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CNN International's World One

Aired March 21, 2011 - 05:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Monita Rajpal in London.

We want to take you straight now to Tokyo, Japan, where the chief cabinet secretary is giving an update on the situation there in the nuclear facility in Fukushima Daiichi.

YUKIO EDANO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): Very small probability that it will harm human health. That is the view of the experts. Therefore, I would like to ask you to behave and act calmly. That is the first request I would like to make.

However, still, we are observing that there are many (INAUDIBLE) that have these readings. Therefore, based on the law, the prime minister, who is heading the nuclear disaster management headquarters, for certain items, we have instructed to stop shipping of certain products. The items were determined based on the data that we have gained until now.

And, also, for the area, the scope, because most of the products are labeled based on prefecture names only, we have looked at those fact and decided to instruct that spinach and spinach-like vegetables which are kakina, from Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma. And also, we haven't been able to monitor this, but from -- we believe Fukushima also because it's very close to the nuclear power plant.

For the time being, we are asking people not to ship out products from these areas. From raw milk from Fukushima prefecture, we are asking that for the time being not to ship out raw milk from Fukushima. So, once again, I would like to repeat that this instruction does not mean that people who keep on eating -- people who eat these items will become sick right away. This is only a precautionary measure because we do not want to see very high level readings from these products over a long period of time.

We will continue monitoring, and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare will continue to gain information. But we will continue to analyze the data. And if necessary, we will have further instructions to follow.

In order to insure the effectiveness of the restriction of the shipment and to insure safety of consumers, proper measures will be taken later in order to provide compensations for producers.

And about the tap water yesterday in the Iitate Village of Fukushima prefecture, the tap water was sampled, and the radioactivity above the regulation level was observed. And Iitate Village authority urged the residents to refrain from taking the tap water in accordance with the guidance from the Health Ministry.

But in accordance with the government regulation levels, taking this tap water will not cause immediate health effect. But just as precautionary measures, people urged to take this tap water for drinking purposes, but even though they have no other alternative water sources, they will not be posed to health risks if they take this tap water for drinking purposes, and there is no problem for them to use this tap water for nondrinking purposes. And this radiation level is reported to be going down now.

And the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture are going to hold press conferences from now on. And please refer -- please ask detailed questions for details of them. And about the areas of the shipment restriction --

RAJPAL: We've been listening to Japan's chief cabinet secretary briefing reporters on the situation, the radioactive situation there that the Fukushima prefecture has been facing at this point. He is giving an update on the type of -- I guess the vegetables that do come from the area that should not be consumed or should not be transported outside of the area.

Again, he is taking about spinach and spinach-like vegetable that would normally be consumed from that area. He is saying they should not be consumed. He was also talking about milk from the Fukushima prefecture area.

Now, as you know, the Fukushima prefecture, that is where the nuclear power plant is currently -- it is located. And, of course, we've been hearing about the situation there with the cooling system and, of course, the radioactive system -- the radioactive that may be coming out from the plant.

He also talked about the tap water that has been sampled. He says, of course, the radioactive -- radioactivity is above the radiation level and is urging residents to refrain from drinking the tap water.

That again -- we'll bring you more from the situation there at Fukushima Daiichi and bring you the latest as we can.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: We want to bring you the latest developments on Libya. Let's go straight to Cairo where the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is speaking.

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: The government of Yemen has an obligation to protect civilians.

I call for the utmost restraint and end to violence. There is no alternative to an inclusive dialogue on political, social, economic reform to address Yemen's political crisis and maintains its national unity.

The same holds true for Bahrain where the violence is also on the rise.

The United Nations is in touch with all the Bahraini parties on the ground, including the government and key opposition parties. I appeal to all concerned to exercise maximum restraint.

The United Nations stands ready to help in all of these situations to end the violence, protect civilians, and forward necessary reforms.

It can be hard to see beyond the escalating violence, but there is no holding back in movements for reform and democracy that have taken route.

