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Missiles and Anti-Aircraft Fire Over Tripoli; British Ministry of Defense Holds News Conference; Talks in Yemen

Aired March 22, 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.

Now, a coalition operation to protect civilians continues, but there are reports of fighting still raging in and around some opposition-held towns.

Plumes of smoke are again seen rising from a stricken nuclear plant in Japan, as authorities say the damage to two reactors, it appears to be worse than previously believed.

And we hear from the man trying to take control of the world's most popular sport.

Now, the tide appears to be turning in Libya. A U.S. official says coalition forces have stopped Moammar Gadhafi's momentum. Now, the operation has apparently grounded Libyan aircraft which government forces have used to attack rebels, but the fighting still rages in the opposition- held town of Misrata. Now, this video uploaded to YouTube is said to show a bombing there on Monday.

We're also working to get more details on that downed U.S. fighter jet. The military says an F-15 has crashed. Both crew members ejected are now safely out of Libya. Initial reports say that the crash is believed to be the result of mechanical failure and not hostile fire.

Now, for three nights in a row, the sound of missiles and anti-aircraft fire have pierced the skies of Tripoli. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is there.

Nic, have you heard or seen more military activity in Tripoli this day?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the daylight hours we haven't seen any heavy military activity here. There don't appear to have been any air strikes within earshot, and the anti-aircraft batteries that normally respond to those have been mostly silent.

Government officials say that they will be taking us later today to some sites around the city that were targeted overnight. That is something that will happen, we're told, later today, this afternoon, that they'll take us to those sites to see damage from missile strikes.

That U.S. fighter aircraft, the F-15, came down in the east of the country. Both crew members now are back in U.S. custody, recovered from the east of the country.

According to state television here, the state television says that this was a Phantom fighter jet that Gadhafi's forces shot down. Now, of course the U.S. hasn't flown Phantom jets for decades, but state television here already trying to claim the fact that this aircraft came down as some kind of victory. The Pentagon saying it came down with mechanical failure -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, Nic, a U.S. official tells CNN that Gadhafi's momentum has stopped and rebels have been able to hold on to territory due to the air strikes. Is that the picture you're seeing inside Libya?

ROBERTSON: Well, if you listen to the conversations we're having with people who say they're in Misrata, and the images that we're getting from Misrata, they seem to indicate that there is still -- Gadhafi's military forces have operations ongoing there. A U.S. military commander said that he wasn't aware of any use of Libyan aircraft over the past couple of days, but people on the ground in Misrata are talking about heavy artillery, heavy tank fire.

We're not able to go there. It's only a two-to-three-hour drive from the capital. The government will not allow us to go there to independently verify what's happening, although the state television here says that the city has now been "purified," meaning that the government has taken control of it. And they're calling on people to come out and celebrate the government victory.

It seems by these reports we're getting it's anything but.

STOUT: OK, Nic. Unfortunately, I'm going to cut you off there. I understand in the U.K., a Ministry of Defense briefing is under way.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MAJ. GEN. JOHN LORIMER, BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE: -- reaction against specific military targets. In any case, you will understand that at this time, it would not be wise to disclose to Colonel Gadhafi precisely how well we believe we have performed in degrading his command and control network and his integrated air defense system. But on a broader level, we have the best possible indication that this operation is having a very real effect; namely the protection of Benghazi from Colonel Gadhafi's forces.

Last Friday, you will recall that readying (ph) troops were on the outskirts of Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya and home to more than 670,000 civilians. Colonel Gadhafi vowed that his men would be going from house to house, room to room, to burn out the opposition. Libyan troops were reportedly committing atrocities in outlining areas of the city.

The military intervention to enforce UNSCR 1973 has stopped that attack in its tracks. That is not to say that all threat to innocent life in and around Benghazi or other cities, for that matter, has been wholly removed. It has not. But the very fact that many of your news organizations are still able to have correspondents reporting freely in the heart of Benghazi is in itself testament to the immediate effect this operation has had regarding Colonel Gadhafi's assault on his own people.

The number of countries conducting military operations to enforce the resolution continues to grow. The U.S., French, Danish, Italian and British aircraft were yesterday joined on patrol over Libya by Spanish F- 18s for the first time. The operation remains under U.S. command.

