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Syria Agrees To Kofi Annan Peace Deal; Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested In Pimping Scandal; North Korea Promises To Push On With Satellite Launch; Inter Milan Fires Second Coach This Season; James Cameron Describes Challenger Deep Surface

Aired March 27, 2012 - 8:00   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 an agreement on Syria. Special envoy Kofi Annan says his peace proposal has been accepted by the Syrian government.

A quiet word between world leaders caught on camera. President Obama explains the off the record comments made to the Russia President.

And a rare look at the deepest part of the ocean. Footage of surfaces from James Cameron's voyage to Challenger Deep.

Now we begin with a significant development in the Syrian conflict. A spokesman for Kofi Annan says President Bashar al Assad's government has agreed to accept Annan's plan to bring an end to the bloodshed. Now Annan, the UN Arab League special envoy, is now urging the Syrian government to put its commitment into immediate effect.

And the breakthrough came as Annan arrived in China to rally support for his six point plan. Calls for the Syrian government to pull its forces and heavy weaponry out of population centers for a daily two hour pause in the fighting so that humanitarian aid can reach affected areas. And it also calls on Syrian authorities to release those the government detained in the uprising.

Now Syrian state TV is reporting that President Bashar al Assad on Tuesday toured the flashpoint neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs.

Now CNN's Ben Wedeman is following all the developments from the Lebanese capital Beirut. And he joins us now.

Now Ben, Syria has agreed to accept the plan put forward by Kofi Annan. Could this be a turning point in the crisis?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's important to keep in mind, Kristie, that this is almost an identical plan to the plan that Syria accepted from the Arab League back in November and then spent weeks and weeks quibbling over the final details. Finally, when the plan began to be implemented in the sense the Syrian authorities allowed an Arab monitoring team to enter the country they did have a limited release of prisoners, but it really didn't do anything to stop the violence in Syria, which of course until now has left more than 8,000 people dead.

There's a good deal of skepticism that Syria is going to take the same approach to the Arab League/UN plan that it did to the Arab League, rather to the Arab League's plan. So it's very unclear at this point whether this is just as the opposition is saying a tactic to gain time to allow the Syrian forces to continue their offensive in cities like Homs where they've continued to go after opponents of the regime and other cities in Syria as well.

It may just be a tactic to buy time -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, so in a sense in regards to the plan we've been here before. We'll see how Damascus responds.

Now separately there are reports that Syrian troops have crossed the border to enter north Lebanon. Ben, why? And what's happening there/

WEDEMAN: Well, we've heard this from the opposition, but this is the Lebanese army has yet to comment on it. What we understand is they crossed the border in northeast Lebanon toward a village called Qaa. And this is one of the parts of Lebanon which is very much on this supply route that's been running between Lebanon and the city of Homs and the villages around it. And significantly just a few days ago the Syrian authorities arrested a man who was really the mastermind behind the supply route going to Homs. And what we're seeing is possibly the result of extraction of information from him where they're going after this supply route and trying to tear it out from its roots -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: They're going after the rebel's supply chain.

Now President al Assad, we understand that he has traveled to Baba Amr in Homs, sight of that brutal month long siege by government forces. What was he doing there? And what is the reality on the ground?

WEDEMAN: Well, what we understand from Syrian television which was essentially just flashing of banners saying that President al Assad was at that moment visiting the Baba Amr neighborhood, that neighborhood that's really been pounded for actually quite some time. And that he was going there to inspect the damage there, the conditions there.

Syrian TV is promising that footage will be shown of that visit. Now clearly it's an attempt by the Syrian regime to show that the president is engaged and concerned about the condition of all Syrian citizens, including those who are opposed to his regime. The reality on the ground there, what we hear, what we see from Homs is that the conditions continue to be extremely difficult.

We received some exclusive footage from another Homs neighborhood called Qatum Zatoun (ph) where we saw that residents had knocked holes in the walls of Houses just to move around to avoid being exposed to snipers, that they're eating dry, old bread, that many people have left and very few civilians are willing to stay under those conditions where neighborhoods are being bombarded on a daily basis.

And, of course, so far today at least 17 people killed, many of them in Homs -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Ben Wedeman, thank you very much indeed for that update for us.

Ben Wedeman reporting from Beirut.

