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Digital Activism; Protests in Bahrain; CBS News Journalist Assaulted in Egypt; Berlusconi 'Not Worried' About Upcoming Trail; Champions League Underway

Aired February 16, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

Calm, but resolute. Galvanized by anti-government action in the region, protestors in Bahrain call for constitutional change.

One of our crews gets pelted with rocks as they try to speak to a Chinese activist.

And could this 30-year-old newspaper article really contain the coveted formula for Coca Cola?

Well thousands of people are on the streets of Bahrain demanding change. Demonstrators have set up camp in the capital. They're calling for better jobs and housing, and government reform.

Wednesday's protests are described as peaceful. The president of one human rights group says that is because police are absent.

Now two protestors have been shot and killed in clashes with security forces. Bahrain's king promised a government investigation. Now the Interior Ministry says that two people have been placed in custody.

And we are also getting a sense of the mood in Manama from posts on Twitter. A short time ago a human rights activist, Maryam Alkhawaja, she tweeted this. "All songs, chants and speeches say we are all Sunni and Shiaa brothers. No divide."

Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni-Muslim royal family, but two-thirds of the population are Shiites.

And she also writes this, "They ask to speak to the organizers of this protest, so who are the organizers? US! Everyone responded."

Now Twitter is also being used as a tool to organize, and a blogger with the Twitter handle of @RedhaHaji posted this. He says, "Our meeting point is lulu roundabout. Today and tomorrow. Martyr Fadhel's grave being filled in, almost covered."

Now he has also been posting pictures of the funeral. He says that this picture, it shows mourners paying respects to the family. And here is another one is what he calls, "the martyr being placed in his final resting place after the final prayer."

We are watching an unprecedented wave of protests across the Middle East and North Africa. They are being fueled by high unemployment and decades of repression, but they are also being driven by digital activism.

Now Jill Dougherty explains how the U.S. is helping out.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the Egyptian revolution picked up steam, digital activist Ahmed Zidan was helping his fellow activists communicate. But some of them were getting blocked. So he tells me he used an application called El Kassar (ph) that solves the problem. It was invented by a Yemeni blogger.

AHMED ZIDAN, MIDEASTYOUTH.COM: And it's very easy to use. And it can -- gets around any connection. It has -- any block into the Internet. It has some sort of browser and you can navigate to this browser any disabled content in your country.

DOUGHERTY: In a Skype interview from Cairo, Zidan says the Egyptian revolution made history because of the Internet.

ZIDAN: If I can name it, I will name it a Twitter revolution. It's a Twitter revolution of course. And I -- and I am betting on this new trend of revolutions, hashtag revolutions, if we can -- if we can name it that, are sweeping across the region.

DOUGHERTY: In a major speech on Internet freedom, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, the U.S. will provide more help for Internet users worldwide to get around filters and get their message out.

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We have our ear to the ground talking to digital activists about where they need help. And our diversified approach means we're able to adapt to the range of threats that they face.

We support multiple tools. So if repressive governments figure out how to target one, others are available.

DOUGHERTY: In the last three years, the State Department has awarded more than $20 million in grants to activists working at what she calls the cutting edge of the fight against Internet repression. This year they'll add another $25 million.

New York-based, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping grassroots activists, has received support from the State Department. Cofounder Jason Liebman says, what's been happening on the streets of the Mideast is stuff they have been talking about for two years. Now it's for real.

JASON LIEBMAN, MOVEMENTS.ORG: Exciting for us is that looking at what's happening in Egypt and Tunisia, for the first time we saw examples where these tools were actually being used, and to affect real change. And you know, hopefully, we'll see it happening over and over again over the coming years and months.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee accuse the State Department of being slow to disperse U.S. government funds for Internet freedom, and they say it should not be the primary driver for the government on this issue.

Debates here in Washington will continue, but no one is questioning the fact that the Internet and social media now are playing a critical role in U.S. foreign policy.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: Now let's find out what's happening right now in Bahrain. Nicholas Kristof, a Pulitzer Price-winning columnist for "The New York Times" is there covering the protest. He joins us now live on the phone from Bahrain.

And Nicholas, welcome to CNN. What is the situation in Bahrain right now?

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" COLUMNIST (via telephone): Well, you have a central roundabout in the middle of the city that has been taken over by protestors who were trying to convert it into something reminiscent of Tahrir Square.

And one of the protesters who was killed yesterday had a funeral this morning. And so you had a -- a huge turn out by people who marched in a funeral procession through Bahrain. But this time the police stood back and they -- they let it proceed. The -- the police seem to be trying to avoid another provocation.

LU STOUT: OK. I want to ask you about the communications war. Is the protest movement in Bahrain using social media to organize, and is the government fighting back?

