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The Fight for Sirte; Iran: Allegations Are Baseless; Thailand Floods; E.U. Tightens Sanctions on Syria; Apple Wins Suit Against Samsung In Australia; Portugal to Face Bosnia-Herzegovina in Euro 2012 Playoffs
Aired October 13, 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 in Libya, where celebrations broke out in Sirte after claims that one of Gadhafi's sons had been captured. And those claims are now being questioned.
And vast areas of farmland, businesses and homes underwater. About eight million people affected. We get the latest on Thailand's devastating floods.
Plus -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awful. I mean businesses have come to rely on a gadget such as the BlackBerry and now to go back to that on -- on yesterday, I decided to order an iPhone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would I have another BlackBerry?
I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: BlackBerry services may be getting back to normal, but is the damage to the device's reputation already done?
Well, there are reports out of Libya that one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, Mutassim Gadhafi, was captured in Sirte on Wednesday after a four hour firefight. Celebrations rang out in several cities across Libya, including Tripoli and Benghazi following the news. But two NTC officials say they can't confirm reports of his capture and another flat out denies it.
It is worth noting that previously reported captures of Gadhafi family members later turned out to be false. And you remember when Libyan National Transitional Council claimed to have captured this guy, Gadhafi's eldest son, Saif al-Islam, in Tripoli, back in August.
Well, it wasn't too long after those reports and that our Matthew Chance caught a glimpse of this -- Saif al-Islam Gadhafi flaunting his freedom around the Libyan capital. He told CNN then that he was never in NTC custody and the opposition claims were merely a ruse.
And for more on what we know about this latest claim and the fight for Sirte, Dan Rivers joins us now live from inside one of Gadhafi's former palaces there -- and, Dan, what are you seeing?
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a very sort of opulent scene here, Kristie. You might be able to make out, we're in a bedroom that belonged to Colonel Gadhafi himself, a big, ornate four poster bed. And all these rooms are adorned with lavish furniture, a lot of it in sort of gold effects and lots of sort of very expensive looking woodwork all around, countless numbers of bathrooms and bathrooms here.
And some of the rebels who've been wandering around here have been really quite amazed, saying, you know, we thought he lived in a tent. And they've been just wondering around wide-eyed at this kind of luxury lifestyle.
Still, even in the bedroom, we found a picture of Colonel Gadhafi and his wife, Safia there. It looks like quite an old photo judging by how young the colonel himself looks. And through here, you can see this has been fairly heavily damaged in what we think is NATO air strikes much earlier on in this conflict and then it's clearly been looted by the rebels and whoever else coming through here. A lot of it's been smashed up.
But in the background, just a couple of kilometers away, we can still hear the having fighting in Sirte itself. The battle is by no means over. There's lots of artillery still being used to try and flush out the last remnants of Colonel Gadhafi's soldiers.
And, Dan, inside that former Gadhafi compound there, were there any clues left behind to indicate when it was vacated?
And, also, outside the compound, just how much of Sirte is under NTC control?
RIVERS: It's remarkable how little personal effects or papers there are in this big, rambling house -- almost nothing at all. In fact, this and a couple of other photos are the only things we've really seen in here. There's no papers, no indication of when they were last here. I'd imagine it was quite a long time ago, probably when the NATO bombing campaign started. I would imagine that they left here, realizing this was clearly going to be a target.
In terms of there amount of control that the NTC has of Sirte, the vast majority of the city, it appears, is under their control, just District 2, to the northwest of the city, right by the coast, seems to be the last pocket of resistance. And they're coming after it there, encountering sniper fire and small arms fire and the odd rocket propelled grenade coming at them. And it's very difficult for them to flush those last soldiers out without going in, you know, building by building, really.
So, you know, there's no sense yet in how long this will take to -- to finally finish. But I think the -- the direction that this is going is fairly clear. It's going with the NTC. There seems to be no doubt. They seem to be making incremental gains every day. It's just a question of -- of finishing the job off.
STOUT: And, Dan, there have been reports that one of Gadhafi's sons, Mutassim, he was captured in Sirte.
Is there any truth to that claim?
RIVERS: We've not had any confirmation or evidence to back up that claim here in Sirte. No one seems to know anything about it. They've heard the rumors. They've heard the TV reports. But no one has any firsthand account of having seen him, no photos have emerged of him in custody, no videos.
The longer that there is a lack of evidence, the more, I think, this seems, you know, a false claim.
