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Clashes in Tripoli; International Journalists Held Against Their Will in Tripoli are Finally Released; Steve Jobs Steps Down as CEO of Apple

Aired August 25, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

$1.4 million, the price rebels say one Libyan is willing to pay to rid his country of Moammar Gadhafi.

Steve Jobs steps down as CEO of Apple. And we will explore what it is about him that has attracted such devotion from consumers and fellow CEOs.

And in India, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has been fasting for 10 days now, and there are growing concerns about his health.

We begin in Libya, where the hunt for Moammar Gadhafi is heating up. Rebel forces say there is now a $1.4 million bounty on his head, and true victory, they say, rests on his capture or killing.

Now, despite the rebels' strong gains this week, fighting is far from over in Tripoli as Gadhafi loyalists continue to put up resistance. And the Bab al-Aziziya compound, it remains a hot point for clashes.

Reporters tell us a giant plume of smoke was seen rising from the area just a short time ago. The Tripoli International Airport also remains a flash point, with reports of rockets landing nearby and heavy shelling by Gadhafi forces. Some are wondering if the increased resistance there means Gadhafi is close.

Now, Sara Sidner has more on the fresh clashes at Gadhafi's compound.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're here at Martyrs' Square, and suddenly, we have been a witness to huge plumes of smoke that we believe are coming from the area around Bab al-Aziziya, if not Bab al- Aziziya itself. There appears to be a firefight still going on in that area.

Our team that has been there was not able to get all the way inside. They did see people coming from one part of Bab al-Aziziya. They're not sure if it was rebels or if it was Gadhafi forces, but they were armed. The situation, still a security threat in and around Bab al-Aziziya. Now we're seeing very large plumes of smoke from the south of Martyrs' Square, which is in the same area.

The situation is always changing here in Tripoli. One moment, everybody says rebels have control of 90 percent of the city, and the next moment, we hear there are some serious problems in sections which they already said they had control of. So, things change very quickly. We do know the city has been relatively quiet until this point in the day, about noontime here.

So, the big headline right now at this time is that there is a massive amount of smoke coming from the south of Martys' Square, near Gadhafi's former compound, Bab al-Aziziya.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Tripoli.


STOUT: And with the writing clearly on the wall, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons says he wants to negotiate a cease-fire to save Tripoli from a sea of blood. The offer came in an e-mail that Saadi Gadhafi wrote to our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He said, "I don't want this to turn into Somalia. I don't want there to be seas of blood here in the coming days. And I want help in these negotiations."

He said that he's reached out to Washington, has reached out to NATO, and he wants help in doing this. He was the person who was perhaps, within the regime, more behind the release of Eman al-Obeidy, if you remember that woman who was raped, and got into the hotel with the journalists, and then was beaten and dragged off and locked up again. And we got to talk to her after she was released.

He was, I'm reliably informed, involved in her release. He told us at the time that he wanted to help. He seemed to have something of a humanitarian streak. But I don't know if he was just doing that for our benefit, or if that's really the way he was. Certainly the rebels believe that he's been responsible for many, many deaths and part of an abusive regime.

Could he overrule his brothers? It seemed to me from our conversations, as the war got going, proper, it was the family speaking together, and he was basically told to be quiet, sit on the sidelines and let Saif run the show.


STOUT: Now, dozens of journalists released from a Tripoli hotel are savoring their freedom. Tears flowed when colleagues were reunited. The relief, palpable, after Gadhafi loyalists freed 33 journalists and two other foreign nationals from the Rixos Hotel on Wednesday.

CNN's Matthew Chance was among them and said the guards finally realized the capital city had been taken.

Earlier, Anderson Cooper asked Matthew about the lowest point of this five- day ordeal.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's difficult, Anderson, to say which was the worst time. I think it was probably -- because there were so many of them. We were lying on our bellies at one point, you know, hoping the shells that were coming into the compound weren't going to hit us. And there were snipers firing into the hotel at various points during the fight.

