Return to Transcripts main page

IDESK

Brussels Bomber Once Worked in E.U. Parliament; Republican Rivals Gear Up for New York Primary; Iraqi Forces Advance Toward Mosul; France Makes Paying for Sex Illegal; Anti-Extremism Bloggers Targeted in Bangladesh; Harry Potter Chair Sells for $394,000. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 7, 2016 - 10:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, welcome, everyone, I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center. Thanks for joining me. And at this hour we're

seeing new images of the third suspect in the Brussels airport attack, Belgian police released this video of the man in the hat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW (voice-over): As questions emerge over whether Europe is doing enough to track down terrorists, you can see the suspect here, leaving the

airport after the bombing. A wanted notice has been issued for this man, who has not yet been identified.

We'll be coverage all the angles of this investigation. Alexandra Field is in Brussels; Pamela Brown is standing by at CNN Washington.

Alexandra, let's start with you. Tell us more about this new information, this new video.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, almost two weeks after the bombings, authorities still don't know where this man is but they

are now telling us that they know where he went in the immediate aftermath of those explosions.

They have now released CCTV images to the public because they are broadly appealing for help. They say they know this man, the third suspect

from the airport, left the airport on foot. He walked toward the Zaventem neighborhood. That's the neighborhood right in the vicinity of the

airport.

By the time they see him in that neighborhood on a CCTV camera, he has gotten rid of that white coat. They still don't know where the coat is but

they say from there the man proceeded on foot toward the Schaerbeek neighborhood.

You might remember that name because that is of course the same area where investigators believe the Brussels bombers were building the

explosives that they used in the attacks.

The last time that this third suspect is seen on CCTV is at 9:50 in the morning. That's nearly two hours after the explosions at the airport.

So now they are asking anyone who could have been in that vicinity to get in touch with police if they may have seen this person, if they may have

possibly taken a picture of him somehow.

Again, they are still trying to find the suspect. They say this is someone who was in the airport but that his bomb did not detonate for

whatever reason. They also say they are still trying to find the white coat that he was wearing inside the airport because it could have important

traces on it, could be some evidence for this investigation -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, I mean, these images are just so disturbing because it looks like he's sort of strolling along the streets. And we know the kind

of carnage that he had been involved in just hours earlier, really disconcerting, no doubt, for people who were that day.

Also disconcerting, one of the suspects was a cleaner in the E.U. parliament.

FIELD: Right, we're learning this from the spokesperson for the E.U. parliament, who says that one of the bombers had actually worked inside the

building. Now granted this was some time ago; it was for one month in 2009 and one month for 2010. His job was to clean. He was the employee of a

cleaning company that was contracted by the parliament.

We understand from the spokesperson, however, that the company did present the parliament with the proof that it was required to at the time

that this person had no criminal record back then.

But this is some more of the information that we're learning as investigators dig into this investigation, trying to figure out what other

plans may have been in place and who these people were who carried them out.

CURNOW: Alexandra in Brussels, thank you so much for that.

Well, let's turn now to Justice correspondent Pamela Brown in Washington.

Hi, there, Pamela. Belgium officials have admitted they dropped the ball, made mistakes that could have prevented this attack.

What are U.S. officials telling you about their European counterparts?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I did an exclusive interview with the director of the Terrorist Screening Center here in the

United States. His name is Christopher Piehota. And he said that one of the concerns among U.S. officials is that the U.S. offers its terror

watchlists on a real-time basis and any information it gets on suspected terrorists, it will share with European counterparts.

And the concern is that that information is not being routinely and systemically used across Europe. As Director Piehota said, they don't

routinely use that information to cross-reference people who are crossing the border, who are coming in on boats, who are flying into their

countries.

And the thinking is that the inconsistencies across the board among all these European countries could give a terrorist the advantage. Europe

does not use a central terror database like the United States.

Instead, each country has its own terror list and its own set of standards, its own privacy standards. And so that is really what officials

believe could be a vulnerability for ISIS fighters, who come back to Europe and want to launch attacks.

