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Bad Medication Could Be Reason Behind Mysterious Death In Cambodia; Obama Attacks Romney's Wealth; Research in Motion's Last Days?; Floods In China Isolate Thousands
Aired July 10, 2012 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in Egypt. Parliament has reconvened in an act of defiance against the military and Egypt's highest court. We'll examine the power struggle playing out in Cairo.
Plus, greasing the clock in Cambodia. Doctors fight a mysterious disease within children what's been called 24 hours of hell.
And the maker of BlackBerry prepares to feel the heat from shareholders and why the outlook is grim for RIM.
Now as sessions of parliament go it wasn't long and it wasn't particularly eventful, but for Egypt's lawmakers it was an act of defiance that is resonating across the country, that's because it was a show of support for this man President Mohammed Morsi and that has pitted this otherwise unassuming gathering at direct odds with the country's powerful Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Egypt's constitutional court.
Now have a look at this image, it was taken at a military graduation ceremony on Monday. It shows President Morsi in the center alongside the head of the military council Hussein Tantawi on the left and the chief of staff Sami Anan on the right. They may all be facing the same direction here, but politically they are more on a track for a collision.
And here's why: when Morsi took office on June 30 it was with a clear aim to reconvene parliament, returning legislative power to civilians. But the military that has run Egypt since the removal of former President Mubarak last year says it is standing by the higher constitutional court. It declared June's parliamentary vote invalid, that lead to the military to take over legislative power.
We'll try to bring you a live report a little bit later from Cairo.
Now, we are going to move away from the situation in Egypt now. We've got plenty ahead on the show. But now let's get the latest from Cambodia. And the latest on this mystery illness that's been killing children in the country. Now the search is on for this invisible killer. And health officials may be getting closer to an answer.
Now Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he has the latest on why dozens of children are dying.
DR. PIETER VAN MAAREN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We are by no means at the conclusion of our investigation.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: An investigation into the mystery of what's killing some of Cambodia's children at a frightening pace.
VAN MAAREN: A majority of these cases -- mostly (inaudible) were seriously ill and many of them had died within 24 hours of admission.
GUPTA: And that's pretty frightening I think for people to hear. There's a lot of diseases in this part of the world, many parts of the world that could kill that quickly.
The back drop is important here. Antan Baat (ph) hospital admits thousands of children suffering from Denge fever, malaria and tuberculosis every week. And remember, this is a part of the world where Bird Flu and SARS originated.
Still, right away Dr. Beat Richner knew this was different.
DR. BEAT RICHNER, KANTHA BOPHA CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS: It's a new picture for us. We never seen this in Cambodia before...
GUPTA: He is the head of the hospital. He allowed us into the ICU where the patients are treated.
(on camera): To give you an idea how (inaudible) as we were talking Dr. Richner got called away to go see another child in shock. That's what we're going to see right now.
(voice-over): Dr. Richner says 66 children came to this hospital with the mystery illness. For 64 of them, it was 24 hours of hell before they died. You heard right, all but two died.
(on camera): For many of these children, it started off rather mild - - a mild fever -- but then things progressed quickly from there. For example, in Rathanan's (ph) case, who is two years old, we don't know what's causing his encephalitis, but this is typically what happens. The (inaudible) now over here starts to bulge and the eyes, as you can see over here, become dysconjugate as well.
From there, it just becomes merciless. It goes from the heat and the brain to the lungs.
RICHNER: You see these lungs -- 842. And five hours later you see the lungs...
GUPTA: The last two hours of life, this unknown illness completely destroyed the child's lungs and there was no way to stop it.
(on camera): Never seen anything like this before?
RICHNER: No. This is the first time at the end of (inaudible). And this makes us very...
GUPTA: Something called Enterovirus 71, typically associated with hand, foot and mouth disease was found in more than a dozen patients, but that's only adding to the mystery.
Would the Enterovirus lead to this?
RICHNER: Never. Never. Never.
GUPTA: So it has to be something else?
RICHNER: I think so. But we cannot prove. But we must look for.
GUPTA: And that's where the investigation goes next. Cambodian health officials and the WHO say they're now looking into whether expired medication or wrong medication or inappropriate medication such as steroids could be to blame.
And steroids can also make a relatively harmless infection suddenly much more severe.
VAN MAAREN: Yes. That is definitely a possibility.
LU STOUT: Now so many parents are still facing an anxious wait as doctors and officials try to identify this mystery illness. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us live from the capital of Phenom Penh. And Sanjay, is bad medication to blame for the illness? And how hard is it to determine that?
