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Greece Teeters on Edge; Zawahiri's Rise in al Qaeda; U.S. Pakistan Tensions

Aired June 16, 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.

A day after unrest in the Greek capital, the country's prime minister is reshuffling his government.

A crowd gathers outside an Indonesian court as it sentences radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to a long sentence on terror-related charges.

And riots break out in Vancouver, Canada, after the home team loses the Stanley Cup hockey finals.

Now, Greece's prime minister is reshuffling his government on the heels of protests and riots across Athens on Wednesday. Now, George Papandreou will call for a vote of confidence later, seeking parliament's backing.

More than 25,000 people took to the streets yesterday over proposals for yet more tough austerity measures, cuts that lenders say the government needs to implement if it is to receive more financial help. But with high unemployment and more job cuts ahead, along with higher taxes and lower wages, there is widespread angry opposition.

And now, with the latest from Greece, journalist John Psaropoulos joins us now from Athens.

And John, what will the new government look like, and will the changes be enough to end the political crisis?

JOHN PSAROPOULOS, JOURNALIST: We are still waiting to hear the full details of the new cabinet maker. And the big question is going to be whether it's going to be a broader coalition that goes beyond the Socialist Party and whether it includes technocrats, as the prime minister had indicated.

Whether they will be able to pass the necessary austerity measures, whether they are renegotiated or not, depends on the party bloc of 156 members of parliament which will have to judge for itself whether it can, in good conscience, pass these measures as they are handed down in the form of a bill from this new cabinet. We may very well not clear that hurdle even with a new cabinet. And my educated guess is that if that happens, then the country will have to go to a general election.

STOUT: Now, that new cabinet reshuffle, that announcement is still hours away.

Now, let's talk about what we saw yesterday, these violent, traumatic protests on Wednesday. Was that an accurate reflection of the general anger in Greece about how the government is handling the debt crisis?

PSAROPOULOS: Yes. The reaction is representative. Perhaps not the violence. That concerned a particular segment of people who infiltrated what was an entirely peaceful protest from the morning hours when people began to gather.

The grassroots movement that has grown up in central Syntagma Square in front of parliament over the last three weeks is nonviolent. In fact, they have shown great solicitude in policing themselves and the people who come there. At times, that crowd has swollen to 75,000 people, without incident, and they've asked people not be violent and not to throw rocks and so on.

So, yesterday's event, in terms of the violence, was exceptional. But in terms of the general sentiment, they are representative.

STOUT: I can't imagine a positive outcome, especially for the government in Greece. Can Athens make good on its promises to the IMF and the EU and placate the people and avoid the scenes of violence we saw yesterday? Is that possible?

PSAROPOULOS: It's very difficult. European Union leaders are debating on precisely this question, and Greek politicians are also divided on whether it's possible.

What's beginning to happen now is that MPs from the ruling Socialist Party are, for the first time, beginning to come out and say that they no longer believe in the current policy as it's being pursued, which is the policy that stems from the memorandum of understanding that Greece signed last year with its bailout creditors, and which is where all these austerity measures stem from. A lot of socialists, MPs, and even ministers in recent weeks, have been either clearly saying or hinting that they no longer believe that Greece is on the right track.

So what will remain to be seen, firstly, is how the domestic political scene reacts to the austerity measures. That will be the litmus test of whether they are politically possible. And then beyond that, whether those austerity measures are in fact the path to salvation.

STOUT: John Psaropoulos, thank you very much indeed for walking us through all the angles of this story, the debt crisis, the political crisis and the social crisis that is gripping Greece there.

Thank you, John.

Now, al Qaeda has tapped a new leader to replace Osama bin Laden. According to several jihadist Web sites, Ayman al-Zawahiri now heads the terrorist group.

Nic Robertson has a look at his rise in al Qaeda.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, al Qaeda released its statement on several Islamist Web sites saying that the general command had met, that Ayman al-Zawahiri is now officially taking over from Osama bin Laden. But no surprise there whatsoever.

He's been the number two in the organization since it was first formed. For him, it will have been a natural step that he should move on to leadership.

Perhaps slightly surprising it's taken so long, an indication perhaps that divisions and dissent within al Qaeda that perhaps some people didn't want him to take on the leadership. He's seen as somebody who's been divisive in the past. People either like him or intensely dislike him. He's driven people away from al Qaeda in the past.

He's been seen as the ideologue, whereas Bin Laden has been seen as the person who had the charisma to draw more people in. So it will be very interesting to see the dynamic of al Qaeda perhaps shift as a more divisive, not naturally charismatic person takes over. But perhaps also the delays in appointing him because al Qaeda is fragmented across the globe, that it's under pressure in Pakistan, Afghanistan, where Zawahiri is believed to be hiding.

