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Christchurch in Ruins; Moammar Gadhafi Issues Chilling Threat; Bahrain Unrest
Aired February 23, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
Now, search and rescue teams scour the rubble in New Zealand. It is a day and a half after the quake.
Libya's leader stands defiant, bowing to punish protesters. But pressure on Moammar Gadhafi is growing.
And up in the air. A newly freed political prisoner in Bahrain is lifted by the crowd. Now, what's next for the island kingdom?
Now, Christchurch, New Zealand, is coping with the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that struck at lunchtime on Tuesday. Authorities say at least 75 people have been killed. But with hundreds missing, many more are feared dead.
And still, rescue workers had a few moments of hope. Now, here is one of them.
Search teams cheered as they pulled a woman out of the rubble 24 hours after the quake. New Zealand media report that Ann Voss, the trapped office worker we heard from yesterday, has been rescued as well. Rescuers say they found around 30 survivors in the worst-hit area, Christchurch, on Wednesday. But police believe at least 22 others are still trapped, and time is running out.
Now, the first 72 hours after the disaster are seen as the most critical, and many people are spending a second night in shelters. Power has been restored to more than half the area, but 80 percent of residents reportedly still do not have running water.
Our Anna Coren joins us live from Christchurch with the very latest.
And Anna, you've had an opportunity to see and tour the devastation first hand. What have you seen?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie. We have spent some time today with some people whose homes have been totally devastated. The one I'm talking about in particular is just outside of Christchurch.
It was a two-story building, but when we arrived it looked like it was just a one-story structure. The top story just pancaked the ground floor, and it was just so lucky that nobody was underneath.
We spoke to people who were upstairs. They were inside their house. They were asleep at the time, two Filipino nurses who had been living here in Christchurch for some time. And they just said that they were so lucky to get out alive.
The woman who lived below, she normally comes home from lunch, remembering, of course, that this earthquake struck at 12:51 local time. She would normally be at home. She normally comes home from work, but on this particular day she decided to stay in her office, and when she did get home, she just certainly counted her blessings.
Let's have a listen to what Malou Salerio (ph) had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALOU SALERIO (ph), CHRISTCHURCH RESIDENT: We tried to begin yesterday just to get some few clothes here. And as you can see there, that's a duvet, I think.
COREN: Yes, I can see some bedding.
SALERIO: And also here, this is a big wardrobe here, and all our jackets are there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: So that was Malou Salerio (ph) there. Her bed was clearly visible. If she had been in her house, Kristie, she would have been dead. And that was the story for so many people.
But the fortunate, lucky stories, I should say, were few and far between. We received some devastating news late this evening here, Kristie, that the CTV building, one of the worst-affected buildings here in Christchurch, it now appears that more than 100 people inside are dead. It was hoped earlier in the day that there would be people who would be rescued, but police have since said that there are no signs of life.
So it looks like the police have called off that rescue, and now their attention is focused on other buildings, probably seven other sites in that central business district, where they believe that people may still be alive -- Kristie.
STOUT: So, are you now reporting that the death toll has risen dramatically? Because up until now, we had been reporting that 75 people died when this earthquake struck. And you're now reporting 100 additional people believed to be dead, raising the death toll to 175.
A number of people are still missing. Any likelihood that more miracles can take place of what we saw earlier today?
COREN: Yes, Kristie. Three hundred people are still missing, but of that figure, 100 of those were in the CTV building. That is what we understand. And they are the reports that the New Zealand media are reporting, that it looks like all those 100 people, more than 100 people inside that CTV building, are dead.
Police are yet to fully confirm that, but from what we can understand from all the media reports that are here in Christchurch, it looks very unlikely that there are any survivors in that CTV building -- Kristie.
STOUT: A tragic loss of human life.
Anna Coren, joining us life from Christchurch with the very latest.
Thank you, Anna.
Now, let's turn to Egypt now for an update. And part of the Interior Ministry building has been set on fire in the capital.
Witnesses say it was started by protesters upset about labor issues. Now, media reports describe them as low-level police officers seeking raises. A number of surrounding buildings and several cars have also been torched.
Now, this is happening just a few blocks away from Tahrir Square, where those massive demonstrations to oust President Hosni Mubarak took place earlier this month. Now, security forces have been seen detaining a couple of men.
Now, after days of bloody demonstrations in Libya, leader Moammar Gadhafi has issued a chilling threat to execute anyone who protests against him. Now, this video, it purports to show the scene in the capital, Tripoli, after Gadhafi's speech on Tuesday. The protesters, they're appearing defiant. But today, witnesses are reporting that the streets are comparatively empty, with people afraid to venture outdoors.
