Return to Transcripts main page
Syria Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Revolution; Li Keqiang Becomes China's New Premier; Rain Pounds Australian Coast, Drought Parches New Zealand; Samsung Releases Galaxy S4; UN Commission Investigates U.S. Drone Strikes In Pakistan
Aired March 15, 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.
A grim milestone for Syria. We explore what two years of conflict have cost the country.
Anti-pirate patrol: we'll take you on board a NATO ship helping to protect tankers in one of the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.
And the Champion's League draw heralds a clash of football titans.
Two long years and no end in sight. Syria's opposition is marking the second anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar al- Assad's regime. And protests lead to a civil war that continues today with no sign of slowing down. You're looking at new amateur video said to show government troops shelling a Demascus suburb. And north of the capital, demonstrators took to the streets in Aleppo. Rebels and government forces have battled for control of Syria's largest city for months now. And since the war began, an estimated 70,000 people have died.
Now the protests that ignited Syria's civil war began in the southern city of Daraa. And demonstrators were furious over the arrest and alleged mistreatment of more than a dozen children who had scrawled anti-government graffiti on the walls of a school.
And these protests spread swiftly across the country. The southern city of Jassem was one of the first to join in. And a day later it was Damascus's turn when a Facebook page called on residents to protest. Demonstrators gathered outside a mosque chanting, "we want freedom."
And the hint of the bloodshed that would follow, the protests turned violent. Some protesters were pushed to the ground and beaten.
And today, France and Britain are urging the European Union to lift its ban on supplying arms to Syrian rebels.
Let's go to Nick Paton Walsh in Lebanon's capital Beirut for more. Nick, as the two year anniversary of this brutal war is being marked, the EU is discussing lifting its arms embargo. What is the latest on that?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really has exposed a riff at the heart of EU policymaking here. We have France, very stridently saying they should be arming Syrian rebels and the UK backing them up, hinting perhaps that that's a way of strengthening moderates, because in their words both extremists and the regime are getting arms anyway as the moderates who are losing out.
There's no concrete plan, as yet, to supply these weapons. But both countries are saying they will veto any attempt to renew EU sanctions against Syria stopping arms being supplied.
On the other side, we have Germany as well who appear to believe that will be a bad idea for the region as a whole.
But two years on, this debate rages. Rebels will consider that too little, too late for many of them, although any help they can take they will welcomely receive at this point. But we've been talking to children in the city of Aleppo to find out exactly what two years of war has done for them.
PATON WALSH: You can tell two years of war will scare for generations when children here in rebel held and regime bombarded Aleppo even have to go to school in secret. This revolt began when children had their nails torn out by police for drawing graffiti. Now it spawns these drawings. The planes, loaves, tanks of a bakery shelled from a girl who lost her uncle and brother to shelling she still hears in her dreams.
DONATELLA ROVERA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: The Syrian government are using inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons designed for the battlefield against civilian residential neighborhoods every day.
It is incredibly frustrating for a (inaudible) to see how little resonant of this is having at the international level. The international community is profoundly divided (inaudible) spectacularly.
PATON WALSH: Pause and see what two years of killing has already done. We ask them to raise their hand if they've lost someone to the war.
"My uncle," she says. "My cousin," she ads.
LUCIANO CALESTINI, UNICEF Right now at risk of losing a generation of Syrian children. They have seen extreme violence, often happening to a family member. And they find themselves now often in the foreign lands living in open fields, living in unfinished buildings. It's the magnitude of crisis in countries like Lebanon that is very difficult to manage.
PATON WALSH: Even now this girl wanted anonymity, fearing a massacre if the regime returns, even as she depicts it as close to collapse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In this drawing, I imagine the Syrian regime right now. This is Bashar al-Assad's shadow. His regime is only an image. The regime has actually collapsed and is afraid of its own shadow and everything around it.
JOSHUA LANDIS, SYRIA ANALYST: The regime and the Alawites are terrified of what will happen to them if they don't prevail in this struggle. For them, it's really an existential moment and that's why they're destroying the country with such vengeance. Damascus, in a year's time it could look much like Aleppo: destroyed. Assad is unlike to lay down his arms.
PATON WALSH: Sometimes class ends before the bell when the power cuts out. So young, they've already learned to take sides, to cheer on fighters to victory. Syria's two years of darkness swallowing their childhood whole.
PATON WALSH: That's what it's done to a generation of children, but the region as a whole reeling. All four neighbors of Syria have seen their military somehow dragged into this. All four are reeling from a massive influx of refugees. And that exodus continues to get worse, Krisite.
