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Strained Relations With Pakistan; Distrust Coming From Afghanistan; Misrata Under Siege

Aired May 9, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

Now, a U.S. raid on Pakistani soil has led to intense questioning of Islamabad, and now the prime minister addresses his critics at home and abroad.

Plus, Libyan civilians suffer as the siege on Misrata intensifies. Is NATO doing enough? We'll speak to the alliance's secretary general.

Also, a change of heart. After Japan's deadly disasters, some survivors want to settle down.

And "Thor" reigns at the box office. And find out how you can take this 3- D film down a notch in a good way.

Now, we begin with increasing tensions between the United States and Pakistan. The raid that killed Osama bin Laden a week ago is exposing the divide that's existed between the two countries for some time, particularly when it comes to trust.

Now, the U.S. president, Barack Obama, is demanding to know how bin Laden managed to hide inside Pakistan safely for so many years, and he shared his views on Sunday night in an interview with the U.S. TV program "60 Minutes."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE KROFT, "60 MINUTES": Do you believe people in the Pakistani government, Pakistani intelligence agencies knew that bin Laden was living there?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We think that there had to be some sort of support network for bin Laden inside of Pakistan, but we don't know who or what that support network was. We don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something that we have to investigate and, more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now, Pakistani officials continue to deny they knew anything about bin Laden's presence in their country before the U.S. raid and say that they do plan to launch a full investigation. Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani, is set to address parliament any minute now, and he is set to unveil a new terrorism-related policy for opening debate on the U.S. actions that killed Osama bin Laden.

Now, let's get more now on Pakistan's perspective regarding its complex and rather tense relationship with the United States.

Reza Sayah joins us live from CNN in Islamabad.

And Reza, what more is the prime minister expected to say?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that remains to be seen. We're going to find out in the coming hours. But I think it's safe to say that for Pakistan's civilian government, this is one of its most important moments ever since it took over back in 2008.

Of course, it's facing a flood of pressing questions from all angles, both domestically and from abroad. And a lot of people are going to be tuning in to see what kind of answers, if any, Pakistan's prime minister is going to come up with.

The fact that he's addressing parliament means that this is a speech that's probably going to address the domestic audience, the Pakistani public, who has a lot of questions as well. The public here, too, wants to know, how is it possible that bin Laden managed to hide out in a compound just north of the federal capital of Islamabad, right under the noses of the military for all those years? A lot of people here also want to know how U.S. forces managed to come deep into Pakistani territory and conduct this raid without being detected?

A lot of people are calling this a serious violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. Over the past 24 hours, Pakistan's main opposition party, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has gone as far as calling for the resignation of Pakistan's president and the prime minister. This entire episode has been utterly embarrassing for Pakistan's security establishment, the military, which is the most respected institution in Pakistan.

And of course, Kristie, on Sunday, you had pressure being mounted on by none other than U.S. President Barack Obama, who came out and said that he believes that al Qaeda-linked groups, including bin Laden himself, possibly had a support network here, and he didn't rule out that that support network had links with Pakistan's security establishment. So a tough task seemingly for Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. He's going to have to come out with a lot of answers, and we'll wait and see what he has to say.

STOUT: You mentioned Pakistan's security establishment. There have been many suspicions that someone in Pakistan's spy agency may have known about bin Laden. Now, we are hearing from the civilian government -- again, the prime minister is due to speak any moment -- but has Pakistan's intelligence services made any comment?

SAYAH: They haven't. The only comments they've made this week has been denials, denials that they knew anything about bin Laden being in this compound. But this is all part of the finger-pointing and the accusations that has been characteristic of this volatile partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan. And I think this episode, with the raid of the bin Laden compound, exposed some of the challenges in this partnership.

This episode goes to the heart of the problem in this partnership, and that's suspicion on the part of the U.S. that Pakistan is playing a double game. On one hand, supporting the U.S. fight against extremism in exchange for billions of dollars in U.S. aid. And on the other hand, perhaps they're maintaining some links with some militant groups.

The challenge now for the Pakistani government and the security establishment is to convince not just the public, but governments abroad, especially Washington, that it's not playing a double game, that it's in this fight against extremist for earnest.

