tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 18, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
then the heat and drought hit. boom, you have stalks that are waist and if not chest high that should be up and over my shoulder at this point. so the growth is completely stunted because of the drought. so from the 96 million acres of corn sowed this spring, the most in 75 years, only 30% of it this week is considered to be good. we spoke with a number of farmers today. one gentleman facilitates the aid they may get and here's what they had to say this morning. >> farmers are individual businessmen that are one of the last really entrepreneurs, individuals left as far as small business in the united states. they do a terrific job. i think there is a misconception that they are on the government payroll. that's not true anymore. there was a time when we had low, low prices where we had payments to get them going but the last four, five years the
prices have rebounded. farm life has been pretty good. this is the first setback we have had for several years. >> 80% to 90% of the corn in this area has already established itself. so the rain is not going to help it at this point. >> here's what the corn should look like. there's just a few of these around the corn fields. this is what most of the ears of corn look like. some of this isn't even pollinated. as the farmer said, even if they get a bunch of rain it's really a little bit too little too late. they are just trying to hold on to what they have. it will be a tough fight as the heat continues. we're just in the middle of july. >> not just talking about corn as something that we eat, rob. but also, i have been reading that the ethanol plants have had to suspend production because of the drought. there is an energy factor playing into this as well. >> yeah. that couples in with the food
factor. the last several years there's been a big ethanol push. you get it from agriculture. we are competing with fuel and food. so there is a huge demand for this. corn prices skyrocketed. soybeans are grown here as well. just up the street, chicago mercantile, beans in the teens. that's when the price of beans gets into the teens. when that happens, there is trouble in the crops. that's what they are dealing with. modern day farmers had some good years. hopefully they have saved some money and hopefully have insurance. the bigger picture are the increases in food prices that you and me are going to see in the grocery store. >> we'll keep talking. a major blow to syria's regime. an explosion in damascus killed four of the country's top officials. one of them, the brother-in-law to the president. the government says it was a suicide bombing. the opposition says it was a strategic attack with a bomb
planted in a meeting of cabinet ministers that was set off by remote control. u.s. defense secretary leon panetta reacted with this. >> the violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of life has only increased, which tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control. >> ivan watson joining us now. how do you react to exactly what leon panetta said with regard to spinning out of control and now the impact of assad's defense chief and brother-in-law being killed? >> well, the new noose is clear tightening. in one fell swoop at least four of his most senior security and defense officials killed by what syrian state media says was a suicide bombing. not only was the defense minister, the interior minister and a security adviser, but also as you mentioned a member of his
inner circle, his family. his brother-in-law himself, assef shawkat. what's more important is aside from there having been incredible intelligence and security failure on the part of the top people in his security apparatus, at the same time you have had at least three days of fighting in the streets of the syrian capitol. this is another powerful symbolic blow to any authority that the syrian regime still claims to have over its country where the syrian government has had to employ helicopter gun ships actually opening fire on neighborhoods in the syrian capital in an attempt to flush out the rebels. that shows you how much weaker it has gotten, how much bolder the rebels have gotten. i imagine that this is probably one of the hardest days ever in
the career of the syrian president bashar al assad whose family has ruled the country with an iron grip for more than 40 years. that grip appears weaker than it has ever been before. kyra? >> as we have watched regimes fall in the past year, in the past two years, what do you think? i mean, is this the beginning of the end of his hold on power? >> i'm going to direct you to video we have seen activists post from within syria on the internet. this should be video of people celebrating in the streets about news of what syrian state tv says was a suicide bombing, kyra. in my 15 years covering this part of the world, i have never seen people celebrating a suicide bombing before. that just gives you a sense of how much people hate their own government in this country.