Meanwhile, many nations are making plans to evacuate their citizens. And the U.N. Security Council is urging Gadhafi to stop the violence.
Now, CNN's Ben Wedeman was the first Western TV journalist to enter Libya and report from inside the country during the unrest, and he filed this report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the democracy, Gadhafi. This is the real democracy.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But Gadhafi no longer controls this eastern city of Tobruk. The old Libyan flag from the days of the monarchy now flies over the main square.
Here, they chant the same slogan heard in Tunis and Cairo. The people want to topple the regime, and they don't want to stop there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I talk seriously. I will kill you. Leave us alone. Go away. Don't come back.
WEDEMAN: Tobruk was one of the first cities to rebel against Gadhafi's 42- year rule, ripping down one of the symbols of one of the Arab world's most repressive regimes.
(on camera): This is what remains of Tobruk's main police station -- a hated symbol of the Gadhafi regime. On the 17th of February, protesters came out into the streets. They were fired upon by the security services. But eventually, the people here were able to overpower the police, and they came and ransacked this place, and then came and burnt cars belonging to the intelligence services.
(voice-over): Adris (ph) says he was brought to this room, the torture chamber in the police station, four times. He police, he recalls, used electric shocks and beatings to extract confessions.
Much of Libya's oil is exported from the east. Local leader Abdallah Sharif warns the people here have a weapon against the regime.
SHARIF ABDALLAH, TOBRUK COMMUNITY LEADER: Unless this massacre is stopped immediately, we are going to stop the oil. Burn it. We'll burn it. Either we burn it or we just stop exporting it.
WEDEMAN: Gadhafi isn't giving up without a fight, but, then again, neither are the people.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Tobruk, Libya.
STOUT: Embattled but still defiant, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vows to defeat the storm of anti-government protests threatening his rule, or die trying. During an epic 75-minute speech late on Tuesday, he cast shame on those working against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): This is my country, the country of my grandfathers and your grandfathers. We have irrigated it with our blood.
We are more qualified than others. And those rats, those agents among those agents who are agents to the foreign intelligence service, they brought shame to their children. They brought shame to their family. They brought shame to their tribes (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, Colonel Gadhafi's speech, it was widely condemned outside Libya. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said it amounted to him declaring war on his own people. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GADHAFI (through translator): Whoever cooperates with foreign countries in order to instigate war against Libya, the punishment will be execution. Whoever tampers with the country is also punished by execution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Videos have been posted online that appear to show Libyans' reactions to that speech. Now, CNN can confirm uprisings in Libya, but we cannot confirm the authenticity of individual videos posted on social media sites. However, the chanting in particular indicates these videos are from the uprising in Libya.
STOUT: Now, those are shoes you're seeing being launched at a giant screen. It's an expression of utter disgust. We are told that this was shot in a coastal city east of Tripoli, but we cannot verify that.
Now, during Gadhafi's speech, he referred to a green book containing his views on democracy. Well, another video posted online shows what Libyans think of that book. And that was a statue of the green book apparently being toppled by protesters.
As we saw there, Gadhafi's speech might not have had the effect he hoped. A little earlier, CNN's Anderson Cooper heard from a proud Libyan with a newfound sense of freedom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOFTAH, LIBYAN EYEWITNESS: If you watch the speech, he's the one on drugs, he's the one hallucinating. He's the one, you know, telling his people that he's going to exterminate them and he's going to do to them what the Chinese did in Tiananmen Square.
He didn't make any sense to anybody. After 42 years of the humiliation, (INAUDIBLE) for yourself. This time, for the first time, I'm proud to be a Libyan. People are proud to be a Libyan. And even, you know, he's trying to bet (ph) people against each other by tribes, by rumors, and so today, in Benghazi, if you are somebody, you ask him, "What's you're name?" He will tell you, "My name is Abdullah the Libyan," "Mohammed the Libyan."
They don't mention their tribes. They want to say to this -- I don't want to use a bad word, but this animal that we don't (INAUDIBLE), we are united. And (INAUDIBLE) to tell him that, I am not afraid of you, there's nothing that you can do to me.
I am a proud -- I'm a free man now. So, at last, I'm a free man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And while our field reporters are in the region, they've taken the time to update us using social media. And to follow all the latest tweets from our correspondents throughout the Arab world, check out Twitter.com/CNNI/ArabUnrest.
You're watching NEWS STREAM.
