Return to Transcripts main page
Libyan Rebels Preparing for Battle Around Bani Walid; Critical Supply Shortages in Libya; Israel's Concern Over Palestinian Push at U.N. to Gain State Recognition; Nanny Speaks Out Of Abuses By Gadhafi Family; Review of Week One Action At U.S. Open; Libyan Exiles Eager To Return, Help Rebuild Country
Aired September 2, 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.
And we begin with a new message from Moammar Gadhafi. Now, the ousted Libyan leader issues a rallying cry to his supporters as the country's new leaders lay out an ambitious plan for a post-Gadhafi Libya.
Is the Israeli military training settlers to respond to situations like this one?
And overcrowding in orbit. A new report says the amount of space junk around the Earth may soon be beyond our control.
Now, Libya's new leaders have laid out a roadmap for the country's transition to democracy. The plan calls for simple elections in eight months from now. Some critics say it is overly ambitious given the fact that there are still fighting supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.
And in addition to those ongoing battles, there is a struggle to find basic supplies like bread, water and fuel. And amid all this, a man purported to be former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says he will not give up. In audio messages on Syria's Al-Rai TV, he warned opponents that he and his supporters are ready for a long, drawn-out war and will not let Libya be occupied.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MOAMMAR GADHAFI, OUSTED LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): After some 42 years, the imperialists are trying to occupy Libya once again, very openly and clearly, and in order to take Libyans' wealth from the Libyans' hand, in order to make their own people enjoy the wealth of the Libyan people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, the speaker also said that he was moving the capital from Tripoli to Sirte.
Now, Libya's new leaders have given Gadhafi loyalists another week to lay down their weapons. Anti-Gadhafi fighters are also preparing for a battle around Bani Walid, and Frederik Pleitgen shows us how they are getting ready.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've managed to get behind the actual front line of the rebels. We're passed the last outpost that they have. This is a small detachment that's going to go on patrol in the contested area between the rebels and the Gadhafi forces.
We're in the vicinity of Bani Walid, which is one of the final Gadhafi strongholds, and these are guys are actually gearing up for what could be one of the last offensives in the Libyan civil war. As you can see, they have quite a bit of firepower at their disposal, but right now they're going on patrol as they're gearing up to try and take Bani Walid, a very strategic town.
ABDUL HAFIZ MONITTA, ANTI-GADHAFI FIGHTER (through translator): We are ready. We aren't afraid. God willing, we will enter Bani Walid.
PLEITGEN: So we're now driving in a convoy inside the contested area. This is a place where really both the rebels and Gadhafi forces have some people.
Now, the rebels say they have about 200 guys here in this area. They have several checkpoints along this contested area. They tell us they have both the manpower and the firepower to move into Bani Walid, one of the last Gadhafi strongholds, but it's not something they necessarily want to do, because there's longstanding tribal feuds between the people of Misrata, which is where these guys are from, and the people of Bani Walid, who of course are still holed up in that town over there.
Now, earlier today, we managed to get into the command center where the offensive on Bani Walid is being planned. And the local commander there tells us what they want to do is they wan to try and get rebel cells inside Bani Walid to rise up so that their forces don't have to move in and fight in that area.
HASSAN MONITTA, ANTI-GADHAFI COMMANDER (through translator): Taking Bani Walid will be very simple. The revolutionaries will employ special tactics to minimize the killing and bloodshed.
PLEITGEN: The men tell us the forces loyal to Gadhafi are several kilometers in that direction. And as you can see, the rebels have amassed quite a bit of firepower here in the position that we are at right here. But still, this is nothing more than an expeditionary force. If you go to the rear echelon, the rebels are amassing tanks and other heavy weapons for what could be a decisive operation to move into Bani Walid.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, near Bani Walid, Libya.
STOUT: Fred is now back in Misrata. He joins us now live.
And Fred, how prepared are the rebels to advance on the final front line, Sirte, and Bani Walid?
PLEITGEN: Well, certainly their level of preparation seems very high. If you move along the front line area, especially in the Bani Walid area, you find some really well-fortified positions, also a lot of outposts that are really very well run, really very well maintained, and also a lot of heavy equipment. I was surprised to see the amount of tanks that we did see near the front lines, especially near the Bani Walid area.
Now, of course, at the same time, the folks here, the fighters from here are also gearing up to possibly move into Sirte, which is a much larger town and, by all accounts, a much more important town. As we also heard, Moammar Gadhafi apparently moved the capital, at least the one that he feels that he controls, from Tripoli to Sirte, so that's also a very important offensive. They are amassing a lot of firepower where they believe they might have to move in there.
