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Cairo; The People Have a Voice; Ronaldo to Retire; Unrest in Yemen

Aired February 14, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Welcome to Newstream where news and technology meet. Hello, I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. Well traffic moves through Cairo's Tahrir Square. Again Egypt tries to take the next steps after President Hosni Mubarak steps down. One of the greatest footballers of our time is about to hang up his boots. Brazilian Ronaldo is set to announce his retirement.

And for those lonely hearts on Valentine's Day -- we'll show you how one of China's pick up artists plies his trade.

It's almost 72 hours since Egypt's uprising got the result that millions had wanted. The president of three decades, Hosni Mubarak stepped down and shipped out from the presidential palace. But now that Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point of the protest, has been all but cleared, and the cheers of the demonstrators have subsided, what now for the 83 million people that call Egypt home?

The military has taken a temporary charge. The long term leadership of this diverse North African nation is far from certain. Well, CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney is in Egypt for us this Monday, and she joins me now live from Cairo.

Fionnuala, you are there overlooking Tahrir Square. Is it hard to believe that a revolution took place there just last week?

SWEENEY: Well, it certainly is. And when you say that the square is all but clear, I think "but" is quite the word of the moment. Let's just show you what's going on. We saw a demonstration earlier in the day. And the military moved in really quite quickly -- the military police - into the square. But we now see quite a substantially larger demonstration there.

And I think really the traffic is moving through quite easily. And it hasn't been like that obviously for a matter of weeks now. But the point of -- at these small protests I think to make is that everybody has a voice now. People believe they have a voice. So all over the city there are these small demonstrations -- small groups of protestors.

We saw some yesterday -- if I say (inaudible) outside various government ministries, we saw protestors outside the state bank, Anna, protesting at wages, protesting at the alleged corruption and the higher echelons of management. To really hear people really giving vent to their own individual collective frustration in the workplace because of what they've seen, they've managed to achieve in the last few days.

We should point out that the stock exchange, which had been expected to open on Wednesday, we've just learned from state television that that's now going to remain closed for the time-being. At -- the military authorities wanting to make sure that what happens is that there will be stability and security as much as possible before the stock market opens again. But that's obviously going to be of concern to investors and to observers around the world.

COREN: Fionnuala, the military is now in -- in control. It said it will dissolve Parliament, suspend the constitution, has called for elections in -- in six months time. Tell us the challenges that Egypt faces during this time.

SWEENEY: Well, I -- I think the challenge for the authorities is to balance the demands of the people who suddenly have this freedom with the reality of what can be achieved. Now in their statement yesterday they said as you pointed out, the parliament would be dissolved; the constitution suspended. And a committee formed. And that would allow people to look at a possible amendment to the constitution which would then be put before the people of Egypt in a referendum.

And also Wael Ghonim, who has -- became the face or the leader of this opposition had a meeting with the military yesterday. And he said it went very positively. That they've got the go ahead to gather (ph) funds for something in the region of millions of dollars so that they can start about rebuilding Egypt. But here are many questions across many stratospheres here. Political prisoners, for example. What happens to them? Freedom of the press. How many people did die actually in the square during the trouble and elsewhere. And what we understand is is that Human Rights Watch believes the number is much higher than the government is saying.

So really it seems to be -- there's a phrase in in Arabic -- Shway, Shway, which means "slowly, slowly." And I think the authorities here are doing exactly that for the moment. Just to ruminating day by day, giving a -- shedding a little more light on what it is they're planning to do as each day goes by. But the question is will the country be ready for elections in September?

COREN: Fionnuala, from the people that you have spoken to, how comfortable are they with the military in full control?

SWEENEY: Most people are very comfortable with the military. Not everybody, but most people are. I mean, as -- as you are aware from the demonstrations that the people were chanting during the uprising. "The army and the people are one." The opposition also realize that they have to cooperate with the army. They -- they've been very used to being rather back stage over the last 20-30 years. They haven't taken a front or center stage. And but now of course they are obliged to do so.

So in a sense for the time being people are happy with that. But it's all about the transition to full democracy. And I think the devil will be in the details in the months ahead.

COREN: Fionnuala Sweeney in Cairo. We appreciate the update. Thank you.

Well, as Egyptians wonder what will happen to their country, many are also asking what will become of former President Mubarak. We'll he's thought to have gone to his home in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. But nobody is getting close to him, as Nick Robertson reports:

ROBERTSON: Hosni Mubarak's villa is just across the garden there by the line of lights that you can see. That's the wall of his former presidential compound. That's where he is believed to be right now. The prime minister said that he is still in the country. That he is here in Sharm el-Sheikh. It's not clear which family members may be with him.


