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NEWS STREAM

Rioting in the U.K. Subsides; Syria Crackdown; Market Volatility

Aired August 11, 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.

The British prime minister faces questions from lawmakers about the police handling of days of unrest across the U.K.

And the desperate situation in Somalia only gets worse, as we see a hospital struggling without electricity, water, and with dwindling supplies.

In the U.K., a heavy police presence and heavy rain in places appear to have calmed the situation for now. After days of rioting (AUDIO GAP) authorities use any means to prevent fresh outbreaks of violence. But the damage has already been done, with much of the country resembling a war zone and retailers an estimated $160 million out of pocket.

Well, lawmakers were called back from their summer recess to respond to the crisis. And earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed parliament.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Responsibility for crime always lies with the criminal. These people were all volunteers. They didn't have to do what they did, and they must suffer the consequences. But crime has a context, and we must not shy away from it.

I said before that there is a major problem in our society, with children growing up not knowing the difference between right and wrong. This is not about poverty, it is about culture, a culture that glorifies violence, that shows disrespect to authority, and that says everything about rights, but nothing about responsibilities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Well, our Max Foster is outside the House of Parliament and joins us now.

Max, that debate is still continuing. Perhaps bring us up to speed as to what's been going on.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting. You just heard there saying this is nothing about poverty, it's about culture. And actually, later on, when David Cameron was answering some more questions, he said he refused to recognize this link between the economy and crime. And that's a highly controversial view in many quarters of London.

The people that are monitoring the situation, they say it is about poverty. It's about young people without prospects who can't get jobs.

But he did say that this is a society problem. He talked about parenting, he talked about education. But at the heart of it, he said, the heart of the violence, it was gang culture, young men, he said, from backgrounds which weren't steady.

He talked about a problem of gang culture. He's talked about meeting executives from the police forces in Los Angeles and in New York to try to address this problem with gang culture.

And then he talked about a few solutions to the problem, one of which was giving police greater powers in asking people to uncover their faces, which is going to cause a few problems with human rights groups here. But he's certainly showing that he's being very, very tough.

He said the police came close to using baton rounds. He said that they can use water cannons if needed. And this is an ongoing operation. It's not over yet. And we'll see what happens going into the weekend.

COREN: Max, we know that social media was key to organizing these riots. That is something that Prime Minister David Cameron certainly mentioned while addressing parliament.

How does he plan to stop the use of this during scenes like riots as we have witnessed over the past few days?

FOSTER: Well, it has been a problem, because these weren't organized protests. There wasn't a leader saying this is what we're going to do. But they were organized in the sense that people were communicating with each other across social media.

And it was Facebook, Twitter, but also BlackBerry Messenger, which is invisible to many people in the authority. So that was a frustration, too.

Certainly, he talked about clamping down, effectively policing social media. Here's what he said, but it's a tough thing to achieve.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAMERON: Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized by social media. Free flow of information can be used for good, but it can also be used for ill. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services, and industry, to look at whether it will be right to stop people communicating via these Web sites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: It won't surprise you, Anna, that Twitter is full of comments about this. They say it's absolutely impossible to police. But I know there's a new London boss at Twitter. Expect to see him on Downing Street soon.

COREN: All right.

Max Foster, outside parliament.

We certainly appreciate that. Thank you.

Well, it does look more like a scene from the blitz, but this is 21st century London. It all started in Tottenham, in north London, some five days ago. But since then, it has spread across the capital, from Enfield, in the north; to Croydon, in the south; Ealing in the west; and Barking in the east.

Well, on Tuesday, as the police presence was more than doubled to 16,000 officers on the streets, an uneasy calm settled over a shocked city. But, by then, violence had sparked up across England from the usually sedate Gloucester, in the west, to nearby Bristol.

Well, copycat violence, looting and arson, ripped through the city. Police and firefighters worked all hours as they battled to wrestle control back from groups of rampaging youths.

Well, meanwhile, in Birmingham, Britain's second city, it was a similar story, as hooligans ripped through town, ransacking stores and burning buildings and cars, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. And it was the same situation in Liverpool and Manchester, in the northwest.

In Manchester, youths faced off against police. Shops were set alight and properties damaged as police experienced what they said was an unprecedented level of violence against them.