KRISTOF: Yes, I mean this is very much in the spirit of the Tunisian and Egyptian models. You have an exceptionally well-educated population in Bahrain and you know, a lot of young people who are, you know, using every -- every form of social media they have to communicate.

The (AUDIO BACK) back in part it seems by slowing down the Internet so that videos can't be uploaded for example.

Now the government says that it is not the one's slowing the Internet. But at the end of the day, you know, the Internet is -- is down to a crawl. My hotel has no Internet whatsoever.

But you know it -- one of the problems I think for the government is that they presided over a huge expansion in education, a huge boom in the middle class, and a educated middle class, frankly, desires more -- more political participation than the government is willing to give them.

LU STOUT: And what's your gut feel about what will happen next? Where will Bahrain's uprising go? Will it follow the same path as the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt?

KRISTOF: I just don't know. I mean, I guess my hunch would be that there will be some kind of greater concessions from the government reaching out to the -- to the people. They tried a really rough nasty crack down earlier in the week, and that was what led to these two deaths. And I think they saw that the upshot of those deaths was a huge expansion in the protest movement. That it -- that there was a real backlash.

So I think that they're trying to avoid any more of that kind of violence against the protesters. And my hunch is that there will be some of these concessions and that, you know, we're -- we'll see more democratic reforms. Whether that will be enough to make the protesters go home I just don't know.

LU STOUT: Bahrain's anti-government protesters, they have a full list of demands. Exactly what are they asking for?

KRISTOF: Well, many of them really -- I mean, I think a lot of them initially especially wanted to simply to have, you know, more steps toward a -- a, you know, more recognizable democracy. Many of them also want political prisoners released.

But there was such outrage at the real brutality by the police toward peaceful protesters earlier in the week that that seemed to create a lot of tension. You heard a lot more slogans this morning, for example, calling for the entire regime to be overthrown, for the Khalifa family, which dominates Bahrain politically and economically, to be pushed out of power. And maybe (AUDIO GAP) king in place, but reigning rather than ruling.

And the -- one of the fundamental maybe vulnerabilities as a regime is that you have a Sunni ruling family presiding over a majority Shiite population, and that creates an inherent instability.

LU STOUT: All right, Nicholas Kristof of "The New York Times, "thank you so much for making yourself available for us here at CNN International and telling us what's happening there in Bahrain.

Now let's shift our focus to Libya, and their police have clashed with protesters in the coastal city of Benghazi . Now an independent source tells CNN, up to 200 demonstrators were chanting anti-government slogans and demanding the release of a human rights activist. Now several people were arrested.

Libya's state news agency reports several demonstrations are also occurring in support of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, pro-government demonstrations.

Now the U.S. president has condemned Iran's crackdown on anti- government protesters. Many people at this funeral in Tehran shouted anti- American slogans as they mourned a man killed during Monday's demonstrations. Tehran says the 26-year-old was shot by members of an outlawed anti-government group.

But thousands of people marched against the government on Monday despite warnings of retribution, and a violent crackdown by security forces.

Now a television network in the United States, CBS News, says one of its chief correspondents, Lara Logan, was brutally attacked the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Logan was covering Friday's events in Cairo and CBS says this picture of her in Tahrir Square was taken shortly before a frenzied mob of about 200 people surrounded her, separating her from her crew and security team. Now the network says she was beaten and she was sexually assaulted. A group of women and about 20 Egyptian soldiers stopped the attack, and Logan is now recovering in a U.S. hospital.

Earlier, during the Cairo protests, Logan and her crew reported being rounded up and forcibly detained by members of the Egyptian Army, and other journalists and protesters say the same thing happened to them. Many also spoke of being beaten, and others have simply disappeared.

Arwa Damon reports.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Saydeea (ph) was so ecstatic the night Hosni Mubarak stepped down, she baked bread for the entire neighborhood to celebrate both the revolution and the fact that her sons had survived the days of protest.

But as it turned out, she had begun to celebrate too soon. The next day she learned that one of her sons -- 22 year old Ali (ph) had disappeared. Only God can know the pain in my heart, Saydeea says. It's burning me inside.

Following Mubarak's resignation, Ali had headed back to Tahrir Square to help in the cleanup effort.

Even in the neighborhood Ali is known for his good deeds, Hassan (ph), Ali's friend, tells us. He wanted to help get the country running again. That evening, Hassan received a chilling phone call from Ali. He told me he had been detained by the military, along with a large group he didn't know. We haven't heard from him since, and his phone is off.

Ali's mother was in complete shock. The family had no idea where he was, or even if he was alive. We can't even find anyone to tell us where he is, Saydeea complains. They say that people have been freed and they have rights now. Where is this freedom that we hear about?

