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China Double Hit-and-Run; Riot Police Face off With Protesters in Athens; Real Madrid Sit Atop Their Group
Aired October 19, 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 China and an update on Yue Yue, the little girl caught in this shocking video of a hit-and-run and the woman who pulled her to safety.
Plus, united against austerity. A general strike is paralyzing Greece.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll tell you what the difference is.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You had -- you --
ROMNEY: Rick, again -- Rick, I'm speaking. I'm speaking. I'm speaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Find out what Mitt Romney and all the other Republicans running to be president of the U.S. had to say in our CNN debate.
And we start with the story of a 2-year-old girl run over and ignored by passersby in southern China. It's a case that has shocked millions in China and around the world.
Now, Yue Yue remains in critical condition. Her mother says her brain shows very little activity. But more than four million people on China's Sina Weibo have submitted posts in a "Stop Apathy" campaign.
Last week, Yue Yue wandered into a busy street in the highly industrialized city of Foshan. Two separate vehicles hit her, and this security camera later showed that more than a dozen people passed by before anyone helped.
The woman who eventually moved her makes a living out of collecting garbage and recyclables, and now two government offices have offered that woman more than $3,000 for being a good Samaritan.
Now, money, gifts and outpouring of support are also streaming in for Yue Yue's family, and some of it online. In many cases, in person, as people touched by the little girl's story visit the hospital.
Eunice Yoon reports.
EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A limp body barely recognizable at this hospital in southern China. Her mother hoping 2-year-old Wang Yue might wake if she calls her name. Chu Fay Say (ph) has barely slept since her daughter was critically injured in not one, but two hit-and-run accidents.
"Yue Yue won't disappoint everyone," she says. "I know my girl. She's strong."
A security camera in this bustling hardware market caught the accident on tape. The footage shows the little girl wonder in front of a white van. She's hit, run over, and run over again by another vehicle. The vehicle was posted online, outraging the public.
But these are the scenes that sparked nationwide soul-searching. Over a dozen pedestrians, motorists and bikers passed by the bleeding child and do nothing.
(on camera): The hit-and-run accident happened here, in an alleyway near Wang's father's hardware store. She laid on the ground for about 10 minutes before a good Samaritan moved her here to safety.
(voice-over): Chen Xianmei was that unexpected hero, a street scavenger who stepped in to save a life, now a symbol of understated decency, a quality many fear is increasingly rare in a nation obsessed with moving up the economic ladder. "I didn't think of anything at the time," she told local reporters. "I just wanted to save the girl."
Chen's neighbors told us she appeared overwhelmed by her instant celebrity and has since gone home to the countryside.
"Granny Chen represents the best part of human nature," Chu (ph) says. "I thank her for that."
(on camera): Wang Yue is still very much in critical condition. Her mother says that she has some sensation in her lower body, but she has very little brain activity.
(voice-over): Despite the concerns of China's declining morality, here at the hospital humanity shines. During our short visit, Wang's family received a steady procession of well-wishers bearing gifts, money and comfort for someone they never knew. Wang's mother appreciates the support, but is hoping to receive the best gift of all.
"Don't give up on mom," she tells her girl. "Mom is not giving up. Let mom have one more chance to love and spoil you."
Eunice Yoon, CNN, Guangzhou.
STOUT: Now, Yue Yue's anguished mother has said that she does not understand why so many people did not help her daughter. And some opinion pieces in Chinese newspapers have referenced the Hung Yu (ph) effect.
Now, back in 2006, Hung Yu (ph) helped an elderly woman and was later ordered to pay her compensation. Other social commentators say that the bystander problem goes even further back.
And earlier, I spoke to writer Lijia Zhang.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIJIA ZHANG, WRITER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: We always have this saying called (SPEAKING CHINESE), "It's not your business, do not get involved." You know, (INAUDIBLE) don't care about your neighbors.
I think this is total lack of compassion, a lack of empathy towards strangers, of course. I mean, we're all taught to be kind, but true kindness to you family, friends, but not particularly to other people. Particularly, if you show kindness to other people, it means you might get into trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Lijia Zhang there.
