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NEWS STREAM

Kabul: The Day After; Civilians Flee Bani Walid, Libya; 'Huda the Hangwoman" Symbol of Libyan Repression; Greece Attempt Renegotiation of Long-Term Bond Payments; Erdogan Met With Protests Outside Arab League in Cairo

Aired September 14, 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.

After a lengthy siege in the Afghan capital, we are learning how the attackers pulled it off.

Plus, parts of Pakistan are under water after torrential rains. Find out what is being done to help people in the flood zone.

And check out what a crowd can do when a life is on the line.

After 19 hours of fighting, a siege in the heart of Afghanistan's capital is over. Now, this is NATO footage of coalition forces scrambling to defend the U.S. Embassy and NATO offices in Kabul on Tuesday.

The Taliban are claiming responsibility for what U.S. officials say was a well-planned assault. Militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at their targets, and the insurgents stormed a building under construction near Abdul Haq Square and used it as a base to launch their assault. The building is only a few blocks away from the U.S. Embassy, but a senior NATO official says it is still outside the secure zone where both the embassy and NATO offices are located.

We now have new details on how the militants were able to get into that vacant building, which apparently includes some clever disguises.

Suzanne Malveaux joins us now from CNN Kabul with the latest.

And Suzanne, this was an almost 20-hour standoff in the heart of Kabul. The attackers, clearly prepared.

Exactly what happened?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we had a chance to actually go to that building where all of this unfolded and talked to some people, particularly the Afghan police, to explain what had happened. We're learning a lot of new details, but they brought out the last insurgent who had been killed. There were six in total that had been killed. They brought out the last early this morning.

We understand that there were six who were in a vehicle that drove up to that building. Five of them were wearing burqas disguised as women so they can avoid being searched, avoid any checkpoints. When they got to the building, they took the burqas off, they brandished their weapons, they all went inside of that building.

Now, that building has been under construction for three years now, widely abandoned. It is protected by six Afghan police officers. So, they went up floor to floor. The second floor is when we saw -- where they confronted the first police officer.

There was bedding, there was a television there. You could tell that people had lived there, or at least stayed there for some time, guarding the building. That is when they took out and shot the first police, and then threw him off of a ledge. That is the police officer who died in all of this.

Then the insurgents went up floor by floor, taking on the police. And there were two that were killed relatively early on in this standoff. As you know, Afghan police, army, as well as helicopters that were involved in firing.

You could see hundreds and hundreds of holes, bullet holes in the world. You could see the shell casings on the floor, evidence of this fierce gun battle that was going on.

Now, it was the 12th floor, pretty much the top of the building, completely open to the rest of Kabul. You can see a wide expanse of the city from the top of the building there. That is where a fierce firefight basically happened late in the evening, early in the morning.

Kristie, we saw evidence of the Taliban being killed there. We saw a shoe with blood that was on the ground, a scarf riddled with bullets, and blood on the wall, even brain matter that was splattered about. Quite a gross scene, if you will.

You could also see from the 12th floor just the U.S. Embassy and the NATO compound just off in the distance, about a half-mile away or so. Very clear target, so you can understand how it was that they were able to keep this firefight going for as long as they did -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Suzanne, just how involved were Afghan forces in defending the area near the U.S. Embassy?

MALVEAUX: Well, we know that they had an attack helicopter, an Afghan helicopter that they were using, that their pilots, Afghan pilots, the helicopter, as well as the army and the police, that were all involved in this firefight. So there was heavy engagement with the Afghans themselves.

We also know, however, that there was the international military presence, the security forces from the international group that is also here. They were involved in protecting the NATO compound and returning fire. So it was a joint effort, but how that effort went, Kristie, really depends on who you ask.

We know that we spoke with the governor of Kabul. He seemed to be very pleased with this. We spoke also -- we heard from U.S. Ambassador Crocker today, who tried to downplay it, saying it was harassment. But he also praised the Afghan police and army for their efforts.

However, there are other government officials, Afghan officials who we spoke with today, who said, look, you know, there wasn't very much communication between the international and the Afghan forces, people were very confused, it took way too long to basically take down these six individuals. And that people in the community were also quite afraid of what was happening, because it's a huge residential area that is right outside of that building. And you had lots of firing going on.

Some believe that the Afghan police were firing indiscriminately and that civilians were going to be caught in the crossfire. There were other Afghans who were worried about NATO and whether or not they were going to be able to distinguish the terrorists from the citizens.