Basically, we were kept there against our will. But, you know, I think the worst time is when we realized quite early on in the situation we found ourselves in that, you know, we had lost control of the situation, that all these scenarios started playing out in our heads.

We started getting paranoid that we could be used as human shields if Gadhafi's remnants of his army decided to use the hotel to make their last stand. Maybe we were going to be taken prisoner properly. Maybe we were going to be executed.

We didn't know. All these things were ticking through our heads. And it was when we realized this could end really badly for us, and when that sank into us, I think that was a sort of turning point. And it was early on in this situation.

And from then, we were kind of really focused on you know working out solutions, working out answers to various scenarios, what we would do if such and such happened. And, you know, it was a very traumatic time throughout that period. But it's difficult to pinpoint one exact moment which was the worst.


STOUT: And while he was at the hotel, Matthew Chance continued to report on CNN. He used Twitter and Skype to share his experiences. And we want you to hear the story of the last few days in Matthew's own words.


CHANCE: Actually, there is still one gunman downstairs, and he's got a green bandana on. And he is one of the people who's been very sensitive about being filmed. You can hear him shouting downstairs. I'm going to tip my camera down there.

You might be able to see him in the corner there. He's got a Kalashnikov. He's got two Kalashnikovs, in fact.

And he's staying downstairs, so I think we're going to be fine. We can continue to talk.



CHANCE: It's not a good situation. It's very tense, indeed. Over the past couple of -- half an hour or so, we've seen that the majority of the minders who have been heavily armed have left the hotel. And it's been replaced by a sense of insecurity in the hotel.

There are a few gunmen wandering around with green bandanas on and green flags attached to them. But, you know, at the moment, we don't know what's going to happen next.

Hala, I think I'm going to have to leave it there. I'll get back to you as soon as I can with more (ph) on the situation.



CHANCE: There's such a ferocious gunfight outside, a battle around the compound of Colonel Gadhafi. Some of the bullets have been flying into the hotel.

We've also, you know, been sort of left here by the Gadhafi loyalists, the government of the country, in the sense that all of the minders that were here and the government officials that were here sort of departed sometime yesterday as the rebels began their advance into Tripoli. And what they left behind, instead of letting us go out into the streets and to do whatever we want, they left behind some Gadhafi loyalist gunmen in the lobby of the hotel, some of whom are very aggressive. So we've all kind of, like, corralled ourselves onto the upper floors. We're not getting any information at all about what's going on outside.



CHANCE: After Saif Gadhafi made his appearance at the Rixos Hotel, the whole situation seems to have changed. There's no gunfire outside. It's got very calm.

You can see around me -- I'm talking to you on Skype -- the electricity is on in the hotel. A few hours ago, we were all sitting in the searing heat because there were no air-conditioners, there was no running water. It was pitch black in this hotel. There were no lights outside, no lights inside.

And now, you know, the generators have gone back on again. It seems that at least in this area, these pockets of Tripoli around the Rixos Hotel and the Gadhafi compound, the government have really kind of succeeded in defending these pockets and have really reestablished their control.



CHANCE: We're still very much in the same kind of grim situation, which is that we're in a hotel, we're on the top floor of the hotel. We've corralled ourselves into that top floor. Gadhafi loyalists are still very much in control of this hotel and the immediate perimeter around it.



CHANCE: We're kind of embracing ourselves given the developments in other parts of Tripoli, particularly around the compound of Colonel Gadhafi, for some kind of confrontation here at the Rixos Hotel. So far, that hasn't happened.

I can tell you, we're all kind of hoping that this crisis -- and we've been here for -- under these conditions for about five days now, unable to leave. We've corralled on the top floor of the hotel, about 35 journalists, together, not knowing what's happening. We've been in that situation for about five days now.



CHANCE: We are not being allowed to leave. We want to leave. We feel we're in danger. The gunfights taking place outside, as journalists enter the hotel without negotiating. We're obviously in a very -- still very fragile position, and we're very concerned about how this is going to come to an end.



