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Target Libya; Two Found Alive in Japan Rubble

Aired March 20, 2011 - 07:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: The next chapter in the war in Libya is being written with coalition planes and missiles. Now, backing up international demands for a cease-fire, American planes joining coalition partners dropping bombs on critical targets.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: And leader Moammar Gadhafi is standing tough, defiant as always, and now, threatening payback. He also says Western aggressors won't get their hands on his oil.

HOLMES: From the CNN Center in Atlanta -- hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.

Richard, hello to you.

QUEST: And good day to you, T.J.

From London, I'm Richard Quest. We welcome viewers in the United States and around the world to CNN's special coverage.

HOLMES: And we will be going back to Richard in just a moment. But we need to start with those missiles and planes streaking through the sky over Libya, pounding targets critical to Moammar Gadhafi's efforts to stay in power.


HOLMES: It has been dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn. The main components right now are American and British cruise missiles and coalition airplanes. Coalition forces are targeting anti aircraft and missile sites controlled by Gadhafi.

Take a look at the map. It gives you an idea of where the coalition strikes were aimed. One of the main areas of interest, of course, Benghazi, that has been the heart of the opposition movement. It's been the sight of heavy fighting as well between opposition and government forces.

"AFP" is now reporting that 94 people were killed in fighting there since a new assault was launched two days ago by Gadhafi's forces.

Meanwhile, moments ago, Moammar Gadhafi -- he addressed his people and had a message for the world as well, saying all of Libya will revolt and wipe out the aggressors from the United States, Britain and France. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): We will be victorious. We will achieve victory on behalf of the people. We have Allah with us. You have the devil on your side.

What right have you got to attack our people? Who gave you that right? Who are you? You backward, barbarics.

This is an aggression that has no justification, this is -- this atrocity. We are -- we will hold to our land, to our rights. We will fight inch by inch. This land has been stained with the blood of our people, our leaders, our forefathers.


QUEST: We believe that's the voice, part of the rhetoric from Colonel Gadhafi. We haven't been managed to independently confirm that was actually him speaking.

Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is monitoring the situation in the capital, Tripoli, and Nic is with me now.

We -- I mean, we're told it's Gadhafi. It sounded like Gadhafi, but we can't confirm that. But what do you make about his threats that he's been offering up this morning?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is digging in. He is rallying the people behind him. This is what, I think, pretty much everyone had expected and certainly what Libyans would have been expecting.

This is a man who held onto power for 41 years. He has rallied his family around him in the face of this crisis and he is rallying the country around him, saying that we are the victims and victims are always victorious.

QUEST: Nic, it will not be lost --


GADHAFI: If the men were to be killed, the women will take over. We will hold the green flag high. They must know today it is a confrontation between the Libyan people and America, France, and Britain and the Christian pact. All the Libyan men and women are ready today to be martyrs. But we will -- we will be victorious. We -- you will be defeated.


ROBERTSON: And he goes on to say that the Libyan people have not only the Asian people behind them, the African people, people from the Middle East, even from Europe.

So, what we make of what he's saying here -- he is trying to build an image of himself and the country under justified attack. And he's trying to let the people of his country know that they have support way beyond his borders. Obviously, there will be many people here in Libya who don't particularly trust that message, but there will also be a large number of people who will believe that and listen to him, and that's what he is counting on -- he's building that base at this time, Richard.

QUEST: And the activity that's taking place this morning -- there are reports we know of very heavy fighting from the Libyan forces in Misrata who are shooting there. We've heard that from eyewitnesses.

Are you hearing or seeing evidence of coalition allied planes overhead?

ROBERTSON: If there are overhead, we're not able to see or hear them. And it would appear that neither of the Libyan air defense systems able to see or hear them.

The reports we get from Misrata, it's about 120 miles east of here, it's about two to three hours' drive -- we can't independently confirm the reports. And the way state media deals with those reports, it says that those reports are lies and can't be trusted. And certainly, the Libyan government is not telling us right now what its military forces are doing inside Misrata, that this was a pocket of armed opposition holding out against the government here for the last three or four weeks.

And we certainly know the government -- the government forces had them surrounded over the past few weeks and, indeed, we understood they were launching an operation there. But we haven't been able to go there in the past three weeks. So, we don't have an independent analysis of what's happening there today, Richard. But certainly, it is one could expect coalition forces to be moving to assist the opposition and defend civilians there.