ROBERTSON: Security protecting him however is incredibly tight. So tight we're not allowed to video any of it. There are heavy machine guns set up on the roof of the hotel overlooking from protecting the compound walls. And on the roads approaching the compound there are armed policemen and plain clothes security men asking very, very thorough and searching questions of anyone who wants to drive down a road approaching the compound.

But away from Mubarak's villa complex, security is far less tight. In fact, it's quite relaxed out on the streets. There are very few tourists compared to how many there would be in Sharm el-Sheikh. Normally at this time of year. What President Mubarak -- the former President Mubarak is going to do next is not clear. Saudi Arabia has said that he can go there. There are rumors that he may go to other Gulf states. He has said -- the last thing he has said publicly is that he wants to remain in Egypt, and die in Egypt.

But he will be no doubt aware of this time of legal proceedings being taken against some of his former government ministers. He may be aware that there will likely be calls for his -- for him to be taken to court. Calls for him to be tried on -- for financial allegations. But also many of the protesters have said that he should bear responsibility for the deaths of many of the protesters over the past few weeks.

So we'll certainly be aware that there will probably be an increasing call for him to stand trial of some sort in the coming weeks and months ahead. So what he does now -- now is in Sharm el-Sheikh, still very unclear. Nick Robertson, CNN, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

COREN: Well, in Iran security is tight in central areas of the capital. Well, that's because the country's opposition leaders have called for a rally today to support Egypt's revolution. Well, CNN's Reza Sayah is following developments from Islamabad in Pakistan, and joins us now live.

Reza, can we expect a large rally?

SAYAH: Well, we don't know yet. It's too early. But certainly based on witnesses that we're speaking to, the drama is building up a little bit in the streets of Tehran. Of course, a lot of people keeping an eye on Iran today to see if this is the day the opposition movement -- the so- called "Green Movement" that exploded onto the scene after the 2009 disputed elections in Iran makes a come back.

Iran's two leading opposition figures -- Medhi Karroubi and Mir Hussein Moussavi have called for a rally in support of the uprisings in Egypt today in Tehran. Of course, no surprise the Iranian government has rejected the -- the request. But the opposition movement -- it said even with the rejection, "We're going to come out into the streets."

The first sign that there's something brewing came last night -- Sunday night in Tehran where once again we heard the chants of "Allahu Akbar" -- "God is great," from neighborhoods in Tehran. These are the same chants we heard in 2009 during those protests. Now today we're getting word from witnesses within the past couple of hours that crowds are building in a major square in Tehran.

Now it's not clear if these crowds are under cover security forces or protesters. So we're waiting to see exactly what develops. We do know according to witnesses that hundreds, maybe thousands of security forces in uniform are patrolling major intersections, major squares. A sign that the government is very concerned and wary about the opposition movement making a come back. Again this is an opposition movement that was largely snuffed out more than a year ago because of the brutal government crack down. A lot of people watching today to see if the comeback happens today.

COREN: Well, the government of course as you know is -- is saying that it certainly will crack down on those protestors. Reza, what will it mean if Iran's opposition movement does not come out today?

SAYAH: Well, this is a big day, not just for the opposition movement, but for the government. Because the opposition movement has been quiet on the streets, a lot of people have questioned, does it have a heartbeat? And I think this is an opportunity for them to show that they have a heartbeat. And if they don't come out, a lot of people will conclude that this is the end of the Green Movement that again emerged onto the scene in 2009.

And then you have the government. A government that has successfully shut down this opposition movement for more than a year. They don't want them to be able to breath again with street protests. So it's an important day for them as well. So there's a face off brewing. A lot of people in the streets of Tehran -- a potentially dangerous situation. We're going to keep our eyes on and see what happens in the coming few hours.

COREN: OK, Reza Sayah in Islamabad. Thank you.

Well in Yemen pro and anti government protestors are clashing again. Hundreds of demonstrators faced off in the streets of the capital. Well CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom was there, and joins us on the phone from the capital.

Mohammed, tell us what have you seen?

JAMJOOM: Well, Anna, just a few hours ago we arrived at the gates of Sanaa University. That's been the main staging ground of the anti government protests in the last couple of weeks here in Sanaa. When we got there we saw a group of pro government demonstrators converge upon a group of anti government demonstrators. Rocks were thrown. There were anti government demonstrators there that had sticks. There were pro government demonstrators there that had machetes. They had knives; they had daggers.

It turned violent quite quickly. They started clashing in the streets outside of Sanaa University. Police were called in. The military were there. They tried to disperse the crowd. The crowd of anti government demonstrators which numbered in the hundreds were then pushed back towards the gates of Sanaa Univeristy. We were then turned away. Security would not allow us to shoot any more video at the scene.