Open and inclusive dialogue is crucial, so is respect of human rights.

At this historic moment, it is in the interest of the international community and the United Nations to help here and wherever such yearnings are felt.

AMR MOUSSA, ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL (through translator): Two questions. The first question is to the secretary general and the second I will answer. Go ahead.

REPORTER (through translator): You said that the Arab league or the Arab supported all the measures of the United Nations Security Council.

No fly zone over Libya, not intervention. So, what is (INAUDIBLE) a direct foreign intervention with direct strikes that could lead to the -- to more bloodshed in Libya. This is one thing.

And what do you think about the role of the United Nations? Why aren't we seeing a real role played by the United Nations in other issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli one, for instance? Thank you very much.

KI-MOON: OK. I will answer. First of all, as I said, the strong recommendation by League of Arab States to take decisive measures, including the establishment of no fly zone figured prominently in the adoption of Security Council resolution.

With that strong recommendation and strong commitment of League of Arab States, international community has been able to take decisive measure.

This decisive measure is meant to protect civilian population who have been killed by Colonel Gadhafi and his regime which was totally unacceptable, strongly condemned all across the world.

There are many other provisions in the Security Council. I have been urging and I'm urging again that Libyan authorities fully comply with all the provisions of Security Council resolution 1970, 1973, starting from immediate cessation of hostilities against civilians.

Let me focus on Libya. OK. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question also for Mr. Ban Ki-moon. KI-MOON: For him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one question. It's divided into two parts.

(through translator): Mr. Secretary General, some generals who are organizing the operation said that the Arab League knew exactly through the declaration that had been made and which followed the Security Council resolution that the implementation of the resolution calls for the destruction of the defenses in order to -- in order to create a no-fly zone. Why are you objecting to this?

MOUSSA (through translator): The position of the Security Council toward -- the Security Council in the way we have seen. We have suspended Libya from the Arab League, and we have discussed the no-fly zone, and then we have decided that the Arab League will ask the U.N. to have a no-fly zone to issue as a nation for no fly zone to protect the civilian, and this is -- was clear and we are committed to that.

Then, the Security Council came and we respect the Security Council decision, and we have no objection to that because it has specified that there will be no land troops to occupy Libya. But it is the serious threat that the people in Benghazi and other Benghazi are -- face, potentially face.

We decided that from the beginning to protect the civilian under all circumstances, and protecting the civilians is very important. What we have seen and what we have received officially about matters on the ground that -- and this is what decides the safety of the civilian. We will continue to protect civilian, and we expect everybody to respect that in every political move they make. And the objective of protecting the civilian will remain our objective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. We're out of time. We're out of time. Thank you.

VERJEE: Emergency Arab League meeting in Cairo. The secretary general of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon saying the U.N. stands ready to help in violence and protect civilians and promote reforms. He talked about Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya where he said that you can't hold back the demands for democracy and reform.

Amr Moussa, who is the secretary general of the Arab League, insisted, too, that we don't want to see any bloodshed among civilians. He said the Arab League was committed to the no-fly zone. But over the last 24 hours, the Arab League has also criticized the bombing and missile attacks on Libya.

Ivan Watson is in Cairo, and he joins me now.

Ivan, talk a little bit -- we're just trying to establish some communication with Ivan, but the Arab League has been concerned about some of the extent to which the military strikes have occurred on Libya, and essentially criticizing that the fact that that had happened, because these images have been plastered wall to wall for two days on Arab TV, and they say that wasn't part of the deal. They say they were committed to the no-fly zone, but not to what's happening -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Zain, in Tripoli, an air strike has hit and destroyed a building in the heart of the Libyan leader's compound. Coalition military officials say the bomb struck one of Colonel Gadhafi's command and control centers. After the attack, Libyan officials took western journalists inside the flattened building to see the impact for themselves. These are pictures captured by CNN's Nic Robertson.

