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Syria Violence; Moammar Gadhafi Remains Defiant; China Shutters Plant; Aung San Suu Kyi Travels around Myanmar

Aired August 15, 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.

Syria's opposition claims dozens of dead as security forces shell a port city from the sea while Latakia has become such a flash point.

Egypt's former president is back in court and inside an iron cage. Hosni Mubarak is wheeled in on a stretcher for the latest hearing on his trial.

And Myanmar's opposition leader makes her first political trip outside Yangon since her release from house arrest. Is the regime really softening its stance towards Aung San Suu Kyi?

We begin in Syria, where a government crackdown aimed at civilians continues in a flash point city in the northwest. Well, opposition groups say President Bashar al-Assad's forces are focusing on the port city of Latakia, and that 25 people were killed there on Sunday. A human rights group says Syrian gun ships joined in the attack, shelling the city from the sea, and there are also reports of troops opening fire in residential parts of the city. But the Syrian government claims it's only hunting armed gangs.

Well, CNN cannot independently confirm these reports since Syria no longer allows us into the country, but our Arwa Damon is following events closely from Beirut and joins us now.

Arwa, this assault on Latakia is truly sickening from the ground and from the sea. What is the latest?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we are hearing being reported, this assault is focused mainly on one of the southern neighborhoods of Latakia, al-Ramel, that had been seeing some of the largest demonstrations, especially this past Friday. What we have been hearing from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is that residents have begun to flee en masse.

Reportedly, the military, the security forces warning them to flee these various areas that are now under military siege or risk being arrested or killed. We have, however, heard of at least two instances where people trying to flee have come under attack at a checkpoint in one neighborhood. Security forces there reported to have opened fire, killing one person, seriously wounding another five. A woman also said to have been shot when the bus that she was traveling in came under fire as well.

There has been growing concern amongst residents that they have to try to get out sooner rather than later, because we keep hearing that they say this military assault has been utterly merciless, coming at them from all sides, as you mentioned there, from the sea, also from the land. tanks, security services, and the government thugs, fanned out. Snipers on rooftops, arbitrary arrests going on, and heavy gunfire being heard throughout the day -- Anna.

COREN: And Arwa, we know it's not just Latakia. This has spread. This military has spread across the country.

Is it growing?

DAMON: It most certainly is growing, Anna. And what we have actually been seeing is that the government, under the guise, or what it says is its targeting of these terrorist armed gangs, has gone through almost every single city and town that has seen large, widespread, anti-government demonstrations.

It went through Hama, Deir Ezzor, up along the border with Turkey. It also has been conducting as of this morning a number of military operations in towns in the central province of Homs and also now, of course, what we are hearing coming out of Latakia.

So it does seem as if it is part of a campaign on the part of the government to try to continue to use force to push demonstrators off the streets. But what analysts are saying is that the use of this tactic pretty much since this uprising began is in fact what is possibly going to lead to the government's own destruction.

The use of violence has not only hardened the demonstrators against it, made them even more determined to continue in their campaign to bring down the Assad regime, but has also led to growing international calls of condemnation. Regional pressure mounting now as well -- Anna.

COREN: Arwa Damon, in Beirut.

Many thanks for that update.

Well, across the border, in Jordan, King Abdullah II is working to stem potential uprisings like those in Syria by responding to calls for government reform. Well, he approved proposed changes to Jordan's constitution on Sunday. They would weaken the power of the monarchy, create an independent judicial system, and reinforce civil rights.

King Abdullah II called the process " -- solid proof of Jordan's ability to revitalize itself and its legislation and approach the future with a vision of social and political reform." The changes must now be considered by the legislature before becoming law.

The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak finished for the day on Monday, and the chief judge in the case says there won't be television coverage when the trial resumes in September. Well, the ailing leader faced hearings from a stretcher on Monday. Meanwhile, his supports clashed with police in Cairo.

Mubarak is accused of ordering deadly violence to put down the Egyptian uprising. Amnesty International says more than 800 people died in those clashes. Mubarak also faces corruption charges.

We'll be going live to Cairo in about 30 minutes' time.

Well, from an ousted leader to one who continues to hold on, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi spoke to the nation earlier today on state TV, urging his supporters to "be ready to fight to Liberate our pure and good land." Colonel Gadhafi vowed to defeat NATO. His address came hours after rebel forces claimed advances in a number of cities in western Libya, including the strategically important Zawiya.

