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North Korea's Transition; South Korean Reaction to Kim Jong-il's Death; China Power Plant Protest; Piers Morgan To Testify About Phone Hacking Today; Egyptian Protesters Plan Million Woman March

Aired December 20, 2011 - 00:08:00   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 North Korea, where the country's "Dear Leader" lies in state as his son says farewell to Kim Jong-il.

In China, tens of thousands of protesters fill the streets of another town in the latest show of defiance from the country's people.

And allegations that this man orchestrated bombings in Iraq. The country's Sunni vice president responds.

At this hour, the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il lies in state. As he was in life, Kim is surrounded by symbolic pageantry. The glass sarcophagus is surrounded by red flowers called kimjongilia, and he lies in the same mausoleum that displays his father's body.

Now, Kim's youngest son and successor has paid his respects, and senior military and government officials stood by Kim Jong-un's side. The image appears to reinforce the young Kim's new role as North Korea's leader.

And the world is watching closely during this time of transition.

Our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins us now live from CNN London.

And Christiane, the United States wants to see a "peaceful and stable" transition in North Korea, but will it proceed smoothly?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course this is the question on everybody's mind. That peninsula is so tense and has been for decades for now. But what's clear is that the United States, South Korea, China, all these countries are being very measured in their language and in their words right now.

They are practically offering condolences. They're certainly telling the North Korean people that they are sorry about what's happening and that they hope that they will rejoin negotiations and rejoin sort of the community of nations. But what they're doing is really sort of not ratcheting up the tension, and that is something that the experts, the Korea watchers have said is very important in this initial phase.

STOUT: Now, North Korea became a nuclear weapons state under Kim Jong-il. So what is next for efforts to get nuclear talks back on track?

AMANPOUR: Well, Kristie, you know, over the last several months, the United States and North Korean officials have been talking. There have been talks in New York, in Beijing, in Geneva. And there was word that there might be a new deal in the works. In other words, one that perhaps mirrored what happened in what we reported on in 2008, when North Korea suspended its nuclear activities at Yongbyon.

At that time, it was just extracting plutonium. Now it's ratcheted it up to uranium enrichment. So this was ongoing.

It is obviously, according to the experts, according to the U.S., something that's going to be on hold now to watch and see whether Kim Jong-un can actually carry out the same kind of policies that his father and his father's officials were doing just before his sudden death. So, if that happens, then that would be a fairly good development, because tensions have been very high since 2008, when Kim Jong-il first suffered that stroke, when he became ill, and when all the sort of good will that existed at that time started to fissure (ph) away and there was much more confrontation between the two sides ratcheted up.

If you remember back in 2008, I went to North Korea and we watched them blow up the cooling tower at Yongbyon. That was a high point in trying to calm tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and the rest of that region.

STOUT: Now, China is, of course, a crucial player in all this, believed to be North Korea's key ally. How is China factoring in the situation, and will China act to rein in North Korea, or will it just focus on stability?

AMANPOUR: Well, stability is issue number one for China, for South Korea, and for everybody in that region, including the United States. Already, China has said that it has been having talks. The foreign minister of China and South Korea have had talks, including, also, they've been talking to the United States. So they're trying to project an image of unity and of calm and stability during this transition.

China is one of the only countries that has an ongoing dialogue with North Korea. Kim Jong-il traveled many times to Beijing and has had quite a lot of talks with Beijing. Often, Kim Jong-il did things that caught the Chinese by surprise, but like South Korea, China, which shares a border with North Korea, is very worried about the nightmare scenario, and that is a collapse of the North Korean republic that would send people, all the population, either south or north into China or South Korea. And that is something they've been very worried about.

Experts such as former U.S. ambassadors have said they believe that Kim Jong-un will try not to rock the boat at this moment, that it's not in the interest of the North Korean establishment to really rock the boat at this moment.

And one other thing. Kim Jong-un, much has been written about the fact that he studied for a while in Switzerland. Now, that might not amount to much; however, it is a significant difference between his father and his grandfather, who really had not traveled much outside North Korea. At least he's young and has seen part of the world.

