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Japan's Crippled Nuclear Plant Finally Under Control; Syria Crisis; Bradley Manning Hearing; Afgahn Special Force Conduct House Raiding Drills; Arsenal to Face Milan In Champions League Round of 16

Aired December 16, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


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 Japan, where officials have declared a cold shutdown of the nuclear plant crippled by an earthquake and tsunami nine months ago.

The Army private accused of leaking sensitive documents to WikiLeaks will face a military court in the U.S.

And a Hollywood action star gets roughed up as Christian Bale attempts to visit a Chinese activist.

Now, Japan's crippled nuclear plant is finally under control. A cold shutdown has been achieved at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant nine months after it was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami. Japan's prime minister announced the significant step.


YOSHIHIKO NODA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): They have reached a major juncture in connection to the nuclear accident. I would like to report to the people of Japan, without the recovery of Fukushima, there will be no recovery for Japan.


STOUT: Japan has put the Fukushima Daiichi crisis on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But in the immediate aftermath of the March 11th quake and tsunami, the scale of the plant's problems were not clear.

Two days later, the government ordered an evacuation for the people living within 20 kilometers. And here you see the emperor visiting a shelter in Fukushima. About 80,000 people still have not been allowed to return home.

Several explosions there at the plant rattled nerves over the next several days, and workers pumped in seawater to try to cool the reactors. And hundreds of engineers and firefighters and soldiers have put their lives on the line to contain the nuclear crisis. Initially dubbed "The Fukushima 50," they tolerated tough conditions and exposure to radiation.

Now, in June, Japan's nuclear safety agency reported that reactors 1, 2 and 3 had experienced a full meltdown. Temperatures finally went below the boiling point by October. But food safety remains quite the concern. Contamination has been detected in vegetables, as well as fish and rice, and the long-term effects are unknown. And experts say cleanup could take another 40 years.

Paula Hancocks has been covering this story since the March disaster. She joins us now live from Seoul, South Korea.

And Paula, how were the engineers able to stabilize and achieve cold shutdown at the plant?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, this is a goal that TEPCO, the operator, and also the government, had really given itself to make sure that they did get to this point by the end of the year. Now, it has been welcomed as a milestone. It's being called a symbolic milestone. But it has been questioned by some experts as maybe not that significant, not something we should get too carried away by.

Yes, it is progress, certainly, from what we have seen in the past, the fact that within the reactors, this temperature is below boiling point. It's below 100 degrees Centigrade, which means that, basically, the nuclear fuel rods cannot, in theory, reheat and cause a nuclear chain reaction and fission. So, certainly, this is good news.

But what some experts are querying is a culture -- it usually refers to a power plant that is working normally. It usually refers to nuclear fuel rods that are in a safe and a stable condition. Now, clearly, this is not the case here in Fukushima.

Some is not actually known still of what state these nuclear fuel rods are in. Of course, the workers can't get close enough to be able to see first hand exactly what is happening within these reactors. So there is some tempering of excitement by some experts, saying that this is not a significant amount of progress, but certainly progress.

The prime minister, of course, was calling it progress. He said that now the country can move on from a different shift of focus from trying to stabilize these reactors to actually decommissioning these reactors. He did acknowledge though that there is a lot of work to do in the future.


NODA (through translator): The requirement for the revival of Fukushima is bringing the nuclear accident under control. Since the accident occurred on March 11th, we have been doing our best in giving top priority to stabilize conditions in the nuclear reactors. The government has been making all its efforts in the disaster-affected area outside of the nuclear power plant. Strong effects, deep effects still remain.

Decontamination work needs to be done. Debris needs to be cleared. And the evacuees need to be returned home. There are still many problems remaining.


HANCOCKS: And, of course, we should focus on those evacuees. Eighty-eight thousand are still living away from home, many of them not knowing, Kristie, when they can go home or even if they will be able to go home. So this announcement today would be unlikely really to make any of them feel better or any more secure in the fact that they will be able to regain their lives anytime soon -- Kristie.

