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Kabul Hotel Attack; Living in Yemen; Greece Under Pressure

Aired June 29, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

Hello. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong.

Well, this is the scene outside Greece's parliament building. Inside, lawmakers will vote on measures that could help save the country's troubled economy. Outside, protesters are expressing their opposition to the steep spending cuts that come with the plan.

Inside Yemen, where tensions are dividing the country's capital.

And what did Sony know and when? Investigating the breach that may have exposed millions of PlayStation gamers' personal data to hackers.

We begin in Greece, where protests have turned violent for a second straight day. Well, the mood is tense on the streets of Athens as the country waits to see how parliament votes on tough new austerity measures which include steep spending cuts and tax increases over the next five years.

Greek lawmakers are under a lot of pressure. Passing the tough austerity plan could spark more violent protests across the country. But without it, Athens won't meet EU requirements for its next much-needed bailout installment. Analysts say that would force Greece into a debt default and potentially send the rest of the Eurozone into a financial tailspin.

We'll watch the situation in Athens throughout the hour, and we'll hear from our Richard Quest, who is there on the ground, in just a few minutes.

Well, now to the Afghan capital, where a suicide attack on the Hotel Intercontinental has left at least 18 people dead, including the eight attackers. President Hamid Karzai has condemned the attack, saying it won't stop international troops from handing over control to Afghan forces as planned. The attacks started late Tuesday night, after Taliban attackers managed to enter the hotel.

Well, earlier, we spoke with a hotel guest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This all started happening around 10:00 p.m. Little by little, I started hearing noises that sounded like bombs. They were extremely loud and I knew things were starting to get dangerous. It lasted until around 3:00 a.m.

The hotel made an announcement to all the guests for us to stay in our rooms. They said it was for our own safety and that the Taliban waged an attack on the hotel and we could be killed.


COREN: Well, Kabul's Hotel Intercontinental sits on a hill in the western part of the capital, about a 15-mintue drive from the airport. It was first opened by the Intercontinental Hotel Group more than 40 years ago. Well, that company, however, had no association with the hotel since the Soviet invasion of 1979.

Still, with the name, its location, and modern amenities, the hotel typically attracts westerners. Security there is known to be tight.

Well, in Yemen, months of protests are taking a toll. One Sana'a resident says it's like living in crisis mode on a daily basis. Blackouts and fuel shortages are the new normal.

Nic Robertson takes us through the tent capital city.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a call for prayer, a call for change in the heart of Yemen's capital, Sana'a. It's the hub of the anti-government protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh, recovering in Saudi Arabia from an assassination attempt, step down.

(on camera): A few months ago, back in February, this was a chaotic scene. This was a roundabout, and the crowds were surging here. And pro- government protesters were coming in and clashing. Now it's settled into something completely different. It settled into a tent city.

(voice-over): It feels peaceful.

(on camera): People seem to be genuinely happy, if not a little bit surprised to see us. Very few foreign journalists get in here with cameras these days. Everyone's raising their two fingers, the peace sign.

(voice-over): Over the months though, dozens have died, many allegedly shot by the army.

(on camera): Here are pictures of people, martyrs. That's what people are telling us, these are all martyrs, people who died in the anti-government protests that have been going on.

(voice-over): Despite the losses, young activists promise only peaceful protests.

(on camera): Are you worried that you won't get what you want? This is a peaceful demonstration here, but are you worried you won't get what you want if you remain peaceful?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not worried, because the peaceful revolution proved that it can do what we want.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But after five months of demonstrations, Saleh is still holding on to power, and protesters' patience, with a pacifist approach, is limited.

MOHAMMED ABULAHOUM, HEAD OF JUSTICE AND BUILDING PARTY: If it reaches to a point where it is not working, then you would see back the high language, the high demonstrations. And that's where we'll be waiting to see more violence.

ROBERTSON: Mohammed Abulahoum quit the ruling party after the army shot protesters in March. He's been trying to keep the peace since.

Now, amid gas shortages and spiraling food costs, he fears time is fast running out for the president to go.

ABULAHOUM: We're only talking about days or weeks. You don't have that room, the room that you had. I mean, people have been waiting outside for five months.