Ali Is a good person, his father tells us. A fifth-year medical student, the electrician goes on proudly displaying Ali's diplomas. We implore the armed forces, just as they stood by the people and protected them, to stand by us, the families.

A few hours after we leave Ali's family, we find out that he had been released unharmed, but others have not been so lucky. Human rights lawyer Ahmed Dravav (ph) has been tracking missing persons and detainees and warns the military now seen as safeguarding the peace risks losing the people's support.

The military were a part of the old regime, Ahmed explains. The military has to make a choice now, to give people the rights they fought for or to carry out the same authoritarian way of stealing from its citizens.

At a restaurant close to a military prison, we arranged to have families meet us down the road to avoid a confrontation with the soldiers. They have all spent weeks sleeping on the pavement, just waiting for any word of loved ones taken into custody during the days of protests. They are all too afraid of repercussions to be named.

One woman says, released detainees all have signs of torture and beatings. They have also heard that people have died behind bars, though there's been no confirmation of such cases.

The military is playing games with us, another woman says. One day they say they are going to be released. One day they say they're not here, and then that they're at another prison.

There is no accurate estimate of the number of people who are either missing or detained. The military can ill afford to let anger and confusion mount as it struggles to cope with a state fresh out of a revolution born of the people's demands for change.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Cairo.


LU STOUT: Now still ahead on NEWS STREAM, as Italy's prime minister prepares to stand trial, we hear from one woman caught up in the controversy.

North Korea's dear leader enters his eighth decade or does he? There may be doubt over Kim Jong-Il's age, but there's no doubting the scale of the birthday celebrations.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What -- what we're trying to do here is to get through this man. This man has no authority. He has no authority --


LU STOUT: And CNN's Stan Grant reveals the dangers of tracking down dissidents in China.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now in a matter of weeks Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will stand trial, accused of having sex with an under-aged prostitute and abusing his position of power. Now the charges stem from his alleged sexual encounter with then 17-year-old Karima El Mahrough who has come to be known as "Ruby Heartbreaker."

Both Berlusconi and El Mahrough deny ever happened and at a news conference today, the prime minister expressed no concern about the upcoming trial.


SILVIO BERLUSCONI, PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY (through translator): I can say that I am not worried at all.


LU STOUT: Now, Italian prosecutors claim that this scandal unfolded at one of Berlusconi's infamous parties and Nicole Minetti, a former show girl turned politician, is accused of recruiting prostitutes for Berlusconi's gatherings. She gave her version of events exclusively to our Dan Rivers.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Did you introduce Ruby, this young Moroccan girl, to the prime minister?


RIVERS: At what point did you know that Ruby was a minor, was under 18?

MINETTI: That was the night that I went to the costuran (ph), the 27th of May. Yes. She had told us that she was 24 years old, and that wasn't hard to believe because she seems much older than what she is actually, yes.

RIVERS: Did you think that the prime minister knew that she was a minor?

MINETTI: Absolutely not. He did not know her real age, no.

RIVERS: Describe to me what happened that night. How did the prime minister appear on the phone after Ruby had been arrested?

MINETTI: I remember that there was this Brazilian girl which told me that Ruby was -- had been stopped because she didn't have any documents with her, any ID. And then it came out that she was under 18. So we stopped in costuran at 2:00 in the morning because obviously she didn't have any ID and the police were trying to find the ID.

RIVERS: Did the prime minister call you during this process?

MINETTI: Yes. Yes. We -- yes, a couple of times. I think I called him as well to let him know how the things were going. And obviously, he was quite worried as well, because I mean we were young girls in costura (ph). So I called him to let him know that everything was OK. That we were OK. That the girl was OK, and how things were going through in the night.

TEXT: Minetti on "the wild parties" in Berlusconi's basement.

MINETTI: This was not how the evenings used to finish. I mean, in any way, absolutely not.

There is a music room, let's call it, in which there can be some soft music, rather than more modern music. But I would not absolutely describe it -- describe it as night club in any way.

RIVERS: Some of the evidence suggests that you were topless at some of these parties. That you were dressed up in some sort of uniform. Is that true? Have you ever been topless in the presence of the prime minister?

MINETTI: No. I haven't.


RIVERS: And you're laughing --

MINETTI: And I'm laughing because it seems -- it's -- it's very much -- I mean laughable. That's all I can say.

RIVERS: So you completely deny that you procured any women for the prime minister for prostitution?

MINETTI: Yes, I deny that. Absolutely, yes.

TEXT: Minetti on Berlusconi.

MINETTI: He's a really great man. He's generous. He's good, good in the heart.

The great thing about him is that he believes a lot in young people. He's not afraid of believing and investing in young people.

