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Inside Syria; Battle for Libya; Report: Osama bin Laden's Courier's Contacts had Ties to Pakistani Intelligence; Rwandan Official Arrested for Genocide

Aired June 24, 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.

We go to Syria, where access inside the country's capital as refugees continue to escape fighting near the Turkish border.

As the war in Libya reaches a stalemate, rebel soldiers on the front line relish the break in action.

And the beheading of an Indonesian maid in Saudi Arabia prompts a furious reaction in her home country.

We begin with the crisis in Syria. Well, the European Union has slapped more sanctions on the country, citing the gravity of the situation there. Seven people and four businesses with connections to President Bashar al- Assad have all had their assets frozen.

Well, meanwhile, Mr. al-Assad's army has moved closer to the Turkish border, with reports of armed tanks and troops now stationed in the town of Khirbet-Al-Jouz.

Well, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she's concerned for the thousands of refugees that are camped nearby.

But the situation at the Syrian/Turkish border is nothing like life further south in the capital of Damascus. Our Arwa Damon was able to see for herself after Syria finally allowed CNN into the country. Well, the only requirement is that she have a government official present while shooting. This is what she found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At one of the main entrances to the old city in Damascus, there is now a massive speaker that is blaring pro-government music.

(MUSIC)

DAMON: We just heard lyrics saying, "We are your men, Bashar. You're the one who is protecting Syria."

Now, we spoke to the restaurant manager. They're the ones who set up this speaker. And the manager was telling us that the restaurant decided to do it as a symbol of nationalism.

(voice-over): We are escorted by a government minder as we wander through the streets and the heart of the capital. The president's image is everywhere. And in this part of Damascus, at least, he seems to enjoy public support.

(on camera): There is party hats here. There's even key chains, T-shirts that have been printed up.

Now, Abu Ali (ph), who owns this makeshift stand, was telling us that he began really selling these types of products around three months ago, when the uprising first began. And he says that he is doing a very solid amount of business, and that he chose to sell these types of products as a symbol of his patriotism.

(voice-over): Sometimes there is an almost surreal contrast with the images of violence and suffering that have emerged from Syria since March.

(on camera): Abu Ali (ph) has just thrown that confetti into the air, and he was saying that it is a symbol of his happiness, because there's no problems Syria, Syria is a solid country, and there is absolutely no upheaval and nothing to be upset about here, right now.

(voice-over): Maybe not here, but people who have fled to the border with Turkey, 400 kilometers to the north, have plenty to be upset about. With just the clothes on their backs, they tell stories of abuse and threats by the security forces and vow they won't return to their homeland until Assad is gone.

Government officials tell us the military was simply targeted armed gangs. And they asked, "Why is the world so focused on 10,000 refugees from Syria when there are over a million Iraqis displaced by the U.S.-led war in 2003?"

And there was anger, spontaneous or otherwise, among some of the people we met in the capital.

(on camera): So our filming here actually just stirred up quite a debate with one woman coming up to us and telling us that they basically wanted all Americans and all Westerners out of their country, that the U.S. and other nations had absolutely no business meddling inside Syria.

(voice-over): It's as if Syria were two countries with its people living in two different realities.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Damascus.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, more Syrian refugees cross the border into Turkey every day. Turkish officials say they've accepted nearly 12,000 since the unrest began. To accommodate them all, five refugee camps have been set up on Turkey's side of the border, but things are a bit more complicated on the Syrian side.

Even as President al-Assad's army approaches, many refugees there say they're still hesitant to leave. Instead, holding out hope that the fighting will end soon and that they can return home.

Our Phil Black went to the border to find out what life is like for those refugees living in limbo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The number of people staying in Syria's refugee camps is dropping. The people here say the Syrian army has cut them off from the rest of the country, so there are no new arrivals. And as conditions become more desperate, more people are crossing the Turkish border.

(on camera): What is life here like?

NASIR AL-ABDO, SYRIAN REFUGEE: Life is bad here. No water, no food, no home. There is disease. Children get ill, get sick.