And you just reported on protests in China. These protests are sweeping the world, as we've seen in the last year. Unlikely to come to North Korea anytime soon, but nonetheless, that is what is going on. That's the dynamic around the world, and very close to North Korea at this time.

STOUT: Yes. It will be interesting to see if there's a more open, more modern North Korea under Kim Jong-un.

One last question for you. You mentioned how Kim Jong-il's death seemed to catch many by surprise. It seemed so sudden.

What was your reaction when you first heard the news? Were you surprised? And were governments around the world simply caught off guard?

AMANPOUR: I think everyone was caught off guard. On the other hand, not really, because his illness has been a factor since 2008.

And, in fact, we could see what happened when he got ill in 2008. All the progress that was being made between the United States, North Korea and the so-called six-party nations came to a screeching halt. And it was very important, that progress.

I mean, if you remember, we went there with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. It was an amazing moment of a cultural opening, of an attempt to sort of break down the barriers of distrust through not necessarily hard diplomacy, but culture. And in that part of the world, cultural development often presage diplomatic developments.

You remember what happened in China with Ping-Pong diplomacy that then led to the U.S. and China having formal relations. But at that time, we saw Yonbgyon be dismantled. I was there as they took vital parts of the reprocessing part of the factory and put it in Saran Wrap, in plastic paper. And so -- and then blowing up the cooling tower.

All of this was moving in a direction that was ratcheting down tensions. And then after he became ill, that all came to a halt and you saw missile tests, you saw all sorts of things that then started to ratchet tensions up, including the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel.

So what is at stake now is, as the British foreign secretary has said, a possible turning point for North Korea. And the international community just wants to be sure that it can help make that a positive turning point rather than a negative one.

STOUT: Christiane Amanpour, joining us live from London.

Thank you very much, indeed.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

STOUT: Now, South Korea will not send a government delegation to Kim Jong- il's funeral, but Seoul has expressed sympathy to the people of North Korea.

Anna Coren has been monitoring the mood in South Korea's capital. She joins us now.

And Anna, Seoul has finally expressed its condolences to Pyongyang. Was that a difficult gesture for them to make?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, it certainly caught many people by surprise here. As you know, the South has had a real difficult relationship with the North. If anything, relations between the two countries hit rock bottom of late, particularly after 2010, the sinking of that warship, and also the shelling of the South Korean island.

And President Lee Myung-bak, he has a very conservative government. And after those events in 2010, food aid was cut.

So, to see South Korea express its sympathies to the North Korean people, it's believed here that this is South Korea's way of reaching out to its neighbor. A very positive side, indeed.

STOUT: And what is the mood in South Korea? Is there great apprehension about what will come next?

COREN: Without a doubt, Kristie, there is a real feeling of uncertainty. But one thing that I want to talk to you about is the backlash also under way here in South Korea, the backlash over the fact that South Korea did not know that Kim Jong-il had died.

You have to remember, he died on that train on Saturday. The world did not find out about this until some 50 hours later. And that is when South Korea also found out about it. President Lee Myung-bak was delivered the news, along with everybody else.

Now, a short time ago, we spoke to the head of South Korea's intelligence service, Mr. Kwon Young-se. And he grilled the NIS, the National Intelligence Service, which is equivalent to the CIA. He was demanding answers. Why was South Korea in the dark over the death of Kim Jong-il?

Well, the organization, it defended itself. It said that North Korea's allies such as China and Russia had no idea. They also said that the day- to-day operations in Pyongyang did not change, that the military, that the regime, that everything just flowed on as normal, so that when that news was delivered by that newscaster that we all witnessed on Monday, at midday local time, it caught everybody off guard. But the head of the intelligence service says it's not acceptable and that, certainly, this inquiry will continue -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes. North Korea very opaque about making that announcement.

And meanwhile, what is the view from Seoul about restarting talks with North Korea on its nuclear program?

COREN: Well, if you listen to the U.S. State Department, they delivered a line overnight that said they were supposed to be in talks with the North Koreans. U.S. officials were expected to meet with North Korean officials in Beijing on Monday. So -- and that was to talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The United States was going to donate a very large parcel of food aid, desperately needed food aid to the North Koreans, in exchange for North Korea actually suspending the uranium enrichment program. And by all reports, Kristie, the North was on board. But obviously the death of Kim Jong-il brought that to a halt. The U.S. State Department says that it will obviously respect this period of mourning and hope to pick up those discussions in the new year -- Kristie.