You'll be aware that a U.S. aircraft crashed last night. Clearly, this is a matter for the U.S. authorities to comment on. My understanding is that both crew members are, thankfully, safe.

In my briefing yesterday, I mentioned that RAF Typhoon fighters at a forward base in Italy have joined (INAUDIBLE). Yesterday afternoon, these aircraft mounted their first-ever mission into hostile air space, patrolling the no-fly zone under the control of an RAF Sentry aircraft and supported by an RAF VC-10 tanker.

Separately, a formation of Tornado GR4 aircraft again flew south from (INAUDIBLE). Unlike that previous sortie on Saturday and Sunday, we were focused on Libyan military command and control facilities and air defense in the structure. Their mission yesterday was an armed reconnaissance sortie to protect the civilian population from attacks by Colonel Gadhafi's ground forces. With their state-of-the-art (INAUDIBLE) and their variety of position-guided munitions, the Tornadoes are very well-equipped to identify any emerging threats on the ground and deliver a dynamic and effective response.

Again, the GR4s were supported by VC-10 and Tristar tankers, and on completion of their mission, the Tornadoes joined the Typhoons at Forward Base (INAUDIBLE).

Now, it would be appropriate at this point to know the significant logistic activity that is under way to support this operation, with RAF C-17 and C- 130 transport aircraft very busy ensuring that the necessary personnel equipment and (INAUDIBLE) are delivered swiftly to the various operating bases in the Mediterranean to maintain the operational tempo. This work is obviously in addition to their long-standing tasks of supporting operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.

On the maritime front, there are no (INAUDIBLE) to report. Our Trafalgar- class submarine HMS Triumph remains stood by should any targets be identified which would be best prosecuted by her Tomahawk missiles. HMS ships Westminster and Cumberland also remain on station. With their sophisticated surveillance suites (ph), the ships are able to make a significant contribution to our monitoring the situation along the Libyan coast, where most of the population centers of course lie.

They also have an important role in deterring the Libyan navy to joining in Colonel Gadhafi's on the civilian population. Before UNSCR 1973, their gunboats shelled a number of the coastal towns. But as for the Libyan air force, we have seen a very marked reluctance on the part of their navy to venture forth since the start of our enforcement action.

Now, I began this brief by making (ph) how the military enforcement of the UNSCR 1973 has succeeded in halting Colonel Gadhafi's assault on Benghazi. If anyone has any doubt as to the depth to which his forces prepare to sink in crushing your position, one need only consider the mosque at Zawiya, to the west of Tripoli, shown here on the map.

This holy place was in an area where heavy fighting took place earlier in the month. As you can see clearly from the photograph, after Colonel Gadhafi's seized control of the town, the mosque was razed to the ground. This is a sign of how far Colonel Gadhafi is prepared to go and why coalition operations to protect the civilian population are so necessary.

Thank you. Good afternoon.

STOUT: OK. You've been watching Major General John Lorimer of the British Ministry of Defense address the press. And he said that the allied air strike operation in Libya is achieving progress.

He said, "The operation is having a real effect; namely the protection of Benghazi" -- that's the opposition stronghold in the second largest city in Libya -- the protection of Benghazi from government forces. But he also added that the threat is not wholly removed.

And just then he also shifted attention to another city, Zawiya, putting it on a map and showing a before-and-after picture of a mosque of where that was a rebel command center. Last month, it was seen clearly on the map. One month later, completely gone.

Now, you're watching NEWS STREAM.

The water, it pours on, but the power stays largely off at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. As more smokes rises from the stricken facility, we'll get the latest on the high-stakes mission.

And away from the nuclear threat, a very tough reality for thousands of Japanese. Meet those who haven't just lost homes and possessions, but must now say a fleeting farewell to loved ones lost in the disaster.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Now, in Syria, hundreds of demonstrators marched in the streets of Deraa on Monday after the funeral of a protester who was killed one day earlier. Witnesses say five people have died in clashes in the southern city since Friday. Demonstrators accuse the government of human rights abuses and are calling for political and economic reforms.

And in Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in talks with a top general. They're said to be working on a deal that would let President Saleh stay in power for the rest of the year and allow for a peaceful transition of power after Saleh's 32-year rule. The talks come as three top generals and dozens of Yemeni officials declared their support for anti-government protesters.

And CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom has been covering the events in Yemen. He joins us now live from our CNN bureau in Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed, a defiant address by Yemen's president in the last hour. Give us the details.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie. President Saleh, as entrenched and defiant as ever. He addressed the nation and the National Defense Council in a televised address, said he believed that if there were any fractures or divisions within the armed forces there, that would lead to chaos. He also urged all the military commanders that defected yesterday to come back into the fold.

Now, I spoke to several government officials in the last 30 minutes. They were quite disappointed in this speech. They thought this was really the wrong tone for Saleh to be taking today. They believe that many people would perceive this as threats, that he was telling the generals who defected yesterday they better come back now or else. They also believe that this has the potential to really ramp up the possibility of a civil war in Yemen.

I was told that yesterday, military clashes at one point were imminent between the various factions of the military that was out on the streets, President Saleh's forces and the forces that were loyal to the commanders who defected. People I'm speaking with now, including senior ruling party officials, are saying President Saleh really needs to take a more conciliatory approach, really needs to figure out a peaceful transfer of power before this thing gets out of hand and there are clashes out on the streets of Yemen in several cities -- Kristie.

STOUT: So the president is defiant, really casting a shadow over these talks that are currently under way.

A question for you about Yemen's armed forces. After the defection of several top military commanders, do they remain loyal to the president?

JAMJOOM: This is one of the questions we've been trying to get answers to. There was confusion yesterday about which of the government officials had actually resigned, and which of the government officials, including the military commanders, were just expressing their support for the peaceful Youth Revolutionary Movement, as they're calling it.

Now, today, there's been talk that these commanders are saying they were just supporting the youth movement, not actually resigning, not so much defecting, or it shouldn't be perceived as defecting the way it was yesterday. We're still trying to get to the bottom of that.

But what's really interesting is we heard last night from U.S. officials and Yemeni officials that these talks were going on between the military commanders and President Saleh, that they were trying to agree to a five- point plant by which President Saleh could transfer power peacefully and that things could go on as usual in the government. The fact of the matter is, nothing can be done until the opposition also comes to the table. And the opposition, today, as it has been the last two months, still saying they only thing they'll accept is for President Saleh to step down.

So the situation there as tenuous as ever and seems to be deteriorating by the hour -- Kristie.

STOUT: And, of course, the U.S. has a big stake in this. During this time of political uncertainty, what is happening to the U.S./Yemen relationship and their joint counterterrorism operation against al Qaeda?

JAMJOOM: Tensions really rising the last couple of weeks between the U.S. and Yemen. The U.S., not just the embassy in Sana'a, but top officials in D.C., including the president -- including the U.S. president, Barack Obama, expressing deep concern over the violence that's being faced by the anti-government demonstrators, calling on the Yemeni government to let people peaceably assemble and express their opinion whatever side of the fence they may be on.

The president says publicly he will protect the demonstrators, but we're seeing more and more violence. We saw on Friday, 52 people killed when clashes erupted at demonstrations in Sana'a. And one of the main concerns for the U.S. is if Saleh does leave, or is forced to leave, who fills those big shoes?

Saleh is one of the only people in Yemen who's been skillfully able to navigate all of the very difficult tribal affiliations in Yemen and keep it together and stay ahead of that country. If he goes, what happens with the al Qaeda problem there?

The Yemeni prime minister, a couple of months ago, spoke to me. He said he believed that if there was political turmoil there, al Qaeda could take advantage of it. And that's one of the big concerns right now -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Mohammed Jamjoom, on the story for us.

Thank you very much indeed.

Now, in Afghanistan, the stage is set for NATO to start handing over security control to Afghan forces. Afghan president Hamid Karzai says his forces will start to take control of seven parts of the country as early as July. He made the announcement on Tuesday.

Now, the initial handover includes areas in the capital city of Kabul and in Helmand Province. Now, it is the first step in NATO's plan to transfer complete control of security operations to Afghanistan by 2014.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. We'll be back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Now, 11 days after Japan's worst disaster in decades, the fight to avert an even bigger nuclear crisis continues.

On Tuesday, emergency crews renewed efforts to cool down spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. But the power supply to the worst- affected reactors still is not functioning, and plumes of smoke were again seen rising from the facility as workers sprayed tons of water in the hope of a breakthrough.

