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NEWS STREAM

Italy's Center-Left Alliance Leads Pools Ahead of Presidential Elections; Interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop; Interview With Google Executive Matias Duarte; British Cardinal Resigns Amidst Sex Scandal

Aired February 25, 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 and welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Now we are live at the Mobile World Congress is Barcelona, the industry's biggest event of the year. And over the next four days I'm going to speak to some of the biggest names in the business as we look forward to the software and the gadgets that will dominate our lives in the years ahead.

But we begin with the day's big news stories.

Now Britain's most senior Catholic cleric resigns amid allegations of inappropriate behavior decades ago.

Italy's voters have just under one hour to cast their ballots in national elections. Will they bring back Silvio Berlusconi?

And as Argo wins big at the Oscars we'll look at how its CIA operation in Iran became a magazine article and was then turned into the Hollywood blockbuster.

Now scandal is engulfing the last days of the papacy of Benedict XVI. On Monday, the Vatican announced that Britain's most senior Catholic cleric is stepping down after the pope accepted his resignation last week.

Now Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, is resigning amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with four men training to be priests. British newspapers say that the alleged incidents date back some 30 years.

Now the cardinal says he submitted his resignation months ago citing his age and health. And the Scottish Catholic media office says that he contests the allegations against him.

Now other lurid accusations have been leveled at the upper echelons of the Catholic church in recent days. On Monday, a Vatican spokesman said that the pontiff knows the content of a report on leaks from his office, but the report will remain secret and be passed on to the next pope.

As the college of cardinals prepares to elect a new pope, Ben Wedeman looks at the controversy surrounding Benedict's last weeks in office.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was his last Angelus prayer. Pope Benedict XVI stressed again that he's not abandoning the church.

To the tens of thousands of listened in St. Peters Square and come to voice their support it was a sentimental farewell.

To investigative newspaper journalist Conchita Di Gregorio (ph) who has been delving into alleged wrongdoing at the Vatican for the last six months, Benedict's words carried much more significance.

"This doesn't mean to abandon, it means to fight," she says. "Last Sunday he said we are fighting against the temptations of power."

Temptation that may have proven too strong for some. Di Gregorio (ph) is one of the two journalists who have reported, as this headline in her paper says, sex and blackmailed careers are behind Benedict's resignation. Sordid tales of Vatican officials consorting with male prostitutes.

At stake, Di Gregorio (ph) contends, is the very integrity of the church.

"A church governs," she says, "by a network of officials, some of whom are compromised by their homosexual activities."

Compromise, perhaps, to senior levels, says Iniatsio Engrau (ph), a writer for the news weekly Panorama.

Engrau (ph) says he believes Pope Benedict's attempts at reform were stymied every step of the way.

"In these eight years the pope has repeatedly made calls to stop the divisions," he says, "to end the power struggles in the correa (ph), but to have more transparency, but these calls weren't headed."

The latest claims flatly denied by the Vatican are based on interviews with senior Vatican officials the journalist did not identify and dozens of other unnamed sources.

Having struggled with controversy since the beginning of his pontificate, the two Italian journalists conclude Benedict lost faith in those who were supposed to support him.

"He decided by himself," says Di Gregorio (ph), "to resign because he no longer trusted the men around him."

BENEDICT XVI, POPE: Thank you for the prayers.

WEDEMAN: Benedict says he's not abandoning the church, but according to these accounts the church may have abandoned him."

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now the Catholic church is among the oldest institutions in the world with at least a billion faithful in this modern age. And we sampled reaction to the latest scandals and the pope's living retirement.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seemed really sad. And he's been pushed, definitely. He hasn't done it on his own will. And I do hope we don't get a liberal pope. I want things to be as they are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We think that it was a good decision to leave the throne. And we think that he decided so because of the scandals going around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't believe or listen to any of those bad rumors. We need to listen to god. And I am sure he has done just that to make the decision he has made.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: And we'll have more on all the developing story lines coming out of the Vatican later in the program. We'll be joined by Becky Anderson live, so stay tuned for that.

Now amid the Vatican scandal, Italian boaters are wrapping up a two day parliamentary election on Monday that will determine whether former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi stages a comeback. Now in a race that is too close to call Pier Luigi Bersani leads a center-left alliance that has been ahead in opinion polls, but the center-right coalition led by the former prime minister Berlusconi has been gaining recently. And a group led by outgoing leader Mario Monti if further back as is a new protest party lead by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo.

Now Italy's elections are being held early, because Monti resigned in December and parliament was dissolved.

Now South Korea has sworn in its first female president Park Geun-hye. Now a chilly outdoor inauguration ceremony was held in Seoul earlier today. And Ms. Park was elected last December. She takes the reins at a challenging time for South Korea. Rival North Korea has just conducted its third underground nuclear test and Ms. Park has vowed to work for peace on the Korean peninsula while at the same time urging the north to stop its nuclear program.

