of patience given that this is a very small island. We're not talking about a city or anything in that sense.

And, in fact, the mayor of Lampedusa did tell Italian television that she's ashamed that this sort of thing is happening on that island, and it's reminiscent of the way the Nazis treated people during World War II.

But they're sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they're embarrassed by this treatment, but there seems to be a lack of resources, a lack of political will within the Italian government to really bring what's needed to bear to provide the facilities for these people.

In fact, there was a fire at this facility two years ago and they simply have not rebuilt it to the extent that they're able to deal with the numbers of people at the camp.

HOLMES: All right. Ben, thanks so much, Ben Wedeman there in Rome.

MALVEAUX: And Russian lawmakers, they passed an enormous amnesty law today that will set free thousands of people from jails and prisons.

Among them, possibly, members of the punk rock protest band, Pussy Riot, who were locked up after performing a song that was critical of Vladimir Putin.

HOLMES: Yeah, they were labeled as hooligans under the law.

Also locked up in Russia right now, or they were, 30 members of the activist group Greenpeace, of course, were arrested when they tried to board a Russian oil tanker in September. They're all out on bail now, but because of this, they may not be prosecuted.

Now, the lower house of Russia's parliament passed that amnesty law to mark 20 years since they adopted a constitution after the fall of communism.

MALVEAUX: Russia's prohibition against, quote, "homosexual propaganda " has attracted a lot of headlines ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

And, ironically, Sochi has a long reputation of tolerance towards gays.

HOLMES: Yeah, several prominent gay athletes have been named, as we mentioned earlier, to the official U.S. delegation to the games. That is a message the U.S. does not approve of these Russian laws.

Our Phil Black went to Sochi and visited the only nightclub there that caters specifically to the gay community.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Russia, this is an extraordinary sight, not the man dressed as a woman pretending to sing, but the mixed crowd of people cheering for him.

This is Sochi's only gay nightclub. Well, it's more gay-friendly, because all types come here, men and women, gay and straight, to enjoy the drag show and dance until dawn.

Beneath the wig, makeup and that spectacular costume is a young man named Armand (ph). He says Sochi has always been more tolerant than other Russian cities and famous for its gay culture.

During the Soviet era, when being in a gay relationship was illegal and international travel almost impossible, this sunny city by the Black Sea became the USSR's favorite getaway for gay people, the only place where members of a secret community could really be themselves.

Back in the club, locals say that tradition continues. Larry says, gay men and lesbians have been coming to Sochi since Soviet times to get together, have a good time and find love.

The people here know the atmosphere in Sochi is very different to other provincial Russian cities and that makes them lucky, even more so recently.

Gay people across Russia say there's been a surge of intolerance, discrimination and violence, and it started around the time Russia's parliament passed what's become known as the "gay propaganda law," making it illegal to tell children, gay and straight relationships are equal.

Critics say the law is discriminatory. That's why activists around the world have been debating Russia's right to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi. No one we spoke to here supports a boycott, and almost everyone wants the games to be a success for Sochi and Russia. But they still hope visiting athletes (inaudible).

This man says he'd like athletes to stand up for the gay community with a colorful protest against the propaganda law. Vilari (ph) is excited. He hopes athletes will support them publicly and come to this club.

No doubt, Olympians would be welcome here because everyone is.

Phil Black, CNN, Sochi.


HOLMES: Oh, Pope Francis has another Person of the Year honor under his belt, by the way. Last week, of course, it was "Time" magazine.

MALVEAUX: This week it's "The Advocate," the oldest gay-rights magazine in the United States.

Pope Francis has not expressed support for same-sex marriage, but "The Advocate" says he has shown, quote, "a stark change in rhetoric from his two predecessors," unquote. Editors also mentioned something Pope Francis said last summer.

HOLMES: Yeah, this, "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"

All right, now, this next one looks like something out of "Weird Science," really, but techie teens and their computer had nothing to do with this. There is no photo shop here. We're going to show you how doctors managed to save a man's hand by putting it on his leg.


MALVEAUX: Oh, boy.

HOLMES: Oh, boy. He may have lost most of his mayoral powers, but he's still grabbing the headlines. Yes, that is Toronto's crack smoking mayor, Rob Ford, having a bit of a dance off at a city council meeting last night while a jazz trio played. That's how they roll in Canada.

MALVEAUX: OK. So, but some of his buddies, they say, you know, he's staying active, that he's lost 26 pounds.

HOLMES: Well, but he could have dancersized (ph) I suppose. That is a far cry from the last time we saw him, of course, when he was breaking a bit of a sweat on the council floor. There he goes.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes, he apologized for a couple of things, that moment included, that unfortunate moment, but also for accusing some of the council members of corruption.