A rebel field commander tells CNN his forces are clearing the city of Gadhafi forces. The government denies it is losing ground.

CNN's Matthew Chance is in Tripoli, and he joins us now.

Matthew, tell us more about the speech that Colonel Gadhafi gave.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he took a characteristically defiant tone, of course. Colonel Gadhafi didn't appear in person, but he spoke apparently by telephone, or over live speaker system, to the thousands of his supporters who had gathered in the center of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Many of them were firing weapons after his speech.

He, again, took that very defiant tone, saying to people to be ready. This coming after all these announcements of the rebel gains in various parts of the country, but particularly the one you mentioned, to the east of the capital, Tripoli, in Zawiya, where there have been clashes under way between government forces and the rebels. And the rebels now appearing to have some control over that area about 30 miles, 50 kilometers or so, from Tripoli.

It's important, because Zawiya sits on the main supply route into Tripoli. If it does fall, if the rebels manage to maintain their positions such a short distance from Tripoli, that perhaps could be a huge military blow to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

Nevertheless, as I mentioned, the Libyan leader striking that very defiant tone. Let's take a listen.


MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): It is a great thing that you gather every night during Ramadan in the Green Square despite the air strikes. People have gathered to defy, dance, sing and fight.

The end of colonization is soon. The end of the rats is also soon. They are running from one house to another as the people chase them away.


CHANCE: The big question (INAUDIBLE).

COREN: All right. Matthew Chance, in Tripoli.

Many thanks for that.

Well, Iraq is reeling this hour from a wave of bombings mostly targeting security forces. So far, at least 69 people have been killed and 180 wounded in 13 bombings across the country.

The worst attack was in Kut, south of Baghdad. Officials say a car bomb and roadside explosion there killed 34 people on a busy street in the middle of morning rush hour.

And these were the images further north, in the area of Kirkuk, after another roadside explosion. Today's wave of violence is the worst Iraq has seen in months.

Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, protesters in China force a chemical plant to shut down. We'll look at what made this demonstration different.

And world markets are still jittery, but there was some upbeat news on Monday. We'll find out what's calming investor nerves.

And Myanmar's most famous dissident is making a round of political visits. We'll find out where Aung San Suu Kyi is heading.

That's next on NEWS STREAM.


COREN: In an unusual move, Chinese leaders are bowing to local protests. Officials in northeastern China say they're closing a chemical plant after demonstrations over environmental concerns.

Protesters in Dalian demanded the plant shut down after a storm threatened a seawall last week. The storm broke through a protective dyke, but officials say no chemicals spilled. The plant manufactures an ingredient that is said to be carcinogenic and used in polyester.

Well, despite government claims, the unrest grew in Dalian. Paramilitary police stood guard over the weekend as tens of thousands of people rallied.

Demonstrators held banners saying, "Give back generations of homeland." By Sunday evening, the local government said that the plant would immediately close, as you can see there.

Well, CNN's Eunice Yoon is following the developments in Dalian, and she joins us now live.

Eunice, protests like these are often met with force and some sort of government crackdown. Why was this one so different?

EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, probably because of the makeup of the crowd. The people who were in the crowd waving the banners and shouting the slogans were not lower-income workers who felt like they've been left behind in China's economic boom.

These people were middle class residents, wealthy urbanites, people who really have largely benefited from China's economic reforms and its policies. These were young professionals, many of them young professionals who just didn't feel like having a leaky chemical plant, or a potentially leaky chemical plant in their back yard. Hence the nascent "Not in my back yard" movement.

In fact, a lot of people here have been saying that this protest is just another example of the Chinese middle class coming together, often on the Internet, in order to voice their own discontent with the system and to demand a better and cleaner way of life -- Anna.

COREN: Eunice, this is obviously quite a dangerous precedent that the Chinese government has set, because there is obviously the risk that other communities could start to protest about their facilities that they're concerned about.

YOON: Well, that's right. And a lot of people have said that, that in fact the move could embolden people to take to the streets.

And a lot of people have said that the people in the crowds are really people who have a lot of influence, who are very technologically savvy. We saw that with this particular protest, where the protesters said to us that they had organized it basically online, that they were able to swap stories, share a lot of their concerns. And so that's one of the things that you're seeing here.