We're seeing more and more violence. We're seeing more and more tension the last few days. Since the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, we've seen a lot more anti government demonstrators going through the streets of Sanaa in the last couple of days chanting for the regime here to be changed for President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to step down.

These are crowns -- not just politicians, not just opposition party members. These are demonstrations that are being organized by the political parties here. These are rice workers. These are students that are coming out into the streets clearly emboldened by what they've seen go in in Tunisia and Egypt. They want to get their message across. They're tired of the corruption here. They're tired of the lack of job opportunities. They say that they want the president to step down. He's been in power too long. And they want to see a revolution go on in Yemen.


COREN: (Inaudible) how -- we know is it -- Yemen has a -- a 35 percent unemployment rate. Extremely high. What are the people telling you?

JAMJOOM: Everybody we speak with on the anti government demonstration side says that it's time for change here. They say that there's a -- there's an -- an air of revolution that's sweeping through the Arab world that is coming to Yemen. They're trying to get the message across. What's interesting is that before now in the last couple of weeks we saw opposition parties here trying to organize anti government demonstrations - - trying to get people out into the streets.

The day of rage that happened Thursday February 3rd here in Yemen when tens of thousands of people were out in the streets, that was mainly organized by opposition parties. You've also had pro government demonstrations going on. But in the last few days you've not seen the opposition be a part of this. You've seen students, you've seen rights activists calling on people. A lot of it's through social media. A lot of it through text messages -- to come out into the streets. Despite the fact that now the opposition party is talking once more with the government here; with the president.

They may have accepted the president's initiative. The people here are tired. The people that are against the government are saying they want the government to step down. They want to see a change. They want more economic stability. They want jobs, and they want a better future.


COREN: Mohammed Jamjoom in Sanaa Yemen. Thank you.

Well, on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon is struggling to form a new government. Hariri's son, Saad is saying here -- giving a speech on the anniversary of the death last year. Well, Saad Hariri served as prime minister until last month when his coalition government feel apart. Lebanon's political parties are divided in part because of the -- the tribunal investigating his father's assassination.

It's expected that some members of Hezbollah will be indicted. But Hezbollah claims the tribunal is a push (ph) by Western governments.

Algeria is the latest country to respond to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Well, after weeks of disquiet the government is trying to placate protestors by ending nearly two decades old emergency law. Algeria's foreign minister told French radio -- Europe One -- that the state of emergency will be lifted in the coming days. It has been in place since 1992.

Well, after some bits and stuff (ph) the world's top economies have officially shifted order. Coming up, we'll get the reaction from the new number three. Well, seven is the number for this Indonesian cleric, after a South Jakarta court indicts him on seven terrorism charges.

And this Brazilian football giant is set to spring a giant announcement. Kate Giles will be here with that (inaudible).


COREN: Well new figures confirm what has long been suspected. Japan just can't keep up with China's rapidly expanding economy. Kyung Lah breaks down the numbers and explains what they mean.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Japan is now the world's third largest economy. China is number two behind the United States. Figures released by Japan's economy are nominal GDP figures for 2010. And here's a look at the numbers. Japan's economy valued for the year 2010 -- $5.47 trillion U.S. dollars. China $5.87 trillion U.S. dollars. China's economy grew approximately 10 percent in 2010. The manufacturing sector simply expanding and expanding.

Domestic industry and infrastructure also continuing to expand. Compare that with Japan. The economy did grow here -- 3.9 percent. But this country has been stuck in two decades of economic stagnation and deflation. It has lacked for a decisive economic policy because it's had so many leaders in the last recent years. This country has seen six prime ministers in just five years. It is also looking to a demographic tsunami in the years ahead.

Japan has the world's fastest aging population with one of the world's lowest birth rate. Now economists do say comparing these GDPs is an important economic snapshot because it tells you about the power -- the economic power of various countries. But it doesn't tell the entire story.


DALEY: Japan's demographic tsunami as it was termed is very real and is going to stunt growth in that country for years to come. They need to get that situation under control. But China also has a demographic tsunami of its own to reuse that term coming as well. So this isn't just a one way bet on China versus Japan. Japan is not going away. I'm certainly not a raging bull on Japan. But this simple comparison has a lot of caveats.

LAH: At the current pace China is growing. Japan's government estimates that China will become the world's number one economy taking that title from the United States in as soon as 15 years. Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.

COREN:: Still the size of an economy does not paint a complete picture. Just consider this -- will China's GDP per head is about $4,500. Well, in Japan it's around $40,000. So the standards of living in these two countries remains remarkably different.

Well, Samsung has unveiled a new tablet computer, and experts think it might be the closest challenge yet to the iPad. The Galaxy Tab 10.1. Yes, you guessed it. It has a 10.1 inch screen, similar to Apple's iPad. Well, you can see Samsung's existing Galaxy Tab here which is roughly half the size of the new tablet.