GUPTA: Well, you heard the doctor right there who has been caring for all of these patients, Dr. Richner. He belives that. He believes that there is something else going on here not just the enterovirus. Whether it's another pathogen, another virus or bacteria, or a bad medication you know it's unclear right now. And I'll tell you, it can be hard to determine. You saw how hard it was to determine just the enterovirus alone. They don't have all the samples. And for some of the medication it's hard to find out if someone actually took the medication or not by blood tests.
So what they're doing now, they're actually scouring a lot of the areas, finding out what people did in fact take and find out if there's some commonalities in there. If it was a bad medication they hope to figure out that way.
LU STOUT: And also how worried should people living or traveling inside Cambodia be about this mystery illness?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting because obviously people immediately start conjuring up, you know, thoughts about avian flu or SARS. Even though enterovirus typically is contagious, it can cluster within households or within communities, this doesn't appear to be. This doesn't appear to be contagious. You don't see that clustering taking place. So I think a lot of the initial concerns about that, a new virus sort of emanating from Southeast Asia I think at this time we can say that's likely not to happen. It doesn't mean that they don't still figure out what exactly happened here for this particular region. I think it's unlikely to be of concern for people traveling here or certainly for people outside the country.
LU STOUT: So it's not clustering, not contagious, but still so many questions. When will the lab results come in? What are officials telling you?
GUPTA: Well, they're saying Wednesday or Thursday. But I have to tell you, Kristie, I'm not placing a lot of stock on that, because again I think it's tough to decipher what those lab results might mean. Even with these lab results that are showing the enterovirus it was in 15 samples of 24 taken of 66 patients. So, you know, what do you do completely with that information?
I think ultimately this is going to be much more sort of medical investigation, going to these villages, trying to figure out what happened to these people right when they got sick, what medications were they taking, what medications were they prescribed, and trying to figure out what is in common here. If there's a bad batch of medications out there, or inappropriate medications being used, I think that's going to be the most likely way that they find it, even more so than the laboratory tests.
LU STOUT: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reporting live for us from Phenom Penh. Thank you so much for being there reporting on the story for us. And we'll turn to you for the latest on the investigation there.
Now let's go now to Egypt's power struggle. Ivan Watson is now joining us live from a court in Cairo where protesters have gathered. And Ivan, what do you see around you? What have you heard from the court?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's amazing, Kristie, how much can change in just a matter of minutes. Literally 15 minutes ago we had hundreds of angry people here, rightfully. The scene was tense. The crowd was chanting in support of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, president of Egypt. And they actually threw water bottles at a man that they claim and accused of being a remnant of a Mubarak regime.
The court inside then ruled to postpone -- to postpone (inaudible) court cases against Mohammed Morsi and suddenly most of the crowd dispersed.
And that gives you a sense of how much theater currently is involved in Egyptian politics, how much brinksmanship is currently being played between rival power structures in the Egyptian government between the ruling generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Muslim Brotherhood president and of Parliament which met for the first time in nearly a month based on a decree issued by Mohammed Morsi that overruled a decision by the constitutional court.
Basically a lot of bureaucratic in fighting between rival structures in the Egyptian government right now, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And Ivan, we're seeing this show of support for Morsi outside the court, but how much popular support is there for the newly elected president and for his recent decision to reinstate parliament?
WATSON: Well, it's clearly polarized politics here in Egypt again and thrown a system which is turbulent to say the least again into a bit of a crisis. Mohammed Morsi did win according to poll results 52 percent of the vote in elections just a few weeks ago. He's been in power, inaugurated, less than two weeks. But he already sees some members of the parliament who just got their jobs back, according to his decree, boycotting the decision to go back to parliament today.
Let's give you a sense of how polarized things are. His detractors say he has no right to try to overrule a constitutional court order. His supporters say that he's just trying to reflect the will of the people who elected this parliament months ago and it was disbanded just last month in a very polarizing court decision. It shows you again how turbulent post- revolutionary politics are in Egypt and how people have lined up on opposite sides of the political divide here.
Fortunately, we're not seeing any violence today. The battle is being waged in courthouses like this one between the different political players right now -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, highly charged and very politically fluid situation there. Ivan Watson on the scene reporting for us. Thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, a first-hand account of the horrors of the Bosnian-Serb conflict. We hear from one survivor at The Hague.
Also ahead, why have things gone so sour for BlackBerry? We'll look at where Research in Motion appears to be headed?
And viable comments or just cheap shots? Why money is a big talking point on the road to the White House. Stick around.
