CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEWS STREAM

North Korea Rocket Fails; Syria's Uneasy Cease-Fire; Chicago Bulls Win Second Straight Division Championship; France's Presidential Election Two Horse Race

Aired April 13, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

Hello. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong.

We begin in North Korea, where the state makes the embarrassing admission that its attempt to launch a satellite into orbit has failed.

Formula 1's boss says the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead. We'll hear from Bernie Ecclestone.

And we'll speak to one of the few reporters to tour a Foxconn factory to see where electronics like the iPad are made.

Whether it was intended as a harmless satellite missions or, as many contend, a deceitful missile test, North Korea's rocket launch on Friday morning was conclusively one thing, a failure. Well, state TV broadcast a rare admission that things did not go according to plan. In the words of the anchor, the Earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit. Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure.

Well, Pyongyang's attempt to prove its prowess to the world has ended in lasting embarrassment, but the fiasco has done little to reassure the nation's neighbors and detractors. Many fear this loss of faith could lead to a new round of posturing and provocation.

Condemnation of the failed launch has been far-reaching. The White House criticized what it called North Korea's pattern of aggressive behavior. British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Pyongyang to suspend all missile and nuclear-related activity. And South Korean accused its northern neighbor of ignoring the salvation of its people while spending money on rockets.

Well, North Korea's strongest ally, China, appeared more muted in its response. In a statement from the Foreign Ministry, it said, "We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint, and refrain from acts that would harm peace and stability on the peninsula an din the region." But Russia's foreign minister told journalists that Beijing joined Moscow and several other nations in condemning the move.

South Korea is now attempting to recover the rocket from the waters off its western coast. And while officials look for clues as to the true nature of the failed mission, the U.N. Security Council is meeting later to discuss what happens next.

Stan Grant joins me live from Pyongyang.

Stan, this was a failure which obviously is a huge embarrassment and rather humiliating for North Korea. What is the latest word from the North Korean regime?

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very little word about the rocket launch, to be honest with you, Anna. Yes, embarrassing.

Remember, they brought the world's media here to see this, that they expected to be the crowning glory of a week of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founding father of the country, Kim Il-sung. They took us up to the launch site itself. That's how optimistic they were. They let me stand right next to the rocket.

They were not talking about failure. Failure was not an option. And then, suddenly, the rocket was launched this morning without any notice to the media.

The first we had heard about it were reports coming from the United States, South Korea, and Japan, very quickly followed by news that it in fact had failed. We then sought confirmation from people here, getting absolutely nowhere.

There was an empty chair in the press center where the official was meant to be sitting to brief us about this. The screen that was supposed to show the images of this launch was blank.

Journalists were manning the phones, trying to find out more information, and nothing. Finally, we got the statement from the state media here confirming that, yes, it had been a failure and they were investigating.

That in itself is significant, that North Korea is being transparent, is saying that this has gone wrong, and they're not trying to obfuscate. But there was no more comment.

We were then rounded up, put into buses, and taken out to the launch, --or the unveiling -- of two massive statues to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il to a sea of people, trying to create another image, an image of triumph after a morning of failure -- Anna.

COREN: Yes, that admission of failure was very, very unusual.

Stan, I guess the real concern now is that this will in fact make North Korea more defiant and potentially more dangerous.

GRANT: North Korea has always said that this is part of a process, that they were going to continue to try to refine this technology and to carry out more tests and bigger tests in the future. Remember, there was a test in 2006 that failed, 2009 that failed, and now this latest one. So they are determined to press ahead with this technology.

As they're always insisting, this was about putting a satellite into orbit. The rest of the world refused to believe that, talking about this is a covert missile operation. But speaking to space experts here, it's one and the same thing.

If you develop the technology to put a satellite into orbit, then, yes, you can deliver an object, a missile, somewhere here on the planet. It really goes to the mindset of the country.

2012, the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, was meant to be the year that they showed the world that they were a powerful and prosperous nation. This setback aside, they are determined to press ahead with that and expect more tests into the future.

Now, already, we're hearing about intelligence report from South Korea talking about a potential nuclear test in the days to come as well -- Anna.

COREN: Stan, since the launch of that rocket, there has been international condemnation, also coming from China, which is really North Korea's only ally. Do you think that this will have any impact on North Korea moving forward?

