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Francois Hollande Promises To Bring Growth Pact To EU; Israel Makes Deal To End Hunger Strike at Ofer Prison; Nepalese Risk Injury, Death For Economic Opportunities Abroad; Manchester City Apologizes For Sign Gaffe During Celebrations Yesterday; Seven To Be Prosecuted in News International's Phone Hacking Scandal

Aired May 15, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in France where new president's promise faces their first test.

Plus, celebrations in Gaza after Israel agrees to improve present conditions. We'll go live to the West Bank.

And as Facebook looks ahead to its huge IPO we look back at the social media sites it replaced.

Francois Hollande is the new president of France. The country's first socialist leader in 17 years took the oath of office just over three hours ago.

But the pomp and ceremony of the occasion will very quickly give way to the less than glamorous reality of European leadership. Now Mr. Hollande has won one political battle, but another may loom with his German counterpart. Angela Merkel, now she was unwavering for her support for Mr. Sarkozy during the presidential campaign, but his successor is dining in Berlin tonight and the two leaders will no doubt have a lot to chew over.

Now this is a particularly critical time for the EuroZone's most important relationship. And CNN's Richard Quest joins the head of the first supper.

And Richard, Hollande will soon fly to Berlin for his very first meeting with Merkel. How will he challenge her focus on austerity?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Both of the two leaders know from which side the other comes. And as Francois Hollande said earlier this week in a television interview, because of that they both know the area of compromise they have to reach.

There is little doubt that they will reach a compromise. And most experts believe it'll be some form of growth pact that will be put alongside the fiscal compact and the austerity. Because Angela Merkel knows quite clearly Francois Hollande does have a mandate. He has just been elected. She's also had a drubbing in region elections.

Listen to what Hollande said in his inaugural speech today about bridging that gap, but recognizing there has to be a move from austerity to growth.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Today, there are people in Europe, there are people that hear us and are listening to us. We need to overcome this crisis which is striking us and Europe that needs projects, we need solidarity, and Europe needs growth. Our partners, I will propose a new pact which will bring about a necessary reduction of public debt, but uniting this with the essential stimulation of the economy, the need for our continent to protect in such an unstable world not only its peoples but its interests in the name of the principle of reciprocity of our commercial trade.


QUEST: He's a politician through and through never forget that. He has balanced that between the need of debt reduction and the need of growth. There is room for a compromise. But but under no doubt there is a shift to the left as a result of this election. Socialism is en vogue in Paris and that was made clear when Hollande turned his firepower on the financial world.


HOLLANDE (through translator): Put production before speculation, before -- investment before satisfaction of the present and something sustainable development before the immediate. We need an energy and ecological transition. It is time to open up a new frontier for technological development and innovation and justice.


QUEST: So, there you have it, Kristie, you couldn't get much more blunt than that. Production before speculation, investment before immediate gratification. It is socialism that is now the ruler in France.

LU STOUT: And as the debt crisis continues to unfold, what kind of relationship will Hollande have with Angela Merkel? What kind of leadership role, for example, will he play on the European and the world stage, especially in comparison to Sarkozy and Merkozy?

QUEST: You have to remember -- look -- well, he's not been on the world stage or even the national stage. He's never held government office. So he's in Berlin today with Merkel for dinner. Within two days he is in Washington for the G8 with President Obama. And almost immediately he's going with this message that France is taking a different direction, but it's not alone in that respect. Look at all the elections we've had -- Zapatero in Spain, Socrates in Portugal, or Cowan (ph) in Ireland loss. Again and again, even Merkel in these regional elections this very important north Rhine west failure regional election. Merkel has been losing.

So the shift from the austerity to growth model is one that more and more people are coming to by osmosis as well as by electoral defeat.

LU STOUT: The largest representative of this wider shift to the left there in Europe. Richard Quest joining us live from Paris, thank you very much for that.

And while the French election was decisive, a vote on the same day in Greece was anything but. Attempts on Monday to form a government comprised of three main political parties failed once again.