we are seeing scenes of celebration, not only from the northern city of idlib in northern syria, but all the way down to the southern border of the country in the southern city of darwa where this uprising began some 16 monthsing ago. why are they celebrating? more than 15,000 people have been killed over the course of the last 16 months. and the opposition there which has grown into a very organized insurgency with almost no western support, i might add. these people are desperate for weapons, guns and money. they firmly accuse the syrian government of carrying out a war on the syrian people. that's backed up by the united nations commissioner for human rights who has repeatedly accused this government of committing crimes against humanity. that's why you are seeing people celebrate news of the deaths of at least four senior defense and
security officials in one fell swoop. >> ivan watson ins i stan bull, we'll talk tomorrow for sure. the u.n. security council is debating whether to keep observers on the ground. late word is that special envoy kofi ananne asked for a delay on a vote on a draft resolution. [ concurrent voices ] >> this is the geographic south pole. babe. got the jetta. i wiped the floor with the guy! not really. i would've been fine with 0% for 36 months, but i demanded 60. no...i didn't do that. it was like taking candy from a baby. you're a grown man. alright, see you at home. [ male announcer ] the volkswagen autobahn for all event. we good? we're good. [ male announcer ] at 0% apr for 60 months, no one needs to know how easy it was to get your new volkswagen. that's the power of german engineering.
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i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. just a quick note for those of you headed out the door. you can continue watching cnn from your mobile phone or if you are headed to work you can watch live from your desk top. go to cnn.com/tv. it's been more than a decade since 9/11 when terrorists came into our country, trained at our flight schools, and murdered thousands of innocent americans. we learned a lot since then about national security. according to a new report it looks like we are still not doing enough. chris lawrence live from the pentagon with more on the national security hearing happening right now. chris, tell us what's being discussed at this moment. also, what does this report say?
>> reporter: it says scarey things. basically what we are hearing out of the hearing in congress right now is that there may be foreign nationals right now in the united states training in mother nature flight schools just like mohamed atta who crashed into the north tower of the world trade center. listen to this chilling exchange between representative mike rogers and an official from the government accountability office who conducted the report. >> based on your report the administration cannot assure the american people that foreign terrorists are not in this country learning to fly airplanes. yes or no? >> at this time -- at this time, no. >> at this time, no. that should be chilling to any americans who are flying or going through this. amazing to hear so long after the september 11th attacks. in fact, one thing that came out
in both the report and the hearing was that just a couple years ago immigration officials busted a group of illegal immigrants, 25 of them, in fact, all 25 had been cleared by the tsa to attend flight school. but eight of them were in the country illegally, never even came into the united states legally. the other 17 had over stayed their visas. of those, at least three had full pilot licenses. >> unbelievable. what are your sources telling you, chris, with regard to how the heck these gaps can still exist? you also mentioned, too, the visa issue. we made major changes as a country with regard to the student visa situation. >> that's right. what we are hearing is there have been steps made to button down the hatches. you know, button things up, so to speak. but, again, eight years ago there was an audit ordered for
all universities, all colleges that basically issue student visas, which is a prime way foreign nationals come into the united states to study. well, eight years on, only 19% of those schools have been recertified. so that's a glaring omission. you know, it's not to say that foreign nationals would come into the united states illegally or legally. that all of them are trying to go to flight school. that they are necessarily trying to commit a terrorist act. what it is saying is there are serious gaps and it takes only one to have a major catastrophe. >> we know that all too well. chris lawrence, i know you will be monitoring the hearing. thank you so much. we'll talk tomorrow as well. you can read the complete report if you visit gao.gov.
person. cnn was there. >> reporter: former u.s. president bill clinton and his daughter chelsea came to listen to some of the poorest children reading from newly donated books in a makeshift library, given in honor offal nelson mandela's 94th birthday. later, clinton also planted a tree near mandela's rural homestead as part of his contribution to mandela day, which urges people to give more time to those less fortunate. what has mandela meant to you personally? >> oh, personally, he's been a wonderful friend to me. you know, when we were working together, we were both presidents of our countries. we actually had a lot of business to do and had to do it in telephone calls where it was late in america and early in south africa. i tried to do the late side
because out of deference to him. he didn't call me a single time, not once, when he didn't ask about hillary and chelsea and if it wasn't too late he'd ask me to go get chelsea, bring her to the phone to ask her about her homework, was she keeping up. you know, so i saw in him something that i tried not to lose in myself which is no matter how much responsibility he had, he remembered he was a person first. >> reporter: do you think you taught him anything? >> i doubt it. i was a pretty good politician, but he was a good politician when i met him. i don't know. we did a lot together. >> reporter: these last pictures of mandela were taken in may where he seemed confused but at least stronger than earlier in the year when he had abdominal surgery. how's he doing? >> he did well. after the crisis last year how could you imagine he would be so well?
