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Continued Protests in Egypt; Sanctions on Syria; Digging into Britain's Phone Hacking Scandal; Sports Highlights; Libyan Victim in Malta

Aired November 25, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


ANNA COREN, HOST, NEWS STREAM: Welcome to News Stream, where news and technology meet. Hello, I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong.

We begin in Egypt where the announcement of a new prime minister hasn't stopped protesters from pouring into Tahrir Square again. A deadline passes for Syria to effect an Arab League ultimatum. And one of the worst teams in world football celebrate after their first-ever international victory.

Well, protesters in Egypt are making another big push against their military rulers. Large demonstrations are planned across the country. Well, Cairo remains relatively peaceful, but violence has been reported in Alexandria and other places.

Well, many protesters are rejecting this man's appointment to prime minister. Kamal Ganzouri previously held that position in the late `90s under then president Hosni Mubarak. Well, competing rallies are expected to converge in Cairo's Tahrir Square. You are looking at live pictures of the area right now.

A pro-military march is set to end at the square, which has been the scene of mass demonstrations against the ruling council. Well, let's take you down to Tahrir Square, where we can join our Ivan Watson.

Ivan, as we can see from those pictures, thousands and thousands of people have amassed to Tahrir Square, to demand the end of military rule. What is the feeling where you are?

IVAN WATSON, CNN REPORTER: Well, people are streaming in. I mean, we saw familiar images of the crowds here, praying in the streets. Those are demonstrations of faith and support that we saw in January and February here in the protests that brought down former president Hosni Mubarak.

And the numbers here do seem to be growing. But it's very important to point out right now that while the fighting has stopped in Cairo, Anna, we have a battle, so to speak, underway, between rival protests, rival demonstrations of people power, because in another part of Cairo, the neighborhood of Abbasiya, we also have large numbers of people gathering in a show of support for the Egyptian military, for the ruling Supreme Council of the armed forces, which has been the symbol of such anger on the part of the people that have gathered here in Tahrir.


COREN: It seems that we have lost our Ivan Watson, who was reporting from Tahrir Square in Cairo. He was telling us about the division there in the country between the -- those who support the army and those who are demanding an end to military rule. We will monitor the situation and bring you any news as we get it.

Well, earlier Ivan spoke to an Egyptian American journalist who went missing for 12 hours on Thursday. Mona Eltahawy told him about her ordeal at the hands of uniformed men. Let's take a listen.


MONA ELTAHAWY, JOURNALIST: I was surrounded by four or five riot police, who just beat the heck out of me with their sticks. And then they dragged me to the side, inside the barricade now, into no man's land, and started to sexually assault me and grope my breasts, put their hands in between my legs.

I lost count of the number of hands that tried to get into my belt. I was literally pulling hands out from my belt and just saying, no, no, and trying to push them away. But the beatings continued as I was trying to push them away, as I was trying to push their hands away. And they were dragging me by my hair to the ministry, because the ministry is a few minutes away.

And I just -- there's only one way I can describe it, it was just like a bunch of just wild beasts, kind of finding their prey.

WATSON: What were these uniformed men saying while they were beating and groping you?

ELTAHAWY: Honestly, what I remember is the cursing. They were calling me a whore, (inaudible) whore, what the bleep were you doing here? Just non-stop "whore," that's what I got called.

As a woman, that is (inaudible), fighting for the revolution, fighting against (inaudible), fighting against the ordinary police brutality that men also experience, I'm also fighting a fourth enemy here, and that is sexual violence. And the sexual violence comes from the police. Sexual violence comes from the non-police. This is why you need the revolution (inaudible).

WATSON: You say you got off easy because of your nationality, because of your profession, because of education and the fact that you can argue in your defense. But this is taking a toll on your family.

ELTAHAWY: I got an email from my dad, saying, you know, we're really -- we're really glad that you're OK and we hope you're not hurt. And if you really love us and you want us to stop worrying, then come back. Because that's how you're going to stop us worrying. So it's (inaudible). I mean, I don't think (inaudible) my family, but I'm (inaudible).


COREN: Well, Mona Eltahawy is covering the protest in Tahrir Square again today, and she is still tweeting, despite her broken left arm and right, as you can see in that interview.

Well, let's now turn our attention to Yemen. A power transfer deal has not stopped the violence there. Agents France France (ph) is reporting fierce clashes in the capital of Sanaa today, between rival security forces.

On Thursday, pro-government gunmen killed at least five people in Sanaa's central square. Opponents of outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters are expected to hold mass rallies later today.

Activists aren't happy that Mr. Saleh and his family are being granted immunity from prosecution under the transition deal, which was signed on Wednesday. It transfers power to the country's vice president.

