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After 45 Years, Hamas Political Leader Visit Gaza; Egyptian Opposition Calling For Boycott Of President's Call For Dialogue; UEFA Award 2020 European Championship To Europe; U.S. Sends Ships To Korean Coast To Monitor North Korean Missile Activity

Aired December 7, 2012 - 08:00:00   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.

Now this is a trip 45 years in the making, the exiled political leader of Hamas visits Gaza. We'll take you there.

Plus, Egypt braces for more demonstrations after the president's speech fails to appease his critics.

And computer security pioneer John McAfee is out of the hospital. What's next in his legal drama in central America?

A historic visit to Gaza: exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal is there to mark 25 years since the founding of Hamas. Now here he is in the middle of your screen just after he crossed the border from Egypt. Now Meshaal was born in the West Bank. He was still a child when he left. And before today, he had not set foot in the Palestinian territories in 45 years.

Now CNN's Fred Pleitgen is on the ground in Gaza covering his trip. He joins us now live with the latest. And Fred, how did Meshaal react when he first crossed into Gaza? And how is he being received?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was received triumphantly. I want to show you what's going on here, because what Hamas did in putting on a huge show for Khaled Meshaal. As you can see the whole streets are lined with Hamas fighters. This has been going on basically all the way from the Rafa border crossing into Gaza City, so it's literally fighters lined up for miles and miles and miles as you can see with weapons, a lot of them with AK-47s, with RPGs as well. So they're putting on a big show with him.

Now what Khaled Meshaal did when he crossed the border is the first thing he did is he kissed the ground of Gaza saying that it was a very special moment for him. One of the things he said is that he felt that this was his third birth.

Of course one of them was the time he was actually born. And then he survived an assassination attempt in 1997 where the Israeli secret service tried to assassinate him. And now of course this is his first time that he comes to Palestine. So he said that this was basically his third birth.

The other thing that he said is that he basically maintained his very militant stance vis-a-vis Israel, basically saying that in the future he not only wants to visit Gaza, but other places in the Palestinian territories as well. Let's listen in to what Khaled Meshaal had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KHALED MESHAAL, HAMAS POLITICAL LEADER (through translator): The first today is Gaza, tomorrow is Ramallah, and after that Jerusalem, and after that Haifa, and Yafa (ph). Thank god to be here and I'm happy to be here. Thank you very much. We will meet again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: And what's going to happen now, Kristie, is that these fighters as you can see are sort of making their way back to wherever they came from. And Khaled Meshaal is now going to go into Gaza City. He has several things that he's going to do there. He's going to visit the house of the late Sheikh Yesin (ph), of course one of the spiritual leaders of Hamas. He's also going to visit the house of Ahmed Javeri (ph) who is of course the military leader of Hamas who was assassinated which set off the last war between Israel and Hamas. And then finally he's going to go to the house of the Dalou (ph) family which is a family of 13 that was killed in an Israeli airstrike. So certainly very busy today.

And then tomorrow there's going to be a big rally for the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Kristie.

LU STOUT: We see these Hamas fighters behind you. They're bearing their weapons, lining up the streets of Gaza. And they know that this is a deeply symbolic visit as it comes after last month's conflict with Israel. So Fred, is the leader of Hamas, is he more confident, newly emboldened?

PLEITGEN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you can tell by the way of his body language, you can tell by the way that the Hamas leaders, not just Khaled Meshaal, but also people like Ismail Hanye (ph) are talking. They believe that this was very much a victory from them, maybe not one that was as clear cut as they might think, but they certainly believe that at least the terms of the ceasefire between themselves and Israel was something that was very much to their favor. This was something that Khaled Meshaal has said in interviews in the past where he said this was the first time that Israel had to accept our terms.

Of course that ceasefire was brokered by the Egyptians, but it's certainly something that's also given Hamas a very big political boost not just here in Gaza, but in the Palestinian territories in general where a lot of people believe now that Hamas is really the strong faction among the Palestinian factions, so you do see them very, very confident posture from their leaders after that ceasefire with Israel.

Now of course also one of the reasons why this visit is happening at all is because that ceasefire took place because some of the restrictions that have been around Gaza are slowly being eased a little bit by the Israelis -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Fred Pleitgen joining us live from Gaza. Thank you very much indeed.