but he recovered remarkably well. >> reporter: now the children of the village can dance in celebration of another birthday. in a rare glimpse inside his home we meet two of his grandchildren. >> good to see you. >> reporter: mandela was no longer resting but having lunch with president clinton as we spoke. >> for us, as his grandchildren, we have a huge task on our shoulders. but i think we are all in our different ways stepping up to the plate. >> reporter: in this house, how does he spend his days? >> i had just got here and it had been raining. so he was looking outside and i'm sitting there quiet, on my phone. he said, you know, mbuso, when i was young i used to run outside naked in the rain. i think you should do that now. >> reporter: what a great piece of advice from nelson mandela.
>> what a fabulous interview. you had such great access and time to spend with the family. very different from reports we have been able to see in the past. what a treat. >> reporter: thank you. you know what? we got a little bit more access today. i have just seen nelson mandela having his birthday party in his house behind me. we were inside the compound, surrounded by not only his wife but his ex-wife, his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. it was a long day for him. i think the image of him sort of joyfully celebrating his birthday might be a little bit misguided. remember, he's 94. he had a tough year, health problems, as i mentioned. he looked tired. i had actually seen him earlier in the day when he was sitting in his favorite chair with a blanket around his feet reading the paper. the sun is just setting in south africa.
i'm sure nelson mandela wants to go to bed. but either way, a happy day for everyone here in the mandela compound, as well as across south africa. he's a deeply loved figure. a fact that anybody can commemorate his legacy, i think is very special for many people here. >> what a great assignment for you. robyn, thank you so much. we mentioned the last time mandela appeared in public was in 2010 at the world cup in south africa. ♪ [ male announcer ] we believe
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today she runs a camp for little girls with scars just like hers. >> i'm ruby. i was burned at 3. >> i was in a car crash. >> i was in a house fire. thank you. >> i was burned with hot grease. i'm fine thank you. >> i was burned on heap. i'm healing fast. can't complain. >> reporter: look at these beautiful girls. some of the scars are more apparent but they have gathered to heal together. >> i see them arrive and they are wounded. they have social armor on them. in each of the girls i see me. >> reporter: for lisa this is personal. she was just 9 when she was badly burned in a natural gas explosion at her grandparents' home in detroit. >> there was a gas leak. it had been leaking for a few days. my sister and i arrived at the home for dinner. i went down to the basement to play hide and seek. >> reporter: lisa was in the wrong place at the wrong time
when the gas met the light on the furnace. >> the explosion goes off. i hear the screams of my family. horrific screams. and a sense of urgency, of survival kicks in. e i saw a hole in the back of the house at the top of the stairs with really bright light. i just started climbing over bricks and nails and furniture. everything to get out. i got out of the house. still on fire. my back and my face and my hair. >> this is where the rubber meets the road, girls. >> reporter: lisa founded the angel faces retreat, now in its 9th year to teach these young woman in a week what took her two decades to come to grips with. >> i'm so proud of you girls. >> reporter: they begin by sharing the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. >> i want to hear from you girls, just bring it on, all
out, som of the names that you are called. hideous? burn face, crusty crab, burn bitch. >> they called us burned toast. >> reporter: each girl participates in individual and group therapy. they make arts and crafts. play sports. learn how to enhance their appearance with corrective cosmetics. >> there is nothing wrong, weal tell the girls in taking what beauty you have and making it more beautiful. you know what? sometimes that's all it takes for them to sit up a little taller. >> reporter: to feel comfortable in their own skin, she urges the girls to share their stories so they can better respond to uninvited stares and questions from strangers. >> it is important that the girls know they are not burn survivors. it is important they know they are not the burn girl. they're girls first. that's my message to the girls. that i want them to take back. >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. >> lisa says the most important thing for the girls is good eye
contact and a simple smile. like all of us, they just want to fit in and be acknowledged for who they are on the inside. our thanks to dr. sanjay gupta for the report. set your dvr now to record at 4:30 eastern on saturday and sunday at 7:30 a.m. the medicare debate continues in washington... ...more talk on social security... ...but washington isn't talking to the american people. [ female announcer ] when it comes to the future of medicare and social security, you've earned the right to know. ♪ ...so what does it mean for you and your family? [ female announcer ] you've earned the facts. ♪
well, t-minus nine days until the london olympics. you know the difference between winning or losing, between gold or silver. when it comes down to the marathon it could be a millisecond or a millimeter that will earn the top medal. behind those awards, well, it's usually a pretty extraordinary coach. ryan hall knows what i'm talking about. he's among the best long distance runners in the world. he'll tell you he does have the ultimate coach. but the thing is ryan's coach isn't there with a timer yelling at him about his footwork or getting on him about his diet or even telling him he better make
curfew. but ryan says his coach is always there, everywhere, and basically knows everything that he's doing. olympian and marathoner ryan hall joining me from flagstaff, arizona, where he's uh now training for the games. ryan, tell us about your coach and why you've got so much faith in him. >> yeah. my coach has been around for a long time. you know, straightforward, my coach is god. i call it faith-based coaching. i use my faith and worship and other people and i apply it to my run. >> in fact, after you won second place last year in the u.s. half marathon championship, i was seeing that you actually wrote down on a drug test form -- because that's standard operating procedure after you place -- that your coach is god. >> yeah. that was a pretty funny moment.
