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Kabul Bombings; Indian Activist Anna Hazare's Hunger Strike; Violence in Syria
Aired August 19, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
Anna Hazare is free and fasting. Thousands of supporters watched as the Indian anti-corruption activist left jail.
The U.S. imposes tougher sanctions on Syria as protesters take to the streets and the U.N. prepares to send a humanitarian team.
And the stock market sell-off continues as fear takes hold of global investors.
Indian activist Anna Hazare has walked free from jail to start a 15-day public hunger strike. Now, the 74-year-old who is seeking stronger anti- corruption measures in India addressed thousands of cheering supporters outside. He had earlier released a video thanking people for their support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA HAZARE, INDIAN ACTIVIST (through translator): The revolution that you started on the streets has energized me. I have to continue my hunger strike for another 15 days, but in those 15 days, nothing will happen to me, and I will ask the government for more time. Until we have a Lokpal bill, I will not rest because I have so much support from you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: The veteran activist had been free to leave Tihar prison since Tuesday, but had refused to do so until restrictions on his fast were lifted.
Now, earlier today, he took off for this site, Ramlila grounds, in an open- top truck decorated with Indian flags, as thousands of supporters marched alongside. And the trip to that fast, it turned into a victory lap. Despite pouring rain, thousands joined the activist's procession.
There were several important landmarks on his way, including India Gate, in the heart of the national capital. It was also the site for one of the biggest protests against Hazare's arrest on Wednesday evening. Hazare is frequently compared to Mahatma Gandhi, whose memorial site was also on the route.
And the final stop, of course, Ramlila grounds. Now, these sprawling grounds, popular for political, social, religious gatherings, will be home to Hazare's movement over the next two weeks.
Now, let's take a closer look now at the life of Anna Hazare.
As a young man, he spent 15 years as a soldier in the Indian army, enlisting after the Indochina War. His travels as a soldier brought him to Ralegan Siddhi. It's a village that had been impoverished by drought. And Hazare's work with rainwater conservation there helped dramatically improve the village and led to him being given a prestigious award, the Padma Bhushan Award for his extraordinary service in 1992.
And then, in April of this year, he began a fast until death in an effort to pressure India's government into passing tougher anti-corruption laws. He ended his fast four days later, after India's prime minister agreed to introduce legislation.
And then, of course, in the last few hours, you've seen him walk free from prison to start his 15-day public hunger strike.
Now, in Pakistan, an attack on a mosque during Friday prayers has left 34 people dead, and 100 people were wounded. The attack was in Pakistan's northwest tribal region, in the Khyber Agency. And officials there, they are still working to get more information.
Now, meanwhile, in Afghanistan, explosions and heavy gunfire continued hours after suicide bombers attacked the British Council in Kabul. At least eight people are dead. The Taliban are claiming responsibility for the attacks, which coincide with the 92nd anniversary of Afghan independence from Great Britain.
The British Council is in a heavily-guarded neighborhood, and CNN's David Ariosto was there earlier. This is what he experienced on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ARIOSTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A vehicle drove up, detonated, and then militants effectively were able to enter in. Major, major explosions going on right now. We just heard a major blast behind us here, and there seems to be smoke billowing out of here, gunfire, from what we can tell. ISAF security forces have basically surrounded this area here. Major, major smoke billowing out of the consul area there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: David Ariosto, on the scene as that attack was under way. He joins me now live from Kabul.
And David, how was this able to happen? I mean, how were the gunmen able to storm the British Council? Was it because the security wasn't adequate, or are the militants getting more and more sophisticated.
ARIOSTO: That seems to be the fundamental question there, Kristie.
What we've seen in recent weeks is a number of insurgents have been arrested in and around Kabul District. And this is of particular note, because we're coming up on that 9/11 anniversary just next month. And as we've seen some of these attacks, we've also seen some of the attacks in and around the country targeting high-profile targets.
Just earlier this month, we saw the targeting of the Parwan Province governor, the Oruzgan Province governor before him. So what we've seen is sort of a new strategy of Taliban tactics in which a vehicle -- this is something that's been repeated -- but a vehicle travels to the front of a security gate, detonates, and then the remaining militants, usually four or five them, enter in, usually strapped with suicide vests, heavy explosive vests themselves, often well armed, engaging in gun battles.
This is what's happened time and again, and really underlines some of the lack of security, perhaps, or the lack of, perhaps, front lines here in this war in Afghanistan.
STOUT: Now, David, there has been a flare-up in violence across Afghanistan in recent days. So, has the general security been stepped up there, where you are in Kabul and elsewhere? What are you seeing?
ARIOSTO: Kabul has often been considered not so much emblematic of the rest of the country. And yet, over the summer we've seen some very high- profile attacks.
