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Couple Wins Lottery: Twice; Tunisian Opposition Leader Slain Outside Home; Microsoft Releases Surface Pro; Dell Plans To Go Private
Aired February 6, 2013 - 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 protests erupt in Tunisia after an opposition leader is killed in front of his home.
Ordinary Syrians struggle to buy basic supplies as the effects of the civil war hit the people in the center of Damascus.
And what's said to be the largest mass migration on Earth begins as hundreds of millions of Chinese people head home for the holidays.
A political assassination is touching off protests in Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring began.
About 1,000 people have taken to the streets of the capital Tunis to protest the assassination of a prominent opposition leader.
Now Chokri Belaid was shot to death outside his home on Wednesday morning. He was a staunch secular opponent of the Islamist led government a a leading member of the opposition Popular Front coalition. And we will get more from someone on the ground in Tunisia in just a few minutes.
Now Syrian opposition activists say a suicide bombing in the city of Palmyra has killed and wounded people at a military intelligence complex. The number of casualties is unclear.
And on the diplomatic front, Syria's civil war will be among the issues discussed at a meeting of the Islamic nations beginning in Cairo today. And reports say the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is expected to issue a statement calling for serious dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.
And as the war grinds on, even the simplest aspects of daily life are a challenge for the Syrian people. Fred Pleitgen has more on how Damascus residents are dealing with all kinds of shortages.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Our time lapse video shows the aftermath of heavy fighting in a Damascus suburb, an all too common scene as the civil war draws closer to the city center. And ordinary people here are increasingly feeling the impact.
Salah Nasr (ph) has been waiting in line for hours to get bread in this government-run bakery. The retired soldier has to feed his wife and seven children.
"I queued up yesterday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm," he says, "and I still couldn't get any bread. Some people bring their children to put them in the queue to get more bread and others don't get any.
Every day, a battle for the bear necessities, a desperate situation that brings tears to Salah's (ph) eyes.
Pretty much everyone here will tell you a similar story. They stand in line for hours every day and then it's not even clear whether or not they're going to get bread. The bread here is actually subsidized. It costs 15 Syrian pounds for one loaf, that's just a couple of cents. The alternative for these people is buying it on the black market where the price is ten times that. And most of those here simply can't afford that kind of money.
The bread lines are a direct result of this: Damascus is suffering from a severe fuel shortage. Delivery trucks with ingredients for bread often stop running and car owners often spend hours queuing up for gas at the few stations that have any.
"People come and fill canisters because they fear there will be a shortage," he says, "and that is what actually creates the real problems."
With many Syrians fleeing the country and tourism virtually nonexistent, the conflict is hitting the economy severely. In a historic old town, at the traditional brass and copper workshops, the craftsmen make everything from trays to pots to ornaments. Allab Yahi's (ph) family has been in the brass crafting business for generations, but with the violence much has changed.
"Production greatly dropped," he says. "We now have to work with imported brass, because the local brass is not available." And he adds that imported brass is much more expensive, but Syrian brass has not been available for more than a year, because the factories were in Aleppo and in Homs.
The brass and copper crafts trade in Damascus has survived for hundreds of years through wars, revolutions and civil unrest. And even now, the men here continue to hammer away, although they clearly worry about the conflict that slowly seems to be eroding the social fabric of this country.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.
LU STOUT: Now France is getting ready to wind down military operations in Mali. Last month, it joined a government offensive there against Islamist militants who had seized the north. And France's defense minister says hundreds of militant fighters have been killed and major cities and towns retaken.
Now remember, France intervened when Islamist militants started to push towards Bamako. The capital sits down here in the south. And France feared Mali could become a terrorist safe haven. So on January 11, France came to the aid of Mali's military.
And from Konna, they made a rapid advance into the rebel held north with almost no resistance. They captured the strategic rebel stronghold of Gao and then Timbuktu.
Now Kidal has been the last major battle. French troops will in fact start pulling out of Mali next month, but officials say that some operations will continue against terror havens in the north.
And for more on the situation in Mali, I'm joined now by CNN's Vladimir Duthiers who has been monitoring the offensive from Lagos. And Vlad, can you bring us up to date about how much progress the French troops have been making? And also an announcement about when they plan to pull out?
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie.
Well, in the last three weeks they've made very, very quick progress. They've been able to dispatch the Islamists, pushing them further north as you said, taking back the key city of Konna, Gao, and the historic city of Timbuktu. They made quick work of these Islamists.
Now what's happened is, as you mentioned, some of the Islamists are still hiding out, holed up within the town of Kidal. Some 1,800 Chadian soldiers from Chad have arrived to secure that town. As the Islamists move even further north towards the region that is bordering Algeria, there are some analysts that are drawing comparisons and parallels to the struggle that U.S. troops and their allies face in Afghanistan in the Tora Bora region which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.