Now, in terms of the technology, you really do see the level of concern on the part of the government in what they're doing online. They've become ever sophisticated in cracking down and playing this cat and mouse game with Chinese netizens.

We have seen in a very short period of time, just over the weekend, the government censors coming in to really block certain keywords that would potentially light up more action, words like "Dalian," the city of contention. So, because of that, we really do see the local authorities getting -- and, in fact, the national authorities -- getting more concerned about these types of protests -- Anna.

COREN: Eunice Yoon, in Beijing.

Thank you.

Well, the local government in Dalian will be siding with the protests, but China's censor is still blocking online searches of the unrest, as Eunice just mentioned. That's according to China's most popular microblog, Sina Weibo.

Well, the site says these terms are being blocked. Some of them like "Give us a safe Dalian" and "Get out of Dalian PX" are slogans from the protest against the chemical plant. Well, the word "stroll" is a Chinese euphemism for protest, but even just the location, Dalian, is being blocked.

Well, after a roller-coaster week on the stock markets, investors will be praying for an easier ride this week. We'll take a look at what could be in store.


COREN: On the world stock markets, it's the start of a new week. And after the wild ride of recent days, investors in Europe and Asia have sealed themselves in a plunging back into the markets. But the question on everyone's mind is whether we're in for a repeat performance of the volatility that we saw last week.

Well, to answer those questions, I am joined by WORLD BUSINESS TODAY'S Andrew Stevens.

Andrew, modest gains in Europe and Asia.

ANDREW STEVENS, "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY": Absolutely, modest gains. And as far as is the volatility gone, way too early to say that, Anna. But let's go through the numbers.

And you'll see there is an awful lot of calm. Just look at these numbers compared with what we saw last week.

London, as you see, up by a half of one percent. All the markets in all the 14 markets, up by around the same amount. Zurich being the standout there.

They have been up higher, but remember, these markets are coming off of a two, three percent jump on Friday. So there's a little bit of bargain hunting coming in. Also, there's obviously a bit of selling going on as well.

The big story obviously in Europe at the moment is the meeting between the French and the German presidents tomorrow. Sarkozy and Merkel meet. They're going to talk about cooperation, the need for fiscal union and cooperation in Europe and how they all must approach this problem together.

They probably won't say anything about buying euro bonds, which is what a lot of people want to hear. But basically, Mrs. Merkel is quite opposed to that. She doesn't want to be seen to be funding the eurozone out of its problems.

But let's move along. Let's go to Asia, because that was -- there, the markets are still trading.

Asia's close. Again, you'll see it was more of a rally here in Asia. Hong Kong, up by 3.2 percent. This is following on from what happened over Friday in the Wall Street markets, where we got quite a nice little pop.

And the good news coming out of Asia today which helped these markets was Japan. The Nikkei, up 1.3 percent. But we saw Japan coming out with its second quarter GDP, economic growth figures, which were weak, but not as weak as had been expected.

COREN: Better than expected.

STEVENS: Absolutely.

And very quickly, let's just go to the U.S. The futures, Anna, this is what it's all about. Of course, everyone looks at the U.S. at the moment.

It's up. Remember, two days in a row they've been up now -- or the markets have closed higher in the U.S. This is the first time that's happened since mid-July. So this could be three days in a row.

We start to indicate there's a little bit more stability coming in, but it's all going to be about the economic numbers and also what happens in Europe. And I'm actually impressed how I can do this without touching anything.

COREN: I know. Don't we love it when we have to touch it?


STEVENS: I'll give you the secret someday.

COREN: OK. I look forward to it.

Andrew, you mentioned the meeting that's going to take place tomorrow. All eyes will be on it. Many are sort of saying that the situation in Europe is actually far worse than what is in the U.S.

STEVENS: Well, what the U.S. looks like at the moment is that there will be a slowdown in growth, but not the double-dip recession. At least it's not likely. It's a distinct possibility, perhaps 30 percent, seems to be the consensus, likelihood.

However, in Europe, it's so difficult to get a handle on what's happening. Because, as we've been reporting, there are incremental steps in this. More and more countries kept on being dragged in.