GRANT: Well, obviously, North Korea now, particularly under the new leader, new supreme leader, Kim Jong-un is a new landscape. We were so used to Kim Jong-il for all of those years playing the bait and switch game with the United States, giving a little here, taking a little back there, and then going back to continue to develop missile technology, continue to develop nuclear weapons as well. But if you look at -- if you understand the mindset of a country here, a country that's been isolated, a country that's been targeted by sanctions, a country that has struggled with famine, has to go to the international community to get food to be able to feed its own people.

But what's most important to the people here just talking to them, talking to government minders and officials here, is the sense that they can stand alone. This policy, this philosophy of self-reliance, goes to the core of this country.

And yes, they can be isolated. Yes, they can be criticized, even by the likes of China, their only real strong ally. But, still, that policy of self-reliance is overarching. That's what they believe in, that is the policy that underpins the legitimacy of the regime, and that's not going to change -- Anna.

COREN: You mentioned Kim Jong-un. When he came to power after the death of his father back in December of last year, it was certainly hoped that this would be a new beginning of a new chapter of relations between North Korea and the international community. You would have to think after today that those hopes have been dashed.

GRANT: Well, we just came back from seeing the unveiling of those statues. And Kim Jong-un was there. He was standing directly in front of me, surrounded by other senior members of his government. And there was an uproar, absolutely roar of support for him coming from that massive crowd.

This cult of personality, the Kim dynasty, is obviously continuing here. We saw the same thing with Kim Jong-il. Now we're seeing it with Kim Jong- un.

Just this week, he was given new titles. He's now supreme leader. He is first secretary of the Worker's Party. So his authority they're trying still to entrench to really mark his standing here as the leader of his people, despite the criticism from the rest of the world -- Anna.

COREN: Senior International Correspondent Stan Grant joining us from Pyongyang.

Many thanks for that.

Well, let's now get some more reaction from outside North Korea. Elise Labott is in Washington as the U.S. threatens further measures from Pyongyang.

But first, let's go to our Paula Hancocks, who joins us live in Seoul.

Paula, we're getting reports from the South Korean government that they are now expecting military -- a military provocation from the North. Tell us more about this.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, certainly, there have been some very high-profile meetings behind closed doors today in the corridors of power here in South Korea, not just looking at what has happened today, although obviously that is a focus. The focus now is to look in the weeks and the months ahead and see what kind of a threat this rocket launch actually poses to South Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS (voice-over): After such fanfare, failure. This North Korean rocket is now in pieces in the Yellow Sea, an international embarrassment to its new leader, and calls for concern that the Korean Peninsula just became a more dangerous place.

A Defense Ministry spokesman told reporters, "An additional missile launch and nuclear test is highly probable. And for internal political reasons, a military provocation is also likely."

Pyongyang shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island a year and a half ago, perceived at the time as a way to show Kim Jong-un as a strong leader in waiting. The same for the sinking of South Korean warship Cheonan two years ago, though the north involved involvement.

JASPER KIM, EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY: And so what it's going to do is basically enter into a new era of further provocative acts that it's never seen before, because North Korea and Kim Jong-un, this young leader, has to prove domestically to the power bases that be, which is specifically the military brass, that he's up to the job and he's tough enough to stand up to the international community.

HANCOCKS (on camera): A South Korean intelligence report claims that North Korea is preparing for a third nuclear test. And after today's rocket failure, there's a growing feeling among experts that Kim Jong-un may feel backed into a corner, making a nuclear test a near certainty.

CHUNG MIN-LEE, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: They really understand that in the midst of an election year, neither the Americans or the Chinese or the Russians would want to rock the boat. So, in essence, North Korea is probably calculating they can get away with it.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Some concerns on the streets of Seoul, although after years of tests and tensions, residents here do have an ability to take these events in their stride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are insane and they don't know how to make the peace for the world. Not only to South Korea, but for the whole world.

HANCOCKS: Now the world has to wait for North Korea's next move.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS: And South Korea's foreign minister, not surprisingly, had a strong condemnation for the North going ahead with this launch, even in the face of such international outrage and warning against the launch itself. And he also said that he regretted the fact that North Korea is spending what he called enormous resources on the missile technology and nuclear capabilities, when there is such a chronic food shortage in the country itself -- Anna.

COREN: Paula, you mentioned that planned third nuclear test, also this -- you know, this military provocation that is expected, as you say, in the weeks and months ahead. What is the likelihood that South Korea could react to that?

HANCOCKS: Well, South Korea is not going to react on its own. It's very much tied to the United States here.

There's 28,500 U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea every single day, and of course they cooperate very closely when it comes to military defense from North Korea. So, certainly, we're not going to see the case where South Korea actually goes it alone and responds to any kind of provocation.

