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NEWS STREAM

New York Times Website Block In China Over Wen Jiabao Expose; San Francisco Giants Go 2-0 Up Over Detroit Tigers; Amateur Videos Shows Syrian Ceasefire Nonexistant; Microsoft Officially Releases Windows 8

Aired October 26, 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 with technology. Microsoft's reinvention of Windows goes on sale today. But will the changes attract or confuse consumers?

And promising developments for Malala. Doctors believe the Pakistani teen shot for standing up to the Taliban does not have significant brain damage.

And when you think disgraced Chinese Politician Bo Xilai can't fall any further, the government strips him of one more post.

Now it's not every day that we start the show with a product launch, but Windows 8 is more than that, it is a radical reinvention of one of the most important pieces of software in the world. If it succeeds, it will change the way millions of people use their computers. But if it fails, Microsoft could lose its position as the dominant software company of our time.

Now the easiest way to demonstrate how different Windows 8 will be is simply to look at it. Now this is the Windows we're all probably familiar with. It uses the desktop metaphor developed back in the 1970s. Files, held in folders and thrown away into a trash can or recycling bin.

Now Windows 8 still has the desktop, but it sits as a background option. Now it's replaced with this. It's an interface made up of tiles. And each of the tiles, it can take you to an app or a service. And each of the tiles has information that updates automatically. So why the big change? Well, it is no coincidence that these tiles are big and easy to tap with your finger.

Now shipments of PCs fell 8 percent last quarter compared to the previous year. And while PC sales are falling, tablet sales are soaring. Last quarter, Apple sold more iPads than the world's biggest PC maker sold PCs.

So does this mean that the traditional PC is dead? Now Maggie Lake asks Dell CEO Michael Dell and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that question.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL DELL, FOUNDER & CEO, DELL: Now this year there will be about 400 million PCs sold. I remember hearing that when there were 100 million PCs sold a year. So I've been doing this for a while. So, you know, that's - that's been going - there's been discussion of that for a long time, but there seem to be more and more PCs being sold.

There are about a billion-and-a-half PCs in the world. And so if you go out in the real world and look at how business is done, how people get productive work done, you see a lot of PCs.

It's not so say there's not a role for smart phones and tablets - what's really interesting, of course, about this announcement is now we have tablets that are also full PCs.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And this clearly is geared, this overhaul is geared to work across that, right? Steve, what is your response to is the PC dead?

STEVE BALLMER, MICROSOFT CEO: I'd say the PC has never been dead, it never will die. It rebirths, it reimagines, it moves on. We started with desktops for godsakes. And then, zoom, PC gets reimagined into big luggables, and then laptops, and then light notebooks, and then ultrabooks. And now we have PCs as tablets. And the number of form factors just from Dell - Michael and I showed you one of these that is a notebook that flips, but you can take the top off. You can undock. You can carry something that is thin and super light.

We have PCs coming with Windows 8 that are - that are wall size, or certainly if you look at the new Dell 27 inch, there are these rich, immersive TV experiences.

Our job - our job is to make sure that not only is the PC not dead, but we're constantly innovating, reimagining it. And the PC as tablet, boom. We're the only people who have got that. A machine that you can use for work and play, that can be your PC and be your tablet. We don't make some compromise on that through the work we're doing together.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: But there is a compromise here, because Microsoft Surface tablet doesn't actually run Windows 8. Surface runs Windows RT. It's an operating system that is almost identical visually, but very different technically.

Now here's Surface running Windows RT. And here's Windows 8. Now they may look the same. There's a big difference between the two.

Now in simple terms, Windows RT won't run any existing Windows apps, it will only runs apps specifically made for it. And you can only get those apps from the Windows store. It's basically the same as with Macs and iPads. You can't install the Mac version of Photoshop on your iPad, you have to buy the iPad version of Photoshop. But unlike the Mac OS and iOS, Windows 8 and Windows RT look exactly the same.

Adding to the confusion, Microsoft is even releasing a new version of Surface next year that will run Windows 8.

But is the current Surface good enough? Let's get a review of the new tablet and Windows 8. Now David Pierce is senior reviews editor at the verge. He joins me now live from CNN New York. And thanks for joining us. And first let's talk about Surface. What does it feel like when you use it? Does it feel like a tablet device?

