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Reaction to Arrest of Ratko Mladic; Protests in Egypt; Hillary Clinton in Pakistan; Investigating Sepp Blatter

Aired May 27, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


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

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

Now, an accused mass murderer is in custody, but can Ratko Mladic stand trial?

Plus, mending fences. Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan as the CIA gets the green light to search bin Laden's compound.

And another twist in the scandal at the head of World Football. Now FIFA president Sepp Blatter faces an Ethics Committee hearing.

Now, Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb commander accused of killing thousands of people in the Balkans conflict, is in a jail near Belgrade. Now, this Friday, Europe's most wanted war crimes suspect awaits a decision on his extradition to The Hague.

Now, seen here in a dark jacket and a baseball cap, he was arrested on Thursday in a small Serbian village after more than 15 years as a fugitive. Now, his lawyer says the Thursday hearing was suspended because of his poor health. He will likely face trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Mladic is accused of presiding over Europe's worst massacre since World War II. And we will get a live report from The Hague later in the program.

Now, in 1995, Mladic was indicted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. And the gruesome images of the resulting mass graves are bad enough more than 15 years after the atrocities, but we want to give you a sense of what life was like in Sarajevo and Srebrenica back then.

Now, snipers, they fired from hidden locations, shelling bullets on the streets. Bodies were left lying where they fell.

And this wartime video of a cold, gray Sarajevo shows a group of people loading a victim onto a stretcher and eventually loading him into a car. All the time you could hear explosions in the distance.

Now, look at this footage of Ratko Mladic from his arrival at Srebrenica in July of 1995. Now, he is seen patting a young Muslim boy on the head, while reassuring residents that they would be safe. A sickening sight, since hours later, more than 60 truckloads of refugees were taken from Srebrenica to execution sites.

Now, 15 years have passed since the slaughter of Muslim men and boys there in Srebrenica and the daily shootings in Sarajevo.

Ivan Watson is standing by in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, and he joins us now.

And Ivan, what is the reaction amongst Serbs to the arrest of Ratko Mladic? And is anyone there regarding him as a hero?


You know, his defense attorney has just emerged from the courthouse. We had expected a second hearing after the first hearing yesterday was cut short because of Ratko Mladic's health conditions, and we'll bring you an update as soon as possible.

The defense attorney and the family of Ratko Mladic -- his son emerged a little bit more than an hour ago -- seemed to be building up the defense being that Ratko Mladic, his physical state, his health, will not allow him to appear before a court. In fact, his son just stepped out and he actually called for an international panel of medical experts. He proposed Russian doctors -- Russia being a longtime ally of Serbia -- to come and examine his father.

Take a listen to what Darko Mladic had to say moments ago.


QUESTION: How did you find his mental condition?

DARKO MLADIC, RATKO MLADIC'S SON: No, not mental. Overall health is very fragile.

QUESTION: You mean he cannot stand trial?

MLADIC: I don't -- I already answered it. We are not stating anything about trial. We are focused at this time on his health, his condition. And we are calling for independent experts to verify this condition, whatever this condition is.


WATSON: So Darko Mladic went on to say that his father's right arm appears to be partially paralyzed, he's having trouble speaking. His lawyers saying that he suffered a series of heart attacks and strokes over the course of the last 15 years, and plus that he's been at large. He's certainly not the strong figure that many Serbs remember from the height of the war in this region, when he's accused of laying siege to Sarajevo and killing thousands of people, also ordering the massacre that's being described as the genocide of up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

Despite that, the president of Serbia, just last night on CNN, he said that he expects Ratko Mladic to be extradited within seven days to The Hague -- Kristie.

STOUT: OK. Reaction just then from the son of Ratko Mladic, focusing on his father's condition and his health. We want to hear from you engaging the opinion on the ground, especially if you've seen or heard any Serbians rallying in support of Ratko Mladic.

WATSON: Yes, we've seen scattered signs of support. I was here after midnight last night, and three young men stood underneath one of the windows of the courthouse here where Ratko Mladic is being detained, chanting his name and clapping.

We spoke to them afterwards. One of them described Ratko Mladic as a martyr for Christ. However, these aren't large-scale demonstrations we've seen so far. Some polls have shown that there tend to be sympathies, widespread sympathies, for Ratko Mladic, that some people do not trust The Hague, the International War Crimes Tribunal, believing that it's skewed against Serbia.

And, in general, discomfort with Serbia's historic role during those dark and bloody years between 1994 and 1996. And this is just brining some of those uncomfortable emotions up for many Serbs.

