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Second Bailout for Greece; Dominique Strauss-Kahn Questioned in Investigation of Alleged Prostitution Ring; Yemen's First New Leader in 33 Years; Cease-Fire Negotiations Underway In Syria

Aired February 21, 2012 - 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 with Greece, as all-night talks pay off with a deal for a second bailout package.

Former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces questioning over an alleged prostitution ring.

And there's only one candidate. The people of Yemen go to the polls anyway to vote for their first new leader in decades.

In Brussels, a sleepless night has turned into a new dawn for Greece. Eurozone finance ministers were in talks for almost 14 hours, and they emerged bleary-eyed but relieved.

The verdict: Greece will receive a second bailout package worth more than $170 billion. The deal has dozens of conditions attached.

Greece must work to slash its debt to 121 percent of GDP by year 2020 and must implement harsh austerity cuts, which some believe won't solve its extensive financial problems. But for now, the Eurogroup is focusing on the positive road ahead. And earlier on Tuesday, key participants in the bailout talks addressed reporters in Brussels.


JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, EUROGROUP PRESIDENT: After a meeting of at least, I think, 13 or 14 hours, we have reached a far-reaching agreement on Greece's new program and private sector involvement that will lead to a very significant debt reduction for Greece and pave the way towards an unprecedented amount of new official financing being provided for the EFSF to secure Greece's future in the euro area.


STOUT: Now, at the same time, European Commission vice president Olli Rehn said that Greece must keep its end of the bargain.


OLLI REHN, VICE PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We expect that this unprecedented solidarity of Greece's euro area partners is now matched with a strong commitment by the Greek political leaders to fully implement the program, first and foremost, for the benefit of their fellow citizens.


STOUT: Now, news of the deal sent the euro higher against the U.S. dollar, and here is how the European stock markets are performing at the moment. You can see, all down arrows at the FTSE, Xetra DAX, Zurich SMI. The Paris CAC 40 down .75 of one percent there.

And for more on reaction to the bailout announcement, let's bring in our Nina Dos Santos in London.

And Nina, we have a second bailout for Greece. The markets in Europe seem unimpressed for now. Does it solve Greece's problems or does it merely buy more time?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's the big question all of the markets seem to be asking themselves in today's session, Kristie.

What it does for the moment is help to buy Greece some time, because up until just yesterday evening, they had a bond payment due which would be worth just shy of $19 billion, and they had to pay that on the 20th of March, otherwise if they had defaulted on that payment, they would have risked becoming the first country within the eurozone to default and potentially face the risk of expulsion outside of the eurozone.

Having said that, though, Greece still needs some pretty big and deep structural reforms that it's been trying to enact for the best part of the last two years. But the head of the executive arm of the European Union, Jose Manuel Barroso, was at pains last night to show that anybody can make mistakes and learn from them.

Take a listen.


JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: People can learn with their own mistakes. And the reality that there is no alternative for Greece then to have a success, and the fact that the euro area finance ministers unanimously agreed on such an important program, now it's a signal of confidence. No one took (ph) steps of such amount of money landing to a country they don't believe it will work.


DOS SANTOS: But as you were just saying before in your introduction, Kristie, there's obviously a lot of caveats and things attached to the second bailout to make sure that it's a stage-by-stage process and that the Greeks adhere to all of the stages after this money is eventually disbursed.

STOUT: That's right. And given all these conditions, the focus now is on the Greek people. Athens has to deliver some very difficult and painful cuts.

Nina, can Greece carry out more austerity?

DOS SANTOS: Well, they certainly have to. About $325 million of it, to be precise, in accordance for the latest terms of this new bailout that's being put on the cards here.

Obviously, we know that Greece has had a lot of trouble implementing the austerity measures that were linked to the first bailout that it got. It had to sell off a whole raft (ph) of state-owned institutions. It's well behind its targets on that. But some of the recent austerity measures that have been put forward to get this particular bailout for it, this second one, have been pretty stringent.

