Return to Transcripts main page


Siege of Sirte; Syrian Defector 'Missing'; Bangkok Braces for Floods; Scientists Unravel DNA of Black Death; Apple iPhone 4S Released Today

Aired October 14, 2011 - 08:00   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 the Libyan city of Sirte. Firefights continue amid the ruin of Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

And the showdown between Occupy Wall Street protesters and police has been averted just as the movement prepares to go global.

And recognize this guy waiting to get hold of a new iPhone 4S? Yes, even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is eager to try it out.

Now, first on NEWS STREAM, two cities at the heart of the fight for a new Libya. The battle continues to rage for control of Sirte, Moammar Gadhafi's birthplace.

And to the east, Benghazi is firmly in the hands of the interim government, and NATO is handing over control of flights in the skies above Benghazi to Libya's newly formed Civil Aviation Authority. And that's even more remarkable when you see these images from March of Benghazi's shattered airport, and they show the devastation of the civil war and the massive recovery the country still faces.

Now, advance, retreat, advance. That has been the pattern of Libya's revolutionary fighters as they try to capture Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. You're looking at images of the intense fighting there.

Dan Rivers is in Sirte, where there are still remnants of the Gadhafi regime and retribution by those who suffered under it.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Again, they march into battle. This is a ragtag army, but one that's poised for victory.

Some seem strangely nonchalant as they stroll to the fight, but it's not long before Gadhafi's troops respond again. Progress is here is slow, and at times the NTC troops are forced to retreat.

As another supposed Gadhafi soldier is roughly frog-marched away, there is fresh criticism of the way the NTC is dealing with its prisoners. Human rights group Amnesty International claims to have uncovered evidence of arbitrary arrests and torture, and certainly these fighters don't seem keen to allow us to film this man.

Much of the city is totally deserted, street after empty street devoid of residents. In one, we found a complex of houses this NTC fighter says belonged to the regime's spokesman, Mr. Ibrahim. They take shelter as more bullets fly past, and then it's on with the job of looting and destroying this house.

On the outskirts of Sirte, another destroyed house. This one belonged to Moammar Gadhafi himself. It's been remodeled courtesy of NATO, but you can still see how opulent it once was.

(on camera): It has even its own hairdressing salon complete with barber's chairs and even a massage table over there. And elsewhere, there are dozens of ornate bedrooms with four-poster beds and lavish decorations all around. The people that are wandering around here are just stunned, saying, "We though Colonel Gadhafi lived in a tent."

Does it make you angry when you see this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm angry, yes. Why not? I'm so angry about it.

RIVERS (voice-over): In the basement, a huge conference area. Was this where the colonel planned his last stand in Sirte, or perhaps made arrangements for his escape? If he's still here, he'll be in the middle of a ferocious bombardment. His hometown is taking a pounding as Libya's revolution nears its victory.


STOUT: Now, prayers and protests, meanwhile, are happening in Syria on this Friday.


STOUT: These are new pictures out of the northern Syrian city of Banish (ph), and CNN cannot confirm their authenticity, but they apparently show, as you can see, huge crowds demonstrating following Friday prayers there. And they could be risking their lives. The United Nations is raising its death toll in Syria's opposition crackdown to more than 3,000, including 187 children.

Now, the wife of a Syrian military officer who fled with his family to Turkey is accusing Ankara of turning him over to Syrian authorities. In an exclusive interview with Ivan Watson, Gofran Hejazi says she hasn't seen or heard from her husband Hussein (ph) in over two weeks.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gofran Hejasi doesn't know what to tell her children about their father.

GOFRAN HEJAZI, HUSBAND MISSING (through translator): My eldest son sometimes opens up the computer, puts up his father's photo, and starts crying. And not a day goes by without my youngest son asking me, "When is daddy coming home?"

WATSON: Hejazi's husband is Lieutenant Colonel Hussein al-Harmoush, one of the first Syrian army officers to publicly reject his government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. He urged other Syrian troops to desert and join what he called the Free Syrian Army.

Similar videos from other defectors started popping up, suggesting Harmoush's call for rebellion was attracting recruits. Harmoush claimed to lead these rebels from this makeshift government-run refugee camp in neighboring Turkey. He lived here with his wife and four children until the morning of August 29th.