Now Ms. Park is the daughter of Park Chung-hee who ruled South Korea from 1961 to 1979. Anna Coren has more on the new president.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: While the world may not know much about South Korea's first female president, the life of Park Geun-hye and her family fill the nation's history books.

Born into politics, her father Park Chung-hee was described by some as the country's first dictator. He seized power in a military coup in 1961 when the young Park was just nine years old. He would rule South Korea with an iron fist for then ext 18 years, overseeing huge economic growth as well as human rights abuses.

Personal tragedy hit Park Geun-hye while she was studying overseas in 1974. Back in Seoul, her father was shot by a North Korean sympathizer. The bullet was intended for her father.

The botched assassination attempt drastically changed the course of Park Geun-hye's life. Her dreams of being a professor were replaced with the role of de facto first lady as she put the nation's interests above her own.

Five years later, there was another assassination attempt on her father, this time it was successful. His intelligence chief shot him at a dinner party saying he wanted South Korea to become a free democracy.

It was two decades later before Park Geun-hye decided to return to the public spotlight and launch her own political career. And last December, as the head of the conservative party, the 61 year old who never married and doesn't have children was elected president with an overwhelming majority.

One of her major challenges as president will be dealing with North Korea.

She met the late Kim Jong-il in 2002 in an attempt to end the bad blood between the two families. Park Geun-hye says she wants to resume talks with North Korea and restart the aid program on the condition Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons program. But after its third nuclear test, analysts believe North Korea leader Kim Jong un clearly isn't interested.

JASPER KIM, ASIA PACIFIC GLOBAL RESEARCH: I think that North Korea will do is test her through these provocative acts. I think this nuclear test will be one of many traditional, nontraditional, military, paramilitary and even cyber. They'll use everything at their disposal to see basically what President Park's mettle is. What is she made of?

COREN: But Kim Jong un may have found a formidable adversary. Park Geun-hye is the ultimate survivor, overcoming personal tragedy to seize the nation's top office in a male dominated society.

Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now you're watching a special edition of News Stream live from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And coming up next, how Google's Android operating system is changing the smartphone power structure. I talk with one of Google's top creative minds.

Plus, I'll be talking to the man who edited the original Argo story. Did he know it was Oscar material?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream live from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

So why are we here? I probably don't need to tell you that most of you why your mobile phone is important. Now mobile phones, it can organize our lives, it can connect us to everyone we know, and through the internet they're even able to connect us to virtually everything any human has ever known. The question is what's next?

Now revolutions in technology have seen the quick rise of one company only for it to be toppled by another. And we just look at Motorola, Nokia, or Blackberry.

Now the smartphone age has shifted the balance of power away from companies that only make handsets to the companies that make software. And today's biggest player: Google. Their Android operating system it dominates the market. In fact, according to the research from IDC, it was in almost 70 percent of all the phones shipped in 2012. So many companies make Android phones that it would probably be quicker to name the companies that don't.

But even though they run the same software, most Android phones don't look like they're running the same software, and that's because handset markers are free to customize Android with their own designs, layering their own look on top of the existing work done by our next guest.

Now Matias Duarte, he is the director of user experience for Android, so we asked him whether it bothered him that much of his own work was being obscured by others?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATIAS DUARTE, DIRECTOR, ANDROID USER EXEPERIENCE, GOOGLE: I think it's exciting. One of the awesome things about Android is that people can customize it and make it perfect for exactly the customer they're targeting. That's one of the challenges we have at Google is to design Android and make such a strong foundation that it will work for everybody and can still be customized.

LU STOUT: Will Google clamp down on customization?

DUARTE: No, never.

LU STOUT: OK.

Tell us about your design philosophy for Android?

DUARTE: Well, Android is simple, it's beautiful, and it's incredibly powerful and that's always the focus of each release. With Ice Cream Sandwich, we revamped Android from top to bottom along those principles, so we made it 100 percent consistent, we made all of the features easy to find, all the buttons up front, got rid of all the confusing hidden stuff, we totally redesigned the typefaces and the graphic layouts, the grid, the colors, everything to be really bold and striking and attractive. And we've been rolling out just amazing powerful new features that are almost like a superpower like Google Now with Jellybean where your phone is actually your companion. It knows what you want to search for before you do and can offer that information.

LU STOUT: But what's your personal design philosophy, because I've heard that you want to design sort of a world where you can interact with objects as if it was in the real world.

DUARTE: Well, that's true. I believe that one of the most powerful things about computers is making every day people's lives better. And so computers have to work the way people expect and not the other way around. I want everything that you can touch on the screen to operate like objects in the real world do, that doesn't mean they have to look like copies of objects in the real world, but they have to be tangible and physical and delightful.

LU STOUT: Can using a smartphone be an emotional experience?