Now in Egypt's capital, protesters gather for another round of mass demonstrations. Now President Mohammed Morsy's televised address to the nation on Thursday has apparently done little to cool the anger on the streets. Now Mr. Morsy condemned the violent protests of the last few days and proposed a meeting with the opposition, but he refused to reverse a recent decree giving him sweeping powers or cancel an upcoming constitutional referendum.

Now crowds of demonstrators, they are once again in Tahrir Square. You're looking at live pictures of the protesters packing the iconic square. And many of them are comparing what's happening right now to the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. In fact, one CNN iReporter says this, quote, "it is exactly the same battle."

Now thousands of people are also joining funerals for those killed in the latest violence.

Ian Lee is in Cairo. He's overlooking Tahrir Square. And he joins us now live.

And Ian, it is tense in Tahrir and across Egypt. What have you been seeing today?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie what we're seeing right now with people streaming into Tahrir Square. We're also seeing large groups of protesters moving their way to the presidential palace. This has been the site of standoff between the protesters and what was the Muslim Brotherhood which turned violent and deadly. Now we have the presidential guard having fortified the area around the palace to protesters can't go near it. But definitely the protesters are energized today as much as we've seen in the last week.

There's also calls for boycotting a meeting with President Mohammed Morsy set for tomorrow by opposition figures. They're saying the President Morsy's offering of a meeting with them is insincere, that it really isn't more than just to show that he's trying to reach out, but they don't believe that he's sincere in his offer -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Also the opposition turning down his offer for talks, an offer he made during this televised address on Thursday. In his speech, Morsy also gave little sign of compromise, so what does that mean about this vote coming up on December 15? I mean, despite the outcry and the scenes of protest behind you, could the Egyptian very well succeed and just push through his draft constitution?

LEE: That seems what he's trying to do right now is push through that draft constitution. Really one of the sticking points recently was who was going to oversee the ballot boxes? In the past, we've seen the judiciary go out and oversee every ballot box to make sure there wasn't any fraud or any tampering with the vote. Well, President Morsy's recent decree has put him ahead with the judiciary. Some of them have said they won't oversee this referendum, which would bring into question an illegitimacy about whether any voter fraud would take place who would oversee the process then.

But if he does push it through there is a good chance that this might pass. He only has to get 50 percent plus one of the vote. So there is a chance. And the Muslim Brotherhood is a well organized political machine. They have the grass roots campaign. They have the push. And we've seen them win referendums. We've seen them win elections in the past. So they're not to be counted out.

LU STOUT: All right. Ian Lee joining us live from Cairo, many thanks indeed for that.

Now, Japan was rattled today by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake. It struck off the northeast coast, the same area devastated by last year's powerful earthquake and tsunami. Now today's quake, it rattled buildings as far as away as Tokyo and in the northeast Miyake Prefecture.

Now some roads were closed and rail services were suspended. And a one meter tsunami wave also rolled ashore there, but there are no early reports of damage or injuries. Now the tsunami warning was later lifted.

Now today's quake, it was nowhere near as strong as last year's. And still, local reports say thousands of people heeded warnings to head to higher ground. In Miyake, memories of the devastating tsunami in March 2011 still raw for many people across Japan.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, the battle for Aleppo. Now surrounded by rubble, we meet the Syrians trying to survive.

And Myanmar's shame, the plight of the Rohingya refugees forced to flee their homes: an interview with the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is next.

And then we're live in Guatemala with the very latest on the increasingly bizarre story of John McAfee's asylum bid.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And you're looking at a video rundown of all the stories in the show. Now we have taken you already to Gaza where exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has made a triumphant return. And a bit later, we'll share the desperate situation faced by the stateless Rohingya. But now we want to turn to the crisis in Syria.

Now the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is in Turkey to hold talks on the conflict in Syria. He is to tour a camp housing Syrian refugees, meeting some of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been forced to flee the fighting.