As you said, in the past, the NTC forces have claimed that they've captured different members of the Gadhafi family only for that to turn out not to be true, in the case of Saif al-Islam, he appeared on TV, as you saw.
I -- at the moment, I am very skeptical about this until we see some hard proof. We've been here for the last two or three days and I think we would have heard something on the ground if they had captured him. Word would have spread very quickly through the fighters, I think, that they had him. And we didn't hear anything until that Reuters report flash at about 11:00 p.m. last night.
STOUT: OK. Got it.
Dan Rivers joining us live inside Sirte, inside one of Gadhafi's former compounds.
If Mutassim is, indeed, in custody, then Saif al-Islam, a very familiar face right here, he would be one of the last of Gadhafi's biological children still unaccounted for. He has not been seen since late August. That's around the time that Tripoli fell. now, these three Gadhafi children, they are in Algeria. They were accepted on humanitarian grounds.
Niger said the same when it took in Safi (ph) and is refusing requests to turn him over. And Khamis and Saif al-Arab are believed to have been killed during the revolution, though rebel claims about Khamis could not be verified. And mystery surrounds Gadhafi's two adopted children. Milad (ph) is missing. There have been reports that Hana, who Gadhafi said died in a U.S. bombing 25 years ago, may actually be alive.
Outrageous, unlikely and amateurish -- now that is just some of what's being said about the alleged plot by Iran to murder one of Saudi King Abdullah's most trusted advisers. The scheme allegedly involves an elite branch of Iran's military that U.S. officials say hand-picked an Iranian- American used car salesman who lives in Texas to go to Mexico to hire a hit man from a notorious drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. by blowing up a bomb in a crowded restaurant in the heart of Washington.
That is what officials at the highest reaches of the U.S. government say the evidence points to, despite growing criticism amongst some experts. And the Obama administration is ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran and pushing for tougher sanctions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: This kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. We will work closely with our international partners to increase Iran's isolation and the pressure on its government. And we call upon other nations to join us in condemning this threat to international peace and security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's an outrage that violates one of the fundamental promises upon which nations deal with one another, and that is the sanctity and safety of their diplomats. And so this is really over the top. They have to be held accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Well, Iran formally denies any involvement and its ambassador to Riyadh insists that ties to this long-time regional rival, Saudi Arabia, are, quote, "excellent."
Well, the Saudi prince says someone in Iran is going to have to pay the price.
Let's bring in John Defterios at a bureau in Abu Dhabi -- and, John, when Saudi Arabia says that Iran must pay the price, what does that mean?
How is it likely to respond?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST, "MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST": Well, the -- the hope, of course, Kristie Lu, is not to have any confrontation. I know Iran has described the fact that there is no confrontation with Saudi Arabia right now. But one would not say they have the best of relationships. And if you ask anybody in the region privately, whether it's a minister or -- or a business leader, what concerns them most is a confrontation from one of the six GCC states. And Iran, of course, Saudi Arabia being the largest. And this discussion came up last year during the Arab uprisings in Bahrain, because of, of course, Bahrain flanking the eastern border of Saudi Arabia. And all the discussions below the surface of which role Iran played in it.
So the tensions are always there. Of course, two major oil powers that share the Straits of Hormuz in terms of the exit of this oil.
So, of course, it's a very high concern within the Arabian Gulf.
STOUT: So in light of this Iranian plot, what is the likelihood of an all-out confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a military or even economic confrontation through sanctions?
DEFTERIOS: I think it would be the latter. Nobody wants to talk about military confrontation, quite candidly, right now, of course. They would like to see that put off forever.
But the economic sanctions, going back to Secretary of State Clinton's comments there, the coalition of the willing is what Washington is trying to form right now.
Sanctions on Iran, of course, are not new. We've seen four rounds of sanctions since the end of 2006. So four rounds of sanctions in five years, that's not counting another eight countries who have unilateral sanctions against Iran.
So the targets here very clear, the energy sector, number one, because Iran sits on about 10 percent of the world's proven oil revenues. The banking sector, in fact, they're having the UAE try to lean on the banks here to make sure they don't have transactions with the very large Iranian community within the UAE. And the shipping sector and the airline sectors.
So this has been an effort for the last five years to try to -- to try to tighten the screws on Iran economically. And I would imagine, the pressure is going to increase.
But it also raises the question, what else is left in the sanctions toolbox to apply here within the United Nations structure?
STOUT: John Defterios joining us live from Abu Dhabi.
Thank you very much for that.
