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Ivory Coast Power Struggle; Japanese Survivors Living in Limbo; Conflict in Libya

Aired April 5, 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.

The power struggle in the Ivory Coast could soon come to a conclusion, as Alassane Ouattara's forces say they have surrounded say they have surrounded the residence of rival Laurent Gbagbo.

Plus, living in limbo -- victims of the tsunami in a Japanese town who have nowhere to go and little of their lives left.

And happening now, Libyan rebels are retreating again from the town of Al Brega.

In Ivory Coast, the self-declared president could be ousted within hours. Forces loyal to President-elect Alassane Ouattara say that they have surrounded the residence of Laurent Gbagbo.

This was the scene in the country's largest city, Abidjan, on Monday. Ouattara's supporters are confident that they will capture Gbagbo, who has refused to transfer power since losing last November's election, but Gbagbo's camp is denying reports that he is considering giving up. Fighting between forces loyal to the two men has taken hundreds of lives.

The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said Gbagbo's supporters have increased their use of heavy weapons in recent days and were firing on innocent civilians. As Richard Roth reports, that has led to U.N. intervention.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: The dramatic escalation of violence in Abidjan prompted emergency Security Council consultations with the head of U.N. peacekeeping. Alain Le Roy said his forces were just implementing the Security Council mandate to prevent the use of heavy weapons against civilians. The peacekeeping director said even the U.N. headquarters in Abidjan had come under heavy weapons fire and the U.N. had to put its attack helicopters into use.

ALAIN LE ROY, U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF: Our forces, we use our U.N. military attack helicopters to neutralize heavy weapons, especially BM-21, which is multiple rocket launcher, and APCs in two camps called Aquedo 1, Aquedo 2. And our helicopters remain -- came back safely.

ROTH: The United Nations denies it's taking sides in this disputed presidential race. The U.N. says Laurent Gbagbo lost the election, which was internationally supervised, and should depart. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says military forces for the U.N. are acting in self-defense.

The ambassador from Ivory Coast, a Ouattara supporter, says the end game is here for Gbagbo.

YOUSSOUFOU BAMBA, IVORY COAST AMB. TO U.N.: Mr. Gbagbo is a shame for Africa. He's a dictator which is killing his own people just to cling to power. It's a shame. And this election, this issue, this work issue, is a retest for Africa, for democracy in Africa.

ROTH: The U.N. ambassador for Ivory Coast says it sets a bad example and precedent for African elections in the future. The U.N.'s peacekeeping director says his forces will get additional troops in the days ahead.

Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


STOUT: The operator of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is apologizing to people who live around the Fukushima facility. And this time Tokyo Electric offered cash compensation. But one town refused, saying it worked out to only $12 for each resident. A company official says more money will likely be coming.

Now, authorities have also said that they are sorry for slowly dumping tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Some experts believe it will have a minimal impact on sea life, but the government has just implemented new regulations on seafood after tests detected radiation in one fish. They are similar to the rules already in place for vegetables.

And of course the earthquake and tsunami did far more than damage a nuclear power plant. More than 27,000 people are dead or missing, and thousands more are homeless. And survivors face an uncertain future, with little left from their past.

Paula Hancocks shows us how they are living in limbo.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lunchtime in Minamisanriku. A hot bowl of soup and noodles is the one event that breaks up a long day of waiting for these evacuees, waiting to see if missing relatives appear, waiting for someone to tell them where to go next.

A sleep space three meters by two meters, cardboard boxes for walls, and donated blankets, it's a harsh way for a couple in their 70s to live. Fisherman Michiasi Owikara (ph) says, "I was born here, raised here, and have been working here all my life. But being old, it's very hard to think about what the future holds."

The vast majority of this town is destroyed. Three hundred and seventy- five residents are confirmed dead, thousands are still unaccounted for. Officials cannot tell us how many exactly are missing.

(on camera): It's very hard to believe when you're standing in the middle of this once-bustling fishing town, but there are some slight signs of improvement. Some of the bigger debris has been taken away, but that's the result of three weeks of intense work by a number of different teams, which shows that it could take months to clear and years to rebuild.

(voice-over): This was Minamisanriku two days after the tsunami destroyed a community. This is the town today.

Rebuilding seems too overwhelming a task to consider, but they have to start somewhere. So they start with electricity. No electricity, heat or running water for more than three weeks was too much for some residents. They moved inland to a converted school.

One of the towns leaders, Tokuru Sato (ph), was among them. He tells me, "I don't want to go back to the places that were swept away by the wave completely, but I do want to go back to some part of my town."

