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Teenaged Girl Shot for Standing Up to Taliban; Congressional Hearing Into Benghazi Underway

Aired October 10, 2012 - 00:00:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I'm Jim Clancy at CNN Center and welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

We begin in Pakistan, where doctors say this teenaged girl was shot down for standing up to the Taliban. And she's no longer in critical condition.

More trouble for Toyota as the Japanese carmaker recalls millions of vehicles.

And as he surges in the latest polls Mitt Romney talks with CNN.


CLANCY: It was a brazen attack that should have shocked a nation. Armed militants opened fire on a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan's Swat Valley, attempting to kill her because of her fight to see that girls get an education.


CLANCY (voice-over): Here is Malala Yousufzai, winner of Pakistan's first-ever national peace prize. That was for championing girls' education rights, a battle that caught the deadly attention of the Taliban. Now Malala has survived Tuesday's Taliban attack, but her condition is still listed as serious. Doctors have removed a bullet from her neck in the past few hours.


CLANCY: Pakistan's interior minister says the attackers have been identified and that they will be arrested soon. Meantime, the Taliban openly blamed Malala's blogs in support of girls' rights to education, something the Taliban want to do away with.

Before this brutal attack, Malala turned to the Internet in frustration over Taliban restrictions in her own town. She lives in the Swat Valley. It's an extremely conservative region, once dominated by often lawless tribes.

In one blog dated back in 2009, Malala said this: "I had a terrible dream yesterday, with military helicopters and the Taliban." She said she was afraid of going to school, in her words, "because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls."

Now this attack is forcing Pakistan to reexamine the influence of extremist elements in the country.

Reza Sayah joins me now from Islamabad.

Reza, are people really shocked that this happened?

Many people, I think, expected it.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it. This was shocking news to many of Malala's admirers, and she has a lot of them here in Pakistan, but I think today the news is relief.

That's because word from her doctor, the neurosurgeon, is, after a three-hour surgery, they did manage to remove a bullet that was lodged in her neck. And according to her doctor, she has a 90 percent possibility of surviving, which is great news for everyone who was anxious to hear about her condition.

As you mentioned earlier, authorities say they have identified the gunmen who shot her. It's not clear who these gunmen are, but authorities say they're going to be arrested soon. Many in Pakistan known Malala Yousufzai. But if you live outside of the region, you may not have heard of her.

Late last year, we were lucky enough to sit down and talk to this mini-activist. The best way to understand why she has inspired so many people is just to sit down and listen to her speak. Here's a brief excerpt of our interview.


MALALA YOUSUFZAI, EDUCATION ACTIVIST (through translator): So I thought that I must stand up for my right of education, the right for peace. So I did it.

SAYAH: Some people might say you're 14. You don't have any rights. You just have to listen to Mom and Dad.

YOUSUFZAI: No, I have rights. I have the right of education. I have the right to play. I have the right to sing, I have the right to talk, I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up.


SAYAH: I think we can objectively report as journalists that this young girl is simply adorable. She's also fiercely determined. We put some tough questions to her, Jim, and she didn't back away from us. I don't think she'd back away from you either, Jim.

CLANCY: You know, the reality, though, is in Pakistan today, you know, over the weekend we had protests marches, protests against U.S. drone strikes and the killing of innocent civilians in some of those strikes.

But we won't see any march into the tribal areas telling the Taliban that they should stand down on their attacks on women and children, especially children 14 years of age. And we won't see it because people are afraid that they're going to be killed, too.

SAYAH: Well, Jim, you're right; but I think that's exactly why many believe this young girl is a difference maker. I've been here in Pakistan for more than four years now. Many people think like Malala Yousufzai. They have the same values.

But for one reason or another, they don't speak up. But here's a 14- year old who has been speaking up, inspiring a lot of people. Many says she's the true representation of the best of Pakistan. Many say she's inspired a lot of people to stand up and speak out against the Taliban. She already has an iconic status.

It's going to be interesting to see what her status is if she survives. And, again, the doctor today said she has a 90 percent possibility of surviving. A lot of people eager to see her recover, obviously, Jim.

CLANCY: Is it causing that soul-searching within Pakistan? How's the media reacting?

SAYAH: Well, this story is making headlines. I mean, this is a girl that started making headlines two years ago when she started writing about the Taliban on the Internet blog, when the Taliban took over the Swat region, her hometown. And she knew very well that she was facing danger.

