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Growing Unrest in Syria; Athens Austerity Measures; Libyan Refugees in Tunisia

Aired June 17, 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, Syria's president is expected to address his people today, responding to the unrest gripping the country.

The prime minister of Greece reshuffles the cabinet, hoping to garner support for the next round of austerity measures.

And evidence that Libyan soldiers are using rape as a weapon emerges from video found on their mobile phones.

Now, we begin with the growing unrest in Syria. Demonstrations are planned today in the name of Saleh al-Ali, an Alawite rebellion leader from the early 20th century. Syrian opposition activists say that they hope the namesake will inspire other Alawites, part of the country's minority ruling class, to join the movement to topple President al-Assad.

Now, meanwhile, violent scenes like this continue to erupt in many parts of the country, as the Syrian army tries to reassert its power over the people. Turkey now says some 9,600 Syrian refugees have crossed its border to escape the violence. The U.S. State Department and the United Nations' secretary-general both recently voiced new condemnation of al-Assad's actions. The Syrian president is expected to respond in an address to his country later on Friday.

Our Arwa Damon has been following the latest developments and joins us now from a refugee camp in Turkey just across the border from Syria.

Arwa, give us the latest on the refugee crisis there at the border. How much help is still needed?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie the Refugees who are crossing over need just about as much help as they can get. When they do arrive inside the camps in Turkey, they are being provided with shelter, food, as well as medical aid.

Now, the camp that we're in front of is the Alton Oznu (ph) camp. It was in fact a former tobacco factory, and now they have set up two floors of tents inside.

There's a fairly large crowd gathered here, and that is because Angelina Jolie is expected to making a visit shortly in her behalf as the U.N. goodwill ambassador. There was, just a short while ago, a small demonstration happening inside, around the corner, the refugees chanting their gratitude to Turkey, but also chanting for the downfall of the Syrian regime, holding up signs, begging the United Nations to help them. One sign said, "Our military is killing its own people. Please make it stop."

Also, further down, this camp, like the others here, has a tarp set alongside it, which prevents us from looking in and the refugees from speaking to us. But a group of children had crawled out underneath it, and they were holding up signs saying, "Please stop killing the children."

These are the same types of messages that we are not only hearing from this and other refugee camps inside Turkey, but they are the same types of messages that we are continuously hearing from those demonstrators who keep taking to the streets across Syria -- Kristie.

STOUT: That's right. You're seeing protests in Turkey. And meanwhile, inside Syria, opposition leaders are calling for more protests today.

What have you heard about the planned demonstrations and the government's expected reaction?

DAMON: Well, we have been hearing from one activist who is based with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based outside of the country. That's a fairly extensive network, and he was telling us, as we have been hearing from other activists, that there are widespread demonstrations across the country.

Again, people still chanting for the downfall of the regime, chanting for basic freedom and liberty. We have been hearing reports that in some cases, those demonstrations have again been broken up with use of force in the coastal city of Baniyas, according to this one NGO. There were also mass detentions that took place. And this pretty much has been the status quo in the sense that the Syrian regime has continually used force to try to break up these demonstrations, to try to quell these voices of dissent.

We also do know that the military offensives do continue in the northwestern part of the country. One activist who we spoke to was right against the Syrian/Turkish border, saying that overnight, he could hear gunshots. And he believes that the Syrian military is totally making its way closer to the Turkish border, and that, of course, is sending tremors and fear amongst the refugees who are still stuck on the Syrian side waiting to cross over.

STOUT: That's right. That, a very frightening development, indeed.

Arwa Damon, joining us live from the Syrian/Turkish border.

Thank you very much for that report.

Now, Greece has sworn in its new cabinet as the debt-ravaged country tries to avoid an economic meltdown. Evangelos Venizelos has been named as the new finance minister, and he and the rest of the cabinet now have the task of helping the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, drum up support for a tough austerity program.

Now, the plan measures will include tax hikes and drastic cuts to public sector jobs. And to say that they are unpopular is a huge understatement.

Demonstrators angered by the cutbacks, they threw gasoline bombs at the Ministry of Finance this Wednesday. Nevertheless, Greece needs to reduce its deficit to convince international financial institutions that it deserves its next slab of bailout cash. And without those funds, it could default on its debts this summer.

Now, the Greek economy is relatively small, but if the country does default on its debts, the shock waves across the global financial system would be significant. Banks, stock markets and entire economies far from Athens could be affected, so this government reshuffle matters a lot.

Our Diana Magnay is in the Greek capital. She joins us now.

And Diana, a new government is now in place. What is the reaction inside Greece?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's more important what the reaction is inside the ruling party in terms of this cabinet reshuffle, because, effectively, what the Greek prime minister was doing was trying to achieve some kind of unity. For the last few weeks, he's been battling not just a rebellion with the parliament, and a rebellion on the streets, as you were talking about, but also a rebellion within his own party.