The new Galaxy Tab also fixes a common complaint with the existing model. It runs on the latest version of Google's Android operating system which is specifically designed for tablets.

Well, Sony Eriksson also took the wraps off its long rumored Playstation phone on Sunday. The Xperia Play looks like a normal smart phone running Google's Android. But it slides up to reveal Playstation controls underneath. Adding physical buttons solves one of the issues gamers have in playing on a phone. No physical buttons. The Sony Eriksson's president told CNN why this phone was so long in coming.


BERT NORDBERG, SONY ERICKSSON PRESIDENT AND CEO: The graphics has to be very good to get a real experience on this. Even if the -- the dream has been very long time in -- in the industry. It's -- sort of -- take us some time to get everything to work. Because as you know when you launch, if you don't have the ecosystem, this phone is worth nothing without the game publishers, and all the game publishers and so on.

So it's a bit -- it will all have to take time. There's over 50 games from day one -- very exciting games.


COREN: Well, you could call the new phone a pocketable Playstation. It's definitely not the only portable play station on the market. Well, for starters there is the actual Playstation Portable or PSP. It was introduced in 2005. Well Sony later released an -- an updated version that you can see right here. The PSP Go will look familiar. It shares the same sliding design as the Xperia Play.

And just last month Sony unveiled the NGP -- the next generation Playstation portable. Sony boats that it's nearly as powerful as the PS3. But it will also play games designed for the Xperia Play. Well forget the iPhone -- Sony Eriksson's biggest competition may be Sony itself.

Well, he's the top scorer of all time in the World Cup. Now the glittering career of Brazil's Ronaldo may be at an end. We'll find out after the break.


COREN: Well the phenomenon is hanging up his boots. Brazilian star Ronaldo, the top scorer in World Cup history is set to announce his retirement today. Let's go live to London where Kate Giles joins us with more on Renaldo. And Kate tell us, why is he calling it a day?

GILES: Well, basically Anna he's just that -- you know, his body can't cope with the game anymore. It's so physically -- that 34 years of age of course. And he's had a very long struggle with his weight particularly, and he's taken a lot of stick for that one in particular. And his fitness in general, though. He's 34 as I say. He's struggling to perform recently. In fact, you know, he hasn't even scored since last year. Now what we've heard that he said is this.

He said, "I wanted to carry on. But I can't. I plan a move in a game, but I cannot execute it as I wish. The time is up. It's the body that's hurting me. The head wants to go on. But the body can't take any more." You know, through his career he was indeed -- talk about his string of serious injuries. Particularly his knee has been a real issue for him. Bit it seems that right now he just can't get back to where watns, or is he where he needs to be. And since he moved back to Brazil, back to his homeland two years ago, he really has been a shadow of the player that we saw at his very best when he was playing at Barca or Real Madrid.

Now he was expected in fact to retire at the end of the season. But the rumor is that that decision was then accelerated. That was after he was said to have received from threat from fans. Actually his own club, Corinthians, when his team crashed out of the Copa Libertadores. He took a lot of stick for that. He was almost blamed for that. And what we're expecting now though from Ronaldo himself to say he probably won't mention that at all. He'll just say that this is about his fitness or lack thereof.


COREN: OK. And we know that he was the top scorer of World Cup history, but just how good was he?

GILES: Yes. I mean, he was the best. He was the -- he's an absolute legend. Still is. He's had an incredible, incredible career. Spanned 18 years and of course he's played at some of the biggest clubs in Europe. And during that time -- during that 18 year career he actually scored more than 400 goals. And he played for Barcelona. He played for Real Madrid. For Inter Milan, for A.C. Milan -- really the biggest clubs going. How about this -- when he was at Barca, he was only one season there and that was 96-97. He really did leave his mark though.

He scored an incredible 47goals in 49 matches in all competition. And when he signed with Inter Milan that was for a world record fee at the time. That was 19 million pounds. And the now rather portly Brazilian is a two time winner of the Ballan d'Or award and a three time FIFA World Player of the Year. Only two men have ever achieved winning that award three times.

He did of course lead his team to victory at the 2002 World Cup. And he still holds as you mention there the title of all time scorer at the World Cup with 15 goals. So you know I think that that more than proves my case, Anna. He's -- he really is a legend.

COREN: Definitely. Kate Giles in London. We appreciate that. Thank you.

We'll Egypt's revolution unfolded in just 18 days. It's a seismic event that continues to shake the region. We'll show you history in the making.

We're finding love in a sea of a billion. We'll hear from some of China's professional pick up artists. Please stay with us.


COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong, and you're watching News Stream. These are your world's headlines.