And just to give you a sense of how deep this discomfort runs, this week the Serbian president, who has been applauded around the world for arresting Ratko Mladic, announced he would boycott a summit of Eastern European countries in Warsaw because another longtime rival and enemy of Serbia, Kosovo, is going to be represented there. It just shows that these old enmities die very, very hard -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes. It just goes to show how much more needs to be done for reconciliation in the region there.

Ivan Watson, joining us live from Belgrade.

Thank you, Ivan.

Now, former CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour met with Ratko Mladic, and she spoke with our Wolf Blitzer about covering the Bosnian war of the 1990s.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST, "THIS WEEK WITH CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR": When we were able to interview him and talk to him, and we saw the steely gaze of a killer, Wolf. There is no other word to describe it.

He had that smile. He talked to dignitaries who had come, as you remember, from all over the world to try to get an end to this war. And he would just sit there and smile and deny that anything other than a terrible civil war was happening. And he always denied it.

I remember being in the room when President Carter came to try and broker a cease-fire, an end to the war, and Mladic just sat there and looked him in the eye and said, "It is not as you think, Mr. President. The press has been telling you lies."

And I remember being furious at that moment, furious at that moment, because we had covered, you know, in graphic detail what was going on. And he was able to do that to all his interlocutors for so long. Finally, the long arm of the law has caught up with him, and not a moment too soon.


STOUT: Now, it could be said that Ratko Mladic was hiding in plain sight. He was arrested in a Serbian village just 100 kilometers from the capital of Belgrade.

Now, officials say that Mladic had two pistols with him, but that he did not resist capture. They describe him as looking pale, as if he had stayed indoors for a long period of time.

Now, Serbia's president, Boris Tadic, told CNN that authorities are still investigating who helped Mladic during his 15 years as a fugitive. And speaking earlier to Becky Anderson, he also refuted allegations that the Serbian military had sheltered the 69-year-old.


BORIS TADIC, SERBIAN PRESIDENT: All allegations has to be investigated. All war crimes has to be proceeded in the tribunals, in the courts. And for that reason, I have to mention right now only Mladic's case, but also allegations that are coming from (INAUDIBLE) report about what happened on Kosovo during the war.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: When will Mladic be delivered to The Hague?

TADIC: I don't know exactly. This is about court. But I'm expecting in the next few days, within seven days, he's going to be sent to The Hague tribunal.


STOUT: So within seven days he'll be transferred to The Hague.

You can hear more of that interview with the Serbian president, Boris Tadic, here on NEWS STREAM in about 30 minutes' time.

Now, I want to tell you about a second major arrest in the fight for international justice. Now, just hours after the arrest of Mladic came news that Congolese troops captured a former Hutu militia leader believed to be a mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has long sought Bernard Munyagishari on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, and rape.

Now, weeks after a U.S. military team made an uninvited trip into Pakistan to find Osama bin Laden, Hillary Clinton arrives in the country to try and mend relations with Islamabad.

And Kim Jong-il visits China as the North Korean leader looks to its closest ally for help.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, some are calling it Egypt's second "Day of Anger." Now, thousands of people are gathering right now in Cairo's Tahrir Square. As with the country's first "Day of Anger" back in January, the activists are demanding better governance. Now, most want the country's military rulers to speed up the pace of democratic reform in the wake of Hosni Mubarak's ouster and arrest.

Now, his tweets, they chronicled Egypt's revolution. And now months into the country's new interim government, the man behind @SandMonkey is as politically active as ever.

Now, Mahmoud Salem joins us now live from Cairo.

Mahmoud, welcome to NEWS STREAM.

Tell us, describe to us what is happening behind you this Friday in the square.

MAHMOUD SALEM, EGYPTIAN BLOGGER: OK. This Friday is the return of "Day of Anger," and also the day where we (INAUDIBLE).

Basically, a lot of the original demands have never been met. There has been lots and lots of delays in them, lots and lots of corruption, and the way the situation has been handled in terms of ex-embassy officials.

In order for us to get anything done, we need to come to Tahrir and push the government, which has created a very unhealthy pattern in the way they're acting. And basically, we wanted to remind them that we're not going to be complacent, that we just demand our rights. And if we don't get our rights, we're going to have to do this and overthrow them as well if that's what it comes down to.

We don't want to do that, but they need to understand that we're pushing because a lot of us got hurt, a lot of us got killed. You know, we're not going to give up now. And, like, give us the rights we're supposed to get.

