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Turmoil in Greece; Julian Assange to be Extradited to Sweden; Cricket Sentencing for Three Pakistani Players; Argentina's Inflation At Astronomical Levels; England Captain John Terry Under Police Investigation

Aired November 2, 2011 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

Hello. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong.

We begin on the French Riviera, where the Greek prime minister is facing emergency talks with other Eurozone leaders.

A London court rules that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to face questions over alleged sexual misconduct in Sweden.

And landing without landing gear. An incredible emergency landing from Poland.

Well, shocking European leaders and unsettling stock markets with his decision to call a referendum on Greece's EU bailout package, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou left Athens for Cannes. He's holding emergency talks there with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It's all ahead of the G-20 summit on Thursday.

The date for the bailout referendum hasn't been set yet, and many want Mr. Papandreou to cancel the vote. The Greek cabinet, however, supports the move.

Well, Mr. Papandreou's government faces a confidence vote on Friday. He desperately needs political cover as he pushes ahead with painful austerity measures.

For the latest, Jim Boulden now joins us live from Athens.

And Jim, as we know, Mr. Papandreou is under enormous pressure to drop this referendum. How likely is it that he will listen to the Eurozone leaders?

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if he listened to the people on the streets here, Anna, he would drop it.

We've been talking to people all morning, and they're confused. That's the word you hear "confusion," on the streets of Athens. They thought a deal had been done.

Hey, look, they don't like the deal, a lot of people here. We know that if there is a referendum, very likely they would vote no, depending on the wording of it, Anna. That's very key. And the idea though is that people here don't know why Mr. Papandreou has called for this referendum.

You hear people saying, you know, the politicians made a decision, now they need to stick to it. They shouldn't go to the Greek people. It's not usual to have referendums here in Greece, I am told.

So there's confusion here on the streets, and I'm sure people will be watching very carefully in Cannes to see whether or not pressure can be put to bear and maybe Mr. Papandreou would drop it. That's what they're going to be looking for here.

COREN: Well, Jim, we know that Mr. Papandreou has the support of his cabinet, but when he goes to a confidence vote on Friday, how likely is it that he will actually survive this? And let me ask you, how close is his government to collapse?

BOULDEN: Well, the government is down to, what, a majority of two? And so it is very close.

I think it's too early to say whether or not that vote, come Friday night, would be the end of the Papandreou government. A lot is going to happen in the next 48 hours, isn't it, Anna? So, it depends on what comes out of Cannes, it depends on how people here continue to digest the idea that the whole euro crisis has been boiling up again.

But then you get to the end of this decision. It's would a new government make any other decisions?

Let's not forget the deal is done with the IMF. So the IMF is here, the European Union officials are here, and Greece is going through the very painful austerity. It could be just like in Ireland, when a new government comes in, it would have to do the same thing anyway.

But again, it's so -- so much is going to happen between now and Friday night. We just don't know whether Mr. Papandreou will survive.

COREN: Jim, Greece defaulting was once the unthinkable, but now it seems as the days go by that this is now becoming a real possibility.

BOULDEN: Well, Greece is going to get a tranche of money in mid-November from the IMF. That was agreed to. But now some people are wondering whether or not the IMF would even give him that money knowing that this referendum was coming maybe January, maybe earlier, in December.

So that is a little bit of confusion. We need to try to clarify that today.

Does the IMF get worried about this referendum vote? Does that put the money in jeopardy? If it puts the next tranche of money in jeopardy, then the Greek government runs out of money. It's that simple.

Even if they get that tranche, and then there's a referendum, and Greece doesn't get another bailout because the referendum is no, then Greece runs out of money. It's very simple what would happen. That would be a plain default -- Anna.

COREN: Jim, there is this movement within Greece that would like to break free from the Eurozone, would like to go back to the drachma. I mean, how likely is it that that will happen, and what would it mean for Greece long term?

BOULDEN: Sure. I can't hear anybody here tell me that that's what they want to do.

You know, the drachma disappeared 10 years ago, just like the franc and just like the punt and all the others -- the Deutsche Mark. That's not really what I think people here are saying.

They're not saying let's get out of the Eurozone. There's no way to get out of the Eurozone anyway, unless the treaty is changed.

What people here have been telling me, and telling me today, is, look, we don't like the medicine, but the deal was done. Now let's try to implement it, let's try to make it as painless as possible.