We can expect pretty much the same agenda from al Qaeda. Indeed, in a statement, talking about Palestine, talking about Afghanistan, allegiance to the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, talking about Somalia, Yemen, all the sort of al Qaeda franchises across the world.

You can also likely expect Zawahiri to want to push and get more influence across the Middle East, take advantage of this Arab Spring in some way that seeks to do what he's always wanted to do, which is overthrow, as he says, the dictators of the Middle East. Now this move for democracy in the Middle East potentially undermines al Qaeda, and he'll want to claim some of that ground back. But more of the same from a person who really developed al Qaeda, the ideology it has today.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Manama, Bahrain.


STOUT: Now, the U.S. government is still scrambling to explain why its ally, Pakistan, arrested informants who helped the CIA. Now, the informants supposedly gave the U.S. spy agency intel that led to the death of Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan.

In a heated U.S. Senate hearing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was grilled on how the U.S. is handling its relationship with Pakistan.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say enough is enough?

Secretary Gates, I'll start with you.

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, first of all, I would say based on 27 years in the CIA and four-and-a-half years in this job, most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done.

LEAHY: Do they also arrest the people that help us when they say they're allies?

GATES: Sometimes.

LEAHY: Not often.

GATES: And sometimes they send people to spy on us, and they're our close allies.

LEAHY: And we give aid to them.

GATES: So that's the real world that we deal with.


STOUT: Frank answers there from the U.S. defense secretary, but details on those CIA informants are still being released.

Now, Brian Todd looks at the diplomatic fallout and just how important the arrested men were to the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the wake of Bin Laden's killing, more evidence of a fractured alliance between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Pakistan has arrested and detained suspected informants who helped the CIA before the raid on Bin Laden's compound, according to Pakistani officials. Some were arrested at the nearby safe house used by the CIA to spy on Bin Laden including the person who rented them the house. The response from Washington?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not always an easy relationship, but it is vital one.

TODD: A Pakistan official says the arrests took place shortly after Bin Laden was killed. I spoke with CNN national security analyst, Peter Bergen.

How crucial was the pre-raid intelligence on the ground?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, I think it must have been crucial because without that you don't have a sense of who the courier connected to Bin Laden is, when he comes and goes, what his brother was doing, who else is in the compound, how many guards are there if any? I mean, all the things you want to know.

TODD: "The New York Times" was first reported this story says one of the informants was a Pakistani army major who recorded license plates of cars that stopped at the compound. The Pakistanis deny that.

TODD (on-camera): As a backdrop to the flap over these detentions, lists of complaints from both sides about each other. On the U.S. side, there's the question of whether two raids on militants were foiled by tip-offs from Pakistani authorities. The fact that Bin Laden managed to hide in Pakistan for years and the belief that Pakistan is not cracking down enough on terrorist camps, but on the Pakistani side, the public is vehemently opposed a U.S. drone strikes which the Pakistanis say kill civilians.

The Bin Laden raid was conducted by the U.S. unilaterally and without telling the Pakistanis. And in January, a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis who he said were muggers. U.S. officials claimed diplomatic immunity in that case.

TODD (voice-over): House Intelligence Community chairman, Mike Rogers, says he had some candid conversations last week with top Pakistani commanders. He says he believes elements of Pakistan's military and intelligence service assisted Bin Laden.

What level of help do you believe they gave Bin Laden?

REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Well, I do think that there was some logistical efforts that had to happen by either members of the military, former members of the military, or former members of ISI or current members. So, there was some logistical assistance.

TODD: But Rogers says there's no information that any top Pakistani leader assisted Bin Laden or knew he was there. A Pakistani official I spoke with called Rogers' comments conjecture and pointed out that Pakistan's prime minister has emphatically denied any Pakistani cooperation with al Qaeda.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: A big explosion has rocked police headquarters in Nigeria's capital on Thursday. A witness says that the blast in Abuja sent black smoke billowing up from the central part of the city. Nigeria's national emergency management agency says it's mobilized response units to the blast site, but there is no official word yet on any dead or injured.

And we will bring you any updates as we get them.

More reports of families living in fear in Syria. In just minutes, we'll bring you the story of one woman who was able to flee the regime.

Plus, an Indonesian court finds Abu Bakar Bashir guilty on terrorism charges, but his followers say the verdict against the radical cleric doesn't count. We'll tell you why.