On Thursday, the UN secretary-general said he'd written to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warning that any use of chemical weapons would have grave consequences. And that message was echoed by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She met with the Russian foreign minister and the UN envoy to Syria in Dublin on Thursday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Events on the ground in Syria re accelerating. And we see that in many different ways. The pressure against the regime in and around Damascus seems to be increasing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now inside Syria, activists say at least 89 people were killed in fighting on Thursday. And most of them in Damascus and the commercial capital Aleppo. Our Arwa Damon visited the frontl ines and saw the destruction firsthand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For two months, the streets and allies of Amriya (ph) have been a war zone, part of a bigger battle for control of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. Al-Khal (ph), a father of four, is one of the rebel fighters here.

"This is our country, our homes that are being destroyed," he tells us.

He used to sell thread. Now Al-Khal (ph) runs logistics for his unit.

So what Al-Khal (ph) is explaining to us is that this was street to street fighting. And it took his unit quite some time to advance. And right now they have the tractor here because they're trying to clear out this road so that ambulances and vehicles can begin to move through.

Blankets hang across one alleyway to block government snipers' line of sight.

"The shooting is coming from there. It's a sniper," one of the fighters points out.

They take us further forward, crawling through holes punched between buildings.

They're just telling us that it's because of the snipers that they have to move through the various buildings like this.

It's an urban version of First World War trenches. They've inched forward by just one block. Going any further is back breaking work.

A rebel dashes down the street carrying a makeshift rocket launcher. It's a plastic tube. He later displays the rocket.

This is a homemade rocket, those manufactured by the fighters themselves in this very battlefield.

But they can't find the sandbags to stabilize the launcher. The weapons the fighters carry are spoils of war, captured from government forces.

But they also make a promise. "There is a message we have," one of the older fighters vows, "when this is over the guns will be handed over."

"I am just fighting to see my house down the road," Hashim says.

It's hard to fully absorb the scale of the devastation here, how entire buildings seem to have folded down upon themselves. And then one continues to see traces of the lives of the civilians that called these buildings home like the clothing that's just hanging right there, or children's books like this one, the pages of it that we picked up from the rubble.

But this conflict can be surreal. Just a couple of blocks away, the local barber shop is open as are a handful of other stores. Women crowd around us, eager to talk, but not be filmed.

"Both sides have hurt us, wronged us," one says.

Basic supplies are available here, although prices have skyrocketed.

"Bread, bread, we want it so badly it's like a drug," this woman tells us. "If someone has breakfast, they can't afford dinner. Please, have mercy," they beg.

On this street, we meet four boys from Amriya (ph). They ask if we think it's safe enough for them to go back home.

They talk of tanks firing and seeing other children lose limbs. They say what they've witnessed has made them all decide to be doctors to save the victims of war.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Aleppo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream.

Up next, there's another twist in the bizarre legal drama that's involving the software pioneer John McAfee. He is rushed to a hospital after Guatemala rejects his asylum bid. We have a live report next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now on Thursday we told you about the arrest of this man, the famed publicist Max Clifford. He was questioned by British police investigating sex abuse allegations. And Clifford flatly denies the claims, which he says date back to 1977.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAX CLIFFORD, PUBLICIST: I've been there about 12 hours sitting in cells and, you know, being asked questions for hours and hours and hours. It wasn't exactly a bundle of joy, no, but, you know, I still came out and faced the cameras and spoke to everybody, because I've got absolutely nothing to hide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now Clifford's arrest is part of a wider inquiry into offenses involving the late TV personality Jimmy Saville.

And now the latest in the Saga of John McAfee. Authorities in Guatemala have rejected his bid for asylum. And that means he could be sent back to Belize where he's wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his neighbor.

Martin Savage joins us now on the line from Guatemala City. And Martin, how is this going to play out? Will McAfee be deported back to Belize?

MARTIN SAVAGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, this is obviously going to be a crucial day for John McAfee and especially for his legal team that he took on once he got here in Guatemala.

As you already said, the authorities here have turned down his request for asylum. There apparently was no basis on which they saw a reason for granting it to him. So now it seems that the options are dwindling for him trying to stay here.

It's anticipated that his legal team will go for some sort of stay, maybe, and maybe have to appeal that all the way to the Supreme Court. We'll have to see.