A breakthrough has been predicted for several days now, and the delay has only prolonged concerns about new radiation releases. As if further complications were needed, several strong aftershocks have hit eastern Japan measuring up to 6.6 in magnitude.

Anna Coren joins me live from Tokyo with the latest.

And Anna, first, the latest on the situation with the reactors number 2 and number 3?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, Kristie, I'd tell you that the problem at the moment is reactors 1 and 2. Authorities have gone in and inspected them and found that they're going to have to replace the pump and the motor.

Now, this is something they didn't really see. They thought that 1 and 2 was OK and that the problems would be 3 and 4. But it would now appear that certainly the pump and motor for the cooling system of reactor 2 will definitely need to be replaced, as well as other equipment.

You know, this is an area in which that tsunami just roared through. And that seawater has corroded so much of that equipment. So this is going to set them back several days.

Now, when we spoke 24 hours ago, Kristie, we were talking about the smoke coming from reactors 2 and 3. It would appear that that smoke is barely visible, which is certainly a positive sign. Authorities haven't been able to confirm with us as to what actually that smoke was, or what in fact was burning. There was talk that it may have been those spent fuel rods, but at this stage there is no confirmation.

Now, as far as the watering operation, reactor 4, that has just wrapped up. They were using a cement mixer, a cement trucks with an extendable 58-meter arm which could pinpoint the target, pinpoint the pool that it needed to fill up, and that operation has just wrapped up.

And, Kristie, it's worth noting as well that some 660 workers have been on that site since 6:30 this morning.

STOUT: And an ounce (ph) of radiation, many times the legal limit has been detected in the seawater by the plant. Does that pose any threat to human health?

COREN: Authorities are saying that it doesn't pose any threat at this stage, but certainly they're taking precautions. Those levels, high levels of radiation, have been detected some 16 kilometers away from the plant. The IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, has got involved. And now there's some sampling taking place at eight locations around the plant in the water to see what those levels are indicating. We should get those results in the next couple of days.

This, of course, is on top of the bans of raw milk and spinach, which has happened in Fukushima, near the plant, but also in other prefectures surrounding the plant. So the sale of those food products and distribution has been banned.

And then, of course, we have the drinking water where those higher iodine levels were recorded, three times higher in some places. So this certainly is just an ongoing problem -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Anna Coren, joining us live from Tokyo.

Thank you.

More than 9,000 people are now confirmed dead as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. And more than 13,500 are missing. Thousands more remain confined to evacuation shelters.

After a catastrophe on this scale, the rites of remembrance associated with human loss can prove impossible.

As Kyung Lah reports, good-byes have been short and agonizing. Her report contains scenes of grief some viewers may find hard to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Japan's disaster, there are too many dead to have a proper funeral. Sixteen-year- old Hiroki Sugawara (ph) is underneath this blanket. His parents and two brothers drove his body to the emergency shelter, the best farewell they could offer in the wake of the tsunami.

"Don't give up hope," Hiroki's father tells his friends. "Keep living for my son."

These children have already lost two of their friends. Hiroki is the third. He wasn't at school that day, which sits high above his neighborhood. Crews pulled his body from the rubble.

Sixteen-year-old Takuma Kinno (ph) played soccer with Hiroki. "I've lost my best friend, Hiroki," he says. "Hiroki died young. He should have lived a long life."

Life has been cut short all across Rikuzentakata, one of the hardest-hit towns in the tsunami zone. Search crews find the body of a middle-aged woman. Like all the others, they can't identify her, but cover her and load her body onto a truck.

(SIREN)

LAH (voice-over): They offer a single sign of respect, a farewell. On the ground, flowers and offerings of tea to mark the passing of another life. After a few seconds, crews return to the search.

It is tough to cope with this scale of loss as an adult. For the young, incomprehensible.

(on camera): It's too early to know how many children have been impacted by this disaster, but aid organizations believe that number will be well into the thousands, and that they'll feel the psychological damage for years to come.

ANDREW WANDER, SAVE THE CHILDREN: We've already spoken to children who are having nightmares, they're unable to sleep, they're frightened of the sea, because they believe it's going to come back. They're frightened of being indoors because the building shook so violently during the earthquake.

So, it's absolutely a chance many of these children are going to have difficulties, serious difficulties coming to terms with what happened to them.