ROBERTSON: But patience is also wearing thin at another very different tent city protest in the capital. This one, pro-government.

(on camera): The difference that you see here, you see more people carrying metal bars or sticks just like this gentleman here. If you look over here, you can see these big posters of the president here, President Saleh.

(voice-over): Everyone here telling us they're confident Saleh will return from Saudi Arabia. "We'll defend him," this man tells me, "even if he does step down and keep up the protests. We voted for him."

They feel they're losing. Emotions are overheating. It's like a tinderbox.

(on camera): So we've been advised that we should get out of this area right now. And I've seen a few people carrying sticks. One guy showed me that his knife had been taken out of his belt, so we're not staying here any longer. We're going to leave this pro-government rally.

(voice-over): As we drive away, it's clear these protests are only the tip of the polarizing effect President Saleh is having on the country. Security, tight everywhere we go.

(on camera): This city is dividing. Battle lines are being drawn, not just pro-and-anti-government protest camps, but pro-and-anti-government army factions. De facto front lines are forming throughout the city. It is being primed for conflict.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Sana'a, Yemen.


COREN: We now want to take you back to Greece, where anticipation and anxiety over potential new austerity measures is reaching a boiling point.

Well, in Athens, thousands of protesters are gathering outside parliament for the second straight day. Demonstrations have already turned violent as riot police used tear gas to try to control the crowds. Dozens of people were injured Tuesday in similar standoffs. It's all been building up to this pivotal moment.

Will parliament move forward with tough austerity plans? Well, our Richard Quest joins us from the capital.

Richard, what's going on?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the last few moments, literally in the last few seconds, a huge wave of tear gas has now just been sprayed and fired at the protesters standing just around the hotel. The air is acrid and thick.

I can't remember seeing so much tear gas in this particular conflict. Certainly those who are here say that this is the worst that they have seen it in the year since the original bailout plan. And what the police are trying to do is push the protesters back across the square, but the truth, Anna, is, as fast as they push them back, throw the tear gas, the stun gun grenades, and the pepper spray, the protesters eventually move back.

I do apologize for having to wear the goggles, but frankly, without them, I wouldn't be able to stand here for even five minutes.

COREN: Richard, we completely understand. Tear gas is extremely painful. So, no, understand fully well why you are wearing that mask.

Tell us the enormous pressure that the parliamentarians are under with this vote.

QUEST: Well, the parliament -- I think your question is about the parliament. And basically, parliament is about to vote this afternoon. That vote should have taken place by now. It's 10 past 3:00 in the afternoon, but the debate is still going on.

The vote, when it happens, the government is expected to win the vote, but it will be a very short and narrow majority if they get it.

Forgive me. I'm just keeping an eye on where this tear gas is blowing, because if it does start coming in this direction, my cameraman can show you where and how it moves across and what they actually -- if you go over and show the crowd, you'll see the sheer amount of stuff that's now being put out by the police into the crowd and the disorganized way the crowd reacts, running off in different directions, Anna, only to regroup.

Frankly, it's difficult to know what they hope to achieve by any of this, because parliament's debate is continuing. It looks as if the government will have its small, slim majority, and it looks as if the austerity measures will pass.

COREN: Richard, the prime minister, George Papandreou, has said that these austerity measures are the only way that Greece can get back on its feet. I mean, how drastic are they?

QUEST: They're very drastic, and it will affect every single person in this country. Benefits will be cut, pensions will be cut, people will have to work longer. There will clearly be fewer people on the public payroll. And not only that, taxes will rise, substantially in some cases.

Overall, Greece will go into recession for several more years. Some say up to eight percent of GDP over the next two or three years.

But I think what most annoys people in Greece is not that they've been told they can no longer live life as they have been, they believe that this particular plan doesn't have any growth element. There's no plan for the future. It's all about cuts and austerity.

The government would say there is something for the future, but they have to deal with putting the fire out first.

COREN: Richard, I think we can hear tear gas being fired in the background. How many protesters are actually in that main square outside parliament?

QUEST: I would say there are several thousand protesters are outside the square, of which only maybe a couple of thousand, maybe just a few hundred, are hard core.