And while the Saudi prince says the burden of proof against Iran is overwhelming, other long-time Iran watchers are not convinced that Iran's military and its elite Quds Forces played any role in the alleged assassination plot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: The Quds Force has attacked American troops in Saudi Arabia. It blew up the Marines in Beirut. And I could go on and on. But they always use reliable proxies. I have never seen them go to drug cartels, sit down in a meeting like this, send money through New York. It's just -- it's sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
This is not characteristic of the Quds Force at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY MANN LEVERETT, CEO, STRATEGA: This, what we've seen unfold makes no sense in terms of Iran's national security strategy. There's no benefit. There's no payoff from them pursuing this kind of hit against Adel Jubeir. And it -- it runs contrary to their entire national security strategy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Well, some skeptics say that the alleged plot distracts from the real story, which is the balance of power in the Middle East turning toward Iran and away from the US.
Now, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, when streets become waterways -- floodwaters in Thailand continue to rise as the threat grows for the capital.
And violence in Syria -- new amateur video suggests that there has been no letup in the state's violence against civilians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN BATES, U.K. MANAGING DIRECTOR, RESEARCH IN MOTION: I'd like to acknowledge the frustration that we know our customers are experiencing for the delays and the messaging and the browsing traffic. I'd also like to apologize unreservedly to the customers who are experiencing this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And the BlackBerry mea culpa -- when the device makers' senior manager says sorry to frustrated customers.
STOUT: Now all across Thailand, water has spilled over into places it should not be -- farmland, businesses and homes are simply inundated. About eight million people are affected. Two hundred and eighty-three people have died.
And you are looking at some of the images that have reached us today. You can see how high and dirty the floodwaters have become. And now emergency workers are racing to try to prevent more floodwaters from reaching the capital, Bangkok. They're shoring up protective floodwalls and sandbags and mud. And one look at the damage down to the old city of Ayutthaya gives us a sense of the potential for an even greater disaster.
Paula Hancocks has more.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're in the city of Ayutthaya. Now this is about 100 kilometers or 60 miles north of Bangkok. And this province is one of the worst hit areas across the whole of Thailand. Roads have been turned into rivers here. This particular areas has been flooded for at least two weeks, according to the local residents.
Now, let me show you exactly what we can see. There's water as far as the eye can see. That was one of the main roads through this particular neighborhood.
We spoke to one lady who lives further up there. She said the water was up to her shoulders and everybody has been forced to move out from the area.
They're trying to salvage anything that they can from their homes.
Now, this is a sight that is being replicated across most of this province and also further north. Most of the water hasn't reached Bangkok yet, but these areas are suffering very badly.
Not just the Ayutthaya there is a sector where food and water is being given to the flood victims. But the only way to get around in most of this area is by boat. And you can see a lot of people also swimming.
Now, the military is trying to -- to transport people, as well, as best they can, and transport some aid.
Now, according to a government spokesperson that we spoke to, she said that they believe there's about eight billion cubic meters of water coming from a dam in the northern part of Thailand every single day. They're having to release this extra water.
So all of this has to go somewhere. And it's coming into these neighborhoods. Over one billion cubic meters are actually heading to Bangkok every day.
Now this same government spokesperson said that they believe Bangkok, at least the inner city, should be OK. They believe they've built up the flood walls high enough so that it will not flood.
But, of course, for the people in the surrounding areas, the damage has already been done. The government spokesperson says if there are no serious storms, if there are no typhoons, then it could take a month for these waters to recede.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
STOUT: So much damage done.
What is next for Thailand and for the region?
Let's turn to Mari Ramos at the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, ATS METEOROLOGIST:
Lisa, I was thinking right now, just listening to Paula's report about how they've built up these flood walls across Bangkok and around those -- those river edges and all of those canals to try to prevent the water from flooding.
But one of the concerns that -- that I have is what if they -- there's a breach?
What if those walls don't hold and then you have a breach and all that water pours in to -- to neighborhoods that are not expected to be flooding or hoping not to flood, just because the water is lower?
These are very critical things that we have to think about in the days to come -- the water, the weight of the water, the pressure so great on these walls and all these levees, these new makeshift walls and levees, that there is going to be a critical thing when we come to think about the safety of Bangkok and the people that are there, even in areas that have not flooded yet. so keep that in mind as we head through the next few days. Let's just hope that doesn't happen. But I think that's going to be something that authorities are looking at very, very carefully.
Like you mentioned, it's not only Thailand that has been affected. It's also many other areas here of Southeast Asia. About 40 percent of -- of the total land area affected by floods one way or another. This is very significant.
