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Is Afghanistan Ready?; Yemen Prison Break; Ai Weiwei Released in China; Repoert from Damascus
Aired June 23, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
Hello. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong.
Well, the U.S. president lays out his long-awaited plan to draw down troops in Afghanistan.
Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei is released on bail after being held by the government for almost three months.
And what is "Pottermore"? J.K. Rowling unveils her latest edition to the world of "Harry Potter."
Well, the first of 33,000 U.S. troops will begin heading home from Afghanistan one week from now. Well, later today, President Barack Obama will meet with soldiers who have served there, while the military leaders think his pullout plan is too aggressive.
Well, Afghan President Hamid Karzai calls it a good step. Well, Kabul says it's ready to pick up the security slack.
President Obama believes al Qaeda is already on a path to defeat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're starting this drawdown from a position of strength. Al Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since 9/11. Together, with the Pakistanis, we have taken out more than half of al Qaeda's leadership. And thanks to our intelligence professionals and special forces, we killed Osama bin Laden, the only leader that al Qaeda had ever known. This was a victory for all who have served since 9/11.
One soldier summed it up well. "The message," he said, "is we don't forget." You will be held accountable no matter how long it takes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well, here is the plan. U.S. forces will start to withdraw in July, 2011, next month. And by the end of the year, 10,000 troops will be back home.
Well, by September, 2012, another 23,000 Americans will have left Afghanistan. Those are all of the so-called surge forces.
Around 70,000 U.S. troops will still be serving there. That is about twice the number that were in Afghanistan when Obama took office.
The Taliban have dismissed the U.S. president's plan as propaganda. A very real test of Afghan security looms.
Our Nick Paton Walsh looks at the situation in Lashkar Gah, a town near Kandahar.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When President Obama talks of handing Afghanistan back to the Afghans, the city of Lashkar Gah, a bustling enclave in violent Helmand Province, is the model that NATO points to. This is what peace here looks like. Hundreds of NATO troops have died fighting for Helmand, but Afghans are in charge of security from July for better or worse.
Fewer NATO troops, some hope, means less violence from insurgents.
"People don't like foreigners here," he says. Adding that, without them, he hopes security will be better.
NATO promotes Afghan solutions to Afghan problems, but here the Afghan solution, the police, are to some the problem. One man told us anonymously how this month he was badly beaten for speeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was driving fast on a motorbike to move my sick friend to the doctor. Police stopped me for speeding, and when I talked back, they beat me, kicked me, and punched me for a few minutes. As civilians here, we are afraid of both the police and the Taliban, and I can't say which one I fear more.
WALSH: It's this rough arm of the law, its corruption, abuse, that is often used to explain how the Taliban's swift, blunt justice became popular. And in Lashkar Gah, the handover doesn't mean they've fled. In fact, the Taliban are still very much part of life here.
(on camera): While the handover means the acting (ph) police are taking responsibility for security in Lashkar Gah, many people here off camera tell us the Taliban retain a strong presence.
(voice-over): Some laugh it off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Many people buy from me. I don't know who is Taliban.
WALSH: But others, like this pharmacist, part of the local Sikh minority, admit they're customers, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, definitely. The Taliban are coming here for their shopping. They buy headache pills from me.
WALSH: (INAUDIBLE) is booming in Lashkar Gah. The luxury of meat selling fast as aid money pours into the town, easy cash that means all sides want to keep this city an enclave from the war swirling around them. But this compromise of the allegedly thuggish police, the Taliban waiting in the wings, is far from NATO's original game plan.
Is this the life America really wanted to hand back to the Afghans? We asked a senior American here.
(on camera): Are you happy to give Afghans that kind of justice?
ANDREW ERIKSSON, USAID: I think that is a bit of a --
WALSH: Inside, you must know, do you feel happy about where the police are?
ERIKSSON: Yes. What I want to say here is I want to say is I feel that that's imposing our values upon the Afghans. What matters to the Afghans is, do they have an adequate security force to meet their own needs? And the Afghans made the decision that they wanted to transition Lashkar Gah.
Now, I think it would be presumptuous of me as a foreigner right now to judge the security forces that they have in place. These guys are pretty effective at the level they need to be effective in this environment today.