DUARTE: Well, it absolutely can. And that's part of what I'm talking about the tangibility. There's a big difference in the way you now glide through Android with sweeping gestures and pinching and swiping than in the old days where you used to be poking at your phone. If I were to start poking you, you wouldn't like it. But when you start stroking it's a totally different message.

LU STOUT: Let's talk more about gestures. You know, it's about swiping, it's about stroking not hitting those buttons anymore. As Google Android develops, how will the gestures change?

DUARTE: Well, right now we only recognize a couple of fingers. And on screens that are small and always in the palm of your hand. In the future, we're going to look at the gestures of your entire body: your facial expressions, your arms, all of the fingers that you have and you're going to have screens not just in the palm of your hand, but all around you.

LU STOUT: And a big picture philosophical question, if you will, more and more people are getting access to smartphones all over the world. So we're nearing like always on productivity, access to data on our person. As smartphone use becomes more ubiquitous, how should the design of the operating system be reconsidered?

DUARTE: Well, one of the biggest challenges for us is designing a platform for humanity. We don't look at a single target market, we try to think of this as a gift we're giving to the world. And that's a big responsibility that we take very seriously.

LU STOUT: What do you want that gift to be?

DUARTE: I want it to be computing power for everyone. I want to connect people and make it open and free, not controlled by any one company or any government, something that anybody can pick up and hack on and they can turn it into whatever they want it to be.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: He wants it open and free. Matias Duarte, Android's director of user experience was speaking to me about an hour ago.

And another sign of Android's domination, HP has just unveiled its first Android tablet. Now the Slate 7 is remarkable, because HP used to be an Android competitor. They launched devices based on Web OS before pulling them from the market just weeks after launch.

So how will the Slate 7 fare? We'll get CNN Money's Adrian Covert to give us his take on the tablet over the next couple of days.

Now the movie that won this year's Academy Award for best picture is based on a true story with a back story that involves our very own Nick Thompson. Stay with us. And he'll tell you about that story himself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now by this time, the after parties are probably over, but for the winners the excitement no doubt continues from the 85th Academy Awards. It was seen around the world. And anyone watching would have witnessed what the Oscars have become famous for: the winners, losers, elaborate dresses, off color jokes, and moments that veer off script.

Nicshelle Turner has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: And now for moment we have all been waiting for.

TURNER (voice-over): First Lady Michelle Obama gave the Oscars a jolt of excitement and a huge surprise when she appeared from the White House to announce the night's biggest prize, Best Picture.

OBAMA: And the Oscar goes to "Argo."

TURNER: It was an especially sweet victory for Ben Affleck who wasn't even nominated for directing the Iranian hostage thriller.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: I thank everyone in the movie, on the movie, worked on the movie, did anything with this movie.

TURNER: "Life of Pi", based on the best-selling novel about a boy who drift at sea with a tiger, won the most Oscars, including Best Director for Ang Lee.

ANG LEE, DIRECTOR: Thank you, Academy. Xie-xie. Namaste.

TURNER: He played one of the greatest presidents in history, and Lincoln's leading man, Daniel Day Lewis, made history of his own becoming the first male actor to win three Oscars.

DANIEL DAY LEWIS, ACTOR: I'm so grateful to the academy for this beautiful honor.

TURNER: She took a tumble heading to the stage, but everyone else was on their feet when "Silver Linings Playbook's," Jennifer Lawrence won for Best Actress.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: I fell and that's really embarrassing.

SETH MACFARLANE, OSCAR HOST: And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now.

TURNER: Host, Seth MacFarlane he poked fun at himself during a visit from "Captain Kirk."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seth MacFarlane worst Oscar host, is that bad?

TURNER: Music though was the theme of the night and the show boasted full throated performances from the cast of "Chicago," "Dream Girls" and "Les Miserables." And music was the memorable part of Oscar's 50th anniversary tribute to James Bond. Shirley Bassy got a standing ovation after belting out "Goldfinger." And chart topper Adele sang the latest 007 theme "Skyfall," which won the Oscar for Best Song. Barbara Streisand returned to the Oscar stage to sing "Memories" and indeed the night's biggest winner remembered his last time earning Oscar gold.

AFFLECK: I never thought I would be back here, and I am. And it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that is going to happen. All that matters is you got to get up.

TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Argo producers Ben Affleck, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov they optioned the rights for Argo from a true story that first appeared in Wired magazine. Now Joshua Bearman, he pitched and wrote that story back in 2006 and 2007. And you may have heard Bearman's name shouted out during the award ceremony.

Anyway, as it turns out, our contributor Nicholas Thompson edited Bearman's story for Wired. And Nick joins us now live from our studios in New York to talk all about it. Nick, good to see you. And I've got to ask, when you edited that piece, did you know you were looking at potential Oscar winning material?

NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: No, of course not. I mean, it was clear that it was a cinematic story. And Josh had written it in a very cinematic way. And it was structured in a way that would appeal to Hollywood, but you have no idea when you put out a magazine story -- I mean, I've edited tons and tons of magazine stories, many of them have been great, and none of them have been made into films, certainly not films that have won best adapted screenplay and best picture.

LU STOUT: Now, tell us about the research that Bearman did to uncover the story and also the fact checking that you had to do as the editor? I mean, what was the process like?

THOMPSON: So it was pretty interesting. So he comes to me in the summer of 2006 and he says, hey, I've got a couple of stories I'm interested in, one of it on a stolen meteor. And the other, I've just heard a little bit about, it's about how the CIA got these people out of revolutionary Iran. And I was writing a book about the Cold War back then, so I knew a fair amount about what had gone on then, but I'd never heard this story, so it seemed entirely new to me.

I would later learn that a lot of it had come out in other books and in Tony Mendez's They Spy Zone memoir, but it seems entirely new and exciting. So he and I started to talk about it, how to work it into a pitch.

The big challenge, of course, was how to make it work for Wired magazine, right? Wired is a magazine about the future, this is a story about the Carter administration. So how does that going to work?

And we ultimately decided that the way to kind of package it to my boss was to emphasize that it got out through a science fiction film. And so when I pitched it, I pitched it as -- I called it I think CIA sci-fi to try to appeal to the Wired side.

And so we had a pitch meeting. It got assigned. It went through. It took a little while for him to get access to all the people he needed to get access to. And then he wrote it.

The fact checking was actually pretty complicated, because there are a lot of conflicting memories. It's something that happened a long time ago. We had to go back through every fact and make sure this person really did say that, that this person said this. It was a long process. And then the story came out in May of 2007. And can't remember when he optioned it, but eventually he optioned it to George Clooney and off it went.

LU STOUT: You know, it's such a great story. It's incredible to hear that you had to pitch the story to your bosses at Wired to get their buy- in.

You mentioned Tony Mendez. That's the character that Ben Affleck plays in the movie. Did Bearman ever tell you about the process of tracking down Tony Mendez? Was he a hard person to track down and to find?

THOMPSON: No. So the weirdest thing about the research is that this super secretive master of disguise, the spy, was the easiest person to find. It took Bearman a day to find him. It took him a little while to convince him to talk. I mean, Mendez was writing. He wanted to sell his own story to Hollywood. He wasn't quite sure about this Wired magazine reporter who was going to write about it. But Bearman got him to talk and got him to participate in the story.

But it's weird, this guy you'd think would be incredibly hard to find, but he was just hanging out somewhere in Hollywood and Josh had no problem tracking him down.

LU STOUT: All right. And of course you must have seen the movie. So did Argo the movie do the original article justice?

THOMPSON: Yes, there are a lot of -- I mean, yes and no. So it did what the article wanted to do.

When I was editing that story and I was working with Josh, the thing we worked the hardest on was trying to create tension at the ending. You know, that's the third act, that's the place for drama, that's their escaping from the airport. They've been hidden. They haven't seen anybody for a long time and they're coming out and they're at the airport. It's the first time in public.

The scene in the movie where they go to the bazaar, that was made up, that didn't happen. So the airport, they're really out there for the first time.

But the problem is nothing happened in real life at the airport, absolutely nothing. They go through and they're very nervous.

But as Bearman and I were working on it, we were trying to work in this little tension. And if you read the magazine piece carefully you can see these bits which are entirely true about I was nervous, or we started to see the guards walking by. We were doing everything we could to make it seem exciting and make it seem like the third act and be true to their recollections.

Now, Hollywood, they had the same problem? Well, what did they do? Well, they had a car chase, they had machine guns, they had people blowing up glass. It's much easier in Hollywood to add drama at the end of a story if you need to have drama at the end of the story than it is at a rigorously fact checked magazine.

So, they did do justice. And in a way they did what we couldn't do because we were constrained by the facts.

LU STOUT: Yeah, so that airport bit was complete fiction.

How involved, though, is Bearman, the original author of the article. How involved was he with the production of the movie?

THOMPSON: Oh, he was involved. I mean, I don't know the details. I didn't have a -- you know, one minute to do it that after the story closed, but Bearman worked with them. He and Mendez worked very closely with them to, you know, get the script and make sure that all the facts were right, help them with their research. Bearman gave his notes. He was a very active participant with Affleck as they worked to make that.

LU STOUT: All right. Nick Thompson, NewYorker.com talking about your days as an editor at Wired touching the article that would later become Argo. Incredible story. Nick, thank you. Take care.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now another winner on Sunday night was the documentary Searching for Sugar Man and it was made on a tight budget. And just to give you an idea, its director told CNN that when he ran out of money for film for his Super 8 camera he turned to his iPhone and he found an app. The app cost him 1 US dollar. He tried it and he said it basically looks the same as the real stuff. So he finished shooting the end of the film with his smartphone.