LU STOUT: It's absolutely heartbreaking looking at that drawing by a Syrian child of corpses, of blood, of a bakery under fire. As Josh Landis said in your report, Syria, this is going through an existential moment right now. And Nick, what are the capabilities of the rebels at this moment. What are the capabilities of Syria's rebel forces, the arms issue aside. Are they getting better training?
PATON WALSH: Well, you bring up an interesting point. A senior spokesperson for the rebels has just told CNN that the first group of Syrian fighters who have been trained by what they refer to as U.S. military and intelligence specialists in the country of Jordan, that first group on Thursday, yesterday, crossed back into Syria to use its new skills on the battlefield.
Now these apparently include the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, key things which the rebels have long sought. It's not clear where they'll source that weaponry, but that training is of course vital.
I should point out there has been no confirmation of this from the U.S. or Jordanian government, but that would be a significant bolster for the rebels. It's all about taking out the Syrian regime's air power. Once that's down, it's hard to resupply their troops stuck -- isolated in cities. And it's hard to bombard the rebels from the sky. That will certainly increase the pressure upon Assad were that to occur -- Kristie.
LU SOTUT: That's right, a significant boost as the conflict enters its third year. Nick Paton Walsh joining us live from Beirut, thank you.
Now it has always been a very controversial part of America's fight against terror and now a UN human rights official is harshly criticizing the use of drones in Pakistan. He says many innocent civilians are being killed. Now the New America Foundation tracks the number of strike. You can see them here pinpointed on this map. It says that in the past decade there have been 351 unmanned drone strikes in Pakistani territory, including nine so far this year.
And the most recent was on Sunday, when according to intelligence officials, two militants were killed in the tribal region of Dataa Khel bordering Afghanistan.
Now that UN investigator has been traveling around Pakistan talking to residents about the drone strikes. And CNN has been given exclusive access to his investigation team.
And for more, I'm joined now live by Saima Mohsin in Islamibad. And Saima, you had an exclusive interview with the UN investigator. What did you learn?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we spent those three days on his first trip for evidence gathering Pakistan with him. And he told me how crucial it was for him to meet the very people affected by the drone attacks. And a group of them came from north Waziristan. The area they live in is inaccessible, shrouded in mystery, and of course there are security concerns not least because of drone attacks there. So they were brought to Islamabad to meet him.
He spent a number of hours talking to them. And afterwards he told me how much their stories struck him and he couldn't help but empathize with their plight. And he had no doubt at all -- I asked him, "do you believe these were genuine civilians or could they be militants pretending?" And he said, "I have no doubt at all that they're telling me the truth."
He also said that he -- he told us that he was confident in what the Pakistani government had to tell him, that at all levels, publicly, at the UN, with the resolution in the national assembly, asking for the United States to cease drone attacks. And therefore he released a statement today saying that he believes that the United States' drone campaign is violating Pakistan's sovereignty if Pakistan is not consenting to them.
He also raises concerns, Kristie, about how that intelligence is gathered to identify militants. And this is what he had to tell me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN EMMERSON, UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS: Bearing in mind the extent to which this targeting policy must depend on human intelligence, there's obviously a myriad of ways in which it could easily occur that an individual could be misidentified. The question is, and this is one of the real thorny difficulties, how do we tell whether or not individuals or groups who have been targeted or who have lost their lives were indeed legitimate targets?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHSIN: In fact, Kristie, in all of this very somber discussions with the drone victims, there was a moment of laughter when he said, look, to me you do look like members of the Taliban. And everyone burst out laughing. The drone effectees saying this is laughable -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Concern about misidentification and the killing of innocent civilians. Saima, you've also talked to victims of the drone strikes. What do they tell you?
MOHSIN: Kristie, first of all they said that they were pleased that the UN and an independent international organization is finally taking this on board and investigating it. They're sorry it's taken so long to do so. I met one young man. He's just 34 years old. He was on a visit from Dubai to north Waziristan to see his family when he was getting into a taxi and that taxi was hit by a drone strike. He lost his leg. And now he told me he doesn't know how he's going to provide for his family and children. He used to be a builder in Dubai. And now he simply can't do that.
I met another man who said to me, well, look at me, am I your average Taliban? This is what he had to say to me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALIK JALALUDDIN, TRIBAL ELDER (through translator): Sometimes, they say al Qaeda is there, or Taliban is there. So just because I have a beard and a turban I must be a Tali too? Does that make me a Taliban? The CIA reports that we have killed X number of terrorists, but I have seen with my own eyes that in actual fact young children and women were killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHSIN: And by the way, Kristie, that tribal elder, Malik Jalaluddin represents the tribe from Dataa Khel, that area you just mentioned where the most recent drone attack has taken place.
LU STOUT: Saima Mohsin reporting live for us from CNN Islamabad. Thank you.