CHANCE: We have now left the compound of the Rixos Hotel. All of the 36 journalists that were kept inside, essentially against their will, in what we all considered all along to be a hostage crisis -- a hostage situation, rather -- have now been allowed to go out.

It's been a very complicated, a very frightening, a very emotional roller- coaster of the past five days. And we're now driving out of the Rixos. We're driving through the deserted streets, I'd have to say, of Tripoli to our freedom, essentially. It's been an absolute nightmare.


STOUT: So much relief. Now they are free. And we will hear more from the CNN team who were freed from the Rixos Hotel later in the program.

Libya remains a very dangerous place for journalists, but four Italian reporters kidnapped on Wednesday have also been released. The Italian Foreign Ministry says the four were abducted on the road between Zawiya and Tripoli, apparently by loyalist forces.

And one of the journalists told his newspaper that they were beaten and one of their drivers was killed. There are no details yet about their condition or how they got free.

Still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, stepping down. Steve Jobs resigns as Apple's chief executive officer.

Plus, Hurricane Irene is pounding the Bahamas, and forecasters warn it is supposed to gain strength before it strikes again.

And India's prime minister appeals for activist Anna Hazare to end a 10-day hunger strike.

Stay with us.


STOUT: Welcome back.

You've heard the news by now. Steve Jobs is no longer the CEO of Apple. He has held that position since 1997, and led the company he co-founded through its historical turnaround.

Now, in his resignation letter, Jobs said he could no longer meet his duties and expectations as CEO. But it is important to note that Jobs will remain Apple's chairman.

He is well known for begin hands on. Now, he has made two major public appearances this year, despite being on medical leave since January. And this is his latest, just two months ago.

Now, CEOs, they resign every day. So why is this resignation so meaningful?

We asked the founder of tech blog GigaOM that question.


OM MALI, FOUNDER, GIGAOM: There are a lot of (INAUDIBLE) who feel indebted to the man. Not to the products, as much as his culture, his focus on (INAUDIBLE) valley experience and happiness for the consumer. And those kinds of values are the ones we all learned from him. And so, in a sense, it's a very emotional moment not just for me, personally, but for all the people in the valley I've talked to.


STOUT: It is worth remembering just how many businesses Apple has transformed under Jobs.

The personal computer, it has come a long way, from the Apple II, making the computer affordable enough for anyone to own, to the Macintosh, making it accessible for anyone to use. Or the iPod, which surpassed the Sony Walkman, becoming the personal music player of its generation.

Now, the iTunes Store, it transformed the music business. It is now said to be the world's biggest music store.

And then there was the iPhone, turning the mobile phone into a proper computing platform in its own right.

Now, Jobs' latest gadget is of course the iPad. And analysts think it could reach sales of $44 million this year alone.

Apple's new CEO is Tim Cook. The former chief operating officer has been at the helm before, taking over for Jobs during all three of his medical leaves. Now, Cook is known for being an operations wizard, but not a products guy.

Blogger Xeni Jardin explains some of the other differences from Jobs.


XENI JARDIN, BOING BOING: Many would characterize sort of his personality, his character, his approach to work as quiet, head down, committed, but there's something more sober about how he goes about things than Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is really a very charismatic leader. And I feel like this is an important kind of end of an era for Apple. It's the beginning of a new chapter.

A lot of people have a lot of questions about what's next.


STOUT: We do know that Apple has continued to thrive with Cook in control. The company has set new records this year. But analysts say it will take more than one man to fill Steve Jobs' shoes.

Senior vice president Jonathan Ive, he is Apple's design guru. Experts say that he is largely responsible for the way Apple products look and feel.

And then there's Philip Schiller. He's Apple's marketing chief. He has taken on the role of product pitchman for Jobs in the past.

And you also have Scott Forstall. He is another influential senior vice president. He is in charge of iPhone and iPad software.

Now, as you know, some of Apple's suppliers are based here in Asia. And the ripples from Jobs' resignation have reached this part of the world.