And so it really depends on who you ask, Kristie, just how well this thing went down. But clearly, a wakeup call to a lot of folks in Kabul -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, a wakeup call, and raising a lot of questions on Afghan forces' abilities to secure their own country.

Suzanne Malveaux, joining us live from Kabul.

Thank you very much indeed for that update.

Now, to Iraq next, where at least nine people were killed in a spate of attacks on security forces.

In Baghdad, gunmen opened fire at a police checkpoint. And to the south, in Hillah, a car bomb was detonated outside a restaurant frequented by security forces. And in Al Habbaniyah, a bomb attached to a military bus exploded inside a bus.

In Libya, anti-Gadhafi forces are urging residents in the holdout town of Bani Walid to get out, and to get out now. Now, hundreds of civilians have been piling into cars and fleeing. The fighters may launch a full-blown assault on the Gadhafi bastion as soon as Thursdays.

Now let's go to Phil Black. He's near the front lines there in Bani Walid.

And Phil, civilians are getting out of town. What is the situation like now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. Well, we've been told by the National Transitional Council that they have given the civilians of the town a deadline, 48 hours from last night, to get out of Bani Walid. It is the latest in a series of deadlines, as the National Transitional Council tries to deal with this stronghold, this loyalist stronghold.

To be fair though, in the past these deadlines, as they have passed, have been directed mainly at the loyalists controlling the town, the guys with the guns loyal to Colonel Gadhafi, saying give up or negotiate, surrender, and switch to our side. In this case, though, it appears that the deadline is very much directed at the civilians themselves, giving them a chance to get out before they say a new offensive will begin. And they say that could begin as soon as this deadline passes, potentially, certainly within the next few days.

They say they have forces positioned on three sides of the town, but for the moment, the focus is very much on protecting civilians. And so, at this checkpoint, which is as close as we can get to Bani Walid, about 15 kilometers, nine miles, out of town, there are cars passing through here, stopping at this checkpoint every few minutes, overfilled with families who say they're leaving because the conditions in the town are so difficult, little food and water, but also because they believe it is unsafe. And they're also telling us that there are many more people in that town who would like to make this journey, but they're unable to do so because they have run out of fuel to make the drive just to this checkpoint 15 kilometers up the road -- Kristie.

STOUT: Very worrying to hear. That means a lot of civilians are still remaining there in Bani Walid.

I also want to ask you, Phil, why is it taking so long for rebel forces to gain control of Bani Walid and all the other remaining Gadhafi strongholds? What's behind this delay?

BLACK: Well, I think you touched on it there, Kristie. The issue is the civilians.

They are desperate to try and avoid significant civilian casualties, because down the track, that will only create greater bitterness, resentment. And as this country moves hopefully into a reconciliation phase, it will make that difficult job even harder.

And so, the National Transitional Council appears to have been prepared to play a slightly slower game in dealing with this, giving these deadlines which then pass, often to little effect, attempting to negotiate. The whole idea is to try and maintain pressure on the Gadhafi loyalists in the hope that there can be some sort of negotiated surrender in Bani Walid, in Sirte, in Sabha, in these loyalist strongholds. It hasn't worked so far.

Just here in Bani Walid, a few days ago there was some fighting between rebels, between loyalists in the town. The rebels say they moved in, they found that they were dealing with a large number of snipers in the buildings on the outskirts on the town, but also, there was still a large number of civilians there. And so they didn't feel comfortable using heavy weaponry to deal with those snipers.

This time, they say, once the deadline passes, it will be different. Hopefully, there will be fewer civilians to get in the way, to potentially get hurt. They'll be able to use the weaponry, and they believe they can take this town relatively quickly once they take the decisive action to do so -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Phil, am I hearing shots behind you? Is that a regular occurrence there at the checkpoint?

BLACK: Yes, that is indeed a regular occurrence. There is constant practice firing, I think would be a favorable way of describing it. It is often not quite as disciplined as that.

You know that there are a large number of military units. They're all largely autonomous. And the degree of professionalism between them can vary significantly.

Certainly away from the front lines they clear their chambers, they practice fire. But often, celebratory fire, firing just because they want to, just for the fun, happens as well. It's difficult to know what is happening here at this time, but it is certainly very much a regular thing at this checkpoint and others throughout the country right now.

STOUT: Well, Phil, thanks for speaking so vividly and setting the scene for us.

