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NEWS STREAM

Violence Rages In Cairo's Tahrir Square; Afghan Rape Victim Punished For Adultery; Gingrich Leads Polls Leading Up To Tonight's Foreign Policy Debate

Aired November 22, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET

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


MANISHA TANK, HOST: Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. I'm Manisha Tank at CNN Hong Kong.

We begin in Egypt where there are more clashes in Cairo as protesters call for a million man sit-in.

We'll tell you why one lawmaker set off tear gas inside South Korea's parliament.

And the search for life outside of Earth as the U.S. prepares to send a rover hunting for life on Mars.

Well, at this hour, Cairo's Tahrir Square is spilling over with angry protesters and at times heavy handed security forces. We've actually got live shots for you. Some of the latest pictures of Tahrir Square right now. It's the fourth straight day of clashes between Egypt's security forces and people protesting against the country's military rulers.

Now the scene is set for even more violence, because activists in some political parties are gearing up for what they're calling a million man sit-in in the square.

Protesters have been hurling stones at police again.

A reminder to you, these are live pictures. And we've been watching these feeds over the last few hours. The number of people in Tahrir Square really growing, literally, by the minute.

Police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets some of this now.

Let's go straight over to CNN's Ivan Watson. He's live overlooking Tahrir Square. Bring us up to date on exactly what's happening now. We've seen those live pictures, but who's out protesting? And are they there for this million man sit-in?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

Well, the numbers have swelled throughout the day, though people stayed here overnight, camping out, sleeping on sidewalks, many of them with blankets that had been brought in to support this very spontaneous and unexpected protest movement.

A grim update, Manisha, the minister of health tells us that the death toll has now swelled to 28 since this all began on Saturday with one person killed in the northern city of Alexandria, another person killed in the city of Ismaliya (ph). More than 1,700 people wounded, more than 100 of them are riot police.

Just to give you a sign -- an example of how the violence has unfolded and that it spread to other cities as well. One of the young (inaudible) today actually traveled down from Alexandria this morning, a 22-year-old engineering student, with two of his friends saying he wanted to join in here. He was wearing a surgical mask to help protest him from the affects of the tear gas. And he said he was going to join in the battle against the riot police.

Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, sir, we didn't start the mess, they started when they killed 35 persons and they put them in the street. They started it, not us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: And Manisha, we're expecting to hear from the man who is the target of so much of the rage in the square right now, the Field Marshal Tantawi, the head of the supreme council of the armed forces, that ruling military council that has run effectively Egypt ever since Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office nearly nine months ago by protests in this same square. Many of the people here that have gathered are demanding that he resign immediately -- Manisha.

TANK: Ivan, of course Tahrir Square is so symbolic, but let's just talk about the geography of Cairo for a second. Obviously, the interior ministry is getting a lot of attention right now. People basically saying this is the place from which our country is being run. Is there an element of security forces trying to stop people getting there, stop them getting to government departments?

WATSON: Sure -- one eye witnesses that we've spoken to who is coped up in his apartment on one of the embattled streets says that he's actually seen the demonstrators mounting attacks, trying to reach the interior. And he argues the riot police and security forces are just trying to hold them back. He also described last night protesters infiltrating buildings, breaking into apartments, getting up to the rooftops and engaging in street clashes on roof tops if you can believe that.

Now of course the narratives that the demonstrators here are giving is that, no, the security forces started this, they started by killing us. And many of them can walk up to you and show you what are unmistakeably signs from shotgun shrapnel, little pellets that are often by the security forces in their faces. And they say that that is reason enough for them to mount this uprising.

People here clearly don't want (inaudible) use of force that is used traditionally in the past against them when they're trying to do what they believe is just expressing their democratic rights saying that they want this ruling military council to step down.

The big issue here that we have to keep in mind, elections are supposed to be held on Monday. Many of the political parties that are competing in these parliamentary elections still want it to go forward. Every Egyptian is asking can you still have elections (inaudible) this violence, and this growing political crisis when the cabinet, the civilian government has actually submitted its resignation to the ruling military council which is still deliberating on whether or not to accept that resignation -- Manisha.

TANK: OK. Ivan, we're going to leave you to monitor developments there, because obviously things are changing very quickly. Ivan Watson overlooking Tahrir Square, thank you so much for bringing us up to date with these events unfolding live in front of our eyes.