Eunice Yoon looks at the reaction.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're at one of Apple's four stores in China. These stores see tens of thousands of customers every single day, and they generate the biggest sales for the company in the world.

The products are seen here as innovative, young, and trendy. And so, because of that, a lot of fans are sad to see Steve Jobs resign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He is hardworking and legendary. He is a pioneer.

YOON: Jobs is seen as a symbol of American ingenuity. The company is famous for design, but a lot of the manufacturing and assembling is done here.

Apple has several major suppliers in China that help to put together the company's Macs, iPads, and iPhones. But because Jobs is viewed as the creative force behind Apple, there are concerns here about the long-term future of the company, what that means for the suppliers and the fans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The innovation of Apple is unprecedented, so without him, the products will lose a lot of fans.

YOON: Even so, Apple's products are wildly popular among young professionals, allowing Apple to outrank its Chinese rival, Lenovo, in greater China for the first time.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.


STOUT: Now, the resignation of Steve Jobs will reportedly be included in his upcoming authorized biography. Now, that book has moved up by about four months. Simon & Schuster released this image of the cover last week, and some speculated that a decline in Jobs' health pushed the publication date forward. It is now due out in November.

Hurricane Irene is likely to pound much of the U.S. East Coast this weekend. Strong winds and rain lashed the Bahamas this morning, knocking out power and tearing off roofs.

We'll have more on that, next on NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now, Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the eastern United States and threatening the Northeast coast with its first full-scale hurricane in more than 20 years.


STOUT: And up after the break, the wounded and the dying. We will go inside a Tripoli hospital struggling to cope with casualties from the fighting.

And day 10 of activist Anna Hazare's hunger strike in India. It is an unorthodox way of forcing political change. What do his critics say?


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, and we will bring you the latest on the battle for Tripoli just ahead. But first, let's check some of the other headlines this hour.

Steve Jobs is bowing out as CEO of Apple, but will stay on as chairman. Jobs, you'll remember, survived cancer, has undergone a liver transplant, and has been on medical leave since January. Former chief operating officer Tim Cook will take on the role of CEO.

Facebook and Twitter are expected to say no to any attempt by the British government to ban people from sites or shut them down during unrest. Now, the British prime minister has partly blamed social media, which was used by rioters and looters to organize recent disorder. Representative from social media are to meet with Britain's home secretary today.

North Korea says it is ready to resume six-party nuclear talks that stalled in 2008. And parties to those talks include South Korea, China, the U.S., Russia, and Japan. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is also willing to discuss imposing a ban on testing and developing nuclear capabilities. He was in Russia meeting with President Medvedev.

We are continuing to keep a close eye on events in Libya as clashes heat up in the capital, Tripoli. And while the rebels are having to fight their battles on the ground, foreign governments are trying to shore up financial support from afar.

Now, several countries at the United Nations are pushing to quickly provide money for the Libyan National Transitional Council. As early as Thursday, the U.N. Security Council could vote to override the Sanctions Committee and release up to $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to be used by the NTC. So far, South Africa has been blocking that move.

Now CNN is the only TV news organization that is monitoring events from the airport in Tripoli. Our Arwa Damon is there. She joins us now live. And Arwa, what is the situation at the airport today?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Kristie, the airport for the last few days has been the scene of some quite intense battles. There were a few artillery rounds that were lobbed in the direction of the airport just a short while ago. And this follows a day after which the airport was pounded by artillery and grad rockets.


DAMON: So right now, Gadhafi's forces are pelting the airport from two locations.

IBRAHIM MADANI, REBEL COMMANDER: Yes, two locations. That's right.

You know, he's trying to get the airport back, because he has a lot of weapons here.

DAMON: Weapons like grad rockets, sound (inaudible) Ibrahim Madani tells us. Then, he takes us into the underground containers that were filled with weapons and ammunition now in rebel hands.

The attacks come from multiple directions. The battle isn't just for control of the airport, rebels believe that the ferocity of the attacks is directly linked to Gadhafi's whereabouts.