Now, ahead, we continue our coverage of the unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa with events in Bahrain. Now, one day after protesters staged their largest rally yet, the king has suddenly embarked on a visit abroad. We go to the capital, Manama, to see what he left behind.
And where there is a tunnel, there is a way. Find out why this flood control system is keeping U.S. border agents busy.
STOUT: Now, you might call it a bit of a breather. The king of Bahrain has, for now, put some distance between himself and the tens of thousands of people who protested against his government on Tuesday.
Now, King Hamad arrived on a visit to Saudi Arabia a few hours ago. It is unclear why he took the trip.
Well, leaving Bahrain, the king ordered about 25 political prisoners released. They included human rights activists, Shiite clerics, as well as a prominent blogger. We will have more on that in just a moment.
But first, CNN's Arwa Damon reports on the funeral that set yesterday's tone.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Floating above a sea of mourners, the body of 32-year-old Reda Houmeid is carried to its final resting place. A fisherman, a father of three from a poor Shia village.
Thousands, many carrying Bahraini flags, are here to honor him. One of his brothers is numb with anguish.
Reda (ph) was at the forefront of a protest on Friday, walking towards the military. The protesters had their hands in the air and were chanting, "Peaceful! Peaceful!" Then Houmeid was cut down by a volley of gunfire, shot in the head. His brother Houmeid was with him.
KHDIR HOUMEID, VICTIM'S BROTHER: I don't see my brother, but I tell (ph) them behind me -- I show ambulance. He takes someone, but I didn't know, who is this after one of them told me, "Your brother is believed shot in the head."
DAMON: Doctors tried frantically to save him, but three days later he died.
Now at the very spot where Reda (ph) was shot, a small memorial for him and the others who were killed in Bahrain last week. His boat still bobs gently in the Gulf waters, where Reda (ph) and his brother would talk.
HOUMEID: And he was a seaman.
DAMON (on camera): Fisherman.
HOUMEID: Fisherman, yes. I drove (ph) a lot in the sea. So all my memories (ph) at one time they speak about Bahrain. He speaks same -- why this happened in Bahrain?
DAMON (voice-over): Reda's (ph) 8-year-old son, comforted by his uncle, can't understand why he no longer has a father. His family tells us Reda (ph) had given instructions for his burial, instructions his family never imagined carrying out so soon.
(on camera): So you think he knew he was going to die?
HOUMEID: All persons (INAUDIBLE) they will not die. We are the death. We are the death.
DAMON (voice-over): Arwa Damon, CNN, Al Malakia (ph), Bahrain.
STOUT: More protesters are gathering at Manama's Pearl Roundabout, and CNN's Tim Lister is following the events. He joins me now on the live from the capital.
And Tim, there were massive crowds out on Tuesday. What are you seeing today?
TIM LISTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm at the Pearl Roundabout, Kristie. And the crowd is getting larger by the minute. There's a big march on its way here, which is led by some of those political detainees who were seen overnight. And some of them are known to be very arousing public speakers, which I think has attracted a lot here tonight.
So this is normally the time of day, as dusk approaches, when people converse on the Roundabout. It's really taken on a layer (ph) of semblance. There are dozens of tents here, even food distribution points, a media center, and many, many protesters everywhere you look, which essentially are saying that it's time for the regime to go.
And that's going to be the problem for the opposition. How do they manage this riding tide of opposition that's in the streets and turn it into political dialogue? Which is what the crown prince wants -- Kristie.
STOUT: And Tim, the political dynamic -- what direction is the opposition now taking?
LISTER: That's very difficult to tell, because several of the opposition leaders or prominent opposition figures have only just been released from detention. More are still in detention.
I spoke to a human rights activist a short while ago who says, by his estimation, some 300 are still held. Add it to which one of the most well- known opposition leaders, Hasan Mushaima, is on his way from Beirut tonight and will come here to the square once he arrives. And he is a very influential leader. He belongs to the Haq party, which is the more radical of the Shia parties that are in opposition here.
So we'll have to see what they do in terms of addressing the popular demand and turning that into some sort of bargaining position with the government. But the political dialogue is still very much on. It just hasn't really picked up any steam yet -- Kristie.
STOUT: Yes. How much of a connect or disconnect is there between opposition groups and the leaders and the anti-government protesters? Are they coordinating their list of demands at all?
LISTER: No. It's almost as if you have two movements in parallel here, because the cities (ph) are very organized demonstrations, but it's legal, essentially. It came together spontaneously last week. They occupied the square Saturday. And they don't really have any leadership.