And a Harvard student suspected of making bogus bomb threats set to appear in court actually this hour. Authorities say that the student, sophomore Eldo Kim, sent e-mails saying that shrapnel bombs had been placed around campus on Monday. Well, now he's facing federal charges, possibly five years in prison. All of this to avoid an exam that his friends say he probably would have done OK on anyway. There you go.

HOLMES: Unbelievable.

All right. Well, the picture is just a little surreal, might be a little bit hard to take, so if you're a little squeamish, we'll warn you now. But this story is just too fascinating pass up.

MALVEAUX: So doctors in China, they made this dramatic move to try to save a man's severed hand. CNN's Ivan Watson, he's in Beijing with the details and the remarkable pictures about what they actually did.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, Suzanne, imagine waking up after an operation, after a horrific workplace injury, to find your amputated hand reattached to your leg. That appears to be what happened in China's Hunan province to a young man named Xiao Wei, who amputated his own hand in this workplace injury earlier this year.

Now, we spoke both to him and to the doctor who performed the procedure. The doctor, whose name is Dr. Tang Juyu, he's a specialist in difficult tissue and wound repair cases. And he decided that the best way to save the severed hand was to reattach it to the patient's leg, where he said it could get a steady supply of blood.

Now, when the patient woke up, he says his reaction to seeing his hand not where it normally is, he said it was, quote, "weird, unbelievable." He said the hand didn't have any independent sensation because the nerves had not been reattached, but it was warm to the touch. As for the leg, it felt pretty normal except, of course, it was much heavier because it had a hand attached to it.

Now, after some time, after the patient's arm re-healed, there was a second, much more difficult procedure to reattach the hand. The patient tells us that he can move his wrist, but he does not have independent motion yet with his fingers.

As for the doctor, he estimates that there have been around 20 similar operations performed across China and he says he himself performed a similar procedure in 2004. But in that case, he temporarily reattached the limb to the patient's stomach before then reattaching it to the limb where it belongs. And you got to hand it to this doctor, he says that procedure was a success.

Michael. Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: That is just unbelievable.

HOLMES: Well, you've got to admit, it could be handy having that down there.


HOLMES: Well, if you drop something, you wouldn't have to bend over to pick it up. MALVEAUX: You just use your hand.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. That is amazing.


HOLMES: And it is, hopefully -

MALVEAUX: Talk about weird, waking up, you know -


MALVEAUX: You think maybe they'd ask permission first. Like, do you mind if we do this? But, it worked.

HOLMES: Well, apparently -- hopefully it's going to work out well for him. That's a good story there. All right, a bit of ingenuity in the surgery.

Coming up, a doomsday guru meets his own doom. That's straight ahead.


HOLMES: And now to the story of the preacher who predicted the end of the world, but not his own end. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was the preacher behind those end of the world predictions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety-seven percent of the people God will destroy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't - don't believe in such (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

MOOS: Judgment days that kept coming and going.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: The world did not end. We are still here.

MOOS: But now the world has ended for Harold Camping, long after he predicted it would. Predictions so wrong that he once said reporters would be thinking --

HAROLD CAMPING, WRONGLY PREDICTED DOOMSDAY: I'm ready to shoot myself or go on a booze trip.

MOOS: He was wrong in 1994 and again when he announced the end would come May 21, 2011. One follower spent $140,000 on ads warning of judgment day.

MOOS (on camera): That's your life savings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A good chunk of it.

MOOS (voice-over): A documentary filmmaker followed Robert Fitzpatrick to Times Square to ring in the end of the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's 6:00. We're still alive!

MOOS: And, of course, nothing happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't water my plants. I didn't do the dishes before I left. I didn't expect to be going back home.

MOOS: I know you felt sorry for some who believed. It was hard not to mock.

MOOS (on camera): But this is my birthday. To put this on me is just weird.

CROWD (singing): Happy doomsday dear Jeanne.

MOOS (voice-over): The rapture, true believers ascending to heaven, was also mocked when it didn't happen with photos showing clothing left behind.

MOOS (on camera): But if it had happened, it might have looked like this.

MOOS (voice-over): When May 21st came and went, Camping revised the date to five months later.

CAMPING: At that time, the whole world will be destroyed.

MOOS: Eye-rolling reporters got a tongue lashing from a supporter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you can't just turn your cameras on him when you have taken and run with this and you loved this story because it's good for you.

MOOS: Who can resist end of the world stories with end of the world parties?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): And only the good die young.

MOOS: Camping wasn't young. He was 92 when his radio network said he passed on to glory this past Sunday after suffering from a fall last month. He did eventually apologize for his predictions, saying, "we tremble before God as we humbly ask him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement." His own reports of his death were always premature.

CAMPING: But I'm not going to be here after October 21st.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



HOLMES: Yes, just - I -- just keep postponing it. No, actually, February, September. MALVEAUX: I'm glad he apologized at the very least.

HOLMES: Oh, well. OK. That will do it.

MALVEAUX: Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. Have a good afternoon.