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Trouble at the Top in Libya; Tripoli Wounded; Expanding Evacuation Zone Around Fukushima Daiichi

Aired March 31, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

NATO now officially in charge in Libya. CIA operatives on the ground. And a sign that Gadhafi's inner circle may be crumbling.

In Japan, elevated levels of radiation are reported by the U.N. beyond the government's evacuation zone.

And our weeklong long at the Internet in China continues when we examine the boom in online e-tailors.

Now, after three days of retreat by the rebels, international leaders may be working behind the scenes to help them reclaim momentum in Libya.

Now, NATO took sole command of air operations over the country on Thursday as CIA operators were said to be connecting with rebel fighters on the ground. But events away from the front lines may prove to have equal impact.

Now, the Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, arrived in London on Wednesday, saying he had defected from the Gadhafi regime. It is a move that could undermine Libya's leader at a time of great gains for government forces.

Now, while Gadhafi troops largely keep their allegiance, his political allies are proving more problematic. Now, former government minister already hold key posts in the opposition movement. And on Wednesday, Gadhafi's cabinet suffered its biggest casualty yet. This man, the foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, arrived in London, telling the U.K. government that he had resigned from the Libyan regime. Now, he had been a staunch supporter of Colonel Gadhafi as recently as one month ago.

Now, British ministers have urged other high-ranking Libyans to follow his lead.

Koussa's appearance in London coincides with a growing debate among some coalition members over whether to arm rebel forces. And with more on these developments, let's go live to Phil Black in the British capital.

And Phil, British officials have been questioning Mr. Koussa. What is the latest?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the official line here, Kristie, from the Foreign Office. You get the feeling that the British government is quite pleased about this development.

They say that he came here of his own free will, and they are now discussing (AUDIO GAP) decision to longer serve the Gadhafi regime. But there are reports in the British media today that he was actually flown (AUDIO GAP) a British jet. And today, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, stated that he had been speaking closely to Moussa Koussa in recent weeks.

Take a listen to what Hague said this morning.


WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Moussa Koussa is one of the most senior members of the Gadhafi regime. He has been my channel of communications for the regime in recent weeks, and I've spoken to him several times on the telephone, most recently last Friday.

His resignation shows that Gadhafi's regime, which has already seen significant defections to the opposition, is fragmented, under pressure, and crumbling from within. Gadhafi must be asking himself who will be the next to abandon him. We reiterate our call for Gadhafi to go.


BLACK: So the British government is keen to portray this as a major blow to Gadhafi. The other benefits is, obviously, as Moussa Koussa as an intelligence prize.

He has been a senior, key member of the regime for a great deal of time now. He knows a lot. And the British government and its coalition partners will be keen to use that knowledge to try and bring an end to Gadhafi's leadership as soon as possible -- Kristie.

STOUT: What will happen to Mr. Koussa next? Could he face criminal charges? Could he be offered immunity?

BLACK: That is an interesting issue. Moussa Koussa is a well-known but controversial figure to the international community, particularly here in Britain. Controversial because, as the British newspapers are all pointing out today, he was at Libya's embassy here up until 1980, when he was expelled because of comments he made about killing Libyan dissidents here in the U.K. And later, as a spy chief. There have often been questions asked about what role, if any, he may have played in masterminding the Lockerbie bombing, the worst ever terror strike on British soil.

So he's a colorful figure with a colorful past. And so it's for these reasons, probably, that William Hague stated today that, while Moussa Koussa is cooperating with them, talking to them, he is not being offered any immunity from British or international justice -- Kristie.

STOUT: Phil Black, joining us live from London.

Thank you, Phil.

Now, Koussa joins other prominent Libya officials in defecting from the regime. Now, some of them have gone on to take a strong stand against Colonel Gadhafi.

For example, the ex-justice minister here, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, now heads the opposition's interim government in Benghazi. He resigned shortly after the uprising began on February the 15th, reportedly to protest the use of excessive force against demonstrators.

Now, Libya's former interior minister also left Tripoli for a top position in the opposition movement. Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi heads the rebels' armed forces.

And this man here, he has been one of the most vocal defectors. Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nation called Gadhafi's crackdown "genocide." Now, the U.N. Security Council scheduled its first meeting on Libya at Ibrahim Dabbashi's request. And as you know, the body went on to impose sanctions and later authorized Resolution 1973, protecting Libyan civilians.

Now, his boss, Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham, has denounced Gadhafi, requesting the colonel step down as Libya's leader.