Now, in order to tackle the public's apparent reluctance to lend a hand, a new page has gone up on Sina Weibo. It's called "Brainstorming to Protect Good Samaritans." And the slogan on the page, it reads, "To protect good Samaritans is to protect the next Yue Yue."
The politics and law arm of the Guando (ph) government has partnered with Sina on this initiative in hopes of preventing future tragedies. And the page features an online poll on whether there should be laws to punish indifferent passersby. And thousands of netizens have voted, and an overwhelming majority chose that we should first have laws to protect good Samaritans instead.
Now, other countries have good Samaritan laws in place. For example, in the United States, it varies from state to state. And in Canada, from province to province. But the basic concept is to protect individuals who provide assistance in an emergency situation.
And there is a different approach in parts of Europe. For example, France, Germany and Italy require their citizens to help someone who is injured. And people there can face fines or even jail time if they fail to offer help.
And we are closely monitoring this story on our blog, and you can keep track of the latest online reaction with us and have your say. Just click on to CNN.com/newsstream.
Now, we want to take you to some live pictures coming out of Athens, Greece, right now.
Riot police are facing off with protesters in the Greek capital. You can clearly see smoke rising in these pictures. They are live from Athens, Greece.
And we do have a correspondent there on the ground joining us with more on these demonstrations. Let's go to Diana Magnay, who joins us now in Athens.
Diana, it looks like things have picked up in the last hour. What have you seen?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. That's right.
Well, really, in the last half an hour, protesters have started throwing rocks, throwing sticks at police, some petrol bombs also. Police responding with flash bangs, these sort of stun grenades that make a very loud noise, that echoes around the whole square, and tear gas.
So, this was almost inevitable. I've covered various Greek demonstrations, various strikes here, general strikes, and each time there has been some degree of violence. Certainly when the second bailout was agreed at the end of June, huge amounts of violence, which, really, the whole of Syntagma Square below me was almost like the apocalypse, fires burning everywhere, whereas, actually, if you look down right now, the vast majority of protesters who fill this square are standing peacefully, pretty much (INAUDIBLE) by the pocket of violence which is going on, on that corner.
The question, of course, is whether this will spread over the course of the day.
Kristie, I must say that the numbers here, the turnout, is much bigger than it was back in the end of June. And perhaps the sheer number of people here is making it more difficult for the few on the fringe who generally caused this kind of protest, this kind of violence to really kick off.
But who's to say. It is obviously early in the day, and this is two day's worth of general strikes -- Kristie.
STOUT: You know, just a moment ago we were looking at some dramatic pictures there, live pictures from behind you there in Athens of the police using tear gas on the crowds there. It looked like some of the protesters were anticipating that, were wearing gas masks in anticipation of that. A kiosk there on fire.
Can you give us a sense of the number of demonstrators there? Also, if you could comment on the source of that loud boom that we heard just then.
MAGNAY: Well, that boom was just what I was trying to describe, one of these flash bangs. Basically, it's a stun grenade fired by the police, and it kind of shocks your senses. You know, the flash in your eyes disorientates you. The noise gives you a sort of low-level concussion. And then they fire tear gas.
There you have it again. And it's all going off on the corner of the parliament building behind me. About 50 riot police there and a small group of protesters chucking rocks, chucking grenades, chucking Molotov cocktails, anything really that they can get their hands on. But as you said, Kristie, these people are well prepared.
First of all, on general strikes in this country, people tend to come with some kind of cover for their face. Those intent on creating violence tend to come with black masks, with possibly helmets to protect themselves, and gas masks.
So this is a country that knows and understands how protests turn violent. You know, it is -- it would be an exaggeration to say it's a national pastime, but it is certainly something that the Greek people anticipate when they go out in the streets and that accompanies general strikes in this country, not just because of the crushing austerity measures, but something that sort of accompanies the culture of protests in this country -- Kristie.
STOUT: High drama there behind you and on our screens as we're looking at this live video feed from Athens. But this, as you said, is a general strike taking place across the country.
Just how disruptive is this event?
