Return to Transcripts main page
Libya Protests: Day 18; Fleeing Libya; Ivory Coast Crisis
Aired March 4, 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, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
Tanks deployed in Tripoli, as Gadhafi's government braces for protests.
Cairo's Tahrir Square is packed yet again, as Egypt's next prime minister addresses the crowd.
And we talk to the CEO of Chinese Internet giant Yoku about business models and bubbles.
It is being called the "Friday of Freedom" in Libya. Anti-government demonstrations have entered day 18, and no doubt, connections are being made to Egypt in the minds of some protesters.
Now, President Hosni Mubarak abruptly stepped down after 18 days of unrest. So far, the situation in Libya has not played out like Egypt. It has been much bloodier, as longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi uses ruthless force to stay in power.
Now, pro-Gadhafi forces have clashed at the opposition in Raslanof (ph). That's according to opposition sources. And Tripoli remains tightly in Gadhafi's grip.
Last week, protesters there clashed with Gadhafi supporters. But some reportedly have vowed to brave potential violence and march on Green Square. It lies in the heart of the capital and has been the scene of pro- regime rallies.
Now, Tripoli sits under heavy security, and Internet access has been down.
Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, is there.
And Nic, it is after Friday noon prayers, which is usually a flash point. What is happening?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we've known that the anti-government protesters here had wanted to use the Friday prayers today as a moment to sort of re-launch and get some momentum back into their anti-government campaign here in Tripoli and in other parts of the country controlled by the government. And that appears to be what they've tried to do here in Tripoli, at least in the east of the city, a neighborhood called Tedjuro (ph).
We have at least one report that says there was an anti-government protest in that neighborhood. We heard people in that neighborhood had wanted a protest by marching along the Corniche, from the east of the city, towards Green Square, in the center of the city. But we've had reports as well from at least two different sources that there have been some sort of clashes with security forces in or close to the center of the city following Friday prayers. The details of that, absolutely not clear to us at the moment, but the two reports that we've had indicate that security forces may have used some kind of force. Again, the details are not clear at the moment.
And in Zawiya, the town about a 40 minutes' drive to the west of here, the old refining town where there is an anti-government movement in the center of that city, that had gotten control of the center of the city, we've heard there have been anti-government protests there as well today. As I talk to you, I just hear a gunshot over my shoulder there, which is not that uncommon here in Tripoli at the moment. We're more used to hearing those gunshots at night.
But the details of what may have happened or may still be happening in the center of the city, in the east of the city, are unclear at the moment -- Kristie.
STOUT: Nic, you have also traveled outside the capital to the border. What did you see?
ROBERTSON: Kristie, I'm afraid I didn't hear your question. If you could ask again, please.
STOUT: I understand that you also traveled outside Tripoli to the border. What did you see in that journey?
ROBERTSON: Well, it's very interesting, because it really painted a picture of what the government controls and what it feels was too risky to take international reporters through. Zawiya, the town, 40 minutes' drive away, there are several strong checkpoints on sort of the ring road of the city to get there, ring road of Tripoli. We did a detour both going through it one direction. Coming back, we did a detour around Zawiya to avoid the center of it, where the rebels control it.
The next city, Sabratha, we drove through the middle of that. The government controls it. We saw people covering up and moving anti-Gadhafi graffiti.
And then the next town, Zuwarah, that was a town -- we did a bypass around this. Here's how the day looked.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): On the highway from Tripoli to the Tunisian border, roadside searches for those fleeing the country.
(on camera): People who have gone through these checkpoints talk about having their cell phones taking away, their SIM cards destroyed. Well, scattered on the ground here are the remnants of cell phones here. Over here as well, down in the dirt. In fact, the more you look around, the more broken cell phones you can see.
(voice-over): As we drive on are government tread (ph) detours down a country lane, bypassing armed rebels in the center of nearby Zawiya. We arrive at the country's second largest oil refinery, just three miles from the rebels.
(on camera): This is the image the government wants us to see, their oil refineries firmly under government control. And out at sea, tankers waiting -- waiting to fill up with gas.
(voice-over): Inside the refinery, officials back up the claim.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're vulnerable to somebody firing guns or RPGs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up until now, we don't have --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no problem like this so far.