Anna, let me give you one story.

When the fighting kicked off, I watched one protester take off his colored shirt, put on a black shirt, put on a gas mask, put on gloves, grab a baton, start digging up the marble, and going into battle. There is a hard core of anarchists there that, whatever happened, they would determine this was going to turn into a running saw (ph) battle.

Now, is it the most violent protest I've ever seen? No, not by a long way. It's nasty, it's running, it doesn't look like it's going to get any better any sooner. And we've still got the vote to take place and what happens after that.

COREN: And Richard, you obviously will be following that vote very closely.

We'll come back to Richard when we get more news. But Richard Quest there, live on the streets of Athens.

Thank you very much for that.

Well, today's vote in parliament has huge global significance. If Greek politicians bow to public pressure and reject these new austerity measures, the ripple effect could be far-reaching.

Austerity anger is already being felt in other Eurozone countries. In the U.K., for example, it's preparing for what could be its biggest strike in 85 years on Thursday. Around 750,000 public sector workers are expected to take to the streets, protesting plans to reform their pensions.

Well, meanwhile, in Spain, it's been dealing with strikes on and off for months as workers protest government spending cuts and tax increases. Spain is seen as one of the more financially vulnerable Eurozone countries right now.

While in Germany, it hasn't experienced the turmoil of some of its neighbors, there is definitely growing tension there, however. As the Eurozone's biggest economy, Germany is often forced to bear the brunt of its neighbors' financial woes.

Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, Sudan's leader is on a state visit to China. We'll explain why Beijing is welcoming Omar al-Bashir.


COREN: Well, let's now go back to Afghanistan and Tuesday's attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital, Kabul.

We're joined now by Jerome Starkey, a reporter for the British newspaper "The Times."

Jerome, I believe you were just a few hundred meters away from the Intercontinental while the attack was taking place.

JEROME STARKEY, REPORTER, "THE TIMES": That's right. I crested a nearby hill to get a view of what was going on late last night. And I have to say, as I came over the crest of the hill, I could hear what I thought was helicopters. But as I came over and I got my first glimpse of the hotel, I realized it wasn't in fact helicopters. That was just the sheer weight of machine gun fire coming from this hotel here behind me, red trace of fire arcing into the sky, short bursts of gunfire, followed interspersed by a series of explosions, large explosions, smaller explosions.

Very difficult to work out exactly what was going on. The one thing there was no doubt though, that there was a very fierce gun battle going on in this normally peaceful and fairly luxurious hotel.

COREN: Jerome, tell us about how this attack unfolded. The Taliban has claimed responsibility, but sources believe that they may have taken advantage of some renovations taking place at the hotel. What do you know about that?

STARKEY: Well, NATO officials now believe that, actually, this was carried out by insurgents, an insurgent faction whose leadership is based in neighboring Pakistan, the Haqqani network. It has the hallmarks of this network, which is particular adept at pulling off these complex and audacious attacks.

It's the same group that was believed to have been behind a similar attack in 2008 against the Serena hotel, Kabul's other five-star hotel in downtown Kabul. Police are now investigating the possibility that these insurgents, who do have a fairly sophisticated intelligence network, may have had help on the inside. Not just help from hotel staff, possibly help from workmen working on renovations, possibly, indeed, help from inside the Afghan National Security Forces.

These are always the concerns, that the institutions that are supposed to be protecting people here in Afghanistan may also in fact be in cahoots with the insurgents. Afghan police now believe that up to eight of the attackers who raided this hotel last night crept up through the woods, on the slope underneath the hotel here behind me, so that they could evade the two police checkpoints which guard the only main road in and out of the hotel.

The first attacker detonated a suicide vest in the lobby, causing chaos, carnage, taking a number of casualties, and filling the lobby with smoke. At least five of his accomplices then stormed upstairs, eventually making their way to the roof. The Afghan commandos arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, but it was a very slow process as they tried to move through the building.

There are more than 200 rooms in that hotel. It's more than one building. There's a lot (ph) of staircases, corridors and elevator shafts.