As you can see from the map, although it may have started in London, seemingly, in response to the death of Mark Duggan, in just a matter of days violent riots spread across much of the country.

Well, now as London has started to take stock and surveil the city before them, anger is certainly building, not against police, but towards those who ran amuck, trashing everything before them.

With more on that, our Atika Shubert joins us from London.

Atika, you have been spending time with people whose homes have been burgled, shops vandalized. How are they feeling in the aftermath?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're absolutely devastated and very angry, and they want to make sure that somebody pays for all of the damage that has been done. But it's interesting, because different communities have different ways of dealing with it. But all of them want to do the same thing. They basically want to reclaim the streets.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT (voice-over): Pauline Pierce (ph) became the voice of London when she faced down looters with this defiant speech that went viral on YouTube, with thousands of hits.

PAULINE PIERCE (ph), RESIDENT: This is about (EXPLETIVE DELETED) who got shot in Tottenham. This isn't about having fun and busting up the place. Get real, black people! Get real!

SHUBERT: London is fighting back. As this video from "The Guardian" newspaper shows, the Turkish community managed to scare off dozens of would-be looters before the police showed up in their neighborhood. Young Sikhs stood guard outside their temple in west London. And in the north of the city, angry local residents chased after any suspected looter. Anger that verged on mob violence.

Riot police faced off not with looters, but local residents.

STEVE KAVANAGH, DEP. ASST. COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: My officers need to focus on rioters and looters, not those vigilantes. The ones that help us are the community representatives who go and speak to people from their community and get them away and get them home, not people who threaten violence on anyone coming into their community.

SHUBERT (on camera): Londoners may want to reclaim the streets, but police are warning them not to go vigilante. Instead, they say locals can help by going online.

(voice-over): London police have set up a Flickr page with photos of looting suspects, appealing to the public for help identifying them. That has inspired netizens to set up their own pages like Catch A Looter, also using hashtags to out Twitter users that have admitted to looting.

Others are using social media to get the city back on its feet. Riot cleanup is organizing neighbors and equipping them with brooms in the hope community solidarity will speed recovery and keep the violence at bay.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: You know, you saw there with Detective Kavanagh saying he wants to see community leaders calming tensions down. And one of the best examples of that actually came from Birmingham with Tarik Jahan (ph). His son was actually killed as he was standing guard in his community, killed by people who ran him over with a car.

Now, this could have been a very tense situation that was enflamed further, but he basically said, "I've lost a son. I don't want to see anybody else lose theirs. Calm down and go home."

And that immediately diffused the situation. And that's the kind of thing police say they want to see more of.

COREN: Yes, it certainly was an amazing scene, wasn't it, Atika? A voice of reason, despite all the pain that he must be going through.

Atika Shubert, in London.

Thank you very much for that.

Well, the added strain on police forces in the U.K. is having an impact on sports, as the English Premier League is postponing Saturday's match between Tottenham and Everton. The Premier League kicks off the new season this weekend, and there's no word on whether any other matches will be affected.

Coming up on NEWS STREAM, international pressure weighs on Syria as the U.S. imposes a new set of sanctions.

And time and aid is running out for Somalia. We look at how far and wide the famine has spread.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: International pressure on Syria is growing. The U.S. has slapped new sanctions on the country's biggest mobile phone operator, as well as a Syrian bank and its Lebanese affiliate.

Well, on Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council reaffirmed its strong condemnation of the government's bloody crackdown on civilians. Syria's ambassador to the U.N. called it hypocrisy, while drawing comparisons between the U.K. riots and Syria's uprising.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASHAR JA'AFARI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: It's very indicative and informative to hear the prime minister of England describing the riots and the rioters in England as -- by using the term "gangs," while they don't allow us to use the same term for the armed groups and the terrorist groups in my country. This is hypocrisy. This is arrogance. What happened in London, Birmingham, Bristol is only one percent, maybe, of what happened in some restive areas in my country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Well, Britain's deputy ambassador to the U.N. was quick to fire back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILIP PARHAM, BRITISH DEP. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: In the United Kingdom, you have a situation where the government is taking measured, proportionate, legal, transparent steps to ensure the rule of law for its citizens. In Syria, you have a situation where thousands of unarmed civilians are being attacked and many of them killed. That comparison made by the Syrian ambassador is ludicrous.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: While that was happening at the U.N., Syrian state TV said army tanks were pulling out of Hama. Well, they reportedly were moving into other parts of the country.