We're talking about a cut in the minimum wage to people to 22 percent, 32 percent for Greeks who are under 25 years old. And also, thousands and thousands of public sector workers are going to be losing their jobs after already swinging (ph) rounds of public sector job cuts that we've seen over the last two years. So it will be painful, but of course it will be a stage-by-stage process and they just need to stick to those targets to get the bailout money.

STOUT: And across Europe, what is the political cost of this deal? Is there damage done to eurozone relationships?

DOS SANTOS: There's certainly a lot of concern where I am, here in London, and also across the European continent that we could be seeing a two-tier Europe or, indeed, a two-tier eurozone emerging here with, of course, the more fiscally prudent nations like, for instance, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, et cetera, the north. Let's say diverging away from their neighbors towards the south.

A number of these countries like Greece and Spain have historically had high rates of unemployment. Both Greece and Spain have unemployment that's standing above 20 percent and above 40 percent for young people. So these are historical issues.

What we saw in the past, Kristie, is a number of these southern European countries were often used to devaluing their currency, which made their debt pile come down. Of course in the last 10, 12 years or so, that hasn't been an option because they've been part of the euro.

STOUT: Interesting, these reports of tension emerging between euro north and south.

Nino Dos Santos, joining us live from CNN London.

Thank you.

And we want to remind you of this scale of the economic crisis in Greece, and despair has been evident on the streets of Athens for some time. This man is reading a sign that reads, "I'm hungry."

And here's the situation by the numbers. Unemployment in Greece, it stands at almost 21 percent. That means one in five people is out of work there. Now, the youth unemployment rate is much higher, 48 percent, or one in two young Greeks.

And social workers in Greece, they say homelessness has increased as much as 25 percent over the past two years. And according to Eurostat, some 27 percent of Greeks were at risk of poverty in 2010.

Now, it's being called "The Carlton Affair" by the French media, named after a luxury hotel in the northern city of Lille, at the center of an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring. And today the former head of the International Monetary Fund is being questioned in the case.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn says he wants to clear his name after what he calls a media lynching.

Jim Bittermann reports from Paris.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Strauss-Kahn went inside the police station in Lille, about an hour north of Paris, earlier this morning. He's been there since. He's likely to be in there for about 24 hours. He could be in there for as long as 48 hours.

He's got his lawyer with him. And basically, he requested this meeting because he said he wanted to clear his name.

His name has been dropped in connection with a prostitution ring in Lille, a ring centered around the Carlton hotel up there. A number of people have already been arrested, and they've said that, in fact, Strauss-Kahn was one of those people who had benefited from the services of prostitutes.

The question is, did Strauss-Kahn know that in fact the young ladies involved were prostitutes and that they were being paid, in fact, by some of the corporations in the Lille area? That's something that Strauss-Kahn has denied, but nonetheless, if in fact police suspect that, they could hold him for another 48 -- up to 48 hours and could possibly bring charges against him at the end of it.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


STOUT: Coming up on NEWS STREAM, the sole candidate arrives to cast his vote in Yemen's landmark presidential election.

Syria's humanitarian crisis. The Red Cross pleads for a cease-fire so it can deliver aid to those in dire need.

And the "CNN Freedom Project" exposes sex trafficking in Mozambique and the uphill battle to fight it.

Stay with us.


STOUT: To Yemen now and the nation's historic presidential election.

Voting is under way across the country even though there's only one candidate on the ballot. His name? Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He is currently the vice president, and you can see him here as he prepares to vote in the capital, Sanaa.

Now, CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports that voters are choosing the country's first new leader in 33 years.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The signs are everywhere proclaiming the dawn of a new era in Yemen, the election of a new president. The mood is hopeful, but the activists who made Change Square the epicenter of the yearlong uprising are not exactly excited.

"Maybe you can call them elections," says Nadia Abdullah (ph), "but for me, elections should have more than one candidate."

That candidate is Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who became acting president in November as the result of a power transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. The transition, backed by the U.S., led Yemen's autocratic leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, finally to step aside after months of bloodshed. It also guaranteed early and uncontested presidential elections.

Hadi has been vice president since 1994, but never had much of a power base of his own. He'd be elected for a two-year term, but Yemen's problems will take much longer to fix than that.