And so the fear, of course, is that they will migrate to these areas, hide out, wait for the time where they feel it is possible to re-infiltrate the country.
But France has said that the African led troops that will arrive within the next couple of days, next couple of weeks, is meant to continue securing military -- to secure towns and to continue military operations for as long as needed, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And as we're nearing the end of the French military operation against, again, the country says it will pull its 4,000 troops out of the country by March. Some context, Vlad, I mean, why did France get involved to begin with? Was it to protect the integrity of the state of Mali, a former colony of France, or was it to contain the Islamist threat in the country?
DUTHIERS: Well, France has always said that their primary goal was to drive the militants out of Mali, because they felt that if they were able to capture the capital city of Bamako, that would threaten to destabilize all of western African and probably interests in Europe and even as far as the United States.
The reason being, of course, that if Islamists control an area as vast as Mali it is a perfect staging ground to launch terrorist actives to countries that they feel may threaten their interests. And so this is what France is trying to prevent, a militant, Islamist stronghold within Africa to -- that would destabilize the region.
The other issue of course is that as a former French colony, France has a certain interest in what happens to those former colonies in Africa. They've taken military action in the Ivory Coast, they've taken military action in Chad in the 70s and the 80s. There are some 6,000 French citizens that still live in Mali and so there was that as well.
And then, finally, you have the humanitarian issue. 300,000 people have been displaced since the turmoil began in March of 2012. African troops were meant to be there in September, but France felt they couldn't wait any longer and they had to act as quickly as they did, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And after the French troops leave and the African Union troops leave, there is the greater Mali -- greater battle for Mali, there is the threat from the Islamist militants on one side, but then there's also the rebellion by the separatist Tuaregs. So can Mali be able to reassert control given this dual challenge its facing?
DUTHIERS: That's a big question. This had been one of the more stable democracies in western Africa, since this all began back in March back in 2012, that's slipped into chaos, there are some fears even that there may be reprisal attacks on some of the Tuaregs and the lighter skinned Arabs in Mali because they -- many black Malians feel that some of their troubles have come as a direct result of this. So this will be something that these soldiers from the African Union -- and also with France. France has said that although they plan to begin a phased withdrawal in March, that they're not planning on going away completely.
Clearly if it appears as if the country is breaking down again, or if there is a greater threat from the Islamists down the road, I'm sure that just based on what the French foreign minister and what the French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said, is that France will continue to be a presence in the region.
So, going forward, we should still see as these African troops get on the ground, an ability to secure these towns and to prevent these Islamists from reappropriating the country, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, it's good to know that the support is there, but there's still a lot of challenges ahead -- military, humanitarian, political. Vladimir Duthiers reporting for us. Thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, North Korea posts a chilling video online which seems to simulate an American city under missile attack.
And when the end of the world does come, this guy is prepared. We go inside a survivalists remote bunker. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: All right, welcome back.
Let's go back to Tunisia now. The assassination of a prominent opposition leader there. And I'm joined now on the line by Houda Zaghdoudi from Tunis TV. And Houda, this is believed to be an assassination, but give us some context here, who was Chokri Belaid. And why was he killed?
HOUDA ZAGHDOUDI, JOURNALIST, TUNIS TV: OK. Well, Chokri Belaid is the general secretary of the Democratic Nationalist Party. He was one of the leaders of the opposition Popular Front, which had been formed last October. And he has particularly emerged as a chief critic of the (inaudible) and the government, the active government.
He is an outspoken lawyer. And he had been critical of the Islamist led government. And he was shot this morning.
LU STOUT: And what has been the reaction to this killing of this outspoken lawyer and opposition leader? I understand there have been major demonstrations across Tunisia today. What have you seen, what have you heard?
ZAGHDOUDI: I can't hear you, but can you please repeat the question please?
LU STOUT: Sorry, protests across the country today in reaction to the killing of this opposition leader? What have you heard?
ZAGHDOUDI: Yeah, I mean, he -- I mean, angry is like prevailing all around the country. You know, people, you know, they're protesting. They gathered now in front of the interior ministry and we're hearing that in different cities of Tunisia, city (inaudible) people are gathering and protesting against the government. Some offices of the Ennahda Party are attacked. And people are voicing their anger.
LU STOUT: You know, it is incredible seeing these images of the anger on the streets of reaction to this political assassination in Tunisia.
Houda, do you believe that his killing reveals to the world the tension in Tunisia that is still there, the tension after the Arab Spring?
ZAGHDOUDI: Yes. We need to wait for -- I mean, to know who are responsible, because as to now, nobody has, you know, took responsibility of this killing. But I think the situation in Tunisia is really critic (ph). And after the Arab Spring, since then some people do not want Tunisia to be stable and they are against this revolution and they are (inaudible) in general. So we just wait and see who is responsible.