Hejasi tells me her husband left the camp that morning to go shopping and to meet with a mysterious man who camp refugees believed was a Turkish intelligence officer. Hejasi says Harmoush disappeared that day and his cell phone then went dead.

HEJASI (through translator): From that moment, I was certain my husband was handed back to the Syrians.

WATSON: Two-and-a-half weeks later, Harmoush suddenly resurfaced on Syria's strictly-controlled state television network. In this televised confession, Harmoush renounced the Syrian opposition and confessed to knowing about a plot to smuggle weapons into Syria. He hasn't been seen or heard from since.

(on camera): The Turkish government hasn't been able to explain how Hussein Harmoush disappeared from the gates of this camp here and reappeared days later in the hands of the Syrian government. Turkish government officials also say they do not know who the alleged Turkish security agent was who camp residents knew as Abu Mohammed (ph).

(voice-over): In her first interview since her husband's disappearance, Hejasi accused Turkish authorities of handing Harmoush over to the Syrians.

HEJASI (through translator): I believe they arrested him as part of an agreement between both countries.

WATSON: The Turkish government denies these accusations. Ankara says all Syrian refugees are welcome on Turkish territory and points to the more than 7,500 Syrians that have taken shelter in camps here.

But that's little consolation to Hejasi. With the apparent capture of her husband, she doesn't know whether to call herself Harmoush's wife or his widow.

(on camera): If there was one message that you could send to your husband, Hussein Harmoush, what would it be?

HEJASI (through translator): If he's still alive, I urge him to be patient. But I don't think anyone can survive the torture and dungeons of the Syrian Secret Service. If he's dead, that means he's in paradise.

WATSON (voice-over): Ivan Watson, CNN, on the Syrian/Turkish border.


STOUT: And her husband has not been seen since September the 19th.

Now let's go back to our top story, the battle for Sirte, the hometown of Moammar Gadhafi. And we can now go live to Dan Rivers, who joins us from inside Sirte.

And we have seen explosions and thick smoke there today. And Dan, just how fierce is the fighting now?

RIVERS: Oh, it's been particularly fierce in the last hour or so, Kristie. The anti-Gadhafi NTC forces took large amounts of casualties in the last hour.

We saw dozens of trucks streaming back from the front line carrying bloodied soldiers, some of whom looked like they had been very seriously injured, some of whom look like they may have been killed. And they're being kind of worked on at a temporary makeshift hospital behind a building in one part of the tow. So it's clear from that that the Gadhafi forces are hitting back and, at times, hitting back very hard when the NTC forces try and advance into district two.

STOUT: Pro-Gadhafi forces are hitting back hard. Just how well-equipped are they, and how much ammunition do they have left?

RIVERS: Well, we're being told that they're primarily using sniper rifles, assault rifles, and the old rocket-propelled grenades. They don't appear to have any heavy artillery or tanks or anything like that, but in this kind of urban warfare situation, those weapons, the light arms and the sniper rifles, are very effective at pushing back the forces. The NTC has been pounding district two with artillery and tanks and rockets, but so far, they don't seem to have made a great deal of progress in the last 24 hours.

STOUT: You reported casualties among the NTC fighters. What about civilians? A number of civilians have decided to stay in Sirte. Are they getting caught up in the crossfire?

RIVERS: Well, to be honest, it's been very difficult for us to find any civilians in the city. We had a good drive around several districts now, and we haven't seen any civilians. Just street after street completely empty. All the houses are empty and look as if they've been abandoned.

When we first arrived here on Monday, we did see a column of civilians walking out of the city. But since then, we haven't seen any -- or any at all. Whether there are some still trapped between the NTC forces and the Gadhafi forces is difficult to say, but I would say that the rest of the city seems to be largely deserted now, save for the soldiers who are carrying out this -- what they hope will be a final assault.

STOUT: Thank you very much indeed for giving us the state of play there inside Sirte.

Dan Rivers, joining us live.

You are watching NEWS STREAM. And still ahead, bracing for floods. Thai authorities say that some of the water that has inundated the country north of the capital will reach Bangkok, but they say the inner city should be spared.