New figures from Tokyo show weak consumer spending and a strong Yen on China's (inaudible) ranking in the global economy. Well Japan has slipped a notch and is now the world's third biggest economy. China has moved into the number two slot behind the U.S.

The U.S. government is outlining how it hopes to slash $1.1 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years. President Obama will reveal the details when he unveils the 24th Federal Budget Plan later today. The White House says the goal is to make the U.S. more competitive while freezing certain areas of spending.

Well, these are the latest images out of Yemen where pro and anti government protesters clashed again on Monday. The two sides threw rocks at each other and brandished knives and daggers. Well, this is at least the third day of clashes in the capital city of Sanaa.

A group of Egyptians gathered Monday morning at a makeshift memorial in Cairo's Tehrir Square. They were paying tribute to those who lost their lives during the country's dramatic uprising. As the military government attempts to restore order, questions remain about the future of former President Hosni Mabarak.

Well events in Egypt are moving in an uncertain direction, but one thing is for sure efforts to reestablish government will take a lot longer than the 18 days it took to unseat the previous regime. Well Ben Wedeman looks back at a rapid revolution.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom! (inaudible) freedom. We got to take it!

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And take it they did far faster than anyone could have imagined.

This was the 25th of January, the day the Egyptian revolution began.

Basically the crowds of protesters have taken over Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo.

From the start the regime seemed to be on the defensive, thrown off balance by a sudden rush of rage from the long, patient people of Egypt. Three days later, Central Cairo was choking on tear gas. Protesters and police fought for hours on the 6th October Bridge (ph).

Situation is -- it's like the battle of Cairo here. Every -- almost every part of town has seen demonstrations and seen violent suppression of those demonstrations. The clashes ended abruptly when the Egyptian army rolled in and the hated police left the scene. Tahrir was liberated territory.

But soon it was under attack. So-called Mubarak supporters launched a bloody assault on the square.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For our freedom, (inaudible) Hosni Mubarak. That's what he do. And he needs to be condemned. We will die for our freedom!

WEDEMAN: But the assault seemed only to stiffen resolve.

HANA SHUKRALLAH, EGYPTIAN DEMONSTRATOR: They deal with these people as if they have no right to speak out. They deal with them as if they have the right to kill them, to beat them up, to torture them. This attitude cannot last. They have to know this.

WEDEMAN: As quickly as they appeared, the pro-Mubarak mob vanished.

Tahrir became a vibrant bastion of defiance, a state within a state, with its own security and medical services. Millions flocked here making it clear they've had enough of an aging autocrat deaf to the demands of his people.

MAHA HAGGAG, EGYPTIAN DEMONSTRATOR: Maybe he doesn't understand the language of his people. So I'm telling him in English, please go away.

MOHAMMED ALI HAGGAG, EGYPTIAN DEMONSTRATOR: Please leave grandpa. He is older than my grandpa, 30 years he is ruling. I'm 23-years-old. I didn't see another president. This is too much. He doesn't understand that. We are the youth, he doesn't understand that. He doesn't know what we want and what we need.

WEDEMAN: For 29-and-a-half years President Hosni Mubarak took the attitude that father knew best what the people want and need. Now the man Egyptians contemptuously called "the Pharaoh" had been shown the door.

MARWA THABIT, EGYPTIAN DEMONSTRATOR: Leave Egypt, Mubarak. Or anyway we reached the (inaudible) of Egypt never -- we've hit rock bottom, so honestly leave. Get the hell out of here and leave.

WEDEMAN: And leave he did leaving behind a country transformed beyond all recognition in a mere 18 days -- 18 days.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.


COREN: Well Tahrir Square has been the center of the Egyptian revolution where hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered over the last few weeks. As Egyptians celebrate their newfound freedom many came out to clean up the street the day after President Mubarak resigned. Well our reporter, Mahmoud Ahmed Goma (ph) captured this image of Egyptians sweeping the ground in Cairo. Well Goma (ph) said everyone shared the passion to rebuild the country.

Well Yasmine Ali of Cairo sent in this photo. He said this shows the true spirit of Egyptians all united and hopeful for a brighter future.

Well Alexandra Stalks (ph) who works in Cairo shared this picture with us. She described many Egyptians in their 20's were repainting the square.

Well his supporters seeing him as a spiritual leader, Indonesian authorities however see him otherwise. Now Abu Bakab Ba'asyir is facing trial on seven terror charges.


COREN: Declaring himself a defender of Islam, radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was led into south Jakarta district court under tight security. While his supporters and family yelled out words of encouragement, the media was in a frenzy desperate to catch a glimpse of the elderly man some consider a murderer, others a spiritual leader.