STOUT: Now, relations are getting frayed over this. Could this rift over bin Laden be a deal-breaker for the U.S./Pakistan relationship, or is there simply too much at stake for both sides?

SAYAH: There's absolutely no evidence that this episode is going to be a deal-breaker, and that's because these two countries desperately need one another. The U.S. needs Pakistan in the fight against extremism in this region if Washington ever wants to pull out of Afghanistan. It needs to hammer out a political solution there, and it needs Pakistan's help in doing so.

And Pakistan needs the U.S. They get billions of dollars of economic aid, military aid. The U.S. gives this weak civilian government a lot of credibility. And perhaps most importantly, for the security establishment, the U.S. gives Pakistan leverage against Pakistan's perennial enemy, India.

So, there's no indication that this is going to be a breakup. How they go in a new direction with this partnership, that remains to be seen.

STOUT: All right. Many thanks indeed for your analysis.

Reza Sayah, joining us live from Islamabad there.

Now, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan may be strained right now, but as Stan Grant reports, there's even more distrust coming from one of Pakistan's neighbors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Young people in Afghanistan have known nothing but the presence of Osama bin Laden. He loomed so large, a powerful, enigmatic figure. But now these people are seeing a different man.

This video was seized in the raid that killed bin Laden. It shows the al Qaeda leader as frail, old, bray-bearded, huddled in a room watching himself on television.

"He was very powerful and very rich," this man says, "but after I saw the video, I thought he's not so powerful. Not as powerful as people were saying."

Others though still believe in the myth -- a man defying the West. "Osama was a powerful man," this man says. "That's why it took so long to catch him."

For Afghan officials, what bin Laden was doing in the videotape is more significant than how he looks.

JAWED LODIN, DEPUTY AFGHAN FOREIGN MINISTER: This guy was in hiding, enemy number one internationally, but able to survive and be in touch, still. I mean, the one thing that videos show is the fact that he was still watching. He as a watching man.

GRANT (on camera): To these people, the latest Osama bin Laden videotape don't just reveal something about his image, they also shine a light on to the image of Pakistan, a country that they tell me they simply don't trust.

(voice-over): Afghans don't see an ally. They accuse Pakistan's leaders of actively working against them. "Most of Osama's plans were carried out with the Pakistan government against us," this man says.

Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister, Jawed Lodin, says it was an open secret here that bin Laden was in Pakistan all along, shielded by those in power.

LODIN: We knew that Osama bin Laden was not going to be in the mountains. He was never going to be found in a cave. He was not going to be in a village hiding among people. We knew that he was going to be in some city deep inside Pakistan, and we knew this many, many years ago.

GRANT: U.S. President Barack Obama has made it clear, he needs the two neighbors to work together. AfPak, he calls it. For the safe of their future, these kids need them to work together, too.

Stan Grant, CNN, Kabul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now, coming up next on NEWS STREAM, the game is over for Moammar Gadhafi. That's according to NATO's top man. We'll be speaking to Secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, live.

Finding love in times of disaster. We'll tell you how Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis have impacted matters of the heart.

And the mighty Mississippi River just got mightier. We'll have the latest on the rising floodwaters.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, leaders in Thailand and Cambodia remain at odds over a longstanding border conflict. Now, the two leaders held talks in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Deadly fighting over an ancient Hindu temple has raged since last month.

Thailand says Cambodia must withdraw troops before it allows Indonesian observers into the disputed territory. Cambodia rejected the demand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABHISIT VEJJAJIVA, PRIME MINISTER OF THAILAND: The objective of what we are doing shouldn't be about scoring political points, thinking that there is some kind of technical victory on one issue or another. But the ultimate objective must be to achieve lasting peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now, Indonesia has been trying to mediate Thai/Cambodian negotiations, and the two sides agree to continue talks today.

Now, Egypt's government is vowing to stop sectarian violence after weekend clashes left 12 people dead and more than 200 injured. Now, fighting erupted between Muslims and Coptic Christians outside a Cairo church. Officials say it all started after a rumor circulated that a Christian woman who had converted to Islam was being held at a church against her will.