(on camera): Campaign posters like this one promise more job opportunities for the youth and increased security for the country. Many Yemenis, so tired of how many problems they face here on a daily basis, are hoping against hope that Hadi will be able to start delivering on those pledges.

(voice-over): Patrons of this cafe believe the situation could at last begin to improve.

"To be honest with you," says this man, "these elections are necessary. After the exit of the first regime, hopefully all will go well for the next regime."

The first order of business? Get Yemen working again.

"Hadi's first objective should be for him to repair all the damage that was caused by the recent upheaval," says this man, "like the electricity crisis, like the gas crisis, and all the crises in the country in general."

Crises are nothing new for the poorest country in the Middle East. Even before the uprising against Saleh's three decades in power, it faced a separatist movement in the south, sectarian tensions in the north, a severe water shortage, and rising levels of malnutrition, as well as the growing presence of what Western officials describe as al Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has vowed to continue launching terrorist attacks from its strongholds here.

Back in Change Square, the activists believe that only genuine political reform will save Yemen, and they want Hadi to start it.

"If he goes through with it," says Abdullah (ph), "we will stand hand in hand with him. If he doesn't, or if we see a lot of game playing between him and the opposition, I believe the youth will remain in the squares. They would say, 'Leave,' as they did to Ali Abdullah Saleh."

Yemen's new president will have plenty of expectations to satisfy.


STOUT: Now, one of Yemen's most well-known opposition activists is praising the election. Tawakul Karman won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, and she told Agence France-Presse that, "This is a day of celebration for Yemenis, because it is the day of Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure that will put an end to despotism and oppression." Now, she went on to urge Hadi to work for Yemen's young people or warned he would be pushed out like Saleh.

European observers say that early voter turnout is healthier than expected. And for the latest, I'm joined now live by CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom from the capital, Sanaa.

Mohammed, what have you been seeing there at the polling stations?

JAMJOOM: Well, Kristie, we're here at the Al-Tabari (ph) school. This is one of the oldest here in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in the old city. It's functioning as a polling station here today, one of the hundreds of polling stations in the capital.

The mood has actually been quite festive. It's been, overall, mostly positive.

It's actually been quite familial. A lot of the voters that have come out today, men and women, have been bringing their children, because they want them to share this experience, to witness what they're calling such a historic day here in Yemen. We've seen men, women, young and old, and everybody seems to be quite happy.

Now, everybody really expected that in Sanaa, it would go smoothly. And we heard from observers earlier in the day that it was much going much smoother than they thought it would be, that they were surprised at how many women had turned out. But we don't have official turnout figures just yet.

We're waiting for that hopefully later in the day. The government, as well as, perhaps, the UNDP might be announcing that.

That all being said though, the concern has never really been Sanaa as far as where violence might happen. It's been the south, where there has been a separatist movement, and it's been increasing amounts of tension the past few days. In Aden, especially.

Yesterday, polling stations were targeted by bombs. Today, we're hearing that up to 20 percent of the polling stations, perhaps, in Aden, in that port city, that very important port city in the south, have been closed due to the violence and the clashes that were happening between protesters and the police there in the specter of more violence.

So, in the capital, the mood very positive, very happy. People thinking it's the dawn of a new day. In other parts of the country, still a lot of worry that there might be more violence to come -- Kristie.

STOUT: So tension in the south and a festive mood where you are, there in Sanaa. Now, Mohammed, there's only one choice on the ballot, and he's the current vice president. So will there be meaningful change in Yemen after today's vote?

JAMJOOM: Well, that's the real important question, Kristie.

We have to keep reminding people that even though this is being called an election, this was an election that was imposed on Yemen by a power transfer deal that was brokered by the U.S. and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, allies of Yemen. And, in fact, it was agreed to long ago that Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the vice president, would be the consensus candidate and that he would be the candidate in these elections.

We've spoken to many people here that were concerned about that. We spoke to people yesterday and today that said, "I don't consider it an election to be something where there's only one candidate. We have to have more choice for the future of Yemen."

That all being said, though, one of the reasons this is being considered so historic by the people we're speaking with today, even anti-regime activists who have been demonstrating for months, they say it's because this signals the end of the Ali Abdullah Saleh era. He was president of this country, he led this country for 33 years. There was so much anger directed at him this past year when the Arab Spring took root here. They wanted him out of office.