You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, the pope meets with the full college of cardinals. And we'll tell you if his remarks provided any new clues about how he will lead the church.
And piracy, it is an ongoing problem off the coast of Somalia. We'll have a live report from a NATO anti-piracy command center.
And David Beckham's Paris Saint-Germain get a tough draw at the Champion's League. Find out who they'll meet later in the show.
LU STOUT: All right, welcome back.
And you're looking at a visual representation of News Stream's top stories this Friday. Earlier, we reported on the devastating toll of Syria's civil war two years on. And now we turn to Vatican City where Pope Francis has met with the college of cardinals on his second full day as head of the Catholic church.
Now the cardinals are as eager as the rest of the Catholic world to see what direction his papacy will take. Let's join our senior Vatican analyst John Allen in Rome. He's also senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. And John, good to see you again.
Earlier today, as he was addressing the cardinals, we got to see and hear the personality of the pope. What struck you?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: You're absolutely right, Kristie. The world now is getting to know the new pope -- Pope Francis. And they're coming to discover an extremely humble, simple, sort of gracious man who is at the same time got enough toughness to be pope in his own way. There are number of points this morning where he sort of departed from papal custom.
We have a brief glimpse of the pope's address to the cardinals this morning. Why don't we take a quick look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS I: Go back to your homes and continue your ministry enriched by the experience of these days. So much faith and communion, unique incomparable experience which has enabled us to perceive the beauty of the church which is a reflection of the resurrected Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: You know, Kristie, one of the remarkable things watching Pope Francis this morning is even though he had a prepared text in front of him, how often he was willing to just sort of set it aside and throw something in that seemed to occur to him at the moment.
He earlier in his talk he mentioned, for example, that a very close friend of his, 90 year old Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mejia had had a heart attack, but he is in the hospital, he's fine, they're praying for him. Later on, he sort of tossed in this simple analogy about how getting old is like fine wine, but yet even though most of the cardinals are older men, they need to be concerned for the young. In other words, this is a pope who is not sort of shackled the protocol and willing to sort of let some of his own personality and his own humanity shine through.
I think what the consensus in the Roman street, anyway, is that as introductions go over these last few days, the new pope, Pope Francis, is doing awfully well.
LU STOUT: He is humble. He is human. And he dares to go off script. And the pope, already, he has called for a return to humble Christian values. So John, what kind of changes to you expect to see first under Pope Francis?
ALLEN: Well, you know, Kristie. Every pope, I suppose like leaders of other sorts -- president, prime ministers, and so on, get a kind of honeymoon period. And Pope Francis is right in the middle of his. But of course, you know, these gestures of humility and simplicity are going to charm the world only for so long and then people are going to begin wanting to see what actual concrete steps he's going to take in terms of policy.
Certainly one thing right out of the gate that everybody in Rome is anxiously waiting for is how the pope will begin to assemble the administrative team around him. And in particular who he is going to choose for the all important role of secretary of state. This is sort of the pope's prime minister, the guy whose job it is to make the trains run on time in the Vatican, so to speak. The perception is that for the last eight years the business management of the place sort of went off the rails.
And so if the new pope was going to send a signal that he's going to be the reformer, that not only the 114 cardinals who elected him wanted, but that much of the Catholic world is hoping for, they're going to be watching very carefully who he appoints for that job and whether the wheels begin to grind more smoothly in terms of how things work around here.
LU STOUT: All right, a very, very key appointment to watch.
John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst, thank you so much for joining us here on CNN.
Now since Wednesday's announcement, we have heard a lot about the humble life of Jorge Bergoglio led as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. And now Shasta Darlington takes us on a bus ride through one neighborhood where he led mass and washed the feet of the poor.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: This is the 70, this is the bus that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio took on various occasions once or twice a month to do mass in some of the poor neighborhoods.
We're going to head to Villa (inaudible) Quattra, Villa 2124.
(voice-over): The bus driver says he's heard about that austere cardinal who would take a seat in a simple black shirt and priests collar.
(on camera): The man who is now Pope Francis was a champion of the poor, but he also lived a life when he was named archbishop of -- in Buenos Aires, he refused to go live in the official residents. He wanted to stay in his small apartment. And the same goes for the limousine and driver. He preferred public transportation. And this is the bus he continued to take even after he became archbishop to give mass, to celebrate mass in this shanty town.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(voice-over): We asked the passengers if they'd ever met Cardinal Bergoglio. Three people right away said yes.
This woman said she was confirmed by him.
And this man said that they often sat together at San Lorenzo football matches, Cardinal Bergoglio's favorite team. "He was a fan, but not over excited," he says.
The bus lets us off in the heart of the Villa, slang for slum here in Buenos Aires.
