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China Child-Trafficking Arrests; Pakistani Model Denies Posing Nude for Magazine; Insulting the Thai Monarchy; European Union Begins Meetings In Brussels To Save Euro; Angry Birds Take Over The World
Aired December 8, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
And we begin in China, the glimmer of hope for the parents of stolen children. Police have broken up to major child-trafficking rings.
Plus, convicted of a royal insult and seeking a royal pardon. An American man is the latest person punished under Thailand's strict lese majeste laws.
And examining the appeal of Angry Birds. We ask if Rovio is putting all its eggs in one basket.
Chinese police have broken up two large child-trafficking rings and rescued 178 small children. They call it their biggest achievement yet since the campaign against human trafficking was launched in 2009. More than 600 suspects are now in custody thanks to an investigation that Stan Grant reports took months of painstaking work.
STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): They come at night and they don't ask permission to enter. Inside, a suspected child trafficker and a baby.
"What's the child's name?" this policeman yells. Within minutes, the baby is snatched away, rescued, and the suspect arrested and hauled off. Five thousand police have fanned out across 10 different provinces in China, where authorities say more than 600 suspected traffickers have been rounded up. Nearly 180 babies whisked away.
"We must not leave any child behind," this policeman says.
(on camera): This is all part of a coordinated attempt to try to smash what is a lucrative trade. Since 2009, when special police units were set up, authorities here say that thousands of trafficking rings have been busted and tens of thousands of women and children rescued.
(voice-over): "This policy is aimed at cracking down on the buyers' market," this policeman says. "We will ensure the buyers lose both their money and the purchased children."
China's one child policy has helped fuel this trade. Children are scarce and valuable, especially highly-sought-after boys. Women, too, are stolen and sold into prostitution or forced marriage. For now, the latest children rescued will be held in orphanages in the hope they'll be reunited with their families.
In a land where kidnapped children can fetch a high price, parents hold tight to their most precious possessions.
STOUT: Now, as Stan said, the Chinese police say they have rescued tens of thousands of women and children since 2009. And sadly, others remain missing.
Now, in cases where children go missing, their parents are often relentless. You might remember the case of Pang Dow Feng (ph). He found his son earlier this year, three years after he was abducted.
Pang (ph) had traveled to Beijing to protest. He blogged and he flooded Weibo. And this was the moment when Pang (ph), the father, the moment that he was dreaming of, when he and his wife were back home with their son.
Also, you might remember another case we told you about in January using the same social media tools with the same determination. Gua Gon Tang (ph) had been looking for his son for some 13 years, and today that search continues.
And for more on what is being done to fight child trafficking in China, let's bring back our Senior International Correspondent Stan Grant. He joins us now live from CNN Beijing.
And Stan, this was such a huge rescue. Can you tell us more about how the police were able to uncover these trafficking rings?
GRANT: Yes, it is an extraordinary story, isn't it? You know, you're looking here at the 21st century, and we at CNN have been looking at the issue of modern-day slavery and trafficking with the Freedom Project for the past year. And you realize just how endemic it is in a place like China.
Now, interestingly, this case actually took root with an investigation of a car accident in Szechwan. Now, from that, it led to one of the ringleaders of these groups, and it's been carried out now over the past five or six months, the planning for this operation.
As I said there in the story, about 5,000 police fanned out across 10 provinces. And you saw there just how forceful they were, banging in doors and dragging out these suspects. And, of course, whisking the babies away, where they're now being held in orphanages and trying to be reunited with those families, who, as you also pointed out in the case of Pang Dow Feng (ph) and others, simply do not give up hope -- Kristie.
STOUT: Can you tell us more about the 178 children who were rescued? You just mentioned just then that they're being placed in orphanages, but what's being done to find their parents and to reunite these families?
GRANT: It's not going to be easy, is it? But obviously, as you pointed out before, they're very persistent, many of these families, in trying to track down their children. There are registries, of course, of missing children, parents that have been in contact with various groups, especially the police as well.
