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President Obama to Host Benjamin Netanyahu; Syria Reacts to President Obama's Speech; Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Future
Aired May 20, 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, the U.S. president prepares to host Israel's prime minister after speaking about Middle East peace like never before.
And we are waiting for the former head of the IMF to get out of jail on bail. Now, what is next for Dominique Strauss-Kahn?
Plus, witness to disaster. CNN correspondents share their experiences covering Japan's earthquake and tsunami.
Now, the United States' new sanctions on Syria seem to be having little effect. There are government troops firing on protesters today after Friday prayers. And it was that type of violence that prompted the American sanctions this week.
Now, President Obama, on Thursday, laid out his vision for the Middle East in a major speech. Now, as expected, he pledged aid to Egypt and warned Arab leaders that strategies of oppression will no longer work. But he also made waves by formally endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders, at least as a starting point for talks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually-agreed swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves and reach their full potential in a sovereign and contiguous state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Israel's prime minister fired back, saying that pre-1967 borders would leave his country "indefensible." That could make for a tense day in Washington. The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with President Obama at the White House today.
Ed Henry is CNN's senior White House correspondent, and he joins us now live from the White House.
And Ed, relations between the two have never been particularly warm. But after yesterday's speech, what kind of meeting are they going to have?
ED HENRY, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you're right. The relations have been frosty. I think now maybe they're in a deep freeze.
I mean, the bottom line is President Obama's defense of why he brought all this up is that the peace process is basically not a process right now, it's just completely off track. And he thinks one way to get the Palestinians back to the table is to largely endorse their position on the '67 borders that you mentioned, at least get them back to the table. And White House aides note that the president deliberately did not get into Jerusalem and carving that up, and having the Israelis share a capital with the Palestinians. He deliberately left that off the table for now to please the Israelis. He didn't mention Palestinian refugees to please the Israelis.
Nonetheless, this is seen as a shot across the bow right now, and is only going to anger Prime Minister Netanyahu. As you noted, he said it was indefensible.
And I think the basic Israeli position is look, who cares about trying to get the Palestinians to the table right now with something like this when the Palestinian Authority just basically cut a reconciliation deal with the terror group Hamas? So how can you expect the Israelis to want to get to the table with the Palestinians right now until they renounce Hamas?
So, the bottom line is President Obama's approach today is -- in this meeting in the Oval Office, and they're going to make statements to the press. And then most importantly, they're going to, just the two leaders, have a working lunch here in the White House residence to maybe try to smooth things over. But I think the bottom line is, right now, the process seems just woefully off track right now, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope to get it going again -- Kristie.
STOUT: Now, inside the United States there has been a lot f heated reaction to the president's speech. What are the Republicans saying?
HENRY: You know, Mitt Romney, who is kind of considered the Republican frontrunner for the 2012 GOP nomination, came out and said point blank that President Obama had thrown Israel under the bus. You know, this expression that suggests that you don't about your friend here. Israel, in this case.
And that is pretty harsh rhetoric, because the Jewish-American vote in 2012 is going to be very important. And it's clear that Republicans like Mitt Romney are going to try to drive a wedge between President Obama and the Jewish community in the United States for political reasons. And President Obama certainly gave them, the Republicans, some fodder with this speech.
Now, we should point out, this is really not a new position though. Despite all of this controversy, previous U.S. presidents have suggested the '67 borders should be used. It's just that they had never done it this forcefully, in kind of a formal address. They got so much attention, as President Obama's did yesterday, number one. And number two, it's the timing, as you noted.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming into the White House just in the next couple of hours. So it was seen as really a poke in the eye on the eve of this visit -- Kristie.
STOUT: Ed, also general U.S. reaction. What do Americans make of the president's overture to democracy in the Arab world, pledging that $1 billion in debt forgiveness to Egypt -- I mean, do Americans want to provide that kind of help and support right now?
HENRY: Well, you raise a great question, because getting back to the 2012 presidential campaign, there are a lot of Americans still out of work right now. They're dealing with extremely high gas prices for their automobiles to get to work every morning. And so there are some Americans who reacted to this speech by saying, why are we helping funnel aid to the Mideast right now when there are a lot of Americans who need help from the U.S. government at a time of deep budget deficits, where the president and Republicans on Capitol Hill have been saying we need to cut spending at not provide as much aid to Americans, why are we doing that overseas?
The president I think made a pretty strong case yesterday that, given the Arab Spring, the last thing the U.S. should do is sit on the sidelines and not help some key allies in the region at a time when they need it, because we should remember that the Arab Spring was not just about people thirsting for human rights. It was also young Arabs thirsting for just a job, some economic opportunity.
