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Microsoft Reveals Tablet Named Surface; British Insurer Revokes Policy For Syria Bound Russian Ship; New Democracy Party On Verge Of Forming Government
Aired June 19, 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: Hello, I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. We begin in Syria where ordinary civilians continue to suffer. And a ship with mystery cargo travels from Russia amid allegations it is filled with weapons.
Plus, Greece struggles to form a government. We'll check the mood in Athens.
And Microsoft surfaces in the tablet market, but can its newest offering compete with Apple's iPad?
Well, the future of the now suspended United Nations observer mission in Syria may be stake. The mission's chief, Major General Robert Mood, will brief the UN security council later Tuesday. Well, he suspended operations in the violence torn country on Saturday, because it's just too dangerous.
Well, a southern Syrian town appears to have become the latest killing ground. Opposition activists claim government troops and their allies are placing children on their tanks as human shields to stop rebel fighters from firing.
Well, as violence continues in Syria, a high stakes drama is playing out on the high seas. A Russian cargo ship is allegedly ferrying military helicopters to Syria. And Russian military cargo ships may also be bound for Syria.
Well, let's get the very latest from Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr in Washington. Barbara, what do we know?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, in the case of one ship in particular, there's been a very interesting move to make it stop its trip to Syria.
STARR: This cargo ship just had its insurance canceled. Furious U.S. officials say it's carrying three Russian MI25 helicopters to Syria that could be used to attack civilians. Russia says it's just fulfilling a contract. The insurer said it canceled the policy in view of the nature of the voyage.
The ship left the Russian port of Kaliningrad several days ago and is currently off the coast of Scotland. Without insurance it can't dock in any reputable port and is now likely to return home rather than continuing to Tartus, the critical Russian naval facility in Syria.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I don't pretend to be able to get into now president Putin's mind, but there is a certain nostalgia in Russia for the Russian empire. This is their last outpost and port on the Mediterranean.
STARR: Stopping the shipment is a small victory for the moment. The MI25 can fire thousands of rounds a minute, wiping out whole civilian areas. But the regime has plenty more helicopters. U.S. military intelligence is watching other Russian ships as well. In the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, satellites are keeping their eyes on this ship, the Nikolay Filchenkov which is loaded with munitions and according to two U.S. officials, a small number of Russian troops. The U.S. intelligence assessment? It, too, is headed for the Syrian port of Tartus to defend the Russian naval presence there.
The Russian news agency Interfax quoted Russian naval officials who said a second ship with Russian marines was also headed to that port.
RUSLAN PUKHOV, RUSSIAN DEFENSE EXPERT: I don't think that Russia is going and will dare to sign -- to send the troops to Syria to support Assad's regime directly or indirectly.
STARR: Most believe for now the Russians will continue to support Bashar al-Assad's regime, but will stop short of getting involved in combat operations.
ARAM NERGUIZIAN, CTR. FOR STRETEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It's not clear that you have a essentially a smoking gun here. What you do have is a long-term pattern of aid and it would not be surprising if you had an escalation of that aid in order to meet security needs as they saw it vis- a-vis the Assad regime.
STARR: Now of course any ship ensured by European Union country cannot carry arms to Syria under the European Union embargo. So in this case it's worked, but most observers believe if Russia wants to get weapons into Syria they will find a way to do it -- Anna.
COREN: Barbara, it was only last week that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Russia of supplying helicopter gunships to the Syrian regime. Now there are concerns that this ship is also carrying weapons. Considering the situation, is it likely that the United States, the international community will intervene?
STARR: Well, the ship that -- to be clear, the ship that has been stopped by its insurance being canceled is the one that is widely believed to be carrying those helicopters. So that may be off the table for the moment. For the record, the Obama administration says its sticking with its policy of hoping diplomacy works. They do not want to militarize the situation, they say, because they believe that could lead to even more instability in their view even with this very tragic killing going on.
What people are looking for is some sort of orderly transition from the Assad regime to whatever the future of Syria might look like, but it's hard at the moment to see how that path ahead is really going to happen, most people will tell you Anna.
COREN: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Many thanks for that update.
Well, the tensions over Syria seem to be playing out in the body language between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin. Well, they discuss the Syria crisis on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Mexico on Monday. Well, in a joint statement they said, quote, "we are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically chose their own future.