It's quite clear that here the government would like to rectify this matter pretty quickly. Then there's the health issue that came up yesterday. And it was a scare for John McAfee and those who follow him when suddenly he was taken by ambulance from where he was being detained to a police hospital downtown. He was given some sort of analysis for a couple of hours and then he was released. I went to that hospital. I talked to authorities there. They say that it appeared he was suffering from maybe stress or chest pains. His attorney has said that it was actually a mild heart attack, others have suggested it was a nervous breakdown. Either way, he was sent back to the detainment facility now. And we wait to see if he will in fact go back to Belize.

LU STOUT: You know, and as you know, you've been covering this story and tracking down John McAfee, he has been very careful about revealing his whereabouts. So how did authorities in Guatemala manage to find him and track him down?

SAVAGE: Well, that was really the irony in all of this, because of course he was so secretive in Belize. We had such a difficult time trying to find him. And then there was this elaborate escape to get here to Guatemala. And once he was here, though, he was very public. He felt safe. He was in a hotel. He would talk to media. And then it was the Guatemalan authorities that end up taking him into custody, not the Belize authorities. And it was because of the fact that they said he entered this country illegally and now is likely to be deported back to Belize.

So they didn't really have to track him down, he was living out in public here and they made their move on him just about 24 hours after he arrived.

LU STOUT: And you've met John McAfee in person. I mean, this was a man who had everything. I mean, he had hundreds of millions of dollars. His name is seen on almost every computer around the world. He's now facing deportation after a failed asylum bid. Such a bizarre story.

Martin, what has struck you the most about his personal story?

SAVAGE: Yeah, he's such a puzzle. I mean, you still realize that you're talking to a man, even at 67, who is brilliant. But then you see the quandary in which he seems to find himself here. He talks about what he thinks is a vendetta on the part of the Belize government and his fears of being murdered by the Belize authorities all of which sound completely off the wall, although there are some in Belize who say that he's not that far off the wall, that there is corruption in Belize, and that in fact the police forces had a number of people taken into custody and then die mysteriously. But John McAfee certainly would not face that kind of fate.

So it's a wonder of how much of this is reality and how much has he manufactured in the mind of John McAfee. And that's what you constantly wonder as you look into his eyes. It is very difficult to tell where the reality ends and his paranoia seems to pick up.

LU STOUT: Yet so many questions about his mental condition. Of course, what's going to happen next. Martin Savage reporting on the story for us, thank you.

Now if you live in Europe, now the chances are the 2020 European championship is coming to a city near you and that's because the entire continent will host the tournament. Here's Amanda Davies with more -- Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Yeah, it's a really interesting story, this. And Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, seems to think football fans are going to like this idea of his. It has to be said fans across Europe don't seem that impressed for the plans for the Euro 2020 European Championship. And UEFA's plan to host the tournament across a variety of different cities and countries.

Michel Platini who, of course, is the president of European Football's governing body announced that UEFA's executive committee has given the green light for what they're calling a Euro for Europe in eight years time. It's a decision that could prove a logistical nightmare for teams, fans, and the media alike, but (inaudible) told Alex Thomas why he thinks they've made this move.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is for 2020. I think they've worked out that basically there was no one single country -- now a 2014 competition is a big undertaking for any country. And I think they'd realize that actually maybe they sort of slightly overreached themselves in the current economic circumstances. That's very good. It's almost going back to the original format where you had the semifinals and the final in one place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: Dutch police have confirmed that they've arrested a fourth teenager in connection with the death of an amateur football linesman on Monday. Police are investigating after a volunteer official, Richard Nieuwenhuizen died after being kicked and beaten at a boy's football match on Sunday. A Dutch judge has remanded in custody the three teenagers, aged 15 and 16 who were arrested earlier in the week.

The death means that all of this weekends' amateur games in Holland are being canceled and the professionals will be wearing black arm bands paying tribute during their games.

On to football of a different kind, and Peyton Manning says he's not getting carried away with the records. Instead, he and the Denver Broncos are taking it one step at a time. Manning set another career milestone on Thursday against the Oakland Raiders as the Broncos won their eighth straight game to move a step closer to a first round bye.

Peyton hadn't lost to the Raiders for 11 years heading into this one in NFL week 14. And he wasted no time to toss his 30th touchdown pass of the season, finding Joel Dreessen in the end zone less than five minutes into the game.

