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U.S. Ambassador To Libya Killed In RPG Attack; Independent Commission Releases Early Findings Of 1989 Hillsborough Incident

Aired September 12, 2012 - 8:00   ET


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 Libya where the U.S. ambassador Jay Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in what President Obama calls an outrageous attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility.

And this comes as protesters attack diplomatic compounds in both Libya and Egypt. They are angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam. And we are live in both countries.

Also ahead, hundreds dead and fears for dozens who may still be trapped by an inferno at a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan.

And 23 years in the waiting, the public gets official details from an inquiry into the day that changed English Football forever.

Now the U.S. ambassador to Libya has been killed. A short time ago the White House confirmed the death of Jay Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi. Now the statement from President Obama says that they died in an outrageous attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility there. Protesters attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in both Libya and Egypt. It's believed both groups were angered by a film made in the United States that they considered to be anti-Islamic.

In a statement, the White House says while the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

Now Libyan officials have also condemned the killing. The deputy prime minister Mustafa Abu Shagour, he posted on Twitter this, quote, "this is an attack on America, Libya, and free people everywhere."

Now let's take you first to Washington. World affairs reporter Elise Labott knew Ambassador Stevens for 10 years. And Elise, what are you hearing there among the diplomatic community, the reaction to his death?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just issued a statement, Christie, just moments ago talking about what kind of diplomat Chris was, that he really cared so much about Libya and was really instrumental and wanted to help this country get back on its feet and start anew, even if it meant putting his life in danger.

Secretary Clinton remembering that she sworn Chris Stevens in as ambassador just months ago. And really his enthusiasm for Libya, his love for the country, was really infectious. He -- you know, he was really the only man that could have been appointed for this job as envoy to Libya, as charger d'affairs. In 2007 when the U.S. was restoring ties with Moammar Gaddafi, he was there helping restore those ties both in the political and economic and business communities.

And then he was an envoy to the opposition, to the Transitional National Council in Benghazi on the ground in Benghazi with those rebels. This was not a pin-stripped diplomat, this was someone that was getting his hands dirty, doing the hard work of diplomacy. Secretary Clinton always saying that diplomats are really on the front lines of the U.S. engagement around the world, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, the ambassador, he played a very key role in the uprising in Libya last year. In the wake of this killing, no doubt the U.S. State Department is reviewing its security measures. We did hear from top Libyan officials, they have apologized for the attack that lead to his death, but does the U.S. believe that Libya is capable of protecting its assets on the ground?

LABOTT: Well, I think certainly there are going to be a lot of questions about that. And right now, the State Department is really hunkering down, working on making sure that U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities are secure not just in Libya, but we saw what happened in Egypt at the U.S. embassy in Cairo yesterday. It's really going across the world, specifically in the Middle East, though, to make sure that these embassies are secure.

It's really the responsibility of a host country to make sure these facilities are secure. and even if necessarily the government, for instance, might agree with some of the calls of the protesters, it's really the job of the host government to try and secure these facilities and protect the diplomats that are there on the ground.

LU STOUT: You knew Ambassador Stevens for 10 years. Can you tell us what was he like and what did he hope to achieve in Libya?

LABOTT: Well, he was just really considered a really nice guy. He was really considered the cream of the crop of the foreign service. He served in Jerusalem. He served in Syria. He served in areas related to arms control and non-proliferation. But really just considered a nice guy, very popular in the foreign service. You see these pictures of him, a very good looking gentleman, very popular with the ladies of the State Department, just really a friend to everybody at the State Department. And what he wanted to do with Libya is really just -- he wasn't a pin-stripped diplomat, someone that just went to meetings, he really wanted to get out in the field, always in kind of kakis and a shirt if he wasn't in a particular meeting, just going out, meeting with people, trying to get various public attitudes.

And, you know, Libya is a very tribal society. He had contacts within all the tribes. it wasn't just one group, he really wanted to get a cross- section of society to help this country get back on its feet. And he though the way to do that was to get all LIbyans working together towards a common aim.

LU STOUT: It's a terrible loss, terrible loss for the U.S. State Department, and also to a certain degree, the future Libya. Elise Labott joining us live from Washington, thank you.