For example, Italy came out and pushed through this 45 billion euro austerity package at the weekend. Already, people are saying that's not good enough and they have to rethink it. And if France and Germany don't come out and say there will be a euro bond, people will take that as an interpretation perhaps they're not committed enough to the eurozone.

So a lot of uncertainty still in Europe. And you're right, I think Europe is still really the place which can completely overturn the (INAUDIBLE).

COREN: So we're seeing obviously a little bit of optimism, but still volatility. You're --


STEVENS: There's still volatility, absolutely. Yes. It would be a brave man who would say now it's all over.

COREN: OK. Andrew Stevens, as always, good to see you.

And you can catch Andrew Stevens and "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" in a little over half an hour.

Thank you.

Well, coming up a little later in the show, parts of New Zealand have been hit by a rare snowstorm.


COREN: Iraqi authorities say there have been 13 bombings across the country, killing at least 69 people and wounding more than 180. It is the worst attack. Well, I should say the worst attack was in Kut, south of Baghdad.

Officials say 34 people died after a car bomb was followed by a roadside explosion on a busy street during morning rush hour.

Our Rima Maktabi has been following the latest developments and joins us now from Abu Dhabi.

Rima, what details do you have for us?

RIMA MAKTABI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a deadly day to the relatively calm Iraq. It's been calm in this country for the past few weeks, especially since Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims across the world, started.

The worst attacks were in Kut. Thirty-four people, at least, were killed there. It was a double bombing. A roadside bomb and another explosion happened.

Now, across Iraq, there were different explosions and attacks. In the south, the two holy cities of Najaf and Karbala witnessed explosions. Also, Kirkuk and Tikrit, in the north of Iraq, as well as the province of Diyala, specifically Baqubah.

So, 13 explosions happened simultaneously. It started at 8:00 a.m. in Kut, one of the busiest streets in a rush hour, and then ended by 11:00, just before noon -- Anna.

COREN: Rima, is there anything to the timing of these attacks?

MAKTABI: Yes, very interesting timing.

First of all, these attacks look like they are attacks that have planned, organized simultaneously, and coordinated. The government may announce in the coming few hours some names, or probably who's involved in this. So far, we haven't heard anything.

As for the timing, this comes just weeks after Iraqi political leaders agreed to ask the U.S. troops to stay, at least in a smaller number, after January 1, 2012. And this is significant. The big question in Iraq nowadays, will the U.S. troops stay in Iraq, or will they leave as planned originally by the end of the year?

Today's explosions are going to open a wider discussion politically inside Iraq whether these troops should remain or should leave Iraq.

COREN: Yes, it's a very controversial issue, isn't it?

Rima Maktabi, in Abu Dhabi.

Many thanks for that.

Well, coming up on NEWS STREAM, seeking justice in Egypt. Former president Hosni Mubarak was back in court in Cairo today, but you won't see television images like these of him in court again. We'll explain why.

And Aung San Suu Kyi is making the rounds in Myanmar. We'll tell you what the famed opposition leader is up to now.


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

In Syria, opposition groups say at least 25 people were killed in a military assault on the northwestern city of Latakia on Sunday. A human rights group says Syrian navy ships joined in the attack, shelling the city from the sea. Witnesses say troops open fire in residential parts of the city.

Officials in northeastern China say they're closing a chemical plant after demonstrations over environmental concerns. Well protesters in Dalian demanded the plant shut down after a storm threatened the sea wall last week. The plant manufactures an ingredient used in polyester.

Well, thousands of people had turned up to watch a concert in Indiana in the U.S. on Saturday night. Instead, they saw the entire steel scaffolding holding the stage come crashing down because of strong gusts of wind. Well a night of entertainment turned into tragedy with five people killed. The state fair will resume today with a memorial for those killed.

Well, the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak finished for the day on Monday. And the chief judge in the case says there won't be live television coverage when it resumes in September. The ailing leader is accused of ordering deadly violence to crush the Egyptian uprising.

Well, CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is in Cairo where he is following the trial. And he joins us with the latest. Mohammed.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna as you mentioned the chief judge Ahmed Refaat did make a ruling at the end of the hearing today that cameras would no longer be allowed in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Now this is already getting reaction. Some activists suggesting that this puts an end to the transparency that was promised by the Egyptian government, by the supreme military council. That by televising this trial that was going to provide the transparency that was wished for by the Egyptian citizens, by the public at large here, and by activists especially.