Now the surge in these protests and of course the reaction to it have many Egyptians wondering whether these legislative elections happening next week that Ivan was talking about will somehow get lost in all of this chaos that we've been witnesses. Ben Wedeman has that story for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The street battles around Tahrir Square are dramatic. The brutality, raw. The clashes between protesters and security have been going on around the clock for days.

Nearby, the square is filling up with new arrivals, the movement demanding the resignation of the military council that now runs Egypt seems to be gaining momentum.

In all the commotion, an important upcoming event less than a week away has been nearly overlooked.

On November 28th, Egypt is scheduled to begin a series of parliamentary elections. Now despite all of this, the government says those elections will go ahead as planned. But under these circumstances, that might be something of a challenge.

The motives of the military rulers in staging elections are highly suspects, says retired diplomat Nagui El-Ghatrifi, because the new parliament will have no oversight over the military.

NAGUI EL-GHATRIFI, RETIRED DIPLOMAT: I believe that this election is another trap, a new trap, prepared by the military or the council, not the Egyptian army, the military council.

WEDEMAN: Others, like this woman who opposes the Tahrir Protests and declined to give her name or show her face would like to see the vote go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to see elections as they were going to happen next week. Now we're not sure. And we don't know who the fighters who are setting all this unrest are.

WEDEMAN: But the elections have faded into the background. What galvanizes the protesters is hatred for the military council and anger at the security forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a real bullet for a sniper. And this is - - and this is shotgun.

WEDEMAN: University student Mahmoud al-Saadani shows us where he saw a man shot by a sniper he claims. The blood is still fresh.

MAHMOUD AL-SAADANI, UNIVERSEITY STUDENT: Now they are killing us. And for what? We just want to take our rights.

WEDEMAN: Officials strenuously deny security forces have used live ammunition.

The ferocity of the attempted crackdown is payback for the January revolution, says radio announcer Hamid Safi.

HAMID SAFI, RADIO ANNOUNCER: They're taking revenge of what happened to them on the 28th imposed, and I don't know. I don't know what their game is, but it looks like some kind of spreading chaos, plus teaching these revolutionaries a lesson that they'd never forget.

WEDEMAN: It's a lesson they clearly don't intend to learn.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TANK: Well, as the events in Egypt unfold and as they illustrate, a country's revolution doesn't simply end once a leader gets overthrown there's much to be done. And Libya is another nation still picking up the pieces. It's forming a new government as part of that transition.

Acting prime minister Abdurrahim al-Keib is due to name members of his cabinet. The lineup needs approval from the National Transitional Council. The government is then expected to stay in place until elections are held next year.

Well, one of the biggest challenges facing Libya's interim rulers will be healing the rifts between revolutionaries and loyalists. Jamana Karachi (ph) shows us the scares in Bali Walid, one of the last pro-Gadhafi towns to fall.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMANA KARACHI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (ph): After weeks of fierce fighting, anti-Gadhafi forces won their battle for the city of Bani Walid, but they have not won over its people.

Life in what had been one of the last bastions of resistance by Moammar Gadhafi loyalists is slowly returning to normal. Residents who fled the fighting have started coming back, but they are not happy with what they are finding.

They say most of the rebel fighters came into the city with a vengeance.

Mohammed Rasim (ph) says some of the fighters were genuine revolutionaries, dedicated to liberating his city, but most acted like thugs, looting and ransacking homes, including his own.

"A revolution has its costs, and people are ready to put up with that for a bit," he says, "but they do not accept the looting and stealing that happened."

People here say they are now paying the price for supporting the Gadhafi regime. They complain about a lack of jobs, services, compensation for their losses and reconstruction of the city.

"Didn't they have a revolution and create a new country?" This man says. "We want to see the good things. Isn't this a free Libya? We want our freedom too."

And while many say they have accepted the revolution, the city does appear to be embracing it. There are few free Libya flags flying high. Much of the revolution graffiti has been painted over. This one says free Libya with an X over it.

Omar El-Gasim (ph) tells us with the death of Gadhafi his supporters in Beni Walid realized his regime was finished. But now, he says, even those who supported the revolution no longer are because of what's happened to their city.

Winning the hearts and minds of former regime loyalists will be a tough task for the new interim government. Human rights activists Salah Al-Maraghni says the new government must compensate the people and work on reconciliation.

SALAH AL-MARAGHNI, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: And by the present time, the people of Sirte and some of the people of Beni Walid, or whoever is still thinking that maybe the previous regime was better for them at least would realize that living under a democratic Libya is for Libya is even better than the days of Gadhafi.

KARACHI (ph): Excluding those who were once regime favorites may have dire consequences.

