tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 23, 2011 6:00am-8:00am PDT
nato said -- the nato spokeswoman said that nato would not be providing what they call close air support. that means the aircraft overhead are not going to be bombing to try and support the fightersn the ground. they are going to be watching. they are going to be looking what is going on, but that compound now is in really the center of what everyone is looking at. >> barbara, our reporters are reporting that residents are fleeing the city. >> we have those reports and matthew chance saying there is gunfire going on outside the rixos hotel. he is hearing mortar fire and arwa damon at the airport is hearing mortar fire and the information minister saying they are surprised by the speed with which they are taking control. >> this may be it. >> he says 85% of the city is under their control. our coverage of this continues.
from celebration to confusion in less than one day. this time yesterday we were reporting how rebels were gaining on tripoli. international leaders talking about a new political era and rebels bragging they had captured gadhafi's son. then saif appeared overnight and said he lured them into a trap. as we look at the live pictures out of tripoli, we still don't know if gadhafi is in his compound or not but nato jets are flying low over his compound. at least one explosion has been reported. nato won't confirm any bombing, however. and rebels are engaged in fierce fighting near the compound as well. as we heard just a moment ago, a rebel official reporting they have actually breached the gates there. we are hitting the story hard with multiple correspondents on the ground. matthew chance in the heart of tripoli. arwa damon reporting from the city's airport and sarah sidener
and frederik pleitgen is in ben gaza. state to matthew chance who is caught up in a pretty dangerous situation and so dangerous we are not able to bring him up live at this point. he did file this report, i'd say, less than an hour ago. here it is. >> reporter: i'm in this hotel, rixos hotel the center of the compound of moammar gadhafi. all morning ferocious clashes. gunfire, explosions taking place. in the direction of that compound. you can't see the compound from our vantage point here. at one point, all of the journalists that had gathered in the hotel moved downstairs into the basement because we felt there was some sort of incoming artillery shells striking areas very close to where the hotel is. there has been a lot of outgoing
artillery as well and a huge battle is under way at the moment between the rebels and the gadhafi loyalists who we now know to be holed up to some extent in that gadhafi compound in the center of tripoli. that is the situation i see it at the moment from our very limited vantage point. we are not hearing, at the moment, any nato jets in the skies over tripoli. we are hearing explosions and what we are assuming those explosions are are artillery shells being exchanged between the two sides in this area of the gadhafi compound. but what we are not hearing the kind of heavy air strikes that we witnessed in this city in this area of tripoli over the past several weeks and particularly in the past several days. and not hearing aircraft in the skies over this area that is in the hands of gadhafi forces.
so it's difficult for me to, you know, admittedly, it's difficult for me to, you know, give a very comprehensive assessment of what the military situation is like outside because, at the moment, i'm lying on my belly in a hotel room, hoping we don't get hit by a shell. >> well, in just a couple of miles to the east of matthew's hotel, fresh fighting, we are being told, near tripoli's international airport and where we find our arwa damon. she entered the city with a group of rebels and joining us live from the airport with the latest. what can you tell us, arwa? >> reporter: we are hearing a number of sgloexplosions in the distance and fighting with the rebel fighters saying it was coming from clashes happening to the north along the strategic highway that leads straight from this international airport all the way to the bab al se circumstances ziya compound.