And scenes of violence and rioting over a Stanley Cup loss. A win for the Boston Bruins, but a major embarrassment for Vancouver, still ahead.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, in Syria, we're hearing more stories of personal suffering from individuals and families who are living in fear of President al-Assad's regime.

Arwa Damon spoke to one woman who decided to flee with her family after witnessing indiscriminate killings by the army first hand.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is simply too terrified to appear on camera and asks that we call her "Nour," not her real name. The 22- year-old English major has come to this rudimentary camp tucked alongside the Turkish border because, she says, if she stays at home in Latakia, she will die.

NOUR, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I come here. This circumstance is so difficult. I am pregnant. I cannot bear such things. I have a nervous breakdown.

DAMON: She described what she witnessed just outside her house as nothing short of horrific.

NOUR: Every day, when we have the protesters in the street, military and the army come for them and kill them in front of our eyes.

DAMON (on camera): Did you see that?

NOUR: Our house, we have a window. In the window, they're shooting the window with fire. If I'm sleeping under something, I will lose myself and I will die. We go down to the kitchen, and we sneak to the kitchen on our stomachs

DAMON: Sneak into the kitchen on your stomach?

NOUR: Yes. Yes.

DAMON (voice-over): Last Friday, activists reported the government onslaught to be especially bloody. The Syrian government has consistently said that it is only targeting armed groups, something active as an eyewitnesses say is a lie. This video reported to be taken last Friday and posted to YouTube.

CNN cannot independently verify appears to show people seeking cover behind a wall as intense gunfire rings out amid plumes of smoke. Nour says on that day, a lawyer she knew was gunned down for no reason.

NOUR: He doesn't want to go to the protest. He is going to visit his sister, and then, they shoot him. The people come to take him to the hospital, and after 10 minutes, return him dead.

DAMON: And you saw this from the window?

NOUR: Yes, yes. Like this car, Suzuki, and the blood come from this car.

DAMON: And that was when she fled with her family.

(on-camera): She's so scared that she's talking her hands just keep shaking uncontrollably. You can hear in her voice quivering as well, and it's just the trauma of what she has seen and what she was talking about is just so evident.

(voice-over): As is her raw anger and frustration.

NOUR: God created human beings to live in this world in a liberal way. Why does one man and his family control all these people? Why does only one man want to control all these people? Why?

DAMON: And in her mind, there's one man who could make it stop.

NOUR: Why our president killing us and killing our brothers and sisters, and take them to the prisons? Why? I just want to ask him this question.

DAMON: Arwa Damon, CNN, near Harbitijuz (ph), Syria.


STOUT: Now, it is 15 years in prison for Abu Bakar Bashir. The 72-year- old radical cleric is convicted of funding and inciting terror attacks, as well as helping to organize a terror training camp.

An Indonesian court handed down the guilty verdict earlier on Thursday. Well, Bashir and his followers say they reject the court's decision because, "It's based on laws formulated by infidels."

Kathy Quiano was in the courtroom as the verdict was read out, and she joins us now on the line.

And Kathy, let's talk about this sentence. Just 15 years is far shorter than what the prosecution wanted to see than what the United States and Australia wanted to see.

Why is that?

KATHY QUIANO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, the initial charges, in fact, carried the maximum penalty of death. The prosecutors decided to demand a life sentence, primarily because of Bashir's age. He turns 73 later this year, and at his age he may have to live the remainder of his life in jail. Fifteen years, adding to his 72 years, he may be 87 by the time he would be released.

So you also have to note that this is the third trial for the elderly cleric in a decade. In two previous trials, prosecutors tried to link him with the major terror attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali bombings in 2022 and the Marriott hotel bombings in 2003.

He was convicted for relatively minor charges. He spent 26 months in jail and was released in 2006, before he was arrested again last year for terrorism charges related to the establishment of a training camp, a militant training camp, in Aceh, North Sumatra -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Kathy, you were there inside the courtroom. Describe the scene for us as a number of his supporters were there.

QUIANO: That's right. Well, a few hundred of his supporters, mostly from his organization, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, or JAT, were inside and outside the courthouse.

The women, including members of his family, his sons, were inside the courtroom. And the rest of his supporters were seated on the courtyard, listening intently to the proceedings from loud speakers and a large TV monitor installed for the trial. And they would occasionally yell and chant religious slogans, professing their readiness to defend Bashir and Islam.

So when the sentence was actually read out by the main judge, there were gasps of disapproval, even tears from the women when they heard the sentence. And people yelling that it was all a lie.