Now, as Paula mentioned, even if we don't get any more rain, that water will take weeks to recede.
But we are getting more rain and that's a big concern. Notice, across this entire region, scattered showers. Some of this rain will be locally heavy. A very active monsoon across this area.
This is going to stay like this for the next few days. And we're not seeing any change, at least through Friday or Saturday. So these scattered thunderstorms are going to continue. And some of them are going to be heavy.
But look over here. As we head out to the South China Sea, what are we doing?
We're watching Banyan?
Banyan is a tropical depression. This is the same storm that moved across the Philippines over the last couple of days. But very heavy rain here. Now it's back out in the South China Sea. Now that it's here, it's got to go somewhere, right?
All of the projections right now have it moving in the general direction of Vietnam and Hainan, here we go, storm number four approaching. If this happens, this is going to bring some very heavy rain into the region. Areas already affected by flooding across Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Too early to tell what the effects would be. But right now, the main concern is going to be more heavy rain for these areas.
We'll just have to wait and see as we head to the latter part of the week and see what happens.
I just want to give you a quick update, also, on what happened on the other side of the world, in Mexico and the other side of the Pacific.
Let's start and roll the pictures.
Pretty incredible images, Kristie, from Manzanillo, Mexico. This is what happens when you get four times your normal rainfall for the month of October in just 24 hours, in just one day.
And it's still raining across some of these areas. Power is out. Many, many buildings are flooded. Four people reportedly killed across Mexico. You can see from these pictures all the muddy water just gushing through there.
And people beginning the cleanup.
So more rain showers are expected, just not as heavy as that we had before -- back to you.
STOUT: All right, Mari.
Thank you very much for that.
And we'll talk a little bit later in the program.
Now, there are new radiation concerns in Japan, and this time, in Central Tokyo. Well, government officials have blocked off a small area in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward after detecting extremely high levels of radiation there. Officials say that they're higher than those recorded in the evacuation zone around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. The plant is roughly 230 kilometers away from this new site. And officials say the two cases may not be related.
Still, residents are being urged to avoid the area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOBUTO HOSAKA, MAYOR, SETAGAYA WARD (through translator): We are shocked to see such high radiation levels as detected in our neighborhood. We cannot leave it as it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY TV ASAHI)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am scared as it's very close to the children's school. As a parent to a small child, I am worried that we could have been exposed to it for half a year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's sudden news. We're all trying to avoid the area. There is a park right next to the spot. Children are playing there all the time, so I'm very worried.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, based on the radiation levels there, it would still take a year of being in close proximity for anyone's cumulative radiation dose to come close to allowable limits.
Now, officials say that they are investigating the cause, but suspect it may be from glass bottles found in a nearby basement.
Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, facing an uncertain future but too afraid to return home -- thousands of Syrians are living a precarious life on the run.
STOUT: We're coming to live from Hong Kong.
You're back watching NEWS STREAM.
And there are reports of new violence exploding in Syria even as we are learning that the European Union is tightening sanctions on President Bashir al-Assad's regime. Now, look at this. Now this amateur video shows Syrian troops on an armored personnel carrier. They are firing at unknown targets, apparently Idlib Province. Well, at CNN, we cannot confirm the video, but activists say that security forces stormed a city in the northern province today in what appears to be the latest attempt to crush anti-government opposition. and the months of unrest have chased thousands of Syrians to the border with Turkey. And many live in crowded refugee camps, while others are hiding within Turkey illegally.
And Ivan Watson reports, some have given up their homes, their jobs and their families for a life on the run.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At first glance, Mohamed Abu Aled looks like other workers at this construction site. The difference, he's not Turkish. Abu Aled is a refugee from Syria, a shop owner. He fled to Turkey with his family after participating in anti- government protests nearly six months ago.
(on camera): Do you think you can ever go home?
MOHAMED ABU ALED, SYRIAN REFUGEE: This regime will fall. There is no doubt about it. Because all the people are protesting and because their blood is enormous. Most governments around the world won't deal with this regime because they are criminals and cold-blooded killers.
So, yes, we will one day go back to Syria.
WATSON: To make ends meet, Abu Aled says he has no choice but to work illegally doing basic manual labor. He sacrificed his house, his shop and a stable income for his family all because he dared to say no to the Syrian government.
There's no telling how many other Syrians have also fled to Turkey. Some, like these exiles, have overstayed their temporary visas. They now hide from Turkish authorities and watch as their money slowly runs out.