And so the president sees this as an opportunity right now to help some key allies. And we should also note that the whole Israeli/Palestinian issue was a tiny sliver of the speech. It was a much broader speech, but the Israeli part is getting more attention because of the controversy -- Kristie.
STOUT: That's right.
Ed Henry, joining us live from the White House.
Thank you, Ed.
HENRY: Great to see you.
STOUT: Now, let's look now at exactly what the U.S. president said.
Now, in his 45-minute speech, Barack Obama mentioned the world "Israel," you see right here in the word cloud, some 29 times. Now, he said "Egypt" 11 times, "Tunisia" just nine times there. And in talking about harsh crackdowns, he said "Syria" and "Bahrain" each about six times each.
Now, what about the word "peace"? Now, the U.S. president made 19 mentions of the word "peace," the figures here in the word cloud. And Obama's signature word, "change," well, he said, "change" 21 times in that address.
But what about what the U.S. president did not say? Now, at no point in the address did Barack Obama make any mention of Saudi Arabia, though he came close.
Fareed Zakaria explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": You know, he did mention -- he said, look, there are places where our interests and our values will collide in the short term. He didn't specify the 800-pound gorilla at that intersection, and that is, of course, Saudi Arabia.
Look, I understand that he didn't do it. I recognize it as you did. I also understand why he didn't do it.
He isn't just the professor of a Constitution and civics class. He is the president of the United States.
Were there to be serious instability in Saudi Arabia, protests of the kind that there were in Egypt, you would probably be looking at oil at $250 a barrel, which would mean for the average consumer in the Western world a tripling of oil prices. It could easily send the Western world -- indeed, the entire world -- into another recession.
So, yes, Saudi Arabia is the hardest case of all these because our interests really move us in the direction of stability in that kingdom, but our values really move us in the direction of change. He hasn't been able to square that circle. Honestly, I don't know anybody else who has been able to either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Our Fareed Zakaria there on the conspicuous omission of Saudi Arabia in that address.
Now, as protesters gather and government troops respond with gunfire in Syria, our Arwa Damon has been keeping an eye on the situation from Beirut. She joins us now live.
Now, President Obama told Bashar al-Assad in that address on Thursday to "get out of the way," but not to leave. So how are Syrian activists reacting to that?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, he also said that the president should either -- President Bashar al-Assad, that is -- should either lead the road to a transition or get out of the way. And that does, to a certain degree, leave open a very small window for President Assad to try to reform. And that is, to a certain degree, what the U.S. is in fact hoping is going to take place to try to bring about some sort of a resolution to this uprising in Syria.
When it comes to the activists, however, they do not fundamentally believe that President Assad is capable of truly reforming, of bringing about the types of changes in Syria that would not only bring about an end to this brutal crackdown, but that would also set the country on the path that has really been the cause of this uprising, and that is a path that would lead towards a truly democratic and free state. Activists following the speech were quite upset.
They were saying that they wanted to hear President Obama use the same type of rhetoric that he had leveled against Gadhafi's regime in Libya. They wanted to hear President Obama simply say that President Bashar al-Assad has lost the legitimacy to lead and that he must step down right away.
That being said though, Kristie, activists do not by any stretch of the imagination expect President Obama, or the United States, for that matter, to bring about an end to this uprising. They say that this is their revolution, they are the ones that are going to bring down the Assad regime, if in fact that does take place. And they do realize that this is very much -- if change does come, it is going to be change that was brought on by the Syrian people themselves -- Kristie.
STOUT: So low expectations for the U.S. role in all this.
Now, Arwa, every week after Friday prayers we brace ourselves for more protests from across the Arab region. Now, how will President Obama's speech affect demonstrations today?
DAMON: Well, Kristie, it's not likely to have any impact whatsoever. In fact, we've already begun to receive reports about demonstrations taking place in various parts of the country. We've already begun to receive reports -- and we're trying to get some sort of confirmation on that -- that Syrian security forces have been using tear gas, that they have also been losing lethal rounds. And this pretty much has been the status quo ever since this uprising began. And that is exactly why activists are saying that this is a regime that is unfit to lead, that is incapable of reforming, because of these ongoing brutal and harsh tactics that are being leveled against those who dare voice their opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
This is a regime that has, throughout all of this, remained incredibly defiant, believing, to a certain extreme, that the regime still does have the upper hand. It continue to maintain that it is simply targeting extremist terrorist groups following the U.S. announcing the newest round of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad and six senior government officials. The regime has said that the sanctions have not and will not affect Syria's independent decision-making.