The attack is part of the U.N. mandated mission to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. French fighter jets made the first strikes on Saturday. They were followed by more than 100 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and U.K. warships.

According to a U.S. vice admiral, the U.S. and Britain have fired 124 Tomahawk missiles at Libyan air defense sites. That was as of Sunday night, local time.

Well, a Libyan army spokesman on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire, but the forces lining up against it don't seem inclined to respond to that.

We want to get some analysis on this with Farwaz Gerges. He's the professor of international relations at the London School of Economics.

Thank you very much for being with us, Farwaz. First of all, what is the situation -- let's talk a little bit about what the Arab League has been doing right now. There is -- it's almost as if they're throwing a spanner in the works. Are they throwing a spanner in the works?

FARWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: They're getting cold feet. You have seen Amr Moussa in the last few days. While we accepted a no-fly zone, but we have never said yes for massive bombing of Libya, for the potential of civilian casualties, for the escalation of the coalition goals.

This is the reality. Arab television, Arab viewers now have been exposed to two days of bombings, and you can now see --

RAJPAL: But they knew what they were getting into because the Security Council resolution 1973 said, by all necessary means to protect the civilians. They're not talking about ground troops. We're talking about protecting civilians.

GERGES: Absolutely. And Amr Moussa is not an ignorant person. He's a very, very seasoned politician. And the reality is, you have a public opinion in the Arab world, and Amr Moussa has presidential, as you know, ambitions.

He realizes that the massive bombing in Libya, that the escalation of the coalition goals will likely have a negative impact on the objective of the United Nations resolution, Security Council, and also on the Arab League's position. The reality is Arabs are not really willing to accept what's happening. In particular if a bombing -- I mean, escalates in the next few days. They want civilians to be protected. They want Gadhafi to get -- I mean, to leave Libya, to be toppled. But they are suspicious of the Western desires and goals over Libya.

And what's happening in Libya reminds millions of Arabs what happened in Iraq. Remember, there's a historical memory. Historical memory is still alive, and that's why I fear that the escalation of the coalition goals, the bombing today to the compound of Gadhafi sends the wrong message to Arabs and Libyans as well.

RAJPAL: Do you believe the coalition has a clear mandate and a clear agenda, clear exit strategy as well?

When I use the word exit strategy, it's very carefully because we're not talking about ground troops here. We're also talking about a campaign that is decisive. It's quick. And they know what the objective is.

What is their final objective?

GERGES: There is no exit strategy. There is no political vision. We have heard differing messages from different western politicians.

I mean, the goal of the U.N. resolution council is to do what? Protect civilians. The reality is, I suspect, that the ultimate goal is to get Gadhafi. This is really the -- I mean, we've heard President Barack Obama. We've heard Secretary Clinton.

The reality is what the Western coalition is trying to do is to create favorable conditions on the ground whereby the rebels would basically take matters into their own hands. But the question is: what if -- what if Gadhafi fights to the end? What if a stand-off basically is established in Libya?

And this is why there is no political vision, there is no exit strategy for the West, but also the reality is: we did not leave a way out for Gadhafi. I mean, if you were Gadhafi, think about it. If I were Gadhafi, if I have no way out, I will fight. He's fighting not only for his own survival. He is fighting for his children, for his thugs, for his tribe.

And that's why regardless of what we think of this nasty, violent man, if we are genuine about really a political solution, if we are genuine about giving Libya a way out, we must find -- we must at least find a way out for Gadhafi.

RAJPAL: And they are talking about -- they are talking about economic sanctions by putting a lot of sanctions on the Libyan government right now, freezing the assets of the current regime, but a lot of hope that the coalition is placing, at least based on what we understand and the information that is given to us is placed on the opposition, the rebels. These are the rebels that we have -- from what we understand -- is not necessarily one that is coordinated, and one that has like a clear political strategy either.