it was my first race under faith-based coaching. i saw the line and said, coach. it was blank and i said, i have to be honest. so i put down "god" and it was a big controversial thing. now when i see the blank i just leave it blank. i let that one slide by. it was funny. >> all right. i want you to explain your faith-based coaching. how it works, every day when you wake up. just to point out, you ran your personal best, i was told, last year at the boston marathon 2:04.58. explain how god trains you. >> well, i'm still in process. i'm still figuring this thing out myself. i don't have it all figured out yet. it's pretty simple. i get up every morning or whenever i'm praying. god is always around us, talking to us. i ask questions. a lot of times people have faith but they don't integrate it into
day-to-day living. i got to point in fall of 2010. i was like, i want to put myself in a position where i'm desperate to hear from kbgod. i felt god calling me to do faith-based coaching. i asked, how far do you want me to run? i was asking god how do you want me to prepare the last week before trials. he said, you need to rest more than you have ever rested before. i did it and i was able to qualify for my second olympic team. >> you are obviously a really amazing runner. you're doing really well. i'm going to play devil's advocate for a second. you're still not number one, like the best runner in the world. so why not add to your faith-based coaching and take on a traditional coach as well? why not do that? >> i'm just doing what i feel god is calling me to do for this season of my life. i have been intentional to tell
people, you know, this might not be something i do for the rest of my career. i feel god is calling me to do it now. if he brings another coach into my life, i have no hesitation to start working with a coach. for now, this is what god's telling me to do. i don't think it's for everyone. my wife is a professional runner with a traditional coach. that works great for her. i encourage her to keep doing that. i realize god is calling us all to do different things. i'm trying to be obedient and follow him. >> what do you say to skeptical runners that say, okay, i respect him. that's cool. okay, he's nuts. >> i love the skeptic. god loves the skeptic. it's okay for people to disagree. i don't expect people to understand. very few people understand. for me, i'm just going after god with everything that i have. it's a really fun journey. as i have gone out on the faith-based coaching i have experienced a ton of peace, joy.