MAGNAY: Well, it is effectively paralyzing the whole infrastructure of the country. Public transport has effectively come to a halt, except to bring people to the main demonstrations here in Athens and in the main other cities across the country. And the turnout really is huge.
The organizers say it's about 120,000 on the streets of Athens. The police are saying about 70,000.
People who are really out to demonstrate the fact that yet another round of austerity cuts is beyond their capacity to cope. They say, we are a people who are being squeezed to the point of our very existence, we simply cannot afford to pay the increased taxes, the increased bills, given the fact that our pensions are being reduced, given the fact that our wages are being reduced.
And yet, there are significant differences that still can be made, for example, in the public sector. And it's particularly job cuts within the public sector and an end to negotiated salaries and collaborative bargaining agreements that the unions out here are demonstrating and that is being discussed in the parliament building right now with the sound of protests, with the sound of violence ringing in those parliamentarians' ears -- Kristie.
STOUT: Well, violence breaking out there on the streets of Athens as a general two-day strike is under way.
Diana Magnay, live on the scene.
Thank you very much for that update. And we will indeed check in with you again in the hour for the latest on the situation there in Greece. Thank you.
Now, the president of Turkey is blaming terrorism for an attack in the south which killed dozens of soldiers, the deadliest day for the army in many years. Officials say at least 25 soldiers died when PKK rebel rockets, they were launched at security forces and military sites in the town of Cukurca. President Abdullah Gul has vowed revenge, and the AFP reports that the Turkish military has retaliated with air strikes, and by sending troops into neighboring Iraq, where the Kurdish rebels are based.
Now, ahead on NEWS STREAM, a hero's welcome. A brief wave of joy in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, but will the trade of a single Israeli soldier for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners revitalize peace talks?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I'm speaking.
ROMNEY: I'm speaking. You get 30 seconds.
PERRY: It's time for you to tell the truth, Mitt.
ROMNEY: This is the way the rules work here, is that I get 60 seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Showdown in Vegas. Republicans face off in their latest debate, and tempers are rising.
STOUT: Welcome back.
A French woman kidnapped from her holiday home in northern Kenya and taken to Somalia has died. A gang of armed men believed to be Somali militants seized the woman earlier this month.
Her name was Marie Dedieu. She was in poor health at the time of her kidnapping. Details of her death are not yet known, but the French Foreign Ministry has firmly condemned the act.
And news of her death comes amid fresh violence in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. On Tuesday, a car bomb killed several people as government ministers from Kenya and Somalia were holding talks nearby. Kenya has recently sent forces into Somalia to pursue al-Shabaab militants.
And we could soon find out a lot more about what Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit went through during his five years of captivity. Hamas says it will release video it recorded to show that they treated him humanely.
Now, ecstatic Israelis, they lined the streets of Shalit's hometown in northern Israel to welcome him back on Tuesday. They waved flags and tossed white roses and carnations at his convoy.
And the young man who has become an important symbol for many Israelis saluted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he stepped off a military helicopter. Hamas freed him in exchange for Israel's release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including some convicted in deadly terror attacks.
Now, Shalit's father says he understands the anguish that caused.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOAM SHALIT, GILAD SHALIT'S FATHER (through translator): Sadly, I have to say that for us, too, this deal is not an easy one. Yesterday, we were in the supreme court facing many bereaved families, and we definitely identified with them and totally understand their anguish. And we understand the price that they are paying for Gilad's freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Palestinian leaders have declared today a school and government holiday to celebrate Israel's release of 477 Palestinian prisoners. Another 550 detainees will be freed in the coming weeks.
Returning prisoners received a hero's welcome in Gaza and the West Bank. Some took the stage in Gaza City to wave to a cheering crowd of thousands. In a fiery speech, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya called the prisoner swap a huge victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISMAIL HANIYA, HAMAS PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Israelis brought war on Gaza and made thousands of martyrs, and we've carried these martyrs on our soldiers and buried them! Israel was looking for Shalit, but after the war, the enemy withdrew and Shalit remained in the hands of our heroes. And now we have made our victory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: But amid the celebrations, scattered violence underscored just how difficult it may be to restart stalled Israeli/Palestinian peace talks.