In fact, in speaking to us late last year, she said, you know what, I am concerned. The Taliban had made threats against me. But it's important for me to speak up. And now this has happened. The Taliban, it looks like, if, indeed they did it -- and they said they did -- it looks like they got to her; they found her. They managed to shoot her, but they didn't take her life away.

And it's going to be very interesting to see how she comes off of this. Again, the most important thing for her to recover. But I think a lot of people are going to be eager to see how she comes out of this.

CLANCY: Yes, and it's noteworthy, the one Taliban spokesman quoted today as saying that if they did not succeed in killing her, they would try again.

Reza Sayah, great perspective coming to us there from his watchpost in Islamabad. Thank you.

Swift, sudden and completely unprecedented: that's how two U.S. State Department officials are describing last month's attack in Benghazi, Libya. They say no reasonable security presence at the U.S. Consulate could have fended off that assault. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Now a congressional hearing on that attack is underway in Washington. It gets underway, at least, in a few hours. Let's bring in world affairs reporter Elise Labott from Washington.

Elise, this is going to be very politically charged.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be very politically charged on both sides, Jim. On one hand, the Republicans are, you know, seeing red meat if you will. This is in an election year, an election just few weeks away and Democrats are charging that the Republicans are trying to push this through to damage President Obama.

The Democrats have charged that the committee has not provided witnesses made available to the Democrats or any of the documents.

On the other side, this clearly is for President Obama damaging, because President Obama has been the, you know, go after terrorism president, killed Osama bin Laden, certainly the idea that this would be a terrorist attack against the U.S., that the U.S. facility in Benghazi was not adequately protected, very political issue becoming in this campaign, Jim.

CLANCY: But to the point we're getting the most detailed account of what actually happened there, aren't we?

LABOTT: We are. Last night, we had a conference call with some senior State Department officials, really giving us excruciating detail about the harrowing night that Ambassador Stevens and the other three Americans were killed, basically that they -- all was quiet, Jim.

Now you remember the administration officials said originally, Susan Rice, ambassador to the U.N. among them, that this was a spontaneous protest gone awry; an extremist took advantage of this. But now the idea is no, this was a preplanned assault, State Department disputing that account.

CLANCY: All right. Elise Labott reporting to us there from the State Department, Elise, stay on that and keep us apprised of how the hearings are going to go.

All right. We're going to go cross over now to London and Jim Boulden. A major defense agreement, alignment and corporate news may see some changes that are coming. Let's bring in Jim Boulden. He's following the story from London.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, we have confirmed that this megamerger between BAE Systems, the defense contractor based here in the U.K., and EADS, which makes the Airbus commercial aircraft, has collapsed. Now this deal was brokered last month, and it was going to be a major merger if Europe could get itself together to be a rival to, say, Boeing in the U.S.

The thing about EADS, though, is that there are stakes owned by the French government, stakes owned in Germany and in Spain. And BAE Systems, of course, is a defense contractor here. So they have found it impossible in the time given to try to get this merger deal done.

And the two -- the statement has come out from the companies, say that they were not able to adequately reconcile the demands of the government with what the two companies wanted to do.

Some people might say this is government interference, but EADS itself was created by the French, Spanish and German governments to try to get a commercial aircraft maker here to compete with Boeing on the commercial aircraft side.

The combination with BAE Systems was going to combine defense with aircraft making to try to make it a bigger company that could withstand what looks like to be cuts in defense spending in Europe and in the U.S.

But it's become politically impossible, as it seems now, that these two companies could put this deal together, though many people here in the U.K. said it was a good deal for BAE Systems because they need to diversify. EADS needs to diversify and it wanted to compete more in the U.S. However, we have just learned that they are not able to do this, Jim.

CLANCY: I'm trying to dig down into it a little bit deeper; may be difficult at this early juncture, because we're just getting in the news now. But a lot of this had to depend on the willingness of governments to buy their products, to spend more money on defense, didn't it? And in a current era of austerity, that just isn't -- doesn't look like it's in the cards.

BOULDEN: Well, that's why they wanted this deal to be done for the BAE Systems side, even though it was going to be gobbled up by EADS. The thought was that defense spending just isn't going to be the same as it has been for the past 20 years. And so you want to combine the two.

The problem has been since the beginning how to get the French government, the German government, the British government, the U.S. government to agree a framework, to allow these companies to merge. Then the companies would have to make a decision on how this deal would be done. And then shareholders would have to vote.

So there were unique situations because defense, of course, still has a lot of government control. It's not like a pharmaceutical company or a car company merging. You know, we don't see these kind of deals very often.