Now Syria will be at the top of the agenda when the Arab League meets in Baghdad on Thursday. And this is the first time that Arab leaders have held their summit in Iraq since 1990. So it will be a big test of the Iraqi government's ability to provide security in a country where deadly violence remains commonplace.

Now Arwa Damon looks at the many challenges ahead for Iraq.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 12-year-old Yakhin (ph) doesn't remember her father. She says he was killed by U.S. forces.

Her mother remarried. And while she was pregnant with Benin (ph), her second husband was killed.

Yakhin (ph) says "they both cry when they see photos of their fathers."

But they are just two of the countless Iraqi children who have no father. They are crammed into this tiny room. Their teacher Lohata al Boudi (ph) established the school after she lost her own husband to sectarian violence, leaving her to raise four children. Now, she says, she has 135. But the government provides no help.

"We have so many orphans in our society that helping them isn't a priority," she explains. "The government treats them like they do any other child."

The school, like almost everywhere in Baghdad, has to rely for electricity on a local generator.

Power cables in Baghdad especially do tend to take on a life of their own. As one of the men here was just joking, he said if you took all of the additional electricity cables that have popped up in Iraq you could wrap them around the Earth twice.

Now every single neighborhood has this same scenario leading into one main generator and that is because city power is still entirely unreliable. It comes for an average of about four hours a day.

Nine years after the U.S. invasion, much of Iraq has few or no public services. And the government is consumed with power struggles. The Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashemi took refuge in the autonomous Kurdish region after the Shia led government accused him of running death squads.

Now he is accusing the government of torturing one of his guards to death, an allegation the government denies. These are photos a family released of his corpse.

TARIQ AL-HASHIMI, IRAQI VICE PRESIDENT: I beseech the international community to take rapid action to rectify disastrous situation and status related to human rights as to the situation in Iraq has become intolerable.

DAMON: Human Rights Watch has repeatedly accused Iraq's security forces of systematic human rights abuses. It's against this backdrop that the government is spending more than $500 million on hosting the Arab League summit, seeing the event as an important step towards bringing Iraq out of its decades long isolation in the Arab world.

HOSHYAR ZEBARI, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER: This summit will enhance international confidence in Iraq and everywhere, every phase of business, of investment, of trade.

DAMON: But Iraq is still far from secure as was brutally evident when at least 20 explosions went off across the country in a single day last week. The heart of the capital is now virtually locked down.

With many residents wondering why their government is working so hard to win over the region, but doing so little for them.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


LU STOUT: Now still ahead on News Stream, remaining defiant. North Korea vows to press ahead with the satellite launch, overshadowing a global meeting on the fight against nuclear terrorism.

Another sex scandal for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief under close scrutiny in a prostitution ring investigation.

And next stop, Havana. The pope heads to the Cuban capital where he is set to hold talks with President Raul Castro.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now North Korean is vowing to go ahead with plans to launch a satellite next month despite mounting pressure from world leaders. Now protesters gathered as more than 50 heads of state met in Seoul, South Korea for a nuclear security summit. But the meeting drew to a close with Pyongyang casting a heavy shadow over the talks. North Korea insists its launch is peaceful, but South Korean and the U.S. see it as a test for a long range missile.

Now Mr. Obama says that if North Korea moves forward with the launch it will deepen its isolation from the rest of the world and face even more crippling sanctions.

Now that was on the record, but later while speaking off the record to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he was caught off guard. He didn't realize it at the time, but camera microphones captures Mr. Obama telling his Russian counterpart he would concentrate on Europe's NATO missile defense system when he had more time.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.


LU STOUT: Now he later made a joke about it when he greeted Mr. Medvedev again putting his hand over a microphone on the table before shaking hands.

Now Brianna Keilar is following events in South Korea. She joins us now live from Seoul. And Brianna, after he was caught on tape, how did the U.S. president explain his comments to the Russian leader?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He really downplayed it just saying essentially Kristie that he was acknowledging the reality of getting something that's so sort of fraught with friction in a year where there are congressional elections as well as -- pardon me -- presidential elections.

But here's what's interesting, this became a bit of a domestic political liability for President Obama. His Republican opponents seized on this saying if he's asking for space on missile defense, if he's saying he has more flexibility after the election, well what other topics might he have flexibility on once he's no longer accountable to American voters.