Omar expects people in Beni Walid would take up arms if they don't get their rights.

Our interview with Omar was interrupted by young men driving by waving the free Libya flag, but chanting the infamous regime slogan, "god Moammar Gadhafi and only Libya."

The flags in the city may have changed, but its loyalties have yet to be. Jamana Karachi (ph) CNN, Beni Walid, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TANK: Well, let's remind you of some of the key dates in Libya's revolution. And just focus in on the country here. The call for anti- Gadhafi demonstrations is launched on February 14. The ensuing protests were met with a swift crackdown. International forces begin enforcing a no-fly zone one month later. Fighting between pro and anti-Gadhafi forces went back and forth for some five months. On August 23, revolutionary fighters claimed control of Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli. And the deposed leader remained at-large for nearly two months.

Moammar Gadhafi, though, died of a gunshot wound to the head, that was on October 20.

But don't forget, the so-called Arab Spring started in Tunisia. Right here. And weeks of massive protests toppled the president on January 14. It was a quick and largely peaceful uprising. But Tunisia has since been on a long road to democracy. Tunisia actually held its first free elections in modern history on October 23. And that new constitutional assembly has just held its inaugural session today.

Well, still ahead here on News Stream, drama in South Korea's parliament. A free trade agreement is ratified, but you won't believe what one lawmaker did to try to stop the vote.

Plus, U.S. foreign policy and national security: Republican presidential hopefuls get ready to take on those issues in a CNN debate.

And a taboo subject in Afghanistan: one young woman speaks out against a justice system that blamed her after she was raped.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TANK: Well, we continue to monitor developments in Cairo as angry protesters rally en masse in Tahrir Square. These are live pictures for you of that square right now. For the past four days it's been the scene of clashes between security forces and people who are protesting against Egypt's ongoing military rule. A number of people coming into the square is continuing to swell as is the death toll from these clashes. It now stands at some 28.

Let's listen in. You can quite clearly hear chanting coming in from Tahrir Square. Just take a moment.

Very vocal protesters there. We've heard chanting over the course of the day. In the last few hours, like we said, those numbers swelling ahead of the planning million man sit-in. This is what protesters have been calling for, encouraging other Egyptians to come out and join them. Although some reports suggesting that other Egyptians should want to do that, that they've been staying clear of some of the violence that they've seen in the square.

We're going to keep you up to date with what's been unfolding in Cairo in these last few hours and indeed days.

Now South Korea's parliament has approved a free trade agreement between Seoul and Washington, but the vote, well it wasn't without its drama. An opposition politician threw a tear gas canister. That happened in the chamber shortly before the vote trying to stop it from happening. But he was wrestled out by security guards. And the pact was ratified.

Seoul estimates that the deal will boost GDP by 5.6 percent, but the farming sector is expected to suffer significant losses. Real drama there.

Well, elsewhere there was no such breakthrough certainly for Washington. The bipartisan super committee charged with slashing the U.S. budget deficit has failed to deliver. 12 Democratic and Republican lawmakers were tasked with negotiating $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years, but they couldn't agree. And each side is blaming the other for the breakdown.

The United States is now facing the prospects of automatic spending cuts to government budgets in 2013.

Well, one of the worst hit departments will be the Pentagon which could face up to $600 billion in automatic funding cuts. CNN's Chris Lawrence reports that some officials are sounding an alarm bell.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If Pentagon officials are right, cutting $600 billion over the next 10 years will cripple the military.

LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: It's a paper tiger. An army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained soldiers to be able to accomplish the mission.

LAWRENCE: Defense secretary Leon Panetta says the cuts would terminate the military's next generation fighter jet, cut the submarine fleet, and leave America with its smallest ground force since World War II.

TODD HARRISON, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND BUDGETARY ASSESSMENTS: I don't think it's doomsday.

LAWRENCE: Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment says political posturing makes it seem every military program will be slashed equally.

HARRISON: That isn't the way it has to be implemented, though. Under the rules of sequestration, DOD could instead propose a budget that fights within the budget caps and then they get to choose how cuts are allocated.

LAWRENCE: Which still means touch choices like canceling some weapons programs and reducing peace-time training missions, cutting 10 percent of the civilian workforce could save up to $7 billion a year.

But last year, the U.S. spent about $700 billion on defense, that's more than the next 17 nations combined.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been delivering dire warnings about what will happen to the military if the mandatory cuts kick in.

PANETTA: It's a ship without sailors. It's a brigade without bullets.