LU STOUT: Welcome back to New Stream.
And now it's news that may provide some relief for Barclays customers. Bank chairman Marcus Agius confirmed today that former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond has chosen to forego bonuses of more than $30 million. Agius is testifying before Britain's treasury committee. And it's looking at whether the bank manipulated interest rates at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Today's hearing comes just a day after the Bank of England's deputy governor denied any involvement in the scandal.
And for more, let's bring in Jim Boulden who joins us now from London.
And Jim, no bonus for Diamond, but he will receive salary and benefits. So tell us more about his payout and what we learned from Agius about why Diamond resigned?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, very much this committee hearing today was all about Bob Diamond even though he wasn't there. The committee members really wanted to find out what the chairman thought about Bob Diamond as the CEO and the reputation of the bank and the culture of the bank. And the first question was, what can you tell us about how much money Bob Diamond is going to make now that he has quit. Of course he resigned last week.
And the Chairman Agius said that he -- that Bob Diamond has voluntarily foregone his bonus that he was totally entitled to that would be upwards of 20 million pounds, some $30 million. And that was Barlcay -- I mean, that was Bob Diamond's decision, not Barclays, to forgo that. But the board has decided to pay him for the next 12 months. And that's something about $2 million.
So that is now sorted. That's one of the things people want to know about was it he's gotten the bank into this mess how much money was he going to make from it. He still could have made that $30 million in bonuses deferred over the next few years, but Bob Diamond has chosen not to do that.
Also, Marcus Agius was asked a lot about why he resigned last Monday. And Bob Diamond resigned on Tuesday, then the chairman comes back and runs the bank until he can find some replacements. And also, of course, he was asked what he thought about this entire scandal.
And I have to say, Kristie, the word LIBOR didn't come up much at all in the first two hours, it was very much about the culture of the bank and about whether Marcus Agius felt sorry for what happened. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCUS AGIUS, CHAIRMAN BARCLAYS: I regret deeply what has happened to Barclays. And I have said, and said in my resignation, that I'm truly sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I think we had a very frank answer to that question.
Can I just come back for a moment...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOULDEN: So no smoking guns, I would say, Kristie. The politicians on the committee very much trying to score political points and very much trying to focus on Bob Diamond as the leader of this bank and how bad the culture is, if you will. And of course the chairman said again very few people were involved in this and it shouldn't tarnish the reputation of the 300 year old British institution -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, no smoking gun. And no one really fessing up to anything. Agius says that he didn't know at what management level LIBOR decisions are being made. So who was calling the shots? And will we ever find out?
BOULDEN: Well, we will find out a lot more, I think, because other banks are in the frame. There is the serious fraud office criminal investigation in the UK. There are multiple lawsuits in the U.S. These class action suits that are very common in the U.S., many filed already. We will have other banks probably fined. You can see their CEOs coming up before committees. We'll have a select special Parliamentarian committee beyond this one which will actually investigate the entire issue.
So more things will come to light, but everyone we've heard from, whether it's Paul Tucker from the Bank of England, Bob Diamond himself as he's the former CEO. They keep blaming a few traders, systematic line it looks like between many banks of those people who were involved in this interest rate setting between 2005 and 2009. Nobody from a senior level will admit that they knew this was going on if they did.
LU STOUT: Jim Boulden, thank you very much indeed for that.
And now to a longstanding political trial that has finally drawn to a close. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was acquitted of two charges of corruption, but the Jerusalem delivered a mixed verdict, convicting him of a lesser offense: breach of trust. The allegations date back to Olmert's tenure as mayor of Jerusalem and went on to become Prime Minister in 2006. But the corruption investigation cut short his term in office, forcing his to resign two years later.
Now turning now to The Hague. He has been dubbed the Butcher of Bosnia accused of masterminding one of the worst war crimes in recent times. And as Atika Scubert reports, many of his accusers have been waiting a long time to tell their story.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian-Serb army faced his first witness today. Elvedin Pasic. He was 14-years-old in 1992 when Mladic's army advanced on a small Muslim village in Bosnia. He described to the court how he fled with his father and a group of 200 villagers, mostly men.
ELVEDIN PASIC: I think it was around midnight when the group suddenly stopped and we were instructed to just hush, hush. And I remember my dad, he was in front of me, and my uncle was behind me so we couldn't move and they're like the Serbs are close. We're very close to the Serbs. Don't move. Don't make any sounds. That's when the firing and the bullets started flying.