it's just brought a new level of just life to my running. like every day i wake up excited for training and believing that my training is making me better than i could have been. i wouldn't compromise anything, even if the results aren't what i hoped to achieve. my day to day living is full of joy. that's something god offers to all of us. that's the cool thing about god. there is only one guy that can win the olympic marathon but we can experience him every day and experience the same joy every day. >> when you don't get the time you want or you don't make it as far as you wanted to go or you don't get first place, do you blame god? >> it's easy to do that. i have done that at times. i'm still figuring it out myself. i still get bummed out and disappointed after races. i don't think god causes me to fail in races. i don't think he's up in heaven
just striking me down like i want you to do bad today, but there are natural consequences when, say, for example, i don't hear him correctly and i don't apply what he's telling me to do correctly. i may not get the result i'm hoping for. you know, that's okay. i'm learning to give myself grace to mess up, to fail. i think that's really the whole thing for me in this faith-based coaching. i'm not afraid to fail. as i said before, jesus is the greatest prize i can have. a medal in the olympics, fast times, all those things are wonderful and super exciting and things i would love to achieve. all those are just icing on the cake for me. >> i tell you what, if we all extended ourselves grace now and then we would be better people. tell me how people react when they see you and how good you are or they are competing against you and there are coaches around and people, oh, ryan, who's your coach and you say, god. how do they react to you? >> i don't pay a lot of
attention to the reactions i get. just trying to stay focused on what i'm doing. you get some varying reactions for sure. some of my peers are surprised that i'm willing to take a risk. some of my best friends are like, wow, that's a bold move you're making. that's what god's telling me to do. i'm just being obedient. i don't put it on anyone else. i don't expect all christians to have god for their coach. for me, that's where i'm at at this point. >> sounds like you have two missions -- to win the gold and witness everybody you meet. we'll watch you as you compete in the olympics, ryan. best of luck. we'll talk again. if you bring back the gold a lot of people may want a piece of your coach. >> hopefully they want a piece of him anyway. i appreciate it. >> ryan hall, thanks so much. ryan will compete on august 12, the last day of the olympics. at just 19 anthony ervin was one of the world's swimming
greats, winning the gold in sydney. then he gave it up. he auctioned off his medal on ebay for $17,000 to help tsunami victims. he wanted to find a deeper meaning in life. fast forward a dozen years. you guessed it, he's back a changed man and eyeing olympic gold once again. here's george howell. >> reporter: u.s. olympic swimmer anthony ervin may stand out for the tattoos on his arms but it's the time he spent away from the sport that has people talking. just don't ask what he did. >> next question. >> reporter: as the first athlete with african-american heritage to ever compete on a u.s. olympic swim team, he won gold in the 50 meter freestyle in 2000. three years later, fed up with competing he quit the sport and began searching for more meaning in life. he has no regrets. >> i thought i had accomplished all my goals.
and there was nothing that was holding me any longer to the sport. >> reporter: with his olympic career over ervin sold his gold medal for $17,000 to help with relief efforts after the 2004 tsunami that devastated south asia. >> i was profoundly affected by the devastating loss of life from the tsunami in the indian ocean. in an effort to do what i thought i could, i tried to raise as much money through my medal so i could donate it to the relief effort. >> reporter: that selfless act made a difference in him as well. >> that gold medal hangs heavy in metaphorical and literal ways. so by putting that distance between myself and it, it allowed me to kind of have my own rebirth. >> reporter: that rebirth ultimately led him back to the pool, teaching kids. it was the catalyst for his return to competitive swimming.
>> seeing them grow helped me discover what that was for me as well. i had forgotten. it had been so long. i had become quite jaded with just competition and performance at the time that i had completely lost track of why i loved to do it in the beginning. so by teaching the kids, it brought that back to me. >> reporter: at 31 years old, ervin surprised himself by making the olympic team. >> i didn't know that i was going to be able to perform so well. but at the end of the day i realized it didn't have anything to do with me so much as all the great people, all the great support i had over the years from the time i stopped there were people who didn't support me when i decided to walk away and then there was those that did. they supported me all the way through.
>> reporter: giving him another shot at olympic glory. george howell, cnn, atlanta. therif they don't act,hike hanging over us. americans will see their taxes on dividend income spike, almost tripling in some cases. whether it's on him, or her, or them, it's a ripple effect on america's economy, slowing job creation, squeezing seniors and families, and hindering economic recovery. tell congress to stop a dividend tax hike now. go to defendmydividend.org to learn more. to your kids' wet skin. neutrogena® wet skin kids. ordinary sunblock drips and whitens. neutrogena® wet skin cuts through water. forms a broad spectrum barrier
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all week we have been going in depth on the battle for oil in the arctic. it may be the last frontier but with high reward comes high risk. miguel marquez shows us what one american company is doing and what people who live close to the area think about it. >> reporter: the race for oil and gas in the arctic is on. way out ahead, the russians, norwegians, danes and canada. when shell oil drills exploratory wells off alaska's north slope this summer potential u.s. oil fields, too, will be in the game. a game that will test shell's technical abilities. above all, ice will be one of the biggest challenges. >> we recognize we'll be working in ice. our assets are developed to work
in ice. >> reporter: drilling the wells will be two drilling rigs that have operated in ice before. each will be anchored to the sea floor by eight massive cables, the cable array can be severed, the rigs can float free in the event of an emergency. this is america's last frontier and one of the most pristine and fragile wilderness areas left in the world. if shell finds what it thinks it will under the ocean this summer it will cause a gold rush for oil for decades to come. that will mean permanent production wells. they will be heavy and very big, fully enclosed cement and and steel structures so workers can survive year round. hovercraft allow escape over ice. it would be concave so as tons of ice rushes in it would run up the side and curl back on itself. it's now that people worry. >> they have to promise me that there won't be no spill.
