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Libyan Memorial May Not Have Been All it Seemed; Crisis in Japan; Yemen Unrest

Aired March 25, 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.

As coalition forces hit more Libyan targets, CNN finds an empty coffin at a funeral supposedly for civilian casualties.

Japan puts its face in the future as the nation begins to rebuild. The prime minister warns that the situation out at a quake-damaged nuclear plant is still very precarious.

And pomp, ceremony and scruffy protesters. Can British lawmakers clean up the capital between before the royal wedding?

Libyan ground forces remain a threat to rebel-held towns. Six straight nights of coalition air strikes have rendered the government's air force essentially useless. Anti-aircraft fire over Tripoli did not last long in response to the latest allied attack.

NATO has announced that it will take over enforcement of the no-fly zone. The question of who might strike Libyan government forces deemed a threat to civilians, that is up in the air. Now, Britain's Defense Ministry says it has targeted Libyan armored vehicles near Ajdabiya. That is one of the key cities that rebels have been trying to win back from forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Our Nic Robertson is currently on a tour of Tripoli's eastern outskirts. One farmer tells him that there are no military facilities nearby, but a missile fell on his land last night.

And government officials are claiming more civilian casualties. Now, that has been a point of dispute.

On Thursday, Nic attended a memorial that may not have been all that it seemed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what the Libyan government wants us to see, a mass funeral they say for soldiers and civilians killed in coalition strikes, more than 30 coffins.

(on camera): The message here is being very clearly aimed at the international community. The elderly sheikh who's giving a speech there is talking in English. He's casting the situation here as the Libyans as victims, the international communities as the aggressors, saying the Libyans here will fight back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're willing (ph) to die because their country is their land because of their leader. That's why we want to die, because of our land. And we know what we will get from God! You have (INAUDIBLE).

ROBERTSON: It's impossible for us to independently verify any of the details about who may be in these coffins, or any of the details about how they died.

(voice-over): Amidst the several-hundred-strong crowd, we were unable to find any relatives of the dead. Those we saw laid to rest appeared to be adult males.

(on camera): At the gravesite here it is clear there is far more anger than there is graves. All these men here, intent on showing just how strong their action (ph) is.

(voice-over): None we talked to professed any connection with the dead. No tears. Only rage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They feel that they are angry. They will die because we have to follow this guide. We have to die also because of our country, because of our land, because of our leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was on vacation five days ago. And when the no-fly zone just -- I came to Tunisia.

ROBERTSON (on camera): You came back from England?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I came from a vacation from -- I (INAUDIBLE). And I came here to stand beside my people.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): It was an occasion full of surprising moments.

(on camera): This is, by far, one of the biggest mass burials that we've seen. But when one of the coffins here was open that we saw, it was empty and quickly whisked away.

(voice-over): Perhaps the body had already been taken away for burial elsewhere. At this seafront cemetery, many unanswered questions.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Tripoli, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: And as we mentioned, NATO says it will take over enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya, but it's unclear if all 28 allies will agree to do more and to go after Gadhafi's ground troops threatening unarmed civilians. Now, that decision is expected after talks this weekend.

Now, Turkey, the organization's only Muslim member, opposes air strikes. Germany is not participating in the military campaign. Berlin has reassigned its ships and fighter jets from NATO to national command. NATO's secretary-general says that whatever form the final mission takes, outside help will be crucial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: It's of utmost importance to stress that this is not primarily a NATO operation, it is a broad international effort in which we will include partners from the region that have pledged to contribute to this protection of civilians in Libya.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: And those regional partners include these key Arab countries. The United Arab Emirates now says it will send 12 fighter jets in the coming days. Fighter planes from Qatar are set to start patrolling the skies over Libya this weekend. Kuwait and Jordan have agreed to provide logistical contributions.

Now, the U.S., Britain and France have taken the lead so far. As the mission's first week comes to a close, let's look at what has already been accomplished.

Now, the campaign to set up this no-fly zone, it started with a massive barrage on Saturday night. More than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck about 20 Libyan military targets, mostly along the country's western coast. And some landed around Tripoli and Misrata.

Part of Gadhafi's compound took a hit on Sunday night. A coalition official says it contained command capabilities over Libyan forces and Gadhafi himself was not the target. That, according to a U.S. admiral.