STOUT: Anna Coren joining us live from Seoul.

Thank you.

Now, the U.S. has also chosen careful words, offering condolences to the people of North Korea. The U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, says Washington hopes Pyongyang will guide the nation on to the path of peace. She made this statement alongside her Japanese counterpart --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Today, the foreign minister and I discussed the evolving situation on the Korean Peninsula in light of the reports from North Korea state-owned media on the death of Kim Jong-il. We both share a common interest in a peaceful and stable transition in North Korea, as well as in ensuring regional peace and stability. We have been in close touch with our partners in the six-party talks today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: China's foreign minister has also been in touch with Mrs. Clinton. And South Korea's foreign minister and Beijing says that it talked on Tuesday about Kim Jong-il's death. China is regarded as North Korea's closest ally.

Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, making their voices heard. Thousands of protesters take to the streets in southern China, but we'll tell you what happened after the riot police showed up.

A wanted man in Iraq. The country's Sunni vice president responds to accusations his own bodyguards tried to kill top government officials.

And misery in the Philippines. The nation's president gets a firsthand look at the destruction from a killer tropical storm.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now, a show of defiance in China's Guangdong Province. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Shantou City. They want a local power plant removed because they say it is polluting the area. One resident tells us that demonstrators have faced off against riot police and that a number of protesters have been beaten.

Let's get the latest now from Eunice Yoon. She's in Beijing.

And Eunice, this is another major protest there in China's Guangdong Province. What's the latest?

EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The protesters have gone home for the day, but most of the residents have said that they might actually be coming out again for a second demonstration tomorrow.

Now, what had happened was that tens of thousands of people had come out into the streets in a fishing village called Haimun (ph). They gathered outside of a government building because of the fact that there's a coal- powered power plant which they say has been polluting the waters. A lot of these people are fishermen or people who make their living off of fishing. And they said that the plant has been polluting the waters and making them very sick.

There's also a plan for a second power plant. And these people had come out with a petition letter, and they sent it to the government, and they said that they didn't want this project to go ahead.

Now, they said that they didn't get any response from the government, so they occupied the highway. And they said that that was when the police came out with the tear gas and dispersed the crowd.

Some of the people told us that some of those protesters ended up in the hospital. Some of them also were taken away.

Now, what's significant here is the fact that we do have protests in China quite often. However, the size of this one and the way that people were so emboldened was really quite interesting, Kristie, because the area of Guangdong has been quite restive as of late.

STOUT: The video we screened just now is incredible. It really gives us an indication of the size of this protest there in Haimun (ph). Now, Haimun (ph) and Wukan, both in Guangdong Province, but two very different protests. One is over crop land dealings. The other one that you're covering right now is over pollution.

But is there a link, Eunice? Are the protesters in Haimun (ph), are they emboldened by what they have seen and heard is happening in Wukan?

YOON: Well, that's another interesting trend here that we thought was quite interesting, the fact that some of these people had actually heard about what was happening in Wukan. And, in fact, some of the village chiefs in the neighboring area of Wukan, which is about a 90 minutes' drive away from Haimun (ph) had said that they felt empathetic towards the villagers in Wukan and were watching that situation very closely.

The villagers there have been angry over what they saw is unfair land grabs. They have barricaded themselves in the village and are in a very public revolt with the local authorities.

Right now it looks as though the government authorities, the local authorities, are trying to negotiate some sort of deal with the villagers in Wukan because those Wukan villagers had said that they had planned another march tomorrow. A lot of people are watching that closely.

Another thing that was interesting here was that in the village of Haimun (ph), the local authorities told us tonight that they have decided to suspend the power plant construction -- Kristie.

STOUT: Eunice Yoon, joining us live from Beijing.

Thank you very much indeed for keeping an eye on both protests taking place in southern China.

Now, Syria appears to be ramping up its crackdown on anti-government protesters. Syrian state TV announced today that anyone who participates in terrorist acts or distributes weapons will be executed. This comes as two opposition groups claim that more than 100 people were killed on Monday across the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says dozens of army defectors were gunned down as they tried to flee their posts. Activists also say that at least 48 civilians died in separate incidents.