They made their way through the building, but it was only five hours later when a NATO helicopter carrying snipers circled the building and managed to fire onto those gunmen on the roof and kill them that, effectively, the battle was brought to an end. Even then though, the hotel was far from safe. And, in fact, it was only shortly before 8:00 local time here this morning when the final member of this suicide squad detonated his vest.

COREN: Jerome Starkey, a reporter for the British newspaper "The Times."

We certainly appreciate your report. Thank you for that.

Well, it started as a tribute to the hundreds of people who died in Egypt's revolution, but the gathering in Tahrir Square did not stay peaceful. Authorities say they fired tear gas and rubber bullets after so-called thugs attacked the Interior Ministry.

Well, one doctor says at least 52 people have been injured, some quite seriously. At last count, around 2,000 demonstrators remained in Tahrir Square.

Well, protesters have chanted against the country's military rulers who took over after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

Syria's government says it is not targeting protesters, despite reports from activists that hundreds of demonstrators have been killed. Well, a top adviser to President Bashar al-Assad tells our Hala Gorani that armed groups are to blame for the unrest.


BOUTHAINA SHAABAN, SYRIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: We're not targeting demonstrators. I think peaceful demonstrators have made their points, and they're making their points every day. We have no problem with that.

The have legitimate grievances. But I think it is a complex problem. You have peaceful demonstrators, but you have extremists who are using demonstrations as a cover to incite sectarian violence in Syria. This is our biggest challenge at the moment.

Right from the beginning, the president spoke two months ago and said that they have legitimate grievances and there are peaceful demonstrators. But I think we were not reaching the international media. That was our major weakness, really.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But there are peaceful demonstrators. Now you acknowledge it. But they're still being targeted. We're still seeing violence.

Why do security forces continue to target them?

SHAABAN: Well, the security forces are there to -- against the armed groups. They're not there against peaceful demonstrators. And, in fact, last Friday, in many cities, like in Hama and (INAUDIBLE), the security and the police forces were not there at all.

What we are trying to do, to test every possible way that will put an end to violence or will show us where the violence is exactly coming from. We have no problem with peaceful demonstrators. We have no problem with their grievances. And I feel the national dialogue will be addressing all issues that were requested.


COREN: Well, this YouTube video is said to show a large crowd of protesters on Monday in the capital of Damascus. Well, they're said to be chanting, "Bashar, we don't want you!"

CNN cannot authenticate the images.

Well, you're watching NEWS STREAM.

Back in April, Sony said a data breach had potentially compromised millions of its PlayStation accounts. Still ahead, we'll look at the delay between the time the company knew it was hacked and when it informed the public.


COREN: Welcome back to NEWS STREAM.

Well, earlier this week, we told you about an asteroid making a close fly- by of Earth. Well, the International Space Station had an unexpected encounter of its own on Tuesday.

A piece of space debris flew near the station. Well, usually, ISS can get out of the way, but this was spotted too late.

So the six crewmembers sheltered in two Soyuz capsules until they got the all-clear. NASA says it was a near miss.


BILL GERSTENMAIER, ASSOC. ADMINISTRATOR FOR SPACE OPERATIONS: If we kind of backtrack to how close it came to the station, we think it came within about 335 meters of the space station, based on kind of just the best estimate of our trajectory back-calculating. So it was probably the closest object to space station that has actually come by space station.


COREN: Well, this is only the second time that a space station crew has taken shelter in the Soyuz. The first was in March, 2009, when a bit of satellite rocket motor flew close by.

Well, just look at the junk that is floating in low Earth orbit. That's the region of space within 2,000 kilometers above Earth. Well, most of it is above the altitude where the space shuttle and station actually orbit.

Well, the U.S. tracks about 8,000 objects the size of this orange or larger. Sensors cannot currently follow items smaller than this.

Well, about half a million particles are between the size of the fruit and this marble. Well, millions more are even smaller. Keep in mind, these items are whizzing by at about 10 kilometers a second, so if this marble hit you in space, it would be like a bowling ball slamming into you at 520 kilometers an hour.

That's why astronauts wear multiple layers of protection to keep them from getting hurt on spacewalks. NASA says that ISS is the most heavily- shielded spacecraft ever, so it can take the impact of smaller pieces of debris.