The theory behind it, though, was a strong one, saying the CEOs of BAE Systems and EADS, they wanted to create a huge European company to go against Lockheed Martin, to go against Boeing, especially for contracts in places like the Middle East, Asia and South America. That's where they saw the logic in this.

And they knew, of course, that they were going to see less revenue from, say, the U.K., say, Germany, say, the United States over time, Jim.

CLANCY: All right, Jim Boulden; we'll leave it there for now. I'm sure we're going to hear more developments coming on this story. And we're going to be checking in with how people are seeing it from Germany in just a few minutes.

Jim Boulden, thank you.

Well, still to come right here on NEWS STREAM, another setback for Toyota. The Japanese automaker recalls millions of its vehicles.

Also, the Arab Spring demonstrations in Egypt may be over, but hundreds of protesters never returned home. We'll bring you that story.

And after a strong debate performance, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's getting a boost in the polls. We'll hear what he has to say about that.



CLANCY: Two members of a Russian female punk protest band that criticized President Vladimir Putin is going to remain behind bars. Just a short time ago, a Russian appeals court upheld the two-year prison terms for both women.

The court suspended the sentence of a third band member, and ordered her released. The trio was arrested and convicted of hooliganism after band members performed in a cathedral back in February and sang a song protesting President Putin.

Phil Black is following the developments in this case. He joins us now, live from Moscow.

Phil, how did it go?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, they're incredibly happy scenes inside the courtroom behind me here in Moscow as the three women learned that one of them would be walking free from the court today. That woman is Ekaterina Samutsevich.

And it was shocking, certainly, and a surprise development, not expected. This was a woman who one week ago took on a brand-new legal team because she said she wanted to push her defense in a slightly different direction. We now know exactly what that means.

When you look at the video of the four women performing inside the cathedral earlier this year, we know for a fact that Ekaterina Samutsevich was not one of them. She was involved in the planning; she'd intended to be there, but she was stopped at the door and not allowed inside.

So she didn't get pull on her balaclava; she didn't get to perform that punk prayer. That was the point emphasized in court today, her logic being that given that she was technically not part of the performance, she should not have been punished in the same way as the other women were punished.

So as a result, her two-year prison sentence is suspended; her conviction does, however, stand. The other two women will now be sent to different prison colonies in Russia, Jim.

CLANCY: Now there's no other appeal for the -- course of appeal that's open to them, is there? And how long might they serve of that two- year sentence?

Well, we do not believe there is. Now talking to their lawyers outside the court today, they're now talking about trying to go to European Court of Human Rights if they believe that will have any success in terms of how long to serve. Well, the time they have counted as served so far does count.

The total sentence is two years; they've been in jail now for more than six months. So they're looking at less than 18 months so far. But that is still a long time, particularly when you consider one fact, which was mentioned by their lawyers today, but made no difference whatsoever. That is the fact that the two women left in prison are both mothers.

One is the mother of a young daughter, the other the mother of a young son. One of them has seen her daughter once since she was taken into custody; the other has seen her son twice. But as I say, made no difference whatsoever. Their two-year sentence stands, Jim.

CLANCY: All right.

Phil Black there, talking with us from CNN Moscow, as two members of the punk rock band sent to prison to finish out two-year terms, another set free.

Thank you, Phil.

All right. We've got more coming up on the EADS and the BAE merger. The way that that collapsed could have been the deal of 2012. It's not happening. We'll be back.




CLANCY: It might have been the business deal of 2012, a merger that is not going to happen. Breaking news, defense giants EADS and BAE have called off merger plans. Both companies made the announcement following talks on the matter.

Let's get more on why this happened.

Let's go to Germany now, where Frederic Pleitgen is standing by, live in Berlin.

Frederic, inside this deal, what went wrong?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems that many things went wrong. But one of the main things that both BAE Systems as well as EADS are saying in their press releases, Jim, is that they say that it was the governments that were the stumbling blocks in all this.

Of course, there was a lot of disagreement between the governments of the U.K., France and Germany, and there were some sources, apparently, insider sources -- haven't been able to confirm this independently, but that's what we're sort of hearing from inside the discussions -- that Germany might have been one of the main stumbling blocks.

It's interesting; when you were asking around Berlin the past couple of days, the German defense minister was saying he didn't know what all that talk about was about. He thought that the talks were going forward perfectly normally.

There were, however, other sources, Jim, who said that the German government was generally quite averse to having these two companies merge, having an essentially civil aviation and aeronautics company merge with a company that predominantly, of course, is in the defense industry as BAE Systems is. It's not something that the Germans really were very keen on.