GERGES: You are absolutely correct. I mean, most of his financial assets have been frozen in the last -- I mean, the last weeks, more than U.S$110 billion. Even the international world court now is -- will be hunting for Gadhafi and his children. And that's what I meant by no way out for Gadhafi because we have left -- the international community has left Gadhafi no way out.

And the reality is, I hope -- that's the question -- I hope that the United Nations and the Arab League would step in now to say to Gadhafi, look, your forces have destroyed -- at least your air force capacity. This is a strategy out for you if you decide to quit now before it's too late.

But the reality, I wonder whether it's too late now. I mean, the war has just begun, and there is no way for Gadhafi. He is fighting -- I would argue that this is a -- it will likely be a prolonged fight, and a costly fight, and a risky fight.

And you are absolutely correct about the opposition. It all depends on how coordinated the opposition is. It all depends on whether the opposition has, you might say, the political vision, the stamina, the determination to take on Gadhafi.

At the end of the day, the West and the international coalition can do as much, but the reality is, it's on the ground. How united is the opposition? How potent is the opposition? Does the opposition have the people -- the support of the Libyan people really to take Gadhafi on after the end of hostilities?

RAJPAL: All right. Farwaz, we'll just have to hold it on, if you could stand by for us, Farwaz Gerges.

Let's go to Ivan Watson in Cairo. We had heard that the Arab League had that news conference there with the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki- moon.

Ivan Watson is joining us again now.

Ivan, tell us a little bit more about what was said in that news conference and where the Arab League stands at this point.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that Ban Ki-moon came out once again, defending the air strikes and cruise missile strikes against Colonel Gadhafi's forces, saying that across the entire world, there had been condemnation of his actions killing Libyan civilians. That's according to Ban Ki-moon.

And then we're hearing from Amr Moussa who seemed to now give more of an endorsement now for the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a no-fly zone. And this was really perhaps of missing over the course of the weekend. We had not heard any Arab leader of any Arab country really come out publicly endorsing this action, which is, of course, being led by the militaries of France and Britain and the U.S., with a number of we should powers.

The only real Arab face that we have so far -- and it's rather difficult to call it an Arab face -- are commitments supposedly coming from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. That's out of all of the Arab governments that they are supplying some kind of military assistance to this not entirely huge coalition against Moammar Gadhafi.

And then you have these very confusing statements coming out from Amr Moussa over the weekend saying that the mandate of the no-fly zone, this has been extended, that civilians were being bombed. This coming barely two weeks after the Arab League actually called for the imposition of a no-fly zone, called for the U.N. Security Council to help out with this against Moammar Gadhafi.

He came out side-by-side with the U.N. secretary general, saying that Libya had been suspended from membership in the Arab league and seemed to take another step closer towards endorsing the action that is taking place now, which is going to be very important for this military operation to maintain any credibility or legitimacy in the eyes of the Arab world -- Monita.

RAJPAL: All right. Ivan Watson there in Cairo -- thank you.

VERJEE: We're following developments from Japan where officials are saying smoke is pouring out of the number three reactor, the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. Emergency workers have now been pulled out of the site.

Engineers were starting to make some headway in their effort to cool the reactor down. More than 1,100 tons of water had been sprayed on it in just the past day. They're also working to relieve a pressure build-up and stop more radioactive gas from escaping.

All of this comes amid fresh health concerns. There are now fears about the safety of food that's being grown in the area.

Anna Coren is monitoring the situation from Tokyo, and she joins us now with the latest.

Anna, first of all, what can you tell us about the smoke at the reactor right now and how worrying or dangerous this is?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zain, we understand that the smoke was seen coming from the reactor three at about 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. Within 15 minutes, they evacuated the workers from inside that reactor to a main building. They were concerned -- very concerned about high levels of radiation.

Now, this smoke -- they don't know exactly what it is or what has caused it. Don't know if it's steam or whether it's hydrogen gas, but it's certainly not good. It's alarming, and that's why they got those workers out of there.