Yes, of course the opposition Conservative Party think that they do could do it differently and there wouldn't be as much pain. Well, that's probably unlikely. However, you hear that from other people, some wishful thinking, possibly.

But I don't hear anybody today telling me that they want to go back to the drachma, because that would be chaos. How do you change everything? How do you change all the machines? How do you deal with the debt that's in euros?

It would be an unimaginable disaster if that were to happen.

COREN: All right.

Jim Boulden, joining us from Athens, Greece.

As always, great to get your inside perspective. Thank you.

Well, what happens if the Greek people do reject the EU bailout package forcing Greece to default?

Well, Felicia Taylor explains to Max Foster what it would take for Greece to leave the Eurozone and how much would it cost.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The first question is, you know, is this technically legal? And the answer is, it's not really legal, because this playbook hasn't been written yet.

There was no -- you know, when the Eurozone was created, none of the member nations said, wow, I think we're going to exit in 10 years. So --

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So there's no plan in place.

TAYLOR: No, there's no plan. I mean, this has to be written as they go along. And that's one of the problems. And obviously, that's going to get very expensive.

So one of the most expensive things is going to be, if one of the countries defaults -- say, for instance, it's Greece -- this is the drachma. They would go back to their mother currency, and that would be very expensive because they would have to just start printing these again and doing away with the euro. So that gets extraordinarily expensive.

Then, also, the ECB, the European Central Bank, which sets interest rates across the board in the Eurozone, would be disbanded, and then we'd have more central banks within the individual countries.

FOSTER: Because it recreates a new central bank in each country --

TAYLOR: Exactly.

FOSTER: -- on a whole new system.

TAYLOR: Which sounds crazy. I mean, you're literally recreating an entire system.

And one of the things that they've set now is this EFSF. And we've shored that up by $1 trillion. So we know it's going to be in excess of that, so we're literally talking about trillions and trillions of dollars to disband some of these European countries.

Then you've got the olive belt. Those are the countries like Italy, Spain, possibly Portugal. In order for them to service their debt, it gets more and more expensive as the uncertainty grows.

FOSTER: It's expensive now.

TAYLOR: Right.

FOSTER: But it will become more expensive.

TAYLOR: Exactly. I mean, take a look at Italian 10-year yields. They've risen to 6.2, 6.3 percent as the uncertainty has increased in the marketplace. If there's further uncertainty, those olive belt countries will again have to increase their yields on their bonds, and it gets more and more expensive as we continue.

Then, for consumer banks, let's say, for instance, you have a mortgage, and you've been paying back that mortgage in euros. But suddenly, you're earning in drachmas. Where's the equality in terms of a currency? It wouldn't be, because we don't know how many drachmas are going to equal a euro. So that gets very expensive for the consumer, and also for consumer banks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: That was Felicia Taylor speaking to our Max Foster there.

Well, leaders from the world's Group of 20 major economies are preparing to meet in Cannes tomorrow, but they're not alone. Thousands of protesters turned up in the nearby French Riviera city of Nice on Tuesday ahead of the summit. They marched peacefully, calling for an end to corporate greed and a more equal distribution of wealth.

Well, our Ali Velshi is also there following developments in the run-up to the G-20 summit, and he joins us now live from Cannes.

Ali, no doubt the Greek vote is a hot topic of conversation where you are. This was thought to have been a done deal. Greece was going to be bailed out and no longer face default. But now the unthinkable. This is a real possibility.

Will the world allow this to happen?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, "unthinkable" is the word, Anna. This is unbelievable that this happened.

The idea was that the EU leaders were going to come here with this deal wrapped up in a nice box with a bow on it to come into these G-20 leaders - - not just the leaders of the developed world, but a lot of these emerging countries that are here, including China, countries with money, and say, we've got this great deal, can you help us out? Can you invest in Europe? All of a sudden, this comes apart with the announcement by the Greek prime minister that he'll put this to a referendum.

Anna, we've been following these protests in the streets of Athens for the last year. Clearly, the Greek people are not all that interested in the clawbacks, in the higher retirement age, in the benefits that they're not going to get, and the idea that they're going to have to pay higher taxes.

So there's an entire chance that if this goes to a referendum, it continues to fail. You heard Felicia Taylor talking about what that might mean, a return to the drachma. But what it really means is that no one will lend Greek banks or the Greek government any money for a long time. This will send Greece back 50 years, quite probably.

