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Greek Government Formation; Shake-Up at JP Morgan; Manchester City Wins Premier League Title

Aired May 14, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet. And we begin in Greece, where efforts to form a government appear to be going nowhere.

Plus a shakeup is expected at JPMorgan. Top executives may pay for that $2 billion trading loss with their jobs.

And they did it with virtually the last kick of the season. We'll show you how Manchester City won their first Premier League in 44 years.


STOUT: Its economy remains in the doldrums. Its people are despondent and the politicians tasked with lifting Greece out of the gloom are anything but united. After inconclusive elections a week ago, President Karolos Papoulias is trying to unite the country's party leaders. But one of the key participants won't come to the table.

Now Syriza represents the radical left and it refuses to be what it calls partners in crime with the center right New Democracy Party, which won the most votes. Now Syriza's leader has suggested New Democracy is close to joining center left party PASOK and the Democratic Left in a coalition. But the Democratic Left has dismissed that claim as "slanderous."

Now if a resolution cannot be reached by Thursday, new elections must be called. But this is not just a Greek problem. It is a European problem and the country's creditors fear that the deadlock could lead to a default on debt. Now Matthew Chance joins us now live from Athens.

And, Matthew, can a coalition be formed at this point?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in theory, it can. There are enough votes between some of the parties if they can get together to form some kind of majority in this parliament building behind me.

But the trouble is the divisions politically between the various political parties are so great and have been widened by last week's very divisive election that it looks very unlikely at the moment that any kind of alliance is going to be formed for the past week.

The parties have been getting together their leaders, their activists trying to forge some kind of common ground to discuss (inaudible) could be in a coalition government together. The country's president has been trying the past 24 hours or so to do the same with the heads of those parties.

But the truth is, there's an ideological divide in Greece right now between those parties that think that austerity measures are the best way forward for the country -- and those parties, 66 percent of the people voted for these parties, by the way -- do believe that austerity is the wrong direction. It's too painful and they want to go in a different way. They haven't managed to bridge the gap.

STOUT: Now, Matt, there's also been a lot of talk about a possible Greece exit from the euro, but what do the people of Greece want?

CHANCE: Well, this whole political stalemate does raise the possibility of Greece exiting the euro. When it comes to what the people want, well, you know, they're pretty much contradicting themselves in many ways. Opinion polls that have been conducted over the course of the past couple of days say, look, we don't want austerity measures.

We don't want to go down this path anymore. But we do want to stay within the euro. The trouble is, of course, those two ambitions may be mutually exclusive. If Greece doesn't undertake the austerity measures it needs to take, the bailout funds won't come through, it will default on its euro debt and most likely crash out of euro, possibly taking other countries along the same path.

STOUT: All right. Matthew Chance joining us live from Athens with this story. Many thanks indeed.

Now it is being called one of the most exciting finishes ever to an English football season.

Pedro Pinto joins us now live to tell about the miracle of Manchester -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. I'm still trying to gather my breath after what happened on Sunday. Absolutely incredible finish to the Premier League season, Kristie. Manchester City scored two injury time goals against QPR to claim their first league title in 44 years. Let me show you exactly how it happened.


PINTO (voice-over): Roberto Mancini's side were down 2-1 with time running out, but they got back on level terms in the 90-second minute, thanks to Evan Jekyll (ph). Cue one of the most dramatic goals in Premier League history. Sergio Aguero (inaudible) the winner with what was pretty much the last kick of the season.

That guaranteed City's third league title in history. It sparked wild celebrations in Manchester, or at least the parts of Manchester that don't support United, of course. There were also scenes of jubilation in Abu Dhabi, home of the club's owners, an investment group from the emirate bought the club a few years ago and splashed a lot of cash to enable this success.


PINTO: The blue side of Manchester is still trying to catch their breath after the dramatic way in which their team won the title on Sunday. Let's go live to the north of England to speak with CNN's Amanda Davies, who's wearing very, very pertinent colors today. Good choice of wardrobe, Amanda. Tell me about the atmosphere there over the last hours. I can imagine it's been unbelievable.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pedro, it has been completely unbelievable. I can tell you the lady in the coffee shop I went into this morning wasn't too impressed by the color of my coat. She said unless I took it off, I wouldn't be served any more. She obviously was from the red half of Manchester.