WALSH (voice-over): Today, money has bought pores (ph) in this city's violence, a brief chance of hope after 30 years of war. But yesterday's allegiances and fears are still nearby, leaving tomorrow so uncertain.
COREN: Well, Nick joins us now live from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Nick, why is Lashkar Gah so significant?
WALSH: Well, it's one of seven provinces being handed over in the next month or so to the control of Afghan security forces. These seven kind of being the examples, Lashkar Gah, for a model city, really, of what NATO would like to tell Afghans security could be like under their control.
It's key, really, because it answers the question, how good is good enough for the Afghans when NATO start to pull out and move away? And as we saw there, questions about kind of the competence and the honesty of the police, about the presence of the Taliban inside the city, all questions, frankly, which will affect Afghan NATO life as NATO start to pull back and really leave behind them that vision of what could do for them, what kind of society NATO could leave behind -- Anna.
COREN: Nick, we know that President Obama's plan to withdraw U.S. troops is much faster than what military commanders had advised. What have troops at Bagram Air Base said to you about the president's plan?
WALSH: Interestingly, people here have a variety of opinions. They don't speak with one voice, and they're always very cautious to preempt or comment about their commander-in-chief.
We're hearing a different variety of things. Some say let's not leave now, let's finish the job, the Taliban could still come back. The cost to America is not in terms of its budget, the cost is what they paid on 9/11, they have to continue that fight. That's what I heard this morning.
I heard from somebody else saying, "Well, we killed Bin Laden. The job is done here. It's time to scale back, to do less, to let the Afghans get on with it."
Others thinking much more personally, yes, I could deal with going out, frankly, right now.
But as you mentioned, these numbers are absolutely key, because, frankly, apart from the rhetoric from the White House, we're not going to see a massive change in the size of force here very quickly. Ten thousand by the end of the year, that's only a third of the surge force, seven percent, roughly, of the whole NATO contingent here. And then, until September of next year, that's only about 15 months away from 2014, where NATO is supposed to be their smallest.
They're still going to have the remainder of the surge force here available as a resource to the military. So, Obama, very keen to sound tough on the military, to accelerate the timetable. But at the end of the day, there's going to be a lot of expensive military hardware and resources still available in Afghanistan for a lot longer -- Anna.
COREN: Nick, the French have also announced that they'll be withdrawing on the U.S. timetable. I guess that there is a sense that everybody wants out. I guess the concern is that all the gains that have been made, they are very fragile and they're also reversible.
WALSH: Absolutely. I mean, as you say, outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that could be a rush to the exit. And I think we may see more of this from the French.
The French saying their 4,000 will start to come home. The Canadians in about seven days, moving to a non-combat role in the country. The Germans, leaving by December. The British, making fairly clear they want out, too.
Perhaps about 47,000 non-American partners here. And then you have the 100,000 Americans. So, frankly, it will be more and more of an American war, as America makes it clear it doesn't want to stick around that much longer. The gains, absolutely, as you say, fragile, deep concerns that as soon as this process begins, it could accelerate beyond the pace currently thought. Money could dry up and you could see all the gains possibly reversed -- Anna.
COREN: Nick Paton Walsh at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Thank you for that.
Well, in Yemen, dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants break free in a prison escape. And as CNN's Brian Todd reports, that brings up tense questions about whether Yemen can battle both terror cells and a civil uprising.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After weeks of fighting and instability in Yemen, signs that al Qaeda is feeling more emboldened to further destabilize this key U.S. ally in the war on terror. In what appears to be a coordinated operation, dozens of al Qaeda militants break out of a prison in the southern city of Mukalla, while armed militants attacked the jail from the outside.
When I speak to a respected analyst on Yemen about the National Solidarity Programme, he voices a disturbing accusation.
(on camera): This breakout occurs in Mukalla. There's been a lot of fighting in Abyan Province. Islamist militants have taken over the city of Zinjibar.
What does it say about the control of the Yemeni government has in this region?
CHRISTOPHER BOUCEK, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Well, not only is the Yemeni government's control receding, but there are instances where you could say that the Yemeni government is instigating some of this chaos, with the goal to demonstrate to the United States and Saudi Arabia and others that this regime, the government of President Saleh, is the best to fight al Qaeda.