[10:05:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS PIEHOTA, DIRECTOR, U.S. TERRORIST SCREENING CENTER: It's concerning that our partners don't use all of our data. We provide them

with tools. We provide them with support. And I would find it concerning that they don't use these tools to help screen for their own aviation

security, maritime security, border screening, visas, things like that for travel. We find it concerning.

BROWN: We have now seen two ISIS terror attacks in Europe, more recently in Paris as well as in Brussels at the airport and the metro

station.

Would the U.S. watchlist have prevented the terrorists identified in those attacks from slipping into the United States?

PIEHOTA: It depends. Now I say it depends because, if they were on our list and they were properly identified, they may have been caught at

our borders. They may not have been granted access to our country. So I can say that I would hope that our screening network would have caught

them. Nothing is 100 percent foolproof, I will tell you that.

BROWN: Did that information make its way into our watchlists?

Did they share information prior to those attacks about these people?

I'm just trying to get a sense of how that would work.

PIEHOTA: We were aware of some of the people.

BROWN: We know of at least two bombers who are still on the run, possibly in Europe.

How concerning is that to you, that these could be people who might want to make it to the U.S. if they haven't been publicly identified?

PIEHOTA: It's very concerning. And that's where the awareness and the vigilance comes in. We rely on our partners to look for them, conduct

investigations and operations that help us identify them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And he says the criteria for being put on the list is reasonable suspicion. He says people don't get put on the watchlist here

in the United States based on their religion or ethnicity. There has to be derogatory information about that individual to be put on the list.

And the key here is information sharing with Europe that has improved but could still be strengthened, according to U.S. officials.

CURNOW: Yes. He says concerning and that perhaps is an understatement for the Americans.

Thank you so much, Alexandra and Pamela. Appreciate it.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: The U.S. presidential race is now shifting to the Big Apple, New York. It's a giant slice of the electoral pie with lots of delegates

at stake. Vulnerable Republican front-runner Donald Trump is in his home state, trying to claw back his momentum.

And a war of words is escalating between the two Democrats. CNN's Brianna Keilar begins our campaign coverage with their argument over who is

qualified to be president. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe that she is qualified...

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders, lashing out at Hillary Clinton.

SANDERS: I don't think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.

I don't think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq.

KEILAR (voice-over): The war of words between the two Democratic presidential candidates escalating, Sanders claiming.

SANDERS: She's been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote- unquote, "not qualified to be president."

KEILAR (voice-over): -- but Clinton's campaign denies she ever said he wasn't qualified.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The presidents who are successful know what they want to do and they know

how to do it.

KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton is pointing to an interview Sanders did with the New York "Daily News," where he struggled to identify how his

administration would break up the big banks, elaborating in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

CLINTON: I was, I think, a little bit surprised that there didn't seem to be a lot of substance to what he was saying.

KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton now taking this line of attack on the campaign trail, painting Sanders as unprepared to be president and even

questioning whether he's a Democrat.

CLINTON: He himself has said that he never was. He never ran as a Democrat until he started running for president.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: On the Republican side, Donald Trump is a heavy favorite in his home state. Phil Mattingly reports on Trump's attempts to regroup

after his humiliating loss in Wisconsin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love these people. These are my people.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Less than 24 hours after a devastating Wisconsin defeat, Donald Trump looking to regain his

footing in familiar territory, his home state of New York.

TRUMP: You know, Lying Ted Cruz came today. He couldn't draw 100 people, 100 people.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Trump making no mention of his bruising Wisconsin loss at a rally in Long Island but wasting little time

criticizing Ted Cruz, the Texas senator.

TRUMP: I've got this guy standing over there, looking at me, talking about New York values with scorn in his face, with hatred, with hatred of

New York. I think you can forget about him.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The rally coming just hours --

[10:10:00]

MATTINGLY (voice-over): -- after Trump huddled behind closed doors with one of his top advisers, frustration over strategy, direction and even

staffing, according to sources, all roiling the campaign.

Ted Cruz also campaigning in the Big Apple, doubling down on his past criticism of, quote, "New York values."

