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South Korean President Promises to Resign if Parliament Asks; Plane Carrying Brazilian Football Team Crashes in Colombia; A Look at the Future of Cuban Politics; Digital Wallet Startup Big Winner in Indian Currency Crunch. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired November 29, 2016 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:12] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to News Stream. A flight carrying a football team from B razil
crashes in Colombia. At least 75 people were killed, but now a sixth survivor has been found.
South Korea's president says she will resign if that's what parliament wants. And now members are preparing an impeachment vote.
And how India's currency crisis may help the country move to a future without cash.
And we begin with breaking news out of Colombia, where at least 75 people have been killed in a plane crash. The aircraft was on its way to Medellin
in the northeast of the country. More than 80 people were on board and incredibly officials six of them survived.
It's not yet known what went wrong with the flight. There have been reports of an electrical failure, also report that the plane might have run
out of fuel. And deep shock in Brazil, which has just declared three days of mourning.
The plane was carrying members of the country's Chapecoense football team.
Now CNN's Rafael Romo joins us now with the latest from CNN Center. And Rafael, since news of this terrible accident broke, you've been learning
more about the flight itself. Tell us more.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, apparently the flight was not supposed to happen to begin with. The Brazilian national civil aviation
agency says they denied the charter request of the Bolivian Lamia Corporation to fly the team from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Medellin, Colombia.
Why was the request denied? Well, apparently it didn't comply with international regulations. A couple of hours ago, the mayor of Medellin
was talking about five survivors, then he updated the figure saying it was, indeed, six, apparently, a man who was rescued from under the fuselage of
the airplane. This means the death toll as a result of this plane crash now stands at 75. Another survivor died on the way to the hospital.
The plane was transporting the Chapecoense football club to Medellin, Colombia, where the
Brazilian team would have played a match against the local team, Atletico National, as part of
the finals of the South American Cup.
CNN has learned that at least two football players and one crew member survived. One of the players is Alan Luciano Ruschel (ph). His wife wrote
Alison Ruschel (ph) wrote in an Instagram post after the crash, "god bless and give all family members sstrength."
As for the cause of the accident, Kristie, a statement from the Jose Maria Cordova says the aircraft declared an emergency shortly before landing.
Pilots reported a power failure.
Kristie, back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah, but we still have no definitive word what caused the crash. We know that rescue crews, investigators are reaching the scene,
which is near the high altitude airport at Medellin.
You've flown into that airport before. What's the experience like?
ROMO: Yeah, you get the sensation that there's very little room for error, Kristie, because we're
talking about an airport that is -- that has an altitude of close to a mile, more than 1,500 meters, and it's entirely surrounded by mountains.
As a matter of fact, the region around Medellin, it's all a very mountainous area, very rugged mountains, and so we don't know at this point
if the fact that more turbulence is created by those mountains might have been a contributing factor, but definitely it doesn't make things easier
for pilots, Kristie.
LU SOUT: Yeah, just one of the many factors investigators have to look into -- the environment, weather conditions, as well. And also what can
you tell us, Rafael, about the airline itself, Lamia?
ROMO: What we know is that this is a charter airline that has worked with other football teams
before, and apparently they had a relationship with the team to transport them to Medellin. And actually the plane itself had the name of the team
had the logo of the team, and so that tells you that this was not an overnight agreement, this had been in the works for awhile.
But surely, investigators are going to be taking a close look at the safety record of Lamia. We have yet to hear from the company, but definitely part
of the investigation, as well, Kristie.
LU SQTOUT: Yeah, terrible, terrible accident. Answers are needed here, especially for the families waiting for those answers. Rafael Romo, many
thanks indeed for your reporting.
And as we mentioned, among those onboard a Brazilian football team. Christina Macfarlane has more on them from London. Christina, this is a
very, very difficult time for relatives and fans of the team. Tell us more about Chapecoense.
