Return to Transcripts main page


Migrant Boat Sinks; World Cup Worries; U.S. Government Shutdown: Day 3; Jailed Pussy Riot Member Protest; Myanmar Unrest; FBI Shuts Down "Silk Road"; Remembering Tom Clancy

Aired October 3, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): As world football's governing body meets in Switzerland. And a look back at the author who made an empire of military-themed books, movies and games, Tom Clancy passes away.


STOUT: A rescue operation is underway right now off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. A boat thought to be carrying up to 500 migrants from Africa capsized and caught fire. The Italian Coast Guard says at least 94 people are dead, including children. The Coast Guard has rescued at least 151 people so far.

Our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, is covering the story from Rome and he joins us now live.

Ben, what is the latest on the rescue operation?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, it is ongoing. The Italian Coast Guard has retrieved 93 bodies, 151 people have survived so far. But according to the Coast Guard, they believe it was a fairly large ship, as the -- as they go, those that take these refugees, migrants, to the Italian coastline.

They believe that as many as 500 people were on board that ship. So there could be well over 200 still out there, either alive or missing. It's not altogether clear.

Now according to the Coast Guard, they believe that the ship came from the Libyan port of Misrata. They -- of course, it's important to keep in mind that these ships are operating illegally, that these are illegal migrants, that these ships have very little in the way of safety standards or measures. They don't have manifests in the classic sense of the word.

And therefore, it's all a very murky, shady operation, a shady business. These, of course, are people who are paying, in some cases thousands of dollars to get on these ships, to get to the coast of Italy. And therefore it's a very difficult operation to figure out how many people are missing and how many people were, in fact, on the boat in the first place, Kristie.

STOUT: But as you calculated just a moment ago, there could be as many as 200 people still unaccounted for.

Could you tell us more about Lampedusa itself?

And why is it that boats like this often target Lampedusa as a destination for migrants who want to go oftentimes from Africa to reach into Europe?

WEDEMAN: Well, it's just a little over 100 kilometers off the North African coast. So certainly it's the first island, significant Italian island, that you would reach if you were going from North Africa to Italy.

At this time of year, the sea is relatively calm. So this is a time when a lot of people would be attempting that crossing.

Now Lampedusa, over the years, has hosted tens of thousands. I've seen as many, you know, figures, a total of maybe a quarter of a million migrants have passed through Lampedusa over the last 15-20 years, trying to get to the European mainland.

And in fact, just last night, 463 Syrian refugees showed up in Lampedusa from one of these boats. And fortunately, in that case, they arrived safely. But certainly it's a very dangerous crossing. On Monday, not off of Lampedusa, but off of the coast of Sicily, 13 bodies washed up.

These are migrants, the Italian authorities believe, were actually thrown off one of those boats by the crews, by the crew of that ship, Kristie.

STOUT: And is this a dangerous journey because of the conditions on these illegal boats?

And tying it to the terrible event that happened today, do we know what caused the migrant boat to sink?

WEDEMAN: Well, just to go to the timeline, local fishermen called the Italian Coast Guard at 7:20 am local time to tell them that there was a ship in distress. Now according to one of the survivors of this ship, they said the boat capsized and then there was a fire on board as well.

So these ships are crammed to the gills with migrants, with people. There's probably nowhere near any level of acceptable safety on board; lifeboats, life jackets are probably a minimum and probably reserved for the crews of these ships.

So they're very dangerous ships. The crossing is dangerous. And even though, as I said, this time of year there -- the sea is relatively calm. But the Mediterranean can get very choppy even at this time of year. So it's definitely a very dangerous crossing, Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, terrible, terrible tragedy this day.

Ben Wedeman reporting for us, thank you, Ben.

Now one of the biggest sporting events in the world is under the media glare this hour. FIFA's executive committee is meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, today for crisis talks on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Now remember, Qatar won the hosting rights three years ago.

But there has been growing talk about the oppressive summer heat in the desert country, many saying that it could pose a threat to the safety of the athletes.

Now in an unprecedented move, FIFA could decide to shift the event from summer to winter or possibly even move it to a different country altogether. CNN's Alex Thomas has more.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Truly global events don't get much bigger than football's World Cup. This promo video for Brazil 2014 gives you a feel for the excitement of an event watched by billions of people across the planet, earning billions of dollars for its organizers, FIFA.

So the decision three years ago to pick a small Middle Eastern nation to host the 2022 tournament was certainly bold. And as the celebrations faded, calls grew to take the World Cup away from Qatar or move the dates because its summer weather is simply too hot.