Mukhtar al Akhdar, a retired former officer in Gadhafi's army is the senior rebel commander who led the initial assault on the airport complex.

MUKHTAR AL AKHDAR, SENIOR REBEL COMMANDER (through translator): This is my analysis as a military man, there has been intense firing from all directions for the last three days. There has been a focus on this airport complex more than other locations, even in Tripoli. This is evidence that Gadhafi is in the area or wants to escape from Tripoli through here.

DAMON: Despite their recent gains in the capital, rebels still don't control important chunks of highways and territory around here.

The incoming mortars are pounding the area, throwing up dirt among the grounded airplanes. Rebels say Gadhafi's forces are using nearby villages as cover for their launching sites.

The rebels are firing back, but they're very worried, they say, about civilian casualties so they're trying to make sure their rounds land before the first row of houses. NATO, they say, is also unable to target these positions for the very same reason.

By nightfall, the fighting only intensified, fueling the rebels' frustration and fears that while they are pinned down in the battle here, their main target, Gadhafi, remains elusive.


DAMON: And what the rebels are telling us now is that overnight, NATO struck a number of targets in the area including a military installation they are telling us as well as two vehicles that had artillery launchers mounted on the back of them. What they have also done is sent word out to the various villages in the area via fighters who are from this part of the country telling them to try to either escape from the villages or make sure that they take shelter on the lower floors of their buildings, because the rebels do want to try to advance into these areas, not just to hunt down the Gadhafi loyalists, but continue to control parts around this airport, but also to continue in their search for Gadhafi himself -- Kristie.

STOUT: That's right. Now that there is a bounty on Gadhafi's head, what options are left for him? And where could he be?

DAMON: Well, that's the big question. People are speculating that there is a group of loyalists who are obviously trying to protect him. There is speculation that perhaps he is moving through this area here. At one point the rebels said they spotted a convoy that possibly could have been carrying him. But what everyone is telling us is that there are people around who are still willing to protect him and the best bet that the rebels have to try to hunt him down is to diminish the areas of land that are controlled by Gadhafi loyalists, to try and diminish the options that he would actually have to try and escape.

STOUT: Arwa Damon joining us live from the airport there in Tripoli. Thank you very much indeed Arwa.

Now let's take a closer look at some of the flashpoints around Tripoli.

Now here is the airport where Arwa is reporting from. And we are hearing reports of rockets landing nearby and heavy shelling by Gadhafi forces.

Now this is Moammar Gadhafi's once heavily fortified compound. Now clashes broke out again there just a few hours ago. And plumes of smoke have been seen rising from the compound. Gadhafi's whereabouts, again, are still not known. Rebel forces, they broke in and raided his compound on Tuesday.

And you have Green Square, it was renamed Martyr's Square by the rebels. It is another important area. This is where we saw the rebels gathering in large numbers, firing shots in the air in celebration. Now no major clashes have been reported there recently.

And the Rixos Hotel, it was the site of that five day hostage situation for 33 international reporters, including our own Matthew Chance and his team. And they were released just yesterday.

And he hopes it would end with a fizzle, not a bang. And it did. Here's CNN's Matthew Chance and CNN's Jomana Karadsheh after leaving the Rixos.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All this while we were absolutely terrified. That now the mood was going to change and we were going to be shot. I think that -- I mean, that's -- let's get to the nub of it. I mean, that's what we were worried about. We were worried about being shot.

But happily we weren't shot. We weren't even injured. We were absolutely fine.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN PRODUCER: One of the most difficult things for me is the language. You know, speaking Arabic, I was involved in most of the negotiations that those guys who were holding us there and also trying to talk to people on the outside, trying to secure a safe passage for us that means that we are getting us out likely today. It was a team effort.

They had to (inaudible) journalists. And you know, (inaudible) really bond together and work as a team and make sure that we all got out of there together.

It was amazing. And walking out of the hotel, I didn't really know what was going to be out there. And I came out to a new Libya. I was actually shocked. It's a new Tripoli. I didn't see any green flags. It was the rebel flags. I saw children waiving the flags.