Now, U.S. officials say that military action prevented a massacre in Benghazi. Gadhafi forces have retreated from the rebel stronghold.

And coalition planes are now striking Libyan ground troops around Ajdabiya and other flash points. The strikes become tricky when fighters enter city limits, and that's because of the possibility of civilian casualties.

And on Thursday, French jets destroyed a Libyan combat aircraft, violating the no-fly zone. It was hit while landing at an airfield in Misrata.

If you want to learn more about the conflict in Libya, go to our Web site. This interactive map, it shows the key locations and recent attacks. You can find it at CNN.com.

And now to Japan, where Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference on Friday that work was being done to stop the situation from getting worse, but that the nation still needs to be extremely vigilant. Now, here's what he said on Friday with some pauses for translation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAOTO KAN, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are trying to prevent a deterioration of the situation, and we are still not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Meanwhile, an official says that there is a possibility the core of reactor 3 may be cracked. Now, tests show the water surrounding the reactor has 10,000 times the normal level of radiation. Two workers were hospitalized on Thursday after stepping into that water which may have leaked from the reactor.

And across Japan, the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is now more than 10,000. Another 17,000 people are still considered missing.

Now, CNN's Martin Savidge is in Tokyo, and he joins us live.

And Martin, first, the nuclear concern. Any more confirmed detail about the source of the radiation leak at Fukushima Daiichi that sent those two workers to the hospital?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, and that's the problem, Kristie. It's simply too dangerous for anyone to go in there and get a real look, eyes on, as to what may be leaking in there. So they're basing all of this now on the fact that, as you point out, the radiation levels of that water to which those workers were exposed, 10,000 times the level of what the radiation should be in that particular area. That's why they're concerned now that that could indicate that there is an actual breach or a leak at the core, there at reactor number 3.

Now, the reason that's of concern is because of all the reactors -- and there are six of them out there -- reactor number 3 is probably the most dangerous because it's the only one that has a specific mixture of fuel. It includes uranium and plutonium, and that is extremely dangerous stuff. Those workers, by the way, three total that were exposed, have now been moved to another facility where they're expected to undergo observation, and that could last for a while, just to make sure even though they've been treated right away, that there are really no long-term effects for them.

But that's the concern right now. And that's also part of the background here as they began quietly to expand the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. Originally, it was 20 kilometers. Now they've gone to 30. Not mandatory, but they are telling people they should move out, and that, of course, is going to raise more concerns.

STOUT: You know, Martin, it's been two weeks since the initial earthquake. The death toll has surpassed 10,000. Scores of people are still missing.

Can you update us on the recovery challenge in this disaster?

SAVIDGE: Well, unfortunately, of course, we have moved, it would seem, to go well beyond any chance of further rescue into the full recovery effort. And those authorities who we've spoken to, and especially with the national police, say that you take a look at the number of missing, and they believe that probably half of them will be confirmed as in fact dead, which means, of course, that you could have a death toll that easily would go 20,000 or above. And that's a staggering figure when you're talking about this nation trying to deal with not just its grief, but, of course, the growing angst and the economic fallout from the earthquake, the nuclear problem.

And, of course, all of this coming together. And two weeks in, they still cannot say that the worst is not behind them -- Kristie.

STOUT: Our Martin Savidge, joining us live in Tokyo.

Thank you.

Now, we want to give you some context now for the situation at that reactor number 3. On March the 11th, the 9.0 earthquake, it hits the northeast of Japan, sending a massive tsunami up to nine meters high up the coast. And when the flood hits the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the backup generators and the cooling systems all begin to fail.

Now, within a week, there are two hydrogen explosions at the reactor number 3 building. Fifteen people are injured.

Now, let's fast forward to Monday of this week. Now, this is an image of white smoke seen rising from that reactor number 3. By Wednesday, that smoke, it turned black. Now, the cause of that is unknown, but an official says it may come from burning oil for machinery nearby.

Now, plant workers, they begin to lay cables in the turbine building as they work to restore power to reactor number 3. And on Thursday, these workers seen leaving the plant under that blue tarp, they're hospitalized after they step into water with dangerously high levels of radiation.

Now, let's look now at the safety concerns surrounding Japanese foods.

Russia is the latest country to restrict Japanese imports, banning all food products from six regions near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Russia is joining Australia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. in limiting Japanese imports.

