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Flood Disaster in Thailand; Egypt's Prime Minister Vows Inquiry Into Clashes That Killed Two Dozen; Libyan Jew Returns to His Roots; Liberians Vote; NBA Cancels Opening Two Weeks of Season

Aired October 11, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


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

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

And we begin in Southeast Asia, where homes, streets and temples in Thailand and neighboring countries are submerged in floodwater.

After the anger and the violence, the grief. Egypt's prime minister promises a probe into clashes that killed at least 25 people over the weekend.

And after years in exile, this man hoped he had returned to an all new Libya, but he has found out the hard way his country apparently has not changed its view on his religion.

Now, heavy flooding is wreaking havoc in Thailand. More rain is on the way and Bangkok is bracing for the worst.

Officials and residents are working to build up protective walls around parts of the capital city, and the prime minister has ordered canal dredging to ease the impact of rising waters. Shelters are being set up around the city to help those displaced by the floods. And these are images of a dike rupturing early on Tuesday in Pathum Thani, Thailand. It's about 46 kilometers north of Bangkok. And officials say at least 269 people have been killed since heavy downpours began drenching large parts of the country in late July.

And Thailand is not the only country affected. Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are also experiencing floods, and the region is still in the midst of its wet season.

Now, Thailand's prime minister calls it the worst in decades. Nearly 60 out of 77 provinces have suffered from the unrelenting rain. Thirty provinces are badly flooded, and northern areas including the popular tourist destination of Chiang Mai have been hit.

The water is moving toward the capital, and authorities hope to divert the deluge into the sea before it reaches Bangkok. And the city is no stranger to flooding. It sits only two meters above sea level.

And the Chao Phraya River, it winds through Bangkok, which is why it is known as the Venice of the East. Water taxis are still a form of transportation there. And important sites including the Grand Palace are right there on the river's edge.

The ancient capital of Ayutthaya has been declared a disaster area, and just take a look at how high the water hits on this elephant. And the city, of course, is famous for its temples. But the UNESCO World Heritage site is now -- as you can see here, it's under water. And there's no telling how much damage has been done.

And here's another dramatic image I want to show you. It's starting to cover a seated Buddha. And this reclining Buddha is also threatened.

Now, the religious icon is always treated with care. For comparison, let's bring up this picture for you. It's from the UNESCO Web site.

And for more on what's being done to help deal with this unprecedented flooding in Thailand, Sean Boonpracong joins us on the line from Bangkok. He is a spokesman for Flood Taskforce International.

Thank you very much for joining us here on CNN.

I understand that protective walls have been built around Bangkok. How high are they? And will they work?

SEAN BOONPRACONG, FLOOD TASKFORCE INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Yes. Essentially, we set it up as 2.5 meters, and we think that with a huge amount of water coming up within the next couple days, that we're trying to divert the 10 percent top-off 2.5 water wall. If we could divert it to the eastern part of Thailand, we think it could be prevented, but part of Bangkok would be flooded for sure, at least for location.

And the city of Bangkok are preparing an evacuating center should the need arrive. There would be some evacuation there.

STOUT: OK. You said parts of Bangkok will be flooded. Can you tell us which parts? And will this be a severe flood?

BOOONPRACONG: Well, we think that it's -- we're trying to protect the economic zone, those areas near the river that would be flooded. For example, Racoban (ph), Ganawa (ph), those two would be a flooded area. The other two are not as severe, and of course we are prepared to help them. But pending the next couple of days, there is no city rain for two days.

Currently, we think that this is our best strategy, and we think it would work pending the ideal scenario, as we mentioned. And we think that if part of it, there's no dirt dike that broke somewhere, we still could find a situation -- you know, something that we could not cope. But for now, I think 99 percent, we could save Bangkok. It's relatively safe, and the economic zone.

STOUT: And what point will you consider closing offices and schools in Bangkok and evacuating the residents?