Now today President Carlos Papoulias is bringing the party leaders together. Among those present are Antonis Samaras of New Democracy, Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK, and Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left. And joining them is Alexis Tsipras of the radical left party Syriza. Now he refused to join Monday's discussions.

Now Venizelos says that they will all be asked to consider supporting a technocratic government, but if they cannot unite by Thursday, new elections are inevitable.

Now Israeli and Palestinian officials say that they have reached a deal in ending a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. And it comes on the day Palestinians call Nakba, or "The Catastrophe" marking the events surrounding the founding of Israel in 1948.

And for the latest I'm joined now live by CNN's Sara Sidner. She's outside Ofer Prison in the West Bank.

And Sara, there is a deal to end this hunger strike just as Nakba is being marked. Can you describe the scene there?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Just as you mentioned, just in front of me is Ofer Prison a few hundred yards away just behind me -- a few hundred yards behind me. What you are seeing are clashes between Palestinian protesters who have been hurdling rocks at Israeli security forces. Israeli security forces have been responding with rubber bullets, responding with tear gas and responding with what is known as skunk cannons basically water that sprouts out of this cannon that smells terrible.

I'm going to move out of the way so you can get a picture of what's going on. Beyond that white car that you see there, which is one of the security forces cars, you're seeing a lot of smoke. That is tires that are burning there. Just beyond that smoke, Palestinian protesters, hundreds of them, many of them young people. They are here for a couple of reasons. And as I come back into view, they are here to be in solidarity with the prisoners.

Even though there has been an agreement made, the Israeli security forces, the Israeli prisons have agreed to back down on a few things that were going on inside the prison, including solitary confinement saying that people can come out now of solitary confinement for the time being, allowing family members to visit because they had clamped down on that due to partly due to the hunger strike. And also they said they would look at a case by case basis on those people who are in detention, some of them who are on what's known as administrative detention, that has caused a lot of tension because administrative detention allows the Israeli security forces to arrest people who are accused of terrorist activities, but they do not try or they do not charge them so many times they do not know exactly why they have been arrested.


SIDNER: Two-year-old Lamar (ph) dances with a poster of her, a man she has never actually touched because he was in prison just before she was born. It was the eighth time he was detained by Israeli police without being told why, his wife Sharin (ph) tells us.

"When I was married for just 14 days they arrested him. They try to steal from us the beautiful moments. Then they arrested him 14 days before I delivered my daughter," she says.

She almost lost the chance to see him again. Her father, Herrer Halala (ph), was on a hunger strike for two-and-a-half months and nearing death. He was among 1,600 Palestinian prisoners protesting prison conditions and Israel's use of what is known as administrative detention, a controversial measure where Israeli authorities can detain people without charging or trying them, citing national security concerns.


SIDNER: Now what you'll hear from Palestinians and human rights lawyers on this side of the country is that they believe that those administrative detentions are actually illegal when it comes to the Geneva Convention, although Geneva Convention does allow for countries to detain people without convicting them, without trying them in a public court, but for very specific reasons. The Palestinians say the Israelis have gone beyond those reasons.

We know we have evidence, evidence that cannot be shared. It's not a perfect system, but they do believe the people that they have in detention, whether it's administrative or not, we believe that they have been in detention, because they pose a threat to Israel's national security.

LU STOUT: And despite this deal, the tension clearly high there outside Ofer Prison. Our Sara Sidner reporting live from the West Bank. Thank you, Sara.

Now still to come here on News Stream, we go on the ground in Syria where rebels gain ground in one border area.

And the latest on the case against former head of News International Rebekah Brooks and five others charged with obstructing a police investigation into phone hacking at newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch.

And many Nepalese are desperate to work overseas, but at what cost?


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now British prosecutors have announced that they are charging Rebekah Brooks with trying to obstruct a police investigation into phone hacking at newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch. Now the former chief executive of News International, her husband, and four others are accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Now a spokesman for Brooks said that she and her husband, quote, deplore this weak and unjust decision.