Now, there are now 12 types of vegetables that are testing higher than the legal radiation levels. Readings of low radiation from Japan have been detected as far as Sweden, but an official there says that was expected.

Now, the devastation that consumed Japan is hard to comprehend. As our Kyung Lah shows us, the resilience shown across the country is equally remarkable.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you need a sign that life can return to Japan's devastated tsunami zone, Here's a small one. His name is Yuma, and hers, Yukia. Her still-weary mother went into labor in the car fleeing the tsunami. She barely made it to a hospital on high ground.

"After I gave birth to my baby," says this first-time mom, "I wasn't filled with joy, because I heard the news about so many victims."

Kanako Suzuki, Yuma's mother, lost an aunt and her home in the tsunami, but gained a son.

"I'm trying not to be depressed," she says, "because I have to move forward for my baby."

Across the region, people are beginning to move forward, digging out their homes, finding precious possessions. "A picture," he tells me. A part of his family's history saved.

Food is getting to the victims, many having their first hot meal since the tsunami left them homeless.

And the most resilient? The young. Laughter filling this muddy evacuation center. A moment to play and be children.

(on camera): When entire cities up and down the northern Japan coastline looks like this, the natural question is, how do you begin to rebuild? City leaders say the answer is actually quite simple. You have to start somewhere.

(voice-over): Not that's easy, says Kamaichi City spokesman. The tsunami flattened more than half of his city.

"I don't want to lose my hometown. I want it to come back. We won't give up," he says.

A fighting spirit among the survivors who pledge to begin the next chapter in the rebirth of a region.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Morioka, Japan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, the streets of Yemen's capital are full of protesters once again. Reports say some are voicing support for the president, while others continue to call for his ouster. President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he's prepared to hand over, but only to safe hands. That's according to Yemen TV reports.

Opposition protesters have been on the streets for several weeks, demanding reforms and the president's resignation. Now, he has made some concessions, but so far he has refused their demands to step down immediately.

Now, Stan Grant has been covering the latest on Yemen. He's with us now, live from Abu Dhabi.

And Stan, the Yemeni president, he's made an address on state TV. He says he is standing firm. It seems Saleh is not stepping down any time soon.

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, he's not, Kristie. What he is trying to do, he is trying to rest some order from chaos.

These protests have now been going for more than six weeks. The protesters seem to feel as though the momentum is with them, those calling for the president's ouster.

What the president is now saying is that he's praising the military. He is saying that he will speak to some of the protesters, particularly the young. However, he's also saying he won't speak to gangs or drug users.

And this is an attempt to try to calm this situation, to try to build some order. He's talking about a transition to handing over power. He says he doesn't want to hang on to power, he wants to be able to hand over, but there must be an order about it. He says he does not want chaos, he does not want a coup.

At the same time though, the protesters have been increasing their demands and there's been a shift in support for President Saleh. The ground has been shifting beneath him.

Key generals have left him. Other tribal leaders have also defected. And they are with the protesters.

So the protesters are drawing a line in the sand here, and they're saying yes, you're making these concessions, but it's too late. The genie is out of the bottle. They're now saying they want it all. They want the president to go, they're not going to listen to these concessions -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Stan, give us a picture of the protests under way in Sana'a today. Are there rival pro-and-anti-government demonstrations taking place? Could there be clashes?

GRANT: Well, it really is a tale of two protests here, because today, Friday, a day of prayer in the Islamic world, on the one hand, the anti- Saleh faction are calling this the "Day of Departure." The pro-Saleh faction are calling this a "Day of Tolerance."

Now, we have seen in the past, when these protests have played out, that it has turned violent. We have seen that people have been killed. But certainly, today, a tale of two different protests.

And, of course, Syria, undergoing a similar situation. Now, protests in the south of the country there have been gaining momentum. In the last few days, there has been a rise in death toll, according to human rights watchers and observers and activists there on the ground. But, also, now coming from the president, Bashar al-Assad, some concessions.

He's talking about lifting wages, releasing some of the restrictions on the media, perhaps even lifting an emergency rule that's been in place for 48 years and has been used to crush (ph) protests. And in Damascus, we're seeing some people on the streets there supporting him.