Temporary housing is being built in some areas, but residents of Minamisanriku are still waiting to hear where theirs will be. Stuck in an existence where minutes can feel like hours, some try to inject a sense of normality. The state of limbo for others is compounded by the agonizing check of long lists of dead and missing. Others, still just trying to keep busy.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Minamisanriku, Japan.


STOUT: And meanwhile, the endless work to stabilize reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has still failed to plug a critical leak.

Martin Savidge is monitoring developments from Tokyo. He joins us now.

Martin, first, let's talk about that decision under way now to dump more than 11,000 tons of radioactive water into the ocean. There was an apology today, but was there a better explanation?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were a number of things that went on today.

Talking about that discharge, it's anywhere from 10,000 to 11,500 tons of what the company is calling low-level radioactive water. The reason they're doing it is so that they can clear the tanks on shore of the low- level stuff to make room for the highly-radioactive water they want to store in its place. That discharge, they say, is going to take all the way until about Friday.

In the meantime, we had some other figures that were thrown at us today, and that has to do with the crack and the water that's gushing, it's believed, from reactor number 2. Radiation levels there -- they were taken on Saturday -- were found to be 7.5 million times the legal limit of that water hitting the Pacific Ocean just off the coast there, an astounding figure.

Today, the number has gone down slightly. It's at five million times the legal limit.

I'm not going to begin to try to explain what the impact could be on either people or ocean life. Again, the scientists say it's not that big a concern. But it does show you why both the government and TEPCO have been fixated on getting that leak fixed. And we know they tried -- well, three different ways.

Cement was the first thing. High-tech polymer, the second. Now they're trying what's called liquid silicone, or basically a liquid glass that they hope will plug up that leak.

So, clearly, they want to get it stopped, because they know the radioactivity of radioiodine is very high going into the ocean there -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes. Also wanted to ask you about that cash payout from TEPCO. TEPCO is offering what amounts to -- at least in one town -- $12 to each victim in the nuclear power plant area. And to many, including myself, that seems like adding insult to injury.

So how does TEPCO explain that?

SAVIDGE: Yes. Well, this one is a bit of a cultural issue.

Some have called it condolence money. It is by no means meant to be a final payment on the part of the company to all those who have been affected. It is a kind of a token gesture.

It's an initial "we're sorry," and it's done with dollars and cents. Or in this case, with yen.

But as you point out, there are 10 different villages and towns that have been affected in this area. Each village got about $238,000 apiece. But one village handed the money back and said no thanks, because they did the math and figured out that once they divided that amongst their population, the average person got about $12. Well, the town felt it wasn't even worth distributing that (AUDIO GAP) with the $12.

TEPCO, by the way, is going to be on the hook for a lot more money. In fact, no one really knows how much money they're going to be on the hook for, which could explain why their stock today hit an all-time low -- Kristie.

STOUT: Martin Savidge, live in Tokyo.

Thank you very much indeed.

Now weeks into its bitter conflict, Libya is now a country in which little is changing, except the hour-by-hour military momentum and the casualty count. Now, the battles keep raging in the disputed towns.

Moammar Gadhafi's regime keeps trying to talk its way out of a costly war, and Western governments keep debating how best to depose the Libyan leader. With no apparent solution on any front, carnage continues on the ever- shifting frontlines.

Rebel fighters surrounded the eastern city of Al Brega on Monday, but have again been forced to flee the town in recent hours under heavy artillery fire. And for every step forward by the rebels, there seems to be two steps taken back. And opposition leaders claim that NATO is not doing enough to reverse this.

Our Ben Wedeman joins me now from outside Al Brega.

And Ben, what are you seeing there?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, just a few minutes ago we had several heavy artillery rounds landing just a few hundred meters from where we are. Now we are rushing away from the frontline, along with hundreds of irregular fighters for the opposition in eastern Libya.

It has been retreating essentially all morning long as this seemingly never-ending bombardment seems to come out of the area of Brega. We've seen no signs today of any sort of air raids by NATO aircraft, increasing impatience among the anti-Gadhafi forces with the inability -- there's more artillery rounds just on the right -- with the inability of the NATO airplanes to really put an end to this situation.

They've tried to take Brega, but they just can't do it. And they're constantly under this artillery fire that forces them back -- Kristie.

STOUT: More on Al Brega. It has changed hands some six times in six weeks.

Why has there been such an extreme back-and-forth fight for this city?

WEDEMAN: I'm sorry. Can you repeat the question please?

STOUT: There has been a back-and-forth tussle for Al Brega. It has changed hands six times in six weeks. Why is that?