Phil Black, joining us live from near Bani Walid, live in Libya.

Now, before the uprising, Moammar Gadhafi was the most feared man in all of Libya. But do you know who is the most feared woman? And the Libyans say it is someone that they call "Huda the Hangwoman."

Now, Rima Maktabi reports Huda could soon face her own trial. I need to warn you, some of the video you're about to see, it's old, it's grainy, but it is still disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIMA MAKTABI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This old video shows probably the most feared woman in Gadhafi's Libya, Huda Ben Amer. And in Benghazi, the first city to rise against Gadhafi, older citizens still shudder at the memories of her cruelty.

The year was 1984. At the basketball stadium in Benghazi, a public trial. This man, accused of treason.

The tape, damaged now, but state television aired this mockery of a trial live. Even schoolchildren were in the audience.

Thirty-year-old Sadiq Hamed Shwehdi pleads for mercy, saying he had been influenced by anti-Gadhafi elements when he studied in America.

SADIQ HAMED SHWEHDI (through translator): I joined the stray dogs in America!

MAKTABI: But Shwehdi's show trial was meant as an example to others: oppose the regime, and you will suffer his fate. Whipping up the crowd was the young Huda. And when Sadiq did not die instantly, witnesses say she ran forward and pulled on his legs to break his neck.

PETER BOUCKAERT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: She's infamous for having said that, "The time for talking is over in Libya, now is the time for hanging." So she became a symbol of these many years of repression, and actually rose very high in Gadhafi's government, because Moammar Gadhafi saw the televised trial and was impressed with the fervor shown by this then unknown woman.

MAKTABI: So she was made mayor of Benghazi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They used to fear her a lot, especially the employees at the ministry and at the Libyan government. If anyone was called, that means this person is finished. So she was in control of the ministries, and they were really scared of her.

MAKTABI: The Libyan leader attended her modest wedding, watching approvingly as the Muslim cleric officiated. Huda sat between her new husband and her leader. An embrace followed.

(on camera): Many years later, when Benghazi fell to the rebels, Huda Ben Amer's house was the first to be torched. She fled to Tripoli. The National Transitional Council says it has detained her, and now Huda Ben Amer awaits her own trial.

Rima Maktabi, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Hundreds of people dead, thousands homeless. Millions are affected. And ahead on NEWS STREAM, we will have the latest from the floods ravaging southeastern Pakistan.

And a new twist in Britain's phone-hacking scandal that involves accusations against a senior government minister.

And a horrible accident brings out the best in an unlikely group of heroes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, there is more misery ahead for flood-ravaged southeastern Pakistan, with heavy rain expected in the coming weeks. And here, villagers carry their belongings through floodwaters east of Karachi.

And this deluge is causing chaos in Pakistan's biggest city. Across the region, 233 people have died, including seven in the past day. And there's been huge damage to property and crops.

The United Nations is trying to feed half a million people affected by the flooding, and this is all happening in Pakistan's Sindh Province, the same one that was hit by heavy flooding last year. The provincial capital is Karachi.

Our Nick Paton Walsh is near Hyderabad. He is traveling along flooded roads to the town of Tando Allahyar, and he joins us now on the line.

And Nick, describe the aid effort there in Pakistan.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've seen so far is actually a town really frustrated of how they don't feel like they've been taken too quickly enough after these rains. Tando Allahyar has basically just now been the scene of a protest, where protesters took over an intersection, set fire to a tire, and voiced their frustration, frankly, at what they consider to have been an absence of relief effort assisting them after these rains, particularly furious about how the rains have taken out electricity in the town for a number of days.

But we got a first-hand glimpse of some of the real frustration here. A number of young men surrounding vehicles with sticks, eventually dispersed by the police. We heard what sounded like gunfire very briefly, but clearly real frustration here as aid agencies try and convert the infrastructure and stockpiles that they put together last year to assist with the floods into action on the ground right now.

Let me give you just a couple of numbers.

We just heard from UNICEF, the United Nations emergency fund for children. They're talking about how 42,000 children under the age of 5 years are currently in camps, displaced by this. A total of 150,000 children in these camps. So, really, concern I think that while the rains may not be about to worsen in this area, and the forecast is just that it may continue to be scattered over the next few days, we are talking about significant devastation and a lengthy operation to provide, frankly, clean drinking water to these people -- Kristie.