Now in the last hour, we've heard from someone on the scene in Benghazi. Now the Libya correspondent for the Reuters News Agency was outside the U.S. consulate when she spoke to Monita Rajpal earlier on CNN. Let's listen to what she had to say.


HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT: I'm standing right in front of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. There are a couple of buildings that have been completely burned, charred. And there's no desks or chairs or anything like that. There's a drum set, even, in the middle of the street here.

People are just walking through and taking photos and treating it sort of like a museum, you know, kind of unbelievable that they can now just walk into what used to be a very, very tightly secured fortress.

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's the thing, that's a really interesting point. It was a tightly secured fortress. So how was it was it able to get to this point where people were able to penetrate this fortress?

AL-SHALCHI: Look, it was a tightly contained fortress from the American side. The Americans had a lot of good guards here, but they were outnumbered, basically, out of -- they had a lot of -- the amount of weapons people that came out to attack were just -- were just too big to handle. And they were basically outnumbered.

Also, the kinds of weapons by the Libyan militias or the gunmen were very heavy. Some came out with their anti-aircraft. They use their hand guns -- hand made bombs. They used RPGs. They were also -- they were also under attack from fire from a neighboring farm -- by rocket launchers.

So it was -- it was just impossible to fend off an attack like that.


LU STOUT: Now it has been decades since an American ambassador has been killed like this. Now senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us now live from CNN London. And Nic, we heard earlier an apology from the Libyan prime minister for the attack. But, i mean, that's clearly not enough. I mean, right now some assurances are needed.

But can Libya be able to assure the Americans they can protect its people and protect its missions inside the country?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The short answer is they can't. I mean, what Libya lacks at the moment is a national security infrastructure. We have over the past few months at CNN reported on the fact that al Qaeda has set up a camp in the east of Libya not far from Benghazi in the close-knit town of Durna. We've reported as well that U.S. drones fly over that. We were told that by Libyan government officials. There have been question marks about whether those drones have attacked those camps in the past.

But the picture that is being built up here of this particular camp is something that has been built up over a period of time. The last attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was in the first week of June this year. And the group that perpetrated the attack left leaflets at the site saying that they were attacking the consulate because Abu Yahia al-Libi, one of the senior al Qaeda figures in Afghanistan and Pakistan border region had been killed by a U.S. drone.

Al Qaeda didn't announce that at the time, they didn't claim that killing, but yesterday for the first time the al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri said that this Libyan al Qaeda leading figure was killed. And he called in that video statement just yesterday for Libyans to go and kill Americans.

So the last attack on the U.S. consulate in June was because of the reported death of the Libyan al Qaeda figure. Yesterday's attack seems to follow directly on the heels of that at the behest of the al Qaeda leadership.

These camps, these al Qaeda camps in Libya exist, because the Libyan authorities do not have the security structures to contain them, or to close them down. And when I talked to Libyan officials about that a few months ago they told me that the tribes in those areas contain those camps. They don't. Al Qaeda, and some of its leaders, one of them who is living in Britain and sent directly from Afghanistan by the leader of al Qaeda Ayman al Zawahiri to set up those camps has been parading on streets with groups of followers with -- in a very radical way.

So the government in Libya is stretched at the best to contain these groups, nevermind provide security against their attacks.

LU STOUT: And how does the general state of lawlessness in Libya play into that al Qaeda call to attack American targets inside the country? For example, how many people in Libya are armed after the fall of Gaddafi, how is it easy to access weapons and to form militias?

ROBERTSON: Well, it seems that there are tens, probably hundreds of thousands of weapons in the hands of Libyans. Most males will have access to weapons. The government doesn't have a strategy that's been effective yet to bring back those weapons under government control. There's been talks about buyback programs, but so far they haven't been put into play in an effective manner.

So, the number of weapons that are out there is large. But the problem is that some of those weapons are not just small automatic handheld machine guns, they're large anti-aircraft weapons, rocket propelled grenades. And some of these are held with inside these camps.