STOUT: That's right, it is a milestone, but still so many problems ahead. It could still take four decades to fully clean up the contamination.

So, Paula, what is the next phase of the cleanup operation?

HANCOCKS: Well, according to nuclear experts, what now needs to happen is that the nuclear fuel rods have to be removed. But, of course, this isn't something that can be done quickly. It could take two or three years to just investigate the situation and try and assess how to go about this.

And, of course, there isn't a definitive decision at this point of what exactly the Fukushima Daiichi power plant will look like at the end. Will it be completely dismantled or not? So these are all decisions that have to come in the future.

And of course the workers that are working there are being exposed to certain levels of radiation. The TEPCO operators have to be very aware of monitoring those health conditions for those workers, considered national heroes across Japan for having risked so much to avert this crisis. But they will have to be watched very closely.

So this is certainly a step, but it is a step in a very long journey. As you say, it could take up to 40 years -- Kristie.

STOUT: Paula Hancocks, joining us live on the story.

Thank you very much indeed for that.

And don't forget, a large area around the plant, it is still closed off to the public. As Paula mentioned, over 80,000 people lived in a 20-kilometer radius from the plant in towns like Futaba.

And take a look at this picture. It's from inside the exclusion zone. And this picture, it was taken by journalists touring the area showing one of the deserted towns near the plant. But the area was not entirely without life.

Now, in the aftermath, people left so quickly, that many pets were left behind. And animal lovers eventually traveled to the area to feed and rescue some of the pets.

Russia appears to be moving its position on Syria closer to that of Western governments. It has come up with a new U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an end to the violence between Syrian security forces and anti- government protesters. The Russian draft does not include sanctions or an arms embargo, but it does refer to what it calls a disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities. Germany, for one, says the resolution does not go far enough, but it says it could be improved.

The U.N. says the government crackdown has killed more than 5,000 people and threatens to drag the country into civil war.

Ivan Watson is following this story from Turkey. He joins us now live from Istanbul.

And Ivan, will the Russian proposal bring the members of the U.N. Security Council together and finally take action on Syria?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you trust the French ambassador's words, he does appear that -- he suggests that both sides are moving closer. I mean, for the first time, we're hearing the Russians start to suggest that the Syrian authorities may be using disproportionate force. The Russian traditional position has been criticizing Western governments, accusing them of pushing the Syrian opposition not to come to the negotiating table with the Syrian government.

It's interesting to note that the Syrian vice president is in Moscow for talks with the Russian government. It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of that right now.

In the meantime, the death toll continues to climb every day within Syria. Friday is the traditional day of protests. We're hearing reports -- difficult to confirm right now -- that the embattled city of Homs, which has been encircled for some time by Syrian security forces, that there have been some large protests there. We're trying to get more on that.

But there is the suggestion that the genie is out of the bottle when it comes to the violence, when it comes to the anger, and just the sheer amount of blood that has been spilled. Take a look at this video from the city of Hama, also another flash point, where you see Syrian soldiers firing apparently- somewhat indiscriminately at rooftops in that area, seemingly very comfortably.

And I also want to direct you to another video, and I have to warn viewers, this is quite graphic. This shows Syrian security forces, soldiers, according to their uniforms, walking amid the corpses of several men who appear to be civilians. One of them clearly has a camera strap around his neck.

We've checked with Syrian citizens. They say that this does appear to be filmed next to Lake Rastan, also in the center of the country. And one of the soldiers actually stopped for a minute to smile, to mug for the camera.

We have seen other videos like this emerging, Kristie, over the course of this deadly nine months in Syria, and it's hard to imagine how both sides in this conflict can ever resolve the deep hatred that is evidenced, at least in this video. We don't know how these people were killed, but it's clear that the soldiers don't seem to really care, and they're cursing the dead men at their feet as they make this video -- Kristie.

STOUT: More reports of violence depicted quite graphically there in that YouTube video you screened just then.