In June, we saw the attacks on the Intercontinental hotel, a Western target. Today, we saw that attack on the British Council.
So, as we've seen some of these other attacks occur in some of the southern and eastern provinces which have traditionally been Taliban heartlands, what you're seeing now is you're seeing attacks in Wardak, you're seeing attacks in Oruzgan, in Parwan, and they all just kind of somewhat circle around the Afghan capital. And that, at least according to some strategists that we've talked to, could be a new tactic in terms of instilling elements of fear.
We saw those 33,000 additional U.S. troops, part of that surge last year that was pushing some of these Taliban elements out. So they say this might be sort of a new tactic in terms of targeting targets that they can in fact affect.
That really remains to be seen, but what one must keep in mind throughout all of this is that this is a moment of transition. NATO is drawing down. The full drawdown, by 2014, and a transition of provinces to local security staff. So what this actually means in terms of the future of Afghanistan certainly doesn't bode well when you have attacks like today.
STOUT: Yes. And if the Taliban were indeed behind today's attack, a lot of concerns about that group's capability.
David Ariosto, joining us live from Kabul.
Thank you very much, indeed.
Now, tension are rising between Israel and Gaza. Israeli security officials say that militants in Gaza fired rockets into the city of Ashdod on Friday, injuring six people. That is after Israel conducted an air strike against militants in Gaza on Thursday.
And this was the aftermath of that strike, which Palestinian officials say killed a boy. Israeli military officials say it was retaliation for a string of attacks on buses, civilian vehicles, and soldiers on Thursday which killed seven Israelis.
Back now to our top story. As we've been reporting, the Indian activist Anna Hazare has walked free from jail to start a 15-day public hunger strike.
And we are now able to toss it to Mallika Kapur, who has been following the story for us. She joins us now live from New Delhi.
And Mallika, what is the atmosphere like? What is that atmosphere around the protest site like? Describe it for us.
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's absolutely electric, Kristie. I don't think anybody expected the number of people to show up as we've seen today. Let me begin by telling you what we saw this morning from when we were outside Tihar jail, when he walked free.
There were at least around 3,000 people waiting for Anna Hazare to make his appearance. Some of them had been camping outside the jail since Tuesday, which is when Anna Hazare had been arrested. They had been waiting since then, waiting to catch a glimpse of the man many people are calling India's second Gandhi.
They were waving the national flag around. They threw rose petals at him when he appeared. They were chanting slogans in support of Anna Hazare all morning, and they were denouncing corrupt government officials.
The atmosphere was truly electric over there. And then the crowds just grew as the day went on.
He got into an open-air truck and made his way through the city via Radkad (ph), which is a memorial to Gandhi. Eventually, to the Ramlila grounds.
There was a very heavy downpour over there in the afternoon, but that didn't spoil the spirits. Anna Hazare took to the stage at the grounds this afternoon. Thousands more people appeared over there again.
There was a lot of singing, a lot of dancing. Anna Hazare, taking to the stage and saying, "I will not leave this premises. We will not leave these grounds until the government meets our demands" -- Kristie.
STOUT: Incredible scenes out of New Delhi earlier today. Will this movement be able to keep this momentum? I mean, this is, after all, the first day of a 15-day hunger strike.
KAPUR: You're right, and many people are wondering whether the crowd will be able to sustain this. There are many days to go, but looking at things on day one, today many more people turned out than anyone had expected. People are talking about the momentum Anna Hazare has created, saying that they've never seen the public so galvanized, so energized, and so determined to bring about a change.
You know, the very topic, corruption, it seems to have really struck a chord with the Indian public, because anybody you talk to -- we've spoken to a lot of people, a lot of supporters at the grounds today -- every one of them had a story to tell about corruption, about their experience with a corrupt official. People saying, "I see it. I feel it in my daily life. I walk down the road and I deal with a corrupt official who's charging me extra money for a parking ticket. If I need to get a birth certificate, a death certificate, I have to pay extra."
People are really fed up. So there does seem to be a lot of momentum here.
Of course it is early to see. We don't know whether the momentum will carry through for 15 days. But it's off to a very good start on day one.
STOUT: Yes. And as you said, the corruption is so endemic, no wonder Hazare's campaign has hit a nerve, a national nerve.
Thank you very much, indeed.
Mallika Kapur, joining us live from Delhi.
And ahead here on NEWS STREAM, getting tough on Syria. As pressure grows for President al-Assad to step down, we are hearing more reports of bloody crackdowns across the country.
Plus, manic markets. Investors around the world are seeing red as stocks plunge. We'll take a look at the numbers.