LAH (voice-over): For the friends of Hiroki Sugawara, this impromptu funeral is some closure. A thank you from the family, his father covers his son and offers a final farewell to his friends. A few more seconds to cry, then Hiroki's friends move back inside the shelter to deal with what this disaster brings next.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Rikuzentakata, Japan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we're just getting in now the first pictures of the American F-15 fighter jet that went down over Libya. It was brought down, we're told, by mechanical failure and not enemy fire. We hear that the pilots are safe and out of Libya. First pictures of that downed American fighter jet there on your screen.

Now Operation Odyssey Dawn is in day four. Let's take a look at the countries currently supporting coalition operations in Libya. Now the United States has been taking the lead, but is now looking to hand off command. And from France, fighter jets launched the first strike on Saturday. Now the UK has also played a big role in early assaults. Now Canada as well as Italy are deploying jet fighters as well as Belgium, Denmark and Norway. Now Spain has already deployed some planes, it deployed 2 F-18s. And a vote next hour is expected to give formal approval to the military action.

Now a short time ago a top general in the United Arab Emirates said that the country was prepared to send at least two squadrons. And Qatar has said it will make a direct contribution to the air strikes with four of its fighter planes.

Now among the countries not taking part, India and Venezuela are speaking against the air strikes. Germany agreed that military intervention was necessary but declined to offer support. Russia has sharply criticized the use of force. Moscow says the mission has killed innocent civilians and more caution is needed. Now China also abstained from voting on the U.N. resolution, but that has not stopped Beijing from speaking out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIANG YU, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): We take note of reports of civilian casualties caused by military actions against Libya and express deep concern. The purpose of the security council resolution is to protect safety of Libyan civilians in the region. We oppose the uses of force that would cause more civilian casualties and greater humanitarian crisis. We once again call for immediate cease fire and peace in Libya.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now as you mention, the U.S. says it does not want to stay in the lead role. And some analysts say that France could play that part. Jim Acosta is standing by in Washington, but let's begin with Jim Bitterman in Paris -- Jim.

JIM BITTERMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, that's one of the things that's being debated here is exactly what role for each one of the various governments that the lead governments that are participating in basically the United States, France and Great Britain. There were apparently some noses out of joint the way the French behaved at the very beginning. I think they would say, however, that they needed to act quickly, get their fighter jets into the air and save the situation around Benghazi and the rebel opposition before it was totally annihilated by Gadhafi's troops.

That has now taken place. And now I think is a feeling, especially in Washington, that they want to pull back from the leadership role and turn it over to the Europeans. The Europeans are debating among themselves. Italy, for example, and Great Britain would like to see NATO take on the leadership role of this military coalition. France is opposed to that on the basis of the fact that they believe that among other things that Turkey is a member of NATO and Turkey is not supporting the air operations at all.

So in fact it's a real mixed bag here. And it illustrates some of the problems of trying to manage a coalition in a situation like this -- Kristie.

STOUT: OK. From our Jim Bitterman in Paris.

Let's go to our Jim Acosta in Washington, D.C. where the U.S. president Barack Obama is confronting many questions about the scope and about the goal of the operation in Libya. Give us the details.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, criticism of President Obama's decision to order air strikes on Libya is getting louder every day. And unlike some of the president's other political battles in recent years, this criticism is coming from both parties. First the Republicans, Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who is respected by the White House on foreign policy matters, and other top GOP leaders are accusing the president of failing to set a clear policy on Libya. Some are pointing to the big difference between President Obama's statements about the need to get Moammar Gadhafi and the U.N. security council resolution which does not call for regime change.

Lugar told John King from CNN that he's having trouble of making sense of the president's policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR, (R) INDIANA: I do not understand the mission, because as far as I can tell in the United States there is no mission and are no guidelines for success. That may well be true with allies, although conceivably they may have other missions in mind and simply trying to get security council clearance to proceed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now on the other side of the aisle liberal Democrats are howling over the fact that the administration took military action without a vote in Congress. Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich told the web site rawstory.com that the president could be impeached for his actions saying, quote, "I'm raising the question as to whether or not it's an impeachable offense. I would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense." But the president did send a letter to Congress yesterday explaining his actions. And that, the White House, argues does satisfy the president's legal obligations to inform Congress.