And meanwhile, where you are, in Istanbul, an ex-Syrian ambassador as launched an opposition group. What has Bassam Imadi been telling you?

WATSON: Well, he says that he fled across the border less than two weeks ago. He sent his family out as well. And yesterday, here in Istanbul, he was launching a new group that he's calling the National Alliance, one of the myriad opposition groups that have come out against the Syrian regime. They're going to be holding a meeting with another exiled group, the Syrian National Council, in Tunisia, starting tomorrow.

I asked him, "How come we're not seeing more high-level members of the Syrian government bureaucracy defecting, splitting with the regime after the deaths of more than 5,000 people?" He told me it's largely because of fear, but he also said there were close familial ties.

Take a listen.


MOHAMMED BASSAM IMADI, FMR. SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO SWEDEN: There are many officials in the government, diplomats, judges and otherwise, who are actually part of the regime. They're either relatives of the president, they're either benefiting from the regime, the corruption in the regime, or, in one way or another, their interests are unified with the interests of the regime. And that's why they wouldn't think of defecting.

I gave examples before. Some of the ambassadors are relatives of the president or his friends.


WATSON: Now, it's fascinating to note that as he was launching yet another opposition group, the Syrian state news agency published an article accusing Bassam Imadi of "deceit, fraud and trickery," saying that is why he was pushed out of the diplomatic corps two years ago, charges that he, of course, is denying.

In the meantime, this is not a uniform opposition movement. Some of it is clearly armed. Look at this video of dozens, scores of Syrian armed men in uniform claiming to be members of an opposition militia out of the area of Jabal al-Zawiya, swearing to oppose the Syrian government. We're seeing more and more videos like this suggesting that the opposition is becoming increasingly weaponized --- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes. And that armed clashes will be on the rise there inside Syria.

Ivan Watson, on the story for us.

Thank you very much indeed for that.

Russian authorities say that they have found radioactive material on a flight from Moscow to Tehran earlier this Friday. They say they detected the material in someone's luggage.

That luggage contained 18 metal objects in individual steel cases. And tests show the objects were the radioactive isotope sodium 22. And normally that only comes from a nuclear reactor. A criminal investigation is under way.

Now, ahead on NEWS STREAM, he is serving time for leaking national secrets. U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is set to make a rare appearance when his hearing begins later on Friday, and we will take you there live.

Plus, actors and activism apparently don't mix in China. Christian Bale gets the boost for trying to meet Chen Guangcheng.

And as the war in Afghanistan rages on, NATO says the country's special forces are ready to step up.


STOUT: Now, it has been more than a year and a half since this young U.S. Army private, Bradley Manning, was arrested over national security concerns. He is suspected of giving hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks in the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history. And since his arrest, Manning has spent the majority of his time in solitary confinement.

But today he will face a military court in the U.S. state of Maryland, charged with 22 counts of violating military code, the worst of which, aiding the enemy, could get him life in prison.

Brian Todd is at the Article 32 hearing and joins us now live from outside the courtroom at Fort Meade Army base in Maryland.

And Brian, what will this hearing determine?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this hearing is going to determine whether Private Manning is actually going to stand court-martial. This is the military equivalent of a grand jury or a preliminary hearing in civilian court, so it's really a preliminary proceeding. But it's going to be a fascinating few days, because it will give us our first chance to actually see Bradley Manning possibly in person.

We're going to be watching through closed-circuit cameras. Some of us may be allowed into the courtroom periodically. We may be able to see him first hand, may be able to get a chance to hear him for the first time actually say anything in his defense.

We've not heard from him. We have only heard from his attorney, David Coombs.

You mentioned this hearing is to determine whether he goes to a full military trial or not. That is very likely. He is charged, as you mentioned, with 22 counts of violating the military code. Those include theft of records and aiding the enemy.

Now, that last charge could land him with life in prison if he's conflicted. Technically, there is a chance that he could get the death penalty, but analysts say it's very unlikely that prosecutors are going to ask for that. Likely, they'll ask for life in prison. A lot of issues could come up during this hearing.