DAVID PIERCE, SENIOR REVIEWS EDITOR, THE VERGE: It really does feel like a tablet. So on the one hand, the whole interface is really smooth and fast. It works really well when you're doing really basic things. The browser is really good. Microsoft has kind of a bad reputation for Internet Explorer. But they've really improved it here. And for a lot of the really basic things you want to do, if you want to check your email, or go into the browser, it's really good. But even there, there are some stumbling blocks. YouTube doesn't work very well, which is kind of a big thing on a tablet.

Apps can take a long time to load. A lot of it just feels kind of unpolished and not quite as ready as it needs to be for an average person to use.

LU STOUT: You know, there has been some criticism out there that the Surface doesn't really feel like a tablet, it feels more like a laptop. Can you use it like an iPad holding it up, or do you need a surface to be able to use the Surface?

PIERCE: Well, you definitely can use it like a tablet. It's not nearly as comfortable as a device like the iPad. It's 10.6 inches, which is a little bigger than the iPad and a little bigger than a lot of the tablets we've seen.

It actually makes a big difference. It's really wide and not that tall, so it's kind of awkward to use in a portrait orientation how you would read a book or a magazine. And then in landscape it's really wide. So this is definitely something made to be used sitting on your couch on your lap or as you mentioned docked on a desk as a laptop.

LU STOUT: Now Microsoft isn't just introducing a new tablet, it's also unveiling something called the Touch Cover and the Type Cover. How do they rate?

PIERCE: These I actually think are two of the cooler things Microsoft has done with the Surface. The Touch Cover is insanely thin. It doesn't work quite as well as advertised. It takes a few days to get used to typing without actually moving any keys. But it's a great system. And it's certainly better than an onscreen keyboard.

The Type Cover on the other hand is fantastic. It's also really light and really thin, but it has these tactile keys you can actually use to touch type on. And I like typing on it as much as any laptop I've ever used. It's great.

LU STOUT: Now the Surface, it runs on Windows RT, but let's talk about Windows 8. It's a different beast entirely. It's having a big launch this week. It is again the news Windows interface. It's designed for touch. What is Windows 8 like as a user?

PIERCE: So I think Windows 8 is actually what's really exciting about all of this. Windows RT feels a little bit like Microsoft going out of its way to say we have a tablet operating system. But Windows 8 is kind of everything to everyone and it does almost all of its jobs well. It runs - you still get a desktop mode if you want it, so people who have legacy apps or just aren't comfortable with the new tile interface, you can just spend all your time in the desktop and it just feels like Windows 7.

But then if you want to spend time in this more modern, colorful tile based interface it works really well. And once you get it onto some more powerful hardware, particularly the Intel chips that most of the PCs that we're going to see run, including the Surface Pro in January, it just works much better. It's a really smooth, really fluid operating system. And once you take the time to get used to this new kind of gesture based paradigm where you don't have a start button on the screen and you're using these tiles to find everything, it's actually pretty great.

LU STOUT: Now you are the reviews editor at The Verge so you can handle and take on new technologies. But let's pretend for a moment that you're a typical Microsoft user. What does it feel like to use Windows 8. Is it difficult to learn?

PIERCE: Well, so that's the big challenge for Microsoft, right, is they have to say here's this totally new thing unlike anything you've seen. And go. And they have at the beginning there's this little bit of setup where is says on a touchscreen device it says swipe in from any side and then move your mouse into any corner. And that's really all you kind of need, actually. It takes - you have to be a little more experimental than you might want to be with a laptop. You have to kind of move your mouse around and click and drag and sort of see what happens in this new user experience.

But there are only a few common gestures that run the whole thing. You learn pretty quickly that - to get app settings you just swipe from the right side and then hit settings and that's where most things are.

So it's - people are going to have to take the time to get used to it, but once you do it becomes pretty natural pretty quickly I think.

LU STOUT: Yeah, with the big tiles in Windows 8 it's good for touch, but Windows 8 easy to use with a mouse and keyboard?

PIERCE: Well, this is actually I think where Microsoft might run into some trouble. There are definitely - there are keyboard shortcuts for everything you can want to do. Moving around is just as easy with a keyboard and mouse and - but people haven't always been - haven't always wanted to learn keyboard shortcuts. You'll need to learn that you have to hit the Windows key and C to bring up that charms bar with the start button and settings button. And that might be hard for people.

I know a lot of people who don't want to hit Control C to copy and paste and would rather go to a menu. And for those people this might be a bit of a challenge.

LU STOUT: Well, a lot at stake here for Microsoft with Windows 8 and Surface. And David Pierce of The Verge, thank you so much for giving us your take on both products.