And the sound of impending doom. A new cockpit transcript of the final minutes of Air France 447 stirs controversy.

And occupying Wall Street. We will have the latest on the protests.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, with flooding throughout Southeast Asia now covering an area the size of Spain, the situation in Thailand remains especially precarious. At least 283 people have died, and so far the country's north and central regions have borne the brunt of these floods. But now emergency workers are scrambling to prepare for a big surge of water draining southward toward the capital.

Now, Thai media report that a government minister issued an evacuation warning on Thursday night for some suburbs in Bangkok, only to later retract it. And that warning concerns some of the areas you see right here in blue, and they are the parts of Bangkok which Thai authorities say are most at risk. And the orange areas are said to be facing a more moderate risk.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said flood walls should spare the inner city.

Now, with more than a billion cubic meters of water rushing into Bangkok each day, emergency workers are now making a last-ditch effort to shore up the capital's defenses.

And Paula Hancocks, she is there. She joins me now live.

And Paula, what is the situation in Bangkok this hour?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, certainly the inner city itself has been spared from these floods. What the government has said all along that they wanted to do was to protect the business district and to divert the water that was coming down from the north to the west and the eastern parts of Bangkok. And we have seen that.

We went to an eastern suburb today of Sam Khok, and this area had been quite severely flooded. It was in between the river that was flooding and also the floodgates protecting the center of the city. So, really, this water had nowhere to go.

Now, some of the residents in the area were quite angry. They felt they were being sacrificed by the government to protect the business district.

But we did see a lot of military on the streets. They were trying to help those people who just couldn't get out of their homes.

Some of the defenses, the smaller defenses, had actually broken down. So what they had to do was try and evacuate some people from their homes. They were also giving food and water to the areas that just simply couldn't get to the drier parts of town to try and get their own food -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, this is a major test for Thailand's prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who just said that some residents are quite angry. How well is she and the government managing this crisis?

HANCOCKS: Well, what the government is trying to do at this point is to protect the inner part of Bangkok. They've acknowledged that the eastern suburbs and the western suburbs will be sacrificed. They will be flooded to try and protect the more just business and commercial district where all the businesses, where all the hotels are in the center of Bangkok.

Now, certainly, as I say, the residents who are in those suburbs and who are suffering more because of this, will inevitably be angry at the government. But the government itself insists that the inner part is being protected.

We just spoke to the spokesperson who gave us some measurements. They said the floodgates that they have built up, there is still about 66 centimeters left on those floodgates that the water can rise. So they think that they really can protect the inner part, which is where some serious damage could be done and where the economic costs would be even higher if that area was flooded.

So, at this point, I guess it's too early to say whether or not the government is handling this crisis well. We are seeing a lot of military on the streets. We're seeing a lot of volunteers as well that are trying to hand out aid to those who need it. So, in that respect, the Thais seem to be prepared. They seem to know that every year there are floods, nothing like this, but they are seeming to be well prepared when it comes to handing out aid.

STOUT: All right.

Paula Hancocks, joining us live from Bangkok.

Thank you for that, Paula.


STOUT: Now, still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the final minutes of a doomed airliner. We'll tell you about the chilling cockpit transcript of Air France Flight 447 and the anger over its publication.


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

Controversy has erupted over the publication of the cockpit conversation on board an Air France plane just before it crashed. And this picture, it was taken in Paris in January of 2009. It shows the jetliner, which later plunged into the Atlantic in June of that year.

Now, Flight 447, it disappeared after taking off from Rio, bound for Paris. The A-330, it dropped off radar and crashed into the sea with a loss of 228 lives. And now a new book has a literal transcription from the cockpit voice recorder which reveals just how confused and distressed the pilots were as they tried to deal with the emergency.

Richard Quest joins me now live from London with the latest.

And Richard, according to this book, what did the pilots say?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Well, we know that since the incident happened, the whole time took four minutes from when it happened, when the plane lost its air speed indicator, the autopilot disconnected. We know it took four minutes for the plane to fall out of the sky.

We've already got a lot of the transcript from the first two minutes. That came from the authorities from the BEA.

What this shows -- and I'm going to read you just a flavor of them. We don't want to dwell too much.