Now, youths clashed briefly with Israeli troops in the West Bank, and there are no reports of serious injuries.
It was the slap that started a revolution, which, in turn, led to the political across the Middle East called the Arab Spring. It is nearly one year since a poor street vendor in Tunisia allegedly slapped by a government inspector set fire to himself and later died, becoming a hero to his countrymen. And the woman who confronted him was jailed, and she now says the world got the story wrong.
Ivan Watson reports.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What did you think when you heard that this man had burned himself?
FEYDA HAMDI, MUNICIPAL HEALTH INSPECTOR (through translator): I felt that they're going to put all the responsibility on me. I didn't know, but I thought, I'm going to pay for it. I was scared. I couldn't stand on my feet.
WATSON (voice-over): At first glance, Feyda Hamdi does not look like a villain, but that's the role she was cast in. As a municipal health inspector in the town of Sidi Bouzid, she confiscated the produce of a fruit vendor named Mohammed Bouazizi. The vendor later set himself on fire in protest and eventually died of his terrible wounds.
Bouazizi's last desperate act of defiance turned the humble fruit vendor into a hero for Tunisia and the Arab world. In the town where it happened, locals claim Hamdi drove Bouazizi over the edge.
ZIAD FATMI, RESIDENT: The woman came and slapped him.
WATSON (on camera): The woman slapped him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
FATMI: The woman slapped him. And the woman slapped him in a Muslim country. It's (INAUDIBLE).
WATSON: Do you know who this woman is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She actually works at that building.
WATSON (voice-over): But Hamdi says the rest of the world has got the story of Mohammed Bouazizi all wrong.
At the little square where she famously confronted Bouazizi, Hamdi tells me she was just doing her job, enforcing a law that bans street vendors from working here.
HAMDI (through translator): When I tried to confiscate his fruit, he cursed at me and pulled my hair and grabbed my shoulder. No, I didn't slap him. I could never do that, because I am an Arab woman and a Muslim, and that's impossible in our society.
WATSON (on camera): The story of the fruit vendor who set himself on fire in protest has now become a legend, a myth that helped spark revolutions across the Arab world. But here in Sidi Bouzid, the place where it all started, very little has changed.
(voice-over): Nine months after the revolution, Sidi Bouzid still suffers from the same high unemployment that helped spark the uprising. As for Hamdi, after spending nearly four months in prison, she's back in her old job in the Sidi Bouzid municipality, though she says she's too afraid to wear her old uniform in public.
HAMDI (through translator): I am as much a victim as Mohammed Bouazizi. Just because I wore a uniform, I became a scapegoat for the mistakes of the old regime.
WATSON: Tunisia is just days away from an historic election, but Hamdi says she won't be voting, even though the rest of the world will closely watch the Arab world's first post-revolutionary election.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.
STOUT: Now, in Las Vegas, the stakes were high for seven Republican presidential hopefuls, but the debate featured a heated exchange between two of the candidates.
Rick Perry, plunging in the polls, he rolled the dice with a sharp attack against front-runner Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized.
And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you're strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy.
ROMNEY: We hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants that were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go. And we went to them and said --
PERRY: A year later?
ROMNEY: You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you have got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, analysts have said that Perry performed poorly in past debates. It's unclear if his aggressive approach will help or hurt him.
Another leading candidate also took heat during this debate, and we'll have more on that a bit later in the show.
Up next here on NEWS STREAM, the unrelenting floods in Thailand reach the capital. Bangkok's governor is warning some residents to get ready for the water to get higher, and we will show you which areas are at risk.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.
And for the last several days, Thai authorities have rushed to defend the capital from floodwaters. And the danger is still flowing toward Bangkok as some residents are being told to move to higher ground.
STOUT: Now, coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, tens of thousands march in Greece, and they are clashing with riot police in the capital. We'll be going live to Athens for the latest on the demonstrations against austerity.