On the way to the local church, we find two parishioners who knew Father Jorge well. Felix Ruiz Diaz says he was blessed to have the archbishop wash his feet on two different occasions. He gets emotional when we ask about the new pope.
"Now we've lost him," he says. "But of course it's an honor. He deserved it."
(on camera): We're not right in the heart of Villa (inaudible), Villa 2124, this is really a dirt poor neighborhood, I don't know how else to say it. This right up here is the parish church where the cardinal -- hola -- held mass on numerous occasions. And he's just extremely loved here. Everybody tells us what a humble man he was, how he arrived on a bus and how he walked these last five blocks all the way to the church.
(voice-over): Father Lorenzo (inaudible)) shows us around the church with its wooden benches and painted plaster walls. He says Cardinal Bergoglio was a fervent supporter of sending more priests into the slums.
Here, people take personal pride in the new Pope Francis, but they still hope to see him one day stroll up the dusty street from the number 70 bus stop.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Buenos Aires.
LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And still to come, the Champion's League draw is done and dusted, but David Beckham might not be too pleased with who his new Paris team will face next. Pedro Pinto will have all the details straight ahead.
LU STOUT: It is a Friday night here in Hong Kong. Coming to you live from the territory, you are watching News Stream.
Now the eight teams remaining in the European Champion's League found out who they will be playing in the quarterfinals. And with no further ado, let's get all the details from Pedro Pinto. He joins us live from London -- Pedro.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, let the speculation begin. Football fans around the world are already discussing who are the winners and the losers of Friday's draw in Swizterland.
Let's run you through all of the matches. And I'm going to start with the one I'm looking most forward to and that is Bayern versus Juventus. This match should be a clash of titans. Both teams playing quite well in the Champion's League so far. Juve have yet to lose a single game in Europe this season. Bayern really strolling in the Bundisliga. So they're in great domestic form.
What about Paris Saint Germain versus Barcelona. Zlatin Ibrahimovic facing his former team, Barca. David Beckham also there, of course, high profile player. Barcelona are the favorites to go through, though, aren't they.
And the same thing can be said about Real Madrid when they face Galatasaray. Galatasasaray making the final eight of the competition for the first time in over a decade. And Real Madrid are the favorites there. And he'll come up against former players Didier Drogba who he had at Chelsea and Wesley Sneijder who he had at Inter Milan.
Last but not least, Borussia Dortmund, a lot of people's darkhorses to win the title. They're up against Malaga who have made this phase of the competition for the first time ever. It's actually their first ever participation in the Champion's League.
So plenty of excitement and drama to look forward to later this year when the quarterfinals take center stage.
As you probably know, and you've just seen, there are no English teams left in the Champion's League, but there are three in the Europa League. Tottenham advance to the quarterfinals after a dramatic tie against Inter Milan, but afterwards it wasn't so much the result people were talking about, it was charges of racism. Spurs coach Andres Villas-Boas said striker Emmanuel Adebayor was subjected to monkey chants from Inter fans throughout the game. Tottenham lost the game 4- 1, but Emmanuel Adebayor still scored the crucial away goal that send Spurs through on aggregate on away goals. There were also claims on the night that Inter fans waved inflatable bananas at the Togo international.
Well, if there were any questions about Rafael Nadal's knee and how it's recovering from surgery, a lot of them were answered on Thursday in California as the Spanish star beat Roger Federer in their first meeting in a year. Nadal missed seven months on the ATP tour as he dealt with a serious knee injury, but he seems to be getting close to his best. He was in great form in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells tournament as he secured a straight sets win. Federer seemed to be affected by a little bit of a back injury on the night.
Rafa improved his overall record against his long-time rival to 19- 10. He won comfortably, 6-4, 6-2.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL NADAL, TENNIS PLAYER: This is a very important victory for me, you know, coming back in a hard court tournament and being in the semifinals is just amazing. Very, very happy for everything. I don't know Roger felt he's 100 percent tonight, but if not, sorry for him. I wish him a good recovery and quick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINTO: In the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs knotched up their 50th win of the season. And they did it in style, beating their local rivals the Dallas Mavericks. Tim Duncan was at his best. Got a little lucky there on that shot, but the veteran had a phenomenal game overall, 28 points, 21 rebounds in this contest.
It was a contest that went down to the wire as Vince Carter kept Dallas in it with an incredible shot down the stretch. In the end, though, the Dallas Mavericks just couldn't find enough buckets. And San Antonio, who has been without Tony Parker for awhile, they managed to prevail as they secured their 50th win. And it's the 14th consecutive year they've reached that landmark. The Spurs also sweeping the season series against the Dallas Mavericks 4-0 after Vince Carter missed that shot as time expired.
That's a quick look at sports for this hour. Kristie, back to you in Hong Kong.