For example, the pilot non-flying says, "Climb. Climb. Climb. Climb."

The pilot flying says, "I've been pulling back on the stick for a while now."

The captain, who has returned after his break, urgently says, "No, no, no. Don't climb. No. No."

So you get an idea that in the last two minutes of what was taking place in the cockpit, on the plane, there is this confusion over what the pilot should be doing. You've got two pilots, to co-pilots who are in the seats, and you've got the captain, who has just returned from his break in an emergency.

You know, basically, it's distasteful to read right the way through, and perhaps sort of an intrusion to go through it. The criticism from the authorities is that it is wrong to publish these extracts out of context from a full report.

For example, Air France says, "Air France wishes to express its emotion and its complete disapproval of the publication of an unverifiable version of the cockpit conversations of the AF447 outside any legal framework."

By that, they mean without a sort of explanation, as opposed to -- and then you get the BEA, which is the investigating authority. And I'll just read you the first bit, which says, "The BEA strongly condemns the disclosure of this transcription, which is a violation of a regulation. It mentions personal conversations between the crew members that have no bearing on the event, and shows a lack of respect for the memory of the late crew."

So, there you have it. It's certainly brutal, the words that are being used. It is a very dramatic insight into what was happening in that cockpit.

STOUT: It's brutal, it's dramatic. Why do you think this book was published? Does it highlight the huge public interest still out there? Because this is, to many, still an unsolved mystery.

QUEST: Oh, it's not unsolved. I mean, they've solved it. They know what happened.

We're waiting for the final report in a few months' time. They know why this plane fell out of the sky.

What they don't know and probably will never know is why the pilot flying did the actions that he did. And if there is one thing that the BEA will point out -- and they are right in this -- publishing this gives us insight, but what it doesn't help us explain and understand is how these men reacted to the machine, to the information they were being given, the decisions they took. And that's where this investigation is going.

This was a flyable plane in extreme circumstances, where the pilots behaved in a particular way. And understanding that relationship is what this investigation ultimately will be about.

STOUT: Richard Quest, live in London.

Thank you very much for that.

And we have this just into us here at CNN. The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has survived a confidence vote in his country's parliament. He has won by 15 votes.

Now, a wave of alleged sex scandals have overshadowed Mr. Berlusconi's leadership. And he's also faced criticism for Italy's stagnant economy. But perhaps, ironically, the vote of confidence was forced after Berlusconi's center-right government failed to pass a routine budget provision earlier this week.

And still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the movement to clean up Wall Street avoids a potential showdown with New York authorities, and we will take you there live.

And eagerly awaiting Apple's new iPhone, some people, as you can see, they lined up really early.


***30 LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM. And these are your world headlines.

Now revolutionary fighters say that they're battling it out for just a handful of streets in the Libyan city of Sirte. They say that once those streets in Gadhafi's hometown are taken, the National Transitional Council will effectively control the country.

Flood waters are rising on the outskirts of Bangkok as a result of Thailand's worse flooding in years. But authorities say that they expect the inner city will be spared. Emergency workers are shoring up the city's defenses.

And the prosecution could be wrapping up its case in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor. Now Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death in 2009. The defense will then try to refute some damning medical evidence already on the record.

And high level talks about the debt crisis in Europe take place in Paris today. Now G-20 finance ministers are meeting to try to make a plan to strengthen the Eurozone's faltering economy.

Now IMF chief Christine Legarde will be present along with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and Bank of England governor Mervyn King.

Now the G-20 will also discuss ways emerging economic powers can help bolster the global economic recovery. And you can get all the details from the G-20 meeting live from Paris in the next hour. And hear from the chairman of Goldman Sachs asset management about whether he thinks a solution to the European debt crisis is on the cards. It's all on World Business Today coming up in around 30 minutes from now.

Now the Occupy Wall Street movement is set to go global this weekend. And organizers say events are planned in 82 countries. And we have highlighted them here on the map in yellow. And I want to show you some of the posters being distributed through

Now this one in Russian, it says we are not against the system, the system is against us.

Let's show you another one in Arabic. And it uses the event's O 15 logo and it says "authority for the people."

And the UK echoes a motto used in the U.S., quote, "we are the 99 percent."