Residents in the northwestern city of Saraqib say they heard heavy gunfire Thursday, and troops were banging down shop doors in search of opposition leaders. Activists tell us at least 70 people have been arrested there so far. We're also hearing reports of more military crackdowns in Idlib as well, near the Turkish border.

Well, CNN cannot independently confirm these reports since we are no longer allowed inside Syria, but our Arwa Damon is following events closely from Beirut in Lebanon.

Arwa, what are you hearing?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, that new offensive, this new military front, appears to have been opened in Saraqib. It is actually in Idlib province.

There had been reports of a heavy military buildup taking place in various villages there, especially those that are along the Turkish border. And if you'll remember, Idlib is also where Jisr al-Shughour is located. That was the scene of an intense military crackdown by the Syrian forces that sent thousands of refugees across the border to Turkey. And so, it most certainly seems as if, on the one hand, the Syrian military may be at least pulling its tanks outside of areas like Hama, but the crackdown is continuing elsewhere.

Overnight, in Homs, for example, at least 17 people were reported to have been killed. And there's also been dramatic video that has emerged from a Damascus suburb, the suburb of Suqba (ph), that appears to show Syrian security forces firing at demonstrators as well. And we also have these new sanctions that have been slapped on by the United States, especially those targeting Syria's largest mobile company, as well as Syrian banks and their Lebanese branches.

But in terms of this actually having an impact on trying to divert the current course that the government is on, that course of military action, that's not likely to have much of an impact at this stage, given that the U.S. and Syria don't really have that many interests. The idea behind trying to impose these kinds of sanctions would be to force the Syrian government's coffers dry so that it could no longer be able to (AUDIO GAP). U.S. sanctions cannot achieve that on their own, of course, but the hope would be that other countries would also be encouraged to put their own sanctions in place as well.

COREN: Arwa, you talk about these sanctions, and I think on a daily basis we've been speaking about the growing international condemnation. But if President Bashar al-Assad is not listening, I mean, what is the alternative? What is the international community to do?

DAMON: And that's the big question, not just what is the international community going to do, but what is it actually willing to do? That sound bite that you were playing earlier from the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations I think is a very clear indication of the Syrian government's stance.

It is a stance of defiance. It is a stance where the Syrian government appears to feel as if most of the world is against it, and unfairly against it. But the Syrian government also still remains in a relatively powerful position, because it still has a close alliance with a regional powerhouse, and that is Iran.

The Syrian security forces, though there have been some defections, they're still, by and large, fighting for the regime to a certain degree. And Syria's business community has yet to stand up against this government.

So, while we are hearing increasing calls of condemnation from international and regional players, those are going to need to translate into stronger, more powerful economic sanctions that are going to force the Syrian government to basically run out of money, be unable to finance this type of a crackdown. Because at this stage, also, the Syrians know that military intervention is not an option that is on the table -- Anna.

COREN: Arwa Damon, in Beirut.

Thank you for that update.

Well, the situation on global stock markets remains highly volatile. Wall Street is now expected to open lower when trading begins in about an hour's time.

European stocks rebounded earlier today, but then lost momentum. Major markets there are lower right now, as you can see.

Well, concern about Europe also brought uncertainty to Asian markets, staying Thursday mostly lower. But one standout was China. Media reports say a national pension fund invested hundreds of millions of dollars in stocks, and that pushed the Shanghai Composite higher.

WORLD BUSINESS TODAY'S Andrew Stevens is here to make sense of all of this -- Andrew.

ANDREW STEVENS, "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY": I don't know if we can make sense of this at the moment.

COREN: More volatility.

STEVENS: Yes, the volatility is the name at the moment. Underpinning that volatility, though, is some very real fears, obviously.

Just very quickly on that Shanghai, the buy from pension funds, we're seeing that more and more in Asia. Korea's done it. Taiwan has done it. Now the authorities in China are doing it. So, government is now stepping in to try to underpin their stock markets.