So, will the Greeks let it happen? That's question number one. There's a lot of thinking that, with the pressure that Sarkozy and Merkel and Obama and Geithner put on Papandreou today, he may back out from this deal immediately.

Will the world let it happen? I think the world will cut Greece loose if they continue with this plan, and continue in the Eurozone without it.

It will be very difficult to do. But, Anna, this is the kind of disruption that upsets markets and investors around the world. If this goes to a referendum, which will happen in December or January, that is two more months of uncertainty that these markets may not be able to take.

Markets on the edge of a recession, this is unthinkable, it's unbelievable. And this day, Anna, was supposed to be a run-up to the beginning of the G- 20. It's usually a technical day -- it's a lot of briefings, a lot of press conferences, almost a bit of a sleepy day. It is turned into high drama here in Cannes -- Anna.

COREN: Ali, you say that they will cut Greece loose if it decides to vote no for this bailout package and exits the Eurozone. But what will this mean for the other countries really struggling in the Eurozone? What will be the implications for them if Greece does fail?

VELSHI: Well, that's a good question, actually, those olive belt countries that Felicia was talking about. I think there's a lesson to be learned here.

So, Greece might think that because it's the lynchpin here, it has the ability to extract better terms out of the rest of Europe for this deal. If this fails, or if this doesn't go through and the deal for Greece comes off the table, either because there's a referendum or because of the rest of Europe just gets fed up with them and says, we're not dealing with this anymore, the implication for the other countries is that either you get into line and you change your policies -- your social policies in your countries -- and get into line with the rest of Europe -- and there's a massive alignment amongst all of the countries that use the euro, the 17 countries that use the euro and the other countries in Europe -- or they're going to face the threat of being booted out.

The Eurozone didn't ever do what it needed to do, bring all the countries that are participating in it into a standard about the length of time that you worked, the number of days off, the age at which you retire. It's been 10 years and they haven't done that.

They're going to have to start to harmonize. And anyone who shows that they can't do that may face expulsion from the Eurozone.

This is entirely speculative right now. It's not clear that that will happen, but at this point, you can see that France and Germany are just getting fed up with this discussion, and saying you just can't drag this out forever. It's costing people around the world in their investments billions and trillions of dollars every time there's indecision in this.

This was supposed to be a done deal, and Greece has now risked scuttling it -- Anna.

COREN: Ali, as always, great to see you. You make sure you enjoy the French Riviera.

Ali Velshi there joining us.

VELSHI: I'll try to.

COREN: I'm sure you will. I'm sure you will.

Well, the situation in Greece has been seen before. It has been one decade since Argentina's massive debt default. And we'll examine the lessons learned.

Plus, a U.K. court dismisses Julian Assange's extradition appeal. Does this mean the WikiLeaks founders is finally bound for Sweden?

And people on the wrong side of Bangkok's floodgates get angry. We'll tell you the latest on Thailand's battle with water.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, a big legal defeat for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Just a couple of hours ago, London's high court upheld his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct.

Assange was arrested in Britain in December, and he's been mired in a long court battle ver sine. And it could be even longer. London's high court will decide later this month if Assange can appeal today's ruling.

Well, following today's court decision, Assange says he will consider his next steps.

Atika Shubert is following developments and joins us now from London, outside the courthouse.

Atika, tell us about what he's planning to do.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're waiting to see whether or not Julian Assange decides to appeal against this dismissal. If he does, then the judge will have another hearing later on this month to decide whether or not it's in the public interest to go ahead with that appeal.

What's clear, however, from this hearing that we had today is that the judge has flatly rejected all four of the arguments that were put forward by Assange's legal team. They said that the European arrest warrant wasn't valid, they said that the allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden wouldn't have constituted a crime here in the U.K. But the judges both flatly rejected those arguments, saying that they were valid.

And what this means now is that Julian Assange has to decide whether or not he's going to appeal.

Here's what he said outside of the courtroom after that judgment was announced.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European arrest warrant is very restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today.

We will be considering our next steps in the days ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHUBERT: Now, this means that Julian Assange won't be on a plane to Sweden anytime soon, but it does mean that we are expecting a hearing within the next few weeks, and that the legal options for Julian Assange are rapidly disappearing.