BOOONPRACONG: At this point, there is -- if we -- this is most likely not to happen to Bangkok. Of course, there has been some criticism that the government sacrificed those outside of Bangkok for a flood. I think part of it would go there, so we think that Bangkok will not face a severe consequence at the provincial area.

STOUT: As you mentioned, flooding has overwhelmed the provincial areas, much of the country. Does Thailand need international assistance? Is there anything you need right now as you manage through this flooding crisis?

BOOONPRACONG: Well, the next -- we have two more days to prepare for it. Of course, UNESCO offered some help, the United States government (INAUDIBLE) assistant program. China donated $1 million. But I think Thailand could handle its own problems for now.

STOUT: At least 269 people have been killed in the flooding in your country. Do you fear that that number could rise?

BOOONPRACONG: We don't expect a large number. I think that we have no type of disease problem.

This could be a long term. Like, some part of outside of Bangkok could be under the water as much as two months. We prepare for that.

The rainfall has increased 38 percent from the previous year. It's beyond the current scope of our government planning previously, so we're going to have to redo part of the larger strategies. But, of course, with global warming in larger -- and this is not even the end of October yet. So we might face this problem.

This is not the end of it. We've got three more weeks to go.

STOUT: Sean Boonpracong, thank you very much indeed for joining us and giving us the Thai government response. I wish you and your team and your country the very best as you manage through this flooding disaster.

BOOONPRACONG: Thank you. Bye-bye.

STOUT: Now let's get a check on the weather forecast for this devastated region.


STOUT: Now, state television in Myanmar says that the country plans to release more than 6,000 prisoners on Wednesday. Western countries and pro- democracy activists have long been calling on the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, to release people they say do not belong in jail, and that includes student activists, monks, lawyers, and others critical of the state.

And earlier today, I spoke to Aung Zaw. He's a Burmese journalists living in exile.


AUNG ZAW, EXILE-BASED EDITOR OF THE IRRAWADDY: We have in Burma over 2,000 political prisoners. The numbers are disputed because the government always insists that they have only over 1,000 or less than 1,000 political prisoners in Burma. But according to campaign groups inside and outside of Burma, Burma has over 2,000 political prisoners in the country.


STOUT: And Aung Zaw told me he is now cautiously optimistic that Myanmar authorities are prepared to take steps toward the political reform it has pledged.


ZAW: It has been like a hostage drama for years in Burma, because a lot of activists and students are being arrested without any charges. So now the Western government in the U.S. asked the government in Burma to release a certain amount of prisoners, if not all. So, I think if the Burmese government is committed to make this kind of political gesture by releasing quite a majority of political prisoners, I think the West is ready to, in return, make a positive response.


STOUT: Now, the planned prisoner release was announced just hours after Myanmar's National Human Rights Commission published an open letter. That letter calls for so-called prisoners of conscience to be granted a pardon, and you can find the letter right here on the Web site of Myanmar's official newspaper. It's called "The New Light of Myanmar," and it says this: "The release of those prisoners who do not pose a threat to the stability of state and public tranquility will enable them to participate in whatever way they can in nation-building tasks."

Ahead here on NEWS STREAM, from joy in the streets, to bloodshed and grief, is Egypt losing the promise of its revolution?

And --


DAVID GERBI, LIBYAN JEW: They all turned a shoulder. The people that used to haggle (ph) me and talk to me, my best friend in the TNC, they don't call me.


GERBI: It's an enormous sense of betrayal.


STOUT: A Libyan Jew returns to his homeland after a lifetime in exile, but it is not the welcome he expected.


STOUT: Now, just a few months ago, many Egyptians were full of hope and joy, ecstatic over their uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak from power. But today, there is grief in the streets and in churches, and new questions about whether the military really intends to turn over power to the people.

Our Ben Wedeman reports Egypt's prime minister vows a speedy investigation after a protest march by Coptic Christians turned into bloodshed.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The morgue in Cairo's Coptic hospital barely has room for all the bodies covered with bags of ice and regularly sprinkled with perfume to cover the stench of death. At least 25 people were killed and more than 200 injured in clashes Sunday evening between the army, police, and predominantly Coptic Christian marchers protesting the burning last week of a church in Egypt.