"We don't want to play these cat and mouse games with the Turkish police,," says Houda (ph), who lives in this grimy apartment with her two teenaged daughters. "We need the Turkish government to legally recognize us so we can work and so that our kids can go to school temporarily," she adds, "until the Syrian regime falls."
Not all Syrian refugees live here illegally.
(on camera): There are about a half dozen refugee camps like this along the Turkey-Syrian border housing more than 7,000 Syrian refugees and untold numbers of other Syrians who are illegally scattered across Turkey. They're pretty well taken care of here, but their presence is a powerful symbol that some Syrians are terrified of their own government.
(voice-over): Several camp residents show us scars, bullet wounds and even severed limbs -- wounds they say they received from Syrian security forces cracking down on anti-government protesters.
"We need international protection," says this conscript soldier, who deserted from the Syrian Army. "We need a no-fly zone to protect our people."
Syria is tantalizingly close -- the border within sight of this camp. But unless someone brings an end to the deadly cycle of protests and repression, there's a good chance these young Syrians will grow up as exiles.
Ivan Watson, CNN, on the Syrian-Turkey border.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
STOUT: Well, ahead on NEWS STREAM, Research in Motion has a message for its disgruntled BlackBerry customers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BATES: I'd like to acknowledge the frustration that we know our customers are experiencing for the delays and the messaging and the browsing traffic. I'd also like to apologize unreservedly to the customers who are experiencing this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: But is it too little too late to restore the company's tarnished reputation?
We'll weigh reaction from BlackBerry users.
And camping out in front of a Samsung store -- young people in Sydney are hoping to snatch up a sweet deal.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now confusion is surrounding reports in Libya about one of Moammar Gadhafi sons has been captured. The head of Tripoli's revolutionary council says troops seized Mo'tassim Gadhafi after a four hour gun battle in the city of Sirte. The spokesman for Libya's interim government say the claims are unconfirmed and a third is denying them altogether.
Massive flooding in Thailand has affected an estimated $8 million people and claimed 283 lives. Now authorities are trying to protect inner Bangkok from being inundated by a surge of water heading downstream. Now flood waters stretch across southeast Asia with more than 200 people dead in Cambodia, 43 in Vietnam, most of them children.
Now sentencing is set for January 12 in the U.S. trial of the man prosecutors call the Underwear Bomber. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is now pleading guilty to charges that he tried to blow up a U.S. bound airliner on Christmas Day in 2009. In the Detroit, Michigan courtroom on Wednesday he admitted he had been trying to avenge the killing of Muslims.
And your Blackberry might be working again. Parent company Research in Motion says service is starting to improve after four days of outages. And RIMs president is apologizing for the worldwide network glitch that left millions of users without text messaging or e-mails.
And let's remind you how this problem spread. Now it started on Monday with outages in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. And a statement from Blackberry indicated that the issue only affected those regions. But on Tuesday it spread to South America. You can see right here. And Blackberry blamed it all on a core switch failure.
And then there was more bad news on Wednesday as Blackberry users in the U.S. and Canada reported problems.
Now Blackberry is owned by Research in Motion, or RIM, and the company has apologized, but customers want to know why it has taken so long to restore full service?
And here is RIMs managing director in the UK. Let's just hear how he describes the difficulties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN BATES, RIM, UK MANAGING DIRECTOR: The challenge we've had with this is that this problem has been intermittent. We saw this actually pop up on Monday and then it popped up again on Tuesday. And that just makes it much harder to get to the bottom of it.
But we do believe, and we're putting all of our focus with all of our engineers and all of our network specialists are trying to understand that niche of why this backup system didn't work as it should have done. And the key thing for us is to get the service back to the levels that we expect and our customers expect from the Blackberry service globally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now RIM's chief information officer has acknowledged that the company must do more than restore service, it also has to restore customer trust in Blackberry. And from the sound of it, it's going to be pretty tough as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not get my coach's e-mails yesterday or the day before in the afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) when my e-mail come, I don't know if I'm out of the office I can't check what's going on and stuff like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No e-mails. And then those e-mails -- I wake up this morning and had a whole raft of e-mails come that came through at sort of 3:00 am which had all been during the day. And I was out yesterday at meetings, so I'm reliant on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You pay 500 quid, then you pay the Blackberry service, you pay and yet you don't get anything. It's ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would I have another Blackberry? I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the only place, really, I can think of putting the Blackberry is right there in (inaudible). I won't, though, just in case it happens to come back before my iPhone arrives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now many professionals rely on Blackberry for their work e-mail and CNN is no different.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Magnay in Berlin. Now I'm not sure how wise it is to admit to the world the extent of my Blackberry addiction, but I do know that if I'm bad there are others out there who are worse than me, so here it goes. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I do is reach for this device. And I've got to say that I was pretty relieved today to see the little red light flashing and to see 176 e-mails in my in-box and to know that that brief period of Blackberry outage was over.