COREN: Atika, the extradition process, it's obviously quite a complex one. What sort of timeline are we looking at?

SHUBERT: We don't really know at this point. It really depends on whether or not that appeal does go ahead.

The discussion seems to be around the technicalities of the European arrest warrant. Should they have been used in this case? Is the European arrest warrant valid?

And what the judges have to decide is, is there a public need for a greater discussion of the use of a European arrest warrant? If there is not, then they could say, you know what? There's no need for another appeal, you need to be extradited to Sweden.

And so that's what we're waiting for, is the judge's decision. And that should come within the next three weeks.

COREN: Atika Shubert, in London.

Thank you for that.

Well, meanwhile, at another London courtroom, three Pakistani cricketers will soon learn their fate.

Mohammed Asif and former national team captain Salman Butt were found guilty of fixing parts of the cricket match. A third player also pled guilty to the same charges. The three men are expected to hear their sentences today.

Well, the two men were found guilty of spot fixing, which is a little different from actual match fixing. And let's explain what that means.

This all revolves around a no ball. And that's when a bowler's delivery is disallowed. A run is awarded to the batting team and the bowler must bowl again.

Spot fixing is when someone illegally manipulates a small part of a match, like, for instance, when a no ball is delivered or not. Because a no ball only results in one run being awarded, it might not have an impact on the overall result. Well, when you intentionally manipulate the results of a match, that is what we call match fixing.

Let's get more now on this case from our Don Riddell.

And Don, tell us, how serious is spot fixing, as opposed to match fixing?

DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Anna, it's not as serious as match fixing, but it is still very, very serious.

I mean, just to sort of give you a bit more information on what you just provided there, I mean, match fixing, as you say, affects the entire outcome of the match, the entire result. And that's actually really, really hard to do, because you need to have a significant amount of players involved in such a conspiracy to make sure that happens.

Spot fixing is much easier to do. Typically, you would perhaps need the captain, for sure, and then one or two other players, as we've seen in this case, to make that happen.

And one of the reasons that perhaps people think spot fixing is less serious is because it shouldn't affect the outcome of a match, especially not in a game of cricket, which can last five days. You might only be talking about a couple of overs, a couple of runs, and over the period of five days and four innings, two for each side. That really shouldn't affect the outcome of the match.

But it is still incredibly serious. It calls the entire integrity of the sport into question.

And us, as consumers, or us, as fans, we want to go to these matches, be it cricket, football, rugby, or anything, and know that the players are being sincere. We have to believe that the players are out there to play to win, and they're not focusing on any other vested interest. And that is why it's so serious.

COREN: Don, you talk about the integrity of the sport. We know that cricket is a national sport in Pakistan. So many people, so many fans would be devastated by this news.

I guess the other question is, how widespread is this level of corruption? How damaging do you think that this will be for the game of cricket?

RIDDELL: Well, it doesn't look good, does it?

There are quite a few people within cricket, quite a few senior figures, who are saying this could be the tip of the iceberg. I mean, we heard the agent that was involved in this case in court saying that he had up to seven players from the Pakistan national team basically within his control. So, you know, how often has this been happening? How many other occasions has this been happening?

And the whole thing now is completely out in the open, and that is what the cricket community at least feels is a good thing. They can no longer sweep this problem under the carpet, they can no longer pretend that it isn't really a problem, because it now is.

"The tip of the iceberg" is the phrase that's being bandied around, so there may be other cases like this that come to the fore. And while that won't be good for cricket, at least the sport can feel as though it's finally doing something about it.

And even if that's not the case, you now have three players that have been found guilty in a criminal court who could, today or tomorrow, be handed jail sentences. And that, I think, will be seen as a good thing, because that at least should help deter players in the future from going down this road.

COREN: Yes. I mean, these cricketers are potentially, what, facing seven years in jail? So a serious crime, indeed.

Don Riddell, in London.

We appreciate that. Thank you.

Well, stay with us here on NEWS STREAM.

Ahead, a shocking story of human trafficking in the Sinai. We'll show you part of "Death in the Desert," a CNN Freedom Project documentary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: We go now to Egypt, where Bedouin tribes control the Sinai Peninsula's black market economy. Well, rogue Bedouins profit by exploiting the African refugees and illegal migrants who pass through the region en route to Israel.

Well, there, CNN's Fred Pleitgen has uncovered evidence of human trafficking and other crimes that may shock you.