LU STOUT: And since the fall of Ben Ali two years ago, I mean, tell us what has life been like in Tunisia? Has there been a rise in violence, a rise in discontent?
ZAGHDOUDI: No, no, no, no. I mean, this is the first time that really happened. This assassination, this is the first time that happened in modern Tunisia. I mean, people are really shocked in Tunisia. There was some, like, you know, (inaudible) people are protesting, but not to this -- to that extent. You know, what happened today never happened in Tunisia.
LU STOUT: OK. Understood. Thank you for giving us the overview there. Houda Zaghdoudi of Tunis TV joining us on the line live from Tunis, thank you.
Now concerns are mounting that North Korea is preparing to carry out a third nuclear test. In fact, the pro-Beijing English language newspaper the Global Times is issuing a warning to Pyongyang. In an op-ed it says it's unlikely that China would punish North Korea as harshly as countries like the U.S. or Japan would prefer, but still it says that Pyongyang should pay a heavy price if it carries out a third nuclear test. And the article goes on to say if Pyongyang gets tough with China, China should strike back hard. And adds that China will not put its relations with Pyongyang above other strategic interests.
Now last month, North Korea vowed to push ahead with a nuclear test after the UN security council voted to tighten existing sanctions on Pyongyang for tests firing a rocket in December.
Now North Korea says the nuclear test is part of its military deterrent against the United States, which it calls the sworn enemy of the Korean people. But the announcement did not say when a nuclear test would take place, but some analysts say that the secretive country is ready and could do it at any time. Now North Korea has carried out two nuclear tests before in 2006 and 2009.
And ahead of North Korea's nuclear tests, a chilling new propaganda video has been released online and it's gone viral. It shows New York under missile attack. And the video plays out like a dream sequence where a North Korean imagines himself on the space shuttle looking below at a unified Korea.
And the reason we showed you that video is because it looks quite familiar to us. Now, take a look at this video. Now, it's a trailer for the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. And here are the two videos side by side. Many say that North Korea took its imagery straight from the game.
You're watching News Stream, and up next, he's back: still ahead, Rafael Nadal takes to the court for the first time this year. Pedro Pinto will tell you how he did it next.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now the beautiful game is at the center of a not so pretty scandal. World football's governing body FIFA has vowed to act on a report from Europol that 380 matches around Europe were fixed. Dan Rivers has more.
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Does the beautiful game have an ugly secret? Well, if you believe the back pages of many of Britain's tabloid newspapers it does. One phrase leaps out, "match fixing." The European policy agency Europol claims it's widespread.
And the figures are startling. Police in 13 European countries are investigating 425 club officials, match officials, players and serious criminals. They suspect that up to 380 matches may have been fixed.
So how does it actually work? Spot fixing the number of throw-ins or yellow cards by bribing players, referees and linesmen could be one way. Last year, former Southampton captain Claus Lundevam told Norwegian TV he did just that with teammates. He said, "we could make deals with the opposing captain about, for example, betting on the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or a penalty, those were the sorts of thing we had influence over."
These Pakistani international cricketers were found guilty of similar spot fixing in 2010, a scandal that rocked the sport. But experts say in soccer, it goes much further.
DECLAN HILL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, AUTHOR OF THE FIX: There are now club owners that are looking and dealing at the beginning of the season, they're looking at their sheets. They're saying look, we've got 40 games we're going to play hard in 30 of them and in these 10 we're going to lose. But because we're going to bet against ourselves in the gambling market, we're going to make more money losing those 10 games than winning the other 30.
And so fixing a game like that is actually quite simple. The club owner just walks into the dressing room and orders his team to lose.
RIVERS: Gavin Hamilton edits World Soccer magazine and says it's time the police actually acted on longstanding allegations.
GAVIN HAMILTON, EDITOR, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: The authorities can be seen sort of identify the problem and (inaudible). But I think they now need to pursue the allegations and really come up with some convictions.
RIVERS: Until then, each time the ball goes in the back of the net there will be questions about what's genuine and what's been staged for profit.
Dan Rivers, CNN, London.
LU STOUT: Now another racism scandal has erupted in Italian football. Pedro Pinto joins us with that and the rest of the sports headlines -- Pedro.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, that's right. Last month, AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the pitch after being racially abused in Italy. Now it's Milan's own vice president who has made a racial slur aimed at the club's new star signing Mario Balotelli. The 22-year-old striker was signed just a few days ago and scored two goals on his debut this past weekend. But Paolo Berlusconi, the younger brother of Milan own Silvio, made offensive remarks towards the player while speaking at a political rally.