Up until that point, they thought they had stabilized the situation. They had certainly restored power to all six reactors. They haven't actually got the power pumping to one to four, only to five and six. And that is through a back-up generator.

But reactor three, as I mentioned, is the main problem. It's the one that Japanese authorities have been focusing all their attention on. They are concerned that the water in that pool that's been housing those spent fuel rods is very low.

But as you just mentioned in your intro, they have been spraying a great amount of water into that pool, but this smoke and the build-up of pressure that you also mentioned, that is certainly setting them back, Zain.

VERJEE: What about the fear of radioactive contamination of food? Just a short while ago, there was a press conference with more specifics on that.

COREN: Yes, that's right. Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano, he addressed the media and addressed those concerns about high levels of radiation which were detected in both spinach and milk. He said that they have banned shipments of spinach from four of the prefectures that -- where they found those higher levels of radiation.

As far as milk goes, that has been banned from Fukushima, which is the direct prefecture in which the Fukushima nuclear plant is located.

Water has also popped up as well, and this is of concern within Fukushima. High levels of radiation, high levels of iodine have also been detected in drinking water, in tap water in Fukushima. So, he is telling people to refrain from drinking it and -- although he did say that if you need to wash with it, you can do that.

So, that is -- that is what we are hearing from the government at the moment, but we obviously are monitoring the situation, and our people here in the bureau are following up with a number of queries because, as you can imagine, Zain, this is an ongoing -- an ongoing situation.

VERJEE: CNN's Anna Coren reporting from Tokyo.

You are watching WORLD ONE live from London.

Just ahead, a road that became a graveyard. We visit the scene of an airstrike and show you what was left behind.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a radar-guided system. The force that took this out would have had to have been massive. This vehicle weighs at least 15 tons.



RAJPAL: Hello. This is WORLD ONE live from London. I'm Monita Rajpal.

VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee.

Here are our top stories this hour:

The compound of Libya's leader, Colonel Gadhafi, has come under air attack from coalition forces. A military official says the building that was targeted was one of Gadhafi's command centers in Tripoli. The coalition has pounded targets in Libya for two days in the first phase of enforcing a no-fly zone. Libyan's government called for a cease-fire.

RAJPAL: Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed again in Syria. One person was killed Sunday in the city of Deraa. The protests were the third day of unrest there. We're in the third day of unrest there. They coincide with the funerals of two demonstrators killed on Friday.

An emergency law has been in place since 1963. Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad also allege human rights abuses. They are calling for more political and economic reform.

VERJEE: Egyptians have voted yes to constitutional changes that clear the way for parliamentary elections in June. Presidential candidate Amr Moussa -- that you see here -- was one of 18 million people who cast their ballot on Saturday. Fourteen million were in favor of elections in three months from now.

Critics say holding the poll so soon is not going to allow the new parties to prepare. They say that that gives an advantage to more established groups, like the remnants of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party.

RAJPAL: Workers near the number three reactor at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been evacuated after smoke was seen coming out of the building. Emergency crews were trying to stop the damaged plant from overheating. They have been pouring water on the reactors for the past few days and soon, they could move to spraying them with concrete.

But there are also fears of both the safety of food produced in the area. The government has put restrictions on the sale of local vegetables.

VERJEE: Outgunned and outnumbered with Colonel Gadhafi's forces closing in -- a terrifying situation for Libyan rebels in Benghazi, until coalition bombs rained down on their enemy's positions.

Arwa Damon takes a look at the wreckage on the road to Benghazi.


DAMON: This here is the tip of a missile that would have been fired from this Russian anti-aircraft weapon system. There's still a fire smoldering inside. This is a radar-guided system. The force that took this out would have had to have been massive. This vehicle weighs at least 15 tons.

Just in this small area, we can see at least half a dozen burning military vehicles. There's four charred bodies back there. We're hearing that there are many more.