This cabinet reshuffle might provide some kind of unity within the party that he needs to get this medium-term austerity package through the parliament at the end of the month. And as you say, if he doesn't manage to get that austerity bill through, then it is quite possible that the EU, that the IMF won't release funds, and that Greece may default. And that is why there is so much activity going on both here in Greece and in the eurozone, people meeting at the moment to try and hammer out a deal on both sides -- Kristie.

STOUT: So the Greek parliament, the markets, all of the country closely watching this new government. The IMF and the EU are also closely watching the new cabinet.

Is the political reshuffle enough to please them?

MAGNAY: Is it enough to please the EU and the IMF? Well, the new finance minister is a law professor. Originally, he's a seasoned politician. He's not an economist like George Papaconstantinou, the ex-finance minister, who's now been moved to an environment position which is seen by many people here as a bit of a demotion.

So, he may not be -- the new finance minister may not be as well tuned in terms of market mechanisms as his predecessor. That said, he knows a lot about politics, and that is extremely important right now, because what you had in Greece internally is a political crisis, and he is seen as a very strong figure and may be the right figure for that moment. And if he can create unity within the party, meaning that this austerity bill goes through the parliament, then that is probably enough for the IMF and the EU also -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Diana Magnay, joining us live from Athens.

Thank you.

Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, women in Saudi Arabia are taking a stand by sitting behind the wheel. We'll tell you about the protests for the right to drive.

Plus, we've seen it across the Middle East and North Africa. Now we get a glimpse of unrest in China with rare video of a migrant worker riot.

And Weiner finally resigns. We'll look at what his U.S. congressional district is losing.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, in Libya, another string of fresh explosions hit the capital on Friday. Now, NATO airstrikes on Tripoli continued overnight into the day. Smoke rose from a number of parts of the city after days of air assaults.

Now, the turmoil in Libya has sent hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing across the border to nearby Tunisia, but the small North African country is struggling to accommodate the massive influx of people. And now the United Nations refugee agency is asking the international community to show some support.

Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, is in Tunisia now, and he joins us live from a refugee camp in the country's southwest.

Now, Mr. Guterres, welcome to CNN.

It is incredible that more than 400,000 Libyan refugees have fled into Tunisia. How has Tunisia been able to handle and help so many people?

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: We are here, right across the border, and we had two bombs that exploded 200 meters from the border. So, indeed, there has been heavy fighting in this part of Libya, and of course people flee into Tunisia.

And what is admirable, we are in a camp with about 1,500 people, but the overwhelming majority of the Libyans are received by host families, by Tunisian families that open their hearts, open their doors, and are sharing their meager resources with them. And that is why it is so important to have a meaningful international solidarity to help the Tunisian government cope with this challenge, but also to help Tunisian communities to be able to provide what they are providing to their sisters and brothers coming from Libya, and received with their open hearts and their open arms.

STOUT: Now, you are there recognize Tunisia for providing this support for Libyan refugees, but how much more help does Tunisia need in the form of international aid or collaboration?

GUTERRES: I think that we have had some announcements recently from the World Bank, from the G-8. But it is very important that the support to the Tunisian revolution -- to make the revolution be a success, to the benefit of the Tunisian people, but also of the region, and of peace and security in the world. And the support of Tunisia, that is receiving so many refugees, having their own problems in such -- in a good (ph) way, it is absolutely essential that these promises become a reality very, very soon. And my appeal is for bureaucratic entitlements (ph) to be overcome, for governments to act very quickly, for international organizations to act very quickly, in order to make sure that the Tunisians receive the kind of solidarity they fully deserve.

And it's not only Tunisia. It's very beautiful to see in today's world, with a war in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia opened their borders. With problems in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon opened their borders.

It is indeed in the developing world that we see more and more refugees being welcomed. And I appeal to the developed world to have the same attitude and at least to express full solidarity to these countries that are doing so much.

STOUT: Mr. Guterres, I'm going to read a quote from you. It is from a joint statement on the crisis in Syria. And you say this: "In the last few days, more than 130 people have died, 100 were wounded, and over 2,000 were arbitrarily arrested in the village of Jisra-al-Shugur, and around the city of Idleb. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, as Syrian authorities further isolate the population by regularly interrupting communications networks."

Now, Mr. Guterres, what is the United Nations doing to shield the population there in Syria from violence and further isolation?

GUTERRES: Of course there is a political dimension which agencies like mine cannot address. What we are doing is to be fully supportive of those that flee into Lebanon, working together with the Lebanese authorities. And in Turkey, we need to express our deep gratitude and appreciation for the Turkish government, that has opened the borders, and the Turkish Red Crescent has provided very effective assistance both inside Turkey, but also to people displaced on the other side of the border.