And this poster from Mexico City's event, it says, "if they don't hear you, make them see you."

Now the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, he has become a big supporter of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. And demonstrators have been ordered to leave the park so it can be cleaned up. And Simmons, he tweeted this message saying to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "I will pay for clean- up of Zuccotti Park to avoid confrontation. I don't want to go to jail, but I will be there ready."

Now the park, it did postpone the clean-up less than an hour before the deadline for the protesters to leave.

Still, it's certainly not your usual Friday morning on Wall Street as Susan Candiotti has the story, let's go to Zuccotti Park now and get some reaction to the postponement. And actually I'm hearing that she's not there live. Susan is there.

Susan, the reaction to the postponement of the clean-up. It must be seen as a victory there.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, it is a huge victory for the protesters here, they say, because after all the owners of this privately owned park have backed down and they asked the police not to show up here and move people out a couple of hours ago.

The crowd has thinned out just a bit, but it's still very busy as you can see here. Lots of people here, hundreds of people here still in the park. And they say they will stay here for the unforeseeable future.

Now here is a look at what led up to this moment.


CANDIOTTI: These protesters may be accusing Wall Street of crashing the American economy, but that's not the kind of trashing that's provoking the latest clash.

Zuccotti Park, the privately owned, but now publicly occupied stage for the protest is filling up with garbage.

BRENDAN BURKE, DEESCALATION SECURITY: The get brooms (ph). We get donations. We have (inaudible) supplies. We try to keep it as clean as we can. But it is an occupation. There's a lot of people here.

On a weekend, it gets flooded with everyone from the world.

CANDIOTTI: The park's owners, Brookfield Properties, promising a clean sweep Friday, telling protesters to move out until the place gets a makeover.

COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NYC POLICE DEPARTMENT: People will have to remove all of their belongings and leave the park, each section at a time. After its clean, they'll be able to come back, but they won't be able to bring back the gear, the equipment, sleeping bags.

CANDIOTTI: Protesters weren't buying it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's clear that it's more or less an eviction.

CANDIOTTI: But some local businesses have had it with the mess.

STACEY TZORTZATOS, OWNER, PANINI: I've had instances where they came in to ask me where I can dispose of their bags with their waste, excrement. I don't know how you want to call it. But I said this is not the place of business for that. And I don't know how to handle it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take a broom, take a dust pan.

CANDIOTTI: Activists from Occupy Wall Street took to the streets to clean up the trash, now threatening to distract from their message.

BILL DOBBS, OCCUPY WALL STREET: The focus of it is economics.

CANDIOTTI: Protesters say they've used $3,000 of their own money on the clean up, bringing in trash cans, mops and brooms, preparing for a clean up or a possible confrontation.


CANDIOTTI: But there was no confrontation. Again, as we explained earlier, because the city and the owners of this park have backed off. The protesters are saying that (inaudible) because otherwise they (inaudible) that it was not (inaudible) for showing you there's still a lot of activity going on. Again, one of the main reasons in that this big fuss started is that complaints that the park was not clean. They have been trying to keep it clean throughout, but the city was saying it was not good enough.

So they're again reminding everyone here in the park to clean up everything from their cigarette butts to their tarps and to keep their personal belongings as straightened up as possible, as collected as possible. But people still will be sleeping here overnight, because they said if they weren't allowed to occupy the park there would be no Occupation Wall Street.

So for now, they're going to be here for the foreseeable future. And you've indicated, Kristie, they have a lot of scheduled events coming up in countries -- in, what, 80-some countries throughout the world this weekend.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Susan Candiotti joining us live from Zuccotti Park. It was a little bit hard to hear you, but we definitely got a sense of the scene there and of the crowd that refuses to leave.

Interesting sign being held up behind Susan just then. Susan thank you.

Now crowds are gathering all over New York, but not just talking about the ones near Wall Street anymore. Now Maggie Lake is outside an Apple Store where people are queuing up for the latest iPhone. And Maggie, just how long is the line?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kristie, it's not as bad as some other occasions. Let me show you right behind us. These are the people who are about to go in. The store did open early at 8:00 am, but if you look down the street this is the real sense. This line past our satellite truck, snakes to the end of the block.