NOOR HUDA ISMAIL, TERRORISM ANALYST: Ba'asyir is clearly is a symbol. He gains a certain level of celebrity among jihadist network. He is very strong -- he has very strong charisma to build a network. People in the network will come listen to him.

COREN: It's the third time in a decade that authorities have tried to bring terrorism charges against Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. As co-founder of Jamaa Islamiya, the group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that claimed 202 lives, Ba'asyir was convicted of conspiracy but it didn't stick. After almost 26 months in prison, Ba'asyir was released in 2006 and later the conviction was overturned. But now prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to put the 72-year-old behind bars if not on death row.

Ba'asyir is facing seven charges, the most serious planning and inciting a terrorist act which carries the death penalty. Police believe the cleric was behind a new terrorist cell known as al Qaeda in Aceh that was plotting a Mumbai style attack on western targets and government officials including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The group's secret military training camp in the jungles of Aceh on the island of Sumatra was raided early last year. Authorities say it was run by one of Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist Dulmatin, an explosives expert who help assemble the bombs used in the Bali attacks. He was later killed during a police raid.

Ba'asyir's lawyer says his elderly client is innocent and the evidence is flimsy, describing the firebrand cleric as a kitten not a tiger.

ADNAN WIRAWAN, ABU BAKAR BA'ASYIR'S LAWYER: First time they thought that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was linked to the bomb -- Bali bomber. They failed to do so. The second time they (inaudible) again thinking that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was involved in a Marriott bombing. They failed to do so. Now I do not know what they have the same kind of evidence that they had before so we are confident that he will be acquitted again.

COREN: And while the prosecution is confident of a conviction it also knows that if this attempt is unsuccessful it could turn Ba'asyir into even more of a martyr.


COREN: Well, Abu Bakar Ba'sayir's trial is expected to continue for at least a month.

Let's now get a check of the weather with our Mari Ramos. And Mari, a powerful tropical cyclone has made landfall in Madagascar.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a big storm. And we've been watching her for the last few days. The main problem with this, Anna, is that the storm is moving very, very slowly as it crosses that northern tier -- northern half I should say, of Madagascar. We have some -- this is what it looks like on the satellite image first of all. And you can see how it's becoming a little bit more ragged now that that center of circulation is over land. There are some high mountains here and that's helping kind of tear the storm apart. But because it's moving so slowly the concern is going to be very heavy rain that this is causing not just here across the north, but notice how some of those outer bands extent to the other side of the Mozambique Channel. So the potential for flooding here is large not just in Madagascar, but also as we head into the mainland as well.

Let's go ahead and take a look at some of these rainfall totals. Bingiza there's a tropical cyclone is some areas. Toamasina has over 200 millimeters of rain in the last -- this is in the last 24 hours, pretty much since Sunday. And in Sainte-Marie Island, just offshore, they had about 126 millimeters of rain. And more rainfall is expected, so the potential for destruction here is large -- flooding and mudslides.

And then look at the forecast track. The storm expected to move across the northern half here, that center of circulation reemerging over the very warm waters here of the Mozambique Channel and then start to move parallel to the coastline. That means that we're going to see that very heavy rain, like I said, on both sides of the channel for several days to come. It probably won't be until maybe Thursday or Friday when we see the storm eventually move across the southern tip of Madagascar again -- we'll just have to see what happens like I said -- moving only at about 15 kilometers per hour. Some areas could see in excess of 25 centimeters of additional rainfall. And that, of course, is why I keep talking about this, the concern here of all of that flooding rain.

Let's go ahead and head to south Asia. I want to show you right here. This is Afghanistan and Pakistan. Temperatures here remain not too bad in Pakistan, but very cold as we head across Afghanistan. This continues to be a concern across the area. I want to show you this picture, this one taken back on January 27th. You can see there's a lake here, but the path pretty much clear. We've started getting some pretty heavy rain in the last week or so and the difference is significant, many roads have been blocked as temperatures remain very cold. If you're going to get rain in Afghanistan it happens this time of year. So we definitely need the rain, just not a lot wanted, that's what keeps happening so some - - the potential for some flooding there as well. The moisture across the northern mountains of Pakistan and also into India, that continues to be a problem there.

But you know what, we did get some significant rainfall over the weekend for you guys in South Korea, pretty much blizzard situation, a record snow for some of you, including those 77 centimeters that you see right there. I'll show you the pictures right after this forecast.

All right, check it out this is what the city looked like covered in snow after a powerful winter storm moved through the region. You're looking at -- this an image from South Korea. Let me go ahead and forward this and show you some of the other areas that were affected. You know what, last month go on in spite of a -- what -- snow up to here in some cases? People still trying to get to work, still trying to go about their lives. They have to call in soldiers to start cleaning up the streets, because it was so -- the storm was so massive and caused so much snowfall. And look at that, all the vehicles that are buried in the snow. So this is a dangerous situation. And unfortunately, we're still expecting more snowfall.