RIVERS: So you would deny ever having received any money from Silvio Berlusconi?

MINETTI: Well, he helped me in some -- in some situations. I mean he's -- he doesn't have any problems helping people even in an economic way.

RIVERS: How much money did he give you?

MINETTI: That's a detail which I wouldn't go into.

RIVERS: But thousands of Euros?

MINETTI: It doesn't matter. That's not the -- that's not the matter.

RIVERS: Well, some people say it does matter because it -- it would suggest that he was either paying for your services or paying to keep you quiet.

MINETTI: Or he was helping me just because he cared for me. It could be one thing or the other.

RIVERS: Do you -- how would you describe your relationship with the prime minister?

MINETTI: I had an affectionate relationship meaning of someone that you care for and cared for you.

RIVERS: But not an improper relationship, a sexual relationship?

MINETTI: I wouldn't go in those details. Those are private details - - private details.


LU STOUT: Nicole Minetti is currently a regional councilor and a member of Silvio Berlusconi's PDL, or People of Freedom Party in Lombardi, Northern Italy.

Now up next, North Korea is celebrating the birthday of Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il. Now what do you get the man who has everything? How about a flower festival filled with his very own begonia, Kimjongilia. Bringing the latest on the festivities coming up.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now one of the most mouthwatering clashes in the Champions League kicks off in a few hours. Alex Thomas is here to look ahead to that one.

But first, Alex, some controversy in Tuesday night's matches.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie, we start with a fiery Champions League round of sixteen first leg encounter at the famous San Siro Stadium in Northern Italy. AC Milan Captain Gennaro Gattuso admitting he was wrong after twice clashing with Tottenham's assistant coach, Joe Jordan.

Gattuso's apology hasn't stopped Europe's governing body, UEFA, from opening disciplinary proceedings against the player, though.

He wasn't the only Milan man to lose his cool as the seven-time champions were beaten one-nill by Champions League Hotspurs; Peter Crouch with the only goal. Late in the game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the ball for Milan, but only after shoving a defender so the goal was disallowed.

But this was the big talking point. An apparent head butt by Gattuso on Jordan after the final whistle. Earlier the Milan skipper grabbed the Spurs' assistant coach by the neck. And UEFA has announced that a disciplinary panel will look at the incident on Monday.

It all left Tottenham's boss, Harry Redknapp, shaking his head.


HARRY REDKNAPP, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER: Gattuso had a problem -- he had a flair up with Joe Jordan. I don't know why. I mean, he'd obviously hadn't done his own work and you know, he -- he could have picked a fight with someone other than Joe.

I mean, but I don't know what it was all about. Joe, I think he, you know, he put his head into Joe's face as well for some -- I don't know. It was crazy.

QUESTION: He seemed to lose it --

REDKNAPP: He lost his head, didn't he, during the game?


THOMAS: Redknapp hinting at Jordan's hard man image. He used to be known as "Jaws" during his playing days. So Gattuso should have picked on somebody else.

Well, Tuesday night's other match was a one-all draw between Valencia and Schalke. Former Real Madrid striker Raul scoring for the German club on his return to Spain.

Two more games on Wednesday evening, later on today. The pick of them undoubtedly Arsenal against Barcelona at the Emirate Stadium in London. Arguably the most attractive footballing sides in the tournament, especially Barcelona who are packed with stars from Spain's World Cup winning team, as well as world player of the year, Lionel Messi of Argentina. The Catalan club confident, despite the end of their recent run of victories in their league, they only drew it the weekend. Barca also managed just one win from their last six champions league games away from home.

As for our Arsenal, well their manager Arsene Wenger has picked out their Dutch striker Robin Van Persie as the team's main threat. Van Persie scored 12 goals this season, and 11 in the last six weeks alone.

However the big elephant is in the corner of the room is that six- three aggregate defeat by Barcelona in last season's quarter final. Although Wegner says it will be different this time.


ARSENE WENGER, ARSENAL MANAGER: We've made our way forward. They're changing in the premiership, we are in all competitions. And if you look at the predictions at the start of the season, nobody in England predicted that it would be today where we are.

So we have made our own way with our own strengths, with our own mental belief. And that's a good opportunity to show it tomorrow, once again, that you can be stronger than the predictions.


THOMAS: Well, I'm off to get some snacks, watch that one on the couch later on, Kristie. But stay tuned to CNN throughout the day. We're live from the Emirates Stadium in a couple of hours time. And then again in the next world sport at 5:30 this evening Central European Time.

LU STOUT: All right, well load up on your snacks, enjoy the sport.

Alex Thomas there, thank you.

Up next here on NEWS STREAM, there are concerns for the safety of a detained Chinese activist. Our Stan Grant tried to check out the reports, and we'll show you what happened.