WEDEMAN: Well, speaking with the anti-Gadhafi fighters, they say their problem is that they don't have enough weapons, they don't have enough ammunition. But it's honestly hard to say, because before, they were able to take Brega and go well beyond it, to Ras Lanuf, another important refinery town. And that was before the imposition of the no-fly zone, when there were still Libyan air force planes hitting them along the road to there.

One member of the opposition army I spoke to put it this way. He said, "Before, when we moved forward, we put our faith in God, and that worked. Now we put our faith in NATO, and it's not working" -- Kristie.

STOUT: You mentioned not enough weapons, no support that you've seen from NATO forces. What about leadership among the rebels? There have been reports of Libya's rebels in disarray, disputes among military commanders.

How much unity is there?

WEDEMAN: Well, it's important to stress that there are actually two separate rebel forces at this point. There are former members in the Libyan army who have been reconstituted in what's called the National Libyan Army, and then there are just the irregulars.

It was the irregulars that were able to push forward. But now the army -- now that it played -- it's supposed to play a leadership role. It doesn't seem to be providing that. They are just as quick as the irregulars, or so-called revolutionaries, themselves, to push back, to run back, to retreat as soon as Gadhafi forces open fire, Kristie.

So there's no leadership. There's no leadership.

STOUT: All right.

Ben Wedeman, joining us live, reporting on what he calls the never-ending bombardment of Al Brega, the key and very significant oil town there in Libya. And again, we heard just then from Ben Wedeman, reporting he has yet to see any NATO involvement there.

And we will have more from Libya in just a minute, with talk that Moammar Gadhafi's family could hold on to power if he agrees to step down.

And we are continuing our battle against forced labor and the fight for freedom. We'll be showing you some slavery that could be providing your supper.

Plus, we've got our eye on India, looking at how a small city there is promising big bucks.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, the Libyan woman whose alleged rape at the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces sparked international outrage has spoken to CNN about her ordeal. Eman al- Obeidy risked reprisal by talking to Anderson Cooper earlier, and she says she still fears for her life, but is desperate to make her voice heard.


EMAN AL-OBEIDY, ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM (through translator): There's no safe place for me in Tripoli. All my phones are monitored. Even this phone I'm speaking on right now is monitored, and I am monitored. And yesterday, I was kidnapped by a car, and they beat me in the street, and then brought me here after they dragged me around.

They told me, "Whenever you leave the house, we will do this to you," meaning that I was not allowed to leave the house or see the journalists. I had asked to see the journalists. They beat me and hit me and sent me back.

Please tell all the human rights organizations to return me safely to my family.


STOUT: The ongoing plight of al-Obeidy is told exclusively to CNN's Anderson Cooper, and you could hear that interview in full a little later, right here on NEWS STREAM.

Now, al-Obeidy certainly is not the only Libyan who'd like to see the back of Moammar Gadhafi. And while his enemies may yet get their wish, they may not like the proposed alternative. A source close to the Libyan leadership claims that one of Gadhafi's sons is being lined up as a possible successor.

Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're said to be among Moammar Gadhafi's closest confidantes. Are any of his seven sons now brokering a deal for his departure?

Sources close to the Libyan leadership tell CNN's Nic Robertson political solutions to this conflict are still possible and may involve Moammar Gadhafi handing power to others in his inner circle in exchange for a cease-fire. Those sources say his second son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, would play an important role in any transition.

"The New York Times" reports a top aide to Saif Gadhafi actually presented that idea in London in recent days. Contacted by CNN, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office wouldn't comment. Neither would the U.S. State Department.

What do the rebels say?

ALI AUJALI, FORMER LIBYAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Oh, this is a ridiculous offer. There is no one except this proposal of Gadhafi or his sons. The Libyan people, they have decided -- and they will not go back at all -- that Gadhafi or any member of his family, that they will be accepted. These -- his sons, they are killers. They are just like their father.

TODD: Ali Aujali, the former Libyan ambassador to the U.S., now represents the Libyan opposition in Washington. The "New York Times" says Saif Gadhafi has backing for this plan from one of his brothers, Saadi, a former soccer player who is now a businessman in Libya.

But some have their doubts about that.

VINCENT CANNISTRARO, FORMER CIA OFFICER: He has Saadi's name with him, but Saadi is really not a political player.

TODD: Vincent Cannistraro is a former CIA officer who investigated the Libyan connection to the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Cannistraro and other experts say any possible deal will be complicated by the intense rivalry between Gadhafi's sons. One son, Khamis Gadhafi, leads the 32nd Brigade, said by U.S. officials to have attacked innocent civilians.