But remember, a year and a half ago, when North Korea shelled one of the South Korean islands, killing four people, there was an initial retaliation by the South Koreans, but they had a measured response. The international community convinced them to have a measured response.

The same happened two years ago, when the Cheonan warship was sunk, although the North Koreans deny responsibility for that. Forty-six people were killed in that attack. Again, there was a measured response from the South Koreans.

So, certainly, they will be cooperating closely with the United States. The United States will not want to see any military action from either side. But it's unlikely that we will see a strong military response from the South Koreans, because it could be seen once again as a provocation from the North, and that could escalate quite quickly.

COREN: Paula Hancocks, joining us from Seoul.

Many thanks for that update.

Well, let's now go to Elise Labott in Washington.

Elise, how concerned is the White House that tensions could escalate on the Korean Peninsula?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, Anna, certainly they're looking, as Paula said, for another provocation from North Korea. North Korea, they believe it has this happened of doing like a kind of two-step, if you will, which is basically following up another provocation. And now they're looking for a nuclear test. It's not so much about the satellite itself that North Korea was trying to launch, but the fact that they were trying to test this missile technology.

The White House came out with a very tempered statement yesterday -- last night, saying that, obviously while this is a violation of international agreements and commitments that North Korea made to the international community -- led me read to you this statement from the White House. "The president has been clear he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he's also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to international obligations, and deal peacefully with its neighbors."

So the question right now is, what happens to that food deal that was on the table where the U.S. provides nutritional assistance to the North in exchange for getting inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency in and also does some suspension of its uranium enrichment program? The U.S. obviously saying that deal is on hold right now, because they don't trust that North Korea will adhere to its commitments on other issues, how can they do it on the food. But I think they're leaving some wiggle room to see what north Korea does next.

Is it going to do a kind of mea culpa? Is it going to do a kind of mea culpa? Is it now going to allow these IAEA inspectors in? Nobody really expects that, but they also don't want to go too far, too fast in terms of condemnation, because they want to avoid a nuclear test.

The U.N. Security Council meeting today in just a couple of hours to issue probably what will be a statement on condemning North Korea's actions and calling on them not to make any provocations. So it's kind of a mixed bag -- condemnation, but also leaving some wiggle room to see what can be done next -- Anna.

COREN: Walking a very fine line.

Elise Labott, joining us from Washington.

Many thanks for that.

Well, still to come on NEWS STREAM, Syria's fragile peace is marred by reports of clashes between government forces and opposition rebels. Will the U.N.-brokered cease-fire last?

Is this Mexico's future? A controversial video featuring child actors poses tough questions to Mexico's presidential candidates.

And behind the scenes at Foxconn. We speak to a journalist who got a real glimpse inside the Chinese factory that makes Apple products.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, a fragile cease-fire is showing signs of strain in Syria. Opposition activists say government troops have clashed with defecting soldiers near the border with Turkey.

Well, both sides have reported scattered violence since the U.N.-backed cease-fire came into effect at dawn local time on Thursday. Well, activists say 37 people were killed across Syria yesterday and at least three deaths have been reported today.

As the day plays (ph), a tenuous truce could be tested even further. Protesters are said to be pouring into the streets, responding to opposition calls for mass demonstrations.

Well, meantime, international observers could soon be on the ground to monitor the cease-fire. The U.N. Security Council may vote as early as today on a draft resolution demanding that Syria allow a team of up to 30 monitors into the country.

Well, on the ground in Syria, fears are high that today's protests could lead to fresh violence.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is monitoring the situation from London.

Nic, it's gone, what, 20 past 3:00 in the afternoon in Syria, in Damascus? There are thousands of people taking to the streets.

In the past, Bashar al-Assad, his regime would have cracked down. There would have been bloodshed on the streets. That hasn't happened so far.

Can we read this as a positive sign?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the very fact that Bashar al-Assad still has his military forces in the center of cities position around opposition neighborhoods, if you will, in places like Homs and Hama and Idlib and other places around the country, is an indication that Bashar al-Assad is not backing down yet and not meeting all the demands of the U.N., which will be in the -- the resolution that's being discussed today and expected to be voted upon today will demand that he moves all those troops out. But it does appear that some of these protests that are happening as people come out of their mosques -- the midday prayers on Friday traditionally a time when people have been gathering in greater numbers, and particularly today, following this sort of uneasy cease-fire -- it does seem that a couple of the clashes that have occurred have occurred around those demonstrations.