These camps, as I say, have been surveyed by U.S. drones. I talked to one senior Libyan connected with the government at the moment, person, who told me that he fully expected there to be drone strikes against these camps in the coming days. He said indeed he welcomed it, because something needed to be done to curtail the action of these radical Islamists. And we heard that there from the prime minister saying that they want to do something.

The real question is, how are they going to do it? With what security force? And even if they make a strike, how are they then going to maintain the security in those areas? They lack cohesiveness. There are many, many different armed militias there. They are not united. And the government is not powerful enough to unite them right now, Kristie.

LU STOUT: There was so much hope for Libya a year ago. What does the prevalence of all these weapons, the militias, the violent attacks, the attack that led to the death, the violent death of the U.S. ambassador in Libya, what does this all mean for the future of Libya, a democratic future after Moammar Gaddafi?

ROBERTSON: It sets it back. The Libyan official that I was talking to earlier suspected that this could lead even to a civil war in the east of LIbya as these issues, as he talked about them, need to be resolved. It is not going to be helpful for Libya to attract international investment. It's going to put it back economically.

There is, you know, part of the sort of background in Libya at the moment is a feeling that they've been abandoned by the NATO alliance, that fought -- that helped them fight and get rid of Moammar Gaddafi, that now this year has been their hour of need, not just last year. And there is criticism of the United States of Europe. And the United States in the eyes of many Libyans has gone down as has their sort of expectations and hope in European nations as well to help them.

So all of this will set back the international agenda, nevermind the domestic Libyan agenda.

But it does seem clear that without a strong security force, national security force that obeys a strong central government in Libya, then there are going to -- there are going to be security incidents that the government will not be able to do anything -- will do anything about, and it will set back the forward movement of Libya.

And the United States and Europe in the eyes of Libyans will have to accept some blame for that, becuase they feel that this vacuum that's been created over the past year is because the United States and Europe haven't followed through with missions, with help, with economic support.

Yes, there's been some, but not in the way that Libyans know that they need it, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And that neglect has come to head with this violent attack inside Libya. Nic Robertson reporting for us. Thank you.

Now we will continue to follow this story this hour on News Stream. And also ahead, an unfolding tragedy in Pakistan: hundreds of workers die in a factory fire.

And the release of official documents sheds new light on the Hillsborough football disaster of 1989.

And Apple lovers, get set, the company is set to unveil the next generation iPhone, that will happen in just a few hours from now. Stick around.


LU STOUT: Now let's update you on the breaking news out of Libya. The White House is confirming that U.S. ambassador to Libya Jay Christopher Stevens, seen in this video, has been killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Now three American security personnel were also killed when protesters attacked the consulate.

In a statement released just a short time ago, U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attack, calling it outrageous. And he said that he is ordering that security be increased at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

The Libyan government is also condemning the deadly attacks. And in a statement just a short time ago, it apologized to the U.S. government.

Now turning now to Karachi, Pakistan where a fire swept through a garment factory, killing hundreds of workers. And there are fears that the death toll could rise.

Now local government official says up to 500 people were in the building when the fire broke out. And the city's commissioner tells CNN that 289 people are confirmed dead.

Now last report, many people were trapped in the factory's basement. And officials say concerns that parts of the building could collapse have hampered rescue efforts.

And there are conflicting reports about the cause of the fire. Reza Sayah joins me now live from Islamabad with the very latest. And Reza, is this fire disaster ongoing? Is the rescue operation still underway?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, the rescue operations has concluded to officials. All the bodies have been removed that -- Kristie, no single incident this year in Pakistan has killed this many people. This is a catastrophe by any measure. One of the deadliest fires ever in Pakistan, the death toll 289 people, according to government officials, more than a dozen were women, one child among the victims.

This was a monster fire at a garment factory in the southern port city of Karachi. Officials say it started yesterday and ranged on for more than 12 hours. And it spread quickly. And it trapped people quickly. Officials say it was about 400 to 500 people inside.

At one point some of those workers inside this factory desperate to save their lives were jumping out of the fourth flood onto the street level. You had an awful scene unfolding. You had injured people outside, people still trapped inside. Then you get distraught and grief stricken family members racing to the scene, desperate to find their loved ones, some of them fainting after being overcome with grief.