Others suggesting this is better, that the journalists that will be in the courtroom will be able to fully report on what's been going on in the witness testimony that will be given and that this will allow Egyptians to focus more on upcoming elections and other social issues that need to be focused on suggesting that this is a bit of a show trial, a bit of a distraction, a bit of a circus-like atmosphere.

Nonetheless, the judge today also decreed that this trial would be postponed, would be adjourned until September 5. He said also that Hosni Mubarak's trial would be linked up with the trial of former interior minister Habib el-Adly. And that's an interesting point, because on August 3 those two cases were joined and the same judge actually decided to split them.

Yesterday, we had the second hearing in the case of former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly, that was postponed, adjourned until September 5. Now today we're hearing Hosni Mubarak's trial will be joined once again with the trial of the former interior minister. Both those t rials will resume after (inaudible) after Eid on September 5 -- Anna.

COREN: Mohammed, you mentioned that the case has been adjourned. This trial really is going to be dragged out isn't it? The people of Egypt, they want swift justice, but that's highly unlikely. I was reading that Mubarak's defense team, they want some 1,600 people to testify. Can you give us a bit more details about that?

JAMJOOM: Well that's right, Anna, the defense team did ask for 1,600 witnesses. And my colleague Ben Wedeman was saying earlier in the day, he was outside of the courtroom, but this thing has the potential to really drag on for quite some time. I mean, the justice system here by most standards goes at a glacial pace anyway. A trial of this nature, it's unprecedented in Egypt.

Trying to corral all of this, to get all these people in the courtroom, to get through all these procedural and administrative matters is no easy feat for the Egyptian judicial system.

That having been said, at the end of the trial today, the judge says that five witnesses would be called, that's according to the prosecution's request. That's going to be for the next hearing on September 5.

We did not hear if any of the other witnesses that were called for by the defense team would be considered, whether he would summon them.

But again, it just goes to show this thing really does have the potential to drag on for quite a long time. And the fear now is that the hopes for a speedy, for an expedited trial really would be dashed and that's that what we were seeing here today -- Anna.

COREN: Mohammed, we know that scuffles broke out between protesters and Mubarak supporters. Give us the sense of the feeling on the streets of Cairo and Egypt at the moment?

JAMJOOM: Well, there were brief clashes outside of the courtroom earlier today. We saw that today and we saw that earlier on August 3 when these trials started up. Emotions really running high. Outside of the police academy, you have anti-Mubarak protesters and you have pro-Mubarak - - you have supporters out there.

I mean, we must remember there are people in Egypt that are supporting the former president. There are people that are out there that are upset that this trial is going on. They feel that it's undignified to be treating the deposed leader of Egypt in such a fashion, to be seeing him in this iron and mesh cage, with his two sons there. They don't think that that's right. Then on the other hand you have anti-Mubarak protesters out there as well.

And it heats up between those two contingents, between those two crowds. As we've seen, they're not huge clashes, but we've seen scuffles. We've seen rock throwing going on on both days. We've seen the riot police deployed. They want to maintain a calm atmosphere out there. They want to see the crowds out there really directing their focus at the big screen that's showing what's going on inside the courtroom.

But it really has a propensity to heat up. And emotions to tend to get the better of people sometimes outside of that police academy here in Cairo -- Anna.

COREN: Mohammed Jamjoom in Cairo, thank you for that.

Well, let's now move to Norway where police led admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik around on a tether this weekend during what they call an intense reenactment of the July 22 shooting rampage on Utoya Island which killed 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp.

Ralitsa Vassileva reports.


RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The man accused of killing dozens of people at a youth retreat in Norway last month has returned to the scene of the crime. Police led suspect Anders Behring Breivik to Utoya Island to reconstruct the shooting rampage that killed 69 people and help their investigation.

FREDRIK HJORT KRABY, POLICE PROSECUTOR (through translator): This is what I can say about the session. It started immediately upon the suspects arrival in Utvika (ph) on the shoreside of the lake. The questioning continued during the boat trip out to the island. Then we walked him through all the sites he had visited on the island. The whole thing lasted for eight hours only interrupted by small breaks. The whole thing was quite intense.