MICHEL PLATINI, UEFA PRESIDENT: (Inaudible) that we have to play in winter. And it's not a big problem to play in January or in the -- because we can postpone the end of the season in June instead of May and (inaudible) wants to play the best, the most important event in the world in the best period for the people, for the fans, for the journalists, for the players.

THOMAS (voice-over): Qatar's potentially harmful summer heat was mentioned in FIFA's own evaluation report before the 2010 vote. Yet it only became a contentious issue afterwards. The governing body's chief investigator is reportedly touring all countries involved in what was a unique bidding process.

THOMAS: In December 2010, just months after the first-ever African World Cup, FIFA's executive committee voted for both the 2018 and the 2022 hosts. Russia got the nod for 2018, ahead of England's and joint bids from Holland and Belgium and Portugal and Spain. And Qatar was picked to host the 2022 tournament, which meant South Korea and Japan, Australia and the United States all lost out.

THOMAS (voice-over): Since winning the right to host the event, Qatar has always strongly rejected any criticism of the bidding process and organizers don't agree the heat is a concern.

HASSAN AL-THAWADI, QATAR 2022 SECRETARY GENERAL: Other nations have hosted similar World Cups in similar if not more severe conditions. In addition to that, however, the promises that we've made in terms of cooling technology, you know, even adds more confidence to us in terms of our ability to host a very successful and very memorable World Cup.

THOMAS: There are many stakeholders who could protest or even demand compensation if FIFA's decision makers here in Zurich opt to move the 2022 World Cup. It's a complex mess (inaudible) begin to untangle -- Alex Thomas, CNN, Switzerland.


STOUT: Now many of Qatar's new World Cup facilities are being constructed by migrant workers. And human rights groups describe harsh working conditions and severe labor abuses.

Now CNN's Leone Lakhani got a rare look at the living conditions of some of the workers and she joins me now live from Doha.

And Leone, could you tell us more about the evidence you've seen of suffering among the workers there?

LEONE LAKHANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, more than 90 percent of the workforce in Qatar is made of migrants. And many of them are in low- skilled, low-paying jobs. And they tend -- generally live in what's known in this part of the world as labor camps, in these cramped living spaces.

And we met a taxi driver from Nepal who took us and showed us how he lives, and this is what we saw.


LAKHANI (voice-over): It's late into the night and "John" -- not his real name -- is coming to the end of a 12-hour shift in Qatar's capital, Doha.

He's a taxi driver who came here from his native Nepal a year ago.

Driving along the outskirts of the city, the 35-year old tells me he left his wife and kids back home and came with the hope of more pay and a better life for his family.

But things didn't quite work out as he expected.

"I make more money here," he says, "but it's really tough. It's hard. My work hours are long."

"John's" living arrangements are just as difficult. He shares a room like this one with seven other men in a cramped living space in the desert.

There are few amenities here. But "John's" biggest concern is that he can't leave. He says his company is holding his passport.

One of the reasons he didn't want to reveal his identity, John is one of nearly 400,000 Nepalese migrants living in Qatar. The U.N.'s labor watchdog says about 90 percent of this state's workforce is made up of migrants.

Cases like this aren't unusual here. In fact, "John" is one of the lucky ones; 65 Nepalese migrants died this year in June, July and August, many from heart failure according to Nepal's embassy in Doha. There's more than one death every two days during the hottest months of the summer.

SHARAN BURROW, INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION: You're talking about a slave state. That's an extreme statement, I know, in the 21st century, but what else can you call an environment where workers are totally controlled by an employer; they're forced to live in squalor.

LAKHANI (voice-over): Qatar's labor conditions are now under greater scrutiny as it prepares to build for the 2022 World Cup, from stadium to hotels, much of it built by migrants.

Qatar's committee in charge of the World Cup says it's making workers' rights a priority.

AL-THAWADI: As soon as they run up to the attention or as soon as the government or the relevant authorities take a look at them, action is taken. So to describe it as a slave state, all I can say is it's simply outrageous.

LAKHANI (voice-over): Qatar's labor laws limit working hours, provide for overtime and holidays and specifically state it's against the law for a company to hold passports of workers like "John."

LAKHANI: We went to his company and spoke to a manager who didn't want to appear on camera, but admitted the company was holding the passports of its workers. He said it was for safekeeping. He knew it was against the law, but he just said many companies were doing it.

LAKHANI (voice-over): Many human rights groups say the laws are often left unenforced. But Qatar's government says it's taking the allegations seriously. The country's labor minister told the local media this week that the government is committed to cracking down on any labor violation.

Activists say that it's crucial that Qatar wants to prove it's worthy of hosting one of sport's foremost events. If "John" gets his passport back, he doesn't plan to wait around for the tournament. Wages may be higher in Qatar, he says, but life here is just not worth it.