And even though it wasn't the revolution here that really pushed him out, it was this transfer deal, people are happy he will be leaving. And they think that this signals a new dawn, a new era for Yemen, some new hope for a country that's so impoverished and beset with so many problems -- Kristie.

STOUT: New hope for Yemen.

Mohammed Jamjoom, joining us live from the Yemeni capital.

Thank you.

Now, a sports update is just ahead, which means we'll have all the highlights of Jeremy Lin's latest performance. That is next.


STOUT: Now, Jeremy Lin's incredible emergence has produced plenty of surprising statistics, but here is one of the most amazing ones yet. Sports blog "Deadspin" regularly counts exactly how often an athlete is mentioned on the 11:00 p.m. show of ESPN "SportsCenter" in a week. For instance, Tiger Woods, he was mentioned 61 times last week. LeBron James got 70 mentions.

But Jeremy Lin's name was said 350 times on the show. That's an average of almost once every minute.

And in case you're wondering, we've mentioned his name 10 times so far in the show tonight.

Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, Israel is blaming Iran for a spate of bombings in three different countries, and now a new theory suggests both Israel and Iran could be involved in something much more sinister.

And we head to Syria, where the Red Cross says the situation is increasingly desperate. The details, ahead on CNN.


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

Eurozone finance ministers have approved a bailout package worth more than $170 billion for Greece. Without it, Athens looks certain to default on its debts.

Now, under the rescue plan, Greece must work to slash its public debt to 121 percent of GDP over the next eight years. It's currently at 160 percent of GDP.

People in Yemen are voting for their first new president in 33 years, but there's only one candidate standing for election. He is 65-year-old Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the current vice president. He took over in November from longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down after months of anti-government protests.

Grieving and angry relatives have stormed a morgue in Honduras. The building held remains of victims of last week's prison fire. Nearly 360 people died in the overcrowded facility. Most of the bodies are still unidentified.

In Syria negotiations are underway for a cease-fire to allow emergency aid into the hardest-hit areas. The international committee of the Red Cross says government forces and the opposition must stop fighting so that food and medical supplies can be brought in.


STOUT (voice-over): The Red Cross wants to access the city of Homs. It's been under constant bombardment for weeks. Activists say 16 people have been killed there so far this Tuesday, and two elsewhere in the country.

In Homs, a residence burns after it was hit by shelling. The Syrian government continues to blame terrorists for the violence. By Theirself (ph) in Daraa (ph), you can see what appear to be government tanks lining the streets in this YouTube video. But we can't independently verify these images.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

STOUT (voice-over): And in these pictures, residents try to stem the flow of a river in Hama and the person who posted this video online says the government opened a dam in an effort to flood the city.


STOUT: As aid agencies struggle to get supplies into Homs, residents there say that they are just trying to survive. Our Western journalists are still barred from reporting freely in Syria, but Arwa Damon has been inside Homs, where she has seen how far people will go just to bring food and other necessities into the city.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

ARWA DAMON, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The men call out names, carefully counting out and distributing baby diapers to families huddled in a bunker. Everything here is carefully rationed, including food, which is running short.

Sheikh Amin (ph), who leads this humanitarian effort in Baba Amr tells us that in the last two weeks nothing has come into the neighborhood. Some of what they've gathered comes from shops and homes or is salvaged from stores hit by artillery.

"We take the products to distribute so they don't go to waste (ph)," Sheikh Amin (ph) explains. "We keep track of everything we took to reimburse the owners." Moving the staples is an elaborate process.

DAMON: Even an operation like this one, bringing in the basic supplies that residents here so desperately need, have to happen under cover of darkness. (Inaudible) to be as (inaudible) as possible.

They've been quickly calculating exactly what it is that they need to take out for the time being, and they've been loading things like babies' diapers, cracked wheat, lentils. But then someone called out, saying, "Oh, should we put cooking oil on the truck?" Well, they've run out of cooking oil. In fact, this is pretty much all that they have left.