Then there seemed to be other issues, one of the main ones of course, Jim, was the issue of the stakes that governments would hold, the U.K., of course, wanting to limit both Germany and France to a 9 percent share in the company that would have been formed. The Germans always saying that they wanted to be on parity with the French. That seemed to have been an issue as well.

And finally, there was one big issue that everybody kept talking about, especially from the German side, and they said we're the headquarters of this new company was going to be, the Germans were apparently trying to push for Munich to be the headquarters of the new company.

That is not something that, from what we're hearing, that either EADS or BAE Systems were very keen on, not the fact that Munich should have been the headquarters of the company, but the fact that a government was trying to push them to put the headquarters in a certain place. So there were several stumbling blocks.

If you read the press release that was just came out by EADS and by BAE, all they're willing to say is that the governments were not willing or were not able to reconcile their issues; both sides are saying they still think that they had a pretty strong case for this merger, but in the end now, of course, everything has fallen apart on the final stretch as we were waiting for an announcement to be made throughout this stage, Jim.

CLANCY: Well, you know, as we look at it, it would seem that the lesson here is that it's much tougher to put together a business deal when it's not really being run by businessmen, but rather by politicians.

PLEITGEN: Yes, you know, that's -- and that's the old story. If you look especially at the politics of EADS, I mean, if you remember ,when EADS was actually formed, the original merger talks or the original talks of forming this company fell apart between the French and the Germans.

And this company has always really been categorized by this sort of infighting between Germany and France, whether it was who was going to be the CEO of the company, where the headquarters of the company was going to be.

EADS has always seemed large government intervention and large, really, government trying to handle the politics of the companies. Of course, both France and Germany control large stakes in EADS, the Germans not directly. They have their bidding done by the Daimler company, which has 22 percent of EADS.

But certainly one of the things that if you looked at what shareholders of BAE were saying, they thought that it would be very, very detrimental to BAE's business, especially its business in the U.S., where 45 percent of its business is done if there was such a strong government stake in the company.

They didn't think that the Americans would go for buying goods from a company that is so heavily influenced by governments, the French and the Germans, of course, wanted to retain their influence. The Brits were always against that.

And so that certainly is, if you will, the overpass, the headline of the story of European defense industry, especially EADS, has always been the role of government and the way that they try to influence the defense policy here on this continent. And that's certainly something that seems to have played a very, very large role in these talks now and also the falling apart, of course, Jim.

CLANCY: Yes, we're going to have to wait and see what the reaction of the markets is, too, on this one.

Fred Pleitgen, reporting to us there, live from Berlin, a developing story as a major deal falls through.

Well, turning now to Egypt, the freely elected president has now been in office for more than 100 days, the country, though, still does not have its new constitution. But there are hundreds, hundreds of people who disappeared while protesting against former strongman, Hosni Mubarak, and they have never returned home. Our own Ian Lee has been investigating.



IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ahmed Taha is marching for justice, joining thousands as they remember the more than 2 dozen Coptic Christians killed in clashes with security forces a year ago.

Although there have been arrests and trials, no one has been convicted. Many here have little hope anyone ever will, especially Taha , given his story and his own search for justice.

Last October while walking home past the demonstration, he says he was abducted by security forces right here, outside Egypt's high court.

"They beat me. One stepped on my face. I was wearing my glasses. They broke the glasses and my face was disfigured," he says.

Taha says the beatings were just the beginning.

"I felt someone coming in. He held me. I was almost dead, so he picked me up from the floor and tore my T-shirt and started holding my body. I went into shock. He removed my clothes and sexually assaulted me in front of the other policemen."

For nine months, Taha tells me, he was tortured, denied food and water for extended periods of time and when he faced a government prosecutor --

"I'm a minor. I'm 17. The prosecutor told me, 'Here you don't have rights,'" he says.

Taha was released from prison without being indicted last July. Egypt's ministry of interior refused to comment on Taha's claims, and has long maintained that there's no torture inside of its prisons. But Taha , who's 18 now, stands by his story and believes others may have similar tales to tell if they can ever be found.

That's because so many have disappeared from the streets of Cairo since the start of last year's revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. The disappearances have caused such a public outcry that the new government under President Morsi set up a fact-finding commission this year to locate the missing. Lawyer Ahmed Ragab is part of that effort.

"The formation of the commission is based on truth," says Ragab , "and it's directly related to the lack of cooperation from security bodies during the transition. Some security agency have an interest in covering up some of their crimes."