STOUT: You know, you described the sense of frustration there on the ground. Children are particularly vulnerable right now.

In addition to international aid groups, is the Pakistan military involved? How much help is there? How much more help is needed?

WALSH: Well, there is, I think it's fair to say, a fairly well practiced mechanism here in this country after last year. It involves the military, it involves the U.N., it involves assistance from the United States, from many other countries as well. And a lot of that is already in place.

So one of the pluses about this country being hit two years in a row is that infrastructure is there. The downside is obviously that there are people who have barely recovered from last year's devastation, finding severe rain destroying their lives yet again, what little they have left -- Kristie.

STOUT: Nick Paton Walsh, joining us live from the Pakistan flood zone.

Thank you very much for that update.

(WEATHER REPORT)

STOUT: Now, still to come here on NEWS STREAM, how Downing Street could be affected by a story told by a former dominatrix, and how the phone-hacking scandal is putting pressure on this top British politician. We'll tell you how it's all interlinked.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now, from heartbreak to hope, and to heartbreak again. The families of two American hikers detained in Iran for more than two years say that they were overjoyed when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal might go home in just a couple of days. But now Iran's judiciary suggests that the men's release is not imminent, and all this is raising new questions about how much authority Mr. Ahmadinejad really has.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARIM SADJADPOUR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Over the last several months within Iran, Ahmadinejad has been pretty emasculated domestically. And I think this is a move by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who had to OK the release of these hostages to show to the world that Ahmadinejad still has some power, still has some clout, because I think it's in Khamenei's interest that the world continues to focus on Ahmadinejad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now, Iran's judiciary says it is evaluating a request by the hikers' attorney to set bail, and that could lead to their release, but no decision has been made.

And there's a new twist to allegations of phone hacking by British journalists, and it has put the British chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in an awkward position. It hinges on the connections between him and Andy Coulson, one-time Conservative Party communications chief, and those between Coulson and Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator previously employed by the "News of the World." The British tabloid, sunk by allegations of phone hacking.

But there is another name involved in this scandal, former escort agency boss Natalie Rowe.

Atika Shubert explains how she fits into the political picture.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What does a former dominatrix have to do with Downing Street? Well, it all starts with this headline from "News of the World" in 2005: "Top Tory, Cocaine and a Hooker," it read, featuring an old photo of former prostitute Natalie Rowe with George Osborne, who was 22 at the time, now Britain's finance minister. Osborne acknowledges that was him in the photo, but he has always denied her claim that he used cocaine.

But the story has resurfaced because Rowe recently found out she was a victim of News of the World's phone hacking. She also claims the Murdoch- owned paper downplayed her story to curry favor with Osborne, who, by the time the story was released, was a rising star in the Conservative Party. She spoke recently to ABC Australia.

NATALIE ROWE, FMR. ESCORT AGENCY OWNER: I'm not going to deny (ph) he -- taking a line. And I said to George, jokingly, that, "When you're prime minister one day, I'll have all the dirty goods on you." And he laughed and took a big, fat line of cocaine.

SHUBERT: So how does this lead to Downing Street? Well, in 2005, when the Osborne story broke, Andy Coulson was "News of the World" editor. Two years later, he became spokesman for the Conservative Party, and then for Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson's successor at "News of the World," Rebekah, Brooks, told parliament that he was recommended to the prime minister by George Osborne, bringing it full circle.

So, did Coulson put a gloss on the story to gain influence over Osborne and the Conservative Party? That's what Natalie Rowe's lawyer is asking now.

MARK LEWIS, ROWE'S LAWYER: The evidential issue which will arise in the case, that Natalie Rowe will (INAUDIBLE), will look at the "News of the World" and why the "News of the World" had written an article in such a way, and undoubtedly will look at the future relationship that existed between Andy Coulson and the Conservative Party in the subsequent cases.

SHUBERT (on camera): A spokesperson for George Osborne has denied those allegations from the former dominatrix that he owed Coulson any favors for casting the 2005 story in a favorable light. That spokesperson told CNN, "These are old allegations that were widely reported and widely denied at the time." Andy Coulson could not be reached for comment.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: A bizarre extortion case is likely heading to court in Australia sooner rather than later. An extradition hearing is scheduled in the U.S. later today for the man accused of putting a fake bomb around a Sydney teenager's neck.