But it is going to be a very, very difficult process, because in many cases, these children have been moved from their homes and moved from their home provinces. Perhaps they've been transported many hundreds or even thousands of miles or kilometers away from where they were first abducted. So it's not going to be an easy process. And when you look back since 2009, you're not just talking about the 180 or so children that were picked up in this raid, but the thousands that have been collected over the years, more than 18,000 children.
And while we're focusing on children here, Kristie, let's not forget that it also affects women. Many women are picked up, they're snatched away and they're sold as brides or forced to work in prostitution. That's also one of the targets here in the effort to crack down on this human trafficking - - Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Stan Grant, joining us live from Beijing.
Thank you very much for that.
Now, let's bring you up to date with some developing business news.
The European Central Bank is trying to calm the debt turmoil that's rocking Europe. It has just announced it is cutting a key interest rate by a quarter point, to one percent. Now, this is the second straight rate cut by the ECB in just two months, and it comes as European Union leaders gear up for a critical summit in Brussels.
We'll have more on this story just ahead here on NEWS STREAM.
Now, Mexican authorities say that they have uncovered a plot to smuggle one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons into the country. The Mexican Interior Ministry says four people have been arrested. They were accused of trying to forge false travel documents for Saadi Gadhafi and his family.
The interior minister explained how the group planned to get the Gadhafis into Mexico.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO POIRE, MEXICAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Their vast economic resources allowed them to charter flights. And according to the information we obtained in our country, a criminal ring is transporting people between Mexico, the United States, Canada, Kosovo, and several Middle Eastern countries in order to coordinate routes and prepare the logistics to transfer Mr. Gadhafi to Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: A former military commander and a notorious partier, he knew just where he wanted to hide out in Mexico, the resort town of Punta Mita. It lies along Mexico's Pacific Coast. It is a popular getaway, apparently, for the rich and the famous.
And let's check out some of the villas with their pools. We can zoom in here on Google Earth. And, of course, the expansive golf course as well.
Now, Saadi Gadhafi might have had added cover if he had made it there. In fact, one security expert quoted by Wired says that the region is a base for some drug traffickers, so even a foreigner with armed bodyguards might not stand out.
Ahead here on NEWS STREAM, insulting Thailand's king puts an American behind bars, why some say the country's lese majeste laws need to be changed.
And crunch time for the European Union. Smiles and handshakes ahead of a do-or-die summit, but will European leaders agree on a deal?
And the photos that caused one actress' family to disown her. Now she's talking to CNN.
STOUT: Now, she is a glamorous actress. So it must have seemed like the ideal match when men's magazine "FHM India" got together with Pakistan's Veena Malik for a racy photo shoot. It wasn't until the magazine hit store shelves and her poses aroused passions that she wasn't bargaining for.
Sara Sidner takes a closer look at the cover controversy.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When "FHM" magazine hit Indian newsstands with a racy cover picture we can't show you depicting Pakistani actress Veena Malik in the nude, heads turned in India. Across the border, in Pakistan, there was anger and outrage. Pakistan's interior minister promised an investigation. And the actress' family disowned her.
We convinced Veena Malik to sit down for a chat.
(on camera): What did your father say? Did he actually speak to you?
VEENA MALIK, PAKISTANI ACTRESS: No, he did not speak to me, actually. He spoke to one of the media groups and, like, he was too upset. And I think, OK. I mean, I don't blame him for that.
SIDNER (voice-over): On the "FHM" cover, it appears Malik is only wearing one thing, the initials "ISI" written on her arm. Those initials are widely known as the acronym for Pakistan's feared intelligence agency, not exactly a wholesome image in a conservative nation.
The controversy went to new heights when Malik gave notice she was suing the magazine, accusing "FHM" of tampering with the cover photo to make it appear she was nude when she wasn't.
(on camera): Did you pose nude for this photo shoot for "FHM"?
MALIK: I did not, actually. And I --
SIDNER: Were you topless?
MALIK: Actually, I was, but I was not nude. There's a big difference between topless and being nude. You will see (INAUDIBLE) actually went topless, but they were covered like the way I was. There are various examples that you can see, but I did not go nude.