The Broncos lead 13-0 in the second quarter, but the home side worked themselves back into the contest as Carson Palmer dumps it to Darren McFadden who takes it in for the score.

Denver lead 16-7 in the third when the defense made a big play. Vonn Miller forcing the fumble and the Broncos get the ball on the two yard line. And just two plays later, Knowshon Moreno powers in for the touchdown to put the game away.

Denver holds on for its eighth straight win. And Manning becomes the second quarterback in history with 5,000 completions.

Just before I go, Kristie, I must just bring you up to date with one other line. And FIFA have confirmed that the Club World Cup currently going on is unaffected by the earthquake in Japan. the five teams based in Japan are staying in Nagoya ahead of their opening games on Sunday -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Positive guidance from FIFA. Good to hear. Amanda Davies there. Thank you.

Now the latest U.S. jobs report is due out in a couple of minutes. And we will bring you the numbers so stay with us for that.

Also ahead, international attention is turning to the plight of a million stateless people in Myanmar. When we return, we'll hear from the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos. Now she has just toured several camps in the country and says the situation is dire.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

In Egypt, a TV address by President Mohammed Morsy failed to appease his critics. Now Mr. Morsy spoke to the nation on Thursday and refused to give up any of the new powers he recently asserted for himself or to postpone a referendum about a new draft constitution. Some opponents have called for more mass demonstrations. And they are accusing him of leaving a government which has lost legitimacy.

Now the exiled political leader of the Islamist group Hamas has set foot on Palestinian soil for the first time in almost half a century. Khaled Meshaal arrived in the Gaza Strip earlier today. And he's there to take part in Hamas' 25th anniversary celebrations that are starting this weekend.

Venezuelan television have shown pictures of President Hugo Chavez returning to the country from Cuba after medical treatment. Mr. Chavez, reelected president two months ago, has not appeared in public since mid- November, fueling rumors that his health had declined. Now he had a cancerous tumor removed from his pelvis last year.

And this just in to CNN, the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November. Now that's compared to 171,000 jobs created a month earlier. Unemployment rate falls to 7.7 percent, lowest since December 2008.

Now Superstorm Sandy is likely to have skewed the numbers somewhat when it battered the U.S. eastern seaboard, it stalled hiring and it forced many workers into temporary unemployment. Now we'll bring you more on these numbers in just a few minutes.

Now in Myanmar, the Rohingya minority, they're Muslims in the northwest of Myanmar who have suffered widespread discrimination. And many have been driven from their homes. Now during his visit to Myanmar in November, U.S. President Barack Obama told an audience in Yangon that, quote, for the sake of this country's future it is necessary to stop incitement and to stop violence against he Rohingya.

Now Dan Rivers traveled to the city of Sitwe to see what's happening. And here is a short excerpt from a disturbing report he filed last month.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Saulama Hafu. She's so malnourished her skeleton is straining at the skin. She can't even summon the energy to swat the flies. And look at her arms. She looks like a 2-year old, but she's 5.

This is a manmade catastrophe in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Amid the lauded reforms towards democracy, there is a humanitarian scandal in this country's far west Rahkine state.

Salmama's (ph) family live in a refugee camp, where the only food is rice. She's worried her firstborn will starve to death, but she has nowhere else to go.

They are part of a Muslim minority called Rohingyas, and they fled here because of this: ethnic cleansing. Rohingya villages torched, the terrified residents blaming Buddhist extremists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was organized, especially organized; systematically they did it. They had a prior -- they had made it their committed program. They want to make genocide to Rohingya.

RIVERS: Genocide?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Genocide. Genocide to Rohingya . That is why they did it.

RIVERS (voice-over): Those who haven't fled to the camps feel like they're living under siege. In Sittwe, the Rohingya community is living in terror behind fences.

(on camera): This is the last Muslim quarter in Sittwe, and effectively it is a modern-day ghetto. The people here are trapped; they can't get out. And limited food supplies and medicine are coming in. And what happened right here is what everyone is worried about. Last June, an angry Buddhist mob turned up and torched 20 houses. And people here are worried the mob is going to come back.