Well, the G20 summit is in its second and final day in Los Cabos, Mexico. We'll have much more on the gathering of world leaders ahead right here on News Stream.
Well, turning now to the political wrangling in Greece where the leader of the New Democracy Party is calling it a government of national salvation, a bastion of hope for a nation that sorely needs it. But Antonis Samaras has yet to pull it together. He is locked away with two of his biggest political rivals, determined to find common ground in a parliament on very shaky ground.
Well, if he does not succeed in forming a coalition, Greece could find itself bankrupt and out of the EuroZone.
Well, Samaras has three days to get the job done. Matthew Chance joins us from Athens as those crunch talks continue. Matthew, any word on a deal?
OK, we seem to have lost contact with our Matthew Chance in Athens. We will try to reestablish it and get back to him a bit later in the show.
Well, still ahead on News Stream, Microsoft's hopes for success in the highly competitive tablet market. Can the Surface take on the iPad/
And Aung San Suu Kyi continues her historic European tour with a lecture in London. We'll be live as the democracy icon returns to a country close to her heart.
And many in that same country will be watching events in Ukraine as England takes on Ukraine in Euro 2012.
COREN: Well, let's return to Greece where the New Democracy Party is trying to form a government. Matthew Chance joins us live from Athens. And Matthew, any word on these talks?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPNONDENT: No. But the -- in the sense that there's been no agreement yet. But the spokespeople from the New Democracy Party, led by Antonis Samaras, are trying to forge this coalition saying that they're still optimistic there's going to be some kind of agreement by the end of the day, or it not by the end of the day, then by the end of tomorrow.
They have three days constitutionally to try and put together a coalition. They've tried for one day already. They got two days left. Mr. Samaras, the leader of New Democracy has been meeting with the four other main political parties, two of them Syriza, the coalition of the radical left and the Independent Greeks, a right of center party, have declined to be part of this coalition. And so he's been left in talks and negotiations with PASOK, which is a left of center party which supports the bailout and the Democratic Left Party which is even further to the center of left.
And so negotiations focusing on what the country should ask for when it goes back to the European Union and the European Central Bank and the IMF and want some ask for some kind of easing of the tough conditions on the austerity measures. And of course negotiations over if they are going to form a government, who should take which cabinet post. And those negotiations have not yet concluded, Anna.
COREN: Matthew, the country is very divided as to what direction it should take. And that was really reflected in the election results. From the people that you are speaking to, what are they saying about the current situation?
CHANCE: Well, the electorate have been divided over the course of the past several months, really, between two main camps -- those that are very angry with the politicians who have lead the country over the past several decades and led it, they believe, into this economic mess that Greece is currently in. Those people have voted for anti-bailout parties such as Syriza which secured of course more than 27 percent of the vote. Because they want the country to go in a different direction that was very controversial and potentially dangerous, because doing a U-turn on a bailout could have sent all sorts of signals that they have -- may have sent Greece crashing out of the single currency, the euro. So it was fear of those consequences to a very large extent that forced many people to vote again for New Democracy and the pro-bailout parties simply because they were so frightened at what the consequences would be of them having such a dramatic change here.
But, you're right, the electorate still very much divided along those lines, Anna.
COREN: Matthew Chance in Athens. Many thanks.
Well, computer giant Microsoft is moving into new territory unveiling a Windows tablet which will pit it against the enormously popular Apple iPad. The Surface is the first commercial PC that Microsoft has directly designed and sold, but the most important feature is under the surface so to speak.
Well, now you are familiar with the classic Windows desktop, but the Surface as it is known is all about Windows 8 which looks like this. Windows 8 is the most radical change to the world's most widely used piece of software ever. Well, it is the first version, I'll leave it there for you, of Windows designed to run on desktops, laptops, and tablets. So the Surface has one purpose, to exist. It exists to push Windows 8.
Well, this is huge, because Microsoft has always been a software company and someone else builds and sells the PC, but Microsoft's open model sells the software that makes the PC work. Well, now Microsoft is competing with its own customers. Anyone for Acer or HP who is planning to sell a Windows 8 tablet now must compete with Microsoft themselves.
Well, even though Microsoft is a software company, they have made hardware before. But the results have varied widely. Well, there is the Xbox 360 which has been very successful, but there is also the Zune, Microsoft's iPod competitor which never caught on.