Now Kentucky prosecutors say that Paul Douglas Peters planned to waive extradition and return to his home country voluntarily. The former investment banker allegedly broke into the 18-year-old's suburban home and tried to extort money from her wealthy family by fastening a black box around her neck. And she spent hours in agony while police removed the device.

Peters was tracked by police and arrested in Kentucky last month.

Now still to come on News Stream, Turkey's prime minister is continuing his Middle East charm offensive, but he's not getting a great reception from everyone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now the Taliban siege of the U.S. embassy is over almost 24 hours after it began. Six militants were killed after the attackers launched an assault on the U.S. embassy and NATO command in central Kabul on Tuesday. And three Afghan policeman and a civilian were killed in the firefight that raged between coalition forces and the militants.

Now nine people died and at least 60 were hurt when two trains collided in southern India. All of the survivors have now been freed from the wreckage. Authorities say one of the trains smashed into the back of the other while it was waiting at a stop sign.

And it is deadline day in Greece. Today is the last day for holders of Greek debt to agree to a debt restructuring program and extend repayment schedules. And to help head off default, Greece needs 90 percent of bond holders to agree to the plan, but so far it is believed that less than 70 percent have done so. And that has been weighing on the markets in recent days and months.

And despite international condemnation, Syria appears to be extending a no holds barred crackdown on government opposition. Now Reuters is reporting that armored vehicles and hundreds of troops armed with machine guns have stormed 10 villages and towns near the northwestern border with Turkey. And this comes just hours after the Arab League urged Syria's Al Assad regime to stop using force and start a peaceful national dialogue.

And Syria is not on the itinerary for Turkey's prime minister. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on an Arab Spring tour. He is heading to Tunisia and Libya after wrapping up in Egypt. But as Ivan Watson reports from Cairo not everyone is cheering.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Some are calling it the Turkish prime minister's Arab revolution tour. And it started with a bang. Thousands gathered at Cairo air port to give Recep Tayyip Erdogan a heroes welcome. Most said they were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

SAMI ABDUL RAHMAN, ENGLISH TEACHER: I came to Cairo Airport to say welcome to a brave man. Is that we would like to be with Egypt and his war opposite Israel.

WATSON: Against Israel.

Erdogan's recent decision to expel Israel's ambassador from Turkey is winning him big points, especially here in Cairo where demonstrators stormed the Israeli embassy last Friday and sent the ambassador to Egypt and the embassy staff fleeing back to Israel.

And at the headquarters of the League of Arab States, anther slap in the face of Israel. Erdogan told Arab foreign ministers it's time to establish a Palestininian state.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Now is the time to have the Palestinian flag in Gaza and the Palestinian flag should go to the United Nations. So let's hoist the Palestinian flag to the sky and this should be a symbol of justice and peace in the Middle East.

WATSON: It was a show of brotherhood between Arabs and Turks.

The Turkish prime minister is trying to plant himself in the heart of the Arab world's tumultuous politics by making himself a champion of the Palestinian cause. But some people here are angry that he left out one critical Turkish neighbor to the east in his speech: Syria where people keep dying every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throw Assad. Assad is a killer! Assad is killing (inaudible). Assad is killing Syrians!

WATSON: Outside the Arab League, a different crowd greeted the Turkish leader. They yelled Bashar al Assad, the president of Syria, is killing Syrians.

MAAN ALHASBA, SYRIAN FILM DIRECTOR: We're expecting a serious, serious speech from him about Syria, about the problem in Syria. He did not mention it at all.

WATSON: He talked about the Palestinians.

ALHASBA: Yeah, but I mean Syria is bleeding as well.

WATSON: Erdogan will travel on to Tunisian and then Libya to declare his support for democracy in countries that also overthrew dictators.

The man who has defined and transformed politics in Turkey for a decade clearly has ambitions to do the same in the broader Middle East.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Cairo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now the Palestinians are hoping to gain recognition as a state from the UN after decades of failed talks with Israel. But Israel's foreign minister appears to be running out of patience saying its concessions have not been well received. Avigdor Lieberman has said this, quote, "everything have been taken for granted -- not as a good will gesture, but as signs of weakness."

Now let's focus on the year of debt crisis next. It's fair to say that the potential for Greece to default on its debts has made investors around the world quite uneasy. With more on that and how its affecting the global recovery let's bring in World Business Today's Nina Dos Santos. She joins us live from London.