Rafad Fayak's (ph) 54-year-old brother Gamal (ph) was killed in the clashes during which eyewitnesses claim army vehicles drove into the crowd. "When we came to demand our rights," Rafad (ph) says, "they ran us over with vehicles.

Mariam (ph), who was at the protest, says, "All we had was wooden crosses, and they ran us over, crushed us with three tanks, then opened fire with live ammunition."

The government says the protesters used firearms to attack security forces, a claim protesters vehemently deny.

"They have tanks, we have prayers," chants this young man.

(on camera): Sunday's violence was the worst of its kind since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in February, leaving many people to ask whether Egypt's new military rulers are either willing or able to bring the situation under control.

(voice-over): There are rising calls from Christians and Muslims for the army to return to the barracks. Huthaina Kamal (ph), a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, says the generals now running the country must go.

"They're not patriots," she tells me. "They're the remnants of the regime of the traitor, Mubarak."

Among the mourners, some called for international protection of the Coptic minority. Others, like Ihab Girgis, want the U.S. to stop supporting Egypt's military.

IHAB GIRGIS, CAIRO RESIDENT: This is to America: please stop. Help our army, because you help them every year, more than $1 billion. And, in the end, that kind of guns, we killed -- they killed us by this.

Obama, you will be happy! Obama, win the Christians! They're killed by guns made in America.

WEDEMAN: Several Muslim women came to extend their condolences to the families of the dead. Muslim-Christian relations may be under strain, but there is still a strong impulse for unity.

"Unfortunately," says Sama (ph), "there are Muslim fanatics and Christian fanatics. But we have come here today as Egyptians, and we'll fix what has been made rotten over the last 30 years."

In the capital's packed main cathedral, an emotional welcome for the first coffin to arrive. The bloom seems to be off its revolution.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.


STOUT: And as Ben mentioned, some eyewitnesses say they saw army vehicles run over people in Sunday's clashes.

It is a disturbing deja vu. Do you remember this? Few can forget this shocking YouTube video. This one, from February. It shows an armored vehicle apparently mowing down protesters in the streets of Cairo as horrified witnesses looked on.

There is also more recent video surfacing online like this one. CNN, we cannot confirm its authenticity, but it allegedly shows army troops beating a man lying in the street.

And then there's this video from earlier this month. And I warn you, it is disturbing. And again, we cannot confirm its authenticity. It seems to show two men being tasered and slapped by police.

And all of this, very different from the joy we saw in Tahrir Square just a few months ago as thousands celebrated President Mubarak's resignation.

Now, religious and sectarian tensions are also surfacing in Libya. Thousands of Jews lived in the North African nation just 50 years ago, but when Moammar Gadhafi came to power, he shut down synagogues and banned contact with Jews.

Now Gadhafi is on the run, and a Libyan Jew who spent decades in exile has returned home. But as Nic Robertson reports, there is no warm welcome.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): This was supposed to be the hard part --

GERBI: All the Libyan Jews need justice. I'm not giving up.

ROBERTSON: -- breaking down the bricks, blocking entry to his old synagogue.


ROBERTSON: But for David Gerbi, a 56-year-old Libyan Jew, returning from almost a lifetime in exile, the dream of praying where his parents worshipped is becoming a nightmare.

(on camera): So you're sort of stuck in the hotel.



GERBI: Yes. And I am in a kind of a prison, but I feel safe.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): When I meet him four days later, he is a virtual prisoner in his hotel.

GERBI: They don't want the Jew here. They don't want to open the synagogue, so it starts to become a big, big issue. They are coming back - -

ROBERTSON (on camera): So, today, can you walk the hundred yards to go to the synagogue now?

GERBI: No, I don't think so. I don't think so. It's not going to be safe.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Death threats, demonstrations, even a Facebook campaign against him, all ignited since he broke down the door.

(on camera): "We try to help the people to feel good. We can make them feel good."