So, an interesting situation playing out, almost in tandem. Concessions, on the one hand, but hard-line protests on the other. In other parts pro - - supporters coming out in favor of the president. It's incredible how throughout this entire Arab Spring of unrest we have seen these patterns repeated over and over -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Stan Grant, joining us live from Abu Dhabi. And we'll be taking you live to southern Syria, to Daraa, with a reporter there in just a moment.

In Syria, more demonstrations today, as Stan was reporting. And wires are saying that protesters are marching to Daraa, and that a small demonstration in Damascus, it was broken up by security forces.

(CHANTING)

STOUT: Thousands turned out on the streets of Daraa on Thursday for the funerals of dozens of people reported killed in recent violence. The government is blaming the political unrest on outside agitators, but it's now promising to consider popular demands, including lifting the decades- old emergency law.

Now, Human Rights Watch says Syrian forces should stop using live ammunition against protesters. And journalist George Baghdadi is on the phone now from Daraa, in Syria.

George, what's happening?

GEORGE BAGHDADI, FREELANCE, JOURNALIST: Yes?

STOUT: George, it's Kristie in Hong Kong. Can you give us the latest on what you're seeing around you in Daraa this day?

Oh, unfortunately, as you heard just then, that was a dropped call. We'll try to reestablish that connection with our correspondent there in Syria.

Now, this is NEWS STREAM, live on CNN. We'll be back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And back to the situation in Syria. High tension there, with large anti- government protests expected after Friday prayers. There have, in fact, been violent clashes in several southern cities this week.

Now, let's get the very latest with George Baghdadi. He's a reporter joining us live on the line from Daraa in southern Syria.

And George, what is happening right now?

BAGHDADI: Hi. Just right now I see thousands of people gathered in relatively calm succession to (INAUDIBLE) what they call martyrs who were killed in the latest wave of protests in this southern city of Daraa.

There were actually no anti-government slogans, only people shouting in honor of the marchers. And surprisingly, there are no soldiers. I don't see any. No security forces in the whole town.

This is the main entrance of the city, but I managed to get through quickly with no questions at all. Many people here, they say they were test-fired (ph) after the package of resolutions. And now (INAUDIBLE); namely at President Assad's advice, (INAUDIBLE). They are considering to lift the martial law (INAUDIBLE) for the political parties (INAUDIBLE).

The (INAUDIBLE) after the prayers, a few carrying banners and signs, the marchers. But there were no signs of violence whatsoever, at least until this part. And (INAUDIBLE), they gathered in a public space (INAUDIBLE).

It is in front of (INAUDIBLE) Mosque. As you know, dignity being another theme of the revolution in the region. I think now we are seeing something of a grace period where the government is promising to ask (ph) and the people are willing to give them maybe the benefit of the doubt, which would last for a while.

STOUT: OK, George. You're reporting thousands of protesters out on the streets today in Daraa, there in Syria. The procession has been peaceful so far, no outbreaks of violence. But this last week, we have seen very violent clashes that have taken a number of lives. The death toll has varied.

So what is your understanding of the human cost of the ongoing unrest in Syria?

BAGHDADI: The processions in Syria by -- they said 10 people died. Over here they are saying a few dozen have died. But as far as I see it, as long as it is here, very few people from procession so far. So maybe now the Syrian government can manage to breathe. But, of course, if more processions went here and there in other cities, and if the security forces use force, it's going to be a little bit (INAUDIBLE).

STOUT: All right.

George Baghdadi, freelance reporter, joining us live on the line with the picture of the scene there in Daraa in southern Syria.

Thank you very much, indeed.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. Keep it here. A lot more ahead on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

Libya's capital, Tripoli, has come under renewed attack by allied warplanes. The targets appear to be on the outskirts where a number of military bases are situated. The Defense Ministry says allied strikes have also hit military vehicles near the city of Ajdabiya that were threatening the civilian population.

Protesters from both sides of Yemen's political divide are back on the streets of the capital. Yemen TV reports say that President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Friday that he was prepared to hand over power, but only to what he calls safe hands. He has so far refused opposition demands to step down immediately.

And we just heard from a freelance journalist in Daraa in southern Syria that protests are under way there now. Syria's opposition has called for mass demonstrations after Friday prayers. Tens of thousands of mortars turned out on Thursday for the funerals of people killed in earlier clashes. And authorities have promised not to use live bullets against the demonstrators. They say they will consider lifting the country's decades old emergency law.