Now I am told by the employees that it's not quite as long as some of the other iPhone launches that came out, but remember pre-orders online for this product exceeded all the other ones -- a million the first day. There are some estimates that this phone could sell 3 to 4 million this weekend. We'll have to see.

Some of the folks here I was talking to, a few of them were here overnight. Most of them arrived early this morning, say that they're upgrading, some of them not just from the 4, some have a little bit older models, but they're all very anxious to get their hands on the latest offering.

As you know, some new features -- not a huge change, maybe, from the 4G, but it's got a better camera, more processing power, a virtual assistant called Siri which will be interesting to see whether people use and how they like it.

But the folks out here, certainly a lot of excitement. And as usual with Apple launches, you have the sort of secondary marketing effect. I don't know, Tom, if you can pan down, but there are a lot of yellow bags that they're holding some of the local businesses jumping on the fact that there are crowds here and handing out their own products.

So you've got Apple marketing and other marketing, Kristie, as usual.

LU STOUT: Now what do you think is the number one reason why these people are lining up to buy an iPhone 4S? Is it the voice assistant Siri as you mentioned? Is it the new camera? Or is it the cult of Apple?

LAKE: You know, it's interesting you asked that. I know there's been a lot of attention, because this is, of course, the product coming so soon after the death of the founder and icon Steve Jobs. And I did see someone here who actually appears to going to be selling t-shirts with Steve Jobs on the front of it. But I really think, you know, this is the beauty of Apple, it's about the product. It's always about the product.

The folks here I talk to when I say why did you come? Why are you waiting on line like this to buy this latest phone, they say they wanted it, it's better.

Unclear -- as I mentioned a lot of the people I talked to actually don't have the 4, they have the 3 so they're looking to sort of vault to this next one. But I think that the camera is an appeal. That virtual assistant is going to be interesting. I'm not sure if that's going to be the game changer or not. But you know a lot of them just feel it's ready, they're ready for more features.

And of course, don't forget Kristie, as I'm sure you're well aware, there's a new operating system that you can download. It's available for the older models too, but that's going to include some 200 new features. So people just want to get their hands on it.

LU STOUT: That's right, the new OS, which cuts the chord with iTunes. Maggie Lake joining us live from New York. Thank you very much for that.

And although it wasn't exactly a hit with critics, fans are queuing up outside Apple stores to be among the first to buy the iPhone 4S. And at the Apple Store in Los Gatos, California the phones that go on sale Friday morning. And do you see the man there on the Segway scooter? Now that is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. And yes, he is there waiting in the queue.

And he told reporters that he plans to wait overnight. Now Woz, he admitted that he could easily have made a phone call and gotten the phone ahead of everyone else, but he didn't.

Now one of the new features on iPhone 4S is called Siri. And it's basically a virtual assistant that understands what you say. You can ask Siri to call or check the weather, et cetera. And it has inspired this blog, which has a colorful name, so colorful I can't really say it out loud on TV. I'll just have to say it, Stuff that Siri says.

And the blog, it features humorous inquiries.

Now this one asks, "what's the meaning of life." And the response, "I don't know, but I think there's an app for that."

Or, "I need to hide a body." And the response, "what kind of place are you looking for?"

Now the real Siri also seems to have a sense of humor. And here is Wired magazine's Brian Chen.


BRIAN CHEN, WIRED: Some pretty funny stuff too that I discovered.

I'm drunk.

SIRI: I found a number of cabs fairly close to you.


LU STOUT: Nice, Brian.

Now one group of Apple fans, they have declared October 14 Steve Jobs Day. And they organized a tribute before his death. But now it has become a celebration of his legacy. And as you can see, they're urging people to sport Steve's signature style: black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers.

Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM, the rugby world cup is ramping up and the first semi-final is this Saturday. We'll have a preview of the clash between Wales and France right after the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now in sports we're getting to the final few matches of the 2011 rugby world cup. And Don Riddell joins us with a preview of the weekend's action -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Kristie. By this time tomorrow we'll know one of the finalists for the rugby world cup. And it's going to be a team from the northern hemisphere as Wales and France prepare for the first semi-final in Auckland.