But, yes, people still just cannot believe what has happened here over the last few hours. As you said, you know, it's the red half of Manchester against the blue half of Manchester and virtually everybody this morning is talking about this, because you could have never have written that script. If it had been a film, people would say there's no way it could have been true, 120 seconds was what it took to go from pure joy in the red half of Manchester to sheer pain in the red half of Manchester and sheer delight in the blue half of Manchester, 100,000 people are expected to line the streets here in Manchester over the next few hours.

City are going to carry out an open-top bus tour parade. It's going to start here in Albert Square. The preparations are well underway. The banners are up. People who don't quite believe it, well, it says it in front of me -- or behind me, I should say. It says, "City are the champions 2011-2012."

And, you know, there was every emotion you could possibly imagine during that 90 minutes yesterday. A lot of City fans actually left when City went 2-1 down against QPR.

And there's been some fantastic scenes of them running back, frantically trying to scramble over fences to get back into the stadium to be part of the celebration that went on on the pitch. It has to be said the celebrations are still going on and will go on for a lot longer to come, though.

PINTO: Amanda, great to hear from you. Enjoy the party later on. I know you'll be covering all the festivities. City won the title on goal difference in one of the closest finishes in League history. I think we can take a look exactly here at how close it was throughout the season, starting in August.

And they were pretty much, if the graph wants to -- there we go. They were pretty close all the way through. One of the biggest gaps here, just a few weeks ago, 8 points, but Manchester United really threw it away by losing to Wigan, drawing it home with Everton and then losing to City in the Darby as well.

Roberto Mancini's side with a triumph and the title by 8 goals, winning it on goal difference. Amazing. Kristie, I have to say I've followed football for a long time. Yesterday was one of the most incredible days in football I have ever seen.

STOUT: And it made for a dramatic win. Pedro Pinto there, thank you. Take care.

Next here on NEWS STREAM, a former spokesman for Tony Blair testifies today at the Leveson inquiry into press ethics as the investigation focused on the ties between the British government and the media.

Also, what lessons have been learned from U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase after reported a $2 billion trading loss?

And the violence in Syria spreads. We'll have all the details still to come on NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Welcome back. Now there are fresh reports of violence in Syria as government forces pummel the city of Rastan in the province of Homs. Activists say at least 23 regime soldiers were killed. Armored personnel carriers were destroyed in clashes there. And more than 60 people are reported injured in a barrage of mortar shelling.

There are also reports that at least four people were killed in fighting in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor (ph). Now this comes as the European Union imposes harsher sanctions to pressure the government to end the violence. And now there are signs that the violence is spilling over into Lebanon, pitting pro and anti al-Assad factions against each other there.

Now with more on that, Mohammed Jamjoom joins me now live from Beirut.

And Mohammed, first, tell us what has been unfolding in Rastan?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, according to opposition, activists, Syrian regime forces have suffered heavy casualties there today. And as you mentioned, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that at least three armored personnel carriers destroyed today. At least 23 soldiers of the Syrian regime killed today.

We're also being told that today medical supplies running low, that at least 60 people have been wounded in this continual barrage, this raining down of mortar shells that's been going on in Rastan for some time now. It's a really, really dire situation. And from what we're being told on the ground there, it seems to only be getting worse, Kristie.

STOUT: And the bloodshed has trickled into Lebanon. How is Syria's uprising playing out there?

JAMJOOM: Well, Kristie, these clashes that began in the northern port Lebanese city of Tripoli, they began on Sunday. We've been told at least one person killed, at least 45 injured. That's according to the national news agency here in Lebanon. These clashes started after the arrest of a man named Shady Mawlawi.

Now the Lebanese government is claiming that this person is linked to an Al Qaeda group here, that he is an operative of that Al Qaeda-inspired group. Family members telling us, in fact, that he is not, that he is only providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, that he is supporting Syrian refugees as well and that that's why he has been arrested.

Now these clashes are between the Bab Tabbaneh neighborhood of Tripoli. That's a Sunni stronghold, opposed to the Syrian regime. And between that neighborhood and the Alawite residents of the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood of Tripoli, that's a neighborhood that supports Bashar al- Assad. This fighting really just goes to show how the tensions in Syria can affect a country like Lebanon.

Syria and Lebanon, a lot of very complex ties and rivalries between sectarian groups and political groups and it really just goes to show how volatile the situation becomes and how the situation in Syria can affect the situation in Lebanon, Kristie.