Now senior international correspondent Dan Rivers is at the high court in London. And he joins us now on the line. And Dan, walk us through the charges and the potential sentences that the suspects could be facing.

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK. So these are charges of of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, which basically means concealing evidence from the police who were investigating phone hacking. Six people in total have been charged, including Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News Interantional, her husband Charlie Brooks, and a variety of staff that Rebekah Brooks worked with, her PA, the head of security, a driver, and a security officer at News International.

Specifically, they've been charged with concealing evidence from the police. Rebekah Brooks and her PA Cheryl Carter has been charged with removing seven boxes of material from News International's archives and also all six of them, except Cheryl Carter, have been charged with concealing computers, documents and other electronic equipment from the police as they tried to investigate the allegations of phone hacking, of widespread phone hacking, at the News of the World.

Now conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, it does seem a rather arcane term, but it is a serious charge here. It often can carry a custodial sentence. In some of the cases, people have been put in prison for several years. So clearly this will go to a full trial. We'll have to wait and see how all of the defendants plea.

But it will probably be several months, perhaps more than a year, before this comes to a full court case. Because of the seriousness of the offense it will go before a jury and what's called a crown court here. So it will be a full blown trial, which will obviously be very, very high profile.

LU STOUT: And Dan, the political aftershock of the charges that were announced today. We heard from Rebekah Brooks last week about her text messaging relationship with the Prime Minister David Cameron, so how will the charges affect him?

RIVERS: Well, I there's no direct link to him at the moment, but this has got political dimensions in that he chose to appoint Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World as his spin doctor even though the allegations of phone hacking and, you know, there has been the arrest and conviction of a News of the World correspondent had all happened before Andy Coulson took up that role. Andy Coulson had to resign from his job as editor of the News of the World and still was able to get the job at 10 Downing Street.

So there are clearly political repercussions in all this. Specific questions about why Andy Coulson was not vetted with called developed vetting where sort of in-depth profiling could check that they're not blackmailable, there's nothing in their personal life. He didn't go through that process. Speculation has been around here that the reason he didn't go through that process is because they were worried about what would come up in relation to phone hacking if he did go through that process. So that's all been an issue that's been explored at the Leveson inquiry.

But these charges specifically relate to Rebekah and Charlie Brooks and those other defendants -- Cheryl Carter, Mark Hannah (ph), Paul Edwardson (ph), Daryl Joslin (ph).

Now Carlson Lewis (ph) who is from the Crown Prosecution Service here, the equivalent of the District Attorney, I suppose, explains she thought that there was a realistic chance of them being convicted.

LU STOUT: Dan Rivers reporting for us. Thank you very much indeed for that, Dan.

Now here is...


ALISON LEVITT, PRICIPAL LEGAL ADVISER TO DIR. OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS: ...Crown Prosecutors, I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except for seven there is sufficient evidence for their realistic prospect of conclusion -- with conviction. I then considered the second stage of the test and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six.

All seven suspects have this morning been informed of my decisions.


LU STOUT: Details of the charges as they were announced earlier today. And earlier that was Dan Rivers reporting for us live from London.

Now here is the recap of the long running saga and how it got to this point for Rebekah Brooks.

Now in 2005, royal officials complained to police of probable voicemail hacking after the News of the World printed a story about Prince William.

Now in 2007, an editor of the tabloid and a private investigator, they were both jailed for phone hacking.

And then in 2010, a former News of the World journalist alleged that phone hacking was a common practice at the News of the World.

Now fast forward to 2011, now police launch an investigation into the phone hacking allegations.

And in July of that year it was revealed that journalists had possibly hacked into the cell phone of a teenager who had gone missing and deleted messages that caused her parents to believe that she was still alive. Now the girl, Milly Dowler, she was murdered in 2002.

Now the next week, News International closed down the News of the World. And Rebekah Brooks, she resigned days later and was subsequently arrested twice and then released on bail in connection with police investigations into the scandal.

Now turning now to Syria where opposition activists say at least 11 people have been killed in fighting across the country and the state run Syrian Arab News Agency is reporting two officers were killed, one in Damascus and one in Daraa.