Do you think you could tell the difference? Well, take a look at these beautiful images here. Is it film? Is it the app? I'll let you make the call yourself.

You're watching News Stream. And still to come elections in Italy could decide whether the country is lead by new blood or a familiar face stages a comeback.

And the Mobile World Congress is meeting in Spain later. See what happens when I navigate Barcelona with only the apps on my phone as my guide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout live at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And you're watching News Stream. We'll have much more from this influential trade show a little bit later in the program, but right now these are the world headlines.

Now Italy's two day parliamentary elections wrap up soon. Pier Luigi Bersani with this center-left alliance has been ahead in opinion polls. Now former three term prime minister Berlusconi is leading the center-right alliance.

Now Afghanistan's government says U.S. special forces may be carrying out torture and murder in Wardak Province west of Kabul. Now a statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office makes the accusations, but does not specify who identified the armed men as American military. Now the Afghan government wants all U.S. forces to leave Wardak. The U.S. military says it is investigating.

Now actor Daniel Day-Lewis has made Hollywood history. He won a record third award for best actor on Sunday night at the Oscars for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Other highlights of the 85th Academy Awards were the award for best director which went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi and Argo won the best picture prize.

Now the Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Scotland's Roman Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Keith O'Brien. And Cardinal O'Brien has announced that he is stepping down, citing his age. He is 75. Now on Sunday, a British newspaper reported four complaints on inappropriate behavior against him. Well, the accusations in The Observer were made by three priests and one former priest that date back some 30 years.

Now CNN's Becky Anderson is in Rome following the pope's retirement, the resignation of Scotland's archbishop and the Italian elections. She joins us now.

And Becky, we have news that the British cardinal, Keith O'Brien, he's stepping down as archbishop, this after Pope Benedict gave his last Sunday blessing. And this is just more turmoil for the Vatican.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, a day is a long time in Vatican politics, right? We have the final public blessing just there at Vatican City only 24 hours ago. And the news that we've heard since then, well to be quite frank, is like bombshells, veritable bombshells.

Let's talk about this top British cardinal Keith O'Brien. You're right to say that the pope has announced -- officially announced his resignation today in response. Let me just read you what Keith O'Brien has said. He said, "for any good I have been able to do over my years I thank god. For any failures, I apologize to all who I have offended." Not admitting to anything. We do know he's seeking legal advice on the allegations or reports of inappropriate behavior with four priests dating back to the 1980s. But for sure this has made things really difficult for the Vatican.

Just three days now ahead of the pope's resignation. We've also heard from the Vatican today that we'll get a date on conclave, which of course is the election for a new pope, not before March 1. One assumes they're dealing with so much else that's going on here. Italian press abuzz with rumors and allegations that there is a sort of gay network at the Vatican who may have made themselves vulnerable to people from the outside, possibly to blackmail.

So I mean, the stories coming out of the Vatican really -- I mean, if you were trying to manage them today you'd be really -- you'd be really struggling.

We do know that the pope met with three cardinals today who are behind what's known as the secret dossier which alludes to the allegations about this gay network at the Vatican. Some of this is reporting, some of it is furious rumor at the moment. It's very difficult to get legs on any of it, but what we do know is that things are really tough. You couldn't underestimate how tough things are at the Vatican today -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah. Indeed. And from the crisis at the Vatican, let's talk next about the Italian election, critical for the future of the country and of course the economic crisis all the EuroZone is watching this. What is the latest on the state of the race?

ANDERSON: Yeah, OK. We're half an hour away from the close of the polls which will mean our first exit polls. And what's important here is to remember why we should all care about this. This is the third biggest economy in the EuroZone, the eighth biggest in the world. So when Italy sneezes to a certain extent, you know, things do reverberate both in the EuroZone and elsewhere. If he's had a really tough time that's been in a recession for a very long time.

Let me just give you a fact. The GDP per capita here this year is only what it was back in 1999. So you can see the slow traction of growth there or practically no growth since way back when. Things are very tough. You've had Mario Monti running a technocrat government here until today. We'll get these results, as I say, the exit polls shortly.

But don't expect any sort of movement on politics any time soon. Italian politics are very, very, very confusing. And what happens is you've got a whole load of alliances. Nobody is likely to win outright either in the lower house or the Senate. And both those have equal footing in Italian politics. So even though we may get a result percentage wise on who wins today. And it's likely to be the center-left, at least in the lower chamber. Berlusconi not likely to win that, but we'll have to see.

We still won't work out whose policies we're going to see going forward -- austerity or anti-austerity for some weeks probably to come -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, this is a closely watched election and process ongoing. Becky Anderson on the story joining us live from Rome. Thank you.