Muttassim Gadhafi is his father's national security adviser. I asked Cannistraro about reports of a blood feud between two sets of Gadhafi brothers.

(on camera): Are Saif and Saadi pitted exclusively now against Muttassim and Khamis as the hard-liners in this equation?

CANNISTRARO: No. I think the real rivalry is just between Muttassim and Saif himself. The others are really peripheral. Saadi is not a political force at all. Khamis is not really a political force either. Those are the two key people. It's Saif with his rival, not with the other family members, as figures in this whole struggle.

TODD: So if the rebels are rejecting deals involving any of Gadhafi's sons, what do the rebels want? Ali Aujali told me the opposition is offering Moammar Gadhafi and his entire family safe passage out of Libya in exchange for an end to this fighting. And that's as far as their offer goes.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now, we are also following reports of fresh violence in Yemen. It comes one day after witnesses say security forces killed at least 14 people in the southern city of Taiz. This video posted to YouTube is said to show armed men opening fire on protesters on Monday.

Anti-government protests have rocked Yemen for weeks, with calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down immediately. Some media reports now say the two sides have agreed to talks in Saudi Arabia.

Now, U.S. officials are ordering emergency inspections of older Boeing 737s, searching for potentially dangerous cracks in the aircraft's fuselage. Now, the federal directive covers planes similar to this Southwest Airlines jet that suffered a large tear in its ceiling on Friday. An initial 175 planes will be inspected worldwide for fatigue damage.

Now, the directive, it covers 737s in the 300, 400 and 500 series that have accumulated more than 30,000 flight cycles. It will also require further inspections of these aircraft at regular intervals.

Now, the Boeing 737 here, it's the world's most popular commercial jet. The family (ph) having received more than 6,000 orders.

Now, there are at least 12 variants of the 737 listed on Boeing's Web site. Their capacity ranges from anywhere between 110 passengers to 180 in a two- class layout.

Now, Boeing says the maximum range of the newest 737 is about 6,000 kilometers. Now, that is roughly the distance between London and New York. But the models affected by the FAA's directive are older 737s that have been flying since the mid-1980s.

Now, as part of CNN's yearlong initiative against modern-day slavery, coming up next we'll be in Thailand, putting a spotlight on the forced labor that could have helped supply your dinner table.


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

Now, you may find it hard to believe, but slavery does still exist. There are an estimated 10 million to 30 million slaves in the world today.

Now, people being held against their will, unable to walk away from their bondage. And all year long, CNN is shining a light on this dark fact. We call it the "Freedom Project."

Now, today's story has to do with food that may be on your kitchen or dining room table, specifically fish from Southeast Asia. Now, some of the people who catch your fish have endured forced labor under brutal conditions, even the threat of murder.

Senior International Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from central Thailand.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the thriving fishing industry in Southeast Asia, fish that might end up on dinner plates almost anywhere in the world. But you might be shocked to know how these fish are caught. Sometimes the boats are floating prisons crewed by slaves.

Brothers Pum Dina (ph) and Pum Bolin (ph) were lured from Cambodia to work on the fishing boats three years ago. You can see why. Quarrying rock is their only other work opportunity.

When a middleman offered them a well-paid job in the fishing industry, they agreed, eagerly. Together, with another brother, they left home, hoping to earn some money. But the reality was very different. They say they were imprisoned on a Thai trawler for three months, with no pay and no chance to escape. They were slaves at sea.

They describe how the crew who didn't work hard enough had their throats punctured with a blade before they were thrown overboard.

LISA RENDE TAYLOR, U.N. INTER-AGENCY PROJECT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Even when they tire, even when they're sick, the captains compel them to continue to work harder by essentially instilling an environment of fear. So, if somebody gets sick -- and we have many reports of people getting sick or people getting tired -- they are killed, they are thrown overboard.

RIVERS: There are plenty of witnesses. Frum Vanek (ph) from Cambodia was imprisoned on a Thai trawler for three years, forced to work 20 hours a day. He tells me how he was beaten by the captain and that murder was common on the boats. Their nets sometimes snagged bodies of crew dumped from other ships, and one of his crew had his throat cut after he fell ill.

(on camera): Aid groups say many of the Cambodians are put on fishing boats here in the Thai port of Samut Prakan. They join a vast armada of ghost ships crewed by slaves which can be re-supplied and stay at sea for years. Their only chance of escape is on the rare occasion the fishing trawlers approach land.