ROBERTSON: Back on the highway, heading to the border, at the next large town, Sabratha, anti-Gadhafi graffiti is being cleaned up. Then another detour around Zuwarah, another town rebels claim to control. For several miles, checkpoints, pro-government civilians with guns every few hundred yards.
Finally the border, a hundred miles, 160 kilometers from the capital. A steady stream of migrants workers is leaving.
(on camera): It's about a three-or-four-hour drive to get this far, to get to the border. These people, joining tens of thousands of others who fled across this border here over the past week or so to get into Tunisia.
They're at the last stage here. This is a last check here. The Libyan check over there, the brown one that you can see, that's Tunisia.
(voice-over): Tales from their journey confirming our discoveries on the way -- cell phones destroyed, along with the videos they have shot.
(on camera): Did they take your telephone?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Checking the telephone.
ROBERTSON: They're checking your telephone. They throw your telephones away? Really? Today? Today they throw your phone away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Tripoli.
ROBERTSON: In Tripoli?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
It's not clear if the Libyan government brought us to the border here to see how they've cleared up the refugee problem. There were thousands stuck here. But what it has shown us is just how much of the country between the capital and the border the Libyan government controls.
ROBERTSON: What was also interesting was driving back to the capital, Tripoli, late at night. We saw a lot of pro-Gadhafi supporters along the highway, through those areas where we've seen the government checkpoints. But as we came back to the city, very strong security around the city last night, soldiers with bayonets on their weapons and a lot of heavy artillery tanks. At key intersections, sort of a ring of steel around the ring road of the city, in preparation for concerns about after -- what happens after Friday prayers today. And indeed, late reports are from the center of Tripoli that tear gas has been used against anti-government protesters following Friday prayers.
And as we talk, I can hear the sounds of police sirens in the background here. We're not far from the center of the city.
But the precise details of what triggered the tear gas to be fired exactly, what has happened, we just don't know at the moment. But we do understand from several sources that tear gas has been used today, following prayers in the center of Tripoli -- Kristie.
Nic Robertson there with the very latest on the unrest in Tripoli.
Thank you, Nic.
Now, an estimated 200,000 people have fled the violence in Libya. About half of them have crossed into Tunisia. And thousands more are still waiting. And the U.N. says Libyan government forces may be preventing them from leaving.
Ivan Watson joins us live from Djerba, Tunisia. That's near the Libyan border. He joins us now.
Ivan, what are you seeing?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we're at Djerba Airport. It's a provincial airport. More than 100,000 people according to the U.N., have come across the border into this part of Tunisia, and now an air bridge is under way for some 10,000 people being sent out on more than 60 flights a day from this airport back to their countries of origin.
I want to show you something that's really remarkable about how the Tunisians have been reacting to this influx of refugees.
This man here is Tariq (ph). He's a farmer, and he's been distributing oranges, food, to the hordes of people who have been coming through.
Tariq (ph), (SPEAKING ARABIC)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING ARABIC)
WATSON: He says he's giving the food away for free to people, this crowd. These are Chinese migrant workers who have been coming through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING ARABIC)
WATSON: So she says, "Everything is free because we must help the people."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything here is from the people of the island.
WATSON: So people are giving money to help the refugees.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FRENCH)
WATSON: She says everybody is giving this away for free. The people of these small coastal communities which rely on trade from Libya, which rely on tourism. This is an airport -- Merci. Merci -- that usually welcomes tourists, if you take a look at the size of this place, Kristie.
And instead, they're dealing with a refugee crisis. And there's an incredible amount of solidarity here from the people, from civil society, for these hordes of people who have been coming across the border.
The nationalities are very diverse. We've seen everything from Egyptians, to Bangladeshis, to Sri Lankans, Vietnamese, almost all men who work as migrant laborers in Libya, all forced to flee.
And as you heard from Nic Robertson's report, many of them telling us the same story over and over again, that they are robbed at gunpoint by Libyan soldiers and police as they make their escape from Libya here into Tunisia. And as you can see, Tunisian civil society stepping up, trying to help these people as they make their long and hazardous journey back home -- Kristie.
STOUT: You know, it's so wonderful and heartening to see these Tunisian volunteers there assisting with this ongoing crisis at the border.
Ivan Watson, joining us live from Djerba.