We have already seen the casualties in Misrata, but pro-Gadhafi officials claim that allied air strikes are doing their share of damage, and they took Nic Robertson to a hospital in Tripoli to meet a woman who they say is the victim of a coalition missile attack.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been brought to a hospital here in Tripoli, and we're being taken to see a lady we're told had received shrapnel wounds as an aftermath of a coalition strike. She's in this ward right here. We're told her brother and sister are with her. She's from a town about two, three hours' drive away from here.

(voice-over): We are the only journalists here.

(on camera): Salamu Alaykum.

(voice-over): There is a government official out of shot behind our camera at all times. Hudam al-Issa (ph) is 44, in the late stages of pregnancy.

"I heard an explosion and round outside," she says. "A man told me to go back inside. It was 1:30 in the morning."

"Suddenly, the sky lit up like daytime. Missiles were flying, left and right. And the shrapnel hit me."

Nurses show us her leg, say they reset her broken bone without anesthetic to protect her unborn baby. Unlike many so-called civilian casualties paraded on state TV, Issa's (ph) wounds appear genuine.

Her brother's account matches hers, secondary explosions following the coalition strike.

(on camera): So this looks like the day after. There's a big hole in --

(voice-over): He shows us video he says is of her damaged house that he shot on his mobile phone.

(on camera): What I can see here in this video is a big hole in the wall of the building, daylight streaming in. The hole must be half the height of the room. It's a big hole.

(voice-over): The previous day, government officials took reporters to Issa's (ph) hometown, Lisda (ph), to see damage caused by a coalition strike on an ammunition storage depot that triggered further explosions, sending rockets and the arms dump flying into civilian areas, including a hospital. Issa (ph) blames the coalition for the rockets that rained down on her house, seems not to understand they were secondary explosions, that she and her family were not the target.

(on camera): The government has tried many times and failed to show us civilian causalities, but this does appear to be the first time we've seen a civilian wounded as a result of a coalition strike. Without actually being there when the incident happened, it's impossible to verify all the details.

(voice-over): After 20 minutes we are told to leave. Security, now so tight, even the government official watching us has two people watching him.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Tripoli, Libya.


STOUT: Well, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the U.N. says high radiation levels are found outside Japan's evacuation zone and urges Japan to consider expanding that zone.

And in the Ivory Coast, residents grow fearful of more violence in Abidjan as a civil war looks increasingly likely.

And we continue our look into China's massive online world. We'll tell you how The Gap is trying to get a piece of China's online shopping business.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, the U.N.'s nuclear agency is urging Japan to consider expanding its evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. On Thursday, bad weather kept workers from spraying a solution of resin and water at the plant to try to prevent radioactive particles from spreading further.

Meanwhile, radiation levels in the seawater near the plant are now more than 4,000 times the regulatory limit. I want to give you a better sense now of what the water systems at this damaged nuclear power plant look like.

Now, this is footage from 2002 of the plant's water drains. Now, authorities aren't exactly sure where the radioactive water is coming from or how it reached the sea, but officials say it does not yet pose a health risk to humans eating seafood. Now, Japan says this month's devastation could cost the government more than $300 billion.

Now, CNN's Martin Savidge joins us again from Tokyo.

And Martin, more on the radiation levels spiking in the seawater near the plant. They continue to rise. Any closer to understanding what is the cause? And what is TEPCO and what is the government doing to try to stop it?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie, this is a source of huge frustration. Every day the numbers go up, and have been going up dramatically.

Saturday, we were at 1,500 times the legal limit. Then, yesterday, 3,300 times the legal limit. And then, just as you say, we're at 4,385 times the legal limit for radioiodine to be found in the ocean. And clearly, it is coming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.

What unnamed officials will tell CNN is that they realize that that's probably coming from fuel, meaning fuel either for the reactor or fuel from as in spent fuel rods. They can't say which one it is.

They also can't say exactly how it is getting into the water system. They do know it is not coming via the air. In other words, the venting that took place early on in this saga. They're saying that it's not from that radiation, because they haven't had rain out there, which would have washed it into the ocean. So, they've had no rain, and yet the levels keep going up, so it must be some other way.

It's seeping in through the soil, or it's coming in through a leak. But that's where everything stops, because TEPCO says we don't know from where, it's just happening. Very, very frustrating for many people -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, very much so. And now TEPCO is using a new technique to contain the leak using a synthetic resin.

Can you give us more details on that plan?

SAVIDGE: Yes. They haven't actually implemented it yet. They were thinking about doing that today, but then they actually did get some rain out there. And as a result of that, with the weather, they decided to hold off.

But the way it's supposed to work is you take this resin and you spray it, and it would adhere to the buildings, it would adhere to the debris, and try to keep down the radioactive dust and the radioactive particles to prevent further spreading. How effective it's really going to be, right now they only know it's in theory. They haven't tried it. We'll have to wait and see. They hope to do it tomorrow.