And Republican presidential candidates get down and dirty at the latest debate in Las Vegas.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now a French woman kidnapped by suspected Somali gunmen in northern Kenya earlier this month is dead. 66 year old Marie Dedieu was seized from a private house on the island of Manda and taken as a hostage into Somalia. The French foreign minister Alain Juppe has called it a deeply barbaric and violent act.
(inaudible) say calm has been restored. And they have now gained control of the Dale Farm Travelers Camp. Now there were clashes earlier as people living there were evicted. The 10 year legal battle to stay put came to an end in the courts on Monday.
And riot police are facing off with protesters in Athens this hour. You're looking at live pictures on your screen as tens of thousands of Greeks, they are demonstrating in anger at the prospect of new austerity measure. And police have clashed with some rock throwing protesters in the capital retaliating with tear gas. The country has been brought to a virtual standstill by the protests and the two day general strike.
Now let's go back to Diana Magnay in Athens. And Diana, are you still seeing violent confrontation between police and protesters there?
MAGNAY: We are still seeing that. I must emphasize that it is in a small corner of the square right up beside the parliament building with just a small pocket of demonstrators dressed in black, covering black hoods, really so they don't get identified by police, throwing missiles, throwing sticks, stones, and also petrol bombs at police. And the police responding with flash bangs, stun grenades, and then tear gas canisters. Sometimes the protesters then picking up the tear gas canister to throw it back at police.
But the vast majority of protesters in this square are peaceful. And it is a very large turnout. So even the people who are carrying their banners around aren't really affected in any way other than by the noise by that pocket of protesters up in the corner of the square.
But whether or not these -- this violence may spread as it has done in other protests earlier this year -- in June when that second bailout was agreed, obviously remains to be seen. This is still early days in a two day general strike. And tomorrow, Thursday, is the day when the parliament will actually vote on that new round of austerity measures, which is the reason why people have come out onto the streets today and tomorrow, Kristie.
STOUT: Thank you for the context there. The violence is limited to just a few small areas of this protest. But as you said tens of thousands of protesters there in Athens. A two day general strike underway.
To what extent is the anger that we're witnessing live on our screens on the streets of Athens representative of the mood of a nation?
MAGNAY: I think it is incredibly representative of the mood of a nation. Every person who speaks down on that street is filled with anger. They are furious at these austerity cuts and at the way they've been sort of dragged down over the last few years and squeezed to the point that they can't -- that they say they can't cope any more.
You know, it is a very, very fine line that the Greek government are having to walk. How fast can you push through austerity in an essentially acceptable way. And these people on the streets today are saying this is no longer socially acceptable. They feel very much that there are still the privileged in this society who are getting away with not paying their taxes, were not being punished by austerity, whilst the worker on the street who is responsible for keeping the economy running is being squeezed to an extent that he's unable to survive.
And they also see this very much as the sort of influence of external agents, the Troykers (ph), the rest of Europe forcing measures on them that are impossible for the Greek people to accept.
In the parliament right now, that bill is being debated about making big cuts to the public sector. There is no denying, and that will probably come out in the Troyker (ph) support, that the public sector is unreasonably (ph) large for a country such as this -- 1.2 million workers. And that it is necessary to make job cuts in there to reduce the payroll. But this is obviously not something that people on the streets are really prepared to accept, Kristie.
STOUT: Now the anger, the outrage there on the streets of Athena sending a very clear message to the government there. Diana Magnay joining us live from the Greek capital. And many thanks for that.
And Diana, we'll be back live at the top of the hour for the latest on the situation there.
Now meanwhile, Yemen's capital remains on edge following violent clashes. Now hundreds of anti-government demonstrators filled the streets of Sanaa on Tuesday as they marched through downtown from their base at a city square. Security forces allegedly opened fire for the third time in four days. At least 11 people were killed in Tuesday's unrest. Now a doctor says protesters were also tear gassed.
And one of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners joined protesters outside the United Nations in New York to demand the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh step down. Yemen born Tawakkul Karman says the UN needs to freeze the Saleh regime's assets and to treat Yemen's revolution the same as it did Egypt's and Libya's.