STOUT: You've called for this rally online through Twitter and elsewhere. How many people have gathered with you in Tahrir Square? How many people are there behind you?

SALEM: Well, I would say a good 300,000, 400,000, and it's early in the day. And we're heading for half a million, and that's a good thing, because today the Muslim Brotherhood are not joining.


SALEM: Yes, the square. They're not here. Right?

This is officially the break between the revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood. And it's fantastic, because it means that we don't need the turnout numbers, they're not (INAUDIBLE). All (INAUDIBLE), and it doesn't mean we don't need pistols (ph) at all in order to show that we can get what we want.

STOUT: OK. You're telling that hundreds of thousands of your fellow protesters are there in Tahrir Square today, the Muslim Brotherhood is not participating.

What about the security presence? Do you see armed forces at the square?

SALEM: No, the army has decided to strike on protecting the square today it seems. They announced yesterday that they're not going to be there and they're not going to secure it. And then they warned it that some thugs might come by and attack us.

So people are here from yesterday, midnight, and shut (ph) off security perimeters. You know, the situation is secure. We don't foresee any problems happening.

STOUT: And Mahmoud, your first protest, it led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. What will this protest accomplish? Do you think it will finish the revolution and bring about a better economy, a better government?

SALEM: Well, here's the thing. The first protest, it wasn't about just Mubarak. It was about creating a presidential council that creates a constitution, that has here billed (ph) the rights for the Egyptians.

You know, it was about the end of a state of emergency, the end of state security. You know, questioning all the police that have killed and murdered lots of Egyptians not just in the revolution, but before that.

You know, having (INAUDIBLE) Hosni Mubarak is the problem that media has focused on. This is more about tribesmen (ph). Any reason why (INAUDIBLE) Hosni Mubarak was taking away our rights.

So this is just a continuation of us week after week, coming down here in order to ensure that our rights are secured, and in order to push the government, make them understand, that we're being nice, we're being civil. You know, we're trying to do this in a democratically peaceful way, and we're not going to be denied our rights. We're not going to be denied our rights from any transitional government that has no power and a military council that drags its feet with everything and has allowed the situation to be deteriorating, because there are no police and nobody's protecting the (INAUDIBLE), nobody's protecting anything.

And this is problematic. You know? We need --

STOUT: Mahmoud, thank you very much.

SALEM: We need to make sure the police calm down and we need to make sure -- what?

STOUT: OK. Unfortunately, we're going to have to leave it there. But thank you very much for joining us here on NEWS STREAM and telling us about your protest this day.

I think we just lost the connection there. That was Mahmoud Salem, the Egyptian blogger otherwise known as SandMonkey, joining us live there from Tahrir Square.

And him reporting that there are hundreds of thousands of fellow demonstrators behind him in the Egyptian square this day.

Now, meanwhile, Libya. The country is calling on Russia to mediate a cease-fire to bring about an end to months of civil war. Now, Russia has been a staunch critic of NATO's bombing campaign to protect civilians. Airstrikes causing damage like this have been taking place in and around Tripoli all week, with at least five more explosions coming last night.

And according to the Russian ministry, the Libyan government is willing to enter talks without preconditions. Meanwhile, G-8 leaders have approached Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, asking him to mediate a settlement.

Well, citing British intelligence sources, British media are reporting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is becoming increasingly fearful for his life. They say he is in hiding in hospitals at night to avoid airstrikes against him. But diplomatic sources saying, "He is on the run."

Now, about one month ago, Gadhafi's son and several of his grandchildren were reported dead in NATO airstrikes. Now, the alliance responded by saying it was not targeting individuals.

And the U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is in Pakistan to send a sober message and to rebuild a few bridges after that bin Laden raid. Now, relations between the two countries took a turn for the worse after the U.S. carried out that mission on Pakistani soil without informing authorities there. Now, since then, questions have been raised about how bin Laden was able to hide out in plain sight and how much Pakistani intelligence might have known about his presence.

Now, with more on the trip and what the future might hold for U.S./Pakistan relations, Stan Grant joins us now from Islamabad.

And Stan, this is the highest level U.S. visit to Pakistan since the killing of bin Laden. How much impact is it making?

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, both sides are trying, Kristie, to find some positives to move forward on, but very, very difficult to find anything really at this point. This is a relationship that has plummeted to new lows after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

And the allegation from Pakistan that, basically, the United States violated its sovereignty. Now, that's a message that the president here, President Zardari, repeated once again to Secretary of State Clinton. But she also had a message for Pakistan. And in a nutshell, it is this: the United States puts a lot of money into this country and wants to see more of a return, particularly supporting the effort in Afghanistan.