Well, the launch of the Surface was a tightly controlled affair. Microsoft didn't allow journalists much time with the device. And it posed very restrictive video access.
So what has reaction been like to the product? Well, tech writer Mark Millian tweeted "Microsoft chooses not to think of a new name for its tablet and instead goes with the name of its failed touchscreen table." Well, that's a reference to the company's 2008 giant touchscreen computer which was aimed at retailers and other commercial customers. Well, others speculate that using an existing name allowed Microsoft to keep the project top secret.
Well, Harry McCracken tweeted, "surface won't never go anywhere. It doesn't have Nook, the screen isn't even 7 inch, and it's not called the Xbox tap."
But here's another view, "Devil's advocate, they have Windows Live, Xbox Live, Xbox, and Windows 8 has built-in app store." Many similar SBCs (ph).
Well, lastly this, "Another question: are the Google peeps prepping for Google in a panic now?" Not quite sure Google IO in a panic now? There you go.
Well, if you want to know what it's like to use Microsoft's new Surface tablet, just log on to CNNMoney.com where tech specialist David Goldman was at the launch and can give you his take on the device.
Well, as part of its latest transparency report Google revealed that last year it removed some 640 terrorist videos from YouTube after a request from British law enforcement, but is taking those videos down an effective way to stop terror propaganda? Suzanne Kelly went looking for answers?
SUZANNE KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the new head of al Qaeda core Aymen al Zawahiri to terror propagandist Aymen al Awlawki, using the internet to spread the jihadist message is a tool of the trade for terrorists. Google agreed to remove some 640 terrorist videos from YouTube at the request of law enforcement officials in the UK.
There's a myriad of propaganda and do-it-yourself terror tricks posted in the form of videos. The problem with trying to take some of the more egregious material off the internet is that it has a way of popping right back up again.
AARON ZELIN, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: In a sense a whack-a-mole type of thing where especially activists in the west, they essentially create like 20 or 30 YouTube accounts and they primarily just use one and then if somebody flags it or it's taken down then they just go to the next one. So it's sort of this cat and mouse game that you're playing.
KELLY: Google, which is the parent company to YouTube, does have a policy with dealing with terrorist content online. Their community guidelines prohibit dangerous or illegal activity such as bomb making, hate speech, and incitement to commit violent acts.
With literally hundreds of terrorist videos being posted online, one of the biggest challenges is getting a grasp on all this material. Here's one of the best defense, a built-in flag that monitors material as being inappropriate and warns a Google moderator to take a closer look.
Google says the flags are taken seriously and that they are constantly monitored. Again, in a statement, Google said our review teams respond to flagged videos around the clock, routinely removing material under those guidelines when content is flagged by users or other external groups.
But some experts say there can be hidden benefits to keeping some of this material online.
BRIAN FISHMAN, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: One of the values of these videos being out there is that we can sort of understand what our enemies are thinking about or what these kinds of folks are thinking about.
KELLY: Here in the U.S. the government, according to Google, made 1,759 requests for content to be removed from YouTube between July and December of last year. Of those requests, only one removal was in the name of national security.
Suzanne Kelly, CNN, Washington.
COREN: Well, you are watching News Stream. Still ahead, it's a homecoming of sorts. Aung San Suu Kyi gets a heroes welcome as she returns to what many consider her second home.
COREN: Welcome back.
She is perhaps Myanmar's highest profile public figure, but it's in Britain that Aung San Suu Kyi is making a homecoming of sorts. Well, the pro-democracy leader is back in the UK for the first time in 24 years. She's been giving a speech at the London School of Economics before heading to Oxford, the city where she lived with her husband and children in the early 1980s.
On Thursday, it's back to London where she'll have the rare distinction of making an address before both houses of parliament.
Well, it is likely to be bittersweet for Suu Kyi. Our Dan Rivers is at the university where she spoke today and joins us now with much more.
Dan, she was on this panel. What did Aung Sann Suu Kyi have to say?
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the panel discussion was about the rule of law and human rights, two subjects very close to her heart. She was talking about the need to respect and adhere to both as Burma/Myanmar goes forward in this period of transition, she called it. An interesting discussion, slightly sort of academic at times.