PIERCE: My pleasure. Thank you.

LU STOUT: Now, up next, he was once a rising political star in China. Now Bo Xilai has been stripped of all his official titles, which only promises more trouble ahead.

And the family of 15 year old Malala Yousufzai speak out for the first time since she was brutally attacked by members of the Taliban.

And ceasefire in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad makes a rare TV appearance at the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now Bo Xilai, once a rising star in China's Communist Party, is one step closer to criminal prosecution. Now Chinese authorities have stripped him of his legislative membership. It was his last official title. And without it, he can now be prosecuted.

Now in August, his wife Gu Kailai was convicted of murdering the British businessman Neil Haywood. And Bo's spectacular fall from grace has plunged China's Communist Party into its biggest crisis in decades just before its once in a decade leadership change.

Now the New York Times set up a Chinese version of its website back in June. But if you're in China, this is what you'll get at the moment. It, along with the English version, have been blocked.

Now here in Hong Kong, the site is not blocked. This is what we get here. And that's Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. And it's that story about him that is at the center of a censorship storm.

Now the New York Times reports that Mr. Wen's family has controlled assets worth $2.7 billion. Now the thing is, China's leaders are not meant to live extravagant lifestyles, instead they're expected to live on modest salaries reported to be about $22,000 a year.

But the New York Times says Wen Jiabao's family has benefited significantly from his nearly 10 years as premier.

Now back in 2003 when he was promoted, Mr. Wen introduced himself with a few humble words. He said, quote, I'm a very ordinary person. I come from a family of teachers in the countryside. My grandfather, my father and my mother were all teachers and my childhood was spent in the turmoil of war.

Now the Times report comes as a blow to the man known as the people's premier and grandpa Wen just days before he hands the reigns to his successor.

But the allegations were refuted by Beijing. Now China's foreign ministry said that the report was trying to blacken its image.

Now the Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousufzai has been reunited with her family. And her parents and two brothers visited her bedside after being flown into the UK on Thursday evening. And they've arrived to positive news.

Now Malala's lead doctor says he does not believe she has any significant brain damage. Now her family are overjoyed at the news, calling her progress a miracle.

Now Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militants 16 days ago for her efforts to promote education for girls. And her father reflected on the past two weeks just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIAUDDIN YOUSUFZAI, MALALA'S FATHER: The right treatment, the right place and the right time. And I say that of course an attacker who was - who could be called the agent of (inaudible). He attacked, but also (inaudible) agents and all my sight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now far from being silenced by the violence, many in Pakistan are actively moving Malala's message forward. Now brave women and men are demanding that girl's education be a matter of national importance.

Now from Pakistan, Saima Mohsin reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAIMA MOHSIN, JOURNALIST: The young girls studying here were reluctant to appear on camera for fear they may be targeted too, but they are brave enough to come to college, because they tell me they are scared, but they have a right to an education and they owe it to Malala.

GULALAI, 18, BA STATISTICS & ECONOMICS STUDENT: I myself think that education is important, because women have no right in this society, so due to education they can get their rights in this (inaudible) society especially.

MEHREEN, 17, BSC CHEMISTRY, BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY: I think she's (inaudible) for us and for education. I should take education for - for their bright future, because women is very important in society.

MOHSIN: This is the first degree college in the whole of Swat to be named after a woman. And that, too, after Malala Yousufzai.

KAMRAN REHMAN KHAN, LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: We also want to send a message across the world that here we want to develop the female gender. And we also want the females to come forward in society.

MOHSIN: Are you trying to send a message to the Taliban too?

KHAN: Yes, for sure, that we stand here for progression. And any step which they have came to regress our society, we just want to tell them that we will not be deterred by their actions.

MOHSIN: The girls at this school are studying the arts and sciences, subjects from English literature and economics to botany and zoology. They talk of becoming psychologists, lawyers and scientists.

TALAT QAMAR, GOVERNMENT GIRLS COLLEGE SAIDU SHARIF: When you educate a girl, you educate the whole family, the whole race.

MOHSIN: The college principle is determined to promote and offer education for young girls no matter what it takes.

QAMAR: I need security. I think that we should be more secure. I have asked the local government officers and I have asked the local police chief to provide me some more security.

MOHSIN: This determination and resistance was matched by the people I talked to on the streets of Swat. Men and women who said they too will fight for the rights to female education.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Getting an education is like bringing in the light. Being uneducated is complete darkness. You're like a blind man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's important to get an education. I have four daughters. And, yes, they all study.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Without an education, girls and boys are nothing.