Now, security was tight. Almost 3,000 police and military were deployed near the courthouse, in and around the city. Snipers were also positioned on top of buildings surrounding the courthouse, as there were reports of anonymous bomb threats circulating through text messages just a day before the verdict -- Kristie.

STOUT: Kathy Quiano, joining us line from the Jakarta.

Thank you very much for that update there.

Now, Indonesia has been hit with its fair share of terrorist attacks over the past decade, and several of them, like the Bali bombings, have drawn international attention.

Now, Andrew Stevens sat down with Indonesia's president just days ago, and they talked about the impact of radicalism in the country.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How worried are you that religious extremism is going to destabilize Indonesia's political system?

SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO, INDONESIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Religious extremism happens everywhere in the world. After 9/11, we've witnessed more extremism globally, including Indonesia. We continue to work harder and implement a program of de-radicalization in society, and how we promote this is through an education program and promoting moderation through moderate Islamic leaders.

So, by doing all of this, radicalism can be kept in check in Indonesia and, in fact, can be reversed. Our hope is to directly combat terrorism. And secondly, facilitate and guide the public.

I do hope that radicalism can be controlled and continue to be weakened in the future.


STOUT: And you can catch the full interview with Indonesia's president on "TALK ASIA," all weekend, right here on CNN. You can watch it on Friday, 4:30 p.m. Hong Kong time.

Now, ice hockey's Stanley Cup champions have been crowned, but it's not the match that's making headlines. It's the riots that followed. We'll have that in just a moment.


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

Now, the Boston Bruins are ice hockey's Stanley Cup champions. They won the cup in Vancouver on Wednesday night, and as you can see right here, the hometown fans, they weren't too happy about it.

Greg Black has this look at what happened.


GREG BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While Boston celebrated their Stanley Cup victory, thousands of Canucks fans took to the streets of Vancouver rioting, flipping cars and setting fires.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A very sad scene right now in downtown Vancouver. We're hearing of more cars that have been overturned as well.

BLACK: Some people posed for pictures in front of fires. Others broke through store windows.

Vancouver police tried to contain the unruly crowd that continually taunted and threw things at officers. Some fans were wrestled to the ground by police. One fan said he found the riots to be an embarrassment for Vancouver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is wrong for the city. This isn't the reputation we want.

BLACK: The Canucks have been to the finals three times in their 40 seasons in the NHL, but they've never won the Stanley Cup.

Greg Black, CNN.


STOUT: Unbelievable scenes from Vancouver.

Now, let's go to Don Riddell in London now.

And Don, just how common are scenes like that in North American sport?


Well, more common than you'd think, actually. And it's not always losing teams' fans that go on the rampage. Sometimes, would you believe, that's how fans celebrate victories.

We've got some pictures just to remind you of the fans of the L.A. Lakers basketball team. This is how they celebrated their NBA championship title just last year. As you can see, that does not look like a particularly pleasant scene -- cars on fire, people on the streets.

And this is a team that's just won. This is a team that's just done its city proud.

This does seem to happen quite a lot in North American sport. And I think the events in Vancouver last night are going to have long-running repercussions for that city.

This is a repeat of what happened back in 1994, when the Canucks last lost a Stanley Cup final. There were tens of thousands of people on the streets last night. And remember, this is a city that really endeared itself to the whole world with the Winter Olympics. But you're now seeing a completely different image of Vancouver.

Of course, we're not talking about the whole city here, but there are an awful lot of people there on the streets. Not that many causing violence, but enough to make headlines all around the world. And it's a real shame for Vancouver. It was a disappointing night for the team, and this ended up being a shameful night for the city.

STOUT: I'm simply not used to looking at such images of chaos coming out of Canada, of all places.

Now, let's get back to the game itself. Now, how did the Boston Bruins clinch the Stanley Cup?

RIDDELL: Well, they did it in Vancouver, in a decisive game seven, winning the prestigious trophy for the first time since 1972, and the sixth time overall. The series, up until this point, had favored the home team, and Vancouver would have fancied their chances. But Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins had other ideas.

After just 14 minutes, Brad Marchand picked out Bergeron for the opening goal. These two were the story of the night in offense, while at the other end, it was the titanic Tim Thomas that stood forward (ph). The veteran 6'7" goalie was unbeatable, making 37 saves in his second shutout of the finals.

Into the second period, Boston now (INAUDIBLE). And Bergeron, again with a goal in his sights. He was tripped, but the puck still found its way into the back of the net. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood.

Vancouver, now 3-0 down in front of their own fans. This was not at all how they thought it was going to go.