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Let's be clear. The people of New York know exactly what those values are because if you want to know what liberal

Democratic values are, follow Donald Trump's checkbook.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Cruz trailing badly in early New York polls for predicting a big move in a state much like in Wisconsin.

CRUZ: The interesting thing about polling is it can change and it can change quickly. We just won a landslide victory winning by 13 points,

sweeping the state.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): John Kasich hoping to stay alive, coming in second in the latest poll, continuing to fight off calls for him to drop

out of the race.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: OK. Lots to talk about.

Our political man, Jon Mann, joins us here in the studio.

Hi, there, Jon. We have seen the taunting and the teasing and the sandbox politics, as it's been called with the Republicans. But it says

something to sink to . lower levels of the Democrats as well.

JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Democratic race has really changed. And you have noticed it. And it's entirely accurate.

Here may be why. At the outset of this race, Bernie Sanders himself didn't think he could win. Nobody thought he could win. And while he was

trying to run a high-minded campaign of ideas, he was very, very polite about Hillary Clinton. He said her e-mail scandal didn't interest him. He

never talked about her speeches to Wall Street and he started going up in the polls and he started being competitive.

And both Sanders and his staff thought, he can win. And now it's time to start playing politics like a blood sport. It's time to start behaving

not like Bernie Sanders, the man of ideas, but Bernie Sanders, the serious presidential candidate.

And as he's risen in the polls, he's gotten more and more critical of Clinton. So his campaign, which started as being a very unique kind of

"I'm not really in this the way everyone else is," he's turned into exactly the kind of political figure that you have to be to win the presidency.

He's much more aggressive, he's rising in the polls, he's criticizing Clinton and he's turning into a more conventional campaigner. Not

necessarily what Sanders supporters want to see but overall, his numbers speak for themselves. He's won six out of the last seven or seven out of

the last eight primaries and caucuses. He's doing something right.

CURNOW: He is doing something right. He's won these primaries but still Hillary way ahead, we've spoke about it, on the delegate count.

That said, still perhaps some talk of a contested convention even with the Democrats?

Or is that just wishful thinking from the Bernie camp?

MANN: It's wishful thinking, I think, on two different levels. First of all, as we have been reporting, there are two different kinds of

delegates. There are the pledge delegates, who are elected in primaries and caucuses. They have to vote the way they are told to essentially.

And Hillary Clinton is so far ahead in pledge delegates that she may be uncatchable. She thinks she will get a majority of all of the delegates

simply on those cemented delegates who cannot leave her side. In addition, she has the unpledged delegates known as super delegates. Her husband is

one, for example. Anyone who's a high party ranking official, an elected official, all kinds of people get those jobs automatically.

Sanders' best hope consists of winning those people away from Hillary Clinton, the ones who don't answer to voters.

The problem is this: it probably wouldn't give him enough votes anyway and the truth is, Bernie Sanders wasn't a member of Democratic Party

until this campaign. He never raised money for the Democrats. He never helped campaign for the Democrats.

Nobody in the Democratic hierarchy owes Bernie Sanders a favor. Everybody in the Democratic hierarchy owes the Clintons a favor.

And she's going to collect from those super delegates. They are going to stick with her both because of the longstanding allegiance and also

because they are Democrats.

Why would they choose to leave the most famous person in the party to support a man who didn't even deign to join the party until, what, less

than a year ago?

It's not likely to happen.

CURNOW: Not likely to happen. There's talk also about Donald Trump, many have been watching his campaign, saying it's like amateur hour. In a

way, that's what's endeared him to many people.

But now he's calling in the professionals here, particularly after Wisconsin.

MANN: Exactly right. And there's something, an analogy to the Sanders campaign. When he started out, he was an outsider who thought he

could win like an outsider. And he did do remarkably well. Consistent victories in the primaries and caucuses with 35 percent to 45 percent of

the vote.

He needs real votes. He needs convincing victories or he's going to go to the convention without a majority. He can't be the freelance, free

agent, "I'll do it my own way" kind of guy anymore.