This sort of back and forth prompted an explanation, if you will, from President Obama today.


OBAMA: You think about the new START treaty that Dmitry and I were able to hammer out and ultimately get ratified. That was a painstaking two year process. I don't think it's any surprise that you can't start that a few months before a presidential and congressional election here in the United States and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia and they're in the process of a presidential transition where a new president is going to be coming in, in a little less than two months.


KEILAR: Now this was very much a distraction from the stated focus of the summit which is to make sure that nuclear material doesn't get into the hands of terrorists, in short. And President Obama, though, Kristie, trying to hail some of the successes of the last couple of years, specifically focusing on Kazakhstan which has been able to secure some Soviet era nuclear weapons.

But he said more needs to be done. And the threat of a weapon falling into the wrong hands is still a very real threat, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Also, North Korea, that was a big discussion point there at the summit. What is Mr. Obama urging China to do in regards to Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions?

KEILAR: You know, in short he's asking China to try something different. He met with President Hu yesterday. This was very much a focus, especially as North Korea is moving forward with that planned long range missile launch next month. And what you heard from White House officials was pretty general, but I thought also pointed that they were saying, you know, China has a lot of influence on North Korea.

North Korea has kind of settled into this status quo and it's really time for China to reevaluate its -- I guess its influence point, or really how it is interacting with North Korea to try to influence them to step away from this launch, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Also the U.S. president met with Pakistan's prime minister. We know just how tense the relationship is between these two countries, so how did that meeting go?

KEILAR: Yeah, there was a lot of attention on this. This was the first time that President Obama had met with Prime Minister Galani not only since Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, but also since 24 Pakistani soldiers were inadvertently killed by U.S. forces. So this was kind of seen as maybe a moment to open a dialogue when there's so much friction.

You heard President Obama, he made an overture which was to say he welcomed this parliamentary review that is going on in Pakistan, a review where you have a parliamentary report that says the U.S. needs to stop drone strikes in Pakistan and also that there needs to be an unconditional apology for that -- the November deaths of Pakistani soldiers.

But there certainly was some kind of an overture of positive language between them. But this is very much the beginning of a dialogue and certainly not the end, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Very interesting. Brianna Keilar joining us live from Seoul. Thank you.

Now North Korea's timing could it have been better or worse, however you look at it. The action is totally overshadowed much of the summit. Just hours after Mr. Obama warned against North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Pyongyang reportedly moved a long range rocket to its launch pad in the northwest.

Let's get a closer look at the expected launch site. Now this satellite photo, it was taken by Digital Globe 10 days ago. And you can clearly see the launch tower right there as well as the main pad to the right of the tower.

Now turning now to France where the former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn is embroiled in yet another sex scandal. Prosecutors say he has been formally warned that he is under investigation for aggravated pimping. Now the case is part of an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring in the French city of Lille.

Now Strauss-Kahn's attorney has acknowledged his client attended sex parties, but says Strauss-Kahn did not know prostitutes were present.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released on $130,000 bail.

Jim Bittermann joins me now live from Paris. And Jim, tell us more about these allegations.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically the police up in Lille had been investigating a sex ring for nearly a year now. It began last April, the investigation. And they've already arrested and charged about eight people. Strauss-Kahn is now the ninth to be notified that he is under investigation for charges of pimping.

And his name started to come up back in August and September of last year after his run-in with police in New York. Basically as a person who was at some of these sex parties, both in Paris and in Washington in the United States. And in fact, he is -- the crime of prostitution is not a crime here if it's just simple prostitution. If you're just either a prostitute or a client of a prostitute it's not against the law.

However, if you do anything more than that, if you have a house of prostitution or if you organize prostitutes for a party as the accusation is here, in fact that constitutes pimping. And that is against the law.

However, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say that the definition of prostitution is being changed by the judges in this case. Here's what they said.


RICHARD MALKA, STRAUSS-KAHN'S LAWYER (through translator): No one can understand the application of the notion of pimping in this situation. And it's even more incredible and contrary to the common sense to use the notion of an organized gang or a network to describe a simple libertine activity. Clearly through this case they are looking to create a new offense penalizing those who use prostitutes.