(voice-over): That's how Dina (ph) and Bolin (ph) escaped, ending up in Malaysia. They're home now, trying to make a go of their barber shop. Their mother, Ti Kat (ph), had to wait almost three years for her sons to earn enough money to get home. She had almost given them up for dead.

(on camera): How did you feel when your sons came back?

(voice-over): She starts to explain how grateful she was, but then emotion overcomes her. This is the human cost when unscrupulous players gain a foothold in this industry. The U.N. estimates hundreds, perhaps thousands of other men, remain enslaved on ghost trawlers, bringing cheap fish to dinner plates worldwide.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Samut Prakan, Thailand.


STOUT: Now, the National Fisheries Association of Thailand works closely with the government on fishing-related issues. Now, it says it has not received reports of abuse or torture of crew in the past couple of years on Thai boats. Now, the chairman of the group says that most crews are there of their own free will, but he acknowledged some recruiters may have made false promises about pay and working conditions to some Burmese or Cambodian workers.

Now, the association also says it educates Thai fishermen about anti-human trafficking laws, warning, "There could be fines or jail terms, and their boats could be confiscated if they are found guilty."

Now, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, we have the full, exclusive CNN interview with Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who claims she was raped by pro- Gadhafi forces in Libya.

And as the unrest in Yemen escalates, could the U.S. be helping to broker a deal to remove its embattled president from office?


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

Now some fighting is still going on in Abidjan, that's Ivory Coast's main city. As many residents remain indoors after a night of heavy gunfire. Opponents say that the self-declared president Laurent Gbagbo could be ousted within hours. After days of brutal battles, forces loyal to the president-elect Alassane Ouattara say that they have surrounded Gbagbo's residence and expect to capture him soon.

As authorities slowly release tons of low level radioactive water into the sea, Tokyo Electric says it will pay compensation for the people living the damaged nuclear plant. Officials have apologized to the people and farmers whose lives and likelihoods have been gravely affected by the crisis.

Preliminary returns in Haiti give the presidential election to flamboyant musician Michel Martelli. Now the 50-year-old defeated a former first lady in a run-off with 68 percent of the vote. The final results are to be made official on April 16th.

Libya's rebels leaders have dismissed the idea of Moammar Gadhafi's son taking power. Now sources in the country say that under the proposal Saif al-Islam Gadhafi would help to usher in swift reforms. But a former Libyan ambassador to the United States has called that a ridiculous offer.

Another individual who is unlikely to accept the continuance of the Gadhafi dynasty is Eman al-Obeidy. Now the woman who says she was brutally raped by pro-government forces has spoken to CNN about her experience. Now this is al-Obeidy's first interview since she burst into that hotel in Tripoli last month and made her allegations to western journalists. Now she was subsequently taken into custody and has since been released. But in her interview with Anderson Cooper, al-Obeidy says she is still being monitored and her life is still in danger.

Now we want to warn you, some may find the details of her account disturbing.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You knew you were taking a great risk, why was it so important for you to go into the hotel to try to talk to reporters?

EMAN AL-OBEIDY, VICTIM (through translator): After all I went through, there is nothing else that constitutes a danger to my life. Our life was destroyed. And our dignity tarnished. Our humanity had been taken from us. There is nothing else that has not been taken from us. We are even careful to the air we inhale and exhale in order to regain our freedom.

COOPER: When you were in the hotel you said look what the Gadhafi brigades have done to me. What was done to you?

AL-OBEIDY: The abducted me. Prior, I showed to the journalists my hands and legs. I was bound and tied up. I was beaten and tortured. For two days they violated my freedom without eating or drinking. I have further details to provide you with later on.

I want to convey to the journalists that the brigades who are supposed to be protecting people, look what they did to me.

COOPER: How do you -- were you originally taken by Gadhafi forces? Where and how?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): In Tripoli in a region called Ain Apata (ph). I was in a taxi when I left a friend's house and headed home when I looked up (ph).

COOPER: What were those days like for you?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): My feelings were that they had taken my humanity, that I would never leave this place. They told me I would never see the light of day again, that I would never be released or return home and that they will kill me.

COOPER: How did you survive? How were you able to survive those days?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): Of course they had my hands tied behind me and they had my legs tied. And they would hit me while I was tied and bite me on my body and they would pour alcohol in my eyes so that I would not be able to see. And they would sodomize me with their Kalashnikovs.

And they would not let me go to the bathroom. I was not allowed to eat or drink. This is because I resisted them and tried to stop them from raping me. But the other girl, she gave up completely and did not try to fight them. And she was the one who was able to untie my hands and feet while they were sleeping.

