CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEWS STREAM

Tripoli Airstrikes; Shelling in Syria; Defending the Osama bin Laden Raid

Aired May 12, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET

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


ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

Hello. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong.

They've come from many parts of the world to try and take back their capital, Libya's expat rebel fighters.

Well, tanks move into the Syrian city of Homs as unrest continues to grip the country.

And saving Afghanistan's lost boys, rehabilitating children trained as suicide bombers.

The roar of NATO jets and the sound of powerful explosions echoed across Libya's capital on Thursday. Four rockets struck the compound of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli. Well, the Libyan government says two people were killed and another 27 were taken to hospital.

Well, these were the scenes that followed the airstrikes. A group of Colonel Gadhafi's supporters gathered outside the compound in a show of allegiance to their leader. Well, as for Gadhafi himself, the government hopes this footage will lay to rest questions about his whereabouts.

State TV aired these images said to show Gadhafi meeting tribal leaders on Wednesday. Gadhafi had not been seen in public since April 30th. The announcement claims the video quotes "perseverance and permanence" of the Libyan nation and its leader.

But the rebels are also determined. Well, as we told you Wednesday, they had claimed a key location in Misrata. That being the airport.

Well, remember, Misrata is the only rebel-held town in western Libya. At one time, the opposition also had control of two other cities. But they have never gotten any closer to the capital, though there is talk the rebels plan another push toward Tripoli.

Well, the country is essentially split between east and west. Allied airstrikes have helped the rebels keep their stronghold of Benghazi, but Libya's opposition fighters have yet to make lasting progress despite several attempts to march on Sirte. Well, that is Gadhafi's hometown, and it sits right in the center of the country's coastline.

Well, we have correspondents on both sides of that divide. Nima Elbagir is tracking developments in Tripoli. The four explosions there in the early hours of Thursday morning actually were heard (ph).

Nima, tell us about these airstrikes and their targets.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are at the Bab Al- Aziziyah compound, Anna, where the remnants -- the pro-Gadhafi supporters who have been standing by as human shields for their leader are demonstrating. I don't know if you can hear them chanting in the background.

Many of them have been camped here for the last three months since, as they call it, the aggression against Colonel Gadhafi. Since we've arrived at the compound, we're told that the death toll is actually at six, with at least 27 killed, Anna.

It started at about 3:30 this morning. We're quite close to the Bab Al- Aziziyah compound. We heard two very large explosions and then two in close succession.

We managed to speak with Libyan government officials at the compound, and queried (ph), he said, is the NATO intention. It's not regime change. Why is this the fourth time that this compound has been hit?

Anna.

COREN: Nima, do we know the whereabouts of Colonel Gadhafi?

ELBAGIR: No. We spoke to a Libyan government spokesman yesterday, and he told us that he is healthy, safe, and still leading the country. He said that the colonel is moving around.

And we had previously been hearing that he's (INAUDIBLE). That's why he's not been seen in public. But now, they've quite bluntly told us that their priority is keeping the colonel safe, and they will do what it takes, because they believe that he is being targeted. And that in spite of what NATO is saying, that ultimately, their intention is to remove Colonel Gadhafi from power in what they're calling an assassination.

COREN: Nima, as you say, you've been on this government tour. Did the officials give you free rein to speak to residents, or was it tightly controlled?

ELBAGIR: Very tightly controlled. Very tightly controlled, even though we are within the Gadhafi compound, which is surrounded by very high walls, barbed wire. But when you come in, it's actually quite surreal.

It's about four kilometers square. It's pretty open. And there are families and children and young men. There are tents that have been housing these families for months, but even within this very surrounded environment, we have still been controlled -- Anna.

COREN: All right.

Nima Elbagir in Tripoli.

Thank you for that update.

Well, Sara Sidner is in eastern Libya, in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. And that's where bands of revolutionaries from across Europe and beyond are preparing for a possible push toward the capital.

Sara, how confident are they that they can actually seize Tripoli?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they become more and more confident as they hear of airstrikes, for example, in Tripoli, and also as they hear of protests, anti-Gadhafi forces protests in that city. They feel that as those go on, their chances of pushing into Tripoli from the east goes stronger by every single day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER (voice-over): On the beaches of Benghazi, this unit is the latest weapon in the revolution. These masked men have traveled thousands of miles to prepare for a fight in the capital of Tripoli to end Gadhafi's regime once and for all.

They arrive from Ireland, Spain, France, Poland, Greece, Italy and Canada. More than 85 strangers originally from Tripoli now form the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a perfect life. I couldn't complain. I had a good salary, I had a good job. But the situation demands this. I mean, we can't rely on other people to come and do our duty for us.