And in Bahrain, the state of emergency is expected to end in less than a month. There's a media report that the king has ordered it lifted on June the 1st. It's been in place since mid-March. Now, witnesses say the government used the emergency orders to crack down on protesters demanding Democratic reforms.

Libya's rebels say that they have suffered an intense blow in Misrata. Now, forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi bombed a key (INAUDIBLE) over the weekend, and residents relied on them to day-to-day power needs, and some have managed to escape from Misrata, and they shared their stories with Sara Sidner

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The injuries are horrendous -- paralyzing bullet wounds, crushed bones, burns, and amputations -- the telltale signs of war. These mangled men are the latest arrivals to Benghazi from the besieged city of Misrata. Those rescued say Gadhafi's army has resorted to indiscriminate shelling there.

IBRAHIM AL-NEAIRY, WOUNDED REBEL FIGHTER (through translator): They're shelling the port and civilian neighborhoods. It has become an operation for revenge, not just taking over the city of Misrata.

SIDNER: If what he says is true, it would be evidence war crimes are being committed. The International Criminal Court says it has grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Libya.

Ibrahim al-Neairy has paid a hefty price for his efforts to oust Gadhafi, his face scarred from blast burns, his body embedded with shrapnel, and his head filled with images of dead friends lost in battle.

AL-NEAIRY: I regret nothing I did. The price for freedom is high.

SIDNER (on camera): This hospital has been receiving waves of injured from Misrata, a place where there is extremely fierce fighting now. Some are fighters. Others, though, are simply scared civilians like Hanan Mohammad here, who survived and managed to escape. But she also had to watch three of her relatives being killed around her.

HANAN MOHAMMAD, RESCUED MISRATA RESIDENT (through translator): I was in my house praying when the first missile landed shortly after. More missiles, one after another, started hitting our neighborhood, about 10 every five minutes.

SIDNER (voice-over): She survived, but has a broken arm and shrapnel wounds all over her body. Hanan Mohammad was among the 800 people rescued by a ship chartered by the International Organization for Migration. Those rescued say the journey down the Mediterranean coast took 16 hours and began amid heavy shelling.

(on camera): What is life like for families who are still living in Misrata right now?

MOHAMMAD: Terror, fear. People are scared every moment of the day, no matter their age. Oh, God, it is like a horror movie.

SIDNER (voice-over): She says most residents can't go out safely, not even for food. Instead, groups of brave young men have formed to pick up rations from aid organizations and distribute them to homes. The things they see in the streets are sickening, she says. She knows because she witnessed it while escaping.

MOHAMMAD: There was blood and destruction everywhere. I saw death before me. Everything was horrible.

SIDNER: If the injuries on these patients is any indication of what people are enduring, Misrata has become a living hell.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Benghazi, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now, NATO's secretary general says it is hard to imagine such attacks will stop as long as Colonel Gadhafi stays in power. Now, the alliance commands the operation to protect Libyan civilians.

And Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen joins us now.

Mr. Secretary General, welcome to the program.

Now, on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," you said this: "The game is over for Gadhafi. He should realize sooner rather than later that there is no future for him or his regime."

So why did you say that? Has NATO's objective in Libya changed?

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Our objectives are exactly the same as they have been since we launched that operation. We have defined three very clear military objectives.

Firstly, a complete end to all attacks against the civilian population. Secondly, a withdrawal of Gadhafi's armed forces and paramilitary forces to their bases and barracks. And thirdly, unhindered and immediate humanitarian access to people in need in Libya.

When these three military objectives are fulfilled, we can say, "mission accomplished." But having said that, I also have to add it's hard to imagine that the attacks against the population will stop as long as Gadhafi remains in power. And this is the reason why we sent a very clear message, the Gadhafi regime time is up.

STOUT: Now, a very clear message was sent last month. A NATO airstrike on a Gadhafi compound killed his youngest son and three grandchildren. Why was this compound, which was in a residential neighborhood, targeted?

RASMUSSEN: I want to stress that we do not target individuals, but we target military facilities that can serve to attack the civilian population or plan and control and command such attacks. And what we did was to hit a command and control center.

STOUT: OK. Now, after two months, Colonel Gadhafi is still firmly in power. There is a humanitarian crisis in Misrata and elsewhere in Libya.