TODD: (voice-over): Christopher Boucek says the Yemeni government is more concerned with protecting itself from the popular revolt going on now than with going after al Qaeda. So he says the government has repositioned its counter-terror forces, retreated from areas where its lost ground and is circling the wagons.
As a result, he says, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group linked to the Christmas Day airline attack and the cargo bomb plot against the U.S., has freer rein, especially in Southern Yemen.
(on camera): Contacted by CNN, a Yemeni official briefed on security operations, brushed back on all that, saying what about the blood of more than 60 soldiers killed battling militants in southern Yemen in recent weeks? He says the government has deployed forces from five brigades just to that dangerous region of Abyan and isn't backing down.
(voice-over): Still, this is just the latest in a series of dangerous prison breaks in Yemen. Nasir al-Wuhaysi, who escaped in one of those, went on to lead al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And analysts say he's still at large.
(on camera): Can we anticipate that some that broke out of this prison could lead attacks against the West in the future?
BOUCEK: Well, I think this shows that the security situation is deteriorating rapidly, right. As this -- as this drama goes on in Yemen, things are getting worse. Some of the individuals who broke out in this case may have been involved in previous attacks.
TODD (voice-over): Stability in Yemen now seems to hinge on whether President Ali Abdullah Saleh will return. He's recuperating in Saudi Arabia after being injured in an attack a few weeks ago. A Yemeni official told me President Saleh plans to return soon. Opposition leaders say they don't think he'll be back.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
COREN: Well, China says Ai Weiwei is out on good behavior, but other dissidents are still behind bars for speaking out. We'll take a closer look.
Floodwaters devastate China's agricultural hot land. We'll find out when the people of southern China can expect relief from the rain.
And in Libya, leader Moammar Gadhafi lashes out at NATO. That's still ahead on NEWS STREAM.
COREN: Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei is finally back home after being detained for months by Chinese authorities. Well, Beijing says he was set free for his good attitude and for admitting to his crime -- allegedly tax evasion. Well, human rights groups say the artist was most likely detained for his critical comments on China.
Jaime Florcruz has more.
JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: One day after Ai Weiwei was released on bail, the outspoken dissident/artist has largely stayed at home, unable to talk with the media to talk about why he was detained for nearly three months and what awaits him now.
(voice-over): Just a day earlier, hours after he returned home, Ai Weiwei told reporters he was fine but could not speak further nor answer questions. So, why is the outspoken social critic so quiet and media shy now?
NICHOLAS BEQUELIN, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: He's been released on bail, which means that he's not able to talk to the media. And he's reached an agreement with the authorities, and that agreement is that he won't say anything about what happened during the 80 days during which he was held incommunicado. And also, that he will desist from any advocacy of the rule of law, human rights, or criticism of the government.
FLORCRUZ: Fellow activists like (INAUDIBLE) cheered his release, but expressed concern about the current situation, especially the ongoing crackdown. On China's cyberspace, censorship of Ai Weiwei continues, his name blocked. Even words with the slightest connection to Ai Weiwei like "AWW," or "The Fat Guy" are blocked, too. Too evade censorship, Chinese Netizens try to camouflage their postings.
"The man whose name cannot be mentioned is released," reads one. Television reports on Ai Weiwei by the overseas press, including CNN's, are selectively blacked out.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As Ai Weiwei gets --
FLORCRUZ (on camera): In Beijing's streets, most Chinese seem unaware of Ai Weiwei's case. The mainstream media largely downplayed Ai Weiwei's release. This English language newspaper is a rare exception, running the state media report. Most other newspapers, they largely ignored Ai Weiwei's conditional release.
Jaime Florcruz, CNN, Beijing.
COREN: So why all the attention for Ai Weiwei? Well, in addition to his artwork, he's also a well-known author and architecture designer. His creations have been displayed around the world, and these are a few that you may recognize.
Well, the Birds Nest designed for the Bird's Nest designed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is probably one of his most famous pieces. It's made of steel beams and a retractable roof.
Well, this photo is from his 2010 installation at London's Tate Modern entitled "Sunflower Seeds." Well, he scattered 100 million hand-painted porcelain seeds across an exhibition hall as a statement of mass consumption.
And this is a shot of his most recent work entitled "Circle of Animals and Zodiac Heads." It just opened in London last month, but Ai Weiwei was a no-show. At that point, no one knew where he was being detained.