SIDNER: A few weeks ago, 28-year-old Bashir (ph) traded in his life as a well-paid software developer in Canada for a rough existence in the revolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tried to stay there and live with it. You know, just send money or collect donations and go on protests and stuff. But I realize that's not enough. And I couldn't sleep, I couldn't work.

SIDNER: Now, day and night, he and the others are working hard to learn the mechanics of war.

(on camera): These fighters are learning all sorts of different weapons on all sorts of different terrain. We're here on the beach in Benghazi, and they are learning right now how to set off a mortar.

(voice-over): The rebel stronghold is the second largest city in Libya, but it still operates like a village. Word of mouth can you lead to what you're looking for, and that's how this group of men found each other. They say they have no agenda beyond ousting Colonel Gadhafi.

(on camera): There are people who are worried about terrorism. And they see guys with their faces covered and with guns. Are any of you involved in that sort of activity?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

SIDNER: Had you ever held a gun before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, my first time in my life I ever had a gun. But we're not part of any terrorist group. Like I said, we're a mix of everyone.

SIDNER (voice-over): Their fight is deeply personal. They fear for their family members who still live in the capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just civilians, and we're just here to get them out and that's it. And I'm going to throw my gun.

SIDNER: But not before the job is done. So, day and night, these men train together, they live together, and they pray together, patiently waiting for the chance to put their plan into action.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER: Now, the latest that we've heard from the spokesman of the National Transitional Council, which is here in Benghazi -- and that is the rebel council that is hoping to be able to form some sort of government when and if they're able to push out Gadhafi forces finally -- they're now saying that because of what is happening in Tripoli, because of the airstrikes, because of some of the anti-government protests there, that is weakening Gadhafi forces in other parts of the west, helping the rebels. And so this group is watching all of the developments. They're watching it very closely and just waiting for their time to be able to go in and try and help secure Tripoli for the anti-government forces -- Anna.

COREN: Sara, as we have reported, the rebels have seized control of Misrata's airport. Tell us about the significance of that and the psychological milestone that that represents.

SIDNER: Actually, today they went one step further, saying that they were able to secure about a 40, 45-kilometer radius around Misrata as well, as well as being able to take over the airport. And we have been able to get independent confirmation that that has happened. The rebels, now in control of the airport.

They're saying that is significant because of the heavy damage to the port where it's been difficult for aid groups to bring in humanitarian aid to the people who have been suffering there in that city for weeks now, where there has been heavy shelling and heavy fighting. They're hoping to be able to use that airport as a new place, a new venue for humanitarian aid and support to come into Misrata. They are hoping and they say they're on their way to capturing that city -- Anna.

COREN: Sara Sidner in Benghazi.

Thank you.

Well, the conflict in Libya started nearly three months ago with protests. Well, they followed the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Well, demonstrators in several other countries also took to the streets, but there is a sense that the so-called Arab Spring has stalled.

Well, Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is still in office despite calls for his immediate resignation. Well, Saleh had reportedly agreed to a transition plan drafted by Gulf states, but refused to sign it last week.

Well, in Bahrain, the group Human Rights Watch says some detained activists show signs of abuse. Witnesses have reported violent crackdowns on demonstrators since mid-March, when a state of emergency was imposed. Well, Bahrain's king has ordered it to end in June. At least 21 people are currently on trial, accused of fostering unrest.

In Jordan, people started taking to the streets in January, but most demonstrators are not seeking regime change, just reform. Well, King Abdullah has tried to appease the protesters, and demonstrations have been largely peaceful.

Well, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has tried both concessions and crackdowns. He lifted a decades-old state of emergency last month, then sent tanks into Daraa, the flash point where the unrest began.

The latest reports out of Syria say tanks are now starting to show residential areas in the city of Homs killing at least five people. A Syrian human rights group says 13 people were also killed in the city of Daraa on Wednesday.

Well, terrified locals have been flooding across the border into Lebanon. They say they're too scared to return to Syria.

CNN has still not been granted access into Syria. Rima Maktabi joins us now from across the border in Beirut, Lebanon.

And Rima, tell us, what are you hearing about the sense on the streets of Syria?

RIMA MAKTABI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anna, indeed, the momentum for this uprising in Syria has calm down to some extent as we go into the eighth week for these protests. It surely has spread across Syria.

