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Wrong Airport; Iran Nuke Deal; Rodman Heads Home; Foreign Ministers Discuss Syria Crisis; Hollande's Wife Hospitalized After Reports He is Having an Affair; Chris Christie Investigated for Misuse of Sandy Funds; WV Governor Tomblin Says Water Ban Being Lifted by Zone

Aired January 13, 2014 - 12:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We've got the pictures, I think, of me with Michelle and of Vince Gilligan, the other - the creator, EP. There's the creator EP winning that Golden Globe for the best show. It was just so exciting to be with them. And there, oh, look at that, Bryan Cranston, best actor. Hello, he's incredible.


BANFIELD: And there's my cousin, Michelle. I'm so proud of her.

And, Nischelle, it's so good to see you. You did a great job last night and thank you for your great reporting.

TURNER: Thank you, dear.

BANFIELD: And thank you, everyone, for watching. AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Former NBA star Dennis Rodman apologizes for what's going on in North Korea. Doesn't say that he is sorry, however, for taking the trip. Hear what made him so emotional at the airport.

Peanuts and a (ph) travel vouchers go to dozens of folks on a Southwest flight that landed in the wrong town. But the landing could have been a disaster. We're going to explain why.

And a love triangle in France. The first lady is hospitalized just days after a tabloid report that her partner, the president of France, is having an affair with a French actress.

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

Want to begin with this. A Southwest Airlines plane that landed in the wrong airport set to take off this hour. Federal investigators they're trying to figure out how the pilots made such a huge mistake that could have been very costly, even more costly. The plane came from Chicago, was making a quick stop in Branson, Missouri, late last night before heading to Dallas. It landed, however, in a smaller county airport about 10 miles away. Now that airport has got a much shorter runway so that was the problem there. The pilot had to slam on the brakes to avoid sliding into a highway. Well, the passengers, they're OK. They were put on another flight. But here's what one person said about this awkward landing.


SCOTT SCHIEFFER, PASSENGER: So we landed. And as I said, it was a hard landing. The -- there was burnt rubber. At that point, the pilot came on and said, welcome to Branson, but didn't say anything else. Then he comes on about five minutes later and says, we have landed at the wrong airport. We landed at Clarkfield, which is near Branson Airport.


MALVEAUX: I want to bring in our Richard Quest to explain.

How on earth does something like this happen? I mean you've got so much sophisticated technology, not to mention, I assume, intelligent people that are piloting the plane.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the simple answer to that is, they weren't paying attention in some shape or form. You have to -- if you look at the runway configurations of Branson and Graham-Clark Airport, there is about a 20-degree difference in (INAUDIBLE) on the compass between the two of them. One's 140, the other is 110. So it's about 20 to 30 degrees. So, from a long way away, they might look parallel. But as you're getting closer and closer, you realize that they are actually not on the same runway compass axis.

But that aside, as they're getting -- because of the way in which air traffic control may have cleared them to land a long way out, a lot longer, not on a late final, it might have been quite early in the approach that they were cleared to land -- the pilots saw the wrong runway, convinced themselves -- and this is crucial -- they convinced themselves that they are on the right approach.

There's no instrument landing system in use at the moment at one of the airports. So it's a visual -- probably a visual approach. And they literally don't never -- they never doubt each other. And that's what this will come down to in the investigation. Why didn't the pilots check their instruments, be aware of their situational location and awareness and that's how these sort of mistakes happen.

But, Suzanne, you and I have spoken about this before and I've told you, this happens more frequently than people imagine.

MALVEAUX: Yes, they just can't imagine that they're wrong, that they're making a mistake or they're kind of all on autopilot here. Now this same plane is supposed to leave this smaller airport. Are they in good shape to take off?

QUEST: The distance that a plane takes off in is a very simple calculation of physics. It's to do with the weight of the aircraft, the weather at the field, the temperature and the thrust. And pilots do this every single day. Every single takeoff, they make that calculation.

Now, obviously, the runway is a lot longer than here. Here at Clark, they have 3,738 feet of length of the runway. The plane probably needs about a minimum of 3, 3-2 to take off. It will be a fast takeoff. They will gun the engines to take off power.