And it's back in court for Breivik. We will see how the people of Norway are coping since last month's mass killings.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Pressure is mounting on Syria. The U.N. says information gathered in its recent fact-finding mission suggests that Damascus may have committed crimes against humanity and that the International Criminal Court may need to get involved.
Now, Syria still denies a bloody crackdown on its civilians, despite widespread reports of witness accounts of the violence. The U.N. says it will send a humanitarian team to Syria this weekend to investigate those reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAVI PILLAY, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: In my report, I said that the abuses and human rights violations going on, on the ground, undermine the proclaimed reform package. And I also recommended a referral to the International Criminal Court, because all the evidence produced by the commission's report support a finding of widespread and systematic violations of human rights equaling crimes against humanity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And we're hearing fresh reports of protests that turned violent in Syria just moments ago.
Now, CNN is no longer allowed to report from inside the country. Arwa Damon has been following events closely from Beirut. She joins us now.
And Arwa, what are your sources telling you about this new outbreak of violence?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, there's been instances that have happened throughout the country, Daraa Province, especially. Three towns there, according to activists based inside the province, saw security forces opening fire on demonstrators as they were leaving the mosque. At least five or six people have been killed, many more wounded. The wounded, having to be treated in these secret underground clinics, we are being told, because demonstrators continue to be too afraid to go to main hospitals because they believe that the Syrian security forces will come and hunt them down there.
Now, the particular areas, these three towns where these incidents are said to have taken place, they actually, according to residents, continue to be besieged by the military, by the security forces, as is the capital of Daraa Province, Daraa City itself. Remember, the Syrian military entered the province back in April, and since then residents say they have been trying to maintain as much control over the streets in the main city, in these various towns as they can. But we continue to see demonstrators trying to go out, trying to make their voices heard.
STOUT: And Arwa, is this new crackdown a show of defiance from al-Assad, a message not only to anti-government protesters inside Syria, but to international community leaders who have condemned him and his actions?
DAMON: Well, Kristie, we also need to take note of the fact that this has pretty much been the status quo in Syria ever since these anti-government demonstrations began. This is not a new crackdown, this is an ongoing crackdown. That, according to activists, residents, has not ended, despite what the Syrian president and what the government is saying to the effect that they are claiming that all military and police operations have come to an end.
If in fact that had been the case, activists will say they should have been able to go out and demonstrate peacefully. What we are hearing from them is that, clearly, that is not the case.
And if we listen to what the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations had to say, he was also denying the bloodshed that he said was being reported in the media, saying that it was false information, that there was this massive widespread campaign to try to discredit the Syrian government, that Western nations now he was accusing of partaking in as well. So what we are seeing is a government that continues to deny that it is killing its own citizens, that continues to maintain that it is quite simply targeting these armed gangs.
And it would seem, based on what we're hearing today, that it is going to continue down that track.
STOUT: Now, this weekend, the United Nations will be sending a humanitarian team to investigate crimes against humanity. You have been monitoring all along, for months, social media feeds, working your contacts inside the country. Have you come across such evidence of crimes against humanity?
DAMON: Well, Kristie, we've come across and we've reported on a number of cases that are very similar to those that are outlined and produced by the United Nations. There have been a number of instances where we've seen videos with people's bodies bearing severe marks of torture. There was of course the horrific story of 13-year-old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, from Daraa, whose grossly mutilated body was returned to his parents. Activists say that happened at the hands of the Syrian security forces.
There's numerous instances where we've seen these various videos of Syrian security forces appearing to be shooting indiscriminately at anti- government demonstrators. And it just goes on and on and on.
Of course, it is impossible for us to independently verify any of this because of the restrictions imposed on the media by the Syrian government when they did briefly let us into the country last month. And also because the Syrian government continues to effectively deny what is taking place.
Now, allegedly, this U.N. team is supposed to be allowed unhindered access to all parts of the country, but we're just going to have to wait and see if that happens.
STOUT: Arwa Damon, watching the situation for us, joining us live from Beirut.
Thank you, Arwa.
Now, U.S. and European leaders, they say that Syrian President Bashar al- Assad must step down for his role in leading violent crackdowns on civilians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The people of Syria deserve a government that respects their dignity, protects their rights, and lives up to their aspirations. Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves, and that is what we will continue to work to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, the U.S. also imposed new economic sanctions on Syria on Thursday, its toughest yet. And they include freezing Syrian assets under U.S. jurisdiction, banning Americans from any business with Syria, and banning U.S. imports of Syrian oil or petroleum products.