SCHUBERT: Mladic seen here with his troops is accused of masterminding the army campaign to cleanse Bosnia of Croats and Bosnian Muslims, including the Srebrenica massacre in which about 8,000 people were executed and the siege of Sarajevo that lasted more than three years and killed 10,000.
Pasic described to the court how Bosnian-Serb soldiers separated him from his father.
PASIC: They all (inaudible) all the women and children to get up. And at first I didn't want to get up, because I was afraid to separate from my dad. And he told me to get up. I told him, no, I don't want to go without you. And my uncle insisted and says get up. You will survive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what happened to your father?
PASIC: There's no doubt in my mind that they were all killed.
SCHUBERT: During the trial, Mladic appeared to wipe his eyes, but it's hard to know if he was wiping away tears.
Atika Schubert, CNN, London.
LU STOUT: Some gut wrenching testimony there. You are watching News Stream on CNN. And still ahead, a man of the people or just a man of millions? Why money matters are once again at the front of the U.S. leadership battle.
LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong you're back watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual rundown of the stories that we're covering in the show today. And now I've told you about the power struggle in Egypt and the mystery illness in Cambodia. We'll soon talk about the troubles at Research in Motion soon. But now, let's switch to sports and cyclist Lance Armstrong's latest legal hurdle. And Tuesday is the first rest day of this year's Tour de France, which means it will be even more focus on Armstrong's battle against doping charges.
Alex Thomas in London with more on that and other headlines -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. His reputation as one of the greatest cycling champions of all-time is at stake, but Lance Armstrong's legal case against the U.S. Anti-Doping agency has been thrown out by a judge. The seven time Tour de France champion who since retired from the sport now has to refile the case as a matter of urgency. He only has until the weekend to contest the USADA's charge that he used performance enhancing drugs or accept their sanction. Armstrong denies the claims and says the anti-doping body is pursuing a personal vendetta against him.
However, U.S. district judge Sam Sparks was scathing in his response saying Armstrong's case was full of legally irrelevant claims included solely to increase media coverage and stir up hostility towards the USADA. He added, this court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong's desire for publicity, self aggrandizement or vilification of defendants by sifting through 80 mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of factual material relevant to his claims.
Meanwhile, French police have detained Cofidis rider Remy di Gregorio for questioning as part of an investigation into the alleged trafficking of illegal doping substances. Di Gregorio is a three-time stage winner competing in his eighth tour.
Wimbledon finalist Andy Murray and Roger Federer have both said they're going to take a holiday before returning to London for the Olympic tennis tournament in a few weeks time. Federer rewrote the sports history books yet again with his record equally seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday. In the process, he wrecked Murray's dream of becoming the first men's winner from Britain for 76 years. And it's something our own Becky Anderson asked Federer about, saying did you regret it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With this win do you dash the hopes of an entire British nation, you know that. How does that feel?
FEDERER: Bad. I didn't feel good about it. And I was disappointed for Andy. And -- but I think his emotions were nice to see, because it showed he dearly cares about tennis and how much he would like to win a grand slam. And that's why I think he's going to make it.
But it did feel bad, you know, crashing maybe many people's dreams here in this country. But I am convinced that Andy will win grand slams.
Looking back I'm happy we were able, not just myself, but we were able to play such a great final with Murray because there was so much on the line for both of us, a difficult day all around, you know, starting outdoors, finishing indoors and then the occasion. So it was always going to finish in tears from either one of us. And it actually did for both of us. I was a very emotional as well sharing the moment with family as friends as well.
ANDERSON: You're just shy of your 31st birthday. Is 30 the new 20 for you? And how are you keeping so fit? Tennis experts tell me that you are playing some of the best tennis of your life. And if you have a weakness in the past it might have been, for example, your drop shot. You're even playing that well these days.
FEDERER: No, things are going well for me. And Serena also won, right. And she's 30-years-old as well, even though with women you don't mention ages. But it's out there. And it's public. But it's true, I mean, we have actually -- the 30 year olds are having a very good time because my generation of players were very, very strong 10 years ago. And to see Serena do so well as well I think is inspiring as well.
So it's good times and maybe it is the new 20. But I tell you, when I turned 30 last year I told everyone I'm so happy I'm 30 and not 20 for some reason. But I might be mistaken, it might be great to be 20 too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: I hope it's a sign we're all staying younger for longer, Kristie. That's all the sport for now. Back to you.
LU STOUT: All right. Alex Thomas, thank you.
Up next, Research in Motion execs front up to their toughest critics. But their shareholders for the companies annual conference gets underway in Waterloo. We're live with the latest straight ahead.