Well, as (inaudible) tells the CNN, the deadline has passed for Syria to respond to an Arab League ultimatum and sanction look likely to follow. The finance ministers for the 22 member league are expected to meet on Saturday to draft economic sanctions.

Well, that would be followed by a foreign ministers' meeting on Sunday. The league is demanding that Syria allow international observers into the country to monitor civilian unrest. Syria was suspended from the Arab League earlier this month for failing to end its crackdown. An activist group says at least 35 people died on Thursday in clashes with security forces.

So the violence shows no sign of abating even as Syria's critics and allies spar over the Arab League's demands. For more on the situation, I'm not joined by CNN's Nima Elbagir in London.

So, Nima, tell us, what happens next?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, the Arab League is under an incredible amount of pressure to show that it is up to the task. They now have to follow up -- we're being told that as recently as Sunday we can expect some serious economic sanctions.

Some of the sanctions on the table could be hitting Syria's tourism industry, which is one of the major hard currency generators for the Assad regime. The Arab nations are looking at suspending commercial flights into the country from other Arab states.

They're also looking at halting any transactions between Arab states and the Syrian central bank and halting any Arab-funded development projects because of the sanctions that Syria has been under for so long from the West. Really, much of its financial activity happens with the -- happens on an inter-Arab basis. They're trying to really hit Assad and his backers where it hurts.

And this comes as increased scrutiny is on the Arab League from international players. France became the first major power to call for international intervention. The French foreign minister told local French radio that humanitarian corridors (ph) need to happen. They need to happen now.

And if Syria does not cooperate in enforcing those corridors (ph), then (inaudible) should be prepared to bring in forces to ensure that happens by any means necessary, Anna.

COREN: Now, if those sanctions are, in fact, enforced, will they hurt the government?

ELBAGIR: Well, this is the real issue that's being discussed now. Of course, these sanctions will hurt ordinary citizens. But a lot of the Assad support comes from the mercantile community in Damascus and Aletho, and that's one of the reasons analysts have said that so far you haven't seen the kind of demonstrations that we've seen across the rest of the country in Damascus and Aletho.

So these sanctions are now seeking to target the high-level support behind el-Assad (ph). And activists are hoping that it could lead to some demonstrations in those two major cities for the Syrian government and also for Syria as a country.

I mean, there is no way that the international community can pretend that this isn't going to hurt ordinary Syrian citizens. But the hope is that it will undermine Assad just enough to allow intervention on behalf of those citizens, Anna.

COREN: All right. Nima Elbagir in London, thank you for that.

Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, healing in Malta. A former nanny for the Gadhafi family tries to leave the scars of Libya behind her. We'll show you how she's doing.

Plus, intensifying -- testifying, I should say, in London, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling calls for the country's tabloids to treat her and her children more fairly.


COREN: You're looking at live pictures coming to us from inside Syria. One is from Homs on the left side of the screen, and Daraa there on the right. Of course, 31/2 thousand people have died in the violence (inaudible) with clashes with government forces since the protests began back in March (ph).

Well, just three days before Egypt's first post-Mubarak poll. Large protests are being held. This is the scene in Cairo's Tahrir Square right now. But similar anti-military demonstrations are planned across the country.

Well, democracy activists are upset with the slow pace of transition to a civilian government. Well, they want the ruling military council to immediately give up power. Over 40 people have been killed since Saturday in clashes between protesters and police.

Well, Britain's government-backed inquiry into media ethics will resume hearings next week, led by Lord Justice Leveson. The inquiry is looking to allegations the press routinely hacked the phones of celebrities and others and may have bribed police.

Well, the scandal caused Britain's "News of the World" newspaper to close back in July. On Thursday, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling testified that the press constantly invades her privacy, where she says one journalist even managed to slip a note into her five-year-old daughter's schoolbag.


J.K. ROWLING, AUTHOR: You know, I think the point here is that I, like a lot of people who have agreed to give evidence at this inquiry, we are not looking for special treatment. We're looking for normal treatment. I don't regard myself as entitled to more than. I'm simply asking for the same as. And I'm particularly for asking for that on behalf of my children.


COREN: Well, for years, the British media have allegedly hired private detectives who hack into people's phone. Atika Shubert has a story of an unsolved murder that some say may hold clues about the scope of the practice.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN REPORTER: 1987: private investigator Daniel Morgan is found dead with an ax buried in his head. Nearly 25 years later, Daniel's brother, Alastair, shows us the spot where it happened, the most notorious unsolved murder case of the British Metropolitan Police. But this cold case may be key to unraveling Britain's phone hacking scandal.