STOUT: Also, Martin, the U.N. nuclear watchdog has found high radiation levels outside the Japanese evacuation zone. What more do you know about that and whether the zone really should be widened?

SAVIDGE: Yes, this is a source that's going to be probably of growing tension now.

The IAEA is here, and they have been doing some of their own independent testing. And what they have found are levels of radiation outside of the Japanese exclusion zone, which, as you know, goes out 20 kilometers, 12 miles, which they say could be potentially harmful to humans.

So, what they are now saying is that they have found these levels as far out as 40 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. And that would indeed be troubling.

Now, they cannot order the Japanese government to expand their evacuation zone. Instead, they use language like that -- they would suggest that they "carefully assess the situation." The subtext there is probably, you should very much think about expanding your evacuation zone. Japan, so far, has said we're very comfortable with where it sits right now, at 20 kilometers.

STOUT: Martin Savidge, live in Tokyo for us.

Thank you very much, indeed, Martin.

Up next here on NEWS STREAM, we'll take you to the Ivory Coast. And violence there is on the rise as the self-declared president holds firm and forces loyal to his opponent advance. And coming up, we'll look at what the U.N. is doing to try to protect civilians there.


STOUT: This year CNN has launched an initiative we are calling the "Freedom Project," with the goal of exposing the trade in human life. And today we're going to focus on one aspect, the sex trafficking industry. Just how big an industry is sex trafficking worldwide?

Well, according to a 2005 International Labor Organization report, nearly 1.4 million were forced into commercial sexual exploitation. Now, those, the overwhelming majority, 98 percent, were women and girls. One expert says that each of these victims is being sold for an average price of just under $1,900.

Now, we're going to introduce you to one of those women now, and she, like so many other victims, was sold into prostitution in a foreign country by someone she trusted. As Atika Shubert reports, this woman considers herself lucky because she got out.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Laura is not her real name. We are not revealing her identity, and we are altering her voice for her own safety. She told us at 17, her boyfriend sold her into sexual slavery.

LAURA, ESCAPED LIFE OF PROSTITUTION: He took my self-respect. I think, you know, I thought that I'm nobody anymore. You know, they beat me up, they raped me. And then these guys -- you know, the customers -- they treated me like an animal. I was just a thing with what they can have fun with.

SHUBERT: What makes her story more remarkable is that it's happening in Sweden, a country hailed for its tough anti-prostitution laws.


SHUBERT: Jonas Trolle is the head of Stockholm's police investigations. He says on surveillance tapes, traffickers lament the lack of customers in Sweden, avoiding the country because it's simply not profitable enough.

TROLLE: If you take the street and you have the girls on the Internet, you will find that it's maximum in this two-million city, two million people that are living here. And you can find maximum, 130 prostitutes.

SHUBERT (on camera): That's really incredibly low.

TROLLE: Yes. It's very, very low.

SHUBERT: Now, believe it or not, this is the equivalent of Stockholm's red light district -- no neon signs, just a lonely stretch of road. And on a cold winter's night like this, only a handful of girls that might be working the street.

Now, this, some say, is evidence that Sweden's laws against prostitution are working, a dramatic decline in street prostitution. And the focus of the law is not to punish the girls who are selling sex, but to the men who are coming to buy.

(voice-over): Anyone caught buying sex faces a hefty fine and possible time in prison.

LISE TAMM, SR. PROSECUTOR FOR TRAFFICKING CASES: We have to remember that if you didn't have the demand, the sex buyers, we wouldn't have any of this trafficking, because they're feeding organized crime. They're the last link of the human trafficking chain.

SHUBERT: More than 70 percent of Swedes support the prostitution law, the Ministry of Justice says. Norway has adopted similar legislation, and others like Denmark are debating it. But it doesn't come cheap.

In the last two years, according to the Swedish Justice Ministry, Sweden has spent $45 million fighting prostitution and trafficking. It wasn't always a popular idea.

KAJSA WAHLBERG, SWEDISH NATIONAL POLICE BOARD: We were so much laughed at in 1998 when we took this legislation regarding prohibiting men from buying sexual services. I mean, I was told that you can't do that. It's impossible. And people could not even get into their minds that they could have any effect on trafficking. But now I get the impression that people in -- many people have stopped laughing

SHUBERT: Yet, as in this undercover video from Sweden's TV 4, sex is still for sale here. What's different today is where the women or girls come from.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where you from?