BLACK (voice-over): Nasir al-Abdo's parents and younger siblings are already in Turkey.

(on camera): Do you feel safe here?

AL-ABDO: No, I don't feel safe. I don't feel safe at all in Syria.

BLACK (voice-over): But he stayed because his older brother Bashir was missing. But Nasir has now learned his fate. He saw this broadcast on Syrian state television. It shows 26-year-old Bashir and describes him as a terrorist.

Bashir is heard confessing. He says he helped fabricate video to hurt Syria's regime.

AL-ABDO: I looked at the TV and see my brother talking about something. I never heard about it. They make him say that, of course. He will never do that. He's a nice guy.

BLACK: Nasir says his brother shot video of protests and the Syrian military on his phone and shared it online.

AL-ABDO: We want Freedom. We want democracy.

BLACK: The people in this camp want the same, but their immediate needs are more basic. These women are preparing a Syrian dish that traditionally includes rice and meat. They're making do with rice alone. The only food and other supplies entering this camp now come from Turkey.

Refugees spend their days making the difficult trek, crossing secretly, carrying back what they can.

TAMER, SYRIAN REFUGEE: Some medicine meant for children. Some underwear.

BLACK: Gunfire frequently echoes in the near distance, a sign they say the Syrian military is getting closer.

Despite all this hardship, there are people in this camp who are determined to stay. Children have found a way to escape the punishing heat. Families who have been here weeks are building new shelters.

This man says he's pretending the pole is Syria's president. He's joking - - mostly.

The people here say they don't want to cross the border because they still hope Syria's regime will be defeated quickly and they'll be able to go home.

Phil Black, CNN, on the Syrian/Turkish border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, a cell phone seized from Osama bin Laden's compound gives up its secrets. Where the clues may lead, when we return.

Plus, it seems both sides in Libya are stuck at an impasse. Why some rebels welcome the break from war.

And Saudi Arabia beheads an Indonesian maid convicted of murdering her employer. What Jakarta plans to do about it, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, the White House and many members of Congress are not seeing eye to eye on U.S. military involvement in Libya. The Obama administration says the NATO effort is making progress towards ousting Moammar Gadhafi, but Republicans in Congress want to cut funding.

Well, NATO says its bombing campaign will continue, but there's no telling how long it will last. For many rebels on the front line in Libya, the war seems to have settled into a familiar routine.

Our Ben Wedeman has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A soldier once said that war is 99 percent boredom and one percent terror. And terror the young men in Dafniya have seen plenty in the last few weeks. Now they seem to actually enjoy a bit of boredom.

(on camera): The front lines here come under daily and intense bombardment in recent days, and there have been many casualties. On this particular day, it's surprisingly quiet, which explains why these young men can actually sit here and play cards in peace. But there's no guarantee that this quiet will last.

(voice-over): On the highway from Misrata to Tripoli, the quiet provides a good chance to dig more fortifications. Anti-Gadhafi forces have blocked the road with a big sand barricade, a good vantage point to keep an eye on the enemy.

No one here is complaining about the quiet. "Over there, 11 were wounded and three were killed yesterday," says field commander Bashar. "We're taking a lot of losses."

Nearby, fighters take a break for tea and small talk.

In more peaceful times, these olive orchards were a popular picnic spot for Misrata residents. Mustafa (ph) has brought his daughter and two sons for a visit. "The kids have come to the front to see the people who are fighting for justice," he tells me.

"Isn't it dangerous here?" I ask. "There's daily shelling." "No," he says. "They could also die at home."

"It's better if you leave them at home," I tell him. "No," he says. "Here it's fine."

His son picks up Mustafa's (ph) machine gun. An incoming mortar round echoes not too far away.

Further up the road, a group of fighters from Zlitan, a nearby town still under Gadhafi's control, keep a wary eye on no man's land. Their face is covered out of fear of repercussions against relatives in their hometown. They realize the fight against Gadhafi may take longer than anyone expected.

"No matter how long it is," Abdullah says, "we'll consider it short compared to how long he has ruled us."