Now on the ground in Syria, rebel forces are gaining a foothold in some areas. Ivan Watson visited one town not far from the Turkish border.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The journey to Syria starts with a brisk walk through olive groves.

That's how you get into Syria, through a hole in the fence.

This is a country of rich rolling farmland that's in open revolt. In many towns, the rebels are now in complete control. In one village, a rebel occupies the desk where the police chief used to sit.

The rebels claim they forced out the security officers from this police station nearly two months ago and since then they've been using it as a mini barracks for sleeping quarters. They've also been storing aid, bags of clothing that have been donated from across the border in Turkey, some of which are being stored here in the prison cell.

It's here that we meet Fatima, a homeless mother in mourning. She says three of her sons were killed in recent months while defending their village from the Syrian army. A surviving son, Basim (ph), was shot through the leg. The family is now homeless.

"Soldiers torched our house," Fatima says. "And even shot our livestock."

But the Syrian government's vicious crackdown has done little to crush the local spirit of defiance.

At school, children burst into songs denouncing their president even though his government still pays for their school books.

Classes are still in session here at schools in opposition controlled Syria. And in a bizarre twist, the teachers here were afraid to appear on camera for their own safety. They tell us that despite the uprising and all the fighting, they still get their salaries every month from the Syrian government.

On a country road, we find a band of Syrian rebels making a show of force. Many of these fighters, from the so-called Free Syrian Army, are defectors from the Syrian security forces.

ABELAZ, FREE SYRIAN ARMY: We want freedom. Our blood is most expensive for this sky, for this (inaudible), for this mountain, for these trees, for our freedom. Our blood is cheap.

WATSON: The fighters have a prisoner, a 19-year-old boy they say they intercepted as he was on his way to perform his mandatory military service. And the commander shows the documents to prove it. The prisoner gets an ultimatum: if you want your freedom, defect. The boy renounces the government and agrees to join the rebels. The newest not so voluntary rebel recruit in a conflict that has no end in sight.

Ivan Watson, CNN, in northern Syria.


LU STOUT: Now it may be the biggest social network, but it was not the first. Up next, we will look at why Facebook made it why others did not achieve anywhere near the same success.


LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

As if the world can't get enough of Facebook, it looks like investors love the company too. Now Facebook is raising the target price range for its shares ahead of the big IPO. And as we wait for Facebook's big debut, Dan Simon took a look back at the social networks that didn't make it.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may be the biggest, but Facebook wasn't the first social network. To understand its rise, you also have to look at the missed opportunities, the blunders from the competition.

GREG GRETSCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SIGMA: Facebook from the very beginning has focused like a laser on the quality of their product, the quality of the user experience.

SIMON: Something that wasn't done by rival sites like MySpace and Friendster, according to industry insiders like Greg Gretsch.

GRETSCH: Friendster's problem was performance. When their usage spiked, they had -- their page load times went from almost instantaneous to taking 30, 40 seconds. Users wouldn't put up with that.

SIMON: The fall of MySpace was even more pronounced. Rupert Murdoch bought the site in 2005 for $580 million. Last year, it sold for $35 million.

DAVID KIRKPATRIC, AUTHOR "THE FACEBOOK EFFECT": Those two companies both thought of themselves more as sort of fashion and truly social businesses whereas Facebook, through Zuckerberg, thought of itself as a company using technology to make the world more social. He didn't think of it -- and he still doesn't think of it to this day as a quote, unquote "social network."

SIMON: As the competition floundered, Zuckerberg assembled a world- class team of engineeers focusing entirely on the product, constantly rolling out new features.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER: We're making it possible to build a completely new class of apps.

SIMON: And allowing other innovative companies to build on top of its platform.

Facebook enabled the rise of Zynga, which made video games social. Zynga mushroomed into a $5 billion company.

ZUCKERBERG: More than a dozen developers have worked with us to build social music apps.

SIMON: The Facebook tentacles are long. Virtually every company and every new digital service considers its Facebook strategy.

