tv Around the World CNN August 23, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
last year. she titled the message push past the pain. in spite of what adversaries you go through in life, continue to push. every time things come on, i always say push past the pain. >> you can watch that entire interview tonight. a special version at 11:00. "around the world" starts now. when i think the american people expect me to do as president is to think through what we do from the perspective of what is in our long time national interest. >> egypt, syria and afghanistan, president obama sitting down with for a one-on-one interview
to discuss all of it. chaos on the street. we'll get a live report from tripoli. >> an american kidnapped and tortured by al qaeda tells us the story of his escape. welcome to "around the world." i'm suzanne malveaux. >> i'm ivan watson. >> tensions are rising in the middle east have two huge explosions. an israeli military strike inside lebanese territory. >> israel says it was a terror site and ordered the strike in direct response to yesterday's rocket attack on israel. >> arwa damon is joining us.
we're going to get to the israeli strike in a moment. first, you're in tripoli. these are the two massive explosions that happened earlier today. you can see the moment of impact in the video that we're going to play this for you right there. what have we learned about those two attacks and who's behind them. there's that shot. >> reporter: that's some pretty dramatic video. we're standing in front of the mosque where that took place. you can see the men right behind my. they put out a call to residents in the area. whoever has a broom to come in and help them sweep out the mosque because they want to hold prayers there later in s solidari solidarity. these two explosions happened simultaneously in tripoli. both of them occurring outside of mosques and both happening just as people should have been finishing prayers heading out
the door. we heard from some eyewitnesss. the only reason why more people weren't outside was because prayers happen to start a few moments late. both of these locations perceived to be very pro-sunni. this particular mossing has houses intelligence chiefs. the other location is where a very well known priest is. he had some fiery rhetoric going to far as to call the sunni population to rise and go to jihad. a lot of blaming going on. a lot of finger pointing. a lot of people blaming the militant group hezbollah. they have been sending their fighters into neighboring syria.
in one wants to see the situation escalate further. >> now to the israeli strike. it was a palestinian militant base. there were no casualties. it was in response to a rocket attack on northern israel yesterday. four rockets were fired from southern lebanon. two of them landing in pop yulad areas. we're told no one was hurt. another conflict in the middle east. this one a potential game changer. we're talking about reports that chemical weapons were used to kill perhaps as many as 1300 people in syria. president obama being pushed to act after these horrific images of alleged victims were posted o online. >> many of them were children. they're bodies werelined up forcing the world to face the
possibility that a nerve gas was used. government forces launched a chemical attack. the government denies it. president obama is responding to the potential chemicaweapons massacre in an interview. >> let me ask you about some of the emerging situations. most recently syria. do you believe you need to investigate in order to say what seems obvious which is that the u.s. needs to do more? >> we're right now gathering information about this particular event, but i can say that unlike some of the evidence that we're trying to get earlier that tloled to a u.n. investiga going into syria, what we have seen indicates this is clearly a big event of grave concern. we're already in communications with the entire international community.
we're moving through the u.n. to try to prompt better action from them. we've called on the syrian government to allow investigation of the site because u.n. inspectors are on the ground now. we don't expect cooperation given their past history. what i believe is that although the situation with syria is very difficult and the notion that the u.s. can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside of styria over stated. there's no doubt when you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale and we're still gathering information but it's very troublesome. >> it's strong proof they used them in the past. >> that starts getting to some core national interest that the united states has both in terms of us making sure that weapons
of mass destruction are not proliferating as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region. this is something that is going to require america's attention and hopefully the entire international attention. >> senator mccain believes the u.s.'s credibility in the region has been hurt. he believe there's delay and led to a boldness by the regime there that in egypt that what many believe was a coup wasn't called a coup that led to the problems we're seeing there now. do you think that's fair criticism? >> i'm sympathetic to senator mccain's passion for helping people work through that what is an extraordinarily difficult and heartbreaking situation, but what i think the american people expect me to do as president is to think through what we do from
the perspective what is in our long term national interest. sometimes what we have seen is that folks will call for immediate action jumping into stuff that does not turn out well. gets us mired in difficult situations and can result in us being drawn in to very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that breed more resentiment in the region. we have to think through what's going to be in our long term interest even as we work to put pressure on those who would give innocent civilians. >> we'll bring you more of that interview in a couple of minutes. i want to take a closer look at what is happening in syria. we have to warn you that the images are graphic and disturbing.