As you know, the United States is looking to try to withdraw from there, to draw down the number of troops over the coming months, and into next year. What they're looking from Pakistan for is to crack down on the insurgency here, to really stamp down on that border area, to stop the flow of militants across the border. Also, to support the reconciliation process within Afghanistan between the Taliban and the government there.

The problem for Pakistanis, they are facing a huge backlash from their own people. There is a rising tide of anti-Americanism here. Many saying the worse, in fact, they had ever seen.

There is very little support for America. People here see themselves as very much the meat in the sandwich. They feel as if they're in the crossfire. The more the United States pushes an already very stressed Pakistan military and government here to go after the insurgents, the more the insurgents retaliate, and the more deaths we see of Pakistanis.

Now, Secretary Clinton acknowledged that herself. She acknowledged that Pakistanis are paying a price. But at the same time, saying it is in the interest of both countries for Pakistan to do more, and they want to see proof of more as well -- Kristie.

STOUT: Stan, the U.S. military has announced withdrawing some of its troops from Pakistan. Is that a significant gesture for Islamabad?

GRANT: It's part of the ongoing negotiations between the two sides, and this is something that had been in the planning stages for some time. But particularly after the killing of bin Laden and the new lows that this relationship has hit, it has taken on an added significance. But as they try to patch up this relationship, both sides are looking for markers.

Now, what Pakistan is looking for is more cooperation from the United States, more respect, more intelligence sharing. What the United States is looking for is for Pakistan to show more of a commitment.

Also, they're pointing to -- Hillary Clinton pointed to a couple of incidents. She pointed to the fact that the helicopter that was downed in that raid on bin Laden has been returned. That's a tick in Pakistan's favor. And also the fact that Pakistan is allowing the CIA to go back to the bin Laden house and look around there. That is another side of goodwill coming from Pakistan.

STOUT: Each country clearly making concessions to the other in a bid to improve ties.

Stan Grant, joining us live from Islamabad.

Thank you.

Now, we have more serious allegations at the top of World Football's governing body. This time, at the very top. FIFA opens a hearing into President Sepp Blatter.


STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now, there has been another major development in the growing storm at the top of World Football's governing body, and it is threatening to overshadow the biggest match in club football.

Now, Alex Thomas joins us live from a fan zone in central London, where fans are gathering ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.

But Alex, tell us about the latest twist from FIFA.


We're at the Champions Festival, organized by UEFA, European football's governing body, ahead of the final between Manchester United and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium, kind of that away from here, but completely overshadowed, as you said, by the top of FIFA, World Football's governing body. We've got an extraordinary situation where both candidates for FIFA's presidency -- the vote taking place on Wednesday, just five days away -- are both now under instigation for allegations of corruption and will have to appear before FIFA's Ethics Committee on Sunday.

This all follows various shenanigans going on at the head of World Football over the last 12 months or so. There's all sorts of claim and counterclaim around the World Cup bidding draw at the end of last year, and two of FIFA's executive committee members were suspended.

And now we have a situation where Mohammed bin Himmam, the man who's challenging the incumbent, Sepp Blatter, and also the man responsible for helping Qatar win the 2022 World Cup bid in controversial circumstances, was first ordered to appear before the Ethics Committee. And now, in turn, he has said Mr. Blatter should appear before the Ethics Committee, and FIFA have agreed with him.

So both men are going to have to stand up and face allegations of corruption on Sunday. Quite an extraordinary mess -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Alex, the atmosphere is clearly building ahead of the Champions League Final, but who is going to win?

THOMAS: You're not going to put me on the spot this early, Kristie. We'll get to the football in a second. But this is something UEFA has done for some years now, having a fans festival, a little parking area where fans could get to the host city early, can enjoy their time.

We've got all the champions being sponsored, that have put out lots and lots of money to sponsor the competition, have stands behind me. You've got football pictures, rock music playing. You've got a bar open.

I've got one of the official match balls with me as well. Have a look at this. It's red and white because of the flag of St. George's, the English flag. Wembley, the host stadium this year.

The orange apparently represents the vibrancy of the city of London. So there you go. Only about 30 of these I think have been produced, so this very match ball could well be headed into the goal by Lionel Messi or Wayne Rooney for the winner come Saturday night -- Kristie.

STOUT: Enjoy it while you can.

Alex Thomas, live in central London.