I think it's another example of generosity that the U.N. fully appreciates. And as I said, we'll be working together with these governments to provide as much as we can to the Syrian people, that is a very generous people. Let's not forget that the Syrian people has welcomed refugees from Palestine, refugees from Iraq, always also with an enormous sense of generosity.

STOUT: Now, some 9,000 Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkey. You just lauded Turkey's handling of the situation. Do you think the refugee crisis will worsen there? And is Turkey able to deal with an even greater influx of refugees from Syria?

GUTERRES: We are in close contact with the Turkish authorities, and they have shown a very high capacity of handling this situation. Let us hope their problems will be solved. Let us hope that this doesn't go on with the same impact that we have witnessed recently. But I must say that we are fully confident and fully appreciative of the excellent work the Turkish government and the Turkish Red Crescent are doing.

STOUT: Antonio Guterres of the UNHCR.

Many thanks indeed for joining us here on NEWS STREAM.

Now, the next story I'm about to show you is disturbing and graphic. Now, it is about rape as a weapon in Libya's civil war and evidence of those assaults that rebels say is frequently found on captured cell phones.

Sara Sidner explains from Misrata, Libya. The videos are so terrible, that even the rebels are trying to erase the evidence to avoid humiliating victims and their families. I should tell you that we have blurred almost all the footage to make it possible to air this report.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the front lines of Libya's war, rebel fighters say they are finding a lot more than weapons on captured or killed pro-Gadhafi soldiers. They say they have confiscated cell phones that contain videos showing Gadhafi loyalists torturing and raping Libyan citizens.

(on camera): After weeks of hearing of these cell phone rape videos, we, for the first time, have a copy of one. This was given to us by a source who does not want to be identified for fear of being punished by this very conservative society.

To be clear, we have been unable to verify its authenticity. We don't know where it was taken or when or by whom. All we can do is watch it and listen to it.

(voice-over): In this video provided to CNN, from what rebels say was the cell phone of a Gadhafi loyalist, two men in civilian clothes stand over a naked woman who was bent over with her face on the floor. The man standing behind her is sodomizing her with what appears to be a broomstick.

"I can't bear it. I can't bear it," she says.

A male voice off camera says, "Let's push it farther."

"No, no, that's enough," the woman begs.

One of the men puts his sock-covered foot on her face. In this culture, it's considered the ultimate insult. But, in this case, it pales in comparison to what the victim is already enduring.

(on camera): We blurred this video because it's extremely difficult to watch. Arabic speakers who have examined the video say the voices in the video are distinctly Libyan with clear Tripoli accents. There's no date on the video, and the men in the video are not wearing military uniforms. The victim's face is barely seen, so we have not been able to identify her.

It's been extremely difficult to get anyone to talk about this video on camera because of the cultural sensitivities here.

(voice-over): We asked Abdallah Al-Kabeir, a spokesman for the opposition in Misrata, whether rebels have found many of these kinds of videos -- his answer, yes. A

BDALLAH AL-KABEIR, SPOKESMAN, MISRATA MEDIA COMMITTEE (through translator): We were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war, because it was systematic.

SIDNER: The International Criminal Court in The Hague says the allegations are credible. It is investigating.

But, in a surprising admission to CNN, spokesman Al-Kabeir tells us some of the evidence of war crimes prosecutors want may have been destroyed.

AL-KABEIR (through translator): There was a commander here at the eastern front in Misrata named Muhammad el-Habus (ph). He ordered all the revolution's fighters to give them the rape videos they found on Gadhafi soldiers' cell phone. I heard that he used destroyed every rape video he got.

SIDNER (on camera): Why in the world would you destroy video evidence of rape that could be used as evidence of war crimes against your enemy, against the Gadhafi regime?

AL-KABEIR (through translator): Because, aside from being a heinous crime, rape is perceived here in our culture as damaging, not only for the girl, but also the whole family.

SIDNER (voice-over): Rape is such a taboo in this culture, even some of the victims' families would rather erase potential evidence against the attackers than risk living with the shame.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Misrata, Libya.


STOUT: Now, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court alleges that these kinds of crimes in Libya can be traced all the way back to leader Moammar Gadhafi himself.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo says that there is evidence that Gadhafi ordered mass rapes, and he is determined to prosecute the Libyan leader.


LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, ICC: In our court, the crimes are massive. So the crimes we are charging Gadhafi is crimes against humanity, meaning the widespread and systematic attack in this case through rapes against victims. So we don't need to prove one case, we need to prove a massive number of cases.

In this sense, the evidence could be different. The evidence could be soldiers who were given instruction to do it. The evidence could be doctors or psychologists who were talking to the victims. That's the kind of evidence we are collecting.