His supporters have said that Bradley Manning was mistreated while he was in military custody in the brig in Quantico Marine Base outside Washington. They say he was deprived of sleep, deprived of food. The military has said he was treated appropriately, but the military did transfer him to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for the remainder of his detention.

A lot of other issues could come up here, whether there was what they call undo command influence on these proceedings. His defense team has drawn up a witness list, we're told, of people like Hillary Clinton and President Obama. A key part of this case could be comments made that President Obama -- comments that President Obama made not too long ago, saying that Bradley Manning broke the law. And his defense team may argue, is that undo command influence, essentially arguing, because of what President Obama said, could he even get a fair trial?

So those are issues that may come up in this hearing, Kristie, and then we'll know in some days from now whether he will stand a full military trial, which is very likely.

STOUT: All right.

Brian Todd, joining us live from Fort Meade.

Thank you very much indeed for that update.

Now, the actor Christian Bale approached CNN for help in meeting Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. And he and our Stan Grant went to Chen's house.

And this was the result. Our exclusive story, ahead.


STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Chinese villagers protesting what they call illegal land seizures have paused to mourn a man who died in police custody. Residents of Wukan say the local government has taken their land and sold it to developers for the past decade.

And 42-year-old Xue Jinbo is believed to have led recent protests. And villagers believe police beat him to death over the weekend, but officials say he died of natural causes. Some Wukan residents say that they are cut off from supplies and fear that police may storm the village. The local government has not responded to CNN requests for comments.

The Xinhua news agency reports a noted human rights lawyer has been jailed. A Beijing court ordered Gao Zhisheng to spend three years in prison for seriously violating his probation. Gao had been given five years probation back in 2006 for subversion. He has not been seen since April, 2010.

Now, he is known for his role as "Batman," a caped crusader for justice. And now actor Christian Bale is taking on a real-life campaign. The Academy Award winner is in China for the premiere of a film that he shot there, and he's using his time in China to highlight the plight of a blind human rights activist who has been held in his home for more than 15 months.

But as Stan Grant reports, in China celebrity can't open all doors.


CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: Why can I not go visit this man?

STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hollywood actor Christian Bale is used to action, but this is no movie set.

BALE: We've been stopped.

GRANT: Plainclothes Chinese security, who would not identify themselves, determined to stop him and our crew contacting a detained human rights activist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch it, Christian. Watch it.

GRANT (on camera): We're trying to get out of here. Once again we've been stopped. We've been stopped right here.

And as you can see, they're pushing Christian here. We're just trying to leave peacefully. We're trying to leave peacefully.

(voice-over): As we leave, the guards give chase in their car.

(on camera): They're still right on our tail.

(voice-over): Christian Bale says this is not what he had hoped for. He made an eight-our car journey from Beijing to try to meet a personal hero, the blind, self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

BALE: I'm not being brave doing this. The local people who are standing up to the authorities and insisting on going to visit Chen and his family, and getting beaten up for it, and my understanding is being detained for it and everything, I want to support what they're doing.

GRANT: Bale has been in China for the premiere of a film he's made here about the Japanese invasion of Nanjing in the 1930s. Bale could have rolled up the red carpet and left, but the actor whose movie is about suffering and injustice could not leave China without highlighting this real-life struggle.

Chen Guangcheng has campaigned against alleged forced abortions and the treatment of villagers in China. In 2006, he was sentenced to more than four years in prison for disrupting traffic and damaging property. He denies those allegations.

Chen has not been allowed to leave his home since his release last year. Local Chinese authorities in Shandong Province have his house and local village in lockdown. No one allowed in to see Chen.

Authorities here declined to comment on the case.

The United States has championed Chen's cause. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has raised his case during past visits to the region.

Christian Bale now wants to add whatever weight he can.

BALE: I mean, this doesn't come naturally to me, but this was just a situation I said, I can't look the other way.