Now John Kerry is on his first international trip as U.S. secretary of state. He is in London right now. And over 11 days, he will visit nine countries. And CNN's world affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty reports some diplomatic pitfalls may be impossible to avoid.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JILL DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Just days before his first international trip as secretary of state, John Kerry made the case to an American audience, why the stakes for U.S. global engagement are so high.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Today's global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don't just ripple outward. They also create a current, right here, in America.

DOUGHERTY: Former high-level diplomats say the eyes of the world will be on Kerry and where he flies.

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: First trips by an American secretary of state overseas are watched very closely. There's a lot of symbolism attached to them. People look for clues as to which region is most important to the United States.

DOUGHERTY: His predecessor, Hillary Clinton, headed east for her first trip. Part of the Obama administration's pivot to Asia. Kerry's 11-day trip takes him to nine countries -- England, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

In Europe, he reassures America's traditional allies. He also needs European support in the ongoing dispute over Iran's nuclear ambitions and for any next steps to help the Syrian opposition. Already, the opposition coalition, angry over not getting the military arms they want, is refusing to attend a meeting in Rome where they were scheduled to talk with Secretary Kerry.

One wild card on this trip: Egypt. Anti-government protests continue, as its economy struggles. But the State Department says, don't expect Kerry to chart any new policy on this trip.

VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: He's characterizing this first trip more broadly, as a listening tour.

DOUGHERTY: John Kerry follows in the footsteps of Hillary Clinton, who had sky-high popularity around the world.

MADELINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Nobody's the rock star Hillary Clinton is.

DOUGHERTY: But Kerry, who is a boy, lived in Berlin, brings his own credentials. As chairman of the Foreign Senate Relations Committee, he got to know many world leaders. He served as Barack Obama's personal envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright says despite Clinton's global following, Kerry is ready the take the lead as America's top diplomat.

ALBRIGHT: I've known him a very, very long time. And someone who comes from being chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has clearly dealt with all the issues and understands their background, their depth.

DOUGHERTY: Most of this trip is designed to be safe diplomatically. But plans made in Washington are one thing, the reality on the ground in the Middle East and in Syria is another.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, London

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: All right, time for your world weather check. And we have news of a tropical cyclone near the west coast of Australia. Details with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the World Weather Center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, good to see you. You know what, yeah, let's go ahead and start in Australia. You've gotten some very heavy rain already from this tropical cyclone. There are advisories posted along the northwest coast of the continent, but there are actually two storms now that we're monitoring. This one right here is Rusty, the one that you were just referring to. And we're going to talk about that one in just a moment.

And look at Tropical Cyclone number 18, this one not yet named. It brought some very heavy rains over Cocos Island over the weekend and making it the wettest day on record ever for that tiny island here in the middle of the Indian Ocean. They had over 300 millimeters of rain. And the cumulative total for two days is over half a meter of rainfall, so that's tremendously heavy rain for that one area.

Let's go ahead and talk a little bit more about Rusty now. You can see some of those outer bands already affecting the coastline here of western Australia, the north coast. The winds are gusting to about 150 kilometers per hour, so it's a pretty formidable storm in itself: high winds, high waves. And of course this affects people here on the coast, a lot of business interests as well, mining, shipping, and natural gas and oil platforms that are along this area. All of those have had to shut down in many cases, because of the approaching storm make it safer for people.

It is expected to skirt the coastline as you can see here over the next couple of days remaining just offshore, but close enough to cause some problems along this region here. So we'll continue to monitor that one as it continues to push on through. You can see it right over here off the northwest coast.

On the east coast it's been very heavy rain. Some of this rain locally like I said flooding in some cases from Queensland all the way down even into New South Wales. Sydney, you've had more than fair share again of rainfall over the weekend with some very high waves as well.

We move on and talk about the weather across the U.S. And it's a case of here we go again. Just cleaning up from a storm last weekend and look at these pictures: airports again stuck in the snow, planes, I should say, stuck in the snow. Airports not necessarily shut down, but we are going to see some problems with heavy snowfall across this region over the next -- at least the next 24 hours. So they're digging out.

Come back over to the weather map very quickly and you can see all the areas that have the winter storm warnings, the blizzard warnings, stretching all the way up from the Great Lakes all the way up into the Texas panhandle. This is going to be ongoing, like I said, through the rest of the day today. Again, the risk it's going to be very heavy snowfall that we're expecting across this entire region, mixing in with a little bit of icy conditions and then where it's not snowing it's raining heavily. And even some rumbles of thunder there.

Heavy rain across the southeastern Gulf Coast region there are flood watches extended all the way up here into the Atlanta metro area, strong storms along the Gulf coast. And there comes all that heavy snow continuing to head northwards across the Great Lakes.

So, a lot going on and big travel delays expected across the eastern half -- I should say that whole entire eastern half of the United States.