Now, in less than one hour, a million woman march is scheduled to get under way in Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital. Demonstrators are furious at the military's apparent beating and stripping of a female protester. Adding to the tensions, at least 14 people have died in four days of violent clashes between pro-democracy protesters and military and police forces.

Egyptian ministry officials say hundreds of people have been hurt. And will have much more on the unrest and the million woman march later, right here on NEWS STREAM.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, live from Hong Kong.

And coming up, as the death toll rises from Tropical Storm Washi, authorities in the Philippines try to head off a new threat -- the threat of disease.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

The Iraqi vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, is refuting allegations that he orchestrated a death squad to target government officials. He calls the accusations fabricated and a political assassination.

Now, Iraq's Interior Ministry claims that three of the Sunni vice president's security guards, including the man shown here, confessed to carrying out attacks, and that they did so under orders under al-Hashemi. Al-Hashemi's supporters say the accusations are part of a witch hunt by Iraq's Shiite-led government.

Let's get more now from Arwa Damon in Baghdad.

And Arwa, what is really happening here? Is this a political move?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is what al-Hashemi and his bloc are claiming. They're saying that al-Maliki is effectively a paranoid leader who has absolutely no trust in the other political parties, and that is why he has taken these actions just as soon as the U.S. military completed its withdrawal.

There are great concerns amongst the Iraqiya bloc, that is the bloc that al-Hashemi belongs to, that this is potentially going to catapult the country towards even more violence. They say that, as you mentioned there, these are politically motivated and they are being driven by the fact that al-Maliki is trying to consolidate as much power as quickly as he possibly can.

The great concern is that this kind of a move, directed against the Sunni vice president, is only going to reopen the sectarian fissures here. And these are divides that have hardly even begun to heal.

The great concern when it comes to that, of course, is that, as Iraqis know only too well, when those fissures are reopened, they very often end up leading towards violence. At the end of the day, the Maliki government itself may somehow survive this political crisis. The great concern, though, is that the country will not and it will move towards an abyss from which it will not be able to pull itself back -- Kristie.

STOUT: And is that the view being shared by most Iraqis? What is the mood there? I mean, we have a major political crisis here, sectarian concerns, a big question mark over security after the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Are Iraqis even more fearful about what comes next?

DAMON: They absolutely are. And you nailed it right there. Iraqis are fearful to begin with, and now it most certainly seems as if their worst fears are being realized with these most recent allegations.

Now, when it comes to the Iraqiya bloc's position, they fully say that they are within the law. The vice president has said that he will stand trial, although he wants to do so in Iraq's Kurdish north, because he feels that that is a neutral ground. But that being said, Iraqis most certainly are very aware of the potential implications that this could have.

Many of them didn't believe that there's an actual unity government, but it was somehow managing to hold itself together. And now it is crumbling the very moment the U.S. military completes its withdrawal. This is many people's worst fears being realized, quite simply because they paid the price.

They know exactly what sectarian bloodletting looks like here. You'd be hard-pressed to find a family that hasn't lost a loved one, especially in the capital, Baghdad. So the situation most certainly is incredibly tense at this stage -- Kristie.

STOUT: Worst fears realized in Iraq.

Arwa Damon, reporting.

Thank you, Arwa.

Now, the president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, he has been visiting communities hit by Tropical Storm Washi. Mr. Aquino declared a state of national calamity, paving the way for more funds to be released for the victims of the storm.

Flash flooding has killed more than 900 people. Hundreds more are missing. And authorities are now trying to prevent the spread of disease.

(WEATHER REPORT)

STOUT: You're watching NEWS STREAM. And just ahead, we've seen the tears, but do we really understand the anguish? We'll take a closer look at the public sorrow in North Korea over the death of the country's "Dear Leader."

And he may be used to the spotlight, but now it's his turn to answer the tough questions. We'll be live in London for Britain's phone-hacking inquiry, where Piers Morgan is due to testify by video link.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il lies in state now in Pyongyang. His funeral is set for December 28. Kim's youngest son and apparent successor Kim Jong-un paid his respects on Tuesday, meanwhile the world watches anxiously as the troubled nation undergoes an uncertain leadership transition.