GRANT: Bale has followed CNN's coverage of Chen's case and approached us to try to meet the blind activist. His hopes were high, until this

BALE: What I really wanted to do was shake the man's hand and say "Thank you" and tell him what an inspiration he is.

GRANT: The Chinese security continued to chase us for more than half an hour. We got away. Chen remains locked in his house.

Stan Grant, CNN, Shandong, China.


STOUT: An elite group of commandos get a first glimpse of the men NATO says are the future of the fight against the Taliban.

And he was once one of the world's most wanted fugitives. We will have the details of the sentencing of Carlos "The Jackal" when we come back.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristi Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now Japan's prime minister has announced a significant step in containing the country's nuclear disaster. A cold shutdown has been achieved at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant nine months after it was hit by huge earthquake and tsunami. Experts say it could take another 40 years to fully clean up the contamination.

Police say they have broken up a global child pornography ring. European police office at The Hague announced that the operation has identified 269 suspects and resulted in 112 arrests so far in 22 countries. Authorities say that the confiscated items contained, quote, some of the worst material ever seen.

Now Iraq has taken control of the last American military base in the country. The handover comes a day after U.S. forces officially mark the end of their military mission in a quiet ceremony in Baghdad. The Iraq war cost the United States more than $800 billion and almost 4,500 American lives. The monitoring group Iraq Body Count says more than 150,000 Iraqis were killed during the war.

Now Russian authorities say that they've found radioactive material on the flight from Moscow to Tehran earlier this Friday. They say they detected the material in someone's luggage and test show the objects were the radioactive isotope sodium 22. Normally that only comes from a nuclear reactor. And a criminal investigation is underway.

And while U.S. troops pull out of Iraq, attention turns to Afghanistan and a war that is still far from finished. And NATO is shining the spotlight on Afghan special forces as the best long-term hope for beating the Taliban. Nick Paton-Walsh got rare access to watch them in action.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the first pictures of an elite group U.S. forces in Afghanistan have been working on for years. NATO says these commandos are trained and equipped to American standards and are the future of fighting the Taliban. But the key thing in rural villages that hate foreigners invading their homes is they're Afghan.

These Afghan special forces putting on a display of force amid a growing controversy. Their next drill target something President Karzai has demanded Americans stop raiding at night -- an Afghan home.

There is a reason why we're being shown this, they're keen to show that Afghan commandos are capable of doing the kind of night raids that are proving deeply unpopular inside Afghanistan without much intrusion and without anybody being hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...people inside the compound. You are surrounded by Afghan forces.

PATON-WALSH: First, they call out. Flash grenades bring out a woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flash bang, which is harmless...

PATON-WALSH: She's searched and then sent back to open doors in the house and get everyone else else.

One man comes. He's searched. And then the commandos assault. NATO says that even when it's not a drill shots are only fired by them about one in 10 times.

This controlled exercise meant to show us the Afghan's already more than capable of doing this on NATO's behalf.

"I promise my nation," the commando says, "the enemies of our country can't change our goal. We're going to get them anywhere."

He's been in 56 raids. So we ask in how many of them did he have to fire a shot?

"It's war. Sometimes you have to shoot," he answers. "Thank you."

And then he's gone.

President Karzai has made an end to U.S. night raids and their civilian casualties are conditioned to American troops staying on permanently. NATO says without them it's almost impossible to hit the Taliban. This, the first glimpse at NATO's solution to a defining problem in their final days here.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, Kabul.


LU STOUT: Now you'll remember we brought you the story of Gulnaz, a young Afghan woman who was raped by relatives and then sentenced to 12 years in prison for adultery. Now she is now free, but her story has gained international attention. Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke exclusively about it to CNN's Fareed Zakaria.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. President, there's a woman named Gulnaz who as you know was sentenced to prison for 12 years after it was reported that her cousin's husband raped her. She was then freed because of your personal action. The great concern human rights activists in the west and in Afghanistan, I should say, is that particularly once the international forces withdraw and perhaps less of a day-to-day involvement that these kind of events will happen day after day after day in Afghanistan.