Certainly, that is good to know.


COREN: Ahead on NEWS STREAM, a controversial visitor. China welcomes one of the International Criminal Court's most wanted. We'll tell you what Omar al-Bashir is doing in Beijing.

And CNN's "Freedom Project" is back in India. We'll tell you how some former bonded laborers are doing with their newfound freedom.


COREN: I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Well, Afghan president Hamid Karzai is condemning a brazen Taliban attack on a top Kabul hotel. Eight insurgents stormed the intercontinental hotel on Tuesday night in a siege that lasted some six hours. Well, guests describe hearing the crack of gunfire and loud explosions. The Afghan government says all the militants were killed, at least 10 other people also died.

Egypt's interior ministry says 26 police officers were among those wounded during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square late Tuesday and early Wednesday. A doctor says dozens of protesters were also injured. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the demonstrations held to honor protesters killed in Egypt's revolution earlier this year.

Venezuelan state TV has aired a video showing President Hugo Chavez meeting with Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Well, it's the first images we've seen of Chavez since he had emergency surgery in Cuban on June 10. State TV says the video was shot on Tuesday in Havana.

Well, protests have turned violent in Athens for a second straight day. Riot police are firing tear gas into crowds gathered outside parliament. Well, parliament is due to vote soon on a big austerity measure. Well, Greek lawmakers are deciding whether to push through harsh spending cuts and tax increases. It could be their only option to avoid a (inaudible).

Well, he is wanted by the International Criminal Court, but welcome in Beijing. Omar al Bashir, the president of Sudan, is on a four day state visit to China. Jaime Florcruz reports.


JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir gets a red carpet welcome in Beijing, holding talks with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. Their talks focused on oil and politics. China needs to import oil to fuel its rapidly growing economy. It buys over half of Sudan's oil.

China remains a key supporter of al Bashir even though he is a wanted man, the first sitting head of state indicted by the International Criminal Court, the ICC, for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur.

Welcoming al Bashir here, China's critics say, sends the wrong signal that China disregards the injustices committed in Darfur. But China experts say China is pursuing real politik, putting its pragmatic national interests first.

STEPHANIE KLEIN-ALHBRANDT, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: China has an interest in ensuring that its investments in people in Sudan are safe. And China does not see the ICC as any kind of an impediment to this trip, because it considers itself not bound by the ICC to which it's not a member.

FLORCRUZ: China is more concerned about the upcoming north, south political split in Sudan.

KLEIN-ALHBRANDT: The south of Sudan is going to become its own country in less than two weeks, taking with it three-quarters of the oil of the entire country, meaning that the north, Bashir, is going to suffer much less oil revenue.

FLORCRUZ: For al Bashir, that could spell a budget crisis, spiraling inflation, and political uncertainty. China keeps good relations with leaders of the emerging south and with al Bashir in the north, says China's special envoy to Africa. Diplomats here say they want to broker peace.

CUI TIANKAI, CHINA VICE FOREIGN MINISTER: Whatever we are doing now is in that stability and peace in the region and this is a very important moment, because we have the south going independent very soon. So we're hoping the transition will be peaceful and the region will maintain stability.

FLORCRUZ: Al Bashir, meanwhile, will have to keep one step ahead of the International Criminal Court to elude its warrant of arrest.

Jaime Florcruz, CNN, Beijing.


COREN: Well all this year CNN is using its global resources to shine a spotlight on modern-day slavery and give its victims a voice. Well, on Tuesday here on News Stream, we introduce you to workers free from bonded labor at a brick kiln in Chennai, India. We heard how they were beaten with rods and belts before they were rescued by police officials and human rights group, the international justice mission.

Well, now the laborers are home with a certificate of freedom and a 1,000 rupees, or about $25. It's a first payment from a rehabilitation fund set up by the Indian government. Well still, as Mallika Kapur found out, the future is far from certain for the freed workers.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Listen to my sorrow, he sings, take my pain away. It's the song of hope, these the faces of freedom.