they are trying to regain the strategic location. this highway between the airport and gadhafi's compound is critical for a number of reasons. it is located along two military complexes and one of them a major refueling station. the other a fuel storage facility. also two main military bases located to the east. while the rebel fighters continue to push to the north to reinforce those units they are currently engaged in fighting around the bab al aziziya compound. they tell us it's a tough and slow road ahead. >> we have a tough connection with you, arwa. we are still able to make you out and hear you pretty clearly but we are looking at a live picture out of tripoli right now. you can actually see the smoke coming from the compound. are you getting any new information from your vantage
point? can you see this as well? what do you know? i know this is all kind of happening at once but we are hearing gunfire and seeing smoke and we have a picture now not far from the compound. >> reporter: we can't really see that from our vantage. >> we apologize. we had a feeling that might happen. as you can see, if you're just tuning in, we were able to get a pretty solid live picture from tripoli right now where there's reports of explosions, nato won't confirm bombing but we are getting reports of explosions and some fierce fighting right there at the gates of gadhafi's tripoli compound. we are going to stay on this live picture and try and monitor it. you heard from our matthew chance who filed a report less than an hour ago. he had not heard any jets overhe overhead at this point but we are keeping you up-to-date what is happening on these reports of
attacks on gadhafi's compound. we want to point out, we still can't confirm if moammar gadhafi is there on his compound or not. we have a number assets there in country trying to get information. a lot of conflicting information. it's definitely hard, as you listen to all of the various sides within this -- this struggle to actually find out what is going on and to get truth. everybody has a different story at this point, but at least we can show you the live pictures. we are seeing smoke. we are hearing gunfire and we are trying to work this all -- work ourselves through the live pictures and the various bits of information we are getting from a number of sources at this point. okay. do we have -- we do have. okay, excellent. we are assad who we will talk to coming up in 15 minutes. you may remember, we talked to him yesterday. he used to be an aide and also an interpreter for moammar
gadhafi. professor, i appreciate you joining us once again this morning via skype there from your university. >> thank you. >> let me just ask you, since -- we were able to get this live picture. you can actually see the smoke coming from the compound. we are getting all of these various reports about what is the status of moammar gadhafi and what exactly happened to his sons. this time yesterday, when you and i were talking, the rebels said they had captured both of them. as you know, overnight, matthew chance was able to interview saif al islam. he said he lured the rebels into a trap and he was never captured. what is your take on all of this? you used to work side-by-side with the gadhafi family. >> well, it is very interesting, because after gathering all kinds of information and news that he was actually under house arrest, he and his brother
muhammad, each one of them. the problem is here that we're looking at is that you part of a war, an urban war. you can't really capture somebody and leave them under house arrest when you really don't have a control over the whole city. they should have whisked him and his brothers out of the area and put them in a safe spot, say, like back in zuwiyah or any spot they could protect them. the mistake they did and rebels are absolutely confessing to that mistake that they actually kept him under house arrest. you can't really keep that when you don't have a full patrol of a city. >> professor, stay with me. i understand we have got matthew chance calling in from the rixos hotel. can you hear me okay, matthew? can you tell what your situation is and if you're still hunkered down in the hotel? use yeah, we are still in the rixos hotel. journalists are still in the basement of this hotel as well
for the most part, because all around the building here and close to the compound of colonel gadhafi which is a short distance away from the rixos hotel, there have been these ferocious battles rage, presumably, between the control of this area between the gadhafi loyalists still holed up very much in this part of tripoli, and the rebels who, you know, are controlling some areas of the capital as well. there are heavy machine gunfire and all of the journalists in the hotel have their body armor on and helmets because one of the things that happened a few moments ago was that there was what was said to be a sniper firing a round into the hotel. it's not clear from which direction that bullet came. but, obviously, it was another, you know, kind of, you know, decks to which the experience of being in this hotel and covering this conflict from this vantage
point has plunged. but having said that, on the upside, the electricity is on. i'm able to phone out on occasion and call back to you for updates and try to continue to do that throughout the course of the day. >> matthew, can you still speak to me for a moment or do you feel it's not safe to talk to me right now? you tell me. >> reporter: no, i think it's fine to speak to you. i've got a bit of a time limit on the amount of time i can use this cell phone call. we haven't been able to charge our batteries up. >> i want you to charge up your battery. yes or no you can tell me quickly from the information you're getting and as you put it last night, it's kind of hard to figure out what is true and what is not at this point. you even got a quote from a fellow journalist lying as a national sport in libya so it's hard to weed through what is fact and fiction. to your knowledge, do you believe gadhafi is holed up in his compound or not?