Well, his life is also at the center of an upcoming documentary. Filmmaker Alison Klayman spent a couple of years with the artist, getting a look into his private and public life, as well as his confrontations with Chinese authorities. Well, she also got a chance to speak to him after his release. It's rare, since the artist has remained so quiet.
Well, Klayman spoke to our Anjali Rao about Ai's changed circumstances.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISON KLAYMAN, JOURNALIST: I mean, that in itself is a change, you know. Over the few years I spent filming him for the documentary, I watched many different news cycles on China news go through, and he was sort of the point person that a lot of journalists would call for reaction. He was freely offering his opinions first on a blog, and then on Twitter. And without really any kind of calculation about what he was saying, or not a sort of very highly filtered calculation.
And right now it would seem that there are some conditions that he has to keep in mind -- the entire lack of transparency of his entire detention. And now it's not even clear he was formally charged, and it's not clear that these formal or informal charges are going to be dropped now that he's free. And I think that he has to tread a lot more delicately, and that is a big change for Ai Weiwei.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well, it's certainly difficult to find comments on microblogging sites like Weibo, because many terms are blocked.
Well, just take a look. The names of Ai Weiwei and his wife are blocked, as is the district his studio is located in. Well, even the word "future."
Well, in Mandarin, the word "future" shares a character with Ai Weiwei's name, so it was used to refer to the artist. Well, people started a campaign supporting him called Love the Future, but now "future" is also blocked.
Well, Ai Weiwei's arrest came during a high-profile crackdown on dissidents in China. Authorities have arrested and detained a number of lawyers and human rights activists. Well, they join some prominent figures behind bars.
Well, perhaps the best known political prisoner is Liu Xiaobo. The writer was awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize. Well, he's said to be the author of "Charter 08," a manifesto for democratic reform in China. Well, Beijing accuses him of inciting a subversion of state power.
Well, this photo of Hu Jia and his wife was taken before he started serving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Well, Hu fought for China's AIDS sufferers, and he is due to be freed on Sunday. Well, his wife has reported increased harassment by authorities ahead of his homecoming.
Well, then there is Chen Guangcheng. Seen here with his family, the blind civil rights activist was released from prison in September, but remains under house arrest. Well, the group China Aid recently released a letter from Chen's wife about their confinement. She says they were beaten and tortured by plainclothes policemen back in February.
Well, as China copes with deadly flooding, a tropical storm hits the southern province of Guangdong. What else is on the horizon? We'll bring you the forecast. That's coming up.
COREN: A few clouds around, but the rain is staying away, at least for now.
COREN: Well, coming up on NEWS STREAM, criticism coupled with cries for help. It's part of Moammar Gadhafi's latest TV rant.
We'll weigh reaction from Libya. That's next.
COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Well, France says it will follow a similar time table to that of the Americans in withdrawing soldiers from Afghanistan. A third of all U.S. troops in the country will return home in the next 15 months. Well, President Obama says American forces are meeting their goals and he's reducing their numbers by 33,000.
Ai Weiwei says he's fine, but cannot talk to the media after his release from nearly three months in detention. The Chinese artist and activist says he's on probation. The state media say he was freed on bail after confessing his crimes, allegedly tax evasion.
An Amsterdam court has cleared right wing politician Geert Wilders of inciting hatred against Muslims. The Ducth MP made controversial remarks in the media and in a film he made about Islam. The court today ruled his comments were not illegal.
Well, there are fresh reports our of Syria that government troops have entered a town near the Turkish border. Well, that as the EU decides whether to impose sanction on more people connected to the Syrian regime.
Well, CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now live from inside Syria, in the capital Damascus. Arwa you are one of just a few western journalists who have actually been allowed into Syria. Give us a sense of what is going on in the capital.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, we've only been here around 12 hours. We arrived late at night. We've had an opportunity to briefly, very briefly drive around limited parts of the capital as we've been navigating, getting our gear and the various permissions needed. And in the brief time that we have been able to do that it most certainly does seem as if life in the capital on the surface, at least, is relatively normal.
Now the part of the city that we're in is really the heart of the city itself and this is not an area that has really seen any of the demonstrations, they tend to take place in neighborhoods in the outskirts of the city.