Through long periods of boredom and moments of terror, the wait, they say, is worth it.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Dafniya, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his country is ready to take control of its own security. In an interview with CNN, he lays out a picture of a more stable Afghanistan. But May was the bloodiest month for civilians there since 2007.

Well, Fareed Zakaria asked Mr. Karzai about the U.S. plan to start pulling troops from the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": You know, Mr. President, there was a big debate in the United States about what exactly the president should say, and there were some who felt he should have announced a slower withdrawal, some a faster withdrawal.

If you had a magic wand, would you have preferred this to be a slower withdrawal?

HAMID KARZAI, AFGHAN PRESIDENT: The announcement that was made last night by President Obama is welcomed by the Afghan people. The number of troops that he has announced to be withdrawn this year and the rest, next year, is a sign that Afghanistan is taking over its own security and trying to defend its territory by its own means. So we are happy with the announcement.

As for the number of troops, we have no opinion on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, speaking to our Fareed Zakaria there.

Well, the U.S. is still poring over information seized from Osama bin Laden's compound. One item is a cell phone that belonged to the al Qaeda leader's courier. Well, it reportedly contains some eyebrow-raising contacts.

Well, CNN security analyst Peter Bergen joins us now from Washington.

Peter, the contacts in this cell phone over Bin Laden's most trusted courier, they have links to militants in Pakistan. Tell us the significance of this group and what this potentially means.

PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, according to "The New York Times" story, the cell phone recovered from the courier had cell phone numbers for a group called Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, which is a group that has long enjoyed ties to al Qaeda. Back in 1998, when President Clinton responded to the U.S. Embassy attacks in Africa with cruise missile attacks in Afghanistan, he attacked an al Qaeda camp in which most of the people who were killed were in fact members of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

So this is a Kashmiri militant group that has long ties to the area that Bin Laden was found in, which is rather close to Azad, Kashmir, on the Pakistani side of the border. And the fact that this is a group that has operated in Pakistan with some degree of official sanction in the past, and while the story in The Times doesn't explicitly say this, the kind of implication is, here is a group with quasi-official contacts in the Pakistani intelligence realm, and here is a group who's connected to Bin Laden's courier.

I don't think it's a smoking gun of official sanction or official knowledge of Bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, but it does point to the fact that the courier was in touch with a Kashmiri militant group that is Pakistani. It's indigenous to Pakistan.

COREN: Because there are some who are saying that this is certainly drawing a long bow (ph), but evidence perhaps that Bin Laden was indirectly supported by Pakistan's spy agency.

BERGEN: You know, I mean, Osama bin Laden was a pretty careful and paranoid and disciplined guy when he was alive, so he would want to limit the number of people who knew anything about his presence. And the fact that the courier was in touch with this Kashmiri militant group that has operated in the past with some degree of official sanction doesn't mean that the courier was talking about the fact that he was living in Bin Laden's compound. I mean, I think that's a big leap.

But, you know, it is an interesting element of this story. And it kind of explains how the courier was able to function in Pakistan with help from this Kashmiri militant group. And it's part of the mosaic that is emerging of how Bin Laden was able to live in Pakistan for such a long time.

COREN: Certainly, I guess the connection has been made. And it was a U.S. official that made that connection.

Considering it has come from the U.S., do you think this will further strain the relationship between the United States and Pakistan?

BERGEN: Well, as you know, the relationship is pretty strained, so I don't think this is going to make a very large difference to that. Efforts are being made to repair the relationship, as you know. Secretary Clinton went to Pakistan. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, went to Pakistan.

I think both sides understand that the relationship is -- at the elite level, they certainly understand that it's important to preserve this relationship. Pakistan is a very important country. In 2015, it will have the fifth largest population in the world. It's got nuclear weapons. It's very important to the United States that a stable Pakistan affects a stable Afghanistan and vice versa.

So, you know, this is just -- this certainly won't improve matters between the countries. The relationship is strained, but I think efforts are being made to patch things up.

COREN: CNN security analyst Peter Bergen in Washington.