Let's have a look at the translation of what the AC Milan vice president said about the Italian international, and I quote, "OK, we're all off to see the family's little black boy. He's a crazy-head. All the young ladies are invited as well. You can even have a chance to meet the president." end quote.
Well, Balotelli is currently with the national team and has not reacted to the comments. There's no doubt that racism has been a major problem for football recently. And Ghanian international Derek Boateng said players should walk off the pitch if they are abused.
Boateng talked to CNN in South Africa where he representing his country in the Africa Cup of Nations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEREK BOATENG, GHANAIAN INTERNATIONAL: It doesn't matter if you are black or blue or white, you know, we all want as a (inaudible) so we have to do everything we can and make sure that we take racism out of the game, because it doesn't help at all, but it will happen to give (inaudible) it will happen to him after a game. I spoke to him. And, you know, I support him. I say to him, like, man, come on. It's good decision you did and I'm so happy the players are so follows him and that's a very good team. And I think that's going to help us to, you know, remove this racism from the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINTO: Onto good news from the world of tennis. At long last, Rafael Nadal is back in action. The former world number one made his eagerly anticipated return in South America on Tuesday. The Majorcan resumed his career following a seven month injury layoff by teaming up with Argentina's Juan Monaco for a comfortable doubles victory in an ATP event in Chile. Rafa is playing his first tournament since he was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon last June. Yes, it has been that long.
By the way, Rafa is playing his first single's match in over seven months later on Wednesday. We'll keep you up to date on that result, but that's all the sport for now. Kristie, back to you.
LU STOUT: Good to see him back in action. Pedro Pinto there, thank you.
You're watching News Stream, and coming up next, we go below ground to see how one man is preparing for the worst in a world whose days he he says are numbered.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream, and these are your world headlines.
A leading member of Tunisia's political opposition has been shot dead outside his home. Chokri Belaid was killed as he left for work. Outraged protesters filled the streets of Tunis and other cities. And demonstrators have stormed offices of the ruling Ennahda Party. Now these are new pictures showing the protesters outside the clinic where Belaid's body was taken. Now Tunisia's president said the attack was an odious assassination.
Now France's defense minister says French led forces have killed hundreds of militants in their operation against Islamist fighters in Mali. Jean-Yves Le Drian says the insurgents were killed in French airstrikes and in direct combat. And France says it expects to begin withdrawing troops next month.
Now Japan is accusing China of making a dangerous move in the East China Sea. Tokyo says a Chinese frigate locked missile guidance radar on a Japanese warship near a group of disputed islands. And Japan calls it an extremely regrettable action that could have led to an unpredictable situation.
Dozens of governments are complicit in the kidnap and torture of terror suspects, according to a report on extraordinary rendition. It says the U.S. CIA started a program of secret detention beyond the reach of law after the terror attacks of 2001.
The open society justice initiative says more than 136 people have been subjected to rendition. And at least 54 countries helped make it happen.
Now, U.S. policies and the fight against terror come under rare public scrutiny this week. President Obama's counter terrorism adviser faces confirmation hearings to be the next CIA director.
Now John Brennan will likely be grilled about the drone campaign and targeted killings of suspected terrorists. And Barbara Starr has that.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was in a CNN interview that President Obama defended his right to kill America citizens suspected of terrorist activity.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a legal justification for us to try to stop them from carrying out plots.
STARR: The case at issue, the 2011 killing of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior al Qaeda operative in Yemen. But other Americans are aligned with al Qaeda, notably its communications chief, Adam Gadahn, who's on the most wanted list. The president insisted every American's legal rights are protected before they might be targeted for a kill.
OBAMA: They are subject to the protections of the Constitution and due process.
STARR: But in a leaked 2012 Justice Department memo, the administration spells out the legality of killing Americans overseas who are involved with al Qaeda, arguing it -- quote -- "does not require the United States to have clear evidence of a specific plot." Critics are alarmed.
CHRISTOPHER ANDERS, ACLU: All they have to show is a general view that somebody is, you know, is doing something bad and hasn't renounced that.
STARR: The leak is well timed. John Brennan goes before the Senate for confirmation as CIA director on Thursday, where he's expected to face tough questions about the targeted killings. As one of the chief architects of the controversial Obama program, he's defended the program in the past.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE: We conduct targeted strikes because they are necessary to mitigate an actual ongoing threat, to stop plots, prevent future attacks, and to save American lives.
STARR: A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Democrats, is pressing the White House to release its classified legal opinion authorizing these types of strikes. If the White House doesn't do it, the Senators are suggesting there could be problems getting some of those top national security nominees confirmed by the Senate.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
LU STOUT: Now, the little boy rescued from a kidnapper in the United States has been reunited with his mother and is celebrating his sixth birthday. And meanwhile, more details are emerging about the operation that freed him after a week in an underground bunker in Alabama. And you can see in this image the sandbags around the top of the bunker and the pipe that was used to communicate with the hostage taker.