It's extremely well organized for a leaderless opposition, but the mood on the street is somewhat different. The parties here have always tended, ever since this crisis began, to follow the popular protests -- or lead the popular protests. So that has to be coordinated. And I feel and others feel that the protesters' demands are beginning to harden somewhat. There's less tolerance for the idea of constitutional reforms, and the demands are becoming much more set (ph) by the day, at least on the streets -- Kristie.
STOUT: Tim Lister, joining us live from Bahrain.
Thank you, Tim.
Now, their voyage around the world, it came to a tragic end on Tuesday. Four Americans were killed by pirates south of Oman in the Indian Ocean.
Now, the U.S. Navy had been trailing the yacht for three days. And without warning, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired toward the USS Sterett. It was followed by gunfire from inside the cabin. U.S. forces then raced toward the yacht, but it was too late for the hostages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADM. MARK FOX, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY CENTRAL COMMAND: It was clear that the pirates wanted to get the yacht to Somalia. When our team got on board the yacht, there were hostages who were still alive, and we applied and gave first aid immediately to them, but they were fatally injured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, two pirates were killed, 15 were captured. U.S. forces also found two pirates dead before they even arrived.
Now, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, call it a congressional glitch. NASA has been forced to shell out nearly $100 million a month on this rocket, but the White House doesn't want it. We'll help you understand what can only be considered wasteful spending.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.
As NASA winds down its space shuttle program, the final liftoff for Discovery is on track for Thursday. Each launch costs about half a billion dollars. That's "billion" with "B." NASA is also spending millions every day on a rocket that will never fly.
John Zarrella joins us now from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida -- John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, let's say you go out and you buy a house, but you decide you're not going to move in it. But you still pay the mortgage every month. Well, in essence, that's what NASA is doing here.
They have spent since October more than $200 million on the Constellation program and the Ares rocket. This was supposed to replace the space shuttle when it retires to get astronauts to the space station, then on to the moon and Mars. The problem is the White House killed the Constellation program.
So why is NASA still spending the money developing the rocket? They don't have any other choice.
Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama introduced language in last year's NASA appropriations bill that basically says the agency can't use the money for anything else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM SCHATZ, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: Senator Shelby inserted a provision into one of the spending bills, and it forced NASA to continue funding a program that's wasteful. It's really another example of a hometown earmark for a project that isn't going to benefit the taxpayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE MUSSER, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN STAFF EDITOR: It's certainly not the way you would spend the money if you were trying to be economical about it. And frankly, I think taxpayers should be annoyed by that, outraged by it, even.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Now, Citizens Against Government Waste gave Shelby very recently its Porker of the Month Award for doing this last year. We tried to contact Shelby's office on numerous occasions. They would not talk to us.
NASA has been a little bit reluctant to talk about it as well, but does say they don't think the money is entirely wasted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG COOKE, NASA ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR: The Constellation program has taught us the things that work, the things that we could have done better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Now, one of the ways in which they can get out from under this is when a new appropriations bill is passed. But Congress still hasn't passed the 2011 NASA appropriations bill. So they're stuck working under the old rules -- Kristie.
STOUT: You know, John, I'm a supporter of the space program, but I'm also a U.S. taxpayer. So I'm having some conflicted feelings right now.
Is there anything being done to stop the spending?
ZARRELLA: Yes. You know, Senators Nelson of Florida and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas have introduced a bill that they hope will allow NASA to end funding of a program that's never going to fly, but right now that bill is still stuck in committee. So it's anyone's guess when NASA will be able to stop spending the money on the Ares and Constellation program.
STOUT: All right.
John Zarrella, joining us live from Kennedy Space Center.
Thank you for that, John.
Now, still to come here on NEWS STREAM, we spoke to him yesterday, just hours after his world was quite literally rocked. And we'll be catching up with an earthquake survivor in New Zealand one day on.
And we go to the ground on the U.S./Mexico border -- underground, in fact - - on the hunt for smugglers in a sewer.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
We're getting reports of sporadic gunfire overnight in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Anti-government protesters are promising more demonstrations in the coming hours. Various reports say at least 300 people have been killed in the uprising. Moammar Gadhafi meanwhile is vowing to crush his opponents. In a defiant speech on Tuesday he threatened execution of those who try to topple him.
Now this is a scene in Athens, Greece today where clashes have erupted between protesters and police. Thousands have taken to the streets in the country's first nationwide strike against austerity measures this year. Now the 24 hour strike is leaving emergency services stretched, flights grounded and ports blocked.