And it does seem, since we have not heard these direct calls for Bashar al- Assad to step down immediately, that he does still maintain a fairly, relatively speaking, powerful position -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Arwa Damon, joining us live from Beirut.
Now, in New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is set to leave Rikers Island jail today. Now, the former IMF chief was granted bail on Thursday after being held for several days on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid. But the defense says even after his release, Strauss-Kahn won't be a free man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM TAYLOR, STRAUSS-KAHN ATTORNEY: We are proposing the most restrictive possible conditions, Your Honor, putting aside the question whether any conditions are necessary. In light of the people's position, we are proposing the most restrictive possible conditions. That is, that he live with his wife in a residence in New York City, the address of which I will not put on the public record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, in order to be released on bail, Strauss-Kahn had to post $1 million in cash, along with a $5 million bond. Now, he is also surrendering his travel documents and has agreed to wear a monitoring device.
Now, he is then required to be back in court on June the 6th.
For more now, Susan Candiotti joins us now live from CNN New York.
And Susan, tell us about what is going to happen today, once he is released from prison.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big question, of course, is when will he be released from Rikers jail? This is a man, remember, who has only been charged with a crime, but now has to go through the legal process of trying to defend himself.
When he gets out, he would be escorted to -- under armed guard -- and, by the way, he has to pay for all of the security himself. But he will be taken to this apartment that is currently being rented by his wife. Now, right now, the defense is trying to keep a lid on this location, but it has to be properly monitored, it has to have armed guards in place to watch the comings and goings and make sure that he doesn't leave, because he's supposed to stay inside unless he has to go to court.
All of these conditions must be signed off by the judge before he will be allowed to walk out of this jail.
STOUT: And Susan, around the same time that he was granted bail, Strauss- Kahn's indictment on several criminal charges, that was announced. What are the charges?
CANDIOTTI: That's right. Both sides want a little something, right? He got bail, but the state won an indictment from a grand jury.
They are very serious charges, seven counts in all. And if found guilty, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
Four of the seven counts are felony charges. The rest are less serious, but all serious, nevertheless, and they include attempted rape, various forms of sexual assault.
You'll remember the authorities have said that according to this victim -- and they called her testimony very compelling and they say that the evidence is mounting -- that when this hotel maid entered the hotel room, that he was naked, and that they said that her account is that he attacked her violently, dragged her from the bedroom to the bathroom, and assaulted her. And so these are the very serious charges that he faces.
STOUT: So what are the defense attorneys saying about the charges leveled against their client?
CANDIOTTI: Well, they have maintained that he is innocent, and they said that right now, he will do whatever he can to protect his own best interests and to clear his name. He will formally enter a not guilty plea, as you indicted, at this arraignment on these indictments coming up on June the 6th, and that's when he will next have to appear in court.
The judge was very strict with him in court yesterday and said, "Now, look, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, you understand that you are being granted bail, but trust me, you better be here."
STOUT: Susan Candiotti, joining us live from New York.
Thank you for that update.
CANDIOTTI: You're welcome.
STOUT: Now, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the Pakistani Taliban target Americans and claim a revenge attack for the killing of Osama bin Laden. We'll take you live to Islamabad.
And NATO goes after naval targets in Libya. Now, Tripoli says the attack is an attempt to starve the country into submission.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, a U.S. convoy is targeted in northwest Pakistan, and now the Taliban says it was payback for the death of Osama bin Laden. A car packed with explosives blew up in Peshawar as U.S. consulate vehicles passed by. One person is dead, 11 others are injured.
Now, Senior International Correspondent Stan Grant is in Pakistan. He joins me now live from CNN in Islamabad.
And Stan, any more details on this car bombing?
STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, pretty much what you said there, Kristie, that this was a convoy of American vehicles leaving an American club (ph) in the morning, according to police up there. Now, there were three vehicles in all that were targeted by this explosion.
As you say, there was about 50 kilograms of explosives packed inside this vehicle that was parked by the side of the road. As the convoy passed, it was detonated by remote control, only striking one of the vehicles.
And as you say, 11 people there, so far, according to police, have been injured. Two of them foreigners, but we understand those injuries are minor. One person was killed, and that was a civilian bystander.
But these attacks are happening daily now, Kristie, and they have been since the killing of Osama bin Laden. And it comes with a very, very stern warning from the Taliban that not only were they responsible for this, but they're going to continue these attacks.
Just days ago, the second in command of the Taliban in Pakistan recorded a message on a videotape. CNN was able to get access to that tape yesterday. And in it, it he says the Taliban is going to finish the world of Osama bin Laden.