Thank you very much indeed.

Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, we will continue to follow the story of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb commander accused of killing thousands of people in the 1990s Balkans conflict. We'll bring you an update on his extradition status.


STOUT: Welcome back. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

Now, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says both the United States and Pakistan have a lot of work to do, but that progress has been made in strengthening ties between the two countries. Now, she and the top-ranking U.S. military officer, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, wrapped up a day of critical meetings in Islamabad. Clinton described them to reporters as "open, frank and constructive."

Now, world leaders at the G-8 summit in France are promising to support countries such as Tunisia and Egypt to help the transition to democracy after the Arab Spring. Now they raised the possibility that development bank could provide some $20 billion to support reforms.

And new developments in the case of war crime suspect Ratko Mladic. Now a judge presiding over his hearing says that there were satisfactory conditions for his extradition to The Hague. Now that is according to Mladic's attorney.

Now Serbian President Boris Tadic pushed for Ratko Mladic's extradition. And he told CNN on Thursday that he expected the 69-year-old to be extradited to The Hague within seven days. Now Mr. Tadic was defensive on the subject of timing of the former military commander's arrest. Now let's listen to what he had to say in an interview with Becky Anderson.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Many people suggesting that authorities have known where Mladic has been for years. And today is just a convenient opportunity given that your negotiations with the EU. Your response.

BORIS TADIC, PRESIDENT OF SERBIA: Well, I mean I'm hearing many comments after arrest Ratko Mladic. And I can say that that kind of comment that we knew where is Ratko Mladic for years is a -- I'm going to use not diplomatic wording, rubbish, really. And I will confirm once again that we didn't know that. And we were working very hard in order to arrest him and to deliver him (inaudible) and finally we did it.

ANDERSON: Boris Tadic, I want you to just listen to the words of a woman who lost two sons and her husband in 1995 responding to this arrest today. Have a listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We've been waiting for this news for almost 16 years. Those who arrested him this morning knew all this time where the butcher was hiding. It is very sad that they knew where he was all the time, but did not want to arrest him.

ANDERSON: So allegations that swirl around, you rubbished it today that you have been protecting him.

TADIC: I mean, the 16 years ago Ratko Mladic has been accused. And after that -- a few years after that we had a democratic changes in Serbia October 5, 2000. And within two first years of the mandate of the democratic government they were trying to capture all indictees, included Slobodan Milosevic. And they delivered him and also 44 other indictees.

But this government has been working on arresting Ratko Mladic from the beginning of his -- of that term, that is two-and-a-half years ago. And on the end of the term of this government we delivered.

ANDERSON: OK. My question was who has been protecting him?

TADIC: I don't know exactly. I don't know exactly. I mean, from the beginning of that process I'm totally sure that people from the armed forces had been protecting him, but after that he changed the people that were protecting him and at the end of the day I mean that he was protected by a very small group of the people from his family.

But we'll check everything. We'll investigate everything. And we'll announce what happened in the past 16 years.

ANDERSON: Do you believe the military may have been involved?

TADIC: On the beginning I truly believe that is the case. But on the end of that process I don't believe that.

ANDERSON: To many in Serbia, Mladic is not a war criminal but a hero. What do you say to those who will protest his arrest. Are you concerned about his arrest? Have you destablized the effect on Serbia?

TADIC: I'm not expecting that we are going to have that kind of attempts of destabilization of my country. And I'm totally sure that can handle that challenege right now.

We reached Kartaza (ph) when we delivered him to the tribunal, Mr. Radovan Karadzic two-and-a-half years ago. And right now we are fulfilling our obligations. And I'm not expecting that some extreme groups are going to try to desabilize Serbia.

ANDERSON: The timing of this arrest coincides with talks on EU membership for Serbia, of course. And at best there are many who say is this really just a coincidence? What do you say about the timing of this arrest?

TADIC: No, this is not about -- this is not about our plans, this is about our intentions to deliver, to fulfill our obligations from the beginning of term of this government. Unfortunately we couldn't deliver on the beginning of that term, we did it with the other (inaudible), that is Radovan Karadzic, but we were trying to arrest Ratko Mladic in the past two-and-a-half years from the beginning of the term of this government.

And this is only coincidence.


STOUT: The Serbian president there.

Now let's get more on these first legal proceedings against Europe's most wanted war crimes suspect. And let's go back to Ivan Watson in the Serbian capital Belgrade. And Ivan, give us an update on these legal proceedings to extradite Ratko Mladic.