(voice-over): It all contrasts with the messages he shows me scrawled in his notebook, as this psychiatrist helped in hospitals here during the war against Gadhafi.

(on camera): So these are very nice messages you are getting right now.

GERBI: Yes. In the end, they all turned a shoulder. The people that used to haggle (ph) me and talk to me, my best friend in the TNC, they don't call me.

ROBERTSON: How do you feel about that?

GERBI: It's an enormous sense of betrayal.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Let down, he says, by rebel leaders -- the TNC, the National Transitional Council -- who he fears are in danger of following Gadhafi's anti-Semitic lead.

GERBI: They need to understand from the beginning, if we invest all this money, energy, and the international community invests in a real democracy, they need to know from the beginning that they need to accept also the freedom of religion. They cannot throw you out because you are Jewish.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Is there real democracy here right now?

GERBI: No. They need to make a decision, because to play duplicity, it will not last forever.

ROBERTSON: Gerbi says a National Transitional Council spokesman accuses him of being premature and provocative in his demands. And this letter from the Department of Archaeology accuses him of breaking law number three, for breaking down the wall without permission. But just a few blocks away, in the hotel, Gerbi says he'll wait here until his demands are met, that he gets to practice his religion in its place.

(voice-over): But his wish wasn't to be. Ten days later, following more death threats, government officials intervened, persuading him it was in his and Libya's interest he leave the country.


STOUT: Nic Robertson reporting there. And he tells us that David Gerbi decided to leave Libya today on board an Italian military flight. Gerbi says that he decided to leave for Libya's sake, to avoid any kind of incident, and that he's been told he will be invited back later.

Now, next on NEWS STREAM, we'll take you to a prison in the West Bank where inmates are on a hunger strike and protests have turned violent.

And will a Nobel Peace Prize help Liberia's president win another term? We'll check "The Iron Lady's" chances in Monrovia.


STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching NEWS STREAM.

And in the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike. Now, they are protesting what they say are deteriorating conditions in Israeli prisons.

Now, the hunger strike has received the support of the Palestinian Authority, and the protest is planned outside the Ofer Prison in the West Bank for today. There have been clashes under way outside that prison.

Let's go straight to our Jerusalem bureau chief, Kevin Flower. He is near the Ofer Prison there in the West Bank.

And Kevin, can you describe what's happening there outside the prison?

KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Kristie, it began here about noon local time. And it was a small protest of about 100 protesters or so outside the gates of this prison. Now, this is an Israeli prison that holds Palestinian prisoners, and they were protesting in solidarity with prisoners who are on a hunger strike to complain about detention conditions in Israeli prisons.

Now, this protest outside the prison here, it lasted for about 10 minutes before it degenerated into pandemonium. What happened was Israeli security forces just on the other side of the fence of that prison began firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. Like I said, that was two hours ago. And what we've seen for the past two, two-and-a-half hours, is a running sort of battle between Israeli security forces and scores of Palestinian youths throwing rocks just outside this prison.

Now, obviously the issue of prisoners, it's a very sensitive issue for Palestinians. There are some 5,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. This is one of those issues for Palestinians that is incredibly important, it's one that's brought up in negotiations all the time with the Israelis.

Oftentimes when the Israelis are trying to make good or are trying to move forward on negotiations, they will release Palestinian prisoners. But right now, as you know, there are no negotiations going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians at this point in time. So issues like prisoners become a point of friction, and that's what we're seeing here today in large scale -- I would say medium-scale clashes between security forces and Palestinian youths -- Kristie.

STOUT: Can you tell us a little bit more about what the conditions are like for Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails?

FLOWER: Well, what Palestinian prisoners will say and what activists for the Palestinian prisoners will say is that they are subject to bouts of solitary confinement that are not fair, that they are mistreated by Israeli security personnel. Specifically, there have been a lot of complaints recently following an announcement by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a few months ago saying that since Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit was being mistreated by Hamas, it was no longer possible for the Israelis to give such benefits as university education to Palestinian prisoners. So, benefits like that have been revoked, and so that is also making Palestinian prisoners very angry as well.