They were at all the checkpoints. And they would be drunk. And they would abuse all of the Libyans.

COOPER: They raped you with a gun?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): Of course they are all armed. They have Kalashnikovs. And they were raping, one man would leave and another would enter, and he would finish. And then another man would come in.

Of course they would untie my hands when they would rape me. And one of them, while my hands were still tied, before he raped me, he sodomized me with his Kalashnikov.

COOPER: Would they say anything to you? Were they saying to you, did they want something from you?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): They would say let the men from eastern Libya come and see what we are doing to their women and how we treat them, how we rape them.

COOPER: How were you able to escape?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): Among the kidnapped women there was one girl who was no more than 16 and she untied me. They did not bind her, because she gave up out of fear and did not try to resist them or try to fight them and hit them. At about 7:00 am early in the morning I was crying and she came to cover me. And I begged her to untie me. She was so scared, but she untied my hands and feet and she refused escape out of fear of them. She gave me her name and address and asked me to report everything to the police.

COOPER: When you were in the hotel room trying to talk to the journalists and other -- and Libyan government thugs were attacking you trying to silence you, what was going through your mind?

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): I was not thinking anything when I came to the hotel. I heard about the existence of the fact finding organization. I came here because I knew that the Libyan authorities won't respect my rights or talk about this issue. I could have been jailed and nobody would have heard my story. I was just looking for my rights to be returned. I came even though I knew that the Libyan government would not leave me alone and would try to silence me.

I knew that they could imprison me and that no one may ever know my story. And even when they were hitting me and trying to cover my face so that I would not tell people the truth, I was not afraid. I've reached the end of my tolerance for this as a human.


STOUT: A horrific account from a defiant Eman al-Obeidy there speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper. And you can watch that interview again in full on our web site

There's also full coverage of the conflicts in Libya and in Ivory Coast at You'll find news, opinion, analysis as well as some of the best of CNN's reports from inside those countries.

Also breaking news from the Ivory Coast. Now there are media reports coming in of a cease-fire in the country. Now it comes as forces loyal to president-elect Alassane Ouattara surround the residence of rival Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan. But just to repeat, we are seeing multiple reports of a cease-fire in the Ivory Coast.

We're working to find out more and bring you any updates as soon as we get them.

Now meanwhile in Yemen, violent protests are putting pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh. There are reports of new violence one day after security forces killed at least 14 people. And officials say the White House now wants its ally out of office. Jill Dougherty reports.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Facing increasingly bloody demonstrations, U.S. officials say Yemen's president has to follow through on his promise to get out and soon. Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh vows he'll step down by the end of the year after a constitutional reform and elections. But the opposition demands that happen now.

Concerned that violence could explode, a senior U.S. official say the U.S. is talking with Saleh and the opposition, quote, "trying to get him to move more quickly." But the timing is delicate. And publicly the State Department won't go that far.

MARK TONER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: There's a gap between what President Saleh said and what the people have asked for. And certainly in our discussions both with the government and with the opposition that, you know, we're helping -- or talking about bridging that gap.

DOUGHERTY: President Saleh, in office since 1978, has been a firm U.S. ally in the fight against terror. In a country that U.S. officials believe is home to some of the most active al Qaeda operatives in the world.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are obviously concerned that in this period of political unrest that al Qaeda and other groups will attempt to take advantage of that power vacuum and that's one of the reasons why we urge political dialogue to take place and a time table for this transition that President Saleh has talked about to be begun.

DOUGHERTY: Having President Saleh step down could help put out the fire of these demonstrations, but U.S. officials are hoping it won't weaken the fight against al Qaeda. The White House says that fight doesn't hinge on just one man, at least that's the hope.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, the State Department.


STOUT: Now in another dramatic reversal, the Obama administration announces it will not prosecute high profile terror suspects in civilian courts. Now that means if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks will be tried by a military commission at Guantanamo Bay. And so will four other 9/11 suspects.

Attorney General Eric Holder had pushed to bring them to federal court. And he says this is not what the White House wanted.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Unfortunately, since I made that decision, members of Congress have intervened and imposed restrictions blocking the administration from bringing any Guantanamo detainees to trial in the United States.


STOUT: Now the former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is also criticizing Congress. Now no stranger to candid comments, Crowley posted on Twitter this, "the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others under untested military tribunals undercuts our global promotion of the rule of law."