QUEST: Nic Robertson, who is in the Libyan capital of Tripoli -- thank you.

HOLMES: Well, Richard, initially, in this Operation Odyssey Dawn, we were hearing about French and British planes above the skies of Libya. But we're hearing more about the United States' role now, maybe getting more involved than initially thought, moving beyond just firing cruise missiles from Navy ships in the Mediterranean.

CNN's Sandra Endo at the Pentagon for us today.

Sandra, hello to you once again. And like I just mentioned, first, we just heard about other countries and their planes. But we are, in fact, hearing the U.S. does have and did have planes in the air.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, T.J. We know this morning that 19 U.S. warplanes conducted strike operations overnight. And this is according to a spokesperson from U.S. Africa command who says that the operations included three B-2 stealth bombers, as well as four Marine Corps Harrier jets which took off from USS Kearsarge.

Now, new this morning from the Navy is that those Harrier jets targeted ground forces as well as air defense systems. We know that the mission initially was to target those air defense systems and disable them in Libya.

Also, this operation includes many F-15 and F-16 jets as well.

We're also learning from the British Ministry of Defense that four jets were involved in operations and we, as of right now, know that no more cruise missiles were launched overnight.

Now, this all started yesterday when American and British troops, as you mentioned on ships and submarines, fired more than 110 Tomahawk missiles and Pentagon officials say around 20 targets in Libya were hit off the western coast.


VICE ADMIRAL WILLIAM GORTNEY, U.S. NAVY CENTRAL COMMAND: At this point, we are creating the conditions to be able to set up the no-fly zone. And once we have established and confirmed that the conditions are right, then we will move forward into the next -- one of the next phases of the campaign.


ENDO: Now, beyond dropping bombs, T.J., the U.S. is saying that they are engaging in electronic warfare as well. Launching off these EA-18 Growlers, which basically disabled the electronic signals in Libya that are searching for aircraft carriers and also air defense systems as well. So, clearly, a two-pronged approach here.

Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's leader, is remaining defiant, as you've been reporting, saying they are going to respond to this, quote, "naked aggression."

Now, despite the tough talk, President Obama yesterday ensured everyone, saying that this is not going to be a long-term military offensive by the U.S. but only limited to a few days -- T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Sandra Endo, for us today from the Pentagon -- we appreciate you as always -- Richard.

QUEST: T.J., Operation Odyssey Dawn that you've been talking about -- well, it ironically began on the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But in this instance, the Arab League is supporting the military intervention. The support is by no means unanimous, but the fact that it is there is significant, nonetheless.

In Cairo, this morning, that's where we find CNN's Reza Sayah, who joins us live.

Now, Egypt, noticeably absent from the picture, despite being Libya's immediate neighbor, the recent history of losing longtime leader Hosni Mubarak just a few weeks ago. Reza, why is Egypt not part of or taking part in support of this?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Egyptian military officials have come out and said, look, we support this no-fly zone, but they've said unequivocally that they're not going to be involved in the implementation of it.

And this country has a pretty good excuse. As you mentioned, they just went through their own dramatic uprising that was viewed by the world, a dramatic uprising that toppled the old Mubarak regime. So, they are busy stabilizing this country, Egypt's security forces are. Just yesterday, they had a critical nationwide referendum that was buried in the news headlines by the way because of the events in Libya and Japan. So, this is a country that has its plate very full with its own internal issues.

Egyptian officials say they have been helping with humanitarian issues along the Egyptian, Libyan border. A witness telling us over the past 24 hours, there's been more civilians coming across the border into Egypt, many of them injured. Look for Egypt to continue to help with those efforts. But again, they say they are not going to be involved in the implementation of the no-fly zone.

And if you look at other Arab nations based on what we've seen over the first 24 hours of this no-fly zone, based on the information we have, no Arab nation has been involved in this initial stage. That could change with subsequent stages in the coming days or could be an indication of what's to come. This could be a symbolic role played by Arab nations as opposed to a more active, operational role.

QUEST: Yes. But, Reza, you'd agree with me that there's certainly a large cadre of Arab nations that will shed no tears if and when -- if and when Gadhafi goes.

SAYAH: There's no question about it. Look, this no-fly zone would not have happened without the endorsement of the Arab League. The block of 22 Arab nations. You'll recall it was last Saturday, that the Arab League voted unanimously to support a no-fly zone. They pushed the U.N. Security Council to move forth with it.