This is what he had to say --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALI UR REHMAN, DEPUTY COMMANDER, TEHREEK-E TALIBAN PAKISTAN (through translator): He loved his mission, which is not dependent on any one man. We loved him because he was courageously fighting against America and its allies. We have to continue his mission because we love his mission more than the man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRANT: Now, Wali Ur Rehman there saying they're going to target NATO, they're going to target America, and they're going to target Pakistan because, in their words, they see Pakistan as the lackeys of the United States, doing the dirty work of the United States. And apart from a revenge attack for the killing of Osama bin Laden, today's attack was also a retaliation for the ongoing Pakistan military operations here to try to route the Taliban and other militants around that Afghanistan/Pakistan border -- Kristie.
STOUT: Now, Americans were the target of this attack, and more attacks have been pledged. So what is the U.S. Consulate and other American interests doing to safeguard their assets in Pakistan?
GRANT: Well, there was a statement coming from the U.S. Consulate saying that of course this attack did take place, and that they are thankful for the support they're getting from Pakistani security forces, and they're going to continue to work with them to try to safeguard people. But this is a very volatile place, a very dangerous place. The Taliban, on the record as saying they are deliberately going to target Americans. And, in fact, after the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda itself put out a statement saying that they are going to also go after Americans as a revenge for the killing of bin Laden.
You know, these attacks, as I say, are now continuing almost on a daily basis. And yes, Americans are targeted, but also Pakistanis.
If you look over the past 10 years, more than 30,000 Pakistanis, Kristie, have been killed, caught in the crossfire between the militants, the Pakistani army, and also American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. And that's the real concern here in Pakistan. Many of them point the finger at America and say they would rather America be out of the region because it causes so much of a blowback and they are the ones often targeted.
Now, trying to right this relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, which has geared off track in recent weeks, one of the things they are looking at is more cooperation, more intelligence-sharing, to try to avoid the type of incidents that we saw today -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Stan Grant, joining us live from Islamabad.
Thank you, Stan.
Japan's Tokyo Electric Power continues to take a beating. And this time it's on its bottom line.
And these images of smoke rising from Fukushima's nuclear reactors may be old, but the memories are still fresh. Our correspondents look back on their experiences covering this disaster.
STOUT: Many of our correspondents were in Japan immediately after the disaster, and they are now looking back.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: CNN was stationed in Sendai, which was some 50 kilometers north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And initially we thought we were OK and everyone was operating as normal, and we were doing that for about three or four days.
And then, suddenly, something changed. You know, the nuclear story became a lot bigger, and we all started taking much more notice of it, probably because they hadn't been able to contain it. And suddenly, that became the story, and CNN decided to act very quickly. One minute, we were doing live shots, and the next minute we were told everyone had to evacuate.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The situation here is moving very quickly. It's very fluid. And we continue to follow it and adjust our coverage accordingly.
I was still on the air. We were going to be on for two hours. We made the call to cut it down to just one hour. I think I had, like, 20 minutes left on the air, so I completed the broadcast and then we basically just tried to get out of Sendai as quickly as possible.
We'll have the latest on the breaking news about the nuclear emergency, the ongoing nuclear emergency.
It wasn't really our call to make in terms of where was safe and where was not. We had to rely on other people, on experts, to say, OK, you know what? You need to leave this town.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been in dangerous situations before. I've been in war zones. But with bombs and with bullets, you can either see them or you can hear them. And you can try and put yourself in a position where you are safer, you can try and avoid the immediate danger.
Radiation isn't visible. There is absolutely no way of me being able to see it or to feel it or to smell it or to sense that I am in any danger. That is the worrying thing.
STOUT: And that is just a glimpse of our weekend special. It's called "Witness to Disaster: Japan," CNN journalists sharing their experiences with covering the quake and tsunami.
You can watch Saturday at 9:00 p.m. in Hong Kong -- that's 5:00 p.m. in Abu Dhabi -- right here on CNN.
And still ahead on NEWS STREAM, some smoky images from Tripoli's seaport as NATO aircraft strike eight Libyan warships overnight. We'll have reaction from Tripoli.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.
Now, in a matter of hours, Dominique Strauss-Kahn will swap a jail cell for house arrest in New York City. Now the former head of the International Monetary Fund is due to be released on bail. Now Strauss-Kahn has been indicted on seven charges, including attempted rape. And he denies the allegations.