VASSILEVA: The Norwegian newspaper Vegette (ph) published photos and video of the reconstruction. Mathias Jorgensen, a video journalist for the newspaper, caught some of the reenactment in progress. The images show Breivik in a bullet proof vest and restrained by a harness tethering him to police.

MATHIAS JORGENSEN, VIDEO JOURNALIST, VG: Police told us that that was because they are afraid of him trying to hurt himself or escaping. There were police, helicopters in the air and heavily armed police in the water as well.

VASSILEVA: You can also see what appears to be Breivik reenacting how he fired his weapon.

JORGENSEN: He was pointing in many different directions and also raising his arms as to shoot. And you also see that the police officers following him around.

VASSILEVA: Police say Breivik provided a lot of detail about the shooting and has fully cooperated, but show no sign of remorse.

KRABY (through translator): The suspect was emotionally unmoved by his return to Utoya, but he did not express any regrets about what he had done.

VASSILEVA: Yet police say they face challenges conducting this reconstruction so as not to offend the victims and their families.

32 year old Breivik is also accused of bombing government buildings and also killing (inaudible).

Breivik has pleaded not guilty in court, although police say he has admitted he was responsible for both attacks.

Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN, Atlanta.


COREN: Well, in Myanmar opposition Aung San Suu Kyi is spreading her wings a little bit. On Sunday, she visited the city of Vego (ph), her first political trip out of Yengon (ph) since being released from house arrest last November.

Well here you can see crowds swarming Suu Kyi during her brief visit there eagerly welcoming her with waves and cheers. Well, this is apparently the first of several other planned trips around Myanmar, but its still unclear where she will head next as the government must approve all her movements in advance.

Well, Suu Kyi's ability to travel around Myanmar is a pretty big development considering she was held in detention for nearly two decades. For a look at what it all means, leading Bermese journalist Aung Zaw joins us now via Skype form Changmai, Thailand. His magazine, Irrawaddy, covers events in Myanmar and southeast Asia.

Great to have you with us and get your perspective. If you can put it into context the significance of this trip, to think that nine months ago she was under house arrest where she'd been for most of the past two decades and now she's traveling around the country with government permission.

AUNG ZAW, IRRAWADDY MAGAZINE: Well, I think -- I think all (inaudible) up and down. I think this time is up. We actually maintain our optimism, because she's been allowed to go out of Rangoon. This is the first time she has made a political trip and she has been to (inaudible) more like (inaudible).

This time, I think she made a visit to (inaudible) and a thousand of people came up. And she also received cooperation from the government. And she (inaudible) her trip events. And there was no harassment, there was no obstruction from the government. So I think -- it seems like there has been some kind of cooperation going on between the Aung San Suu Kyi and the government. And she (inaudible) I think (inaudible).

As we see, politics in Burma is up and down. This time it's up. And I think a lot of people inside Burma are very excited. And I think it's quite (inaudible).

COREN: Yeah, positive. And as you say, people are excited.

But why do you think that the government is doing this now, considering that the level of support out there, and also the potential for unrest?

ZAW: Well, if you look back, the last (inaudible) there were (inaudible) minister. And there was trying (inaudible). And they continue to cooperate and (inaudible) economic institutions. And also (inaudible).

But as far as understands, you talk about the release of political prisoners, suspension of the offensive against ethnic minorities. There has been outbreak of civil war in Kachin and Shan and (inaudible) area.

So Suu Kyi has been asking government, all foreign government, that she will mediate between the ethnic groups and the government. And also talk about the position (inaudible) suspended last year, because they refused to take part in elections.

So now the (inaudible) -- opposition party, whether it is (inaudible) party we have to wait and see whether (inaudible), because if her requests are met in the foreseeable future I think she might decide to (inaudible) party and because of if the government decided the release (inaudible).

COREN: Yeah, it is quite an amazing development. And here's hoping his cooperation, his level of cooperation continues.

Well, leading Burmese journalist Aung Zaw, we certainly appreciate you taking the time to join us. Thank you.

Well, it's been a long time coming, but finally Cesc Fabregas has got his wish and his heading home. We'll have more on the midfielder's drawn out transfer in just a moment.