So, let me clarify. We are still collecting evidence. We are not yet presenting the charges. We are collecting the evidence and we (ph) are sure we'll present the case in court.


STOUT: Now, just ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the online campaign hoping to fuel change and put women back in the driver's seat in Saudi Arabia.


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

Now, in Saudi Arabia, women are climbing in the driver's seat in protests this Friday. Now, they are challenging religious edicts that keep women in the country from driving, though there's no official law against it. Now, authorities jailed a Saudi woman last month when she was caught behind the wheel.

The campaign has gained massive international support online, and it's trending on Twitter.

Now, from Madrid, Leila Nachawati, she writes this: "Go Saudi Arabia women! Drive to defy the ban. The world is with you!"

Now, in Saudi Arabia, Rawan Hijazi says that she and her mom drove back from her sister's graduation celebration. In fact, she writes this: "On our way back home, and no one harassed us at all, even though some men stared at us."

And there are also messages of support from across the border. Now, a Shahad Alhumood in Jordan writes this: "I do not want to drive only my car, I want to drive my destiny and my future."

Now, a number of Twitter users, they have asked where Saudi women learn to drive if it's illegal. And there's an easy answer. Saudi Arabian women can hold international drivers' licenses, and many do.

As the reports from Saudi Arabia are filing in, well, CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is keeping up with the campaign. And he joins us now from CNN Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed, the campaign is being seen all over the world, but how many women inside Saudi Arabia are really taking part?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, it's been very hard to get accurate numbers. I've spoken to at least two women since last night who have actually driven around in different cities in the country. I've been told by some activists there that I've been communicating with that they think that as many as 10 have gotten behind the wheels of vehicles in cities like Jeddah and Riyadh since last night. But again, very hard to get accurate numbers.

There's a lot of curiosity in Saudi Arabia today about how many women will take part, if they will be driving, if the number will be in the hundreds, or if it will stay in single or double digits. Nobody knows at this point.

But we spoke earlier to a man in Riyadh, Ahmed Alafalad (ph), to ask him about what he thought. He had been tweeting about how interested he was in finding out how many women would be driving today. He told us that early in the morning, he went out with his camera to try to document what was going on in the streets of the city he lived in, and here's more about what he had to say about the topic.


AHMED ALAFALAD (ph), SUPPORTS WOMEN DRIVING: The interesting thing is I have female relatives who are for driving. I'm for them driving as well.

I wouldn't support -- let me rephrase -- I wouldn't encourage them to go out today, because I think it's a very touchy subject. They might be subject to arrests, and I don't want that for my family.

So I am supportive for them to drive maybe later on. They're quite happy to drive later on. And none of them, all my three sisters, are not going to take to the streets today, and that was a personal choice by them, just knowing that it will be too much of a risk that they will take. So they decided to stay home, support using Twitter, support using social networks, and see how it goes, and take it from there.


JAMJOOM: And Kristie, this is a sentiment and a dilemma we've heard echoed a lot the last few days from activists and observers in Saudi Arabia we've been speaking with. Many people supporting this campaign, getting involved in online activism, but kind of afraid, a little bit reluctant to actually get out on the streets not knowing what kind of reprisals they might face, or if they would be arrested or if they would be harassed in some way, not just from security forces, but from ordinary citizens who might be against the movement.

Nonetheless, a real growing movement in Saudi Arabia, a lot of support from the international community. And it's yet to be seen today how many women will actually get in cars and drive around a country where they are banned from driving -- Kristie.

STOUT: So there are voices of caution and concern inside the country, but is there a backlash inside Saudi Arabia? I've heard reports that the kingdom has launched an opposing campaign to discourage women from driving today.

What have you heard?

JAMJOOM: Kristie, for every campaign that supports this initiative, there is another campaign that is against it, and not just from Saudi men. Some Saudi women are very actively against it.

One interesting thing I heard last night, I spoke to a woman who had gone for a drive with her mother. They had been inspired by this campaign. They wanted to be out in the streets of Riyadh, of the capital.

So they went down the main streets. It was the mother, the daughter, two of her sisters. They loved being out there.

They thought it was something that would inspire more women to do so. They wanted to talk about it, but at the same time, they said that even though they didn't face any harassment from any security forces, they weren't checked, they weren't arrested, before they got in their car there was a neighbor who had overheard them speaking about it who was a female. And they overheard this neighbor saying that they should call the religious police to arrest these women so that they wouldn't go out and drive.

So, you hear it not just from men in Saudi Arabia, and not just from people in the government who are against it, but you also hear it from some women in Saudi Arabia who are against the idea of women driving. It's a very interesting subject, it's a very contentious subject in Saudi Arabia. And even though it has a lot of support, there's also a lot of people that are against it, too -- Kristie.

STOUT: It's a fascinating story.

Mohammed Jamjoom, on the story for us, live from Abu Dhabi.