Officials say as many as 600 firefighters were fighting this fire overnight. They couldn't get to all parts of the building inside, becuase they were concerned it was going to fall down. That hampered efforts as well, Kristie.

One official saying this could have been caused by a boiler explosion. The fire chief is saying it could have been caused by a short circuit. They want to make sure the owner of this building doesn't leave the country until this investigation is over. But an absolute catastrophe, a tragic day here in Pakistan for a lot of people.

LU STOUT: Yeah, very, very tragic. And is this something that is unfortunately all too common in Pakistan, a disregard for worker safety that leads to such fires?

SAYAH: Unfortunately it is. When you have industrial fires like this, a lot of factors come into play. Unfortunately a lot of these buildings are not up to safety codes. You don't often find fire extinguishers, fire exits, and evacuation plan. And then you have firefighters who are not often properly equipped or properly trained. And it's a recipe for disaster.

And the root cause of this often is a government that doesn't have the resources and the will to address these challenges. And as long as that's the case, the stage is set for more of these catastrophes to come.

LU STOUT: Reza Sayah reporting. Thank you.

Now we will continue to follow events in Libya where the U.S. ambassador was killed after an attack on the embassy. And also ahead, it has been 23 years since British football's darkest day. Now hundreds of thousands of official documents related to the Hillsborough football disaster are finally being released to the public. The details coming up on News Stream.


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

And let's update you on the breaking news out of Libya. The White House has confirmed the U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans have died in an attack on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Now the name of one of the three unidentified Americans has now been released. He is foreign service information management officer Sean Smith, a 10 year State Department veteran.

In a statement released earlier, the U.S. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the attack, calling it outrageous. Libya's government has apologized to the United States over the attack.

Now Britain's prime minister has delivered a long awaited apology over the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster. And in that tragedy, 96 football fans, including children, were crushed to death at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. And now 23 years on, an independent panel into the Hillsborough football disaster has released the early findings of the inquiry. Now the official documents come from the files of 80 organizations, including the British government and police.

And families of the victims have been calling for the government to issue an official apology. And Prime Minister David Cameron did that just a short time ago.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What happened that day and since was wrong. It was wrong that the responsible authorities knew Hillsborough did not meet minimum safety standards and yet still allowed the match to go ahead. It was wrong that the families have had to wait for so long and fight so hard just to get to the truth. It was wrong, quite profoundly wrong, that the police changed the records of what happened and tried to blame the fans.


LU STOUT: Now the tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium, it changed the face of British football. Alex Thomas takes a look back to April 15, 1989.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This was English football's darkest day: men, women, and children who had gone simply to cheer their team, crushed to death against metal fences and concrete walls.

JEREMY DIRKZE, HILLSBOROUGH SURVIVOR: You know, just people lying all over the place in various states of injury. I felt, honest, very helpless, because there was no equipment that I could see that I could use. And it was just a question of really seeing who was either savable or people who could go off in the ambulances. There were othe people who were less injured who just had to wait.

THOMAS: Rival fans and police didn't realize what was happening until it was too late.

Up to 25,000 Liverpool supporters headed for Sheffield that day. They were directed to the west stand at the Leppings Lane (ph) end of Hillsborough Stadium. The stand was divided into five pens. And the two middle ones quickly filled up.

By 2:30 in the afternoon, half an hour before kickoff, police and stewards lost control of the crowd.

At 2:52, with thousands still outside, desperate to get in, police ordered a gate to be opened. With no proper direction, fans could only surge straight into the already dangerously overcrowded middle pens.

At six minutes past 3;00, the match was stopped.

TONY EDWARDS, HILLSBOROUGH PARAMEDIC: It was absolute chaos. And there were people standing about, but then there were spectators in a panic, you know, they were trying to resuscitate people, trying to help people. People were shouting at me from all different direction: oxygen, needs a doctor, defibrillators, you know, the whole thing you didn't get a chance to stop and think.

THOMAS: Not only did Hillsborough deeply affect Liverpool Football Club, it falls to sport to change its image. Stadiums were modernized, made safer, and more family friendly. That attracted increased sponsorship and TV money.

Alex Thomas, CNN, London.