Now tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in defiance in Guangdong Province in southern China. Residents of Shantou City want a local power plant removed because they say it is polluting the area. And one resident tells CNN that demonstrators have been beaten by riot police and officers used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

In Egypt, violent clashes between protesters and security forces are entering a fifth straight day at Cairo's Tahrir Square. Now witnesses say riot police use batons, rocks, even live bullets to scatter demonstrators. Now this comes as the so-called million woman march is planned in Tahrir Square in the next hour to protest the military's beating and dragging of women protesters.

The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been sworn in to another term just days before the opposition leader plans his own inauguration. In the highly contested election, which the U.S. State Department called seriously flawed, incumbent Joseph Kabila was declared the winner.

Now North Koreans are mourning the death of Kim Jong-il. He ruled the country for 17 years with help from the powerful propaganda machine which portrayed him as an omnipotent leader. Now his birthplace was reportedly revised from Siberia to a mountain that is sacred to Koreans. And the event was supposedly marked by a double rainbow and a new star in the sky.

Now local officials talked about how Kim could give on the spot guidance about everything from aviation to agriculture. And he was also said to write opera, direct movies, and have 11 holes in one the very first time he golfed.

Now let's delve deeper into Kim's cult of personality. Brian Myers is an expert on North Korean ideology and propaganda and he wrote, "The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why it Matters." He joins us now live from Seoul.

And thank you for joining us here on News Stream.

We have all seen the video. The crying, the wailing in Pyongyang. They appear grief stricken, but how much is sincere and how much is for show?

BRIAN MYERS, AUTHOR: Well, the first thing you need to know, I think, in that in North Korea there is no such thing as a candid video on the news just as there are no candid photographs in the newspapers. Everything is carefully staged and choreographed. But that does not necessarily mean that the average North Korean is not grieving for the Dear Leader as he was called over there.

In the West, we tend to misperceive North Korea, I think, as a failed Communist state and therefore as a state which really can't inspire much love or affection from its people. But as far as the North Koreans are concerned, they see their state as one that has -- that has put Korea on the map, that has stood up to the outside world -- these are things that Kim Jong-il is largely credited for.

LU STOUT: So how was Kim Jong-il able to create this belief system and to cultivate this psychological hole on the people of North Korea?

MYERS: Well, he really was a master of propaganda. He took over the propaganda apparatus in the 1960s when the cult of Kim Il Song really went into overdrive. So he had plenty of experience in propaganda himself even before he took power.

I think the appeal of the personality cult derives to a large extent from the appeal of ethnonationalism itself. The North Koreans are led to believe that they are a uniquely pure blooded, and therefore a uniquely virtuous race, which needs a powerful parental leader in order to survive in this evil world. I think that's a very appealing worldview.

LU STOUT: What are your thoughts on Kim Jong-un. He may be of the Kim dynasty, but will he be able to have the same near godlike status of his father and his grandfather Kim Il Song?

MYERS: I've lost sound.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've lost I.D. (ph)

LU STOUT: I'm sorry. Can you hear me? This is Kristie in Hong Kong. Brian can you hear me?

Unfortunately, it looks like we lost him there. My apologize there. But that was our guest joining us from Seoul. Brian Myers, author and North Korean expert joining us just then. Our apologize for that technical disruption.

Now let's just take this moment and give you a better sense of how North Korean media are reporting the death of Kim Jong-il. And here is a bit of coverage from North Korean state TV Korean Central Television.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The whole country were hurting together. The workers of our nation extended their condolences.

Kim Jong-un have come with other representatives and with the saddest of hearts have shown his condolences and sadness.

Our Dear Leader worked for our happiness and our unification who sacrificed everything and his whole life, who never rested even one day, he guided the military, the policy and the people and made sure that we'll shine forever.

LU STOUT: Clips from North Korean state TV there.

Now North Korean media are now voicing support for the Great Successor. Here's a quote from KCNA about Kim Jong-un. It says this, quote, "he is another great person produced by Korea who is identical to Kim Jong-il. No force on earth can block the revolutionary advance of our party, army, and people wisely led by Kim Jong-un.