ALASTAIR MORGAN, DANIEL MORGAN'S BROTHER: To me, this is the darkest corner of the cupboard, if you like, and anybody who seriously wants to clear this up, which our government says they want to do -- we've heard lots and lots of promises and undertakings on that.

Well, I say if you don't look into this corner of the -- of the pigsty, for want of a better word, then you're not going to clean the place out, you know?

SHUBERT: The main suspect in the murder was this man, Jonathan Rees, Daniel's business partner, private investigator for, among others, the "News of the World," one of his contacts at the paper, Alex Marunchak, then deputy editor. Rees openly boasted of using corrupt cops in his business, but despite six separate investigations, attempts to prosecute him for the murder failed.

In fact, in March this year, the Metropolitan Police apologized to the Morgan family, saying, "It is quite apparent that police corruption was a debilitating factor in that investigation. This was wholly unacceptable."

It gets worse. In 2002, senior detective David Cook was tasked with investigating the Morgan murder, when he became suspicious of several vehicles parked outside his home, registered, it turns out, to "News of the World."

Worse, police had evidence that Cook and his wife's voice messages had been hacked while investigating the Morgan murder. Police confronted "News of the World"'s editor at the time, Rebekah Brooks, naming Alex Marunchak as the one responsible. David Cook's lawyer says the paper gave no explanation and the matter was dropped.

MARK LEWIS, LAWYER: It's like a novel. I mean, you couldn't write better fiction. There you have the large corporation in charge of media and the largest police force in England, seemingly working alongside to stop the -- stop the investigation of a murder or to affect the investigation of the murder. It -- you couldn't write it better than that.

SHUBERT: Labor MP Tom Watson put it more bluntly to the investigating parliamentary committee. News International, he said, had entered the criminal underworld.

TOM WATSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: There are a lot of allegations around the original inquiries involving the Danny Morgan murder, not least the key officials leading the inquiry were pursued by covert surveillance from -- by "News of the World," and some of the private investigators they used were also, in some way, related to the Morgan murder inquiry originally.

there's a murky story out there that's yet to be told, and I think it -- that's why it really needs a judge to pick up the evidence file and find out just what the hell went on all those years ago.

SHUBERT: We asked Jonathan Rees, Alex Marunchak and Rebekah Brooks to explain what happened so many years ago. None of them responded to our requests. The darkest corner of the phone hacking scandal remains a mystery -- Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


COREN: Well, you may remember a helicopter crash that we showed you a few days ago from New Zealand. Well, now we've heard from the pilot who escaped unscathed from this wreckage.

Well, Greg Gribble was installing a frame (ph) for a Christmas tree in Auckland when his rotor blade appeared to clip a cable. The tail snapped off as the chopper hit the ground, and Gribble was thrown halfway out of the wreckage.


GREG GRIBBLE, HELICOPTER PILOT: Because it happened so quick it was like a dream really. You know, it was just like, bang. And the next thing I had a couple of guys undoing my belt. A bit of blood on the back there - - I don't know whether that was my head that actually hit that over there or it was the seat. Bit of a graze there.


GRIBBLE: Oh, no. My left leg's got about two of those.

That's your main belt, which is attached to the floor of the aircraft.


GRIBBLE: OK? And that beast there, I must have just slid around inside it. It's thrown me out, dragged me back in and then the whole lot's just gone over backwards. You know, if I wasn't wearing that, it would have been all over.


COREN: He's one very lucky man. Well, accident investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Well, they are ranked the worst football team in the world, but maybe not for long. Next, we'll show you how American Samoa made history this week (ph).


COREN: Well, you are about to watch the worst football team in the world do something they have never done before. That's right -- win a match. American Samoa are officially ranked joint last in FIFA's global rankings.

On Tuesday, they recorded their first-ever victory by beating Tonga 2- 1 in a World Cup qualifying match. Well, just a few hours ago they followed that up with their first-ever draw, 1-all, against the Cook Islands. And that means American Samoa could progress to the next round of World Cup qualifying, if they beat neighbor Samoa on Saturday.

Well, earlier, I spoke to football writer James Montague, who is in Samoa. He told me how remarkable their campaign has been.


JAMES MONTAGUE, JOURNALIST: Like I say, it, you know, defeat on defense (ph) and even to go ahead in a match is unheard of for them. And now they've got four points and -- in fact, they're actually disappointed today. They should have won. They started texting as to how well the coach has put the team together, in just three weeks, really.

COREN: Now this is an interesting team for several reasons, and one player in particular attracts a bit of attention. Tell us about -- tell us about this particular player.