(voice-over): The Rohingya are stateless, not recognized as citizens by Myanmar, yet there are about a million of them. They say their families have been here for generations.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Dan Rivers reporting there.

And now we should tell you on the eve of President Obama's visit, Myanmar's president Thein Sein wrote to the UN secretary-general promising to address the resettlement of displaced populations and the granting of citizenship, but he did not suggest a timeline for any changes of policy.

Now UN humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos has just visited the region. She is currently in Yangon where we reached her by phone just a short time ago. And she says living conditions vary from camp to camp, but overall she says the situation is dire.

Now the phone connection to her in Yangon, it was a bit choppy, but here's more about what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VALERIE AMOS, UN HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS CHIEF: I did not see children starving from malnutrition. What I saw were camps where people are not getting as much as they need where with the winter coming their shelter is extremely poor. I talked to two of the (inaudible) about what more we can do to get more (inaudible) so we can put up proper shelter, which is not ideal, but which we can do for the short-term while we look at where (inaudible) rebuilding those communities.

I also think that beginning reconciliation (inaudible) between these communities is very important, because people need to go back to their homes, they need to restart their life. There are thousands of people who are doing absolutely nothing. Men (inaudible) work. They're not able to provide for the families. And the children can't go to school. Health care is poor. And the security situation remains very tense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos there.

Now the situation in Rakine is not Myanmar's only humanitarian crisis. Now fighting in the northeast of the country in Kachin (ph) has displaced some 75,000 people. Amos says about half of those people have moved into areas not controlled by the government. And she says the Kachin (ph) Independence Army is blocking humanitarian access so that thousands of families have not received any international assistance since July.

Now turning now to heightened concerns over a possible North Korean rocket launch. Now the U.S. is moving guided missile destroyers into position to monitor the potential launch. The Department of Defense won't give exact locations for the USS Ben Fold (ph) and USS Fitzgerald, but officials tell CNN that two more ships could be sent to join them in the next few days.

Now North Korea seems to be working toward what the international community suspects is a long range ballistic missile test later this month. Now North Korea says it's a satellite launch. And a recent satellite image shows increased activity taking place around the launchpad.

Now Japan is also preparing for the launch. It's rolling out some serious military hardware. Alex Zolbert picks up the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX ZOLBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are here in the courtyard of Japan's Ministry of Defense. We are right in the heart of Tokyo. And keep in mind that this is a city that is home to more than 12 million people. And you see behind me one of the PATRIOT missile systems that has now been put in place. This is one of seven locations across Japan where they have deployed these systems. There are three, including this one, in the greater Tokyo area. And then there are four in Okinawa.

Japan's military also says they are sending out three destroyer ships with systems that are capable of shooting down this North Korea rocket.

Japan's Ministry of Defense says this is a defensive measure. And it will only try to shoot down the North Korean rocket should it veer off course and threaten any part of Japanese territory.

There is a bit of politics in all of this as Japan gets set for elections which will be held on December 16. Today, Prime Minister Noda visited the ministry of defense speaking to troops and briefly to the media as well.

YOSHIHIKO NODA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER; We have deployed PAC 3 missiles to both Okinawa and the greater Tokyo metropolitan area as well as Aegis Destroyers to the Japan Sea and the East China Sea. In order to protect the lives and the property of the public, we would like to be fully prepared.

ZOLBERT: And the people here are growing more accustomed to having this defense system set up in the middle of their capital. Japan put in place similar measures this past April when North Korea previously launched a rocket. That rocket broke up shortly after takeoff. The people here will again be watching very closely.

Alex Zolbert, CNN, Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: It is cold and snowy in northeast Asia, the Koreas included. Let's get the very latest with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. This will be the first time that North Korea tries to do a winter launch of any kind. And that is something that analysts, security analysts have been looking at closely, including one report saying that recent heavy snowfall could have slowed down a little bit of those plans that they have, some of the satellite images showing the extent of the snowfall across this region.

We also have some of the coldest temperatures so far this season across these areas. And the cold continues. Minus 3 right now in Beijing, minus 5 in Seoul. In Seoul, the airport has been reporting snowfall for the last 12 hours, consecutive 12 hours. So this is an example of how much snow continues to fall across this region here.