Now Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan says the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is still, quote, "very unpredictable." He told a news conference that work was being done to stop the situation from getting worse, but that the nation still needs to be extremely vigilant.

Now the conflict in Libya is the subject of discussion among African leaders meeting in Ethiopia. Some have called for an end to coalition action. The United Nations last week authorized any means necessary to protect Libya civilians. They're sending an envoy to the talks. And representatives of the Gadhafi government and the opposition are also expected to attend.

Now Libyans uprising has deep roots in the eastern city of Benghazi. Now fighting started there in February. Many people lost their lives, but one man in particular is remembered as a martyr. Reza Sayah shares his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rebel fighters in street clothes going head to head with the Libyan army tank. The amateur video purportedly shot last week, a dramatic glimpse of the war for Libya, pitting civilians against Gadhafi's heavily armed forces. Despite being severely outgunned, this is what rebel fighters did last month to the regime's military barracks in what is now the opposition capital of Benghazi: the destruction of the compound, the turning point in the fight for this key city.

To many here, Al Mehdi Zew (ph) was the hero of that fight, a 49-year- old oil company worker, husband, father of two. The best way to help the opposition, he decided, was to sacrifice his life.

His two teenage daughters say they had no idea what their father had planned. His wife, too distraught to appear on camera.

"We're not able to express how much we miss him," says Sajida (ph).

"We miss him a lot," says her sister Zahore (ph), "he was with us every moment of our lives."

This is where Al Mehdi Zew (ph) gave his life. It's the old military barracks here in Benghazi. It's pretty much demolished today, but on February 19th rebel fighters had surrounded it and they were facing heavy firepower.

They were trying to get inside these military barracks. They couldn't. They needed something to shift their momentum. What Al Mehdi did was pack his car full of plastic car fuel containers in cooking gas cylinders. And witnesses say he parked his car right over there where that SUV is and prayed and read the Koran for about 30 minutes and then he sped towards the main gate where he blew himself and his car up.

This is a picture of Al Mehdi's (ph) best friend Abdul Farhoud carrying his remains after the blast.

ABDUL FARHOUD, AL MEHDI'S FRIEND: Yes, I didn't saw his body in the car. I could not believe it.

SAYAH: He says Al Mehdi's suicide attack sent Gadhafi troops running, clearing the way for rebel fighters to overtake the barracks.

FARHOUD: He's a hero. He's a real hero.

SAYAH: For opposition forces, the taking of the barracks was a monumental victory made possible, they say, by Al Mehdi, one of hundreds of civilians who have died in the war for Libya.

For two daughters, the sudden loss of their father is heart wrenching, but one they say, their honored to live with.

"He did something very important. We're definitely very proud of him."

Reza Sayah, CNN, Benghazi, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: You're watching News Stream live from Hong Kong. We'll be back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we are currently bringing you daily updates from one of the coldest places on earth. It's a place vital to our survival: the Arctic Circle.

Now these are the latest images that were snapped up by our CNN team from their Canadian ice base approximately 550 kilometers away from the North Pole. Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau and the crew are following scientists as they research the dangers of melting sea ice and the other effects of climate change.

And today is day three of this extreme expedition. And so far, the team has had to sit tight at their Resolute Bay base thanks to mother nature's high winds. But the delay has provided a welcome extra day of intense training. Philippe Cousteau shares what to do if a polar bear comes into sight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, ENVIRONMENTALIST: So, not wanting to waste any time, we have headed out and spent much of the day doing additional training on the ice. And in particular, we've been training for the unlikely, but possible encounter we may have with a polar bear.

Now hopefully if you encounter a polar bear they will either ignore or not seem interested in you, or in some cases they won't even notice you. Or they may be curious, but keep their distance. In both of those cases, the best thing to do is just to stop, calmly look at the bear. Keep your eye on the bear and back away from the bear. Certainly don't run. And if you have any deterrents, use them.

In particular, each of us are outfitted with this. It's basically like a little flare gun with an M80 grenade on it -- an M80 firecracker on it. And the point of this is to create a lot of noise to frighten the bear away from you. And all you do is screw it in and fire it off.

Now earlier our guide John showed us exactly how to use this out on the ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screw it on there. Make sure no one is standing in front of you. And then you simply pull it back.