Bergeron had scored twice, and Marchand then got his second goal of the night within the last three minutes to complete an emphatic 4-0 score line. The Stanley Cup was back in Boston's hands, and the safest pair of hands belonged to Tim Thomas, the oldest winner the age of 37.

This was an epic victory for the Bruins. The Stanley Cup finals have only gone the distance 16 times in the history of the NHL. The Bruins are only the fourth team to win the decisive game on the road.

Tim Thomas has ensured himself legendary status, having produced only the fourth shutout in game seven and the first away from home. It's been a long and historic post-season for Boston. They are the first team to have won three game sevens in one single post-season period, beating the Canadians, and then the Tampa Bay Lightning, and now, of course, the Canucks.

As you can see, despair in Vancouver, but a completely different story in Boston. Those players will return as heroes.

STOUT: That's right. A big celebration there.

Don Riddell, joining us from London.

Thank you.

Now we will have the world headlines for you up next, including the latest on that blast in Nigeria. Now the International Red Cross is calling it a very serious incident. Bring you the latest on the explosion in Abuja in just a moment.


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM and these are your world headlines. Al Qaeda has announced a new leader seven weeks after the killing of Osama bin laden. Egyptian born Ayman al Zawahiri served as bin Laden's deputy for more than a decade. Now a statement posted on a number of jihadist web sites said that Zawahiri would honor bin Laden's legacy.

Now an explosion rocked police headquarters in Nigeria's capital on Thursday. Now a witness say the blast in Abuja sent black smoke billowing up from the central part of the city. Nigeria's national emergency management agency says it is mobilized response units to the blast site. No word yet on any people killed or injured.

And Indonesian courts have sentenced radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to 15 years in prison. The 72 year old was found guilty of terrorism related charges, all of which he denied. Now it was the third trial for Bashir who is considered the spiritual leader of the group that carried out the 2002 Bali bombings.

Now Greece's prime minister George Papandreou is reshuffling his government a day after violent demonstrations undermined his authority. Two lawmakers from his ruling party resigned in the past few hours and protesters are stepping up attempts to force the government to reverse steep cuts in spending all made necessary to avoid a default on national debts.

Now the Libyan capital of Tripoli now where a series of big explosions ripped across the early morning sky. Now state TV claims that they were NATO air strikes. And says that bombs also fell on two other cities.

Now Dave McKenzie has the latest from Tripoli. He joins us now. And David, tell us more about these pre-dawn explosions in Tripoli.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, they happened just before 5:00 am local this morning in Tripoli. Certainly we have some video there, but aftermath of these explosions.

The Ministry of Defense of Britain has said these were typhoon and tornado aircraft that were doing air strikes on Moammar Gadhafi's compound, the region of that compound. These were laser guided bombs that were used. Just listen in for a second.

But these air strikes are happening day in, day out here in Libya some in Tripoli, some elsewhere as you say as NATO tries to enforce that UN resolution that's calling for them to end any potential strikes on civilians by the Moammar Gadhafi here in Libya. But certainly after three months we're not seeing any major change in the -- him potentially stepping down from power.

So we're still at a kind of deadly stalemate at this point here in Libya -- Kristie.

STOUT: And as the stalemate goes on, let's talk about the diplomatic front. A Russian envoy is there due to hold talks with the Libyan government. This is yet another attempt in Libya at mediation, but can this envoy make any progress?

MCKENZIE: Well, he'll certainly hope to make progress. Mick Mogolov (ph), the official envoy of Russian state he was in Benghazi earlier this month meeting with the rebels in the east of the country.

Today he's in the capital Tripoli. He was meeting with the deputy foreign minister. They did a brief tour of that exact site. In fact, Babba Al Azia (ph), the compound of Moammar Gadhafi. They briefly went through there, walked back, now they're holding meetings to try and end this deadly stalemate as I said.

While the conflict rages on in the east and into the southwest of Tripoli there are diplomatic moves to try and end the stalemate.

There's increasing criticism, Kristie, from particularly the African Union and other groups that are saying that the mandate of the security council resolution has been exceeded, that this is becoming almost de facto air force of the rebels rather than just protecting civilian targets.

Now NATO on its part saying that every strike they do is somehow helping to save lives, save civilian lives who they say are fed up with Moammar Gadhafi's rule.

STOUT: And David, the war in Libya has raged for more than three months now. Just how much longer can the battle continue? And who benefits the most as it drags on and on?

MCKENZIE: Well, 90 days is currently how long -- how much longer NATO will be continuing this operation. They have given an extension until September. And they say that they can go beyond that, although there have been some official particularly with the royal navy here who have said that they -- they will be (inaudible) militarily if they try and continue beyond that September date.