Now, the interesting thing, though, Kristie, is they tell us that's not necessarily something they want to do. They would rather have all of this be solved through negotiations, because one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that this town here, Misrata, is the one that pretty much, by all accounts, suffered most under the six-month civil war. If you go around town, almost every building here is in some way pockmarked or completely destroyed. Almost all the fighters that you speak to on the front lines say that they have either lost friends or they have friends who have friends who have lost limbs, who have been maimed. And it's certainly something that they don't want to continue to see -- Kristie.
STOUT: And we can't forget that negotiations for a peaceful resolution are still under way.
Now, Fred, an audio message believed to be from Moammar Gadhafi vowed "a long, drawn-out war." And I wanted to ask you how much pro-Gadhafi support still is there. And is there enough support to turn into an Iraq-style insurgency?
PLEITGEN: That's a very good question, and it's one that no one at this stage can answer. But there is certainly still some pro-Gadhafi support, especially in places like Sirte and in Bani Walid. That is still in the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces.
You know, the anti-Gadhafi forces, they will tell you they believe that a majority of the population, even in Sirte, Bani Walid, Saba, which is also still controlled by pro-Gadhafi forces, that the majority of the population there is against Gadhafi, but that they're basically being suppressed by the pro-Gadhafi forces. However, there are incidents here, repeated incidents, even in places that seem to be under rebel control, where you have pro-Gadhafi forces all of a sudden coming there, randomly shooting at people. So it's not like the whole country is against Gadhafi.
So there is still some support. However, they do say they believe that if they wanted to move into Sirte, it is something that they could do, but they believe that the costs will be very high -- Kristie.
STOUT: You've been traveling with the rebels and the rebel forces on this final front line. Have you been talking to them about if they encounter or capture more pro-Gadhafi forces or soldiers, what would happen to them?
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean, so far, what they do is they intern them. There are several internment camps, if you will -- that's quite an ugly word -- it's more like former jails that were used by the Gadhafi regime where these people are now being questioned, where these people are held.
And by all accounts, it seems as though pretty much all of them have access to things like the International Red Cross to actually look over them. So it certainly seems like the conditions that the pro-Gadhafi forces who fall into the hands of the rebels face are much better than the ones that anti- Gadhafi forces faces if they fell into the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces, if you look at things like the Abu Salim prison, which, of course, we featured quite prominently this past week. So, they'll capture these pro-Gadhafi forces.
Now, the big question that we've been asking is, what would happen if they were to capture members of the Gadhafi family? And there are some guys on the front line -- you know, they've seen a lot, they've been in a lot of very tough battles. They'll tell you, "We kill Gadhafi immediately."
But if you look at the leadership of the National Transitional Council and the field commanders, they're pretty adamant that they want to catch Moammar Gadhafi and members of his family, especially, of course, his son Saif al-Islam, alive. And they would bring them to justice, they say, if that is what would happen -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Fred Pleitgen, joining us live from Misrata.
Very interesting, indeed. Thank you very much.
Now, it has been nearly two weeks since rebel forces streamed into Tripoli. Now, security has approved since then, but the humanitarian situation remains precarious.
Critical supplies like cash and fuel are hard to find. Dan Rivers shows us a long line for gasoline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN RIVERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the back of the queue for gas. And I want to show you just how long it is.
(voice-over): This queue just goes on and on and on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And this time lapse video, it goes on for another 30 seconds before we even see the gas station. As you can imagine, people say that they are waiting in line for hours. And the irony is that Libya has one of the world's largest oil reserves.
But one of the biggest problems is the shortage of water. Now, much of Tripoli's water comes through a pipeline from an aquifer deep in the Sahara Desert, and pro-Gadhafi forces have sabotaged the flow. But as Nic Robertson shows us, help is starting to trickle in.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's just pulling in right now, and this ship has on board the water that Tripoli desperately needs. It began running out about a week ago. The U.N. estimates in this city of 1.6 million people, 60 percent are without water.
They say that on a normal day, this city consumes 4.5 million liters of water. And the ship, on board there, has got the first of the relief.
Well, the gate is just about to come down on the ship right now. Everything beginning, about to be offloaded.
How much water have you brought in?
MARK CHOONOO, UNICEF HEAD OF MISSION: Today, we bring in 500,000 liters of water. Previously, we brought in 120,000 liters. On Saturday, we are planning to bring in another three million liters of water.
ROBERTSON: And now you're seeing the gates open on the back of the ship right now. How does that feel?
CHOONOO: It's a good feeling. It's a joint effort.
ROBERTSON: And this is it in here, bottle upon bottle upon bottle of water. And the difficulty is going to come now unloading all this, making sure the pallets don't spill, and then moving it out, moving it out from the harbor. And some of the other aid organizations that have already brought supplies in here are already seeing and finding out about those difficulties.
NINA SOLKE, NCRC LOGISTIC COORDINATOR: It's quite (INAUDIBLE). As you can see, the port is not operating at the moment. They're trying to put things back in order. But for the moment, we pretty much rely on ourselves.