BITTERMANN: So they're not denying, in fact, that Strauss-Kahn participated in these parties, they're just saying that a first he didn't know that these were prostitutes, and secondly he didn't -- was not in connected -- did nothing in connection with organizing any of these events that took place.

If he is convicted of this aggravated pimping charge he in fact could spend 20 years in jail and be fined $3 million euros, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Wow. Now this latest scandal, it continues a string of sex scandals involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He has not been convicted of any crime just yet, but just how much damage has been done to his reputation?

BITTERMANN: Well, I think politically he's finished. It's hard to imagine how he could recover from something like this. The country has kind of moved on without him. The Socialist Party, which was his party, which was probably going to nominate him as their presidential candidate in fact have found other people. And I doubt very seriously he could make any kind of comeback after the various charges that have been laid against him. And by the way, a civil case against him will begin in New York just tomorrow.

So there's been a lot of controversy surrounding Mr. Strauss-Kahn. And it's hard to imagine that he'll be able to pull out his reputation from the kind of damage that's been done -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right. You mentioned additional civil case underway in New York.

Jim Bittermann joining us live from Paris. Thank you.

Coming up next here on News Stream, he has not been there long, but Claudio Renieri has already been shown the door at Inter Milan.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

As mentioned earlier, Syrian president Bashar al Assad has toured the flashpoint neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs and Syrian state TV just aired this video of his visit. Now you'll remember for weeks activists reported heavy shelling by government forces in the area, hundreds of civilians were said have been killed there. And here we're looking at pictures of the Syrian president touring Baba Amr in Homs with quite the entourage around him.

As this footage aired earlier on Syrian state TV it was accompanied by the following text saying, this, quote, "during his tour on Baba Amr, President Assad is checking the welfare with the defenders of the homeland, the soldiers."

Al Assad regime has insisted it is fighting armed terrorists.

Again, we're looking at these fresh video from Homs, picturing the Syrian president making a visit there to the besieged city. And we're viewing this footage after learning that his government has agreed to accept Kofi Annan's plan to bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

Now we'll have much more on Syria in the hours ahead right here on CNN. But let's move on to sports now where Italian football giants Inter Milan, they have sacked a coach for the second time this season.

Pedro Pinto is in London. He has more -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. The revolving door at the San Siro Stadium is still spinning as Claudio Ranieri was fired on Monday night following a poor run on the league and other fronts. He was the fourth manager to leave Inter in the last two seasons.

The Nerazzuri who won the European Cup in 2010 under Jose Mourinho are currently on a miserable streak having won just once in their last 10 league games. They're out of the Champion's League, out of the Italian Cup and have little hope of qualifying for Europe next year. The club has replaced Renieri, at least for now, with youth team coach Claudio Stramaccioni.

It appears the final straw for Inter president Massimo Moratti and the board came with a 2-nil defeat at Juventus on Sunday, leaving them in eighth place in the Serie A standings.

Let's focus our attention on tennis now. Roger Federer lost for only the third time this season on Monday. The world number three was upset by Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericcson Open in Miami. It was quite a surprising result, especially if you consider the fact Federer had a 21-2 record against the American leading up to this contest.

However, on this occasion it was Roddick who came out on top. He took the first step in a tiebreak 7-6.

Now the second set was actually all about Federer. And as the Swiss start went on to win it 6-1, most people in attendance thought he had asserted his dominance on the match and would surely go on to win comfortably.

However, that didn't happen. Roddick turned up his game another gear and competed ferociously in the deciding third set. He got his only break of Federer's serve early in the third game. Ad then would not relinquish that lead.

The American, now ranked 34 in the world, holding on to win the third set 6-4, securing one of the best results of his career. It was only his third ever win over Federer in 24 matches.


ANDY RODDICK, TENNIS PLAYER: Any time you beat the best ever at something, that -- I said it the other day, you know, it's a big deal. And I played really well tonight. I competed well. I had a good attitude.

ROGER FEDERER, TENNIS PLAYER: He was aggressive in that one particular game. So that stands out obviously, because it also paid off. But you know he's still very good. I hope you guys give him more credit than he's getting at the moment. And I'm happy to see him play really well, you know. He's a great champion and, yeah, you've got to enjoy while you have him.