Now Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is ending a four day visit to Ireland, the first by a British monarch since Ireland won its independence. Friday, she was due to visit a medieval fortress and a market in the city of Corke. Many analysts say the visit has the gone even better than expected.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Pashawra (ph) in northwest Pakistan. Now a spokesman tells CNN it is revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces. Now one person was killed an 11 were injured in the blast. They targeted U.S. consulate vehicles.
And U.S. president Barack Obama has laid out his vision for the Arab world. And in it clues the creation of a Palestinian State based on pre- 1967 borders. But Israel's prime minister says the plan will leave his country, quote, indefensible. Now the prime minister is headed to the White House on Friday.
Now Libya was quick to lash out at President Obama after his speech. A government spokesman says it is not Mr. Obama's role to decide whether or not Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafir steps aside. Now they accuse U.S. officials and American media of spreading lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOUSSA IBRAHIM, LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Obama is still delusional. He believes the lies that his own government is spreading around the world and his own media is spreading around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now Moussa Ibrahim went on to slam NATO over airstrikes that targeted Tripoli's sea port. And he says that they are, and I'm quoting here, a clear attempt to bring the nation to its knees. Now NATO says it struck eight Libyan warships overnight, because naval assets are being used to threaten civilians.
Now Nima Elbagir me now live from Tripoli. And Nima, what is the aftermath of those NATO strikes targeting the Tripoli sea port?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we've had nightly and a few daily strikes here over the last 10 days, but this is the strike that has the Libyan government the most concerned. Those ships that were hit were at the commercial port. And at the moment that really is the only effective lifeline into Tripoli. It is -- into government held Libya pretty much in general. It is where a lot of the food supplies are coming from, it is where the fuel -- the gas for cars is coming into. And now that that has been hit, their concern is that the insurance premiums are going to rocket and that actually ships coming through, international ships, bringing cargo are going to refuse, they're going to start refusing to come in will effectively isolate Libya because there is so much insecurity along that Tunisian border.
There is fighting between the Libyan government and rebels along that border. And Tunisia itself is going through a lot of unrest. So they are -- this seems to be the strike that has them the most worried, Kristie.
STOUT: And then what is the latest on this missing photographer, South African freelance photojournalist who has been missing there in Libya since April. What is the latest word on him?
ELBAGIR: Anton Hammel's family just released a statement saying that the journalists who were released, Clare Morgana Gillis, James Foley, and two others had told them that Anton was killed when they were captured.
What had led to the confusion and the really utterly desolate sense that perhaps he was out there and nobody could find him was that the Libyan government had told them, they said -- this is the family in their statement -- that he was still alive. We, then, were asking consistently - - and many other journalists here -- were asking pretty much every day for any information on Anton Hammel. And Libyan government spokespeople told us that he had never been in government custody.
When that hearing from the family that he was killed pretty much instantaneously on capture. So a really sad day for his family there in Surrey, in the United Kingdom, Kristie.
STOUT: That's terrible news for his family indeed.
Nima Elbagir joining us live from Tripoli. Thank you for that.
Now a British panel has published a major review of the power of the courts to silence the media. Injunctions and so-called super injunctions handed down by the high court are used to prevent publication of details about a person's private life. But there are growing concerns that they are eroding freedom of speech.
Now these gag orders, they grabbed the headlines in recent weeks, especially since an anonymous Twitter user listed celebrities who had allegedly run to court seeking shelter from the media glare. Now some of those reports were found to be false. But that didn't stop some 117,000 people from following the Twitter feed.
Now we will have much more on that controversy with Atika Schubert in just a moment, but let's get the latest on sports. Now the FIFA boss, Sepp Blatter refuses to rule out another vote to decide who will host the 2022 World Cup. Find out why after this.
STOUT: Now let's get back to that story I was telling you about before the break. A British panel has published a major review of the power of the courts to silence the media. I'm talking about super injunctions, a type of injunctions that's used to prevent publication of details about a person's private life.
Now the thing about super injunctions is that they are so secret the media can't even reveal when they exist.
Now Atika Schubert joins us from CNN London to guide us through this legal minefield as well as the report that was released earlier today. Atika, walk us through this report.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically this was a report took about a year to compile. And it's the top judges and a panel of basically legal experts trying to clarify the balance between the right to privacy and freedom of information. And this all came about, because there was a lot of concern over the possible misuse of injunctions and super injunctions to gag the press.
And what this committee found was that it basically says that super injunctions should only be used when absolutely necessary and should be used very sparingly.
It's also interesting to note that they found that there were only two instances of super injunctions actually being issued to hide privacy or confidentiality details. That's a lot less than there was a lot of speculation in the media that all kinds of celebrities were taking out super injunctions. And if this committee is correct that's not quite the case.