Now 15 pirates are being held on a U.S. warship, accused of killing four Americans. Two couples were on an around the world sailing trip when their yacht was captured off the coast of Oman last week. Now U.S. military trailed the vessel and boarded it after hearing the sounds of gunshots. They found the bodies of Jean and Scott Adam, Phyllis McKay and Bob Riddle all have been fatally shot.
Now rescue workers in Christchurch, New Zealand have called off their search at this building. They say the damage was un-survivable. Now local reports say around 100 appear dead under that rubble, another 200 are believed trapped elsewhere. Officially the death toll stands at 75.
Now rescuers have been receiving text messages from people pinned beneath piles of concrete, but they say fewer are coming through now. It's not all bad news, though, around 30 survivors were pulled from the hardest hit area of Christchurch on Wednesday. Now Max brings us up to speed on the search and rescue.
MAX BANIA, ONE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: For the second time in five months Christchurch awoke to a city in ruins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some parts of Christchurch it's just like the London blitz -- total areas devastated.
PROF. MICHAEL PENDER, SEISMOLOGIST: In Littleton, the ground accelerations were about three times larger than last year. And in the central part of Christchurch, it was about double.
BOB PARKER, CHRISTCHURCH MAYOR: First thing that we are asking people today that the next three days about through to the weekend effectively the city is closed, business is closed, schools are closed. And we'd like people to stay home.
BANIA: The CBD littered with smoldering rubble, authorities frantically searching for signs of life.
JOHN KEY, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: At the moment the 100 percent focus has to be on that search and rescue and also assisting those that want to leave Christchurch. All emergency services, whether it's the fire, police, the medical facilities obviously under pressure because of the huge number of people who need assistance, but they are coping and they are coping because people are working extremely hard with a lot of good work.
BANIA: As day dawns so too the reality of arriving (inaudible)
PHIL GOFF, LABOUR LEADER: One of the most tragic scenes I saw was the body of a young woman being pulled out from under masonry on the pavement where she had been walking. It was lunchtime.
DEAN TAINUI, RESCUER: So heads go through there and shoot (ph) the cars and unfortunately he was (inaudible) to get them out of there, which were deceased.
BANIA: At airports around the country, backlogs formed as anxious Canterburians (ph) waited to board flights home. This woman's son is trapped inside the devastated Canterbury TV Building.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All we know is his state is unspecified. So we're hoping that perhaps he's been pulled out and we don't know -- or they don't know who he is.
BANIA: Rescuers who kept in touch with survivors inside the destroyed Pine Gold Building via mobile phones. But their effort is going to be long and frustrating.
JACK TAME, ONE NEWS REPORTER: There's a real urgency and people wanting to help, but just looking at that building you can see how incredibly dangerous it is. You can see what a lean it's on and rescuers here really have to take their time to insure no further injuries occur.
BANIA: More search and rescue teams are on the way from Australia where help also coming from as far away as the U.S., the U.K. and Taiwan, help that can't arrive soon enough.
Max Bania, ONE News.
STOUT: Now yesterday we spoke to an earthquake survivor, Cameron Betts. He has now returned to Christchurch, joins us now on the line. And Cameron, it has been a day-and-a-half since the quake struck so what does it look like today?
CAMERON BETTS, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: Yes, it's still pretty shocking to be honest, but the clean-up has happening slowly but surely. A big problem at the moment is this gray silt stuff that's sort of coming out of the ground, but it's stopped now, but it's clogging up a lot of waterways and a lot of different places. So things -- supplies not getting to where they need to go. So me and my mate have been sort of helping that process of just cleaning up places. We gave a lot of food yesterday down in Ashburton to friends and relatives up here in Christchurch, because there's just nothing open, and most of the markets, nothing. They can't get supplies. They're without clean water. Surges everywhere, so it's quite a scene.
STOUT: OK, you've been sharing with us a number of pictures of the aftermath including -- and we just flashed that image up a moment ago, what looks like a picture of a sign that says free sand. Can you explain that for us?
BETTS: Yeah, yeah. So that was quite a funny story, actually. We were -- me and my mate -- were driving down one of the roads that was quite heavily damaged by the silt stuff. And it looks like in this particular driveway it was fully blocked up with sand and it looks like that family had spent most of the day digging out that silt from the driveway. So I think to add a bit of a twist on it and make things a bit better, they put that sign into -- free sand. So on the hope that I guess people would cheer up a bit.
STOUT: Cameron, you've been documenting the disaster for us with these photos and sharing your story with us. You've also been volunteering in the quake zone, but how are you individually holding up? Did you have a chance to go back to your apartment to get a change of clothes? How are you doing?