At least two people, it appears from the reports we're getting from activists, have been killed as a result of being participants in those demonstrations, one in the north, in Idlib, one in Daraa, in the South, and these protests taken to the streets all over the country -- Homs, in the center; Damascus, around Damascus as well; in the south, Daraa; Idlib, in the north. So I think at the moment, yes, the bloodshed is down on what we've seen, and there isn't the heavy shelling we've seen in places like Homs and other cities. But their military forces are still on the ground, and the activists and opposition really want to take to the streets and see if they really have a free voice, as the U.N. says they should have, to protest against the government. And there certainly seems to be incidents where the government has a red line and it's not going to have those opposition activists cross the line.

So there is still the very real potential of more bloodshed here -- Anna.

COREN: Nic, we know that Kofi Annan wants some 250 U.N. observers to get on the ground in Syria. Do you think that this is going to happen?

ROBERTSON: It certainly seems there's a lot of weight and international momentum behind the U.N. Security Council when they vote today. They're initially calling for sort of a pre-deployment of 30 unarmed military observers to go in and liaise, they say, between both sides and observe the cease-fire.

Now, 30 is not enough to cover the whole country. They will have to ramp up to a bigger figure. Even 250 is going to leave them very, very stretched.

Some of the people on the ground, of course, will be sort of managing, doing communications, and they won't all be spread out in all areas of the country. So it seems that 250 is a beginning, but it's not going to be as we saw earlier in the year, late last year, with the Arab League monitors who numbered about the same, that they really just had insufficient numbers to really have a good view of what was happening all the time.

So the vote is initially going to be for this first step of 30. And we've heard from President Sarkozy overnight saying he absolutely does not trust Bashar al-Assad. He says it's imperative that these observers get on the ground quickly, that humanitarian corridors are opened up inside the country quickly. So there is a large degree of international momentum and support, even, it appears, from Russia and from China, who will be key at the U.N. in this -- Anna.

COREN: Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson, joining us from London.

Many thanks for that.

Well, the Bahrain Grand Prix will proceed as planned next weekend, despite continuing civil unrest in the Gulf kingdom. Formula 1 chief Bernie Eccleston met with teams on Friday and says he understands that the problems in Bahrain have nothing to do with F 1. Well, the decision comes after pressure to call the event off for a second straight year of civil unrest in the kingdom. Opposition groups in Bahrain have said they'll take to the streets to protest again today.

Well, coming up on NEWS STREAM, crime in Mexico through the eyes of children. A video featuring child actors goes viral, and its producers hope it will turn up the heat on Mexico's presidential candidates.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: A controversial video that raises tough questions about crime and poverty in Mexico is getting a lot of attention. It shows children acting scenes of gun and drug violence, scenes that the makers of the video say are commonplace in everyday Mexico. And it's gone viral.

Well, in just a few days, millions of people have watched it. And as Rafael Romo reports, the videomakers hope Mexico's presidential candidates are watching as well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): A businessman is mugged at knifepoint by two thugs on a city street. A scary scenario and one that's all too common in Mexico, made ever more frightening when you see it played out by children.

This short video is from the group Our Mexico of the Future, which is supported by a number of companies, (INAUDIBLE), and other organizations. It's gone viral, with nearly two million views in less than four days. In it, child actors play adult roles, reeling from many of the problems that plague modern-day Mexico.

ROSENDA MARTINEZ, OUR MEXICO OF THE FUTURE (through translator): In reality, the video doesn't show anything that people haven't seen before, because people say we don't want shootouts or kidnappings happening in our Mexico of the future.

ROMO: From pollution to protests and poverty, even the high-profile arrest of a drug lord. The point is to present the challenges that Mexico's leaders will face. At the end, a young girl makes a plea to the country's presidential candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): If this is the future awaiting us, I don't want it. Stop working for your party, and not for us. Stop trying to superficially fix the country. Mexico has touched the bottom. Are you only after the presidential chair or do you really want to change the future of our country?

ROMO (on camera): Some Mexican legislators say the video should be banned for violating the human rights of children who play the roles of thugs and criminals, but the producers say it's precisely because they're worried about the future that they cast child actors, adding that it's those portrayals that really drive the message home.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Still ahead on NEWS STREAM, hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers at Apple supplier Foxconn help to make gadgets for the world's most valuable company. Well, now we'll take you on to Foxconn's production line to show you the reality at Apple Corp.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren, in Hong Kong, and you're watching NEWS STREAM. These are your world headlines.