Now the Kim family has ruled North Korea since its founding after World War II. Kim Jong-un's grandfather was the country's first leader.

And here is another bit of continuity. Now people are pointing out that it appears the same newscaster who tearfully announced Kim Jong-il's death on Monday also delivered the news when his father, Kim Il Song, passed away 17 years earlier.

Now he is usually the one who asks the questions, but soon Piers Morgan will be the one answering them. Now the host of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight is about to give testimony to the Levenson inquiry about his tabloid past. And he'll speak via video link from the U.S.

And the panel is looking into British media ethics including allegations of illegal phone hacking. Morgan is the former editor of the Daily Mirror and News of the World.

Now senior international correspondent Dan Rivers is outside the UK high court where the inquiry is underway. He joins us now.

And Dan, what have you heard?

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this morning we've been hearing from someone called Sharon Marshall who works at seven different tabloids over a decade, including the now disgraced News of the World. She also wrote a book called "Tabloid Girl" in which detailed some of the more nefarious practices of the British tabloid culture, some sort of apocryphal tales, but apparently largely based on true events.

But I think most eyes will this afternoon be on Piers Morgan. As you say, CNN's anchor who of course edited not only the News of the World in 1994, but also went on to edit the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2005.

He'll be asked about phone hacking, of course, how widespread it was. He's mentioned phone hacking in a number of articles and books before. But he'll be asked specifically about some stories which may or may not be connected to phone hacking, specifically the 2002 scoop that his paper landed concerning the England football coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and his affair with a TV present Ulrika Jonsson. Piers admitted that he learned of the affair from messages left on Ulrika Jonsson's mobile phone.

Now he'll be asked about exactly he came to acquire those messages and whether that was a result of phone hacking.

And also Paul McCartney, former Beatle, leaving messages on his then wife's phone Heather Mills, that message heard by Piers Morgan. Again he'll be asked how that message had been acquired.

But Piers has always been very clear on phone hacking. Although he's acknowledged that it was widespread in Fleet Street during the years that he was here, he's always denied vehemently that he ever hacked a phone, that he asked anyone else to hack a phone, or that he even published a story as a result of phone hacking. And I'm sure he will reiterate that very phone denial when he gives evidence later on this afternoon via video link.

LU STOUT: Dan Rivers, live in London. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Up next here on News Stream, one of the Premier League's biggest stars could learn his fate today. The English Football Association is set to rule on whether Liverpool star Luis Suarez racially abused an opponent. Don Riddell has more on this case next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

It is time now for a sports update. And it could be a very big day for one of the Premier League's premier stars. Let's go to Don Riddell in London to find out why -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Kristie.

Yes, Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is waiting anxiously on the findings of a football association investigation into alleged racial abuse. Suarez is accused of abusing Manchester United's Petrice Evra in a Premier league game in October and referring to his ethnic origin and/or color and/or his race.

A three man panel began debating the case on Wednesday. And Evra is confident that his complaint will be vindicated. Suarez, though, denies the charges.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's attempts to off load their troubled striker Carlos Tevez seemed to have faltered . Today City's manger Roberto Manchini said the club had ruled out a loan deal to A.C. Milan.

The Italian champions don't want to buy the Argentine who has repeatedly fallen out with his employers and who was fined two weeks wages when he refused to come off the bench in a Champions League game in September. It's now over three months since Tevez last played for his club. The next transfer window opens on January 1.

The Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has played down the achievements of Real's bitter rivals Barcelona who just won the Club World Cup. The Catalans returned home with a trophy on Monday having beaten Santos in the final of the mini-FIFA tournament in Japan.

The tournament is for football's continental champions only. And Barcelona had to play just two games to win it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE MOURINHO, REAL MADRID MANAGER (through translator): They are a good team that are right now club world champions. And I congratulate them for getting that title. Although I think it's more important to win Champions League rather than winning those two small games that you play after Champions League.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIDDELL: Well, for all its success Mourinho has never won the Club World Cup. Twice he's won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, but he had left those clubs by the time of the FIFA tournament. He's never actually played in it.