People who we have had the brief opportunity to speak to, a lot of them -- you know, government officials, customs officials, a few residence we've been coming across saying that they feel as if, you know, by and large the situation is OK, it gets a bit iffy on Fridays -- Friday being the big day of demonstrations.
And people also saying that, you know, they're very upset by what's happening whether they are with the regime or against the regime. (inaudible) or whether or not they're actually in the middle saying that, you know, some of them feel as if the government, the Syrian government, has in fact made enough (inaudible) has made enough concessions, is genuinely on the path of reform. They fail to understand why these demonstrations are still taking place.
The various government officials that we've been able to briefly speak with in -- because of getting all of our people processed, effectively saying that, you know, the government has to take these measures -- the (inaudible) offensive certainly had to take place because they are continuing to say that they are targeting these armed groups and that parts of the country had to be cleansed of those terrorist elements, including other elements that have been intent on fomenting unrest.
And this most certainly has been the line that we have been hearing from the government ever since this uprising began. Of course, activists throughout as well (inaudible) that we were speaking to on the Syrian- Turkish border vowing that they fled out of fear of the military, that there certainly were not any armed gangs amongst them.
But again, you know, driving through the heart of the capital, it most certainly does seem as if on the surface life is normal.
But there is something else that people have been pointing out to us as well, and that is their great concern about the impact this having on Syria's economy -- Anna.
COREN: Arwa, as you say these protests are happening elsewhere in other neighborhoods, other towns, other cities. You have been to the refugee camps on the Syrian-Turkish border. So I guess to be in Damascus, the capital, you know of a country that really is in an uprising, it must feel like a world away.
DAMON: It most certainly does, Anna. We were on the border speaking with the refugees. We were seeing the despair. They fled with the just the clothing on their back. They were talking about how terrified, how horrified they were and how they were left with just about nothing, most of them having flocked into Turkey because they firmly believe that if they were to try for a turn back home they would be killed. They believe that they will not be able to return to Syria until the Assad regime is in fact taken out of power.
Contrasting that with the streets of Damascus that I'm driving through right now most certainly seems as if we're talking about two separate countries. And the people here, at least those who I had the opportunity to talk to thus far, seeming to believe that everything that's happening elsewhere is taking place because of these armed groups. They feel as if these individuals who wanted these reforms and should have been satisfied with what the government (inaudible) offering this far. And they're incredibly frustrated and angered by the fact that people feel the need to continue to demonstrate.
Now that being said, we've only had a brief window into the capital itself with very limited opportunity to be able to get out and talk to people.
Driving around, traffic is slowing as normal businesses seem to be, albeit struggling to a certain degree, but they are still open. People (inaudible), they're trying to go about their lives as best as they can, but most certainly everyone, no matter which side of the spectrum they're falling on, truly feeling the impact of this uprising, Anna.
COREN: Arwa Damon in the Syrian capital Damascus. We certainly appreciate the update. Thank you very much.
Well, let's turn to Libya now. Moammar Gadhafi lashed out at NATO on state TV earlier today, breaking days of silence when the audio message. Gadhafi also threatened members of the UN security council, while at the same time asking for their help.
Well, for more, let's go to our David McKenzie who joins us from the capital Tripoli.
David, Gadhafi has accused NATO of murder.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. He's accused NATO of murder. And it's not the first time he's made those accusations, Anna. And certainly in this address, an audio address. We haven't seen Moammar Gadhafi on tape or live for some time here in Tripoli. It was a bit after midnight address on state TV. And basically he slammed into the U.S. and to Europe, NATO, just about anyone he thinks is causing this campaign on Libya.
He said that in fact that this campaign has been a campaign on civilians. I want to show you some video. This is the compound of Querdi Ahmehdi (ph). He's an associate of Moammar Gadhafi, one of the revolutionary council.
Now several civilians were killed there earlier this week. And the Libya government is really pushing this line that NATO is targeting civilians here. NATO, of course, is denying that, saying they're going after military installations of the Gadhafi regime.