[08:05:13] CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie, it's hard to undermine the fact that this is having a devastating
affect on the footballing community as a whole, and not least because this was a team who really had been having a fairytale story over the past
couple of years. They effectively have come from nowhere to qualify to the top flight of Brazilian football in 2014. And then after that they found
themselves going all the way to the final in the Copa Sudamericana, which basically one of the top flight competitions in Brazil. Equivalent,
perhaps, if you're familiar with European football to the Europa League Cup.
And they were heading on their way to play in the first match of the two- leg tournament when this disaster struck. The two players that have been named are both
Brazilian players, one is a defender, one is a goalkeeper, hadn't been with the club all that long. But we understand the club itself is mostly, if
not all made up of Brazilian players, which is very unusual of a top flight team.
The pictures you are seeing in front of you here are actually of the team celebrating, would you believe, when they realized that they were going
through to the final of this top flight competition. It is a devastating time for them, for their fans, as well, who have been, you know, there's
been an outpouring on social media from them, from everyone else around the footballing world, as well, today and some very prominent tweets from
leading footballers, football clubs, and also one in the past 10 minutes from the Brazilian football confederation.
If I can briefly read this out to you, Kristie, because it is poignant and very strong. They say, "we are lying in one of the most tragic pages in
the history of Brazilian sport, and I regret deeply the loss of players, coaching staff, media professionals, managers, and crew. The Brazilian
football confederation is taking all measures in order to provide its support to survivors. We all have a lot of strength and a lot of light to
overcome this moment. That is the president speaking there over the Brazilian Football Confederation.
So, being felt in all areas of football and sport today, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, such a tragedy. As you say this was a top team that was on its way to the final.
And Christine, what has been the reaction from the club itself?
MACFARLANE: The club did issue their own statement earlier today saying their thoughts and prayers were with the families involved, with the
players, with everyone, in fact, on that plane. And they said they wouldn't be putting out any further statements until they knew more what
was happening on the ground. But quite poignantly as well, we did see in the
past hour that they have changed the logo of their club from green to black, symbolically, of course.
And we've also heard, as well, from the South American Football Association, CONMEBOL, and we understand that the president of CONMEBOL is
actually on his way, Luis Dominquez, to Medellin as we speak. They have said they are suspending all activities in that particular league. The
final, obviously, the only thing left to be played there and we've yet to see whether this is going to have
ramifications for other games and other matches going on. But we do know that this is coming at the end of the South American season, so it's likely
they are going to be taking their summer break after this and there will be no more football.
But a lot of reaction as I say, and many, many footballers, high profile footballers, as well, adding their thoughts to this tragedy.
LU STOUT: Terrible accident and a horrible tragedy. Christina Macfarlane reporting for us, thank you.
And now to the latest on the political crisis in South Korea. President Park Geun-hye says she
will resign if parliament wants her to do so. For weeks now hundreds of thousands of protesters have
made it clear they want her to step down after she was implicated in a corruption probe.
While in office, President Park is immune from prosecution. She says she is now putting
her fate in the hands of the national assembly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARK GEUN-HYE, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): I will step down from my position according to the law, once a way is formed to pass
on the administration in a stable manner that will also minimize political unrest and vacuum after ruling an
opposition party's discussion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul. She joins us now.
And Paula, is this surprise announcement enough to placate the anger, the angry protesters who have for weeks been calling for her to step down?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, this speech took quite a lot of people by surprise. She effectively had two
options given to her by opposition leaders. They said either you step down or we'll impeach you. But what President Park has done is she's gone for a
third option, which no one had predicted, which is to say well if parliament says I should go, then I will resign.
So, what she's done is put the ball in parliament's court, in a national assembly's court, but of course now everyone is scrambling to figure out
the legalities of this, the technicalities, can lawmakers tell a president to leave if the president hasn't themselves said that they will resign?
So it's -- some people say it may be playing for time, experts are certainly assuming that's what she's doing, maybe trying to avoid
impeachment, which opposition leaders have said that they would start that process this week.