But, Anna, I want to take it back to Europe, first of all, because this is really seen now as the leading edge to all this at the moment. And if you zero in, in Europe, you zero in on France and the French banks.

So have a look at France. It's down, as you say, 3.7 percent. It was up 3 percent at one stage today.

And take Societe Generale. It has been on an absolute mad roller-coaster. It was down at one stage yesterday 23 percent because the rumors were in the market that France would lose its AAA rating. It finished down by 15 percent.

It opened up today up around about 9 percent at its height. It's now down about 8 percent. It just gives you an idea, this is the rumors that are driving the volatility of the markets.

And what are investors are seeing is Europe turning south. So the S&P is now weaker, the futures to the U.S. markets today. So what we're getting is this sort of knock-on effect that's being led by the French banks at the moment. It doesn't look good for the U.S. at the moment.

COREN: As you said, those credit rating agencies, they knocked those rumors on the head. But there is concern, isn't there, about the financial stability of France? You know, Europe's second largest economy.

STEVENS: Well, absolutely. I mean, it's all to do with debt. And France does have a very big debt. It's about 19 (ph) percent of GDP, which puts it sort of on par with the U.S.

So, yes, there is that concern. And the concern of France particularly is, because you have this contagion effect in these peripheral economies we talk about, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, et cetera, et cetera, which are being propped up by core Europe, Germany, France, core Europe is being seen as having to fork out hundreds of billions of dollars more, or euros more, to keep the whole eurozone financial system going.

France has already got deep debts anyway. It will have to start spending more money to help a broader Europe. So it doesn't look good for France.

Having said that, as you point out, all three of the credit rating agencies said, yes, France is AAA rated, it's not even on a negative watch. So they're quite comfortable with it at the moment. But if you look at the market reaction, the markets are sensing this is not going to last.

COREN: It's amazing what rumor can do.

STEVENS: Oh, in this hyper -- sort of hyper-kinetic world where you've got massive movements of stocks as well. I mean, it's sort of the high- performance trading. So you get sort of hundreds of billions of dollars of stocks being bought and sold, virtually in minutes. So that's you're problem as well. It's just so fast at the moment.

COREN: Hence the seesaw that we're seeing throughout the day.

Andrew Stevens, as always, great to see you.

And you can see more of Andrew Stevens --

STEVENS: "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY."

COREN: -- "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY," top of the hour.

Thank you very much.

STEVENS: Thanks, Anna.

COREN: Well, ahead on NEWS STREAM, a population in peril. The United Nations says nearly half of Somalia's population is facing starvation. We'll have a full update on the growing humanitarian crisis there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: There, as we look across Victoria Harbour, it certainly was a beautiful day here today. But there has been heavy rain and flooding in parts of South Asia.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COREN: Well, ahead on NEWS STREAM, we continue our focus on the food crisis in Somalia. The situation is desperate and growing worse. We'll have an update on the millions of people affected in the Horn of Africa.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

In the UK after four days of violent riots there appears to be relative calm. A huge police presence has helped slow some of the worst rioting the country had seen for a generation. An emergency session of parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron said good progress has been made in restoring order.

We're two days away from the start of the Premier League football season, but with scenes like this in Tottenham North London that have led to the Spurs match against Everton being postponed. It's unclear whether more games will fall victim to the rioting.

The United States is turning up the heat on Damascus over its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters. It's imposing sanctions on Syria's largest mobile phone operator and a Syrian bank. But the government shows no signs of backing down. Now Syrian rights groups say a further 22 people were killed in the country on Wednesday.

Two attacks jolted the volatile Pakistani city of Peshawar on Thursday. A bomb exploded as a police truck passed by killing five officers and a child. Well, minutes later police say a teenage suicide bomber blew herself up at a police checkpoint killing a passer by and wounding three others.

With each passing day the food crisis in Somalia gets worse. The UN says nearly 4 million Somalis are facing starvation well that's nearly half the country's population. Well, the UN initially declared famine in two parts of Somalia, the Bakool and Lower Shabell regions, but that's grown to include these three new areas including the capital of Mogadishu.