This battlefield graveyard stretches for kilometers. Gadhafi's military had been slowly advancing on the poorly-trained and ill- equipped opposition fighters, but it did not stand a chance in the face of modern foreign airpower.

Just to give you an example of how ancient some of the machinery the opposition fighters have been using, this here is a World War II Willys jeep that they found at one of Gadhafi's army bases. They say that they've piled into it right now with the mission of chasing down pro-Gadhafi elements who manage to escape into the farmlands.


VERJEE: Arwa Damon reporting.

The U.K. is playing a key role in carrying out the U.N. mandate. The government says Britain will stay engaged as long as Colonel Gadhafi defies his U.N. obligations.

Atika Shubert is in Downing Street. We're also joined by Jim Bittermann in Paris.

Let's start with Jim.

Jim, is France willing to be in this for the long haul?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so, Zain. They certainly committed enough military might to indicate that they are, and they're sending up planes every day.

One of the things that's interesting this morning, we've heard from the government spokesman who said that, in fact, people should not be listening to the kind of propaganda that's coming out of the Gadhafi regime about civilian casualties. Basically, as far as the government is concerned, he said there have been no civilian casualties.

And on another broadcast this morning, we heard from an adviser -- senior advisor to President Sarkozy who said the mission -- was asked about the mission -- what is the mission exactly, and he said the mission is to protect civilians, and of course, to maintain pressure on Gadhafi. He was also asked if the coalition knew exactly where Gadhafi was, would they target him? And he said flatly, no, because, in fact, they would have to have some kind of political leadership in place if they ever wanted to negotiate any kind of a diplomatic or political settlement to the military intervention.

And, finally, one further thing here this morning, Zain, and that was reported in this newspaper, "Le Parisien," that did an excessive layout on the Libyan crisis this morning, and indicated that, in fact, members of the transitional national council from Libya -- this is the sort of rebel government -- have come to France and may be meeting with officials here in Paris later in the day -- Zain.

VERJEE: Jim Bittermann.

Let's cross the pond and go over to Atika Shubert, who is at Downing Street.

Atika, what about the U.K.? I mean, are they in it for the long haul? Many people are concerned that we may be entering a stalemate situation, kind of like Iraq in the 1990s where a no-fly zone lasted for something like eight years.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly he seems to be -- Prime Minister David Cameron seems to be getting the broad political support to do so. He's got a busy schedule today. He's actually chairing a national security council meeting at the moment. We saw a number of cabinet members arriving, including finance head, George Osborne, and Foreign Minister William Hague went in.

And then later on, in the House of Commons this afternoon, there will be a debate, a discussion about what's happening in Libya and ultimately a vote. But as I pointed out, at the moment, there does seem to be broad political support. Most of the three major parties have all seemed to back up the government -- Cameron's decision to go ahead with this military intervention to commit British military resources.

So, that support does seem to be there for now, Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Atika Shubert reporting from 10 Downing Street and CNN's Jim Bittermann reporting to us from Paris -- thanks.

RAJPAL: We want to take a look at what world newspapers are saying about the story.

In the United Arab Emirates, "The National" has the headline "Gadhafi knows how to spoil the coalition's best intentions." The paper says if the regime survives the shock-and-awe of the initial forward intervention, the Western powers that are running the campaign "will find themselves locked in to a power and more complex war than they intended."

And in the U.K., "The Independent's" headline is, "Even if 'Mad Dog' flees the war, it's still not won." And a guest editorial for the paper, analyst Shashank Joshi writes, "The intervening powers face a terrible choice between prolonged containment of a reckless and teetering despot on the one hand, and a hazardous push for regime change on the other. Each option brings grave humanitarian and strategic risks."

And in Turkey, "Today's Zaman" has the headline, "Odyssey Twilight." The paper says, "The conflict may develop in all possible directions and, worst of all, may be long-lasting and divisive. It is clear that while France has not much to lose in the gamble, the U.S. does."