But - and, please, do not be sitting on your hands biting your nails at the same time if that were physically possible. This plane, they know it's going to take off with the thrust, the weight and the temperature. If - if there was any doubt about it, a, they wouldn't try it, and, b, they would have to do what we used to do in the old days, they would start taking the seats off and they would start dismantling parts of the plane to make it lighter. It's going to take off.

MALVEAUX: Yes. All right, it's going to take off. We're going to be watching very closely. It's going to happen this hour to make sure there are no problems there. But, yes, no need to bite your nails just quite yet.

Richard, thank you. Appreciate it.

We're following this story as well. World leaders, top Israeli officials, they are saying farewell to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today. Vice President Joe Biden and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, they were among those at the state memorial.

Sharon was a towering military and political leader who died Saturday after eight years in a coma. To many Israelis, Sharon was seen as a hero. To many Palestinians, he is seen as a villain, pointing to his role in the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanon in 1982.

Well, it might be one step forward, two steps back, in the push to get Iran's nuclear deal underway. On the one hand, Tehran is set to start eliminating some of its uranium stockpile one week from today. But right now, Washington lawmakers, they're preparing to slap Iran with new sanctions. That is a potential deal-breaker.

Want to bring in our own Jim Sciutto to talk about it. He's our chief national security correspondent from Washington.

And, Jim, this looks like this is not going to be a fight that is really winnable here. It looks like it's going to get quite ugly. We've got the president on one side threatening to veto any sanctions against Iran, but you have some lawmakers from both sides who are pretty adamant that these sanctions need to be in place.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean this is a problem. You've got a - you've got a sharp difference of opinion here. This historic agreement negotiated in November and now it's going to kick in a week from today. You've got the IAEA in Iran beginning to verify that Iran is taking these steps to dial back its nuclear program.

Now, members of the Senate, both from the Republican and Democratic sides, say, in effect, you can't trust Iran. So to keep the pressure up on this deal, let's add new sanctions now, pass new legislation. Those sanctions don't have to kick in right away, but they just have to sort of be in our arsenal here if Iran shows any sort of wiggle that they're not keeping up with this agreement.

Now, the trouble is, Iranian officials have made it very clear that if you pass new sanctions now, that's bad faith. You know, we're in this diplomatic negotiation here, an historic, diplomatic negotiation. I was in touch with the deputy foreign minister of Iran in the last 24 hours. I asked him, what would happen if you had these sanctions? He e-mailed me to say, the enactment of new sanctions by the Senate will ruin the entire agreement. This is not -- they're not mincing words.

And the administration repeats that Iranian opposition and says, let's not do this now. The administration also makes the point, listen, if Iran doesn't follow any part of this agreement, Congress could pass new legislation in a nanosecond. They know that. So don't do this now. It's not necessary.

MALVEAUX: And, Jim, an important point here. We're certainly not in this alone here. You've got this deal that also involves our partners, Great Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union. Is it possible that the United States could move forward with this deal or the allies could move forward with this deal without the U.S. on board?

SCIUTTO: Well, really, not really. The U.S. is the big bear in the room. You know, the negotiations, though we have these partners and they're essential to this, right, because you need this global coalition adhering to these sanctions because that's what's really squeezing Iran now because the U.S. doesn't really have any trade with Iran. It's those trade - it's those sanctions with the other countries that's really - that's really hurting Iran. And, you know, so that's a problem. We really -- these countries really do have to stay together here, the U.S. the primary partner.

And the administration has made the point repeatedly that it's not just Iran that we will upset with new sanctions by disrupting the diplomatic path. It's our partners in Europe who are on our side. And it's the administration's argument that by splitting that coalition, you'll have people freelancing in effect.

Other governments making perhaps trade deals with Iran that will undermine the sanction's regime. The trouble is, Suzanne, the administration has been making this argument for the last two months since this agreement was signed with Iran and it hasn't convinced a good number of senators on The Hill. Right now you have 59 senators who have signed on saying they'll support such legislation.

MALVEAUX: Yes, still a lot of work at the White House to do to get through to them.