It's minus 4 right now in Seoul, minus 6 in Beijing. You guys had a little bit of a dusting of snow yet again over the weekend. That was your second one in just, what, three days? Pretty amazing. It's not doing much, though, for the drought, but any amount of moisture you know what, is welcomed right over here. We're still seeing fairly dry conditions right now there for Northeastern China, but still some more snow expected in South Korea and more snow for you guys in Japan as well. Back to you, Anna.

COREN: Oh, Mari, I shouldn't be complaining, but we've had a bit of a cold snap here in Hong Kong. We're all wrapped up. But we're not complaining.

RAMOS: That's right.

COREN: Thank you for that Mari. Good to see you.

Well, at the Grammys on Sunday some new voices took center stage, but no surprise Lady Gaga also edged out competition. We'll have all the ups and downs from the Grammys next.


COREN: Well energy drinks claim to give you an extra boost, but there are concerns those beverages can cause major health problems for children. Well a new study warns parents and pediatricians about the dangers. Our senior medial correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now from CNN Center. And Elizabeth, what happens to those kids who drink a lot of these drinks?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anna, pediatricians are finding that some of them are getting quite sick from them, especially kids who already start out with an underlying condition like diabetes. Now first let's talk about the kind of drinks that we're speaking about here. They're energy drinks. It's drinks, for example, like this, drinks for example like Red Bull. There's a couple of other ones. And these have caffeine and other stimulants. And so what's been happening is that kids are showing up sort of shaky and with other kinds of symptoms and pediatricians don't know what to make of it when really one of the first things they ought to be thinking about are these drinks. And that's the message that the American Academy of Pediatrics is trying to get out is doctors think about energy drinks when kids come up with these symptoms.

Now let's take a look at what some of those symptoms are: irritability, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, or seizures. So again, the American Academy of Pediatricians saying hey look when a kid shows up with those symptoms the first thing that you ought to be thinking about, or one of the first, is energy drinks.

COREN: Elizabeth, how can you tell like a sports drink from an energy drink?

COHEN: What you want to do is you want to read the ingredients, because there's plenty of sports drinks -- excuse me -- out there that are perfectly fine that hydrate kids and are great for kids to drink. You want to read the ingredients. And when you see these three ingredients -- or actually any of these three, it doesn't have to be all three: caffeine, guarana and taurine that means that those are all stimulants and that means that you want to keep those away from your children.

COREN: All right Elizabeth, we certainly appreciate that. Thank you.

Well it was a night of high octane performances and kind of outfits only a rocker could pull off. Well from Los Angeles Kareem Wynter has the highlights of Sunday nights Grammy awards.


KAREEM WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Grammys kicked off with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T as an all-star group of divas paid tribute to maybe the greatest diva of all, the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.

Sisters and the ladies were definitely getting it done. Country trio Lady Antebellum had a huge night, winning five trophies including the top two: record and song of the year for Need You Now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What an amazing year, we are so blown away.

WYNTER: Another lady -- Gaga -- picked up a trio of trophies after arriving on the red carpet inside an egg then belting out her new song Born This Way.

Rihanna and Drake's sizzling duet is sure to spark rumors they're a couple. While on the tamer side, C-Lo Green teamed up with Gwenyth Paltrow and some fuzzy friends for a TV friendly take on a Tit F You (ph).

Bob Dylan growled out his tune, and Barbara Streisand proved her voice was still Evergreen.

For old and young alike it was a night of firsts. Mick Jagger had never song at the Grammys before, neither had teen phenom Justin Bieber who shockingly didn't win any Grammys. But an even bigger shock was Canadian rockers Arcade Fire winning the coveted album of the year award. Even they couldn't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell...

WYNTER: It was a surprise ending for a Grammy show with something for every generation.

Kareem Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.


COREN: Are you looking for love on this Valentine's Day? Well, flirtation boot camp takes the fine art of seduction to lonely men in China for a price.


COREN: Some breaking news coming into us at CNN. Let's now go to Egypt where a speech is being made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ...secondly, the negative effect on appealing to the demands of the people, thirdly, hindering production in the country, fourthly, delivering the interests of the people, fifthly, the negative effects on the national economy, sixthly, preparing the atmosphere for irresponsible elements to carry out illegitimate actions and this requires all honorable citizens to collaborate efforts so that our country can be safe again in a way that does not affect production.

The supreme council for the armed forces (inaudible) that in order to achieve security and stability of the nation and the citizens and to guarantee the continuation of production in all the country sectors calls on the citizens and labor sectors to carry out their duties each one in his position with appreciation to what you have endured for a long time and we hope that everyone (inaudible) this so that we can administer the administer the country in this critical stage and so this is transferred to the legitimate elected authority to carry out its responsibility and continue the path of democracy and development. Thank you very much.