It started in a province called Daraa, on the border with Jordan. Then it spread to Homs, the third largest city, Baniyas, Latakia, and some suburbs of Damascus. However, the number of protesters we see on the streets has come down a little bit, especially with the military crackdown that has been taking place for at least three weeks. And human rights organizations, especially Amnesty International, is talking about more than 580 people killed so far.

So, as you are speaking about the other Arab uprisings, definitely in Syria, things a little bit lost its momentum.

COREN: And Rima, what are you hearing about protests after Friday prayers tomorrow?

MAKTABI: Friday is going to be like every Friday we have been witnessing all over the Arab world. It will have a different (INAUDIBLE), and the social media networks are already calling for protests across the streets in Syria. However, regarding the massive arrests happening in Syria, we are seeing less numbers of people hitting the streets.

This does not mean that the uprising in Syria may stop. Many analysts and activists and even people close to the regime are talking about a long summer covering this uprising in Syria. However, other analysts said that probably the Syrian regime has won the first round of the battle by simply imposing a very harsh military crackdown on any dissent or opposition.

COREN: Rima Maktabi in Lebanon.

Thank you.

Well, a Munich court has found John Demjanjuk guilty of involvement in nearly 20,000 murders as a Nazi death camp guard. The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk claims he was a victim of the Nazis and was held by the Germans as a POW. His lawyers say they'll appeal the decision.

Well, this is not the first time Demjanjuk, who is 91, has been on trial for war crimes. In the 1980s, he was convicted in Israel of serving as a guard at another Nazi camp under the name "Ivan the Terrible." The courts later said it was a case of mistaken identity.

Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, anti-U.S. protests break out in Pakistan. Coming up, we'll go to Abbottabad, where demonstrators say the U.S. has violated the nation's sovereignty.

And then, boys trained to be suicide bombers now learning to be children again. We'll bring you that story from Afghanistan.

And in Spain, a deadly earthquake strikes the southeast. We'll have the latest as daylight reveals the damage in Lorca.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, officials say there is a high possibility that nuclear fuel rods at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan have melted. Well, Tokyo Electric Power Company says the rods were left exposed after water levels in the number 1 reactor building fell. The water levels need to be maintained in order to keep the fuel rods cool, but workers at the plant found they hadn't dropped more than a meter below the rods.

Well, TEPCO blames the incident on a faulty gauge. It also suspects there is a leak in the pressure vessel. TEPCO continues to pour 150 tons of water into the reactor each day.

Well, a U.S. official tells CNN that Osama bin Laden was likely exchanging messages with other terrorists during the time he lived in Abbottabad. Well, that official says documents seized during the Navy SEALs' raid are "not just the writings of an elderly jihadi."

Among them is bin Laden's handwritten journal. It's been called the al Qaeda playbook and gives guidance on how to attack the U.S. But the official tells CNN the journal includes more ideas than actual plans.

Well, the White House is dismissing allegations from family members who say the killing of Osama bin Laden violated international law. In a briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "We feel very strongly that the successful mission against a mass murderer of Americans and people across the world was entirely justified."

In a statement released to "The New York Times," Osama bin Laden's children question why he wasn't captured alive and given a trial.

Well, Osama bin Laden's children aren't the only ones calling foul after the U.S. raid in Pakistan.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Abbottabad, where protests broke out over the Navy SEALs' operation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here's some of the anger we're seeing across Abbottabad at the moment. They're not here because they believe bin Laden was ever a resident of this town. I think most people in this crowd have never really accepted that the world's most wanted man lived in Abbottabad for a while. They're really here because they're furious at the United States at what they see is an invasion of their sovereignty by those Navy SEAL helicopters that attacked the bin Laden compound.

Here, really, we're seeing protesters holding signs, some in English, clearly for an external audience. Also, organized flags from one of the main Pakistani opposition parties trying to harness this popular anger at the United States.

I think this is where the arguments over the next few weeks is going to develop. Does this kind of popular fury become any kind of larger political momentum and change the already fractured relationship between Pakistan and the United States?

Remember, Islamabad and Washington, already at each other's throats before the bin Laden operation even happened. And increasing recrimination and accusations between those two cities will play out in the forthcoming weeks. And we're really going to have to see whether or not the bin Laden operation is still going to allow America to function in a way that it has done inside Pakistani territory, or we'll see some kind of final end to America's presence on Pakistani soil.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Abbottabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, bin Laden's hideout in a city with a heavy military presence has raised a lot of questions, but it is not the first time Pakistan's military and intelligence community have come under serious scrutiny.