Thank you very much for that, Mohammed.

Now, up next here on NEWS STREAM, rioting in China. And coming up, we get a rare glimpse of what has been happening in this Chinese province.

And then it's bye-bye Weiner. He is out of office, but what is he going to do with his war chest? We've got a few ideas coming up on NEWS STREAM.


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

Now the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has reshuffled his cabinet, including naming a news finance minister, all in a bid to win parliamentary support for needed austerity measures.

Now meanwhile in Berlin, the Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding crisis talks with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy. And European taxpayers, especially those in Germany, have had to foot the bill so far for much of Greece's rescue.

Now women in Saudi Arabia are being urged to get behind the wheel of their cars today in protest at not being aloud to drive. Now it has long been considered unacceptable for women to drive in the kingdom because of strict religious codes. And today's campaign is designed to challenge the longstanding taboo.

Now police in Vancouver say criminals and anarchists were behind a riot that trashed the city center on Wednesday. Now it started after Boston beat Vancouver in the deciding game of ice hockey's Stanley Cup championship. Nearly 100 people have been arrested.

Now riots have also broken out in parts of China recently and particularly in the southern province of Guangdong. Well, migrant workers spent two days protesting the rough police treatment of a pregnant street vendor. Eunice Yoon reports.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here scenes of the manufacturing town of Xintang officials want you to see: traffic flowing, residents out walking, shops open for business. But this is what we saw before we were stopped by the authority: checkpoints at every major intersection, riot police keeping vigilant watch as we drove through the streets where thousands of migrant workers have rioted just a week ago.

This is where it all began outside of this supermarket. A pregnant migrant worker and her husband set up a stand here to sell some jeans. They got into a scuffle with city officials. And she ended up on the ground.

The dispute hit a raw nerve with many of the migrants here. For decades, they have been making the journey to this industrial heartland looking for factory jobs, to chase the Chinese dream. This town is known as the jeans capital, about half of the jeans sold in America are made here.

The economic growth is stoking social tension, mirroring the rest of China -- rural versus urban, ethnic minority against majority, haves versus have nots.

Many feel left behind. At this job center, migrant workers we spoke to said they empathized with the street vendors.

"Sell things on the street to make a few bucks shouldn't be such a big deal," he said. "Local officials are corrupt and don't treat us fairly."

Nor do they want foreign reporters investigating migrant workers grievances.

That car ahead of us has propaganda officials in it. They're leading us now to the propaganda department, because they say that we need special permission to be shooting in this area. We haven't done anything illegal. We were in public space, but they just want to make sure we have what they say are the right credentials in order to be shooting at this time in this area.

After an hour of questioning they agreed to escort us to visit a few places around town, but asked us not to film the security forces.

We were ordered to leave the city just as night was falling, a time migrants told us, when the risk of looting and rioting is highest.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Xintang, China.


STOUT: Now China is also grappling with massive flooding. To get an update on that, let's bring our Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, as many as half a million people may have been already evacuated from their homes across parts of China because of torrential downpour. Let's go ahead and roll the video, pretty dramatic stuff here. When you see water everywhere.

Now in some cases, new lakes have formed because of landslides that have blocked river ways. Causeways and dykes like the ones that you see here also overflowing and broken that have flooded other areas. People trapped in their homes. Rescue efforts continue, but the bad weather is not helping at all.

Now we're going to see more wet weather.

And I want to show you the next piece of video as well, even though these images are dramatic. Problems with transportation. Not only railways that have been under water, but now we're seeing a lot of roadways. This is a major highway there in China, in Zhejiang Province. And you see it completely caved in. This is just another example of the cost, really, that you have of all of the affects that you have when you have such heavy rainfall that comes at such a fast time.

Come back over to the weather map. Unfortunately there also have been some deaths associated with that heavy rainfall across those areas. Sorry I showed the Philippines here, I mean to show you what's happening in China. There you see it again, all of that wet weather that continues to affect this region.

Now we get a little bit of a break in areas to the south, but we're going to see this frontal system reforming and bringing some areas, some rain to areas farther north. So even though we'll see some break in the rain here with the rain not as heavy, the heaviest rain to the north -- I think any amount of rain that falls to some of these flooded areas will really cause some serious, serious problems.

Now to the Philippines. I do want to talk about what's happening here, Manila you've had 100 millimeters of rain in the last 24 hours. That's also significant. This is a storm system that is in the progress of forming. This could become a tropical storm in the next 24, maybe 48 hours. There you see the forecast from the joint typhoon warning center. Right now, it's an area of low pressure. It's going to continue to bring some very heavy rain and rough sees, particularly on that eastern side of the Philippines.

The heaviest rain, as you can see, will stay offshore, but there is the potential for flooding and mudslides across the central Philippines. So definitely a situation that is worth monitoring.