Well, North Korea says its controversial rocket has failed. It broke up before leaving the Earth's atmosphere and fell into the sea minutes after lift-off. The United States, South Korea and other nations condemned the North Koreans for going ahead with the mission.

Opposition activists say Syrian soldiers and rebel fighters clashed directly for the first time since a ceasefire began on Thursday. They say fighting broke out close to the border with Turkey. Activists report three people have been killed in violence today. The UN Security Council could vote today to send monitors to Syria.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has met with pro-democracy Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. He calls for the suspension of sanctions against the country. Well, David Cameron also met with the country' President Thein Sein and praised his commitment to reform.

We talked a lot about Foxconn in recent months. The electronic supplier has come under repeated scrutiny for its working conditions, but it's a very rare for reporters to get past the front gate. Well, Foxconn's biggest facility is in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. It's the one that makes Apple's iPhones and iPads. Nearly a quarter of a million people work there.

Well, Apple recently invited Rob Schmitz, the China correspondent for Marketplace to see life on the Foxconn production line. And earlier I asked Rob (inaudible).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB SCHMITZ, MARKETPLACE CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, being called in because of my days (inaudible) you know I spent the last couple of years doing stories about Apple's supply chain. And every time that I called them they would never go on the record with me. And often times they would just never call me back. I did a series last year about the environmental record about some of the suppliers that were supposed Apple suppliers. And I always had issues trying to get ahold of them.

So at this point, you know, I was a little surprised that they called me.

COREN: Before you entered Foxconn you actually spoke to some workers outside the premises unbeknownst to Foxconn and Apple. Did their stories differ from what you heard inside?

SCHMITZ: A little, yeah. I think that when I was -- I spent about a week with workers prior to my Apple and Foxconn coordinated tour. And I spent a lot of that time outside of the gates talking to many workers, over two dozen. And I followed one worker's money back to his home village to see how it was being spent.

But the workers when they were able to speak candidly with me, they did have complaints about the management structure at Foxconn, but for the most part they saw their jobs in this way -- many of them are from poor villages in rural China and for them this was a good opportunity to make money, save money, send it back home, and then hopefully at the right time after a few years go back home with some savings.

COREN: Because the average age of these workers is between 18 and 25. As you say, they come from a poor background. What are their dreams when they come to Foxconn? And then from the workers that you spoke to, do they have plans to leave?

SCHMITZ: Yeah, and that's a good question. I mean, the dreams that they have in many ways -- you know, I spoke to a lot of people actually in one village about this who are sending -- I think some of the people in the village said around a third of the village had left for Shenzhen for different factory jobs. I think that the consensus there was that many of the young people are leaving these villages because not really for the money as much as they are just for the change to leave the village and see the rest of the world is like. And since many of them know people who have -- who are working in factories, that's where they go.

And you know I spoke to a lot of workers who seemed a bit disillusioned with the work that they were actually doing, because it is very tedious and boring work. And the -- once they get there, what I found at least with my interviews is that they don't tend to stay very long. They usually tend to stay two, maybe five years at the most.

COREN: Well, I want to play a clip of one of your reports for American Public Media's Marketplace. Let's have a listen.

SCHMITZ: The work is tedious and boring, but each day hundreds of people line up outside the factory to apply for jobs here. On this day, 500 applicants, many of them tired from traveling days from their home village, arrive with the hopes of working here.

The supply is continuous. One reason is that compared to other Chinese factories, Foxconn is considered by workers to be one of the best. The company has invested millions in new amenities like athletic fields for its workers. And unlike many factories in China it pays its workers on time.

COREN: Well, as we know Foxconn has received a lot of bad press, some of it of course is warranted. But at the end of the day it is a good factory to work for in Chinese terms. Tell us -- you know, from what you saw what you witnesses, what are conditions like on the factory line?

SCHMITZ: Well, I think that conditions on the factory line for workers -- well the work is obviously very tedious, it's very boring. And it's -- you know, these are workers that are doing motions that last sometimes no more than 10 seconds. And so they do that for eight to 10 hours a day. So I think on your body I don't know what they would do to your body, but you know it's obviously psychologically it's very -- you know, it's very boring.

But the conditions that I saw in the tour that I was given, you know, I've been to factories before in China and the conditions were, I thought, on par with what I would say decent conditions at a factory. I've seen a lot worse in my time in China. And, you know, -- but you also have to understand that the campus that I toured has 240,000 workers at it. I mean, this is one of the largest electronics factories in the world. And so to call it a factory is almost kind of silly, because it's actually an enormous factory campus.