SIDNER: So you had bottoms on?
MALIK: Bottoms on I had. And they actually removed those bottoms by, you know, get it morphed or removed or whatever the technology they have used.
SIDNER (voice-over): "FHM India" says she knew the terms all along and approved the photos. The company is demanding a public apology and threatening to counter-sue Malik for defamation.
KABEER SHARMA, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "FHM INDIA": Like I said, she was completely aware of the cover. She was completely aware of the concept. She loved the concept. She said it at least 15 times.
SIDNER: Malik denies that, but did tell us the photos inside the magazine are all her, even the one of her topless with the grenade in her mouth and "ISI" printed on her arm. She said the shoot was supposed to create positive feelings, not negative ones.
(on camera): Isn't this meant to shock people? Isn't this meant to get people talking about you, about the magazine, about the issues between India and Pakistan?
MALIK: Honestly, if you ask this question to Kabeer Sharma or the photographer, because, see, they came up with the idea.
SIDNER: But you went along with it.
MALIK: They came up with the idea, and we did not discuss it, whether people, they will talk about it or they will not talk about it.
SIDNER (voice-over): In Pakistan and India, lots of people are talking about what did or didn't happen, getting the actress and magazine more attention than they ever dreamed, and perhaps that was the point.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Mumbai.
STOUT: Now, a Thai-born American man has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in Thailand for insulting the monarchy. Joe Gordon pleaded guilty to the charge of lese majeste after spending six months in jail. His lawyer says he will file for a royal pardon.
Gordon was convicted of translating a banned biography of the king and posting it online. Thai law states, "Whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years." Now, that can be increased under a recent computer crimes act. And critics say that the law is being misused for political purposes, and the number of lese majeste cases has been on the rise.
The group Human Rights Watch noticed that they nearly tripled in 2010 from the previous year. And just last month, a 61-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years in prison. That case has raised some questions within Thailand about the need to reform lese majeste laws.
An editorial on "The Bangkok Post" says this: "The idea that discussion of the lese majeste law is somehow disloyal to the monarchy is emotionally loaded, but empty." It goes on to say, "The lese majeste law is an important tradition in Thai culture, society and history. This is why it has regularly been updated and modernized. And that is why it is imperative to examine it once again."
Let's return to the most recent case of Joe Gordon. The U.S. is criticizing his prison sentence.
Anna Coren has reaction from Bangkok and she joins us now.
And Anna, what are the American officials saying?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we spoke to the U.S. Embassy after Joe Gordon's sentence was handed down, and they said that it was too harsh considering that this is a matter of freedom of speech. However, they are in Thailand, and they do respect the laws of this country. They said that they will hop Joe Gordon in whatever way possible.
You have to remember, Kristie, that this is a pretty lenient sentence. Two-and-a-half years is not bad for a crime in which he has committed, and that is insulting the king.
Now, this crime, which -- lese majeste laws is what they call it here in Thailand -- this is something that protects the monarchy. It is designed to protect the king, the queen, the royal family. And if you insult, if you criticize, if you threaten some way the monarchy and the family, then you are threatened -- I should say you are imprisoned.
So that is the punishment if you do break these laws. And it's something that Joe Gordon knew.
He is somebody who has been living in the United States for more than 30 years. He returned to Thailand last year, and he was arrested back in May.
You mentioned in your piece, Kristie, that he had translated this banned biography of the king and the royal family, and it was through that these charges and convictions were placed.
STOUT: Anna, what has been the reaction to Joe Gordon's sentence inside Thailand? And any word from the royal family?
COREN: Well, there actually has not been a lot of reaction here, Kristie. You know, we've gone through the papers, we've looked at the headlines, and there just doesn't seem to be much interest. The reason being is because it is such a low sentence.
As you said, a 61-year-old Thai man was sentenced to 20 years in prison just last month for insulting the royal family. The reason that Joe Gordon got such a reduced sentence is because he did plead guilty. He certainly cooperated with authorities. And also because he is a U.S. citizen.
But the interesting thing here, Kristie, is that the lese majeste laws, they are quite problematic. And the king, he knows about that.