ROBERTSON: Half a million liters on board here. The emergency level, the U.N. believes the city requires 1.5 million liters every day, 4.5 million liters the normal usage by Tripoli.
This is really just a small drop in what the city really requires, but they hope to have it unloaded overnight, in the next 12 hours. And within 24 hours, they say all this will be delivered throughout the city.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Tripoli, Libya.
STOUT: And still ahead on NEWS STREAM, as American troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, we follow some of those who are staying behind in the volatile Helmand Province.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.
Now, Syria has just been hit with more sanctions. In a meeting today, EU foreign ministers agreed to ban all oil imports from Syria. Now, the move is part of mounting international pressure on the Syrian government to stop violent crackdowns on civilians.
Now, meanwhile, activists in Syria have organized a Facebook campaign, calling for mass protests after Friday prayers today. Demonstrations are being held under the slogan "Death Rather Than Humiliation." Activists say more than 2,000 people have been killed by President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the uprising began in March.
Now, in Israel, there is growing unease as the date for a possible U.N. decision on whether or not to recognize the Palestinian state draws near, and there are worries about widespread protests and new reports about what Israel plans to do to defend against them.
Our Kevin Flower joins us now from CNN Jerusalem.
And Kevin, some of these reports include belief out there that Israeli settlers are being trained by the Israeli military.
KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Kristie, indeed, that's true. And of course there's been a great level of security coordination for many years between the Israeli military and the some 300,000 settlers who live in the West Bank. But amidst fears about greater tensions later this month, that coordination has only increased.
FLOWER (voice-over): It's the end of summer, and young families enjoy the final days before the start of the new school year. But here, in the illegal Israeli settlement of Migron, where an Israeli court rule must be taken down by next spring, security conscious parents have another issue on their mind beyond the first day of class. Namely, the Palestinian Authority's bid to win recognition of an independent state later this month at the United Nations.
"The big fear is based on the frustration the wider Palestinian public faces because their rulers are promising them a lot, and nothing will come of it," Migron resident Eadhi Haril (ph) tells us. "And that frustration, that will burst out and will somehow get back to us."
Earlier this year, thousands of Palestinians and their supporters attempted to storm into Israel from Lebanon, and from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israeli soldiers opened fire, and dozens of protesters were killed in what many in Israel viewed as a dry run of what could occur in September.
It's a concern shared by Israel's military, which oversees the country's occupation of the West Bank and is responsible for the security of some 300,000 Israelis living in over 100 settlements. To that end, the military acknowledged this week, after a report by the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz," that it had been training settler first response teams and that it was "devoting great efforts to training local forces and preparing them to deal with any possible scenario."
The military would not comment about reports of arming settlers with tear gas and stun grenades, or about the drawing of red line boundaries around each settlement that potential protesters would not be allowed to cross.
Settler spokesman David Ha'Ivri downplayed the military preparations and called the worry around September media hot air.
DAVID HA'IVRI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SHOMRON LIAISON OFFICE: There are security personnel throughout our communities who are regularly briefed by the military commanders and so forth, and are given the means to provide security for our communities.
FLOWER: But back in Migron, where settlers are fighting their own government to stay in their homes, some see a silver lining in the possibility of a September storm.
GIDEON ROSENFELD, MIGRON RESIDENT: The government is up against September so they can leave us alone for a few more months.
FLOWER: But for most, trouble in September is something they are looking to avoid.
FLOWER: Now, of course there's no uniform opinion here as to whether Palestinian action at the U.N. later this month will result in violence, but the Israeli military is preparing for the worst -- Kristie.
STOUT: Kevin Flower, joining us live from Jerusalem.
Thank you very much for that report, Kevin.
Now, 10 years have passed since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, and now, finally, after a decade of war, the first wave of troops is heading home for good. But for the thousands left on the battlefield, the fight goes on.
As our David Ariosto reports, some were little more than children when the first shots were fired.
DAVID ARIOSTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As new military hardware arrives on the battlefield, so also departs the first wave of U.S. service members from Afghanistan. They are parts of an American exit strategy to remove all surge forces by next year, and yet thousands more will stay behind, including many of the Marines here in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand Province.
SGT. CHRIS ROSBLATT, U.S. MARINE: We have a military advisory team working with the Afghanistan national army, and we're here in support of them.
ARIOSTO: In the months ahead, Marines like Sergeant Rosblatt will have less NATO support as the drawdown gets under way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Safe flight, guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eat some good food for us!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ice cream.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And air-conditioning.
ARIOSTO: The goal has now largely shifted to training Afghan forces to take on more responsibility, but a recent uptick in Taliban attacks and their increasingly sophisticated use of roadside bombs suggest the fight is far from over.