Well, here now is an excerpt from "Death in the Desert," a CNN Freedom Project documentary.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been invited into northern Sinai by a Sawarka tribal chief. Now, he says we're not going to be able to name him or film him, or members of his tribe, and he may not be happy with what we have to ask.

(voice-over): We arrive in Al-Mahdia, often described as one of the most dangerous places in Egypt. Only a few kilometers from the Israeli border, a poor, wind-swept settlement home to smugglers, drug kingpins, and human traffickers.

While the camera is off, I ask the chief about the African refugees coming through Sinai, whether they are detained against their will. He makes a startling admission, telling me there are compounds where they're held. He even claimed to know specific compounds that were built with profits from human trafficking.

Some refugees are forced to work in the marijuana fields. The tribal chief even acknowledges that women are raped if their relatives cannot pay the massive sums the captors try to extort from them.

Our hosts claim they know very little about the people involved in human trafficking, but there's more here than meets the eye.

To our surprise, they take us to a compound and produce several refugees from Sudan.

(on camera): Where do you want to go? What's your goal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go to Israel.

PLEITGEN: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I want to work and help my family. They are suffering a lot in Sudan. Therefore, I just come here to work and send them money to help them.

PLEITGEN: And you know it's very dangerous to make the crossing over to Israel. Do you know how you're going to do it? Do you have any idea how you're going to do it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just want to do it. There is no way out.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): With the Bedouins keeping a close eye on them, the men claim they're being treated well. It's not clear whether they are free to leave to try and finish their journey.

The Sarwaka insist only rogue elements among their ranks are involved in forced labor and abuse of the refugees. As we roam Sinai with the Bedouins, it seems impossible to find anyone here willing to admit such practices. But then we get a lucky break as we travel south to meet another prominent Bedouin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, that is a short look at our CNN Freedom Project documentary. It is called "Death in the Desert," and you can see it this weekend. It airs Saturday night at 9:00 in Hong Kong, 5:00 in Abu Dhabi.

Still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, amid Greece's turmoil, should Italy be worried about its own financial prospects? We are live in Rome as top officials meet.

And a frightening moment for passengers and crew aboard this Boeing 757 from Newark, New Jersey. Ahead, we'll show you what happened when the plane touched down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. And you're watching NEWS STREAM. These are the world headlines.

Well Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is holding emergency talks with European leaders in Cannes today ahead of the G20 summit on Thursday. Well, many want him to cancel his call for a referendum on the Eurozone's bailout plan to Athens. Well, Greece's cabinet, however, voted to back the referendum. The Papandreou government faces a confidence vote on Friday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will consider his next steps after losing his court battle against extradition to Sweden. The London high court has rejected Assange's appeal to remain in the UK. Swedish authorities want to question him about sexual misconduct allegations. The high court will decide later this month is Assange can appeal today's ruling.

Syrian state media are reporting the Arab League and Damascus have agreed on a plan to end months of unrest in the country. An announcement is expected to take place today in Cairo, Egypt. The League has been calling on President Bashar al Assad's government to end the violence against its citizens and release political prisoners.

Well amid economic turmoil in Greece, top financial officials from Italy are meeting today to discuss the country's own fiscal problems. Well, seeing international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Rome and joins us now.

And Matthew, what is taking place in Greece does not bode well for Italy does it?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly doesn't. With the events that have taken place over the last 24 hours in Greece, the announcement of that referendum, the markets are essentially spooked other heavily indebted countries in the Eurozone like Italy. They also be unstable. And it sent the sort of interest rates Italy has to pay for its debt well past the 6 percent mark.

The fear amongst economist if it gets close to the 7 percent, that's going to basically shut Italy out of the market. It's not going to be able to borrow. It's not going to be able to afford it. If it does that, of course, it will have to default on its loans. It won't be able to pay things like the bills for hospitals and schools and the general infrastructure. And is obviously a worst case scenario.

The big problem with Italy, of course, is that unlike Greece which has severe debt problems, Italy is too big to bail out. It's debts are somewhere in the region of, you know, more than a $1 trillion. It's way too big to bail out. And so that would not be an option for the Eurozone, it would not be an option for the international community. And so a lot of efforts underway right now with these main financial chiefs meeting in Italy as well as the preparations for the G20 summit in Cannes as well to try and reach some kind of solution to a problem that just won't go away here in Italy -- Anna.