And also, keep in mind that when the campaign started, it was him and a very small group of advisers, like it was for Sanders. He didn't have a

national campaign organization the way Hillary Clinton did.

So as the campaign gets bigger and bigger and now as it get more desperate to really rack up those delegate numbers, you could take is as a

symbol of its shortcomings or a symbol of its success. It is like a business. It has to grow as its market expands. And that's what Trump is

doing. He's getting more expertise. He's getting a bigger organization. And frankly, he is, as you alluded to, getting people who know the ins and

outs a little bit more because his own people aren't up to the challenge --

[10:15:00]

(CROSSTALK)

CURNOW: No, and that's, in many ways, where Ted Cruz's people have run circles around him because they know how to play the system. They know

how to jiggle the math essentially.

MANN: And that's going to be crucial.

CURNOW: And that's what's key, as we've spoken about.

Jon Mann, thank you.

MANN: You bet.

CURNOW: Well, coming up here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, we'll take an exclusive trip behind the battle lines, where Iraqi troops are fighting to

kick ISIS out of Mosul.

Plus: another voice against religious extremism silenced in Bangladesh. Details on the latest blogger to be killed there. Stay with

us.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: Welcome back, I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN.

Iraqi forces are leading a fresh offensive to liberate the nation's second largest city from ISIS' control. In this exclusive report, Arwa

Damon follows ground troops as they advance through ISIS territory towards Mosul, freeing one small village at a time. A warning though: the report

contains some disturbing images.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bursts of gunfire and artillery explosions, a constant reminder that the

enemy, ISIS, is relentlessly probing for vulnerabilities in the Iraqi army's defenses.

MAJ. GEN. NAJIM AL-JOBORI, COMMANDER OF NINEVEH OPERATIONS (through translator): ISIS and especially now we are on the perimeter of what is

their so-called caliphate. They are using waves of suicide bombers backed by fighters.

DAMON (voice-over): Coalition airstrikes leveled this building. ISIS militants had snuck into the night before we arrived. The hillside is

strewn with the bloated bodies of dead ISIS fighters. One of them looks particularly young, a teenager, the Iraqis say.

General Jobori's men only recently recaptured this village and a handful of others, the first tentative steps in the battle for Mosul,

Iraq's second largest city that humiliatingly fell to ISIS after Iraqi security forces abandoned their positions around two years ago.

These are men retrained, under new command, forces that will repeatedly be put to the test.

Will they hold this ground and fight or again flee?

Key of course to the equation is U.S. support.

AL-JOBORI (through translator): For us, we have enough ground forces. The most important thing is to see ongoing U.S. backing with the air

support, advisers and logistical support.

DAMON: But not boots on the ground?

AL-JOBORI (through translator): It's not an urgent thing for us right now, boots on the ground. We can liberate our lands.

DAMON (voice-over): ISIS has had plenty of time to fortify its defenses in Mosul and here, still some 45 kilometers or 30 miles away from

the main battleground.

[10:20:00]

DAMON (voice-over): Deep in one of the hills a labyrinth.

DAMON: This is not just a tunnel complex. It's actually a tunnel and sleeping quarters complex that has been dug well underground.

DAMON (voice-over): Winding passages that veer off in multiple directions. This one loads to a small opening for oxygen circulation, we

are told. And this is just the start of the impending bloody battle to try to liberate Mosul, one that will be a defining chapter in this nation's

history and beyond -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Kharabardan, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: And preparing to confront ISIS in battle is only one concern. There's also the matter of helping refugees who fled the militants. Next,

Arwa introduces us to those who were used as human shields. Here's a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAMON (voice-over): ISIS put five families into each home in the middle of the village, Abu Isra (ph) recalls. Like many here, he does not

want his identity revealed. He still has loved ones at the mercy of ISIS and has already witnessed and lost too much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: We're taking you to the front line against ISIS in Iraq. That premieres on "CONNECT THE WORLD" at the top of the hour.

And Iceland has appointed a new prime minister after the previous one became ensnared in the Panama Papers scandal.