But what it hasn't done, as you ask, is placate protesters. Hundreds of thousands of people have been on streets. The organizaers say they will
continue to be on the streets until she actually clearly resigns.
That is not what they believe she's done today. And in many ways, she's actually annoyed protesters more than placating them -- Kristie.
[08:10:30] You know, it's an interesting game of political chess here. Now, we have President Park saying she will resign if that's what
parliament wants, and it appears that parliament does want it, since lawmakers are prepping an impeachment vote against her. So what could
HANCOCKS: Well, that's what everyone is trying to figure out. Because the legality is, it's not so simple for lawmakers to just say, yes, you have to
step down. That is effectively what an impeachment process is. But we have been hearing from local media over recent days some of the more elder
statesmen within South Korea, some of those potentially closer to Park Geun-hye have said that she has to find a way of stepping back with honor,
with a bit more dignity rather than being impeached. Potentially, this is an attempt at doing that. But opposition leaders at this point will be
scrambling to try and find out what they can do, and, of course, there is unity among opposition parties at this point as they are trying to get rid
of President Park as soon as it gets to the point where they have to put their candidates forward, they will not be that kind of unity, clearly.
So it's very uncertain at this point what exactly happens next. I think the next couple of days
will be interesting. Friday was potentially going to be a day when the impeachment process started. It may not start, it's really unclear what
exactly has changed after this speech.
There was another apology, but not enough to placate people on the street.
LU STOUT: So the next move here, we really don't know. But in the event that Park Geun-hye steps down, who could take her place?
HANCOCKS: Well, there have been a number of names that have been put forward. The leaders of the opposition party, former leaders of the
opposition party Moon Jai-yin (ph) for example, a former leader who actually was up against President Park Geun-hye in the most recent election
and lost to her, even Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, his name has been offered up in local media. He is, of course, South Korean. He is a
former South Korean foreign minister. His tenure at the UN ends at the end of this year. And he had been touted as a potential successor for
President Park Geun-hye.
But, of course, it's very difficult to know exactly who the majority of opposition parties will rally behind. As I say, they are united now
because they have a united desire to see the back of President Park Geun- hye, when it actually comes to one of them taking control of the presidency, it is likely to be far more political infighting, far more
campaigning. And, of course, it could take many months before we know who the next president will be.
LU STOUT: Al right, Paula Hancocks reporting on the latest political turmoil there in South Korea. Thank you.
Now, turning now to Syria's civil war and the battle for Aleppo. Government forces and their
allies broke through rebel lines in eastern Aleppo on Monday and sources say they have taken control of a large part of the northeast of that city.
The UN says up to 16,000 civilians have fled in just the past few days while an estimated 200,000 people are still trapped.
The UN is pleading with all parties to restore basic humanity in Syria.
Now for more, our Clarissa Ward joins us live from London. Clarissa, in just a matter of days, government forces have taken a significant part of
eastern Aleppo. What are your thoughts on what's happening and the pace of this assault?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly it appears,
Kristie, that we're kind of nearing a breaking point here. And I just want to recap a little bit for our viewers, you know, Aleppo was a major
symbolic victory for the rebels when they took about half of the city four years ago. In the last year they have lost a significant amount of
territory, as we have seen the Russians backing the Syrian regime, also Iranians backing the Syrian regime, along with a hodgepodge of different
militias, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, of course, Hezbollah, and the end result of that was that essentially for the last few months the rebel-
held part of the city, the eastern part of the city, was fully encircled and under siege by the regime and by
regime allied forces.
Now what we've seen in the last few weeks is a dramatic escalation. Syrian army troops essentially launching a major ground offensive. And by all
accounts, roughly one-third of rebel-held territory has now been taken by the regime. That's one-third, more than 10,000 people have been forced out
of their homes or have tried to flee the violence. And what we're seeing now, essentially,
is that regime forces are trying to cleave into the remaining part of rebel-held Aleppo.