MONTAGUE: Yes, I mean, Jonny Saelua, he -- I mean she's a -- well, I mean, for one, what, she's a transgender -- first transgender player to ever play in the World Cup.

And she played center back on the first game, and you know, she checked up (ph) an assist for the first goal and made like a last-minute goal line clearance when it was 2-1, with the goalkeeper beaten, and was definitely the best player on the bench (ph).

I mean, it's an incredible story, especially when you think of the match or locker room culture in most sports, and especially within soccer. And you know, there's a recent (inaudible), all sorts of scandal involving racism and homophobia. And perhaps to have Jonny -- or as she calls herself, Jayieh, playing this team and being such an important part of this team, I think, is incredibly refreshing.


COREN: That's football writer James Montague, speaking to me a little earlier.

Well, American Samoa could take a step closer to the World Cup on Saturday. There is still a long way to go until they reach Brazil. This is just the first round. After this, they enter the eight-team Pacific Nations Cup. The four semifinalists qualify for the third round. They'll play each other in a round robin tournament.

But the winner of that still has one more step to go. They have a two-legged playoff against the fourth place team from the North and Central American qualifying group. Well, the winner of that, finally, qualifies to play in the 2014 World Cup.

Well, let's stay with sporting news, and there has certainly been a big shock for a big name in tennis. And now Don Riddell has all the details.

Hello, Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anna, thanks very much. Rafael Nadal is one of the top players in favor of a shorter tennis season, and it's obvious that he would benefit from a reduced schedule.

The Spanish World number two was knocked out of the World Tour finals in London last night, and must hope that he has enough energy left to help Spain in next weekend's Davis Cup final against Argentina.

Nadal knew that he had to win his last group match at the O2 arena, but he couldn't find a way past the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He served early notice of his intent with booming serves like that. Tsonga has had his moments this year. And he looks well capable of challenging the top four players in 2012.

Neither man could break serve in the first set here. But in the tie break, Tsonga had the edge, first set to the Frenchman 7-6. Now Nadal was well and truly humbled by Roger Federer on Tuesday, and he was keen to show a bit more fight here. He raised his game in the second set, and finally make the breakthrough to take the set and level the match.

And you can see what it meant to him. But Nadal couldn't keep it up in the decisive third. Tsonga raced into a 5-2 lead and a thumping forehand winner wrapped it all up. He's into the semifinals. Nadal gets the weekend off. It's not the result he would have wanted, but his body may be grateful for the rest.

Now in cricket, Sachin Tendulkar will have to try again for his 100th century, a landmark that is turning out to be frustratingly elusive.

The Indian batsman had a great chance of scoring his 100th turn in his home city of Mumbai against the West Indies today, but he fell just six runs short when Darren Sammy caught him on 94. Tendulkar remains by some distance the all-time leading test run scorer but he would dearly love to become the first man to score 100 centuries. He's been stuck on 99 of them since March.

The Green Bay Packers are the Super Bowl champions who now have a perfect NFL season well within their sights. Their win against Detroit on Thanksgiving was their 11th victory of the season, meaning they're now unbeaten since last December.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having a brilliant season, and he's the man behind what is now the best start in Packers franchise history. In the second quarter, Rodgers picked out Greg Jennings for the opening score.

And Detroit really shot themselves in the foot in the third quarter with only 7 points in it. Ndamukong Suh was ejected for driving Evan Dietrich-Smith into the turf when the play was already over, and that really hampered Detroit's defensive capability. It wasn't long before the Packers were 14 points ahead.

John Kuhn was the scorer. With a 7-3 record, the Lions would have hoped to mount a serious challenge to Green Bay's supremacy, but a chance went begging here when Matthew Stafford threw an interception, and Green Bay ran out comfortable with its by 27 points to 15.

Rodgers hit James Jones for a 65-yard score here. And that put it out of reach for the Lions. Green Bay have now won 11 out of 11 this season, a winning streak of 16 games that dates back to last Christmas.

For the first time ever in the NFL, there was a touch of sibling rivalry as two brothers went head-to-head as head coaches. Jim Harbaugh's 49ers took on John Harbaugh's Ravens, and as is often the case in family disputes, it was the elder brother that came out on top.

Whatever the result, this was a great occasion for the Harbaugh family, less though for San Francisco. They've lost only one game all season. The 49ers were looking for a score here late in the second quarter, but an undercooked throw gave the Ravens the ball, and Baltimore were able to preserve their slender three-point lead at halftime.