And you can read all those articles in full on our Facebook page at

VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.


VERJEE: Look at this anger in Syria. Protesters clash with security forces demanding economic reform and political freedom.

RAJPAL: And we take -- we take a look at the weather conditions in Japan. Fresh snow and cold winds are taking their toll on relief efforts there.


RAJPAL: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.

Demonstrations in southern Syria took a deadly turn on Sunday. One person was killed in clashes between protesters and government forces. Sunday was the third day of violence in Syria where people are taking to the streets to demand more political and economic freedom.

We want to get more on the situation there. Let's go to Mohammed Jamjoom in Abu Dhabi.

And, Mohammed, before we go to story there in Syria, I want to talk to you a little bit about Yemen. We heard that the U.N. secretary general there in Cairo commenting on Yemen, commenting on the appeal to all concerned to make sure that there's -- all exercise maximum restraint.

What more do we know about the situation there in Yemen?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some news in the last few minutes. We've heard now there are two commanders in Yemen, commanders with the military, that have joined the protest movement. Just a short while ago, Commander Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who's the commander of the northwest region military forces, he said that he's going to actually deploy some of his troops to cities across Yemen to make sure that protesters are protected.

We're getting accounts from eyewitnesses on the ground outside of Sana'a University right now that, in fact, some of those troops and tanks have started to arrive.

So, that may really shift the dynamics on Sana'a as far as being able to protect those protesters that have come under repeated violence the last few weeks, but backing the president into even more of a corner as far as how much time he may have left before he may even be forced to resign.

Also, I'm hearing that one of the top military commanders in the Hadramawt province in the country's south, that he's also pronounced his support for the protest movement.

So, more and more momentum gathering behind the protest movement. Now, you're seeing military leaders join up. More and more opposition figures are coming out into the streets supporting the protesters.

Last night, you had the president basically dismissing his cabinet -- everybody to go. But he said they must stay on until he appoints a new cabinet. The crisis there is really worsening. The protest movement is gathering momentum. And everyone is wondering if the President Saleh's days are actually numbered right now -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Same question seemed to be asking there in Syria as well as more clashes continue there in that country. What more do we know about how far and how long this can go on? Human rights watchers is actually saying that there's excessive force that's being used by the government forces there.

JAMJOOM: More and more expressions of concern regarding the situation in Syria. We know that the protests are in their third day. At least three people have been killed. On the protests on Friday, there were two people that were killed. At their funeral the next day, there were even more clashes that happened.

That was when the interior ministry in Syria announced that they would put together a committee to investigate what happened and prosecute anybody that was accused of causing any kind of aggression in these protests.

But, yesterday, even at a time when the president of Syria said -- offered his condolences to the victims of families there, still there were more clashes, more deaths.

So, the situation in Syria is really getting worse right now. And this is a big surprise because Syria -- you don't see protests there. This is very rare. So, we're monitoring today to see if there will be even more.

But, Syria now seems to be the latest country in the region where the protest movement really gaining momentum and we're wondering what's going to be happening next -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Mohammed, thank you for that -- Mohammed Jamjoom there in Abu Dhabi.

VERJEE: Focusing on Libya now where pro-Gadhafi forces and rebel forces are fighting one another in the strategic town of Misrata, that's in the western part of the country.

We're joined now on the phone by a witness who is in Misrata who wants to be anonymous.

What can you tell us about what is happening right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): The murderous, deceiving, lying dictator is fooling nobody with his claims of a cease-fire. Misrata is being flattened and razed to the ground as we speak. He is using his tanks and his snipers to terrorize the city.

VERJEE: You describe the level of destruction you can see around you or you have been able to see or have heard from witnesses?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is (INAUDIBLE). It is absolute destruction and carnage. He is firing at all buildings, private and public. He controls the main street, which leads all the way to outside Misrata.