STOUT: Certainly, and the spillover violence and the shelling in Rastan, they make it clear that the crisis will continue. Kofi Annan's peace initiative is definitely under threat. Can there be a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria?

JAMJOOM: Kristie, just today we're hearing the E.U. imposing more asset freezes, imposing more bans on people and groups that they say are supporting the Syrian regime. This is in light of the peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, in light of the fact that there are U.N. monitors, over 100 in Syria right now.

And just going to show that nothing that the U.N. or any other group has done in the past several months to try to stop the violence in Syria has really worked. It's a dire situation. It seems to only be getting worse.

And despite all the international pressure, despite all the pressure from the U.N. and despite the facts that you have monitors on the ground there, touring different neighborhoods, the violence continues unabated, very, very worrying, Kristie.

STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom on the story for us. Thank you.

Still ahead here on NEWS STREAM, this is Indonesia's oldest zoo, and many of the animals there are dying. We'll tell you what is being done to help them.


STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM. Now six people have survived a plane crash in Nepal that killed 13 other people on board. The small plane went down near the tourist town of Jomsom. It's a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims because of its temple.

Now this is the second disaster in the region this month. A flash flood claimed dozens of lives in early May. Now was weather a factor in this plane crash? Mari Ramos joins us now from the World Weather Center with more. Mari?

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Kristie, this is a very remote area. It's very difficult to find information. We couldn't even find weather observations for this particular location. We found them for Katmandu, of course, the bigger airport. But for many tourists, for many people, the way to get around is through these small airlines that go from place to place.

Of course, the terrain is one of the main things. I want to show you something first of all here on the satellite image. This is Jomsom. This is near where that plane crash actually occurred. And it's such difficult terrain to maneuver anyway. As far as weather, if you look at this, you really can't see much. But then you see these clouds form later in the day. When this happens, the wind does get pretty strong.

We didn't see any big storms nearby, but -- let me go ahead and show you here on Google Earth. This is the Jomsom airport. It's always usually listed as one of the more dangerous places in the world, one of the most dangerous airports, and this is why. It's in the mountains.

You can see it right over here in one of these valleys. It's already at an altitude of about 2,600 meters. And any pilot trying to land here, trying to maneuver around here would have to negotiate all of these mountain ranges. The plane was on its way from Jomsom all the way to Pokhara. This flight was expected to take maybe 25 to 30 minutes at a time.

But it has to go through this very scenic route, and sometimes a very dangerous route. As I understand it, this plane crash happened around 10:00 am local time. That's about the cutoff of when planes take off and land from the Jomsom airport because the winds tend to pick up in the afternoon. So you have all of these factors playing in.

Sometimes you make it a dangerous place -- airport. You have strong winds, you have the difficult terrain. You have changes in weather that happen very quickly, and all of these things combined can sometimes be a factor. Was it a factor in this case? It's much too early to tell.

And of course, that investigation is still underway. As we understand it, the pilot said that he was returning to the Pokhara airport from Jomsom and they did not make it. They crashed right outside of the Jomsom area. So perhaps the winds were too strong. Maybe they had some problems. Too early to tell.

So there's the cloud cover. We did get some strong thunderstorms popping up here across other parts of -- to the south here for India, so waiting for the monsoon. Temperatures are scorching hot still. Let's go ahead, how your weather's going to turn out.


RAMOS: And these are pictures from China over the weekend, Kristie. Again, a sight that has been repeated over and over already this rainy season, flooding. And it's causing serious problems, particularly for travelers, whether you're trying to make a trip across the neighborhood or across town or trying to get out of town, it's still very difficult to get around.

Come back over to the weather map over here. There's almost a dividing line when it comes to the rain. There's a front that's stretching across this area right here. From here north it's relatively dry and somewhat cooler. From here south, that's where the very humid, the hot air is, and that's where the rain and the thunderstorms again are popping up.

And you can see them forming in this area again, back over towards Southeast Asia and even back over here toward the Philippines, quite a bit of rainfall and scattered rain showers farther to the north along that same boundary as we head over toward the Korean Peninsula. The rain is going to continue mainly south of this weather front.

And we're going to start to see it ease up somewhat as we head into the middle portion of the week. The north still staying relatively dry. But for you in Hong Kong, I think it's going to stay hot and humid and thundery. Back to you.