But it didn't also make me relieved that I hadn't spent the last couple of days on some huge breaking news story, because in those kinds of occasions, in the world of 24 hours news, the Blackberry is absolutely key. And that's why I have two devices, a smartphone, so that I can make calls or do a telephone interview whilst at the same time checking for updates on my Blackberry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Diana Magnay there. And for the last two days, many of our colleagues have been itching to get their Blackberry service back. And here's how they coped during the outages.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN PRODUCER: I'm Samuel Burke. I'm a producer at CNN's London bureau and I also report on technology and social media for (inaudible) the morning show at CNN en Espanol. They were trying to contact me yesterday to go on live to talk about what was happening with Blackberry, but I didn't get the message until 3:00 am this morning. So I woke up and saw a message that said get ready to go on air. We need you. And so I jumped up, put my clothes on, and realized once I looked at my Blackberry that these were all the messages finally coming through from the day before.
My Blackberry worked for a few hours and then cut out again. And it's still not working here in London.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie in Nairobi.
Well, normally I would be waiting for a press conference and off the record like this checking my Blackberry. But, you know, the Blackberry is not working. So I have to depend on this iPad. The last two, three days, we haven't gotten any e-mails through. We check the news, get press releases, and do everything with our Blackberry's here in Africa. It seemed like we were one of the first affected on the continent. And it's been a real pain. We have to get to our trusty firm, or use something like this that I'm holding, an iPad.
And you've got to imagine that this can't be good business for Blackberry and Research in Motion for the long-term.
STOUT: And you said that right, David. Certainly another black eye for Blackberry.
Let's bring in our regular News Stream contributor Nicolas Thompson. He is a senior editor at the New Yorker. Nick, always good to see you.
And let's start with a word, crackberry. We all know what it means, it refers to the addictiveness of the device. And it became so widely used back in 2006 that Webster's dictionary called it the new word of the year.
But five years on, and given the scale of the Blackberry outage and the customer anger out there is the era of the crackberry over?
NICOLAS THOMPSON, NEW YORKER: I think the era of the crackberry is coming to a close. I mean, there's a chance that Research in Motion can turn things around, but it's been a terrible year. They're getting crushed by iPhone, they're getting crushed by Android. They're having some management issues. They haven't come out with a phone on schedule in quite a long time. Nobody is very excited about the new -- you know, the new phones they have coming. There's a little bit of excitement, but not much. So this is a bad time.
The other thing that's so unfortunate about this for the sake of RIM is that the reason you buy a Blackberry is that it's reliable, right. The way Research in Motion structures the way it transfers data is a lot more stuff goes through their own servers and a lot less stuff goes over the public open internet. And so RIM's argument is by letting us control all of this through our servers, you get more reliability, you get more security.
That argument only is persuasive if the phone doesn't break all the time.
STOUT: Yeah, you're right. It was never sold as the fun smartphone, but the reliable one.
Now just how big a coup is this Blackberry outage for other handsets, and in particular the iPhone?
THOMPSON: Well, I mean the timing -- I mean, again, it's sort of ironic and terrible is that iPhone comes out with a new iPhone with this wonderful voice feature. And just yesterday we start getting the reviews from the product testers and they all say this is absolutely wonder, the Siri feature on the new iPhone 4, it's magical, it transformed the way phones work.
So Blackberry, which has this old system which was fantastic in 2006 and is great for doing your e-mail, suddenly has fallen really far behind iPhone and then Blackberry has an outage right at the time this great new iPhone feature comes out.
So it's a bad timing coincidence for Research in Motion.
STOUT: And let's talk about another high tech addiction, Facebook, and specifically the social games by Zynga, the company hits like Farmville, Cityville. And they're played on Facebook by more than 230 million monthly users. And this week Zynga announced it is breaking free of Facebook and it will distribute its games directly to users online or on mobile phones.
So Nick, can Zynga thrive without Facebook.