>> miguel joins us from new york. people like that resident obviously are concerned about a spill. they remember exxon valdez for sure. do they have reason to worry? >> reporter: of course they have reason to worry. if you poke holes in the ground and there is pressure and technical ability and things that happen, certainly the worst could happen. shell will make the case that they are doing everything possible to make sure it doesn't and in the event that oil does spill they have 15 ships on hand -- 15 dedicated ships for the two temporary oil rigs out there that will sit there off the oil rigs. they will wait and watch to see if there is a spill. they hope to clean it up immediately before it gets a chance to get toward shore. kyra? >> thanks so much, miguel. to catch the special report "cold wars, the fight for arctic oil" it will air this week on erin burnett out front at 7:00
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well, three years after being released on dog fighting charges, michael vick is considering getting a dog. up until now he has not been able to and under a court dog ownership ban. and then he told piers morgan which breed he will probably own. >> you were banned for owning a dog for three years and i realized that as i walk into the studio, it expires this month. do you have a dog? >> no, i don't have one. >> are you going to get one?
>> maybe so. and just being honest and candid, and i still deal with my kids each and every day, you know, and for the last three years, not being able to have a dog because of my acts, and i don't think it is fair. you nknow, it may be something that is therapeutic in that for them. i can't take that dream away from them. that is selfish on my behalf. you know, i have to find a way to make it right. you know, i put everything in god's hands to make it right. >> what type of dog would you get, do you know? >> i mean, i would let them pick it out. it certainly would not be a pit bull. >> well, vick has a book coming out in september titled "michael vick finally free" and it is an autobiography that he hopes will give people a look at a who he is, and be sure to watch piers' show with supreme court justice antonin scalia tonight at 9:00 p.m.
and police have arrested a 97-year-old man who a jewish right rights group labels the most wanted criminal. he was in budapest after his citizenship was revoked. they say he served as a senior hungarian police officer in this town, now slovakia in world war ii, and he is accused of sending nearly 16,000 jews to auschwitz to be killed. >> according to the survivors' testimony, he was ruthless and cruel commander and often happened that he tortured and beat the victims. >> well, the 97-year-old denies the allegations to a reporter from are the british tabloid "the sun."
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producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. mitt romney can't shake all of the calls to release more tax returns and not just the democrats on the case, but the latest call came from texas
governor rick perry. >> i am a big believer that no matter who you are or what office you are running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background. >> and governor romney remains firm. two years' tax returns are enough. and there is another unconventional olympian who is showing us that nothing is impossible. you ha you have to meet nur suryani mohammed taibbi, and she is competing in the olympics, and not only the first female shooter from malaysia to compete in olympic history, but, you can't tell from the pictures, but she is eight months pregnant and ranked 47th in the world and will compete in the rifle event.
and suzanne malveaux needs to interview her for cnn international. you can continue the conversation with me on kyra on twitter, and cnn international starts right now with suzanne starts right now with suzanne malveaux. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com welcome the "newsroom international, i'm suzanne malveaux. in afghanistan a taliban bomb destroyed 24 tankers carrying supplies for taliban forces. and now military officials say that the insurgent attacks have increased in the last 12 weeks. all right. check it out. crazy huge chunk of ice floating free in the north atlantic and it is massive off of the coast of greenland and it is twice the size of manhattan, and snapped off of a glacier this week, and scientists say it is probably
because of global warming, but too early to say for sure. ♪ >> oh, children in south africa singing to nelson mandela on today, his 94th birthday. civil rights icon and south afri africa's first black president turns 94 on what is officially mandela day in the country. and what is most important today is what is happening in syria and the most important development there. a bomb in damascus that killed four officials who were all part of the president's circle. the first man killed is the syrian defense minister who is our equivalent of the ministry of defense