But Moammar Gadhafi is really trying to paint Libya as a (inaudible).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOAMMAR GADHAFI (through translator): NATO hit from overseas all the planes and all our air defenses and began flying into Libyan airspace with deterrent. And on top of that, there are no missiles can reach to you, because all the anti-aircraft missiles and radar have been destroyed by NATO before even coming to the Libyan airspace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, Anna, one thing you don't hear any about -- anything about, which is interesting, is anything about the rebel in the east of here and in the southwest of here that are fighting a campaign against the government. Really, the Libyan government is trying to put this as a fight between NATO and the Libyan people -- Anna.
COREN: David, we know that NATO's campaign has being going on for some 90 days. It's being extended for another 90. And I guess when things happen like what we just saw then, NATO is saying that it's hit a military target, Gadhafi is saying innocent civilians have been killed. It really places NATO under enormous pressure, doesn't it?
MCKENZIE: Well, it does place NATO under enormous pressure. And also there's internal pressure within NATO, Anna. This campaign, many believed, would be over quite quickly. In the last few days, we've seen cracks in that NATO alliance as it were, at least politically. The Italian foreign minister saying that there should be a cease-fire in NATO so that they can allow humanitarian corridors to open up in the western part of Libya, particularly.
So there are some people voicing concerns.
Also on the American side, the U.S. Congress if fighting a battle as it were, or some members of the congress, with President Obama saying that he went unilaterally into the early stages of this war and that is wasn't approved by Congress.
So Libyan government officials obviously following these diplomatic moves closely. And while the governments around the world, many western governments particularly have cut all ties with Moammar Gadhafi, certainly they are relishing the fact that there are cracks, or arguments going on within the NATO alliance itself.
COREN: David McKenzie in Tripoli, many thanks for that update.
Well, Hugo Chavez is still in a Cuban hospital more than a week after emergency surgery. And Venezuelan state TV says the president could be there for another 10 days. Well, most reports sum up his condition in just a few words saying he's recuperating satisfactorily. But critics wonder who's running Venezuela while Mr. Chavez is away.
Well, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives is now in federal custody. James Whitey Bulger is suspected in nearly two dozen murders. The notorious crime boss spent 16 years on the run before his capture in Santa Monica, California.
Well, CNN's Kara Finnstrom is following developments from Los Angeles -- Kara.
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: James Whitey Bulger is now 81 years old. He has managed to elude federal authorities for more than a decade-and-a-half, but last night in Santa Monica, California the FBI finally tracked him down. And in a way got to him through his girlfriend.
First off, here's why he's notorious. Bulger had been indicted in 19 different murders. And FBI agents says he led a crime syndicate. He was known to have a violent temper. Last night they acted (inaudible). They arrested Bulger and his 60 year old girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth Greig who was wanted for harboring a fugitive.
They say they confronted the pair at an apartment complex and that neither resisted.
Agents say the tipster that led them to him had seen a public service announcement that recently started airing. It focused on what agents believed to be specific habits of Greig, that she was a dental hygienist who liked to have her teeth cleaned once a month, but she frequented beauty salons and had undergone multiple plastic surgeries.
Two Boston natives who recently moved to the Santa Monica area, moved across the country, saw the activity overnight. They say they were surprised those arrests happened so close to their new home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'BRIEN, NEIGHBOR: This is a surprise to come and see that he was right around the corner from me, because I know his story. A crime boss from Boston, you know.
JIMMY LEBLANC, BOSTON NATIVE: I grew up in Southy, move out here, been out here for about a week. And wow, Whitey's caught? You've got go be kidding me. No way. We had to come down, check it out, see what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINNSTROM: You've been looking at that 30 second public service announcement that aired on TV. The FBI bought a bout 350 spots that aired in 14 cities, including L.A. There was a $2 million reward offered for information leading to his arrest.
So what is next here? Well, Bulger and Greig both expected to appear in L.A. federal court today. Bulger faces a series of charges, including murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. So this arrest overnight a very big get for the FBI. At one point, Bulger's picture had actually been listed in their top 10 right next to Osama bin Laden.
Reporting live from Los Angeles, back to you Anna.
COREN: Yeah, Kara, fascinating story. And also to think that Bulger was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed, Martin Scorsese's film. So yeah, we all know a little bit of the story.
All right Kara, good to see you. Thank you for that update.
Well, famous Brazilian football club roles back the clock. Pele's old club boosted one of the biggest prizes in South American football. Don Riddell will have the highlights. That's next.