Now we should point out that Crowley resigned from his position at the State Department after criticizing the treatment of suspecting WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

Now coming up here on NEWS STREAM, part of a special CNN series focusing on developments in particular countries. We've got our eye on India, the opportunity a small city is offering people to make big money.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we're going to update you on the breaking news we brought you just a few minutes ago. There are media reports of a cease-fire in the Ivory Coast. That comes after days of intense fighting especially in the commercial capital Abidjan. As forces loyal to the president-elect Alassane Ouattara surround the residence of rival Laurent Gbagbo. And we're working to find out more. We'll bring you any more updates as soon as we get them.

Now as predicted, severe storms swept through the U.S. southern states. Now there have been more 800 severe wind reports and 20 tornadoes. Guillermo Arduino has some pictures of what those storms did. He joins us now from the world weather center. Guillermo.

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Probably unprecented and unreal wind reports. And I tell you, I couldn't sleep. I was -- I think I slept for two hours. It's 8:45 in the morning now. I want you to see what was going on, because it was scary. I could feel my house swaying. I mean unbelievable.

You're going to see this is the pattern. We have severe storms in central parts of the country now moving to the south. They're going to move away very quickly. We have delays right now in the northeast in Boston, also in some New York airports, two-and-a-half hours of delays because of the wind reports. Orlando also with some severe weather reports as we speak with delays at airports.

So I'm going to show you, first of all, some pictures. So let's go to the first picture that is coming from Kentucky. And you see, look, the winds were uprooted. People are assessing damage there after a tornado hit here in Butler County. Heavy winds, downed trees, toppled power lines, ripped the roofs off of houses.

Now let's transition to Atlanta's feed. We want to show our viewers what was going on. This is what we saw last night. The wind doesn't look that bad there, but I promise you it was awful. Then lightning was bad. And then debris was flying around. Six dead all across the south. Three outside Atlanta. Fast moving spring storms with high winds, hail, lightning, uprooted trees, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of houses.

We have tornadoes all across the south. And outside Atlanta father and a son were killed after a tree fell onto their home. In Memphis, Tennessee an 87-year-old man found dead. He was electrocuted.

So let's come back here. I'm going to show you first of all what's going on so we can gather -- we can fathom the scope of it. Look at what's going on in here. So we see 20 tornadoes. So that shows you how many states were actually affected by this severe weather event. Hail, 80 reports. And look at the wind reports that we have, so much, such a wide area of the states.

Fortunately it happened at night, because you know what we could have seen so many flight delays with these winds -- one in the morning, you know, midnight. So we were lucky that maybe there were not so many.

145 kilometer per hour winds in Louisiana. I'm going to take you some other place in the United States so you see some other wind reports there. So here we go. All the way to the north. And we have also intense winds over there. Flatwoods there. I mean my computer is so slow today. I don't know if it's the wind or what, but come on buddy, 132 in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

And then the last one that I want to show you, if this computer allows me today, there you go. Pop up, man, move. There you go. Cordova, Tennessee 127 kilometers per hour -- Kristie.

STOUT: Am I sensing some computer rage there, Guillermo?

ARDUINO: Technology at its best, you know?

STOUT: And its worst. We've all got to deal. Guillermo Arduino there. Thank you and take care.

Now today we are continuing our closer look at one of the world's fastest growing economies. All this week, we've got our eye on India. And today it is a tale of economic imbalance. In the shadows of Mumbai, it is boom time. Entrepreneurs in Aurangabad say that there is big money to be made, but as Sarah Sidner found out just 20 kilometers away it is a very different story.


SARAH SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The residents of this Indian city want the world's attention, and they're getting it with an expensive stunt dreamed up by one of the city's young entrepreneurs.

SACHIN NAGOURI, ENTREPRENEUR: The basic intention behind this idea is to bring our city on the world map.

SIDNER: To do that, Sachin Nagouri and the other movers and shakers of this town made a purchase that is hard to ignore: they bought 151 brand new Mercedes Benz all at once, dropping nearly $15 million in a single day.

Like welcome wagons made of luxury leather and blinding white paint, the message they want to send is this: there is big money to be made in the city of Aurangabad. Come and get it.

CAPT. PIYUSH SINHA: Aurangabad is a very small town, but very hungry set of entrepreneurs that live here. Basically we are hungry to the extent that we would go that extra mile to get investments into Aurangabad.

SIDNER: Aurangabad's population is estimated at 1.5 million, a small-sized city in India, especially considering its fancy neighbor Mumbai, population more than 14 million. But analysts say it is the smaller and medium-sized cities that will fuel India's growth in the coming years.

How different is it than when you were a small boy?

NOURI: Oh, that time there is no comparison. There is no -- absolutely. There is (inaudible)

SIDNER: The changes are easy to spot. This megamall for example, 800,000 square feet of retail space just opened a couple of months ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) under a single roof.