And Nina, tell us more about the reaction to the looming Greek deadline and the downgrade of two high profile French banks by Moody's.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie, things are very unsettled here on the markets. As you'd expect, they are no clearer to answering the kind of questions that have been looming than the situation until yesterday or even back in April 2010 when Greece managed to negotiate the first of two multi-billion dollar, or euro, bailout.

Now the main questions remain will Greece default? Will the credit default swap markets, which is effectively the cost of insuring Greek sovereign debt against a default are currently pricing in a 98 to 100 percent chance of Greece actually defaulting on its debt.

And as you have quite rightly said, that has broader ramifications for countries way beyond Greece's own borders, namely the French banks, two of them, Credit Agricole and also Societe General have been the two companies that have now seen their credit worthiness brought down one notch by Moody's Investor Service precisely thanks to ongoing concerns about their exposure to Greece, Kristie.

STOUT: And also the leaders of Greece, France and Germany are to hold a press conference later today. What are they likely to say and do about the Greek debt situation?

DOS SANTOS: Again, so many questions and so few answers so far. And that, again, is underlined why the markets really have the jitters today, Kristie. They're going to be holding a conference call, as you're saying, Nicolas Sarcozy of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, and also Mr. Papandreou the Greek prime minister trying to come up with some kind of concerted statement to try and calm the markets.

But already we saw that conference call has taken place. We have heard from some rather significant figures within the eurozone area, namely Olli Rehn, who is EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner. He's been saying earlier today, according to the Reuters News Agency, a default by Greece or its exit from the eurozone altogether would, of course, carry some pretty dramatic costs for Greece and the broader region and the world economy as a whole.

In fact, this follows on some research done by analysts that the investment bank UBS saying that countries like, for instance, Greece or Portugal could stand to lose about 50 percent of their total GDP if they were to decide to eventually leave the eurozone.

I did have a chat just yesterday with a senior lawyer who has been studying these kind of issues. And I asked him what exactly would happen if Greece were to default? How would it play out for investors? And how could it leave the eurozone? Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES PROCTOR, LAWYER: There's nothing in the treaty that allows member states to expel Greece even though it might be in breach of the default and deficit levels. Equally there is nothing there that allows Greece itself voluntarily to decide it wants to leave. So any departure would have to mutually negotiated on a clean sheet of paper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: So that mutual negotiation still continues, Kristie. And we're waiting for the outcome of that conference call.

Of course, we should also point out that the Treasury Secretary of the United States, Timothy Geithner, will be for once attending eurozone finance ministers summit later on this week. And that is a pretty important signal to try and tell these people to get their cards in order - - Kristie.

STOUT: That's right, a very keen meeting taking place on Friday. Nina Dos Santos joining us live from London. Thank you.

And Nina and the World Business Today team will be back in 20 minutes right here on CNN.

Now up next on News Stream, dozens of migrants have died trying to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico so why are tourists tracing their dangerous steps?

And risking their lives to help a complete stranger, an injured motorcyclist is trapped under a burning car. Now find out what horrified onlookers did next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now authorities are questioning nine possible North Korean defectors who made a rare journey by sea to Japan. Now the group was spotted adrift on a small wooden boat off Japan's western coast on Tuesday. They've been transferred to a patrol boat. According to coast guard records there have only been two other cases of North Koreans reaching Japan by sea.

Now a man has hacked several people to death with an ax in central China. Now three adults and one child were killed in the attack in Gongye City (ph) in Henan province. And police say that they have a 30-year-old man in custody in connection with the incident.

And this attack has sparked heated online debate on microblogging site Sina Weibo, that's China's answer to Twitter.

Now one user reflected on what had caused this stabbing spree. In fact, ChengShuGuoCheng writes this, "we should also remember the unknown story behind every single attacker. How do they come to this point? Why didn't our society spot their illnesses earlier? Isn't our society missing something?"

Now another user on Sina Weibo sees the attack as a failing on the part of the government. Now FuShanLangRen, he writes that the government should be punished for such an incident. How much money has it squandered every year. Add this tragedy to the wrongdoings of those in power.

And others, like GuYueZhiYong simply condemn the attacks calling for a moment of silence for the victims.

And you can read more of that story in our blog, just go to CNN.com/newsstream and there's also the place to catch up with our take on some of the stories, the top stories that we cover on the show. Again, CNN.com/newsstream.

Now there is no denying that parts of the U.S.-Mexico border are very dangerous. And not only is the Arizona desert searingly hot for immigrants trying to slip into the U.S., but smugglers and traffickers are up and armed to the hilt. And now, for less than $90, tourists can buy a front row seat.