>> reporter: well, there's no way for us to verify that, obviously, but interesting to say saif al islam gadhafi told me all of his family is in tripoli and working on the assumption that means in some kind of bunker in the gadhafi compound but we have no way of knowing that for sure. what we do know is that compound of buildings associated with colonel gadhafi has been heavily bombed over the past several months. so if members of the gadhafi family are there, they are presumably in bunkers very deep underthe under the ground but it's very difficult for us to say with any certainty. there is very little limited vantage point we have in the rixos hotel. >> charge your batteries and stay in touch with us when you can. we appreciate all of the information we are able to get to you at this point.
professor, you were able to hear from matthew chance there and for our viewers that may not be familiar with you in our interview yesterday, he used to be a personal aide to moammar gadhafi and his interpreter. you're here in the states as a professor. you actually told me yesterday you do not believe moammar gadhafi is in tripoli, that this is very much a ruouge. please tell me if you still believe that that is the case and why. >> i still think it is -- it is the case. i don't think he is in the compound. once the compound was bombarded the first time, he was removed from there but into other residents in tripoli as i have heard. but in the last couple of weeks, you know, and you have been receiving all -- copes of his messages to the libyan people through the libyan television
and the quality of his messages has deteriorated. the audio of the phone calls and that began to confirm in my mind that he has been already removed, either to sirte, which is his hometown, which is a stronghold, and it is under his control and the forces that are in sirte are led by one of his sons, and the other possibility could be the city of southwest of tripoli where his tribal group, his tribal members are very strong there and he has a very strong military presence in that particular city down in the desert. so those are the two possibilities i would think of that after the heavy bombardment of his compound that could be the alternative.
>> professor, as gadhafi's former aide and interpreter, one journalist who matthew chance was talking to said, look, here in libya, lying is a national sport. you can't figure out who is telling the truth and what exactly we're dealing with at this time. let me get it from your perspective. first of all, saif al islam says he lured the rebels into a trap, that his dad is still in charge. what do you make of what saif is saying? do you believe that he was captured? that he escaped, that he wasn't captured at all? that this is part of a big lie to try and promote a certain image? >> well, let us look at it from the perspective of how -- how events went. sunday night, the revolution said they captured him and one of his brothers. all monday, had he a chance to refute it and he did not refute
it until very early tuesday when he spoke with matthew. so when you think about it, why didn't he refute it very quickly in order to rise the morale of his fighters down in the city of tripoli? so, to me, that he actually -- and rebel side is saying they had him under house arrest. so here really we don't know the truth. really lying not a sport in libya. you are dealing with a war propaganda. each side is trying to make the other side look worse and basically what he is doing. he came out and ordered just to make that particular point. >> abubaker saad, appreciate so much of you weighing in. please stay with us. for those of you not familiar with professor saaad he is now at west connecticut university and a former aide to gadhafi and
helping us sift through the information we have been getting there. sarah, i understand, has been able to link up with us now and joining us live our zawiyah where apparently fresh fighting is being reported. sarah, bring us up-to-date. >> reporter: actually, we are in tripoli and no fighting in zawiyah where we just were. we are in tripoli and here an hour now. we can hear the fighting going on and heard from the rebels they have sort of surrounded the area of bab al seiziya where the compound is. we are seeing something different than yesterday. we were in the same area yesterday going into the city center. what we are seeing is residents fleeing like we have not seen before. when we speak them to go on camera many will not go on camera saying that everything is fine, everything is fine, but we clearly see that people are
becoming quite scared. they don't want to be in the city any more and not sure where the gunfire is coming from on whose side. it's coming towards their neighborhood. it is a street-to-street fight in the city. even the media, we have been asked questions even by the rebels where to go because some of them don't seem to know if it's safe in zawiyah where we were, if it's secure. a bit of a communication breakdown between those managing the checkpoints and those in the city and fighting so very difficult and intense situation here in tripoli. >> sarah, let me ask you, we just got word from mahmoud, the information minister of the council there. he came forward ten minutes ago and said he estimates conservatively that rebels control 85% of tripoli right now. you just made your way into tripoli. what is your take with regard to that number and what he is saying?