This commission also recommended that journalists actually be allowed in court when those injunctions are filed so that they know about the injunctions even if they are barred from reporting the details or even the existence of that injunction afterwards.
So it answer some questions, clarifies a few things, but there are still a lot of gray areas, Kristie.
STOUT: And what is technology's role in all of this? Can these injunctions even be enforced when you have Twitter, Facebook and all these social media tools out there?
SCHUBERT: Well, the short answer is no. And this is something that wasn't quite addressed in their report, but the most senior judges in the UK did talk about in a press conference saying that this is a problem and we have seen recently on Twitter, for example, an anonymous user posting a list of people that he or she claimed had taken out super injunctions. There is no way to verify that, because the press themselves can't talk about who has or who has not filed a super injunction.
And of course, this was filed anonymously on Twitter, basically as gossip, and it spread like wildfire to thousands of followers. And there was no way to stop it.
So this is something that is still going to have to be addressed. And the judge acknowledged, it is a problem.
STOUT: And media rights -- I mean, what power does the media have in the UK to challenge a super injunction?
SCHUBERT: Well, you can appeal a super injunction. So there is a process in place. The big question had been initially, if you can't even discuss a super injunction or even know of a super injunction's existence is this basically infringing too much on freedom of information? And this is an argument that even though this report has come out will clearly still be ongoing, Kristie.
STOUT: All right, Atika Schubert joining us live from London there. Thank you Atika.
Now we are less than two weeks away from the start of the NBA finals, but it is still impossible to say which teams will get there. Let's join Alex Thomas for the latest playoffs action and other top sports headlines - - Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESOPNDENT: Yes, Kristie. We're going to look at the Western Conference showdown between the Mavs and the Thunder. Some would call this the oldies v. the young guns maybe slightly unfair. Veteran Dirk Nowitzki and his Dallas teammates on a seven game winning streak up against Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City. And Dallas were up by 9 in the first quarter until Durants drive and basket over Brendan Hayward, gets the foul too. The 3-point play cutting in to the Mavs lead. Durant top scorer for the Thunder with 24 points.
Now (inaudible) stage in the third, Dallas are only up by three until James Hartman pulls up, nails that one -- three plus the foul, a 4-point play. And Oklahoma is in the lead.
They've moved 8 points ahead as we go into the fourth quarter. Hartman pulls up, rains the jumper, part of his 23 points on the night and was the second highest scorer.
And then we're under a minute left. Nowitzki gets fouled while trying to hit a 3. The replay shows feet were behind the line. Dirk goes to the free throw line, misses his second attempt. And Oklahoma City goes on to win game 2 106-100. The series is level at one all. Games 3 and 4 to be played in Oklahoma City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIRK NOWITZKI, DALLAS MAVERICKS FORWARD: It was too many points defensively just making errors. Leaving shooters. Didn't get the loose balls. So it just was a tough outing, but you've got to give them credit, they wanted it more and they came out swinging and they deserve to win.
KEVIN DURANT, OKLAHOMA CITY FORWARD: Coming in here to split is something that in the playoffs that's what you want to do. But going back home doesn't guarantee us two wins. We got to come out with a mindset to try to take these games and go from there. We got to take it a possession at a time, a game at a time. It should be fun back at our place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: FIFA president Sepp Blatter is refusing to rule out the possibility a new vote to decide the 2022 World Cup hosts. Qatar won the right to stage the tournament, but football's governing body is investigating claims of corruption in the bid process. Earlier this month British MP Damian Collins (ph) said he had evidence that FIFA vice president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and fellow executive committee member Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast had received bribes of $1.5 million to vote for Qatar. Both men have denied the allegations.
Blatter says FIFA will interview the unidentified whistleblower who first raised the allegations by speaking to the UK's Sunday Times newspaper.
Now no European summer is complete without a Willy Wanty (ph) football transfer saga. And Carlos Tevez is the early candidate to be this year's star of the rumor mill. The Manchester City striker has told a radio station in his home country of Argentina that he wants a, quote, change of scene. Tevez's comments coming just days after city boss Roberto Manchini claimed the player had told him he would be staying at Eastlands (ph).
Thatch Biber (ph), well we've got more of this saga to come.
That's all the sport for now. Back to you in Hong Kong, Kristie.
STOUT: Alex, thank you.
Now late night TV commercials have long known it forget the smell or even the taste of food, just the sight alone can make you want it. Well today there is a massive appetite for food photos online. Now Liz Neislass has more from Singapore where they really know how to get the juices flowing.