COREN: In the wake of the UK's devastating riots Prime Minister David Cameron says his government will reconsider how it's tackling everything from education to welfare benefits to mend what he says is a broken society. Well, Mr. Cameron was speaking today after police made a series of arrests in relation to last week's rioting across the country.

Well, let's get more now with senior international correspondent Dan Rivers who has been following this since the riots first broke out. He joins me now live in London.

Dan, the prime minister says that this was a real wake-up call for the country. How does he plan to fix a broken Britain?

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a thing that he's touched on before and has sort of fallen by the wayside in recent months. He's now come back to this at a speech this morning here in the UK against a backdrop of a huge number of arrests, 1,580 people have so far been detained in relation to these riots, 330 of them are juveniles under the age of 18. And I think that is particularly of concern to the prime minister that there is this whole generation coming through for which he feels a lot needs to be done.

And I think his speech this morning outlines not only that something needs to be done to fix this broken society, but that it wouldn't be cured solely by putting people behind bars. Here's what the prime minister had to say.


DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: I and minister from across the coalition government will review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society -- on schools, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities, on the cultural, legal, bureaucratic problems in our society too, from the twisting and misrepresenting of human rights that has undermined personal responsibility to the obsession with health and safety that has in many ways eroded people's willingness to act according to common sense.


RIVERS: The leader of the opposition Ed Milliband has also been speaking this morning, talking about the issues of inequality that scar this country and saying that this can't be solved by just tough punishment and more arrests, so echoing those sorts of themes.

And this all coming, interestingly, against the backdrop of a question of the appointment of Bill Bratton, this U.S. supercop whose been brought in as a crime adviser by David Cameron. He helped to go in and sort out the situation after the riots in L.A. in 1992. His appointment is controversial here. It stirred up a bit of a hornets nest with senior policeman. But he is being brought in really to try and bring some fresh thinking to how this generation who went out on the streets can be brought into society.

COREN: Dan, I want to ask you a little bit more about this former U.S. police chief Bill Bratton, because there is talk, or at least speculation, that David Cameron would like to see him run Scotland Yard. A, is this possible? B, is he interested in the job?

RIVERS: Well, he said that he would be interested, but there a problem that because he's a U.S. national, has never served as a British police constable, that is one of the basic requirements of becoming the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. And Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has made that clear that that is a requirement.

So I don't think at the moment, unless there was some change in the rules, that he would be allowed to become Metropolitan Police Commissioner. But certainly it seems like he will be giving advice, anyway, to the prime minister in a capacity sort of crime adviser.

And he has also said that, you know, this isn't just a question of simply arresting people, that there is a far greater problem to be tackled here, he says, as he tackled in New York and L.A.

COREN: Yeah, big job ahead indeed.

Senior international correspondent Dan Rivers as always good to see you. Thank you for that.

Well, the riots caused the postponement of one English Premier League game this weekend, but the big football news this Monday comes from Spain. And our Pedro Pinto has all the details. Hello Pedro.


One of the longest transfer sagas of the summer has finally come to an end. I can confirm that Cesc Fabregas is a Barcelona player. After months of speculation, the midfielder passed a medical and was unveiled at the Camp Nou on Monday.

Cesc left Arsenal after eight seasons with the Gunners. He has now returned to a club he represented in his youth. As far as the transfer fee is concerned, there are two different numbers out there at the moment. Arsenal say they have sold the player for 40 million euros while Barcelona are claiming they did not pay over 29 million.

Cesc was in Madrid on Sunday night watching his new team take on Real in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. The match at the Santiago Bernabeu ended in a 2-all draw. Mezut Ozil and Xabi Alsono scoring for the home side, while David Villa and Lionel Messi hit the back of the net for Barca.

The return leg will be played at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.

Golf fans around the world are trying to find out more about the man who came out of nowhere to win this weekend's PGA Championship. Keegan Bradley became golf's seventh straight first time major winner when he reigned victorious at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Bradley, who is a rookie on the PGA tour and started the year ranked outside of the top 300 in the world beat James Dufner in a playoff. He had been five shots behind Dufner with three holes to play, but caught up with the leader. The 25 year old Bradley then won the first extra hole and celebrated the title in his first ever major appearance.

History was also made on the tennis courts as Novak Djokavic became the first man ever to win five master series titles in one season. The Serbian star continued his spectacular year by beating Marty Fish in the final of the Rogers Cup.