By the UN's own definition that means at least 20 percent of the population in those areas are facing extreme food shortages. But the problem is even greater than that, the region is suffering its worst drought in 60 years affecting not just Somalia, but Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda. Well, all together, 12 million people are in desperate need of help.

Well, hospitals are overwhelmed with the sheer number of people needing help and the strain is taking its toll. Our Nima Elbagir reports from Mogadishu.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hamid and Delroeha (ph) has been sitting on their sons hospital bed for the last two hours. Next to them, the 1 year old lies wrapped in a shroud. He died this morning, but the family doesn't have enough money to bury him yet. They spent all they had on transport getting their starving children to this hospital. Their two other children died on the road here.

Banadiir Hospital in Mogadishu houses Somalia's largest children's ward. The doctors here do what they can, but there's no electricity, no running water, they're even running out of the saline drips used to rehydrate the chronically malnourished. Dr. Luwal Mohammed, the doctor in charge here, says it's easy to list what they do have in the hospital rather than what they don't.

DR. LUWAL MOHAMMED, CHIEF OF MEDICAL STAFF, BANADIIR HOSPITAL: Supplies and equipment, essential equipment. This for life saving like oxygen machines, monitoring blood pressure, measurement (inaudible), all this are missing, they're (inaudible) now because it's life saving.

ELBAGIR: It's not just the hospitals that are struggling, the withdrawal of al-Shabbab militants from the capital has given more Somalis the courage to defy them and their battle foreign aid, to seek refuge in government help areas.

The flood of displaced people is threatening to overwhelm what little resources aid workers here have.

This children's feeding center is run by (inaudible), a local aid group. Last month across their 19 feeding centers they fed 18,000 children. This month, as more and more people flood in, they're expecting to see 25,000 children. But even as the number of those in need grows, the resources to help them do not.

This is a World Food Program supported distribution center. It's where mothers can bring their children here to be weighed, where they can receive some support to stave off malnutrition. There is some aid coming into Somalia. There really isn't enough to deal with the sheer enormity of the crisis here.

The United Nations is now desperately trying to convince donors to give more. The UN secretary-general has even been putting in personal calls to the heads of state of wealthy nations. But they admit the inevitable, that while the Somalis wait, more areas here will slip into famine and more children will die.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Mogadishu.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, the UN says $2.5 billion is needed in aid for the region. Governments around the world have contributed a little $1 billion. Every bit counts.

Well, here's how you can help, just go to CNN.com/impact and there you will find lists of organizations and ways you can contribute to combat the food crisis in the horn of Africa.

Well, in Mexico a new drug gang has named itself the Knights Templar after the 12th Century religious group of Christian warriors. CNN's Raphael Romo reports on the dilemmas the revival of this ancient name is leading to.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAPHAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're accused of being members of Mexico's newest criminal drug trafficking operation, using an arsenal of hand grenades and high caliber weapons, police say, to attack and execute their enemies. The group calls itself the Knights Templar, a name taken from Medieval Christian warriors who swore to protect Jerusalem and the Holy Grail with their lives.

Coinciding with a spate of recent high profile drug gangster arrests, the emergence of this criminal cartel is especially worrisome to another group in Mexico with the same name. But this Knights Templar is a Christian charity whose mission is to help the poor.

Roberto Molinari, prior of the Order of the Knights Templar in Mexico says his group doesn't have anything to do with violence or drug trafficking.

ROBERTO MOLINARI, PRIOR, MEXICO KNIGHTS TEMPLAR (through translator): We work on social causes, helping people in need, and of course trying to preserve our traditions. Violence doesn't go well with us. And I think that's clearly defined.

ROMO: The Mexican drug cartel is not the only one that has used the legendary name for criminal purposes. Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who admitted killing 76 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in July claimed in a manifesto to represent a modern day Knights Templar. The Mexican drug cartel claims its members live by a religious code, but Molinari says the code they follow is anything but religious.

MOLINARI (through translator): We have to make something very clear, we are the heirs of a historical tradition that is real and documented and they took the name to justify themselves and their actions. These are two very different things.

ROMO: Images of the original Knights Templar still abound in European churches and Cathedrals like these in London. But experts say the group is long gone.