Why is this kind of thing happening in Afghanistan?

HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN: Well, when I came to the office and upon coming to the office I convened a judicial meeting in which the issue was discussed in detail and the right inquiries made. We, on advice from the chief justice and the administer of justice, decided that this was a case perhaps of misjudgment and that we -- it has to be resolved and resolved by giving her a pardon immediately. That's what I did.

ZAKARIA: There are people in Afghanistan...

KARZAI: To the future, I can assure you -- to the future -- to the future, I can assure you that Afghanistan has a long tradition of judicial applications (ph). It's a -- it's a country that has been troubled a lot, but it is also an old country with a laws and a penal code and judicial history. I can assure you that once the international forces are withdrawn and not as many as there are today, Afghanistan will neither go into trouble within the trouble, or strife, or into miscarriage of justice. I can assure of that.


LU STOUT: Hamid Karzai speaking to CNN earlier.

Now a French court has convicted and sentenced Venezuelan terrorist Carlos The Jackal to life in prison for a series of deadly bomb attacks in the 1980s. Carlos The Jackal's real name is Illich Ramirez Sanchez. He's already serving a life sentence in Paris for a number of other murders in the 1970s.

Now for more, let's got to CNN's Jim Bittermann who is following the story for from Paris. And Jim, how did he appear in court during this trial and when this verdict was read?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I would say a little bit de passe to use a French word. The fact is that Carlos The Jackal is a product of a different era, an era of a different kind of terrorism, of the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Red Brigade. These crimes that he was found guilty of were committed in the early 80s and he's been in jail for the last 17 years.

In fact, a lot of French people have basically forgot about Carlos The Jackal. A lot of them, except for his victims.


BITTERMANN: Every day for the past few weeks, Phillipe Rouault has been making the trip to a Paris courtroom still determined after nearly three decades to see justice done.

In 1982 Rouault was walking down a street in Paris when a tremendous explosion burned him badly and nearly tore his leg off, the blast just a few feet from Paris' famous Champs Elysees was caused by a car bomb. Back then, one of the first such terrorist attacks anywhere.

The explosion killed one person and wounded more then 60 others and was one of a series of four terrorist attacks in France that left 11 dead. Attacks blamed on this man, Illich Ramirez Sanchez nicknamed Carlos The Jackal, a Venezuelan revolutionary who adopted the Palestinian cause as his own.

It wasn't hard finding Carlos for the trial. He was already in jail serving a life sentence for killing two French agents and an informant in 1975. There followed years of hijackings, hostage tackings, and terrorist attacks which experts say killed hundreds of people. As Carlos himself admitted when you wage war for 30 years a lot of blood gets spilled.

JOHN FOLLAIN, AUTHOR: In his time, Carlos was the terrorist mastermind of the globe. He was the Osama bin Laden of the time. Now, I think he's very much outdated. With the way he speaks, his mindset is very much set in the jargon of that time of the Marxist period of that time.

BITTERMANN: Proof of that came at the beginning of his trial when a judge asked his profession. He responded professional revolutionary in the Leninist tradition.

His lawyer who became his wife in a jailhouse wedding after Carlos was brought back to France in 1994 shares her husband's fondness for political rhetoric.

ISABELLE COUTANT-PEYRE, CARLOS' LAWYER/WIFE (through translator): They are absolutely not in a judiciary affair for murders or assassinations, those kind of things. We are in a political trial. And the question is not raised at all of whether he is innocent or guilty.

BITTERMANN: For the victims of Carlos' attacks, like the one which took place on this spot three decades ago, don't quite see it that way. You ask someone like Phillipe Rouault who spent years in and out of hospitals for the treatment of his injuries, the trial has nothing at all to do with politics, it's personal.

PHILLIPE ROUAULT, VICTIM (through translator): What the blame on Carlos is the fact that he took away my youth. I was 18, full of life. He took my youth because all my youth was in hospital. From that point of view, it's hard to live with it.