SHUBERT: Swedish authorities say most of these victims are trafficking victims brought here against their will from poor countries and tricked or forced into selling their bodies like Laura. She came from a Baltic state. The man she trusted as a boyfriend took her to Sweden, promising to get her a cleaning job. But when she got here, she and another girl were locked into an apartment with blacked-out windows like this one uncovered in a police raid, supplied by their traffickers with food, alcohol and drugs.

Laura managed to escape. But with no money, she resorted to selling her body once again.

LAURA: I start to drink. I drink very, very much. I become alcoholic. And after that I become homeless, because I said to myself, it doesn't matter how you have to live, but you're never going to sell yourself again. Because I hated myself for what I did.

I was at the street. I was six months pregnant. I was at the street. I didn't know what to do, where to go.

EVA GORANSSON, DIRECTOR, THE SAFE HOUSE: It's a pattern of self- destruction that has been with them since they were sold the first time. Maybe it's 13, 14 years old.

Most of these women that we have, they were only 13, 14 years old the first time they were trafficked. And so, you're not mature, you're not an adult, you don't know -- how is life. You don't know.

Most of the stuff should (ph) be in the other room.

SHUBERT: Sweden paid in part for Laura's rehabilitation, placing her and her baby in this safe house for trafficked women. All the available spaces here are full. On the walls, the pictures of the children that lived here, trafficked alongside their mothers, or born here, like Laura's?

LAURA: But I just want to say that I hope the girls don't be so stupid, don't believe anything they you. You know, the guys, they're -- they just want to use you. I don't know how to explain it. I don't know.

SHUBERT: Words of warning from the safety of Laura's new home in Sweden.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Stockholm.


STOUT: Well, take a quick look at human trafficking by the numbers.

Now, according to the U.S. State Department, there are more than 12 million adults and children in prostitution and forced and bonded labor worldwide. How prevalent is it? Well, around the world, there are nearly two trafficking victims for every 1,000 people. That number is even greater in Asia and the Pacific, where there are three trafficking victims per 1,000 people.

Now let's turn to developments in the Ivory Coast today, where many residents are growing fearful of a bloody showdown.

Now, the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, seen on the left here, refuses to cede power after the disputed November election that the international community says was won by Alassane Ouattara, seen on the right of your screen. Now, the U.N. Security Council has voted to give peacekeepers more authority to prevent civilians under threat of violence.

Now, Alassane Ouattara's spokesperson, Patrick Achi, joins us now by the phone.

And Mr. Achi, give us an update on your fighters. Now, pro-Outtara forces are on the move. What's the latest?

PATRICK ACHI, SPOKESPERSON, ALASSANE OUTTARA: I mean, they are not fighters. It's the army of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire.

As you know, Alassane Outtara is the elected president of Cote d'Ivoire since November 28th. A couple of days ago, because an army made of the former (INAUDIBLE) on the north part of the country, and the national army composed of soldiers that defected. And now this army has decided to protect the civilians wherever their lives are threatened. And that's why they have gone through many of the countries (ph) in the country, and they are near Anjana (ph), the door of the main city.

STOUT: Now, you have captured back the capital. You have captured San Pedro. But not where you are, the commercial heart of Ivory Coast, Abidjan. In fact, you and Outtara, you've been holed up in a hotel there for four months now.

At what point will you feel safe enough to leave?

ACHI: I think that we are protected here in the hotel by the United Nations forces and the French forces within the United Nations force (ph). And we've been protected since the post-electoral crisis. And we think that in a couple of days, since talks have been going on, we should be able to leave the hotel.

STOUT: So do you believe that we are close to an end of the violence then? After one million people have fled the country, after 473 people at least have been killed, you believe that the end of the unrest is just days away?

ACHI: Yes, I do confirm.

STOUT: OK. Now, the U.N., as you mentioned there, outside your hotel, protecting you and Mr. Outtara. They also passed a resolution posing a travel ban on the assets and freezing the assets of Mr. Gbagbo. Do you believe that the international community has done enough for you?

ACHI: I mean, they have done what they can do. But what we have said from the beginning is that, help yourself or you can't expect other ones to help you. I think that's inside and outside. A lot of people (INAUDIBLE). And hopefully (INAUDIBLE) will show the population of Cote d'Ivoire finds (INAUDIBLE) dictator.

STOUT: OK. And then more on this situation where you are, in the city of Abidjan. The city of Abidjan is still under control of Mr. Gbagbo's forces.

What is happening now, and how do you plan to change that?

ACHI: I think that so far, we are expecting the defection of soldiers. Like I say, we don't think that the army will fight. They haven't fought in main cities in the interior. It's mainly mercenaries paid by Gbagbo, militiamen.

But the key heart of the army didn't really fight. I think they understand that he is not elected president. And I don't think that they will compromise on this issue. So we hope that everything will go fine.