Raphael Romo has a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAPHAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy MacIntyre says she wants to see the harsh reality of immigration for herself. The 72- year-old Minnesotan traveled to Minnesota specifically for that purpose.

JUDY MACINTYRE, TOURIST: It's such a complicated issue. And there's so many sides to it. And people need to come together, work together...

ROMO: Experiencing the realities of the U.S.-Mexico border up close is now as simple as buying an $89 ticket. The Tuscon, Arizona office of Gray Line Tours is offering a trip to the border called "Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction."

BOB FEINMAN, TOUR OPERATOR: As we get closer to Nogales, and by the way the mountains are part of the Stanford Cruz Mountains (ph).

ROMO: The tour operator bills the trip as a fact finding mission. Tourists are taken for a walk in the unforgiving Arizona desert.

Since last October, more than 130 migrants have died while trying to cross the Arizona desert according to the U.S. border patrol.

SHERLEE TERRES, TOURIST: I wouldn't make it three miles. And it just seems so desolate. And I'm not from Arizona originally, so I look at -- I was just looking at the branches with the thorns that -- and I thought what would happen if you were trying to get through a thorn would just tear your clothes and your skin.

ROMO: The tour also includes a get together with rancher who want a more secure U.S.-Mexico border.

DAN BELL, ARIZONA RANCHER: The border is secure in areas where it was easiest to secure those areas. The places that were really difficult to secure are the places that remain wide open. And those are the places that most of our ranches are located on.

ROMO: Tourists also hear from those who advocate easier access of migrant labor to the United States.

CHRISTOPHER CIRULI, FRESH PRODUCE ASSOCIATION OF THE AMERICAS: We need to facilitate trade between the two countries. We need to facilitate the people crossing between both. And we need to make sure that we have human life interests, whether it be the people working at the border or the people trying to cross it that we're not causing more deaths in the desert.

ROMO: In the end, tourists are left to draw their own conclusions. The tour company claims the trip is intended to be a political and educate and alert tourists to the realities of living on the border and the issues of life and death that play out every day in that part of the country.

Raphael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now a tale now of super strength good Samaritans and the stranger whose life they saved. You just have to take a look at this. In this video you can see trapped beneath that burning car is a 21-year-old who was thrown from the motorcycle you see right there engulfed in flames.

But as the traffic continues to pass by look just at what happens next, the bystanders, they summon the strength to life the car right off Brandon Wright. And one of them drags his listless body to safety.

Now Wright was taken to a hospital by paramedics with broken bones. He had surgery. And is expected to make a full recovery.

Incredible story there.

Now up next here on News Stream, U.S. police busted on the job for partying. Take a look at this New York cop as the song goes shaking what his momma gave him. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now after a couple of rest days the rugby world cup swung back into action. And, as Alex Thomas can tell us, there was one surprise after a clash of the minnows -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. Scotland ground out a trialist 15-6 win over Georgia in what was billed as the pick of Wednesday's three rugby world cup matches. In fact, Canada stole the limelight with a shock victory over Tonga. And I say shock, because like all the Pacific Island nations, Tonga consider this a home world cup too.

This was a Pool A clash in Whangarei at the top of New Zealand's north island. Canada's opening match of the event, while Tonga were hoping to bounce back from an opening day defeat by the All Blacks.

There were five tries in this one. Canada with the first of them. Second row forward Jeff Sinclair finishing off a break down the right. Look out for the beards. Some of Canada's players won't shave until they're knocked out of the tournament.

Tonga took control then. With a clean face, (inaudible) scored two drives the other side of half-time. That was the second of them.

And it looked as if the seagulls were on course to a victory until a late Canada fight back. Connor Trainer setting up Aaron Carpenter for a try 14 minutes from the end. And then with just seven minutes on the clock, winger Phil McKenzie spotted a gap in the Tonga defense and dashed through it to get Canada's third try and earn them a 25-20 win, the third time in a row they've beaten Tonga at a world cup, but a shock to do it on what they consider their territory.

No such problems for Samoa. Inspired by their three match (inaudible), the highest rank for the Pacific Island team shot straight to the top of Pool B with a 49-12 demolish of Namibia.

And the first of Samoa's six tries was something of a solo effort from (inaudible) who collected a poor clearance kick from Namibia to charge back along the right wing and speed over the line in the opening minutes.