COREN: We've just been listening to a military spokesperson there in Cairo, Egypt delivering the fifth message from the armed forces supreme council there in Egypt.

The fourth statement was released on Saturday. The military said it's commitment to democracy -- well the interim government will guide Egyptians toward a general election in six months time. And we'll certainly bring you much more on Egypt as it comes into us here at CNN.

But let's switch gears just a little bit to Valentine's Day of course. In the game of love as in any other game there are winners and losers. And on this Valentine's Day, some people are bound to strike out with their sweetheart's by giving bad gifts. Well, we asked people to tell us about their best and worst experiences. And here are a few of their responses.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The best Valentine's gift I've ever received definitely involved chocolate, the more expensive the better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A brand-new Mac computer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A tennis bracelet with a nice dinner, candle light in a night to remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best Valentine gifts I've ever given is I took my girlfriend to Atlantis in the Bahamas and stayed for five days and stayed at the Cove.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The worst Valentine's gift I've ever received was socks. Some like socks with little hearts and stuff all over it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cheap, bad, assorted gas station flowers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not one -- no Valentine's gift is the worst I've ever received.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The worst Valentine's gift I've ever given was a toaster. I thought that was a good, creative gift, but it wasn't.


COREN: Now he wanted breakfast in bed perhaps. Well, many women will say you can't go wrong with roses. And in China, there's a story in the number of stems you send. We're told sending one red rose means you're the only one. While 108 roses means marry mean, 365 roses means I think of you every day and 999 roses means we'll be together forever, wondering how much that big bouquet will cost you? Try more than $1500. Ouch, particularly considering they'll die after about a week.

Well, of course, those tips only come in handy if you have someone special to send flowers to. And men outnumber women in China. So singles there are turning to a charm school of sorts to get ahead. Stan Grant learns the secrets of some professional pick-up artists.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Meet Tango and the Juggler -- well, that's what they call themselves. And between them, they say they have the secrets of picking up women.

CHRIS "TANGO" WU, PROFESSIONAL PICK-UP ARTIST: It will come through from your heart to your face and to your body language, everything. And you come here...

GRANT: (inaudible)

WU: Yes.

GRANT: In this crowded Beijing bar on Saturday night, Tango -- real name Chris Wu -- is letting us in on his well honed strategy. First, have a good opening line.

WU: What about this -- if you don't mind, give me your number. One day let's get together, let's get together for coffee.

GRANT: Give me your numbers works?

WU: Well, it's the first step. Why not?

GRANT: Tango learned his craft in the United States where he studied the Art of the Game, a best selling book about successful pick-up artists. He was taught by the Juggler claiming that his power of seduction -- what works in the U.S. he says will work in China.

WAYNE "JUGGLER" ELISE, PROFESSIONAL PICK-UP ARTIST: Ultimately, people want the same thing. They want sex, love, excitement and those things.

GRANT: What Tango learned in America he now teaches here in China. In a country where men outnumber women, there is no shortage of students, men desperate to learn the art of seduction, paying up to $150 for a one day seminar and up to $1500 for a full on three day course. Today there are 40 lonely men here among them, Chang Jiangyu. He already has his role model.


GRANT: And our Brad Pitt has traveled 14 hours on a train to be here today all to try to mend his broken heart.

So you come with a broken heart?

JIANGYU: Because I come here, I must learn why she leave me.

GRANT: You can't turn up in a bar and find someone, you have to really work at it.

Well, it seems he's come to the right place. Tango and the Juggler back at the bar always win the girl.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


COREN: Here is hoping those boys find some love. Well, there are only two months to go before Britain's royal wedding and if one could enjoy a little out of spite, it seems that what Kate Middleton wants what she really, really wants is a dress designed by the UK celebrity queen Victoria Beckham. Well, Posh has revealed that she sent a number of designs to the Middleton family with a view to frocking the future consort. And based on her show at New York Fashion Week, we've been looking at some possible options.

Well, let's start with this one, which we'll call the Little Red Hiding Hood. We're liking the cherry chic. But I suspect this isn't what Kate had in mind when she said she wanted a fairy-tale wedding.

Now the weather can be a little chilly in London in April so how about some cozy couture? It's got the winter wow factor, but perhaps too much leg?

Well, finally we have the big blue beanbag. It's fine from the front, but if the bride asks does my bum look big in this? There's really only one answer.

Well, that does it for us here at News Stream. The news certainly does continue at CNN. World Business Today with Charles Hodson, Maggie Lake and Andrew Stevens is coming up next.