Is the NATO mission on track for success? And how long will it take?

RASMUSSEN: Our operation is definitely on track. Since we took over the operation, we have carried out more than 500 sources (ph) out of which almost half are airstrikes. And we have taken out a significant part of Gadhafi's military capabilities -- tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, ammunition depots, command and control centers. And by that, we have significantly degraded his war machine and protected the civilian population in Libya. And we will continue our operation as long as those attacks -- there are attacks against the civilian population.

STOUT: Now, do you have a time frame for that?

RASMUSSEN: I'm not going to guess about a timeline. I want a solution sooner rather than later. However, we also must realize that there's no military solution solely to the problems in Libya.

We need a political solution. It's for the Libyan people to shape the future of Libya, but we need a political track that further isolates Gadhafi and supports the opposition.

STOUT: Now, the last thing, Mr. Secretary General, I wanted to ask you about Syria. How closely are you watching the crackdown, the mass arrests in Syria? And at what point will you consider intervention?

RASMUSSEN: We have no intention to intervene in the Syrian crisis. Obviously, we follow the situation closely, and I strongly condemn the attacks against the Syrian people.

There's only one way forward, and that is to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. What we are witnessing now is what we call the Arab Spring, a strong call for more freedom, democracy, better life opportunities. And in the long run, no regime can survive through repression. The only way forward is to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, as well as the Libyan people, and people in the region in North Africa and the Middle East.

STOUT: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary general.

Thank you very much indeed for sharing your thoughts here in NEWS STREAM.

RASMUSSEN: You're welcome.

STOUT: Now, I want to bring you an update on Eman al-Obeidy. Now, she is the woman who dramatically accused Gadhafi's security forces of rape. Al- Obeidy says that she has suffered government harassment ever since, and she recently fled Tripoli and spoke exclusively to CNN from a safe house in Tunisia.

Nic Robertson has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hiding her face, Eman al-Obeidy shows how she fled to freedom. For the first time in almost two months, she is calm and happy.

EMAN AL-OBEIDY, ALLEGES BEATING AND RAPE BY GADHAFI TROOPS: (SPEAKING ARABIC)

ROBERTSON: It is eight weeks since she burst into a Tripoli hotel full of journalists alleging brutal rape by Gadhafi's forces, but the same time capturing the world's attention as Gadhafi's heavy-handed thugs tried to silence her. Hotel staff put a bag on her head. Another pulled a knife. Journalists, trying to protect her, were beaten as she was led away.

She has barely been seen since then.

In a Tunisian safe house not far from the border with Libya, she met with CNN's Khalil Abdallah to tell him how she got away.

AL-OBEIDY (through translator): We left very normally, of course. I was wearing -- bring me that. It's a traditional tribal headwear, a maziria (ph), which was given to me by my friend's mother. I was wearing it and, indeed, you can't see anything apart from my one eye.

ROBERTSON: Across the room, two defecting Libyan army officers who made her dangerous escape across the border possible. She explains they took mountain roads at each of the many government checkpoints, the officers using their military identity documents to evade capture.

AL-OBEIDY: Even on the mountain roads when the brigades were stopping us, he was giving his military permit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At night?

AL-OBEIDY: No, it was during the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it a hard road to drive on?

AL-OBEIDY: It was a little hard. There were checkpoints and the brigades. There were checkpoints.

ROBERTSON: Her freedom is already weighing heavily on her. Worried about Libyan agents, she is still not sure of her next steps, whether it's safe for her to go back to Libya to see her parents in the rebel-held east.

AL-OBEIDY: I still don't know what I'm going to do. Of course I'd like to see my family. I have called some relatives of mine in Egypt, but still did not hear back from them.

ROBERTSON: Her smile belies her confusion. Freedom has never tasted so good. Outside the safe house, diplomats are helping secure her safety. A French Embassy vehicle sent to take her on the eight-hour drive to Tunisia's capital.

(on camera): Since she arrived here at the French Embassy in Tunis around midnight Saturday night, Eman al-Obeidy has dropped out of sight. A source tells us that a diplomatic protection team is helping her and that President Nicolas Sarkozy is taking an intimate interest in her every movement.