I do want to show you one more thing, and this is the situation in India. Just the flooding, Kristie, does not seem to stop. This is in northeastern India, north of Bangladesh, an area accustomed to heavy rain, but right now with an area of low pressure just looming here in that northern portion of the Bay of Bengal, the rainfall has been tremendous over this region and it has been over the last few days.

This is an area that we're monitoring, because this could become a tropical cyclone as we head into the weekend. Let's go ahead and check out your forecast next.

All right let's go back to end things with a happy news, because it's Friday right? But unfortunately more wet weather to talk about. This is in southern parts of France. Flash flooding has been a huge concern here.

You see this fence? This is something set up by rescue workers on this creek that grew very, very quickly. They were searching for four people that eventually were found killed by the flash flooding. We've had very heavy rain since yesterday, not just in parts of France, but also across much of Germany, a lot of that rain will be now into Poland. But a new fresh batch of rainfall coming in right now from Ireland through the UK and then all the way back over toward France. Big travel delays. Everybody be careful out there. Have a safe and happy weekend.

Kristie, back to you.

STOUT: Thank you for the travel warnings there. Mari Ramos, have a great weekend.

Now every year in Nepal thousands of young girls are trafficked into the sex industry. Now on June 26th we'll be sharing their stories with you in a CNN Freedom Project documentary. It's called Nepal's stolen children. The actress Demi Moore, she's a passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking, she is partnering with CNN as a special contributor for this project.

Now she travels to Nepal to meet the 2010 CNN hero of the year, Anuradha Koirala and some of the women and girls that her organization has rescued from forced prostitution. Now the children, now some are as young as 11 years old, they share their personal, firsthand experiences with Demi Moore.

Now how are these girls smuggled? Where are they taken? And what is Nepal doing to stop this? You can find out in the world premier of Nepal's stolen children as CNN Freedom Project documentary is airing on Sunday June 26th 8:00 in the evening local time here in Hong Kong as well local time in Berlin, London, and New York. Only here on CNN.

Now up next here on News Stream, Weiner he is now out of the U.S. Congress. You've heard the news, but what is he going to do with all his campaign cash? Take a closer look coming up next on News Stream.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now his career on the ropes, his reputation ruined three weeks after an internet sexting scandal turned U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner's life into a Capitol Hill sideshow he finally resigned on Thursday. And as Mary Snow tells us, not everyone was glad to see him go.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESOPONDENT: He ended his political career where he launched it 20 years ago: at a Brooklyn senior center. In a room packed with reporters and cameras, Anthony Weiner's congressional resignation turned ugly quickly.

REP. ANTHONY WEINER, (D) NEW YORK: So today I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.


SNOW: At one point a heckler overpowering his words.

Weiner showed no emotion and took no questions. It was a stark contrast to the news conference 10 days ago where he admitted lying about sending sexually suggestive picture to women online.

WEINER: And for that I'm deeply sorry.

SNOW: Then as now, his wife was not by his side. But this time, some longtime constituents did show up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe he was sincere. Unfortunately he tried to resign with dignity, but wasn't allowed to given the presence of someone in the audience. That hurt even more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel sorry for him, because he brought himself down and it will go down -- he will go down in history with what he did to himself and his family.

SNOW: But not everyone in his district was sad to see him or all the media attention go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was long overdue. I mean, a little bit of a disgrace what he did. And if the politician can't keep their private affairs, you know, in their private spectrum and bring it out he should have resigned awhile ago.

SNOW: As Weiner exited the place where his career started with promise as a city councilman, he left with an uncertain future, a future that just weeks ago carried the possibility that he'd become the mayor of New York.

Constituents here in the 9th District were not as quick as politicians to call on Anthony Weiner to resign. And some are not ruling out a potential comeback in politics. But as one woman put it, anything is possible, just not looking very good.

Mary Snow, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.


STOUT: And Anthony Weiner may be out of a job, but he still has a substantial war chest of campaign contributions. Now why? It was for his reelection. A check of the records shows that Weiner has more than $365,000 in cash for the campaign and $4.5 million for a possible run for mayor of New York in 2013.

Now if he runs for either office, he can keep those accounts active, but if not the former congressman, he has four options. Now he can give the cash back. He could give it back to other candidates. He can donate to charity. Or give it to a party committee. He could also give it back to the donors.

But he is not actually obliged to return the cash to them. So what can he absolutely not do? Well, he can't spend the money on a trip to Disney Land. Now Weiner is forbidden from converting the funds for personal use.

But Anthony Weiner, he could soon be back earning a wage if he takes a job from this man -- the porn publisher Larry Flint offered him a job within hours of his resignation, giving him a 20 percent raise above the salary he earned in the House of Representatives.