But, again, the question is: what kind of role are these Arab nations are going to actively play in implementation. Yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned a number of Arab nations that were participating in a summit in Paris, but when asked what role they will play, she said that's something that they'll have to announce themselves.

And if you look at some of these Arab nations, for example, the United Arab Emirates -- they have the capability to help. They have a very modern and large fleet of fighter jets.

But it's a tough call for them. If they take part actively in the no-fly zone, they'll have to answer some very difficult questions, because on one hand, they'd be helping opposition rebels in Libya. Then when you look at what's happening in Bahrain, they are helping out the government there against rebel forces there. So, they'd be presented with some tough questions if they do, indeed participate, Richard.

QUEST: Reza Sayah is in Cairo -- thank you.

HOLMES: We want to bring you now something we haven't been able to do that often out of Japan -- bring you good news.

According to the Red Cross there, two survivors have been found now in debris. We're seeing some video of it here now. But we have confirmed here at CNN, in fact, they had been trapped in their house for some nine days. You know that earthquake hit on March 11th, so that two Fridays ago now.

And the search had been going on for survivors, any survivors, some had been found. But we still have over 10,000 people still missing. But now, an 8 1-year-old grandmother and her 16-year-old grandson have been found and are alive. They were able to survive all this time and they have been rescued.

The video I believe we are seeing of those rescues taking place. We do not at this point know the condition of the two. We're working to get information on that. But it has been really a three-pronged crisis there in Japan, an initial -- a huge quake, a huge tsunami that followed, the nuclear crisis that they are still trying to keep from happening, so it has been difficult to get any sign of good news there.

But this is some that after nine days, these two, been trapped nine days, were found in a house, were able to survive. It could give other people hope and rescuers hope that what they are doing is not in vain and there are still a few people they may be able to save.

We'll have more on this as we get it. But, again, update you on their conditions.

Also, the other big story today, we are not going too far away from what's happening in Libya. Can you imagine what it's like living in Tripoli right now as coalition forces are striking targets in that area. We will give you some perspective from a resident that is just ahead.

You are watching CNN.


QUEST: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the Libyan war.

There are reports in Rome that Pope Benedict XVI, in his regular weekly Sunday address, has called for humanitarian aid to get access in Libya. The Pope believed to be speaking in Rome a short while ago.

Now, the condition in Libya itself, depending on where you are, can be desperate. In Tripoli, there has been overnight military activity.

Earlier, I spoke to an eyewitness in Tripoli, we're keeping her anonymous for obvious reasons. She said that a loud explosion from a nearby military base woke her up and then she saw fire rising from the direction of the airport. The resident also describes hearing a barrage of anti-aircraft fire. For obvious safety reasons, we're not releasing her name.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): For the last hour, there was a huge fire somewhere in the central area, that it's believed it is coming down from an intelligence building. And just right after the fire started, we could hear ambulances. And there's a lot -- a lot of police cars speeding towards where the fire started.

QUEST: And are you hearing the sound of aircraft going overhead? Or any anti-aircraft fire from the ground?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's stopped in the early morning. We couldn't hear anything after 4:00 a.m.

QUEST: Right. So, would you say that it was a fairly noisy night then that you suffered?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be honest, I was asleep. I woke up from the sound of the explosion. I tried to run and see what's happening, and I could see -- I saw actually one of the explosions, one of the fires. It was a very scary thing, especially that there is an anti- aircraft shooting against it.

And I saw a couple of the -- I don't know what to call it, but it was a very bright light, and I could see -- I could see some of the events, I saw them.

QUEST: How has the mood in Tripoli that you can best gauge from you, your family, your friends -- how is that mood shifted in the last 24 hours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not -- we haven't expected things to speed up this quickly. To be honest, most of us are still in trauma. We're shocked. We're all home. We're scared.

We don't know what's going to happen next. We're not scared from what the international community or what the -- the flights will strike. We're scared what would be the domestic reaction toward those strikes.


QUEST: Now, in Misrata, another witness says Gadhafi's forces are targeting fuel and power sources. It's all apparently being done, T.J., to make citizens believe that the damage is actually being caused by coalition forces.

HOLMES: Yes, as we know, that will be a part of the war going on. There's a propaganda war that will certainly ensue, Richard.