And the most concern is the protection of the civilians, because the young patriarchs and the militiamen from Gbagbo that he has armed, boys of 15 years old, trained to kill (ph), and maybe they want to do city in the city of Abidjan (INAUDIBLE). And there's reason for us to be confident that things will go smooth.

STOUT: Yes. And in addition to all the violence, as you mentioned just then, the use of child soldiers, very disturbing indeed.

Mr. Achi, Ouattara government spokesman, joining us on the line from Abidjan there on the Ivory Coast.

Thank you very much for joining us here on CNN.

ACHI: You're welcome. You're welcome.

STOUT: Now, up next here on NEWS STREAM, we'll be looking at extreme science at the North Pole. And coming up next, our Arctic team, they are there at the top of the world. And as you know, they've made it to the Catlin Arctic Survey Ice Base, and we'll be checking in with our special correspondent Philippe Cousteau.


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

Now Britain's foreign secretary William Hague says his Libyan counterpart defected of his own free will. Moussa Koussa fled to London telling officials there that he has resigned. It's been one of Moammar Gadhafi's closest advisers. And Hague says Koussa is not being offered immunity. He believes the resignation shows Gadhafi's regime is crumbling from within.

Now meanwhile we have these new pictures in from al Brega. And you can see rebel troops on the move near the town on the eastern side of the country. Now rockets fired into the distance land in a plume of smoke.

Japan is facing a spike in radiation levels in ocean water near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now samples taken Wednesday from the Pacific ocean contain radiation at more than 4,000 times normal levels.

In Tokyo, the French president Nicholas Sarkozy is meeting Japan's prime minister. Now they're both vowing to push for stronger nuclear safety standards.

And Divided nations united by a common passion. Now cricket has been helping repair relations between Pakistan and India which have been particularly fraught since the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. Now Indian and Pakistani leaders watched the Cricket World Cup match between their two countries on Wednesday. And India clinched a decisive win.

Now during recent talks Pakistan agreed in principle to allow an Indian contingent to investigate the Mumbai attacks. Both sides have also agreed to share information on terror threats.

Now let's return to Libya where CIA operatives are said to be connecting with rebels on the ground. And they've got a tough task in light of the renewed momentum among government troops. Now the rebels have been losing ground for three days now, but one veteran CIA officer says this was avoidable.

Now Bob Baer believes that international leaders could and should have acted sooner. And earlier he spoke to our John Vause.


ROBERT BAER, FRM. CIA OPERATIVE: I think the policy to get rid of Gadhafi should have been made the moment the momentum was in our favor. That's when Tripoli was -- it looked like it was going to fall. That's when you move in, you support a government with communications and everything else. Obviously, the international agreement couldn't be reached at that point and it was only when Benghazi came under siege.

But, you know, to train a force like this in Libya would take at least six months if even then I'm not sure what you would get. I mean, so many of these covert action things that fail even when you have more time.


STOUT: Now NATO will try to focus on short-term success as it takes the reigns in Libya. And over the past hour, officials from the alliance have been briefing the media on their mission.

Paula Newton joins me live from Brussels with more.

And Paula, a major point of debate there, should the coalition arm the rebels? What's the...

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: NATO is still -- Kristie, NATO is still categorical about this saying, look, we do not have permission to arm the rebels. That is not within the U.N. resolution. There was also a lot of debate here about whether or not NATO would be taking direction from allied special forces and intelligence agents on the ground. NATO saying that in that case they do not see a violation of the U.N. security council resolution saying since they are not occupation forces that are still operating within that mandate.

Also Kristie, today a lot of conversation about civilian casualties in Libya. NATO says that they don't have all the details yet, but they continue to investigate -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now Paula, we have to talk about Misrata. The city there in Libya has been the scene of a major bombardment by Gadhafi forces. In fact, residents there, eye witnesses, have been on our air, on CNN pleading for international intervention. So will NATO respond?

NEWTON: NATO says it is responding. They say there's been no change to the operational tempo. But remember that we've had many analysts, Kristie, say that look from the air there is only so much you can do. They will continue to do what they can in terms of air to ground strikes which have been crucial. And they claim here that they will continue to be as aggressive in protecting those civilians as the allied effort has been so far.

But again, without ground troops, it is a difficult task from the air to try and ensure the safety of those civilians.

STOUT: And meanwhile, Paula, Libya's foreign minister has defected to the U.K. What has been the view there, the reaction to that development?

NEWTON: Well I think it's quite a dramatic reaction considering the U.K. Government has said that, look, we didn't offer him immunity. And not only we be investigating what's happened in Libya in the last few weeks, but what also happened with the Lockerbie bombing. There are allegations that he was involved.