Though the whirling blades of this V22 Osprey are drowning me out, the Marines tell me that this helicopter/airplane is an essential tool in avoiding perilous roadways that the Taliban often line with explosives. They also say these machines have decreased the amount of time it takes to reach wounded warriors like Corporal Edwin Benitez.
CORP. EDWIN BENITEZ, U.S. MARINES: I got shot during a patrol. We were on deployment for the squad, and I was sweeping the road with a metal detector.
ARIOSTO: Benitez was brought here to Camp Leatherneck, the largest Marine Corps base here in Afghanistan, where there is camaraderie and care at a new facility designed to keep service members near their units during recovery to help them deal with psychological issues that often surface while isolated at home. A time to heal, and for other Marines, a moment to reflect on how long the nation has been at war.
MASTER SGT. JAMES K. FOGLE, U.S. MARINE: I didn't expect that we would still maybe be here, or that we are here. You know, just not to this scale, I guess.
ARIOSTO: For the new generation here at the base, many were likely too young to grasp the weight of the September 11th attacks that thrust America into war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in middle school, about --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in ninth grade. It was during homeroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was 10 years old, and I was in the fifth grade. I was actually in school. First grade. Actually, I got called down to the office because I had a family member that worked in the building, and luckily she was OK though, because she didn't go to work that day.
ARIOSTO: A decade later, the conflict continues. And yet, as the 10-year anniversary comes and goes, the end game still appears years away.
David Ariosto, CNN, in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
STOUT: Now, coming up on NEWS STREAM, in comparison to Japan's magnitude 9 quake in March, the 5.8 quake that hit the East Coast of the U.S. last week was, well, just a tremor. But like in Japan, the quake in the U.S. has prompted some nuclear worries. We'll have the latest.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, Japan's new prime minister officially started in his new role today. Yoshihiko Noda was ceremoniously endorsed by the nation's emperor and takes over as the country's sixth prime minister in just five years.
As you might expect from the country's former finance minister, one of his main concerns is tackling the country's financial woes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOSHIHIKO NODA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I want to focus on rebuilding Japan's economy in the restricted energy environment, and we have been facing an economic crisis from before the earthquake, and various fiscal difficulties. And through dealing with these issues, I want to make sure that Japan does not accumulate even larger debt. And right now we are facing an unprecedented strong yen, and the crisis of Japan's industries migrating, and the hollowing out of Japan's industries, has become very acute. Therefore, I will not hesitate from further monetary intervention and will work in coordination with other countries, and in coordination with other countries, I will respond to this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: On his last day in office, Noda's predecessor, Naoto Khan, oversaw Japan's annual Disaster Preparedness Day. And more than half a million people took part in an emergency drill on Thursday simulating a strong earthquake strike in Tokyo and a subsequent tsunami.
Now, workers at a nuclear power plant in central Japan, they rehearsed scenarios where the plant lost power after a series of earthquakes and a tsunami. The drill is an annual event held on the anniversary of the deadly 1923 quake which struck Tokyo.
And while Japan is keenly aware of the impact of an earthquake on a nuclear power plant, across the Pacific, in the United States, last week's 5.8 magnitude quake, none have caused a nuclear disaster at this power plant. But as Brian Todd reports, at Fukishima, the full extent of the damage wasn't made public at the time.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The East Coast's biggest earthquake in decades had this effect on a school at the epicenter. Now it turns out just a few miles away, in central Virginia, huge containers holding spent nuclear fuel rods, each of them 16 feet high, weighing 115 tons, holding at least 15 metric tons of spent fuel, shifted during the earthquake, something plant officials never said at the time.
An official with Dominion Virginia Power, which owns the North Anna nuclear power station, says 25 of the 27 vertical casks moved between one inch and four inches. The officials says none of the casks were damaged and no radiation leaked out. But anti-nuclear activists are alarmed.
KEVIN KAMPS, ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVIST: Very concerned because this material is ultra-hazardous inside. This is high-level radioactive waste. If you lose radiation shielding, you can deliver a fatal dose in a few minutes' time to a person at close range.
TODD: Also according to Virginia Dominion Power, horizontal bunkers next to the vertical casks also holding spent fuel rods sustained what an official called cosmetic damage, concrete coming loose on their surfaces.
I asked nuclear expert James Acton for perspective on all of it.
(on camera): How dangerous is this?
JAMES ACTON, ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Not terribly, I think, is the short answer to that.
Any time something slightly unexpected happens with dry casts, then it is a cause for some concern. And it has to be investigated to see whether there is a systemic problem here. But I think the safety risk here was absolutely tiny.
TODD: All right. But they shifted four inches. What if one of them started wobbling, hit another one, and then you have got the bowling pin effect of them falling down? Isn't that a real danger?
