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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 20, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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welcome to the "newsroom international" i'm suzanne malveaux and we are taking you around the world in 60 minutes. in london, wikileaks founder julian assange breaks his silence. and the jackie-o of china is just handed a life sentence. i want to start with a dictator coming out in public to pray in the middle of a civil war. that is syria, and syria is trying to celebrate eid which marks the end of ramadan and now officials say that fresh fighting has claimed 72 lives. this is video here posted on youtube, and it is said to show a shelling in a damascus suburb, and there is renewed violence in
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sanaa. and now bashar al assad has made a rare appearance where he showed nup a mshow showed up in a mosque in damascus, and this is the first time we have seen him since a bomb killed his brother and other members of his regime. i want to bring in hala gorani to talk about this, but what about the fact that assad is in public and on television and what message is he is trying to send? >> well, there are two things interesting about the video is that number one, it is not the big mosque in damascus and we don't know where this mosque is. and the other thing that is important in the video is that the vice president of syria is not in it. and you nknow that last week, there were reports that the vice president had defected to jordan. if that is the case, it is an extremely symbolically important defection and it shows that the
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regime al assad is crumbling. and also a 73-year-old sunni, and some reports are that he is under house arrest, and the syrian regime is saying he has defected, but we do not know where farooque al assad is. >> what is it important that you say that he was not at a specific mosque, but does that mean he is fearful for his life? >> well sh, for security reasont is not a good idea to go into the center of damascus for a prayer, and in this case, it looks like a smaller mosque. it could be within the compound of where the president is staying. so this might be one of the reasons why, but it is significant. this is not a president who is going out in public in convoys of cars, you know, even with the high level security detail. this is not the kind of risk that the president bashar al
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assad in the current situation is willing to take, and it is understandable considering the security official assassinations a few weeks ago. >> and now back to the vice president here, because you say that people have not seen him, and they suspect that he might have defected to jordan, but why jordan? >> well, he is from dahra, and you mentioned it in the introduction, but that is where the uprising started. there are reports that he kept a low profile, because he did not agree with the crackdown, and it is too harsh and it is afterall his town, and he has kept a relatively low profile for a vice president in syria. he has not been seen at very many high profile events. he was last seen on state television for the funeral of the slain security officials last july. >> and we have seen it play out befo before, and we have seen ga daffy of libya come and go before his power ultimately, he lost power and so what does this mean when you saw two of the top
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leaders assad who is coming and going and number two is basically missing? >> well, the regime is certainly more sfrfragile now than severa months ago and you are e sare s more defections of the sunni regime, and that is a part of the al low wit se-- a lllawite sector. and so this could be a symbol that the regime is about to crumble. >> and saudi arabia contributing to the rebelses to the tunes of millions of dollars. why so important to saudi arabia? >> because saudi arabia is supporting the rebels and they want to arm the rebels, because the regime of bashar assad is
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allied with iran. and this is a problem, because they say that we cannot deliver weapons where the people that we deliver them to later use them against us. this is a dilemma for the western countries as far as arming the rebels. >> and as always, thank you. it was a murder trial that rocked chinese politics a. wife of a disgraced leader bo xilai. we have the report. >> reporter: this is a long way away from privilege and power. gu kailai is convicted of murder. >> this is fair, and it respects law and reality and human life.