if you have to turn away. listen to the story. this is britain's itv news. it's obtained video from a credible syrian film maker. they are very graphic images. >> could be evidence. >> could possibly be evidence. that's right. these are what look like victims lying where they fell. these are children beside their mothers. this is in and around their hom homes. you can see the babies in their arms. it's clear they died an agonizing death just struggling to breathe. >> this video was recordedly taken shortly after this week's suspected poison gas attack which rebels blame on syrian government forces. some of these images are reminisce of pictures came out of northern iraq after the curds
were gassed. fred, there's an international debate under way whether we have witnessed the deadliest chemical weapons attack since hussein gassed the curds. you traveled to a neighborhood close to where this attack occurred. did you see any conclusive evidence there? >> there was no conclusive evidence to be seen. we traveled to one of the areas that was hit by the chemical weapons. we talked to people going in and out of that neighborhood. >> we've lost fred there on the phone from syria. you'd be surprised at how close the locations are between the
center of demamascus and the ars that were hit. >> the president said there are three things that need to happen before the united states takes further action. they've got to verify this chemical strike. they've got to have a u.n. mandate and a coalition to work with before they do more. how much time would you give the president an tell us what his options are that would be effective in this case. >> i don't think the president is in a hurry to plunge into syria's killing field. i think he's correct to try to find if chemical weapons were use and who used chemical weapons in the eastern suburb of damasc damascus. we have no independent evidence. we have reports, very credible reports as we have seen the images in the last few days. regardless of whether a gas was
used or not, this was the largest casualty figure in the history of the syrian conflict in the last two and a half years. if proven, this would be a game changer not just for the united states but for the international community. even though we do not have independent nchgs aboinformatio whether chemical weapons were used. the burden of proof lies on assad shoulders. he can convince the people by allowing u.n. inspectors who are already in damascus, you have a strong u.n. team to visit and grant access to his part of the eastern part of damascus in order to verify whether chemical weapons or gas were used a few days ago. >> i'm going to interrupt. we have fred back on the phone
from syria. the russian government, which is perhaps the strongest patron of the assad regime has called on assad to allow the inspectors to go and see these sites. do you have any indication that the u.n. inspectors will be allowed to go into those areas from the officials you're talking to? >> in is a lot of pressure on the syrian government officials. it doesn't seem as though yet were very close to them being allowed into the area. it's very difficult for the u.n. inspectors to work with the syrian authorities. on the other hand there are these safety concerns that people always talk about. the fact they would obviously be crossing a front line to get to these places and they have to negotiate with both sides to get in. what we're hearing so far from syrian officials is they are sympathetic to the mission they say all these weapon inspectors.
it's not clear whether they will be allowed in there as we're hearing artillery shells going off next to us. unclear how quick they will be able to go in. also, today, it's friday here and therefore public life has come to a stand still. there are many syrians who we have been talking to who say this team has to go down there very quickly. not all these people believe it was the government who did it. there's people in the government controlled areas who place the blame on the opposition. the people that we're talking to very sympathetic to the government. it's a very difficult situation. it's a very sensitive mission that the inspectors have and really hard for them. they have a regime that's very destructive of what they want to do. they have the international community to get to those areas. >> do take care. that just gives you a sense of
how complicated the situation is. do take care of yourself. >> what are the options here? you have a air strike, the cruise missile strike. are there any options for protecting the people? >> i know in the united states, particularly senator mccain has been calling for military strikes. once american bombs fall into a damasc damascus, the dynamics would change. this would exacerbate the situation. it would change the dynamics from the anti-assad into the american situation. that's why i think president obama is correct. >> we're going to have to cut you off. i'm sorry. we're returning out of time
here. we're going to have more of that one-on-one interview with president obama ahead in the program. >> my senses with egypt is the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does. >> the president tells us how he feels the u.s. should move forward with egypt. and. >> the only two things that scare me are time and the torture. it gets to the point where you say it's like just shoot me. >> still to come, an american held hostage by al qaeda in syria for seven months. our conversation with him, next. ♪ he's a 20-year-straight, get to work on time ♪ ♪ ♪ he's loved one woman for all his life ♪ ♪ ♪ everybody knows he ain't just tough ♪
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to talk with an insurance expert about everything that comes standard with our base auto policy. and if you switch, you could save up to $423. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? one of these photographers who was shooting these images coming out of syria, suddenly, he became the story. we're talking about matthew sheer. he was captured by al qaeda. he was beaten and he was starved. >> after seven months in captivity, he's found the will and courage to escape. it forced him to make an
agonizing last second choice. nick payton walsh has his story. >> he just took my hat and pulled it over my face and put my head down between my legs and put the barrel of the gun to my temple. >> reporter: this is how 35-year-old photographer says al qaeda first grabbed him in syria. kidnapped as he tried to travel home to long island, new york. a home he left to tell the story of syrian rebels through pictures. he knew he wouldn't be freed after he was thrown into a dark concrete cell with another american who was covered in grime. >> as an american you guys can talk. i realized it was an american. that was when i realized they weren't letting me go. this guy looked like he been there for a hundred years. >> reporter: al qaeda linked militants in aleppo. he took these photos.