ACTON: Well, had the shaking been large enough, then that would have been a concern. But if you think about this in terms of your refrigerator at home, when your refrigerator is on and the motor is going, actually it's quite easy to push the refrigerator even though there is absolutely no chance of the refrigerator tipping over.
(voice-over): We were at North Anna the day of the earthquake and all day the next day. We kept asking about damage to the plant, were told it was very minimal. We were never told that the spent fuel casks had shifted, even though an official there says they knew about that early on.
(on camera): Should they have told the public sooner about the movement of the casts?
ACTON: It doesn't help the nuclear industry if there is any hint of them covering anything up. So I think it would have been better had this information come out earlier.
TODD: But James Acton reiterates, the safety risk with the shifting casks was "miniscule." When I asked an official with Dominion Virginia Power why they didn't tell the public sooner about the issue with the casks, he said, "We had a lot going on. There was no indication of any problem, and there isn't any problem."
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
STOUT: Now, you may remember a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, back in February. It destroyed the city's iconic cathedral. And now a Japanese architect has unveiled designs for a temporary replacement. Temporary, because it will be made of cardboard tubes and shipping containers.
Now, this is obviously just a model. The real deal will be able to hold 700 people. Now, the building would cost nearly $3.5 million, and the city hopes to have it complete by the quake's anniversary.
Coming up on NEWS STREAM, no food, no water, and locked in this tiny cell for days on end. That was Hannibal Gadhafi reportedly punished his staff.
And as rebels advance across Libya, we're learning more and more about the oppressive Gadhafi regime. And this time it's prison records that shed light on the shocking treatment of prisoners.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWSTEAM. And these are your world headlines.
Now Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi has reportedly made another desperate call to his followers urging them to fight on to victory. And two audio messages aired on Syrian TV late on Thursday, a man claiming to be Gadhafi warns his enemies to prepare for a long, drawn out war.
Now Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has held his first news conference as leader. Mr. Noda pledged to make reconstruction from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami the top priority for his government. He also called for closer ties with China. Now parliament elected Noda on Tuesday, making him the country's sixth new leader in five years.
Turkey has downgraded its military and diplomatic relations with Israel over Israel's deadly raid of a Gaza bound flotilla in May last year. Nine Turks on board were killed in the incident. It comes as a UN report says Israel's storming of the flotilla was excessive and unreasonable.
And this just into us here at CNN, the latest U.S. jobs numbers are out. It doesn't make for good reading. The U.S. economy added no jobs in August. An economist surveyed by CNN had expected a figure of 75,000 new non-farm payrolls. And the unemployment rate, it remains steady at 9.1 percent. We'll have much more on the latest U.S. jobs numbers in the next hour of CNN, along with the latest market reaction. And the U.S. Labor Secretary will react to these numbers live on World Business Today, that starts in less than half an hour from now. And Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong, Nina Dos Santos in London, Alicia Taylor in New York.
Back to Libya now. With Colonel Gadhafi in hiding, more details are coming to light that tell us about the dark secrets of his regime. Now documents, files and photos from notorious Abu Salim Prison (ph) have been uncovered. As Arwa Damon shows us, they reveal shocking details of life behind bars.
SALEH MARGHANI, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: This guy, or this family, or this guy, they could be dead or alive. We don't know.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are piles of photos, audio, and video tapes, stacks of files, papers, the morbid archive of Tripoli's infamous Abu Salim Prison (ph), the site of the 1996 massacre that left at least 1,200 political inmates dead. The location of their bodies still unknown. Many believe they have yet to discover mass graves.
Saleh Marghani, along with a team of young lawyers, is trying to save what's left.
MARGHANI: I think the most important thing to do for all this evidence and many other parts of it is to preserve them to be presented say in courts, or for researchers, for historians, so that people will know the facts.
DAMON: This file says on it Zumar el Kilab el Dola (ph), which translates to remain the groups of stray dogs. And inside are the names of various political activists. And is how the regime used to refer to them.
Many of them detained decades ago.
MARGHANI: This guy, first one who was killed in 1984.
DAMON: Some of the documents are already gone forever, turned into ash in a fire a few days ago, possibly arson at the hands of someone who doesn't want Abu Salim's (ph) secrets uncovered.
"It pains me. These were some of the best Libyan men," Wajdi al-Unici (ph) says sifting through a box of photos.
His older brother Rajib (ph) was held here, accused of being a member of a banned religious party.
Now Wajdi (ph) is intently scanning for clues, holding on to a tiny sliver of hope that his brother is alive.
"He was doing his military service in 1989," Wajdi (ph) tells us. He stopped coming to visit, so my parents began to worry and search for him. At the base where he was stationed they were told he was never there.
After a year of scouring the whole country they finally tracked him to Abu Salim (ph).