Tokyo also quite cold at 4 degrees. Notice Shanghai at 8. And even in Hong Kong at 20, a little bit on the chilly side there for you.

And I want to show you right over here the forecast for snowfall accumulations across northeast China, the Korean Peninsula and then back over here toward Japan.

I want you to notice here the accumulation expected through these areas, easily again in between two and four centimeters. Heavier snowfall to the north. Beijing, you're not going to get any snow out of this.

But notice back over toward Japan, we're going to see some significant snowfall yet again across these areas. In the highest elevations, the threat for avalanches could be a factor as we head into the weekend.

After that, though, I think we're really going to start to see the cold remaining, but that snow making machine will eventually be pushing out of here. And next week looks much drier across this entire region. So we'll still see the lingering rain showers and snow showers still across portions of Japan.

And here's the look at the satellite image. There you see all of that moisture, but behind that it looks pretty dry as you can tell from this image. And of course we can't forget what's happening here in the Philippines. And that, right there, is once again Typhoon Bopha. It has - - it strengthened again to typhoon. And you can see some of that moisture kind of trailing northward here. Most of it is actually missing Luzon right now, which is good because we don't want to get a lot of heavy rainfall for too many days in a row here. But an indication that the storm has strengthened, the eye has come back.

We're going to see fluctuations in strength. That means it's going to get a little weaker, maybe a little stronger. And the other thing that has become a little bit on the uncertain side is what track is the storm going to take. When some is going to get stuck here with nothing really pushing them one way or the other, we end up in a situation where maybe they're just going to hang around here for awhile.

And now the latest track has it moving northward, then a little bit more toward the east. Once we get here to this area where it's so close to Luzon, we could get some gusty winds in this area. And that's going to be your biggest threat for some heavy rain, possibly.

But then the forecast has it moving back away. We'll have to see exactly what happens. And whatever happens we really need to monitor this closely because it could have an impact in Luzon. The question is when or how this will actually happen.

You can see that band of winds still affecting this area. So that's going to be something to monitor closely.

And finally I want to talk to you about the weather situation across Europe. This is a picture from the Netherlands, from Amsterdam. And at the airport here, travel delays easily four hours. Right now, remember there's so many planes that go through here, so if you're waiting for a plane that was supposed to be here or was going to go somewhere else, somewhat like a domino effect, hundreds of flights have been affected, thousands of passengers.

And if you're traveling by car, well be ready for travel delays there. They're salting the roads here in Lille in France. And there's also delays on the railways, because there's a lot of ice and a lot of snow. This is a picture from Hamburg.

So what am I trying to tell you here? Yeah, it's not going to be pretty.

We're starting to see the snow ending here across northeastern France and notice still affecting much of the areas here through the low countries and back over toward Germany all the way down into northern parts of Italy.

We'll take a break right now. Don't go away. CNN continues in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now for the last time this year, investors are digesting headline jobs numbers out of the United States. And we have just heard that the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November. But the statistics were likely skewed by superstorm Sandy's impact on the eastern coast of the U.S.

Now Felicia Taylor joins us live from New York to break down these numbers. And Felicia, is Sandy really to blame for this slightly weaker jobs report?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's actually not a slightly weaker jobs report. We were looking for things -- you know, a number more like 60,000 to 80,000 jobs created. This is 146,000 jobs created. So the conundrum here is really, you know, did Sandy have an impact at all? And here's the caution that I want to remind people, it's kind of a head scratcher this number, because you know Sandy should have impacted this number greatly. And these numbers do get revised.

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent. That, too, is a tremendous surprise. It was at 7.8, 7.9 percent. So, you know, this is a very strong number. And immediately stock futures started to rally on that number when it was released.

But, you know, the other thing that's very interesting is the number of hourly earnings rose .2 of 1 percent. that's also a big surprise. I mean, the number of jobs created were in retail and leisure. You have to remember there was an American holiday, the Thanksgiving holiday. So people did evidently, you know, go out and spend money. And that's really very important. The consumer seems to feel fairly strong about going out and spending.

So, this was a pretty surprising jobs report, frankly.

I mean, there was some estimates that were as low as 15,000 and we got 146,000 jobs created.

But again, they do get revised and that's the caution.