BETTS: Yeah, yeah. So basically I'm in the hometown of Still Corner (ph) that's quite heavily (ph) which means I haven't been able to get to my apartment at all. So at the moment I've got the clothes I was wearing on the day of the quake. I've got my backpack with my camera and a (inaudible). So I haven't been able to get back to my apartment at all. I've had zero to minimum sleep probably -- probably about five hours sleep really since the massive earthquake. So I'm feeling quite fine, but I'm getting back home on a flight today. So, I'll be looking forward to seeing my family.
STOUT: You're no doubt talking to your friends who are there, other survivors. How are all of you coping with the shock of this disaster and making sense of it all?
BETTS: Yeah, yeah. So -- I mean, a lot of like good mates that are down here went through the last earthquake that happened as well. So that's sort of an understanding of what to do and what not. But this one seems to be, from what I can see, a lot worse in terms of damage. So it's a big eye opener. And, you know, we're sort of considering whether we do come back to Christchurch or not. It's a pretty terrible city at the moment, but I'm sure it will come back from it in due course.
STOUT: Cameron, to you and everyone else in Christchurch, please keep your spirits up and thank you so much for joining us once against here on CNN to share your story with us. Cameron Betts, a witness to disaster, citizen journalist joining us there on the line from Christchurch.
Now Pedram Javaheri has been tracking the latest aftershocks in Christchurch and he joins us now from the world weather center. Pedram, there have been a lot of them.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know, they're already on -- what's happened the last couple of days, of course. And just counting the past 24 hours, we've had some 71 aftershocks. And this area - - this is just from the USGS, the few that they've picked up, and GeoNet, the local earthquake agency out there has picked up some 71 aftershocks in the past 24 hours. First, the closer on edge you get these are areas that rattle. And the majority of them now being between a 3.0 and 4.0. So it's a pretty significant aftershock that's been occurring. And historically speaking, we're thinking that the frequency of everything begins to taper off, but then a magnitude stays the same, still a bout 3 to 4 in the next couple of weeks at least, but the frequency of getting say 70 per day is going to begin taper off over the next couple of days to say 30, eventually 15 and so on.
And you take a look, Christchurch currently sitting at 12 degrees, humidity bumped up to 100 percent. Of course, it's in the early morning hours out there. So pretty clear skies right now, but we do have a few clouds beginning to push in from the south. And that feature right there is going to bring in a few showers come Friday and make it much cooler come Saturday morning.
And that's really the concern. If there are survivors underneath some of the rubble out there with the temperatures getting very cold in the overnight hours we're going to have some issues out there as far as conditions are concerned when you make your way into Saturday morning and it is getting cold outside at about 10 degrees.
But again, notice the forecast, with a few showers there. Really not a wash-out on Friday, but still going to cause some problems out there.
But take a look at what's happening, very interesting scenario setting up on the South Island, the Tasman Glacier is what we're talking about, that's about 200 kilometers west of Christchurch. Now that area, it's the largest glacier in New Zealand, and because of the earthquake on Tuesday you've had an iceberg there rupture off this glacier and begin to float away in a nearby lake, some of the tourists that were out there on the national park taking photographs on a cruise, came across this and were reporting that after the ice chunks were falling off the glacier. We're getting wave heights of 3-and-a-half meters associated with that. So it kind of shows you the devastation left in place just -- not just from the earthquake, but even away from the earthquake center in the past couple of days.
Again, that feature is going to bring in a few showers in the next couple of days. Look at this, that's Tropical Cyclone Atu. Now believe it or not, it could have been far worse if this storm system came a little farther to the south, but again it's off the coast of the North Island out there and you take a look, here comes Atu, it's very close, a very strong feature that's going to bring in strong winds here over the next couple of days, but fortunately the showers right now look to be minimal.
Let's take a look at your forecast right now.
All right, let's take a look at current conditions across Asia. And warm temperatures to the south. Hong Kong going to get a little warmer in the next couple of days. But out to the north has been a little more mild than recent days -- Beijing at 3 degrees. And it is going to cool off a tad bit the next few days.
And you know the area out there across Beijing, of course, very wide area known for pollution. And take a look at these photographs coming out of Beijing showing you the damage left in place. They've had a very, very stagnant air mass in place so all the particulates from the factories from the industry nearby getting stuck again. And of course, the conditions without the mixing going to remain in place. But some changes in the forecast, Kristie, Saturday into Sunday of rain showers and a possibility of snow showers, that'll help clear out the mess across Beijing here in the next couple of days.
STOUT: OK. That would be good news, because my friends in Beijing have been telling me they can taste the air there.