LU STOUT: Up next, we'll get a live report from Libya as we continue to follow the aftermath of an attack on the U.S. consulate that claimed the life of the ambassador.


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


STOUT: Libya has apologized over the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi. He was killed along with three other Americans in an attack on the consulate there. The State Department has identified one of the other victims as information management officer Sean Smith. The other two victims have not been named.

An official tells CNN that at least 289 people have died in a factory fire in the Pakistani city of Karachi. There are fears the toll could rise. As many more are believed to be trapped in the basement. Fears the building could collapse are frustrating rescue efforts.

Germany's highest court has dismissed complaints launched against Europe's proposed bailout fund. The European stability mechanism. (Inaudible) now paved the way for introduction of the ESM. However, it included conditions to limit Germany's liability to the fund.

As we mentioned, the protests in Libya and Egypt were triggered by a film posted online. It's called "Innocence of Muslims." We wanted to let you know why it's considered so inflammatory.

In a series of disjointed scenes, the film depicts Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, a womanizer and ruthless killer. (Inaudible) Muslim considers any depiction of Mohammed as blasphemous and deeply offensive.

So who made the movie? Well, "The Wall Street Journal" says the movie was written, directed and produced by an Israeli-American real estate developer named Sam Bacile. The 52-year old told the newspaper that he raised $5 million from Jewish donors. He declined to identify them. Now he says that he made the 2-hour movie last year to, quote, "showcase his view of Islam as a hateful religion."

Now "The Journal" reports that it has been promoted by Terry Jones. He is the controversial pastor who threatened to burn the Koran.

Let's go live to Tripoli now, as CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh, she joins us now from Libya's capital, Tripoli.

And Jomana, we heard earlier an apology from Libya's leaders for the attack. But will Libya be able to assure the U.S. that it can protect its people on the ground?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN PRODUCER: This is going to be the biggest challenge ahead for the new Libyan government, Kristie.

The official today speaking the speaker at the general national congress that is really a parliament and the interim Libyan prime minister, Abdurrahim El-Keib, both trying to reassure the international community that the Libyan government and Libyan security forces are here to protect foreign interests and foreign nationals.

But as (inaudible) by the attack on the consulate, as it is going to be a very difficult thing to do, we have seen similar attacks in the past few months on foreign interests in and around the city of Benghazi, the U.S. consulate itself was attacked by a bomb exploding outside the consulate back in June. The convoy, the British ambassador also in Benghazi in June.

So it is going to be a very difficult right now for the Libyan government to reassure the international community that they are able to provide security and control the situation here while they really have no control over the hundreds of militias that are in control of most of Libya's streets. And this is a country that is awash with weapons. So this is going to be a very difficult task.

STOUT: You know, earlier we were talking to a correspondent, Nic Robertson, and he talked on the security vacuum left in Libya after the fall of Gadhafi last year. Are Western countries, including the U.S., complicit in this lawlessness, the lack of security in Libya?

KARADSHEH: There have been attempts here; the government say that it is trying to (inaudible) security forces as fast as it can. But this army and these militias and creating a strong military and (inaudible) force have been one of the biggest challenges facing Libya to disarm these militias.

But what we have seen, Kristie, in the past few months, is the growth of these extremists, Islamists, (inaudible) groups in the eastern part of the country and it just seems that the government has very much turned a blind eye to the presence of these groups.

There have been reports by Western intelligence agencies that there are training camps in the eastern part of the country, in the city of Dirna (ph) and around Benghazi. But there have been no real active effort that we have seen by the Libyan government to tackle this issue and stop these groups.

But (inaudible) today from Libya's speaker of parliament, Hamid Engenyes (ph) saying that they will not allow the use of Libya and its land to carry out attacks like this one, that he described as a revenge attack that are taking place.

These are strong words, strong condemnation coming to the from Libyan officials. But we're going to have to see what they are going to be able to do. Officials are also asking the international community for their help in confronting these groups and the threat to -- that is (inaudible) Libya right now.

STOUT: And Jomana, what is the mood today in the country, after this violent attack? Are you seeing more demonstrations today across Libya?