Now the 49ers have got the best defense in the NFL this season. And they were very mean again last night as the NFC West champions beat Pittsburgh in San Francisco. But it wasn't such a bright performance from their old stadium. Candlestick Park is over 50 years old. And twice the lights went out in what was a live televised game.

The Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn't firing on all cylinders either, he was playing on an injured ankle and was clearly struggling. He was sacked there. And then later in the first quarter, he overthrew a pass to Heath Miller. Dashon Goldson made the interception. And the Niners kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive.

So far so good for the home team, except that they just couldn't keep the lights on. Embarrassing for them, but proof perhaps that they desperately need a new stadium. In all, 35 minutes were lost to the darkness.

Roethlisberger must have wished it stayed dark, because the Niners defense was determined to put his lights out. Another sack there in the third quarter.

And on the next drive, Frank Gore took it in for a five yard score. San Francisco were winners by 20-3.

That's all for now, Kristie. We'll have more world sport for you in three hours time.

LU STOUT: All right. Great stuff. Don Riddell, thank you.

You're watching News Stream live from Hong Kong. And when we come back, as the battle for control of Cairo's Tahrir Square enters its fifth day we'll look at plans for a million woman march on the streets of Egypt's capital.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Amnesty International is urging the United Nations to do more to help the safe return of tens of thousands of civilians to their homes in Abyei. It is a troubled region claimed by Sudan and its newly independent neighbor South Sudan. Amnesty says more than 100,000 people, virtually the entire population, were displaced by violence earlier this year. It is now calling for the UN to investigate what happened in Abyei and find out how many people have died and who is still missing.

Now in just a minute, the so-called million woman march is said to get underway at Cairo's Tahrir Square in Egypt, but it's not clear that will happen. Now military troops and police battled protesters at the Square earlier today for a fifth straight day.

Now let's get the very latest from Mohammed Jamjoom. He joins us now live from Cairo. And Mohammed, a million woman march has been promised, but what should we expect to see?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we're right in the middle of Tahrir Square. The march has started already. It looks to be about a few thousand women right now marching. More of the crowd is gathering as we walk along these women marching.

You're seeing a lot of women holding up a picture of the woman who was abused a few days ago who was beaten and stripped and stomped on by security forces. This is the video that has really made the rounds via social media and news outlets and outraged so many both inside and outside Egypt.

You're also hearing chants by the women, "down with the military council." They're asking why the military council here, and that would be the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that's ruled the country since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, why they're lying to the public.

Again, right now it looks like more women are arriving. There are men that are forming a protective ring around the women who are marching. And we're seeing women really of all ages here. We're seeing women that are veiled. We're seeing women that are young that don't have scarves on. And we're seeing older women as well. So conservative, modern, a real mix here.

But there does seem to be a lot of anger at the powers that be here, especially the ruling military council, and a real want by the women that are marching here right now for change in Egypt -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Women from all parts of society there turning out there in Tahrir Square for this promised million woman march today.

You're right there in the center of things. We've heard earlier from the UN human rights chief. She said that she has strong concerns that women are being targeted in the violence in Cairo. Is this true?

JAMJOOM: Well, the women here certainly feel as though they're being targeted. They feel that in the past few days, especially since this latest crackdown, that women have become more of a target for abuse by the armed forces here.

Now security forces here, and the military council, deny this. They had a press conference yesterday in which they say that women and men, protesters of all kinds, are not being targeted here, that members of the armed forces and security forces here have been told not to target protesters.

But there have been so many eye witnesses accounts, so many videos that are making the rounds of social media sites, showing what purports to be abuse, beatings at the hands of armed forces of protesters that are out here in Tahrir Square the surrounding areas.

And not just (inaudible) UN expressed concern. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made a statement of concern yesterday saying this isn't what Egypt is all about, that care must be taken so that this doesn't continue, that this really dishonors Egypt to see women being abused in this manner.

So a lot of concern, not just within Egypt, but also being expressed by the international community about what's going on here and about what women, these women protesters here are facing these days -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, considering what these images from earlier, from Saturday that we're seeing here on our screen.

Mohammed Jamjoom on the phone live from Tahrir Square. Thank you very much indeed for calling in.

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

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