JAVAHERI: Oh, that's not good.
STOUT: Not a good sign. Yeah. Pedram, thank you and take care.
Now the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has moved to bring an end to days of protests against his rule by threatening death to protesters. The UN Security Council is urging Gadhafi to stop the violence and many nations are evacuating their citizens. And as the unrest grows so, too, do concerns about the country's oil supplies.
Now World Business today's Andrew Stevens joins me now to talk about the ramifications of the continuing unrest on worldwide oil prices. How are oil prices doing?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN FINANCIAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, when you have comments like that from Moammar Gadhafi, obviously they're only going to go one way. That sort of unrest, those sort of inflammatory comments, Kristie, certainly sets investors on edge. We saw the AMEX prove -- which is a benchmark -- up $2 to around about $95 today. But no one really is focusing on the AMEX at the moment, it's all about brent crude. We're looking at brent crude prices here. And the reason we're doing that is brent crude is a slightly different type of oil which you find in Africa. So it's considered a much closer benchmark to the fear and the risks in the market at the moment.
So this is what brent crude has been doing. As you see on December 17 when the Tunisian fruit and vegetable seller set himself on fire to start that whole wave of unrest right across the region -- so from December 17 right through to February 23rd, brent crude now $107. We've seen a rise, Kristie, of 17 percent. And that, at the moment, looks like it will continue because we just don't know what's happening and what's going to happen.
STOUT: Perfect correlation with the events happening...
STEVENS: ...exactly, you see the little sort of jinx (ph) there. That's Algeria, that's Bahrain. So obviously very, very close.
STOUT: Meanwhile, the situation in Libya. How are supplies from that country being affected?
STEVENS: Yeah, well Libya produces about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day. That's about 2 percent of the world's global daily output -- not a lot, but certainly enough to move the markets obviously as we've seen.
Now if you take a look at the graph here, most of the oil wells you'll see are in the eastern part of the country -- and there's Benghazi. Now this whole eastern area and the southern area is now, we understand, being taken over by anti-Gadhafi protesters. Tripoli is where Gadhafi has his power base and you also have some oil there, but not nearly as much. Look at these pipelines there. So all the pipelines, all the action is going on there.
So what you're finding is that there's a lot of the international oil companies now closing down their operations. They produce about a third of the total output and they -- which is about 550,000 barrels a day, about 350,000 of that has been closed off in Libya. So if the unrest continues, if there are a chance, if you like, of a civil war which may be between the east and the west, that's where you'll see real problems with supplies.
STOUT: Well, fascinating discussion. Andrew Stevens, thank you so much for that and the analysis in particular. And Andrew, he's going to be back at the top of the hour along with Maggie Lake in New York and Lane Reuben (ph) in London for World Business Today. Be sure to stick around for that.
Now still ahead here on News Stream, the royal wedding may be more than two months away, but anticipation levels are reaching fever pitch. And as ever, yep, some are cashing in. We go on a tour of what's being called Middleton country.
STOUT: Welcome back. Now there is an underground tunnel running some two kilometers long that links the U.S. state of Arizona to Mexico. It is meant to prevent flooding. You may not have heard of it, but many smugglers have. Rafael Romo reports.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As night falls, it's time to go into the bowels of the earth.
MICHAEL CAMDRON, U.S. BORDER PATROL: We're usually trying to see some sign that someone has been coming through or been pushing bundles of marijuana or something like that.
ROMO: Only flashlights separate these U.S. Border Patrol agents from complete darkness. This is the grand tunnel, a flood prevention system built right underneath the U.S.-Mexico borderline at Nogales, Arizona. But the tunnel, almost a mile long, has been used by criminal organizations to smuggle drugs or people.
ARIEL MEDELES, U.S. BORDER PATROL: You can set up a marker, an empty can or something standing up. That way you know, you set it there, if anybody comes through they'll knock it down or push it out of the way.
ROMO: Earlier this month agents found the smaller tunnel connecting to the Mexican side that was used to smuggle drugs. Last November, another tunnel connected to a sewer line was also discovered.
CAMDRON: I've personally seized groups of 30 individuals with 50 pound bundles standing here.
ROMO: Patrolling this tunnel is not for the faint of heart, as we walk a plank, we find black widows and other insects not to mention entire colonies of cockroaches. But what the agents are interested in are signs of human presence.
MEDELES: Well, a lot of times they'll tunnel around the gates and they'll come out on the north side and they'll smuggle people or contraband across -- drugs. Or I've even seen, they can push the gates up -- five or six guys, they'll run across too.