MICHAEL WALSH, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Well if you put your -- point your browser, as they say, at the word Templar, you'll get all sorts of curious organizations which are claiming the title, most of them sort of right-wing Catholics. But no, there's no survival whatsoever. A lot of them, in France anyway, were put to death.

ROMO: The charity group has asked its members throughout Mexico to avoid trips to the state of Michoacan where the criminal organization is based. These knights say they're afraid for their safety and feel forced to explain who they are every time they begin a new charitable project.

Raphael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, you might recognize this, it's China's first ever air craft carrier. After spending nearly a decade refurbishing the former Soviet Union ship it launched for trials for the first time on Wednesday. Now in a not so subtle move, at the same time, Taiwan is unveiling this. That's right, it's hailing it at its most advanced missile and as a, wait for it, air craft carrier killer. Well, Taiwan unveiled the Brave Wind III at a defense exhibition preview.

But now take a look at this and what is over here in the background. It's a giant billboard of an air craft carrier that looks remarkably similar to China's new one.

Now, relations have long been complicated between the two nations. And I think it's fair to say that this will add another unsettling element.

We'll have a complete sports update after the break as the final golf major of the season starts in just a few hours time. Our Pedro Pinto will be here for a preview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, work stoppages seem to be a trend this summer in various sports. The NFL was on strike, the NBA is on strike, and now the Spanish football league players could go on strike.

With more on that, let's go to our Pedro Pinto in London. Pedro, no one wants to work.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of issues are going on right now, Anna. A press conference was held in Madrid earlier today with a union of Spanish footballers announcing that they would go on strike for the first two weeks of the season if a new collective bargaining agreement was not signed with the league.

Around 300 players from Spain's top two divisions are owed large amounts of money in salaries and bonuses. Many clubs are in serious financial trouble and just can't afford to pay up. Players have said that unless the cash owed to them is paid, they will not play. There has been no reaction from league officials just yet.

Here in England, the rioting and looting over the last few days has led to the cancellation of this weekend's Premier League match between Tottenham and Everton that was supposed to take place on Saturday at White Hart Lane. North London has been amongst the areas most affected by the violence and police told the clubs they could not guarantee the safety of supporters there.

No word on other matches just yet. Let's take a look at some of the games that are taking place in some of the troubled areas. The Premier League could announce further postponements later on Friday.

Now Manchester United are scheduled to kick off the new season on Sunday with a match against West Brom. Expectations are high at Old Tratford as usual. And the club aims to win a 20th league title.

Captain Nemanja Vidic told me recently he's confident they can win the trophy again. He also talked about his reputation as a tough defender.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEMANJA VIDIC, MANCHEST UNITED CAPTAIN: Playing the football, most important to -- you want fans to love you, you know, because you play football for the fans. And when they sing you the song when you're in the game you feel really excited and you doing even more than you can. But...

PINTO: Do you think you're tough?

VIDIC: I don't know. I don't know. I'll let other players to talk about it, but...

PINTO: Do you think other guys are a little bit intimidated?

VIDIC: The song helps at least.

PINTO: Do you think other players are intimidated when they come up against you?

VIDIC: I think I learn in England if you want to play you have to be tough, especially a defender, you know, because the league is really tough, strong, physical. And I have to say in the beginning when I came I was -- I have really hard time, like I said, because of these things. It's so physical and I tried to prepare myself for the years coming, work so much (inaudible) and all this now I have some benefits from that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINTO: And that is an excerpt of a full interview you can watch on World Sport in around three hours time.

Now if you're a golf fan, you must be pretty excited right now as the final golf major of the season has teed off in Atlanta, Georgia. With so many players harboring title hopes, it's nearly impossible to predict a winner. CNN's Shane O'Donohue now takes a look at the main contenders.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHANE O'DONOHUE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: For most of the past 15 years, professional golf has been the most predictable of sports. It's much easier to predict when the same guy is winning almost a quarter of the major titles. But in the last year-and-a-half, consistency has given way to chaos.

Six different champions in the last six majors, all first-time major winners. And even when you think that the new normal is young players winning, along comes 42 year old Darren Clarke to throw things into more disarray.

DARREN CLARKE, GOLFER: Tiger was the best there for a very long time. And he raised the bar in terms of what everybody did in everybody else's preparation and the way they went about tournaments. So in one way it's good.