And, Richard, we have been covering certainly Libya, but Japan as well for the past week or so. And how nice is it finally to be report something -- something positive from Japan? A glimmer of hope after two survivors were found after being trapped nine days in their home. Their story and an update from Japan, when we come back.

You are watching CNN.


QUEST: In a story that has had such misery, it is nice to be able to bring you some good news from Japan now, with words coming in just moments ago. The Red Cross says two survivors of the quake and the tsunami have been found in their home in Ishinomaki.

Now, that's an extraordinary achievement nine days after the disaster. And this is -- it makes it even more remarkable, that survivors, it's an 81-year-old grandmother and her 16-year-old grandson. There is no word on their condition.

But efforts to prevent a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant also appear to be gaining ground. Now, the pressure in nuclear reactor number three has stabilized. Workers had planned to reduce pressure by releasing radioactive gas. That's now apparently has been put off for the time being. The March 11th quake and tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling systems.

The quake and tsunami have killed more than 8,200 people and this is a sobering fact. More than 12,000 people are still missing. Police say in one area there maybe be up to 15,000 more bodies to be found and recovered.

The Japanese government will decide on Monday whether to ban agricultural products from the area that's near the nuclear plant. Why are they doing this? Because abnormally high levels of radiation have been found in spinach and milk near the plant -- T.J.

HOLMES: Richard, as you just mentioned, it sounds like they are able to relieve some of that pressure in that number three reactor at the plant. So, that's good news if they don't have to release any radioactive gas.

Let's get the update here from Brian Todd who is live with us in Tokyo.

Brian, hello to you.

The key here has been: you got to get the power back on to get those cooling systems up and working. So, are we getting power back on? And does that then mean some these cooling systems are coming back online?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Slowly but surely, T.J. There is power on now at the number two reactor, we're told that that power has been hooked up, testing it out now to see whether it can be effective in turning on some water pumping systems that can get the water into that number two reactor. The number three reactor has been the real problem, of course. That's got the exposed fuel rods in it. They've been pumping water through fire trucks and cranes in there. And that is a little dicey.

As you guys mentioned just a moment ago, there has been a pressure issue there today. Pressure rising, they were considering venting that open, possibly releasing -- having to release some radioactive materials in the area. But they didn't have to do that, the pressure then receded and now, they've got to monitor it.

But, yes, the cooling, at least in one of the reactors, cooling system looks like it's going to be stabilized.

Now, the number three reactor, when they were pumping water in yesterday, they did notice near-zero levels of radiation and that the building was cooling down. So, they have made some progress. It seems like every time they make a step forward, though, they have some kind of a setback. So, this certainly bears monitoring.

And while you guys were on the subject to the rescue, a couple of other details on that. We're told, as you mentioned, that these two people, a 16-year-old boy and his 81-year-old grandmother -- according to the Red Cross hospital, were trapped in their home for about nine days. According to police, the boy then crawled somehow up to the roof. It took him a long time to do that. That's when he was able to flag rescuers.

Various media reports now say that the boy has hypothermia, but that the grandmother is in fairly good condition -- T.J.

HOLMES: That is -- again, I think so many of us have been covering this tragedy, so pleased and relieved to be able to give some good news. Have these stories over the past nine days, though, Brian -- and you have been there -- been so few and far between, and as time goes on and on as we know, there's less and less of a likelihood we will see more stories like this. But do these rescuers for the most part, have in their minds, yes, we're still looking for survivors?

TODD: Well, they are still looking, but, frankly, I mean, as you mentioned, the window of survivability here closed a while ago, and if stories like what we're seeing now are just really incredible.

They do not hold much hope for finding survivors here. The mind- set is just that. It's bleak. People are walking around shell shocked, trying to get their minds around what happened to them and their relatives.

So it's a very desperate situation and they'll have a very hard time getting a tally of dead and missing for various reasons.

HOLMES: All right, Brian Todd with the update for us there on the nuclear situation, but also, again, some good news. We appreciate the details on the two survivors found after nine days. Thanks so much, Brian. I want to hand it back over to my colleague Richard in London. QUEST: T.J., we're going backward and forward between the two stories. When we return in just a moment, we return to the crisis in Libya. What role is Europe playing in the mission? We'll get a perspective from Paris because the news never stops neither do we. This is CNN.