Our Tim Lister has a look at recent history.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM LISTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mumbai, India, November, 2008. Pakistani militants kill some 170 people in a three-day rampage. U.S. and Indian officials soon suspect the involvement of elements in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, the ISI, a suspicion confirmed when an American, David Headley, confesses he worked for the Pakistani terror group and former Pakistani intelligence officers to plan the Mumbai attack.

To the ISI, India is the mortal enemy. It funds extremist groups fighting in Kashmir, a region that sparked three wars between India and Pakistan.

According to U.S. intelligence documents published by WikiLeaks, the ISI has helped the Taliban and allies of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told "60 Minutes" last year --

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is. And we expect more cooperation.

LISTER: Just last month, the U.S. top military officer said bluntly that ISI agents were supporting terror groups.

ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: The ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani network. That doesn't mean everybody in the ISI, but it's there.

LISTER: The U.S. Siraj Haqqani is behind countless attacks on U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan. The Haqqanis are also suspected of bombing the Indian Embassy in Kabul three years ago. Nearly 60 people were killed.

So what's the ISI's strategy?

HASSSAN ABBAS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: They don't want to go after Haqqani, Siraj Haqqani especially, in north Waziristan, because they think at any later stage when there will be some reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, or when there will be some peace settlement in Afghanistan, at that stage they don't want Indian influence to be the defining factor.

LISTER: Pakistan's nightmare, to be sandwiched between two hostile countries. So U.S. money to fight terrorism has gone elsewhere.

LAWRENCE WRIGHT, AUTHOR, "THE LOOMING TOWER": We're giving them more money than we've practically given anybody in history. And yet, what have they done with that money? They have used it develop their nuclear program. They've used it to arm themselves against India.

LISTER: But can the United States walk away from an ally that's both unstable and nuclear-armed?

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: The issue now is to actually continue working with the civilian government, with Prime Minister Gilani, with President Zardari, with the civilian forces who have every incentive to make sure, to the extent they can, that the ISI is not supporting either al Qaeda or Taliban groups.

LISTER: Pakistan says its own sacrifices go unheeded with thousands of its soldiers and policemen killed in the battle against extremism.

YOUSUF RAZA GILANI, PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: No other country in the world and no other security agency has done so much to interdict al Qaeda than the ISI and our armed forces.

LISTER: In the discovery in Abbottabad, the U.S. view is they are not doing enough.

Tim Lister, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, Mexico's drug cartels target Australia. The reason is simple economics. We'll explore the cause and effect of this long distance supply and demand.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, Mexico's war against its drug cartels has claimed thousands of victims over the years, and the gangs' reach extends halfway around the globe.

Well, Rafael Romo explains how Australia fits into all this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, SR. LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): In the middle of the night, a shipment of illegal drugs is confiscated on a ship off the coast of Australia, near Melbourne. Australian authorities say last year alone, 130,000 kilograms of cocaine were smuggled into their country. But what's more surprising is that the drugs come from half a world away.

JOHN LAWLER, AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION: In more recent times, Mexico and, more broadly, South America, has become increasingly an embarkation point for drug shipments into Australia.

ROMO: The new development is a concern for the Australian government at the highest levels. A report by Australia's crime commission says organized crime operating in Australia, including Mexican cartels, have competitive advantage. Mexican drug cartels are apparently attracted by the high profit margins of drugs like cocaine in Australia. A kilo of cocaine bought in Columbia for $2,000 U.S. is worth $12,000 in Mexico and $28,000 in the United States. By the time it reaches Australia, its price is $150,000 -- a whopping 6,000 percent increase over the total investment.

LAWLER: So you can see why Australia is such an attractive market for the criminals, because they're about making money. And making money at other people's expense and misery.

ROMO: Australian officials say they believe that more than half the cocaine sold in their country is smuggled by the powerful Sinaloa cartel and its leader, Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo or Shorty. Guzman was number 41 in the list of the most powerful people in the world published two years ago by "Forbes" magazine, which also estimates his fortune at $1 billion. The Australian federal police have had a presence in Columbia for years and now they're also closely working with Mexico.

BEATRIZ LOPEZ, MEXICAN AMBASSADOR TO AUSTRALIA (through translator): The relationship that Mexico and Australia have built for 45 years after establishing diplomatic relations is solid and friendly and both governments are working to make it even better.

ROMO: Around 6 percent of Australians over the age of 14 have used cocaine at least once.

NATASHA EXELBY, AUSTRALIAN JOURNALIST: There's a fair bit of cocaine in Australia. It's a very common party drug. It's everywhere and it's through all levels of societies.