LAWRENCE: But Harrison says the Pentagon's rhetoric got so heated it may have backfired by making the threat less credible.

HARRISON: If the consequences for Defense are going to be as severe as he seemed to indicate no one would ever let them actually go into effect. So the super committee knowing that sequestration was not actually going to be allowed to go into effect it removed some of the pressure from them to actually find the -- a compromised solution here.

LAWRENCE: Already the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee says he will introduce legislation to prevent some of these so-called catastrophic cuts from taking effect. And there are loop holes to these budget cut rules. For example, war funding is not included, so the Pentagon may be able to take billions of dollars from its base budget, put it into the war funding budget and protect it, so to speak.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TANK: Now a rape victim in Afghanistan is speaking out against the justice system there. Ahead, hear why she is behind bars and what she may be forced to do to win her freedom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANK: Now in Afghanistan one woman is speaking out about a very taboo subject. Now only was she the victim of rape, but it also appears she's also been victimized by the justice system there which regards the attack as an act of adultery that must be punished.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Gulnaz remembers clearly the smell of her rapist's clothes.

GULNAZ, RAPE VICTIM (through translator): He had filthy clothes on as he does metal and construction work. When my mother went out, he came into my house and he closed the doors and windows. I started screaming, but he shut me up by putting his hand on my mouth.

PATON WALSH: Her rapist was the husband of her cousin, but in Afghanistan's draconian society this 19-year-old was also blamed.

Her rape, sex with a married man, was seen as adultery by the courts. And she was sentenced to 12 years in jail. To her, there's only one way out, a dreadful choice.

GULNAZ (through translator): I was asked if I wanted to start a new life by getting released by marrying this man. My answer was that one man dishonored me. And I want to stay with that man.

PATON WALSH: Inside the prison walls she agreed to be interviewed with her face hidden. Here she can't escape her attacker. Her daughter is the child of the rape.

GULNAZ (through translator): My daughter is a little innocent child. Who knew I would have a child in this way? A lot of people told me that after your daughter is born give it to someone else, but my aunt to me to keep her as proof of my innocence.

PATON WALSH: In Afghanistan, a rape victim's ordeal often simply begins with the physical attack. Then there's isolation from society. In Gulnaz's case, the possibility she may have to marry her attacker. And then the risk she could be killed, because of the shame of her ordeal.

We spoke to her convicted rapist in jail who didn't want to be shown on camera and denied raping her. He said Gulnaz would definitely be killed on release, but by her own family out of shame.

Because of how Afghan justice has treated Gulnaz, she's taken extraordinary step of speaking out about her attack. But even that has brought her problems.

She spoke openly, her face uncovered, in a documentary about woman's rights paid for by the European Union. But the EU blocked its release saying it would endanger her. Yet a documentary makers say the EU blocked it also because they don't want to make the Afghan justice system look bad. The EU ambassador said it was his call.

VYGAUDUS USACKS, EU AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN: What I'm concerned about the situation of the woman, about her security and well-being. That's of paramount importance. That's a key criteria, according to which I as a representative of the European Union will judge.

PATON WALSH: But now rape victim Gulnaz has been judged an adulterer, her only possible escape marriage to her rapist, something she says she'll accept so her child can continue to have a mother.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TANK: Still to come here on News Stream, as Republican presidential candidates in the United States gear up for CNN's national security debate we explore how successful they are at drumming up support on social media.

Plus, aliens may not have contacted Earth, but that doesn't mean that scientists aren't listening out for them. And we'll tell you how you could help from home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANK: I'm Manisha Tank in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Cairo's Tahrir Square is the scene of clashes between security forces and people protesting against Egypt's military rule. The death toll from four days of protests now stands at 28. Egyptian state television says the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will address the nation shortly.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has arrived in Libya to try and push for Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to be tried at The Hague. Libyan authorities want to try the son of former leader Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. Luis Moreno-Ocampo says it is a legal requirement for Libya to cooperate with the ICC.

Attention will be on Wall Street again on Tuesday looking for reaction to Washington's failure to secure a deficit reduction deal. A bipartisan committee of lawmakers has been unable to come up with $1.2 trillion in budget savings. And that means automatic reductions kick in, but not until 2013. That gives congress some time to amend the law.