PINTO: World number one Novak Djokovic is also through to the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open after a 6-3, 6-4 win over fellow Serb Victor Troicki.

These two are great friends, but there was no love lost on this particular occasion, the top seed needed just 80 minutes to get the job done. And he's now through to the last 16.

Djokovic will play for a place in the last 8 after he proved too strong for his Davis Cup teammate. Job well done by Novak. And he's through with minimal fuss in straight sets.

On the women's side of the draw in Miami Victoria Azarenka survived a nightmare start to her match against Dominika Cibulkova and managed to extend her unbeaten start to the season. The world number one lost the first set 6-1. And she was really out of sorts. She went on to lose the first four games of the second set as well.

But just when everyone thought she was done, the Belarussian started battling back. She prevailed in the second set tiebreak and still had enough momentum to win a grueling third set as well.

Azarenka digging deep to beat Cibulkova in three sets. She improved her record this season to 26-0.

Emotional win for Azarenka in Miami.

That'll do it for sports for now, Kristie. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

And still to come on News Stream, we are in Cuba as thousands of prisoners were freed ahead of a visit by the pope.

And deeper than ever before, a look at James Cameron's record breaking dive to the depth of the Mariana Trench.


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

Now the Syrian government has accepted joint UN/Arab League's special envoy Kofi Annan's six point peace plan. (inaudible) says Annan has written to Bashar al Assad urging that the plan be put into immediate effect.

Inside Syria, violence continues to rage. Activists say 19 people have been killed so far today. It comes as Syrian state TV broadcasts this footage of al Assad touring the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs. Activists say hundreds have been killed in Baba Amr, but the government insists it's fighting terrorists.

The U.S. president and Pakistan prime minister have met for the first time since NATO airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. Barack Obama and Yousaf Raza Galani spoke briefly on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in South Korea. Mr. Obama said that he hoped the two nations can arrive at what he calls a balanced approach to relations.

Al Jazeera's Paris bureau says it has received video of the Toulouse shootings filmed by the suspect himself, Mohammad Merah. But it arrived on the mail on a computer memory stick along with an unsigned letter crediting al Qaeda with the attacks. Al Jazeera says it kept a copy, but gave the original to police. Agence France Presse is reporting that al Jazeera has decided it will not air the footage.

Now large crowds have welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba. And today he is scheduled to travel to Havana where he'll hold talks with President Raul Castro.

Now Patrick Oppmann joins me now live from Havana. And Patrick, I understand at a mass earlier there in Cuba the pope urged Cubans to build an open and renewed society. What has been the reaction to that?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reaction has really been an outpouring of good will and faith in a country where usually religion is held privately. It's so much a public event as we've seen over the last, say -- but you know, the pope also said that he wanted the visit to benefit not just Catholics, but all Cubans. And for several thousands Cubans just his being here has already won them their freedom.


OPPMANN: Jordani Martinez (ph) isn't Catholic, but he had good reason to welcome Pope Benedict to Cuba. Martinez had spent two years in prison, he says, for circulating anti-government pamphlets when he received a pardon that freed him a year ahead of schedule. He was one of 3,000 prisoners released at the behest of the Vatican.

Martinez left prison on Christmas Day last year.

"It was really surprising," he said. "At roll call everyone's name who was called went to the visitor's room and we were told we were being freed."

Once tense relations between the government and the church began thawing, two years ago the government and the church brokered the release of more than 100 political prisoners prior to the most recent pardons. Many of those prisoners left the island in exile for Spain and the United States.

Some human rights activists say the pope's visit has given the church bargaining power to a point.

ELIZARDO SANCHEZ SANTACRUZ, CUBAN HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATL RECONCILIATION COMMISSION (through translator): The Cuban government is overjoyed about the pope's visits. It improves the image abroad, but I don't think anyone has the ability to pressure the Cuban government, not even the Catholic Church.

OPPMANN: There are other high profile prisoner cases that have yet to be resolved. Many people were disappointed that the American Alan Gross, jailed here for espionage, was not included in the most recent prisoner release.

Then you have these men, known here as Los Cinco, five Cubans jailed in the United States for spying. And Cuba is fighting for their return.

It's unlikely either side will receive the pope's support for any new prisoner releases during his visit, a church spokesman says.