They're part of a group of more than 500 men, women and children who were recently rescued by the government. They've spent six months working in a private brick kiln as bonded laborers, a system under which people pay back a loan or a cash advance with labor, not money.

As their story slowly pour out, it's clear the scars, physical and emotional, are still raw.

"It was like being in prison," says 20 year old Dambru. "It was a dog's life," he adds.

Dambru lives in Orissa, one of the poorest states in India. With few industries, there are hardly any jobs here. Temperatures go up to nearly 50 degrees Celsius in the summer, which means villagers can only work in the fields during a brief rainy spell each year. The rest of the time they have to travel to other parts of the country to find jobs and earn money.

More than 30 million people in India are seasonal migrant laborers, many of them come from Orissa.

"One man a middleman came here," says Surubi (ph). "He gave us each 10,000 rupees and said come with me, I'll get you a job. You'll be well looked after."

She was lured by the cash advance, amounting to about $200, and which meant her family could pay off an earlier debt. So Surubi (ph), her husband and three children decided to go. She tells us they were totally unprepared for what lay ahead, six months of violent oppression working for a private brick kiln in southern India.

"We worked day and night," she says. "We only stopped at meal times. If we paused for a break, they'd abuse us."

Thought 12 year old Fabi (ph) didn't receive a cash advance, she too was made to work.

"There was little time to sleep," she says. "And there wasn't enough food. I used to feel hungry."

Fabi (ph) is now back at school in 5th grade. She's happy to be home.

Each one of these rescued workers, including Tamcur (ph), had a story of abuse, of little food, pay, or sleep.

I asked him if he ever tried to run away.

"No, I didn't try," he says. "I was too scared."

You were scared? Why?

"People who tried to run away were caught and were beaten badly with belts and sticks," he says. "Plus, we were followed all the time, even when we went to the toilet in the field."

At the brick kiln, hundreds of miles away, the pay was far from what was promised. The middle man who organized the job said they'd get paid 150 rupees, about $3, for every 1,000 bricks they made. They only got 40 rupees, less than a dollar, for every 1,000 bricks. Sometimes not even that.

We were told about the middle man, but we were unable to locate him and ask him about these allegations.

"Yes, this is his home," said this man. "But I don't know where he is."

Do you know what he does? I ask.

"Yes. He runs a labor business."

The group that helps the government rescue the laborers, the International Justice Mission, is now running a rehabilitation program for them.

SAJU MATHEW, INTERNATIONAL JUSTIC MISSION: If we don't give them the tools to know how to identify when a bonded labor trap is presented, then they could easily fall into the situation again.

So the very first thing that's part of our rehabilitation work is making sure that they are educated and they know what this looks like and so that they are aware of this kind of manipulation and tactics that might try to prey on their poverty, or their desperate situation.

KAPUR: Currently, the laborers are living off the 1,000 rupees the government gave each one when they were rescued, that's less than $25 per person. It won't last very long.

PRANITHA TIMOTHY, DIR. AFTERCARE, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION: They're very happy to be back even though they don't have jobs right now, the freedom they have they're enjoying it, they're very happy about that. But they're worried about employment.

KAPUR: These two men are still looking for work. They go to a neighboring town and wait at the marketplace, an unofficial meeting point for those wanting jobs and those wanting to hire people. They wait. No luck. They'll go home without work and without money. They'll try again tomorrow.

"If we don't find work here, we'll go to the city," they say. "But we won't go through a middle man. Next time, we'll go on our own."

"Now that we are free," they tell us, "we want to remain free."

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Bartunda in Orissa State, central India.


COREN: Well, in their latest trafficking in persons report, the U.S. State Department noted the Indian government's progress in fighting human trafficking. In the raid on the brick kiln we showed you, Indian authorities brought in the International Justice Mission to help.

Well, Gary Haugen is that organization's president and CEO. He thinks that kind of cooperation is key to ending modern-day slavery.


GARY HAUGEN, PRESDIENT, CEO, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION: Well, that's what's extraordinary here is this partnership. Instead of an idea that the local authorities don't want to do anything or that they're all corrupt or that they don't have these capacities, India is a country that is actually moving into the future with great strength. And this is a picture of a new generation of Indian government authorities also addressing some of the problems that exist in their community.