SIDNER: Not be outdone by a big city rival, it's even got its own roller coaster. And it's pretty darned hard to compete with this.

The city has already attracted big business from around the world. There is literally about the something about the water here that has reeled in one particular industry -- breweries.

From local Kingfisher beer to Australia's Fosters and Tuborg, this place is bubbling with beer and liquor makers.

SINHA: Our interest (ph) the water are silica free. So if you have a silica free water, probably eliminates a process in the beer industry. And Aurangabad per se is to be a capital...

SIDNER: But just 20 kilometers from here a different story, a different kind of life. In these parched fields, desperation reigns not growth.

"This year the crops didn't grow," she says. "There was hardly any rain. Nothing grew this year."

We found 30-year-old Runjana (ph) walking home with firewood balanced on her head. She and her husband have had one of the worst years yet as farm laborers due to drought conditions.

"No one has anymore," Runjana (ph) says. "All of the farmers had to start working in brick kilns."

She knows nothing of the growth happening just a short drive away. She's just trying to make enough money to feed herself and her children.

It is the stark reality of India's economic imbalances. The well-off citizens of Aurangabad are aware of the plight of their not so distant neighbors. They hope their efforts to attract more industry to the city will bring more jobs, and in turn lift more of their countrymen out of poverty.

Sarah Sidner, CNN, Aurangabad, India.


STOUT: Now coming up on NEWS STREAM, Jose Mourihno lost his unbeaten home record a few days ago. And now as Real Madrid team welcomes Milan's conquerors. We'll have that in a moment.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we are still working to confirm those media reports of a cease-fire in the Ivory Coast. It follows days of heavy fighting in the main city of Abidjan. Now forces back in the internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara have been battling troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo who refuses to step down. The conflict, it has split the country since the election back in November. We are trying to find out more about this potential cease-fire. We'll bring you those details as soon as they come in.

Now sports fans around the world will have their (inaudible) Pedro Pinto. He joins us now from London with all the details -- Pedro.


Two matches are taking place on Tuesday night. In Spain, nine time winners Real Madrid host Tottenham. And Los Blancos have been boosted by the return of Christiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger has been named in the squad for tonight's contest even though he still has not fully recovered from a thigh injury. It's a piece of news that has not pleased Spurs manager Harry Redknapp.


HARRY REDKNAPP, SPURS MANAGER: I'm not going to sit here and say I'm very pleased the Ronaldo is playing. I would be telling lies. He's a fantastic player. And for me it's a toss-up between Messi and Ronaldo who is the best player. They've both got incredible records, 60 -- 60-whaever goals in 60 odd games. Two amazing footballers.

So, yeah, I would be happy if he wasn't playing for sure. But I know he is playing.


PINTO: Redknapp's counterpart Jose Mourihno heads into this game on the back of a surprising defeat against Sporting de Gijon. It was a result which ended his nine year home unbeaten streak in league games.

The special one is hoping his team can bounce back. If for some reason they can't and they're knocked out Mourinho said he would actually like it if Redknapp would go on and reach the final in London.


JOSE MOURINHO, REAL MADRID MANAGER: Finally after the work he was doing he had the chance to go to Tottenham. He had the chance to build a team. He had the resources to do it. He has the players. He has the team. And I'm -- I'm very, very happy. I just hope, and I say from my heart -- I hope if I don't reach the final I hope he does it.


PINTO: And in the other match on Tuesday night in the Champion's League, Inter Milan will host Schalke.

Finally some news from South America, Japan has withdrawn from this year's Copa America. The Asian champions who had been invited to take part in this competition pulled out because of the challenges its football federation has faced since the earthquake and tsunami which decimated the nation last month. Organizers of the event will now try to find the replacement for Japan. The competition starts on the first of July.

Those are the sports headlines. Back to you, Kristie, in Hong Kong.

STOUT: Pedro Pinto live in London. Thank you very much.

And time now for us to go over and out there. And ask yourself this, have you ever been so desperate for cash that you'd go to any lengths to access an ATM? Well, you've got something in common with the two guys operating this front end loaded at a Florida bank.

But they're not just accessing the ATM, they're going for the takeaway option ineffectively at first, but they get there eventually.

Miami police hope the thieves behind this unusual cash and carry will soon be captured and castigated. This will certainly be a load of their minds.

And that is NEWS STREAM. And we'll have much more on the situation in the Ivory Coast ahead. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" with Pauline Chiou, Charles Hodson and Maggie Lake is next.