He celebrated his 84th birthday earlier this week. But I want to take you back to something he said -- what was it? I beg your pardon?
He said in his speech, his birthday speech in 2005 -- he said -- and I quote -- "I must also be criticized. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know if you say the king cannot be criticized, it means the king is not human." He then went on to say, "But the king can do wrong."
So, there certainly seems to be a gap there between what the king things and what the monarchy things and then what the government things, because I can tell you, Kristie, under the new government, under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, it would seem that there has been a certain interest in the number of cases of lese majeste. They have decided to set up a committee and clamp down on any Web site that criticize the king. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
STOUT: Yes, a very interesting political trend there.
Anna Coren, joining us live from Bangkok.
Thank you for that.
Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, inundated by e-mail. The staggering amount sent by people around the world each day has the boss of one French company throwing everyone's inboxes out the door.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.
Now, a question. How many e-mails do you get in the course of a day, and how many work e-mails do you actually get? With all of us constantly writing and sending each other e-mails around the world, the real question is, how many e-mails are actually sent each day?
Well, according to the U.S. technology market research firm Radicati Group, that number is -- just wait for it -- 294 billion. This, again, is Radicati's estimate from 2010 of the total number of e-mails that are sent each day.
Numbers like that got the attention of Thierry Breton. He used to be the French minister of economy, finance and industry, and now he heads a company with offices around the world that employs some 80,000 people. That could generate a lot of e-mails, except Breton has set a goal for the company to become e-mail-free.
Thierry Breton joins me now live from Paris.
And thank you for joining us here on NEWS STREAM.
But tell us why. Why are you going e-mail-free?
THIERRY BRETON, CHAIRMAN & CEO, ATOS: First, (INAUDIBLE) to use external e-mails. As you mentioned, it is an extremely powerful tool, and we continue to communicate with customers with the (INAUDIBLE). But internally, it's a totally different story.
Our study demonstrated that our 80,000 employees are using Internet e-mail between 15 to 20 hours a week. When we dipped into this situation, we realized that over 100 to 150 e-mails they received every day. I mean, working (ph) e-mail.
Only 15 percent were (INAUDIBLE). So we decided that we should probably handle this as a management issue.
More than that, Atos is a young company. The average age of our company is 35 years old. When we hire new engineers out of college, they don't use e- mail anymore. They're using all the tools that (INAUDIBLE) are using, social network, collaborating (INAUDIBLE), microblogs, but no more e-mails.
So we decided that for this new generation -- and I decided that it was my duty smoothly to eradicate Internet e-mails and to replace them by these new tools which are the tools of the new generation. The good news is that a lot of tools are already available from third parties. We are in the process to investigate what could be the best.
We have a lot of new candidates. We will decide shortly. We have also our own tools to do that. And then possibly over the next two years, we will smoothly replace Internet e-mails by (INAUDIBLE).
This is a matter of (INAUDIBLE). We don't want to be arrogant. We just want to be a front-runner in the IT society, the first company to do it just because our new colleagues are requesting it. This is their new world, and it's my duty as their CEO to prepare this new company for the future world.
STOUT: Internal research, and you want to use more relevant tools applicable to a new generation. E-mail is passe, so embracing (INAUDIBLE) tools and social media.
A quick question for you. And be honest with me. You've been e-mail-free for the last three years, right? So how has it been for you as the CEO of the company?
BRETON: First, one good reason and one bad reason. When I was in the government, I decided not to e-mail for security reasons, and everybody will understand what I mean by that. Now, at Atos, I'm using the normal tool of management: telephones, face-to-face meetings, collaborative (ph) tools, instant messaging, but no more e-mails.
STOUT: All right.
Thierry Breton, going e-mail-free in a major company.
It's a noble goal. I wish you much luck. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Thierry Breton, joining us live from Paris.
Now, coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, the clock is ticking for the eurozone's self-imposed deadline for a solution, and the pressure is ruffling Europe's feathers. We'll take you live to Berlin.