COREN: Well, you can hear more of that interview with Gary Haugen from the International Justice Mission in two-and-a-half hours' time. Well, all this week Jim Clancy is giving you the brief on the CNN Freedom Project, that's at 11:00 pm here in Hong Kong, 4:00 pm in London.

Well, back in April a cyber-attack may have left millions of Sony users open to identify theft, but did the company wait too long to tell customers about the security breach? That story just ahead on News Stream.


COREN: Welcome back to News Stream. We are looking at live pictures from inside the Greek parliament where the voting process is taking place on those tough austerity measures.

Let's take a listen now to the voting underway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makrapias Andreas (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yanaka Sophia (ph)


UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Cornopish Panayotis (ph)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sanamas Marioush (ph)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thomas Dmitrious (ph)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Caramounish Postadinoush (ph)

COREN: The voting is obviously taking place in Greece. So we will know in some time now what the tally is. It may be a little while before we know these final count. But if we look outside at the protesters that are milling around, they have been quite violent earlier in the day, but as you can see they are standing around quite peacefully listening to the vote that is taking place inside parliament.

But we saw those wild scenes a little earlier in the day, protesters clashing with police. Police obviously firing tear gas, I should say, and quite a large amount of it according to our Richard Quest who is live there in Athens. We will try and get to Richard a little later in the program

But as you can see, we are monitoring both the situation inside the parliament where this voting process is taking place, and also outside where the protesters are listening in. We'll have much more when we know more about the voting count.

Well, moving on to other news, now Google is taking another try at social networking in its latest faceoff with Facebook. The search giant has announced a new service called Google+. Well, it's a whole suite of services designed to change the way we share information online.

Well, let's focus on just two of the apps, starting with circles. Well, it's essentially a way to manage your friend list. Instead of one giant pool of friends that include everyone from your grandmother to your boss, you can group friends in social circles like family or colleagues.

Well, another app is called Sparks. And while Circles is about sharing information with your friends, Sparks shares information from people who have the same interests as you. So just say you're interested in dogs, well Sparks will send you links to stories, videos, and pictures that other dog lovers are sharing online.

Well, this isn't the first time Google has tried to go social, but its previous forays into social networking haven't exactly been successful. Do you remember Orkut? Let's swipe across here. No? Well, you're forgiven.

It was launched in 2004, but quickly faded away except in Brazil where it amassed a big market share.

Well, then in 2009 came Buzz where Google tried to integrate some features of Facebook and Twitter in Gmail, but the product had some serious privacy concerns. Well those glitches sparked the wrong kind of buzz about how much personal information Google held about its users.

Well, as for Google+, if you want to try it you'll have to wait. It is by invitation only for now.

Well, months after massive attack on the Sony Playstation Network, millions of Sony's customers are still living with the possibility that their identifies may have been stolen. Well, could Sony have done more to inform its customers and done it more quickly? Well, CNN's Kyung Lah reports that a document suggests the company knew about the security breach, but waited to reveal it to the public.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Consumer rage against Sony was swift and vocal. Sony says hackers may have compromised 77 million customer user names, passwords and most importantly the credit card numbers of its customers. What infuriated CNN iReporter Ome Congo (ph) the most? A perceived delay by Sony to publicly explain the hack had even happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We who are using Playstation 3, we are furious and we are going to bring nothing but more drama.


LAH: But now a Sony document, filed with Japan's government and obtained by CNN, shows Sony was aware of the scope of the breach days before revealing it to the public.

April 19, the government document shows Sony discovered that unplanned operations were running on the network. The next day, Sony shut down its network. Users could not log on, but did not know why.

April 23, Sony was able to, quote, confirm an intruder obtained illegal access and for the first time realized the intruder was a hacker.

It wasn't until two days later that Sony says it was able to, quote, confirm stolen personal information, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth, passwords and network IDs.

Sony wasn't sure if credit card information was breached. And it couldn't identify exactly whose information was stolen.

April 26, the first time Sony reported the security breach to Japan's government.

April 27, two days after they knew a lot of information was taken, Sony began e-mailing customers and posted on its web site that accounts had been compromised.