As always, thank you.

BERGEN: Thank you.

COREN: Well, no respite from rain in China. Our Mari Ramos will have the forecast just ahead as even more rain triggers floods across the country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, a deadly storm is lashing parts of the Philippines. For more details, our Mari Ramos joins us from the World Weather Center.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COREN: Well, every year in Nepal, thousands of young girls are trafficked into the sex industry. Well, this Sunday, we will share their stories with you in a compelling documentary.

We head out with actress Demi Moore, who's an outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking. Well, in this preview, she looks at the life-threatening legacy of modern-day slavery.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEMI MOORE, CNN FREEDOM PROJECT (voice-over): Seven-and-a-half miles north of Kathmandu lies a different aspect of the care provided by Maiti Nepal's team, the hospice. The scars of human trafficking are never merely skin deep, and the pain and suffering often extends to future generations.

Amid this seemingly idyllic image of rural family life, there's another morning routine to be performed, one which casts a darker complexion on the picture. This is the daily lineup for medicine, without which many of these women and children would die. They all carry the HIV virus, and many have other related illnesses. In most cases, a legacy of time served under slavery in the brothel.

The medicine is expensive, and Maiti Nepal struggles to maintain the supply of life-saving drugs.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, tune in for "Nepal's Stolen Children," a CNN Freedom Project documentary. You'll see the world premiere on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. London time. Viewers in the Americas can catch it at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. That's 7:00 p.m. in Mexico City.

Well, still ahead, outrage in Indonesia. A beheading in Saudi Arabia raises the stakes for migrant workers in the kingdom.

And the beginning of the end is in sight for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. We'll go live to an American forward operating base near the Pakistan border.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong.

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

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have reached agreement with Greece for Athens to slash its budget deficit by $40 billion. Well, the deal paves the way for new bailout money to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt, but that will only happen if the Greek parliament backs the cuts in a vote next week.

At least 11 people have been killed and more than 40,000 forced out of their homes by storms in the Philippines. Well, flash floods and landslides are being reported in a number places, but there is some good news. Tropical Storm Meari is rapidly moving north and the weather is expected to improve.

Officials in Turkey say almost 12,000 Syrians are now seeking refuge in the country. Well, the latest influx (inaudible) tense standoff near the border. And activists tell CNN government troops in tanks inside the village of Kabut (ph). It's a situation the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describes as worrisome.

Well, the execution of an Indonesian woman in Saudi Arabia is drawing a strong reaction in her home country. Well, these protesters say Jakarta must do more to protect its citizens working abroad. Well, the kingdom beheaded a maid who was convicted of murdering her employer's wife. Indonesia now plans to ban its citizens from working as laborers in Saudi Arabia.

Well, Indonesia's foreign minister says the moratorium will not be lifted until such a time that we can be assured that our workers would enjoy the necessary protection that they deserve.

Well, more than 1 million Indonesians work in Saudi Arabia. A researcher at Human Rights Watch says there are reports the convicted maid was prohibited from returning home to Indonesia. Nisha Varia spoke with my colleague Zane Vergee about the ways domestic workers can be abused.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NISHA VARIA, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: There are a range of problems that domestic workers in Saudi Arabia are facing. One problem is poor treatment in the criminal justice system where they might be executed without anyone knowing about it. But they're also subject to labor exploitation, often not getting paid for months or years. In many cases confined to the workplace, having their passports confiscated, and sometimes subject to physical and sexual abuse.

We would like the Saudi government to cover these workers under the labor law and make sure that they have access to the police and to their embassies if they need help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Well, Nisha also says cases of abuse happen fairly frequently in Saudi Arabia. One truly horrifying incident happened late last year to this Sri Lankan house maid. Well, doctors removed 18 nails and metal particles from her arms, legs and forehead.

Well, they were allegedly hammered into her body by her employers. The couple were reportedly arrested, but it's unclear if they were punished.

Well, other cases also made headlines last year. This Indonesian woman died in November. Her body found on the streets of a Saudi town. Human Rights Watch says her body showed signs of physical abuse.