ROMO (on camera): Australian officials say the global nature of organized crime is affecting people in both Australia and Latin America. In Australia, through the negative effects of drug addiction, and in Latin America, and particularly in Mexico, because drug profits are making the cartels more powerful and violent at the same time.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COREN: Well, sent on suicide missions as children. Just ahead on NEWS STREAM, a CNN exclusive. We meet two boys caught on the Afghan border before it was too late and ask, where do they go from here?

Plus, why Mumbai's mangroves are key to stopping the city from being submerged by floodwaters and what's being done to protect them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM. These are your world headlines.

In the Libyan capital Tripoli a government officials says two people have been killed and 27 injured in an airstrike on Colonel Gadhafi's compound. The official says the complex was hit by four rockets early Thursday morning. This came just hours after new footage of the Libyan leader was shown on state TV. It's the first time he's been seen in two weeks.

Activists in Yemen said at least 13 people have been killed in violent clashes in the capital Sana'a. These are some of the latest pictures to come out of the country. Witnesses say security forces fired live ammunition on the crowds. CNN has been unable to independently verify these accounts.

A top U.N. envoy is set to meet with the newly elected government of Myanmar for the first time. The nominally civilian government took over in March. Well, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is also expected to meet with the convoy.

Investigators say they will know on Monday whether they can retrieve any information from the flight data recorders of Air France flight 447. The data recorders have now been returned to Paris. Well, they could hold the key why the plane crashed into the Atlantic ocean nearly two years ago killing all 228 people on board.

Let's got to our Mari Ramos at the world weather center. And Mari, I believe you're going to give us an update on U.S. flooding.

MARIS RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. You know, this is a story that's going to go on for such a long time, Anna, because we really haven't even reached the peak so to speak. In some cases, the river has crested. It's going to go down very, very slowly. You might remember Rob Marciano was reporting from Memphis just a few days ago. And he was saying how the river is going to go down about a third of a meter in Memphis every five days. So could you imagine how that's going to take?

All of that dirty water from the river that has invaded homes and businesses to continue getting out.

Now that -- now that the river has crested in Memphis other cities downstream are preparing. Greenville for example is expecting the crest not until May 16th at 19.8 meters. This is close to a record there as well. Vicksburg expecting it on May 19th. And as we head into the cities here in Louisiana, New Orleans expecting a cresting of May 23rd. Now that's going to also be very close to a record. And close to that level where it could overtop the levees.

There's a lot of things that they're trying to do to prevent that from happening. And we've been talking a lot about this levee system that is all up and down the Mississippi River. I want to give you an example of areas where there is a levee.

For example, near Natchez right over here. There are levees around the river over here to help protect the communities. And you've got to remember that these are forecasts that we're giving you as to when that crest is expected to arrive in certain places.

There are certain things that could make that forecast change. For example, having additional rainfall, or if a levee is breached in a place, that could also change that date of the expected crest.

So you have these levees in these areas that help protect the communities, but not the entire area of the Mississippi has levees. There are areas where the river flows freely, so to speak. And in those areas where there are no levees the river could actually get as much as 10 kilometers wide. There are some small populations here. Most of this tends to be farmland. But that is one of the things that we could see as we head through the next few days.

Now talking about the possibility of some weather coming into this area. Most of it is still staying to the west of the Mississippi, but we could see a little bit more of that coming in as we head into the weekend into some of these areas.

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

Oh they are coming back -- well I guess I should say Anna, they're already here. And they've been here for the last 13 years living underground. These are called a periodical cicadas. And they are getting set to, I think this year, to come out of their burrows in the ground. The temperature has to be at about maybe 18 degrees Celsius at night for these little bugs to come out of the ground. And they're expecting them this year all across the eastern U.S. including here in Georgia. I'm not so happy about that.

It's not that I don't like bugs, I'm not scared of them, I just -- they freak me out a little bit. To think that those things have been living -- oh, anyway. All this time. And you know what, the temperatures are definitely warm enough for that to start happening. They're expecting it to come out in droves. So quite a bit of them, cicadas.

COREN: Mari, I can tell you're not exactly a fan of the cicada. I know they make a lot of noise.

RAMOS: They do.

COREN: They do.

RAMOS: Anything crawly not good for me.

COREN: Creepy crawly. All right, Mari. Good to see you. Thank you for that.

Well, one city that's been dealing with extreme weather for years is Mumbai. Well, monsoon season usually brings heavy flooding. The city used to have a way to protect itself, but as Mallika Kapur reports, that's now in jeopardy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: July 2005, almost a meter of rain in 24 hours lashed Mumbai. The city came to a standstill. More than 400 people died. 18 million Mumbaikers watched their city drown.