LU STOUT: Pedro Pinto, thank you.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, Somali pirates in waters off Africa. And CNN rides along as NATO trains African navies to confront the problem.
And the big reveal. The Galaxy S4 makes its debut as Samsung tries to take a bigger chunk of the smartphone market.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream, and these are your world headlines.
Now today marks two years since protests touched off the conflict in Syria. The UN says around 70,000 people had died in the bloodshed so far. And more than 1 million people have fled the country. EU leaders are being asked today by France and Britain to allow arms shipments to the rebels.
Pope Francis is urging the Catholic Church not to give into pessimism and to find new ways of spreading the faith to the ends of the earth. The pontiff made those remarks as he met with the entire college of cardinals including those who were too old to take part in the conclave that elected him.
In Myanmar, a rare show of public criticism of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The 67 year old was heckled by villagers angry that a panel she chaired and had backed the expansion of a copper mine. Now the protesters say that it is built on illegally seized land. The panel did call for amendments to compensate the public.
And now Syrian opposition leaders say it is two years to the day since they began their rebellion against Syria's government. And the country is now caught up in a devastating civil war.
Ivan Watson talked with two activists who were involved in some of the earliest protests. And as he reports, their lives have changed dramatically since they first marched on the streets.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two Syrian activists in two different cities leading anti-government protests two years ago.
For Media Daghestany, these protests in her hometown of Homs marked the first time she dared speak out in public against Syria's dictatorship.
MEDIA DAGHESTANY, SYRIAN ACTIVIST: The first protest was great when we scream and saying that people want to overthrow the regime.
WATSON: Activists called it a revolution, but the Syrian government called it terrorism and cracked down hard with mass arrests, systematic torture, and deadly use of force.
Among those thrown in Jail, this truck driver turned demonstrator named Abu Mariam. He emerged from prison to become an opposition leader in Aleppo, Syria's largest city. As the death toll grew, some protesters took up arms. And today, the revolution has morphed into a fullscale civil war that's killed more than 70,000 people and force more than a million Syrians to flee the country.
Throughout it all, Abu Marium stayed in Syria. He sews flags for a protest movement that he says he sometimes barely recognizes.
ABU MARIAM, SYRIAN ACTIVIST (through translator): It started with one revolution and one revolutionary flag, but when we started getting weapons, extremist groups came.
WATSON: Abu Mariam says rebel fighters beat him up twice over the last month. First, fighters from the Islamist group Jabat al Nusra (ph) flogged him after accusing him of committing crimes against Islam. Then he was hospitalized when he tried to stop gunmen from another group from robbing a neighborhood shop.
MARIAM (through translator): I'm terribly afraid for the day after the regime falls, especially if some rebels keep identifying themselves as Islamists. Unfortunately, some rebels are calling for mass killings of other religious groups like the Alawites.
WATSON: Media Daghestany is far more optimistic.
DAGHESTANY: Of course I am proud of the revolution. I am proud of the people inside Syria, how they are brave.
WATSON: This single mother now lives with her five year old daughter in a basement apartment in Istanbul, decorated with children's stickers and a Syrian rebel flag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss Syria so much.
WATSON: Daghestany tells her daughter they will one day go home to rebuild their country after the Assad regime falls.
DAGHESTANY: It's a lot like a (inaudible) that everything will be OK. We need time to rebuild Syria.
WATSON: Two years into the uprising, one revolutionary remains idealistic in exile, while the other struggles on at home fearing that his hopes for the future are slowly being crushed.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.
LU STOUT: And you can find in depth coverage of the two year conflict in Syria on our website, just log on to CNN.com/international for analysis on what the war has cost the country and its people, how Syians are running out of safe havens as they flee almost daily shelling and the little reported story of Syria's female protesters.
Turning our attention now to the high seas and the danger in waters off Somalia. Now according to the International Maritime Bureau, a handful of ships and dozens of crew members are currently being held by Somali pirates. They were captured in and around the Gulf of Aden, a vital shipping lane that thousands of vessels pass through every year transporting billions of dollars in goods and oil. And that makes them prime targets for pirate attacks. But according to the international chamber of commerce, piracy on the world seas has reached a five year low with east Africa seeing a significant drop.
Now that is largely thanks to international naval patrols in waters prone to pirate attacks. Nima Elbagir is on one of those patrols. She joins us live on board the NATO ship San Marco. And Nima, tell us about the scene around you and what is NATO doing there to fight sea piracy.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the San Marco is actually the command center, it's the floating headquarters for the NATO operation Ocean Shield that's been taking over, policing these waters and pushing back the piracy. That five year low that you were talking about, Kristie, that's come at the cost of constant vigilance and billions of dollars to the global economy.