And after just one year, "John's" ready to head home.


LAKHANI: Kristie, so the government is vowing to crack down on any violations, but those promises really do have to translate into tangible actions. That's what the international community will be looking out for, and that's what they want to see, Kristie.

STOUT: That's right. The pressure is on for Qatar to take action.

Leone Lakhani reporting live from Doha, thank you.

Now the numbers here are simply staggering. Human Rights Watch says just 12 percent of Qatar's overall population are actually Qatari citizens. That is the lowest percentage of any country on the planet. That translates to about 240,000 people. That means Nepalese workers alone outnumber Qatari citizens in Qatar.

We'll have more on this a little bit later in the show. I'll be speaking to a researcher from Amnesty International in about 20 minutes.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM. And still to come, the U.S. government shutdown enters a third day. Leaders any closer to a compromise?

Also ahead, Russia's political punk collective, Pussy Riot, is back in the news. And we'll tell you why one of its members went on a hunger strike in prison.

And we'll have an update on Myanmar where violence has again flared as homes are set on fire by mobs.




STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching NEWS STREAM. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today. Now we started with the tragedy off the coast of an Italian island, where almost 100 migrants died when their boat sank.

A little bit later we'll speak to Amnesty International about the plight of migrant workers in Qatar. But now let's turn to the United States, where there is no end in sight to the government shutdown. It is now in day three. U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders came away from a face-to-face meeting without finding common ground.

Mr. Obama wants the Republican-controlled House to vote on a spending bill that does not defund or delay his signature health care law. Now he says the clean bill would pass with bipartisan support. But some Republicans agree. Now they have voiced their concerns to House Speaker John Boehner who decides what legislation reaches the floor.

But it was not his idea to tie the budget to attempts at dismantling ObamaCare. That came from the Tea Party. It's actually a caucus; it's not an official party. It started as a grassroots political movement, primarily focused on balancing the budget and made up mostly of conservative Republicans.

Some moderates are expressing frustration.


REP. DEVIN NUNES: It's not the Tea Party caucus, not at all. It's a lemming caucus. It's guys who meet privately; they're always conspiring. It's mostly just about power. And it's just gotten us nowhere.


STOUT: And some analysts say that the budget battle, it's turning into a civil war within the Republican Party. But Republican Senator Rand Paul says that's not true.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KY: Not everybody agreed on the tactics of how the fight went along. I think that's -- I could admit to that. Everybody admits to that.

However, on ObamaCare, we're absolutely united in the Republican Senate caucus is absolutely united. We shouldn't fund it. it's bad for America. And America's going to really fund this out of the next year or two. It's a disaster for us. I think we're united in the House. But we're also willing to compromise. And that's what the American people need to know.

We've been giving and giving and giving. And the president's saying my way or the highway. And I don't think that's what the American people want.


STOUT: Rand Paul there.

Let's get the very latest from Washington. Brianna Keilar joins us live from the White House.



Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the meeting between congressional leaders and President Obama here at the White House yesterday "unproductive," and sadly that may be the one point where there is bipartisan agreement.


KEILAR (voice-over): For the first time since the government shutdown, congressional leaders met face-to-face with President Obama at the White House Wednesday night, both sides emerging with no deal and no signs of progress to end the stalemate.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate.

SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: We're through playing these little games.

KEILAR (voice-over): Republicans still demanding President Obama accept a delay to his signature health care program.

BOEHNER: All we're asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under ObamaCare.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated.

KEILAR (voice-over): In an interview with CNBC, the president reiterated, he won't give in on ObamaCare, but said he will negotiate on budgetary issues like taxes, spending, entitlement reform, if the House Republicans first agree to reopen the government for several weeks.

OBAMA: We have a situation right now where, if John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, puts a bill on the floor to reopen the government at current funding levels, so that we can then negotiate on a real budget that allows us to stop governing from crisis to crisis, it would pass.

KEILAR (voice-over): The president is probably right, but that's not happening anytime soon. Instead, House Republicans held votes again on funding the government in a piecemeal way that the Senate will surely reject.

Meanwhile, not far from the Capitol, the World War II Memorial, operated by the largely shuttered National Park Service, has become a proxy in this battle. To counter images of World War II vets showing up to the barricaded memorial, the RNC offering to pay to keep it open.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIR: Our veterans deserve the freedom to see this memorial. And we're willing to pay the bill. Now it's up to the president just to let them in.


KEILAR: And yesterday that is sort of what happened. The National Parks Service now says the World War II memorial will be open now only to veterans.