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>> reporter: gu kailai was one half of china's ultimate power couple. her husband bo xilai was once touted as the future president of china. to scholars, this is a story played out in the political heavens. this is a fight between the gods, he says, way beyond the reach of ordinary people. bo xilai caan heir to the leadership. analystists say that he made enemies of the communist party redder than his red rhetoric. he's been playing the role of mau's successor and visiting pla
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camps, and giving gifts. and none of the politicians has done this. this has been a huge misjudgment of bo going back to mao's path is not an option and that is proven to be a dead end. mao led a road to ruin. it was an enemy within that led to his undoing. a brutal crackdown on crime gangs and corruption led to it. but the trusted insider, himself, fled to the u.s. consulate with an explosive story. bo's wife gu kailai had murdered a british businessman and this saga has played out in rumor and inoue wen doeshgs and now pla g playing -- innuendo and poll now playing out in politics. she says she feared for the s e safety of her son and suffered from a nervous breakdown. she is now behind bars convicted
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of murder, and her death sentence suspended and the accomplice to nine years in jail. no appeal. the other members of the saga await their fate. bo xilai, the man once destined for the top remains out of sight and silenced. stan grant, cnn, beijing. >> gu kailai was once referred to as the jackie-o of china, and she had it all, but now she is a convicted murder. and michael holmes, this is a sensational case and a lot of people talking about. this was it suspected first and tell us why the death sentence was pushed back for two years? >> well, it is expected and this is a tightly scripted trial, which is typical of these high profile cases in china, in particular. and everything was regulated down to the last word probe bli
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-- probably in the sentence when it was handed down. no surprise in that. and the sentence, no surprise in that, because a death sentence might have been seen because she is the wife of bo xilai might have been seen extreme in a way. and they don't have the death penalty themselves, and the lawyers for heywood say they are happy with the sentence and a compromise. a death sentence suspended for two years and people say she could serve up to 14 or 12 and if she gets a psychological retuck dun shun because she says she had a nervous breakdown at the time of the murder, she could get out in seven. >> how are the chinese reacting to this? >> well, i don't really agree with the jackie-o comparison but she is more of a hillary clinton and a more political wife. and bo xilai is one of the most
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powerful men in politics in a huge area, and he was, he thought, too, destined for top of the of the presidency, and she is the wife by the name her name means embrace the future, which is interesting, because she will be in a prison cell. and she won notoriety and won a case in the u.s. courts on behalf of a chinese can company suing a american company, and that sort of thing rarely happens. but they are seen as high power and people in high places. >> it is possible they could become a power couple again? when you look at the culture of redemption in china like where in our country that might happen? >> i don't see it happening for her, but bo xilai is going to be dealt with within the party apparatus, because the party, itself, does not want to unseemly things like corruption and cover-ups in the public's
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sphere when you talk about a guy as powerful as he was in politics. could he be rehabilitated, perhaps, but i don't see her coming into the forefront any time soon. >> interesting story. >> yes, high profile, and high political power and now she is convicted of killing a british businessman. and in a culture that puts the rights of men over women, and rape victims in afghanistan rarely see justice, but this woman, young woman, and she is an exception, and she is still fighting. you've been busy for a dead man.
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protesters in chinese overturned cars and it is a long fight over an island chain that both countries say is theirs. you can see them turning over cars there and protests broke out across china after a group of japan land ed on the dispute island yesterday. of course, there is an economic
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issue at stake here, and the country who controls the island gets the oil, the mineral and the fishing rights. now to one of the world's largest mines in rustenberg, south africa, and hundreds of striking miners have returned to work which is one-third of the workforce but enough for the mine to reopen. last week, you might recall this is what happened there, the police opened fire on the line of armed strikers. 34 were killed and 78 were wounded and police say that they acted in self-defense. joining us live from the mines in south africa, tell us about the miners who came back to work and what was the condition? >> suzanne, this mine employs 28,000 workers. it is really just 3,000 who are on strike who have embarked on this illegal wage strike. they are operators who have the
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most difficult job in the industry, and they want to believe earning more. they are earning $500 u.s. dollars per month and they want three times that much demanding from the company. today, the vice president of the country saying that the 27% that came back to work is significant, because he said for all intents and purposes the mine is not producing anymore, but he is convinced that the maerer jo i of the to workers want to return to work, but they are too scared because of the violence that has engulfed this wage dispute. today, hundreds of striking miners gathered in a open field where 34 of their colleagues were killed by the police. they remain defiant and they say they are not going to go back until they get those increases that they are demanding, suzanne. >> and nkepile, how is this
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going to play out here? you have a lot of people not returning to the mine here, and a lot of fear as you described here, and the police are essentially justifying that attack from last week. what do they do? do they get together? do they talk? is there a process to move it forward? >> you know, suzanne, today, it felt like this country had, was just standing stall. everybody was watching this very, very delicate, and very tense situation. we had helicopters circling at thousands of miners who gathered here who are still refusing to go back to work. we had labor unions meeting with the company urging workers to go back and 3,000 saying they are not going to go back, and government has bought ten ministers to the area the try to deal with the situation. this has become a national crisis, and a national issue, and how this is going to be resolved will really have an impact on the mining industry
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overall and i think that the country's economy going forward as well, suzanne. >> and nkepile mabuse, thank you. and now held nup a foreign embassy in london is julian assange. >> this is an option, trying to get smuggledled out in the trunk of a diplomatic car? (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. to find you a great deal, even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too. actually, we invented that.