MONSIGNOR JOSE FELIX PEREZ, CONF. OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CUBA (through translator): We don't foresee it. There are no signs that it will happen. With the recent pardons and freeing of other prisoners, there's nothing that makes one think that it could happen.

OPPMANN: Jordani Martinez (ph) may have had his sentence commuted, but says his criminal record leaves him with few prospects for the future.

"Being outside isn't easy," he says. "Being inside prison isn't living. But outside you don't live either."


OPPMANN: And, Kristie, as you mentioned, the pope is expected to meet with President Raul Castro today. U.S. officials would like very much for that case of the jailed contractor here in Cuba, Alan Gross comes up at that meeting. The pope has been very careful to say this is not a political visit, this is a spiritual visit, Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right. In fact, Vatican officials have said that there are no meetings planned with distance while visiting there in Cuba. Patrick Oppmann joining us live from Havana, thank you for that.

Now it has been over a year since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. And some of the debris that was washed out to sea has crossed the Pacific Ocean and been sighted off the coast of North America. Incredible story. Let's get more now from Mari Ramos. She joins us from CNN Center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you know it was well documented when the tsunami happened about a year ago there were an incredible amount of debris that was washed out into the ocean. By some estimates up to 25 million tons of debris washed out into the Pacific Ocean. And they have been waiting and monitoring this for a very long time to see where this debris would go.

I want to talk about this a little bit more in depth right now. The ship in question was here in the port of Hachino (ph) off the north coast of Honshu when the tsunami struck back in March of last year. So it took it almost an entire year for it to go the entire distance of the Pacific Ocean. And it has been sighted here off the coast of Canada.

Want to see it? This is what it looks like. Take a peak at that.

Now the Canadian authorities are saying that there's nobody on board and that it's pretty amazing that they've been able to sight the ship this early on.

Now I'm going to tell you more about it, but first let's take a look at your city by city forecast. I'll be right back.

So as I was telling you that boat was sighted off the coast of Canada. And when you see the video of the ship it actually looks all rusted. It took six -- a year and 6,000 miles for it to travel this far.

Now the really interesting thing that NOAA is saying about this is that it's actually earlier than planned. They weren't expecting any kind of tsunami debris until probably another -- another six months to a year of so. So this seems to be a little bit early.

They say that one of the misconceptions when it comes to all of this is when is all of this actually going to reach the coast of the United States? This is pretty interesting. When you look at these images over here you're looking at the first year of tsunami debris right in here, the second year is the oranges, and then the third year would be the yellow that you see all the way back over here.

So this is pretty interesting. When we talk about the type of tsunami debris and when it could get here they're saying it's a misconception when you think it's not 25 million tons floating in the ocean that are headed for the north coast -- to the west coast of U.S. and Canada. They're saying there's really no telling how much of it actually sank. They say probably most of it. They're actually also saying that most of the debris will probably not be visible for most of the area.

And even though they say it's an area as large as the size of California, it's not as if the entire ocean area as large as the size of California is covered in debris. So that's very interesting indeed.

One more thing I want to show you if we look over here at the picture. You know what, if you've seen any tsunami debris NOAA says they want your help. They say you can email them at And for all of you mariners out there, you never know when this may actually happen.

And you know what, there's also an app for that. I'll go ahead and tweet this information as well. But it's

And I'll go ahead and tweet this information once again.

I think it's pretty interesting that they really are very actively searching this mostly because it's a marine hazard for all of the shipments that go back and forth throughout that area. But they're saying they're not expecting a huge amount of debris to come onshore any time soon -- Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: Wow, so tsunami debris is reaching the Americas far sooner than we thought. And there's an app to report it all. Thank you very much indeed. Mari Ramos there reporting.

Now when Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 it was the last nation in the world to do so. But the practice still thrives today. Now CNN reporters John Sutter and Edythe McNamee met two people there bound together by their past.


JOHN SUTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the stories that I found that I thought was just really compelling and made me think that, you know, we really needed to go, you know, to this place to investigate slavery is the story of this guy named Abdel Nasser Ehman (ph) who grew up as a slave owner and went on to become one of the country's most prominent abolitionists, which is just like amazing.