>> reporter: to be honest, i'm not sure they know how much of tripoli they control. we were hearing 85%, 95% depending on who you talk to and that was yesterday. then we heard people saying it's not safe in the city center and problems in some neighborhoods and having a firefight in that neighborhood. i think communication is very difficult here and we know that from our own perspective and we know some of the phones are not getting through so the communications are very, very difficult. we do know, however, the rebels control some parts of tripoli and a pretty large portion because we were able to drive around in those areas for the past ten hours or so. but i think it's very, very hard to assess just how much of the city that they have complete control over because, again, there are streets in which you can turn down and suddenly face with gadhafi forces. now, gadhafi forces don't seem to be in large numbers, to be
fair, they are having incidents such as dealing with snipers and that sort of thing. to get an assessment of the entire city, i think, is difficult at this time. i want to bring this up. we just heard from the rebels that they have -- the national transitional council has set up an office now just on the outskirts of tripoli, so they are here. the political wing of the opposition is here set up in a secret place. we can't tell you exactly where that is but we hear from our rebel sources they are in the area and that is a significant change. >> got it. sarah sidener, thank you very much. stay with cnn. we will take a quick break. you're looking at live pictures now out of tripoli. apparently, the smoke has pretty much cleared over moammar gadhafi's compound but we can tell you, according to our matthew chance who is hunkered not far from there in a hotel that there have been explosions. there is fierce fighting. some reports coming through, rebels saying they breached the
gates of gadhafi's compound. bottom line, we still cannot confirm if moammar gadhafi is there on his compound. we are following all of the breaking news for you live here in the "cnn newsroom." that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c., martin luther king jr. memorial. take your seat at the table on august 28th. yep...doh. [ boy ] slurpably fun and a good source of calcium. dads who get it, get go-gurt.
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and ongoing support in over 100 countries. so his company sees results. and jim sees his family. dell. the power to do more. hurricane irene is crashing through the atlantic and gaining a lot of strength right now. it left some flooding and damage in the dominican republic and, apparently, it's headed toward the bahamas now. >> a major threat for life and property. the turks and caicos next in line here. it is a powerful category 2 storm and maximum winds around a hundred miles per hour but it is well to the north now of the
dominican republic and so intensification is going to be specked right up until the time we see a major landfall. this is moving through the turks and caicos and heading towards the bahamas. all of the bahamas really getting lashed by this major hurricane. category 3 as you head through the day on thursday, florida will likely start to feel the impacts of this on thursday as well. but it's just going to be the coastal areas for the most part that are going to be brushed with some winds and some heavy rain as well. and then it's expected to take a northerly turn and make its way on up towards the carolinas. now, the computer models have been shifting eastward. a trend we have been seeing through the weekend and the early part of this week. that white line is a national hurricane center forecast and look at everything trending towards the east. nothing brings it towards florida any more. but this is a very big storm, kyra, almost 400 miles wide, that's how far the tropical storm force winds stretch out so
don't know at this point. what we know is matthew chance who is hunkered down not far from there in a hotel not able to leave the hotel because of talk of snipers in the area firing into the hotel where he actually is. he said he can confirm, though, there is fierce fighting right there at moammar gadhafi's compound but here is what we don't know. we don't know if moammar gadhafi is on his compound, if he is hunkered down in a bunker somewhere or fled to his hometown. there are a number of different takes as all of the various factions are trying to look like the party that is gaining in what so many of our analyst have called a war, not a revolution, that is taking place here and libya. we have reporters all across libya at this point. i understand frederik pleitgen, who just met with opposition leaders is up live now. fred, tell me exactly where you are and about this meeting that you were able to get some information on. >>.