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julian assange has been held up in the ecuadorian embassy in london. he is in trouble with the u.s. for releasing secret documents, but britain wants him to be sent to sweden for an alleged sexual assault, but yesterday, he stepped out on the embassy balcony and asked the u.s. to stop what he calls a witch hunt. >> as wiki leleaks has been und threat, it is the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies, and we must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the united states of america. >> so britain, it is not
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honoring the asylum that was granted to assange by ecuador. in order to take advantage of the asylum of ecuador, he has to take advantage of the embassy. >> he is reported to be intense and going crazy. wikileaks founder julians a sau --s a -- julian assange has been held up inside of the ecuadorian embassy. if he takes one step out -- >> i understand that the british will arrest him and take him to sweden. >> reporter: that is where he is wanted for alleged sexual assault claims. inside of what is ecuadorian territory and the british outside ready to pounce, they are being debated over a possible escape. is this an option being smuggled out on the diplomatic car? a former diplomat says that the car would be considered
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ecuadorian domain and the british police could stop it but not search it and could not pull assange out, and the hitch in the plan? the hitch is that there is no garage for the ecuadorian embassy, and there is only one entrance and that is obviously not an option, because the building is completely surrounded by british police. they in the streets and the alleys and the side streets and if anyone tried to takes a saung from the building to the waiting car, the police would get limb and they are also to be monitoring the communal areas of the building and the hallways and the elevators to prevent him from taking an elevator to the roof where a helicopter could pick him up. they can monitor it, because the ecuadorian embassy occupies one floor and even not all of that. it is right here where the window is, and assange can barely step into the hallway without risking apprehension. if he gets into a car there are airports small and large but once he gets to one of those, he
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could be captured, but he could be smuggled out in a crate or large bag if it is labeled a diplomatic parcel, the british police could not open it. >> but they could delay it and open it and ke hold it in a cold or hot place or something like that. >> reporter: but the british ambassador oliver miles says that one thing that could happen is that assange could take refuse in there indefinitely. in 1986, when the soviet yunion invaded romania, the cardinal was granted asylum from budapest, and lived inside of the embassy for 20 years. prince philip, the duke of edinburg, was admitted into an an infirmary in scotland.
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he has been treated off and on for three months. and if afghanistan if you are raped, you are not given justice justice, but this young woman asked for it and got it. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go.
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what you are about to see and hear is shocking, but sadly, it is not uncommon. a young afghan girl forced to marry an abusive husband. she is rape and tortured and what makes the story different here is that this young girl's abusers were convicted and most of them now in jail. last month those convictions were upheld. our nick paton walsh, he met her in may. >> reporter: she only plays with a girl doll and hates the male one. that along with a terrible shiner is the trace of her past. married at age 13, she was drugged by her mother-in-law and then raped by her adult husband. they locked her in the basement
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and burned her with a hot poker and pulled out the nails. >> translator: they told me to go to the basement because there were guests coming to the house, but when i went there, they tied my hands and feet and pulled me upwards from above. they brought very little food for me, and while going to the bathroom, they used to beat me a lot. i was crying all of this time. when they put electric shocks on my feet, i felt like i was going the die at that moment. i screamed and that is how the neighbors realized that there is something happening. for one day and night, i was unconscious, and feeling dead. >> reporter: the neighbors alerted the authorities who found her like this in december after five months of torture. she is safe in a shelter now, and she trembled when she saw three of the five in-laws, the attackers again. now, they were in court. but she was again horrified, and this time by the sentences for abuse that the judge gave. >> translator: ten years is not enough. they should be given 50 years.
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they should be punished in the prison. they hurt my eyes and pulled out my nail and hair and the same should be done to them. whatever they did to me, the same should be done to them. >> it is hard, and really hard to imagine that anybody could survive that abuse that the young woman went through, and yet her story is even rare. what is unusual is that it has gotten so much attention. i want to bring in heather who is with human rights watch, and she is joining us from london today, and heather, one of the things that struck me about the story and also being in afghanistan in september is really how invisible these afghan women are. they are almost indistinguishable and fully covered and vale e vailed and mr the eyes and yet, we thought that things would be better tor the young girls, but why isn't that a case? >> well, it is a long slow road
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and you have to remember how difficult the starting point was for women. and people believe that there has not been any progress, a that is not the case. there are 3 million girls in school today when in fact there were almost no girls in school in 2001. there are the infant mortality falling steadily since 2001, and afghanistan has a parliament which is 28% women. but it is still among one of the most difficult places in the world for women. half of all of the girls are not in school, and maternal mortality is so high that an afghan woman will die from childbirth every two hours. >> so tell us about this story of sahar and how it got attention and that the people responsible for the abuse were essentially put in jail? >> well, unfortunately i think that the attention that the case has generated is more unusual than the fact, themselves. this type of abuse against women