KARADSHEH: We have not seen anything yet here, the situation in the capital, Tripoli, seems to be normal. Everyone is about their business as usual. But there have been calls for demonstrations against what happened in Benghazi yesterday.

In Benghazi and here in Tripoli, a lot of the Libyans I have spoke to, Kristie, are stunned and shocked by this attack. They see this as a disgraceful attack. They say that this is not what the new Libya is about.

They have expressed their gratitude for what the United States and other Western countries did for them, helping them last year in their revolution, to oust the dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi. So they feel this does not reflect the true sentiment of the Libyan people, the majority of them today that I have spoken to, really shocked and condemning this attack that they see as very shameful one.

STOUT: Jomana Karadsheh, reporting live from Libya, thank you.

Now there have been calls for additional protests in Cairo. And Ian Lee is there.

And, Ian, could you draw a link between the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya and the anti-American protests you've witnessed in Cairo?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it would be pretty hard to draw a link, a direct link between the two, Kristie. If you look at the two, the attack in Libya seemed like a well-coordinated attack against the embassy or the consulate in Benghazi.

The protests that we saw yesterday in Cairo, there -- while there were a lot, there was a mix between Islamists and hooligans. And when you looked at the people who actually reached the embassy compound, there were more hooligans than Islamists. So I think right now it would be hard to say that the two had really any direct connection and that they were coordinated together.

STOUT: And are you seeing more anger protests today in Cairo?

LEE: Well, there were people out in front of the embassy earlier today, but not nearly the numbers we saw either. And also the police force, the riot police, had blocked the front of the embassy to separate any more protesting -- protesters from actually the embassy.

But a lot of people are wondering why weren't those riot police there last night when the protesters were trying to scale the walls. The military was also there. The Ministry of Interior told us that they arrested four people involved in crossing into the embassy and that they were just following protocol.

But we talked to the army, and the army did have armored personnel carriers by the embassy. But they said they're there only to prevent a similar attack, like something that we saw in Libya. And they're not there for crowd control. They say that's the Ministry of Interior's responsibility. So we asked why the Ministry of Interior didn't do that. The army said that they were unprepared.

STOUT: Now Libya's leadership, they have come forward and they have commented on these anti-American attacks in their country. Has the Egyptian president made any comment about the violent protests in Cairo?

LEE: The Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, has yet to come out with a statement regarding the incident at the embassy. He is traveling to Europe tonight. So he still hasn't said anything. But yesterday, really, right after the attack, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached us, which is -- it's very unusual; the ministry usually doesn't come to us with information.

But this time, they did, because they were keen on denouncing what happened. They said that they're going to be working with the appropriate ministries to ensure the security of embassies in Egypt. And I just want to point out something.

This isn't the first time a foreign country's embassy has been stormed in Egypt. Just a year ago, roughly to the date, the Israeli embassy was stormed. We've also seen the Syrian embassy stormed. So this just proves that Egypt has yet able to secure the embassies from protesters.

STOUT: Ian Lee reporting live from Cairo, thank you.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up, the U.S. has strongly condemned the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and Libya has apologized to the U.S. government and the ambassador's family. But how will this impact relations between the two countries? Looking to that, next.




STOUT: Welcome back. Let's recap our breaking news. U.S. President Barack Obama has released a statement, saying he strongly condemns the, quote, "outrageous attack" in Benghazi that killed Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Mr. Obama is ordering an increase in security at U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide. Protesters targeted U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt. And it's believed that they were angry about a film made in the United States that they consider anti-Islamic. The Libyan government has apologized for the killings.


MOHAMMED AL-MEGARYEF, LIBYAN GENERAL NATIONAL CONGRESS (through translator): We apologize to the U.S. and to the American people and to the government, but also to the rest of the world for what happened yesterday. And in the same time, we expect the world to cooperate with us in order to confront -- to what is meant out of this kind of cowardice, criminal acts.


STOUT: For some analysis of the attacks on the U.S., let's go live to Dan Plesch from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Dan, thank you for joining us here. I'm trying to get a picture of the conditions inside Libya that led to this violent attack. What is Libya like today? Is there security? Is there rule of law?

