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New Terror Warning; Wall Street Anxiety; Boeing Inspections; Hollande Split With Trierweiler Official; Baghdad Dangerous and Insecure With Car Bombings

Aired January 27, 2014 - 12:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: One of them was about Benghazi and another that was completely separate and a different time, was about her thoughts about 2016. It was brought in while she was laughing about something completely unrelated at a different time. That is our mistake. She was not laughing. Let's be very clear that the secretary of state was not laughing about the previous comments about Benghazi. That was just a quick but-thought, we call it. Butted sound bite. But there you have it, comments about 2016.

Thanks so much for watching, everyone.

AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. stocks falling again after last week's frightening sell-off. We're going to take a look at why world markets are faltering down 59 points right now.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And another terrorist threat against the Sochi Olympics, as the Olympic torch passes through Russia's most troubled region, Dagestan.

MALVEAUX: France's first couple no longer a couple after rumors of an affair with a French actress. Hear what the former first lady is staying about the split.

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

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company.

MALVEAUX: Welcome back.

HOLMES: Good to be back. Thanks very much.

MALVEAUX: Very happy to see you again.

HOLMES: Three weeks out there in Iraq.

Let's start now with the terror threat level that is rising in Sochi. Just 11 days to go now before the start of the Winter Olympics.

MALVEAUX: Today is seen as a key test of Russian security. That is because the Olympic torch is passing through the militant hot bed of Dagestan. And this comes just as we learn details now about a new warning from terrorists in that city. Ivan Watson is following all the angles from Sochi.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under heavy security Monday morning, the Olympic torch made its way through the city of Dagestan, a region plagued by Islamist insurgents. This amid a new warning from terrorists in that region over the weekend promising more attacks like this recent bombing in Russia, though not specifically mentioning the Sochi games.

As Olympic athletes begin to arrive, the U.S. State Department issued another warning last week urging American athletes not to wear their uniforms outside the games' ring of steel.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: If we need to extract our citizens, we will have appropriate arrangements with the Russians to do this.

WATSON: In the event of an attack, U.S. officials say they have contingency plans at the ready, helicopters on stand-by on two warships in the Black Sea, and C-17 transport aircraft in Germany could be on the scene in two hours. But Russian officials hope these emergency plans won't be need, assuring their security forces will be vigilant.

SERGEY KISLYAIC, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: And that's (INAUDIBLE) certain because we are doing everything that is needed in order to make sure it's going to be safe, and it will be as safe as any other Olympics that can be held currently in the world.

WATSON: But others, like U.S. Congressman Peter King, said on ABC's "This Week," he can't give that same promise.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I cannot give them 100 percent guarantee. The fact is that these are going to be very much threatened Olympics, probably more than any we've had in our past.

WATSON: The U.S. continues to offer counterterrorism expertise to Russia with IED detection software, jamming equipment and warships at the ready. All Russia needs is to give the green light.

HAGEL: Whatever we could do, we want to do to help. But right now there has been no request from the Russian government.


HOLMES: And Ivan Watson joins us now from Sochi.

Ivan, you know, tight security, of course, for the torch relay in Dagestan. Explain the steps that are happening now, and how it's impacting where you are.

WATSON: Well, certainly we're seeing the -- some of the tens of thousands of Russian security forces that have descended upon this region, particularly after the deadly twin bombings that hit the city of Volgograd at the end of December, killing more than 30 people. And that's a couple hundred miles to the north of here.

Today I've seen Russian warships, for example, patrolling right off the coast here in the waters of the Black Sea, literally just a couple hundred yards away from the Olympic Park. That's one of the measures we've seen.

I've seen loads of security forces, for instance, with very strict controls over the train stations that are going to be very important for logistics of moving athletes and fans back and forth between different Olympic venues. For instance, we couldn't even bring TV cameras into the train stations because we were blocked by the police.

And another measure we have heard about from locals is that cars that are not registered here, Michael, are not allowed to even enter the Sochi region. And if you happened to have a car registered from outside of Sochi, after January 7th, well those drivers, they simply can't take their car out of here. And that gives you a sense of how seriously the Russians are taking these potential threats from the north Caucasus, which is just a couple hundred miles to the east of here.

HOLMES: All right, Ivan, thanks so very much. Ivan Watson following things for us there from Sochi. Appreciate it.

MALVEAUX: You know the countdown is on. The threat of a terror attack as well weighing heavily on some of the families of these Olympic athletes. You can imagine. We heard earlier from two family members, a mom who says she's not going to send her daughter anywhere that she herself is afraid to go.

HOLMES: Yes, and so the mom is heading to Sochi and a wife, who has decided not to go to the games because of those security concerns. Have a listen.