And one of the things that NATO is looking at now is how to make this operation more viable, how to make this operation more sustainable. So they're pushing cooperation with the African navies along this coastline. One of those navies is the Tanzanian navy. And we were here this morning while they carried out an incredibly impressive operation that involved boarding a supposedly hostile craft. We saw the Tanzanian navy being -- going through the steps of how to -- how to go on board the craft, how to neutralize hostiles on board of that craft.
And this does seem to be the future of anti-piracy, because at the moment piracy effectively, Kristie, is acting as a tax on every good that comes through this incredibly busy waterway. And while they are pushing piracy down for the moment, how do you keep that up without becoming complacent? And how do you keep that up without a further tax on the global economy, Kristie.
LU STOUT: They have to keep vigilant at all times.
Now NATO is also playing a key training role, but at this moment just how capable are regional navies to carry out patrols and to fight sea pirates themselves?
ELBAGIR: Well, regional navies obviously have a lot at stake, Kristie, here, especially along the Tanzanian and Kenyan coastline. This has had an impact on tourism, which is a major, major contributor to GDP in this region. They've seen a massive slowdown in terms of even just the cruise ships that come through, because you imagine this isn't somewhere that you'll be booking your holiday to as it stands at the moment. So regional navies do have a lot at stake here and they are showing a lot of willing in terms of policing these waters. And we were just speaking to the general in charge of the Tanzanian navy yesterday. And he said that the first interaction that they had with pirates, the first attack that they had was in 2010. So far this year they have not seen any pirate attacks in their waters.
Further across the region, of course, we are still seeing attacks. The issue is that what NATO and its partners in the region have been successful in doing is pushing down the success rate of those attacks. But where there is money to be made, there will always be different angles on this issue.
So how do you make sure that the problem doesn't continue? How do you make sure that this isn't seen as an easy moneymaker. And one of those ways is to tackle that problem on land. The admiral -- Admiral Natale (ph) who is in command of this NATO operation, that was actually the phrase he used with us. He said, you know, this is a problem we're dealing with at sea, but the root causes are at land. And if the international community think it's spending a lot of money now, then the cheaper solution would be to build up the capacity of Somalia to establish Somalia as a stable state, to invest in Somalia and to give the Somali youth who are taking to the high seas, to give them other options, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, multiple solutions out there to fight sea piracy, including, of course, the NATO-run anti-piracy ship that you're reporting from right now, the San Marco.
Nima Elbagir joining us live. Thank you, Nima.
Now let's go to China now where this man is officially the second most powerful man in the country. Li Keqiang has been named premier, that's part of a once in a decade leadership transition. And Premier Li will serve under China's new president Xi Jinping who was confirmed by the national party congress on Thursday. Li replaces Wen Jiabao who was premier for 10 years and led the country to an era of unprecedented economic growth.
Now China, if of course the world's second largest economy.
But an immediate challenge for China's new leaders involves diplomacy. U.S. officials recently blasted China for allegedly hacking into U.S. internet servers and stealing top secret information. Now President Obama recently signed an executive order to beef up security against potential cyber attacks.
We sent David McKenzie to the Chinese foreign ministry today to get its official response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With new leadership in place in China, what is the response to the strong statements President Obama made about hacking, cyber espionage, coming from China towards the U.S.?
HUA CHUN YING, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): Maintaining cyberspace security, peace and collaborating with other parties is mutually beneficial to every state member. China is firmly against any hacking activity and will resolve the issues through legal measures. China is willing to conduct constructive talks on cyber security with other parties, including the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: The ministry staying on message there.
Well, a the U.S. points fingers at China for cyber spying, it's being accused of doing the same to North Korea. The official state news agency in North Korea says the country's internet servers are being attacked by viruses every day. It says the U.S. and South Korea are to blame. The official KCNA report says this, quote, "they are seriously mistaken if they think that they can quell the DPRK's voices of justice through such base acts. The U.S. and its allies should be held wholly accountable for the ensuing consequences."
Now, you're watching News Stream and coming up next Samsung's new smartphone is full of software tricks, but are they any good? We'll get one reviewers judgment of the Galaxy S4. Stick around.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Let's get back to our video rundown now. And earlier, we took you on board a NATO ship patrolling Africa's east coast. Its goal, to train African navies to take on pirates who seize valuable tankers and their crews. But now it's time to turn our attention to tech and the glitzy launch of Samsung's newest smartphone in New York.
Now we previewed the Galaxy S4 for you on Thursday. And people were particularly excited to see Samsungs new gesture controls. Now Karen Keifer shows us that and some of the other S4 features.
KAREN KEIFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Samsung chose New York's Radio City Music Hall to start spreading the news about its latest entry in the smartphone wars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Its innovations make real life richer, simpler, and fuller.