The French are trying to make the title game for a third time. A final appearance for the Welsh, for them, would be a first.

Alex Thomas has more from New Zealand.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: A Welsh choir in fine voice in Auckland bursting with national pride now their team has reached the semi- finals for the first time since the maiden rugby world cup in 1987. Wales is the surprise success story of this tournament, but the secret is out ahead of their clash with France.

How big is this game? Looking around the room, it feels like the eyes of the world are upon you. And I guess in some ways they are.

SAM WARBURTON, WALES CAPTAIN: Yeah, I don't mind really. I -- it's, I guess, where you want to be as a player I guess. We all would have loved to have made a semi-final place. If you told us we were going to reach that, then we would have loved it. So everyone is really happy over here at the moment this weekend.

Everyone's buzzing with confidence after last weekend's opponent. So we're looking forward to the game.

THOMAS: Warburton is the youngest ever world cup captain. His team is relaxed and confident, although reports of an alcohol ban are wide of the mark.

WARREN GATLAND, WALES COACH: We are (inaudible). We're not whiter than white. And we've had our problems in the past. But these guys have been great. And best -- in this campaign for Wales. And that's what's been important.

THOMAS: The Welsh camp doesn't agree that France, notoriously unpredictable, are due a bad game after knocking out 2003 champions England last week. And Les Blues are certainly enjoying themselves.

We've had torrential rain here all morning. And we wondered if France were going to train at all. What if one of the star players slips and hurts himself before such a crucial match in France's rugby history. But you know what, they're on a high. And they want to exploit it.

The French, though, are well aware of the threat posed by a team they call the All Blacks of the Northern Hemisphere.

IMANOL HARINORDOQUY, FRANCE NUMBER 8: They have Jean-Pierre (ph) who can play -- play they want -- I think they play free when they are -- when they're on the ball. And that is the most dangerous thing for us on such a day.

EMILE NTAMACK, FRENCH COACH: We are under pressure, we know that. We know the Welsh team is one of the best teams since the beginning of the tournament, yeah? And I'm not sure we are favorite for this game.

THOMAS: France is the first team to lose two pool matches and reach the world cup semi-finals. But they want to go further.

HARINORDOQUY: Everybody want to go to the final to play this final. It's one moment in your life. It won't happen on the week. In my life I think it was the last time I ever (inaudible) to play in a final of the world cup.

THOMAS: For Wales, it's the dream, for France, Le Reve (ph), a chance to life rugby's biggest prize, something neither country has ever done before.

Alex Thomas, CNN, New Zealand.


RIDDELL: Now in baseball the Detroit Tigers have kept their season alive by winning game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Rangers, making Texas sweat on a second consecutive World Series appearance.

It was do or die for the Tigers in front of their own fans. And they got in front here in the bottom of the 4th inning when Delmon Young crushed C.J. Wilson for a home run. Tigers 2-1 ahead.

Texas then leveled the game, but Detroit regained the lead in the 6th with an incredible sequence and a lucky break. Miguel Cabrerra's gounder there hit the bag and went over the baseman's head. Brian Rayburn rushing home for a 3-2 Detroit Lead.

Next man up, that lead was increased. Victor Martinez drove it down the line. Nelson Cruz missed the catch. And Cabrerra made it home for a 4-2 lead.

The crowd going wild and the next batter sent them into ecstasy. Young up again smacking Wilson again for another homer, a two run shot. He went two for three with two homers and three RBIs helping Detroit to a 7-5 win.

Texas still lead the series, though, by 3 games to 2.

The National League's series between the Cardinals and the Brewers is all square now following Milwaukee's win in game 4. The Cardinals were a run ahead in the top of the 4th, but Yuniesky Betancourt knocked it into left field enabling Jerry Hairston to score. That was close. He only just made it.

Game tied at two. The Brewers broke the tie in the next inning when Ryan Braun scored an RBI single. Nigel Morgan coming home to make it 3-2 Brewers.

And an inning later, they were even further ahead. St. Louis won't be happy about the circumstances, though. Ryan Theriot slipped up. And he knew that he should have done better with that.

Milwaukee needed only 8 innings to get the job done. Last chance for St. Louis in the top of the 9th, but Rafael Furcal grounded out and that was that, 4-2 Brewers. Series tied at 2 games each.