BITTERMANN: And Kristie, in court he sort of said -- acknowledged the fact that he is from a different era. He said I am a living archive in reference to the fact that most of his fellow terrorists from that era are either now in jail or dead -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: So Carlos the Jackal, he not only calls himself a revolutionary, he also admits that he is a terrorist?

BITTERMANN: Well he said in court -- in fact he went on a bit of a rant at the final hours of his trial last night, went on for about three or four hours talking about his support for revolutionaries. He always denied that he was linked to these four bombings, but he said that he takes responsibility for revolutionary actions all over the world. And at the very end of it he broke into tears as he was talking about Gadhafi, the president of Libyan leader who was deposed by revolutionaries. He said he was the greatest revolutionary. It shows a little bit how out of touch he is, the fact that Gadhafi himself was the victim of a revolution -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Bizarre detail there. Jim Bittermann joining us live from Paris. Thank you for that.

Now, just ahead here on News Stream, we will have the draw for the knockout round of the Champion's League. Seven time winners Milan, they face another one of Europe's giants. Who will they play? Pedro Pinto will reveal all in just a couple of minutes.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now this news just into CNN, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has won a request to appeal his extradition ruling before Britain's Supreme Court with a last ditch legal attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations. His repeal is set for Februrary 1 next year.

Now some of the top football teams in Europe now know who they'll be facing in the first knockout stage of the Champion's League. Pedro Pinto is here with the latest -- Pedro.


Football fans around the world were served some mouthwatering clashes in the round of 16 of the world's top club competition. Here are the results of the draw that took place earlier today in Switzerland.

The pick of the ties is AC Milan versus Arsenal. More on this clash in just a moment.

Here are the other matches. Another great Italy versus England matchup with Napoli facing Chelsea. Defending champions Barcelona are taking on Bayern Leverkusen of Germany. Nine time winners Real Madrid are up against CSK Moskow. Bayern Munich will take on FC Basel of Switzerland. Internationale face Marseilles. Benfica, Portugal, are taking on Zenit St. Petersburg. Last but not least Lyon battle APOEL Nicosia of Cyprus.

After the draw, most of the buzz was about that Milan-Arsenal tie. The seven time winners will play at the Santigo first. These two teams faced each other four years ago in the Champions League and the Gunners came out on top.

Arsenal were hoping to avoid one of the big sides after winning their group, but it wasn't to be. Of course, they had to face Barcelona in the round of 16 last year, now they have to contend with another major team from the continent A.C. Milan.

Europa league draw also took place. And in the round of 32 there are two fantastic ties to look forward to. I can tell you that Manchester United are facing Ajax. And Manchester City take on F.C. Porto.

Reigning European champions Barcelona are still trying to digest the news of David Villa's serious injury. The striker could be out of action for up to five months after breaking his leg on Thursday. Villa fractured his tibia when he fell awkwardly after chasing a ball down during the club world cup semifinal against Al-Sadd in Japan. He was stretchered off and was taken to hospital where he received the bad news.

The 30-year-old has already flown back to Spain where he will undergo surgery over the weekend. His injury is a big blow for Barca and Spain.


PEP GUARDIOLA, BARCELONA MANAGER (through translator): I understand it's going to be a long time until he comes back. And losing him is a blow to the team. Of course we are not happy. We are very sad. And I do hope he will recover as quickly as possible.


PINTO: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is expecting to hear a verdict by the end of Friday whether the football association has found him guilty of racially abusing Manchester United Defender Patrice Evra. The Uruguayan international was charged by the FA with abusing Evra and referring to his ethnic origin and/or color of skin during a Premier League match between Liverpool and United in October.

Evra initially claimed he was targeted by Suarez in an interview with the French media. If found guilty, Suarez could be banned, fined, or both.

American striker Landon Donovan is headed back across the Atlantic. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer announced that the club had reached an agreement to send the midfielder to England's Everton on a two month loan. This will be the second time in three years that Donovan will have played for the Premier League club.