Many people felt that this crisis would have been over a lot sooner. Some analysts believe that actually it's Moammar Gadhafi by any long, drawn out process. He's been in power for 41 years. Many people feel that it's not just going to be a case of him giving up now. He's been kept very quiet in the last few days. Government officials refuse to say where he is. And of course those strikes, particularly at night by NATO are a great danger to him and his regime.

So certainly if he hunkers down, some government officials probably feel that maybe they can sort of wait this out, wait for the critical voices like the African Union rise to a certain point and create some kind of scenario where he could at least stay in Tripoli or stay in power in some way. That's highly unlikely given the diplomatic fallout from this crisis and so many governments are now up to 15 now actually recognize the rebels as the real government here in Libya.

So certainly time is ticking for the NATO offensive, or rather the NATO air strikes. And they'll be looking to get real results diplomatically in -- as soon as possible.

STOUT: Yeah, remember three months ago we were debating, discussing an end game for Libya and we are far from that scenario.

Dave McKenzie joining us live from Tripoli. Many thanks indeed.

Now in Bahrain a 20 year old pro-democracy activist has been staging a hunger strike for almost two weeks. Now Asma Darwish is calling for the release of her brother, a fellow democracy campaigner who is being held in custody. Her protest is not sitting well with the authorities.

Now on Monday, she was kicked out of college. And our Nic Robertson caught up with her a few hours later.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So I'm sitting here talking to you and we're talking about the fact that you lost your studies and the reasons why you've been thrown off the course. But you now, how many days into a hunger strike?


ROBERTSON: It's your 10th day. How are you feeling?

DARWISH: I should feel sick. And I can dizzy, of course. And it's hard for me like enduring my hunger strike. I was attending all my classes and I was doing my exams and submitting all my assignment (inaudible) everything was perfect. And nothing stopped me. And suddenly today it just happened that they said it's at my face that we don't want to see you anymore on campus.

I had that in mind that probably they wouldn't kick us all out, you know.

ROBERTSON: How many of you?

DARWISH: Actually today the list I have made it, like more than 40.

ROBERTSON: Why have they done this?

DARWISH: You just cannot talk in Bahrain. Whenever you talk, then you're in a big problem, you know. And...

ROBERTSON: But you do a lot of talking. You're on a hunger strike.

DARWISH: That's why I'm on a hunger strike, because there is nothing else I can do, you know. My brother is in prison. My uncle is in prison. My cousin is in prison. My friend's relative. Everyone I know is in prison.


STOUT: Now two days after Nic caught up with Asma, she and two friends staged a sit-in at the UN building in the Bahraini capital. And when the building closed, they were all detained by police. But they were later released.

And through it all, they updated the world via Twitter. So let's take a look at some of Asma's tweets.

Now soon after 10:00 pm on Wednesday night she wrote this, "we are still fine. And guess what am a little bit hungry but still strong."

And then some six hours later, that's when the interrogations took place. And she tweets this, "Sawsan in in. Zainab is out from the investigation. I'm waiting for my turn. They're keeping the youngest for the last."

And after an hour's wait at 5:00 am, good news for the trio. And this very excited tweet, "We are free to go. Thanks everyone for the support."

And then within the hour came this. "the journey is not over yet. Hungry strike is. I will keep working for human rights in Bahrain until the day I die."

And then just an hour later, food. After 13 days she finally eats. And she says, "I'm eating macaroni. It feels weird. I'm not used to chewing."

Now the U.S. has spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan not only in the war against terror, but on hospitals, power plants and roads. Now there is a problem, though, the Afghan government can't afford the upkeep by itself. Nick Paton-Walsh has more.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A generous state of the art gift from the American people to keep the lights on in Kabul, a power plant magnificent in design and in cost, $300 million before anyone had even switched it on. But American planners forgot one thing, could Afghanistan afford the fuel to keep it going? You can listen to the answer here.

Much of the time the plant stays silent, that's because the diesel fuel that it runs on is so expensive that to run it at even half capacity could cost the Afghan government up to $100 million a year.

It's high tech turbines are on about 7 percent of the amount planned. A white elephant, some say, but its sponsors say it's occasional back-up power is vital.

JOHN HANSEN, USAID: What I think the person on the street would probably tell you is that he or she is pretty satisfied by the fact that power, which was available two to four hours a day in 2009 is now largely available 24 hours a day.

PATON-WALSH: But to many, it's a symbol of the billions America spent here without asking itself will Afghans be able to pay for this once we're gone.