KEIFER: The most notable features of the Samsung Galaxy S4, a larger and sharper screen, a better camera stocked with more tricks, smart scroll technology that knows when you're staring at your phone and scrolls up and down with a tilt, videos pause when you look away, and touchless control to navigate through webpages.
Samsung is a serious player in the smartphone wars, dominant among Androids. Massive marketing campaigns have taken jabs at rivals like BlackBerry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You finally going to retire that thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's cute. You're not even working, you're watching basketball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually I'm closing deals with clients and watching the game.
KEIFER: Hoping to snag business clients and maybe swipe some of the thunder of BlackBerry's new Z10. And obviously trying to take a bite out of Apple whose latest addition of the iPhone came out last September.
The buildup to Samsung's announcement included a Times Square flash mob with a Broadway flare. Whether the Galaxy 4 will be a hit, that depends on consumers and the response from the competition.
Karen Keifer, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: Now let's get reaction now from someone who has tested Samsung's new smartphone, Nilay Patel. And he got his hands on a Galaxy S4. He is, of course, the managing editor of the tech blog The Verge. And he joins us live from New York.
Good to see you again. And got to hear, what is your gut reaction to the Galaxy S4? Do you like it?
NILAY PATEL, THE VERGE: I like it. I mean, it is not as big of a change from the Galaxy S3 as Samsung's event and marketing would have you believe. It's a very iterative update. It has a slightly bigger screen. It has a faster processor. And it has a bunch of these software features, a lot of which I don't think the average consumer is ever going to see or use, but many of which are, you know, interesting and fun to play with, at least once.
LU STOUT: Yeah, one thing that's getting a lot of attention, perhaps a lot of hype, is these natural interactions with the S4. For example, there's something called Air View and it gives your finger the power to hover over an email or something and then you can just reveal the information behind that. Nilay, is that a gimmick, or is it a gamechanger? What do you think?
PATEL: It feels very gimmicky. And Samsung doesn't even quite know how to talk about it. At the event yesterday, they had all these Broadway skits. And at one point, somebody said, but why would I want to hover over my phone instead of touching it? And the best answer they had was a woman saying, because my nails are wet.
And that doesn't seem like a direct, sort of, great marketing pitch to the average customer. I think more of the interesting stuff comes in like the camera. They've got a bunch of really interesting camera features. They can take 100 photos in four seconds. And erase people who are walking by in the background so you get a clean shot. They can do all kinds of, you know, fun tricks to put, you know, multiple people in the same frame. They can -- you can take a picture with both cameras as the same time.
I think those are the things that are going to catch on with consumers. The tricks about tracking your eyes and waving at the screen, I don't think anybody is really asking for that stuff.
LU STOUT: And let's talk about the event itself. You just mentioned the Broadway sketches. We saw pictures of the Broadway flash mob. It definitely had a Broadway theme because it was at Radio City Music Hall. And Vilay, I saw on your Twitter feed that you called it, quote, "basically, total chaos." And you tweeted a picture of this crazy line outside the venue. What happened?
PATEL: It was actually kind of total chaos. You know, unlike an Apple event or most other tech industry events, Samsung actually invited the general public and they were giving away tickets to this event through various fan channels and social media. So there was a lot of people there. And it was getting in and getting settled and getting connected was kind of a challenge, because there were just so many more people there than a usual press event.
And it was over the top. Samsung is reportedly spending something like $400 million just to launch the phone in marketing money. And you can see where some of that money went yesterday. They had an entire orchestra that was under the stage. And at one point they raised it to show us that the orchestra was there. And then they just gently put them away again. And that was it. They just paid for an orchestra that you could look at one time.
So Samsung, you know, I think they want to be taken very seriously. I think they have a lot of money to spend to show that they're a major player. And they're doing -- they're doing it in a very different way then I think what we're used to from companies like Apple, and Google, and Facebook. And, you know, it's different. I don't know if it's going to be effective. I think it was certainly showy. But ultimately it comes down to how much consumers like this phone.
LU STOUT: Yeah. And your thoughts on that, because it is -- it's not just about the show or the event, it's about the smartphone itself. And the Galaxy S4, it is taking on the HTC One and other Android makers, but what about Apple? How concerned should Apple be right now?
PATEL: I think Apple is actually -- they've taken notice of Samsung and what they're doing in a very direct way. Phil Schiller was in New York. He gave interviews to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. He was -- you know, Apple executives were here and they were talking about Samsung in a way that they generally don't do before competitor launches.
And, you know, the one thing Samsung has that Apple doesn't have, and it's a very simple thing, they've got a huge screen on their phone. And I think people really like big screens. My joke is that if in the first Zoolander movie they had a really, really tiny phone, when they make Zoolander 2 he'll have a giant phone, because that's the way the industry is going and that's what people seem to want.