Ragab says that an official government report from March of last year found that some 1,200 people were unaccounted for, with many believed to be somewhere in the country's prison network, unidentified, forgotten. But not by their families. Not by mothers like Um Mohamed .

She hasn't seen her son, Mohamed Sadik , since he disappeared January 28th, 2011, just three days into the revolution. Shortly after he went missing, she received a few frantic phone calls from him, but now silence. She believes her son is alive.

"The ministry of interior tells me all the revolutionaries are with the army. The army tells me they're all with the ministry of interior. I need to know where my son is," she says.

Sadik's disappearance has deeply affected his family. His youngest sister, Minna , is often inconsolable. And there are so many other families like theirs, searching for the missing.

Calling for justice, something, they fear, may never be found -- Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.


CLANCY: Mitt Romney surging in the polls, he's enjoying a significant post-debate bounce.



CLANCY: This is NEWS STREAM, I'm Jim Clancy and here are your headlines.

Surgeons in Pakistan have successfully removed a bullet from the neck of a young female activist. Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was targeted for speaking out against the Taliban in her blog. Doctors are hopeful and say she is no longer in critical condition. Two other girls were wounded when a man boarded their school bus, asked for Malala by name and then shot at her.

Two members of a Russian female punk band that openly criticized President Vladimir Putin will remain behind bars. A Russian appeals court upheld two-year prison terms for both women. It suspended the sentence of a third band member and ordered her release.

The trio was convicted of hooliganism after band members performed in a cathedral in February, singing a song that protested against Mr. Putin.

An update on some breaking news this hour, the merger to create a major aerospace defense company in Europe is dead. Airbus maker EADS and Europe's largest arms maker, BAE Systems, is now off. Both companies made the announcement. The deal would have been worth $45 billion.

Two American scientists, Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, have won the Nobel prize for chemistry. They won for their studies of G- protein coupled receptors. Their work has aided the development of better medicines that produce fewer side effects. The Nobel peace prize will be announced on Friday.

Just 27 days left until the U.S. presidential election, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney appears to be getting a big bounce after his debate last week with President Obama. The CNN Poll of Polls, which averages three national surveys of likely voters, it shows 48 percent of voters now support Mr. Romney; 47 percent picked Mr. Obama.

Mr. Romney has also gained ground in one major battleground state where he is still lagging. But he's tightened that race. In a new CNNi ORC international poll conducted in Ohio, 51 percent of likely voters say they still support Mr. Obama, but 47 percent now say they back Mr. Romney.

The Ohio poll was taken after last week -- Wednesday's first presidential debate. Before that debate, Mr. Obama enjoyed as much as a 10-point lead in the polls in the state. Romney talked about his post- debate bounce with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

He also talked about controversial comments he made earlier this year, in which he dismissed 47 percent of Americans as government dependents who don't pay taxes.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Everyone now agrees -- at least, I think, almost everyone agrees -- that your debate performance in Denver last week was very strong. The president's performance was weak.

Here's a question that I'm curious about, because you prepared, obviously, a lot.

Senator Rob Portman, was he a tougher debater in those practice sessions than President Obama turned out to be?

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Portman is very effective. I think President Obama and I both had a good chance to describe our respective views as to how we'd do a better job.

And I, frankly, think I benefited from the fact that, rather than having people learn about me from ads prepared by my opposition, they got to actually hear what I would do from myself (sic). And I think that helped me. I think the president also got to lay out his plans and people were able to make a comparison. But as for Rob Portman, he's a pretty effective guy.

BLITZER: Were you surprised by the president's performance?

ROMNEY: Well, I actually thought he described pretty appropriately and pretty effectively his policies. I just happen to disagree with those policies.

And when we talked about the economy, he really is not proposing anything he hasn't talked about for the last four years, which is another stimulus, hiring more government workers, picking winners and losers in industries that he favors, raising taxes.

These are ideas he's had for some time. And, frankly, we've tested those ideas over the last four years and they have not led to the kind of job growth Americans want.

But, you know, I think the challenge that he has is that his ideas are just not demonstrating the kind of results he would hope for and people recognize that.

BLITZER: That 47 percent comment that you made that's caused you a lot of grief, as you know, there's been a change in your position over these past few weeks. It went from -- you were initially saying, once that tape came out, that you -- that you weren't exactly elegantly stating your position.

Later and more recently, you said you were completely wrong.

I'm curious, Governor, how did that evolution in your thinking go on, from the initial reaction, once that tape came out, to what you said the other day, that you were completely wrong?