Now, Syria's ambassador to the U.N. was quick to fire back at U.S. calls for President al-Assad's resignation, calling it a personal attack on Syria that's designed to incite more violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHAR JA'AFARI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: The United States, through imposing sanctions and calling for President Assad to step down, is launching and waging a humanitarian and diplomatic war against us. This war has one aim -- instigating further violence in the country and giving the wrong message to the terrorists armed groups that they are under American and Western protection so that they go ahead with their insurrection and destructive activities in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Russia opposes calls for President al-Assad to step down. In an interview with Russia's Interfax news agency, a foreign ministry official explained the decision, saying Syria should be allowed more time to implement reforms.
Libya's rebels are battling for control of Zawiya. It's a key town that is just west of the capital. Now, the rebels said they captured a key part of the city.
Let's go live to Sara Sidner, who is with the rebels in Zawiya. She joins us now on the line.
And Sara, what are you seeing there? Just how much of Zawiya are rebels holding?
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They have now control of the west and the south of the city. And at this point, we're hearing lots of loud blasts and booms. They sound like mortar fire and tank fire.
So, clearly, the fighting is still going on in the city. But they did get, as you said, a very key part of the city, and that is the oil refinery that exists here in Zawiya. That is one of the reasons that the Gadhafi forces really do not want to lose hold of this city. Important oil refining is here.
It is not functioning right now, but it can function. It is not broken, they just shut it down for some time.
And at this point in time, the rebels are battling it out, again, on the eastern part of the city. They did tell us that they were able to get this industrial area where the refinery exists because of help with NATO. Apparently, NATO, according to the rebels, did some strikes in this area, and that enabled them to go ahead and surround and take control of this refinery.
STOUT: So the rebels have captured this oil refinery, a key part of Zawiya. I understand that Zawiya is juts, what, 50 kilometers away from Tripoli? So is the Libyan capital now in their sights?
SIDNER: It is and it isn't. If you talk to the people who are actually doing the fighting, they say this fighting has been very fierce over the last few days, particularly right now. It's going on again. And they're saying, look, we're taking this day by day.
However, this is the furthest that the rebels have been able to get, and they are securing bits and pieces as they go along. They are hoping to be able to move on to Tripoli, but they are not sure exactly when that might happen. And that's from those who are in the middle of this fight, basically, fear in Zawiya.
And at this point we should mention, too, that Zawiya is a very important city not just because of that refinery, but also because it is a very important supply route to Tripoli. It cuts off, if the rebels get hold of it, an important coastal road that goes into Tripoli where Tripoli has been getting some of its oil into the city. And as you know, the city is very short on fuel at this time.
STOUT: All right.
Sara Sidner, joining us live on the line from Zawiya.
Thank you very much, indeed, for giving us that update.
Sara Sidner reporting that the Libyan rebels have taken a key part of Zawiya, a town just 50 kilometers from Tripoli. They have taken the oil refinery there.
Now, still to come hereon NEWS STREAM, there is no slowing down this Serbian sensation. We'll be back with the latest step in an incredible season for the world's number one.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.
And in Beijing, a basketball game between the U.S. and China turned into a bench-clearing brawl. Now, the game, it was tied, with about 10 minutes to go, when a foul was committed. And then, watch this.
An all-out fight breaks loose. The game between the Georgetown University team and a Chinese military team, it was supposed to promote goodwill through sports, but that was lost on the players, as you saw just now -- hurled punches and even metal chairs. Even the fans started throwing bottles at the Georgetown players.
Now, fans on both sides, they were dismayed by the brawl. In fact, on China's microblogging site, Sina Weibo, Zi Zhen Chu Chen writes this: "Look at the karate kick! This basketball match has no standards."
Now, many on Weibo, they were very critical of the China team, including Chinanoe, who posts, "Most of sportsmen have muscular limbs with simple mind."
But U.S. fans, Americans, they didn't let Georgetown off any easier. In fact, Meg Martin, she tweeted this: "Now, really, Georgetown, you should know better than to cause international crises."
But for one fan, the brawl had much more wider implications. Now, Galrahm Raymond Pritchett writes this: "It is political when a PLA soldier is kicking a U.S. college athlete on a State Department goodwill event."
Now, it has been a turbulent week also in world markets. And coming up, we'll tell you where the numbers stand as trading opens on Wall Street.
And in Norway, families of the victims of last month's massacre visit the site of the shooting as the man accused in the crimes heads to court. We'll bring you the latest in the case just ahead on NEWS STREAM.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream and these are your world headlines.
Now Indian activist Anna Hazare is out of jail. Thousands of supporters greeted him outside prison as he pledged to carry on his fight against corruption. And he has reached the venue where he will start his public fast for two weeks. The vocal anti-graft campaigner wants the government to pass tough measures to tackle corruption.