WATSON: That's right. Well, Kristie, moments ago a spokeswoman for the court by the name of Mya Kovocovic (ph), she came out and said that doctors had taken a look at Ratko Mladic and decided he is -- he does suffer from some chronic conditions, but he is not facing any immediate risk and that the procedure for his extradition can, in fact move forward. A judge ruled as well that that procedure should move forward.

Now the defense attorney stepped out and said that at no time during this hearing did Ratko Mladic speak. He chose not to comment, not to address the court. The lawyer said that Mladic will file an appeal to try to fight this extradition. According to the spokeswoman they have three days to do that. The court is closed on Sunday. The expect that that will take place on Monday, that the appeal will be filed. When asked how long the judge will take to rule on the appeal she answered immediately.

And of course we have to recall that the Serbian government has announced that they believe within seven days Mladic could be extradited to The Hague -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Ivan, who determines if he is fit to stand trial? And to what extent will his health get in the way of justice?

WATSON: Well, we've been hearing not only from his defense attorney but also his son expressing a great concern about the health of this man who is described as the most wanted war criminal in Europe. Evidently he - - his right arm is partially paralyzed. His son said that he's having trouble speaking. He appears to have suffered a series of strokes and heart attacks, according to his defense attorney. And it does seem very clear that they're going to try to make the case that he is not in a physical condition to stand trial or perhaps even to be extradited from the country.

And if you look at a pattern, Kristie, of other former heads of state and commanders who have been brought through this process before the international tribunal on war crimes, many of them try to similarly make the case of health problems to try to keep the defendants away from having to face justice. And we seem to be seeing that pattern repeating itself again here.

Again, the doctors who have already made preliminary evaluations saying they don't see any reason why Ratko Mladic cannot move forward in this process, Kristie.

STOUT: Ivan Watson joining us live from Belgrade. Thank you very much for giving us the latest there.

Now this year's G8 meeting, it draws to a close today. And leaders from the eight of the world's most powerful economies, they have been in the town of Deauville in northern France to discuss the world's woes. And one of the focal points was the Arab Spring.

Now leaders expressed support for democracy activists in the region and suggested development banks could provide up to $20 billion to help Egypt and Tunisia as they try to emerge from years of dictatorship.

Now both nations say that they are suffering economically amid the dramatic changes. But as U.S. president Barack Obama says help is at hand.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We discussed the enormous opportunities as well as challenges that are presented by the Arab Spring. And shortly we'll be discussing in depth how we can fully support countries like Egypt and Tunisia not only as they transition to democracy, but also ensuring that that democratic transition is accompanied by economic growth which can provide more opportunities for all the people, particularly the young people, in the region.


STOUT: Now almost two years on air crash investigators have released their first report into the deadly crash of Air France flight 447. All 228 people on board were killed when it plunged into the ocean en route from Brazil to France. New information in the report shows the speed indicators produced faulty readings. The plane stalled and plummeted 38,000 feet into the Atlantic in just three-and-a-half minutes.

Now another report is due out in a few weeks time which Air France expects will contain further safety recommendations.

And a statement today, it said this, "we can already see that the authorities, the manufacturer and the airline have taken measures to avoid the repetition of such an accident."

Now up next here on News Stream, the power of art is something to be loved and not feared. We're going to a group of artists sticking up for one of their own. And ahead on News Stream, Hong Kong's biggest art event -- in fact it's Asia's biggest art event -- it gets a bit political. I'll explain just after this.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now only now that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has left China we're starting to learn more about the purpose behind his latest visit.

Eunice Yoon has the details from Beijing.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A warm embrace and smiles all around at a meeting between close neighbors and Communist allies. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was in China on his third visit in a year, a secretive trip ending in grandiose style.

MIKE CHINOY, NORTH KOREA ANALYST: This shows, I think, that the Chinese are prepared to support Kim and North Korea. They're not going to do anything to coerce or pressure the north in any forceful way. And they're certainly not prepared to see the collapse of the North Korean system.

YOON: Kim's visit comes at a critical time for his people. North Korea faces severe food shortages and is calling on the international community for aid. But major donors have been reluctant to help after the sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a South Korean island last year.

Seoul wants Pyonyang to apologize, but the north denies involvement in the sinking and says the shelling was provoked.

China has come under pressure to use its influence to prevent another clash on the Korean Peninsula. During Kim's visit both sides said that they hoped to quickly resume six party talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program.