Right. Hours from now, the candidates for the Republican nomination in the next U.S. presidential election will face off in a debate focusing on national security and foreign policy. And according to a new CNN-ORC International poll former House speaker Newt Gingrich is now the frontrunner, slightly ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser joins me now live from our Washington bureau to discuss the poll. OK, Paul, how do these candidates shape up right now? What can we expect from the debate tonight and its format? Let's start with the format.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You got it. And the location of the debate is interesting as well -- it's just a few blocks away Manisha, from the White House where these Republican presidential candidates would like to call home someday maybe at the end of next year.

But as for the format, you're going to see most of the major presidential candidates, just about all of them tonight, on the stage at DAR Constitution Hall. The moderator will be our own CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the anchor for the Situation Room.

And as you mentioned, yes, national security here in the United States, international policy, international affairs, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also the economy. These will be some of the top issues that will dominate the debate.

Wolf Blitzer will be the moderator, the host of the debate. And he will be asking questions of the eight candidates on the stage.

But the questions will also come from the audience, from members of American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage foundation, those are two longstanding Republican leaning think tanks here in Washington, D.C. And questions will also come from the social media.

These debates so far this presidential season here in the United States have been very influential. They've really had an impact on the polls. And we expect that our debate tonight, Tuesday night here in the United States will be the exact same way -- Manisha.

TANK: You know what, I'm not going to mention the names of any networks, but I'm not sure if these debates are supposed to be entertaining or not, but some of them have been rather entertaining given the answers. I know why you're laughing. Anyone else you can look up some of the previous debates. But tonight's is the one to watch.

Where does the race stand right now?

STEINHAUSER: And yes, it's interesting when you look at the polls, and take a look at our brand-new numbers as you mentioned from CNN and ORC. This is a poll here in the United States nationally of Republicans and independents who lean towards the Republican Party, their choice for the nominee.

Look at New Gingrich now, the former House Speaker. Manisha, remember his campaign was left for dead, basically, back in June. Now he is the frontrunner. 24 percent of the people we question say they are backing him for the nomination. There's Mitt Romney at 20 percent. That four point margin for Gingrich basically a tie there, because it's within the sampling error of the poll.

And not too far back at 17 percent Herman Cain, the business man. His numbers have been slipping lately because of those allegations of sexual harassment against him. And there is Rick Perry at 11 percent, the Texas governor. Remember he was the frontrunner at one time, but he stumbled in the debates. And his numbers have dropped.

Again these debates are really influential, more than we've seen in past presidential cycles when it comes to the polls, Manisha. Our debate tonight will probably be just as influential.

TANK: Yeah, and you know it's really fascinating. I'm out here in Hong Kong. I know lots of people who've actually tuned in and watched some of these debates. And, you know, tonight's is going to be very interesting: national security, foreign policy. Let's talk about these candidates. Which ones have the most to gain and the most to lose in this Tuesday's debate?

STEINHAUSER: Well, let's talk about the most to lose. And I think you can put Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich there. Why? Because they're basically at the top of the polls. When you're the frontrunners, you become -- you come under more scrutiny. Expect to see some of the other candidates go after Romney and especially Gingrich now that he is in the top spot.

As for those who have the most to prove, I guess you could say, well Herman Cain. Listen, he's known for that 999 tax plan. He's known for economic issues. But he's not known for having really international affairs, national security chops. He has a lot to prove at this debate.

The same goes for Texas Governor Rick Perry who's had some stumbles in debates. So he needs a strong performance at our showdown here in Washington, D.C.

Some of the lower tier candidates like a Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, they've got a lot of foreign policy, national security experience, so they may shine in our format tonight -- Manisha.

TANK: Rick Perry has had some stumbles, I think you're being very generous, but really that's just a matter of my opinion.

Paul, thank you so much for wrapping that up for us.

And everyone out there, you can see how all the candidates do on national security and foreign policy issues of course right here on CNN. Watch Wolf Blitzer moderate CNN's next Republican presidential debate live from Washington, that's 9:00 am Wednesday morning here in Hong Kong.

Now, during the last U.S. presidential election, political campaigns revolutionized the way that they used social media to drum up support. It's been really important. And of course that got us thinking how important is it to this year's candidates to have a savvy social media manager.

Let's bring in our regular contributor, a senior editor at the New Yorker Magazine Nicholas Thompson to help answer that question. So, social media how big a deal is this? Is it essential?

NICK THOMPSON, NEW YORKER: It's going to be very important. One thing that we've noticed during this political season in the U.S. is that a lot of the political conversation that drives the Republican primaries has been happening on Twitter. A lot of the supporters of the different candidates have been arguing over things, a lot of the reporters have been talking to each other. The conventional wisdom post-debates is sometimes partly formed on Twitter. So it's very important for a candidate to have a strong presence, both through their own Twitter account and their own Facebook pages, but then also through their supporters being active.