RORY MCILROY, GOLFER: At this point in time it seems that people are, you know, are breaking through and winning majors. And I think it's great for the game of golf, I really do.

ADAM SCOTT, GOLFER: What we've seen this year have been a lot of great stories and you know with some really high quality young players who are living up to their potential quickly.

CHARL SCHWARTZEL, GOLFER: There's a good bunch of youngsters coming through. And it's almost a new generation you could say. And that's healthy for golf.

LEE WESTWOOD, GOLFER: I think it's exciting when there's lots of different winners. And I think it's exciting when there's a dominant player. You can't say that when Tiger was winning lots of majors it was boring, it was dull, you know. It was, you know, exciting to watch, exciting to see what he'd do next.

O'DONOHUE: If one were a betting man, perhaps the big money should be on Lee Westwood this week. He fits a number of categories in that he's never won a major, and perhaps more importantly his agent is Chubby Chandler, the same man who represents Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy and Clarke, leaving him one step away from having his clients hold all four major titles at once in what some have called the Chubby Slam.

WESTWOOD: Obviously I was pleased for them to see them win major championships, but you know, what works for one doesn't work for another. You know, you can't really compare.

I just look to the, you know, what I do. And you know I take pretty much every other (inaudible). And it's got me, obviously, to a very high level.

SCHWARTZEL: It's been great to be a part of that Chubby Slam so far. And no they do a fantastic job. You know, they help us a lot. And you know I think he's waited a long time just to get a major champion and then all of a sudden it sort of snowballs.

MCILROY: It's a great group of guys, because we all feel so close. And, you know, if one of Chubby's guys was to win this week it would be, you know, it would be a great achievement for the company and personally from Chubby from where he started 20 years ago or whatever, just over 20 years ago. So, yeah, it would be great.

I'm trying my best to complete the Chubby Slam. And I'm sure a lot of guys are as well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PINTO: And we will have a live update from the PGA Championship which is going on at the Atlanta Athletic Club on World Sport. As well Patrick Snell is there.

That's all from me for now. Anna, back to you.

COREN: Pedro, good to see you. Thank you for that.

Well, rabbit ears and not much else, that's what the stars of the Playboy club will be wearing when the show hits American television. It doesn't start until September, but as Kareen Wynter reports it's already raising eyebrows.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: This fall, television's turning back the clock to a time of rabbit ears. Not this kind, but this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening, Mr. Dalton (ph).

WYNTER: NBC's new drama, the Playboy Club takes place in the early 1960s in Hugh Hefner's very first club where men dropped cash and bunnies showed skin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you know I want to be on stage?

WYNTER: Hefner's company co-produces the show. And he narrates the pilot episode. But he otherwise plays a limited creative role.

HUGH HEFNER, FOUNDER PLAYBOY: We capture in some sense of that retromatic connection when we were in the 60s and it's wonderful.

WYNTER: Not everyone thinks it's so wonderful. NBC's Salt Lake City affiliate, which is owned by the Mormon church is refusing to air the show. The station ran a guest commentary linking the program to pornography.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our coalition sees it as an issue of public health.

WYNTER: And the Parents Television Council, a conservative media watchdog group, calls NBC's decision to green light the show disgraceful. It says bunnies are bad news.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're promoting an industry that really exploits women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the Playboy Club, it's not a knitting club.

WYNTER: The Parents Television Council, boy have they sounded off about this.

HEFNER: Sure, but who are they? You know, who do they really represent? These, you know, right-wing groups that feel that they have a right to redefine, you know, what is appropriate for other people to watch.

WYNTER: Some feminists also are blasting it as nostalgia for a sexist era.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of your shoes is in his ears Cinderella.

WYNTER: NBC executives describe the Playboy Club as a, quote, fun soap with a crime element. And promise it will carry a, quote, appropriate rating.

At a presentation last week cast members told journalists the show is really about female empowerment. The Detroit News' Mekeisha Madden Toby who covered the event says that claim met with skepticism.

MEKEISHA MADDEN TOBY, DETROIT NEWS: And that the slogan is the show is something like the men have the keys, but the women run the show. And nobody was -- at least the press -- nobody was going for that.