COREN: Matthew, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, we know that his leadership is really hanging on by a thread. With all this turmoil now that is facing Italy, what does it mean for his future?

CHANCE: Well, there are obviously calls from the opposition for him to step down. There was a highly unusual statement as well issued by Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano saying that he's exploring options with the opposition parties to see how much support there is for carrying out austerity reforms in the country.

The big political pressure at the moment, apart from the legal pressure that Silvio Berlusconi has with the various scandals that are circulating around him, is that he doesn't seem to be politically strong enough to pass the kind of really difficult austerity measures that are needed in this country to at least set it on the right path to bring its debt crisis back on track. He's not been able to do that.

His coalition seems to be strong enough to hold together when it comes to a vote of confidence, but it's always been too weak to pass meaningful legislation. And that's the big problem politically when it comes to Italy. And that's why there are these renewed calls now on Silvio Berlusconi to step aside and let somebody else take the reins.

He's showed no indication yet, Anna, of doing that.

COREN: Matthew Chance in Rome. Thank you for that.

Well, the current crisis in Greece raises the possibility that the country might default on its massive sovereign debt. Well, such action has happened before. You may remember about a decade ago Argentina's economy collapsed. The country defaulted. And as Brian Burns reports, that default came with a price.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In December 2001 Argentina declared the largest debt default in history, $100 billion. The move ushered in an era of utter chaos: five presidents in two weeks, deadly riots, and dire poverty. Argentina's enormous debt load, high public spending, and overvalued currency had brought it down, burdens similar to those now carried by Greece. Many have suggested recently that Greece follow Argentina's lead and default and devalue.

While Greece's future remains murky, Argentina's recovery over the past decade has been remarkable with its agro-based economy expected to expand 8 percent this year. But that growth has come with a cost: inflation.

VERONICA AMSING, TEACHER: The government insists that we only have 8 percent inflation, but we all know it's 25 percent.

BURNS: Veronica Amsing (ph) shops daily at this suburban Buenos Aires supermarket. She recently received a 20 percent increase in her teacher's salary, but still has had to cut back.

AMSING: We used to do barbeques every week, and it's no longer the case. I mean, meat has gone up tremendously. And also dairy products as well like milk and cheese.

BURNS: The Argentine government has been repeatedly accused by economists, investors, and the International Monetary Fund of under reporting inflation data.

Shop owner Rafael Aragona (ph) says when food companies and suppliers raise their prices, he has no choice but to raise his too. He's convinced the government is lying about inflation.

So while the exact level of inflation in Argentina remains unknown, what is known is that the Argentine government has worked to silence those who report on inflation statistics. They've subpoenaed information from journalists and levied huge fines against analysts.

Orlando Ferreres is a former Argentine deputy economy minister. Earlier this year, the government filed criminal charges against him and fined him $235,000 for publishing inflation numbers that contradict the official stats.

ORLANDO FERRERES, FRM. DEPUTY ECONOMY MINISTER ARGENTINA: It is strange for us. We understand very well the idea also population could check easily in the supermarkets the price of goods. Then all the population knows that the inflation rates about 23, 25 percent or more.

BURNS: Those numbers would give Argentina the world's second highest inflation rate.

But aside from at the supermarket, inflation seems to have had little impact politically. President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner was re- elected on October 23 with 54 percent of the votes. Her biggest challenge in the next four year will be not only to stem inflation, but to restore confidence in the statistics the government uses to measure it.

Brian Burns, CNN, Buenos Aires.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, Thailand's devastating floods have caused more than $6 billion in damages. Some areas around Bangkok are coping with waist high water, but is the worst over for the city's central business district? We'll check the forecast.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back to NEWS STREAM.

We now want to show you a dramatic emergency landing in Poland's capital. Well, this Boeing 767 came in from Newark, New Jersey, but as you may have noticed the landing gear is nowhere to be seen. Well, the LOT Polish Airline flight came down on its belly after circling the Warsaw Airport for about an hour. It skidded to a stop kicking out sparks. Emergency crews sprayed the plane with foam. It had 231 people on board. No injuries were reported.

Let's now turn our attention to Thailand. The country is battle especially bad monsoon rains this year. And here is a satellite image of the region from 2008. And keep an eye on this area around the Chao Phraya River. It is now clearly swollen as you can see and water has been flowing south towards Bangkok on its way to the Gulf of Thailand. And let's show you the difference one more time.