COREN: Well it's hard to believe, but the Winklevoss twins have had enough, they're dropping their appeal to get more Facebook cash and won't take it to the Supreme Court. Well, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were seeking to undue a $65 million settlement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Well, they say they were shortchanged in the deal, because Facebook misrepresented its stock value.
Well, CNN's Piers Morgan talked to the Winklevoss twins earlier this year. He asked them what it would take to let it go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN: When do you get over it? You two. You're at -- you know, there you are at Harvard. You had a good little idea, some little geek runs off with a better idea and makes himself super rich. You've ended up becoming super rich. And you're very immaculately tailored, you're hugely successful rowers, presuming the women are queuing up. I mean, life's pretty good for you.
Why don't you let it go?
TYLER WINKLEVOSS, PORTRAYED IN THE SOCIAL NETWORK: It's a good question. I understand that sentiment. But we think it lost in the context, or the astronomical dollar numbers, it's not our fault that this idea is so successful. And it's really a factor of the markets and what people are willing to pay for it.
That aside, principle is principle whether it's over we're talking about two dollars or $200 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well there is no official word from the Winklevii (ph) can't on why they're dropping the appeal for a bigger astronomical dollar number now.
Well, Harry Potter fans hold on to your wizard's hats. Hogwarts creator J.K. Rowling has unveiled a new project, Pottermore where she kept us guessing all week for thousands of fans and these animated owls flocked to this YouTube page as a clock counted down to today. And around 90 minutes ago, it stopped.
And this web site was revealed. Well, J.K. Rowling describes Pottermore as a unique online reading experience for the digital generation. Well, later in the year will also be the place of fans to buy and download the eagerly awaited ebooks. And J.K. Rowling will be sharing new information about the wizarding world.
The web site will open officially in October.
But if you can't wait until then, we'll we've got a preview for you. From these screen grabs, it looks a bit like a Harry Potter social network. Well, over here you can see a friend list on this side of the screen.
Well, this page up here, it features a news feed resembling Twitter or a string of Facebook status updates. Intriguingly, one of those updates hints at challenges to be completed before the big reveal. A document accidentally released to British newspapers hinted the project was related to an online treasure hunt.
Well, there could be more magic on the way. The new web site is trademarked for digital audio, printed books, toys, the list goes on. So it looks like Pottermore will be casting a spell over Harry Potter readers in years to come.
Well, let's go now to sport with Pele's old club celebrating a famous victory. Our Don Riddell has all the highlights for us. Hello, Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anna. Santos are today celebrating their first Libertadores Cup title in nearly 50 years. And hoping that the stars would help them get there will stick around to defend it.
The team that Pele made famous in the 1960s finally got their hands back on the continental trophy with a 2-1 win over Penarol in Sao Paulo.
Now the first leg in Uruguay was goalless as well the first half here. But Santos' star stricker Neymar lit the game up with a superb goal early in the second half. Arouca made a great run to set him up. Neymar smashed it home inside the near post. And that is why he's one of the most coveted players in the world. Chelsea and Real Madrid are interested. A terrific goal from the 19 year old.
And he was involved in the build up to the Brazilian second goal. Danilo cutting inside the defender here and picking his spot at the far post, putting Santos into a 2-nil lead.
The legendary Pele was now just 21 minutes away from seeing his team win the Libertadores Cup once again. It's been a long wait. But an own goal in the 80th minute meant it was an agonizing wait towards the end. That put Penarol back in the game.
Santos were determined to protect their lead, though. And Neymar almost made the game safe here in the 90th minute, chipping onto the post and Ze Eduardo missing the rebound.
But no matter, Santos had done enough.
It's just a shame that their celebrations were marred by some rather ugly scenes at the end. Around 30 players and coaches from both teams were involved in a mass brawl with Neymar reportedly kicking an opponent who was on the ground. But ultimately he will be remembered as the man that inspired Santos to an historic victory.
It's been nearly 50 years in the making, but this young generation of super stars has put Santos right back on the map. With the likes of Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso breaking through, Santos won the Brazilian Cup in 2009 going on to lift the Sao Paulo state championship in 2010 and 2011. Now they are the continental champions once again, preparing to play Barcelona for the club world cup later this year.