The minister of fisheries and agriculture is expected to be sworn in today. His predecessor stepped aside earlier this week amid mass protests.

The collection of documents from a Panamanian law firm showed an alleged link between an offshore company and his wife's holdings in Iceland failed

(INAUDIBLE).

Meanwhile, the government of Panama is doing its best to distance itself from this scandal. The country's president voted to form a

commission to address an alleged lack of transparency in Panama's financial sector.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The Panamanian government, via our foreign ministry, will create an independent commission of domestic

and international experts, which are recognized for their experience to evaluate our current practices and propose the adoption of measures that we

will share with other countries of the world to strengthen the transparency of the financial and legal systems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: The president says the very name of the scandal, the Panama Papers, isn't fair to his country because tax avoidance is a problem all

over the world.

Now to France, where a new law cracking down on those who pay for sex is getting backlash from prostitutes and the union that represents them.

Our Jim Bittermann joins us now live from Paris.

Hi, there, Jim. So those who buy sex will now have to pay a fine or go to classes to educate them on prostitution and women's rights. Tell us

about this new law.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not an either/or, in fact. You have to pay the fine and go to the classes to

educate them about women's rights. The first fine is 1,500 euros and the second fine, if you're caught a second time, is 3,750. What this does is

basically pass the penalization in prostitution off to the clients of the prostitutes.

Up until now prostitution has been legal but soliciting is not. That is to say a prostitute could be arrested if they were standing by the side

of the road scantily clad; the police could arrest them.

Now that has been eliminated and in fact now it's going to be the customers who are penalized if they go by and suggest to some young lady

that they would like to pay for sex; they can be arrested for that -- Robyn.

CURNOW: So if solicitation is also repealed, how will that make it different to sex workers' lives?

What does that mean?

Will there be more prostitution, open prostitution in Central Paris, for example?

What are they trying to achieve here?

BITTERMANN: Well, in fact, they are trying to achieve a reduction in prostitution. That's the overall goal. But the problem is that the

prostitutes are saying this is going to have unintended consequences.

Basically by going after their customers, they are going to hurt the business and they're going to be forced to do things that might be a little

risky, like for example go into customers' homes so the customers wouldn't be arrested. And that might pose more of a risk for the prostitutes.

So and the law has some other provisions which are kind of interesting. It's basically modeled after a law in Sweden. One of the

things it does is it will allow a six-month residency card for those prostitutes who are coming in from foreign countries, basically involved

with sex slavery and the rest of it and forced into prostitution.

Those folks, if they say they want to get out of the business of prostitution, in fact, will get a six-month residency from the government.

So it's kind of an advanced thinking, which the proponents of the law say is going to eliminate --

[10:25:00]

BITTERMANN: -- a good deal of prostitution. But in fact, like you say in the intro there, the association, essentially the union for

prostitutes here in France, is against it because they say it's going to penalize their clients. It's going to be bad for business and it's going

to force them into more and more precarious situations -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And these unionized prostitutes have been demonstrating in the streets.

BITTERMANN: They have, indeed. They were in front of the National Assembly yesterday and they have been demonstrating. The law is passed in

any case and it will go into effect.

So really now it's just a question of seeing what kind of an impact it really does have and whether or not it will take away the proponents of the

law would like, which we see the open prostitution which we have seen in the past in the streets of France there. Pimping is already illegal.

Houses of prostitution are illegal. But prostitution is not. And that continues to be the case -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. Jim Bittermann, thank you so much, reporting there from Paris.

Mexico City officials have doubled a driving ban in an effort to fight the choking smog that's enveloping the city. Now two out of every five

private vehicles, about 2 million cars, that is, are being ordered off the road. Industries are also having to reduce emissions by 30 percent to 40

percent.

With the driving ban in place, many are turning to public transport and Uber but customers are complaining that Uber rates are several times

higher than normal.

We'll have more of the IDESK after the break. Thanks for joining me.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.

(HEADLINES)

CURNOW: To Bangladesh now, where another blogger who campaigned against religious extremism has been killed. Authorities say he was hacked

with machetes and shot. This after four other secular bloggers and one publisher were killed last year. Our Ivan Watson has more from Hong Kong.