The 9ers managed to draw level with a field goal, but in the first play of the fourth quarter, Baltimore's Joe Flacco cooked up with Dennis Pitta for an eight-yard score and a seven-point lead. It was a tie game, and the 9ers had their chances. This was the last of them, though.

And when they needed a first down, Ted Ginn Junior dropped the ball. Baltimore, then, ran down the clock to secure the eighth win of the season, a conference best as John Harbaugh got the better of his little bro. San Francisco has suffered only their second loss of the season.

Anna, that's all the sport we've got time for, but we'll have much more, of course, in World Sport later on today.

COREN: I can see you're certainly enjoying your American football. Don, good to see you, thank you.

Well, still to come on NEWS STREAM, searching for signs of life on Mars. We'll give you a glimpse of the rover, Curiosity, as NASA gets ready for a bold new mission to the Red Planet.


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

Well, Egypt's military rulers have appointed a new prime minister as more political rallies are held across the country. Well, these live pictures of the area around Cairo's Tahrir Square show fighting that there has largely stopped.

The protests at the moment are peaceful. However, large numbers of demonstrators continue to protest against military rule while a pro- military match is set to end at the square later today.

You are looking at live pictures from a demonstration in Deir ez-Zor in Syria. A senior Arab League diplomat told CNN league finance ministers will meet to draft economic sanctions against Syria on Saturday.

The move comes after a deadline to endorse a plan, allowing international observers into Syria, passed without agreement. The draft economic sanctions will be discussed by Arab League foreign ministers on Sunday.

Well, Bangkok is still trying to recover from disastrous flooding, and now a region in southern Thailand also has been ravaged by high water. Well, parts of Songkhla province were declared disaster zones on Thursday. Just a day earlier, state media reported the rushing water had swept away a three-year-old child.

Well, Britain's inquiry into media ethics ended this week with testimony from "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling on Thursday. Rowling told the inquiry the press constantly invaded her privacy. Well, she said one journalist even managed to slip a note into her five-year-old daughter's schoolbag. The hearings resume next week.

Well, now we want to update you on the condition of a woman whose plight has touched viewers around the world. In the final days of the Gadhafi regime, our Dan Rivers visited the family compound of Moammar Gadhafi's son, Hannibal.

Well, he found Shweyga Mullah, the family's Ethiopian nanny, who told him she'd been brutally punished by Hannibal Gadhafi's wife for failing to keep a child quiet. We want to warn you: this video is difficult to watch.


SHWEYGA MULLAH, NANNY (through translator): She took me to a bathroom and she tied my hands behind my back, and tied my feet. She taped my mouth, and she started pouring the boiling water on my head like this.


COREN: Well, it's been three months since Dan found Shweyga in Libya. Well, after CNN aired her story, offers of help poured in from viewers and led to her evacuation to Malta for treatment. Well, Dan Rivers caught up with Shweyga there and saw a remarkable transformation.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new life in Malta couldn't be further from the horrific torture she endured in Gadhafi's Libya. Enjoying a stroll on a mild winter's day, Shweyga Mullah is trying to put her terrible past behind her. She's out of hospital and recovering fast.

As an outpatient, she needs to visit her doctor almost every day. It's here in the Mater Dei Hospital that she has her dressings changed. Nurses also trim back her hair to stop the follicles getting infected. This delicate procedure might look grim, but Shweyga doesn't find it painful.

RIVERS: With the help of the Maltese government, Shweyga is now getting the meticulous care that she needs. The doctors here say she is facing many more months of treatment.

MARY ROSE BONNICI, NURSE: She's making very good progress. It was certainly -- it was discharging before and now it's getting dryer around dryer. But now it's good, very good. Even her hair is growing. She feels it is good, anyway.

RIVERS (voice-over): This is how we found her, abandoned in a Gadhafi family compound, just after the liberation of Tripoli.

Then she told me how she'd been scalded with boiling water poured over her head by Moammar Gadhafi's daughter-in-law, Aline. After our initial broadcast, we were inundated with offers of help for Shweyga. It culminated in her being flown to Malta.

RIVERS: A lot of people have given a lot of money to help you. What would you like to say to them?

MULLAH: (Speaking foreign language).

RIVERS (voice-over): She says a profound thank you to everyone around the world who's helped her with the medical treatment and with the money they've sent. "A huge thank you," she says.

MULLAH: (Speaking foreign language)

RIVERS (voice-over): The small Ethiopian community of Malta is rallying around Shweyga. Despite all she's been through, her smile lights up her face. All the people here were migrant workers in Gadhafi's regime, but left Libya before the war. Shweyga's story has touched them all.

RIVERS: When you heard her story, what was your reaction?