In Afghanistan, explosions and heavy gunfire continued hours after five suicide bombers attacked the British consul in Kabul. At least eight people are dead. The attacks coincide with the 92nd anniversary of Afghan independence from Great Britain. Now two militants were killed by security forces, three others that detonated their explosives.
Now protests have reportedly turned violent in different parts of Syria today. On Thursday, the U.N. issued a scathing report about the violence. World leaders called on President Bashar al Assad to step down. And Russia says it opposes that.
America's vice president met with Chinese vice premier -- rather Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday. And reports say that Joe Biden went out of his way to tell the premier that China's U.S. Treasury holdings are safe saying this, quote, "I want to be clear to you that you have nothing to worry about."
Now we are just under an hour away from the opening bell on Wall Street. And after more heavy losses yesterday coupled with losses in Asia and Europe today, the mood is pretty nervous. And tell us, what's going to happen and what might happen is our own Andrew Stevens.
I mean, such a selloff earlier today.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and it continues, Kristie. Not to the same degree. But still there's a lot of pressure, it's all downward pressure at the moment.
Remember, these markets are coming off their biggest falls yesterday, the last two-and-a-half years. Take Germany, which has been the outstanding performer in Europe over the -- in recent years. That stock -- that market was down more than 5 -- nearly 6 percent yesterday, off another 2 percent today.
So it's been a continuation of what's been yesterday. It's still real fears about what's going on with the European banks, how exposed they are to these peripheral economies and some of the big economies as well. And whether if there is a full blown crisis with this debt issue what will happen to the banks.
But let's move to the Dow now, because this is where all eyes are going to be. We've got the futures -- the market opens in about an hour or so from now. Dow futures still pointing down. Remember, there was a big fall yesterday. Huge fall. Some of the biggest falls we've seen for a long time. And still no respite.
In the U.S. you've got the double whammy of what's going on in Europe, the concerns about Europe. And you've also got, of course, what's going on in the U.S. economy. And we had four numbers out yesterday, Kristie, all were bad. We had inflation, housing, we had manufacturing all bad.
So not looking good today.
STOUT: OK. And what we're seeing overnight and today, is it a repeat of the volatility we saw last week? Or is this something different?
STEVENS: No. It's pretty much the same thing. The calm at the beginning of this week when everybody was sort of, you know, (inaudible) saying wow, that was unbelievable last week, seem to be OK. That was actually the eye of the storm. So it's the same storm.
But what we're seeing is more and more evidence, if you like, the U.S. economy is -- I'll give you one good example. There's this thing called the Philly Index, which is just a regional manufacturing gauge. Pretty small in the U.S. But that was expected to have a positive reading on the index of about 3. It came in with a negative reading of 30.
Now those conditions say that basically this is a recessionary environment. So people really got hold of that and says this is what the manufacturers are saying. Factories aren't producing anything. They are facing recessionary conditions now.
This is only a small indicator, but is it the lead indicator for the rest of the manufacturing sector, that's what's being priced into the market now.
STOUT: And any thoughts on what it's going to look like on Monday. Are we going to see that exhalation, that sigh that everything could be OK that we saw this Monday? Or is it going to get much more pessimistic?
STEVENS: Well, I think the only thing you can say at the moment is the volatility is not over yet. It's very difficult to say when it will be over, because all these open ended questions. We don't know how consumer confidence is going to be hit by this sort of numbers. That stops them spending. We don't know what the next shoe to drop is going to be in the euro debt crisis. We don't know what the European government is going to do to try to deal with it. We don't know if the G7 is going to step in and do some sort of concerted efforts for financial stability around the world.
Too many questions. Too many unknowns.
And in all this unknown, obviously you get huge volatility.
STOUT: Yeah, the markets are waiting for decisive action, which they didn't quite get earlier this week in that meeting in Paris.
STEVENS: I mean, we were talking last week about this. Leadership -- it comes back to leadership. And there isn't any.
STOUT: Andrew Stevens, thank you very much indeed for your analysis. My colleague Andrew Stevens there. He'll be back 10:00 later today, rather 9:00 pm Hong Kong time with World Business Today.
For more on the markets, stay tuned for World Business Today. Felicia Taylor, she is standing by in New York along with Nina Dos Stantos, and of course Mr. Stevens. That's 9:00 am in New York, 2:00 pm in London, 9:00 pm in Hong Kong.
Now the families of the victims of a mass shooting rampage in Norway are visiting the scene of the attack today. And on the same day, the man accused of carrying out these attacks is appearing in court.
Well, Anders Breivik was taken back to the tiny island of Utoya last week as part of a police investigation. The attack there left 69 people dead last month. And most of them were young people gathered for a summer camp held by the governing Labor camp -- Party. Now eight others died in bombings in Oslo government buildings hours earlier.