Hi, there, Ivan. This, as I was saying, is not the first time this has happened and clearly a very disturbing trend pattern emerging here.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Unmistakably. And it's sending a chill throughout a shrinking community of

intellectuals and writers in Bangladesh who see themselves as the victims of a concerted campaign of basically assassination and murder.

In this case the Bangladeshi police, they tell CNN that this looked like a preplanned attack. The 26-year old, Nazimuddin Samad, he was coming

home from evening classes at a university. He was an outspoken blogger and writer. He often challenged tenets of fundamentalist Islam and wrote in

defense of women's rights, for example.

And he was set upon by a group armed with machetes. They hacked him to death; they shot him and then they sped away on a motorbike.

And that pretty much fits the same pattern of violence and murder that has taken place with at least five other bloggers and publishers of

material that criticized or questioned Islam, a series of murders that have taken place in Dhaka over the course of the last 16 months -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes and, Ivan, when you were recently here in Atlanta, we were talking and you actually interviewed while you were here the wife of

one murdered blogger. In fact, she was also attacked. And, again, echoes of the same pattern.

What did she tell you when you spoke to her?

WATSON: That's right. This is Rafida Ahmed. She's the widow of Avijit Roy, who founded a blog that publishes in English and in the

Bangladesh language that promotes what is described as free thinking. Basically he was an outspoken atheist and he was one of the first in

this string of victims, of people to be kill in Dhaka a little bit more than a year ago. And his wife narrowly survived that attack in Dhaka.

Take a listen to an excerpt from our interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAFIDA AHMED, ATTACK SURVIVOR: I had four stabs, machete stabs on my head.

WATSON: Why do you think these people attacked you?

AHMED: We have got to a point where criticizing Islam is becoming a very big crime or a sin in Bangladesh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: Now people from this free-thinking, intellectual community have been appealing desperately for more protection, for help, for more

prosecutions of those who are carrying out these attacks. The Bangladeshi police have told us in the past that there have been a number of arrests

that have taken place, that they are taking this threat seriously.

But it clearly has not stopped this very targeted campaign of violence against people killed simply for the things that they write.

CURNOW: And as you say, definitely seems to be systematic targeted, they are being monitored online, they are being tracked as they walk on the

streets and then assassinated, real concerns and criticisms about how authorities are protecting them. Ivan Watson in Hong Kong, thank you so

much for updating us on that very important story, thanks.

Staying in the region, Aung San Suu Kyi's decades-long struggle for democracy in Myanmar has finally paid off. The Nobel laureate, Suu Kyi,

has just been made Myanmar's first state counselor, a position created just for her. It allows her to interact with the --

[10:35:00]

CURNOW (voice-over): -- executive and legislative branches of the government. A constitutional clause bars Suu Kyi from the presidency. Now

her entrance into Myanmar's new civilian government comes at great personal expense. The long-running military junta kept her under house arrest on

and off for 15 years.

Even now military members of parliament say her new position violates the country's constitution.

And in China, heading out with no cash is no problem. Everything from vending machines to taxis let you pay through smart phone. Will Ripley

recently ventured out in Beijing without his wallet to see how it all works. Here's his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: have just ordered jianbing, Beijing's favorite breakfast food. People queue up here every morning to get their

hands on this. But right now, I don't have my wallet.

Luckily here in China, with my smart phone, I don't need it. Paying for my breakfast takes just a few seconds. So I scan the QR code, it's

processing the payment, all set.

RIPLEY (voice-over): From tiny street venders to large chains, a huge number of businesses in Beijing are accepting mobile payments. The most

popular: Alipay from Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, and messaging app WeChat.

So you pay your water bill with your phone.

SHEN LU, CNN PRODUCER: Yes. You can pay now.

RIPLEY: That easy?

LU: Yes.

RIPLEY (voice-over): CNN producer Shen Lu uses WeChat to pay utilities, even rent. I use it to hail a taxi.