Thank you very much for that live update.
Now, Venezuela's president says he has a plan to bring all this to a close. Hugo Chavez has proposed an international goodwill commission to mediate the crisis. Mr. Chavez says Gadhafi is open to the idea because he wants to show the reality of what's happening inside Libya.
Venezuela's leader has accused the U.S. and others of blowing the situation out of proportion to justify an invasion.
Washington has warned that there is growing danger of a long and violent stalemate in Libya. U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Colonel Gadhafi to step down, but how likely is that?
Brian Todd weighs the odds.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He says he'll fight to the death. His son Saif says the only options are to live and die in Libya. They may not have many other options.
Analysts say there was a day when dictators on the ropes, like Moammar Gadhafi, could bail out with their millions to places like the French Riviera or Switzerland's Lake Geneva. No more.
SCOTT HORTON, INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ATTORNEY: Deposed dictators now are subject to lawsuits. Both civil suits by the governments that succeeded them and human rights suits. And they wind up being -- being prosecuted and successfully sued.
TODD: Scott Horton is an international lawyer who's helping two countries retrieve money from their former leaders. He says the investigation by the International Criminal Court of Gadhafi for crimes against humanity will scare off some potential hosts, if Gadhafi leaves Libya. Saudi Arabia is a refuge of choice for ex-dictators, especially those who are Muslim, and Horton says the Saudis don't feel beholden to that court.
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled there from Tunisia. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak may wind up there. But Saudi Arabia is not an option for Moammar Gadhafi.
HORTON: He was shown in a criminal investigation to have had close ties to an effort to assassinate then crown prince, now King Abdullah. And the decision to extend asylum is going to be Abdullah's. And it's hard to imagine him welcoming Moammar Gadhafi.
TODD: One leader who might, Robert Mugabe, the equally brutal and uneven dictator of Zimbabwe. Mugabe and Gadhafi are close allies.
Analysts say Gadhafi's poured millions of dollars into Zimbabwe's coffers over the years. Gadhafi still has got some money he could bring with him to Zimbabwe. But experts say with much of his money now frozen, Gadhafi's not as attractive a guest, even to Mugabe.
So as for staying entrenched in Libya --
(on camera): Do you think that means he'll die there?
BARAK BARFI, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: I think there's a very good possibility that he'll fight to the death, knowing that he has very few options in front of him.
TODD (voice-over): Analysts say that may be a future path followed by other embattled dictators as they realize their money and legal protections won't carry them as far as they once did.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
STOUT: Now, Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, says it is too soon to judge his longtime ally, Colonel Gadhafi. He says the West is spreading a "colossal campaign of lies." Castro also says a U.S.-backed invasion of Libya is inevitable because Washington wants oil.
Now, several other countries are also cautioning against international military intervention. Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, opposes a no-fly zone over Libya, saying, "We need to avoid the superfluous." Now, as you know, Moscow wields a veto on the U.N. Security Council.
New Delhi is a temporary member, and India's foreign secretary tells "The Hindu" newspaper, "As of now we are not in favor of a no-fly zone. We are opposed to the use of force."
Now, France also says that the priorities should be on humanitarian and not a military response. The foreign minister, Alain Juppe, warns NATO actions in Libya could be "extremely counterproductive."
And Turkey's prime minister has weighed in. Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying this: "NATO has no business in Libya." He says, "We are opposed to such a scenario. Such an eventuality is unthinkable."
Now, meanwhile, an association with the Libyan leadership has cost one top academic his job. The director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, has resigned. Now, Davies says he advised his school that it was reasonable to accept money from sources associated with Libya, which, in his words, turned out to be a mistake. The university says an investigation is under way.
And as you may know, Saif Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, studied at the London School of Economics.
Now, Egypt's prime minister-designate, Essam Sharaf, addressed a packed Tahrir Square today. He told thousands of protesters he was the prime minister of the people and promised to resign if he could not meet the people's demands. Sharaf also saluted what he called the martyrs of Egypt's resolution.
Now, the former transport minister will replace Ahmed Shafiq, who stepped down as prime minister on Thursday. Shafiq had been appointed just days before Hosni Mubarak was forced from the president's office because of anti-regime protests.
Now, stay with us here on NEWS STREAM. We'll have the latest from one of our reporters live in Tahrir Square.