DAMON (voice-over): All they have left for the thousands trapped in Baba Amr.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

DAMON (voice-over): "There is no food. There is only cracked wheat and rice," this woman at a bunker laments, showing us what bread she has left.

"Look at it. Look at what we are eating," she cries. The shortages are not just confined to Baba Amr. On the outskirts of Homs, there are entire networks in place, just to deliver bread and fuel. War brings out the worst in people, but also the best.

DAMON: Abu Fadi (ph), here is one of the many people who is trying to help others out, by making runs to Damascus to get things like bread, gasoline, cooking oil.

DAMON (voice-over): "But even that takes lengthy planning and great risks," he tells us. "We have people there that we are working with to gather the products," he says, "but it takes time, and the road is very tough. We have to go through the farmlands, getting shot at, just for a bite of bread and a bit of fuel."

Local bread factories lie idle.

DAMON: There's still hardened dough covering these machines, although this particular bread factory has not produced a single loaf for around a week now, even though there is yeast in the refrigerator, and there are bags of salt.

However, there is no flour, and that is because flour is subsidized by the government. Its distribution, well, that is fully under the control of the regime. And the regime is not sending supplies out here any more.

DAMON (voice-over): Ahlam (ph) lives in bunker in Baba Amr after her home was destroyed by artillery. By day, she volunteers at the medical clinic in Baba Amr, and then comes back to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

DAMON (voice-over): "Today I just had a cup of coffee and two cigarettes," she tells us, "and nothing the last two days before that."

"I can guarantee you this: people will start to die."

DAMON (voice-over): If the shelling doesn't kill them, maybe hunger will -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Homs, Syria.


STOUT: And the Arab League says that there are indications that China and Russia may be ready to change their positions on Syria after they vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution earlier this month. But according to state media, Russia won't be attending a Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia on Friday.


STOUT: This week, the CNN Freedom Project is focusing on sexual slavery in Mozambique. In particular, we want to show you how volunteers are helping young girls break free from a life of abuse. Nkepile Mabuse has one survivor's story.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN REPORTER: It's taken years for her to realize just how bad it was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language)

MABUSE (voice-over): "I was in a dark, dark place. It's not like you think you have a choice," a time when Toshinya (ph) felt so numb, she didn't see a way out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

MABUSE (voice-over): "Every minute was the worst. Only when you're in that situation, you can't always see that."

Trafficked for sex when she was just 15, a world she couldn't leave, it quickly became the only life she knew.

"They'd do horrible things to you, and then not give you money. They'd never pay."

MABUSE: Did you feel like a slave?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

MABUSE (voice-over): "Slave? Did I feel like a slave? At the time, you don't feel."

She says she was beaten to within an inch of her life, and often thought about escaping. But she didn't have the courage to actually do it, until one day when her young daughter asked her this:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

MABUSE (voice-over): "Mom, you did jokojoko (ph)," which means having sex. "I knew from this point that she understands. And what kind of a mother would she think I am? Would she think this is OK?"

She says her escape was a miracle, but staying off the streets has taken a lot less, thanks to a man with a big idea and an even bigger heart.

Dave Terpstra was living in the United States when he first learned about the sex trafficking problem in Mozambique.

DAVE TERPSTRA, FREE THE GIRLS: You know, so often, when you find out about a problem in the world and, you know, it -- we see it on the news or, you know, somebody tells us about it or we read it in a magazine, and, you know, it makes us upset and we want to do something. And you know, but what do you -- what do you do?

MABUSE (voice-over): For Dave, it meant packing up his family and moving to Mozambique. He wanted to help victims of sex trafficking find jobs so they could support themselves, support their children and stay off the streets. And his solution was simple.

TERPSTRA: I was just struck by how much used clothing is sold here. You know, when you drive up and down the streets here, it's everywhere. And as I did a little bit more digging into that, I realized that used clothing is a multibillion-dollar industry around the world.

MABUSE (voice-over): He started Free the Girls to connect donations of bras, a luxury item in Mozambique's used clothing market. He gives them to former trafficking victims to sell. The women in the program make up to three times the minimum wage.