COUSTEAU: So hopefully, if all goes well, we will never have to use one of these. They are fun to fire off, I have to admit, but certainly don't want to have to use them with the polar bear.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Fascinating survival tip there. Now if you're online just head to cnn.com/goinggreen. And you'll find Philippe Cousteau's eight rules of surviving the ice. Now among them, stay hydrated and well fed. You burn up to twice the amount of calories in the extreme cold as you do in normal conditions. That is at cnn.com/goinggreen.

I do hope that Philippe and the team, they make it to ice base soon. And Mari, don't tell me that you're watching the weather conditions there at the North Pole. You've got some answers for us?

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Oh my goodness, yes. You know, this is such a cool story. You know I've been following this for awhile. And if you're not -- go to cnn.com, check out the blog, check out the information and look at there, their videos. It's actually fascinating. There's some links also, some of the -- you can follow some of these people on Twitter as well including one of our CNN producers that is along with that team.

But anyway, yes, I've been looking at the weather and -- first of all let's look a little bit of geography. There's Resolute Bay right over here. They're trying to get to ice base which is here in the north. And there is the geographic north pole. So we're looking here at the top of the world literally.

The weather here, as you've been saying, is miserable to say the very least. You know, to get a good day would be -- I was reading some of the blogs. They say when it gets to minus 30 you think that's a good day, right. So you know it's pretty bad when they're saying that.

What we have right now is something called a blocking pattern, sometimes they call it an omega pattern. You have two areas of high pressure, one on either side of a low, and the low is called a cutoff low because it's cut off from any major weather systems. So it kind of sits there until it kind of burns itself out. Most of the energy is actually farther to the south, these weather systems that we've been talking about for awhile coming in off the coast of California. That's the weather pattern right now.

It's going to be awhile before we begin to see this actually change. Temperatures are going to remain probably around minus 20, minus 17 for the daytime high -- Celsius. And then we're going to see those blustery conditions continuing, very windy, but every once in awhile you'll get a break not only in the wind, but also in the precipitation. So snow expected throughout most of the day today, but then starting to get a break as we head through the day tomorrow.

So maybe tomorrow will be a better day to try to make that jump over to the other side of the ice.

Let's go ahead and move on to talk about the weather in Japan. Of course it continues to be a major story. We have an area of low pressure that we're monitoring that is just beginning to move onshore here off the coast of Honshu here on the western side. Well, this will continue moving right along.

The leading edge already has brought us some rain showers and some snow showers in areas farther to the north. So it's going to remain wet. It's going to remain cold, poor visibility.

And as we head through head through the overnight tonight and into tomorrow, the likelihood of rain showers will be on the increase, but also will the wind. So those gusty conditions will remain, winds sometimes as high as 40 kilometers per hour in some of these areas, including the Fukushima power plant, by the way.

The good news if anything is that we will remain with an offshore flow. That means that any radiation that may be leaking, or that is leaking from there, will hopefully move out to sea and not affect the populated areas over land. So definitely something we'll continue to monitor as well.

Let's go ahead and check out your city by city forecast now.

And that's it on the quake in Myanmar, it ended up being a 6.8 yesterday. There was only earthquake and it was here near the border between Myanmar, Laos, China and Thailand. It was a relatively shallow earthquake, Kristie. The shallower the quake, the more likely you are to have intense shaking. And that is precisely what happened in this very mountainous area, very remote area here of Myanmar.

The area that you see in red, according to the shake map, experienced either violent or extreme shaking. One of the bigger problems that we have here is the threat for landslides because the terrain is so mountainous.

As you head out, of course, the likelihood to see the intense shaking will become lessened, but there were reports yesterday. Almost immediately after the earthquake, I heard from people in Hanoi saying that they've -- all the way over here in Vietnam that they had felt the tremor as well.

Now we're getting our first images from the region. And I want to make sure I share these with you. Look at these cracks on the ground. This is coming to us from World Vision in Myanmar. Pretty amazing stuff here and an indication of how violent the shaking was.

The temperatures, by the way, here are in the low to mid 30's. High levels of humidity, scattered rain showers expected. Neighboring Thailand also seeing some damage from the earthquake. Reportedly overall along the region some more than 25 people, almost 70 people have lost their lives. Back to you.