But I think one other kind of most poignant and interesting moments was when a member of the audience asked her a question about simply, you know, what gave her the strength to carry on campaigning in the face of such brutal repression. Here was her answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I -- during this journey, I have found great warmth and great support among peoples all over the world. This journey didn't start on the 13th when I came to Europe, but on the 29th of last month when I went to Thailand. And I was surprised and very touched by the warmth which was the Thais welcomed me as though I were one of them. This I have found in Switzerland, in Norway, yesterday evening in Ireland for a brief six hours or so, and now here in England.
So I think it's all of you and people like you who have given me the strength to continue. And I suppose I do have a stubborn streak in me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: And she then has happy birthday sung to her by the audience. It's her 66th birthday today, a standing ovation as well. She's just in the last few minutes been to broadcasting house, the home of the BBC where she's been meeting people from the world service. She listened to the world service radio during her years and years under house arrest, often on her own for months at a time. And then as you say will be onto Oxford this afternoon where she used to live with her British husband Michael Aris and their two sons, which will undoubtedly be a very emotional homecoming for her after 24 years.
COREN: Dan, she describes herself as stubborn, but also very stoic. And I thought it was quite interesting a couple of days ago she said that she hoped that her trip to Oxford wouldn't be tinged with sadness. For international viewers, can you put that into context. I guess the emotions that she will be going through this afternoon?
RIVERS: Well, when she left in 1988, she had no idea that she wouldn't come back for more than two decades. She left in '88 on news that her mother was ill, had had a stroke, and so she flew to Burma. At this point not really at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement there.
But while she was there, she got caught up in the swirling student protests and people looked to her as a natural leader. Her father, General Aung San fought the British for independence and so people naturally bestowed upon her the kind of hopes for democracy there. Her party then went on to win by a landslide the election a couple of years later. She stayed on there, periodic visits from her family. But then she was put under house arrest in '89 and then in and out of House arrest right away through until just a couple of years ago, finally able to be released and then she's been elected as an MP in Burma in an election this year and now finally able to travel abroad.
But when she left, she could have had no idea that it would be 24 years before she would get back to Britain. And during that time, she would be locked up by this brutal military regime which seemed determined at all costs to prevent her leading the country to democracy.
COREN: She really has become a moral compass for the world. Dan Rivers in London, thank you.
Well, let's turn our attention to sport. It's getting serious at Euro 2012 after a few upsets, plenty of drama and goals. The final two places in the knockout round will be filled a bit later. Alex Thomas is in London with much more -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anna. Two of either France, England, or Ukraine will complete the quarterfinal line-up at Euro 2012 after Spain and Italy booked their places from Group C on Monday night.
Spain, the defending European champions were made to work far harder than expected against Croatia. Only a late goal from Jesus Navas separated the two sides, a 1-0 victory then for the Spanish who qualify as group winners.
That was a relief for Italy who would have been eliminated if Spain and Croatia had ended in a high scoring draw. Instead, the 2006 world champions eased past the Republic of Ireland 2-0. Antonio Casano and Mario Balotelli scoring the goes. The Irish return home with the worst record of any of the sides at the Euros.
So let's take a look at how Group C ended up looking. Spain finishing top with seven points ahead of Italy who leapfrog Croatia as we say Ireland propping up all the rest. The final group matches kick off in just under six hours time. And they focus on Group D. France and England are the favorites to progress. They only need to avoid defeat. If we take a look at the group situation, because they are level on four points each. England playing Ukraine, France playing Sweden of course.
And the competition is also welcoming back one of its star names Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United star. He's been missing for two games because of suspensions. Now he doesn't have any more frustration, he can get back into action probably going to partner his club colleague Danny Welbeck in attack who has already got on the scoring charts already in this tournament.
And after making such an impact as a sub, one of the question marks is over whether Theo Walcott is going to start this game. He's recovered from a hamstring injury so he is available.
As for Ukraine, they've got a fitness concern of their own. It is a big one. Talismanic captain and striker Andriy Shevchenko battling against a knee complain. Ukraine's all-time leading scorer has already bagged a couple of goals at Euro 2012. So they'll really be hoping that he is OK to play.
Off the pitch, many football fans have reacted angry to UEFA fining Nikolas Bendtner a six figure sum for showing off his underwear. Although the 1992 champions are heading home, Bendtner scored twice for Denmark against Portugal and then celebrated the occasion by revealing what he called his lucky pants, however they were carrying the name of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and that was ruled a case of ambush marketing by the tournament organizers who receive millions of dollars from their official sponsors.