So, Kristie, that's really an image that is kind of outrageous to a lot of Americans. It's now off the table. And so it appears at this point perhaps that little battle is over.

STOUT: Yes, but so much more remains on the table here and so much talk about the stalemate between the White House and Republican Party.

But what about the stalemate inside the GOP between moderates, some would say standard Republicans, and the Tea Party?

And how united will Republicans stay, especially as the shutdown crisis drags on?

KEILAR: I think at this point, Kristie, the division is widening, but it's not -- it doesn't have a whole lot of momentum at this point, enough momentum that Speaker Boehner could rely on his more moderates. And really to that point, there are more than a dozen at this point or even more than that Republicans who are saying, you know, a clean funding bill is the way to go here.

But even when House Republicans put up measures that call for the delay of ObamaCare, the call for funding, the government in a piecemeal fashion, some of those Republicans are still voting for the piecemeal and other measures.

So it just goes to show you that even though they're calling for a different route, they're not perhaps standing really steadfast. That might indicate that there's a huge break.

But I will tell you, the White House and Senate Democrats, they have been able to stand together pretty well and that's why they look at what's going on in the House Republican conference. And they feel like that's a division they can exploit. They feel like that gives them the upper hand, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Brianna Keilar reporting live from the White House for us, thank you, Brianna.

And you can find complete coverage of the U.S. government shutdown right here on our website. Among other things, you can learn how the mess in Washington could delay a mission to Mars by two years. We also have a number of opinion pieces.

Frieda Giddes (ph) writes, quote, "The democracy that once inspired the world now leaves observers perplexed." To read the rest,

Coming up after the break, a member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot is hospitalized after a nine-day hunger strike protesting her prison conditions. We'll hear from her family and take a look at the prison camp where she is being held.




STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now one of the imprisoned members of the Russia punk bank Pussy Riot is protesting what she says are slave-like conditions at the prison camp where she is being held. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was recently moved to the prison's medical ward after what her husband says was a nine-day hunger strike.

She ended that strike on Tuesday. She's serving a two-year sentence for her part in an anti-government performance at a Russian Orthodox cathedral. Her husband says that she may resume her hunger strike if conditions at the prison do not improve.

Phil Black reports.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a seven-hour drive east of Moscow to get to the prison camps of Mordovia. Convicted criminals are said to fear this place. It is grim, decaying, often intimidating.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was sent here a year ago for her part in this famous performance.

The Pussy Riot "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral, a protest song against President Vladimir Putin.

Found guilty of hooliganism, the punishment was two years prison. Tolokonnikova has less than six months left on her sentence. But on September 23rd, she declared the conditions to be intolerable and began a hunger strike.

BLACK: So it's been more than a week since you've seen her?


BLACK (voice-over): Tolokonnikova's husband said her condition deteriorated sharply when she was moved to a prison hospital facility.

VERZILOV: Now obviously she's very weak now. She has -- she did start getting complications because basically it was her ninth day of the hunger strike.

BLACK (voice-over): She described life in the camp in an open letter: 16-hour working days, little sleep or food, violence and cruelty.

This video was recorded by human rights activists just two days into the hunger strike.

Tolokonnikova says women in the prison are forbidden from maintaining personal hygiene.

BLACK: The scene here, Tolokonnikova description of life on the other side of the barbed wire, it's all drawn comparisons to the gulags, the notoriously brutal prison camps of the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin. The prison authorities here deny Tolokonnikova's allegations. They say she's lying.

BLACK (voice-over): Svetlana Bakhmina believes every word because she says she's lived through it, too.

Bakhmina was convicted of embezzlement and served three years in a Mordovia prison camp.

"It's like torture," she says. "The system between the administration and the convicts is not just based on subordination, but humiliation, fear, intimidation and physical force."

Bakhmina says she also went on a hunger strike after the authorities said she could no longer phone her children.

She says the physical pressure applied to make her quit was more difficult than the hunger.

Maria Alyokhina, another convicted member of Pussy Riot, went on a hunger strike earlier this year, protesting conditions in a different remote prison camp. She drew attention and won concessions. Now Tolokonnikova hopes she has done the same -- Phil Black, CNN, Mordovia, Russia.


STOUT: Now this is NEWS STREAM. And we'll have more on the allegations tarnishing Qatar's FIFA World Cup operations. What is the government doing to tackle claims of worker abuse?

Also ahead, reports that six are dead and houses burned to the ground in Myanmar. Terrified residents endure a fresh wave of violence.




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


STOUT (voice-over): In Italy, a large rescue operation is underway off the coast of the Italian island Lampedusa. At least 94 people died after a boat capsized and caught fire. Five hundred people were believed to have been on the boat carrying migrants from Africa. The Italian Coast Guard has so far been able to save at least 151 of those on board.