It felt like a happy Tripoli. It was a very, very different one than the one I saw about a week ago before we were taken hostage.

CHANCE: Jomana was great. She was great. She was doing -- she was doing, you know, all of us -- for all the journalists that were there. You know, Jomana was like -- was crucial. She was doing much of the negotiation with the -- you know, the Gadhafi government downstairs in the lobby. She was taking on her shoulders to do it. It was remarkable.

I mean she's a -- I mean, what one amazing producer to produce us out of this horrific crisis. We wouldn't -- I don't think we'd all be here now. I literary think it's -- she was that good. I don't think we'd be here now if it weren't for her.

I've got a big -- load the stuff up I got on my Flip cam from last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Matthew is here now. Yeah.

CHANCE: Yeah. How are you? What are you doing? Hi, Sarah. How are you? Good to see you.

Yeah, I could eat (ph) very well.

This is Green Square where we came a number of times during our stay at the Rixos before it all went so ugly. We were brought here by government minders. And it was a very empty place, not very many people around, people not very happy to talk to us, sort of avoiding the cameras and things like that. And, you know, what I will say is that coming out here for the first time in a week since these dramatic developments since, you know, our world has changed for the people of this country.

I mean, look at the difference, people are celebrating. They're firing weapons in the air, that the floor is filled with the casings of Kalashnikov rounds. You know, people seem very, very happy. They seem that, you know, that something is lifted from them in this city.

And, you know, I feel pretty similar to that myself.


STOUT: Such an emotional moment there. The tears, hugs, smiles all around. If you want to read more about Matthew and Jomana's story check out our web site, just go to

Now as pockets of fighting continue in Libya's capital, the number of casualties is skyrocketing. Now most victims are said to be civilians often caught in the crossfire. And the hospitals are overwhelmed. They're short of doctors and nurses, supplies are running out.

Now Alex Thompson visited one Tripoli facility where the conditions are grim.


ALEX THOMPSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another coffin exists the chaotic main door of the Shara Zawiyah (ph) Hospital in the center of Tripoli. Draped in the revolutionary (inaudible) of an emerging new Libya.

Inside the triage unit, only 20 feet or so from that main door and close to being overwhelmed.

Doctors told us 95 percent of people admitted in the past three days have gunshot wounds, almost all they claim are civilians. With inadequate anesthetic available, they're trying to cut a bullet from this man's thigh. A few feet away, another gunshot wound, this time a leg fracture.

DR. HABAS: We don't have any things to do to repair his fracture. So just we are doing the better things -- stop his bleeding. That's all we're trying to do now.

THOMPSON: Right now, all they can do is patch you up, send you home and wait until things calm down.

The visibly exhausted hospital staff say the last few days here were terrible.

SAAD MUQTALA, SURGEON: ...gunshot...

THOMPSON: Gunshot wounds.

MUQTALA: Yes, gunshot in the head and chest. And everybody -- bit disaster.

THOMPSON: They begged us, please film the mortuary. Show the world what's happened.

HABAS: There's a lot of smell.

THOMPSON: I know. I've seen many bodies...

At first, there was just one body, but then room after room. I stopped counting at 30.

How many bodies do you have here?

HABAS: A lot of bodies. A lot of bodies. There's bodies in here. And there's bodies in the other morgue in here. And they're all civilians. They weren't holding guns or anything, just passing by in the streets and they got shot.

THOMPSON: Outside in the heat five more bodies beginning to decompose in the corridor.

Every single one of these refrigeration units is full and there are bodies, well you can see what it's like, all over the floor. People are still scared to come who work at the mortuary, because they fear that the snipers are still active in this city. And when you look around rooms like this, you can understand why.


THOMPSON: Allahu Akbar, god is great. You'll hear that all over this city of checkpoints. At every corner, rebel soldiers keen to take out their hatred of Colonel Gadhafi in some way, any way -- stamping, or spitting on the colonel's green book.