Now there's no word from Weiner on whether he's actually considering the offer.

Now, another Republican presidential hopeful is standing by his woman. Now some people are blaming Newt Gingrich's wife, Calista, for his campaign troubles. But Gingrich says that that is ridiculous. And now he is slamming the same critics who bashed his wife. Lisa Sylvester has more.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESOPNDENT: Gingrich 2012 is not about the man who would be president, but about the would-be first couple. By Newt Gingrich's side is Calista Gingrich. She's even featured prominently on his campaign web site. Calista is his third wife, married 11 years. Gingrich is 22 years her senior.

They began dating while he was still the married Speaker of the House and she worked for the House Agriculture Committee. He may be now playing up his family man role, but Calista Gingrich has become something of a political liability according to officials close to the Gingrich camp.

First it was his credit line of up to a half a million dollars at the upscale Tiffany's jewelry store where they were frequent customers. Gingrich was put on defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel like working families...

NEWT GINGRICH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I feel that you are far more fascinated with that than more Americans none of whom have -- normal Americans actually ask about jobs, they ask about energy, they ask about all sorts of things that affect their lives.

SYLVESTER: Earlier this month, more than a dozen of Gingrich's advisers and campaign staffers resigned en mass over, quote, "disagreements on how to move forward." Calista's schedule took priority over Newt's schedule said one source.

Newt Gingrich on Fox News pushed back.

GINGRICH: And for all my years in public life I don't mind people attacking me. I'm the candidate, I'm a big guy, I can take it. But to go after anyone's wife I think is pretty despicable.


SYLVESTER: Friends of the couple told CNN that Calista was reluctant to schedule campaign events in the morning because she insisted on getting her hair done every day.

We asked Newt Gingrich's communications director, Joe Desantis about it.

Somebody said that she obsessed with her hair and that she didn't want to have any campaign events in the morning because she had to have time to get her hair done.

JOE DESANTIS, NEWT GINGRICH'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm not going to respond to whatever gossip they're putting forward. All I'm going to say is that Newt and Calista have a very healthy partnership. They make decisions together about their schedule as every other couple does. And ultimately this campaign is going to be about the challenges facing America and the solutions that Newt is putting forward to those challenges.

SYLVESTER: But there were other issues. Aides, many of whom later quit the campaign, repeatedly asked Gingrich to put off a luxury cruise to the Greek islands with his wife given that they were already feeling the heat from the Tiffany's story. But he refused.

In Iowa, a key state where it's all about aggressive retail politics Newt worked the crowds and was a great communicator meeting everyday folks.

But his former campaign adviser there resigned because he said he needed more of that from Gingrich to move the political needle, but it was challenging getting Iowa on the schedule.

There were also disagreements on Newt Gingrich's role, that he still liked playing the role of the strategist, the educator, the guy talking about the polling numbers, but his former communications directors said no matter how good you are as a strategist, you can't be your own strategist when you are the candidate.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now ahead here on News Stream, it was one wild night. After Vancouver's hockey team lost, the fans flipped out. But the days after always bring more clarity. We'll tell you what the city is now doing to clean up its act.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now these pictures that you see around me, they're just a glimpse of the unbelievable scenes we saw in Vancouver, Canada just a couple of days ago. Now supposedly it was fans fed up after their team lost hockey's Stanley Cup finals who took to the streets and this was the result.

Now as Chris Brown tells us, an embarrassed city is now cleaning up the mess.


CHRIS BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The glow was gone from Vancouver's hockey celebration. This morning, there was just ugliness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So disappointing. You know, this is not what hockey is supposed to be about.

BROWN: So revolted, so disgusted by the violence that hundreds simply showed up to try to create something positive with the clean up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are ashamed of what happened last night. And they just want to help out.

JOHN REVINGTON, BUILDING SUPVERVISOR: This glass is really, really expensive.

BROWN: It seemed like every glass window in the main commercial district around Granville Street needed to be replaced.

REVINGTON: I was disgusted, devastated to be truthful. I just couldn't believe it.

BROWN: What had been a sober, solemn night with the Canucks losing degenerated suddenly at the end of the game. A care was flipped, then burned and the riot was underway.

People broke into stores. And in Vancouver's commercial heart, rows upon rows of windows were smashed: at The Bay, at Sears, at London Drugs and other upscale stores. There was looting. This woman showed us the purse she stole.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I wanted it.

BROWN: There was also violence. This man tried to reason with the hoodlums and was knocked down and beaten for it. We still don't know his condition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly I'm so ashamed of what happened tonight.

BROWN: Francesco Caligiuri and his family were inside their restaurant as the mob attacked.

FRANCESCO CALIGIURI, RESTAURANT OWNER: And they just kept coming at us more and more until we went inside and then they started throwing anything they could find at us.