At least eight people were killed after a small plane crashed in Lagos, Nigeria. The charter plane was carrying 20 people and it crashed during takeoff from Murtala Mohammad International Airport.

A new radioactive water leak has been discovered at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The operator, TEPCO, says an unknown quantity of the contaminated water may have reached the Pacific Ocean. Now an earlier leak was reported from a different tank back in August.

The family of pop star Michael Jackson has lost its legal battle against his concert promoters. The pop star's mother and children said AEG Live was negligent hiring his doctor, Conrad Murray, the head of Jackson's 2009 comeback tour. But a jury in Los Angeles disagreed.


STOUT: Earlier we told you what human rights groups say is the abusive treatment of Qatar's enormous migrant labor workforce.

James Lynch is Amnesty International's researcher on migrant workers in the Gulf. He joins me now live from London.

James, thank you for joining us here on NEWS STREAM. Before we get into your recommendations for Qatar and FIFA, let's first talk about the status quo. Let's talk about the workers' conditions in Qatar.

Could you, for example, take us to a construction site for the World Cup. What are the working conditions like, the working hours, the heat? How dangerous is the work?

JAMES LYNCH, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Sadly, we've seen the research we've done involving interviewing migrant workers and speaking to construction companies themselves. Exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar is far too commonplace.

We've met workers who've been really in severe distress, with having not been paid for months at a time, sometimes not able to leave the country and living in very dire condition.

And then you add to that, as you say, what can be very long working hours, beyond the legal limits and in extreme heat as well. So these can be really widespread problems.

And I think what's been quite disturbing has been that when we've spoken to some of the construction companies to find out why are you doing this, why are you carrying out these practices, why are you not allowing your workers to leave the center and not paying them, they will often sort of act as if that's kind of normal and that the labor laws that are there are sort of optional.

I'm not saying that's all companies but there are enough of them to indicate that this is -- exploitation has become a sort of normalized practice for some construction companies.

STOUT: So you report workers there not being paid, not being allowed to leave; working in very challenging conditions, in extreme heat.

Is forced labor being used to build the venues for the 2022 World Cup?

LYNCH: Well, in the research work we've been doing, we have put together our findings. And we've sent those to the government of Qatar, where we're actually expecting a response from them imminently.

And in that, we detailed various forms of exploitation, such as I mentioned. And in some of those cases, we've presented them specific cases where we believe the combination of exploitative practices would amount to forced labor under the international definition for forced labor.

So we await to hear their response to that. But it definitely can do, yes, absolutely, which is deeply, deeply concerning, given the fact that the population of Qatar is rising at around 10 percent a year in order to build this enormous construction program, which some people estimate is around $200 billion worth of construction in the next decade.

STOUT: And James, now the focus is on Qatar. I know you've focused on the issue and written, in fact, for, an article about the new leadership in Qatar and their appetite for meaningful human rights reform.

Do you think they're going to take worker rights seriously?

LYNCH: Well, we certainly hope so. The new emir who came to power in June put his signature to vision 2030, which actually acknowledges that improving the labor standards for workers will not only be better for workers, but will be better for Qatar in terms of its image in the world.

So this isn't something that should be new to him or his government. And when we speak to government officials, they will admit that there are problems. But they will always disagree with us about the scale. They'll say there are a few bad apples, that you're focusing on the extreme end.

And I think we would both disagree with that assessment. We would say we've seen independent evidence of surveys that have shown, for example, one in five workers not being paid on time, 90 percent of workers not having their own passport, which is illegal under Qatari law and could be (inaudible) forced labor.

But also we would say some of the cases have been so extreme that even if you doubt the scale, this is a massive issue which has to be dealt with. No cases of the kind of exploitation that we've seen should be acceptable.

STOUT: And what about FIFA? Could FIFA play a role here in perhaps forcing Qatar's hand to accept the true scale of the problem.

What should FIFA do next?

LYNCH: Well, FIFA is a very powerful organization. I mean, we've seen the ILO saying in the last couple of days they believe FIFA is more powerful than they are and can have more influence. And I think it's really important that FIFA gets a grip on this issue.

FIFA needs to work with the Qatar 2022 organizing committee and the government to really put together a serious plan on this, a transparent plan that's going to address it. And it needs to go beyond World Cup stadia, training grounds, because there is an enormous program of construction going on in Qatar of infrastructure, key infrastructure, roads, railways, tube stations, additional hotel capacity.

All of that is going to contribute to the staging of the World Cup. So it needs to be more than just looking at stadiums, and it needs to look at the real factors in the way that migrant workers are employed and the way that the laws are not being enforced so that there is a -- you know, the government needs to be in the lead on this.