Well, the atmosphere in Sao Paulo was a stark contrast to the events in Buenas Aires last night. The most successful team in Argentine football are on the brink of being relegated for the first time ever. River Plate have won a record 33 league titles, but their form has been so poor in recent seasons that they've ended up in a relegation playoff. And the 2- nil defeat in the first leg at Belgrano means they have just 90 minutes to save themselves.
Last night's game was marred by crowd trouble. And the return leg may have to be played in an empty stadium, denying River Plate of the support of a partisan home crowd.
To Wimbledon and the defending champion Serena Williams is doing it the hard way again. The four time champion battled from a set down to level her match against Romania's Simona Halep. Serena is currently three games up in the final set.
The second Novak Djokavic has made a great start in his match. The Serb took the first set by six games to three against Kevin Anderson.
Back to you, Anna.
COREN: All right, Don good to see you. Thank you.
Well, coming up on News Stream, an air traveler's worst nightmare. Well, it's bad enough when airlines lose your bags, but one man says Delta took it to a whole new level. We'll explain shortly.
COREN: Now, come on, be honest. Have you ever said anything bad about your co-workers behind their backs? Well, one Southwest Airlines pilot will probably have a tough time getting along with his crew in the future. Well, that is because he accidentally broadcast a rant about flight attendants. Let's have a listen to some of it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PILOT: Eleven (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over the top (EXPLETIVE DELETED) homosexuals and a granny. Eleven. I mean think of the odds of that. I thought I was in Chicago, which was party land. After that, ii was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes.
(END AUDIO CLIPo)
COREN: Well, the entire tirade lasted for about two minutes. Southwest Airlines calls it an isolated incident and says the pilot was remorseful. Well, he apologized, was suspended without pay, and underwent sensitivity training. And is now back on the job.
Well, another airline has really upset one of its passengers. Imagine losing your luggage only to have it returned with a rather unpleasant surprise sprinkled inside. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You may wish the airlines were a whiz with luggage, but at least you've never had someone allegedly take a whiz inside your luggage.
SIMON HAZE, DELTA PASSENGER: The overwhelming stench of urine.
MOOS: That's what British traveler Simon Hayes says greeted him when he opened the bag that Delta Airlines had lost four days earlier as he traveled from London to Minneapolis.
HAZE It's just absolutely disgusting.
MOOS: Haze was so angry he did a show and smell on his hotel bed, posted it on YouTube, displaying everything from his damp shorts.
HAZE: My pajamas.
MOOS: To his stained work trousers.
HAZE: The smell coming off these is like either somebody with a serious renal issue has peed.
MOOS: How are you certain that that's actually urine?
HAZE: From the smell alone.
MOOS: Haze, an avid fisherman, says he even got a second opinion to confirm the smell.
HAZE: Got the people on the front desk to give it the nose test.
MOOS: His YouTube video resulted in sympathy and disgust.
"Ew, you're touching it."
Though the blogs wondered if a Delta employee did the deed, others suggested perhaps a bomb dog lifted his leg into the upright position.
HAZE: Whether it's a dog that peed on it or whether it's a human that peed on it is kind of immaterial a little bit, I think.
MOOS: When Delta saw the thanks Delta for using my luggage as a toilet video going viral and a twitter hashtag.
HAZE: It's #Deltapeebags.
MOOS: They contacted Haze who had had no luck trying to reach them.
HAZE: Obviously they're appalled. And they've apologized profusely.
MOOS: Delta told CNN if anything happened it is unacceptable and will be closely reviewed. He'll be reimbursed about $250 and bumped up to the front of the cabin for his return trip to London.
Haze also found his toothpaste squirted around his shaving kit and his fragrance was missing. Dolce and Gabana's The One, not to be confused with doing number one.
So the next time you check your luggage, you might want to check afterwards, to see if it passes the sniff test.
Even his waterproof raincoat got sprinkled.
HAZE: That spent some time in the shower yesterday getting a good washing off.
MOOS: New regulation, no urinating on the luggage. With a bag this smelly, you could use an oxygen mask.
Jeanne Moos, CNN.
HAZE: It's like a toilet.
MOOS: New York.
COREN: I still can't believe he was actually handling that clothing.
Well, that is it for News Stream, but the news continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.