The same question about this, a huge network of highways built for over $2.5 billion.

It's a vast project running around the country through some of its least safe areas, meant to breathe the life of trade between city.

But a few glitches, though. Much of it is made of asphalt, which some U.S. officials admit is very hard to repair here. And then there's burden of maintaining it for heavy use. USAID thinks that will cost $170 million every year.

The roads here are very broken, this trucker says, because of the large load they carry.

In real terms for Afghans working here, the $3,600 Hadji Bullah (ph) earns in a year is equivalent to the cost of maintaining just 100 meters of road.

It's one thing if power plants and roads run out of money when the Americans leave, it's another when medical care is affected. People in central Kabul's hospital will feel it hard. Care is free here, but these high tech devices America paid for are not. And without continued huge input of cash from donors, they could stay off permanently.

America's gifts, so costly, Afghanistan so broke, that the bid to give them everything risks coming to nothing.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, Kabul.


STOUT: Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, Anthony Weiner and his Twitter taboos that just keep on coming as another involved woman steps forward. And the U.S. congressman is already on the record about her. Coming up we'll tell you all about what Ginger Lee is saying.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now IBM turns 100 today. Big Blue was born in 1911. Thomas Watson, pictured here, he took over as president in 1915. And his creative mantra, which became the company motto, was simply think.

Now IBM was formed out of companies that made scales and punch clocks along with other obsolete items. And one of those proprietary technologies was this, this punch card reader. It was used in the 1890 census.

And jumping ahead to the 1940s IBM wowed the world when it worked with Harvard to create this massive Mark I calculator. Now it took 12 seconds to do long division problems. And by the 1950s IBM was renting out processors and typewriters to private companies.

And then in 1968, an IBM unit 21 feet long, helped guide the Apollo 7 astronauts around the moon.

Along the way IBM has launched technology into just about every corner of people's lives from ATMs and magnetic credit card strips, to grocery store barcodes, and yes, even Lasik eye surgery.

But IBM's crowning achievement is one that everyone knows. It is of course the personal computer. Now IBM teamed with Intel and a little software company called Microsoft to create the desktop as we largely still know it, but unlike its partners IBM was squeezed out of its own market and eventually shifted away from consumer PCs to other areas.

And in February of this year it debuted the super computer nicknamed Watson. Now in a show of mental might Watson took on the quiz show Jeopardy, took on the champs, and absolutely trampled them.

And we, too, welcome our new computer overlords.

Now the saga of the U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner's racy Twitter tapping continues. Now Mary Snow looks at the latest woman to come forward involved with the errant lawmaker.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's a former porn star whose path collided with Congressman Anthony Weiner online. Ginger Lee and famed attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference to speak out about Lee's online communications with Weiner. She claims he coached her about dealing with the press after questions first surfaced about a lewd picture he sent someone else.

GINGER LEE, FORMER PORN STAR: He asked me to lie about our communication. I put out a three sentence communication that he told me to say. My statement to the press said, quote, "I haven't met Representative Weiner. I follow him on Twitter, because I support him and what he stands for. I have been hounded by his political opponents, but that has not changed my view of him and what he fights for."

SNOW: While she says they never met, Lee claims she followed him on Twitter. And after writing something positive about him on her blog, he started following her on Twitter. It eventually led to e-mails.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Although discussions at first were about politics, sometimes he would try to take it to another level, mentioning his, quote, "package."

SNOW: Allred says Lee didn't respond to alleged sexual advances, but in a blog post in March she wrote that she wanted to have sex with him. By June 1st, Weiner was asked about her.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have any idea who this woman is?

REP. ANTHONY WEINER, (D) NEW YORK: I think what this is about is a fairly pro forma thing that goes out that I send out to people as I follow them, thank you for following me, please check into the

SNOW: In fact, Allred says the two exchanged about 100 messages. And on June 2nd, one day after that interview Lee claims Weiner called her. And on his advice she says she stayed in her house and avoided cameras hoping the scandal would die down.

As to why she's speaking now, Allred says it was time to break her silence. And that someone had threatened to release a statement from her that she didn't authorize. And Lee added one final message.

LEE: I think that Anthony Weiner should resign, because he lied to the public and to the press for more than a week. It might have never turned into this if he had told the truth, but he kept lying.

SNOW: We reached out to Weiner's office about Lee's allegations, but got no immediate response.

As for the threats that Allred mentioned, there weren't many answers. She gave no details on the nature of the threat or the statement that she referred to.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


STOUT: The story just won't let up.

Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, a New York newlywed has made it official with a very quiet wife. She had absolutely nothing to say about it. And for that matter she doesn't say or do much of anything at all. We'll explain all in just a moment.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now there has been rain in China. And I should know, I was in Beijing yesterday, a very rainy Beijing. But let's get the forecast now with our Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. You know that rain in Beijing was very beneficial rain. It helps clean up the air. And they're still in a drought across those areas of northeastern China in particular. So that rain beneficial. But, when you get too much of a good thing then you really start running into problems. Let's go ahead and roll the video that we have for you from other parts of China.

You know what? This is an ongoing problem. We went -- in some of these areas, in some of these eastern provinces we went from severe drought to severe flooding. And the fact that we were in a drought is really making the situation worse, because you know those storm drains haven't been used for a long time, those rain -- kind of -- the water where the drain, the rain drains into the rivers and canals, those were still dirty with a lot of garbage. Now there's even more of that. Roads have been blocked. There have been landslides. There have been at least 50 people killed, dozens more are still missing across different areas. And hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Many areas are also without electricity, without running water. There has to be emergency evacuations as well. So this is a very serious problem that continues to plague portions of China.

If you come back over to the weather map over here, the areas that we're talking about is right in to this area right here. Now we see the rain kind of slid a little farther to the east here and some of that again has been locally heavy. When you see some of these rainfall totals it's pretty significant. I mean, Shanghai had over 200 millimeters of rain, almost 250 in just a period of 24 hours. That's a lot of rainfall.

Other areas, maybe 70 millimeters of rain. And Beijing, you did get quite a bit with that storm system that was moving through, but nothing compared to what they had across some of these regions here.

As we head through the next day or so and we head into the weekend already, you'll see a little bit of a break across some of these hardest hit areas. But then that same frontal system reformed farther to the north. And right along the Yangtze, we think, that's where the heaviest rain will be. Easily 5, 8 centimeters of additional rainfall as we head through the next couple of days. And then as we head into the weekend, the rain expected to be even heavier.

We're also watching, Kristie, an area of low pressure in the Indian ocean. This one could cause some problems for people here, or will continue to cause problems I should say over the next couple of days. Back to you.

STOUT: All right, Mari, thank you very much for that.

Now relationships can be complicated. For one man in New York, things between him and his special lady couldn't be, well, more solid. As Jeanne Moos reports he says his love is built to last. And he should know, he built her himself.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's such an incredibly odd sight that motorists do double takes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is real -- what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is that.

MOOS: Then turn around for another look before posting it on YouTube. Someone created a Facebook fan page for him. And Ned Nefer just did an interview with a couple of DJ's out at 97X in Davenport, Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you're married to a mannequin?

NED NEFER: To me she's not a mannequin.

MOOS: This Syracuse, New York resident has become a phenomenon, pushing what he calls his wife, Teagan, 70-some miles from Syracuse to Watertown back to where they first met and where a Watertown daily times reporter found him.

SARAH HAASE, WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES: He said hi, you know, my name is Ned and this is my wife Teagan. He believes it. You can see that he believes that this is his wife.

MOOS: Now folks are noting sightings on his Facebook page. They're posting photos posing with Ned and Teagan.

People who haven't met him think it's an act, but it sure doesn't seem like one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does she talk to you?

NEFER: Yeah, I hear her very clear. We love each other and everything. We're just out just living our lives.

MOOS: Ned tells folks that he met his future wife at the Jefferson County Children's Home, a home for orphans. And that when he first met her she was just a head.

HAASE: The head told him to build her a body and that's what he did.

MOOS: We don't know why he chose this caricature of a black woman. His situation is right out of the film Lars and the Real Girl.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Bianca is a missionary. Well, you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He appears to have a delusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fantastic. When will it be over?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he doesn't need it anymore.

MOOS: Ned says he's needed Teagan for 25 years.

We can't diagnose Ned Nefer's mental status, but he does say that he's on government disability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you guys have any kids?

NEFER: She's not flesh so she can't have children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds like she's not real.

NEFER: Well, she's real, but you know there are ladies that are flesh that can't have children.

MOOS: Some may mock with music. Some may snicker watching Ned feed Teagan a Snickers bar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess they would do like (inaudible).

MOOS: But others are touched. They think he's no dummy.

HAASE: He seems happy.

MOOS: And at least he has the grace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, good luck to you. And have a safe journey.

NEFER: We sure hope so.

MOOS: To wipe a snicker off the lips of his significant other.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


STOUT: Oh Ned, I hope you're OK.

That is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.