Now going forward, though, what does this mean? It means that some of the work that the allies have been doing to try and get to the Gadhafi inner circle are working. The allies seem gratified by this. He was given special clearance to land in the U.K. At this point, though, we still do not have any indication that those military advisers close to Gadhafi are any more close to really dropping their arms and giving up this fight as we just heard from those residents in Libya.

STOUT: All right. Paula Newton, thank you very much indeed.

Now let's go back to the situation in Japan. We are monitoring the ocean currents near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Of course, this on the back of reports that radiation level readings have spiked there in the sea water neighboring the damaged plant. And Mari Ramos has been monitoring the currents. She joins us now from the world weather center.

Mari, what are you seeing?

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: You know Kristie one of the things that I've been wondering ever since this started and one of the questions we've been asking experts is what happens when the water goes into the ocean? And some of the answers that I've had from experts has been well, usually when you have nuclear fallout or this kind of situation, you know, there aren't a lot of studies on this. If it comes from the air whatever radiation tends to kind of lay on the surface of the water, which is very important.

But in this case it appears that the water is coming from another source not necessarily from the air, but they think they may be coming through -- because of contaminated water inside the chambers.

And where is that water going? Is it going into some of the deeper ocean current? Is it not only at the surface? How far out to sea is this happening? There's a lot of unknowns when it comes to this.

So, there's a lot of things we don't know.

But there are some things that we do know. And I can talk to you about what the ocean currents off the coast of Honshu actually looks like.

There are two main ocean currents that we need to talk about. The first one is called the Kuroshio current. And this one comes out of the south. Think of it as kind of the Gulf stream here near the east coast of the U.S. It's a very strong current. It's like a river in the middle of the ocean. It brings very warm water from the tropical areas into areas to the north. And this is what keeps the water temperature and the weather actually fairly mild here, even the winters, across this part of Honshu in much of western Japan here. And it moves very quickly at about 7 kilometers per hour.

So that's one thing. But this one kind of moves offshore as you can see here.

But coming out of the north is another current, this one is known as the Oyashio current. This one is a sub-Arctic current. It comes from the north and it carries a lot of nutrients. It's very cold water.

And what happens when you have a lot of cold water, you have upwelling. And the upwelling in the ocean bring up the nutrients from the bottom to the surface. And when that happens you tend to have a lot of plankton and small sea life that lives through there. That attracts, in turn, larger sea life.

And then when you have this combination of these two currents nearby, what you end up with is a lot of biological activity. And we end up with one of the most prolific and important fishing areas here off the coast of Japan. This is very important.

This Oyashio current actually moves fairly close to Fukushima here, bringing some very cold water into this area. So my thinking is that if there's any radiation in the water, it will first flow south depending how far it moves out to sea, eventually it could be carried into this current that moves quicker and faster and stronger, which is the Kuroshio.

We'll have to monitor this very, very carefully. Of course, there's a lot of things that we still don't know about what's happening, of course, with these nuclear power plants.

But let's go ahead and check your weather now.

Some light scattered showers still possible along the area here affected by the tsunami and the earthquake. Winds expected to remain generally offshore, though. But this flow that's coming in here off the north and east will also affect you here in mainland China. And that means even for you guys in Beijing temperatures that will be really bouncing back to where they should be this time of year, because you've had temperatures into the mid-20s over the last few days.

So not really anything significant as far as rainfall expected as we head into Beijing. The temperature right now there 14 degrees. And you're not going to be getting much warmer than that as we head through the day on Friday. The trend for the temperatures is for them to plunge to levels close to where they should be this time of year. So you're going to go from a high of 22, or 23 today, to a high temperature of only about 10 degrees tomorrow.

Kristie, let's go ahead and head back to you.

STOUT: OK, Mari. Thank you very much for that. Mari Ramos there.

Now let's rejoin that remarkable story straight from the Arctic tundra.

Now scientists there are gathering vital research on global warming. And a CNN crew is right there with them. Now our team, it's led by the environmentalist Philippe Cousteau finally made it to the Catlin Arctic Survey Ice Base after days of delays due to bad weather. They're now about 550 kilometers from the North Pole itself. They'll spend the coming days working alongside scientists as they gather evidence on the effects of climate change.

Now it's truly extreme science. And they are documenting every step of the way even the basic essentials. Take a look.


PHILIPPE COUSTEAU: This is where we all go to the bathroom. It's an unheated tent. No running water, no plumbing, just hand sanitizer, a five gallon bucket with a little makeshift toilet seat on it and I think that's enough said.

Behind me is the Catlin Ice Base. Now it's important to note that all the human waste, food waste, trash, everything is shipped out of here. Nothing is left behind except for footprints.