KIRKPATRICK: It has a capacity to bring sort of this social interaction that we have with our friends throughout everything that we do in life. And that potential of that is vast.

SIMON: But challenges lurk ahead. Facebook has lagged in mobile, part of the reason it shelled out a billion dollars for Instagram. It also needs to keep growing its advertising and its user base while having to continually fend off competitors.

GRETSCH: What Mark Zuckerberg worries about is not the Googles of the world. What he worries about is the upstart, the three guys in a garage that figure out the new social network.

SIMON: With seemingly unlimited money and talent, Facebook appears to have few obstacles. But in the world of technology it's dangerous to think that way, just as the folks at BlackBerry and Yahoo!

Dan Simon, CNN, Menlo Park, California.


LU STOUT: Now we wanted to take a closer look at the sites left behind by Facebook's success. MySpace is still one of the most visited sites on the internet, that's according to Alexa. And most of its visitors come from the United States.

And then there is Orkut, Google's attempt at a social network before Google+. It never really caught on in the U.S., but it gained a huge following in Brazil where over half its traffic comes from. It also has a number of visitors in India and Japan.

And finally there's Friendster. It's not nearly as popular as the others with just a fraction of a fraction of Facebook's visitor numbers, but it is popular in Southeast Asia. A large number of visitors come from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, to earn a living and send money home: thousands of Nepalese work in other countries. They often pay a deadly price. The CNN Freedom Project examines their plight after the break.


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

Now Francois Hollande has been sworn in as president of France, the country's first socialist leader in 17 years is getting down to work immediately. Now he'll meet the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin later today. Mr. Hollande is expected to propose revising Europe's economic pact.

Rebekah Brooks the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International has been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Now Brooks is accused of concealing evidence and equipment from police investigating phone hacking by British journalists. A spokesman says Brooks deplores this, quote, "weak and unjust decision."

Now Greek politicians are trying again to form a coalition government. Elections earlier this month left no party with anything close to a majority. Now leftist parties are refusing to join a coalition that supports unpopular austerity policies. New elections will be called by Thursday if no government is formed.

In Nepal, thousands leave every day to find work overseas, but as Sara Sidner found out, the desperate situation they flee at home is often better than what they encounter abroad.


SIDNER: 21-year-old Remila Seombin (ph) never considered the possible consequences of her husband's decision to work abroad. Now, she can't ignore them. Laid out before her, the body of her husband which arrived hours ago on a flight from Saudi Arabia. The paperwork says the healthy 36-year-old committed suicide there, not a single person here believes it.

"I don't think so. He said he would go abroad, see the place, and earn as much money as he could for the children and come back. I think somebody killed him," his wife said.

The couple has a 10-month-old baby. The father was a former police officer and had been working in Saudi Arabia for less than a month without any complaints.

"When my son went, I thought that he would earn money for the family, but his dead body came back instead," his father said.

This family's story is not unusual in Nepal.

Every day, more than 1,000 Nepalese leave from the airport to go work overseas. And every single day some of them come back in coffins.

The official reason for the deaths vary, but once the bodies make it to Nepal they are rarely investigated further.

GANESH GURUNG, SOCIOLOGIST: On an average per day, two to three coffins are coming back to Nepal mostly from the Gulf countries.

SIDNER: Socialist Ganesh Gurung says Nepali workers, attracted by good money abroad, often face awful problems.

Are Nepali workers facing physical abuse by their employer?

GURUNG: Yes. Mostly domestic house maids, female domestic house maids.

SIDNER: This women was one of them. We are not going to identify her. She stands before us seven months pregnant and tells us the baby inside her is a product of rape. The father, she says, was her employer in Kuwait.

"He beat me up. First he covered my mouth so I could not scream," she says. "After he did that, I asked for my passport. He wouldn't give it to me."

She told us for a year-and-a-half she was paid, but then the payments stopped and the beatings started. She says after being raped, she fled to the Nepali embassy in Kuwait. She now lives in a shelter with other maids recovering from abuse abroad.

What do you plan to do with the baby?