And so a candidate who has lots of followers himself, but then also those people who follow him are also influential is in a very good position.

TANK: Yeah, it's as good as live TV, isn't it? Straight away people giving their opinions -- exactly, and not just hearing it and seeing it.

So, of course, it's not enough, though Nick, to be present on social media, you also need to be engaged and you have to be engaging. We took a closer look and we got these figures from the research group Peak Analytics. It actually compares the GOP candidates social audiences. So these are the raw totals of Twitter followers for six of the Republican candidates. And, you know, you can see Newt Gingrich has the most followers by far.

The latest Peak Analytics report actually doesn't feature candidates Rick Santorum or Jon Huntsman, but they have around 40,000 and 52,000 Twitter followers respectively.

But it is also worth looking at exactly how influential each of the candidates' followers are online. And the numbers shake down differently. Rick Perry actually has the most influential network of Twitter followers. And his social poll number of over 1,000 means that the audience he could reach is at least 1,000 times greater than the average Twitter user.

Also, I got more data for you. Let's take a look at how the candidates shape up on clout. Now this, of course you know, it's a site which measures an individual's online influence. Herman Cain has the highest score here. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, they're not far behind.

So, let me take a breath here, Nick. We have three different charts, three different Republicans on top. I'm a little bit confused by what this data actually means. Just make sense of it for us.

THOMPSON: So the first chart, which is the total number of followers where Newt Gingrich is doing very well, that's just the number of people who follow you. And Gingrich is doing extremely well on that, because he's been very active on Twitter for a long time. He had a good relationship with the company, so they recommended that new users to Twitter follow him a long time ago.

Once you build up Twitter followers, it's easy to get more and more. You become sort of a central focal point of that network.

So Gingrich has 1.3 million Twitter followers. A lot of them are people who don't check into Twitter a lot. So it's not as meaningful as you might think.

Perry is leading in this measurement that Peak does where it looks across all the social networks and determines, OK, Perry has ex-1,000 followers. How many of them actually have accounts on YouTube or LinkedIn? They have an account on LinkedIn, how prominent is that account on LinkedIn?

What they're trying to do is determine who has real followers, not spambots or people who just go online occasionally. Who are people who are really embedded in all of this.

So what they're showing is that Perry has a lot of supporters who are active on other social networks. That's a very good sign for him.

On Twitter, Cain's clout score, that doesn't mean he has tons and tons of followers, it means that when Cain puts something on Twitter a lot of other people re-tweet it or talk about it. So Cain has the ability to drive the conversation on Twitter even more than Gingrich despite Gingrich having many more followers.

The reason for that is probably that Cain's tweets are a little more engaging, a little more exciting. Most of the candidates when they go on Twitter they just say, hey, I'll be appearing on TV in 15 minutes. Check it out. Cain will actually engage a little bit with his audience. He can be funny. Whoever is writing his Twitter feed, probably sometimes him, it's probably sometimes someone working for his campaign, they're doing a pretty good job. And that has helped his clout score.

TANK: Yeah. I'm really glad he's not just telling us what he had for breakfast that day. (inaudible) where you just got a lot of that. I'm glad we've moved on. But still I think the press and TV hit them at the post for influence. We can discuss that another day.

Nick, as always, great to see you. Thanks so much.

THOMPSON: Thanks very much, Manisha.

TANK: OK. Well, it could be heady weather at that big debate, that big CNN debate, but speaking of weather I think we need to check in with Mari Ramos. We've got another round of very heavy rain in the Philippines.

And you know, Mari, just a day ago you were saying that you hoped this wasn't going to develop into anything significant. Tell me it's still looking that way.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's still looking that way. When we say significant we mean like not a big tropical cyclone coming out of this. It's looking actually pretty good right now that this will remain just a tropical wave. And I say just a tropical wave, you know, it means some rain will be headed your way, just not a full fledged tropical cyclone.

So we have had some problems with flooding across some areas. You know, and it's been widespread from across the central Philippines overall in some cases over 100 millimeters of rain in 24 hours. And that's a lot of rainfall. So be careful, because there are going to be travel delays. The seas are going to remain choppy. So we could see some problems.