And speaking of ruffled feathers, these 2-D birds aren't so chirpy either. But now they're spreading their wings.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now Chinese police say that they have broken up two child trafficking rings and have arrested about 600 suspects. Some 178 children have been rescued. Officials are now trying to reunite them with their families.
Opposition activists say seven people were killed in Syria's brutal security crackdown in Homs today. Syria's president al Assad is distancing himself from the violence. In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday he said no government would kill its people unless its lead by a, quote, "crazy person." The White House has dismissed his comments as just not credible.
Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe is expected to call for early elections today at the annual conference of his ZANU-PF Party. Now the next polls aren't due to be held until 2013, but Mr. Mugabe wants them brought forward. He says the unity government in which he shares power with rival Morgan Tsvangirai has run its course.
Now a court in Thailand has sentenced a U.S. citizen to two-and-a-half years in prison for insulting the monarchy. Now Joe Gordon returned to Thailand last year after spending three decades in the U.S. He pleaded guilty to posting a link on his blog to an unauthorized biography of the king.
Now it's nearly down to the wire for the European Union and the euro. Now they are all smiles here, but the stakes could not be higher. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet with the head of the European Central Bank ahead of Friday's much anticipated summit in Brussels. And their mission is to keep the eurozone's common currency from imploding.
Now France's minister for European Affairs warns if a solution is not found to Europe's debt crisis, Europe could unravel. He adds that would be, quote, "a disaster for the whole world."
And the credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's, meanwhile, is firing yet another warning shot. It's not put the European Union as a whole and large eurozone banks on a credit downgrade watch.
Now French president Nicolas Sarkozy says there is no time to waste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): ...for France and Germany the aim is not ask for more rights than other EU countries, but we have more duties than other countries. And if we won't come to such important summit as one that is going to take place tomorrow in Brussels without an agreement between France and Germany, there couldn't be an agreement across all of Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU S TOUT: Now the European Central Bank, meanwhile, is taking a more aggressive role in trying to calm Europe's debt crisis. And investors, as you can see, they're responding.
Now the ECB announced about 45 minutes ago that it is cutting a key interest rate by a quarter point to a record low of 1 percent. And just look at the reaction here on the European stock markets. London FTSE has been up. Green arrows also for Zurich. Germany's DAX has been up and down, now it's on the rise. And the France CAC 40 is also on the rise.
Now the European Central Bank chief Mariano Dradhi is speaking right now at a news conference. So let's go there live. Let's listen in.
MARIANO DRAGHI, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK CHIEF: ...additional framework of a European social macroeconomy (inaudible)...
LU STOUT: OK. It seems that we just lost that feed just then, but we're hoping and we're monitoring the situation there as the president of the ECB is speaking, holding a press conference. We're listening in for his forecast for the EuroZone economy there. Now we have the correct feed. Let's listen in.
DRAGHI: ...authorizing their use. These measures will take effect as soon as the relevant legal acts have published.
Third, to reduce the -- the guarding council has decided to reduce the reserve ratio which is currently 2 percent to 1 percent. This will free up collateral and support money market activity. As a consequence of the full allotment policy applied in ECB's main refinancing operations and the way banks are using this option. The system of reserve requirements is not needed to the same extent as under normal circumstances to steer money market conditions. This measure will take effect as often mentioned period starting on January 18th, 2012.
Fourth, the guardian council has decided also to discontinue for the time being. As often mentioned (inaudible) 14th December 2011. The fine tuning operations carried out on the last day of each maintenance period.
This is a technical measure to support money market activity.
A detailed press release will be published at 3:30 pm today on the ECB's web site. As state on previous occasions, all the non-standard monetary policy measures are by construction temporary in nature.
Let me know explain our assessment in greater detail with economic analysis. We are of the opinion (inaudible) 0.2 percent quarter on quarter in the third quarter of 2011, unchanged from the previous quarter. Evidence from (inaudible) data points to weaker economic activity in the fourth quarter of this year.
A number of factors seem to be dampening underlying growth momentum in euro area. They include a moderation in the pace of global demand growth and unfavorable effects on overall financing conditions and on confidence resulting from ongoing tensions in Euro area sovereign debt markets as well as the process of balance sheet adjustment in the financial and non- financial sectors.