But FIFA ought to be really putting the pressure on them and engaging them in the long term. This can't be some nice words that -- to come out of a statement from Zurich. We want to see some action.

STOUT: And a final question for you, James ,you have been a long-time observer of human rights issues in Qatar. How optimistic are you for change? I mean, do you think that this World Cup could be a catalyst for meaningful and lasting human rights reform in Qatar?

LYNCH: Well, Qatar's put itself forward in a sense in the last decade as a dynamic high-profile member of the international community. And that's sort of -- it's the role it sought to play in foreign policy and economically in terms of its investments.

So we would really want to see it taking -- playing that role in human rights terms, particularly showing the rest of the region that it can lead and that migrant rights matter and that it's a priority. So that must be the goal of the government of Qatar. And that's what we'll be urging them to do, to take this as an -- take this moment of pressure as an opportunity to make long-lasting changes.

STOUT: All right. James Lynch of Amnesty International, joining us live from London, thank you.

Now in response to those claims, the government of Qatar says that it takes its international obligations very seriously. In a statement, it says an independent review of the allegations will be undertaken.

Now let's turn to the situation in Myanmar. Media reports say that the death toll from recent violence in Rakhine state has now risen to six. Hundreds of Buddhist rioters set fire to Muslim homes and mosques on Tuesday. Terrified residents fled to the forests. And all this happened just hours before President Thein Sein arrived in the region.

He met with local residents during his visit (inaudible) violence flared up in western Myanmar last year and has spread to other parts of the country.

I want to bring in Paula Newton for some perspective. She just arrived here in Hong Kong, has been reporting in Myanmar.

And it's good to see you here. Could you just tell us, why are we seeing this flare-up in anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in speaking to people in Myanmar, that's NGO groups, but the people actually on the ground living through this right now, they do admit that, look, for years, these problems were festering and you did have Buddhists and Muslims living side by side for years during the military dictatorship.

But there was always that persecution and segregation. That is what the Muslims say. And in fact, Kristie, as you said, 140,000 now internally displaced in the country. We spoke with a Muslim family that basically their home was burned down; they now are internally displaced, homeless in their own country, six kids not going to school, living on less than $3 a day.

And you can imagine, the reports that we hear from Lakhine state today was that you had Muslims basically hiding in the forest.

What is key there, Kristie, is the fact that at worst, the security forces can't protect them; at best, really, they're saying what can the government do about this right now? They are looking at the president, at the government, and saying please protect us from this kind of persecution.

STOUT: And there are reports of security forces standing by and watching as the violence goes on.

Who is behind this anti-Muslim violence?

NEWTON: That is a difficult question and we certainly asked a lot of people. As you said, the religious violence has spread throughout the country. There are different little flare-ups in different areas of the country.

Certainly a lot of it has been festering. An international crisis group has done research recently, saying, look, that anti-Muslim sentiment in some parts of the country is rife; it is endemic. And for that reason, they expect this to continue.

In terms of us getting to the actual events, the trigger points, it seems to be a lot of problems within villages, within towns, flare-ups between shop owners, between who has the economic power in the community, who doesn't, questions about identity politics, things like that just continue to fester in these communities.

But the mobs, the witness accounts that we have had of those mobs, when they are on the rampage, is absolutely terrifying.

And I think many have said, international observers have said until everyone calms down and can get into a relative sense of safety in those communities, they aren't even beginning to get to a point where they can get to the root of the problem and try and really get to some reforms in those areas.

STOUT: Yes, there is an international call for calm and easing the tensions. We know that the president of Myanmar, Thein Sein, he went to the site of the recent flare-up in violence.

Does he have what it takes to ease the tension at all?

NEWTON: Well, he's certainly saying the right things. And I know former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was again in Myanmar last week and in speaking to him, he told us that, look, they know that this is an international test at this point and they are saying that the government is trying to do all it can.

At this point, trying to get that situation to calm down and taking the temperature down in that area, Kristie, is quite difficult.

On the other hand, what is needed in the area? There is absolutely a national -- basically a peace conference going on right now, and this includes a lot of desperate groups and a lot of different political issues on the table right now. And Myanmar's incredibly complicated. But this is definitely part of it.

And many people believe that if they get closer to that kind of peace treaty in that country for that kind of cease-fire that this will put them on a road to a point where they can work individually at the micro level, in those communities.

The problem is though, if you talk to people, Kristie, in terms of me speaking to Muslim families who have been displaced, they cannot envision a time in the next few months, even in the next few years, where they will return to the place where they and their ancestors have lived for basically dozens of years, generations. They can't even picture a future of going back to those areas.