And much like anti-government protests have done in Egypt, Libya and Syria, young opposition activists in Yemen are using the internet to get their message out. Mohammed Jamjoom has more on their new online campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On February 3 we went to the streets demanding dignity...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . freedom and life worth living.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We place our tent outside of Sanaa University. And we chanted...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...here's where we will stay until we overthrow the regime.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are just some of the voices of Yemen's peaceful youth revolutionary movement. Young activists trying to make a statement in the simplest possible terms.
For months, they've demonstrated day after day, continuing their struggle, demanding an end to the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight months later we are still here, peacefully calling for change.
JAMJOOM: A new online campaign by the Support Yemen group aims to serve as a reminder of their revolution. They have a Twitter feed. They even have a Facebook page. And now, they've released a video entitled break the silence.
ATIAF ALWAZIR, YEMENI ONLINE ACTIVIST: You hear a lot about different countries, but Yemen -- the reality is Yemen is not really a top concern for many people in the international community.
JAMJOOM: Prominent Yemeni activist Atiaf Alwazir lends her voice to the online campaign as well.
ALWAZIR: I tried academics, writers, students, farmers, artists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our nation began to see hope for us.
JAMJOOM: But hope started to fade as violence escalated.
ALWAZIR: We are hoping for the best. And this is why international solidarity is important. And people tend to underestimate how important it is for the morale of the Yemenis. You know, it's not just a Yemeni issue, it's a human issue. When people are killed on the streets...
JAMJOOM: Activists are calling for help to stop the cycle of violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite our peaceful resistance, we face brutal attacks by government security forces.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same forces that took an oat to protect us have now turned against us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is humanity? Where is the world to stand against this?
JAMJOOM: Yemen's government denies cracking down on peaceful protesters.
Alwazir and her colleagues hope this campaign will make a difference, that it will inspire and empower.
ALWAZIR: What we're hoping to do by these methods is to let people know that, you know, we're all in this together. Freedom is something as mutual -- it's something that everybody wants and that everybody is looking for.
JAMJOOM: A motto echoed every day by thousands of protesters risking their lives for what they believe in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will continue doing it peacefully with pride.
JAMJOOM: Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
STOUT: And ahead on News Stream, fight night in Vegas. The gloves come off at the GOP debate. The Republican White House hopefuls clash on everything from immigration to health care to taxes.
STOUT: Welcome back.
And as I was telling you earlier, it was fight night in Las Vegas, and the gloves came off at the Republican U.S. presidential debate.
Now this was supposed to be Herman Cain's big moment. And he is one of the newest front runners in the ever changing race for the Republican nomination. Of course, that made him a prime target for the other candidates. And they went after his so-called 999 tax plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we give congress a 9 percent sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and a liberal congress to run that up to maybe 90 percent? Who knows? What I do know is that we also have to be concerned about the hidden tax of the value-added tax, because at every step and stage of production you'd be taxing that item 9 percent on the profit. That's the worry.
RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Herman's well meaning. And I love his boldness and its great. But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That's the analysis. And it makes sense. Because when you don't provide a standard deduction, when you don't provide anything for low income individuals and you have a sales tax and an income tax, and as Michelle said a value-added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we're talking about major increases in taxes on people.
RICK PERRY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Herman, I love you brother, but let me tell you something you don't have to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire where they don't have a sales tax and you're fixing to give them one. They're not interested in 999.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you the analysis I did, person by person, return by return is that middle income people see higher taxes under your plan. If it's lower for the middle class, that's great, but that's not what I saw.
STOUT: That was a pile on, but Cain he quickly shot back at his opponents and told voters to take a good look at the analysis of the plan on his web site.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was performed by fiscal associates and all of the claims that are made against it, it is a jobs plan. It is revenue neutral. It does not raise taxes on those that are making the least. All of those are simply not true.
The reason that my plan -- the reason that our plan is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don't want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that's simple and fair. They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10 million word mess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Herman Cain had perhaps the biggest target on his back in the debate as the Republicans latest rising star. And he's been touting his business experience and his 999 tax plan. But now that he's being taken more seriously as a presidential candidate, his knowledge of foreign policy is being seriously examined.