Now sources tell CNN that FBI agents detonated explosives, entered the bunker, a firefight ensued and the suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes, was killed. Officials say that Dykes had reinforced the bunker and placed two bombs inside. And police say that they disrupted the devices.
Now, underground hideouts, such as the one used in the Alabama kidnapping, are far from the norm in the United States, but they're more common than you might think. Now, Gary Tuchman introduces us to a man who is part of a movement preparing for a variety of doomsday scenarios.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He has a spectacular view of the mountains. A family man who lives in a beautiful neighborhood in Utah, but Peter Larson has a very dark view of what the world has in store for us.
We take a long ride with him into the mountains. Daylight turns to sundown, sundown to darkness. Then we arrive at the $65,000 structure where Peter Larson, his wife, his children and grandchildren plan to survive the attempted destruction of the world. (on camera): So this is the bunker?
PETER LARSON, SURVIVALIST: This is it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Peter Larson is proud to be known as a survivalist, or as it's also known, a prepper.
LARSON: Right now we are about 20 feet underground and this unit is 50 feet long, 10-foot diameter, corrugated steel pipe.
TUCHMAN: Larson believes we are reaching the end of times. An economic collapse could cause civil disorder he theorizes, but he's most concerned about this.
LARSON: There will be a nuclear holocaust. Someone is going to pull the pin.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Your idea is that you will be down here with your family?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): He has an elaborate air filtration system to be used when disaster happens.
LARSON: This is now pumping air in from the outside.
TUCHMAN: The bunker is packed with provisions, which seemed to get more dire the more you explore.
LARSON: Under each bunk is personal storage.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So those are your clothes.
LARSON: Clothes, cold weather gear then if we take a look at this one, this has some other items.
TUCHMAN: You have guns in here?
LARSON: We've got some guns in this one.
TUCHMAN: What is this?
LARSON: It's a Colt AR-15, an old Colt AR-15.
TUCHMAN: Got your ammo.
LARSON: Got some ammo, magazines.
TUCHMAN: You got enough bullets to start an army here.
TUCHMAN: And right here, the holy bible.
LARSON: You know, that's actually part of preparedness. You know, when you read the bible or along with that, in my case being Mormon, the Book of Mormon, it all indicates that in the last days -- and we feel like these are the last days -- there are some hard times.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Outside the bunker, he has barrels of water, 2,000 gallons and inside a food supply worthy of a small grocery.
(on camera): Cookies, Ritz, macaroni and cheese, corn, salt, Starkist and green giant green beans.
LARSON: This is beef jerky.
TUCHMAN: Why so much beef jerky?
LARSON: We love beef jerky.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): There is an obvious question about all of this, Larson lives far away from the bunker. How will he get there in time for what he believes is an imminent disaster?
LARSON: I'm a faith oriented person. I spend a certain amount of time with Heavenly Father reminding him that I need about 24 hours notice.
TUCHMAN (on camera): This bunker even comes with an escape hatch. This escape hatch is here in case the entrance to the bunker is blocked after a nuclear disaster, if something falls on top of it.
Peter Larson and his family can escape here. He says he has a philosophy he lives by. He's fearful of nothing because he's prepared for anything.
(voice-over): Guns, knives, some of his provisions, which he has with him at all times.
LARSON: I even keep barter material with me. One of the things that I keep is cash. Now, this, by the way, happens to be mostly one dollar bills, but if there was a breakdown in society.
TUCHMAN (on camera): How much cash is in here?
LARSON: In here right now I've got about $2,000.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): He also carries gold rings.
(on camera): This gold, how much is it worth?
LARSON: Between these two bags there's about $10,000 in gold.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Larson is not sheepish in the least about his outlook on life.
LARSON: So we have MREs stored down here.
TUCHMAN: Because he thinks it will extend his life and the lives of the people he loves. Just before he escapes out of the hatch and closes up the bunker, I ask him one more question.
(on camera): If the whole world would be destroyed or all of Utah would be destroyed, do you really want to live that kind of life?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Larson believes it is unlikely that all of humankind will be destroyed. He says he wants his family to be part of the rebuilding of society.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Pete County, Utah.
LU STOUT: He's ready, all right.
You're watching News Stream. And just ahead, we have an in depth look at Microsoft's latest device. It's called the Surface Pro tablet. We'll have the pros and the cons after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
And there are new developments this hour in the LIBOR banking scandal. The Royal Bank of Scotland group will pay fines of over $600 million to British and U.S. authorities for its role in rigging global interest rates.
Now the bank, it was bailed out by taxpayers at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. The British government has already said that RBS must pay any fines out of bankers bonuses. And we'll have more on this story at the top of the hour on World Business Today.