And is Coca-Cola's secret out in the open? Now a U.S. radio show says it has the recipe for the real thing.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM. And these are your world headlines.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry says the people responsible for the deaths of two protesters this week have been taken into custody. Thousands of people turned out today for the funeral of one of those protesters and the police have stepped back to avoid further violence. The demonstrators have largely been demanding reform, but activists say some are now calling for the removal of the royal family.

In the Iranian capital, the funeral of the man officials says was killed in protests on Monday is drawing large crowds. Now the people on the streets today are largely supporters of the current regime. Thousands demonstrated on Monday despite warnings of retribution and a violent crackdown by security forces.

U.S. Senator John Kerry is on an official visit to Pakistan. While there, he's trying to get officials to release a detained American. Raymond Davis was arrested on suspicion of killing two men. The U.S. says he has diplomatic immunity because he is part of the consulate staff. And Kerry hopes to resolve the standoff.

Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt is on hold. A government official says it is a temporary suspension because an anti-whaling group is chasing its ship. Now the Sea Shepherd group that regularly tails Japan's whaling vessels, and Tokyo says the hunt is for scientific research, a claim that the conservation group disputes.

Now to China next and news of another food safety scare there. Now this time it is domestically consumed rice under the microscope. And researchers say it could potentially be laced with harmful metals. Eunice Yoon has the story.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another day, another customer for rice seller Nien (ph). But today he's checking this map on his cell phone, monitoring the latest food safety concerns to hit China: tainted rice.

PHILLIPA JONES, FOOD SAFETY EXPERT (through translator): To be careful, you should not take rice from the south. He tells us. Eat rice from the north. It's safer.

YOON: This week, the media has been abuzz with research from Nanjing Agricultural University. Scientists tested rice samples all over China and found some rice contaminated with the heavy metal cadmium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cadmium contamination, which this is, comes from mining and industrial development. And they are two sectors of the Chinese economy which have been booming for a long time and they are very important.

YOON: The research was conducted in 2007 and 2008, but the fear is the soil still may be contaminated years later, though no recent studies have been done.

People here are concerned about a university statistic that there's a 1 in 10 chance that the mainstay of their diet, Chinese rice, could be laced with cadmium.

Cadmium, when consumed, is toxic. It's been associated with weakening bones over time. But the author of the report pointed out that tainted rice was concentrated in just a few areas and says concerns about large scale contamination are overblown. Chinese health authorities have not yet commented on the report, but just this week they vowed to crack down harder on any food safety incidents in the aftermath of the tainted milk scandal and other past problems.

China has said insuring food safety will be among its top priorities in the years to come.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Now that research on tainted rice is just the latest incident in a country with a very poor track record on food safety. Now according to the state news agency Xinhua, there were roughly 130,000 suspected violations in China last year. Now among the biggest concerns is this: illegal cooking oil, which is drained and recycled from kitchen waste. One of the most notorious food scandals, it took place in 2008, that was when at least six babies died and 300,000 fell ill after drinking milk powder contaminated by the industrial chemical melamine.

Now the melamine incident, it escalated when one of China's best known brands, White Rabbit Candy, was pulled from supermarket shelves. Nations around the world curbed Chinese imports.

Now let's focus now on one of China's most high profile activists. Now this is Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in Northeast China. Now the blind self-taught lawyer spent four years in prison and is now apparently a prisoner in his own home for accusing the state of forced abortions and sterilizations.

Now getting the story has not been easy. Now foreign reporters, including our own Stan Grant, have been strong-armed just trying to get into Chen's village in Shandong province. Take a look.


STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're not breaking any law. This is...

Here's what happened when we tried to talk to a human rights activist in China.

No, no.

Plain clothes guards surround the small village where Chen Guancheng lives. They're not about to let us get to see him, this blind, self-taught lawyer.

What we're trying to do here is to get through. This man has no authority. He has no authority to push us out of here. He is not a police officer. He is not shown any badge. He is not with any uniform.

Then he shoves me out of the way and strikes our camera. Picking up rocks, he pelts us and our vehicle. But this was not unexpected. Men like this have Chen's small village in China's Shandong Province under lockdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get out of here.

GRANT: Tension has been rising since a human rights group smuggled out this video of Chen last week. It's now loaded on YouTube. A man is clearly seen apparently keeping a close eye on Chen's house.

Speaking to the camera, Chen accuses local authorities of using, quote, "hooligan methods" to detain him. Activists say Chen and his wife were beaten after this video was made public. They say he's being denied medical treatment.

Our efforts to verify the claims stopped at the gate. Our attempts to speak to authorities denied.