>> the only two things that scare me are time and the torture. it gets to the point where you say just shoot me. >> reporter: his captors became brutal. >> they put a tire over your knees and put a stick through it and flip you over and take a cable like this thick and they take turns whacking the bottom of your feet. they fwgot little kids in there. they have to carry you back to the cell. >> reporter: tortured for his credit card and bank passwords, his captors using nearly all his money to buy ipads and sunglasses on ebay. they didn't want a ransom, just a confession. >> they wanted me to say i'm a cia agent. >> reporter: eventually he
broke. >> say you're an agent or we'll hit you very hard. i sat there and i was like, they're just going to torture me until i say it. you're going to say what they want you to say. i chose sooner than later. >> reporter: locked up together in six different prisons, he says he and the other american didn't get along but had to to plan their escape. one cell had a window up high with a flimsy wire grill which they could fit through but if caught they could be killed. matt says the other american who we haven't been able to speak to was hard to convince. >> she's like you're endangering my life. i'm like i'm trying to save your life. >> reporter: eventually he was persuaded. they needed each other to push up and squeeze through. >> third day, we went. i took a part the screen and pushed sandbags aside and i got stuck around my waist. i had to reach in and unbuckled
my pants. i shot right out. >> reporter: it wasn't as easy for the other american who we're not naming for his safety. >> he wasn't fitting. i was like take off your shirt. get in there. i'm pulling him and pulling him. i couldn't run away an lever him there. we were both americans. we're in this together. we weren't making any headway and making too much noise. lights were above me. the sun was coming up. >> you must have known you had to leave him? >> yeah. it was one of the hardest things i had to do. i didn't just leave him. i said you're not fitting. >> what's his face look like to you when he was talking? >> he was scared. i was like i got to go. he only said once come back. i was like i can't come back. i was like i'll get help. he was like all right. go. >> is there a part of you which is worried about where he might
be alive now? >> i think he's alive. there's always the possibility that he's not. >> what would you say to him? >> i'm sorry that it worked out like this. it's tough to move on because he's still there. it hasn't ended yet 100%. i'm not going to have closure until he's home. >> reporter: nick payton walsh, cnn. >> if you wondered why nobody missed him, it was because his captors sent his e-mail and sent messages to his mother and friends saying he was fine and he was there extending his trip to take more pictures. they weren't really worried about him. that's why people didn't ask questions for a while. >> no closure after this ordeal. he still has no idea what happened to his cell mate. >> you and i discussed this. you know those places.
you've been up close. this is the kind of thing that can happen. >> i've been in those places but i would not go today because the armed opposition of a year and a half ago which was largely village, civil defense units, people protecting their community have largely been eclipsed very sadly by al qaeda linked groups. it's not safe to work with. >> too dangerous. here is more of what we're working on. ♪ >> this russian punk group used a song in the cathedral to criticism vladmir putin. it landed some of them in prison and now they're tryi ining agai get out of jail. hotels.com. the deals to oh my gosh this is so cool... awesome! perfect! save up to 30% plus an extra 12% off with coupon...