THOMPSON: I think it can. And I think it has to. When Zynga filed for an IPO a few months ago, in their filing they had to file with the American regulatory authorities. You have to list all of your risks for the company. And by far the biggest risk for Zynga is that something bad would happen with Facebook.
Remember, Facebook and Zynga have this very intense and very close relationship. Facebook gets tons of its revenue for people who play games on Zynga. Zynga gets basically all of its revenue for people who play games on Zynga on Facebook. So they're in this very tight relationship. And there's this possibility that Facebook at some point could say, you know what, we have this revenue sharing agreement with you. And right now we take 30 percent of the money and you take 70, but how about we flip that? And suddenly Zynga could just be in a terrible, terrible position.
Facebook has all of the leverage in this relationship. And Facebook is gaining leverage at is gets other revenue streams whereas Zynga remains entirely dependent on Facebook. So what Zynga has said is we need to branch out and diversify. So, let's see what happens.
STOUT: Yeah, and see if they can build up an audience on Zynga.com. Nick Thompson of the New Yorker always a pleasure talking with you. And we'll talk again next week. Take care.
Now a key court victory for Apple could mean a grim Christmas for Samsung electronics. An Australian court is temporarily banning the sale of Samsung's new Galaxy tablet in Australia right before the holiday shopping season.
Now Apple claims that Samsung copied its touchscreen technology. And this is the latest stop on the rivals global war. But in some instances, consumers may be the winners, after all some are walking away with a new Galaxy smartphone for $2.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every morning, the first 10 people in the stores get a Samsung Galaxy II for $2, which is worth $850 retail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We (inaudible). And it's pretty cool. It's really tough, because it's on the street, but it's worth it to (inaudible) $2 phone and an amazing one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...(inaudible) behind us actually. I brought a football with me, so we're playing football in the street at like 3:00 in the morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people walk past asking us what we're waiting for, which was a little annoying, but we got used to it after three days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The phone is brand-new with great features, but I can't afford it if -- $850 is just too much for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The iPhone 4S is coming out tomorrow. And unlike Samsung, the Apple gives no discounts on the iPhone. So honestly I'm not sure why you would line up to pay full price for a phone that's not as good.
STOUT: Now still to come here on News Stream, the Euro 2012 playoff opponents, they were just revealed hours ago. And Christiano Ronaldo's Portugal will have to overcome a familiar foe if they want to participate in next summer's tournament. We've got the details after the break.
STOUT: Now fans, they are getting more and more excited, the semi- finalist teams are training hard. Rugby mania has overtaken the small nation of New Zealand. And everyone is just giving themselves over to the game, including this ireporter taking our cross bar challenge. And, OK, he's not probably going to get on a national squad any time soon, but the guy is trying.
I can tell you he did get better with practice. But in the end, he called in a friend.
There we go. Much better. And you can take part in our rugby ireport challenge. All you need to do is submit a video of yourself attempting to boot the ball at the crossbar and upload it to ireport.com.
Now to football where a little over 90 minutes ago several national teams around Europe learned who they will play for a spot in next summers Euro 2012 competition. And Don Riddell joins us now with the results -- Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Kristie.
Yeah, the draw has produced some fascinating encouters. And Christiano Ronaldo's Portugal must overcome a very tricky opponent if they're to qualify for the tournament next summer. Portugal were drawn against Bosnia-Herzegovina in what will be a repeat of a tie to determine one of the last places at the 2010 World Cup.
Portugal just edged out Bosnia in the playoff two years ago, but against Edin Dzeko and company this will be a very difficult match for the Portuguese. Bosnia-Herzegovina are trying to qualify for a major tournament for the first time.
Turkey and Croatia also know a fair bit about each other, they were involved in a thrilling quarterfinal at the last European championship in 2008 when Turkey equalized in the last minute of extra time and then won on penalties.
Estonia have been drawn against Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland while the Czech Republic will play Montenegro. Those ties will be played in the second week of November.
It could be a very expensive day for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez who has been ordered back to training to face the music for his alleged refusal to play for his team in the Champion's League two weeks ago. The Argentine has been serving his two week suspension in South America while he club conducted an internal investigation. And he is now set to face disciplinary action. He arrived back at the club about 90 minutes ago.
Tevez seemed to refuse to come on as a sub during the second half of City's 2-nil defeat to Bayern Munich in Germany. It's been reported that he could be suspended for another four weeks and fined six weeks wages, which would equate to roughly $2.4 million.