LIZ NEISLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Noodles and garlic, shrimp and squid, watching this story may make you hungry. At one of Singapore's famous hawker centers, lots of great food under one roof.
But before they eat their meal, this group of friends likes to shoot it. It looks yummy, but to really make that photo graph you.
DR. LESLIE TAY, FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER: A little bit of light coming through the front will show up the translucency of the shell.
NEISLASS: This is Leslie Tai's (ph) lunch break. He's a doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look straight here.
NEISLASS: But when he's not examining patients.
TAY: A bit brighter.
NEISLASS: He's focused on food.
His blog, I eat, I shoot, I post shows his love for food photography and Singapore's cuisine, sharing food for a virtual family table.
What kind of responses do you get to your blog?
TAY: A lot of our viewers, especially the overseas students and the people who are living in the U.S. and the UK where they can't get hold of this thing, they all get very homesick and they all write to me and say you shouldn't do that. You know, I can't get home. And I can't wait to get back home to eat it.
NEISLASS: It's also sensual.
TAY: We want to be able to excite all the senses, you know, the sense of taste, texture, the smell, the look.
NEISLASS: Many share this passion.
For those beginners hungering to shoot and post, Tay offers classes.
TAY: At the end of the day, if you take home all the points from this I give you, your photos should look more like this and not like this.
The flash is your worst enemy. And whatever is shiny means it's what -- oily -- don't say oily, oily is a bad word nowadays -- juicy. Right?
NEISLASS: Today's subject, elegant dim sum.
You don't have to be an expert to know what you'd like to see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The colors, the texture, the glisten on top. You know so it looks it's almost jumping right out of the picture.
NEISLASS: And what you want your friends to think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tasty. And you feel like, mmm, yum, that's what I want to eat. And you go for that.
NEISLASS: Glutenous rice balls with lotus paste, a feast for the eyes you could also eat.
Liz Neislass, CNN, Singapore.
STOUT: Looks delicious. And if that story tickled your taste buds and feast your eyes now on Flickr. And I wanted to see just how popular online food photography is, so we typed food into the photo sharing web site and we found 8.4 million images uploaded by users around the world. That's a lot to chew on.
There's everything from fish to fruit, coffee, to cake. And if you want to sink your teeth into more food stories, click onto CNN.com/eatocracy. You'll find links to blogs by passionate eaters, cooks, and writers. Some pretty mouthwatering stuff there.
Now you are watching News Steam. And still to come, when the water gets this high do you flee or fight it? Go to the U.S. state of Mississippi where the Mississippi River is forcing people to chose quickly.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the state of Mississippi has reported its first loss of life in the current record floods. A 69-year-old man drowned as high waters swept through the city of Vicksburg. Now the Mississippi River there has swollen to four meters above flood stage.
And businesses in Tunica, in the north of the state, are starting to reopen. But others remain at the mercy of the water. And one of them is a century old family business in the historic town of Natchez. And as CNN's David Mattingly reports, they have chosen not to flee, but to fight.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fighting the Mississippi is a game of inches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far out can you to save?
MATTINGLY: And the river doesn't quit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it just caved away right there.
HOWARD JONES, JM JONES LUMBER CO.: There's nothing. There used to be dirt all the way out to here, all this is caved away.
MATTINGLY: Howard Jones is the fourth of five generations at the JM Jones Lumber Company in Natchez, Mississippi, but I find him strictly in the business of surviving, building up and trying to hold together a levee that keeps his family's business from being swept away.
Are you confident you can hold the river back?
JONES: Absolutely not. No. I mean, I'm confident that it's not going to go over my levees, but I'm not confident that enough of this is going to cave off and I'm going to have a breach. I'd say it's 50/50.
MATTINGLY: It's been four weeks since lumber operations ceased and all resources went into building up the company's existing levee. Up to eight feet higher in some places. Now they're constantly plugging, bagging, and patching what the river gouges away.
JONES: You can tell this is a patch deal here. We -- our primary tarp was ripped.
MATTINGLY: Compounding the problem, river traffic, boats pushing barges upstream stir up waves that Jones says has been doing some real damage, pounding away fragile dirt out of these levees. He calls it a battle of attrition, because this water is going to stay high for weeks.
The Coast Guard stepped in, slowing boats down to a crawl, keeping them to the middle of the channel and spacing them far apart. A small bit of comfort for a family with five generations of success and a proud legacy at the mercy of a river.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very humbling. Very humbling and I think about this all the time. And that's why we are doing everything we can to fight it. And if we fail, we'll just say well we tried.