Well, this woman, also Indonesian, said she was tortured by her Saudi employer. Officials reported she was severely beaten, had cuts to her face, and possible burns from an iron. But she received justice. In January, Saudi media reported her unidentified female employer was sentenced to three years in prison for the abuse. Well, some called it a first for the kingdom.

Well, a former Rwandan government minister has been convicted of genocide by a UN court and sentenced to life in prison. Well, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was one of the first women to be charged with genocide. She was the minister for family and women's affairs in Rwanda when 800,000 people were killed back in 1994. Well, they were mostly ethnic Tutusis. Nyiramasuhuko was also convicted of incitement to rape. Well, her son and four other officials are also charged.

Well, Roland Amoussouga is with the UN International Tribunal for Rwanda and joins us live from Arusha, Tanzinia. Roland, tell us how significant is this sentence?

ROLAND AMOUSSOUGA, UN TRIBUNA FOR RWANDA: Indeed, this sentence is extremely significant, because this is the first time that a woman has been charged with genocide before (inaudible) and were therefore convicted on all counts except three.

So this is a very important milestone in the (inaudible) existance. And along with her, we have also five other accused persons who were convicted today.

COREN: Roland, as you say, she is the first woman to be charged with genocide, I should say, and incitement to rape. Explain her role back in 1994 during the genocide.

AMOUSSOUGA: Yes, according to the trial chamber today, she was found guilty for entering in agreements with members of the entering government to kill two chief in the Butare prefecture. As you Butare was the second important city in Rwanda.

Secondly, the trial chamber found her guilty for ordering the killings of tutsis taking refuge in that same office.

And also, with respect to the rape as crime against humanity, the trial chamber finds her guilty as a superior of the (inaudible) who raped the tutsis, those are the (inaudible) who were raping tutsis taking refuge at the Butare prefecture office.

And this, she was also held guilty for many crimes that she was -- she was involved in with her son, Arsene Ntahobal, who was also today sentenced to life.

COREN: Well, then why has it taken so long to convict and sentence these people?

AMOUSSOUGA: Yes, in this -- this is one of the most important case. It started in 2001 in Arusha. And it involved six people. And as you know, the tribunal has to investigate these matter. And most of the investigations were carried out elsewhere and also in Rwanda. And witnesses came from all over the world. And today it was important to note that even the decision that was rendered today is about 1,500 pages. And many witnesses came to testify before this court.

And the process is extremely long because it takes extremely long time to get the evidence induced and to have also all the parties cross examine the witnesses.

COREN: Well, and what does it mean for the people of Rwanda. Does this reopen old wounds, or does it provide some sort of a closure?

AMOUSSOUGA: No, I believe this although this decision is not yet a final decision, because the parties will certainly appeal, we can hope that this decision of today will bring a good closure to the victims and to the people of Rwanda. And also it is important for those who have been held in detention to have their day in court and to receive a decision. And from there they can see how they can manage to beat that decision before the (inaudible).

Otherwise the ICITA (ph) right now has almost fulfilled its mandate, because 90 percent of the work has been done. And the people who can look (ph) and see that ICITA (ph) has been a great contributor in the restoration of justice, to the restoration of peace in the mind of the people. And this is a step forward toward the healing process that the people of Rwanda have embarked on.

COREN: Well, that is great news. A step forward in the healing process.

Roland Amoussouga from the UN International Criminal Tribunal joining us from Arusha, Tanzania. Thank you so much for that.

Well, coming up on News Stream, the price of crude takes a tumble after the International Energy Agency decides to intervene in the oil markets. We'll explain shortly.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, the military top brass in the United States disagree with the numbers in President Barack Obama's plan to bring troops home from Afghanistan, but Afghan president Hamid Karzai says he welcomes the news.

Well, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has been talking to U.S. troops on the front line and he joins us now live from forward Operating Bass Mostik (ph) in Naray, Afghanistan.