The Texas Rangers were beaten in baseball's World Series last year, but they're just one win away from having another crack at it this time around. And they seem to have discovered a talisman in Nelson Cruz. Jim Neiland's Detroit Tigers were hoping to level the series in game 4 on Wednesday, and they came from behind to tie the game up in the bottom of the 7th. Brand Inge driving Alexi Ogando deep to left for a solo home run there.
And they had a great chance to go ahead later in that inning with two men on and only one out. Delmon Young stepped up and smacked his deep into right field. But Nelson Cruz made the catch and then fired it into Mike Napoli at home plate to through out Miguel Cabrerra ending the danger and the inning.
Game still tied at 3-all.
They'd need 11 innings to settle this one. And having made that catch, Napoli stepped up and lined it to center for a base hit, scoring in Josh Hamilton.
And you may recall that Nelson Cruz scored a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning of game two. Well, he was the next batter up and he made another massive and decisive contribution. With two men on base, he creamed Jose Valverde deep to left for a three run homer. And Tigers couldn't come back from that.
The Rangers are now 3-1 up in the best of seven game series.
Kristie, we'll have much more for you in World Sport in two-and-a-half hours time.
STOUT: All right, Don. Good stuff. And thank you.
Now in New Zealand, salvage crews, they're working to pump oil from the grounded cargo ship the Rena. And meanwhile, some of the 88 containers that have fallen off the ship since it struck a reef last week are now coming on shore.
Now beaches around the Bay of Plenty are littered with junk, including food products, animal pelts, and timber. Local residents have been helping clean-up crews. At least 350 tons of oil have so far leaked into the sea. And New Zealand's environment minister calls it the country's most significant maritime environmental disaster.
And you can see the problem the salvage crews are having, the Rena is listing heavily. And workers are having to struggle to get on board the ship, let alone maneuver between its containers as they slide back and forth.
And this graphic, it shows you exactly where the ship is relative to the reef it struck.
Now it is still not clear how the Rena hit the reef in the first place. And the ship's captain and second officer are both facing charges.
Now it was one year ago that the world watched the rescue of 33 Chilean miners pulled to daylight after being trapped underground for 10 long weeks. They were showered with gifts from all over the world -- money, free trips, even homes. But as the spotlight faded, that all changed. And journalist Jonathan Franklin has written about the ordeal. And he says at least a couple of the men have returned to mining, but many are unemployed and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Now up next here on News Stream a mountain kingdom, a modern couple, and a traditional Buddhist wedding. Bhutan's dragon king makes a once common girl the country's newest queen.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now a twist in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal doctor. Conrad Murray's lawyers have dropped their earlier theory that Jackson may have orally ingested the drug believed to have killed him. Instead, they contend he used a syringe to inject himself. Now it's expected a medical expert will testify on Thursday that Murray's treatment of the pop star was so grossly negligent that it was criminal.
Now in Bhutan, the country's popular king has gotten married bringing about three days of national celebrations.
STOUT: Another royal wedding between king and commoner. Bhutan's dragon king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck marrying 21 year old Jetsun Pema and crowning her queen. The traditional Buddhist ceremony was held here at the 17th Century monastery Punakha Dzong.
But make no mistake, this is a modern couple. He was educated in the U.S. and Oxford University. She is the daughter of an airline pilot currently studying in the UK.
And though these images seem timeless, change is in the air. The 31- year-old king came to the thrown in 2006 after his father voluntarily abdicated in his favor. It was a move calculated to take Bhutan from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, a process sealed by the country's first ever democratic elections in 2008.
After the wedding, the couple attended a celebration outside the monastery where they were entertained by dancing traditional and not so traditional.
But this tiny kingdom of 700,000 people in an area the size of Switzerland and nestled in the Himalayas between giant neighbors China and India is not seeking modernization at any cost, it introduced the concept of GNH, or gross national happiness, as a measure of success instead of GDP, or gross domestic product. Here the economy is only one factor, environmental wellness, physical, mental and social factors all have to be taken into account.
The wedding is very popular among the Bhutanese who had been growing anxious to see their monarch, now already in his third decade, safely married and ready to produce an heir.
STOUT: Beautiful ceremony there.
And finally, whoever said that getting there is half the fun hasn't been on a commercial flight recently. And it may soon be about to get worse for passengers on one of Europe's biggest airlines.
The (inaudible) carrier Ryan Air is reportedly planning to remove two of the three bathrooms on each plane to make room for six more seats. And that would leave one lavatory for 200 passengers and crew. Now the airline recently dropped planes to charge passengers for using the bathroom. Thank goodness for that.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.