England's Football Association says it will consider its options before deciding whether or not to appeal Wayne Rooney's three game ban which rules him out of the group stage of next year's European Championships. The Manchester United striker was sent off in England's final qualifying game against Montenegro on Friday when he kicked out (inaudible).

If the ban stands, many commentators here are asking whether it's even worth taking him to the finals in Ukraine and Poland. Since 1980, England have only made it out of the group stage on two occasions.

Rooney may feel like a bit of an outcast at the moment, a sentiment shared by Carlos Tevez who on Thursday returned to training with Manchester City. The club have yet to reveal what punishment he will face for the farcical situation in their recent Champion's League game against Bayern Munich when he apparently refused to come on as a substitute.

Meanwhile, it's been reportedly widely that Roberto Manchini has invited Tevez to his him for a private talk that could repair the fractured relationship between player and manager. Previously, Manchini had said that Tevez was finished at the Manchester City.

Kristie, that's all the sport we've got time for. We'll have much more, though, in World Sport in two-and-a-half hours.

LU STOUT: Good stuff. Don Riddell, thank you.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And when we come back, unraveling an ancient genetic code from a bacterium which caused the death of millions in Europe.


LU STOUT: Now it is a modern day scientific breakthrough with answers to an ancient puzzle. Using 700 year old DNA, scientists have been able to reconstruct the entire genetic code of a disease which wiped out up to half the population of western Europe. Essentially, they've decoded the black plague.

Becky Anderson has the story.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here, in Medieval London, terror stalked the streets. It came in the form of a rat. Black Death was transmitted by rats, a deadly plague that stole the lives of more than 100 million Europeans, it is half the population in just five years between 1357 and 1361. And now, it's back, at least its DNA.

Scientists have now reconstructed the entire genetic code of the Black Death using only skeletons. Now plague pits were dug all over London, including here by the Tower of London to bury the thousands and thousands of victims.

Well, I'm off to see one of those corpses and to find out what scientists hope to achieve by recreating the disease.

So this is our skeleton. And what I do understand from this latest report is that it was the teeth that were used.

JELENA BEKVALAC, MUSEUM OF LONDON: That's right, yes. Because normally when they're taking samples, structure samples, they'll tend to take a tooth and also they'll take samples of bone and maybe like a fragments of rib. And so, yes, it was from that that then they were able to get this information about the DNA and actually to try to find the pathogen.

ANDERSON: And what are the consequences of what they've found?

BEKVALAC: Well, it will be quite phenomenal, really, because you find looking at the skeleton, and I'm analyzing a skeleton, if you have a disease that is acute, such as the Black Death, it kills you very quickly, I can't actually see any physical evidence of that on the bones itself. I would need something that was chronic, so long-term.

So I can tell you that this is a male, an age, and other diseases that might have suffered from, but not what was potentially the Black Death. So having this research carried out is phenomenal, because it provides this information that I wouldn't be able to give you otherwise. That gives us this greater, deeper insight and also hoping if they can do that, and extrapolate that information from more individuals within the sight, then we have a better idea about the nature of that disease and information about it.

ANDERSON: Exciting stuff. I'm fascinated to see that this chap still has his teeth 700 years later.

BEKVLALAC: Yes, he's got teeth. They did, yes. We've got a few there in the bag that you can see, because they've come out.

Well, what's fabulous with the teeth, is that they have really nice sealed units. So you've got less chance of having any contamination. And also you find in the making you got wear because of the gritty as opposed to all the sugar that we have later on. Although, he does seem to have suffered slightly there from a bit of decay, so maybe he had a sweet-tooth.


LU STOUT: Becky Anderson reporting there.

And we're now moving from the Black Death to new life. And Beyonce's big announcement at the MTV Video Music Awards several weeks ago continues to light up social media sights, but not as much as a recent appearance on Australian TV, which apparently shows her belly deflating a little as she sits down. The video on YouTube has sparked rumors that the singer may be wearing a prosthetic baby bump and using a surrogate. In response, Beyonce's publicist released a statement to ABC News saying that the rumors are, quote, "stupid, ridiculous, and false."

Now that is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.