As Richard Roth tell us, some flippant comments about Uzbekistan are raising a red flag.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rising in the polls, pizza executive Herman Cain says he's prepared for a media grilling testing his global knowledge.
CAIN: I'm ready for the gotcha questions. And they're already starting to come. And when they ask me who's the president of Ubeki, beki, bekideckistan, stan I'm going to say, you know, I don't know. Do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not.
ROTH: Who's the president of Uzbekistan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
ROTH: Seems potential voters also don't know that the president of Uzbekistan is Islam Karimov.
Nevertheless, it's a big year for presidential candidate Herman Cain and Uzbekistan too.
ELYOR GANIEV, UZBEK DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): 2011 Uzbekistan celebrates one of the landmark dates in our modern history, the 20th anniversary of our independence.
ROTH: Just don't invite Herman Cain to the pizza party.
CAIN: Knowing who is the head of some of the small, insignificant states around the world I don't think that is something that's critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going.
ROTH: Is there anybody here from Uzbekistan?
They're in Brooklyn. And don't tell the Uzbek owner of the Nargas Cafe (ph) his country is insignificant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not well educated. He shouldn't be there where he is right now and where he wants to be.
ROTH: Uzbekistan is a former Soviet Republic. Critics say it has a poor human rights record. Cain may have a problem with all the so-called "stan" countries. And if president he may have to deal with the most significant "stan" of them all...
MIKE MYERS, ACTOR: Gentlemen, it's come to my attention that a break away Russian republic Perblankistan (ph) is about to transfer a nuclear warhead to the United Nations in a few days. Here's the plan.
ROTH: Nothing was too insignificant for the movie's man of mystery Austin Powers. So I went to the United Nations.
Pakistan introduced me to Uzbekistan. But the ambassador seemed like he couldn't stand me.
Did you hear what Herman Cain said about Uzbekistan. He said -- he's the presidential candidate. And he called Uzbekistan an inconsequential...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have been to Uzbekistan many a time. I am very found of Uzbekistan.
CAIN: When I get ready to go visit that country I'll know who it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why can't he find out about it now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I dare him to come over here and try out food.
ROTH: Cain may want to bring along 99 food tasters.
Richard Roth, CNN, the United Nations.
STOUT: Now still ahead, the latest sports news and...
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Punting that rugby, it keeps our boys committed, keeps them out of trouble, keeps them fit, and gives us something to do with our weekends basically.
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STOUT: A look at rugby's hold on Kiwi culture as host New Zealand counts down to the final of the sport's world cup.
STOUT: Now Jose Mourinho has already won the Champion's League twice. He's trying for a third time with Real Madrid. And things are going very well so far this season.
Don Riddell joins us live from London with the details -- Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie. Thanks very much.
Real Madrid really are setting the pace in the Champion's League this season. Tuesday's win against Lyon means the Spanish giants are in total control of group D having scored 8 goals in three wins out of three.
Karim Benzema scored his -- against his former club to put the merengues ahead at the Burnabeu. And Samy Khedira, Mesut Ozil, and Sergio Ramos completed the rout in the second half.
Jose Mourinho's team now have a maximum 9 points, while Lyon share second place with Ajax. Meanwhile, the two (inaudible) away at (inaudible).
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JOSE MOURINHO, REAL MADRID MANAGER: There are other groups where the big teams were much more lucky than us. They are playing against teams that I had to go to internet in the draw know from which country they were coming. And -- you know. The group is not easy. We are doing -- we are doing the job well. We are doing the job well. We have 9 points out of three matches. And we are doing really well.
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RIDDELL: Elsewhere, there was a late surge as Sergio Arguero scored an injury time winner for Manchester City against Villareal, helping City to their first Champion's League win of the season. Bayern Munich top group A, though, but they are rueing the Holger Badstuber own goal that cost them all three points against Napoli.
Inter Milan have gone top of group B with a 1-nil win against Lilles. Giampaolo Pazzini with the only goal there.