"He wrote some good stuff about democracy and all that," one point to say, "trouble is, he didn't do any of it."

Motorists encouraged to drive over posters of the colonel who ran Libya for 42 years.


STOUT: Now Italy has announced it will unfreeze about $505 million worth of Libyan assets that have been held in Italian banks. Now this is a major boost for the rebel's Transitional National Council as it seeks money for aid and for reconstruction.

Now the international community has a lot at stake in the new Libya. And diplomats from some 29 countries are tending the Libya contact group meeting in Istanbul to discuss aid and rebuilding Libya's infrastructure.

Ivan Watson joins me now live with the latest. And Ivan, a key breakthrough there from Italy, but what else is emerging from this meeting?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Moments ago behind me is closed doors in this conference room here. As you mentioned, representatives of 29 different countries as well as the United Nations, NATO, the Arab League, the African Union. Now the Turkish foreign minister opened remarks -- opened the conference, Ahmet Davutoglu, and he basically welcomed what he described as a historic turning point, the victory, he said, of the rebel Transitional National Council forces over Gadhafi's forces.

He said that right now, of critical importance is funding for the cash strapped TNC. And releasing frozen assets. And there's a bit of a tussle underway. South Africa has voiced objections to a proposal before the United Nations security council to release more than a $1 billion to the TNC. South Africa with close historic ties to the Gadhafi regime.

Now Mr. Davutoglu went on to say that it was also very important to immediately get the flag of the rebels, that three colored flag, flying over the United Nations. They want to throw all their weight behind this as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people and also to avert a security vacuum within Libya.

The fighting is still going on, as we well know, as our correspondents on the ground know.

He also sort of a head forming a national congress and interim government and a supreme executive council. But what I'm getting from diplomats here Kristie is that money is the primary priority for the diplomats we're meeting in this room right now -- Kristie.

STOUT: That's right. Money needed to build a new Libya. Ivan Watson joining us live from Istanbul. Thank you very much indeed.

Up next, the Indian prime minister worries about 74 activist Anna Hazare's health grow. Now he's been fasting for 10 days. Now many critics disagree with his method of protest. Up ahead on NEWS STREAM we find out why.


STOUT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is urging activist Anna Hazare to end his fast as it runs into the 10th day. Hazare says he will carry on until the government introduces his version of the Lokpal legislation in parliament. It's a bill that creates a strong anti-corruption watch dog. Now talks with the government have failed so far.

The activist team accuses the government of not being serious about tackling graft.

And we want to give you a small glimpse of what Hazare has been going through over the past week. Now his public hunger strike began 10 days ago after Indian authorities released him from New Delhi jail, but Hazare supporters say he actually began fasting a few days before his release.

Now one day later, Hazare gestures to thousands of supporters at the Ram Lily (ph) Grounds in New Delhi. And meanwhile, his supporters have been turning out en masse. And here they were I am Anna caps during a public rally in Hazare's home village on Monday.

But his health is becoming a big concern. He's being closely watched by a team of doctors. And this is the most recent photo that we have of him as he pauses for rest on the 9th day of his fast.

Now Anna Hazare has his share of critics as well. And some of them describe his methods as undemocratic and unconstitutional. Mallika Kapur shows us why this crusader is generating such strong reaction.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the scene in New Delhi. And this in other parts of India. The crowds grow bigger every day. Their voices louder. Tens of thousands of people are backing 74 year old Anna Hazare's hunger strike, part of his campaign for a Lokpal, a powerful anti-corruption watchdog.

The government says it wants that too. But Hazare has rejected a bill currently under consideration in parliament saying it's too weak because it does not give the Lokpal powers over the judiciary and the prime minister. The government says giving one body so much authority could be dangerous for democracy.

Still, the prime minister says, the draft bill is up for debate.

MANMOHAN SINGH, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA: We're all in favor of a Lokpal which is strong, which is effective, and therefore there is a lot of scope for give and take.

KAPUR: Anna Hazare remains uncompromising. He wants the government to pass his version of the Lokpal bill. He says no other version will do.