>> reporter: i'm in ben ghazi which is the stronghold of the libyan opposition, the capital of the libyan opposition if you will. i came back from a meeting with a senior official with the organization that says that it's representing the libyan rebels and the rebel fighters that rul across this country. one of the specifics things that i asked this person, i asked him what happened with saif al islam gadhafi where they put out a press release saying he had been captured by the rebel forces and a couple of hours later he shows up at the rixos hotel to meet with journalists there. they are investigating the matter and they themselves are not sure where that faulty information came from but they say there is going to be a major investigation into this and they are going to find u what went wrong. nevertheless it is clear that saif has not been captured by the rebels. they don't feel in spite of this they have lost any of the
momentum in the battle for tripoli, if you will. this person has great knowledge of the tripoli area and he says he believes they will be in control of the city in the next two or three days and the transitional council is making preparations as we speak to have some of its high level members relocate from ben ghazi to here to do that. >> so, fred, let me get your take here. the fact we can get no confirmation from the rebel leaders that you've met with, how do you feel this plays into the credibility of the rebel fight and talk of the rebels coming together and the formation of this transitional council, yet, it seems like they can't even get their information straight. so going forward, how does this play on the credibility of what is taking place here with regard
to who could be leading this country if moammar gadhafi, indeed, is completely taken out? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. there is major concerns as to the credibility of the transitional national council and to their possibility to actually unite building country. one of the things they keep saying is they believe that once moammar gadhafi has been defeated and ousted officially from power that people in this country will come together and that there will be national affiliation. one of the things that is clear even the rebel force even in and of itself is not one by any means united. you look at the fighters here on the eastern side in ben ghazi and the fighters coming in from the southwest from the mountains, they all have very different agendas and different takes on how the future of this country should look like. some groups who feel there should be a large chunk of islamic law in the way this country is governing the future and a group who are liberal so a
lot of concerns whether the national transitional council will be able to unite this country when all is said and done. one of the things that experts keep saying they have the fear that pretty much the only thing uniting these factions is moammar gadhafi and their fight against i am him and what is going to happen once he goes away. at this point, you're right the fact they are not able to get their information straight and they don't seem to have very good firsthand information as to what is going on in tripoli is something that raises concerns, however, they still claim once all is said and done and once this is over and they move in to govern this place they are going to be able to pull the factions and unite them and bring democratic rule to libya in the coming months. >> frederik pleitgen is reporting to us live from ben ghazi. thanks so much. if we aren't careful libya could become another iraq and according to one of the best
minds in the arab world who will join us in a second to explain his thoughts on what is happening right now. and your playlists. and you don't have itunes on your phone.. the world's number one music store. with genius.. that recommends new music based on the songs you already have. ipod and itunes. just one more thing that makes an iphone an iphone.
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apparently he will take another role in the company before leaving at the end of the year. alison kosik is following that story out of the new york stock exchange. on stop that, alison, we talked about the department of justice investigation that is ongoing as well. so what is happening here with s&p? >> reporter: well, s&p says you know what? the departure of srama has been in the works for months and has nothing to do with the downgrade and after s&p split into two units is when it happened. standard & poor's is dealing with look at right now with criticism over the downgrade. a justice department investigation how it rated mortgages in the years leading up to the financial crisis. and he the shareholders pushing for more oversight and washington has especially been vocal in its criticism. the ft said the s&p said
everything is scrutinized so expect more changes this year for the agency. they are under a microscope. >> markets just opened. how are they looking today? >> reporter: we have a bit of a pop right now. you know what? investigators in this wait and see mode ahead of a big address on friday that bernanke is going to give. we are getting new home sales numbers in 20 minutes and expected to drop and see if they move the markets at all. >> alison kosik at the new york stock exchange, thanks so much. the battle for the control of libya continues to escalate. rebels mounting an attack on the gadhafi compound in tripoli and we are being told residents are fleeing that city. sarah sidenor has made her way to tripoli. a lot of confusion about how much is actually under rebel control right now. you and i talked minutes ago about a spokesperson for the transitional council coming forward saying they believe
rebels control 85% of tripoli, but you're saying that there's a bag of opinions with regard to that number? >> reporter: i think it's difficult for them to say just how much of tripoli they control because communications are very, very poor here. the reason why we are able to community with you is because of satellite. you cannot call from one area to the next. there is nato in the sky and oftentimes satellite gets cut. a lot of confusion amongst the rebels and amongst the people in the city and i think one of the reasons you're seeing people fleeing and seeing people fleeing, their faces looking a bit tense in some regards as they are leaving the city because the fighting has been very, very intense over the last few hours near bab al aziziya. you can hear it where we are in
tripoli. a scary situation. one thing we are hearing and seeing right now that is different than yesterday is a lot more residents fleeing and we are also seeing the checkpoints change. they are now opening up the cars. they are now looking in the trunks. they are now checking each and every car that comes by unless they know for sure that they are rebels, that they are in support of the cause. i think you're seeing some tenseness here because, obviously, some of the residents in this city have to be or were or had to be a supporter of the gadhafi regime. not every single resident city would be happy to see the rebels in their city. so you see one of these situations where people are trying to get out, they see these checkpoints and disconcerting and guys are blowing guns off in the air and things are pretty intense here. the other thing we are hearing from rebels now some of the gadhafi forces are posing as rebels. we have heard that in other cities when we were there in ben ghazi and misrata where they would act and pretend to be
rebel forces and trying to take action that way by getting closer and closer to the forces or giving people a false sense they are with the opposition. a lot of difficulties here with communication. there's still quite a bit of fighting going on and things feel very, very tense in the capital today. >> sara, what are rebel leaders telling you with regard to moammar gadhafi, his whereabouts? is he on his compound or not? have they, indeed, breached very gates there of his compound some we are getting mixed reports and i'm curious what the rebel factions there are telling you, if anything at all. >> reporter: they are telling us that they are still sweeping the city. that is as much as we can get out of them. obviously, they have their issues with giving out certain information. at one point, we do know that they were saying they had surrounded bab al aziziya which is the gadhafi compound. i think they believe that moammar gadhafi is in tripoli.