STOUT: Mari, thank you so much for that update on the aftermath of that quake in Myanmar. Take care. And we'll see you next week. Mari Ramos joining us live from CNN Center.

Now what is it about mother nature that, yes, makes some people loopy? For example, do you remember the guy who cried when he saw that double rainbow? Now this time, it's a tornado that's getting someone all emotional. And Jeanne Moos has more on the latest viral video star.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's amateur video of a tornado with a twist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see that twister? Do you see that twister?

MOOS: And the twist is the narrator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can just call me the tornado boy.

MOOS: Seems like a pretty low key teenager, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a tornado. Oh my god! If you can see that. Oh my god!

MOOS: 15-year-old Tyler Tubbs (ph) was talking to his mom on the phone at his home in Hempfield, Pennsylvania outside Pittsburgh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's right above us, mom. It is humongous. It's hailing golf balls.

MOOS: You'd be excited too. After all....

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't get tornadoes here.

MOOS: But there is was, captured on various home videos.

What Tyler Tubbs (ph) managed to capture was the fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god! It landed. Oh my god! Tornado! Tornado!

MOOS: The tape ends as Tyler raced for the finished basement. The next thing you know, he's fodder for YouTube critics making fun of his accent, calling him a sissy, a drama queen.

But before you go calling Tyler Tubbs (ph) a sissy, look at all the damage that tornado caused.

Dozens of homes in Westmoreland County were damaged, some were completely destroyed. For those who call him wimpy, Tyler (ph) says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't see it. They didn't see what I saw.

MOOS: The twister did not damage Tyler's (ph) house. His video is on its way to becoming an internet hit. Of course, it's been remixed.

Now, tornado boy is being compared to another exuberant observer of natural phenomena.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my -- oh wow.

MOOS: Double rainbow guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god. Oh my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god. If you could see that. Oh my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so bright.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming down hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does this mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see that? Do you see that?

MOOS: At least tornado boy didn't cry as rainbow guy did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so beautiful.

MOOS: I can only imagine if you actually saw a double tornado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh boy.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Oh my god. It landed. Oh my god. Tornado. Tornado.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now, it's not a flying saucer, but a flying source of weather relief. Now organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they've been feeling the heat to switch the tournament from the summer to the winter. But with the events still scheduled for the warmer months, engineers have come up with this.

Check it out, it's a remote controlled artificial cloud. It's a robot cloud to shield an entire football stadium from the sun. It is the size of a jump jet and they're made from lightweight carbon fibers. Interesting idea.

This is News Stream live on CNN. We'll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: And now to a fairy tale wedding that reality may impinge on. Prince William and his new princess Kate Middleton, they get married in April. They will take a carriage ride through the fair city of London. The carriage procession will start here, Westminster Abbey and end at Buckingham Palace for the royal reception. But along the way, the newly married royals may come face to face with the rowdiness of democracy.

Now right about here, a group of protesters have been camped at Parliament Square for years. They want to stay, but authorities see them as royal eyesores and they're trying to remove them. But it is no easy feat.

So what's a royal family to do? Dan Rivers explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Parliament Square, the home of British democracy, and in recent years, some say an increasingly scruffy protest site.

This disparate group has camped out opposite London's most famous landmark for 10 years, each making a different political point. After years of wrangling, the authorities are trying to finally move these people on ahead of the royal wedding in April. Prince William and Katherine Middleton's carriage is due to pass right by here.

For protesters like Maria Gallastegui are determined to stay, saying their presence enshrines free speech.

MARIA GALLASTEGUI, PROTESTER: It's very, very important that we keep that tradition going strong in this country not just for us, but for people throughout the world, because they rely on us as a voice on their behalf.

RIVERS: Until now, the protesters have exploited the complex ownership of the square to avoid eviction.

Where I'm standing now, this piece of grass in the middle of the square is controlled by the mayor of London. But if I step down here onto the sidewalk it's controlled by a different body, Westminster City Council. Now the mayor's office have successfully evicted some of the protesters from the middle of the grass here. And now Westminster City Council is trying to do the same down here. The problem is, the protesters are standing their ground.

While the British lord is trying to introduce a law to finally clear the square after years of legal deadlock.

MARK SCHREIBER, MEMBER, HOUSE OF LORDS: I beg to move this be now read a first time.