And the buildings just on that street are a scene from Afghanistan or Iraq. It's absolute destruction and carnage, and he has distributed his snipers over the high buildings. We're being told that there are 200 snipers with laser-guided rifles, and they are shooting people in the main street and in the back streets.

I have one -- we have one victim who was shot in his home in a back street, and he is terrorizing the outskirts of the city. On the east, west, and the south, his troops are going almost door to door searches terrorizing people and rounding up young men and terrorizing all men and women.

We have reports of shooting. We have reports of looting people's homes on the outskirts by his troops.

We understand that Mr. Obama's condition to this tyrant is to pull out of cities like Misrata. Well, he hasn't, and he is terrorizing Misrata right now.

VERJEE: Thank you, sir, for speaking to us and telling us what is happening right now.

We've been showing you video from an earlier occasion in Misrata, but we are hearing now that Misrata is being flattened, raised to the ground as we speak.

The resident of Misrata also said there was absolute carnage and destruction going on. There is firing, he said, at all buildings.

The pro-Gadhafi forces are in control, he said, of the main streets. There are snipers on the buildings, shooting at anyone coming by in the main street. They're going door to door, he said, terrorizing people. There is looting going on and young men are being rounded up.

RAJPAL: This is WORLD ONE, live from London. When we come back --


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was pretty crazy here at the hospital?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): The doctor tells us two people he knew died in the lobby, and others are missing.


RAJPAL: Find out why this Japanese hospital in the heart of a tsunami zone feels more like a ghost ship.


RAJPAL: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.

Japanese police have come out with another grim assessment. They fear at least half the more than 13,000 people missing are now dead. The latest figures we can give you are 8,649 people dead, 13,262 confirmed missing.

VERJEE: As well as the dead, there are also the injured. Amid the flattened buildings, the biggest hospital in the heart of the tsunami zone is still standing, but inside, there's no one to be found. Gary Tuchman reports.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): The Ishinomaki City Hospital is in the heart of the Japanese tsunami zone. You might assume it would be overcrowded with the injured.

(on camera): But there are no patients or doctors or nurses in this hospital, just their cars.

This is the largest hospital in the city. It would have been essential during this catastrophe, but the catastrophe hit here.

Look at what happened to this lobby. It was decimated. Can you see the paintings up there? They're fine because they're over the water line, which is at 11 feet.

But come back here with me, and you'll see that the waters and the mud -- can you see the ground still full of mud. The waters were 10 feet deep, remember.

The hospital has been destroyed, and it's impossible to know how many people died in here or how many people were swept away and died.

(voice-over): We walk down the cold, dark hallways of the upper floors. The rooms are all empty with evidence of quick getaways. Half eaten food remains on tables. Cell phones and shoes are on the floor.

But what happened here? We go out to the roof where the view is mind- boggling. The landscape below reveals a community that has been obliterated. On the hospital roof is a message. SOS, a cry for helicopters.

(on camera): For two days, the waters continued to rise. The first floor was totally off limits. It was dark.

Patients were panicked. There were no helicopters to be seen. There was no cell service, no way to get in touch with anybody. Patients didn't know if they would ever get out of here.

Finally, after four days the helicopters arrived --

(voice-over): -- and patients had to get out fast, even the critically ill who were strapped on stretchers. This was their window of opportunity.

Surgeon Yasuhiko Kamiyama was there for it all. He showed up at the hospital as we were about to leave getting, some blankets for a shelter.

(on camera): The patients have been brought to many hospitals.


TUCHMAN: Do you think they're OK?

KAMIYAMA: I hope so. But I have no idea, no information in detail.

TUCHMAN: It was pretty crazy here at the hospital?

KAMIYAMA: Yes, in some kind of chaos.

(voice-over): The doctor tells us two people he knew died in the lobby and others are missing. The waters are now receding in this area. The heartache, though, is not.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Ishinomaki, Japan.


VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London. I'm Zain Verjee.

RAJPAL: And I'm Monita Rajpal. Thank you for joining us.