"I wanted to get rid of this baby, but they told me that it was not possible because my life would be endangered. Now the baby is going to be born."

She plans to give the baby away.

For more than 10 years, Nepal banned women from traveling abroad to Gulf countries for work after the suicide of a Nepali maid who complained of abuse in Kuwait. But the need to survive surpassed fear and women did it illegally. The government lifted the ban in 2010. Now the lines for foreign work visas are as long as ever, even if the stories of despair keep coming home.

Human labor is Nepal's largest export. Every single day more than 1,000 Nepalese leave this country to work overseas. And the money that they send back into the country to their families makes up about a quarter of the gross domestic product here.

Masino Tumung (ph) is going abroad for the second time to find work, even though he says he suffered from back breaking work the first time and couldn't make enough money. This time he's getting training and trying again.

"I'm not going because I want to," he says. "People have money problems. If I stay home, I won't be able to earn anything."

The government has now mandated any citizen going to work abroad must attend an orientation course. Private companies like SOS Manpower offer skills training and safety training to villagers who will be working on buildings on a scale they have never seen before.

But nothing can prepare these men for the searing desert heat in the countries where they will work. The heat has often been suspected in workers' deaths.

We wanted to know what else the government is doing to protect workers abroad. Nepal's prime minister sat down with us.

(inaudible) diplomatically to the country's leaders themselves and said help us fix this problem.

BABURAM BHATTARAI, PRIME MINISTER OF NEPAL: Yes we have done it. We have instructed our missions and those countries to take the issue seriously, but the main problem still is as long as we can provide serfs (ph) to the people we can narrow country and they are forced to migrate. Then they will use illegal (inaudible) and when they go there illegally and then they don't have legal protections.

SIDNER: Prime Minister Bhattarai had the plan to bring more jobs to his country, but concedes that could take years, far too late for the men and women who come back home in a box for simply trying to create a better life by working abroad.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Katmandu, Nepal.


LU STOUT: Many desperate stories there.

Now southern China has suffered from floods this month. Will the rain let up? Mari Ramos has the answer. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Kristie, you know, May usually marks the beginning of the rainy season across China. And every single year, we see just disastrous flooding across many areas, but in some cases it has been particularly bad this time around across parts of western and southern China. Let's go ahead and look at some of the pictures that we have here.

This is an area that you're looking at there in Gansu Province where they're not stranger to just this kind of natural disasters. Unfortunately every year they see situations like this -- whoops, oh, there he goes, but it doesn't make it any easier.

You saw how dangerous it is to try to cross those flooded roadways.

And this has been going on for over a week already in this particular area. It is the sight of a deadly landslide where at least 48 people were killed in the last week alone. Some of the major roadwork has continued in spite of the rain that has been falling. So the major highways have been fixed, but some of the smaller roadways in between the villages and the smaller towns, those are still working to try to get them better.

The next set of images that we have for you, right over there, look at that, similar situation in Hunan Province where water is very high, more than 20,000 people have been affected by the rain here. And they're trying to move many of these people to higher ground because of the fear that water will keep rising of course as the water continues to drain down from the mountains and fill the valleys.

Now where there's not water, unfortunately there's been a lot of landslides. Where there is water on the roads, anyway. The roads are cracked.

How scary is this? There's still some people trying to drive across these roads, but for the most part they're trying to close them down, authorities are trying to close them down wherever they can to avoid injury. This road could collapse at any moment. I mean, it's dangerous even for the journalists that's filming these images here. You can see these huge cracks on the road as a result of the heavy rain that has been affecting this region for the past few weeks.

Come back over to the weather map. A quick update here. We are going to see the heaviest rain I think this time around along the coastal areas. So watch out for the threat for flooding and mudslides there, because it has been raining for so long, well you keep getting some more of that heavy rain, you could see some problems.

Also, some very heavy rain across parts of Southeast Asia. Some of that rain also causing flooding across those areas. The Philippines I think you can start getting a little bit of a break at least overnight tonight.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast.