And I think that is something for Apple to really take note of. The web and -- you know, the mobile web and the mobile internet have become very visual. What people are using phones as their primary computers and they definitely want big screens.
LU STOUT: Well, Vilay, always appreciate your views on this. Thank you for joining us. Vilay Patel of The Verge, thank you and take care.
PATEL: Thank you for having me.
LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, she is 88. She's a grandmother. And apparently she's got some moves. Just find out who has got her dancing next.
LU STOUT: Now the eastern coast of Australia has been drenched with rain in recent months. Tom Sater is monitoring the latest downpour as he joins us now from the World Weather Center with more -- Tom.
TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we've had some big news here. I mean, we've talked about it. We've had it for weeks now - - inundation of flood waters on, of course on the east coast of Australia. A lot of it has to do, of course, the heat too. This is all we talk about, global warming. It says something when you are one degree warmer for your entire summer, but how about two or three. This is where we had the bush fires this year, too.
But when we talk about temperatures, it was Melbourne that broke an all-time record this past week, nine days of 30 or higher, that's never happened before in their history. Records go back to 1856.
But I want to point out Wellington. Take a look at Aukland. This is an area of concern, because when you have heat, you have what's called the expansion of the tropics. And that sets up high pressure, which is dry air. They are now in a drought in New Zealand. This is Tim. We'll get to Tim in a minute. This is left over from Sandra. Sandra may connect with a system moving across southern areas of Australia to give New Zealand the first rainfall that some areas have had in over six weeks.
But authorities now in Wellington, stringent water restrictions. Believe it or not, some authorities are saying their water supply will be less than 20 days. They haven't had rain. They need rain desperately. They've had too much on the coast. And now, you know, when you talk about 400 to 600 millimeters more than average and you toss in a cyclone, where is this system going to go?
Remember towns such as Bundaberg (ph), Gimpy (ph), or Mackay. This system may slowly make its way back to the coast all the way towards somewhere between Rockhampton and Kians (ph). This is the last thing that we're going to want to see.
Our computer models hold it out here for awhile. Hopefully it'll die out. But they could really use the moisture now streaking down toward New Zealand.
Again, the drought is the worst, some say, in 75 years. In parts of New Zealand they're saying it goes back to the 1870s. So we're going to be watching this one very closely, Kristie, in the days ahead.
They would like to have some of this. They do not need it on the coast. But we're going to be watching it very, very closely.
LU STOUT: That's right. Here's hoping that the rain gets to the right places.
Tom Sater there, thank you.
And finally, we want to leave you with a dancer who has become, yes, and internet sensation. She has got style. She has sass. And she has 88 years under her belt. But as Jeanne Moos shows us, she has got the moves and the mouth of a teenager.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most 88-year-olds are lucky to be walking down steps, let alone dancing down them to "Run Around Sue."
(MUSIC: "RUN AROUND SUE")
MOOS: It started out as a weekly routine for Esther Feole and her 24-year-old granddaughter Chelsey, playing oldies.
CHELSEY FEOLE, GRANDDAUGHTER (via phone): That's how it happens. I pick her up, make her breakfast and blast the music an she dances her way to the car.
MOOS: The next thing you know, "Run Around Sue" is running around the Internet, titled "Dancing Nana."
(on camera): You can tell she's really going to get down when she puts down her purse.
(voice-over): When she sets that thing down, she means business. No run around.
FEOLE: People are loving the purse drop.
MOOS: Nana wears her Life Alert like geriatric bling. On "Dancing Nana, Part Two," she's dancing in the streets.
(MUSIC: "DANCING IN THE STREET")
MOOS: And on "Dancing Nana, Part Three," she belts out a tune popular in her day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): You're gonna miss your big fat momma.
MOOS: But "Run Away [SIC] Sue" is her runaway viral hit.
(MUSIC: "RUN AROUND SUE")
MOOS: And she brings down the house with her last line.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I could dance all the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) day.
FEOLE: That's just the cherry on top. I remember filming, and when she said that, I was just like, "Oh, my God!"
MOOS: These days Nana's dancing in the halls rather than in the streets.
(MUSIC: "DANCING IN THE STREET")
MOOS (on camera): Cut, stop the dancing. I hate to say it, but a few weeks ago Chelsey's Nana had to go into a nursing home. She's having problems with dementia.
(voice-over): But Chelsey says she's the life of the nursing home.
FEOLE: That sassy, you know, spunky grandmother to all of us. I truly cherish this video.
MOOS: She's an oldie but goody, even when she's bad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could dance all the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) day.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
LU STOUT: Go, granny, go.
That is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.