Nick, you have been at Bagram Air Base for the last few days with U.S. troops. You are now in Naray. Tell us the significance of this town and this area.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just explain a little bit exactly where we are. We can see the hills behind me over there. That is Pakistan. So we are frankly right on the front line between those two states. On the Pakistani side, long accusations of safe havens for militants, the new -- or the longstanding now hotbed of al Qaeda.

Where we are now is the furthest north that America has a firm constant military presence on this border. In that direction onwards is mostly Afghan forces trying to secure the border there, admittedly porous, with limited forces. Large amounts of this country voluntarily not given up by NATO, but withdrawn from, because they don't believe it was strategically significant enough to invest the manpower.

For years, U.S. troops out in bases isolated here, often under attack from insurgents massing around them. And frankly, commanders began to question whether or not it was better to simply apply those resources to population centers here.

So when we talk about NATO troops withdrawing in numbers coming down here, the stark choices made a couple of years ago, actually, by NATO here to start focusing on some areas, indeed (inaudible) are really brought to the fore in this particular place, Anna.

COREN: And Nick, some describe that area as the forgotten corner of Afghanistan. As you say, the most northern base for U.S. troops. Once they withdraw, the in roads that they have made, I mean will they last?

PATON WALSH: It's difficult tell that, really, to be honest. I mean, it's all about the fluency of the militants in this particular area. When are they going to come back? Are they based locally? There have been arguments for a long time that a lot of the violence here in valleys like Korengal (ph), Hesh (ph), et cetera are all really about local tribes taking issue with foreign invaders. It's not about an organized insurgency.

They had (inaudible) by some who say that coming across the border are militants, trained in Pakistan, organized by people who live in Pakistan, perhaps somehow infiltrated al Qaeda even in some extremes. But the argument really has been in this particular area that they should pull away from places where often they face fights with locals simply unhappy that they have their villages invaded, basically, by foreign troops, Anna.

COREN: And Nick, what about the presence of the Taliban? Have you seen any signs of the Taliban?

PATON WALSH: Well, slightly to the northwest of where we are is a village called Wagal (ph) where we broadcast pictures recently of the scenes for the Taliban in evidence there. They say running their own government. They say the commanding force. They claimed they moved in since late March and were the governing power there, statements backed up by some Afghan officials we spoken to.

NATO contest that idea. They say the Taliban in these areas don't have a constant presence, that they exaggerate their numbers, and that many of the images you may get passed around from areas like this are frankly propaganda by the insurgency.

But there is certainly a grand concern here, I think, that north of where we are here is a large swath of important Afghan territory on that vital border with Pakistan where frankly many believe the fight against (inaudible) I want to say, is at the moment that this is now held over by Afghan security forces and that NATO really may at some point have to get back involved in the fight here and the insurgency is perhaps having a resurgence here of its own -- Anna.

COREN: Nick Paton Walsh in Naray, Afghanistan. As always, good to see you. Thank you for that.

Well, after months of high oil prices, the International Energy Agency has decided to intervene. It announced on Thursday plans to release 60 million barrels of oil into the world markets over the next 30 days with half of that coming from the U.S. The news sent U.S. crude futures plunging to a four month low.

Well, the price ticked up slightly earlier today, but has since slipped lower again. Right now, it's trading down 17 cents, around $90.85 a barrel.

Well, find out where those oil prices are heading and how the House of Prada fared in its Hong Kong IPO at the World Business Today at the top of this hour.

Now we're going to tell you the story of a French company and its extremely unusual beginning. When five brothers inherited a farm supply business even they probably couldn't imagine what they would eventually create. Our Jim Bittermann has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT; Just another day at the office if your office happened to be a computer game maker Ubisoft. And if you happen to be hard at work developing its latest video game, Just Dance 2. Afterall, if you want to evaluate the real gamer experience, you have to just dance too.

It's one of the most recent games in development for Ubisoft, a company which the French like to point to as their own version of Apple or Microsoft, mainly because of its origins. The company was founded by five brothers from an obscure down in Brittany who inherited a farm supply business, which morphed into a mail order company, that morphed into a line of video games. Before long, the brothers were part of the $50 billion a year video game industry.