LU STOUT: OK, you're looking at live pictures there of the president of the ECB Mariano Draghi holding a press conference. We heard just then he gave off a list that's available online on the ECB web site of a number of measures that he ECB is discussing to support the eurozone economy. And also just then giving some forecast data about the health of the eurozone economy stating just then that he believes that there will be a continued slow down in growth for the fourth quarter of this year.
A lot of attention on the ECB this week. Its president has previously promised robust action. And we'll continue to follow that story here on CNN when World Business Today starts at the top of the hour.
Now here on News Stream, let's take you next to Russia. Now Russia is set to square off against NATO at a crucial summit in Brussels today. At issue, missile defense. Now the country is threatening to deploy ballistic missiles on its southern border if NATO goes ahead with its plans for a missile shield.
But NATO secretary-general says the war of words is a blast from the past. He found the confrontation reminiscent of a bygone era. Now Russia's also warning it could pull out of the START treaty on nuclear arms reduction.
But inside Russia, the government is squaring off against a different kind of threat to its rule: its own people. After protesters rallied against alleged vote rigging in parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has come up with his own theory to explain the recent unrest. He's accusing the United States of egging on the demonstrators and encouraging dissent. Protests have gripped Moscow and St. Petersburg this week.
Now still to come right here on News Stream, the 2D birds who spread their wings and become a brand to be reckoned with. We'll have that fly away success story.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the German Chanellor Angela Merkel is talking right now in Marseilles, France. She's addressing the European People's Party conference ahead of a key summit in Brussels to try to resolve the European debt crisis. Let's listen in.
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANGELLOR (through translator): ..inheretence. And Europe, European Union has grown on the basis of joined values: freedom, solidarity, justice. And what characterizes all the different parts which are represented here this hour we see each different person, the dignity of its something indivisible. It shouldn't be touched, the dignity of a human being. This is our understanding of freedom, this is a freedom that knows responsibility. Let's not be afraid about doing something, but a responsibility towards something. And (inaudible) we developed jointly Europe, we develop it further in this spirit.
We are currently in a very difficult situation. What has changed dramatically at the end of the Second World War, Cold War, we will concentrate on ourselves. And we were real happy over this of victory. Now we need to look back which shared the -- in 1990 the first beginning of the European Union is -- there were 500 million Europeans, now there are 7 billion people in the world and Europeans haven't grown.
We were also 7 percent of the world population, but adding both figures will go down in the following years. And it means, however, that we need more of Europe in the years, not less Europe, but more of Europe so that -- so use our voice for people, for responsibility of resources, so that we can raise our voice. We should do that. That's what we are concerned about, to raise our voice for this issues.
Though we know -- who wants to (inaudible) Europe to promote should move on Europe. We have decided on the joint currency. The many people said then that it won't function at this -- there should be first coherence of the economic policy or financial policy. And also as a crown of the (inaudible) development you will insert Europe on top. And wise politicians call Meterand (ph), one of them, they said no just now. At the end of the Cold War, we should make a step, make one step towards more integration.
Well, they -- and it worked like this. Europe made us stronger. But today we see we (inaudible) relied too much on this strength and we haven't worked sufficiently enough jointly to consider to observe our joint rules to monitor them.
And in this days we have vivid reactions, discussions, we have vivid - - of course we should think, or we should how can this constructions -- how can we overcome this insufficient defects of the structure and we should overcome them. We can overcome these inadequacies, because in order to gather all 27 member states (inaudible) committed to keep euro as a strong currency.
And in this sense, we need close, more close cooperation and requires more of Europe. That's why today and tomorrow we'd have many discussions in the (inaudible) of all the 27 of the Euro group. And also Frankfurt round. It changes, but I'm sure we'll find a result. The separate, different questions. We'll consider these separate questions thoroughly. And we should consider each other, even Germany and France will make some proposals it means.
We've just been moved to what's joint discussions as Mr. (inaudible) have said today, it's not the issue that everyone just considers his national egoisms, but that so we find a good solution for all of us jointly, jointly acceptable solution.