UEFA fined him $126,000, considerably more than the $26,000 that Porto had to pay after their fans were found guilty of racist abuse earlier this season, two crimes you can't really compare, Anna, but somehow UEFA have managed to find one significantly worse in terms of financial punishment than the other. I can assure you nothing illegal on my underwear.
COREN: No? OK, you're not showing anything off? We can't see? No, but it is a little bit cheeky, I've got say, looking at those pictures. A little bit cheeky. A bit of fun. What's wrong with that?
Good to see you, Alex. Catch you later.
Well, coming up on News Stream, Egypt's political future, ongoing questions about new curbs on the presidency as supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood claim their candidate a victory.
COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. You are watching News Stream. These are your world headlines.
Well, the head of the UN observer mission for Syria is set to brief the security council later today. The mission was suspended on Saturday amid increasing levels of violence. Well, meanwhile a UK insurer has stopped coverage of a cargo ship believed bound for Syria with weapons.
Greece is on the verge of forming a new government. Well, that's what an official would be socialist PASOK Party is telling CNN. Well, he says three of the four parties that came out on top in Sunday's parliamentary elections are meeting today to try and put together a coalition.
Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is in the UK on a four day visit. The Nobel Peace Prize winner who turned 67 today was given a standing ovation as she entered the London School of Economics to talk on international law and human rights. She'll be in Oxford later today, the city she lived with her family in the early 1980s.
World leaders are expected to issue a written pledge emphasizing the importance of economic growth later on Tuesday. Well, that is at the G20 summit in Mexico where of course the state of the European economy has been at the top of the agenda. Well, China will also be a big talking point. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with his counterpart Hu Jintao later today.
Our White House correspondent Dan Lothian has much more from Los Cabos -- Dan.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, you know this day after this meeting that President Obama had with Russian president Putin, we talked so much about the body language that we saw between the two leaders, certainly giving this reflection that perhaps there is some tension between the two leaders. White House aids, other U.S. officials pushing back, saying that don't read too much into Mr. Putin's body language, that this is his style, something that we should get used to.
But clearly there remains some differences as to how to deal with Syria which is a close ally of Russia. First and foremost, the United States believing that the only solution there to move to a political transition there is for President Assad to step aside. This is something that Russia has been resisting. Yesterday, however though, President Putin agreeing that the violence there needs to cease, that there needs to be some sort of political transition that will prevent a civil war.
But the big sticking point is what that political transition will look like. Again, the United States believing that the only way that this can happen is something much like what we saw in Yemen where you have a peaceful transition where a leader steps down and you can begin some of those democratic reforms.
U.S. officials sounding optimistic, though, that there can be some resolution to this issue in the near future, Anna.
COREN: Dan Lothian joining us from Los Cabos in Mexico. Thank you.
Well, let's turn our attention to Egypt. The U.S. is expressing concern over the military council's recent decree which strips power from the presidential office and grants the ruling council sweeping powers. Well, the generals insist they are not making a power grab.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MOHAMED EL ASSAR, SCAF MEMBER (through translator): There is no authority other than the authority of the president and all the articles. He has great authority, very vast authority. And the military council did not take anything away from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well, moves by the military council are prompting protest as Egyptians wait for official results from presidential elections claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate.
With more on the situation, let's go to Ivan Watson in front of the Egyptian parliament in Cairo. Ivan, describe the scene for us, please.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anna, we're in front of the Egyptian parliament, which according to a constitutional court decision last Thursday, just 48 hours before polls open, was dissolved by this court order. And that has thrown the entire political system into disarray even as Egyptians voted for the candidates for president.
The Muslim Brotherhood has claimed victory in that election and Mohammed Moris, the candidate, but at the same time the ruling military council was issuing decrees grabbing the powers of the disbanded legislature as well as other former executive powers, declaring itself the commander-in-chief and saying that only the military has final say on the use of the -- stripping the post of presidency of those powers. That's been objected to not only by trade union, but by the Muslim Brotherhood as well. One of their lawmakers tried to get in today and was blocked by the police. And he accused media magnates in Egypt of colluding with the armed forces to give the Muslim Brotherhood and the parliament a bad image.
Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHMOUD AL OMDA, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD (through translator): The powerful television channels are owned by businessmen collaborating with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. They tried to distort the image of the parliament in preparation of this step that was taken to dissolve the parliament.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: And as you can see behind me, there are police back there. They're blocking entry to the former lawmakers. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood has announced a million man march to Tahrir Square today to protest what many are accusing the ruling military council for being a soft coup d'etat, a pretty naked power grab in the midst of what was supposed to be a historic presidential election -- Anna.
COREN: Ivan Watson joining us from Cairo in Egypt. Many thanks for that.
Well, Pakistan's top court has disqualified prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani from holding office. In April, Gilani was convicted of refusing to ask Switzerland (ph) to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. Our Reza Saya joins us with the latest from Islamabad -- Reza.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anna, just when you thought the topsy turvy world of Pakistani world of Pakistani politics would calm down for a change, all of a sudden you have another dramatic event that injects more uncertainty, confusion and tension into this country. Today's events and the implications could sound confusing. We'll try to walk you through it and clarify as best as we can.
Three hours ago, Pakistan Supreme Court ruling that Pakistani prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani is ineligible to hold office. That means for all intents and purposes as far as the highest court of this country of concerned, the prime minister is gone. He is no more. And just in case anyone is not clear, they wrote in their ruling that he has ceased to be prime minister and his office is vacant. Obviously that raises a whole lot of questions. What does this exactly mean for Mr. Gilani? Is he indeed gone? What does it mean for this government?
The answers to those questions at this hour not exactly clear. There is a possibility that the prime minister could appeal this decision in the supreme court, or he could accept it and move on. At this hour officials telling us that Pakistan's ruling party, the Pakistani People's Party lead by the president Asif Ali Zardari are holding an emergency meetings and they're probably deciding their next move.
All of this stems from events in 2009, that's when the Supreme Court pushed the civilian government to reopen old corruption charges against Asif Ali Zardari. The civilian government lead by Mr. Gilani defied that order. Earlier this year in April, the Supreme Court losing patience, convicted the prime minister of contempt charges. Over the past couple of months a big debate -- is he eligible with that conviction to stay in office? His camp said he was. Today, Anna, seemingly the supreme court putting its foot down saying we're making the decision he is not eligible for office. The supreme court calling on the election commission to start proceedings to remove him.
We're going to keep our eyes on the coming hours and days to see what happens next.
COREN: Yeah, Reza, this is obviously a very complex situation and also very fluid as you say. But what has been reaction to this news?
SAYAH: Well, this just happened three hours ago, so a lot of people watching their television sets. There's a couple of news conferences scheduled in the coming hours. But this, again, unfortunately is what we've seen throughout the history of Pakistan, which is the clashing of major institutions while an entire country is suffering, going without their basic needs. Here you have the civilian government clashing with the judiciary. There's no love lost between the judiciary and the civilian government.
Clearly, the judiciary wanted to go after Asif Ali Zardari. And it seems at this point Mr. Gilani is taking the hit for his party leader Asif Ali Zardari. And at this point doesn't look like he has a lot of legal recourse left. A lot of analysts saying this could be it, but for the Pakistan People's Party, it looks like the president is safe. They're dominating in the national assembly. If they find a replacement, they could find their own replacement in the course of this country and Pakistani politics won't change that much -- Anna.
COREN: Reza Sayah in Islamabad. Thank you.
Well, later Tuesday, the U.S. government will unveil the so-called trafficking and persons report, or TIP. The U.S. State Department says it's the world's most comprehensive look at the nature and scope of human trafficking and what governments are doing to tackle the problem. Outside of CNN's Freedom Project, Connect the World will bring you live coverage of the trafficking in persons report. That's Tuesday at 21:00 in London.
Still to come on News Stream, we visit with Jennifer Li, the CFO of China's biggest internet search engine Baidu. And then head out to the circus with race car driver Milka Duno, all part of CNN's Leading Women series.
COREN: Well, this week as part of our Leading Women series we catch up with Jennifer Lee, the CFO at China's biggest internet search engine, Baidu. And racecar driver Milka Duno. Now Kristie Lu Stout and Felicia Taylor have their stories.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A powerful message from executive Jennifer Li speaking at a women's day forum for company employees.