Jobs that were lost were in construction and manufacturing. That also kind of makes you go, I don't know, how can that happen when we had a major storm on the east coast affecting us. You would think construction would have been an increase in jobs, at least temporarily.

So it's kind of a conundrum this number.

But nevertheless it's good news. I mean, if we really did have 146,000 jobs created in the month of November I'm all for it.

LU STOUT: That's right, plus one.

As you said, this report it was much better than expected. The markets are rallying. Now some interesting news. And I've got to get into the meat of it a little bit later after our chat. The Apple CEO Tim Cook, he told journalists in America he plans to move some manufacturing to the U.S. Of course that's just Apple, it's just one company, but could we be at a crossroads here? Could there be a jobs turnaround? Bosses in the U.S. willing to say, do you know what, I'm going to bring back jobs or hire more? Is that confidence returning?

TAYLOR: Gosh, I wouldn't necessarily say so. I think -- you know, Apple got a lot of criticism because of the fact that they didn't have any manufacturing in the United States. This is only a very small portion of their components that are going to be made in the United States. I definitely would not agree that this is an overall trend. I like your theory and idea that, you know, it might be. But I wouldn't necessarily suggest that.

I mean, this is a very small portion of what Apple's business does in terms of manufacturing. And frankly, the fact that they used to say on their box that parts were made in the United States was misleading. And that's where they're criticism came from.

So, you know, it's refreshing to know that Apple is going to bring stuff back to the United States and create jobs that way, but I don't think that that's an overall trend for major companies.

You've got to remember, major companies like GE still make most of their components overseas.

LU STOUT: All right. Felicia Taylor, thank you so much. And she'll join us for more analysis later on here on CNN on World Business Today. We'll have much more on what those U.S. jobs numbers, what they mean for the world's biggest economy in the next hour. Ali Velshi, he'll be joined by the U.S. Labor Secretary HIlda Solis. so be sure to tune into World Business Today coming up for that.

Now with the United States eager to boost jobs at home, that announcement from Apple, it could not be better timed. A small number of components in Apple products are already made in the U.S. But the tech giant now says it is bringing some Mac production lines home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: You know, this iPhone as a matter of fact, the engine in here is made in America. And not only are the engines in here made in America, but engines are made in America and are exported. The glass on this phone is made in Kentucky. And so we've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States.

Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Tim Cook there.

Now Apple has outsourced most of its Mac manufacturing to China since the late 1990s. So this is a switch for the world's most valuable company. But it is not a seismic shift. Now why? Let's bring this up. Take a look at this. Macs no represent a relatively small part of Apple's business. You don't see people bashing at the doors of Apple stores to get the latest iMac, but we've all seen the chaos as people line up to get the newest iPhone or iPad the moment they're released. And those popular products will continue to be made in China.

Now we also want to mention that Apple and Samsung, they went back to court on Thursday. Apple is trying to block the sale of some Samsung products. And Samsung is trying to appeal an August ruling. Now a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages then, saying that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad designs. And the judge says that she will issue rulings over the next month.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, another Australian radio prank, but this time the prime minister is involved. Why some say the joke fell flat straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now according to Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, the Mayans were right and the apocalypse is imminent. Take a look that this address that Gillard made to her, quote, "dear remaining fellow Australians."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: The world is about to end. Whether the final blow comes from flesh eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop. If you know one thing about me, it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end. And at least this means I won't have to do Q&A again. It turns out that the Mayan calendar was true. Good luck to you all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now Gillard's satirical address, it was for a Sydney radio show and it has divided her critics. Some are questioning the prime minister's judgment, and others say that it's a refreshing moment to see the leader loosen up, poke some fun at herself. But we'll leave the last word on her doomsday joke up to you.

And before we go, now Beijing says citizens from 45 countries can now enter China without a visa for up to 72 hours. And now that basically includes every country in Europe except Norway. Norwegians will still have to apply for a visa. But why? Well, according to the Financial Times when asked, a senior official at the Beijing government travel administration said that some countries were not eligible because they were, quote, "low quality. And badly behaved."

Many speculate the real reason is because Norway awarded Chinese human rights activists Liu Xiaobo, pictured here on the left, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Now he was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END