The lady who came to symbolize the Libyan struggles is now, for the first time, getting the help she so long craved.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Tunis, Tunisia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: As Japan struggles to overcome natural disaster and the ongoing nuclear crisis, there seems to be a renewed push by many people to find and celebrate love. We have the story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And two months on, workers using heavy machinery are continuing to clear the rubble from Japan's earthquake and tsunami, as the country and its people vow to build back better.

Now, surviving a disaster of this magnitude often has a way of realigning your priorities. And as Kyung Lah reports, many Japanese are suddenly finding themselves searching for something -- or rather someone -- to hold onto.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the wake of Japan's historic earthquake and tsunami, amid the devastation, the loss, an unexpected twist in matters of the heart. Yoko, a 49-year-old makeup artist is applying with a matchmaking service for the very first time to find a husband. The disaster taught her she does not want to be alone.

(on camera): So does that mean that you feel that life is shorter?

(voice-over): "Absolutely," she says. "Up until now, I've been devoted to work. But it's time to focus on my life. I need to act now before another disaster."

Matchmaker Miuki Uwakusa (ph) says Yoko isn't her only client. She's seen a 30 percent jump in business since the tsunami and nuclear crisis.

(on camera): Does this surprise you? Is this something that you were expecting?

(voice-over): "I didn't expect it," she says, "but the members of my matchmaking service all felt the same fear that they could die. Seeing the sad images on television reminded them of the importance of having a partner in life.

(on camera): It's not just people who want to get married, it's also people actually getting married. Multiple vendors in the wedding industry are reporting a boost in business as well.

(voice-over): A 15 to 20 percent jump in ring buyers, says this wedding and engagement ring jewelry shop. In demand, custom rings, says this jeweler. "After the quake," he says, "couples want to create something that commemorates their relationship, that they make and hold forever."

Bride Maki Maruta (ph), trying out her dress for her wedding next month, says she'll walk down the aisle and into her marriage with a new sense of purpose. "The disaster reminded me of the importance of family," she says. "It's so important to have someone who is precious to you."

In Japan's historic disaster, there is no answer to the question, why? But the country's people are learning they can at least control how they live and how to seek comfort in each other.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now in the U.S., the Mississippi River is close to reaching its highest level in more than 70 years. We'll have the latest on the flooding across six U.S. states.

And we meet some of the children who played within a stone's throw of bin Laden's Abbottabad hideout. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now U.S. President Barack Obama says Osama bin Laden was likely receiving support from inside Pakistan, but it is not clear yet from who. Now he urged Pakistan to investigate the issue. Pakistani officials deny any involvement in hiding bin Laden. And the country's parliament is currently debating the U.S. raid that led to his death.

Now security forces in Yemen have fired live rounds and tear gas at demonstrators in the city of Ta'izz. According to witnesses, they say that two people have been killed and at least 50 injured. A thousand protesters have staged a sit-in on the main road overnight. Now teachers demanding better pay were joined by anti-government demonstrators. Now the city has been the scene of some of the largest rallies against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Now witnesses in Syria say security forces have intensified their crackdown on anti-government protesters in the city of Homs. Now human rights groups say that several people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed on Sunday when troops fired on the crowd.

Now the bodies of about 68 people have been found in a mass grave in Ivory Coast near Abidjan. A U.N. spokeswoman says the killings appear to be related to an attack on Ouattara supporters by people loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo. The United Nations says more than 1,000 people have died in fighting between Gbagbo supporters and those of his successor Alassane Ouattara.

Now in the southern city of Memphis, Tennessee is struggling to cope with some of the worst flooding in 70 years. Now you're looking at homes flooded by the Mississippi River. Water levels here in Memphis, they rose to 14-and-a-half meters late on Sunday. And Tennessee is not alone, six other states along the Mississippi and Ohio River banks are also fighting the rising flood waters.