SEQUOCORIA MALLORY-LUCAS, MOM OF U.S. BOBSLED TEAM MEMBER: She is doing fine as far as feeling assured that she's going to be OK and is safe and that we will be OK and safe. She knows that my family is planning to go. We certainly don't portray any type of fear. I'm not afraid to go. I'm excited about going and I'm certainly encouraged that the United States has offered to lend a hand to Russia and that Russia has really made this a top priority, their security concerns and preparations.

KATE CARCELEN, WIFE OF OLYMPIAN ROBERTO CARCELEN: I really wanted to go. I wanted to bring my daughter. She's six. So it would be a really great experience for her. But the more we talked about it, about two months ago, we were all on board. And -- but then we continued to talk about what our plans were, where we were going to stay. And I could just tell by the look on his face and just his reaction, and I finally just asked him, look, if -- is this going to stress you out for us being there, and he just immediately said "yes."




MALVEAUX: That's sad.

HOLMES: That is. That is sad, isn't it?

Up to 15,000 Americans are expected to go to Sochi for the Winter Olympics.

MALVEAUX: We have also been watching this. The U.S. markets struggling this morning here. Want to take a look at the big board right now at the New York Stock Exchange. Looks like things rallying just a little bit. It's just down 65, 64 or so. Friday the Dow dropped more than 300 points, wrapped up the worst week since 2011. It was sad to see.

HOLMES: Yes. It was actually up 0.25 of a percentage point a little earlier in the day, so it's now dipped from there. Financial experts, well they're saying that anxiety in emerging markets overseas is one of the things rattling Wall Street. What does that mean? Alison Kosik here to explain.

That's sort of part of it, isn't it? It's not all of it.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's a huge part of it, though, Michael and Suzanne. You know, we know from our own recession that the global economy is very interconnected. And what happens in one country can have a ripple effect elsewhere. Now, the big selloff in the U.S. and around the world last week happened because of worries of those so-called emerging markets or also known as smaller financial markets.

So, how does that affect the U.S.? Why does it affect the U.S.? Our economy, you look at it, it's been improving. That's a good thing. But here's the other thing, it means that the Fed is likely to continue pulling back on the stimulus that it's been pouring into the financial system. It's been pumping out so much easy money that these emerging countries like Turkey and Argentina had gotten these big cash inflows from U.S. investors the past few years. But now with the stimulus slowing down, Wall Street is pulling some of its cash out of those markets, which could wind up making it harder for those countries to pay its bills.

Also, look at interest rates. They're expected to edge higher, which means for these countries it's going to be more expensive for them to borrow. Throw in the fact that these markets are also an important source of profits for U.S. companies and there you've got that fear that the problems there could ripple over here, especially affecting company profits, something that Wall Street obviously watches very, very closely. Suzanne and Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, indeed. Yes, that's right. Corporate earnings still coming out too.

Alison, good to see you. Alison Kosik there.

KOSIK: Sure.

MALVEAUX: And airlines flying one of the most popular passenger jets in the world today got a mandate from the FAA to replace parts in the jet's tail that could cause the pilots to lose control of the plane. We're talking about the Boeing 767.

HOLMES: That's not something you want to hear, is it? The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering inspections of the jet liner. It is not the first time, either, that the plane's safety and structure have been under review. Rene Marsh joining us from Washington.

OK, what is the problem, Rene, and should passengers be a little worried or not?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, short answer, most likely if you're boarding a plane today, as you're watching us, you're most likely going to be OK.

So let's talk a little bit about what the issue is here. If you've been on a transatlantic flight, chances are you've been on a 767. The concern surrounds parts in the tail of the plane, and these parts, they control the plane's ability to move up and down through the air. Now, the FAA says that these parts could jam and they could lead to the plane's nose being too high or too low. And in turn, the pilot could lose control.

So what did they do today? They mandated that all carriers replace this potentially faulty part in the tail of the plane. But, again, if you're about to get on this 767, we want to put this in context for you. This potential issue has never caused a plane crash or incident. It's been a known problem since 2000, and manufacturers and carriers have largely addressed it through frequent inspections.

So what is new today is that the FAA is mandating, not just inspections, but replacing the parts, which we should add many manufacturers have already done voluntarily.

MALVEAUX: And, Rene, I guess I'm one of those people who's going to be boarding a plane later today, this afternoon.

HOLMES: I was on one of those last week.

MALVEAUX: Should I be calling my airline, a, to find out, is this the kind of plane that they're flying, and do we expect that any flights will be grounded because of this?

MARSH: Well, the short answer is, you'll probably be OK, Suzanne, if you are getting on that 767. I'm going to put money that your flight will not be canceled as a result of this. Look, the deal is, they have almost a year to replace the parts. So we're not expecting this issue to create any problems for the carriers as far as grounding their fleet or anything like that. And keep in mind, once again, many of them have already taken action, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Rene, thank you. I'll get on that plane, I guess.