And overcoming of today's crisis requires that we will look at the reasons, of the causes. First reasons, the big indebtedness of some member states, the second reason various competitiveness -- degrees of competitiveness, and the third is sometimes we need too much times. We decide too slowly and we don't coordinate sufficiently enough. And that's why we find ways from this crisis, we'll find good solutions. We'll find one step towards to overcome this crisis. It won't just happen in the beat of a drum, but it requires hard work.
Now we have to overcome what it erodes, or decays all these problems. And in one step we cannot be overcome, these issues can be solved. What unites us, I believe, that we want to solve these issues, but ask also of understanding. Don't have euro as a currency so we should put aside, give a sign to outside that we are worked together more in a binding way, more responsible way.
Words alone, nobody believes just words. We haven't performed always, we haven't delivered, that's why we need more binding force. We need, in my understanding treaty changes. We need -- and the treaty changes -- in the just community institute, especially -- where the commission gets more responsibility and we -- and we can -- we -- and we'll also submit to the verdicts, to the judgment of the commission, not -- even this, Germany has somehow went away from it.
And today, the scenes in Brussels of the discussions I'm asking understanding. And those some of these other countries have these joint -- where convenes, we need (inaudible) convinced of it -- it's important we are open to those who want to get in and so that we are united, and so countries that have no Europes so that we can make a stand in each country, state. We can say we're part of the European Union. We need a commission. We need a code of justice. We worked closely with the European parliament.
To open we have this fear to say something against others, it will be against others. (inaudible) is characterized that we have competence, we have this possibility.
LU STOUT: Quote, "we are all together, all 27 member states." That's Angela Merkel speaking in Marseilles, France. She is meeting with the French president and the head of ECB there. Angela Merkel is seeking a new EU treaty to enforce budgetary discipline in the region. The eurozone crisis talks, they kick off in Brussels. A lot more later on CNN at the top of the hour.
You're watching News Stream. We'll be back right after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now here is something that's hard for people around the world to turn off: Angry Birds. The popular game has gone way beyond the mobile phone. OK, some offerings they have to do with the mobile phone like the Angry Birds iPhone case. There are also these plush pigs, plush Angry Birds. The game developer Rovio says it has sold around 8 million toys.
And there's even an Angry Birds cook book. And it features, you guessed it, only egg recipes. And there's also an animated movie in the works right there.
So Rovio built some 51 games before hitting it big with Angry Birds. It seems the developer is milking the success. So let's go now to our regular tech contributor Nick Thompson of the New Yorker. And he joins us now live from New York.
And Nick, all right. You've got the Angry Birds toys, the movie, the cook book. Is this brilliant marketing, or brand over extension?
NICK THOMPSON, NEW YORKER: Well, every other game company in history when they have a game that's a big hit what they do is they try to take what they learned and build another big hit. And Rovio totally different approach, instead it's let's make everything in the world Angry Birds -- everything from movies to cook book.
My sense is that it's not the best strategy, because the reason these things sell, the reason the toys sell, the reason the cook book is going to sell, the reason people watch the movie is because Angry Birds is considered cool. But once Angry Birds is ubiquitous than Angry Birds becomes lame. So I think it's a flawed strategy.
LU STOUT: We need to talk about the dress. And we have a picture right here. I don't know -- if we can just zoom in a little bit. Let's say you're the wife of a top Rovio exec. You're invited to a formal dinner with the president of Finland. And of course you bring this out and you wear this dress. I mean, Nick, I'm not going to ask you what you think of the dress, but is this dress a symbol of what's not quite right with Rovio?
THOMPSON: I mean, think about if her husband was an executive of Coca-Cola and she had a big Coke bottle on her shoulder, right? Or ExxonMobile. I mean, she can pull it off because of the cultural cache that Angry Birds has right now, but it is -- when you do stunts like this you are in danger of going over a line.
LU STOUT: All right, Nick Thompson joining us live from the New Yorker there. Thank you very much indeed for that. And we'll talk again next week.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.