And look at this picture, Kristie, not too far from you. You're in Barcelona, the Mediterranean. Mediterranean snow happening. This is in southeastern France. I don't think that's the view those cruise passengers expected, huh, to see all that snow covered hills there right off the coast. Here's another picture, this one from Corsica. Look at that, that's plenty of snowfall. So you're not too far to get a little skiing done.

With some cold weather also across much of the Iberian peninsula -- not so much in Barcelona where it has been raining, but we're expecting more heavy snowfall across the Pyrenees southern France and northern parts of Spain. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it's been cold here in the region. In fact, I spotted some snow here in Barcelona just the other day. Mari Ramos, thank you.

Now let's get the very latest from the world of sport now. And David Beckham made his French football debut in Paris. But how did it go? Amanda Davies joins us live from London with more. Give us the low down.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Well, there was certainly a lot of that snow and cold weather in Paris as well. It was certainly a PSG-Marseilles match-up with a difference on Sunday night, not just because of the weather, but because primarily of the highly anticipated debut of a Mr. David Beckham. The former Englan captain came off the bench 14 minutes from the end and set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score to help Paris Saint Germain to a 2-0 win and restore their three point lead at the top of Ligue 1. Afterwards, he called it a perfect day having become the oldest player in the French top flight.

In Italy, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Mario Balotelli for the way he handles some racist abuse from fans during the Milan darby. The 22-year-old used to play for Inter and was playing in his first Darby since returning to Italy from Manchester City. It finished 1-1 at the San Siro. But it's Juventus still leading the way in Serie A.

And in England, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has refused to admit that the Premier League title race is over. His side beat Chelsea 2- 0 at the Etihad thanks to goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez. So with a 11 games of the season to go, City now 12 points behind Manchester United as they look to retain their crown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTO MANCINI, MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER: I think that for us now it's not important to look at the table, only to continue to work like today, to play well, to improve because we can improve, only this and maybe look at the table in one month, 40 days.

RAFAEL BENITEZ, CHELSEA MANAGER: I thought that this game that was important for us obviously more disappointed, because it could be -- we could be closer and we are in a position that I say before we have to carry on trying to win our games and fight for the top four.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: Away from football, it wasn't quite the fairy tale finish that Danica Patrick had been hoping for at the Daytona 500, but finishing eighth place secured her place as the top woman ever in the NASCAR great American race.

Patrick has made history, of course, becoming the first woman in her first full season in the top rung of NASCAR racing to claim poll position for the race. She lost that lead on the opening lap, but managed to regain it briefly on lap 90, which meant she was the first woman to lead a green flag lap in the race.

She was third heading into the final lap, but fell back five places with Jimmy Johnson holding off his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. to repeat his success from 2006.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANICA PATRICK, NASCAR DRIVER: Leading laps was nice. And, you know, it's a little bit maybe more calm driving around here than Indy in an Indy car, so I guess maybe I had at least on your own anyway, especially in the lead, so I guess I had a little more time to look around and see the people.

JIMMY JOHNSON, NASCAR DRIVER: She has no fear and is very comfortable. We're excited for our sport to have her in it and to bring this boost to casual fans. It may not be avid NASCAR fans as now, so it's great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: Kristie, it had been 13 years not counting since a driver had gone from pole to win the Daytona race, so it was always going to be a tough off for Danica Patrick. She put yesterday down for a little bit of inexperience, but you'd expect to be hearing a lot more about her in the races to come.

LU STOUT: Yeah, Indy -- you know, it was a disappointing finish for Danica, but she proved that she belonged to be out there. So bravo to that. Amanda Davies joining us live from London, thank you.

Now just ahead on this special edition of News Stream live from the Mobile World World congress in Barcelona -- location, location, location. Nokia may be known for handsets, but its chief tells me he's got big plans for its huge mapping business.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. Live from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the mobile industry's biggest event of the year. And over the next four days. We'll be speaking to some of the biggest names in the business.

Already this hour we've heard from Matrias Duarte, the director of user experience for Google's operating system Android. And in a moment we'll hear from Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop.

Now the stands around me, they are filled with the latest high end smartphones. They are big. They are beautiful. And they're expensive.

Now in just a few hours ago, Nokia announced new phones aimed at bringing smartphones to developing markets. And earlier I spoke to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop about their new Asha phones.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHEN ELOP, NOKIA CEO: What we did today is we announced four new products. And the overriding theme was precisely what you described and that was taking innovation from our flagship product like the Lumia 920 and doing actually what is the hardest engineering to make it possible to deliver elements of that innovation at lower and lower price points.

So for example the Lumia 520, which is our lowest priced Lumia product has a number of the capabilities that you see in the high end products. And it's on that basis that we're competing, because there's many other low priced smartphones out there, but what we've focused on is the hard engineering necessary to differentiate and stand on our own, that's been our focus.