MOHSIN: Renaming the college after Malala Yousufzai will inspire the next generation of girls here hoping to follow in her footsteps.

What do you want to be when you grow up, I ask them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doctor.

MOHSIN: Doctor...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A baby doctor.

MOHSIN: Saima Mohsin for CNN in Swat, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. As the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha begins, the violence in Syria was supposed to end, at least temporarily. And we'll tell you whether a shaky ceasefire is holding in the war ravaged country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream. And today marks the start of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday also known as the feast of sacrifice. Now Eid begins at the height of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage of two million Muslims to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca.

And this is the longer of two Eid holidays recognized by Islam, the other being Eid al-Fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Live pictures on your screen from Mecca.

Now Eid al-Adha, it marks the day when god first appeared to Abraham asking him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. And god later stopped him and the sheep was sacrificed instead. And that event is remembered by families who kill a sheep at this time and share its meat with the poor.

Again, live pictures there from Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Now meanwhile, in northern Afghanistan, the holiday, it got off to a deadly start. Now police in Faryab Province tell CNN that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque, killing at least 40 people. Now no one has yet claimed responsibility.

Now Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the Taliban to stop the bombing of the mosques, hospitals and schools and to leave their own people in peace. Mr. Karzai reviewed the guard of honor at the presidential palace in Kabul.

And we know how he died. We know why he died. And we know when he died. Now Shakespeare famously dramatized the events of the Ides of March, the date in 44 BC when Roman dictator Julius Caesar was slain. But there's one detail that has remained contentious, where in modern Rome did the deed take place.

Now Ben Wedeman meets an archeologist who thinks she has the answer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Julius Caesar, perhaps no man better embodies the glory and the gore that was ancient Rome. Admirers still leave flowers and notes on the alter in the temple dedicated to Caesar in the Forum.

While who came, saw, and conquered larger tracts of Europe for Rome has been the subject of literature and film. There's one mystery that still remains, where exactly was he killed?

In the middle or Rome's busy Largo Argentina , lies some of the most extensive ruins dating back to Caesar's era, the late Roman Republic.

Somewhere here in this area off limits to tourists for years, archeologists and historians have long believed Caesar met his fate.

But now the exact spot has been identified - well, perhaps.

This is the spot where according to a Spanish archeologist, Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, the 15th of March 44 BC was stabbed 23 times to death by his political rivals.

Antonio Monteroso of the Spanish National Research Council believes these walls were part of a structure built by Caesar's adopted son and later Rome's first emperor Augustus to mark the spot where Caesar was killed.

Not so fast cautions archeologist Marina Matea who has been excavating this site for the last seven years and worked with Monteroso here. She doesn't dispute that this most historic of political assassination occurred in this area, but is hesitant just yet to define the precise location.

"To say that Caesar was killed in a spot," she says, "is an act of excessive interpretation."

In addition to the traditional tools of archeology, she and her colleagues are using the latest technology, including laser scans to analyze this site, which next year, she says, will finally be open to the public. The connection to Caesar, Shakespeare's most noble Roman of them all, promises to draw the crowds.

"He truly is the man," she says, "who expresses the greatness of Rome and those troubled times, when Rome was conquering the world and at the same time connecting it."

For those who come here: friends, Romans, countrymen and other tourists, it may not really matter where Caesar said "Et tu, Brute?"

Ben Wedeman, CNN. Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And coming up, it's not over until it's over, but the sprint for the White House is in the final stretch. We'll have the latest from the U.S. and those all important swing states.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now China has blocked access to the New York Times website after it published an article saying the family of premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a fortune of more than $2 billion. Now the Times says Wen's relatives hid ownership of their investment behind several legal layers including friends and colleagues. Now Chinese official has called the report an attempt to blacken China's image.

Now disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been stripped of his legislative membership, that was his last remaining official title. And without it, he can be prosecuted.

Now Bo's spectacular fall from grace has plunged China's Communist Party into its biggest crisis in decades just ahead of a once in a decade leadership change.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has made a rare public appearance, taking part in morning prayers live on state TV as a temporary ceasefire took hold in the country. Now the Assad government agreed to the truce just a day earlier brokered by the UN and Arab League special envoy. It's intended to run through Monday, but there have already been reports of violence and some 20 deaths.