Now, you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we're covering right now on News Stream. Earlier, we told you about the protests in Tunisia. And later, we'll tell you about China's mass migration. But now we'll review Microsoft's latest device, the Surface Pro tablet. And to do that, we have to start in October with the release of Windows 8, a radical reinvention of Microsoft's flagship operating system designed for touchscreen devices.
And the idea was to make one operating system that runs everywhere -- desktop computers, laptops and tablets. And on the same day, they also released their very own tablet, the Microsoft Surface. But the original Surface, it doesn't actually run Windows 8, it runs Windows RT, an operating system that is visually identical to Windows 8, but won't run old Windows applications.
But that changes this week with the Surface Pro, it's a new version of the Surface tablet that runs the full Windows 8 operating system.
Now Microsoft boasts that Surface blends the tablet with the laptop, a device with no compromises.
Now to tell us whether Surface Pro lives up to the hype, let's get a review of the new device. And CNN Money's Adrian Covert joins me now from New York. Adrian, good to see you. Is the Surface Pro truly a no compromise device?
ADRIAN COVERT, CNN MONEY: No, you know, it's kind of compromised on both ends. It's a little bit too big and heavy, you know, to get the full benefits of a tablet. And when you're trying to use it as a laptop, it kind of clunky and frustrating to use with the keyboard and trackpad they supply. And it really has to be on a flat surface with that kickstand design you can't use it on your lap or anywhere that isn't sort of a desk. So in that regard it's kind of a frustrating device to use.
LU STOUT: Yeah, I read in your CNN Money piece, you said it's akin to sort of shoehorning a laptop device into a tablet. It doesn't quite work.
Let's talk about the issue of storage, though. I mean, with the cloud getting such a big push, is the lack of space still a big issue?
COVERT: You know, it's becoming increasingly less of an issue as time passes, but, you know, the 64 gigabyte model is too small, because you only get about 23 gigs of storage. So, I mean, the 128 should be fine for most people.
LU STOUT: OK.
Now Microsoft is really pushing the Surface Pro as a tablet for work since it runs Microsoft Office. I mean, do you think there's going to be a market for a business tablet here?
COVERT: I mean, that's an intriguing concept, but, you know, in my experience with using it, it's kind of hard to get anything done as, you know, using the Surface as just a self-contained standalone device. It's really, you know, to get the best experience, you know, it's fast and powerful, but you need an external -- you know, or a secondary mouse and keyboard and probably even a monitor, which kind of isn't, you know, the spirit of what the Surface is supposed to be.
LU STOUT: Tell me more about your experience using it? I mean, what is it like, for example, using Microsoft software that we all know and usually have to work -- use at work like Word or Excel or PowerPoint, what's it's like to use that kind of software on a tablet computer?
COVERT: I mean, you know, I mostly use it with a keyboard and mouse just like you would any other laptop. And the Surface is really as fast and as powerful as any $1,000 Ultrabook on the market. But, you know, I mean, if you're trying to use it with a touchscreen, you're probably going to find yourself getting a little frustrated.
LU STOUT: Yeah, and what did you think about the trackpad and the keyboard. Easy to use?
COVERT: No. Typing once you get used to it is fine, but the trackpad is a little too small and, you know, it's a little bit frustrating to use. That's, you know, one of the biggest issues I had was that, you know, I found myself swiping and trying to do things with the trackpad I would normally do. I just found it more difficult than using a normal laptop. So...
LU STOUT: And if I'm -- you know, I'm a business user and I'm thinking, OK, I'm going to take this on a short haul flight, or what have you. I'm going to commute with it, I have to think about the battery becomes an issue. So, should I be picking up a Surface Pro or a laptop computer?
COVERT: Battery life is about the same. You know, the Surface Pro, you know, generally in my tests I was getting about three to four hours with Moderate, but, you know, constant use. So it's not a lot of difference in terms of that. It's, you know, less battery life than a tablet, for sure, but you know it has laptop hardware in it, so that was expected.
LU STOUT: OK.
Now, the stakes are so high for Microsoft with the Surface. I mean, from what you've reviewed so far, can Microsoft play catch up to Apple and Google on touchscreen devices. Can they do it?
COVERT: You know, I think so. I think what they're doing is a really intriguing idea, you know, I -- they didn't quite nail it in execution, but the idea of, you know, a laptop and tablet being the same hardware is, you know, an idea that's forward. And I think, you know, if they continue to push at it and, you know, refine it they could find themselves ahead of Apple and Google.
LU STOUT: Well, I know that you've called the Surface Pro a work in progress. So they could very much do it indeed. Adrian Covert of CNN Money, thank you so much for your view on this device.
And now you can read Adrian's review and get a lot more on Surface at CNN Money. Just go to CNNMoney.com/tech. And you can find it there.