Especially because of gaming hits like Assassins Creed, which has sold nearly 30 million units worldwide and is sure to go even higher when the fourth and last sequel of the game comes out this fall.

The head of the company believes that being in France where the other big game publishers are not, has helped the company grow.

YVES GUILLEMOT, CEO UBISOFT: Because there are lots of great schools in France, we were able to recruit very talented people. And when you go and you start your company and you go in L.A. there are lots of talented people, but there are so many great companies there that it's very difficult where you are a small company to find the right people.

BITTERMANN: Today, Ubisoft is no longer small, employing 4,000 people, primarily in France and Canada. And the company is regularly top 10 in sales.

To build a new game, the programmers work in teams, starting with perhaps 70 people, but expanding to as many as 500 programmers who each day contribute bits and pieces of the game to a central server. Then the next day begins with an assessment of how far the game has gotten and how much more needs to be done. An elaborate game can take two or three years of development.

The CEO believes that Ubisoft, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year, was very lucky to have been growing at the same time as global connections and global markets were developing.

GUILLEMOT: That made a big difference, because this worldwide open market is something that is giving anybody in the world a chance to succeed. And that, I think, is the key of what has been the gross in the last decades. And that we need to preserve.

BITTERMANN: The Ubisoft CEO says he still plays games occasionally himself and has become something of an armchair psychologist, regularly handing out books to visitors on human motivation.

GUILLEMOT: You know, we have an instinct and basic designs. And in fact we have to (inaudible). So if you can (inaudible) them in virtual worlds on top of real world, you actually are -- in a better shape in your today -- day to day life.

BITTERMANN: The gamers may live in a virtual world, but Ives Guillemot and his brothers are making real world money.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Good for them.

Well, Southwest Airlines has hit a pocket of turbulence after some dicey comments were made on a flight. Just ahead, how a former flight attendant thinks one pilot has made a grande mistake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well yesterday we told you about a Southwest Airlines pilot who accidentally broadcast a profane rant about flight attendants. Well, we just had to get this guy's take on the latest person behaving badly on a plane. Steven Slater dramatically quit his job at JetBlue by going down the emergency slide.

Well, Jeanne Moos picks up the story from here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ah, for the days like in the movies when everyone looked up to the captain and looked aft with what then were called stewardesses. But maybe not this pilot.

PILOT: 11 (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over the top (EXPLETIVE DELETED) homosexuals and a granny.

MOOS: Caught on the radio complaining about how his flight crew included hardly anyone worth hitting on.

Take it from a famous former flight attendant.

STEVEN SLATER, FORMER FLIGHT ATTENDANT: I was horrified. I was absolutely horrified. There was just something about this particular incident that kind of struck the ick factor.

MOOS: But you had to admire all the alliteration in that ickiness.

PILOT: There was a just a continuous stream of gays, and grannies, and grandes.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Gays, and grannies, and grandes. What a charmer this guy is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never heard the word grande before.

MOOS: Now it's gets a little confusing because in the language of Starbucks a grande is merely a medium.

And we're pretty sure the chatty pilot used grande to mean women he considered too large.

Maybe it's cockpit slang.

Have you ever before heard the word grande?

SLATER: No. That was a new one for me. Only going through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. No I can't say I'd ever heard that.

MOOS: And if grande isn't bad enough, how about grenade? That's what the guys on the show Jersey Shore call women deemed unattractive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good thing I'm trained in the art of dodging a grenade. So that's exactly what I'm going to do, I'm going to dodge this grenade.

MOOS: They've even got a grenade warning horn.

That pilot sure tooted his own horn by dissing everyone else.

PILOT: I mean, it's all these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) old dudes and grannies. And there's like maybe a handful of cute chicks.

MOOS: He better not lay over near Whoopie Goldberg.

WHOOPIE GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: If I meet you, I'm going to be the grannie from hell honey.

MOOS: When the pilot finished evaluating potential sleeping partners.

PILOT: ...with two girls, one of them that was probably doable.