And as Jim Bitterman noted, Kristie, there are political considerations as well. There is a new CNN poll out that shows that the American people by and large support this limited role in Libya right now for U.S. forces, but they do not support at this point any commitment of ground forces to a wider war in Libya -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Jim Acosta live from Washington, D.C. Many thanks indeed.

And joining us now for some additional insight is Major General James "Spider" Marks. He was the commanding general of the army intelligence center. He also held command positions with the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne. Thank you very much for joining us here on News Stream.

The United States wants to step back in its role in this fight. Who will step forward and lead it?

MAJ. GEN. JAMES MARKS, (RET) U.S. ARMY: Well, the United States clearly has the lead right now in terms of what's called setting the conditions for this no-fly zone that's been in place. But clearly it has stated, and it needs to be in a secondary or supporting role. It would be very clear to me to see the United Kingdom step up or possibly France to come up and to take overall control of the implementation of a very robust no-fly zone.

But the real issue becomes, beyond the no-fly zone, what happens on the ground. If Gadhafi is still in power and the forces of the opposition and Gadhafi's forces have been separated and there is an emerging peace, what happens with the separated or divided Libya? I think, from my perspective, and I think from most nations' perspective, that's an unacceptable outcome.

STOUT: OK. Now the allied forces, they were authorized by the U.N. to protect civilians in Libya from attack. How do you protect civilians by air when government troops are in and among the population? What is the strategy?

MARKS : That's a very, very good question and great point to make.

Colonel Gadhafi, his techniques are very perverse and cynical. He intermingles with the population his military forces, his command and control and his air defenses. And as a result of that he directly puts at risk his population, extremely, extremely perverse in terms of his view. But we're not surprised by any of that. So the only way that you achieve a complete separation of forces that is monitored and is lasting and sustainable is to have some type of ground presence that is there to enforce that and to ensure that the forces don't regenerate combat power and get back at each other.

Now there will be some troop contributing nations. Some nations will step up and be willing to do that. It should not be the United States. But it's easy to see where the United States right now with the downing of that F-15 aircraft already has, must have, some presence on the ground, very light footprints, maybe special ops, but also has the ability to exact some outcomes on the ground. That's what needs to be in place in order to have any type of a sustained and lasting peace.

STOUT: Now should rebel forces be considered civilians? Should allied fighters be protecting them from attack?

MARKS: Well, what's happening is clearly this coalition has picked sides. They would tell you they're not. But they are providing support to the rebel forces in order to achieve some separation between their forces and Gadhafi's forces. I think the official face is we're there transparently, evenhandedly, in order to stop the killing of civilians. But clearly this coalition has picked sides.

STOUT: And what is the endgame here? Does protecting civilians mean ultimately removing Moammar Gadhafi from power?

MARKS: No, I don't think so. I think it needs to be very, very explicit. And you've gotten into that in great detail. And I applaud you for that. Gadhafi, the objective clearly is now emerging, Gadhafi needs to go, yet nobody has stated that emphatically in terms of putting the forces available to do that. Right now a no-fly zone is critical, but it's not sufficient in order to accomplish that task.

STOUT: How long will this operation take?

MARKS: Well, the no-fly zone is in place right now. That just took hours, just short of a couple of days. There are overwhelming power in order to achieve a no-fly zone. But if truly we're marching down the path toward Gadhafi's departure, this will be months if not years in the offing, but that doesn't mean it's all going to be kinetic the whole time. It is very, very touchy. And we should not assume that Gadhafi is going to raise his hand and go silently or gently.

STOUT: General James "Spider" Marks, a fascinating discussion. Thank you very much indeed.

MARKS: Thank you.

STOUT: Now just ahead here on News Stream, as Japan deal with the appalling aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami disasters residents face another setback, aftershocks measuring up to 6.6 in magnitude have been adding to their misery. We'll bring you the details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now wind, rain and aftershocks for Japan, some measuring 6.6 in magnitude today. Let's get the details with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center. Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, let's go ahead and start talking about some of these aftershocks, because today they were a little bit stronger than they had been in days past, but that doesn't mean that we won't continue to see this or that we will, really.

I want to go ahead and show you, first of all, on our Google Earth here some of the latest. And you can see, of course, there's this swarm of earthquakes, these aftershocks, that are going to continue across this area even as we head -- you know, another year until we begin to see any kind of activity kind of easing up here.