Now, one Microsoft's old PC partners is planning to go private. Now Dell unveiled a $24 billion deal with investment firm Silver Lake. And as Alison Kosik reports, it's a chance for the company's founder to reshape the company.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like all good tech success stories it started in a college dorm room, in this case at the University of Texas at Austin. That's where Michael Dell would build computers and sell them directly to his classmates. Now, the man behind Dell is ranked as "Forbes'" 41st richest man in the world with a net worth of almost $15 billion.
So, how did a man who never graduated from college in the end come to lead one of the world's premiere PC companies?
MICHAEL DELL, FOUNDER, DELL: The idea was to sell computers directly to the end user without the markup of the dealer, have a lower level of inventory and higher level of service.
KOSIK: As a teenager, Dell sold newspaper subscriptions. He used data mining to target customers and found success selling to new homeowners and young couples.
But it was in that University of Texas dorm room a few years later where Dell formulated his business model, cut out the middleman and sell directly to consumers and businesses.
DELL: There are about 1.5 billion PCs in the world. And so, you know, 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.
KOSIK: When Dell computer went public in 1988, Michael Dell was just 23 years old. Five years younger than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg when his company hit the market. The PC maker came to be known for its catchy, "Dude, you've got a Dell" commercials.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dude, you're getting a Dell.
KOSIK: Today, Dell employs more than 100,000 employees, with a market cap of $23 billion. That sounds impressive but that's way down from Dell's peak market value of $100 billion in 2000.
So, now, it's time for one more unconventional move. Michael Dell is taking his company private after 25 years of publicly trading on the NASDAQ exchange.
A leveraged buyout would cement Michael Dell's hold on his company, but also free it from public scrutiny at a time when it's competing in a landscape packed with tablets and smartphones.
It's not clear it will work. Critics say Michael Dell isn't much of an innovator so he'll never turn Dell into an Apple or Samsung. And unlike those companies, Dell still relies on hardware sales, PCs, servers and the like for more than half of its revenue. Public or private, that makes Dell behind the curve in today's tech market.
Alison Kosik, CNN, New York.
LU STOUT: Now, hundreds of millions of people are on the move in China. And our Matthew Chance is in the mix. We'll take you on a train ride during the travel rush for the lunar new year.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now it would be fantastic to win the lottery once, but imagine winning it twice in the same weekend. Now Hubert Tate from our affiliate KARK reports on America's luckiest couple.
STEVE WEAVER, LOTTERY WINNER: That is my redemption where I redeemed it up at the lottery office. And it's for a million bucks.
HUBERT TATE, KARK CORRESPONDENT: That's a lot of zeroes.
WEAVER: That is a lot of zeroes.
TATE: The winnings for Steve and Terry Weaver started Saturday when Steve bought a $1 million scratch off and won.
WEAVER: I almost had a heart attack right then. This is -- I'm serious. I mean, I sat down. My heart started going 100 miles an hour. And we -- you know, we kept looking back and forth, we kept looking for something wrong.
TATE: But the Weavers were right on target. Feeling so lucky, the next day Terry bought a $250,000 scratchoff. She one $50,000 off of that one.
WEAVER: I just couldn't believe it. It's just not possible.
TATE: And in one weekend, together, the Weaver's won $1,050,000.
The Weavers admit, yes, they were a little afraid to claim their winnings here at the lottery office, because they are a husband and wife and they both had winnings in the same weekend. They thought it would raise some eyebrows.
WEAVER: I thought we'd go into a room and get a lie detector test and have to put our hand on a Bible.
TATE: The Weavers say they will play again.
WEAVER: It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable.
LU STOUT: That's some crazy good luck there.
Now some luck is certainly needed in Western Europe with another strong storm moving through. Details now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, number one I'm going to go buy a lottery ticket, that's first. But anyway. Let's go ahead and talk about this weather across Europe.
You know what, it has been very windy. We've been talking about this storm system that's been coming through here across the west for the last couple of days. And yesterday, you know, things got a little rough across portions of Europe. Actually, in the last 24 hours it hasn't been to easy. Look at this, wind in France 140 kilometers per hour? That's a wind gust. That's pretty impressive. That's in excess of hurricane force.
And then back over here in Belgium, reported tornado, show you a picture of that in just a moment. And the snowfall has been pretty significant as well as we head over into eastern parts of France. There's 8 centimeters there. And snow is still falling.
This is a picture of when we think about tornado, damage that tornado did -- now we're not talking about a tornado like the one we saw here in the U.S. in Alabama last week, for example, this was a much smaller scale. It did cause some damage. There are no reported deaths. So damage to buildings, to roofs, and you can see some of that -- some of those things strewn on the ground. This is not a huge tornado outbreak, but enough of a severe wind storm to really cause some damage there and get people on alert.