And Manchester United got their first win of the campaign, 2-nil in Bucharest. Wayne Rooney scoring two second half penalties in that one.
Now one of the great traditions of American sports starts later today with game 1 of the World Series. The Texas Rangers are playing in the fall classic for the second consecutive year. One of the sports most successful teams, the St. Louis Cardinals will have home advantage.
The Cardinals have been on an incredible run to get this far, winning 23 of their last 31 games to clinch the wild card slot in the National League and then knocking out the Philadelphia Phillies who had the best record in the league this season.
The Rangers have never won the World Series before. But their experience of last year's loss against the Giants should come in very useful. They're outfielder Josh Hamilton said that last year they wanted to win, this year they expect to.
Kristie, those are pictures of the team heading off for St. Louis for game 1 today.
STOUT: Every detail there on our screens for you. Thank you very much Don Riddell.
Well, I work with a few New Zealanders. And it is obvious that their passion for rugby runs deep. Only four sleeps to go until the All Blacks play France in the world cup final on Sunday. And if you're a New Zealander, you're probably counting down the minutes as well. As CNN's Alex Thomas reports, rugby is a sport that unites that nation.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: In a country regarded as rugby mad, it's almost too much excitement for the 4 million people who live in New Zealand to bare. Their famous team is one win away from becoming world champions for a second time. And even the legendary players who lifted the trophy at the first world cup in 1987 didn't think they'd have to wait nearly a quarter of a century to see it happen again.
WAYNE SHELFORD, 1987 WORLD CUP WINNER: I want this team to win it. I think it would be great.
You know then when all of us old guys we can move on, you know, because we get called out whenever (inaudible) '87 team that won a world cup. These guys can win it, the same thing will happen for them.
THOMAS: The All Blacks players are already stars here, but winning the world cup will make them national heroes. And if you travel around the country, you'll understand why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what's great about rugby, man, you do it for each other.
THOMAS: New Zealander's passion for rugby is clear to see.
This is the 87 year old Northern Roller Mills Tournament. It's had the same sponsor all that time. An under 13 event where rugby careers are born.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We played a tournament before this and this is twice as hard.
THOMAS: Only the dedication of relatives and volunteers make a tournament like this possible. It's not some expensive academy, but it works as well as one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's one thing about rugby, it keeps our boys committed, keeps them out of trouble, keeps them fit, and gives us something to do with our weekends basically.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the one place where all the nations that live here will come to give it. And we just stand as one.
THOMAS: In a country that's famous for churning out rugby talent, this tournament is the ultimate breeding ground.
What we have here is more than 8 decades of team photos with a list along the bottom of the competitors that have gone on to play for the mighty All Blacks, including legendary names like Collin Meads, Michael Jones, Graham Fox, even Warren Gatland, the current Wales coach. In total, seven of the current All Blacks squad used to play here.
KIERNAN READ, NEW ZEALAND RUGBY TEAM: Parents, volunteers are hugely important to New Zealand rugby. You know, at that age it's all about the people who put in the hard yards. And the coaches, the parents who get you to the games, I think for every kind of kid growing up playing rugby it's those guys that help you get where you are today. So it's -- you know, they do a great job. And it's pretty important.
THOMAS: This exhibition, on Auckland's waterfront, has given international visitors a glimpse of native Maori culture. And it matters to New Zealanders how that part of the country's past fits together with the rest of its society.
Rugby has been one of the most successful ways in which this nation's disparate communities come together.
SONNY BILL WILLIAMS, NEW ZEALAND RUGBY TEAM: Everyone understands it. And I think that's what we've embraced as a team that, you know, the whole of New Zealand is watching us, and loving us, and wanting us to do really well. So I think we all know that. And as a team and as individuals as well.
You can just see it, you know, when we walk down the streets at the amount of support we get is just been crazy. And it's been really, really cool to be a part of it, you know. Something we will cherish for the rest of their lives.
THOMAS: And so will the next of New Zealand's rugby players that were looking to emulate their All Blacks heroes. Alex Thomas, CNN, New Zealand.
STOUT: And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.