But with reports of violence in the country, the ceasefire is already in doubt. Now Mohammed Jamjoom joins us live from Beirut in Lebanon. And Mohammed, we have a ceasefire, but we also have more fighting in Syria. So will this fragile truce hold?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's the key question at this hour, Kristie.

Now earlier in the day things were looking far more positive. You had those pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he was performing the Eid prayer in Damascus earlier today. At that hour we were hearing that it was relatively quiet throughout Syria according to the opposition activists we were speaking with, but since then, we've been hearing more and more reports of violence, specically in Homs, in and around Damascus and in Aleppo.

Now we're also starting to see more and more amateur videos. We can't independently verify these videos, but amateur videos nonetheless posted online purporting to show some of the level of violence throughout the country today.

I want to point our viewers' attention to one specific very dramatic video purportedly shot today in Homs showing the devastation that's gone on there. In this video you also see and hear shelling as it's going on according to the activists who posted it. Take a look.

The voice on this tape obviously panicking saying "god is great," saying "this is Homs on the first day of Eid. This is what the government is going, completely destroying Homs."

Now there is another video, Kristie, that's posted online purporting to show what's going on in and around certain neighborhoods of Damascus. One in particular purports to show one suburb of Damascus saying that it has also come under shelling. Take a look at this video. You see smoke on the skyline. You hear what sounds like gunfire and shelling going on as well.

The voice on this video saying that there are clashes going on, blaming the government as well for what's going on and saying that the violence only getting worse in and around Damascus.

Certainly this is not promising. It was already known that this was a shaky ceasefire going into today, but more and more reports of violence really putting into doubt whether or not this thing can hold. All together today, the local coordination committees of Syria saying that at least 20 people have been killed so far today across Syria as a result of the continued violence - Kristie.

LU STOUT: Some frightening video there from the front line. The fighting goes on despite this ceasefire, but in some areas Mohammed there has been a lull in fighting. And some Syrians have taken to the street to protest. And just how big were the demonstrations today?

JAMJOOM: Hard to know right now, Kristie, how big these demos were. Now we were expecting people would be coming out into the streets today, especially if there were a lull in fighting. We've seen amateur videos posted online purporting to show demonstrators out in the streets. One video in particular purports to show demonstrators in Daraa. Daraa is a city where the uprising in Syria initially began. You see protesters out there in this amateur video. Again, we can't independently authenticate this video. But this purports to show these demonstrators out there chanting against the regime saying that they will be victorious.

Also, there's video that we need to show you that purports to show demonstrations going on in a suburb of Damascus. Now this video a little bit more disturbing. You see demonstrators out there. This was purportedly shot after Eid prayer today. The demonstrators are out there. It's quite. But then at one point you hear gunfire in the distance.

People are chanting "god is great." After the gunfire is heard on this tape, the scene becomes much more chaotic and people are saying that the Syrian regime is firing on peaceful protesters that are out on the first day of the ceasefire.

Again, this is a worrying development. We had heard from the rebels saying that they didn't think that the government would actually adhere to a ceasefire, because a true ceasefire would mean that people would be able to gather in and around places in Syria. And they didn't think the regime would allow that. This video purports to show gunfire happening as a protest is going on. People on the tape very upset. It's a very chaotic scene. And they're saying that the Syrian regime is firing on them - Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, with scenes like that, we can understand why this ceasefire is in serious doubt. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for us, thank you.

Now the race for the White House is entering the final stretch. And one of the biggest issues in the election is the economy. And it looks like that there is some good news for the president, because U.S. GDP grew 2 percent, much better than the previous quarter.

Now on Thursday, President Barack Obama, he cast his vote 12 days ahead of election day. And with many of the states reasonably easy to predict, it often falls to battleground states like Ohio to decide the next president. They've been able to vote in Ohio since Occtober 2. And a poll by Time magazine suggests that Mr. Obama is way ahead of his challenger Mitt Romney among early voters.

It found that 60 percent of respondents who have already voted went for the current president. Mitt Romney was trailing 30 points behind with 30 percent of the vote, but the numbers are even in a poll of Ohio residents who plan to wait until election day to cast their ballots.

Let's get the latest from the U.S. now. Political editor Paul Steinhauser is standing by in our Washington bureau. And Paul, early voting is underway. It seems to be favoring Obama. Can the early ballot determine the election?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: It could definitely help the president win reelection. It helped then Senator Obama four years ago win the White House. And his campaign is hoping that it'll achieve similar results this time around.