ROMO: We are inside what is called the grand tunnel. This is underground in Nogales, Arizona. Right next to me on the other side of this gate is actually Mexico. And the way a lot of smugglers operate is they will use smaller tunnels like this one, bringing anything from people to also drugs, risking their lives in many cases.
Before the gate was installed, it was not uncommon for agents to find dead bodies in the tunnel.
MEDELES: There was a group down here and then they got caught in the flash food. And then hours later they were looking for a body, you know, north of the openings.
ROMO: After patrolling the entire length of the tunnel, it's time to go back up to the surface again. No new tunnels, drugs or suspects have been found tonight, but tomorrow may be entirely different.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Nogales, Arizona.
STOUT: Well, coming up next on News Stream, we're getting to the business end of things in the Champions League, look back at another fascinating night of European football.
STOUT: Another big night in the Champions League for Europe's most successful team. Kate Giles is here with more on that -- Kate.
KATE GILES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Kristie. And they are successful. The thing is that they've not been successful in recent history. And you look at a team of solid superstars, as Real Madrid is, and really it's very hard to believe indeed that the nine-time winners -- that's how many times they've won the European Cup -- but they haven't got past the round of 16 in the Champions League since 2004, that is a long time for them to wait.
On Tuesday they were in action. Jose Mourinho's men up against Lyon, now that was the very side that knocked them out of the competition at the same stage last season. Now the match finished one-all, but Karim Benzema did score what could be a crucial away goal for Real Madrid. That was against his former team as well.
Now the night's other Champions League match -- English club Chelsea beat SC Copenhagen in Denmark. And the $80 million man, Fernando Torres again failed to score, but his teammate Nicholas Anelka got two. Good news for the under pressure Blue's manager Carlo Ancelotti, finally a win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLO ANCELOTTI, CHELSEA MANAGER: Finally I think that we played with intelligence, showing good football with efficiency, playing quick attacking play. We had a lot of opportunity to score. Meanwhile it was very key, this game was the movement that we were able to do in Prague (ph) with Anelka and Torres. They start very well the game. And for us it was easier to attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GILES: All right. And we got with cricket and the Cricket World Cup. Kenya are playing at Pakistan, and Pakistan are of course looking to shake off their recent scandals while Kenya will just be trying to get past their crushing opening defeat that they suffered in their first match.
And Pakistan had a bit of poor start in this one. The openers fell cheaply, but the middle order made four half centuries. Kenya was certainly poor, giving away runs, and Pakistan eventually surging away, ending on 317 to 7. Kenya are currently on 37 for none. That match still in progress of course.
Well, the second month's long NBA saga is finally over. Two days before deadline day, Carmelo Anthony finally left the Denver Nuggets and was traded to the New York Nicks in a three team, 12 player deal which will see the 26-year-old earn $65 million over the next three years. Well Anthony has played with the Nuggets for his entire career, that was since he joined the NBA as the third overall pick in 2003. All seven of those years that he was with them he guided them to the playoffs, but they only got passed the first round once. So he'll be hoping for more success in his hometown of New York where he'll team up with the star player Amare Stoudemire.
Actually we're expecting him to make his debut today, Kristie. The Nicks hoping to have him on court tonight. They play Milwaukee. So it should be good to see him.
STOUT: All right. Big debut. Kate, thank you very much indeed.
Now I'm not making this up, excitement is building ahead of Britain's royal wedding. Now we are still two months shy of the big event, but already anyone wanting a piece of Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton, they have a host of choice goods and services to spend their money on. And now comes the latest, a UK company has been operating bus tours of the princess-to-be's hometown in Royal Berkshire.
Now buses carrying tourist from as far away as Japan are stopping at the church where Kate Middleton was baptized. You can see where she went to school. And from there you can tour the Old Boot Inn, that's a local pub that Middleton and Prince William used to frequent. Incidentally the pubs owner is one of the 1900 guests invited to their wedding.
Now it's time now to go over and out there. And today we are going to southwest England, the County of Cornwall to be precise, famous for speeches, rolling hills and for these -- those of you who don't know what this is, this is a Cornish pasty, or should I say just a pasty. Because the European commission has finally agreed that the humble pasty can only be called the Cornish pasty if it's made in Cornwall. This one, it's from Hong Kong. That's new protected status puts it alongside other protected geographical indicator items such as champagne. In fact, it looked like a bottle of champagne, but because it is not from that part of Northern France, it can't take its name. Now this is just a bottle of sparkling wine from California.
And this, it may look like Parma Ham, but it's not. It's not from the Italian town of Parma, so I guess it's just ham.
That is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.