On May 1, Sony held its first news conference. Sony executive Kazuo Hirai downplayed the attack, only calling it, quote, "a possibility."

KAZUO HIRA, SONY EXECUTIVE DEPUTY PRESIDENT (through translator): As for the personal information that might have been taken, we are still talking about a possibility. We are still investigating exactly what data and to what extent it was taken.

LAH: Now, eight weeks later, Sony will still not speak to CNN on camera. But in the statement e-mailed to CNN, Sony says "we believe we have notified the public promptly after reporting it to the government." Sony says in the government document that it was concerned that releasing information before it was fully analyzed would confuse the consumer.

MOHAN KOO, DYTEX SYSTEMS: The right people -- people who could possibly be affected by those threats need to be notified immediately so that they can take steps to protect their own identities.

LAH: Internet security expert Mohan Koo has no direct knowledge of Sony's internal breach, but he believes Sony's public delay should concern consumers.

KOO: We're not just talking about the importance of financial data, anybody's personal data and any small amount of personal data, is valuable on the black market.

LAH: Security experts say increasingly it's a game of cat and mouse -- your information versus the hacker's and companies standing in the middle. No organization can protect itself 100 percent, but consumers are not helpless. Before sharing your information, consider the stakes. What would happen if the thief could read what you're typing.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


COREN: Well, there's been heightened concern about online security since the Sony hack attack. Electronic security experts have some simple guidelines that you can use to protect your information in cyberspace. Well one, do not use the same password for multiple accounts, especially your personal e-mail accounts.

Two, when shopping online, use a credit card. Do not use a debit card, because that's directly linked to your bank account.

And three, ask yourself before typing what would I lose if a hacker got this information?

Well, security experts say considering these three steps will go a long way toward protecting your identify online.

Well many have tried to fill his shows, many have not succeeded. Has Chelsea Football Club finally found the news special one with their latest Portuguese hire? Sport, with our own Portuguese star, that's coming up next.


COREN: Well, the new Chelsea manager met the English press for the first time on Wednesday. Our Pedro Pinto joins us from London with all the details.

Hello, Pedro.


I'm not the special one. Andre Villas-Boas rejected comparisons with his former mentor Jose Mourinho as he talked to the media at Stanford Bridge on Wednesday morning. The 33 year old was official unveiled at Chelsea's stadium before talking for the first time publicly about his plans for the future.

Villas Boas won four trophies with FC Porto in his first full season in management. He says he now hopes to win some silverware as soon as possible with the Blues.

There's a lot of pressure on a man who cost Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich $21.5 million.


ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS, CHELSEA FC MANAGER: The contract is a three year contract. I mean, the expectations of the club, you know, are to the maximum. There's no doubt about it that we have a compromise with a certain amount of trophies. I mean, that's the challenges that we face on a day by day not only in the football business, but in any business everybody wants to strive to be the best and to win something and to be successful and just -- I'm just one gear in this -- in this big club that wants to be successful every year.


PINTO: No doubt Villas-Boas will surely start looking and bringing in some players. Chelsea's rivals, Manchester United, have already brought up their summer spending to 50 million pounds, or $80 million. On Wednesday, the reigning Premier League champions sealed the signing of goalkeeper David de Gea from Atletico Madrid. The 20 year old put pen to paper on a five year contract. And the transfer fee paid is reportedly worth $29 million.

De Gea, who just won the European under 21 championship with Spain, joins defender Phil Jones and winger Ashley Young as the other United buys this month. He was signed to replace 40 year old Edwin Vand Der Sar who retired at the end of last season.

Just before we go, a quick update from Wimbledon. The men's quarter finals are underway. On Centre Court Roger Federer won the first set against Joe Wilfred Tsonga 6-3. And on Court 1, I can tell you that Novak Djokavic is a set up against Australian Bernard Tomic.

Anna, back to you.

COREN: OK. Good to see you, Pedro. Thank you for that.

Well, that is News Stream, but the news continues here at CNN. We'll have the result of the Greek austerity vote on World Business Today coming up. A vote watched by thousands outside parliament. You're looking at live pictures here on CNN.