DAN PLESCH, SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: The short answer to that question is no. But if I may, I think to put this in context, no U.S. ambassador has been killed by -- in active service since 1979. Now Ambassador Stevens is only the sixth U.S. ambassador ever to have been killed.

And yet the U.S. operates in countless, extremely unstable states over many decades around the world. And one has to ask what the operational security was at the consulate that allowed this situation, this -- I wouldn't say unprecedented, but a third of century has gone by since such an event happened before.

And I think we need to put our focus onto that, onto the management of events there, apart from anything else.

STOUT: You know, there is clearly a security vacuum in Libya, a security vacuum that our chief international correspondent spoke to earlier, that was left behind after the uprising in the fall of Tripoli last year. So did the international community neglect to secure Libya? Is that what led to the rise of this lawlessness and the rise of the militia in today's Libya?

PLESCH: Well, there are many unstable and violent countries around the world.

And the international community, with respect to Libya, if you're saying, well, did it have a responsibility to clean up all the weapons in Libya, the kind of intervention required to do that, I don't think anyone contemplated making it much more of a priority with respect to the relations of lead countries, such as France and the U.K. in the post- Gadhafi Libya.

Yes, certainly, they should have done. But I think no one can say they weren't warned. Indeed, Col. Gadhafi himself warned. And, indeed, everyone knew that there was an extremely strong Islamist presence in -- particularly in eastern Libya. So there should be no surprises here.

And if this situation could not have been assisted by greater efforts to clean out weapons and impose internal security within the borders of Libya, then much greater caution obviously should have been taken over embassy security.

STOUT: Let's talk about the video. The trigger to the violence is said to be a video that has been described as negatively portraying the Prophet Mohammed. Do you think there will be more violent reaction and more attacks?

PLESCH: Well, I wouldn't be surprised, but I think we need not -- we need to be very careful not to walk in any of -- to any of the traps that have been set for us. One only has to remember the tragedy of religiously motivated attempted assassination of a U.S. congresswoman not so long ago, to realize that Islamists do not have a monopoly on violent fanaticism in the name of religion.

So I think we need to avoid that trap. And sadly, although I haven't seen it, this video seems intent upon whipping up the mythology of a uniquely violent and hateful religion in Islam. I think one can look at every religious text of Judaic religious and find many unsavory passages.

So I think we need to be critically aware as observers, as commentators, as international community to not walk into any of the traps that the people who want violence are setting for us in this debate.

STOUT: Truly appreciate the context there.

And one last question for you, what impact will this attack and this tragic killing have on the relationship between the U.S. and not just Libya, but the broader Middle East?

PLESCH: Well, I suppose there will be people who will subscribe to the business as usual approach, that, well, this is a tragedy, but it's been condemned by the government.

But then there will be those who will use it to say, well, we -- to really pursue their own agendas anyway. There will be those who say this proves that these revolutions are producing terror and instability and democracy is an illusion and we should go back to the dictators. And there will be those who say, well, we should follow through.

So I think one shouldn't over-interpret this one so far tragic incident. But as I say, the critical thing to understand is that it's quite likely that friends of Al Qaeda, militant Islamism were involved in this; they will be involved in other places. But prudent precautions appear -- I say appear, not having been on the ground -- not to have been properly taken.

And as I say, this is --

STOUT: Dan Plesch --

PLESCH -- almost unprecedented in some 30 years.

STOUT: Dan Plesch (inaudible) joining us here on CNN, thank you very much indeed for your analysis and context.

Now we are continuing to follow on this situation in Libya. But next, we will look at a big story in the world of technology. In fact, just a couple of hours from now, Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 5. But how much do we already know about the device? Look at all the details next.




STOUT: Welcome back. Now Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5 later today. But we probably already know what it looks like. Now these pictures on the Japanese blog iLab show what we expect to be the iPhone 5's external case. And it matches what we've been told that the new iPhone will look like.

Now the phone is expected to have a metallic back and what looks like small glass areas at the top and at the bottom. It's expected to be thinner than the iPhone 4. Now let's show you the front. It might not look all that different, but the screen is actually bigger.

It is the same width, but it's taller, making the new iPhone longer than the current model. And at the bottom, you could see a few more changes. The headphone jack is now on the bottom of the phone and the old dock connector, that plug is gone. It's now much smaller than before.