JENNIFER LI, CFO BAIDU: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LU STOUT: Lee is the CFO at Baidu, a multibillion search engine often referred to as China's Google. The average age of its 16,000 employees is 26.
LI: It's an exciting place to work. You get the energy from the young people. People are bursting with thought, you know, native ideas. And that's all about internet. And it's all about the company. So this is just perfect for me.
LU STOUT: Two decades ago it was Li who was the young upstart.
LI: I grew up in Beijing. I went to school here. Actually had my undergrad here in Xinua University. And then I headed oversees to Canada and took my master in business administration in Vancouver.
LU STOUT: She landed a job at General Motors soon after that.
LI: 15 years I spent with GM. So great attachment. It's a company I really love and grew up there. And I was very, very proud to be part of that to see General Motors establish itself in China.
GM is a very respected company. It's an American icon, right, very successful. But when the opportunities arise, you know, I was thinking to myself this is, you know, China. It is internet. Exciting country, exciting industry sector.
LU STOUT: That was in 2008 when after many years abroad Li returned home to join Baidu where she now oversees the company's finances and its human resources operation.
Jennifer Li believes her success came in part because of the high standard of excellence she set for herself and that women need to know that's what counts.
LI: Gender in the work environment should not be a factor when it comes to how far you can go.
LU STOUT: The woman who as a child wanted to be an astronaut and who at 23 left China to find her way in the world seems to have made the most of every opportunity.
LI: Today I love what I do. I think -- you know, I'm very fit to do what I do today. And I'm very happy with where I am.
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Felicia Taylor. Race car driver Milka Duno also appears happy in her career. While she welcomes the accolades, she knows her success is not hers alone.
MILKA DUNO, RACE CAR DRIVER: It's the role of the mechanic, the spotter, the engineer, it's so many things to win a race.
TAYLOR: Here at the Daytona Interantional Speedway in Florida, it's all about winning as crowds gather for the opening races of the NASCAR season. It's where we find Milka Duno, number 33 about to compete in the Arca Racing Series.
Describe for me what it's like to actually be sitting in that driver's seat? I mean, it doesn't look like it's very comfortable.
DUNO: It's really hot. It's really, really hot. The idea (inaudible) the eyes. Don't make too much movement, because you are going fast and you have to concentrate in your line and what you have in front.
TAYLOR: But this time it's a car from behind that breaks Duno's focus. In the seventh lap, her car gets hit sending Duno spinning off the track onto the grass. Thankfully she's unharmed.
After some quick handiwork by her team, Duno gets back on the track. But with the lost time, she ultimately finishes 37th out of the 43 drivers.
DUNO: When somebody hits you, it's (inaudible) I was lucky that I don't know really how I saved the car. I don't know.
TAYLOR: After more than 10 years in the sport, the former naval engineer from Venezuela who knows the risks and rewards of racing and says through it all she has the support of her family.
What do your parents say when you decided to go from naval engineering to stock cars.
DUNO: They say, are you crazy? After studying so much, you study so much and now you want to drive cars. Now I understand and know, but they are my fans now.
TAYLOR: Who do you admire?
DUNO: I think my mother, because I see from the beginning my mother was going two and three jobs at the same time to do everything for my brothers and me to graduate at the university and have the education that we have. And when you see that in your home it's the best example that you can get.
COREN: Amazing women, aren't they? When News Stream returns we'll tell you about a highly secretive space mission that sparked all kinds of speculation.
COREN: Well, let's get a check of the weather with our Mari Ramos who is keeping her eye on a tropical storm that's over Japan. Hello, Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Anna. Good to see you. You know, what, this storm is right over Japan. We've been tracking it for a few days already. It moved east of the Philippines, east of Taiwan, and now it has made a direct impact here just off the coast of Taiwan.
I want to show you some of the latest that we have from this tropical storm called Guchol. This is where it's located right now. And you can see how widespread the cloud field is. It's also bringing some very heavy rain across these areas.
I want to show you the radar from the Japan MET Agency. And you can see it right over here how it continues to move over this region. Those darker colors, that's where the heaviest rain is. And it's just to the west and to the south of Tokyo even now as we speak. So definitely something to monitor.
Now a couple of things. It's moving to the northeast at almost 70 kilometers per hour. So it's going to be out of here pretty quickly, even overnight tonight, but not before you get some very heavy rain over these areas. The wind associated with this weather system, easily over 100 kilometers per hour.