WYNTER: Hefner says critics have it wrong.

HEFNER: Why don't they talk to the original Bunnies who worked at the Playboy Club and see whether they felt exploited or whether they felt empowered? Because I know the answer to that.

WYNTER: The controversy almost guarantees that when the Playboy Club debuts in September. All eyes and ears will be on it.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, ahead on News Stream, fixating on a photo. We'll tell you why this Newsweek cover is getting so much attention in the U.S. right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, there is a battle brewing between Apple and Samsung, but the two companies are also moving closer together. Confused? Let me explain.

Well, this week Apple won a court order to prevent Samsung from selling its tablet, the Galaxy Tab, in the European Union. Well, Apple says the Galaxy Tab is too similar to the iPad. But despite the competition between the two, did you know that the iPad and iPhone contain components from Samsung?

Well, thanks to intrepid geeks who tear apart gadgets for a living, if you could take your iPhone apart you would see chips from Samsung.

Well, the memory chips in the iPhone they are -- come from Samsung semiconductor. Well, according to tech insights, the CPU that serves as the brain of the iPhone and the iPad is designed by Apple, but manufactured by Samsung.

Well, even the screen, believe it or not, in the iPad is divided between screens from LG and screens from, yes, Samsung. There you go, working closer together.

In the U.S., presidential hopefuls have their eyes fixed on the White House as they gear up for the 2012 elections, but as our Jeanne Moos reports, it's one pair of peepers that's attracting more attention than most.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to this Newsweek cover, the eyes have it. At one news stand, Michele Bachmann's eyes stare out right next to George Washington with a black eye on Time magazine.

All week, conservatives have been saying Newsweek tried to make her look crazy. Those who are really crazy about the cover who are comedians.

JON STEWART, DAILY SHOW: I look at that picture and think isn't that a little soon to be doing a female remake of The 40-Year-Old Virgin?

JAY LENO, TONIGHT SHOW: Nancy Pelosi saw it. And Nancy Pelosi said, nah, doesn't look crazy to me.

CONAN O'BRIEN, CONAN: Play some spooky music. There you go.

I see you.

MOOS: The editor of Newsweek told MSNBC they didn't try to make her look crazy or cross-eyed. Tina Brown's favorite word is intensity.

TINA BROWN, NEWSWEEK EDITOR: The intensity in her eyes is in all the photographs in her.

And there was something about Michele Bachmann with the eyes looking out.

MICHELE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning, everyone.

MOOS: Newsweek released what it called the outtakes from the shoot apparently to make the point that her eyes are pretty intense in all of them.

But Jon Stewart gave it back to Newsweek.

STEWART: Shame on you Newsweek and your editor Tina Brown. No, too glamorous. That's the stuff.

MOOS: The one person who hasn't bugged out over Michele Bachmann's eyes, Michele Bachmann.

A voter asked her about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sort of a wild-eyed photo with the headline "Queen of Rage."

BACHMANN: Aha. Well, we'll have to take a look at that, won't we?

MOOS: But the campaign is not commenting. Blogs are.

At Buzz Feed they compiled hot chicks with Michele Bachmann's eyes, transplanting her eyes into say Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Beyonce, even a cat.

Now Bachmann knows what it feels like to be Steve Buschemi who had his eyes set to music.

The last time we in the media focused this much on eyes is back when USA Today got in trouble for retouching Condi Rice's peepers.

The Peepers web site raised eyebrows when it said it brightened Condi's image, though critics said it gave her devil's eyes. At least no one is claiming Newsweek altered Bachmann's eyes. Those jokesters online enjoy intensifying them. Who needs fire in the belly when you've got fire in your eyes.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, time now to go over and out there and introduce you to the latest online trend. Well, if owling is the planking, but planking is already so last month, then what's the new owling? Well, according to Buzzfeed.com it is this, horsemaning. It's the latest crazy to see people snapped in awkward position all for the amusement of others.

Well, here we have someone who is seemingly decapitated by a window, but our personal favorite, yes, is this one, a headless man sits on the sofa with his head perched next to him.

And believe it or not, but we managed to refrain from any losing their head puns. Well done to us.

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

END