HOLMES: Hello again. We are following new developments in Libya. More air strikes. Now targeting Libyan government troops on the ground. Hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes reporting from the CNN Center in Atlanta.

QUEST: And reporting from CNN London, I'm Richard Quest. Good morning, T.J. We'd also like to welcome viewers not only in the United States, but, of course, around the world. This is CNN's special coverage of the Libya war.

The decision to launch military strikes against Libya, came after a high level meeting, almost a summit meeting that took place in Paris. There, the leaders laid out the plans to enforce U.N. Resolution 1973, which called for a cease-fire and for a no-fly zone.

Partners from Europe are playing a major role in the enforcement. CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann is in the French capital in Paris for us today joins me now.

And, Jim, the action is under way. So what do the leaders do next?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a very good question, Richard. I think they're going to wait and see what the one leader, Moammar Gadhafi does and I think his actions over the next few days, few hours and days, will be more determinant than anything else.

But in terms of military strategy, the military thinking is that you keep ratcheting up the pressure on Colonel Gadhafi, by attacking more and more and more targets. Now one thing we've heard overnight here is - we actually got it from the American Joint Chiefs of Staff that in fact, the military action around Benghazi, which was in fact the impetus for all of this.

The idea that the rebellion was being encircled around Benghazi and that people were in great jeopardy there. That Gadhafi forces had been stopped and there is no further military movement in that direction, that in part because of what the French did yesterday.

Put about 20 planes in the air. Their role apparently will be and has been and will be the idea that they will do close air support for the rebels around the Benghazi area and take out any kind of armored vehicles or tanks that are heading towards Benghazi, Richard.

QUEST: OK, but the -- some U.S. military spokespeople are saying and some military officers are saying significant progress has already been made and potentially that a no-fly zone has already been created. Now that will be music to the ears for Europeans, particularly those who have come to this party somewhat differently.

BITTERMANN: Well, there had been a few Europeans that have come late for example. We just heard about Greece joining in and offering bases to be used and a few others that have been a little bit reluctant.

But it should be said too that in fact this came up very quickly. President Sarkozy moved very fast after the U.N. resolution to bring together this summit meeting yesterday and as a consequence, I think people didn't really have a chance to formulate policy.

I know that in one case, in Denmark, they are waiting for parliamentary debate to take place before they would commit to using or involving any of their forces.

So it's taken the diplomats and the politicians a bit by surprise. They are certainly moving far more quickly than they have on a lot of things, Richard.

QUEST: Jim, briefly, a difficult question for a brief answer. Who is in the lead here?

BITTERMANN: Well, that's a very good question. In fact, one of the things we don't even know yet, Richard, is exactly where the command and control center for all of this is going to be.

We have been told that in fact each individual country is looking after its own air forces and whatnot, and it will have to go to each individual country to find out what they've been doing. So we don't even know that basic information.

QUEST: In Paris this morning, or this afternoon as it now is, Jim Bittermann, thank you.

HOLMES: Meanwhile, opponents of Libya's government, using any means available to try and get their message out. Look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did somebody help you with this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, just started. Step by step, I don't know how. A guy offered the equipment, the cameras. I told you. When they knew I was live from CNN and people saw it on CNN, they all came here running, Mohammed, what do you need? We would like to help?


HOLMES: And Mohammed got that help and you will have more on Mohammed's story, right after a break. You are watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: Welcome back to CNN. We have more now on Moammar Gadhafi's defiant stance against U.S.-U.N. military action, as we get word of fresh air strikes into Libya this morning. A coordinated assault from American jets, stealth bombers and F-15 fighters.

We want to bring once again retired U.S. military General Wesley Clark. He's a former NATO Supreme Allied commander in Europe and current senior fellow at the Berkle Center for International Relations joining us from Little Rock. General, thanks for being with us once again.

The U.S. President Obama has been very careful in his wording, trying to make sure this doesn't appear to be a U.S.-led effort, a U.S.-led coalition or a U.S. effort altogether. So in your opinion so far, how would you characterize the degree of U.S. involvement in this conflict?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, I don't want to split hairs on this. The president says we're not leading. He's really talking about the politics of this and who is pushing for it.

He did say we would support this U.S. military action, it's a playbook. It's a standard way of doing business. We've used it several different times since we've developed these capabilities. It's really the first time going into Iraq in the 1990s. We used it again in 1998, 1999, 2003. We know how to do this play and that's what we're doing.