And there it goes. Lift off. It was a beautiful lift off at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Right there in the middle of the desert, Kristie, crystal clear skies gave a beautiful launch as you can see here. The Soyuz rocket was carrying -- is carrying crew members to the International Space Station. And it took off around 9:00 a.m. local time. Two Russian cosmonauts and one American astronaut are now safely in orbit. It will take them two days to reach the International Space Station. They're going to be there joining three other residents and they're going to be there for four months.

Well, you know, there are astronauts in space, but there's also -- come over here look at this -- you remember this guy, Kristie? Do you know who that is? Smokey the Bear. Yeah. Smokey is headed to space, also on board. Astronaut Joe Acaba is taking a version of Smokey the Bear in flight to raise awareness about human caused wildfires.

Only you, Kristie, can prevent forest fires. Remember that?

LU STOUT: I remember the commercials back in the day.

RAMOS: Yep. U.S. Forest Service.

LU STOUT: I'm going to date myself here, late-70s, early-80s. He's a great icon.

Mari Ramos, thank you very much indeed for that. Take care.

Up next here on CNN, is there a secret to having it all? Leading Women share how they balance the pressures of a top career and a busy home life. That story coming up next on News Stream.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now this month we've been talking with top Norwegian business executive Kristin Skogen Lund and fashion designer Monique Lhuillier as part of our Leading Women series. Now both women say they strike a delicate balance when it comes to managing their careers and home lives. Becky Anderson and Felicia Taylor give us a peek inside the private worlds of these Leading Women.


KRISTIN SKOGEN LUND, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TELENOR: I believe here in Norway, if you had followed someone within politics or public administration, you will have seen many women. In private business, unfortunately, we are few -- very few women at my level and even at the level below me. So I just tend to be the only one in very many settings.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristin Skogen Lund has risen to a corporate level in Norway where she's got very little female company. And she's done it as the mother of four -- two sets of twins in fact. Her success makes her stand out, not necessarily in a way she would like.

SKOGEN LUND: I sometimes get described as super woman. And I understand how people can see me that way, because I -- you know, I guess it looks a bit like I handle it all. I guess they don't see you know -- they don't see my insecurities, or when I feel down, or when I have to -- you know when I can't prioritize what I want to or when I feel bad because I'm at home with the kids.


CROWD: Hello.

SKOGEN LUND: I believe there is a difference between men and women, because a woman is not -- it's not socially accepted and allowed that you don't also play the role as a mom. And the thing is, you know, if I weren't an VP or the president of the confederation somebody else would be that, but no one else will be the mom for my children. So that really makes it the most important role that I have.

ANDERSON: Skogen Lund's husband, Christian, has a stressful job too. He's an attorney of civil affairs and sometimes serves as a judge. But he also plays a role that Lund says is often looked down upon in society. He's a supportive husband to a powerful wife. And he's also an active father.

SKOGEN LUND: If you have a woman who supports a CEO husband, you know, that -- oh, she's so great. You know, she's given up all of her things to support him. But if a man does the same thing to a woman, he's seen as a dork.

ANDERSON: Given her husband further credit, Lund is quick to point out that it's Christian who keeps her focused at home.

SKOGEN LUND: I'm very bad at turning off my phone. It goes off sometimes at night. He gets really annoyed with it sometimes. And he's right, because you just you don't think -- and, you know, he said something that's really good. He said it's OK that you're not here, but you have to be here when you are here. And it's so true. And I -- you know, I really try to work on that.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER, FASHION DESIGNER: Look at this, so it's like she's laying in a bed of roses.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Felicia Taylor. A supporting husband is one of the things these two women have in common. In Monique Lhuillier's situation her husband Tom is CEO of her company.

LHUILLIER: We work together on every facet of the company. We can think sometimes, good luck.

Did they send us the -- oh, are those the colored ones? Let's see.

But his role in the company is the CEO. He runs the day-to-day of the company.

I feel like this is even the picture for up the stairs.

And he also is the one that designs what the next steps are. And then my role in the company is make sure that everything we decide to do together looks perfect.