All said and done by election day on November 6, about a third of Americans will be casting ballots in this election will have done it in early voting, either absentee or regular early voting.

And the Obama campaign is really emphasized early voting. You mentioned those polls in Ohio that indicate that in Ohio among those people who voted earlier they gone for the president by a 2 to 1 margin.

But Republicans push back, Kristie, and they say that their early voting efforts really picked up from Senator McCain's efforts four years ago. And they feel confident that they will do well in early voting. It is very instrumental - remember, we did not have early voting in these kinds of numbers 10 or 12 years ago. This is much more recent phenomena, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And the data just in, third quarter GDP in the United States up 2 percent, much bigger than expected. Will this give some added momentum to Team Obama?

STEINHAUSER: It can't hurt, no doubt about that. Remember, as you've mentioned the number one issue on the minds of Americans is the economy. So when you see economic reports like this, you would assume the president and his campaign will tout these numbers as proof that they are turning the economy around.

There is one more very big number that comes out one week from today, and that'll be the final unemployment report, the national unemployment report for October comes out next Friday just four days before the election. There will be a lot of eyeballs on that number as well, because while the economy is the top issue among Americans, what's the top economic concern among Americans? Jobs, jobs, jobs - Kristie.

LU STOUT: That'll be a critical report coming at a critical time.

Now Obama has a big media push planned today. Mitt Romney, we know he's also giving a big speech later on Friday. What will you be looking out for on the campaign trail?

STEINHAUSER: I'll be looking for that economic speech by Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign is really trying to pivot back to the economy again. They feel that is the issue that's going to win the election for them. So this speech coming in the battleground state of Iowa, very important. And we're going to keep a close eye on that today.

As you mentioned, the president not on the campaign trail today, but doing a lot of interviews in some of the important battleground states. And he's also doing an interview with MTV, the cable network here in the United States and around the world. And of course when you're doing an interview with MTV you're looking for younger voters. Remember, younger voters were instrumental in helping President Obama, then Senator Obama, win four years ago. His job is to make sure they come out in big numbers again like they did four years ago, Kristie.

LU STOUT: The big push in the final stretch. Paul Steinhauser on the story for us. Thank you.

Now we have a lot of resources for you to check out on the CNN website. All the latest news as well as video highlights of the stories so far and plenty of interactive tools including the CNN website. All the latest news as well as video highlights of the story so far. And plenty of interactive tools including the CNN poll of polls. You can check out who is ahead in the battleground states and who is leading the national race.

Now time now for a check of the global weather forecast. And we have our Mari Ramos tracking Hurricane Sandy and why some are calling it the perfect storm. Let's go to her now - Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, yeah, there's a lot of attention now on the storm, as you say added attention now on this storm, as it begins to approach the U.S. because it could turn into somewhat of a hybrid weather system so to speak that is really starting to turn heads.

But before we get to that, let's very quickly take a peak at what it's doing right now.

This is what it looks like on the satellite image. It's still a hurricane. Winds 130 kilometers per hour. Just coming out of a northern portion here of the Bahamas near Great Abaco Island. You can see how widespread the cloud field is from this storm. The wind field is also pretty impressive as well.

But I want to show you down here, because of the flow of the storm, because of how it's pulling the - helping pull the moisture out of the Caribbean, there is still some very heavy rain across portions of the Caribbean. And this is very concerning to me, especially across Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Let me show you some pictures from Haiti first of all. These are pictures of the damage on Thursday after the storm officially moved through, or passed Cuba, I should say. But look at that, the rain has been tremendous. We don't have, you know, rainfall totals. But our estimates are anywhere between the 300 to 400 millimeters range every 24 hours or less. So that's very significant.

There's a lot of downed trees, downed power lines, huge rivers swells across the area. And you know what, the rain is not over yet. They could get another 200 millimeters of rain along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic and Hispaniola. Thousands of people have been evacuated across the region. And more rain and the threat for more flooding and mudslides remains.

Come back over to the weather map. Let's go ahead and talk about where it's headed next.

The area in red, that is the hurricane winds. The area in yellow is the tropical storm force winds. As the storm continues to trail northward, even though it probably will weaken, remain maybe as a category one hurricane, the area of hurricane force winds will probably get a little bit smaller as it moves up the eastern seaboard here.

But the cloud field, the tropical storm force winds will actually expand. So even if it stays offshore, we'll still see it feel the effects here along the coast. There's tropical storm warnings posted across this area.