China is also encouraging Kim to consider Chinese style economic reforms as the North Korean leader looks to strengthen his economy by 2012, a year that would mark the 100th birthday of his late father Kim il-Sung. Kim is also believed to be preparing for heir apparent, youngest son Kim Jong-un.

On his six day tour, the North Korean leader stopped in several Chinese cities, visiting farms and factories and stores showcasing eBooks, LCDs and other digital products. Kim appeared frail, but healthy enough to travel on this whirlwind trip.

CHINOY: But for a man in his late 60s whose had the medical problems he's had, Kim Jong-il actually looked pretty good.

YOON: During the trip, Kim hailed China's economic progress, yet the question remains as to whether what he saw here will in fact inspire the reclusive leader to carry out similar reforms back home.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.


STOUT: Now Ai Weiwei is one of China's best known artists, so you would expect him to make a big impression at Asia's largest art fair here in Hong Kong, but Mr. Ai is absent. Now arrested nearly two months ago, accused by Chinese authorities of alleged tax evasion. Now human rights activists say his detention is simply a way of silencing a controversial critic of the government. And Hong Kong's art community is showing their solidarity with him, displaying one of his most defiant art works and stenciling this slogan around the city.


STOUT: In the days following the arrest of outspoken Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei this image began appearing on the streets of Hong Kong. The graffiti was stenciled all over the city which under the one country, two system rule, enjoys greater freedom of expression than it's mainland counterpart. But it is still considered subversive and provocative. The graffiti, like the artist, sends a strong message about human rights.

That same message is scrawled on the wall of this industrial building where local artists are speaking out. The exhibition has gathered 50 artists to rally for Ai's release. Organizer Kasey Wong says Ai's arrest has been a wake-up call for Hong Kong artists.

KASEY WONG, HONG KONG ARTIST: It makes me rethink about artist role and also kind of aware of what's going on inside China. We Hong Kong people tend to live inside a bubble, because we enjoy the freedom in here, but whereas in China you see a lot of suppression, illegal detention of good-hearted people.

STOUT: The timing of this exhibition coincides with Asia's largest art fair. Art HK has drawn the elite of the art world with 260 galleries from 38 countries in attendance.

Now here among world's leading galleries there is only one work by Ai Weiwei on display. Now he has achieved international recognition even during his detention he has opened two major exhibitions in London and New York. But here at Asia's largest art fair the artist is noticeably missing.

The piece on display exhibits the trademark defiance that Ai is known for, but with his continued detention it's meaning has clearly evolved.

KARIN SEIZ, GALERIE URS MEILE: We think it's important that his work is visible, that it's in good places and good museums and that the work can speak.

MAGNUS RENFREW, DIRECTOR, ART HK 11: Ai Weiwei is an artist. His work we greatly admire. And we are very pleased that his work will be on show alongside the work over 1,000 other artists at the art fair. I think it's right that his work should be shown in Hong Kong and it's a great platform for freedom of expression.

STOUT: Back at the warehouse they put the final touches on this political tribute.

We come across one work by 12-year-old artist Emma Gutierrez. It features several photos of her taken with Ai, a close family friend. Now the piece named Mouth Full of Silence was shot several years ago at an intimate get together in Beijing. And today it has become a vehement critique of Ai's arrest.

EMMA GUTIERREZ, ARTIST: I support Ai Weiwei. And I thought that it might be helpful. I want people to understand that human rights, freedom of speech is important. That you should waste it.

STOUT: And it seems that the artists here in Hong Kong are taking full advantage of that freedom.


STOUT: And you can read more about my thoughts on that exhibit. Just log on to our blog. It's at

Now up ahead here on CNN, we will have your weather update as yet another cyclone is gaining strength in the Philippines. We have that and more when we come back.


STOUT: One small step into space, one large leap into the history books.

Now you are looking at the final space walk by space shuttle astronauts. In the future they'll be performed by full-time space station residents.

Now Friday's space walk, the astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff. They attached a boom arm, complete with cameras and sensors. And it will help the space station crew keep track of any damage to the outside of the orbiting outpost.

Now during their seven hour mission they passed another space milestone -- one thousand hours of space walking at the ISS.

Now if you follow astronaut Mike Fincke online you will know his Twitter handle is astroironmike. And there's pretty good reason for that. Now this Friday, Colonel Fincke enters the record books as America's most traveled man in space. At exactly 9:00 pm Eastern time he will break Peggy Whison's record of 377 days in orbit. Now he has spent six months -- six months living on the International Space Station. He's done that twice. Now interestingly, this is Fincke's first U.S. shuttle trip. Previously he rode three Russian Soyuz rockets.