It's harder to keep family life and the workplace separated. And we'll always say we do, but we really don't. It's so hard not to continue a conversation that was started earlier in the day and then when we find a moment as we're getting ready to go somewhere and do something like catch up on that thought and say oh, what happened with that idea or what happened with that collaboration. And so it's hard.

Hello. Jack. Hi. Hello. Hi, baby. How are you? Whoa!

I know I can enjoy life and embrace it when I'm with my kids, that's - - I think that's like the perfect life, you know what I mean? I feel like when I come home to them it's pure joy and everything is worth it. You know, they inspire me -- and so every time I focus on one thing I really focus 100 percent on myself. So I think now I've learned how to juggle my life and I feel like now I have the perfect balance.

Where's your napkin? On your lap?

TAYLOR: But it's not always easy to achieve that kind of balance. Next week we'll hear from both women on their biggest fears and their advice for women in the beginnings of their careers.


LU STOUT: Now in the industrialized world about one out of every 10 board directors is a woman. And 20 percent of high level executives surveyed say that work life balance is one of the main reasons women are underrepresented on company boards. Now for those numbers and more, go here,

Now you can say this NBA playoff game had a bit of an edge to it. We'll tell you what was behind the booing in Oklahoma City as the Thunder took on the Lakers.


LU STOUT: Now it was a party for the ages. Manchester City celebrated their first Premier League title in 44 years in style on Monday. Pedro Pinto joins us. He's got all the details -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Over 100,000 people lined the streets of Manchester to hail their heroes on Monday. Just 24 hours after winning the Premier League title players hopped on an open top bus and paraded around the city.

Unfortunately the party was somewhat tainted by Argentine striker Carlos Tevez who held up a banner he picked up from the crowd which had a picture of a tombstone and read "rest in peace Fergie." Both the club and the player later apologized for the incident.

This is what Manchester City said, "the creation of the tasteless material is in itself reprehensible. In accepting and brandishing it, Carlos has made a significant error in judgment." It added, "the club wishes to express its sincerest apologized to Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United Football Club for any offense or distress caused."

Tevez has apologized as well saying he meant no offense or disrespect towards Ferguson.

In the NBA playoffs on Monday night Lakers player Meta World Peace returned to Oklahoma City for the first time since he elbowed Thunder star James Harden in the head at the end of the regular season. The Los Angeles forward served a seven game suspension for causing a concussion, but he never apologized.




PINTO: Therefore no surprise World Peace was booed by the OKC crowed before game one of their Western Conference series. The home fans were charged up for this contest. And they inspired their team to an impressive performance.

Kevin Durant was on fire early on as he put his team in control. It was one-way traffic in the second half as the Thunder pulled away. Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 27 points, Durant added 25 as Oklahoma City took game one of their series in convincing fashion 119-90 the score.

Also on Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers leveled their Eastern Conference semifinal series with Boston at one game apiece. This was a tight and tense affair. The Celtics headed up at 69 with this alley-oop slam from Kevin Garnett. Later with two minutes to go, Boston take a one point lead thanks to a shot from downtown from Avery Bradley.

However the Sixers had an answer. Drew Holliday steps back and hits a three of his own and Philly take a two point lead.

More drama later as the lead kept on changing hands. Ray Allen putting the Celtics in front. However, the visitors would have the last laugh. Evan Turner the big play putting the 76ers ahead for good. They win game two of the serious 82-81.

That's a quick look at sports for now. Kristie, back to you in Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now let's step over here. Barack Obama, he rode a Cadillac limo from Capitol Hill in January 2009. Vladimir Putin, he opted for a Mercedes Benz when he returned to office in Moscow this month. And we all know that the French don't like to be out done, so what was Francois Hollande's voiture du jour? Well, it was a Citroen DS5 diesel hybrid. Now before you scoff, remember that we are living in tough economic times and Hollande is a socialist politician.

Now the choice of car is also a vote of confidence in France's biggest auto-maker Peugeot. And if proof were needed that Hollande actually got things pretty good, spare a thought for poor old David Cameron.

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