EMANUEL TSEGAY, FRIEND OF SHWEYGA MULLAH: My reaction was, I feel very, very bad. All the horrid history about her. And, but, I was crying that night. It was night and I was crying.

RIVERS (voice-over): I asked Shweyga whether she wants to go back to Ethiopia yet.

MULLAH: (Speaking foreign language)

RIVERS (voice-over): She says she doesn't feel ready to face the scrutiny of friends and the questions about what happened. Her scars aren't just physical.


COREN: She's making an amazing recovery -- Dan Rivers there.

We now want to take you to Haiti, the world's first black republic created by slaves to build a better life for themselves and their families. But 200 years later, that promise of freedom eludes many Haitian children who are exploited as domestic helpers in more affluent homes.

Well, Grammy-winning artist Common visited a slum in Port-au-Prince to view the effects first-hand. Let's take a look.


FABIOLA DESMONT, RESTAVEK FREEDOM: So this is Vednau (ph), one of the girls we typically see in the market. We'd see her. We'd befriend her, say hello, how are you, what's your name. And then she'll tell us where she lives. We're going to go in here, which is her home.

She's 10 years old. She's doing work that's beyond her physical strength, that's beyond her capabilities, work that the adults should be doing, going a couple of times a day to fetch for water.

COMMON, RAPPER, ACTOR, AUTHOR: So you use your own instinct and your observation to see if you think a child is in that situation.

DESMONT: Exactly. Again, it's just some of the signs. Again, sometimes, if they have bad skin problems, scabies or whatever or more parts on their bodies, their clothes. So these are the kind of things we look for.

COMMON: Right.

As we were making the walk, we went through all the -- through these very narrow gangways. And it was -- man, it was like -- man, I started thinking, man, for a young person to have to go through this, like this -- like just this tunnelway, it was like no telling what could happen.

DESMONT: And you can see how small of a place this space is. What we have to go to. Imagine her carrying a bucket of water on her head, walking through these tight spaces.

COMMON: Going through that was just like, man, for some -- for a young person to have to do this every day and carry -- to be carrying whatever they're carrying and doing work back and forth, it's just you never know what could happen, what's going to happen, what's going to come out for whatever (inaudible).

DESMONT: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

COMMON: First of all, I wanted to see like what type of human being Fabi was, you know, like just from my perception. What we were hoping to accomplish, what's the -- allow him to -- allow her to go to school and not have her working every day, where she wasn't -- won't have a opportunity to receive a education.


COREN: A preview there of our CNN Freedom Project special presentation. It is called, "Common Dreams," and you can see it Monday at 9:00 am here in Hong Kong.

Well, up next on News Stream, NASA gears up for a new mission to Mars. The U.S. space agency is sending the most sophisticated rover ever to the Red Planet. Find out what makes it so special. That's after the break.


COREN: Well, we continue to monitor developments in Asia where large demonstrations are expected in several cities. At the moment, you are looking at pictures of the area around Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Well, these street battles that we've seen earlier this week have largely given way to chanting and prayers this Friday. We understand both pro and anti-government demonstrations are holding competing rallies.

Well, earlier, Kamal Ganzouri officially accepted the position of Egypt's new prime minister. He is now tasked with forming a government of so-called national salvation.

Will NASA's Curiosity find life on Mars? Well, the brand-new rover is set to launch on Saturday. It will be the biggest, most expensive and most sophisticated rover ever to hit the Red Planet. And John Zarrella joins us from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with all the details.

Hello, John.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Anna, I'm inside NASA's vehicle assembly building, which is the fourth largest building in the world. And you can see the enormity of it. And the VAB is where the Apollo moon rockets were stacked and where the space shuttle orbiters were stacked to the external tank and the solid rocket booster.

In fact, take a look over here, little bit of a treat for the viewers. That's the space shuttle Endeavor. It's sitting here until the museum in California is ready to accept it.

So, you know, with the space shuttle program now over, NASA is turning its attention to deep space exploration. And as you mentioned, they're getting ready -- in fact, tomorrow morning -- to launch the largest rover they've ever sent to Mars.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Mars: does life exist there? Did it ever? NASA is poised to take its boldest step towards answering questions that could change forever our view of humanity's place in the universe.

ASHWIN VASAVADA, DEPUTY PROJECT MANAGER: I think the best way of saying why we're so excited about this mission is that it sets us up for the future of finally answering that, you know, really age-old question of does life exist on other planets.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): The mission is called the Mars Science Laboratory or MSL. The most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to Mars, it has the capability to detect signs of life. If it works, come next August, after traveling 350 million miles, a 2,000-pound six-wheel rover called Curiosity will arrive at the Red Planet.