Now you can see it right over here, some of the latest advisories -- some of the latest rainfall totals that we've got in excess of 130 millimeters of rain across some of these areas. And this is the forecast track that we're expecting. As it continues to race to the north and east we're going to see it weaken as it interacts with land, but not before it dumps some very heavy rainfall over this region. And that's really the most important thing right now, I think. Those ares that you see here in blue and even a little bit of purple, the forecast model is indicating 8 to 15 centimeters of rainfall overnight tonight and as we head into tomorrow. And once this weather system is out of the way, notice how it brings the rain even all the way up into northern parts of Honshu, as far north as Sendai even.
Our next weather system begins to enter the picture, and that's this one right over here, that's that tropical storm that's now in the South China Sea. And that's this one -- blob of clouds that you see right there. Even ahead of that, though, there's a lot of moisture still across these areas and it has brought some flooding across parts of China and even into parts of Taiwan.
I want to show you a couple of pictures. This one right over here. When you look at it at first, it almost looks like a beautiful picture there from China, but take a look at this, this is actually a landslide that occurred over this area as you can see the water gushing all the way down. The floods and landslides have been tremendous across eastern China already. And as we head through the next 24 hours we're going to go from bad to critical, I think, across many parts of east Asia. The rainfall over the last seven days easily over 400 millimeters in parts of Taiwan, for example.
With the path that we had with this next tropical cyclone Talim, the floods will be tremendous across these areas here -- Fujian, Shezhen, and also back over toward Taiwan, that's where the largest flood threat would be. The storm itself is still back here in the South China Sea. Winds right now close to 80 kilometers per hour. And as it continues on that track to the north, expect widespread rainfall to move from the South China Sea through Taiwan also on the coast of China and this is also going to be something worth monitoring very, very carefully. Back to you, Anna.
COREN: Yeah, that's a big storm, Mari, when you showed it up on the weather map a little bit earlier. It looks like we might just miss it, but no doubt we'll get plenty of rain.
All right, Mari, good to see you. Thank you for that.
Well, at first glance this looks like a NASA space shuttle, but as Brian Todd tells us it's actually an unmanned U.S. military space plane fresh from a mysterious mission.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORREPSONDENT: We're learning about a mysterious U.S. Air Force mission, a lot of it is shrouded in secrecy and the air force wants it that way. Check out this video we're going to show you, infrared video of this vehicle landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The only way you'd have been able to see this plane approaching is if you were near Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California as dawn broke on Saturday. This vehicle is called the X-37B orbital test vehicle. It's an unmanned space plane. It's been orbiting the Earth for more than 460 days. It was launched in early March of last year.
This looks like the space shuttle, but it's a lot smaller, and it's controlled from ground stations. Two of these things could fit into the payload bay of a space shuttle.
What's the payload of this vehicle? Well, we asked and we were told nice try. The Air Force says the payload is classified. The mission, where it went exactly, that's classified. The cost, yes you guessed it, classified. But the Air Force says, quote, cost effectiveness is a major consideration in this missions.
Some observers like the Secure World Foundation had worried that this was the sort of maybe a kind of weaponization of space, that this might some day be able to shoot down enemy satellites. The U.S. Air Force says that's not the case. Two years ago when the first one of these was launched into space an Air Force official said these vehicles are going to be more like space shuttle operations, but stay tuned, we may learn a lot more about what these things are doing in the coming weeks, months, and even years.
The Air Force is planning to launch more of these we found out. They are preparing to launch the first unmanned space plane that they sent into space. They're going to relaunch that one this fall from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas V booster.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
COREN: Before we go, it's a tired -- story I should say that we've heard time and time again. Activist blogger takes on the establishment facing struggle and censorship until the world takes notice and justice prevails. But this story didn't take place in China or the Middle East, it took place in a small town in Scotland. And the blogger in question is a nine-year-old girl who simply wanted to publicize the state of her school dinners.
Well, Martha Payne was back online Monday after a council chief reversed their ban on her posting pictures to publicize healthy eating. And the success of the school girl's campaign has made a different (inaudible) on Scotland. Her blog raises money for a charity that feeds thousands of African children. Good on Martha.
Well, that does it for News Stream, but the news continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.