The best news is that the bulk of the action is starting to move away and dissipate now over land and moving into the South China Sea. But that flow of moisture will continue here coming in off the Philippine Sea, that means areas in Luzon could get up to 15, maybe 25 centimeters of rain. As we head over here into the southern part of Luzon maybe up to 8 to 15 centimeters. Legazpi down to the south, and even Cebu could see some rains. Dael, you're still not out of the woods. We're seeing widespread rainfall across these areas, definitely something for you to monitor.

Now we were talking yesterday also about the fog across northern India in particular. We're starting to see a little bit of a breakdown with that. But we do have new pictures to show you just how thick the fog can actually be, and so dangerous too. This is an accident that occurred between a car and between, I should say, a tractor trailer, a lorry, and a train. Sometimes you know visibility is so poor, accidents like this are going to happen. It's a dangerous situation.

So we see the problems not just at the airports like we were talking about yesterday, but also on the roadways like this. A very serious problem for cars, for truck drivers, for train operators, and of course for the passengers that go into all of this.

Come back over to the weather map, because I do want to show you something. A little bit of moisture across the northern Philippines, northern Pakistan, and back over to Afghanistan, and even back as we head over toward Iran. Look at all of this moisture here coming up off the Red Sea. This time of year we tend to see a little bit of activity like this, just not as intense. And it has lasted a long time, particularly in places like Iran getting, what, maybe twice as much rain as they normally get in the entire month of November getting it in just a period of two days. And there's more rain across this entire region.

Along with the rain, we'll see a drop in temperatures over some of these areas. Look at Kuwait City right now. You guys wearing a sweater? 25 -- 20 degrees right now in Kuwait City, only 23 in Bahrain. And only 14 in Riyadh.

Notice just the mark temperature changes as we head back to Abu Dhabi, it's 31 degrees which is a little bit closer to normal. So you can see how the cloud cover and the rain is really affecting the temperatures across this part of the world, but even this time of year should be having, Manisha, some pretty intense temperatures.

Watch out also for the rain across the western Mediterranean. This continues to be a big story and we're going to monitor it as well. Back to you.

TANK: OK. Mari, keep monitoring that. Just answer me a quick question. Do you think there's life out there in space?

RAMOS: You know what? I think it's worth looking for it.

TANK: Ah, that (inaudible) onto something that's coming up.

Well, hold on, we've got a story that might be for you and others out there. In fact, sometimes when you look up at the sky you just can't help but wonder if there's anyone out there. Next up on News Stream, the search for life in outer space finds it their eyes and their ears to help them hunt for aliens.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANK: Three space travelers received a warm welcome in very cold Kazakhstan earlier on Tuesday. It takes a bit of help to get out of a Soyuz capsule. The three astronauts inside were returning to Earth after nearly six months on the International Space Station. After the crew defrosted, they took part in this welcome ceremony. They wore traditional Kazakh costumes over their jumpsuits.

And here you can actually see American Mike Folsum (ph) -- Folsum (ph) indeed -- holding a personalized Russia doll. U.S. astronauts rely on Russia's Soyuz for transport now that NASA's space shuttle have actually retired.

But NASA has a big launch planned for Saturday. The space agency is sending up a new Mars rover named Curiosity that will take some eight months to reach the Red Planet. And once it's there, Curiosity will search for signs of Martian life.

Well, all of this week we will be taking a closer look at efforts to find life in outer space. And John Zarrella joins us from CNN Miami. John, we have the editorial meeting earlier. We've been talking about you. It will be great to have breaking news this week that John Zarrella has discovered life out there in space. So tell us what they're up to this week.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: I haven't discovered life quite yet, but you know you mentioned that Mars rover and its ability to actually search for signs of life. It's the first time ever that a NASA spacecraft, a rover has gone to Mars with that capability. So there's some high expectations that if life ever existed there it -- they may be able to pick up on it.

So given that as a backdrop, we decided you know what, let's take a look at how the search for life in the universe overall is going? And what we've found is pretty fascinating.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZARRELLA: Probes to Mars, telescopes searching for other Earths, listening for life out there.

There's no proof yet, but the body of evidence is growing. We are not alone.

SETH SHOSTAK, SETI INSTITUTE: But one thing that strikes you is that every time we learn something new about the universe, what we learn is that our situation doesn't seem to be all that special. And that suggests that life is not all that special either.

ZARRELLA: But it is still just that, a guess, based in part on astronomy in overload, findings from telescopes like Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra -- new discoveries at a breathtaking rate, revealing the shear mindblowing grandeur of the universe. Consider these heavenly numbers just for a minute. Perhaps one trillion, with a T that's right, trillion galaxies in the universe. Stars you ask? OK, how about 300 sextillion. That's three followed by 23 zeroes.