I'm going to go ahead and move out of the way and point some of these out to you. The ones that your mentioning, the stronger ones -- this one right over here, this one, the 6.4 -- you can see it right over here where I'm clicking with the mouse, that was a 6.4. This one right over here, that was a 6.6 as you can see.

The orange color indicates anything that happened within the last 24 hours.

The other big one is this one right over here. And I can tell which ones they are very quickly because of the size of the circle. The bigger the circle, the higher the magnitude. So that's one thing we're looking at.

The other thing, you see this red one that just popped up? This is a 5.6 that just would have happened within the last hour at about 10:01 local time at the center.

So, this is a very useful tool. This is from the USGS. And we're using it overlaying into our Google Earth. And you can really see everything that continues to happen here.

I'm going ahead and switch sources one more time, kind of give you a tally of what's been going on. We've had already two that have been between 7 and 7.9. The total number of aftershocks that we've had so far is 681, 42 of those have been between 6 and 6.9 range, so moderate quakes on their own. And then you can see how the number increases, generally, as we head into some of those lower magnitudes. And that's something that we're expecting to continue to happen.

If the original quake, or this case it was a 9.0, we can expect to see at least one quake that will be in the 8.0 range. And we haven't seen that yet. And 10, believe it or not, that will be in the 7.0 range, Kristie. That's very significant, we've only had two. So potentially, we could see even more of these as we head through the next few months.

The thought is that the frequency and the magnitude of the aftershocks will decrease as time goes on, but you've got to remember that easily we can after these aftershocks even up to a year or more. Chile is still experiencing aftershocks from their earthquake that happened over a year ago.

Let's go ahead and turn to the weather now. We expect some rain showers and some strong winds across areas here affected by the quake. Also in Fukushima, they've had some pretty strong winds recently. That is likely to continue. The rain showers, which was another concerns that we had earlier today, finally slowly but surely coming to an end.

Let's go ahead and check out the rest of the forecast.

And Kristie, there are so many layers to the situation here in Japan. Of course, you have the nuclear emergency, you have the recovery from the earthquake and of course that devastating tsunami. Every time the weather changes it poses new challenges for people on the ground, for the rescue workers and for the survivors of this terrible earthquake.

Now we have an area of low pressure that continues to approach and that is causing this direction in the wind. And we're going to see possibly a more offshore flow for you guys here across the central portion of Honshu, including as we head north to Fukushima farther to the north and east we're going to see an offshore flow as we head through the next two days. Today, still onshore flow and more of a southerly flow expected.

The other thing for the survivors here, people most affected by the tsunami, the return of the cold air. And that's going to be significant, Kristie, as well. In Sendai, for example, we'll see those overnight lows again returning to below freezing values. Back to you.

STOUT: Wow. Making life even more difficult there in the disaster zone. Mari Ramos there. Thank you very much indeed.

Now a 25-year-old construction worker has undergone the first full face transplant ever performed in the U.S. An accident in 2008 left Dallas Wiens blind, and without lips, a nose or eyebrows. But now, Michelle Relerford reports, surgeons are hoping he has a good chance for a normal life.

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MICHELLE RELERFORD, CORRESPONDENT: The final few steps towards a new beginning and making medical history as 25-year-old Dallas Wiens and his grandfather enter Brigham and Women's Hospital where he became the nation's first recipient of a full face transplant.

DEL PETERSON, GRANDFATHER: This is beyond anything that I even thought would happen when he first received the injury. But this is fantastic.

RELERFORD: Wiens' face was severely disfigured in a construction accident with a high voltage power line in 2008. The groundbreaking surgery took 15 hours. And a surgical team of more than 30 people. Doctors replaced Wiens nose, lips, facial skin, muscles and nerves. They cannot restore his vision, but the lead surgeon says a previous patient still motivates him to do what he can.

DR. BOHDAN POMAHAC, BURN CENTER DIRECTOR: At one point we asked him why are you subjecting to yourself to all that? And his answer was, I just want a cab to stop when I'm at the curb.

RELERFORD: Doctors at at BWH have also helped Jim Maki. He's the first to undergo a face transplant procedure here. He received a partial transplant in 2009 after an accident in a Boston subway. Dallas Wiens' family says he already has plans for his future. He wants to become an advocate for facial donation.