The levees along the Mississippi River are being stressed by record rainfall. But a senior army engineer says they are not expected to fail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. VERNNIE REICHLING, MEMPHIS DISTRICT COMMANDER: Under seepage is expected during these river conditions, but it nothing of concern to us at this point. We will continue to monitor these levees and flood walls very carefully. But at this point, there is nothing that we are concerned about. And there is no potential possibility of failures on the Mississippi River levees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now the Army Corps of Engineers plans to open a spillway downstream from Memphis. And the move is an attempt to prevent flooding in New Orleans. Now Mari Ramos is watching developments from the world weather center. She joins us now -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the name of that spillway is the Bonnet Care. And they haven't opened that in a few years. If that is open, it will divert the water into Lake Pontchartrain, which would help bring the water level a little bit -- not as high, let's say, as they're expecting in New Orleans.

There are some concerns that the flooding, even if they're not able -- even if they do open that spillway would be significant and just be just a few inches below the record level in New Orleans.

This is a picture right here from Memphis and the rising water that you mentioned. Even though they're not expecting the levees to break, there are areas of the city that have been flooded as you can see from this picture right there. And the flooding situation, as you mentioned, extends out all through the Ohio River valleys and all the way down even as head into the lower portion of the Mississippi down all the way through -- until it gets, I should say, down into the Gulf of Mexico. So it's a huge, huge problem.

How did we even get here, Kristie? That record snow pack from the winter that rapidly melted into the upper levels of the Mississippi. So we had a very significant situation here earlier into the spring. Well, on top of that, we've had record rainfall, in some cases over 600 times the amount of rain over this area right here, the (inaudible) of the Ohio River and then back over toward the Mississippi.

The combination of these two things have swelled the river to records maybe not seen since the 1920s or the 1930s. And that is why authorities are so concerned about all of this. All of this combining with that slow moving crest down the Mississippi river.

This kind of reminds us of another situation that happened, another serious flooding that happened last year. But it wasn't the Mississippi. We made a lot of comparisons to that now. The Indus River in Pakistan.

Pedram Javaheri shows us more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Now show you an image here going back to 2010. This is the Mississippi on a given summer's day there where it's sitting at a normal amount of level as far as water is concerned. I want to bring in April 2011, just 12 months removed from that image right here and you can tell how the water has really expanded, the ballooned area of the water right south of Cairo, Illinois where you see the water push its way toward some of those communities.

And the question now is how do you relieve stress associated with getting so much water that builds up from an excessive amount of rainfall and snow melt? And man-made means, explosives, you may have seen it on CNN. We had explosions set off south of Cairo there to relieve some of the stress and divert that water out there towards some of the flood plains where you can actually try to avoid the maximum amount of damage.

Now mother nature can certainly have her own way where you get more damage associated with floods if they try to basically get more rainfall, or perhaps an area that gets surprised by mother nature. And you go back towards Pakistan. And there is the Indus River right here meandering its way south of the country. And this is from 2009.

I want to bring in August 2010. Look at the difference here. Again, an arid country, excessive amount of rainfall in the monsoon season. You get the water that once again expands the river system begin bursting their banks, the levee systems begin breaking. And right towards Sukkur, that's the Sukkur barrage (ph), or basically a dam system in the city of Sukkur there. And the water bottlenecks and eventually spills farther south.

Now in this case, there were no explosives involved. Mother nature comes in with full force.

And I want to show you September 2010, because there it is right here. Notice the water becomes more milky gray. That earth tone color indicates that the water level now is becoming a little lower and the water is forcing itself through any void it can find across portions that were not river systems. And that works its way farther south again where you get a secondary river system that practically forms because water has found a new way on its own and devastated communities along its path that perhaps were unsuspecting of this to occur.

That's mother nature at its worst there, at its best. Send it back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAMOS: Pretty scary situation. And on this side, you can see the Indus River, Kristie, in the middle of Pakistan. And over here the Mississippi River. What other comparisons have we drawn? One of our producers reminded me just a little while ago that when the Indus situation was going on I said, well it will be like the Mississippi flooding Memphis, for example. Moving -- a big, huge river system moving through a densely populated area.

There are a lot of comparisons that come out between these two river systems. The length is very similar. The Indus River irrigates over 14 million hectares of farmland. We've heard about the importance of the Mississippi River. More than 30 million people live along the Mississippi River Basin. And about 60 percent of that is actually cropland or pasture, so very important. Cities like New Orleans and Memphis as we mentioned are right on the Mississippi River.