BROWN: Today, along with the clean-up, came the inevitable scrutiny of the actions of the city and of the police. Should there have been so many people, more than 100,000 in such a confined area? Had police been lulled into a false sense of security because of how well crowds behaved during the rest of the playoffs?

No, says the chief.

CHIEF JIM CHU, VANCOUVER POLICE: When there's a large number of criminals and anarchists that have a common purpose and intent to break the law, it's very difficult to stop that.

You don't burn a car unless you come to the event with incendiary devices and accelerants.

BROWN: The mayor and the premier visited the damaged area today. They, too, fingered anarchists. And mayor said the city will host more big street parties.

GREGOR ROBERTSON, MAYOR OF VANCOUVER: We're not going to back off and give our city over to a bunch of losers.

CHRISTY CLARK, BRISISH COLUMBIA PREMIER: Make sure we see those pictures of the people that incited this. We are going to be as tough as we can be.

BROWN: That investigation is getting a lot of help. Facebook sites like this one are gathering up photos of some of the alleged rioters. And people are leaving comments, including names, to help police.

Indeed, this guy who we caught on camera trashing that very first car even boasted about his exploits on the internet. "Punched a pig in the head, burnt some cop cars," he wrote.

Meanwhile at The Bay's plywooded over windows, people seemed desperate today to change the narrative from the riot to something much more positive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said real fans don't do this. And the real fans clean up the city.


STOUT: Now amidst the chaos, one photographer snapped a shot of a scene that seemed a little out of place. Now just take a look at the whole sequence. It starts with a typical riot scene. You have smoke, police, and rioters being chased. And then the next shot we see the rioters in the distance and a policeman in the foreground. Now the street is empty, that is apart from a couple apparently kissing.

But why are they lying on the pavement surrounded by all the rubbish? We don't know.

And by now the man in the picture has realized he is attracting some attention, but who is he? And, well, we kind of know what they're doing, but why there?

Now perhaps the whole thing was Photoshopped, but all the right shadows seem to be in place. So is it the real deal? And what is that woman doing there standing right next to them with a shopping bag or a purse? So many questions.

Now, let's change gears. The second round of U.S. Open is underway. Don Riddell is watching it all for us. And he joins us now -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Clearly the thrill of hooking up in public isn't quite good enough, Kristie. Thanks very much.

Let's tell you about the golf. The second round of the U.S. Open is underway. And Northern Ireland's Rory McElroy is leading the way. Just two months after his spectacular meltdown at the Master's. McElroy showed a boogie-free 65 in his first round to take a 3 shot lead at Congressional.

This really is a great story. The 22 year old has shown remarkable maturity since he blew a four shot lead at Augusta in April. And on Thursday's evidence, it looks as though he's put it out of his mind. It's the biggest first round lead since Tommy Arnold went 5 clear at the open all the way back in 1933. And it gives him a clear edge over the man that profited the most from his Master's collapse, that's Charl Schwartzel, the South African, and Korea's Y.E. Yang are tied for second place. That is the leader board as it stands.

Play has been underway for approaching a couple of hours now. McElroy and Schwartzel are both on the course. They played three holes for McElroy, two for for Schwartzel. They are even for today. So McElroy remains on 6 under, 3 shots clear.

Now, Kristie, you are not going to believe who has been drawn together in the first round of Wimbeldon. One year after playing the longest match in tennis history, John Isner and Nicholas Mahut will do it all again at the All England Club. The two men dueled for a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes in the first round last year, a match that spanned three days and 183 games.

I wonder how many records they'll break this time around?

Now the Mavericks paraded their first ever NBA championship trophy to an estimated crowd of around 200,000 people in downtown Dallas on Thursday with another 20,000 at the Mavericks home arena.

It was an emotional day for many of the players and an historic one for the city. But perhaps the emotion of the day got to Dirk Nowitzki the most. Just listen to this.



We are the champions! We are the champions! No time for losers, because we are the champions of the world!

Thank you.


RIDDELL: Kristie, I'm going to be kind to him and say that he's got a lump in his throat that's why he sounds like that.

STOUT: That is the worst cover of Queen I have ever, ever heard. And I've been to quite a number of karaoke parties. That was terrible. But it had heart.

RIDDELL: Agreed.

STOUT: That's what counted, right?

There we go. Don Riddell, thank you very much and take care.

Now it is time to take you over and out there to Portland, Oregon, a town that apparently has a no pee policy. No the city flushed away nearly 8 million gallons of water after a man urinated in its reservoir. Now he is caught in the act here. And costing taxpayers about -- you can see probably make it out in the fuzzy distance there, he's cost taxpayers some $30,000 for the wasted drinking water.

And while we agree it's gross, we at News Stream question the logic of draining, let's say it again, almost 8 million gallons of water over a few ounces of human pollution.

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