Now you've pretty much seen everything that the base has to offer, but I did save probably the most important place for last.

Thank you very much, Fran (ph).


COUSTEAU: This looks fabulous. Go for it.

Now this is the most important place in the entire camp arguably. And Napoleon always said that an army marches on its stomach. Well, that can also be said for an Arctic expedition. And we are very lucky thanks to Fran's (ph) amazing cooking and culinary skills to be able to march on this amazing food.

Thank you.


STOUT: On air and online you can follow the remarkable Arctic adventure at Now the team is blogging daily from there, the ice base, and you can even send them a question. That's at

Now many people flock to the northern regions of the Earth to see the northern lights. Take a look at this. Now the South Korean photographer Kwon O Chul captured stunning pictures of the aurora borealis. He was on a trip to Yellowknife, Canada. And his photos are getting attention around the world for their striking color and views of the light display.

And Kwon tells CNN his photo shoot was a moving experience.


KWON O CHUL, PHOTOGRAPHER: It was very cold. It was very cold, about minus 76 degrees. And windy. I could see green and red light that colors of the aurora. It was very impressive, impressive. Very impressive to my heart.


STOUT: You only imagine what it was like to see it in person.

Now Kwon says that his next trip will be to Hawaii where he plans to photograph the cosmos from mountaintop observatories.

Now still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, as Kate Middleton bids farewell to the single life we learn what it's like living in her shoes. That is next.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now a month from now the champagne will be flowing and the confetti flying as royal wedding brings London to a standstill. As Kate Middleton kisses good-bye to the single life, we wanted to find out what life was like for a high society lady. When you're being followed by photographers 24/7 you can't just go about town in your casual clothes. Our Nina Dos Santos stepped into her shoes for a day.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From lady in waiting to royal bride to be, for many in Britain Kate Middleton's life just seems to get better and better. She's beautiful, wealthy, and engaged to Britain's most eligible bachelor. But what's it like to be the woman who seems to have it all?

As a society writer for the London Evening Standard, Olivia Cole has spent years following Kate's movements. So we enlisted her for a few hints on how to live like Kate for a day.

OLIVIA COLE, LONDON EVENING STANDARD: If you're camera ready at any time you leave the house in London that's a big commitment in terms of time and energy and effort.

DOS SANTOS: First up, a run around London's Hyde Park.

It's not a particularly sunny day, typical London weather Olivia. I suppose dark glasses a are a must if you are as famous as Kate.

COLE: Exactly. You don't want to go far without these.

DOS SANTOS: Next, it's off to her favorite hair salon for the signature blow dry.

Well, actually they wouldn't allow us to film inside there. And that leaves us in the hands of hair and make-up artist Joe (ph).

So Olivia, let's be honest, does Kate Middleton ever have a bad hair day?

COLE: I think everyone occasionally has a bad hair day, but with Kate you're never going to see her with her hair scraped up in a ponytail.

DOS SANTOS: Kate Middleton first met Prince William a decade ago at the University of St. Andrews where she majored in history of art. Today, she's something of a star herself, which gives us a chance to hit the shops.

Plenty of Kate Middleton type stuff here.

This is the real fleece (ph), isn't it?

Gosh that's just like the engagement dress, isn't it?

Then, to maintain that famed English rose complexion, it's off to the spa for a facial.

COLE: Well, she has a pretty natural look. She likes something called an oxygen facial which is something that's good for someone in their 20s who is looking after their skin.

DOS SANTOS: So here we have one of the famous blue engagement dresses. And this by one of Kate's favorite designers, London based Issa. And as you can see, it's a pretty slinky number.

How much does this cost? It's not cheap. It's about $600.

COLE: Well, I bought one of the many copies. And this one cost a tenth of that. Just $60.

DOS SANTOS: Let's see how the two dresses compare when we hit one of Kate's favorite bars in London.

After a day in Kate's shoes, it's clear a girl about town can live like a queen.

COLE: Kate is something (inaudible) know how to have a great time, but you're not going to see pictures of them tumbling out of night clubs, you know, looking a mess. They've been very careful to keep their private party life private.

DOS SANTOS: But there's only one Prince William. And he's spoken for.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.


STOUT: And as you'd expect, with royal wedding fever comes the rush of memorabilia in the run-up to the big day.

Now how about this? A picture of the happy couple with this huge cake bearing their likeness. Apparently it took creators some 80 hours to make.

Cute or creepy? Definitely creepy.

Now you can't get much more British than drinking tea, so how about this, some souvenir silver plated teaspoons. And of course it wouldn't be a traditional royal wedding without a traditional commemorative plant or two. But it looks like that picture of William there is a couple of years old.