"We saw him three times for 15 minutes each," Wajdi (ph) remembers. "The last time was in 1993. And then they closed the door. And from that moment until now we have not seen him."
In 2009, the family received a death certificate that Rajib (ph) had died in 1996. But they don't believe it.
The archives that holds the answers for so many families is being moved to a secure location where the hope is that one day, perhaps, the secrets of Abu Salim (ph) will be uncovered.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Tripoli.
LU STOUT: Now many Libyans decided to flee Gadhafi's regime even before the country erupted into civil war. But now with the former Libyan leader out of the picture, they're hoping to make the move back home. Nima Elbagir reports.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Like many Libyans living abroad Mahmoud had been desperately watching news of his homeland. He fled Tripoli and the rule of Moammar Gadhafi 10 years ago. His mother joined him here in Dubai after the family home was destroyed in the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They broke the glass and they start shooting everywhere.
ELBAGIR: But his siblings stayed behind. And in the first days of fighting in the capital when information was hard to come by, the worry was almost unbearable.
FAIWZAI SHTWAY, MAHMOUD'S MOTHER: My friend, my home, my sister, my brother, my family, my everything -- every day I call my friend, my sister, my -- my son -- my big son I have.
ELBAGIR: The family back in Tripoli is safe. But Mahmoud recently received word that a friend had been killed in the fighting. But even knowing the dangers, Mahmoud and his mother say as soon as they can they will return to Libya.
During Gadhafi's 42 years of rule, tens of thousands of Libyans went into exile, seeking opportunities and freedoms denied them at home, making lives for themselves and their families here in the Middle East and around the world.
But now that Tripoli has fallen and it's Gadhafi and his family who face exile. Many are now asking themselves if it's time to think about returning home and helping rebuild their nation.
Along with Mahmoud, Ahmed Rais is also planning his return to Libya.
AHMED RAIS, LIBYAN NATIONAL: We got a lot of experience in terms of working the immigrants working abroad in the UK or in the U.S. so the contribution is to go back to Libya and take all the knowledge that you learned and the experience from these countries...
ELBAGIR: For their friend, this is an issue that is especially emotional. Her grandfather was the former prime minister of Libya who was forced out when Gadhafi seized power. He later died in prison.
RUEIDA MUNTASSER, LIBYAN NATIONAL: 1969 Gadhafi came to power. My grandfather was captured. He was put in jail. And that was the end of it. They sacked Tripoli. It just happened so quick, so fast, like it's happening now.
ELBAGIR: She knows how quickly things can go wrong. Even when a government has the best intentions. And that's why, she says, it's so important that everyone does what they can.
MUNTASSER: All Libyans want to contribute to society. So -- and we owe it, we owe it to (inaudible) -- we owe it to those Libyans who fought, who lost their lives, and who gave -- they did this to give us this opportunity. How could we not give this to them? They died to see a new Libya. So who is going to build a new Libya? The people.
ELBAGIR: And even as rebels still battle forces loyal to Gadhafi, many Libyans are imagining a place they can again call home.
RAIS: Libya is going to grow up, people will have their chances, and we can be a free country.
ELBAGIR: Nima Elbagir, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
LU STOUT: And with the Gadhafi family's reign at a likely end in Libya, more details of their abuse of power are emerging. This week, Dan Rivers brought us a story of Shrigei Mullah (ph), a nanny for Hannibal Gadhafi's household found badly burned. And now he has been told of routine abuse and imprisonment of Hannibal Gadhafi's domestic staff.
He joins me now live from Tripoli with the details. And Dan, more stories of abuse. What have you heard?
RIVERS: Yeah, this wasn't just confined to one Nanny. Shrigei Mullah (ph) who we featured this week. In fact, it sounds like a lot of the staff suffered abuse to varying degrees.
We've spoken to one man who is still too afraid to give his name or to show his face, but he took us to another compound that Hannibal Gadhafi used as an office complex. And in that was a sort of secret prison room, cell, where they locked people up, staff, if they felt that they'd done something wrong. He, himself, says he was locked up in this compound for three days on his own with no food or water. He gave us more accounts of other people who had been burnt with boiling water.
I've been in touch with another former nanny who has now left Libya, who is on somewhere else in the world. She again is too afraid to be interviewed, but show corroborates this picture that we're building up of terrible abuse of the domestic staff both by Hannibal Gadhafi and his wife Aileen (ph).
LU STOUT: It's quite incredible looking at the images there of that apparent jail cell. It's quite sick.
Recently, you've also seen Shrigei (ph) again, the nanny who was abused by the family of Hannibal Gadhafi. How is she doing?