But this is the big thing, as it moves parallel to the coast, and this is why they're calling it the so-called perfect storm, it's going to almost merge with another weather system coming in here across the eastern U.S. As that happens, it could really help blow up the storm and bring some extremely heavy rain and wind across this entire region. So that will be the concern over the next couple of days.

We are I guess my time is up here. Let's go ahead and take a quick break right here on CNN. Let's go ahead and we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now this week on Leading Women, banking executive Jennifer Taylor and movie studio boss Donna Langley tell us about their passion for mentoring the next generation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: After 15 years in banking, Jennifer Taylor has risen to COO of the Asia-Pacific division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Today she's enjoying giving back as a mentor, especially to women.

JENNIFER TAYLOR, COO, BANK OF AMERICA: I haven't personally felt any barriers, but I know that other women do feel some barriers, which is why I spend so much time on women mentorship and really believe in paying it forward to help those who are coming after me.

LU STOUT: Taylor says on average she has eight to 10 meetings a day. Here, she's getting an update on an upcoming mentoring conference in India.

TAYLOR: What are the team's expectations of what I will need to do in India? When should I be there?

LU STOUT: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

TAYLOR: One of the most exciting highlights of my career has been a recent - a very recent experience I had in June. I was one of the global - five global ambassadors that went to Cape Town to spend a week with 25 emerging women leaders from a wide variety of countries around the world. And we worked with them for a whole week to try and give them the skills that they need to move forward in their career.

This is Andesha Fareed who is one of my - who is my mentee . Who manages seven orphanages in Afghanistan.

LU STOUT: Incredible.

TAYLOR: And actually when I was on my way to Cape Town and she'd been chosing as my mentee my big question for myself was how - what on earth can I teach this amazing woman?

We found that communication skills was something that she felt she could do with some support on. So that's how we managed to make a connection.

LU STOUT: She's your protoge. You have a mentorship relationship. And it's so close that it's framed in a photo.

TAYLOR: Yes. Yes.

LU STOUT: You've achieved so much as an executive, as a mother, as a mentor, is there anything else that you would like to achieve? Are there any unrealized goals?

TAYLOR: I would like to continue to work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and help us to achieve all that we want to from a business strategy perspective in Asia. I would obviously like my children to grow up to be happy and successful. That's my unrealized goal at this point in time.

LU STOUT: Do you have in the back of your mind a career that you would like to see in particular your daughter take on?

TAYLOR: What I want to do is give my daughter every opportunity so that she can make her own choices. And that's what I would encourage her to do, to do what she's passionate about, because I actually believe you need to be passionate about your career if you're going to be successful.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Felicia Taylor.

So obviously you guys like to entertain.

DONNA LANGLEY, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: We do.

FELICIA TAYLOR: For Universal Pictures co-chair Donna Langley, her home is truly her sanctuary.

LANGLEY: We eat here as a family...

FELICIA TAYLOR: She spends most of her time in her courtyard, designed to look like a Moroccan sunken garden. It's the calm she needs when she's not at work shaping Universal Pictures' business and production strategies with chairman Adam Fogelson.

LANGLEY: So we're going to look at the cut that as is, evaluate where the visual effects number is based on that cut.

FELICIA TAYLOR: The responsibilities she holds take three assistants to manage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Printing...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So there's one assistant who does her schedule primarily. And it's everything from meetings and phone calls, to events in the evenings, to premiers. And then there's another person who kind of helps with picking up all the pieces. She does all of the filing. She has to switch phones. And then I'm more manage her materials. So every script that comes in that she needs to read I make sure that she has it when she needs.

FELICIA TAYLOR: But to Langley, these women are more than her assistants, they are people she can help move up in the business. She says she was helped by many people throughout her career. And like Jennifer Taylor, mentoring others is important to her.

LANGLEY: I recently had a mentee for a year. She came to me. She was in high school. And when she walked through the door of the studio she said I want to be an actress. I said, OK.

So we put her through a process where we did some auditions with her. And we had her read scripts. And, you know, really get a taste of what it would be like in reality to go out there.

FELICIA TAYLOR: Did she want to be an actress when she left?

LANGLEY: No, she didn't.

FELICIA TAYLOR: I bet.

LANGLEY: No, she didn't.

FELICIA TAYLOR: She holds regular meetings with her mentees , like Heather Morris Washington, an intern at NBC/Universal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just curious if you have any idea what it was either in your personality or your work experiences or maybe your decisions that made you stand out as a studio executive and lead to the position that you hold now?