And the Indus River, as a comparison, supplies water to about 130 million people in Pakistan. And after it flooded, there was a huge water shortage, because the water had been so contaminated. Big cities like Karachi and Hyderabad are along the path. Karachi didn't ever get that bad flooding, because some of it -- so much of it was actually further upstream.

So there are just some comparisons. And the flooding continues, unfortunately, along the Mississippi River. And we can be until maybe early June until we see any kind of real relief.

Kristie, back to you.

STOUT: Wow. That forecast there and the similarities you just discussed very uncanny indeed. Mari Ramos there, thank you very much.

Now flooding has been in the headlines a lot in the past year. You just saw the comparison between the U.S. and Pakistan disasters, but other countries have also endured devastating floods.

As you recall in Australia, now the heavy rains in Queensland December and January triggered some of Australia's worst ever flooding. At least 35 people were killed, some are still missing and about 200,000 people were impacted over an area larger than France and Germany.

Now meanwhile, over in Brazil -- now January's flooding was considered the worst natural disaster in that country's history. Now to date, more than 500 people have been killed and more than 10,000 are homeless mainly due to landslides.

Now meanwhile in Colombia, bracing for a possible repeat of the December deluge. More than 400 people were killed, an estimated 500 are still missing, and around 2 million people were affected.

And in China, the floods that took place last summer, they were the worst in more than a decade. At least 700 people were killed, millions displaced. Now more than half of China's provinces saw monsoon like downpours, flooding, and mudslides.

Now ahead here on News Stream, we will hear how some of the youngest residents in Abbottabad, Pakistan views the house where Osama bin Laden lived.

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STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Egypt's military government says it will use an iron hand to protect national security following deadly outbreaks of violence between Muslims and Christians in Cairo. Now 12 people were killed and more than 230 injured in clashes after a Coptic Christian church was attacked with petrol bombs on Saturday.

And more violence erupted on Sunday.

Ben Wedeman is in Cairo.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Cairo church in flames, an act metaphor perhaps for the sectarian tensions threatening Egypt. In the crowded working class neighborhood of Imbaba (ph), hundreds of people described as Salafis, adherents of a strict interpretation of Islam, marched Saturday on the St. Minas Coptic Christian Church where they alleged a Christian woman married to a Muslim man was being held against her will.

What ensued was some of the worst sectarian violence the Egyptian capital has seen. Medical sources say at least 12 people were killed, Christians and Muslims, and more than 200 wounded.

"There were various kinds of injuries," recalls Dr. Hassem Adin Adhosek (ph) treated the wounded, "from sharp objects, from gun shots, from blunt instruments like sticks."

The day after, emotions were still running high. Soldiers were trying to keep the crowds away. Crowds did not take kindly to the CNN crew.

Outside the U.S. embassy, a small group of cops accused the government of inaction and called for protection from abroad.

IRIS ANDROS, COPTIC PROTESTER: I mean we're hoping that, you know, somebody -- something of national conscience would stand up and say what happened in Egypt for those Coptics is not fair and it's not right.

WEDEMAN: Heated, though peaceful debate flared between Muslims and Christians. Though some predictably pointed fingers elsewhere.

"What happened yesterday in the church was not from the Muslims," says Saleh (ph), a Muslim himself, "but rather only god knows, maybe from America and Israel, because they want to destroy the Arab nation."

In recent years violence against Egypt's Christian minority has been on the rise.

During the days of the Mubarak dictatorship, sectarian tensions were kept under control. But now, without the heavy hands of the state, those tensions are coming to the fore.

Egypt's Justice Minister Mohammed ElGendy warned at a news conference that the country is now truly a nation in danger. And that danger became apparent in central Cairo Sunday evening when predominantly Christian protesters venting their anger clashed with Muslims.

The government has pledged action to protect national unity, and a stronger hand may indeed be needed to restore calm.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.

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STOUT: Now up until a week ago for many people in Abbottabad, Pakistan, this was just another house, albeit one with very high walls and security cameras. Authorities say for years it housed the world's most terrorist. Now U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden and four others during a daring nighttime raid. And now with each passing day since that attack, the curtains seem to be opening wider.