The reigning rugby world cup champions have a new coach. On Friday, the New Zealand All Blacks looked within and appointed Steve Hanson to replace Graham Henry. Hanson has served as an All Blacks assistant coach for eight years. The 52-year-old told reporters that world cup history has shown that the teams that win the world cup struggle slightly after lifting the trophy. Hanson did add, quote, "that makes the challenge ever more exciting," end quote.

He was chosen to succeed Henry after the previous coach decided to step down following the All Blacks' world cup triumph on home soil two months ago.

That's a quick look at sports for this hour. Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now can you sum up 2011 in just one word? Well, the pros submit their picks. And you'll find out in just a moment.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now China's first ever aircraft carrier was spotted in the Yellow Sea as satellite from Digital Globe shows the carrier cruising away on its second sea trial to the south of Dalian (ph).

Now China bought the carrier from the Ukraine in 1998. And it is finally on the move after years of refurbishing. But China is still a long way from matching the American carrier fleet. Now Chinese carrier reportedly has a full load displacement of 67,000 tons while Americans have 10 Nimitz carriers that displace more than 90,000 tons.

Now a tropical storm is bearing down on the southern Philippines at this very hour. Pedram Javaheri is at the world weather center with that and more -- Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. And you know what we're looking at here, Kristie, is a storm system that in the works was potentially a typhoon a couple of days ago, but never really had enough chance to form into a typhoon, but still very dangerous storm system at this hour that begins moving in towards portion of Menendau (ph) and very heavy rainfall already reported across the south Philippines. And notice how the moisture fans itself all the way across portions to the north around Samer (ph) where they're getting very heavy rainfall as well.

But some of the higher populated regions there say around Cebu, they're going to be out of the direct path of this storm system.

In the next day or so, say Saturday night, the storm begins entering the Sulu Sea. And the wind is going to be roughly about 65 to 70 kilometers per hour. And it kind of keeps that status for at least a day or so before it strengthens back up. But it doesn't really look like at this point it's going to get up to typhoon status. But heavy rainfall certainly up and down the southern coast of regions around the Philippines there, upwards of say eight to 10 centimeters before the storm re-emerges back out over the Sulu Sea or the South China Sea and it heads out towards southern portions of Malaysia in the next couple of days.

But I want to show you what's been happening over Europe, because a broad storm system, one after another, beginning to work its way towards this region. There is the center of circulation with the storm. And through the English Channel right here, we've had a lot of problems in the past 24 or so hours with not only destructive waves out there, but strong winds upwards of 130 or so kilometers per hour in western France.

And I just want to take you out to Google Earth and take you to the northwest coast of France near Brest. In this region right here in the Bretagne Province out there, looking at some of the observations. We know that there's been a cargo ship out there with 19 crewman on board displaying a Maltese flag out there has gone down. An oil slick across the regions around Lorient and also Quiberon. And what we're looking at here is this -- right now the crew members look to be OK, but some 180 tons of oil and some 40 tons of fuel right along the coastal regions heading towards that direction.

I just want to show you what the conditions were as this storm system was coming in with that vessel out there. And Kristie, you take a look, that's the buoy observation here and wave height at this hour at 25 feet. That's roughly 10 meter high waves across portions from some of those observations as this storm began coming in.

A little interactive perspective for you on a Friday as we send it back, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Much appreciated.

Pedram, thank you. Have a good weekend.

And now, look over here and look at the top words of 2011. Merriam- Webster says an unprecedented number of users looked up the world pragmatic. It means practical as opposed to idealistic. Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large says the word is not associated with any one event. And pragmatic actually came in second last year to austerity.

Now already revealed its word of the year. And it is this one, tergiversate. It means to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, et cetera. And the web site's head of content told The Huffington Post it picked the world to represent the year's tumultuous events.

Now China has also chosen its top word. The character Kong in Pinying (ph) here, K-O-N-G. It generally means control. And Chinese media report 2 million internet users help select it. Organizers say Kong indicates the public's expectations and the government's efforts to respond.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.