And protesters in Ivory Coast are again coming under attack. The U.N. fears a new civil war.
And this prominent lawyer in China says the pressure is on him over fears of what he has to say.
And take a look at this. This is the Discovery shuttle cam, and it's definitely a sight to be seen.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, more than three months after a disputed run-up election, the internationally recognized president of the Ivory Coast remains holed up in a hotel. Well, the country's self-declared leader refuses to step down, and now the United Nations Security Council is warning of the potential for civil war.
Richard Roth reports.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT: The United Nations Security Council is once again trying to put more pressure on dueling forces in Ivory Coast. The Council got a briefing from the U.N.'s peacekeeping director about the deteriorating situation on the ground there.
More than 50 people were killed this week. The Security Council issued a statement, legally non-binding, that warns that trouble could be ahead and should be stopped by all sides.
LI BAODONG, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: This morning they expressed their concern about the risk of a resurgence of civil war and urged all parties to show utmost restrain to prevent it, and to resolve their differences peacefully.
ROTH: It is the Security Council that is backing Alassane Ouattara, who won the election for presidency. Laurent Gbagbo refuses to leave, and the Security Council warned him that they should lift the siege on Outtara and U.N. forces now holed up in a hotel in Abidjan.
The Ivory Coast ambassador who sides with Ouattara thought the council should have said more.
YOUSSOUFOU BAMBA, IVORIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: We would like this statement to be stronger, to condemn the atrocities perpetrating right now. You'll recall, two months ago I won the battle (ph) of genocide. Today I will (INAUDIBLE) genocide in the making. They are killing people along ethnic tribes.
ROTH: Denunciation of Gbagbo also comes from Washington. A State Department spokesman accusing Gbagbo of moral bankruptcy for having his forces open fire on women.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
STOUT: The United Nations mission in Sudan is sending more troops to the border of North and South Sudan. Dozens of people in the disputed Abyei region have been killed and villages razed in recent fighting. About 300 women and children have fled over the past 48 hours alone. Abyei is rich in oil and is claimed by both the north and the south.
Now, a planned referendum to decide Abyei's fate has not taken place. And meanwhile, many people have returned to southern Sudan ahead of its upcoming secession in July.
Now, Roseann Dennery of the aid organization Samaritan's Purse has documented some of the arrivals in the region.
ROSEANN DENNERY, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: I happened to be in the camp when a big bus came barreling down the road. And the first person I saw was Bock (ph) and his family. He was excited to be home. It had been a long journey. There were seven days it took them.
There is an energy, laughter. People are really happy to be home.
A lot of them are -- they're waiting for relatives to come get them. And they'll go to a new homestead. And some of them -- actually, the majority of them are just going to set up right there, where the bus left them off.
This next image is of Amebel (ph). Her parents actually died en route. And so she has six children now of her own.
And there's a big issue with a lot of the returnees. We were told that there would be services for them, there would be food and water. And there just isn't anything set up like that right now for them.
And so you can see the queue. People waiting, sitting on their cans for hours in the hot sun, just to try to get some water. So this is a big problem here.
The local government is not wanting these returnees to settle here. They want them to go more into the outskirts and start rural farming. The problem is that they don't really have the resources or the interest in doing that.
Many of these people grew up in the city, in Khartoum. And so that's been a challenge, definitely.
STOUT: And that was Roseann Dennery of Samaritan's Purse.
And we have more images from South Sudan. Check out iReport.com. You can see them all there.
Now, up next, they say that they feel under siege for representing some of China's most famous human rights activist. We have managed to speak with one prominent lawyer, and we'll hear what he has to say next.
STOUT: And that is Hong Kong on a Friday night. You are back watching NEWS STREAM.
STOUT: And coming up next on NEWS STREAM, thousands of people have once again piled into Cairo's Tahrir Square. But this time the mood is one of jubilation.
And China's biggest online video Web site receives more than 30 million visits a day, and it's more than just a YouTube clone. We'll hear from the CEO of Yoku.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now sources tell CNN there have been clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters near the center of Tripoli. We are working to get more details on this. Now Libya's opposition, meanwhile, plan to demonstrate in other cities under leader Moammar Gaddafi's control. Also rebels in the eastern city of Ra's Lanuf say they have come under attack by pro-Gaddafi forces.