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he's the arm psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people, wounding 32 others at ft. hood in 2009. prosecutors say he targeted soldiers deployed to afghanistan because he had what he called a jihad duty to kill as many of them as possible. he admitted to the shooting but under military law defendants are not allowed to plead guilty in military cases. ♪ you may remember this video. it's of the russian punk band "pussy riot." they performed a song critical of vladmir putin last year. now the lawyers for two band members are asking for them to serve their remaining time in community service. the women are due to be released
next march. to china which is riveted by the high profile trial of a disgraced politician. he faces charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. this is man part of the communist party royalty who some thought would become president. a lot of twists and turns. his wife was convicted of murdering a british businessman and that might have sealed his fate. she testified in a video about complex tax shelters and murky real estate deals in europe saying bo knew all about it. coming up, we have more of president obama's one-on-one. >> what we're doing right now is doing it full evaluation of the u.s. egyptian relationship. we care deeply about the egyptian people.
welcome back. president obama is responding for the first time to reports of a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people in syria. >> the president is being pushed to act after these images. they are just awful, very hard to watch, of alleged victims. they were posted online. many of them children. they say government forces launched a poison gas attack on citizens. the government is denying it. president obama said any such attack would trigger american intervention. he called the use of chemical weapons a red line. here is an exclusive interview. watch. >> the red line comment that you made was about a year ago this week. we know there's things that should qualify for crossi iningt red line. >> i've got to say this.
when we take action. let's take the example of syria. there are rules of international law. if the u.s. goes in and attacks another country without a u.n. mandate and clear evidence that can be presented then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work? those are considerations we have to take into account. this latest event is something we have to look at it. keep in mind, because i know the american people keep in mind, we still have war going on in afghanistan. we're still spending tens of billions of dollars in afghanistan. i will be ending that war by the end of 2014, but every time i go to walter reed and visit wounded troops and every time i sign a
letter for casualty of that war i'm reminded that there are costs and we have to take those into account as we try to work within an international frame work to do everything we can to see assad ousted, somebody who has lost credibility and try to restore a sense of a democratic process and stability inside of egypt. >> it doesn't have to be military. i take your point. when you look at egypt is an example of that. senator mcconnel is saying it's time to vote on the aid and whether or not that would make a difference. >> my senses with egypt is the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does. i think most americans would say we have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and
abetting actions that we think where you know contrary to our values and ideals. we're going a full evaluation of the u.s. egyptian relationship. we care deeply about the egyptian people. there was a space right after mr. morsi was removed in which we did a lot of heavy lifting and a lot of diplomatic work to try to encourage the military to move in path of reconciliation. they did not take this opportunity. it was worth it for us to try that despite folks who wanted more immediate black and white action or statements. ultimately, what we want is a good outcome. >> is it safe to say we have a shorter time frame in terms of what the u.s. can use as a period of decision in syria and egypt? >> yes. >> it's a more abbreviated time frame now? >> yes. >> after the break we'll bring in cnn security and intelligence
many people around the world are waiting to see how the u.s. will respond to these very disturbing images of the suspected weapons attack in syria. before the break we aired an clusive interview. president obama was asked if syria has cross eed what he cald a red line. the president seemed to suggest if investigators verify chemical weapons used that this attack would, unlike the previous weapons attack, meet it.
it would cross the red line. >> let's bring in our national security analyst now. he joins us by skype from colorado. if this was a chemical weapons attack, do you think the u.s. has on obligation to intervene in syria? >> i think we have a moral obligation but the question is how and will it make a difference? i don't see it right now. >> what do we do? what are the opgs. people are talking about whether there's cruise missile strikes, air strikes. what would be appropriate? >> i think air strikes would be but what it do any good. the regime will not react. it will continue the war and possibly use my gas. >> is this going to be a continuation of a wait and see and just watch and wring our hands as the killing continues?
>> i think the options are lousy on all of this. we'll have to wait and keep our fingers crossed. we talked about bombs, do you think that would be spillover from the syrian conflict that began into lebanon? >> absolutely. i've never seen the middle east this bad, ever. >> bob, why is it so hard to verify the chemical weapons in terms of whether or not it happened and whose responsible for this. is this something that takes a lot of time or can we get to the bottom fairly quickly? >> you need to do chemical analysis. the regime is saying it's the opposition using the chemicals. it's not us. you have to have people on the
ground. we don't have the data yet. >> thank you so much. we appreciate it. that's the frustrating thing. >> this is the worst he's seen the middle east. that's really saying something. here is more of what we're working on this hour. it's happened again. another shocking report of a gang rain in india. we'll have a live report.