STOUT: Ooh, I don't like thundery. Mari Ramos, thank you for the warning there and take care.

Now I want to show you a zoo. It's in Surabaya, Indonesia, and conditions at the 92-year-old park were so bad that the government stepped in to clean it up.


STOUT (voice-over): There are 15 tigers in the Surabaya Zoo, but most of them are kept out of sight in small, dank cages. Bettina (ph), a Sumatra tiger, is thin and too sick to keep food down.

Tony Sumampau is an experienced zookeeper. In 2010, the Indonesian government took over the privately run zoo and called Sumampau to help clean it up.

TONY SUMAMPAU, INDONESIA ZOO ASSOCIATION: This tiger got disease, not very healthy.

STOUT (voice-over): Before he came, 25 of the zoo's 4,000 animals died in a month. Mortality rate has gone down since Sumampau and his team came, but he says the zoo needs a major overhaul.

In March, the zoo's remaining giraffe died in this shelter. An autopsy showed about 18 kilograms or 40 pounds of plastic in his abdomen.

SUMAMPAU: And also he's too close to the visitor. That visitor can feed anything.

STOUT (voice-over): Sumampau points to a camel's bloated stomach and says more animals ingest trash that's fed to them or thrown into the pens.

Poor sanitation and uncontrolled breeding are still major problems.

Over 160 pelicans sit in this cage, barely able to stand or unfurl their wings.

In the zoo's former quarantine, one macaw bird is so stressed it's plucked almost all of its feathers.

Primates are caged in the same facility.

SUMAMPAU: They never think of sending this guy to the other facility, the other zoo because they think the quantity is much more important than the quality. This is a very sad quality of life.

STOUT (voice-over): Sumampau is slowly training the zookeepers. Many of them have worked here for decades and resist the changes. This baby elephant's feet are chained. One of the keepers insists it's to train him to walk.

The team has made some progress. The endangered Komodo dragons are bred and kept in better enclosures. The barriers are kept low but safe for visitors to watch. But rehabilitating the zoo costs money.

With tickets at least $2 each, revenues are just enough to keep the facility running. Sumampau says privatizing the zoo and getting professionals to run it are the best solutions. It's now up to both the central government and Surabaya's local administration to agree on a plan. Until then, the team's task is to make conditions for the animals here just a little better.


STOUT: A sad situation there. And Sumampau says the most important thing is to reduce overcrowding and he hopes some of the animals can be released into the wild.

Coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, millions of dollars' worth of machinery gathers dust in Karachi as Pakistan's blockade of NATO supplies to Afghanistan continues.

And the links between Britain's political and media elite are under scrutiny at the Leveson inquiry. Tony Blair's former spokesman, Alastair Campbell, is due to testify. We go live to London after the break.


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

The latest attempt to form a coalition government in Greece has all but failed. As a new round of coalition talks were due to start, the leader of the left wing party Syriza said he would not take part, raising the prospect of new elections being called.

The Dalai Lama is being honored in London for his contributions to affirming spirituality. Now the ceremony's being held at St. Paul's Cathedral. The Templeton Prize (inaudible) award were just over $1.7 million. Dalai Lama says he will donate $1.5 million to the aid organization Save the Children. And the rest will go to the Mind and Life Institute and to his own monastic community.

A high-profile Afghan negotiator involved in setting up peace talks at the Taliban has been killed in Kabul. Maulvi Arsala Rahmani was assassinated on his way to work on Sunday morning. He was once a member of the former Taliban government, but in more recent times he played a key role in bringing Taliban leaders to the negotiating table as a member of the High Peace Council.

Now NATO forces in Afghanistan rely on supplies brought in from Pakistan, but it has been six months since Islamabad closed these supply routes into Afghanistan and there was no sign the blockade will be lifted any time soon.

Now about 40 percent of supplies for NATO operations in Afghanistan used to travel from Karachi through Quetta or Peshawar to Afghanistan. But as CNN's Risa Sesay (ph) reports, the shutdown of the supply routes means thousands of NATO trucks are stuck in Pakistan.

RISA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a secret lot in Karachi, Pakistan, millions of dollars in new American-made NATO supplies once bound for Afghanistan sit stranded and unused. The supplies now an ideal home for nature's critters.