Well, more than 380 people have died over the last several month. Authorities say many of the recent deaths have been caused by electrocution and are warning people to be careful.

Well, people on the outside of Bangkok's flood gates want them to be opened to allow the water out faster. Well, work crews had to repair this one which was damaged by angry residents.

Inner Bangkok, which includes the city's business and government districts has remained relatively dry, but other areas have not been so lucky.

Well, remember the water now wrecking havoc on Bangkok has come from flooded areas in the north and Thailand's ancient capital of Ayutthaya was inundated just weeks ago. Well, people there are still waiting for the waters to completely recede. And they're not alone.

The area is home to a famed elephant village. One of the animal's handlers tell us how they're doing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YVETTE CAGNEY, ELEPHANT CAMP VOLUNTEER: Six weeks ago here the water started to come in Ayutthaya. It took a matter of about a week before the whole of Ayutthaya was completely flooded.

My name is Yvette Cagney and I'm from Australia. And this is where I'm now living because of the floods in Ayutthaya.

So as you can see here I've got a makeshift tent that I've set up here. So this is my new living area which has been here so far about a month.

Now that we've moved out here, very, very difficult for them. We don't have shade for them. We have very limited access to food for them, very difficult to get food in and out because of the water. We have our old elephants here that need a lot of special care. Our old elephants need special food. And there isn't access to clean water here.

So now I'm taking (inaudible) to the river for her afternoon shower. She's going to have a big drink and have a shower before she goes to bed.

So now I'll introduce you to our newest addition. He's three days old. He was born three days ago. And he is our gift amongst all of this craziness. He's brought a lot of the community here, lifting everybody's spirits at this really hard time for everyone.

It's a little scary to question how long, how much longer are we going to be here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: A lovely story to come from so much misery.

Well, the government has warned it may take more than a month for the floods to recede. And Mari Ramos is certainly keeping an eye on the weather situation in Thailand. And Mari, how is it looking?

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: You took the words right out of my mouth there, Anna. I was going to say it may be weeks before they actually will be able to see any kind of relief from these high waters that continue to affect the region even if it doesn't rain anymore. And remember, we're getting into the rain season now. It's generally sunny. And the temperature can get really, really hot this time of year. You know, she mentioned in that report the elephants don't have any shade.

I want to show you some pictures of other animals that are suffering as well. This man is holding rabbits in a cage. People with their pets. A lot of times you can't take your pets to the shelters. In most cases that's what happens. And we've seen hundreds of images of dogs and cats and rabbits and birds and people trying to escape the flood waters with their pets as well.

It is estimated now that about a million people are on the move across Thailand because of the rising flood water. Many of them, of course, here in the metropolitan area of Bangkok.

I wanted to show you this map that shows the areas that are being monitored for flooding or are under evacuation orders, especially the areas here to the north, of course, that we continue to talk about. That's near the airport there in the north. But areas here to the east are also being monitored for high water.

This is just to show you that it is definitely not over yet for people across Thailand. There could be -- you know, stabilized somewhat in some cases, but if those gates are open in some areas, or if flood walls failed in others, we could see some changes here to this map as far as where the water and the flooding is being affecting -- has been affecting the region.

So not over yet. And definitely worth monitoring still.

I want to take you to the Arabian Sea. A rare tropical cyclone here. And I say rare, because they only form maybe you get one or two per year. This one very close to Oman and Yemen. Some of the rainfall totals pretty impressive. It doesn't take a lot of water, of course, to cause some flooding here. And we're definitely seeing some significant rainfall.

This is what it looks like on the satellite image. Because it's interacting with land now it's not expected to intensify further. So it has remained at tropical storm strength.

The name of the storm is Keila. It's going to be moving very slowly right along this area here of southern Oman and moving toward the Yemen border. But in some cases we could get over 100 millimeters of rain. Winds will be over 70 kilometers per hour. Those waddis (ph), those canals that are there, those naturally made canals that have -- that are in the desert fill up very, very quickly. So flash flooding is a big concern here with this rain that will be coming through.

Anna, back to you.

COREN: All right, Mari. We appreciate that. Thank you.

Well, London's metropolitan police will investigate allegations that football star John Terry aimed a racial slur at an opposing player. Well the police spent several days investigating the incident before deciding to launch an investigation.