SUBHASH KASHYAP, CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT: My way or the highway. I think that is wrong.

KAPUR: Subhash Kashyap is a constitutional expert. He's critical of Hazare's decision to continue his hunger strike until the government gives in.

KASHYAP: Any bill or law drafted by some private citizens cannot be forced on parliament. Nor can...

KAPUR: So is that part unconstitutional, the fact that he's threatening parliament. He's threatening the government?

KASHYAP: Yes. Threatening parliament by a group of people in the name of the mob that they are able to collect is entirely against constitutionalism. It's undemocratic.

KAPUR: Activist Aruna Roy says any concerns about the bill under consideration in parliament should be addressed there.

ARUNA ROY, ACTIVIST: Well, you believe in democracy you don't believe in the government, but you believe in a structure where there is equality, equal opportunity, and equal space for all of us to make our presentation of our points of view.

KAPUR: Many people taking to the streets say they aren't bothered about the nitty gritty details of the bill, all they want is a corruption free society. And they are here to make their voices heard.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, New Delhi.


STOUT: Now football fans around the world will be eying the small principality of Monaco this Thursday. It's got the big job of hosting the draw for the group stage of the sport's most prestigious club competition. Details up next.


STOUT: Welcome back. Well, the Spanish football league strike is over. There has just been an agreement between the league and the players over back wages. Pedro Pinto has been following this story all along.

And Pedro, this is a big relief for football fans.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Undoubtedly. I think every football fan has been holding his or her breath waiting to see when the strike at the Spanish league is over, when they can see the likes of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo in action. And fortunately, the professional league and the Association of Spanish Footballers have come to an agreement in Madrid on Thursday morning where the league has found a way to guarantee that the $17 million combined that are owed to around 200 professional players will be paid.

Now they haven't released details of how that payment will be made. There's a press conference that will take place later today in Spain. So we're waiting to hear more on that. I can also tell you that players got another victory in negotiations. If they're not paid for three consecutive months, they will be allowed to break their contract.

So the Spanish league will return with the second round of fixtures this upcoming weekend. The first round of fixtures, which was canceled, will now apparently take place in January.

Great news for everyone involved in the world of football.

STOUT: Great news. Thank you very much for that update. And Pedro, haven't even mentioned that you're in Monaco. We can't really tell. You need to find a more glamorous live location there.

Why are you in Monaco?

PINTO: Well, I'm going to have the pleasure and privilege of hosting for the 6th consecutive year the UEFA Champion's League draw here in Monte Carlo at the Grimaldi Forum, which is just down the road. Of course, this is a date that most football fans mark on their calendar, because this is when they find out who their teams are going to face in tough club competition on the planet.

Let me give you an idea of the top contenders. Of course there are four pots of seeded teams for tonight's draw. I'll be out there on stage and watching everything very closely.

In pot number one, you're going to have the likes of nine time winners Real Madrid, Manchester United, the title holders Barcelona, also Arsenal who just qualified on Wednesday night after eliminating Udinese.

In pot number two, the team to look out for unquestionably is Milan, seven time winners. The Italians obviously the reigning Series A champions as well.

In pot number three, they're known as the rich kids on the block in the world of football, I think it would be fair to say, Manchester City. They're first ever appearance in the Champion's League group stage. A lot of the big teams will be trying to avoid them.

And the team to look out for in pot number four, the German champions Borussia Dortmund. No question about that. They won the competition back in 1997, have a very dynamic team, very tough to face.

And I have to tell you, Kristie, it's so important to get a good draw, because if you get the likes of a Barcelona and a Milan in the first round, you're first chances of going through really aren't that great.

So the draw will start in approximately three hours. I'll be out there on stage. I'll also be awarding a brand new prize for best footballer in Europe. It's the UEFA best player award. The nominees Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi, and Christiano Ronaldo. They'll be here as well.

STOUT: All right. Well, Pedro, enjoy the event. Take care.

Pedro Pinto joining us live from Monaco.

And that is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.