i think a general belief he is somewhere in the city and i think also why you're seeing the intense checking now where they weren't doing this before along this road and driving in and out and they were not doing that before. i think they do believe he's in the city and after hearing from his son saif al islam yesterday talking to our matthew chance and other reporters in the international -- in the hotel where all of these international correspondents are located, he is saying that the entire family is there. again, it's very hard to get to the truth, though. until someone sees moammar gadhafi and until someone can take pictures of him and speak with him, we don't know where he is, but the rebels believe he is here in the capital somewhere. kyra? >> sara sidner is live in tripoli. we don't know exactly where moammar gadhafi is. everybody is speculating now, as you can see, on all sides of this battle. we really don't know how much
the rebels are in control, as had you heard from our sara sidner there, you cannot determine whether 85% of tripoli is in the hands of rebels right now even that is what they are reporting and she is right there in tripoli. we will try to get a handle on what could happen next in light of not having a lot of hard facts. fawaz is the director of the london school of economics and the director there. he is joining us live out of london. fawaz, are you confused as so many others with regard to who is actually in control and winning this battle right now? >> well, you know, kyra, we are all confused because we don't really have much information. think of yesterday. yesterday, it seemed that the far was over. yesterday, the rebels told us that saif al islam that his
brother was arrested and basically the city had fallen and we were all were swept away. today, we know, in fact, that saif al islam was not arrested and gadhafi and his sons are leading the battle and we know intense fighting in many parts of the city. what worries me a great deal, kyra, the rebels do not seem to coordinate the actions and don't have a unified command and control, no army. in fact, this is the reason why i'm worried because now, the front line in tripoli has expanded. streets, neighborhoods. this is urban war fare and means bad news for the rebels and their ability to swiftly secure the city. this is, i mean, the current situation. the big picture, kyra, gadhafi had lost and he had lost big times. his game is over. the rebels have really made some significant advances in the last weeks, in particularly, the last
48 hours. this is a significant moment for libya, a moment and possibility and risks. i think it's a matter of time, even though there are battles to be waged and even though the battle still raging in tripoli and sirte and other cities, the reality is the war itself had been won by the libyan people and it's up to the rebels and their leadership to basically begin the process of reconstructing. this is the 1 million dollar question -- will the leadership of the rebels rise up to the occasion, put their house in order, create a functioning government, inclusive government, and basically create institutionalized their movement. they haven't done that yet. >> exactly. fawaz, i'm listening to you and i'm having visions of iraq and being in iraq when there was so much celebration about the fall of saddam hussein but we saw what happened. so much division among all of the tribes and it was totally
impossible to put together a cohesive government with everybody that was on the same page and we see the status of iraq now. we saw what happened there from the looting to the issue of civil war, to all of the people dying in the fighting. so as you look at libya right now, and you're watching what is happening, are you concerned that it could go the iraq way? >> you know, kyra, you're absolutely correct to raise concerns and questions and compassion about iraq and libya. the reality is libya is not iraq for a a variety of reasons. let me just mention a few points for your viewers. iraq's modern history is really soaked with blood from the 1920s up to the present, it's been a very bloody history. they are and they were multiple sectarian divisions and the country itself, since, as you know, the 1980s, was really low intensity war fare and, in fact,
about that, on the morning that the coalition forces entered, the city was basically burning and the looting. so far what is good about libya, in fact, the leadership is fully aware of the iraqi model. no looting, no burning of the city. the leadership has made it very clear that there will be no vengeance acts, no execution. they are fully aware of the iraqi model and even saif, and when they are arrested they will have justice by the international court of justice. but let me answer your question directly now and say unless the leadership, unless the leadership of the rebels rise up to the occasion, there is the likelihood, given the extent of war fare now in tripoli and other cities, that all it takes is a spark and can you have libya descending into the iraqi model. this is a reality and that is why the next few days and next
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high powered international banger dominique strauss-kahn could be free today. zain verjee is here with us live. there are reports that the whole scandal was get him out as the head of the international monetary fund. what is their take on this? >> reporter: let's see let's start with "wall street journal" europe -- in france more troubles. more troubles could await dominique strauss-kahn if he opts to return home. french prosecutors still were looking into accusations that he assaulted another woman, and his socialist friends have launched their presidential election campaign without him. dsk walks, but nicolas sarkozy will run.