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happens all too often in afghanistan, and usually goes without notice. this is particularly frustrating, because in 2009, president karzai signed a law on the elimination of violence against women which makes the things done to her crimes for the first time, but this is law is mostly unenforced. the reason that sahar's case got so much attention is because of the element of forced prosecution made it particularly shocking to the afghan media, but second of all, i think that afghan women's rights activists have been very effective increasing increasingly in the last year or so in bringing the individual cases like sahar's to the media and the accountability of president karzai and the rest of the government. >> tell us about what is happening with her now? where is she living? is she safe? >> she's living in a shelter and
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she is safe. but there is a problem that shelters are provided in afghanistan. in 2001, there were no shelters and today, there are 14 shelters but they exist only in the northern half of the country and not this more conservative south, and they don't have the anywhere near the capacity in a country where an estimated 87% of the women who experience some form of abuse in their lifetime. so that the issue of making sure that there is shelter available to women who are facing abuse is very much a work in progress. it's an area where a lot more support is needed from the international community. >> heather, you live in afghanistan, and meet younger women and older women as well, and i'm sure people in similar situations, and what needs to happen here with a ground swell of change? what is the shift, if you will, and what has to happen to make life better for the majority of these young girls and women? >> well, i mean, as i said, progress happening. i think that the big concern at
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the moment is that with the withdrawal of international troops at the end of 2014, there's a real risk that the international interest in afghanistan will disappear at the same time. the progress that has happen and needs to continue to happen has happened because of a combination oftors and the factors are the courageous activism of women's rights activists, but also the pressure coming from the international community and the financial support for services like schools and hospitals and legal services for women like sahar and there is a real danger -- go ahead. >> is there anything that people can do outside of afghanistan and people like myself or anybody else who is watching and looking at this and is just touched and horrified by what has happened to that little gir girl? >> well, people can contribute money to some of the organizations that provide shelter for girls like her and
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women. they can provide funding for legal services, and they can pressure the governments to say that, look, 2014 might be the end of the military engagement, but it is not the end of the struggle for women's rights in afghanistan, and the u.s. and other countries need to continues supporting afghan women and activists who are fighting for women's rights. >> all right. heather, we appreciate your work and the work you do there and obviously, we will be keeping up with that little girl, sahar , o see how she is doing there. he is an american tourist just sentence ed d to hard time drug trafficking in nicaragua, but the problem is that even the prosecution says that he is innocent. rtunity to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make a difference, you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i am committed to making a difference, and i am a phoenix.
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nightmare began two years ago for an american living in nicaragua, and he has just one shot at freedom. our rafael romo explains. >> reporter: he's been in prison
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for two years in nicaragua, but jason says he still trusts the central country's judiciary. >> translator: i have faith that the judicial system will let me go free. >> reporter: he was arrested in nicaragua and found guilty of money launders and drug trafficking and organized crime charges and sentenced to 22 years in prison. in an interview with cnn in es pan yoel in may, his nicaraguan wife called her husband 100% innocent and says he was convicted without evidence. earlier in the year, she described to anderson cooper the prison where he is being held as a hell hole. >> there are concrete sell cells that are overcrowded, and i have been in a cell with anywhere from 9 to 12 people. >> reporter: since his arrest, the family has been trying to
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demonstrate to the authorities that he is innocent. >> jason is absolutely innocent, and i have no doubt in my mind. there is no evidence of any drugs. there is no evidence of any illegal money, and jason did not know the other ten people with whom he was arrested. >> reporter: the appeals phase started last thursday, and purracal's attorney introduced letters from the u.s. ledge slayers or the claiming that the american had no ties to organized crime. >> translator: the letter basically says that the u.s. government doesn't have any information. the d.e.a., the agency, also says that i have not shared any information against jason puracal. >> reporter: and the prosecutors call called the letter an insufficient evidence, and the lead pros ku tor igno -- prosecutors did not answer questions as he left the courtroom. before his arrest in 2010, he
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was marry and had a son and working a as realtor in the south american country. >> rafael romo joining us now. this is an interesting case. are there options that they could make a decision and he could go free? >> well, it is possible, but it is up to the panel of three judges who are to hear the arguments of the legal fight and make a determination. now the way it happens in nicaragua is that you never know how long it will take. they say it will take from five days to a full week of hearings and testimony, and then there's no precise timing as to when they need to come out with a final ruling. so it may happen right away, and it may take months for them to come out with the ruling. >> why has this been so difficult, because you make the case here that the evidence is flimsy here and a lot of doubt. why has this been so hard? >> well, it is because at first, the nicaraguan government did not want to reopen the case, and
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it is not until all of the international pressure started and even the u.n. has said that puracal is wrongly convicted. there is a letter from several legislators here in the united states, and also the international community has been speaking in favor of puracal and not until all of this started happening that the nicaraguan government decided to open up the case. >> you give us the latest when it changes. >> absolutely. >> thank you. you don't immediately think of south korea when you hear the phrase hip-hop superstar, but this guy is blowing up the web with a hot new track straight out of seoul.