LU STOUT: Let's talk more about the location based industry, because you are big -- you are a dominant player in the mapping business. Just how big is Nokia?

ELOP: So, in an automobile if you think about the navigation system. Of all the cars in the world, four out of five cars in the world if they have a navigation system have something from Nokia inside that car -- the data, the platform, something. So we play a very strong role there.

And what we're doing is taking that platform, which is known as the Here platform and making it more and more broadly available so that others can participate while at the same time we take some of the best experiences and deliver them on our Lumia products to help us differentiate our smartphone lines.

LU STOUT: OK. We've talked about your smartphones, we talked about your location business, let's talk about plain and simple mobile phones. I note that you have right there the Nokia 105. Super cheap. How much 15, euros?

ELOP: 15 euros.

LU STOUT: Tell me more about this phone.

ELOP: So, 15 euros you get a very beautiful color display. You get a device that if you turn it on 30 days later and you come back it will still be able to be used. The battery life on these devices is phenomenal.

LU STOUT: That's incredible.

ELOP: So, for some people it's their very first mobile phone in an emerging economy for example. But for others, it might be the device that they toss into the glove box of their car as a backup device, or maybe something retro chic that they carry with them to a party where they just want to slip that into a clutch instead of a larger smartphone. Perfect device for that.

LU STOUT: So you're targeting multiple markets with this very simple handset.

What is your ultimate goal for Nokia? Do you want to finish with the gold or the silver, or do you want to have a third place finish? Where do you want to be?

ELOP: No one competes unless they're going for the gold. So we're going for everything we can. But most importantly if we focus on delighting consumers every day, whether that's someone buying their very first 15 euro smartphone or someone buying our flagship Lumia 920, we want to delight every one of those people, the rest will take care of itself.

LU STOUT: I heard through the grapevine that, yes, we have a prop table over here, but that usually you carry up to 15 phones on you at a given time. Is that true?

ELOP: No. Not on me, but I carry a bag that has a bunch of phones. Normally in my pocket is only four or five.

LU STOUT: OK, but still a total 15 phones you carry with you.

ELOP: Certainly, yes.

LU STOUT: Why so many phones?

ELOP: First of all, I have to experience the Nokia products. I'm a major contributor to the design and the quality of the devices. I have a lot of feedback to provide the teams on that. But also I have to carry competitive devices. You have to understand the competition. So I'm always interested in experiencing firsthand what the competition is doing and understanding what we need to do to effectively compete.

LU STOUT: All right, Stephen Elop, open up your jacket and show me your phones?

ELOP: No.

(LAUGHTER)

LU STOUT: Not on TV? What do you have on you? Come on?

ELOP: It can always be the next generation of products. But thanks for asking.

LU STOUT: OK. I tried.

ELOP: You did.

LU STOUT: Anyway. I'll leave it at that. Thank you so much.

ELOP: My pleasure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: And that was Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Now we were speaking here in Barcelona just a short time ago again at this year's Mobile World Congress.

Now up next on this special edition of News Stream, be a modern day Magellan. Use your smartphone. I'll show you how next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: A data-driven journey, that's a fancy way of saying that I used my phone and translation apps to get around a city where I don't speak the language. So what could possibly go wrong? Well, join me now for a jaunt through Barcelona to see how it went.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: This is La Sagrada Familia, the strange, surreal and spiritual monument by Antoni Gaudi and a symbol of Barcelona. So it's a fitting place for me to start my journey. This is my first time exploring the city. And I will do so using only this, the apps in my smartphone. So wish me luck. The next stop Los Robles (ph).

I'm on a side street off Los Robles (ph) and just had a fantastic meal here at this traditional Catalan restaurant. It's just a recommendation that came from a contact on Twitter. Thankfully they have an English language menu, but I came prepared.

The Wordlands app instantly translates words from Spanish into English using my phone's camera.

All right, next stop Barcelona Olympic Stadium.

The stadium was built in 1927 and was later renovated for the landmark Barcelona Summer Games in 1992. I know that because I looked it up here.

Now the view of the venue and the city itself is so stunning, it's something I've just got to share.

Next stop Park Guell. I've returned to another Antoni Gaudi creation, Park Guell. And the scene is otherwordly, it's gorgeous, but I want to find the famous mosaic salamander. Now I don't speak Spanish so let's fire up the Google Translate.

I think I'm going to go and try to find it myself.

And I found it. And that is the end of my data-driven journey through Barcelona. It is time to put the smartphone away and to enjoy the scene.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: On News Stream, we'll be live from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona until Thursday. And tomorrow we're going to focus on Microsoft. We'll ask one of the company's top executives whether it thinks that Windows Phone can compete with Apple and Google. All that and more as we continue our coverage live from Barcelona.

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

END