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welcome back to india now after there's shock and rage after a brutal crime. a photo journalist was gang raped by several men. >> the victim is at a hospital. she's now in stable condition. police say that they have arrested at least one suspect. they've identified several others. tell us the circumstances around this. what do we know? >> reporter: we know that this young girl, 23 years of age, she's working for an english language magazine, a weekly magazine. she's a photographer. she was sent out on assignment. she was photographing an abandoned old mill but right in the heart of the city about 6:30
p.m. when it's still light outside. she was with a male companion and surrounded by a group of men, five men and they separated the girl from her friend. they took her aside. they tied up the male companion's hand with a belt and they proceeded to rape her. that's what we know about the circumstances. she was able to free herself, reached out to her family and they went to the police station to complain. she's being treated at a hospital close by. she's said to be in stable condition. >> i don't understand what's happening in india here. they introduce these new laws after you had this brutal rape of another 23-year-old. that victim died from her injuries. what are they doing to solve this problem to help protect women there? >> reporter: introducing these new laws was supposed to be a bold and brave attempt to address this problem.
if you ask anybody, is it working? the answer is going to be no, it's not made a difference. the number of rape cases has not come down. there's a sense of satisfaction that the government even introduced the new laws which really, the difference is now there's much stringter punishment for rapists. there was a sense the government responding to the public anger but it does take a long time in india for laws to get processed. today you ask anyone is it working, the answer will be a unanimous no. >> thank you for bringing attention to this. you hope some sort of media worldwide attention will push them as far as they can go. >> this is sadly on our program yesterday where we had women from india, an american exchange student who are had both experienced terrible harassment as well. moving on, here is what we're working on this hour for "around the world".
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nasa said arctic ice hit its lowest level since satellites monitoring 34 years ago. >> they show how the ice has been shrinking and the last few years show the fastest progression. joining us now is ice specialist. how much ice has it lost? >> we've lost more than half of ice. >> why is it so important? how does losing ice affect the rest of the planet? >> this year it doesn't look like we will have a new minimum like last year. we'll still be one of the lowest years and the ice is the thinnest. the reason this is so important, there's a bunch of reasons. loss of ice will affect the weather. it's like taking a hat off the top of the planet. it's an important component of the global system. there's fear of loss of methane
that will increase global warming. >> are we seeing the effects already? can you see this when you go to the beach or anywhere else? >> if you live in the arctic there's shorelines that are roading away. the loss of ice from canada, alaska and greenland, that is loss of ice. >> tell us about, there's been a lot of discussion about polar bears. they are dying because of this. is that true that the whole food chain is now being affected? >> yeah. the polar bears are the best example. there's a group of polar bears that live out their life on ice. as the ice has shrunk back, the polar bears are taken away from their food, the seals. there's reports of mall nourishment. also overall too the arctic, the ice is what defines the arctic overall. as you change the ice, you
change how much sunlight goes into the ocean and you change the food chain. >> is there anything to do to reverse this or stop this? >> people have to realize that the planet isn't just changing. it's changed. we need to start planning for that change. we need to think about changes to water resources, sea level rise and those kinds of things. >> thank you so much. really appreciate it. quite the political stunt. candidates going topless. that story after the break. >> all right. too big.
welcome back to "around the world." to austria now, they are not hiding anything from the voters. >> these men are willing to show some skin to get their point across. >> reporter: the race for austria's legislature is heating up. the candidates have posed in beef cake shots of themselves. this isn't the first time the world has seen politicians without their shirts on. we recall president obama sunning himself on a hawaiian beach a few years ago. in austria the press has asked the candidate to stick to the naked facts and keep their
shirts on. >> i think i'll keep my shirt on for now. >> you'll be fine. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching. >> we have one more story before you go. >> thousands of people attend the running of the bulls. this is in spain. anyone who wants to experience the terror, you can do it right here in the united states. the tomorrow the great bull run kicks offer. this is in virginia. 8,000 people expected to descend on california. safety cannot be guaranteed. >> are you aware of the danger? >> i am aware of the danger. to some degree that's some of the thrill and excitement about
it. >> the great bull run is going to take place in atlanta in october and in houston in december. >> i was in a rush to get out of here after seeing those men chests. i'm sorry. that's it for "around the world." >> it's a pleasure. >> thanks for having me. you're an awesome anchor coach. "cnn newsroom" starts now. teen suspects are in custody after a young man is gunned down in oklahoma. could this be a gang initiation. one man says yes. the president sits down with cnn answering