TERPSTRA: A girl that's had a terrible past and put through hell, and yet now that can give her a real job. That gives her real income that can provide for herself, for her family and a whole new life. It's just -- it's something worth waking up for every day.

MABUSE (voice-over): The money Toshinya (ph) made selling bras is paying for her new home. Her fear of returning to the streets is gone, replaced by the joy of being a mother -- NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN, Maputo, Mozambique.


STOUT: And tomorrow, we'll show you how girls in Mozambique are getting some unusual help from a woman in the U.S. state of Colorado. And don't forget to watch our special presentation later this week. It is a celebration, the work of ordinary people taking a stand against human trafficking. Some are CNN viewers who saw our Freedom Project reports and took action.

Now Cameroon it is launching a crackdown on armed poachers, who, it says, have killed nearly 300 wild elephants since mid-January. Now according to Cameroon's wildlife ministry, the elephants are being hunted down by poachers from Sudan. And they're being killed in a national park close to the northern border with Chad.

Now the poachers are after the elephants' tusks, which end up being sold for ivory in Europe and Asia. Now according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the trade generates income that's spent on weapons, fueling conflicts in Africa. And park officials are worried about the orphaned calves of slaughtered adults, saying they could quickly die of hunger and thirst.

And still to come this hour, a shadow war in the Middle East, how tensions rise between Iran and Israel and some say a secret conflict may already be underway. Stay with NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Now police in Thailand are widening their search for suspects linked to a series of explosions in Bangkok. Anna Coren has the latest on the investigation.


ANNA COREN, ANCHOR, WORLD REPORT (VOICE-OVER): Wearing handcuffs and a bulletproof vest, one of the Iranian suspects in Bangkok's alleged terror attacks returned to the scene of the crime, accompanied by heavily armed police.

Dressed in shorts and sandals, 42-year-old Mohammed Hazaei was taken to a suburban house, where a bomb accidentally exploded last Tuesday. Police allege he and his two companions were building a bomb there, designed to target Israeli officials living in the Thai capital.

Hazaei was then escorted to a busy train station, where he was seen pointing out different areas to detectives for at least 20 minutes. It's believed he caught a train here to the international airport following the blast, and was later arrested boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur.

DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF PANSIRI PRAPAWAT, THAI POLICE (through translator): From the investigation, the suspect partially denied involvement. Police have gathered all the evidence for further investigation.

COREN (voice-over): At the moment, Hazaei is the only suspect speaking to police, despite his two companions' also being in custody.

Twenty-seven-year-old Saeid Moradi remains in a serious condition in a Bangkok hospital after both his legs were blown off. He was confronted by police after the February 14th blast, and in retaliation, threw a grenade at an officer, which backfired on Moradi.

The other suspect under arrest is 30-year-old Masoud Sedaghatzadeh. He managed to escape to Malaysia, but days later was picked up by authorities and is now awaiting extradition.

Police have named two other suspects, 31-year-old Leila Rohani (ph), who rented the property, and 57-year-old Ali Akbar Shaya Norouzi (ph), who was last seen leaving the house hours before the blast. It's believed both have since returned to Iran.

Authorities are also planning to issue an arrest warrant for a sixth suspect.

In other developments, police believe stickers found on electricity poles and billboards along a 11/2 kilometer stretch of road leading to the Israeli embassy in Bangkok were markers for the alleged bombing attacks.

Dozens of stickers with the word, "Sejeal," possibly a reference to the Koran, were discovered. Similar stickers were also found in an apartment and under the seat of a motorcycle used by the group.

While authorities have tried to reassure residents that the city was not a terrorism target, the government has announced any accommodation housing of Middle Eastern visitors in the capital will be thoroughly checked -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


STOUT: Now the attacks in Bangkok are just one of three puzzling incidents. Now the day before, a bomb exploded in New Delhi and injured several people. Another device was also discovered on an Israeli embassy car in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Now that bomb was safely detonated.

Now Israel has blamed Iran for the attacks, but Iran has denied the accusations. And the string of recent bombings has many wondering if Iran and Israel are already engaged in an undeclared shadow war. Brian Todd looks at attacks on both Israeli and Iranian interests.