There are a lot of different ideas about how this is likely to play out on the ground. Many people are now saying that they fear the fall of Aleppo
is imminent. This will be a significant victory for the regime.
But I also would say, Kristie, that it will be a Pyrrhic victory, because what kind of a city is Bashar al-Assad and his regime really inheriting?
You're essentially looking at a ghost town that's been decimated, that has been bombed to smithereens, a crumbling monument to the war crimes of the
regime of Bashar al-Assad. It is completely bankrupt. There is no economy. There are very few people. You will have massive displacement of
the 200,000 estimated souls who are still inside the city, that you mentioned.
So it's a devastating situation. It continues to get worse by the day, but it does appear we are
nearing the fall of Aleppo, Kristie.
[08:16:12] LU STOUT: We are at this critical turning point in the overall civil war in Syria, the fate of the city, the fate of the people in Aleppo.
We've heard that appeal for basic humanity from the UN. We know thousands have fled, scores are still trapped. They have nowhere to go. What will
happen to them?
WARD: They have nowhere to go. We've seen some of them try to get into Kurdish areas. Many people are reluctant to go towards the west into
regime-held areas because they've seen this play out in city after city across Syria. Women and children often separated from men, the men put on
buses, taken for questioning, and they often never return because many of them, obviously, have connections to the opposition.
The Syrian regime has extended some kind of an amnesty, but it's fair to say that no one has much faith that the rules of that amnesty will be
And we've seen these flyers that have been dropped over the city by the regime, essentially saying, and, in fact, exactly saying, if you stay, you
will be annihilated. And then going on to say, and I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially, the world has abandoned you, no one
cares about you anymore. If you stay, it will be only for your doom.
So that really, I think, hits on a key thing that you hear over and over again from the people who have chosen or have been forced to remain in
eastern Aleppo, this sense of bitterness with the international community, the sense of abandonment, the sense that no one has come to their aid. And
we're still seeing it, despite the calls of the UN, despite the calls of the international community, very, very little aid getting in there, if any
at all. They've run out of water, food, medicines, it's a disaster, Kristie.
LU STOUT: The people of Aleppo are terrified and they're desperate to believe they have a future. Clarissa Ward reporting for us. Thank you,
You're watching News Stream. And still ahead in the program, as Cubans mourn former leader Fidel Castro, we will take a look at his family life
and why he kept it so private.
Also ahead, we're going to take you to Oakland, California, a city that is using music to help fight human trafficking. It's all part of CNN's
[08:20:38] LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Our breaking news this hour, at least 75 people were killed when a plane crashed in Colombia. Six people survived. It's not yet known what went
wrong with the aircraft.
The plane was carrying members of Brazil's Chapecoense football team who were due to compete in the first leg of the South American Cup finals.
Brazil's president has declared three days of mourning.
Cuba is in the middle of a nine-day official mourning period for Fidel Castro. Now, the country is paying its respects with an hourly cannon
salute and a rally in the hours ahead. Castro lived in the public eye, but he kept his family life private. Patrick Oppmann takes a look at the lives
of his children and the power dynamic within the Castro family.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For over five decades, Fidel Castro basked in the spotlight. World famous for his fatigues,
cigar, and defiance of 10 U.S. administrations. But one thing he refused to share with the public, his family life.
In his final years, Castro lived on the outskirts of Havana with his wife, sons, and grandchildren in a heavily guarded compound.
The few images taken inside his house were the work of son and personal photographer Alex
Castro, who granted CNN a rare interview just a few weeks before Castro's death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
OPPMANN: Fidel Castro's personal life is so private, most Cubans know next to nothing about his family. Insiders say Castro wanted to portray himself
as totally devoted to his revolution. One rare exception came early in 1959 when Castro and his eldest son, Fidelito (ph) spoke CBS's Edward R.