Now a blast at a mosque in northern Pakistan has killed at least nine people and injured 33 others. The explosion took place during Friday prayers. And police say hundreds of people were inside the shrine.
Earlier on Friday, a funeral mass was held in Islamabad for Shabaz Bhatti, the minister of minorities and Pakistan's only Christian minister. He was shot and killed on Wednesday for opposition to the country's blasphemy laws. At Friday's service, the country's prime minister told mourners they have lost a great leader and vowed to bring his killer to justice.
And the U.S. government has just released its highly anticipated monthly jobs report -- 192,000 position were added in February. Now the unemployment rate, it fell slightly to 8.9 percent. Now economists expected a gain of 190,000 jobs and will analyze these figures with Christine Romans a little bit later in the show.
Now Egypt's prime minister designate, he has been speaking to thousands of people in Tahrir Square in Cairo today. Nima Elbagir joins us now live from Egypt. And Nima, what has Essam Sharaf been saying.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we were right in the middle of that crush of Essam supporters and there was such a sense of celebration. Even he himself seemed overwhelmed. He was carried off on the shoulders of protectors. But it was also a sense that this was a time to reflect, a time to ask for accountability. Essam Sharaf himself told those gathered at Tahrir Square that if he did not fulfill their demand then he would stand down. If he was not able to deliver what the people were asking for then he would come back down the Tahrir Square and demonstrate alongside them.
What was interesting, Kristie, is even though we're still hearing fireworks we can still, from where we are up here in the hotel, hear the jubilation and the chanting in Tahrir Square there was still a sense that people were watching and waiting. They told us that there was still so much that they had been promised after former President Hosni Mubarak had stood that had not yet been delivered, Kristie.
STOUT: And Nima, will the new prime minister appease the protesters or will these huge weekly demonstrations go on in Tahrir Square?
ELBAGIR: Well, his very appointment is a huge stock to protesters, because one of their demands was that Ahmed Shafik, the former prime minister, who had been place by Hosni Mubarak and the entire government that was the legacy of former President Hosni Mubarak be pushed to one side. But there's still a lot of work left.
He has promised that he will deliver, but these are some pretty big asks. I mean, we're still here living under a 12:00 curfew, emergency laws have not yet been repealed and just basic things like the January 25th organizers are still asking for civilian representation on the supreme military council. All of these take time, but what they're saying is that in that bid to hold the military council accountable that they will continue to return to Tahrir Square every Friday and remind them that the people are watching and waiting, Kristie.
STOUT: Nima Elbagir joining us live in Cairo, thank you.
Now journalists beaten, human rights activist under house arrest and lawyers constantly tailed by police, it's all part of a harsh crackdown by the Chinese government on any signs of civil unrest. The government's party has been spooked by the prospect of revolt in the Middle East spreading to China. And as the National People's Congress prepares for its annual meeting in Beijing, China's leaders are again stressing the need for a harmonious society.
Activists can't speak freely, but one high profile human rights lawyer agreed to a secret meeting with CNN and tells Stan Grant that dissidents are under siege.
STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the only place CNN can meet Shen Bao Jian (ph). The prominent human rights lawyer is under constant surveillance in China. It is taking a toll personally and professionally.
"Under the current pressure," he says, "our law firm is getting fewer cases which bothers us a lot. We don't make a lot of money from human rights cases so we have to rely on other economic cases to earn money and keep our firm running."
We can film him only at this coffee shop in a hotel near his office. He tells me plain clothes police keep watch outside his building. He says he has already had to shut down one office and move. We can't accompany him, so Shen (ph) agrees to shoot some video of his daily routine for us. He says being followed makes his life difficult, especially for his family. He claims to have been followed to our meeting.
During our interview, loud noises become clearly audible. Pots and pans essentially bang together and volume in the background music increases. Shen (ph) has grown used to such tactics and says he won't be deterred.
"As a lawyer, you have to do something. It is my responsibility. Maybe it takes pain," he says, "even if it means our firm cannot survive. We keep going."
Shen (ph) has been cut off from his most prominent client, Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Liu Xiaobo. Liu is serving 14 years in prison for drafting a manifesto advocating democracy and recognition of human rights. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest for months. None of Liu's family can contact him.