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? welcome back to newsroom international where we take you around the world in 60 minutes. this is what is hitting number one on the swedish radio this week. ♪ >> all right. this is their smash hit which means wherever i go, the band likes to write songs. it has a deeper meeting with musical influences of punk and rock, and folk, and reggae and all of it. you can see why the swedes
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cannot get enough of them. one south korean musician proving that geek is not cool. we told you about this rapper who received more than 41 million youtube hits with his hit "gangnam style." paula hancocks is there to find out the meaning behind the song, and how it is affecting the culture. >> reporter: uncool just became cool. this horse riding dance by korean rapper is the reason why. there's a saying in korea, he says, "let's ride a horse" means let's have a drink and have some fun, and hence the dance. psy is short for psycho is a slight departure from the south korea's ult tra groomed musical export.
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i think that foreigners think i'm funny, he says the way that korean people think that austin powers antsdz mr. bean is funny. this is considered to be the beverly hills of seoul, and filled with exclusive brands and trendy people. it is usually associated with a more chiseled look, psy has turned the idea of gangnan on its head. he says i'm crazy about music. crazy about the stage, and crazy about performing and crazy about my fans. he has plenty. 30,000 fans turned up to see him last week in all of the geeky glory, and they seem to be enjoying themselves. after a decade long career, it took just one unorthodox song to send psy into stardom. and what a better way to burn
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calories. some seoul gyms are using psy to work out. i'm a very bad dancer the woman says, but this dance is easy and it makes me work out and sweat a lot, and i'm smiling all of the way through. in case you thought that the dance was psy's only skill, he adds -- just so you know, i can dance to beyonce's song "single ladies" just like beyonce. and his impression of lady gaga and "poker face" is uncanny. paula hancocks in seoul. >> wow. that is something else. another story. if you are suffering from phobias, we will take a look at a kid who is so afraid to fly, he is willing to travel through a war zone to avoid getting on a plane. everything just went horrible for me.
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i just went into body lockdown. i kept on crying, and i sat down and i could not move. i just could not do it. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build?
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for folks who move halfway around the world for work, a visit home can keep you going, but what do you do if one of your kids is suddenly struck by an acute fear of flying. our reporter explains if you are coming home from the middle east, the road home can turn into a logistical nightmare. >> reporter: on a scorching august afternoon, 11-year-old joe thompson only has his dad to practice rugby with. all of his friends have gone home for the summer holidays, but when joe tried flying home to the uk a few weeks ago, a sudden fear of flying paralyzed him at the airport. >> everything just went horrible for me.
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i just went into body lockdown. i kept on crying. i sat down, and i couldn't move. i just couldn't do it. >> reporter: he's tried flying home four times already and once made it as far as the flight cabin. >> and then the captain announced that we need to shut the doors now, and so, i immediately knew what to do. i just got over the chairs and went around the aisle and sprinted out. >> reporter: joe's father, tony, says that the phobia came out of the blue, and joe always loved fly flying. he says that hypnosis, and even relaxation injections did not help.
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>> i realize it is far more serious. >> reporter: and the trouble is how to get joe home now. the trouble for them is they live in the middle of the desert of the united arab emirates, and london is 3,500 miles, that way. the challenge has been finding an alternative to the eight-hour flight that takes them across the middle east by land and sea while avoid iing the deadly conflict areas. >> through baghdad, through syria, through aleppo and turkey, and clearly, that is not going to happen. >> reporter: the maritime option is to sail around the arabian peninsula, through the pirate-infested waters of the red sea through the suez canal, a nd through the egyptian hot spot of sinai, and then through turkey and europe. but now a possibility of a land route, and after being denied land visas by the ambassador of syria, they were granted one
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through england, and they can now go by train through europe until they reach the uk after a two-week journey. >> it has been a little bit off a roller coaster and now we want to get on our way. >> i can't wait to get started. >> reporter: the father and son say that they are optimistic that once they are home, they can get joe's condition treated, but for now, they are grounded play g b playing ball on an empty field waiting for the first bus, ship, car, heading roughly home. >> reporting from the united arab emirates. smoking may be out of style here in the united states, but in the developing world, people are lighting up and 1 billion lives could be on the line. the , it took a mighty machine, and plain old ingenuity to go where no fifth grader had gone before. ♪ and she flew and she flew,
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