And we're on the campaign trail in the United States where Team Obama is going after Mitt Romney's riches. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now Egypt's parliament has reconvened in defiance of the ruling military council and the country's highest court. Now this morning lawmakers attended parliament for less than an hour. It was at the request of new president Mohammed Morsi who overrode a court decree that parliament should be dissolved.
The International Criminal Court has sentenced Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison. Lubanga was found guilty of using child soldiers in his rebel army. Lubanga is the first person ever convicted and sentenced by the ICC in its 10 year history.
In Cambodia, the search is on for an invisible killer. And thousands of parents have flooded hospitals with their sick children. At least 64 children has died mysteriously over the past three months.
One of English football's biggest stars could take the witness stand to defend himself in court today. John Terry, former Chelsea captain and England defender faces questions about the day he's alleged to have hurled racial abuse at a player Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the accusation.
And now to the U.S. where President Barack Obama wants to continue giving a break to middle class Americans. He is asking congress for a one year extension for tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012.
Now he wants only the wealthiest Americans, those making more than $250,000 a year, to see a tax increase in 2013.
But Republicans say the cuts should apply to every American regardless of income. And both candidates are targeting the middle class vote. Mr. Obama is focusing on Romney's wealth to get the edge. All Romney campaign officials are criticizing the president's latest move saying it will not help the economy.
Jim Acosta has more.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While liberal activists hounded Mitt Romney as out of touch near one of his weekend fundraisers in the Hamptons, the GOP contender was inside telling a group of wealthy donors his campaign is focused on less fortunate Americans. The audio was caught on tape by CNN.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're here, by and large you're doing just fine. But I spend a lot of time worrying about those that are poor and those in the middle class.
ACOSTA: Romney's comments follow a week of Democratic swipes at his personal wealth from the jetskiing and boating on a family vacation in New Hampshire to an article in Vanity Fair which reported the GOP contender has only recently disclosed an offshore holding in Bermuda. That resurrected attacks on Romney's money and foreign bank accounts.
ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Nobody knows why he has a corporation in Bermuda. Why he failed to disclose that on seven different financial disclosures.
ACOSTA: Romney's aids have said little about the issue, releasing a lone statement to Fox News saying he hasn't paid a penny less in taxes by virtue of where these funds are domiciled.
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: All of this nastiness and division about investments and money and rich versus poor, this is going to come down to how people feel in November, how do people feel about this president.
ACOSTA: An Obama campaign official tells CNN even the president's called to end the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans fits into a larger narrative of who is really looking out for the middle class.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's why I believe it's time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, folks like myself, to expire.
ACOSTA: Romney argues that will hurt the wrong people.
ROMNEY: That will be another kick in the gut to the middle class in America.
ACOSTA: But for Democrats, a strategy has emerged to do to Romney what the GOP did to a wealthy and windsurfing John Kerry in 2004, that's despite the fact the president is also well off and woos campaign donors with the likes of George Clooney.
But he's no fundraising match for Romney who raked in more than $106 million in June, $35 million more than the president which may also explain Romney's message at his fundraisers, aimed at voters who were never in attendence.
ROMNEY: We all care about the poor. We want to help the poor.
ACOSTA: There's a sense of dread setting in at the Obama campaign over its fundraising losses to Romney. One Obama campaign email sums it up this way, saying we could lose if this continues.
Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: The electorate a tough audience, another one your investors. Now BlackBerry maker Research in Motion holds its annual shareholder meeting today. And it comes at a bad time for the struggling company. The list of bad news coming from RIM in recent months, it just shows you how troubled the company is right now from slumping sales to job cuts to a plunging share price and the delay of its new operating system BlackBerry 10.
Now times are tough for one of technologies iconic brands. And never was that clear when a series of letters began appearing on website BGR last years, letter supposedly from RIM employees speaking out about the direction the company was taking.
Let's get more now on the troubles surrounding RIM from the present editor-in-chief of BGR. Jonathan Geller joins us now via Skype from Connecticut. And Jonathan, today we'll see this showdown between Research in Motion and its shareholders. Give us an idea of what the CEO will be up against?
JONATHAN GELLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF BGR: Well, you know, you summarized it pretty well. I think people are angry. I think shareholders are angry. I think watchers of the company are angry. And they have every right to be. The company is down, you know, 90, 95 percent since its high. And you know things are changing.
There are some good things happening, but I think Thorsten Heins, CEO, is definitely going to have to be prepared to answer some tough questions today.