PETERSON: You have made this day an amazing journey. And you have blessed Dallas' life. And we thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Wish that young man the very, very best.

Now up next here on News Stream, it is a match up off the pitch that will have a big impact of the future of world football. Qatar's Mohammed Bin Hammam talks to CNN about his bid for the presidency of football's governing body and about the controversial decision to award his country the World Cup.

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STOUT: Now two men are fighting for control of world football. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is facing a challenge from Mohammed Bin Hammam for the top job. Now Blatter says he will step down in 2015 if he wins, but he's under pressure from his Qatari opponent. Alex Thomas sat down with Bin Hammam in Paris.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mohammed Bin Hammam, thank you very much for speaking to us on CNN.

Why do you think FIFA needs a change at the top?

MOHAMMED BIN HAMMAM, PRESIDENT ASIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION: For some of reasons actually FIFA is under the same presidency for quite long time, for 13 years of time, as the president Mr. Blatter and then he's on top that for more than 22 years as (inaudible) in FIFA. Actually it's 35 years since we saw Blatter is heavily involved in administration of FIFA. I believe he contributed a lot to the development of the game. It was (inaudible) actually on so many things including, you know, the World Cup in Africa and a lot of things he'd done. But as I said, this is quite long time.

Second, of course you know, FIFA is continue withstand so many attacks for reason and for no reasons. I was also a -- I'm actually always claiming that FIFA is not corrupted organization just because one person fought for quite long time he's defending, defending, defending until he became (inaudible) to protect the FIFA (inaudible).

I'm 61. In two or three month I'll become 62. So if I did not take my chance today, I will never take it.

THOMAS: Do you think there is anything wrong with Mr. Blatter himself, how he has led FIFA? Or do you think it's just time for a new direction?

HAMMAM: At this time for new direction. As I said, 35 years actually is quite long. You know, I mean, maybe lot of the football stars of today, players of today, they lived -- they grown up, they lived, they only known Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA, or you know head of the administration of FIFA.

So I think change is not a wrong thing. It's supposed to be happening, you know.

THOMAS: Of all the changes that you have proposed, which is the most important?

HAMMAM: For me -- of course, first of all is the transparency, where people look -- would like to see, you know, the transparency within FIFA. FIFA always accused of corruption. And it is not, actually. What it is missing and lacking is the sort of transparency which we couldn't over the years, you know, provide it to the public.

THOMAS: Many people have looked at you who was the head of the successful Qatar 2022 World Cup bid. There have been some mutterings about that process. So to be transparent, can you tell us now was that all above water? Are you happy that that was done the correct way?

HAMMAM: Under the recent role of relation of FIFA, that was the best practice, you know. Qatar played the game according to the law of the game, to the rules, you know and the regulations which is in place today. Where people are not happy, but people also will not be happy for so many decision will be taken by FIFA. I don't think also people were happy about Russia winning the bid of 2018, you know. And now there's no time, actually, to you know -- to cry and something -- for something happen in the past. But let us hope that anything in the future is going to be more transparent and is going to be more open for the public.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: And that was Alex Thomas speaking to Asian football chief Mohammed Bin Hammam.

And now we commence Operation News Stream over and out there. To the confusion of some, the U.S. military is calling its short-term operation in Libya Operation Odyssey Dawn. Yes, an odyssey, a long journey often involving magical women and mythical monsters, but according to Wired.com the op name is just the unfortunate result of the Pentagon's somewhat random name generating system.

Now citing the book The Art of Naming Operations, Wired says that Pentagon switched to the current system in 1975 after a stint with bad press for nicknames like Operation Killer in the Korean War and Operation Masher in Vietnam. Still, the system is not perfect. Now Wired.com says a 2004 roundup in insurgents in Kirkuk was nicknamed Operation Slim Shady.

So what are some of the other coalition partners in the Libyan no-fly zone calling their ops? Well, according to Wired, the UK is calling it Operation Ellamy, Canada went with a more understated Operation Mobile. But then there's the French. Now the French they took the opportunity to slip a little culture into their op name. Wired says they're calling it Harmattan, which is a dry wind that blows from the east in western Sahara.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today with Pauline Chiu, Maggie Lake and Nina Dos Santos is next.

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