Also, the revocation of the ability of members of their family to visit them in jail. They say that that has not been happening. And they point to various measures that Israeli forces have taken for what they say is in punishment for the treatment of Gilad Shalit at the hands of Hamas.


STOUT: Kevin Flower, live in the West Bank on the story for us. Thank you very much for that, Kevin.

Still ahead here on News Stream, voting in Liberia, as many as 2 million people of the country's new-found democracy to the test.

And rallying in Yemen spurred on by the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, these brave women take to the streets.


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

Now Thailand is bracing for more disastrous flooding. Officials are working to build a protective wall in parts of the capital Bangkok. The prime minister has ordered canal dredging to ease the impact of rising waters. Officials say at least 269 people have been killed since heavy downpours began in late July.

Now Myanmar state TV says the government will release more than 6,000 prisoners starting on Wednesday. It is not clear whether that will include political detainees. But a government appointed human rights panel is calling for a pardon of so-called prisoners of conscience.

Now the Iranian government has sentenced an actress to a year behind bars and 90 lashes for her role in this film, it's called My Tehran for Sale. All this according to an opposition web site. Now the film, it criticizes an Islamic Republic for limiting artistic expression. The web site did not detail the charges laid against the actress.

And voting is underway in presidential and legislative elections in Liberia. It is the second election since the end of the civil war eight years ago. Incumbent president and recent Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf is in a tight race for re-election.

And analysts say today's election in Liberia is in many ways a test of the west African country's fragile democracy. And despite recent gains, Liberia is still recovering from years of war. And many people remain poor.

Now Christian Purefoy joins us now live from the capital Monrovia. And Christian, I know you have an umbrella with you, but aside from the rain what is the atmosphere like at the polling station.

CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, thankfully Kristie the rain has actually stopped. And the weather has got better, but the mood is the same. You can still see people queuing to vote behind me. It's one of determination and excitement.

As you said, Kristie, this is the second national election after a 14 year brutal civil war. It's difficult to describe quite how devastated Liberia was after the end of that war. An estimated 250,000 people were killed and Liberia only has, Kristie, a population of about 4 million people.

So today actually has become, if anything, a referendum on the current president's first term, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and what she has managed to do in her first term to try and take Liberia forward.

At the end of the civil war, Kristie, Liberians had big expectations about what both the end of the war and democracy would bring. I know a lot have to say, but we spoke with a lot of them are disappointed at what President Sirleaf has managed to do.

But it has to be said she has the inbox from hell. There's still no water. There's no electricity. There's still bullet holes in some of the buildings. But she has managed, as she would say, to consolidate the gains. And that is what she is really running on, Kristie, to try and say you know, look, it's difficult but we are moving forward. There is peace. There is democracy going on. And, you know, we just need to stay the course, if you like Kristie.

STOUT: Yeah, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is definitely in a tight race. And you talked with her. How optimistic is she?

PUREFOY: Well, she's very optimistic, but it is a very close race. She -- her main opponent, Kristie, basically is the Congress for Democratic Change. And the main presidential candidate for them is a man called Mr. Tubman (ph), but the star of the show for the opposition is a man called George Weah who is Liberian -- Liberia's most famous international football star. And he really is pulling the crowds, some of the crowds that we've seen supporting him in the last days of the campaign have just clogged the streets of Monrovia.

And one of the main reasons for that, Kristie, is that President Sirleaf is 72 years old. George Weah is much younger. And 40 percent of Liberians are, Kristie, under the age of 14.

You know, the youth here is a big dynamic. And although the under-14s can't vote, the 18s, the 20s, the 30s are still there. And they feel, you know, that this man, George Weah, is in touch with their needs. And he's definitely playing on that in the campaign, Kristie.

STOUT: Thank you for laying out the political field for us. Christian Purefoy joining us live from Monrovia, thank you.

And alongside Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Yemen's Tawakel Karman was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. And she was quick to call a victory for Arab women and for a peaceful revolution. And over the weekend, thousands of women in Yemen, they took to the streets to show support for Karman and protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his government.

From Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Jamjoom reports.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The scenes are extraordinary, thousands of Yemeni women marching courageously, chanting defiantly.

Stand up and raise your voice with pride. We are not afraid to die, they shout.

Just two days after Yemeni rights activist Tawakel Karman became the first Arab woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, massive crowds of women, inspired by Karman, flooded the street in three of the country's provinces to celebrate her reward.

Hours after the historic honor was given to her, Karman spoke to CNN about how her award and the attention can help galvanize the uprising.

TAWAKEL KARMAN, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER: The international society admire the (inaudible) of women and youth and Yemeni people since 8 months, more than 8 months in the streets. They are struggling for their dignity, for their freedom. I know now after this award that international society will be with Yemeni revolution more than before.

They are now -- I know I think it's beginning of a good and a strong (inaudible) against Ali Saleh and his regime.

JAMJOOM: At Sunday's demonstrations, many women brought their children along hoping to instill in them a spirit of revolutionary fervor and a message of peaceful resistance. In Sanaa, Taiz and Shabwa (ph) they also called on the UN to intervene, to force Saleh to step down from power and impose sanctions on him and his family.

This video was uploaded to a social media site and cannot be independently verified.

Karman began leading protest marches at a time when few women in Yemen were so bold. She was threatened, even detained, but that didn't stop her.

More and more women followed her lead. But in an extremely conservative Islamic country, such boldness has the potential to be dangerous as it became on Sunday. According to eye witnesses and medics, dozens of female demonstrators were injured when pro-government forces attacked marchers with rocks and batons. A threat Yemeni demonstrators are all too well aware of, a reality of this revolution recognized constantly as these women chant "stand up and raise your voice with pride. We are not afraid to die."

Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


STOUT: Now government forces in Somali say they have managed to retake some of the last remaining al Shabaab stronghold in the capital Mogadishu. On Monday, African Union forces backed by Somali troops, they pushed into the capital's northeast. At times, the fighting was fierce. And a military spokesman says one of his soldiers was killed while six others were injured.

Now most al Shabaab militants had fled the capital earlier this year, but the AU says the remnants that remain had been killing civilians.

Now alleged international arms dealer Viktor Bout finally gets his day in court on Tuesday after evading police for nearly two decades. Now his trial is set to begin later today in New York. And Bout, notoriously known as the merchant of death, is charged with trying to kill Americans through illegal arms deals.


DOUGLAS FARAH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CONSULTANT: He unquestionably made some of the worst wars of the 20th Century, early 21st Century much worse than they would have been.


STOUT: But the former Soviet Union air force operator says he's innocent.

Now this is what he told our Jill Dougherty during an interview in Moscow nearly 10 years ago.


VIKOR BOUT, SUSPECTED ARMS DEALER: I'm not afraid. I don't did anything in my life of what I should be afraid. And this whole story, it looks to me like a witch hunt.


STOUT: If convicted, Bout faces life in prison.

Now it is a frustrating time for basketball fans. Now the NBA season is in jeopardy after owners and players fail to reach a new labor deal. I've got the details ahead in sports.


STOUT: Now it is being called the worst environmental disaster ever off the coast of New Zealand and high winds and strong swells are hurting efforts to stop the flow of oil gushing into the sea. Now it's estimated that at least 130 tons of oil and possibly more than double that have leaked from the container ship that ran aground on a reef off New Zealand's North Island creating a five kilometer slick.

Now clumps of oil have begun washing up on shore, people are advised to avoid the beaches, and a rescue center has been set up for injured wildlife. There's also a new one kilometer no-go zone around the crippled vessel. There are concerns that rough seas could tear the ship apart completely.

And another story we're keeping an eye on, Occupy Wall Street. Now more protests are planned in New York today. And organizers have decided to mix things up a bit. Now the protesters who say that they're angry about corporate greed and social inequality in American, they've been using Zuccotti Park in Manhattan as their home base. But today's movement has them taking to the streets and bringing their message directly to New York's wealthiest.