And so there are amenities like soccer fields and basketball courts and pools and things like that. So it's not a typical factory.

COREN: Rob, a Fair Labor Association audit was held recently. Last month those findings were handed down. And some of those findings included excessive working hours, safety issues, and over-time pay. From what you found, has Foxconn acted on any of these findings?

SCHMITZ: I think that they've acted on the pay. You know, Foxconn as a result of this audit has agreed to by next summer switch the over-time hours. Right now the limit is at 60, which actually violates Chinese labor laws.

What they have done is they've given raises to the workers.

COREN: So, Rob, how much money are these people earning each month?

SCHMITZ: Well, you start out at Foxconn earning about $300 every month. And then that can go up. And a lot of workers who had worked for more than two years were making around more or less $400, $500 U.S. dollars a month.

COREN: So Rob, with all this attention with the world really, you know, focusing on Foxconn of late, do you think that things will improve?

SCHMITZ: I think that's an open question. I think that depends on Foxconn and it depends on Apple. It certainly appears with my interviews with Foxconn's special assistant to their CEO that Foxconn is ready to make a commitment to change things. And he actually used a Chinese saying when I asked him about this. He said (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) which means we have the power to raise the water so that the boats float higher.

And so basically what he means is that we can raise the standards for the entire country of China just from the changes that we can make here, because we are such a powerful force in China.

COREN: Rob Schmitz, great to speak to you. Thank you for this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Well, it can be easy to forget that every single part of an iPad is touched by a person who puts this together. Well, Rob Schmitz says in one of his reports that he timed the work on several lines and estimates one new iPad is made every two seconds. Hard to believe isn't it?

Well, that could mean up to $10 million in profit for Apple each day.

Well, so with News Stream, much more coming up after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well it's just over a week to go until France votes for its next president and the competition is fierce. Well, two main rivals are leading the field of 10: Socialist Francois Hollande and incumbent president Nicholas Sarkozy.

Well, CNN's Fareed Zakaria takes a closer look at their personalities and their policies.

(BEGIN VIDEPTAPE)

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sarkozy is in trouble for a series of complex reasons. I think part of it is Sarkozy has never really been that popular in France. He's not seen as very French. He is seen as kind of an oddball. And he was often called during his first campaign the American. It was a moniker her embraced because he thought it showed that he was different, that he was a change agent.

Well, I think the French like that to a certain extent, but not as much as perhaps he thought.

Sarkozy's great hope, of course, has been that the recent horrific anti-Semetic violence in France has in some ways rebounded to his credit. And that because he's able to be seen credibly as tough on law and order, tough on the support and defense of France's Jews, tough on some of these immigrant communities that that would translate into a higher approval ratings and reelection.

It's quite possible that that will work. It's touched a raw nerve in France.

Right now Sarkozy is doing pretty well in the open race, because he's up against four other major candidates. But once you move to that second round and you have Sarkozy versus Hollande, Hollande is able to unify a large amount of that anti-Sarkozy vote. And in fact in the polling so far, he does quite well.

And that is the most troubling thing for Sarkozy. In the past, it has been difficult for the left to unify around a candidate.

For Hollande, the hill is very steep. People forget the Socialists in France have not been in power since Francois Mitterand, that's 25 years ago. And it's been a long period in which the Socialists have been on the out, have been seen as a party that doesn't know how to govern. And as a result he is to convince people not only that he has the right ideas, but that he has the executive capacity -- he can't convince someone that he has the executive experience, because he doesn't, but he has the capacity to be a president. And in the French system, of course, the president is a kind of super chief executive.

In France, you're seeing the most consolidated, left-wing reaction to the financial crisis and the repression. If you at Monsieur Hollande's proposals these are full-blooded left-wing proposals including 75 percent tax rates, largescale redistribution projects, much more regulation.

If it works, I think politicians all over Europe will take note and will say that's the winning formula.

Sarkozy is a very mercurial character. He can quite often say things that are unpredictable. He can say things that are emotional. I'm sure he'll be trained not to do that, but that is his nature. If you've ever met him he's a very excited voluble guy.

Hollande is more, how should I put it, more French. He's more measured. He's more sophisticated. But as a result also a little bit less emotional. He perhaps doesn't connect as much as Sarkozy will.

Whoever becomes president, the first order of business is going to be save Europe. The second order of business is going to be save Europe. The third order of business is going to be save Europe. It's banks have to go through a real stress test. They're going to have to figure out what to do about Greece. You're going to have to figure out what to do about Spain and Portugal.