Now some of Abbottabad's youngest residents knew about the man behind the walls and even played with children who lived there, although they never knew his true identity. Nick Paton Walsh went to the neighborhood where Osama bin Laden's compound was located to talk to the children.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When President Obama says bin Laden had a Pakistani support network, it's simplest form would have been here in the neighborhood where he got 10 liters of milk a week and goats, where kids he lived with brought sweets at the local shop and from where dozens have been arrested already by police.

Well, the compound has been sealed off by the military for days, but for people who live around it there could be little doubt the Americans were here in force, because of these pieces of helicopter they keep finding. This one particularly light and large. And it seems part of a fuselage in the stealth design used. An example, really, of the kind of resources America was willing to risk to get bin Laden.

But away from the high tech hunt for terrorist number one is a simpler story of life in his village that we went to find. The eight or nine children in bin Laden's house, some perhaps his grandchildren, played with others in the village, including Zarar Amjed Turk age 12.

ZARAR AMJED TURK, BIN LADEN NEIGHBOR (through translator): The kids said the guy with them is their father Nedin (ph). One says he has two wives. One is speaking Urdu, the other Arabic. He had a brother, who is fat guy with a goatee and mustache. I don't know why they had security cameras installed outside the house.

We used to knock on the door for 10 or 20 minutes, then someone used to come to talk. That was strange for us.

WALSH: He says he didn't know the names of the children he played with.

TURK (through translator): We used to play cricket used to their house. Whenever our cricket ball went into the compound, we knocked on the door and asked for the ball, but the guy always said our ball was lost, gave us 50 rupees and asked us to buy a new one.

WALSH: It seems now that the D is dead. Does that make you sad?

TURK (through translator): Yes. I feel sorry for Uncle Nedin (ph). He never did anything wrong. He took my grandmother to the hospital and asked her to call him if she needs help as he can drive her anywhere. He was a great person. I feel sorry for him.

WALSH: If you point to the child who, until this week, had never heard the name Osama bin Laden.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Abbottabad.

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STOUT: The innocence of children. Incredible story there. Now still ahead here on News Stream, Thor has finally hit U.S. movie theaters and one man seized an opportunity in such 3D blockbusters. And you can say he wants it to fall flat.

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STOUT: Welcome back.

Now one of his nicknames is the Zen master, but Phil Jackson's magic touch could not save the L.A. Lakers at the weekend. Let's join Alex Thomas with more on that and the other sports headlines -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie, it was the end of an era in the NBA on Sunday night as the most successful coach in the sports history, Phil Jackson, confirmed his retirement following a shock playoff exit for his Los Angeles Lakers.

After two successive championships over the last couple of years, Jackson was looking for a three-peat with the Lakers, but they went into game four of their second round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks 3-0 down. And despite that fall away jumper by Kobe Bryant, L.A. was soon trailing.

In the second quarter, here is Jason Terry on target from behind the arch. A record equally display of 3-point shooting from the Maverick star -- plenty of examples there as Dallas went into the halftime break up by 24 points.

It got better for the Mavericks in the third quarter. A glaring fast break lay-up missed by the Lakers' Ron Artest, leaving his coach disgusted, summing up the Lakers' night.

Here's Terry with another 3-pointer for Dallas. He made nine baskets from distance to tie the NBA record for a post season game, although he wasn't' he only one hitting the mark for the Mavs. Here's Peja Stoiakovic with one of his six 3-pointers.

The Lakers losing the game. And they call Lamar Odom with a blatant foul on Dirk Nowitzki. Andrew Bynum using his elbow as well. Both Lakers' players thrown out of the game as L.A. bowed out of the playoffs. Dallas winning the game 122-86 and the series 4-0 to reach the conference finals.

Well after, Phil Jackson confirmed this will be his last game in charge of the Lakers. The 65-year-old has won more championship titles than any other coach in NBA history -- six in the 1990s with Michael Jordan and that famous Chicago Bulls side, and five more with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

More sport later. Back to you, Kristie.

STOUT: Thank you, Alex.

Now Pakistan's prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani is addressing parliament right now. Let's listen in.

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