BITTU SAHGAL, SANCTUARY ASIA: Nobody could have avoided 2005, but we could have avoided the severity of 2005. It did not need to kill that many people.

KAPUR: It wouldn't have, say environmentalists, if Mumbai had more mangroves. These are coastal shrubs that act as barriers between the ocean and land. They trap silt and absorb water, crucial for Mumbai, a city built around several islands.

SAHGAL: This area was mangrove to the point where you could hardly see anything other than mangroves. If you still go further down there, you'll see some of them. The relic mangroves, the ones that have escaped the bulldozers.

KAPUR: The bulldozers are everywhere as India's financial capital expands aggressively, builders are grabbing every inch of available land, even water.

Behind these Mumbai's new financial center that's being built on reclaimed land, which means that this area was once all water. And where I'm standing, a lush green forest that used to protect Mumbai from floods.

The few mangroves left need to be protected, said Nandakumar Pawar and his team of Mangrove Warriors patrol them sometimes on foot, sometimes on a boat, looking for signs of destruction.

NANDAKUMAR PAWAR, MANGROVE WARRIOR: Without mangrove, Mumbai can vanish, Mumbai can disappear.

KAPUR: And it can dramatically change the ecology of the city.

Why are these mangroves to important to the fishing community?

PAWAR: Without mangrove, fishing is not feasible.

KAPUR: Why not?

PAWAR: Because mangrove works as a (inaudible) fish. They can grow, they can hatch their -- and that fish can be (inaudible).

KAPUR: In a neighboring village, this fisherman says that in recent years instead of multiplying, the fish have been disappearing.

SAHGAL: Mumbai is sitting on a flood bomb. We have made ourselves so flood prone in our haste to build that we haven't taken simplest of precautions.

KAPUR: The local government is overhauling the city's long neglected water drainage system. But environmentalists say it's too little, too late. Too many mangroves have vanished, too many flamingos have flown away. Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, it's three years since earthquake devastated China's southwestern Sichuan Province. 87,000 people were left dead or missing, millions more were left homeless. Well images like this remind us just how bad the situation was. Well, this shows one of the hardest hit areas Belchuan County back in 2008.

Well, much of the area, as you can see, was reduced to rubble. And some of the towns were sealed off to prevent the spread of disease. But now, Belchuan County looks like this. The Chinese government says 95 percent of reconstruction projects have been completed so far. $136 billion have been invested in the rebuild, amongst other things that's paid for 3,000 new schools and 1,000 hospitals.

Within two years of the earthquake, 1.5 million rural homes and 250,000 homes in cities had been rebuilt.

Well ahead on NEWS STREAM, officials say four boys from Pakistan were recruited to die. And now Afghanistan has them in custody. But where do they go next?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well a spokesman for Libya's opposition says Misrata has been liberated. Well, let's bring in Sara Sidner from the rebel stronghold Benghazi. Sara, what are you hearing?\

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We were just listening to the spokesman for the national transitional council here in Benghazi, that is the rebel group that is forming to create a legislative body. They basically said all Misrata has been liberated. They said that 40 to 45 kilometer circumference around Misrata, the rebels are in control of that area now. They've been able to push Gadhafi forces out.

The rebel forces also were able to push beyond the airport. Now yesterday we told you that the airport had been taken over by rebel forces away from Gadhafi forces after some fierce fighting there, hours of fierce fighting.

They're saying now they've been able to push beyond that, they've been able to push Gadhafi forces away from the council defense base. So at this point in time they say that they do have control of Misrata.

One of the issues has been, obviously, trying to get aid into that besieged city, because the port was heavily damaged by shelling. They're hoping the airport can now be used for humanitarian aid and supplies to the people who have been suffering in that city. But headlines right now from the spokesman that all Misrata has been liberated.

COREN: Sara, this is huge news, because this is a city that has been under siege for almost two months. What's to say that Gadhafi's forces won't remobilize and attack again?

SIDNER: Well, that is always the difficult thing. You're not sure just how long, for example, the rebels will stay in control of different areas. However, they did mention this -- they said, as things start happening in Tripoli, which in the last few days you've heard of protests, anti- government protests there. You're also seeing new airstrikes in that area. Because of that, they say that Gadhafi forces have had to concentrate some of their equipment and troops into Tripoli thereby weakening some of their positions in other western cities. And so you're seeing some of the results of that, according to the rebels.

We should mentions, though, that after they announced that they have taken over the airport, government spokesman came out in Tripoli saying no that is not true. We have gotten no independent confirmation that the rebels are actually in control of that airport.