NRK reporter Peter Svaar is in Oslo, Norway. He joins us now. Peter thank you very much indeed for joining us here on CNN. We understand that many victims' families are on Utoya Island. They have visited there. How many have taken up this offer to visit the scene of the crime? And why was this trip organized?
PETER SVAAR, NRK REPORTER: From what we know 50 out of the 69 affected families have taken up the offer. And they are now on Utoya Island where they will be met by each family will have one liaison from the Norwegian Red Cross and each family will also have their own police liaison.
The purpose of this trip is for the relatives of those who died to visit the scene and also to gather more information about where those -- their family members were shot and killed. And from what we understand the police are going to mark out to the families that wish to the place where their relatives were found on the island.
STOUT: You know, I can only imagine just the emotions for these family members as they visit Utoya Island.
Now meanwhile, I understand that Breivik is returned to court today. What do we expect to learn from his hearing?
SVAAR: Well, the hearing finished about an hour ago. And the court will read their decision in 25 minutes -- at 3:00 Oslo time.
The -- what's going to take place there is -- is basically that they are going to decide if he will still be kept in isolation for the next four weeks. And it is widely expected that he will indeed, that his isolation will be prolonged and that he will -- he will be kept in (inaudible) isolation. And that means you do not have contact with other prisoners, you do not have access to media, letters, contacts with the outside world except for your lawyer.
And that (inaudible) he has been incarcerated since the attacks. And it's expected that that will carry on for quite some time yet.
STOUT: So Breivik will be held in isolation. I understand that the hearing was closed to prevent him from communicating to any possible accomplices. What can we read into that? Do police still believe that he acted alone?
SVAAR: Well, the police say that they have -- they have become more confident in that he acted alone, but that they are still investigating his own claims that there were two other cells, as he said, in his organization.
So they are still investigating that. But as I said, the police are increasingly confident that this was actually his own work. But he may have had accomplices outside. There may be other people involved. They can't completely rule that out yet. And they -- they've given two reasons for running the hearing behind closed doors.
And one reason is that the -- they don't want him to -- the security that they don't want him to be able to give any messages to the outside world. And the second one is that they fear that it may interfere with their police investigation.
STOUT: All right, Peter, we'll leave it at that.
Peter Svaar, thank you very much indeed.
Now the British government wants curbs on social media in the aftermath of the riots. Is the crackdown on social media, and by extension free speech, the right response? We'll have more on that debate right here on News Stream.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the UK's prison population is at a record high in the wake of last week's riots with some particularly harsh sentences being handed down, including four years behind bars for two men who urged riots via Facebook. It could still rise.
Now meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron is mulling banning some people from social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, in a bid to prevent similar uprisings in the future.
So where should governments draw the line between free speech and public safety? And if cell phones or Facebook should be regulated, who should decide how far do they go?
Now we've put that to social media guru Jeff Jarvis from New York University and trial attorney Mitchell Lundberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF JARVIS, SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT: All speech is sacred as far as I'm concerned. Let's not forget, we don't know what these tools really are to say that it's a telephone is wrong, it's much more than a telephone. It's the press, it's the Gutenberg Press in everyone's pocket. And so we really have to stand behind, I think, much higher principles of free speech and understanding what this really means to the public.
And to try to cut it off, the problem here is the governments, I think, are trying to demonize this technology. They're afraid of it. They're thinking it's being used against them, and in some cases of course it is, but that's what we the people have a right to do.
MITCHELL LUNDBERG, ATTORNEY: They've got to balance the rights of people against that job. And when there is an imminent threat of lawless behavior, especially dangerous lawless behavior, then under -- in the United States we call it a time, place, or manner restriction. There is -- for a limited time, there's a certain kind of speech that's being limited. And because the government has a significant interest, and there's no less restrictive alternative. It's perfectly appropriate.
And in the conduct of the rules need to catch up with the technology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And this debate isn't going away any time soon.
Now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are making their first official appearance since their North American tour, but this is a trip with a twist. And to explain, let's bring in our royal correspondent Max Foster.
And I understand, Max, that they are making a trip to affected areas in Birmingham. What is their agenda there?
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. And it's a poignant visit, because we've been reporting on CNN about how three young men were killed during those UK riots. And the couple are going to the area where those men were from. There's a funeral yesterday for those men. Tens of thousands of people turned out for the funeral. And there's a lot of tension in that area. There were riots there. And the background to that in Birmingham is there are racial tensions as well.
But the father of one of the victims, one of the people who died, spoke very eloquently after those riots. And he's widely considered to be the person that kept a lid on the riots across the UK.