It's still quite windy here as we head across the western portions of Europe, southern parts of teh UK and then back over toward western France. And we can see these winds continuing to pickup throughout the day today. Now this is just behind that, that front that moved through.
We're going to see some very strong winds, also, as we head over into parts of northern Spain and southern France. This is where the winds could today be, maybe gusting to close to 100 kilometers per hour. So that's going to be something to monitor as well.
You can see all the moisture still coming in. This is that line that caused all that nasty weather, moving now into southern France. And we're going to see some pretty strong snow storms here, maybe even some thunder snow not out of the question moving into Germany and parts of Switzerland. Big picture, you can see it right here, the snow continues to fall across much of southeastern Europe kind of turning into rain a little bit farther to the south. And then there's more cold air that's coming in here from the west.
6 in London right now, 7 in Paris, 4 in Berlin -- that doesn't seem too bad -- but it's 2 in Munich. And as we head to areas to the south, 11 in Madrid -- watch for the strong winds also, and I just mentioned that for you guys across the Korean peninsula -- excuse me, Iberian peninsula. That's going to be a concern throughout the rest of the day today.
The weather map looks like this -- scattered rain showers, windy conditions and snow that will continue to spread and then drop farther to the south. There's again the high water -- yellow advisory here for you guys in Venice, because again she seems to be having a problem with that. And there you see the heavy snowfall. The strong winds even affecting portions of North Africa.
We've been talking about this weather system for the last few days. In Indonesia, again, flooding. This time it didn't even take that much rain. They only had officially about 30 millimeters of rainfall in the last 24 hours. And, yeah, again, the central business district looking at a lot of water, but you can see the thunderstorms popping up yet again across this area and more wet weather expected here as we head into the next 24 hours.
And then I want to take you, Kristie, with my last 30 seconds right outside my door here. Let's go ahead and look. That's the view from the top of the building here looking down at Centennial Park. You can't even tell, that could be anywhere, really, in the world. Our director was telling me earlier, how can you tell that's Atlanta? Well, that is Atlanta. And there's a ground stop at the airport, the busiest airport in the world, because you can't see anything. And I just want to clarify that is not smog or pollution, it's basically fog, water droplets that have condensed and causing some visibility problems. This is ahead of some nastier weather that could come in as we head into tomorrow -- not severe - - but a lot of rain and maybe a big storm forming for the northeast over the weekend.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah, that's just proof positive of some pretty poor visibility. Good luck with your commute home.
RAMOS: I know.
LU STOUT: Mari Ramos there, thank you. Take care.
Now China will welcome the year of the Snake this weekend, but right now people are preparing and some are buying decorations like these lanterns. And an unprecedented number are traveling home for this important holiday.
Now Matthew Chance takes us on a train packed with passengers all eager to see their loved ones.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to describe the sheer scale of this annual migration across China. Hundreds of millions of workers hauling their bags with them heading home for the lunar new year. The numbers are staggering. Chinese officials estimate nearly 3.5 billion journeys will be made over this period. Buses, boats, planes, and of course trains all running flat out to get these people home.
I was just speaking to Li Wei (ph) here. It's interesting, because for millions of Chinese people this is a very rare opportunity for them to go back to their home villages. Li Wei (ph) was telling me he's got a girlfriend back home in his village, but he only sees her once a year. And that time is right now.
Li Wei (ph), you must be very happy to be going home?
Very happy, very happy, yes.
Only once a year, but it's now.
We're onboard one of the trains right now, heading to the northeaster out of Beijing. It's 17 carriages long. And as you can see it's absolutely crammed with people.
These are China's migrant workers who left their families in the countryside to work in the city feeling decades of economic boom. But prosperity for many here has come at a very high personal cost.
Well, Mr. Jiao (ph) here is in a position which is similar to millions, hundreds of millions of people just like him. He's left his family in a province in China in the northeast of the country, in fact, but he's come to Beijing, because he gets more money. This is the one opportunity he gets every year to go home.
And I'm interested Mr. Jiao (ph), is your sacrifice -- is your sacrifice worth it?
I think what he's saying is that if he didn't take that job in Beijing he simply wouldn't be able to support his family and that's the main reason why so many people around China do what they do.
Well, we've got to the end of our short journey. Hundreds of millions of Chinese around the country preparing to celebrate the lunar new year will also be coming to the end of theirs. And then in a few week's time, China goes back to work. And this whole huge human annual migration starts over again.
Matthew Chance, CNN, outside Beijing.
LU STOUT: A wonderful report there.
Now an estimate 225 million people in China will travel by train. And that is more than the populations of France, Germany and the UK combined. Now to put it in another way, if everyone taking a train in China decided to start their own country, it would have the fifth largest population on Earth.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.