Djokavic had to battle hard, though, to come out on top in Montreal. He saved five break points in the first set before eventually winning it 6- 2.

Fish then won the second set 6-3 before Novak got into a groove in the deciding set and shut the door on his American opponent. A score of 6-3 wrapped it up for the Serb to improve his season record to an incredible 53-1.

That is a quick look at the sports headlines. Anna, back to you.

COREN: Djokavic is certainly on fire, isn't he? Pedro Pinto, good to see you. Thank you.

Well, some big tech news just into us now. Internet giant Google has agreed to buy Motorola's mobile phone division for $12.5 billion. Well, if it goes through the move will bolster Google's already successful Android smartphone system. It would give Google the ability to control its hardware as well as software in the same way Apple does with the iPhone.

However, it could also mean Google could be in direct competition with companies such as Samsung and HTC which rely on the Android operating system. More on that in World Business Today at the top of the hour.

Well, hospitals in Hong Kong say they cannot cope with the rush of mums (ph) who from across the border -- moms to be I should say from across the border. This mother and her bundle of joy were lucky to find a hospital bed in Hong Kong. There are many others who are turned away. Find out why Mandarin Chinese women are up in arms. That's later on News Stream.


COREN: Well, 2012 is the year of the Dragon. And doctors are getting ready for an explosion in the number of births in China. Pregnant women rushing to Hong Kong to deliver. Hospitals there say they are too crowded.

Well, our Pauline Chiou repots on why mainland mothers to be are angry.


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This baby is sleeping peacefully in the middle of a controversy swirling through hospitals in Hong Kong. There are not enough beds for expectant mothers and not enough doctors at public hospitals to handle the volumne of births. The reason: pregnant mothers from mainland China crossing the border into Hong Kong to give birth. If their babies are born in Hong Kong, they are automatically granted Hong Kong's social benefits.

Betty Zhang from mainland China was lucky and able to secure a bed at Prince of Wales hospital, Hong Kong's largest public hospital. She gave birth to her son here.

BETTY ZHANG, NEW MOTHER (through translator): At the end of the day, I wanted to offer my child a better chance in education and development.

CHIOU: Babies born in Hong Kong automatically get permanent residency, free access to good schools and good medical care. Dr. Cheung Tak-Hong is the chief obstetrician at Prince of Wales Hospital. He's worried about the trajectory of births in Hong Kong.

DR. CHEUNG TAK-HONG, OBSTETRICIAN, PRINCE OF WALES HOSPITAL: The system of Hong Kong is already saturated. We simply do not have many more doctors, bed capacity on the (inaudible) and on the neonatal ICU side.

CHIOU: In 2010, Hong Kong hospitals had more than 80,000 deliveries, almost evenly split between mainland and Hong Kong mothers. The doctors are so worried that they've lobbied the Hong Kong government to do more. In Hong Kong, an expectant mother must book prenatal services and get a certificate from the hospitals which reserves a bed around the due date.

Hong Kong's health department recently issued a quota for certificates from mainland mothers only. Next year, 34,000 deliveries by mainland mothers will be allowed, that's 10,000 less than this year. The government says it needs to give priority to local Hong Kong residents first. Pregnant mainland mothers who don't make the quota must return home to give birth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want a bed.

CHIOU: Mainland mothers, like Mrs. Chan are angry about new hospital quotas on Hong Kong deliveries. The quotas for pregnant moms from mainland China has been lowered even if those moms like Mrs. Chan are married to Hong Kong men. She's pregnant, but says she's unable to book a hospital bed around her due date.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't want to be treated separately. The government should treat us equally.

TAK-HONG: The Hong Kong government, or Hong Kong medical service can never fulfill all the wish of mothers coming outside Hong Kong.

CHIOU: China allows Hong Kong to operate under the one country, two systems policy. But even Hong Kong husbands of mainland women say the quotas go too far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You can't control when to have a baby. But when the baby comes, the baby should not suffer just because of our Hong Kong policy.

CHIOU: It's a noisy debate that shows no sign of quieting down any time soon.

Pauline Chiou, CNN, Hong Kong.


COREN: Well that is News Stream. But the news certainly continues here at CNN. World Business Today is next.