And the couple went into a community center in Birmingham to meet him and other members of the families of the victims and then went on to meet some emergency workers involved in the riots and religious leaders.
So trying to understand, I think Kristie, what was going on in Birmingham. But this isn't a case of meeting looters, it's about a case of meeting victims and the support network around the riot response.
So Max, what impact will this visit make. Will it help soothe the tension, bring down the temperature of it? Have you heard any reaction yet?
FOSTER: Well, it does always shine a spotlight, doesn't it? Where this couple go, you get huge amounts of media. And we're talking about it now. And that's the case around the world. I mean, they shine a spotlight onto causes.
So what they're trying to do is show that their interested and shine a light, particularly on the emergency services, the people who supported the response really. So certainly you hear from policemen and ambulance workers. You meet them. We've been hearing that today about how they appreciate that they have had their work recognized. So it's very much focusing on them.
But it does shine a spotlight in the issues in Birmingham. They're going to go to a shop that was looted and speak to a shopkeeper. And certainly you're going to get a real sense of what Birmingham went through, what Britain went through last week.
STOUT: And, Max, you've met with the royal couple. You've talk to them. You've interviewed them. Is it your sense that this is the kind of work that they want to do, this is what they want to accomplish to bring royal diplomacy even to the most politically fraught, highly charged places?
FOSTER: Yes, certainly. And particularly their causes. For example, conservation or homelessness. They really want to focus on those. And we're still waiting to here, Kristie, what the Duchess will be really focusing on, because that's what most people are waiting on. So much focus on the Duchess.
They're lying low, though, at the moment for the next year. They want to focus on their marriage. And they want to allow the queen to gain the headlines ahead of her Diamond jubilee. But so much focus on the couple.
So much focus, as ever as well Kristie, on what Kate's wearing. Social media buzzing today. I can tell you that the social media buzz is that she's wearing Alexander McQueen and Prada shoes. I have to tell you that, because that's what everyone is talking about online. And you're focused on that often, I know.
STOUT: Yeah. And you can just take a look at WhatKatewore.com, I guess, get the details on that. Anyway, she looks gorgeous as usual.
Max Foster, covering all points for us. Thank you very much indeed.
Now there's a bit of a shake-up at HP. Now the world's largest maker of personal computers is looking to spin off its PC business. So why is a computer brand as well know pulling the plug on PCs? Well, they want to focus on where the market is going. Hewlett-Packard wants to enter the more profitable business software market. So it has agreed to buy British software firm Autonomy for roughly $10.3 billion.
Now HP sees its future in business services. And they're not the first. Remember IBM? It sold its PC division to Lenovo back on 2004.
Now HP is also killing off the Touchpad tablet as well as its WebOS smartphone line. And for gadget geeks this announcement was the shocker. Now note the timeline. In April of 2010, HP buys the smartphone maker Palm for $1.2 billion. Then in February of this year it introduces its first WebOS devices. Fast forward to July of this year, just one month ago, HP releases the Touchpad tablet.
And one month on, the entire division has been scrapped -- the Touchpad, the OS, and that $1.2 billion acquisition.
Which brings us to the News Stream takeaway of this newstech headline. Tablets may be the hot market in tech, but it's not an easy one.
Now the HP Touchpad, introduced here just six months ago, was a critically acclaimed device, a solid tablet computer that some said could stand up to the iPad. But even a strong tablet backed by the world's biggest PC maker can't get enough traction. And it has been forced to retreat.
Now a small slice of footballing history will be made later this Friday. We're talking football on Facebook next.
STOUT: We are back with sport and Spain. The start of new football season has been postponed.
With more on this and other stories, here's Pedro Pinto -- Pedro.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. You know, the player's union is determined to continue its strike until a new collective bargaining agreement is signed with the league in Spain. That means the first round of fixtures scheduled for this weekend has been postponed.
Players and clubs are holding an emergency meeting as we speak in Madrid, trying to work out a last minute deal. The Association of Spanish Footballers is demanding a wage guarantee and that players be allowed to break their contracts if they are not paid for three consecutive months.
The AFE says around 200 players from the top two divisions are owed $70 million combined. League officials have said they remain open to negotiate through the weekend, but right now both sides are still a long way apart on reaching a news deal.
A small slice of footballing history will be made in England later this Friday when non-league sides Ascott's United and Wembley FC will have their FA Cup preliminary round streamed worldwide on the social networking site Facebook. It's a match that ordinarily would struggle to attract a crowd of 100 people and features players like John Bennett and Chris Corton (ph) who have day jobs other than playing football for a living.
The groundbreaking webstream is being organized by Budweiser who is the FA Cup's new title sponsor. And it's an opportunity that regular guys like these are thrilled to be a part of.