LU STOUT: Now you say good things are happening, but many are asking the question is Research in Motion dying?
GELLER: You know I kind of said that myself. I think in a lot of ways they are. I think obviously they're next six to nine months are the most vital period this company has ever had. They've delayed their new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
I do think it's a good thing in the end they delayed it, but again these six to nine months are going to be the toughest thing the company's ever faced. And there is a huge transition going on within Research in Motion in terms of employees getting fired, replacing them with new and better people. A very big changing of the guard.
So there's a good chance that RIM is not going to be able to survive this, however you look at it unfortunately.
LU STOUT: The prognosis is pretty bleak. You're giving the company six to nine months, but saying it could turn things around during this critical window. What does it need to do to survive?
GELLER: Well, I think RIM really needs for the first time in a very long time figure out exactly what the company is, whether it's an enterprise focused company, whether it's a company that makes these niche devices with plastic keyboards and a group of loyal following. People like that a lot. Whether it's a consumer company. Even whether it's a computer company.
I think that's why we're seeing some of these tough issues RIM is facing nowadays is because RIM was a great handset manufacturer, but they never really understood the switch from a smartphone to a computer in your pocket like the iPhone or like Android devices. So RIM has never traditionally been a company that builds computers. And I think that's part of this big transition that they're going to have to try and now compete with at a very, very late start in the game after Apple has a tremendous lead, after Android has a tremendous lead, and even Window phone, Microsoft's product is making a little bit of stride as well.
LU STOUT: And tell us, what's the mood inside the company? I mean, we know that you've been receiving emails from employees. What are they telling you just how dysfunctional is it from the inside? And is the mood changing? Is there any bit of optimism in recent days?
GELLER: You know, there is. It's really great to hear. I think at this point every single person is absolutely just, you know, kind of knife this company to death if you will. And I think a lot of the employees recognize that. And they kind of just have their heads really focused. They're working on this new product, BlackBerry 10. And I think they're rolling with the punches.
So I think the mood inside of RIM is actually pretty good. I think they're really focused on getting what they need to get done and not letting a lot of the exterior things affect them.
But I also think they're listening a bit more, which is also good. So it's great that they're actually having a channel of communication now as well.
LU STOUT: But still BlackBerry 10, it's been delayed until, what, the first quarter of next year. There's also the story in The New York Times about potential lawsuits from shareholders because of these delays.
We know that the company is operating under a relatively new CEO. Do you think he can provide the guidance that the company needs these next few critical months ahead?
GELLER: You know, I think he's a better candidate. He's definitely better than the previous two co-CEOs at this point in time. Then again, he also was so to speak running BlackBerry in North America under those two gentleman before. So I'm not really sure how different at the end of the day Thorsten is going to be.
From everything that I've seen, there definitely is a bit of difference, but we're going to have to these six to nine months. If RIM doesn't have the most incredible product ever, there is a very tiny, tiny chance this company is going to exist in nine months from now just because of the fact that the other platforms are so, so far ahead. So they really have an uphill battle.
And I don't think that's going to come down to Thorsten, it's going to come down to their product. It's going to come down to how they position it. They just hired a new CMO. There's a lot of things kind of flowing there. And they're all going to have to come together in order for RIM to still be a company as we know today about nine months from now.
LU STOUT: And a hypothetical for you. I mean, it's pretty much certain that RIM CEO is going to come out of today's shareholder meeting pretty battered and bruised. Let's say he gave you a phone call. If you were to advise him on the company turnaround what would you tell him?
GELLER: I would just say focus. I think that's something that RIM has not ever been able to do properly. And also say execute. So I'd really focus on a core product that fit a large demographic. And I'd focus on that product. I wouldn't try and be an enterprise company. I wouldn't try to be a consumer company. I would just try to be the best mobile phone company or computer company in the world. And I'd focus on that.
And I think that's all they can do. They have to keep their heads down. They have to focus on it. And they have to pray that the market really is receptive to their new product.
LU STOUT: Yeah. I mean this is a company that invented mobile email afterall. Jonathan Geller, thank you so much for joining us here on News Stream. Take care.
GELLER: Thank you.
LU STOUT: Now let's take a look at two of RIM's rivals now. Now Samsung and Apple, they are locked in a patent battle in multiple countries. It's part of the long series of legal fights between smartphone and tablet makers. Now Samsung have won a victory in court, but apparently lost a battle for taste. Let me explain.
Now Apple tried to convince the court that the design of the iPad was infringed by the Samsung Galaxy tablet, this one right here. But the reason the judge ruled that consumers wouldn't confuse the Galaxy tab with the iPad might not sit too well with Samsung.