Xia can communication only through text messages on his mobile phone. He shows us this latest message, it comes at Chinese New Year from Liu Xiaobo's brother thanking the lawyer for his efforts.
China has stepped up his crackdown on activists through recent months. Human rights groups claim hundreds of dissidents are being detained, many of them lawyers.
He is not a police officer. He is...
Strong arm tactics are common. Journalists, including our CNN crew attacked trying to contact activists. Shen Bao Jian (ph) says China is behaving like a bully and fears others, including foreign countries, are reluctant to speak up.
"I think the Chinese government is irrational," he says, "and does not behave like a responsible state. Maybe because of China's growing economic power, fewer and fewer countries have the courage to criticize China. This is a big concern."
With protests raging in the Middle East, some dissidents are using the internet to try to inspire the same in China. The government is nervous, putting more police on the streets to head off any action, journalists warned to obey Chinese law when covering news. But people like Shen Bao Jian (ph) show those who have a voice will not so easily be silenced.
Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.
STOUT: Now the reporting environment in China has totally changed in recent days and weeks. Beijing is clamping down, often with a heavy hand, on any signs of public unrest as it attempts to prevent the popular uprisings you've seen in the Middle East and northern Africa spreading there.
On Sunday, our own reporters, they were man-handled, pushed, dragged, even carried away as they tried to report on a possible protest in Beijing. Hundreds of uniformed and plain clothed police patrol the area. And the protest in the end didn't materialize.
Now the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a joint statement with the Pan-American Center saying that they were profoundly troubled by the escalation of censorship and repression. They said "when Chinese authorities jail, attack, intimidate or otherwise seek to restrict communication among citizens within and beyond China. They are denying their own people this most basic right. Now they attack, harass, intimidate or otherwise obstruct members of the international press as serving as the eyes and ears of the world in China, they are expanding this fear of their violations and breaching the rights of people beyond their own borders. This is hardly the conduct of a country that seeks to exercise global leadership. And these abuses should cease immediately."
Now coming up next on News Stream, it is not just a YouTube of China, Yoku also aspires to be a Netflix and a Hulu. And we'll be talking to its CEO, Victor Koo.
We've all seen this before, the incredible power of a space shuttle launch, but we've got some remarkable new footage of the latest Discovery shuttle launch.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now South Korea has been hit by a cyber attack prompting the government to issue an alert. Now some of the country's leading web sites have been targeted. They include those run by government agencies, the country's biggest bank as well as the site of U.S. forces in Seoul. Now Friday's attack is being called a DDOS, which stands for distributed denial of service. Now these kinds of attacks try to crash servers by overloading a site with traffic. Now government officials say no damage has been done, but an investigation is under way.
Now a 19-year-old student is under arrest in Japan for taking cheating to a whole new level. Now police made the arrest on Thursday bringing an end to a national manhunt that started earlier this month. The teen is alleged to have used his cellphone to post questions from university entrance exams online in real-time. In all, four universities say their exam questions have appeared on a web site called Pearls of Wisdom. Education officials are believed to have gone through up to 30,000 tests to find the cheater. The Japanese media say the teen's mother was the subscriber of the phone that was used.
And staying online, Yoku is China's largest online video company, but in contrast to YouTube its focus is on professionally produced content rather than user generated. But it is a model that despite 35 million visitors a day is yet to turn a profit. I spoke to CEO Victor Koo.
STOUT: Yoku.com is often compared to YouTube -- the YouTube of China. But of these three U.S. companies, which one is your company most like?
VICTOR KOO, YOKU.COM CEO: Well, I would say we are hybrid. But actually media syndication is our main core. So 70 percent of our content is actually professional media syndication, so you assume that Hulu the equivalent model is probably the most direct. We also have a subscription platform, which is like Netflix, for movies, education programs as well as performances. And about 20-25 percent of what we do is user generated so that's like YouTube. And we have something else called Yoku Originals which are actually web based original movies and serial dramas which actually none of these players do.
STOUT: So your company resembles all three and you have this focus on original professionally produced content on par with content you see on television in China.
KOO: Quite different actually.
STOUT: Quite different?
KOO: It is original program, but it's focused towards a web-based population.