Tennis now, the Cincinnati Masters. World Number Two Raphael Nadal was involved in a gladiatorial battle with compatriot Fernando Verdasco. Three hours and 38 minutes were needed to decide this best of three match out at the Cincinatti Masters. Rafa hasn't been at his best this summer. And again he failed to reach the kind of level we're used to seeing from him.
Tiebreaks were definitely the story of this encounter. Nadal won the first set 7-6, and Verdasco used the same score to win the second.
To the third set we go, and the match continued to be as tight as they come. Neither player managed to grip control of this match. Nadal and Verdasco combined for an incredible 100 unforced errors.
Rafa did just enough in the end to win the third set tiebreak 11-9 to improve his career record to 12-0 against his friend and David Cup teammate.
World number one Novak Djokavic had an easier path to the quarterfinals. He breezed past Radek Stepanek in straight sets. The Serbian star had some issues with his serve. He was broken three times in this contest.
But his supremacy was never really challenged by his veteran opponent. Djokavic, who already owns a season record five Masters Series titles remains on course for a sixth.
He showed his quick reflexes several times at the net like on that point there. He won 6-3, 6-3.
Up next for Djokavic, a match with Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals.
The WTA tour has also set up shop in Cincinnati this week. The city hasn't been kind to many of the top ranked players. World number one Caroline Wozniaki was knocked out. Serena Williams pulled out with an injury. And on Thursday there were two more upsets. Li Na and Petra Kvitova were both sent packing.
French Open champion Li Na lost in three sets to Samantha Stosur. Li, China's first grand slam single's champion, was also beaten last week in Toronto by the Australian who will now meat Maria Sharapova in the last eight.
Stosur is hitting a good run of form in the run-up to the U.S. Open where she reached the quarterfinals last year.
6-4, 3-6, 6-4 the score as she beat Li Na on Thursday.
That is a quick look at the international sport headlines. Kristie, back to you.
STOUT: Pedro, thank you and take care.
Now time for your global weather update and some pretty violent weather has caught concert goers by surprise in Belgium. Let's get the details now with our Mari Ramos. She stands by at the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this is a story -- you know, it gets pretty scary, because people were outside. There's really no place to take shelter. There are severe storms in the forecast. But there's really no place to go.
We saw this situation earlier here in the U.S., remember Indiana where that stage collapse happened, it turned deadly. Well this one similar situation and also turning deadly.
I'm going to go ahead and show you the pictures first. And they are very dramatic.
You're looking at the situation almost as it happened in Belgium. Look at the stage there in the background. There were thousands of people here at this concert. And all of a sudden not one, but two stages collapse down to the ground. The people that were there were not only of course horrified, but they were also running scared because the wind was so strong, probably in excess of 80 kilometesr per hour, and the hail that was coming down -- do you see it there? The size of golf balls. That caused injuries to some people as well.
Local media is reporting at least five people were killed. And there are another 10 people that were seriously injured and in the hospital. Very, very scary situation for people there.
And you know I always tell you guys, you know my kids play a lot of outdoor sports. We're outside a lot. And we're always monitoring the weather, because you never know when a situation like this is going to pop up.
But when they are in the forecast already, you really need to be extra vigilant at your outdoor activities, particularly right now in the summer time. People want to enjoy the outdoors -- you know, I hate to tear you away from those pictures, because they are really amazing as people were just trying to take cover as to what happened there.
Come back over to the weather map. Let me go ahead and try to explain to you the situation. We had some really strong storms that were moving through here, not just across the UK, but back over here. And these were the strongest ones.
When you look at the radar and you see those white areas kind of embedded in, those are the strongest storms. They're stronger than the red ones that you see right there. So that's like a simple way for you to keep an eye on this kind of stuff.
There in Belgium where the stage collapse happened, we estimate the winds there probably around 80 kilometers per hour. Other areas had 65 millimeters of rain and hail, you know, 4.5 centimeters. That's very significant.
So what happens when you get this kind of weather, you have these strong storms rolling in. It's already really hot outside. So you have these thunderstorms that begin to form, Kristie, and then that pushes down the air. You have this cooled air that comes down within the thunderstorms. It's cooled by the rain. It's air that's coming from the over levels of the atmosphere. It's cooler air. It comes down. And it comes down very, very quickly. And we think that that's one of the reasons you had such strong wind gusts that come along.
And you can feel that sometimes, even Kristie, when the storms are starting to build you can be standing outside. You're going to start feeling the wind coming through. That's what happens. That's when the storms are starting to form.
Usually, or sometimes they're not going to be this strong. Back to you.
STOUT: All right. Mari Ramos there. Thank you, have a good weekend.
And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.