EDWARD R. MURROW, CBS NEWS: Wasn't Fidelito (ph) supposed to be with us tonight?
FIDEL CASTRO, LEADER OF CUBA: Fidelito (ph).
MURROW: Hello, Fidel Jr.
FIDEL CASTRO, JR., FIDEL CASTRO'S SON: Hi.
MURROW: That's a very good looking puppy you have there. Is he yours?
CASTRO JR.: No, somebody gave it to my father for a present.
OPPMANN: Fidelito (ph) later grew a Castro-esque beard and became head of Cuba's nuclear program. He appeared destined for a prominent role until a
falling out with his father, who stripped him of his official duties. Only after his ailing father stepped down and Uncle Raul took power did Fidelito
(ph) make public appearances again, including this 2015 cigar dinner with models Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton.
Another son, Tony Castro, is known for winning fishing and golf tournaments in Cuba.
A senior official in the Cuban baseball league, Tony has welcomed back to Cuba the same
baseball defectors his father once banned.
As they are virtually unknown in Cuba, it is not Fidel's children, but brother Raul Castro's, who
seemed poised to carry on the family name.
UNIDENITIFED FEMALE: Oddly enough, Fidel's children are not very politically ambitious. Most of them have inherited their father's
intellectual bent and are involved in the sciences and medicine. He has -- Fidel has one son, Antonio, who is the head of the Cuban baseball league,
but baseball is hardly national politics.
Raul's children, on the other hand, are very engaged.
OPPMANN: Engaged and in public Raul Castro's daughter, Mariella (ph) is a member of parliament and runs a center to promote gay and transgender
rights. Her brother, Alejandro (ph), who came Monday to pay respects to Fidel Castro in Revolution Square is a colonel in Cuba's feared
Alejandro (ph) led the secret talks with the U.S. that resulted in normalizing ties.
A former professor of his says Alejandro Castro will continue to protect the Castro family's interests.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a lot of respect for him. I think he has the material to become a leader. And he's doing his job very well, from what I
know. It is a national security job, but he it very well. And he has charisma.
OPPMANN: Raul Castro has said he will step down in 2018 and it could be his side of the
family that is better positioned to play a key role in Cuba's future.
While Fidel and Raul Castro said they didn't want the revolution to become a family dynasty, but with the passing of Fidel Castro and the eyes of the
world on Cuba, it soon may be the time for the next generation of Castros to take center stage.
Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.
[08:25:05] LU STOUT: An explosion targeting the Philippine president's security team has left one member of that team critically injured. He was
among nine wounded in the blast on Marawi City on Tuesday.
An official tells CNN Philippines the team was part of a 50-person convoy preparing for President Duterte's planned visit to Marawi on Wednesday.
Now, the city of Oakland, California, is turning to music to bring attention to human trafficking. Now, Sara Sidner has more on that in CNN's
Freedom Project report.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hip hop concert with a noble purpose. The city of Oakland closing down a busy section of downtown to
send a strong message, human trafficking has no part in this city.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We exciting to be announcing the launch of reportjohn.org.
SIDNER: The site cracks down on demand for the sexually exploited by encouraging people to photograph the license plates numbers of vehicles of
suspected sex minors. Once uploaded to reportjohn.org, police send a warning letter to the address where the vehicle is registered.
The concern is whether the site itself could be exploited with license plate numbers being sent in anonymously by people looking to cause problems
for the owner of that vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an innovative approach. Every innovation has risks but we have already sent out 200 letters and not got a complaint.
SIDNER: The city like many others around the country is hoping to fight back against the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It's an issue
front and center in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay area.
In September, four officers were fired as a part of a department-wide sex scandal that began last fall. One has pled not guilty. An 18-year-old
former prostitute alleged she had sex with police officers when she was 17 in exchange for money or tips of upcoming raids.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The city of Oakland is one of the hot spots for human trafficking but it is more shameful to be silent about it.