I'm on my way to meet Troy Liu, co-founder of a new payment app, Mileslife.

TROY LIU, FOUNDER AND CEO, MILESLIFE: Hi.

RIPLEY: Hey, I'm Will.

LIU: Nice to meet you.

RIPLEY: Nice to meet you.

RIPLEY (voice-over): He says many urban Chinese just don't bother with credit cards. They prefer to pay by phone, putting China's mobile

commerce way ahead of other major economies like the U.S. and Japan.

LIU: China doesn't really have a lucrative credit card system. So Chinese skip credit card and go so mobile payment.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Something he calls a late development advantage. For me, it means no wallet, no problem.

LIU: You can totally survive without cash.

RIPLEY: So we can split the taxi fare using our phones.

LIU: Yes, it's definitely (INAUDIBLE) in Chinese ride sharing.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Convenience comes with a catch. The Chinese government monitors and censors social media apps, including mobile

commerce.

RIPLEY: Is there concern about the government monitoring your economic activity?

LIU: I think normal civilians it doesn't. I think human rights activists, they have huge concerns on this.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Citizens are used to the government knowing where they travel, who they call and now what they spend. But doesn't stop

hundreds of millions of Chinese from making mobile payments, totally hundreds of billions of dollars, and the service is expanding beyond big

cities, a growing market even in China's slowing economy.

RIPLEY: So it's saying I forgot my wallet isn't an excuse anymore.

LIU: No, no, no.

RIPLEY: But what if your phone battery dies?

LIU: That's a real excuse. That's a real problem.

(CROSSTALK)

RIPLEY (voice-over): Mobile payment apps even allow us to split the check. A day without my wallet has never been easier -- Will Ripley, CNN,

Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Fabulous piece there. Thanks to Will. We'll have much more news after the short break. Stay with us.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:40:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: When it comes to literary discoveries, it doesn't really get much bigger than this. A so-called "First Folio" of William Shakespeare's

plays has been discovered on a Scottish island. Our Erin McLaughlin joins us now live from London with more details about this discovery.

No doubt this has got a lot of people very excited.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very excited, Robyn, this is truly remarkable. Now a Shakespeare's folio is a collection of plays that

were published in the years following his death, 36 plays to be precise. And up until today the literary world thought that only 233 of these folios

were in existence.

But with this confirmation from Oxford University, they can now confirm that there are now 234 folios known. And these are really

significant because without these folios, the world may never have known some of Shakespeare's most significant and important works, such as the

play, "Macbeth."

Scholars are saying they are going to be analyzing this particular folio in great detail because it will also give them clues as to how those

readers in the early years following Shakespeare's death enjoyed his works.

They are going to be analyzing the notes made in the margins, the words that are underlined, all of that really important research that they

are looking forward to.

And to give you a sense of the rarity of this find, in 2003, a folio was actually sold in France for $5 million. So really incredible -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Wow, and it's not just the price that's key here. It's the cultural and the historical value that is just really so important. Erin

McLaughlin in London, thanks so much.

Here's a plan. Take a shabby wooden chair, sit on it for a while and then sell it for around $400,000.

Sound good?

Well, there's just one hitch. The plan only works if you're J.K. Rowling. This is the chair she sat on as she wrote the first two Harry

Potter books. It's signed by the author and graffitied with the words, "You may not find me pretty but don't judge on what you see. I wrote Harry

Potter while sitting on this chair."

It was sold to an anonymous bidder for nearly $400,000.

And from hanging with wizards to boosting marsupial morale, the tourism board of Tasmania is hunting for someone to cozy up with this

little guy and his lengthy claws.

Meet eight-month-old Derek the wombat. He was rescued from his mother's pouch when she was hit by a car. And if you play your cards right

and you're Australian -- you have to be a citizen -- you could win a chance to be his chief wombat cuddler. Yes, that's actually the title.

My friends and family in Australia tell me one of the best known wombats in the country was called Fatso and in the state of Victoria,

wombats are of course still considered vermin. So some Aussie farmers might not be entering that contest.

Either way, thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. "WORLD SPORT" is next.

END