But then you have the longer term issue of how do you prevent this from happening again? Now matter what the campaign hinges on, what France will hinge on the day after the campaign is Europe, Europe and more Europe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: That was Fareed Zakaria speaking about the upcoming French presidential election.

Well, dust storms are continuing to blow along the Persian Gulf. And our Mari Ramos has all the details. Hello, Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Anna. You know what this is the third day in a row that we're having this issue across the Persian Gulf area, also through Saudi Arabia and even as we head through Iraq and Iran. So a lot going on here weather wise. And this happens when these thunder storms pop up and ahead of the thunderstorms are blowing air just kind of pushes the dust, so even ahead of the thunder storms we can get some pretty impressive thunder storms.

If you guys have pictures, I'd love to see them. Send them to us. Either tweet them or iReport.com is really the best way to get those to us and the whole world can see them.

You can see right over here along the Persian Gulf area we're looking at the wind speed is in orange and the visibility is the small number there in green. In Kuwait City for example they had rain and then misty conditions over the last few hours. Visibility is starting to improve there. But look back over here. We still see areas where visibility is reduced and blowing sand and dust in some of these regions, especially in the last six hours or so. It's getting a little bit better in the last few hours.

I want to show you something pretty interesting. This is from NASA. And what you're looking at here is you have your base map, right. And then you have a little bit of cloud cover that pops up. But this orange that you see here is the areas where remote sensing satellites are picking up dust that's suspended in the air. And that's pretty impressive that you're able to see this almost -- this is almost near live -- near real-time.

There's also more over here as we head into this area. So we're still seeing some problems with it, but I really think we're going to start to see improvements in the weather here as we head through the next couple of days. Not so much today, because here you see the next line of storms, but as we head into tomorrow I think we'll begin to see a little bit of an improvement because drier days, drier weather is expected.

Temperature wise, not too many issues here. Cool in Kuwait City, because like I told you before it had been raining earlier.

Some strong rain and thunder storms popping up from Vietnam, also back over here as we head across East China just north and east of Hong Kong. We're going to see that rain continue to develop as we head through the rest of the day today and even through Sunday and into the weekend. You guys have been asking me about the rain across Japan. I think this area of low pressure will just be skirting this coastal area. So the rain moves in on Saturday, moves out I think fairly quickly. Tokyo should be getting most of the wet weather, because if that low lingers here they'll continue to get that flow off the water.

So watch out for the rain there. Western Japan should remain fairly dry and dry also as we head across northeastern China and the Korean peninsula.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast.

Hey, let's talk Titanic for a moment, Anna. Of course we're -- everyone remembering right now the 100th anniversary. It's actually on April 14 which is tomorrow. The 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. Well, there's another theory out there that they could have caused this tragedy, because there's a lot of different theories out there.

We know it hit an iceberg right? Well, this is the Titanic site. The Titanic was actually moving in this area when it struck that iceberg on the early morning hours of April 14. IT had crossed from the warmer -- warm gulf stream waters into colder waters of the Labrador current. This causes something called temperature inversion. In other words, the water surface is actually colder than the air right above it.

Temperature inversion has different things. So there's the iceberg and back over here is Titanic. Let's talk a little bit about temperature inversion. Now what happens with temperature inversion is that it can distort or obscure objects that are farther away. Sometimes you're driving, you look out into the horizon and you see those mirages. We hear about desert mirages. It's kind of the same thing, because of that difference. So one theory is that maybe they couldn't see the iceberg, those watchmen that were out there in the towers, they couldn't see the iceberg until it was too late.

The other thing is that light refracts off of that inversion, off of that temperature inversion. And when that happens -- and I know we've all seen it. Like is said in the horizon every once in awhile it makes objects appear smaller and closer than they really are. So maybe that morse code and the flares that they were saying was misunderstood as far as distance and what those flares actually meant may have been confusing for nearby ships.

So there's another theory. Can't get enough of Titanic -- back to you.

COREN: No. We can't. Because a couple of days ago we were talking about was the moon had some sort of impact, weren't we?

RAMOS: That's right. That's right. And now here we talk about the weather. Difference in the water temperature.

COREN: It is always fascinating talking to you, Mari Ramos, always fascinating.

You have a lovely weekend. Thank you.