Using a tether system never tried before, it will be lowered down to a place called the Gale Crater. The size of a small car, Curiosity is the Cadillac of rovers.

JESSICA SAMUELS, SURFACE SYSTEMS ENGINEER: We're choosing to make the rovers bigger and bigger because we want to cover more ground. We want to be able to put an arm out and drill a rock.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Drill a rock? Why?

ROB MANNING, MSL CHIEF ENGINEER: On Mars, if you -- if life exists as single-cell organisms or it ever existed, we believe it will be under the ground or inside rocks.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Inside Gale Crater sits what scientists believe is a layered mountain -- in essence, the history of Mars told in the layers. And if water ever flowed on Mars, it might have been in that crater. Curiosity's arm will collect samples and place them in its onboard laboratory with the ability to detect organic material.

VASAVADA: Now, if we discover organic materials on Mars, that -- then it gets very exciting. And, you know, the chances of it may be low, but the payoff is huge. Organic materials are required for life as we know it.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): But it won't mean life exists, just the building blocks.

MANNING: It's -- if you go to a -- the driest desert on earth, can you find life on your -you're your samples if you do a robotic study? Probably not. It's actually quite difficult. Life has to stick up and make itself seen.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Finding life itself would be next to the next wave of explorers, robotic and perhaps even human.


ZARRELLA: Now for the engineers out at the jet propulsion laboratory in California who built Curiosity, hugely important mission because this is the last of the big planetary probes on NASA's books. And, in fact, as we speak, the Atlas rocket that's going to be used to launch Curiosity is rolling out to the launch pad.


COREN: Fantastic. What access you get, John. Love your job. Now just before you go, the Cadillac of rovers, how will it be powered?

ZARRELLA: You know, all the other ones have been powered by solar power, so subject to the climate on Mars. But this one is powered by what's called an RTG, radioisotope thermoelectric generator, so a nuclear powered spacecraft going to Mars.

COREN: Sounds good. All right, John Zarrella, great to see you. Thanks for that report.


COREN: Well, a group of scientists is proposing new ways of rating an exoplanet's potential for hosting life. Well, why not use the Earth Similarity Index? Rocky planets with water score high on it. But another index broadens the conventions we consider essential for life. Well, it's called the Planetary Habitability Index.

On it, Saturn's moon Titan is considered to have the highest potential for life outside Earth. Well, Mars is a close second. "Popular Science" magazine spoke to one of the researchers behind this index, and he says Titan ranks higher because it has a thick atmosphere and lakes. But he also has this to say about Mars.

"There should be life on Mars. We just have to find it and confirm it." Now one lady I know who loves space -- and I would love to get her opinion as to whether there's life on Mars is our own Mari Ramos.

Mari, what do you think? Life on Mars?

MARI RAMOS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, I need my space definitely. So, yes, I love space.

You know what, I think it's great that they're going out there to look for life, because these things are going to have really -- to lack of a better word -- life-changing effects to our own life here on Earth. There are so many technologies that have been developed for space right now we use here on Earth.

And see if that Curiosity gets to launch tomorrow, there's about a 70 percent chance that the weather will cooperate, so that's pretty good, right? That the weather will cooperate at Cape Canaveral? So we're looking at the possibility of a few isolated thunderstorms nearby. They don't like to have any of that kind of stuff.

And the wind, you know, about 20-20 km per hour are still within that threshold for having a launch. So that's definitely some good news there. Temperature's not a problem, into the mid-20s or low 20s by the time we get to that launch time at 10:00 am local time. So pretty cool stuff there.

I know a lot of people in the U.S. right now are looking at the weather. But you know what? Most of them are going to be in a shopping mall. We do have a couple of areas to watch for, some nasty weather, and that's going to be here across the central U.S.

But, overall, the weather has been pretty benign this Thanksgiving holiday weekend here in the U.S. And temperatures, fairly close to normal or even above average for this time of year. It's 11 in Dallas, 6 here in Atlanta, 8 in New York City, 6 in Chicago.

So all of those die-hard shoppers, those midnight shoppers are having a great time. And I do want to show one picture. This one is from one of the coldest places I could think of, Fargo, North Dakota. And the temperature here was a balmy -2 degrees C. And I say balmy, because this time of year the overnight low should be more about -10 C.

So these two guys that are out, wading out there, local store had a little of a, I guess, warm night. You know what? With all everything that's going on, do you ever keep looking at your watch? You're busy, right? Everybody's busy? What time is it? How much time do I have left? Well, scientists are looking at a new way of keeping track of time better than ever. Let's go ahead and listen.