So where does that leave us with planets, more specifically planets like our own?

WILLIAM BORUCKI, KEPLER PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: We're learning stuff that's of fundamental importance to mankind. How frequent are Earths around other stars?

ZARRELLA: Bill Borucki is the principal investigator for NASA's Kepler telescope. Its mission: find planets similar in size to the Earth orbiting their suns. So far it has been successful beyond expectations.

Of the 1,200 planet candidates Kepler has found, nearly 70 are Earth sized.

NATALIE BATALHA, KEPLER CO-INVESTIGATOR: The indication from data that we have in hand is that small planets are common, that the galaxy makes them efficiently. So they're going to be abundant.

BORUCKI: The number is large enough so there must be many billions of such planets in our galaxy. So that's been a very happy surprise.

ZARRELLA: How many are orbiting at just the right distance from the sun to support life? More than 50 candidates found so far where life might be possible.

What Kepler can't do is detect life so for now that will remain just a guess.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZARRELLA: Now what else Kepler can't do is it can't actually take a look and give you a shot of the oceans or mountains on a planet. There's nothing that we've created on Earth that can do that yet. That could be 50 to 100 years off before that happens.

But one of the things Kepler has found, a couple of things, found one planet that is basically got the density of Styrofoam, another that's twice the size of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. And if found another planet orbiting two suns like Luke Skywalker's home Tattoine in Star Wars. So pretty fascinating stuff.

Tomorrow we're going to take a look at the next generation NASA telescope called Webb, which is supposed to do things even more spectacular than the Hubble telescope. But wait until you hear how much it's going to cost us -- Manisha.

TANK: Oh, dollars -- many, many, many dollars.

ZARRELLA: Many, many, many, many.

TANK: Rubbing my hands together.

(LAUGHTER)

TANK: Maybe that Jody Foster movie Contact, it wasn't so far off, I guess.

But anyway, I'm looking forward to checking in with you for more about all of this.

ZARRELLA: You've got it.

TANK: Thanks a lot.

ZARRELLA: Now Novak Djokovic is having a season to remember, but the man who won three Grand Slams this year was in trouble in London. Alex Thomas will have all of the highlights. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANK: Well, if you don't want to do any star gazing, there's plenty of good sport to watch on Earth right now. Organizers at the showpiece season ending tournament of the men's tennis season are keeping their fingers crossed today over Andy Murray's fitness. As Alex Thomas in London can explain his participation for the rest of the week hangs in the balance.

Wait, 24 hours ago you were talking to Don Riddell, Alex, about what we could expect from him. And I think it was an um and ah really about Murray.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Manisha. I can't bring you any extraterrestrial life, but I can bring you up to date with Andy Murray's injury situation. In the last hour, he should have taken to the practice courts at the Barclayh's ATP World Tour finals to test that groin strain he picked up before the event got underway, but tweets I've had from reporters on the ground suggest he hasn't turned up so he may be forced to withdraw from event. Yesterday, remember he admitted, if it hadn't been such an important competition he would already had pulled out.

And we saw that from his loss to David Ferrer yesterday. Against the Spaniard there, Murray losing in straight sets and his movement clearly hampered.

And unlike Murray who kept his injury quiet, Novak Djokovic has clearly been struggling with a shoulder problem in recent weeks. In his opening match against this man, Tomas Berdych, the world number one was initially on the back foot losing the first set by 6-3.

In spite his recent injuries, Djokovic declared himself 100 percent fit for the tournament. And he moved up a gear in the second set. A sweet backhand up the line proof of that.

And winner of three of the year's four grand slams was back on level terms.

The deciding set a close one. Berdych even at a match point at one stage would be squandered.

However, Djokovic seized control in the tiebreak. Unlike his opponent, he didn't falter with the victory line in site. A 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 win for the Serb. Although he admitted after he was lucky.

Now South Africa Mickey Arthur has become the first foreign head coach of Austrlia's cricket team, succeeding Tim Nielson who stepped down two months ago after his contract runs until after the 2015 world cup.

And it's all change at the top of the sports governing body, too, after Haroon Lorgat won't seek an extension to his contract as chief executive of the International Cricket Council. His current deal runs out in June of next year.

And we'll discuss all those cricket stories in more detail in the next World Sport show, Manisha. And that's coming up for you in just over three hours time.

TANK: Alex, thank you. Good to see you.

Now that's it from News Stream. But the news continues right here at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END