BRIAN TODD, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Thai police say they're looking for at least two additional people, both Iranian, in connection with last week's plot in Bangkok to bomb Israeli diplomats. Three suspects are being held, all of them holding Iranian passports. Among them, this man, whose legs were blown off by his own bomb.

Thai officials have drawn a tentative link between the bombs in Bangkok and those in India and Georgia, all of them targeted Israelis.

TODD: And there were other similarities, components, tactics indicated the plotters wanted to stick magnetized bombs, maybe about this size, to their targets' vehicles, similar to the tactics used to kill Iranian nuclear scientists. I'm here with Philip Mudd, former CIA and FBI counterterrorism official.

Philip, can we look for this kind of thing to be seen in other cities, like Jason Bourne style, almost?

PHILIP MUDD, FORMER CIA AND FBI COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: I think we can. We have a couple of factors to look at here. First is a history of aggressiveness by the Iranian services, assassinations and oppositionists in Europe in the 1980s and `90s, and also operations, even in the case of attacks against American soldiers in Iraq.

Then you look at what's happened recently: an explosion at one of the nuclear facilities, a cyber-attack on their nuclear program, and assassination of their own scientists, I think we should expect to see retaliation.

TODD (voice-over): Iran has denied Israel's claim that it's behind the plot in Thailand, India and Georgia. But when asked if there's a covert conflict going on between Israel and Iran, America's top intelligence official said this about the activities of Iran's feared Revolutionary Guard Corps, known as the IRGC.

GEN. JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Through their proxies, the IRGC, particularly decided and made a conscious judgment to reach out against primarily Israeli and then secondly against U.S. interests.

TODD (voice-over): Experts believe the Iranians might try to stage some sort of attack on U.S. soil, as much for the psychological as for the tactical effect. But as evidenced by one recent alleged plot, they don't always hit the mark.

REUEL MARC GERECHT, FORMER CIA OFFICER: As we know, from the attempted bombing of the Washington, D.C., restaurant, the assassination of the Saudi ambassador, now is a fairly sloppy performance.

TODD (voice-over): Former CIA officer Reuel Gerecht says that plot against the Saudi ambassador shows that Iranian agents might have more difficulty deploying inside the U.S.

He says it takes them time to get their people trained for an operation, and by that time, it exposes them to FBI surveillance. So look for them to keep trying to strike U.S. or Israeli interests abroad -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now coming up on NEWS STREAM, one year on, New Zealand prepares to mark the first anniversary of the deadly Christchurch earthquake.


STOUT: Now on Wednesday, New Zealand will mark the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Christchurch that claimed 185 lives. As TVNZ's Joy Reid reports, some families will go to public memorial services, but others plan to grieve in private.



JOY REID, TVNZ REPORTER (voice-over): A final resting place --

MORGAN: This is (inaudible).

REID (voice-over): -- but still, there's room for firsts.

MORGAN: (Inaudible) Christmas, New Year, and then these were the last of the firsts.

REID (voice-over): Tomorrow, family from all around the country will gather in Ashburton for the unveiling of Philip McDonald's headstone. It's been a year since he went to the PGC building in Christchurch for a day of work, but never came home.

MORGAN: Just finally a place that we can come visit to see him.

REID (voice-over): They say they're not ready to grieve publicly at the Civic Memorial Service. To them, tomorrow is a private day.

MORGAN: It's like riding a roller coaster some days that are great, and then other days, when it's just horrible. Then you sort of can't believe that this has happened.

REID (voice-over): Sentiments echoed by a man, Al Kaiser (ph), who, on the 22nd on every month, lights a candle for his wife, Dr. Mason Abbas (ph), who died in the CTB building.

AL KAISER (PH), QUAKE VICTIM'S HUSBAND: Even a year and it is still difficult. Every single day I think of her.

REID (voice-over): He saw the devastation first-hand and sees the lack of answers over why the building collapsed is hindering his ability to move on.

KAISER (PH): The Royal Commission has not even started looking into the CTB building. So for me, there are still many questions not answered.

REID (voice-over): Tomorrow, he'll be attending the Civic Memorial, but he's not expecting miracles.