EDYTHE MCNAMEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Abdel has been living abroad for the past two years. We asked that Eboa (ph), the former slave, be brought in from the plateau where he lived. He lives in a place called the Tegon (ph) which is about six hours out by driving. We asked that he meet us in the capital. And they said hi to each other for the first time in a long time.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, thanks to god.

SUTTER: I think we were really like surprised by like how they interacted with each other.

MCNAMEE: It was like old friends meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He may not have this white hair. But there are other signs of aging, yes.

SUTTER: You could just hear like OK, we're reuniting like a slave master with his childhood slave. You would expect -- there was a lot of emotion between them, but it wasn't...

MCNAMEE: It was...

SUTTER: ...bitterness like on the surface.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you, what exactly do you do?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And do they pay you or not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do pay me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They always pay for my service.

SUTTER: I did not expect, you know, Ebaua (ph) to speak about them like they're family and that he wouldn't really remember...

MCNAMEE: Remember.

SUTTER: ...he was freed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't really remember it.

SUTTER: I couldn't have imagined that.


LU STOUT: John and Edythe, they share more of their investigation in a special CNN Freedom Project documentary Slavery's Last Stronghold. It airs Friday at 12:30 p.m. here in Hong Kong, 8:30 am in Abu Dhabi.

Now coming up next on News Stream, our leading women share stories about their early lives and challenges. Hear how these two innovators made it to the top of their fields.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream. Now in our series Leading Women, we introduce you to two influential business women this month: tech executive Weili Dai and fashion designer Carolina Herrera. Here's a look at how they made it to the top and how they continue to stay there.


LU STOUT: Before Weili Dai became a tech powerhouse, this is the San Francisco, California neighborhood where her life in the U.S. began after she left Shanghai, China as a teenager.

WEILI DAI, MARVELL: I went to Lincoln High and they actually taught English as Second Language, because when I came here I spoke only a few words, very little English.

LU STOUT: After high school, it was up to the University of California at Berkeley where she studied computer science.

It's also where she met her husband. They went on to co-found Marvell Technology, a company that makes chips that power devices such as BlackBerry's and game consoles.

On a visit to Berkeley we stop at the research center that now bears Dai's family name and her husbands, testament to their more than $20 million donation.

DAI: UC Berkeley is dear to my heart. My husband and I will always, always believe in education.

The only little thing we can do is giving back to help the school.

LU STOUT: The couple's rise and the success of Marvell haven't been stumble free. 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, charged Marvell with providing false financial information relating to stock options. The company admitted no wrongdoing, but ultimately settled with the SEC and paid a fine.

Dai says she's not allowed to talk about the case, but refers to that period as a tsunami, but managed to remain positive.

This award winning executive has two sons. Dai is athletic and enjoys cooking. She defines her life and business credo with two words: fair and care.

DAI: You know, one of the leaders for my company, but I also see myself as a caretaker. So that's, to me, it's in the gene of a woman.

LU STOUT: But that doesn't mean women shouldn't be tough or ambitious.

DAI: The contribution to the world is already huge. But having said that, it's not enough. They need to participate more and they ought to believe in themselves that without them the world is going to move a lot slower.


Fashion designer Carolina Herrera also believes in pushing beyond yesterday's success.

CAROLINA HERRERA, FASHION DESIGNER: I feel that I have done nothing else. Look, I want to do more. But I think we have arrived to a stage where it's wonderful because it's recognized everywhere in the world.

TAYLOR: She's referring to her billion dollar fashion label now found in more than 100 countries. She managed to do all that with a family that includes four daughters, 12 grandchildren, and a husband of 43 years.

HERRERA: We women manage to do many things at the same time and everything works.

TAYLOR: You have a huge family life. You have a very good marriage. And I've seen you together, you're very much in love still.

HERRERA: But you know what, without my husband I don't think I would have been sitting here talking to you, because he was my great head. He is my great head, because he supports all my ideas and he likes what I'm doing.

TAYLOR: Herrera's strong sense of family and impeccable style goes back generations. She grew up in Venezuela, lived on an estate, and at 13 her grandmother took her to her first couture show. Herrera would go on to not only wear fine clothes, but design them for women around the world.

What does it take to be a leader in your industry?