ROMNEY: Well, what I'm saying is that what words were that came out were not what I meant. And what I mean, I think, people understand, is that, if I'm president, I'll be president of 100 percent of the people. My whole campaign is about helping the middle class have rising incomes and more jobs and helping get people out of poverty into the middle class.

That's what this whole campaign is about.

The wealthy are doing fine right now. And they'll do fine, most likely, regardless of who's elected president. It's the middle class that's having a hard time under President Obama. And my campaign is about 100 percent of the American people.

And so that's a - that describes why, you know, what was stated in the tape was not referring to what kind of president I would be or who I would be fighting for. Instead, it was talking about politics and it just didn't come out the way I meant it.

BLITZER: If you -- if you had a do-over, Governor, and you mentioned 47 percent, what would you -- what should you have said about that 47 percent?

ROMNEY: Well, Wolf, as you know, I was talking about how do you get to 50.1 percent of the vote. I'd like to get 100 percent of the vote, but I figure that's not going to happen. So I was trying to tell contributors how I'd get to 50.1 percent.

I think it's always a perilous course for a candidate to start talking about the, you know, the mathematics of an election.

My campaign is about talking about how to get 100 percent of the Americans to have a more bright and prosperous future.


CLANCY: Mitt Romney there, talking with our own Wolf Blitzer.

The U.S. candidates' running mates are about to get in their turn on center stage. Vice President Joe Biden and the man vying for his job, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, will face off in their vice presidential debate. That comes up on Thursday. John Manna -- Jonathan Mann gives us a preview.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now this coming Thursday, it is the vice presidential candidates' turn to debate, which is a good thing, really, maybe the only time most Americans will ever get a chance to listen to the vice president or his rival at any length.

With the two podiums, a single moderator, the 90 minutes of questions, it will look very similar to the presidential debate. But there will be some key differences, things that Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are likely to do that you won't see in any presidential debate.

First, look for attacks on the other guy's boss. While the presidential candidates do go after each other, they don't do it the way their attack dog running mates do.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How can Governor Romney be -- have such a profound misunderstanding of the people of this country?

REP. PAUL RYAN, GOP VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If President Obama admits that he cannot change Washington, then we need to change presidents.

MANN: The next task is to talk up their own boss. Presidential candidates can talk about policies and positions. But not really about what great guys they themselves are.

That's their running mates' job.

RYAN: Some people can't be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics because their character, ability and plain decency are so obvious. And ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

BIDEN: Bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama. And time and time again, I witnessed him summon it. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel.


MANN: Next, the running mates have to reassure voters that they're ready to be president if necessary, and show that their bosses made a good pick.

ROMNEY: Paul could be (inaudible) that were necessary, could become president. He has the experience and judgment, capacity and character to become -- to become president.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Traditionally, the pundits, at least, say that, you know, the top of the ticket's what matters. I -- when I chose Joe Biden, it was because I was confident he could be president.

MANN: Finally, the role of the running mates has often been to simply put on a good show.

SEN. LLOYD BENTSEN (D), TEXAS: Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.


SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONN.: I'm pleased to see, Dick, from the newspapers that you're better off than you were eight years ago.

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you, Joe, that the government had absolutely nothing to do with it.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a governor, and I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record.

MANN (voice-over): Smaller stakes may make for better debates. Many V.P. debates have actually been livelier than the presidential ones. And in the case of Joe Biden-Sarah Palin, the debate in 2008, higher rated, too.

Many curious voters tuned in to see Palin. They'll remember that she and John McCain actually did lose the election. So ultimately the winner of Thursday's debate may not have much effect on the winning that really matters.


CLANCY: That was Jonathan Mann reporting there.

Now Thursday's vice presidential debate will be taking place in beautiful Danville, Kentucky. CNN political director Mark Preston joins us now from Danville.

Mark, you're ready for the -- what are they calling it? The Thrilla in the Villa?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Check this out, Jim, right here. The "Thrill in the Ville." This is a poster basically sizing this battle up tomorrow night to be a prize fight. You know, interestingly enough, 12 years ago, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, right behind me, held the vice presidential debate. They had the same poster at that time.

That's why, Jim, it says, "Thrill in the Ville II." So they're getting ready down here at Center College here in Danville, Kentucky. And as we just saw from Jonathan, this could become a very spirited debate tomorrow night.

CLANCY: Well, we're hoping for that, at least all of us that watched the first debate between the two presidential rivals.