his reputation is in at that timers. his accuser's, too. so who benefits? only one person stands to gain, nicolas sarkozy. he was planning, everyone thought for elect to be president of the france, and he was engulfed with this scandal, and that's not going to happen. we'll follow it from here in the u.s. as well. we're also following the latest developments out of tripoli. is moammar gadhafi in control? how much ground are the rebel gains? straight from the "cnn newsroom." i know you're gonna love. [ barks ] yes, it's new beneful healthy fiesta. made with wholesome grains, real chicken, even accents of tomato and avocado. yeah! come on! [ barking ] gotta love the protein for muscles-- whoo-hoo! and omega-rich nutrition for that shiny coat. ever think healthy could taste so good?
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you can imagine. >> a lot of happy cheers. this is not only a big win for southwest, but a huge win for people that fly in and out of atlanta hartsfield. it's the biggest airport that southwest current did i doesn't service. it got its foot in the door, because it bought air-tran. it's also a big location for big travelers. that segment brings in more profits for airlines. get ready, delta, it could give you a run for your money. stls nonstop flights to five cities. it's going to be offering initial fares as low as $79 each way. this all starts in february. grab your tickets, kyra. >> alison. we have more for you. stay with us. [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding.
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all right. we are still following the developments out of libya right now. still cannot confirm whether moammar gadhafi is hunkered down in his compound in tripoli, but we are still watching the smoke rise in the air, also reports of gunfire and fierce fighting there at the gates of his compound. also our arwa damon calling into us now, she's outside the airport where she's witnessing fighting as well. she came in that part of the area with the rebels. what can you tell us, arwa? >> i don't know if you can leer me above the sound of the gunfire, rebels most certainly using everything at their disposal to drive back gadhafi
forces that are trying to launch a two-pronged attack. rebel forces have managed to capture it around mid dade yesterday. since then they have been saying that gadhafi forces have been trying to win it back. they say among their main concerns is that incoming artillery shells, gunfire could hit one of the planes here potential causing a massive explosion. now, they have managed to secure the western areas outside of this airport complex. this is from the east and coming in from the south as well. as the rebel forces consider combing this airport -- we're on the tarmac right now -- they said they found a number of locations, these massive containers that gadhafi forces had buried underground. they managed to obtain a fair amount of artillery weaponry from the stockpiles they found. now they say that gadhafi forces are trying to recapture this
strategic location. this airport is critical. it's on a main highway, leading straight up to gadhafi's complex. rebel fighters have been trying to push toward that complex, but encountering heavy resistance. >> arwa, you were mentioning the stockpile of weapons there in that area. we've been very various reports of the type of weapons that the rebels have come upon. do you have any idea of what is being stored there? is there fear of the hands that these weapons could get into and where that might take the fighting? >> reporter: they have covered everything from bullets to rocket-propelled grenades. you hear artillery rounds, to various types of weaponry. they also -- quite a few missiles that have been buried underground. the outgoing fire are the
anti-aircraft machine guns they have mounted on the back of their trucks, and they've been fire them relentless ly the weapons they say they uncovered, some of them they are using now, others they put into storage. when they took over this compound, they managed to capture 40 vehicles that forces had left behind. the tarmac, you see a number of tents where gadhafi forces evacuation, but this most certainly has been a battle. most certainly intensifying in the last hour. >> arwa, can you describe where you are and how you are protecting yourself? it's calmed down a bit, but at one point i could barely hear you. it sounds like you are up close