Now the judge said, quote, "they do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design." And if that wasn't enough he added, "they are not as cool." Pretty damning verdict, but one that apparently won the case for Samsung.
Now up next here on News Stream, indulgence and sensual: our next Leading Woman says she wants to treat all your senses through her passion for chocolate. That's next here on News Stream.
LU STOUT: Now chili and bacon mixed with chocolate. This week's Leading Woman Katrina Markoff is the founder and CEO of Vosges au Chocolat, not your average chocolate company, that she describes as a real experience. Markoff says she wants to use her sweet creations as a medium to tell stories. Becky Anderson makes the introduction.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Her gourmet chocolate is sold in 2,000 stores worldwide, including eight boutiques dedicated to just her brand: Vosges au Chocolat. And she's just launched a less expensive, more mainstream sister brand Wild Ophelia that's sold in 10,000 grocery stores around the U.S.
To hear her describe her company is to understand she is no ordinary entrepreneur. This is someone who has found her passion.
KATRINA MARKOFF, VOSGES au Chocolat FOUNDER: Vosges is an experiential chocolate story telling vehicle that's meant to be indulgent and sensual and opening to the mind.
ANDERSON: Her experiential chocolate netted a profit of more than $30 million last year, a 50 percent growth from the year before.
This Fortune magazine 40 under 40, Bon Appetit food artisan of the year, and mother to two-and-a-half year old Rowan is Katrina Markoff.
While you can't say that everyone loves chocolate, it's probably fair to say most people like chocolate. Whether you like it or love it, a confection holds a seductive power for this chocolatier.
MARKOFF: I decided, you know, in the beginning I was going to open people's minds to new ideas. I was going to break down stereotypes through chocolate.
ANDERSON: The flavors Markoff combines will either make your mouth water...
MARKOFF: The new smoke and stout, starts off with rogue chocolate ale...
ANDERSON: Or leave your confused.
MARKOFF: And this one is wild Tuscan fennel pollen. It's hand harvested from Italy.
And everything we make has guided tasting notes, how you should eat it. Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths. Now be aware of how does it look, what does it smell like, how does it feel, and that kind of stuff is what really engages me deeply and sort of that passion of the experience of chocolate.
ANDERSON: Her experience with chocolate didn't begin until after she'd graduated college. She never even liked it as a child. She was a chemistry and psychology major. In her last semester, she realized cooking was her passion.
Three days after getting a diploma, Markoff flew to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu.
MARKOFF: It was this amazing experience being 22, however I'm -- 22 and living in Paris and being in this food Mecca.
ANDERSON: It was there she says she discovered chocolate at a restaurant in Paris' Place de Vosges, an experience so life altering that it later inspired the name of her company.
MARKOFF: When you break down a molten explosion of chocolate -- oh my god this is amazing. There's a whole experience of chocolate I didn't even know about.
ANDERSON: Yet it was much later that she would be inspired to start Vosges au Chocolat after a chef who was mentoring her told her to travel using her palette as a guide. She bounced from country to country for nine months and found herself back in her small apartment kitchen in Dallas starring at the many exotic spices she'd picked up along the way.
MARKOFF: And I made a curry and coconut truffle. And I decided that I needed to pay homage to the Naga people and call it Naga. And that's when the epiphany occurred. It's like everything made sense in sort of that moment. There was this illuminated path that just use chocolate as a medium to tell stories and sell that.
ANDERSON: She brought her chocolate stories into work at her uncle's mail order business. The first step was convincing people to try her unconventional concoctions.
MARKOFF: And, you know, I got some woman to try it. And her face went from sort of disgust and worry to oh, I'm surprised -- oh my god this is actually good.
ANDERSON: In 1998 she moved to Chicago and started selling her chocolates as gifts under the concept "travel the world through chocolate."
Soon, the high end department store Neiman Marcus bought her creations and other stores joined in. A catalog followed, an online presence. And now her mass produced line Wild Ophelia.
Markoff's passion for her creation is clear, but there is a business to chocolate.
MARKOFF: And then, bacon bar is that -- everything is going fine? I noticed it was a little crunchy before.
ANDERSON: In the coming weeks we'll learn the tough decisions she makes as a CEO.
MARKOFF: Love that.
ANDERSON: What she looks for when she creates a new flavor combination. And her biggest surprises as her company grew.
LU STOUT: Experiential chocolate, who knew.