SIDNER: While the scandal rages, the city's concert festival organizers and performers are resolute, saying this is a chance to write a new chapter for
the future for the city.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Oakland.
LU STOUT; Now, on Wednesday a teenage refugee in Athens tells us how he and other young refugees became tangled up in the sex trade just to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's shocking. It's shocking, really, it's shocking. You know, they are desperate. There's no way out, unless we find money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am not doing this because I like it. If I watned to do something nice, I would date a girl. I was forced
to do it because I had no money. Otherwise, I would stay with a girl instead of going with an old man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now that's the next part of the CNN Freedom Project special series this week, tackling demand.
Now, still ahead right here on News Stream, we continue to follow the deadly plane crash in Colombia. We'll have the latest on the search for
answers into what caused it next.
[08:31:55] LU STOUT: Now, let's return to our top news: the plane crash in Brazil. And CNN's aviation correspondent Richard Quest joins us on the
phone from Casablanca, Morocco. And Richard, at this stage it's not clear what happened, but what do you make of this terrible, terrible accident?
OK, unfortunately -- loud and clear, Richard, go ahead.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello. Can you hear me?
LU STOUT: Yes, yes, we are now connected. I just wanted to get your initial just understanding of what happened. We don't have any evidence
about what caused the plane to crash, but from your understanding, what went wrong?
QUEST: Well, I think it's way on the early side. I know I'm always sort of the person who (inaudible) off by saying it's too soon to say, and it's
going to take a very detailed investigation. And the plane, I mean, if you look at the chart of what the plane was doing at the time of the crash, it
had begun its descent, 30,000 feet, and it continued its descent, not a particularly sharp one and then it holds its descent around 20,000 feet,
21,000, then it goes down to 15,000 feet, and then the graph just stops, the plane falls out of the sky.
Now, we know, or we believe, I should say, to be more accurate, that there has been potential reports of electrical problems. We also -- there is a
rumor that there may have been a fuel issue onboard, And there's another report, there's another aircraft that declared an emergency at roughly the
same time. So there's lots of potential suspicious facts that will need to be -- when I say suspicious, I don't mean criminally, I mean just mean in
the investigative sense, that will need to be looked into as they parse exactly which of these facts are relevant and which just happen to happen
at roughly the same time.
LU STOUT: Yeah, a number of factors will have to be looked into, including, perhaps, the location of the airport. We know that the plane
was flying into Medellin airport. It's this high altitude, mountainous area. Could the environment be playing a major factor here?
QUEST: It depends. In the sense that the plane fell out of the sky, no. It's unlikely that the airport itself -- if the plane falls out of the sky
at 15,000 feet, unless it's a mountainous -- and it's a mountain, then the region doesn't become that much more relevant.
That becomes relevant in very bad weather. It becomes relevant when you're close to the ground, much closer to the ground, and you have to do a late
diversion or go around or something like that. At the moment it doesn't appear that is an issue.
I think the investigators start looking very closely and primarily at the aircraft itself, at what was happening on the aircraft of any faults on the
aircraft. Those are the things that they will initially be focusing on.
Having said that, the plane involved, the regional jet, the 185, which is a version of the 146 is an extremely, exceptionally reliable, has been around
for years. This particular plane itself was 17 years old. Four engines, but a very reliable work horse of regional flight.
[08:35:18] LU STOUT: Yeah, key information there on the craft, the make of the plane itself. Richard Quest on the line for us. Thank you, Richard,
Now, turning now to U.S. politics, and we could be learning more in the coming hours about who will be part of the Trump administration.
The U.S. vice president-elect Mike Pence says Trump's transition team will make several important announcements.
Sara Murray has more.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump is barreling ahead with another round of cabinet picks today. Sources say he's slated to
name Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a fierce critic of Obamacare, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: The most important thing that the American people understand and appreciate is that it's destructive to their health
MURRAY: And after this teaser from Vice-President-elect Mike Pence Monday evening...
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IL), VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: A number of very important announcements tomorrow.