RAMOS (voice-over): Polish scientists are looking up to the skies to keep the time, measuring every second by the pulse of a distant star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The Pulsar clock is one of the most accurate clocks in the world, because the signal source comes from the most accurate source we know, the most stable one, which is an impulse sent by a pulsar.

RAMOS (voice-over): The clock mechanism operates on impulses sent by pulsars, neutron stars, which radiate with exceptional regularity. An astronomical antenna aimed at the pulsar will process its impulses into the units of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The clock's core, which is also an atomic clock, is improved by the cosmos and it will never be wrong. Moreover, over time, it will be more and more accurate.

RAMOS (voice-over): The clock is installed at the St. Catherine's Church in Gdansk, near the gravesite of Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, who built the prototype for the pendulum clock.


RAMOS: And, you know, scientists have always been looking to the stars to actually help us keep track of time. You know, the months of the year, the -- we follow the lunar cycle, of course, and this has been happening for thousands of years here on Earth. It's just a little bit more high-tech.

I want to switch gears and talk to you a little bit about the weather, because it really is a race against time in parts of Australia. So switching gears completely here. I do want to talk to you about these wildfires that have been burning across western Australia. Many areas are still under fire warning through the rest of the day today.

Tomorrow, the wind has -- will be expected to shift a little bit, and could bring you better conditions. I want to show you the video from this region, really dramatic stuff, you know, once the wildfires get going here, Anna, it's very, very difficult. These residents had to flock to the beach, to the beach to actually save themselves from the flames.

You can see there the homes that were engulfed by the fire, the thick smoke. At least 30 structures were burnt. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

And we're seeing conditions, like I said, somewhat better as we head through the day on Saturday and even on Sunday. But what we need is rain, and we're not getting any of that. Check a look -- take a look. This is what's left of some of the homes near Margaret River, Australia.

Anna, back to you.

COREN: Yes, absolutely tragic. And what's even more tragic, Mari, is that some of these fires actually started through controlled burning. So they're actually burning off. And that's what set off these massive wildfires. So, yes, just absolutely tragic, didn't need to happen.

All right, Mari. Good to see you. Thank you for that.

Well, just ahead on NEWS STREAM, works of art like these can now be delivered straight to your digital devices. We'll hear from the business men behind the idea.


COREN: Well, if you want to become an art collector but lack the cash to collect real paintings, one company claims to have a solution. Well, meet S[edition], a new website for digital limited edition art. Well, what does that mean? It allows artists to create digital artwork with technology that limits how many copies of the art can exist.

Well, users can then follow these artists, buy their art, and display it on anything from TVs to BlackBerries. There are limits to sharing the art that you buy. You can't just copy it and send it to a friend. Sedition limits each artwork to no more than 10,000 copies. We asked Sedition's Robert Norton and Harry Blaine why they're limiting the number of copies.


HARRY BLAINE, S[EDITION]: It's set up for collectors, for people who want to become a collector of these artists, whether it's Damien Hirst or Gilbert & George or Bill Viola or whoever the artist may be, this allows them access to the artists and become a collector of their work in a more authentic way, exhibit the work and enjoy the work.

And it's, you know, if at a later stage they wish to sell it, they can resell it again.


COREN: So S[edition] says their limits are aimed at increasing value for collectors. But why should people collect digital art instead of physical artwork to begin with?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think over the last few years we've seen a rapid and, you know, rapidly growing acceptance of the (inaudible) of goods and services. So, you know, you've seen books, music, movies, all now being delivered in digital format.

I think art's one of the last great areas to really embrace, you know, what the Web is great at. And what the Web is great at is giving you something that you can't get physically, or that you can get digitally, which is easier and quicker than in the real world.


COREN: Well, artwork on S[edition] costs anywhere from $10 to $800.

Well, you probably won't be able to pick up cut-price artwork on Black Friday, but you can probably get anything else. Well, Black Friday is a tradition in the United States. It's the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers slash prices to entice crowds like these.

Well, crowds are the norm. What happened at one Walmart store in California certainly is not. The police say 15 people suffered minor injuries after one customer used pepper spray on other shoppers, apparently to move them out of line. Well, bargain hunting shoppers camp out for hours, even days, to get that perfect deal. Certainly much keener than I am.

Well, that is NEWS STREAM. But before I go, I want to give you one last look at the live pictures that we had to us, coming to us here at CNN. And here's a look at Tahrir Square in Cairo. As you can see, it is packed full of thousands and thousands of Egyptians protesting, despite the government naming a new prime minister.

And here is a look at a protest inside Homs in Syria. We're certainly keeping our eye on both situations in both countries as the day continues. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.