RIVERS: She's a lot better, Kristie. She's in the burns hospital in Tripoli still. We went to visit her last night and the health minister for Libya came along. And he expressed her support -- you know, giving her whatever she needs. And that was encouraging. She even managed to smile. It's the first time I'd seen her smile, which was great. And she, you know, wanted to say her -- you know, profound thanks to everyone who has helped and contributed money to her care. And that page can be found on cnn.com/impactyourworld but still there. It's going to be a long time, frankly, before she has any semblance of normal life.
But you can already see just the dignity which she carries herself at the moment. And, you know, we're all hoping that she can make a full recovery in the course of time.
LU STOUT: Yeah, here's hoping for that. And a big thank you to you, Dan, and the team for bringing her story to the world. Dan Rivers there joining us live from Tripoli.
And since Dan Rivers first brought to you the story of Shrigei Mullah (ph) we have received a huge outpouring of support for her. And donations to a fundraising page, it was set up by Antislavery International along with CNN, have now topped $16,000.
If you want to help, there is a special section on our web site you can click on. You just go to cnn.com/impact. And there you will find that link to the Antislavery International page. Once again Impact Your World, cnn.com/impact.
Now still to come here on News Stream, another big storm is brewing in the Atlantic. The global weather forecast is next.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now NASA needs to clean up its act in space. A report sponsored by the U.S. space agency says orbiting debris has reached a tipping point. Now this is just a sliver of the items floating around Earth right now. More than half a million pieces of space debris are currently being tracked. And the report says NASA must consider ways of taking out the trash, so to speak. Of course, it's not just NASA's problem.
Now Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society explains how it got just so messy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MASSEY, ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: We've been carrying on launching things, or launching more things. And every time you launch something in space you generate a certain amount of debris. Now the real problem is that we need to find an effective way both of cleaning it up, but actually I also think of preventing this stuff in the first place.
So it wasn't helped as it happens four years ago when the Chinese took the decision to deliberately destroy a satellite to prove that they could do so. And that just added to the problem. Those kind of things don't help at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: And keep in mind, all of these little items here, they're whizzing by at 10 kilometers a second. So even something very small can do a lot of damage.
Let's to go Mari Ramos now at the World Weather Center. And Mari, before the forecast, I was wondering more on this space debris stuff, do you have access to any fresh -- constantly refreshing live maps of space debris? Is that even out there?
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Actually that is. And I don't know if I could show you, but that image that you were showing, Kristie, when you click on each and every one of those images, it can actually -- I'll go ahead and tweet what that link is a little bit later -- but you can actually click and -- what and each and every one of those and see where they are. You can track all of that space debris real-time, which is pretty spectacular. Of course, the smallest pieces cannot be tracked real- time.
And one of the things that is really, really cool about this -- you know what, let me see if I can show you since we're on the subject, because I think I still have it loaded here on my Google Earth machine. Take a look at what I'm showing you right now. Come back over to my map. There you go. This is Google Earth. And this is the file that you were showing us.
So you can go ahead and zoom in to all of this. You can click on each -- any of these images and it tells you what the satellite is, where it is, how it's moving. You can track the International Space Station, you can track and make a difference between space debris, for example, and actual live satellites. And it's really spectacular the way it tracks just all of that stuff from here, from Earth. So it's pretty cool.
Let's go ahead and move on, though, because I don't have a lot of time. I want to show you a couple of things that we're tracking back here on Earth. And one of them is the remnants of what was Nanmadol. And Nanmadol is still causing a lot of problems across parts of China.
This is from Fujian Provinc, Kristie, and a lot of damage here, more than expected really. This damage done more from the rain than from the wind. The rain has been pretty severe.
Now we're also tracking what's happening with this storm in Japan. This is Talas. And here you see a dock worker closing the door to this particular dock. All boats are now ready waiting for the storm. It looks like the wind may not be as strong as we had planned with Talas. But notice how large this storm is. So it's bringing rain over and over and over the same areas.
The threat for flooding and mudslides remain from Kyushu, Shikoku, and pretty much the entire eastern half here -- western half I should say, of Honshu. So this is a big story for you guys in Japan. And this is a storm that's moving so slowly. It's interaction over land will not be that large, so it's going to remain a tropical storm even as it continues moving to areas farther to the north.
So there's a lot going on with this weather system. We'll keep watching it.
The heaviest amounts of rain that we can see are these areas here in purple. And notice right along the most densely populated areas, almost right up to Tokyo Bay. We could see some 15 additional centimeters of rainfall, so the threat for flooding and mudslides remain. And let's not forget the travel delays.
Let's go ahead and check out you city by city forecast.
Hey, Kristie, we're also tracking another storm. This one in the Gulf of Mexico. So close to land already. And it's already impacting portions here of the northern Gulf coast. One of the areas most at risk is the city of New Orleans. And this is what the mayor said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCH LANDRIEU, MAYOR, NEW ORLEANS: What we do know is that there is high wind. There is a lot of rain. And it's going slow. That's not a good prescription for the city of New Orleans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAMOS: Not a good prescription for the city of New Orleans at all. We're expecting not only tropical storm force winds along this area. And because of the inclination of the winds, we could see some significant flooding along these very low lying areas, very vulnerable areas. This is a tropical storm warning that we have in place for this region.