Well, video appears to show Terry shouting a racist comment at Queens Park Ranger defender Anton Ferdinand. Well, Terry has denied any wrongdoing while his manager said it was a misunderstanding.

Well, let's put this in context with our Don Riddell. And Don, tell us how damaging is this incident, given that it does involve the England captain?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, it's potentially very damaging. I mean, it is worth reminding of you is that John Terry hasn't been found guilty of anything at this point, but he is as you say now the subject of a police investigation. The English Football Association was already looking into it. They now will not be able to comment further until the police investigation has run its course.

But this is a story that's generating an awful lot of pretty bad publicity for John Terry here in the UK at the moment. And it gives the Football Association a headache immediately regardless of how this investigation turns out. They are due to name the England team that will play two friendlies against Spain and Sweden next week.

The England manager Fabio Capello is due to name that team on Sunday. And before all this had blown up, you would have expected John Terry to be the captain. Given the sensitive nature of this case, they may chose not to pick John Terry for those games.

But the Chelsea and England captain has stressed his innocence in this case. He has welcomed the Football Association inquiry, because he believes that will allow him to clear his name.

But Anton Ferdinand has said he has very strong feelings on the matter. And as you say, some of the television evidence does appear to cast John Terry in a pretty negative light.

And it's not been a great 24 hours for Chelsea because Terry was rested for Chelsea's Champion's League game against Genk in Belgium last night. And during that game, some sections of the Chelsea crowd, some of their traveling supporters were quite clearly heard to be chanting Anton Ferdinand, you know what you are. It was so embarrassing for the fans and the club that Chelsea were forced to make a statement afterwards saying that those chants were totally inappropriate and the club could not possibly condone them.

COREN: Yeah, not good at all.

All right, watch this space. Don Riddell, thank you for that.

Ahead on NEWS STREAM, while the political race for the U.S. White House grows tighter, one GOP hopeful is getting lose. We'll look at all the buzz around Rick Perry's recent campaign stop and why it's gone viral.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, questions are swirling around Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. A very animated speech by the Texas governor has gone viral. Now Jeanne Moos looks and listens.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When presidential candidate Rick Perry gave a saluting, arms in the upright position kiss blowing speech, you could have thought he was just over caffeinated. But when he opened his mouth.

RICH PERRY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The day has been awesome, girl.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: You'll never look at this guy the same way again.

PERRY: If they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold is going to be good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a little loosey goosey.

PERRY: This is such a cool state. I mean, come on "live free or die?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will have what he's having.

PERRY: You know, we're kind of into those slogans, man. It's like, life free or die. Victory or death. Bring it.

MOOS: What Rick Perry brought on was endless speculation about whether he was in an altered state. And the answer ranged from how drunk is Rick Perry in this video to Rick Perry wasn't drunk.

Perry's spokesman said simply that the governor is passionate when he speaks and that he got a standing ovation.

PERRY: You know what I mean, like 9 percent expansion.

MOOS: True, we're showing his oddest moments. But there were a lot of them in the 25 minute speech. On Fox News they let loose with this defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he was just loose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That because he was so loose.

MOOS: Many suggest that given Rick Perry's recent back surgery, maybe pain pills were to blame. Jon Stewart said there was one other explanation.

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: Rick Perry just got back from the dentist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this real life? I can't see anything.

MOOS: Many thought Governor Perry's speech was just fine. Goofy, yes. Drunk, no.

He sure looked blissfully at the syrup they gave him as a gift. Not only did he swish it. He clasped it to his heart.

Some compared this to the Dean scream that more or less dashed Howard Dean's presidential hopes.

HOWARD DEAN: And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House.

MOOS: Others compared it to the bad lip reading parody video that went viral back in September.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And save a pretzel for the gas jet.

MOOS: Rick Perry wasn't just animated, at times he was downright flamboyant.

PERRY: Or that, 20 percent flat tax. Put it on there...

MOOS: One person posted, "he's channeling Paul Lynde in the center square."

PAUL LYNDE, COMEDIAN: You just have to turn her on.

MOOS: And something seemed to turn on Rick Perry.

PERRY: I love Herman. Is he the best?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: I'm not sure what you can put that one down to.

Well, that is it for NEWS STREAM, but the news certainly continues here at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is coming up next.

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