I know our Mari Ramos is following him on Twitter and also following this space walk, the final one by space shuttle astronauts very closely. She joins us now -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. They did a lot of cool things in this space walk not only that milestone that you said of those 1,000 plus hours in space, but another thing that they did that's a new procedure is instead of spending the night in the airlock earlier this week astronauts have to -- how they prepared was by breathing pure oxygen and exercising lightly they said. And they were able to do that within an hour and then be able to go out into space as opposed to having spend the entire night in that airlock getting prepared -- getting their bodies prepared for the space walk. So that's saving time. It's amazing how much they're learning about living and working in space with all of these things.

Now lets talk about living and working here on earth, because we still have a lot of things to learn, right? And we're watching of course this typhoon Songda continuing to move just north of the Philippines now, but some very heavy rain still falling across these areas.

Look at these rainfall totals.

The threat for flooding and mudslides is still there. And that group of islands just here north of Luzon is still has that signal number three warning. That means that you could get winds in excess of 180 kilometers per hour. So be extra careful.

This is (inaudible) Taiwan. People here are already getting rain and high waves. And, yeah, this is just couple of boats. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out and see it a little bit better. They're seeking safe harbor here, because the storm is so close by. Even though again we're not expecting a direct hit, this is such a large weather system that it will scrape that eastern coast of Taiwan causing some very heavy rain. The islands here will also get some very heavy rain associated with this weather system. And of course those large battering waves.

Right now winds close to 240 kilometers per hour. That tornado in Joplin, Missouri that we keep talking about, it had winds around this high, by the way, just a little bit lower than this. This is a monster storm we're talking about here, Kristie.

It is expected to still be a typhoon as it gets close here to western parts of Japan. And that's significant, because we could see some impact from this storm in the next few days. Most of the computer models are still saying, yeah, that looks like it's going to happen. You can see there's a lot of agreement on the track here that it will past fairly close to this area here of western Japan hopefully as a minimal typhoon. Maybe still we might be looking at a stronger typhoon, possibly a tropical storm.

That's a look at weather. Let's go ahead and check out your city by city forecast.

STOUT: Now we've all heard about throwing shrimp on the barbie, but shrimp on a treadmill -- Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you think a shrimp on a treadmill doesn't get very far, well this shrimp became world famous. His footwork so admired that YouTube fans put it to music, all kinds of music. And the shrimp on a treadmill became trendy. Shrimps scampying along song after song.

But now, just a few years later, he's become a poster boy, a poster crustacean for wasteful government spending. Senator Tom Coburn put out a report mocking the National Science Foundation for funding research projects such as shrimp on a treadmill with a half million dollar grant. And the media began cracking jokes about obese shrimp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what you call a shrimp that's overweight.



MOOS: Now this, this is my idea of shrimp on a treadmill.

But you won't find this guy working out at Equinox, the real shrimp treadmill is at the Grice Marine Lab at the College of Charleston, South Carolina where they're using that $500,000 grant to do what doctors do to people.

This is like a stress test for shrimp.


MOOS: How long would they run on it?

BURNETT: They would run for hours, at least five hours in some cases.

MOOS: Lab director Lou Burnett says they subject the shrimp to say environmental stresses like low oxygen or pollution, then measure they're response using blood tests and checking respiration.

What's next, shrimp on a stair master?

Actually, treadmills for crabs and even lobsters were the next step.

Not to create studly crustaceans, but to do basic science that might help seafood to survive.

Professor Burnett sounded a little fry (ph), accusing critics of.

BURNETT: Picking on the National Science Foundation, it's serious science. And it's good science.

MOOS: Even if the media don't take it too seriously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, look at this shrimp on a treadmill. Oh, I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the worst intro I've ever had. Take a look at this shrimp on a treadmill. Really? Really? Really, George? George is this it?

MOOS: After a workout like this, even a shrimp needs a cocktail.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


STOUT: Now it is time to go over and out there. Now we all know who she is, Sarah Palin, and if you'll probably remember back in December that she shot one of these, a caribou. It was on her reality TV show. And animal lovers, they were incensed. Well, it is all happening again, but with this man. He is, of course, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame. And it was one of his latest status updates that caused a commotion.

Now he said this, quote, "I just killed a pig and a goat." It was all part of a new challenge he has set for himself. In 2009, it was to wear a tie every day. And he did. Now it's to eat only meat that he has killed himself.

Real life Farmville.

That is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.