And I showed you this before. This is a different computer models and what they're thinking the storm is going to do. Well, you can see that they're just pretty much having it sit out here in the Gulf of Mexico and then eventually maybe as we head into the later part of the weekend move inland. So there's a lot of impact that are going to happen. The main one, of course, is going to be the coastal flooding, but don't forget the inland flooding and the very heavy rain that will be spreading across this entire region.
And oil and natural gas could be impacted as well. Many of the companies here in the Gulf of Mexico had already began evacuations of their personnel in this area. So we'll keep you posted as to what happens with this yet to be named weather system. Back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah, a lot of worrying scenarios there. Mari Ramos always with -- and at the ready with a lot of data at her fingertips. Thank you very much indeed. Have a good weekend.
Up next, the big guns were in action at the U.S. Open. Can Roger Federer win his first grand slam of the year? Alex Thomas has all the results next.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
We are nearing the end of the opening week at the U.S. Open tennis championship. And illness, injury, and bad form has led to a host of star names making an early exit. Let's join Alex Thomas who could tell us more -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie. We've already seen the back of Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Gael Monfils, Robin Soderling, and Venus Williams at the final grand slam event of the tennis season.
But Novak Djokavic is looking every inch the men's top seed. The world number one looking in ominous form for his rivals, especially this second round match against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina. Djokavic only needing 20 minutes to win the opening set 6-love. And it was exactly the same scoreline in the second set.
The world number 74 celebrated when he finally won a game in the third. But it was Djokavic who booked his place in the third round before being jokingly accused of butchering his opponent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK DJOKAVIC, TENNIS PLAYER: Butchering, that's a funny expression. It's -- it was best -- you know, first two sets were ideal. You know, I could not play better. I was getting a lot of balls back. I was ending the point when I needed to. I was making a lot of winners. The serve was OK. Return was great. I felt fantastic on the court. And there not much I can say when, you know, everything seems fun and seems enjoying when you're -- enjoyable when you're playing such good tennis.
I tell you as a tennis player, as any athlete when you're playing perfectly it's everything seems so good and you're so happy because that's exactly where you want your game to be -- at the top, at the highest possible level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: Djokavic is on course for a semifinal showdown with Roger Federer who also looks in pretty tip top shape. The Swiss star doesn't -- if he doesn't win this U.S. Open, he'll finish the season without a grand slam title to his name for the first time since 2002. Although the scoreline wasn't as impressive as Novak's, Federer needed less time than the Serb to beat his second round opponent. The third seed swept aside Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. And it only took him an hour and 17 minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER FEDERER, TENNIS PLAYER: Not much trouble in my serve, great. And I also played at the upper hand. And when it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent. But I just think I was superior today. And it was a good match for me in breezy conditions. It was a bit trickier to find a rhythm, that's why I was happy to get the first break and the first set.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: And the women's singles, Serena Williams remains the one to beat. The 13-time Grand Slam winner breezing through her second round match again Michaella Krajicek. The American star who missed last year's U.S. Open to injury was in top form on Thursday. She beat a player who is actually the younger half-sister of 1996 Wimbeldon champion Richard Krajicek. The match lasting just 49 minutes.
Serena, the 28th seed, winning 6-love, 6-1 despite the distraction of her sister Venus pulling out of the tournament with an auto-immune disease.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: I know she's a fighter and she's really strong and she's great. And I think she's really happy now that she knows what it is after all this time. And I think it (inaudible) going to help her now to treat it and go forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: With more serious things to worry about off the court, Serena probably feels under less pressure than this player, Caroline Wozniacki, the world number one, who is still searching for her first Grand Slam title. But the young Dane looked the part on Thursday at least, beating Arantxa Russ of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-love to set up a third round meeting against American Vania King.
More on that, and the World Athletics Championships later on World Sports in around 2-and-a-half hour's time, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Alex, thank you. Take care.
And time now to go over and out there. And if you're not a fan of creepy crawlies, this may not be the one for you. You see the weather report for one meteorologist in Indiana was for sun with an outbreak of spiders. The WXIN news anchor whipped out a tarantula on set causing this thunderous reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You're going to stop right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't even want to be around it. I told you I will punch you if you're going to get close to me. My heart is racing right now. I'm not kidding. I do not like spiders. I don't know what it was, something when I was a little kid.
Oh my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...on your arm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That thing is so nasty. Just get it out of the studio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Got to love local news. (INAUDIBLE) brought a snake on set there as well. No wonder the weatherman lost his focus during the forecast.
That is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.