MALVEAUX: Jim, appreciate it. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Thanks. MALVEAUX: Dennis Rodman hopefully getting a lot of rest on that flight from Beijing to Newark because he is likely going to be bombarded with a lot of questions the minute he steps off that plane later today because Rodman, he's on his way back from his trip to North Korea, says he is now sorry about what he is saying certain situations are going on inside that country, doesn't really say what the situations are. Says he's not sorry for the trip itself where he organized the basketball game and sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. Rodman got emotional before he left for Beijing. Here's what he said.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I'm sorry about all the people that's going -- I'm sorry. I'm not the president. I'm not an ambassador. I'm Dennis Rodman, just an individual, just showing the world the fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day. I'd love to see the - I'd love to see --


MALVEAUX: Yes, there he is getting emotional. He says he loves his country, would never damage the United States.

Want to bring in more with our Anna Coren.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I'm sorry for what's going on in North Korea about certain -- certain situations. I'm not God. I'm not ambassador. I'm no one.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A slightly different tone from Dennis Rodman, arriving at Beijing's international airport after almost a week inside North Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What message would you tell your kids (ph) now? What - how was the trip (INAUDIBLE).

COREN: Initially, not wanting to talk about his trip, then within minutes "the worm" couldn't resist.

RODMAN: I haven't done anything wrong. Nothing - I mean, literally, nothing wrong. So I don't know why people are saying that, well, Dennis Rodman this, Dennis Rodman that. It's not about me.

COREN: Rodman believes his efforts inside this reclusive country have been wrongly represented and unappreciated. Insisting his basketball diplomacy has been a success.

RODMAN: I just went over there to show the world the fact that we can actually get along in sports. That is it.

COREN: Members of Rodman's team have also spoken out in defense of the controversial visit. CHARLES D. SMITH, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I think I'm astute enough to understand the dynamics, especially collecting monetary dollars from North Korea. No, we did not get paid from North Korea at all.

COREN: NBA commissioner David Stern told CNN that money motivated the trip.

DAVID STERN, NBA COMMISSIONER: They were blinded by the payday.

RODMAN (singing): Happy birthday to you.

COREN: Rodman's visit featured many bizarre moments. And his profanity-laced interview with "New Day's" Chris Cuomo.

RODMAN (on camera): I don't give a rat's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what the hell you think.

COREN: The outburst igniting a firestorm of criticism, especially after Rodman's seeming justification for Kenneth Bae's imprisonment.

RODMAN: If you understand what Kenneth Bae did.


RODMAN: If you understand what he did in this country -

CUOMO: What did he do? You tell me.

COREN: Rodman later apologized for that comment and the whole episode. As Rodman heads home, the debate over the trip's purpose continues, while the safety and future of detained American Kenneth Bae remains uncertain.

Anna Coren, CN, Beijing.


MALVEAUX: And here's more of what we're working on for around the world.

Thousands of protesters in Bangkok, Thailand, bringing daily life now to a standstill. We explain what is behind the growing political unrest.

And two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, things now getting worse for Iraqis in many ways. My co-anchor, Michael Holmes, he was there during the height of Iraq's bombings. Well, he is now back in Baghdad reporting on more atrocities. Here's his live report of why things have gotten so bad.

And Russian Cossacks, well, you know, the guys with the fur hats, well, they fought for the Russian czar 200 years ago. They are now helping guard Sochi against terrorists for the Russia's Winter Olympics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: In Syria, activists say close to 700 people have been killed this month alone in fierce fighting between rebel groups.

That death toll does not include violence involving the Syrian military. It's due to the growing in-fighting between the al-Qaeda affiliate and other Islamic and rebel groups.

This comes as foreign ministers, including Secretary of State John Kerry, gathered in Paris to discuss the crisis in Syria.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a cease-fire, maybe a localized cease fire, beginning with Aleppo. And both of us have agreed to try to work to see if that could be achieved.

The opposition has already agreed that if the Assad regime were willing to declare that, they would live up to it. And they're prepared to do that.


MALVEAUX: The main goal, of course, of the talks was to try to get the Syrian opposition to attend a peace conference in Geneva at the end of the month, but the rebels, they are divided and will announce a decision a couple days from now.