Now iLab says that they built the iPhone from repair parts that have leaked out. But Apple has a reputation for secrecy. So how did these parts leak out to begin with?

Jonathan Geller is the present editor in chief of the tech site boygeniusreport. He joins us now. And Jonathan, you've dealt with plenty of leaks and scoops from the tech world. So how do we know that these pics are for real?

JONATHAN GELLER, EDITOR IN CHIEF, BOYGENIUSREPORT.COM: You know, you can't know that they're for real. At this point, so many parts have leaked out of Asia and other places that they're all similar. So this is a very high probability of what the iPhone 5 is actually going to be.

STOUT: And why do these leaks take place? I mean, why do so many of these parts get out?

GELLER: I mean, there's a bunch of reasons. One of them is, you know, Apple is -- has grown. There's a lot more people interested in Apple. And as a result, Apple has to make more products and they have to do them faster.

And you know, there are a lot of manufacturing partners, especially in Asia. There's a lot of factories. There's hundreds of thousands of employees there. And you know, it's very, very hard to control all of that. You also have an issue of basically just simply commerce.

A lot of case manufacturers in Asia and across the world want to be ready for the new case design so they can sell that case the day the new iPhone comes out. And a lot of times they'll work with workers at the factory to get those case designs. And that's just kind of one reason why we kind of see a lot of this stuff.

STOUT: (Inaudible) given all those factors, leaks are just bound to happen. But given all we know, do you think there will be any surprises?

GELLER: I mean, it's Apple. There's definitely going to be some surprises. There are a few things that have been rumored that I've heard that haven't been released yet, things like a new, you know, photography modes in the iPhone, upgraded camera.

There's also a bunch of other things Apple's set to announce besides the iPhone today. Mostly likely a totally revamped iPod lineup with new iPod Touch, iPod Nano, a larger screen iPod Touch. And you know, you kind of have to wait for Tim Cook and Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall to get on stage and go through it. I'm sure there's some stuff that they have, we have not seen.

STOUT: And let's go big picture and talk about the power of Apple. And the iPhone is a solid phone. It's a great phone. But Samsung makes great phones. And Nokia, they make phones with bigger screens. Samsung, they have a phone with a mobile payment chip, the NFC chip.

I mean, everyone has switched to 4G except Apple. It can go on and on. But why is the iPhone still at the top? Why is the iPhone still the smartphone to beat?

GELLER: I mean, I think there's a couple reasons for that. I think one is Apple invented the smartphone.

Apple didn't invent the smartphone, but they really did invent that entire experience that we take for granted today, just the fluidity of being able to touch your contacts and scroll through a list of music or have a full web browser on your phone. Those are things that no manufacturer in the world was doing before Apple.

So I think it's really important to remember that they're the ones who pioneered this and they're the ones who are forward thinking enough to put this together. I think that's one of the reasons why they're still so far ahead of their competitors. But like you said, a lot of their competitors are gaining on them.

And I think it's one extremely important reason why Apple has to continue to innovate and stay at the forefront of the smartphone market.

STOUT: So apps, iTunes, being there first, that's been what's been able to help Apple. But what can Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, even we'll throw in Research in Motion to the mix. What can they do to topple Apple?

GELLER: I mean, it's a really hard question. I think those companies are literally asking themselves that right now this second, or have from the past 12 or 24 months. I think it's really difficult. It's an incredibly competitive space.

RIM has a lot of challenges. Nokia has a lot as well. And Nokia's really attached itself to Microsoft, which is a good situation for them. It's just hard to get traction nowadays when Android and Apple's iOS are so far in the lead.

STOUT: All right. Well, thank you very much indeed, Jonathan Geller there, boygeniusreport. We'll look forward to the big announcement happening just hours from now.

And before we go, an update now on the breaking news we're following out of Libya. Now the U.S. is increasing security at its diplomatic posts around the world in the wake of an attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

Now U.S. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the, quote, "outrageous attack" of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The Libyan government has apologized for the killings on its soil. And CNN will continue to keep you updated on this breaking news as it unfolds. And that is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.