Chen gained fame after accusing authorities of carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations under China's one child policy. He was branded a traitor and counter revolutionary by the Communist Party.

In 2006, Chen was jailed on charges of damaging property and disrupting traffic in a protest. His supporters called the charges ludicrous. He was released last year, but says he remains a prisoner in his own home as our efforts to see him show, Chen Guancheng is anything but a free man.

Stan Grant, CNN, Shandong Province, China.


LU STOUT: Now it's important to tell you that China has on the record flat out denied the forced abortions and sterilizations that Chen alleges.

And after Stan filed that piece, producer Steven Gian (ph) also reported about their angry encounter on our web site. To find out what happened as they tried to flee the flying rocks by car at

Let's get your international weather forecast with Mari Ramos. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, hi, we're going to go ahead and start with Tropical Cyclone Carlos. This is that storm I was telling you about yesterday -- not the one in Madagascar, the one in Northern Australia. This is a -- you know, slow moving weather system. And even before it formed, because officially it wasn't a cyclone until maybe 12 hours ago, even before it formed it has been bringing tremendously heavy rain across this region so the misery not done yet, this time for Northern Australia.

I want to show you the areas here that we have marked. The areas in the darker green are areas that are considered far above the average and this only takes you through January 31, but we're not counting February when it comes to these numbers. Far above average in terms of rainfall, the ground already saturated. And with this storm so far, in the last 60 hours, they've had twice their monthly average of rainfall. So in other words, add to that extremely heavy rainfall that they've already have been sustaining, 600 millimeters of rain. You want to see what that looks like on the ground? Let's go ahead and roll the pictures that we have from Australia.

Look at that, people just doing whatever they can to try to get around. Let me tell you, these are very dangerous conditions when you have this much water on the ground. When you drive through areas that are flooded as these people are doing you don't know what happened to the ground below. You don't know if the ground -- if the roadway is even still there. You don't know how deep that current is. You don't know if it's going to be able to take your car. In the United States more people die from flooding in their cars than any other way, that's how dangerous it is to drive through flooded areas. So this is a very significant thing in extremely dangerous conditions.

There are reports of downed trees, downed power lines, people stuck in the flooding. So unfortunately, Kristie, as we head through the next 24 to 48 hours more extremely heavy rain is going to come across this area. I want to show you our forecast accumulation across Northern Australia. Look at that, the darker red, that's an easily another 25 centimeters.

And that's happening, because Carlos is moving so very slowly. The winds are strong, gusting to nearly 80 kilometers per hour, but it's going to take probably 48 hours, two full days starting now, for this storm to actually clear out of this region and then continue moving a bit farther to the south. So, another natural disaster in the making here for Australia. We'll be monitoring is closely. And this is what the storm -- very disorganized -- this is what it looks like, though, on satellite.

There's another one off the northwest coast of Australia. That one appears to be moving away and hasn't really developed too well. And then the other one is the one I was telling you off the coast of Africa.

So let's go ahead and cross the Indian Ocean. And down here in the southeastern corner of Africa, that's where we've been dealing with Cyclone Bingiza. As you can tell from the satellite image here, Kristie, it is still bringing some very heavy rain across this region as well.

Let's go ahead and head back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you can see it quite clearly there. Mari, thank you so much.

Up next here on NEWS STREAM, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Justin Bieber's haircut, all some of the greatest mysteries of all time they remain unexplained. But has someone really uncovered the recipe for Coca- Cola? We'll examine the evidence that could leave company bosses fizzing.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we are following a battle between the best human minds and a supercomputer. Now you'll remember day 1 was a draw on the U.S. game show Jeopardy and day 2 it was a different story: the machine dominated. IMB's Watson finished $25,000 ahead of its nearest human challenger, even though it blew the final question. Now the contest it ends later on Wednesday and the two all-time human champs have some work to do.

Now at the time, it was the technology of beverages. And yes, technology has advanced since. And through it all a bottle of Coca-Cola remains a bottle of Coca-Cola. And now a U.S. radio show believes it has discovered the drink's secret formula written out in an old newspaper. Martin Savage investigates.


MARTIN SAVAGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I head to the main branch of the Atlanta library downtown and take a seat.

So Doug McCalm (ph) -- McCalm (ph) right -- has decided to help us here. He's the reference librarian here. And he's actually found the Atlanta Journal Constitution from February 18, 1979.

That's the paper and the day where the recipe supposedly was published on page 2b. And sure enough, a quick search finds the story.

So this article that was written by Charles Salter (ph) basically talks about how the author had an encounter with a gentleman, Armistice (ph), who had an old ledger. And in that ledger supposedly was the recipe for Coca-Cola. And here is a photograph, if I move it over, and it may not show up too well on camera, but listed here are all the ingredients supposedly for Coca-Cola.