At this point, we have not yet heard from the government itself and what its stance is on this new information that the rebel spokesman has been talking about here in Benghazi. We are waiting to hear that.

They say they've also made another move in the west. Again, because Gadhafi forces have weakened there, because they're concentrating now on the capital. They're saying that they have taken over the majority of the Green Mountain area, except for one city. And so, you know, they're pretty confident that their fight to go forward will continue, but this is a very big moment if indeed Misrata has been liberated by the rebels.

COREN: Sara, we should just mention to our viewers that we are looking at pictures from around the airport. That is when the rebels took back control of the airport in Misrata.

Sara Sidner in Benghazi, thank you for that update.

Well, now to a disturbing problem that continues to plague security officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan: children trained to be suicide bombers.

Well, 10 days ago, four young boys were detained at the border between the two countries. Well, all were under the age of 14. Officials say militants had recruited them in Pakistan to become suicide bombers in Afghanistan.

Well, CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom got rare access to Kabul's juvenile rehabilitation center that the boys are held. He spoke exclusively to two of them who cannot be named for their own safety.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The amulet around this 9-year-old boy's neck contains Koranic verses. He says it was given to him by a religious teacher to strengthen his faith, keep him safe, and make him brave. Three years before that very same mullah on a suicide mission.

"He told us to go and put on bombs and explode and that we wouldn't die," explains the boy. "When we came to the border we asked people if we put on bombs and exploded ourselves, will we get killed? They said, yes, you will get killed. So we returned to go home, but then we were arrested and they brought us here."

Here is Kabul's juvenile rehabilitation center where the boy and his 10- year-old companion are being held. Afghan intelligence say they and two other boys were coming in from Pakistan to carry out suicide bombings, that they had been told Afghanistan was full of infidels.

Now their fates are in limbo. Afghanistan's government hasn't decided if they'll be charged and tried. Their detention might last days, or could last years. The center's director insists they're dire need of help, but it's not that simple.

"We don't have any particular program for these boys," says Aziza Adalat Khan.

So far, their rehabilitation has been comprised of attending classes taught in a language they don't speak siting among boys far older doodling and drawing while other students take dictation.

"Unfortunately," she says, "we don't have any psychologists in the center to help these children. And we really need one."

The boys seem to be coping as best they can. One minute they giggle, then feel guilty.

"We didn't tell our parents that we were leaving," says the boy." We made mistakes."

And then there's the anger directed at the teacher they say put them in this position.

"He cheated us," he says.

Administrators here say these are minors, that ideally they should be set free. But they're also worried these kids are vulnerable and that if released now they could fall under the sway of extremist teachings once more.

Boys whose faith in god was so strong they would have given their lives. Now putting their faith in this country's justice system to give them their lives back.

Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Kabul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: A prominent Indian politician was arrested on Wednesday for participating in protests over land compensation. Well, police say Rahul Ghandi was detained briefly in Atapudesh (ph) state before being released hours later. Well, he was there to rally with farmers who are demanding the government pay them more for land that's been taken away to build a $2 billion highway. Well, four people were killed in similar protests there over the weekend.

Well, the arrest is drawing attention in India because of Rahul Ghandi's high profile family. Well, he comes from a very long line of Indian lawmakers. Well his mother, Sona Ghandi is president of the ruling Indian National Congress Party. Forbes also named her the ninth most powerful person in the world last year.

Well, his father, Rajiv Ghandi served as prime minister of India between 1984 and 1989, but was assassinated in 1991 while seeking reelection.

Well, his grandmother, Indira Ghandi was also prime minister serving between 1980 and 1984.

And his great grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru was India's first prime minister ever. Well, he served for 17 years beginning in 1947 as soon as India gained independence from Great Britain.

Well there's worth noting who he's not related to. There is no link between these Ghandi's and Mahatma Ghandi.

Well, New York City is no stranger to film crews and Hollywood stars, but Will Smith's monster of a movie trailer sent Soho screaming. Well, coming up we'll take you inside the pad on wheels that pushed neighbors over the edge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: We all know that passions can run high in the sporting world, but one fan has gone too far during a football match in Scotland. Let's join Alex Thomas in London for more on a shocking attack -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anna. Scottish football officials are discussing what steps to take following a shock attack on Celtic coach Neil Lennon during a Premier League match on Wednesday night.