Now if contemporary is more your thing, perhaps you like this style, the picture of the happy couple framed in hearts.

And finally, we've got a NEWS STREAM favorite only because it involves Lego. Lego Land Windsor has just unveiled its own take on the big day, complete with wedded couple and corgis. Lego models also include the Beckhams. I think that's them right over here. As well as Elton John.

Now it took my producer Ravi five hours to make the Lego shuttle Discovery that we showed you a few weeks back. Now who knows how long it will take him to build this, Buckingham Palace.

Now since we are on the subject of the royal nuptials, put away your Prada, cast away your Cartier, if Kate Middleton is looking to save some cash look no further than Costco. The budget retailer has teamed up with a designer named Kirstie Kelly to launch a line of bridal gowns starting at just $600 bucks. And the really good news? You can order your flowers and your wedding rings while you're there. So one stop wedding planning and shopping.

There you have it.

Now up next here on NEWS STREAM it is one of China's most popular etailers. It's changing the way the Chinese do their shopping. We'll give you the low down on Taobao's success when we come back.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now you may remember that we told you about a town in Kansas that changed its name to Google. The town of Topeka changed its name for a month last year just as Google said it was looking for a place to install some of the fastest broadband lines in the United States. Well, the contest is over. And Google overlooked the town briefly known as Google. But what might hurt the town of Topeka even more is who did win, their nearby neighbors Kansas City.

Now all week here on NEWS STREAM, we've been focusing on China's booming internet population. And one big American retailer is trying to tap into all those consumers by teaming up with one of China's biggest names. The Gap has opened a store on Taobao. It's an online shopping platform. And last year Taobao says it sold 864 pieces of clothing every minute.

Now Taobao isn't just for major retailers, Eunice Yoon travels to a village where all the residents make their living selling through Taobao.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's 4:00 in the afternoon, rush hour. Most people in China are starting to go home from work. But for the people of Ching Yao Moon (ph) village, their day has just started.

This tiny village near the manufacturing hub of Ewu sets its clock by the online habits of China's shoppers. Until five years ago, this place was a rural backwater. Now its 10,000 residents generate $120 million in sales thanks to a popular e-retailing site called Taobao.

Ecommerce chief Lee Wengao (ph) says the village has grown fivefold. And is now a base for entrepreneurs looking to make it rich off online stores.

"There are hundreds of millions of people in China and tens of millions on the internet," he says. " We will never run out of customers."

When China's shoppers place their orders on Taobao, Ching Yao Moon's (ph) merchants fill them at shops like this. Liu Gin (ph) has inventory of his own, but if he doesn't have what his customers want, someone else in this town will.

"We are over here picking up what we need to fulfill their order," Liu (ph) explains.

Once his basket is full, he is off to start packing the evening shipments.

The entire village is alive with vendors like Liu (ph). Express trucks come and go seemingly nonstop into the wee hours. Thousands of parcels are stacked daily emerging from underground warehouses.

These basements have a mind-boggling array of goods, everything from the practical to the strange. The government keeps rent in these buildings low so people like Lin Si Law (ph) can get started investing only in a room and a computer. Today, she received over 3,000 orders.

"Every year there's a lot of growth," she says. "Each year is better than the last."

Nearly all of this stuff is made right here in Ewu. So it's convenient and it's cheap to get. So what vendors do is that they take orders online and then they package everything up and ship it right across the country.

Liu (ph) has been to Beijing and Shanghai, but now this farmer's son can stay closer to home.

"I make money," he says. "It gives me more freedom."

The express truck is about to leave. Liu (ph) hustles to make sure his customers get what they want on time.

"Every day is this hectic," he says. "We'll be back at it tomorrow in the town the Internet built."

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Ching Yao Moon (ph), China.


STOUT: And let's go over and out there now with a rather peculiar party. Now Hollywood's A-list hit the red carpet in London last night, but this was no movie awards show, this was the 80th birthday bash ex-Soviet style. Mikhail Gorbachev arguably more friends in the west than back in his old Russian stomping ground so he chose the British capital for his big occasion.

And the night, it was hosted by actors Kevin Spacey and Sharon Stone who praise the Nobel Peace laureate for his role in ending the Cold War.

In the audience, the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger who seemed to enjoy an animated resurgence as a comic superhero.

But here is where things get a little bit strange. Among the performers, the retro German rock group the Scorpions. Their hit, Wind of Change, apparently defined the mood of the early 90s.

And here we have another throwback. The woman formerly known as Sporty Spice, Mel C. We don't know whether she was lost or whether she just really, really, really, really wanted to be there.