HERRERA: It's much better, there are a lot of leaders -- women leaders. The only thing I see is that they don't have to act like a man. You can be very feminine and be a leader. Christine Lagarde, she's very chic and she dresses very well and she's a woman. And she has a lot of power.

TAYLOR: After 30 years in fashion, Herrera is still in demand. And her fall 2012 collection another success.

So what happens now? I mean, what is the feeling for Carolina Herrera?

HERRERA: I feel very well because I'm -- you know, everything went very well. Everybody was perfect. And the music was great. And the production worked. And the whole thing worked. And then when it's over, I think good-bye.


LU STOUT: You can check out our website for more of their advice.

Weili Dai says women should embrace their inner geek. You can find that at And next month, we'll highlight two new industry leaders. Felicia Taylor profiles Google executive Marissa Mayer and Becky Anderson visits the renowned French chef Anne-Sophie Pic.

Now ahead here on News Stream, a titanic feat -- Hollywood director James Cameron emerges from the deep. We'll bring you unbelievable pictures from his historic dive to the bottom of the ocean.


LU STOUT: James Cameron has returned from his journey to the bottom of the sea with a rare glimpse of what he calls the vast frontier down there. The director of Titanic and Avatar is the first person to make a solo descent into the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point of all the world's oceans.

And this is the view at 10,900 meters below the ocean surface. As Cameron says it's like another planet.

Now the full undersea trip took about seven hours. And James Cameron talks about his amazing journey to the bottom of the ocean.


JAMES CAMERON, DIRECTOR: From the time I got in the vehicle, this sort of sense of adventure and the thrill, the excitement of seeing something that people haven't seen before, going someplace that people haven't been before that takes over.

When you start the dive, when they first close the hatch, all of these electronics are dumping heat into the sphere. And plus we're operating near the equator.

I get in. It's very hot from the electronics. Temperature goes up to 100 degrees right away. It's like a sauna inside.

And on the descent, the sub goes down so fast, it's like vertical torpedo. The idea is to get through that seven mile water column as fast you can so you have as much time on the bottom as possible.

Within just a few minutes I'm in water that's 36 degrees Fahrenheit. And now the sphere starts to get cold. So all of a sudden my feet are freezing, the back of my head is freezing. The middle part of my body is at 90 degrees.

Literally within a minute or two I'm out of sunlight. You know, and you're in total darkness for most of this dive.

The whole sub actually squeezes down almost three inches in length when it gets to the bottom of the ocean just because of the pressure. And the sphere that I am actually shrinks. The window that I look out actually pushes in toward me under 16,000 pounds per square inch of pressure.

When I came down, I landed, it was very, very soft, almost to gelatinous flat plane, almost featureless plane. And it just went out of sight as far as I could see.

The impression to me was that it was very lunar, very desolate place, very isolated. My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity.

Why is it so deep? It's not just some random hole in the bottom of the ocean. Well, that's the place where these horrific tsunamis originate, you know, there's so much seismic activity down there, this is where all that energy is released into the ocean.

This is where I am. I'm at the bottom of the ocean, the deepest place in the world. And what does that mean? I want to just have that moment to take it in. So, you know, I just sat there looking out the window, looking at this kind of barren, desolate, lunar plane and appreciate it.

Of course, there's a lot of emphasis on this one dive. Really we see this as the first part of a dive program. We have a lot of science goals with the vehicle. It's meant to be a science platform so that we can take sediment core samples and suction samples of small animals that we see down there and take the kind of imaging that the scientists need to really understand this last frontier, you know, on planet Earth.


LU STOUT: What a journey. And he tells it so well.

Now do you remember this? This fake Apple store in China? Last year an enterprising blogger uncovered the shameless retail ripoff in Qingming. It was later shut down. And now another blogger has encountered what he says is a fake Android store in Guangdong Province.

Now there are real ones out there. Now this is the Google+ page for Android Land. Now the green Googly retails space, it opened in December in Melbourne, Australia.

But the version in Juhai (ph) has the prominent Android logo on a green background, but it's not the real deal.

Now the words under the sign, they translate roughly as famous smartphone experience store. But Google don't worry. Now real Android devices are also sold inside. The problem is, they perhaps don't sell so well, so the shop also sell genuine iPhones and iPads.

I guess in any fickle mobile market you've got to hedge your bets.

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