Let's break it down, man by man, talking about Paul Ryan; he's really known, this man, he is sharp on the numbers. What an accountant. But some people say that it's budgetary wonkiness, that he can get too bogged down in that and become downright boring.

Others say out on the campaign trail, he isn't talking about all those painful things that might happen if his plan is put into effect; it would cut just about everything so long as taxes aren't raised. Which one of these Paul Ryans is going to stand up there?

PRESTON: Well, you know, Jim, I think we're going to see a little bit of both. And as far as the wonkiness goes, look what happened last week during the first presidential debate, very heavy on policy.

In fact, I was wondering if, in fact, viewers would tune out. It turned out to be the highest rated presidential debate. I think what you're going to see happen behind me is you're going to see two members of Congress -- let's not forget that Joe Biden served in the Senate from the early 1970s until he was picked to be the vice presidential running mate and, of course, elected back in 2008.

Paul Ryan, the budget chairman, they're going to be squaring off. They know how to debate. They know how to go back and forth on some very serious policy issues. And I think that's what you're going to see tomorrow.

They are also going to be seated at a table, Jim. So as far as real personal animosity, I don't think you're going to see that between the two candidates. I don't think that that's really within the blood of either of them. But, again, they're going to be sitting down. They're not going to be at lecterns, which would really give more of an opportunity, perhaps, for these two to get personal.

CLANCY: Well, Joe Biden is known to be a forceful and a very confident debater. As you say, all of that experience in the Senate, but he's also known to suffer sometimes from the dread disease that confronts all folksy politicians, foot-in-mouth.

PRESTON: Yes, no question. And I think that that has got to be a major part of the debate prep. He's been up in Delaware for the past few days, working on that. And I'm sure it is being drilled into his head. You cannot slip up because tomorrow night, you can't help us win the election necessarily, but you can help us lose the election. That is what happens during these vice presidential debates.

Not a whole lot is going to be riding on this other than will the vice presidential running mate for Barack Obama, that being Joe Biden and, of course, for Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, will they be able to carry the flag of the standard bearer? And that's what we'll see tomorrow night.

I think it will be heavy on policy; I think Joe Biden will go after the Romney-Ryan plan. I'm sure we'll hear that a lot. And I expect to hear Joe Biden in particular have to -- have to -- have to handle this one question: are you better off than you were four years ago, Jim.

CLANCY: Yes, Mark, in one way, I mean, and any Democrat that can read a poll knows they got hammered. And it has cost them dearly. Will they try to rewind, replay some of the points that President Obama failed to make?

PRESTON: And more importantly, I think that they'll try to rebut some of the points that Mitt Romney made. In fact, President Obama's campaign was trying to do that all week; they said that he was a liar, that his tax cut plan was not, in fact, based in facts. It was fictional. So that's what will happen tomorrow night.

You will see Joe Biden go up and try to pick apart what Mitt Romney did a week ago. I don't think it's going to get personal, though. I -- as far as a slugfest goes, I don't think we're going to see that. But I do think it's going to be heavy on policy and certainly a heavy fight when it comes to --

CLANCY: Mark, you're not getting me to tune in, you know. You're not enthusing me to tune in. I really am hoping --


CLANCY: -- a bit of a slugfest, because, frankly, I got a little bored during the last one. I mean, it may have been important and I know a lot of people watched, but.

You know, let's --


CLANCY: -- wait and see, won't we? It's only a day away.

PRESTON: But you'll have to tune in.


PRESTON: You'll have to tune in.


PRESTON: To see what happens, right?

CLANCY: I'll be there watching with you.

Thanks a lot for being with us.

Mark Preston, great to have you.

You can all catch that debate, where else but right here on CNN. Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, squaring off in the state of Kentucky. Begins live 8:00 am Friday in Hong Kong.

All right, coming up next on NEWS STREAM, a bumpy road for Toyota, Japan's largest automaker is recalling millions of its vehicles. We have the latest on what seems to be a string of setbacks for the company.


CLANCY: Another recall for Toyota, this time over a problem with power windows in a variety of models that the company says could pose a fire risk. More than 7 million cars worldwide affected by this. The Japanese automaker says there have been no reports of accidents or any injuries thus far.

The recall was announced just before markets closed in Japan; Toyota's shares down, falling to their lowest level since July. As Alex Zolbert reports, the recall is just the latest setback for the automaker.


ALEX ZOLBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Japan's largest carmaker simply cannot catch a break. News late here in Tokyo on Wednesday, that Toyota is recalling more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide.