But could that really be the recipe? That led me to my next stop.

Since Atlanta is home to the world headquarters of Coca-Cola we thought, well, what better place to come to start looking for answers.

Phil, how long have you been a historian with Coca-Cola?

PHIL MOONEY, COCA-COLA ARCHIVIST: I've been here 33 years.

SAVAGE: In a courtyard I meet a man who knows a lot about Coke's past.

Is the secret of Coca-Cola, the recipe, is it here?

MOONEY: Well, it's actually not in our headquarters building, it's actually in a vault in a SunTrust bank.

SAVAGE: That's in downtown Atlanta. And Phil says only a handful of executives actually know the recipe. He's very familiar with the 1979 Atlanta Journal article.

Is that the formula for Coca-Cola?

MOONEY: No. It's not. I mean, the formula for Coca-Cola is probably the most closely guarded secret in the history of American commerce.

SAVAGE: Phil says every couple of years somebody claims to have an old document believing it's the recipe for the original Coke, only it's not. He says what they are, are early attempts from the 1900's when others tried to replicate the recipe. In other words, they are Cola recipes, but they are not the real thing.

Of course, I think that Phil wouldn't tell me even if it was the real recipe. My real shock came when I talked to marketing professor Doug Bowman who said "it may or may not be the real recipe, but it doesn't really matter at all."

DOUG BOWMAN, PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY: I don't think we'll ever know if it's really the recipe. And I don't think Coke really cares. Coke is selling a lifestyle brand. They're selling refreshment. They're selling happiness.

SAVAGE: In other words, that Coke is just way more than a list of ingredients on an old piece of paper, it is in fact a way of life for many of us. It's a brand.

By the way, that story was actually first brought to light, at least about the newspaper article, by a radio program called This American Life. They actually took the recipe and turned it into some sort of soft drink and then tried it on people. Most said it did not taste like Coca-Cola. It would seem the recipe is safe.

Martin Savage, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: Now Apple is tightening the rules on the iPad and iPhone App Store and some companies aren't happy about it. It says by June 30 any app that allows users to buy content like music, books or newspaper subscription must offer a way to buy that content inside the app. Apple says it's easier for consumers and leads to a more streamlined experience. So what's the problem? Apple takes a 30 percent cut of any sale made inside an app. Now right now, companies like Amazon that get around the problem with this, this little button up here -- right here, it takes you out of Amazon's Kindle App and right onto its web site. And once you're there, any purchase you make goes direct to Amazon. Apple does not take any cut from that. So now Apple says that Amazon and others, they just have until June 30 to allow users to buy these books inside the app giving Apple a 30 percent cut.

Now Amazon has not commented, but the music store Rhapsody has. And they said the new arrangement is, quote, "economically untenable." And that they will be collaborating with our market peers in determining and appropriate legal and business response to this latest development.

Now Apple is among those capitalizing on the wireless revolution, but despite ongoing advances in technology, one thing is still well and truly wired: power. Jim Boulden looks at one solution to cutting the cord.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This, of course, is a typical air port lounge chair. What's it doing here at the mobile world congress? Well, it's all about being able to recharge your operating device wirelessly here at Powermats.

Beth, tell me all about it. Am I going to see the ability to do that in an air port soon?

BETH HARRISON-MEYER, VP GLOBAL MARKETING, POWERMAT: We are. We just announced a partnership with our leader in global seating. And you can simply drop and charge on this surface. So we put Powermat in as traditional power. Who hasn't been in an airport and been struggling to find an outlet and then find tons of people around it.

It's still new to the world technology, so with Powermat on your phone and any Powermat surface, it's that simple. No plugs, no cords, just drop and charge.

BOULDEN: I still have to buy the add-on. How soon until this is embedded in a mobile device?

HARRISON-MEYER: We've only been in the market 16 months. And we've actually slimed this down dramatically already, but you will start seeing phones with Powermat I'd say as early as next year and possibly sooner.

BOULDEN: Now clearly you're in talks with the handset manufacturers, obviously.

HARRISON-MEYER: We are working with manufacturers, yes.


LU STOUT: Just drop and charge, sounds too good to be true.

Now not all gadgets can use Powermat out of the box, though. You'll need a special battery pack or case to charge wirelessly.

Now copycats be warned, this media mogul is said to be going to new lengths to protect her brand, the head. You won't believe what Arianna Huffington is trying to do to protect her trademark.