HOLMES: You'll be fine.

MALVEAUX: But I am not going to get on a ship.


MALVEAUX: Because of this.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes, exactly. This. Another -- let's call it a sick cruise ship, heading back to port. Six hundred passengers are ill, also crew members on board the ship.

MALVEAUX: What was supposed to be a 10-day vacation aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, well, you can imagine, yes, of course, the cliche turned into a nightmare. People throwing up, dealing with diarrhea. It's not even clear what is causing all of this, although the cruise line says the symptoms are consistent with norovirus.

HOLMES: Yes, that spreads pretty quickly, too, and that's a problem. When the ship returns to its home port in New Jersey, the company says it's going to sanitize the vessel from stem to stern to make sure any remaining traces of the illness are wiped out.

MALVEAUX: I've never had a good cruise experience. I just have to tell you.

HOLMES: It would ruin your day, wouldn't it?


HOLMES: Yes. And that thing spreads like wildfire, that particular virus, yes.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yuck.

Here's more of what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD.

HOLMES: Protesters gathering in the streets of Paris. They are not happy with French President Francois Hollande, his policies or actually his behavior. After rumors of an affair, Hollande and the first lady are splitting up. So will a French actress become the new first lady?

MALVEAUX: And Pope Francis says that women should take a bigger role in the church and in the workplace. Hear why, coming up.

HOLMES: Also, outrage over the killing of sharks in Australia. The government says it's trying to protect swimmers and surfers. There have been many attacks, but animal experts say it's wrong and it's not going to work.


MALVEAUX: Some French protesters are demanding that President Francois Hollande resign, several thousand people marching through Paris. Police say more than 200 people arrested and several officers were hurt. Protesters, they are angry with France's nearly 11 percent unemployment rate.

HOLMES: And we have just learned, French jobless claims for December actually hit a new record, so those people will be even less happy.

They're also not thrilled with the drama in M. Hollande's personal life, either.

Speaking of which, the split is official now. M. Hollande has announced his relationship with the first lady, or de facto first lady, really, they weren't married, this coming just weeks after he was accused of having an affair.

We're talking about Valerie Trierweiler, who is now on a charity trip in India, and she says, Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.

Here is Erin McLaughlin.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After more than two weeks of wondering, are they on or are they off, now we know.

President Francois Hollande has broken off his nearly seven-year relationship with Valerie Trierweiler, meaning her days as France's first lady are over.

Hollande's salacious love triangle made global headlines. His alleged infidelity to Trierweiler with a new paramour, actress Julie Gayet.

VIVIENNE WALT, "TIME" MAGAZINE REPORTER: He believes, president or no- president, that each person has the right to a private life.

MCLAUGHLIN: Trierweiler now on the move, arriving in India on a private humanitarian trip, after a wild week that included a trip to the hospital for exhaustion. She gave a press conference in Mumbai, saying she is doing well and for people not to worry.

And this weekend, she said goodbye to her staff at the Elysee Palace, tweeting, "All of my gratitude goes to the extraordinary people at the Elysee. I will never forget the devotion or emotion at the time of leaving."

Hours before announcing the break-up, Hollande gave an exclusive interview to "Time" magazine reporter Vivienne Walt.

WALT: And there we were on a Saturday morning, there was no one around, except for this one rather small, physically, president rattling around in his huge empty palace.

MCLAUGHLIN: As for Gayet, she is keeping quite, but suing the tabloid, "Closer," for invasion of privacy, after it made public the details of her relationship with Hollande. Meanwhile, questions surrounding the alleged affair have clouded his trips to the Netherlands and the Vatican. This week, he travels to Turkey, and his first visit to the White House days away.

WALT: Before arriving in Washington, you kind of have to have your personal life sorted out, or you will run the risk of getting eaten alive by the American media.


MALVEAUX: Hollande is expected to arrive at the White House for a state dinner. This is February 11th.

And we know that Trierweiler is not going to be with him.


MALVEAUX: We're not exactly sure if he is bringing a date. A lot of people are wondering here.

HOLMES: We guess no.

MALVEAUX: You don't think so.


MALVEAUX: We don't think the actress is going to show up, either.

HOLMES: It remains to be seen, but I don't think he'll go that far, yet

A lot of analysts also say that, that Julie Gayet would not be there.

MALVEAUX: Maybe he should just go as a bachelor.

HOLMES: I think it's a good idea.

MALVEAUX: Edward Snowden, making new accusations now against the NSA, this time for the former NSA contractor has now told the German public broadcaster, ARD, the NSA's spying also included industrial espionage.

HOLMES: He says that companies were targeted, even if there was no threat to national security.

And he also says U.S. officials want to have him killed.