Moment after Celtic have taken a 2-nil lead away to Hearts, a man leaped from the Tynecastle stands and partially grabbed Lennon before being pulled away by stewards and police. Lennon has been the victim of sectarian violence and abuse for years as a Catholic who once played for mainly Protestant Northern Ireland. A 26-year-old man was arrested and due to appear in an Edinburgh court today.

Well, although Celtic's boss didn't comment after the match, he wrote this on Twitter today, "don't let what happened to me take the shine off a wonderful team performance. I don't walk alone." Those last four words reference to Celtic's club anthem.

In the NBA playoffs on Wednesday, the Miami Heat have a chance to secure their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals if they can win game 5 of their series against the Boston Celtics. Shaquille O'Neal not a factor in this game, out of the series with an injury, and maybe his famous career is over entirely.

Of those players who were in action, Dwayne Wade as usual stood out. That circus shot 3-point play part of the Heat star's 23 points in the first half and 34 overall.

In the fourth quarter where the score is tied at 87, here's Wade to LeBron James who hits the clutch 3-pointer.

And moments later Paul Pierce passes to Jeff Green. The pass goes astray out of bounds. A big mistake. And when Miami regain possession, they certainly capitalized. LeBron James with another 3 over Pierce. He had 33 points on the night, helping the Heat win 97-87 and taking the series 4-1.

And Anna, we finish with a bit of breaking sports news for you. In the last hour, Liverpool Football Club in England's Premier League have announced that Kenny Dalglish has signed a three year contract to become their manager permanently, taking over for Roy Hodgson earlier in the season, turning the side's fortunes around. Steve Clarke, his assistant, is also on a three year contract.

Back to you.

COREN: All right. Alex Thomas, good to see you. Thank you.

Well, right now Will Smith is filming another installment of Men in Black, but the alien fighting isn't winning fans in New York a city where space is at a premium. Will Smith's oversized trailer has sparked a huge controversy.

Jeanne Moos examines the uproar.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When actor Will Smith takes a break from shooting the latest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men in Black.

MOOS: He retires to a gargantuan trailer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bigger than my apartment.

MOOS: It is anything but trailer trash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most pimped out trailer I've ever seen in my life.

MOOS: A second story rises at the press of a button. Check out the staircase.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; I think it's pretty hilarious.

MOOS: Couches, big screens, granite and marble, a satellite dish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's awesome.

MOOS: But one person's awesome is another person's.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awful.

MOOS: And a few people said awful things about Will Smith's trailer to the New York Post which dubbed it the monster that ate Soho.

Well, if it ain't Soho, better work off the calories. Did we mention Will has a second trailer? This one is a gym.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shut up. Knock it off.

MOOS: We kid you not.

There's a full gym in there.

Can I work out?

Anybody home?

I was going to ask if I could work out quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

MOOS: I can't work out?

Most folks we talked to didn't begrudge Will his trailers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he's the man, you know what I mean.

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: Wait, man. What you doing?

TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: I do the driving.

SMITH: You used to drive that old busted joint. See, I drive the new hotness.

MOOS: Actually, this hotness is called the Heat by its manufacturer Anderson Mobile Estates.

Forget Will Smith, the trailer is the star.

It attracted gawkers and stalkers.

You came down to see the trailer and the gym?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I come to see the gym.

MOOS: But in the end coverage of the naysayers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has just taken over the whole neighborhood.

MOOS: Caused the city to order the trailer moved. Columbia Pictures said we regret any inconvenience. The trailer will be relocated to private property.

Filming went on as extras gathered to shoot an Andy Warhol party scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a pretty sweet looking trailer, right? Where's my trailer?

MOOS: Don't expect to see this trailer in a trailer for Men in Black III.

SMITH: New hotness.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think of having to move your trailer? Come on!

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Extravagant isn't it?

Well, fashion forward or fashion faux pas, whatever you take this headgear worn by Britain's Princess Beatrice to last month's royal wedding got plenty of people talking and laughing. Well, the Phillip Treacy Fascinator is being compared to a toilet seat and an octopus. Well, Beatrice -- but hats off, I should say, to Princess Beatrice. She's helping the poor by taking advantage of the headwear's new found fame. The royal flesh toned Fascinator is being put up for auction on eBay with proceeds going to children's charities.

But once put up for sales, it'll have to compete for business with this, the paper costume version of the designer hat. Yours for just $9.99.

The hat has certainly had the last laugh, it's got a cult following online attracting well over 100,000 fans on its dedicated Facebook page here. Barack Obama has even been one of the one's wearing it, although only in a spoof photograph.

Well, that's it for NEWS STREAM, but the news certainly continues here at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is coming up next.

END