STOUT: Yes, they can't envision a future of returning to their homes, let alone a peace treaty being signed.

Just how deep is anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar?

And are we going to and should we expect to see more anti-Muslim violence ahead in the country?

NEWTON: Well, getting to figures is kind of difficult in the country. They're in the middle of trying to undergo a census. But right now, let's be clear: the Buddhist majority is the majority; it's more than 90 percent of the population, so we think. And about 5 percent are Muslim. There is, unfortunately, some radical sentiment within that Buddhist community.

Now if you speak with Buddhists on the ground there, the monks, they say that at times they are being misunderstood. But you cannot deflect from the situation and the hate speech that some of those desperate people have been spreading in those areas.

Many Buddhists will tell you they do not speak for us. But unfortunately, that hate speech has been being disseminated in those areas. And you do see, unfortunately, this kind of momentum where people are hearing the hate speech and they believe it is OK at that point to continue to persecute and basically ostracize and segregate that Muslim community.

It is one of those things that once that trigger, once you have that flashpoint, Kristie, and it's very difficult to come back from the brink in those situations. And we've seen that in many different parts of the world recently. There have been some Muslims trying to come together with Buddhists to try and really engage in peaceful conversations and say, look, those radicals do not speak for us.

Right now, it's very slow going. And it really isn't making any kind of difference on the ground when you see Muslim homes being burned to the ground and people being forced to flee and hide in forests, fearing their own safety.

STOUT: Yes, we need to have more of those moments of engagement instead of seeing this, just desperate situation for so many families, displaced in their own country.

NEWTON: Yes, but we have to understand the infancy of what Myanmar's trying to do right now. You're talking about less than two years, on any kind of path to democratic reform. Aung San Suu Kyi has been a controversial figure in the country in terms of what she has said about this area and about what's going on right now.

There is no doubt that whoever leads Myanmar going forward in the next few years, this will continue to be a key challenge for that country.

STOUT: All right. Paula Newton reporting for us, thank you so much for sharing your reporting and your findings with us.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM. Still ahead on the program, we remember the life and work of the master of the spy thriller, Tom Clancy. He died on Tuesday at the age of 66. Stay with us.



STOUT: Broadcasting live from Hong Kong, this is NEWS STREAM.

Now let's get the very latest on the conditions, the weather conditions at the time of that deadly migrant boat accident that took place off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy. We got our Samantha Mohr monitoring the situation from the World Weather Center. She joins us now.


SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Kristie. Things around here, as we take a look over the Mediterranean, showing that disturbance working its way across the sea, a very weak disturbance. The seas were said to be slightly choppy, but we didn't have any big waves reported in.

And the ocean temperatures ,just so you're aware of that, running from around 22-24 degrees Celsius. And just a few clouds in the area. Now the Italian meteorological service did report a yellow warning, issue a yellow warning for possible thunderstorms yet this morning.

But right now it looks like conditions are partly cloudy, winds are out of the southeast at around 13. That is an observation coming in from Lampedusa right now. And that is similar to what we have had all morning long.

So certainly winds not strong enough to sink a ship on its own. So that's the disturbance moving through, all part of a bigger trough as we take you into a bigger view of Europe, showing this next trough working its way in just north of Spain right now.

And that's going to be a game-changer for much of Europe. It'll see some much colder temperatures moving in. We've already seen a very deep trough over Eastern Europe and that's where the temperatures have been incredibly cold here and we've even seen some snow around parts of Romania as that cold air has spilled on in.

Meanwhile, very mild here across parts of Central Europe in through Italy, stretching on up in to eastern France. But that's going to be changing as this trough moves on through. So a bit of a chill here across the east as we head into the next few days. That chill will remain here in Moscow and in Kiev and in Warsaw, those temperatures also a few degrees below average.

So overall temperatures running several degrees below average here across much of the east and then across parts of central Europe, things are actually pretty close to average for this time of year with some decent weather conditions. But as that trough moves in that will be changing things for the folks here in Central Europe, as that cooler air will be moving on in.

So rather unsettled for the last weekend here in Oktoberfest, where we're going to end up seeing those temperatures in the upper teens with a chance of showers for this last weekend in Munich for the Oktoberfest Saturday and Sunday. We'll end up seeing that rain moving in. Very wet pattern here in the western Pacific; we're watching Tropical Storm Fitow, Kristie.

We'll let you know as it approaches. It looks like over the weekend Saturday afternoon it'll be skirting Okinawa. So we'll watch it as it continues to strengthen here off the southeastern coast of China.

Back to you, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Samantha Mohr there, thank you.