LU STOUT: Now North Korea is celebrating the birthday of its dear leader Kim Jong-Il. And amid the admiration and fireworks were fresh appearances by his son and expected successor Kim Jong-Un. Paula Hancocks has this report.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A military show of force for North Korea's leader. As Kim Jong-Il watches land, sea and air drills so does his youngest son Kim Jong-Un. This video was shot over a year ago, a time when Kim Jong-Un was still a political unknown. It's released on his father's birthday, such a significant date in the North Korean calendar as yet another sign that he is being groomed as his father's successor.

To be accepted as North Korean leader, the younger Kim must have the support of the military. He was promoted to general and vice chairman of the central military commission last September. North Korean television also broadcast the usual celebratory performances this time of year, and extended synchronized swimming performance, a figure skating show and a flower exhibition featuring a flower called Kimjongilia dedicated to the so-called dear leader. A national holiday, North Koreans are compelled to celebrate Kim's birthday with fervor.

Some South Korean politicians have come up with their own birthday present for Kim Jong-Il, thousands of flyers which they're hoping to fly across the border. And this is what they say, on the left you have the Kims and it says, "Fatso Republic." On the right you can see starving children, and it says "The people are eating grass."

Helium filled balloons also carry DVDs to give international news to North Koreans, including the Egyptian people bringing down former president Hosni Mubarak.

CHO JEON HYEOK, SOUTH KOREAN LAWMAKER: To make the change, we must let them know what is happening outside of North Korean.

HANCOCKS: But the only change evident from North Korean State Television is that just as the father is fervently cheered by the military, so now is his son.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Paju, South Korea.


LU STOUT: Now last week NEWS STREAM brought you an interview with one of the stars of this year's Super Bowl. Now Max Page is clearly not a professional American football player, rather it was his turn as mini Darth Vader in a Volkswagen commercial that won him global recognition. And this week we bring you the Dark Lord writ large -- very large indeed. Now the force of hot air with this mega balloon which appeared at a festival in the Philippines. Now talk about building up a head of steam, you really wouldn't want to look up and see that helmet poking through a break in the clouds.

Now let's stay on the subject of helmets for a minute, because I want to ask you this, would you wear a helmet that had the power to shave off all your hair? No need to hurt your head thinking about it, Jeanne Moos did the research.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Want to shave your head without lifting a finger?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is a shaving helmet, (inaudible) arrayed, mounted on Teflon coated aluminum rails powered by two servos.

MO0S: Some of us in the media, it was a close shave.

This one I believed for about 10 seconds.

They tested on a guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does it feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little strange.

MOOS: And when the helmet comes off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any nicks? Oh wow, nice, it looks smooth.

MOOS: Oh, it's smooth all right -- a smooth fake thanks to a pair of twins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's ridiculous, isn't it?

MOOS: It looks too small.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. It feels...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you have a bigger head.

MOOS: While the camera panned away for 15 seconds...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you shave your head manually...

MOOS: The twin who had hair was replaced by the twin whose head was already shaved. The switcheroo is revealed in a follow-up video: the making of the shaving helmet.

Now, you think of this as a viral marketing touchdown, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

MOOS: A touchdown, because it spread globally from web sites to TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You put your head in this thing...

MOOS: Sure, lots of folks didn't fall for it, skeptics wondered where does the hair go?

It's basically a hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It is, but we find that you have to go to extremes to get attention.

MOOS: Just as company marketing water repellent shoes did when it created a viral video showing guys running on water. It turns out they were running on a wooden walkway beneath the surface.

And this water slide, known as Megawhoosh, supposedly sent a slider airborne into a tiny pool. The Discovery show "Mythbusters" busted that myth by recreating it. A marketing company confessed it was digital magic down from Microsoft: Germany.

The shaving helmet, it turns out, was aimed at promoting a company called Head Blade. And you better not put that helmet on while it's turned on or you could get scalped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never, ever believe a video on YouTube if it's too good to be true.

MOOS: Keith and Kenny Lucas say even their mom thought the shaving helmet was real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had no idea that we switched. She thought that it was just Kenny, and I was like, no mom, it's both of us.

MOOS: They even added a mole to Keith so he'd match Kenny. Holy moly, seeing is no longer believing.

This is making like a little electronic noise...

Jeanne Moos -- my hair is stuck -- CNN -- don't turn this damn thing on -- New York.


LU STOUT: And now we take you over and out there. The Huffington Post is expanding its quest for media domination. On watch now: the alphabet. (ph) reports that in two U.S. filings, the Huffington Post is seeking to trademark the letter H. Now technically, you can still use the letter H, but at your own peril. Among the trademarks is for the letter H inside a square with rounded corners. But the other trademark is for the letter H with a broad solid line below.

So this would be OK, but this -- that's going to cost you. So, I guess I owe Arianna a dollar now.

That is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today with Maggie Lake, Andrew Stevens and Nina Dos Santos is next.