MOOS: Other pilots couldn't wait to disown the transmission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're 195230, that was not us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it wasn't us either.

MOOS: That pilot's a big man all right, a grande of the skies.

PILOT: Now I'm back in Houston which is easily one of the ugliest bases.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

SLATER: I'm glad I'm not a Houston based flight attendant. I think my self esteem would be down the Rio Grande.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, now you don't have to be a fan of motorsport to enjoy this next video. Well, this is from the fourth rand of the French Road Racing Cup. And as often it happens, a rider came off. Well, unfortunately one of the guys behind him hit the bike and was also unseated.

Now, that guy in the yellow helmet was understandably keen to carry on, but the bike now tangled -- well, they had a plan of their own. Incredibly, they began to spin in the hot heat trying to get back on. The faster they went. Don't forget the other guy whose waiting for a break in the traffic to try and get back into the race.

Well, I wonder if he can help? Will he be able to stop them with his foot? I don't think so.

Well, that's certainly a unique way to go out of a race. And incredibly frustrating for the riders.

Can you believe they even tried?

Well, at Wimbledon, day 5 is underway. The women's world number one wasted no time in getting a win. Pedro Pinto joins us with more on that and the rest of the sports headlines. Hello, Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Anna, Caroline Wozniaki needed just 66 minutes to advance to the third round at the All England Club on Friday. The Dane dominated her match against Virginie Razzano of France willing 6-1 and 6-3.

The men's number one Raphael Nadal will be on court later taking on Gilles Mueller of Luxembourg.

Andy Murray, the great British hope, faces Ivan Ljubicic.

Well, the head of Russia's 2018 World Cup announced football authorities there will launch a campaign against racism after former Brazilian international Roberto Carlos was victimized again in a league match on Wednesday night. Alex Sivkov conceded something needed to be done about the problem.

Anzhi Makhachkala were leading 3-nil at Krylya Sovetov when the home supporters decided to take out their frustrations by targeted Roberto Carlos in stoppage time. A banana was thrown at the Anzhi left back. The Brazilian of course took exception to it and decided to walk off the field in disgust.

After the game, Roberto Carlos said it was the second time this had happened and urged the authorities to take a stand. Krylya Sovetov condemned the incident and announced they would had out a reward for any information that would help identify the culprit.

It was a make or break night for many NBA franchises as the draft took place in Newark, New Jersey on Thursday. It was an especially big night for the Cleveland Cavaliers who had two of the top four picks as they aim to start rebuilding their squad following the departure of LeBron James last summer.

Well, with the first pick, the Cavs went for point guard Kyrie Irving, the 19-year-old Duke University standout went first despite playing just 11 games in his only season in college basketball. Derrick Williams was drafted second by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Turkey's Enes Kantor went to the Utah Jazz with the third pick. In fact, three of the top six players were from Europe.

The Cavs also have the number four pick and they went for power forward Tristan Thomas from Texas University.

Much more on the next addition of world sport. But that's it for now. Anna, back to you.

COREN: Pedro, thank you.

Well, now it's time to take you over and out there. Well, basketball's one-time bad boy, Lakers forward Ron Artest, this is the man who started a mid-game brawl with a fan, earning him one of the longest suspensions in NBA history. And he's not changing his name to Metta World Peace. Well, if L.A. County approves the request, NBA announcers will be forced to say things like World Peace at the line and World Peace shoots 2.

But the presumed Mr. Peace is hardly the first to run this play. Well, NBA great Lloyd Bernard Free changed his name to World B Free in 1981 and it worked for him. World B Free ranks 44 on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

And Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson put his name on the line for his player number, 85. Well, he legally changed his last name to Ochocinco in 2008 so he could put it on the back of his jersey.

Well, Ochocinco really means eight five, not 85, but it had a better ring to it.

Unfortunately, it didn't earn Ochocinco a Super Bowl ring. And now he's decided to go back to plain old Chad Johnson.

What's wrong with Chad?

Well, that is News Stream. But the news certainly continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.

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