Now the FBI has shut down the "Silk Road." No, not the ancient trade route, the underground Internet marketplace that dealt in all manner of illegal products and services.

On Tuesday, the FBI arrested the man it says is behind "Silk Road," Ross William Olbricht (ph). Now he's been charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering.

Now let me try to explain how "Silk Road" worked. Now here is the site's last URL. But if you tried typing this strange looking address into any regular browser, you'd probably get something like this. You'd probably get an error screen.

Now you have to use Tor. It's software designed for anonymity on the Internet. And trying the same address with Tor will take you straight to "Silk Road." Now transactions on the site used bitcoins, an online currency, to help make deals on "Silk Road" virtually untraceable.

Now for an idea of how big the marketplace was, well, according to the FBI, it had almost a million registered users and it generated revenue of over 9.5 million bitcoins in 2.5 years. Now that was equivalent to $1.3 billion at one point on Wednesday. But it's worth noting that bitcoin prices have been extremely volatile since the "Silk Road" was shut down.

So given all the security features and the privacy involved, you might be wondering just how did the FBI catch the "Silk Road's" founder?

It turns out he was the architect of his own downfall. Authorities say that he accidentally used his own name and email address on public forums revealing himself to police.

Still ahead, the legacy of Tom Clancy. Many people will remember him for writing spy novels that became blockbuster movies. But video gamers are also mourning his death. We'll have more on Tom Clancy's career next.




STOUT: Welcome back. Now I want you to take a look at this, a unmanned aerial vehicle in China, of course better known as a drone. Now the Pterosaur has been designed for strike missions. And China's CCTV reports that this that you're looking at is capable of detecting a target within 4,000 kilometers. It can stay airborne for 20 hours.

One man who would have appreciated that story more than most, he passed away on Tuesday. Author Tom Clancy was known for his series of spy novels. His books had an incredible level of detail about military hardware and tactics. Jake Tapper explains how Clancy even helped change the way Americans view the U.S. military.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): National security was Tom Clancy's muse. His first novel was the breakout best-selling "Hunt For Red October."

SEAN CONNERY, ACTOR, " CAPTAIN MARKO RAMIUS": We sail into history. (Inaudible).

TAPPER (voice-over): And that formula of a twisting thriller ending in American military success was one he employed again and again. Clancy won acclaim for his attention to detail with military equipment and weapons, but his success came with some criticism, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)! The bomb is in play!

TAPPER (voice-over): Clancy's fictional terror plots sometimes became all too real, such as in 1994 when he imagined a plane crashing into the U.S. Capitol.

TOM CLANCY, AUTHOR: One of the functions of artists is to warn people what's possible and dangerous out there.

TAPPER (voice-over): Clancy pushed back against the idea that he was any sort of terrorist inspiration in a 2002 interview with CNN.

CLANCY: I really don't think Osama Bin Laden woke up one morning to say I think I'm going to attack the West. I'm going to read a Clancy book and find out how to do it best. I don't think so.

TAPPER (voice-over): Clancy's novels were beloved by the U.S. military and other readers because they helped change a media narrative.

PAUL FARHI, MEDIA REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": If you look at Tom Clancy's career, it really takes off in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan as president.

TAPPER (voice-over): Paul Farhi is a media reporter for "The Washington Post."

FARHI: This is the post- Vietnam era. There is a sense that we want to revive the military. We want to celebrate the military after the Vietnam War and Clancy's novels are perfectly attuned to that time.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR, "RON KOVIC": I want to go to Vietnam. I'll die there if I have to.

TAPPER: That was a major shift from films like "Born On The Fourth Of July," where returning Vietnam veterans were treated as anything but heroes. Clancy's push for military and CIA heroism, plus using Ronald Reagan as a frequent unnamed character, made him a hero on the political right.

FARHI: Tom Clancy always was identified as a conservative, so I think readers kind of knew where he was coming from and knew where the story was coming from. But, I mean, it kind of transcended liberal or conservative. It became Americana. It became patriotic.

TAPPER (voice-over): Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Tom Clancy will rightfully be known as an author. But he was also a huge figure in the gaming world. Clancy founded his own game development studio. It was called Red Storm Entertainment. Their breakout hit was Rainbow 6, a shooting game that revolutionized the genre with its emphasis on tactics and planning over running and gunning, and based on the plot of a Tom Clancy novel.

His name would also be attached to other popular game franchises, like Splinter Cell and the gaming press praised early showings of the next Clancy title, The Division. And here is one way to show you just how popular his games are. The "Los Angeles Times" said there were an estimated 100 million Tom Clancy novels in print and they've sold about 76 million Tom Clancy games.