We're supporting the entry of forces for the no-fly zone. What happens after that remains to be determined? The coordination for all of this, and the direction, was done by the United States because we're using what is known as classified U.S. military assets.

That is to say their operating characteristics, command and control doesn't go outside U.S. national channels, but once the skies are open over Libya, we expect a much broader international participation.

The art of this campaign is not the military framework to get us into the no-fly zone. The real art of it, the leading of it, is going to be done by the diplomats and government leaders who put the pressure on Gadhafi.

And connect the no-fly zone actions to the results they seem to achieve in terms of protection of the civilians on the ground.

HOLMES: I want to make sure I was hearing you correctly. I know, you said, you don't want to split hairs here so that is simply a political distinction would you say when you hear that the U.S. is taking a back seat and not necessarily leading.

But when it comes to capabilities and doing what's being done in Libya, there's no question in your mind that the U.S. has to take a lead role because of capabilities of the U.S. CLARK: Sure. We have a can opener. We know how to open a can here over Libya and shut down the air defenses and let coalition aircraft fly and do their work. I think what the president and secretary of state are saying is the primary political impetus behind this and the actions in the coming days will be done by the coalition leaders.

Probably British President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Cameron, others and their diplomats will have to go in on the ground and persuade Gadhafi to toss in the towel on this.

HOLMES: What do you see, General, as the endgame? If Gadhafi gives the U.N. coalition everything they want. He stops with the violence. He stops going after his own citizens. He stops with the air strike and an immediate cease-fire. Then what?

CLARK: Well, I think there are two courses of action, which can be pursued simultaneously. One is to deal with the rebel organizations remaining in Benghazi and perhaps elsewhere in the country. Some nations have already recognized the rebel groups as the government of Libya.

So you would have a de facto and de jury split of Libya. That is to say you have two separate countries there while are you sorting this out or at least two separate governments. One recognized by the majority of the world and then Gadhafi somewhere else.

Secondly, I suspect there would be efforts to put together war crimes charges against Gadhafi so that you would collect evidence, you take witness' statements, you look for members of his chain of command who defected and can testify to the orders he gave or his sons gave. And put together a criminal case against Gadhafi and his family and be able to force them out of office presumably.

None of this might work. You might end up in a place where you are compelled to go further than that, or you might end up in a prolonged stalemate. And it's up to the political leadership and those that pushed for this, like the French president and British prime minister to provide the insights and leverage to believe it forward.

HOLMES: All right, General Wesley Clark for us from Little Rock, Arkansas today. We're going to be talking to you again next hour and perhaps a day here on CNN. We appreciate you as always. Richard.

QUEST: The Gadhafi regime has a stranglehold on Libya's media, making extremely difficult for the opposition to get the message out. CNN's Ben Wedeman now shows us how inventive Libyans have become to get news to what's happening to the outside world.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the voice of free Libya says radio announcer. It's a voice that reaches across more than 1,000 kilometers from Benghazi to Tripoli. This broadcast, he says, is effectively sending a message to the western regions, particularly Tripoli that Gadhafi's regime has begun to erode, to collapse. It's fan vanishing.

From this radio station in 1969, a young Captain Moammar Gadhafi announced the military coup. He called it a revolution that over threw the monarchy. The equipment he used is still here, 41.5 years later, the station is telling Gadhafi, it's his turn to step down.

Radio is so passe however for Mohammed Nabbousi, a technical wizard who's jury-rigged a satellite connection to get around the state-imposed internet block to stream live pictures and commentary from Benghazi at the height of fighting here. When he popped up via the web on CNN, other television networks quickly offered to help.

MOHAMMED NABBOUSI, BUSINESSMAN TURNED BROADCASTER: I would say three hours that night, particularly with the support of Al Jazeera, and I didn't know how to actually access this and operate from it. I told them guys you actually wasted my time.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Did somebody help you with this?

NABBOUSI: Actually, it just started, step by step. I don't know how. A guy offered the equipment, a guy offered the cameras, every guy -- I told you when they knew I was live from CNN and people saw it on CNN, they all came here running, Mohammed, what do you need? We would like to help.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): A businessman who set up Libya's first ice skating rink, Mohammed and his team are relaying images of protests in Tripoli to the outside world. This man is part of a group of young artists, reveling in their new found freedom, having a field day with Gadhafi's unique appearance.