KAISER (PH): It's just a day where we will pay respect.

REID (voice-over): To people this nation will never forget -- Joy Reid, (Inaudible).


STOUT: Grieving in New Zealand and suffering in China, where a drought is currently underway. Let's get details now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the World Weather Center.


MARI RAMOS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Kristie. You know, the drought is not a new thing for China. Every year they have sometimes longer spells of drought, sometimes shorter. But the battle is ongoing.

Unfortunately, many areas across China have been in a drought for quite a long time. We're talking several months, and in some cases, over a year. And that's very significant.

This is a picture from one of the hardest hit areas. We've talked a lot about the north of China and the northeast, but this is in the south. And very dry conditions, this used to be a green field, and they use to use irrigation to put water to grow crops.

Now that has become impossible for thousands and thousands of farmers in this area because the rivers have dried up in many cases, or the water's just simply too low in order to be able to bring water. And in some cases, they're just having to dig deeper, literally, like the one that you see here.

This farmer is digging a well that was already there that was -- now they're making it deeper to try to get to a source of water even farther down.

And it's become seriously because it's not only for crops, not only for livestock, but according to the Xinhua News Agency, they're saying that, in some cases, we are looking at areas where 21/2 people in Yunnan (ph) alone may not have access to drinking water. And that's here in the south. And you can see that area.

There's also areas here to the west, and then also back over here across northeastern China, where we still have a significant drought that includes Beijing, by the way. And this one of the most densely populated areas of China still suffering from lingering drought. Right now, we're not expecting anything significant as far as rain.

It has been generally very dry, as it should be really for this time of year as we wait for the spring and summer rainfall. We are, of course, right now looking at, again, very dry conditions. There is a little bit of a disturbance, weather disturbance, coming along here, across the north.

It's going to be bring even colder temperatures for you in Beijing and also for Seoul and across the Korean Peninsula, and also bring a lot of snowfall, we think, as this begins to move along and pick up moisture here from the Yellow Sea.

So I want to show you that forecast map, and you can see, it just kind of begins to pile up, probably not so much overnight tonight, but as we head through the day tomorrow and then again the following day. So you can see all that snow that will be coming here across the north, including North Korea and then back over here again for Japan.

It looks like Honshu will get somewhat of a break. And the heaviest snowfall again will be for Hokkaido, where you guys don't need any more snowfall. Eight degrees right now in Tokyo, -3 in Seoul. And one more thing: the rain does continue, by the way, in the Philippines. Let's go ahead and check out your city (inaudible).


RAMOS: And here is an update. And new pictures on a story we first told you about yesterday. You are looking at images, right there near Belgrade, Kristi, these are those ice floes we were talking about, right on the Danube River. The river started moving again.

Of course, it moves underneath the ice. But now that ice has begun to break up with the slightly warmer temperatures, now that we're out of that so-called ice block that we had for so many weeks during February.

Now the temperature's warmer. That means the ice begins to break up, and you can see all of the damage that it caused to hundreds and hundreds of boats that were along this area. This took a long time for people to recover from.

The other concern is the possibility of flooding, if this ice creates a jam in -- under bridges, for example, or it begins to pile up. It could restrict the flow of water, once we begin to see the snow melting, it could cause some flooding in those areas as well. Back to you.

STOUT: So some more dangers ahead. Mari Ramos, thank you.

Now it is a picture that "will transform our understanding of the world's most famous painting," just a view (ph) of "The Art Newspaper," commenting on this copy of the Mona Lisa. Let's go and on display in Spain. But it's not just any old replica.

Art experts at the Prado museum in Madrid think it was created side by side with the original by one of Leonardo da Vinci's apprentices. But despite the obvious similarities, what is more interesting is how the two paintings are different.

Now "The Art Newspaper" says that the original is covered in cracked varnish, making Mona Lisa look almost middle aged. But it says this version appears to be better preserved, meaning Mona Lisa looks younger and more radiant. It also seems to show more details of the frill on her dress, her veil over her shoulder, even the spindles of the chair, the bottom there.

Now in March, the newly restored painting will move on to the Louvre museum in Paris to be reunited with its more famous original. And that is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.