This is what he says. Quote, "These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head, or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch me die in the shower," unquote.

MALVEAUX: In Syria, new hope now for women and children who are suffering in the civil war, as you can imagine, the Syrian government now has agreed to let them leave the city of Homs, which has been under siege for months.

But we got word from the Red Cross just less than an hour ago that no civilians have actually left the city.

HOLMES: Meanwhile, the U.S. is once again sending deliveries of what they're call non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition groups.

That was suspended, you may remember, back in December after Islamist militants raided a warehouse held by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and got a lot of that aid.

MALVEAUX: And another deadly weekend in Iraq, this time car bombs going off in three areas.

Is this country about to head into all-out civil war?


MALVEAUX: Now to the violence in Iraq, at least, six people killed, 22 others wounded in the car bombings in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk yesterday, just another example of how dangerous and fragile Iraq has become, especially since U.S. fighting forces left the country two years ago.

If you have been watching our coverage of Iraq over the last couple weeks, you know that my co-anchor Michael here with me spent a couple weeks on the ground and just got back this week.

So, Michael, let's just talk about it. What did you learn? You were there when U.S. troops pulled out, you were there during the height of the fighting. What is it like today?

HOLMES: Yeah, it was my 14th trip there, I tell you, and I think the thing that struck me most of all is the level of insecurity within the city itself.

The city is awash in security forces, checkpoints, which cause massive traffic jams and just a general security presence.

But while we were there, I think more than 30 car bombs went off in Baghdad. That doesn't count --

MALVEAUX: Thirty in less than --

HOLMES: Thirty in the capital.

We had three days where we had six go off inside of an hour, and you're literally sitting there at our workplace and listening to them going off, boom here, boom there, within an hour, happened three separate nights, that that happened.

So even though the city is awash in security, they are getting these car bombs in. I think in the time I was there, you know, something like 140 people were killed. And that means 500 or so were wounded in terrible ways.

So the other thing is a hardening of the sectarian division there between Sunni and Shia. That is a lot worse than I remember last time.

MALVEAUX: And, Michael, your reports, they were excellent.

What you did -- it seemed as if what you did is you took stories about normal Iraqi people, just folks who have families, who were targeted for no particular reason.

I remember the story you did about the guys with the watermelons, selling the watermelons there, right there in the market.

HOLMES: Lost three sons, yeah.

MALVEAUX: Is that typical? Is that the typical Iraqi family, they're afraid and they just might be a target at any moment?

HOLMES: Absolutely. It sounds -- there is our team there, good team we had there in Baghdad.

You know -- yeah, it sounds melodramatic when you're sitting here in the comfort of the United States of American, and you say something like, when you go to work in the morning, fathers and mothers, if they go out of the house, they will say goodbye to their family, literally not knowing if they'll get home that night.

That sounds like an -- it's not. This is happening all of the time, every day, bombs going off.

And the thing is, because of the security presence, government buildings and sort of the traditional targets, people don't get to bomb those. So what do they do? They go to marketplaces.

This is the family you were talking about, lost their son to a bombing in the marketplace at their watermelon store in 2007, and then last year, two other sons killed in another bombing, completely innocent bystanders.

And if there is one thing I like to do when I go there, you talk the politics, and you talk the sectarian division, and you talk the role of the government there, which has been vital in making this split happen.

But you really want to personalize it. You want to say to people, Iraq is not full of terrorists or al-Qaeda.

MALVEAUX: Sure. Sure.

HOLMES: Iraq is full of you and me, who just want to live a life, send the kids to school, go to work and get home alive.

MALVEAUX: Michael, some of the shots that we saw, too, you were talking to Iraqi officials.

Do they have any kind of ideas or ways or suggestions that they think that the U.S. can help or other people can get involved in stopping the fighting and stopping what's going on there?

HOLMES: You know, it's got to come from the government. The U.S. is talking about sending weapons to help Nouri al-Maliki. It's a Shia-led government. He's got the battle going on in Anbar Province, which is Sunni, of course.

But the whole root cause of it at its core is the fact that the al- Maliki government since 2006 has been a sectarian government, has shut out the Sunnis, disenfranchised them, alienated to the point where they're now allies, uneasy allies, allies of convenience, with al- Qaeda, and al-Qaeda-linked groups. And this is where we're seeing the violence increase.

The government has got to reach out and there's got to be some sort of reconciliation before it's too late.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: And you can see that "too-late" in the distance. You can see it.

MALVEAUX: I'm so glad you went. For selfish reasons, I'm glad you're back.

HOLMES: Thank you. Good to be back.

MALVEAUX: All right, we appreciate it.

President Obama gives his State of the Union address. That's happening tomorrow.

And he is now pulling out a new playbook. What does he actually need to say? We're going to go live to Washington, next.