STOUT: But these professionally produced dramas much more expensive than just doing user generated content. So why did you make that strategic shift?
KOO: Actually when you produce such shows, we also work with partners. In the case of the most popular movie we did last year was called Old Boys did over 30 million video views, was actaully sponsored by Chevrolet or General Motors. So we put a lot of placements into these web originals. And so you basically start off actually making money often times because a lot of the production costs are well covered and then you can actually have advertising on top of that.
STOUT: You're building up your revenue streams, but still you're kind of in cash burn mode right now.
KOO: Of course. Of course.
STOUT: So when will you reach profitability -- when?
KOO: Well, we set -- on a path of profitability actually as early as 2009 and what that means is your revenue growth is going faster than your cost growth. Now, since we also build our own technology and we invested the capital expenditure ahead of time we are all the incremental cost is just a new additional users that are coming to our platform so the scale and operating economics really kicks in as you scale as your revenue scales. So you're costs is growing and you're still investing, but not growing as fast as your revenue. So really it's a matter of time.
STOUT: We're going to have a little bit of a Mandarin lesson here.
STOUT: I know you're fluent in Chinese -- what is this?
KOO: That's pamua (ph).
STOUT: Pamua (ph). It means bubble. OK. And you do have a track record being a well respected internet executive in China, which is why investors like you and have given your company a sky high valuation. Do you fear pamua (ph)? Do you fear it's bubbly? It's a little bit too high?
KOO: Well, for internet companies, the valuation method really -- depending on the investor itself. Some people are looking for growth, some people are looking for profitability. I think at the end of the day, you know, as a management team what we're really responsible for is really how our revenue, our business model as well as our product user matrices are growing. That's what we drive.
In terms of how the capital market's value is, different investors will value us different ways and that's really up to the expert in the capital markets.
STOUT: And that was Yoku CEO Victor Koo. He said that the web site is on track to becoming profitable, but it is not there yet. On Monday, Yoku announced a fourth quarter net loss of $5.7 million.
Now for the first time in a while the monthly U.S. jobs report did not disappoint investors. Christine Romans joins us now from New York to go over the numbers. And Christine, the jobless rate has dipped. Give us the details.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: It dipped to 8.9 percent, that's the best since April 2009. And the economy in the U.S. added 192,000 jobs in February. That also is the best reading in some time and December/November numbers were revised slightly higher. So we even had December going from 121,000 on that screen to actually 152,000 with revisions showing you that more jobs were created than we thought.
When you go back over the past year, because as they say in economics in business the trend is your friend, over the past year, since February 2010, 1.3 million jobs have been created. That works out to about 106,000 a month. Now, taken at an average, that's not enough to compensate for the new people entering the workforce through immigration and people also just getting old enough to enter the workforce, graduated from college, but it is finally a move in the right direction. So there are people who are hoping that this is a sign that this is a turnaround that small businesses and big businesses are starting to hire.
Every sector hired here, which is pretty interesting, except for state and local governments. No surprise if you've been watching the headlines about budget cuts in this country which means that state workers, public workers have been losing their jobs. So state and local governments lost about 30,000 jobs, but just about every other industry, even manufacturing adding jobs here.
So all in all, taken by economists finally as a sign that things are turning around. You still have about 6 million people in the country who have been out of work for six months or longer. They are still out of work for too long. There are still too many people at 8.9 percent that's still a very uncomfortable number in terms of living standards and confidence in the American workforce, but at least after only 36,000 jobs created in January this economists say is a move in the right direction.
STOUT: A move in the right direction, but how is the U.S. Federal Reserve likely to interpret the report? Is it likely to ease off on the monetary controls any time soon?
ROMANS: That's a very good question, because 192,000 jobs while it seems like a lot considering where we've come from 192,000 jobs still is not robust considering other recoveries and that we are technically two years into a recovery here. We need to see more jobs creation. So for those who are looking for an economy that's firing on all cylinders, this is not it. This is showing you a labor market that is slowly starting to improve and at least starting improve and at least starting to -- we need a couple more months like this before economists are going to be real comfortable with long-term trend and before they can start making -- really making good forecasts about what it means for fed policy.
STOUT: OK. Christine Romans, thank you very much indeed. Joining us live from New York there.
You're watching News Stream. We'll be back right after this.