The company says this has to do with a fault in the window of 11 different vehicles. Apparently a lack of grease that the company says smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances. And keep in mind, this is just the latest bad news for Toyota.

Just a day ago, we saw abysmal sales figures out of China, numbers off 50 percent in the month of September due to the ongoing island dispute. Then if we go further back in time one year ago in October of last year, massive floods in Thailand that hit Toyota's manufacturing.

Of course, in March of 2011, there was the earthquake and tsunami here in Japan that hit Toyota's bottom line very hard. And if we go back to late 2009 and early 2010, another recall for Toyota involving another 7 million vehicles, that one due to acceleration problems.

So when you speak to analysts here, they say the big concern is the company's reputation. Keep in mind, you only get one reputation and at this point, in the past few years, Toyota has recalled more than 15 million vehicles -- Alex Zolbert, CNN, Tokyo.


CLANCY: Here's a quick look at all the models Toyota is recalling. Toyota is Japan's largest automaker. Their vehicles big sellers around the world, for instance, the Corolla. The compact sedan is said to be the world's best selling car. But when it comes to the best selling Toyota in the United States, that goes to Camry. Toyota says the Camry has held onto that title now for 10 straight years.

It's a delivery 400 kilometers above the Earth, and the astronauts are really looking forward to one special item in that capsule. Find out what that is next, right here on NEWS STREAM.



CLANCY: Well, they're always come at this time of the year; they're always expected that that does not make them any more welcome. We're talking about monsoon rains in India. Mari Ramos following that story right for us now at the weather center.

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, the thing is about the monsoon rains -- and you -- I know you've heard me say this over and over, that they have to be just right. We don't want too much rain; we don't want too little rainfall. It's essential to the survival, really, of the people across south Asia.

They need it this time of year for their crops, to fill their reservoirs, because then we get into the dry season and then if we don't get the water now, the crops are not going to grow properly. But if you get too much rain, then so much gets destroyed.

I want to show you first of all just one of the latest pictures. And here you see a group of people on a boat there in the background. The thing is that this is not supposed to be covered with water. This is not supposed to be a lake.

This was a village, and it's just one picture, one example of what is continuing to happen across India. And this right here, by the way, used to be a road. And this is an area where people that were on a boat, that two boats capsized, killing dozens of people. And it's a tragic story and just another example of what people are having to deal with here.

When you get too much rain, it really takes a toll, especially now that we're at the end of the season, where the ground is waterlogged. It doesn't take much rainfall at all for it to flood quickly. And we're continuing to see that.

This white line right here, Jim, is where the monsoon actually is. When you look at the dates over here -- let's go all the way to October 15th -- this is where the monsoon should be.

So you can see that all of this area is right here in the middle, in the central portion of India, should not be having to deal with this heavy rain at this time of year. By now, the rain should have stopped and the ground should have begun to get dry. But yet we have these warnings for some very heavy rainfall across this entire area.

There's also warnings up here in Bangladesh, but that's for a little bit of a different reason. There was a little area of low pressure that began to form right over here, and you can see all that heavy rain that is continuing to pull northward.

I'm very concerned about the rain that's going to come with this, that already began to fall because it really is going to increase the potential for more flooding over these areas, moving up to Assam, remember, we've been talking about how millions of people have been displaced in Assam because of the heavy rain.

And notice, in some cases, they could get up to an additional 8 to maybe 15 centimeters of rainfall in eastern India and Bangladesh and also as we head into Myanmar. So we'll keep you posted on the story. Back to you.

CLANCY: OK. I got to get right on it; we've got an important mission up in space to tell you about, Mari. Stand by.

The crew of the International Space Station has captured a drag and, of course, we're talking about the SpaceX cargo capsule. The company's first resupply mission under its contract with NASA is right on the mark. ISS Expedition Commander Sunita Williams confirmed the capsule's arrival.

SUNITA WILLIAMS, ISS EXPEDITION COMMANDER: Looks like we've tamed the Dragon. We're happy she's on board with us.

Thanks, everybody, at SpaceX and NASA, for bringing her here to us -- and the ice cream.

CLANCY: Yes, you know why they're happy. It's the real deal, not freeze-dried. The Dragon capsule carried vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup in a freezer. It's normally used for scientific samples. Here's a live look. The ISS crew needs to get through 16 bolts before they can enjoy their treat. Birthing is scheduled for next hour, not long to wait, guys.

All right.

And girls.

That's NEWS STREAM for now. The news continues, though, on CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is straight ahead.