It was a hattrick of tries for (inaudilbe). And this was his second of the match. In the 34th minutes, the power winger knocking down two Namibian players as he crashed over the line. Toalage (ph) had to wait until the second half to claim his third try benefiting from a break and deft pass from Eloto Sapolu'fumaolo (ph). It's a sprint over unchallenged.

A win and a bonus point for Samoa.

Now they're being hailed as one of the greatest football teams of all- time, but Barcelona failed to make a winning start to the UEFA Champion's League group stages on Tuesday. The defending champions held to a 2-all draw by fellow European giants AC Milan at the famous Camp Nou stadium on Tuesday.

Alex Pato gave Milan the lead after just 24 seconds, the fifth fastest goal in the competition's history.

Barca retook the lead through Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa. But they shared the points with their Italian opponents when Thiago Silva powered home a late header.

Afterwards, Barcelona's coach accused Milan of being too defensive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEP GUARDIOLA, BARCELONA MANAGER (through translator): We would have liked them to play, but they stayed in the back and it is never easy. We found ways of getting inside. And of course we felt sorry in the end, because we were so close to getting three points. But we have to look at the positive part. The players already know it's going to be hard. The changing room is very quiet. We have to understand that it's going to be harder every year.

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI, AC MILAN MANAGER (through translator): In football when you can't control the match you have to defend well to get a good result. We played great defense and didn't concede even though we didn't have an extraordinary possession of the ball.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: More Champion's League coverage and analysis on the rugby world cup in World Sports in two-and-a-half hours time, Kristie. But for now, back to you in Hong Kong.

STOUT: Alex, thank you. Take care.

Now who doesn't love a parade? Well, at one New York City street party police officers apparently got into the spirit just a little too much. Jeanne Moos has a closer look at the dance moves that some say crossed the line.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Talk about arresting images: New York City police officers surrendering to scantily clad dancing girls?

Laughter gave way to wide eyes and gaping mouths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god.

MOOS: No, wait, it gets better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god.

MOOS: The video was shot at last week's West Indian Day parade known as New York's most raucous parade. Nine people got shot at this year's parade, but the only shooting where these officers were posted were shooting of the video that's now gone viral.

"Stop and Frisky," read the New York Post headline.

Forget force, the Village Voice called it "Excessive Use of Dance."

Though actually only a couple of officers did much dirty dancing on duty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's reprehensible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're supposed to keep the order.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're too busy humping girls.

MOOS: On the other hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they are human. If I was at a parade and I was having fun and I had a cop who was having fun with me I'd be happy about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they're having fun like they're at a bar.

MOOS: Think of it as community outreach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, he's having too much fun working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I do that at work I think I'll be fired.

MOOS: But New York's police commissioner wasn't firing anyone.

RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: You know, I'd prefer it didn't happen, but I don't want to make too much of it.

MOOS: Commissioner Ray Kelly told WOR Radio that the young women approached the police officers and he noted that it's quite an unusual parade.

KELLY: You know, the -- you're going to get caught up in the spirit of it.

MOOS: Even the commissioner has gotten caught up in the spirit of it, up to play the bongos.

But New York cops aren't the only ones to get lured into dancing too the beat while they're on their beat.

Look at this British policeman at the Notting Hill carnival. Instead of getting heat, he got a Facebook fan page dedicated to the dancing policeman.

And we're always seeing soldiers in Iraq letting off steam.

This retired police reserve sergeant says the New York officers were just being part of the neighborhood. It's community policing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His sergeant is going to educate him very quickly, won't happen again.

MOOS: At least the New York cops didn't take their hats off.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: And it's time to go over and out there now with some childhood favorites competing for toy immortality. Now nominees for induction into the U.S. Toy Hall of Fame have been announced and the classic Rubik's Cube is one of 12 nominated, but only two will make the cut.

Now the stacking game, you know what I'm talking about, Jenga, it's another one in the running. And so is the pogo stick, apparently fun for all ages.

There's also Hot Wheels, Transformers, Twister, a few of the others. And they're judged on things like icon status, longevity, and innovation.

And the winners will be announced November 10.

But let's take a look at some of the past inductees. Now there are a total of 46. You've got Legos, Playdoo were some of the original hall of famers back in 1998, and Mr. Potato Head joined the ranks in 2000. And the fame must have gone to his head, though, because we were only able to get in touch with his better half.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END