LANGLEY: I think what - one of the things I have always done is I've always sort of had a very strong point of view. And found a way to express my opinions. And...

FELICIA TAYLOR: Other tips from this high profile Hollywood exec: be prepared to do the work whether it's weekends or around the clock, anticipate what your boss will need next, and imagine yourself in the next job before you have it.

Ultimately, what do you want to do?

LANGLEY: Ultimately, I'm doing it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: A very contented woman. You're watching News Stream, and coming up next, we've got the latest on the World Series and all your top sports stories after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now going into Wednesday's opener, the Detroit Tigers were the heavy favorites to win the World Series, but it's their opponents who have taken a giant leap toward the title. Amanda Davies is here. She's got more - Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Yeah, they may still be five games left to do battle, but the World Series is all but over if you listen to the history books, anyway. Victory for the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 puts them two up against the Detroit Tigers. And that's a leap that no team in 30 years has managed to overturn.

The Giants won game one by crushing the ball, but it was all about their pitching in Game 2. The starting pitcher Madison Bumgartner was in control all night tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out eight batters.

The Giants offense finally gave him some support in the seventh inning. Brandon Crawford grounding against the double play, but bringing in Hunter Pence for a 1-0 lead.

And it was 2-0 San Francisco when Sergio Romo closed the game out.

So as I said, there's a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Detroit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADISON BUMGARNER, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS PITCHER: You already pithced in the World Series, so I mean that didn't really - that didn't really have an affect. I was excited that I was going to get a chance to go here and try to pitch good for these guys and these fans. And glad it worked out.

HUNTER PENCE, GIANTS OUTFIELDER: We've got two more wins, that's the goal. And they've still got four. So, you know, I try to keep it as simple as possible. You know, the team that wins four games wins the World Series. And you know we've got to stay as focused as ever and continue to push.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: Now there's two big things at stake on the final day of the round robin competition at the WTA season ending championship in Istanbul, two places in the semifinals up for grabs and the year ending the world number one ranking as well.

Serena Williams booked her place in the next round with a victory over Victoria Azarenka on Thursday. It was a repeat, of course, of the U.S. Open final. And Azarenka started with something of a hangover from that one. Struggling with her serve, her fifth double fault handed Williams the open set 6-4.

But just as she did in New York, Azarenka fought back to go 3-0 up in the second, but this time around she couldn't turn it around properly. Serena really showed her strength to take the match 6-4, 6-4. So the American has now beaten Azarenka five times this season. And it means Azarenka has to wait to see if she can secure that year-end top spot once and for all.

Under pressure, officials from world cycling's governing body the UCI are meeting today and are trying to draw a line under the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. There have been calls for changes of leadership at the organization. And the special meeting of the management committee will be deciding what do to with the seven Tour de France titles that have been stripped from Armstrong.

Meanwhile, the American's former teammate Bobby Ullich has left his post as coach at Team Sky after admitting to doping as a rider. The British team has a zero tolerance approach to drugs and have asked every member of their staff to sign a statement that they've had no previous involvement in doping. Ullich admitted to using EPO between 1996 and '98 and is now left his post.

The boxing world have been paying tribute to the legendary trainer Emanuel Stewart who has died at the age of 68. Stewart trained 43 world champions in a celebrated career working with greats including Thomas Hearns, Evander Hollyfield, Oscar De La Hoya, and Lennox Lewis.

He coached out of the renowned Kronk Gym in Detroit, was abducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996 and was still working with a heavyweight world champion Vladimir Klitschko until he was taken ill with cancer earlier this year.

Kristie, some fantastic tributes during the rounds to Emanual Stewart, well worth a read. And we'll have more of those and more updates ahead on World Sport in about three hours time.

LU STOUT: All right. Good to hear. Amanda Davies there. Thank you.

And finally sticking with sports, the NBA's commissioner says he will retire in 2014 after 30 years on the job. Now normally something like this wouldn't register on our radar, but I wanted to put into perspective just how much the NBA has grown under David Stern. Now when Stern began his term as commissioner the average NBA player's salary was $250,000. And when he finishes in 2014, the average NBA player salary will be $5 million.

And that is News Stream. But before I go, I just want to point out that during our coverage of the New York Times website being blocked in China, our coverage was also blocked in China. Now for those of you who can watch us, World Business Today is next.

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