MATTINGLY: So far, a half million dollars of company cash has gone into the levee. If it fails, the Jones Lumber Company will probably not be able to recover. So there's nothing left to do but work, watch and worry.
David Mattingly, CNN, Natchez, Mississippi.
STOUT: And elsewhere in the state -- here's some aerial shots of homeowners trying to stay dry. Now these mini islands are popping up in places where the levees have held. Their farmland is gone. For now, at least, their homes are dry.
Incredible pictures there. And I imagine residents dealing with that there in the southern U.S. And they have another challenge ahead -- hurricanes. For more on that, Mari Ramos joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, yeah, this is the time of year where we begin to turn out attention to the Atlantic Basin, because we are at the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. You typically begins on June 1st all the way through the month of November. And just in the last 24 hour NOAA here in the U.S. released their outlook for this coming year.
One of the residents in the Gulf region in particular, especially as we head into the month of June pay a lot of attention to this is because June typically we tend to see tropical cyclones not only form in this area, but typically they tend to move along this area as well, from the coast of Texas through Louisiana and back over toward Florida. These are the more likely scenarios where you would see tropical cyclones forming.
And you just mentioned, you know, they're dealing with all that flooding. Even after the water goes down, there's always going to be that danger of a land falling tropical cyclone putting additional pressure on all of those levees.
So what does the forecast look like for this region? Well right now, it's actually pretty clear. We're not worried about any kind of tropical activity in this part of the world. But the forecast is calling for an above average season.
You can see the average numbers right here. They're expecting between 12-18 named storms, 6-10 of those would be hurricanes, and 3-6 would be considered major hurricanes, category 3 or higher. That's very significant. It's actually very similar to last year's season, to 2010.
Why are they expected another very active season? Well, we're what they call an active era right now. This happens every couple of decades or so where we have, first of all, a lull in the activity and then all of a sudden a spike in the tropical cyclones that happen in the Atlantic. Well, they say we're still there.
Plus, the water in the Atlantic continues to be very warm -- above average sea surface temperature could help fuel hurricanes again this year. And we still have la nina present in the Pacific, and that could bring less wind shear, in other words better conditions for tropical cyclones forming in this basin.
Last year, we didn't have any storms that actually made landfall in the U.S. And that's something that NOAA wants to make sure people understand. We don't know where the storms are going to make landfall. Last year, most of them made landfall in Mexico and Central America. These are the memorable ones, and caused severe damage and extreme flooding across portions of southern Mexico and in Nicaragua and all the way up into central parts of Mexico. We also had one storm that made landfall in Canada, but none in the U.S.
We don't know where the storms are going to make landfall this year. So that's significant. And these are the names that we're expecting this year for the Atlantic hurricane season.
The Pacific, well they're expected to stay below average. So at least a little bit of good news there.
Let's go ahead and check out your forecast now.
You know, it's a big, big ocean out there. So the eastern Pacific is below average. And so far we've stayed below average as well here across the western Pacific, but we have another tropical depression that has formed, this one east of the Philippines. It's still very far away as you can see, but this form is actually set to intensify. It's still east of Palau and Yap. As you can see, the Philippines are way over there. We can barely make out over here to the north the coast of Asia.
The storm, still a tropical depression, the beginning stages of tropical cyclones, Kristie. And this one very slowly expected to continue moving to the west -- to the west/northwest, or northwest in the next few days and intensify. Could be the first typhoon far this season in this area. We'll monitor it closely.
We had that other storm that moved -- was a tropical storm that moved through the Philippines earlier this month. And that caused some significant flooding in that area as well. We'll be monitoring of course what happens with this one, but so far no tropical cyclones for you to worry this weekend. So hope it's a good one.
Back to you.
STOUT: You too. Mari Ramos take care. I'll see you next week.
Now, if there's something strange in your neighborhood you may not be able to call the Ghost Busters' firehouse anymore. Now the New York home of Ladder Company Eight is one of 20 facing possible closure because of budget cuts. Now firefighters unions, local politicians and film fans are all upset and say that they are going to fight it.
Now in the 1984 movie Ghost Busters Stantz, Spengler and Venkman moved into the fire station after the city's firefighters moved out. So if it's closed, it will be a sad case of life imitating art. But then again, if you're looking for somewhere to stash your proton packs, who are you going to call?
That is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next. But I'll leave you now with pictures from orbit as astronauts from the Space Shuttle Endeavor perform maintenance work on the outside of the International Space Station. Now this is the first of four spacewalks scheduled. But they are the last set of spacewalks a U.S. Shuttle crew will perform. So let's enjoy these pictures while we can.