MURRAY: More announcements could be in the pipeline today. But on one of the thorniest issues, who will fill the coveted position of secretary of
state, it appears Trump is still pondering his options. The president-elect is slated to dine with Mitt Romney tonight, a sign that the 2012 Republican
nominee is still in the running for the job, in spite of the protests of some of Trump's top aides.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: The number of people who feel betrayed to think that a Governor Romney would get the most prominent
cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.
MURRAY: Adding to the intrigue, Trump plans to sit down with another candidate for the role of the nation's top diplomat today, Senate Foreign
Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker. After meeting with David Petraeus on Monday, Trump tweeted that he was very impressed.
PETRAEUS: Very good conversation, and we'll see where it goes from here.
MURRAY: But Petraeus, who's in the running for a variety of national security and defense slots, could be a problematic pick. While Trump
continually attacked Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for her handling of classified information...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: She deleted the e- mails. She has to go to jail.
MURRAY: Petraeus comes with his own baggage. He stepped down in 2012 as CIA director amid fallout from an extramarital affair and was convicted of a
misdemeanor for sharing classified information with his mistress. He's currently on probation in that case.
LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream. Still to come in the program, in India people are struggling to buy even basic goods all because of a
cash crunch. We have a special report on the one group not just surviving, but actually thriving under the pressure
LU STOUT: Thailand is moving towards crowning a new monarch. Parliament will soon invite the crown prince to become king.
Now, the prince then accepts the invitation and that is expected to happen later in the week.
He is to be formally crowned after his father's cremation next year.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej died last month. He was loved and respected throughout Thailand. He was the world's longest serving head of state.
In India, tax evaders have been told they can keep half their hidden wealth if they declare it, rather than lose 85 percent if they are caught. About
2 percent of people pay income tax and most hoard money, so the government dropped 80 percent of Indian notes from circulation. And that left the
country cash strapped.
But one group found some cause for celebration as our Ravi Agrawal now reports.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These scenes are the new norm in India: long, snaking queues at every bank and ATM. Why? Well,
that's because India has a cash crunch.
Hello, change for 2,000 rupees?
It's the same story everywhere. It's hard to break a 2,000 rupee bill, about $30, and it's been
like this for three weeks when the government suddenly pulled all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from the
economy and replaced them with new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.
The government says it's trying to eliminate illegal, untaxed money, but banks can hardly keep
There is one clear winner, though.
I'm at a New Delhi street market and there are a lot of roadside stalls and vendors here that sell all kinds of street food. And, obviously, these are
places that are struggling because all of their transactions are in cash. And there's less cash in the market, so this store behind me has started
using something called pay-tm.
Pay-tm is the top Indian digital wallet company and it seems to be everywhere on TV ads and
Founder and CEO Vijay Shakhar Sharma says this is boom time for digital money in
VIJAY SHAKHAR SHARMA, FUONDER AND CEO PAYTM: When we started, we were about 150 million users and now we are 160 million users in less than three
weeks, so 10 million customers signed up in less than three weeks.
AGRAWAL: That's a 7 percent jump in 21 days. And guess what, the growth isn't limited to the big cities. Four out of every seven Paytm users are
in rural India, the places that a majority of India's population calls home. Perhaps that's why Sharma's startup is valued more than $5 billion.
SHARMA: We have (inaudible) for converting India into a first world of digital payments.
AGRAWAL: Sharma says teaching Indians how to get online remains a hurdle, which is why he employs a small army of 10,000 to sign people up.
Back at Delhi's street food stalls, I learned my local vendor started using Paytm just three weeks ago, the day after India's move to ban old notes.
Already he's making one-fifth of his revenue from digital money. It's one small step for local businesses, but perhaps a much bigger leap for
India's digital future.
Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.
LU STOUT: And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout. But don't go anywhere. We will have much more on the crash of a flight carrying a
Brazilian football team on World Sport with Christina Macfarland next.