ASHOUR MIFTAH, ARTIST: That's like a rage, a hatred inside of us. It's like explosion of it. All of that have just regrouped in one pencil.

WEDEMAN: Others are using song. This one calling on their fellow Libyans to stay strong, because the message goes, the reign much Libya's erratic leader is coming to an end. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Benghazi, Libya.


QUEST: Now, there's a sad post script to Ben's report. We've come to hear by way of Mohammed's wife that Mohammed was one of the casualties in the battle for Benghazi. His wife hopes that his death is not one of futility and that he was willing to die for the cause to free Libya.

On another note this morning, at least 94 people killed in an assault launched two days ago on the city of Benghazi by forces by forces loyal to Gadhafi. This is according to medics and from the AFP correspondents who said that today. T.J. --

HOLMES: All right, Richard, thank you.

And the other major story we have been covering here at CNN has been the devastation in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami and also the nuclear crisis they're trying to avert. Would you believe we have some positive news to report to you from Japan this morning, we'll have that for you right after the break. You're watching CNN.


HOLMES: Welcome back to CNN. It seems like every time we had to give you an update about what is happening in Japan, it has been another dire one, more bad news, another setback at the nuclear plant maybe. Not this time.

The update I have for you now is a positive one. Nine days after Japan was rocked by that devastating earthquake and tsunami, two survivors have been found. The Red Cross says an 81-year-old grandmother and her 16-year-old grandson were found in a house that had been destroyed by this disaster.

You're seeing video here of them being rescued. We're told the boy actually had to crawl to the roof of the home and he was able to flag down rescuers. As far as their conditions go, we're told the young man has hypothermia. The grandmother is said to be in fairly good condition.

But stories like that are few and far between in Japan certainly as more time goes by and over 10,000 people still listed as missing.

Meanwhile, efforts to prevent a meltdown at that nuclear plant in Japan appeared to be paying off as well. The pressure in nuclear reactor number three has stabilized. That's another bit of good news. Richard --

QUEST: In a story that doesn't have much, that is good to receive. Now our other big story that we're following for you this morning, events moving quickly in Libya. The unrest there has been simmering for some time. It hasn't happened overnight, but we'll take a look at how it all began and what ultimately led to this civil war.


HOLMES: Well, strikes against Libya came just two days after the U.N. imposed a no-fly zone over that country. So how has it all happened in Libya so quickly for a leader who ruled for so long? Our Don Lemon has that.


DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Freedom's cry erupted in Tunisia, deposing a dictator. Engulfed Egypt, ousting a president, swept across Libya, virtually unrestrained until colliding with a defiant Colonel Gadhafi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): We are prepared to break any aggression by the people, the armed people. LEMON: By mid-February, anti-Gadhafi forces had taken strategic towns in the east of the country including Benghazi, Libya's second largest city where one of Gadhafi's palaces had been trashed by dissidents.

Unequipped, largely untrained, but not afraid to risk their lives for freedom, some died, nearly 1,000 by one account. Gadhafi fought hard, turning air strikes and live ammunition against civilians. The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved sanctions on Libya. There were some calls for direct action.

SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN, (I) CONNECTICUT: I begin with the impositions of a no-fly zone so that Gadhafi can't be attacking his own people from the air.

LEMON: In Libya, on the day after the U.N. vote, there were deadly clashes over control of the rebel held towns of Zawiya and Misrata, west of the capital.

Days later, in the east, two towns controlled by dissidents of al Brega and Ajdabiya were bombed for the second straight day, followed by a report that the government was once again in control of Zawiya.

And at the center of the conflict, sat Gadhafi, defiant.

MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): Thousands and thousands of people will be killed.

Determined, I came here in order to greet you, greet your courage. And I tell you to repel them.

LEMON: And at times, delusional.

GADHAFI: All my people are with me. They love me all.

LEMON: Meanwhile, Libya became a no-man's land for foreigners, including the country's vast number of foreign guest workers. Some 200,000 are said to have fled, many across the border with Tunisia creating a mass refugee crisis. The airports were swamped by polyglot mobs scrambling to get out. This week, as Libyan government forces began retaking towns held by rebels, the United Nations voted to impose a no-fly zone over the country.

SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: This resolution should send a strong message to Colonel Gadhafi and his regime.