RIVERS: Lord Mark (ph) shows me his proposed law to move the protesters on. He says Britain's image will be tarnished if they're allowed to stay.

SCHREIBER: I think the problem is that what it does is to show a squalid, squatters camp rather than a protest movement. It's just a lot of worn out placards. And it just looks really scruffy.

RIVERS: The tourists, we asked, seem in favor of the protesters.

ALEX PLITSUS, TOURIST: I think freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble should come before the way -- the way people view a wedding procession.

RIVERS: Only British Airways have so far succeeded in removing the protesters. They were famously digitally airbrushed from this TV ad featuring the square. It's a trick the royal wedding planners won't be able to pull off, though. For them, only a physical eviction will ensure this protest site isn't part of the backdrop as Prince William and Katherin Middleton glide past on their wedding day.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Parliament Square, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now sport now. And it's either a tale of cunning deception or simply an astonishing turnaround. Alex Thomas is in London to explain all -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. A few weeks ago, they looked off the pace and unreliable, but the McClaren Formula 1 team have shocked their rivals by setting the two fastest times in official practice for the opening race of the season in Australia on Sunday.

2009 world champion Jensen Button was quickest, speeding around the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne in a time of 1 minute 25.854 seconds.

Last minute changes to the McClaren cars appeared to have worked well. 48 hours before race day, Button's teammate Lewis Hamilton second fastest. The 2008 world champion finishing just by 15 hundreths of a second out of Spain's Fernando Alonzo in his Ferrari.

The big teams and the big names dominated Friday's practice sessions. The Red Bulls with defending champion Sabastian Vettel and home favorite Mark Webber were fourth and fifth in the standings ahead of seven time world champion Michael Shumacher and Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari.

Don't forget on the eve of this new Formula 1 season our preview show. We'll help you get into gear. Check out The Circuit on Saturday 1:30 in the afternoon if you're in London, or 2:30 in central Europe, 9:30 at night if you're in the Hong Kong area.

Now South Africa, a favorite to become the third team through to the semifinals at Cricket's World Cup after restricting New Zealand to 221 for 8 in their quarter-final clash in Matur (ph).

The Black Caps winning the coin toss and deciding to have a bat. And after two early setbacks, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor put on 114 runs for the third wicket. Ryder hit eight boundaries and his an 83.

But South Africa fielded superbly. And Morne Morkel claimed three crucial wickets to put the Proteas in the driving seat. They're just starting their reply now.

The winners will face either England or Sri Lanka in the first semifinal next Tuesday.

Now we already know the second semi on Wednesday will be a blockbuster between Pakistan and India. Co-host India reaching the last four after knocking out the defending champions Australia on Thursday.

The Aussies batting first. And the side that's won the World Cup for the last three times running. They had a decent start. Brad Haddin's fall almost taking Munaf Patel's head off.

Aussies 61 for 1 in a bit of a wobbled before Aussie captain Ricky Ponting who smashed a six off Yuvraj Singh helped matters with his first one day international century for more than a year. He was out for 104. And Australia made 260 for 6 from their 50 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar helped India make a good start to their reply. Another half century for him. He was out for 53. And India were wobbling at 187 for 5 before Yuvraj Singh came in with his fifth half century in six world cup innings. Suresh Raina helped, too, with an unbeaten 34. Him and Yuvraj proving too good for the Aussies. The winners of the last three world cups couldn't stop India. They won with five wickets and more than two overs to spare.

We'll have more sport for you in a couple of hours time, Kristie.

STOUT: Alex, thank you very much indeed.

Now team News Stream today has reached a milestone. This is our 100th episode. Now it hasn't always been easy as pie, but we still wanted to celebrate with you. And go ahead just call it flaky. We love this tasty take on our show logo.

On our blog, we're sharing the 100 people that have inspired and informed our coverage from day one -- scientists, journalists, humorists, and even some mega geek fans of the show. You can just check them out on Twitter and you'll see why. That on our blog cnn.com/newsstream.

We also want to get your thoughts on the show. Now producer Ravi Hiranaad has posted a bit about how News Stream came to be. It's a tale that all begins with a tennis ball. It also (inaudible) leave us some feedback on Facebook and tell us what you want to see in the next 100 shows.

And that's it for News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END