Well, sports is still ahead on News Stream. We'll hear from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone as the sports supremo says the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead next weekend.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Well, the race is on. Formula One bosses have confirmed the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned. Our Pedro Pinto has much more from London. Hello, Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Hey, Anna. Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone told CNN the race in Bahrain has been given the green light after days of speculation that the Grand Prix in the Gulf kingdom could be postponed due to political unrest. The head of motorsports governing body said it was going ahead.

He added the teams never expressed any concerns about making the trip and that there is support for the event in the region.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE, CEO FORMULA ONE: I understand the problems in Bahrain are nothing to do with Formula One, quite the opposite we have a lot of support. I mean, there are other issues I believe in Bahrain, that's nothing to do with us. We don't go into a country and interfere with the politics of the country anywhere, whever we go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINTO: More form Ecclestone on the next edition of World Sport. In an exclusive interview with CNN, the F1 boss also explains his thought process for allowing the race to take place.

Well, leading up to the decision, most drivers passed on giving their opinions. One of the few to take a side was Mark Webber. The Aussie said the following, "I want to race. We need to trust the people making the decision." He added, "if we had a choice would we go? That is what I would like to go there and do." He did show some concerns by saying, "you cannot ignore the fact that all of us in the backs of our minds want it to go down smoothly and don't want it to be involved in the unrest."

Moving on. In the NBA, Chicago clinched their second straight Central Division title on Thursday. And they did in style beating their fiercest rivals in the east the Miami Heat.

Derrick Rose was back in the line-up for the Bulls, but he struggled all night long. He connected on only 1 of 13 field goal attempts and finished the game with just two points.

This was a close contest with the lead changing hands several times down the stretch. Dwayne Wade with a dunk putting the Heat up by two. With Rose ineffective it was CJ Watson and Kyle Korver who picked up the slack. Korver was on fire from downtown, a couple of 3-pointers put Chicago up by four.

Miami was down, but they weren't out. LeBron James actually gave the visitors the lead with a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. He led all scorers with 30 points.

The Heat were up by three with time winding down, but CJ Watson with his biggest bucket of the night sending this contest to overtime.

In the extra period, it was one way traffic. The Bulls ran rampant. Taj Gibson with a two handed slam. And then it was that man Korver again sealing the deal. He was 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, a total of 17 points for the sharpshooter. Chicago won by 10, 96-86.

Just a couple of weeks left in the NBA season. And Anna, it's getting exciting.

That's all for now. Back to you in Hong Kong.

COREN: Pedro Pinto, many thanks for that.

Well, social media jobs often go to the young and savvy millennial generation due to their familiarity with the internet, but one U.S. company decided to buck the trend, putting one of their online platforms in the hands of two octogenarians. And as Jeanne Moos reports, their antics created quite a splash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORREPSONDENT: They are charming the pants off the internet by being clueless about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exing -- texting.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: You need a wi-fi? One of those pad things maybe.

MOOS: They might not know an iPad from a brillo pad, but Frankie Shantz (ph) and Dottie Anec (ph) took over Kraft macaroni and cheese social media for three days, monopolizing Facebook, terrorizing Twitter. It was a stunt designed to promote the edible icon's 75th anniversary.

Yeah, well Twitter wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This tweet machine.

MOOS: But old birds did manage new tweets. Dottie tweeting she always used butter to make mac and cheese and it was good.

They posted photos on Facebook of themselves at 16. Both are in their mid-80s now.

Fans didn't get gooey over the mac and cheese, they got gooey over Frankie and Dottie. "You two dames are awesome!"

Here's Frankie explaining Googling to Dottie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just whips out his little palm thing and pup pup pup peep a pop pop. He gives me the answer. It's called Google.

MOOS: And this is how Frankie feels about Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get a life. TMI.

MOOS: But by the end of their three day social media reign, Frankie described it as mindblowing and heartwarming. She especially liked having all those nice young ad agency people hanging around her California home.

Oldsters in cyberspace are practically a trend. Betty White just took up Twitter. And remember the couple in Oregon who vent viral after accidentally recording themselves on their new laptop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How pretty your hair is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just drop your dress a little bit and see your bloomers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: Now there are critics who say what's cheesy is making these two octogenarians seem clueless.

The women are being exploited posted someone. Ridiculous says Frankie. Like mac and cheese.

ANNOUNCER: You know you love it.

MOOS: That's how Dottie and Frankie feel about their voyage to cyberspace.

Jeannie Moos, CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Dottie, Dottie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We having fun Frankie?

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Frankie and Dottie, I think you are gorgeous, both of you. Well, that is it for News Stream, but the news continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.

END