STOUT: Welcome back. Now the only thing you can rely on at the Cricket World Cup is that you can't rely on anything. Alex Thomas joins us from London with news of another surprising day of action and the rest of the sports headlines -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. In between some very one-sided matches, we've seen a thrilling tie when India took on England, a shock victory by Ireland over England and Canada running Pakistan close. But Friday's games at the Cricket World Cup followed a more familiar and rather depressing pattern, really, truth be told.
In Armedabad, New Zealand thrashed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in Group A. It was an embarrassing outing for the African nation, ball rout (ph) for just 162 and then failing to pick up a single wicket as the Kiwis raced to victory with more than 16 overs to spare.
There was an even more lopsided game in Magura (ph), co-host Bangladesh bowled out for just 58 runs with more than 31 of their 50 overs going unused. It was the fourth lowest total in World Cup history. Left arm spinner Suleiman Benn (ph) took 4 wickets for the West Indies. And when they started their run chase, well they needed less than 13 overs to complete a very handsome victory indeed.
As you can imagine that limp Bangladesh performance didn't go down well with the home fans. They loudly booed their players and threw placards and clothing at the team in the stadium. And in the last hour we've also received reports that the West Indies team bus was hit by stones thrown from cricket fans. Apparently two windows were smashed, but no players were injured. And in fact, local police are saying that it was the Bangladesh fans who thought the bus was the Bangladesh team bus and that's the reason for their anger. Paid some money to see their team play pretty badly.
Well, in the NBA on Thursday night, the Miami Heat blew a 24 point lead against Orlando. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were great in the first half, combining for 47 points. And alone, they outscored the whole Magic team by 2 points. The problem was, they didn't just keep that performance up. But when they started missing shots, their teammates didn't help out.
So when James scored on this dunk early in the third quarter and the Heat were up 24, everyone in Miami thought this was going to be an easy win, everyone else except the Magic. Orlando start chipping away at the gap and down to just 6 when Jason Richardson nailed that 3. The Magic made 16 3-pointers in the game. In total, Gilbert Arenas got in on the act, draining a shot from downtown to tie the scores at 82 apiece. Orlando would take the lead with a little over 7 minutes left in the game. Ryan Anderson with the lay-up. And the Magic were up by 3 with just a few seconds remaining.
The Heat with a few chances to tie, but Chris Bosh and James missed their attempts from long range and the Heat blow their lead losing at home by 99-96.
That's it. Another sports update in a couple hours time for you, Kristie.
STOUT: OK. Alex, thank you for that.
Now let's take you to Libya where right now under way clashes between pro-Gaddafi forces and rebel fighters in Ra' Lanuf. And our Ben Wedeman is there. He joins us on the line.
Ben, what's happening.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie. We're outside Ra's Lanuf where we followed opposition forces as they drove all the way from Berga to the outskirts of the city. What we're hearing is large thuds in the distance. It does appear that it seems to be heavy fighting around the city itself. We're seeing that more opposition forces are arriving as I speak going towards the front lines. We have no idea about the situation in the city itself. Some of the opposition fighters and the commanders telling us that there is fighting within Ra's Lanuf itself between the government forces and the opposition, but we cannot confirm that from where we are.
Of course, this is a very important town because it has one of Libya's major oil refineries and export facilities -- Kristie.
STOUT: Ben, who has the upper hand in the battle for Ra's Lanuf?
WEDEMAN: It's really difficult to say. We seen there's a lot of enthusiasm and determination on the opposition side, but organization is not their strong point. I've seen -- I just saw a man drive by in the back of a pick-up truck waving a machete which isn't going to do much good when you're fighting against jets, tanks and heavy artillery. So, definitely morale is high on this side, but on the other side they've really got the firepower.
It's hard to say, there -- if it's true that in fact that ranks of Gaddafi's forces are split then perhaps the opposition may get the upper hand, but they have a very long area behind them that's completely deserted, a long desert road that they could be easily outflanked on -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right, Ben, thank you very much for that. Ben Wedeman joining us live on the line, clashes underway in eastern Libya.
Now that is News Stream. We will continue to follow the situation there in Libya in the hours ahead here on CNN. Now up next, World Business Today with Andrew Stevens and Charles Hodson.