Now the march is expected to start just after noon on 59th Street near Central Park. And from there, organizers say they plan to visit the homes of several high profile CEOs and billionaires.

We'll bring you more on the story in the next hour on World Business Today.

Now bad news for basketball fans around the world. There won't be any NBA games any time soon. Pedro Pinto joins us from London with that and more -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. It is official, the first two weeks of the NBA season have been canceled. Commissioner David Stern confirmed the news after league owners and players were unable to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement in a last ditch meeting in New York on Monday night.

Top negotiators for both sides have been trying to come to some sort of agreement since the walk-out began back in July. But as many expected, it never happened.


DAVID STERN, NBA COMMISSIONER: It was actually constructive in a way. We now know where we are and where the players are. We don't have to guess about it. And we part on good terms with the negotiators. We just have a gulf that separates us. We're going to go report to our committee, you know, in the next day or two, whenever that is, probably tomorrow I don't know. And then to the board of governors. And then we agreed we'll be in touch with the union and see where we go from here.


PINTO: With no start to the NBA season in sight, maybe basketball fans in the United States will turn to the Major League Baseball playoffs instead. There was plenty of excitement on Monday night. In the National League St. Louis beat the Brewers in Milwaukee. And they can thank this man, Albert Pujols, hitting a home run in the first inning to put the Cardinals ahead. He would have three doubles. He finished the game with five runs batted in as St. Louis crushed Milwaukee 12-3 to even up the series at one game apiece.

It was a historic night for the Texas Rangers in the American League championship series as they beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 thanks to Nelson Cruise's 11th inning grand slam. Amazingly it was the first game ending grand slam in post-season history. The Rangers now lead the best of seven series 2 games to none.

Now the Tigers may have lost that game, but sports fans in Motown still could celebrate one victory on Monday night. The Lions improved to 5-0 in the NFL reaching this mark for the first time in 55 years.

Detroit hosted the Chicago Bears. No points were scored in the opening quarter. The Lions finally broke the deadlock in the second period. Matthew Stafford drops back to pass and finds Calvin Johnson for a big 73 yard touchdown. Great play.

Chicago reacted well and scored 10 unanswered points before the break. They scored a touchdown of their own when Jay Cutler got a pass off to Kellen Davis in the end zone. However, in the second half it was all about Detroit who took the lead for good when Stafford fired a pass up the middle to Brandon Pettigrew, 14-10 at that point.

They added insurance a little later in the third quarter. Jahvid Best finds some space in the Bears defense and takes advantage. Watch him go 88 yards for the score. Lions winning 24-13. They remained undefeated this season.

Finally, I can tell you that Tuesday is a big day for international football. The last round of qualifying matches for Euro 2012 is taking place. Four spots in the finals are up for grabs. Let's take a look at the top games scheduled for today.

Russia, France, Greece and Portugal will all qualify automatically with a point from their remaining match. There are several playoff spots also still available on the final day of qualifiers. And of course we will keep you up to date with all the results and their implications as well throughout the day on CNN.

That's all from me for now. Kristie, back to you.

STOUT: Pedro, thank you and take care.

Now we have an eye opening story ahead on News Stream. I'll introduce you to a real life bionic man who goes by the name iBorg.


STOUT: If you're like many people, you probably use Google Maps to get direction or Google Earth to explore different parts of the world, but for some places there just isn't a lot of information available online. So Google relies on citizen cartographers to fill in the blanks.

Now here's a look at some of the changes being made right now on Google Mapmaker. And volunteers can add streets, businesses, schools, and other landmarks. And reviewers then vet the changes.

Now the latest areas to be put on the map include Afghanistan and Antarctica. They're shown here in yellow. And let me show you an example of the work these volunteers do.

Now back in October of 2008, the capital of Bahrain, it was just a blank landmass. And this video, it shows how the map was created through crowd sourcing.