You're watching News Stream and up next we'll take you to southwest China, a rain triggered landslide has blocked roads there and stranded some 100,000 people. The world weather forecast is straight ahead.
LU STOUT: Now earlier in the show I had that interview about the troubles that BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is facing and one of the major reasons for their problems just turned five years old last month. I'm talking about the iPhone.
In fairness to Research in Motion, they weren't the only ones who didn't take the threat of the iPhone seriously at first. Now when asked in 2007 for his reaction to the iPhone, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer famously laughed. And he said this is the most expensive phone in the world. And it does not appeal to business customers.
Now Motorola CEO Ed Zander's reaction was even more defying. When asked how Motorola will deal with Apple he responded how do they deal with us?
And then there's RIM. Co-CEO back then Jim Balsillie, he didn't think it would have a major impact on the BlackBerry saying "in terms of a sort of sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that's overstating it."
Now five years on it's safe to say their thoughts have probably changed.
Now whether you're a BlackBerry user or not, it's time now for your world weather forecast. And of course the latest on this heavy rain which has triggered a landslide in China. Mari Ramos joins us now from the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Yeah, this is an ongoing problem across China. They're either dealing with extreme drought or extreme flooding, in some cases both at the same time.
Let's go ahead and take a look first of all at some of the pictures that we have from the area. As many as thousands of people may have been left stranded by this landslides that are affecting Sichuan Province. You can see the hillside just come crumbling down the side of the mountain there. And we're not talking just about Bushes here, those are trees that are sliding down the mountain. And you can see the mud just trickling down.
This has destroyed not only homes, but also roadways. The water very high. Bridges in many cases have been washed away making conditions very, very difficult and extremely dangerous as you can see here. Villages have stayed isolated in many cases. And the rain, unfortunately, continues to fall across many of these areas.
If you come back over to the weather map, let me show you where we're expecting the rain now. We have a line that's stretching across this area right over here all the way back over toward the Yellow Sea and through the Korean Peninsula. That's going to be the area to watch for the heaviest rainfall.
We'll see some of that heavy rain also stretching back over toward Japan, back over toward Taiwan, but a little bit of a break in between here as we head into southern parts of China, that means the temperatures will be up for you yet again.
As far as the Korean Peninsula goes, you've got to remember that this is an area that has overall been in a drought. So this rain for the most part is beneficial. The problem is that it could be very heavy rainfall. And with that, we could end up seeing some significant flooding.
When you look at the areas that need the rain the most, it's going to be these border areas between the north and the south and then as we extend down to the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, some of the worst drought in 100 years by some estimates. And you can see here why the rain is needed, we just don't need it all at once.
And in some cases we could be seeing across this area maybe 8 to 15 centimeters locally. And that could really cause some flooding. So we'll monitor that.
It looks like most of the heavy rain will stay away from Japan, but we could see some heavy rain across western parts of Japan, so watch out for that.
As I was telling you, farther to the south it will stay hot and humid.
But now as we head to Australia, here of course it's winter. Temperatures have been a little bit on the cool side. And as we head through the next 24 hours, the thing to watch is going to be this very heavy rain that is moving overnight tonight across southeastern Australia. We're already see some potential for some flooding and some very high river levels over this region.
One front will already move away. And our next weather system is the one that could really cause some very heavy rain. A month's worth of rainfall in just 24 hours. Watch out for flooding in this region.
Let's go ahead and check out your city by city forecast.
OK, so I want to take you to the U.S. now. And the thinking here off the coast of the U.S. state of Massachusetts, the water a little bit warmer than average. And that could have something to do with this -- take a look at these pictures. Sighting of a great white shark. Can you imagine being in that kayak out on the water there. That is a great white shark that was spotted on the beach over the weekend.
Now this sighting is not alone, there's actually been sightings of three great white sharks across this area. The beaches were closed for a little while on the busy summertime weekend. They are tracking some of these sharks. And sometimes as far as Florida.
You can look at these pictures there, they say that seal population is expected -- has been much higher than average. And that has caused the white sharks to actually eating more of the seals. And when that happens, of course, the shark population could also go on the increase. Sharks for the most part don't like to eat people. So they just like the sharks -- just by the way, 35 years since the anniversary coming up of Jaws, which by the way was filmed off the Massachusetts coast. The last real shark attack that they had here that was a fatality was more than 75 years ago. So nothing to fear. Let's hope those sharks do stay away. So be extremely careful.
I think I have about 30 second left. We are going to take a quick break right here on News Stream. We will have another show, more news coming up for you right here on CNN. World Business Today is next. Thanks for watching.