As you can see from nothing to a complete picture in just months. And in some cases, such as the country of Georgia, governments help gather information to improve maps, but anyone can pitch in.

And here's how one citizen mapmaker explains the process.


ANAS QTIESH, CITIZEN MAP MAKER: You don't have to be in the location, you just have know local -- you have, you know, have local knowledge. The way it works, you see satellite imagery and then you can add, you know, line streets over it and name them. And then once you're done with the street -- I mean, streets, you can start adding schools and businesses and just bit by bit build the map from scratch.

Having accurate maps is a crucial factor in development and promoting tourism in certain country. And just getting around if you're going from one city to the other and you don't know a city, having an online map in your pocket on your smartphone is incredibly useful.


STOUT: Qtiesh lives in San Francisco, but he's a frequent contributor to maps in his native Syria like this one of Damascus. And he says he is proud that his maps have played a role in aiding anti-government protesters in his homeland.

And now I want to introduce you to a filmmaker with a unique vision, and I mean that quite literally, because he has a camera in his eyesocket. Laurie Segall explains.


ROB SPENCE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: I'm Rob Spence. And some people call me iBorg, well actually I call me iBorg, but now everyone else does.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's a real life bionic man. And that's a camera in his eye.

You're looking at me right now. And walk me through what you're seeing and what we're seeing over here.

SPENCE: Sure. Well, in here, is a battery, a camera, and a transmitter. And it transmits the video to here.


SPENCE: And this is a video source now I can plug it in to any recording device I like.

SEGALL: And so you're not actually seeing with this eye to the camera. You're not actually seeing any images, but it's picking them up right here and it's being recorded.

SPENCE: Yeah. I don't want to attach this to my brain, because it's only 320 by 240. If I combine that 320 by 240 video with my binocular vision it would wreck the good vision I still have out of one eye.

SEGALL: Rob's story started, like many super hero origins, with an accident.

SPENCE: I was messing around with a 12 gauge shot gun. I tried to shoot a pile of cow crap. But I wasn't holding the gun properly. I had it -- my eye right against the gun like a cowboy in the movies and there was an accident.

SEGALL: After many surgeries, Rob was told he'd have to lose his eye for good. But he didn't have your typical reaction.

SPENCE: As soon as I heard I was going to lose the eye, I already started making plans to put a camera in there.

SEGALL: So he worked with a team of engineers who created his new eye out of a camera used for medical surgery.

SPENCE: You know, it was often silence when you call somebody up, when you cold call them and say, yeah, I'm trying to make a camera eye. And they think you're screwing with them at first. But the great thing about engineers is they love science fiction and pop culture. And this is a very science fictiony, pop culture kind of thing to do.

Weird, huh?


SPENCE: Yeah. I know, right?

SEGALL: A documentary filmmaker, the subject of Rob's films have turned more personal.

SPENCE: Now filming your bionic hand with my bionic eye.

SEGALL: From a controllable bionic arm to a runner with mechanical legs that may actually increase his speed, Rob believes he's seen the future. And it's a future where a missing limb is far from a handicap.

SPENCE: Limbs, prosthetic limbs, will become superior to human limbs and eyes at some point in the near future.

SEGALL: And it may not be far away.

So what's the hold up?

SPENCE: What engineers have told me is it's not -- we have the processors and the wires and the motors and the batteries, the only thing missing now is enough imagination to put it all together and connect it directly to the brain.

SEGALL: In New York, Laurie Segall, CNN Money.


STOUT: Wow. High ick factor, yucky factor in that story, but pretty incredible stuff.

Now in California, competitive pumpkin growers have another year to try and smash the world record. And yes there is such a thing as competitive pumpkin growing.

Now the largest of the lot, it set a state record at 773 kilograms, but this -- this is the pumpkin to beat. It tipped the scales at more than 820 kilos last year. And if you think that this is some American thing, well this gigantic gourd it was grown in Germany. And even CNN's very own Jim Bittermann can be considered a fertilizer aficionado, from France he shared his harvesting process and his chainsaw skills to grow a big pumpkin on Backstory.

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