to this battle. >> well, we are close, but we're taking cover. we're a safe distance away. we're right on the tarmac. there are a number of airports. firing is happening right now from one of the runways into what looks like a wooded area to the east of the airport. it's pretty -- it sounds quite intense, but we also must note that a lot of this is outgoing fire. this is the rebels literally unleashing everything they have around them, and what they believe is gadhafi forces advance, because they are, they say, incredibly worried that should any of the incoming artillery rounds hit one of these airplanes, it could cause a devastating explosion. they're also trying to preserve locations like the airport, as much as they possibly can, because they say they realize these are locations they're going to need in the future when they say eventually the gadhafi regime does fall and they're
trying to put their country back together again. >> i would like to keep you with us. we want to welcome our international viewers now. we are simul casting. arwa, you were mentioning the runways. did you get a good visual to see the status of in aircraft there at the airport? there were reports that there were airplanes on standby running hot, waiting to tail gadhafi out of there. other reports were saying that's ridiculous, all those aircraft have been destroyed, have you been able to get a sense of what the truth is? >> reporter: well, this airport most certainly looks like it's not been functional for quite some time. the rebels say it's knot been used since the no-fly zone was put into place.
a number of airlines' planes have been grounded here as well as military aircraft they are telling us that part of this was used as a military base. so it doesn't surprise you that the military forces would have wanted to defend it. but -- the military location for them, and the -- really if there's any intensifying, rebel forces are shooting mostly using machine guns that they have stationed on the top of their various trucks. they're also moving out with some -- right now. all right. i want to apologize. that's our arwa damon, actually calling in from a satellite phone. as you could hear, we just lost her signal, but we'll try to get back in touch with her.
our arwa dpaming just outside the tripoli airport. she moved into that area with the rebels. you can hear the gunfight that is taking place right now. she hunkered down. she tells us in a safe area, but is able to give us a bird's-eye view of what's happening there near the airport. meanwhile, our sara sidner has made her way into tripoli. are we connected? sara, i don't know if you were able to hear arwa and what she was telling us where it was calm about 45 minutes ago, then you heard the fighting that has broken out. what's your sense of the activity from where you are? >> reporter: well, my sense is more and more people are coming out of the city. this is one of the things we've been reporting and seeing, there
just isn't anywhere that's actually safe. i know the rebels are saying that there's a certain section of the city under their control, and one minute it's quiet, then you find yourselves caught in a firefight. you don't know how many forces are out there. it is a very intense situation show of course for the rebels and those fighting for gadhafi, but for the orders, the correspondents, the crews, the photographers, the teams that go in, we don't have a real grip on which street is controlled by whom. so a very intense situation here, and we're all feeling, to be perfectly honest a little unsettled, we're not quite sure what's coming from where. we're trying to keep our awareness very, very sharp. >> sara, are you at a checkpoint in i'm noticing cars, trunks getting checked. are these people behind you that
are leaving? >> reporter: yes. >> who is actually looking through the cars? >> the checkpoints have changed pretty dramatically since the first couple days. at this checkpoint the rebels before were waving people through. now that's changed. they are opening up these vehicles, looking in trunks. they are searching if they need to through people as stuff in the back to see what's inside, who's inside, if there are any weapons inside. the only people they are flagging through are people who are clearly rebels that are throwing up the victory sign. we want to make this clear. one of the reasons why this is happening, why the checks are getting more and more severe is because the rebels have gotten word that gadhafi forces are now posing as rebels. so they could have a situation
where let's say they come driving up, they're sitting in the car smiling, and then they're fired upon. they're afraid of that, so they're checking everything they can. >> our sara sidner in tripoli with us. sara, stay connected with us, please. you can see if in full live pictures, smoke that is billows above moammar gadhafi's compound. we still cannot tell you if indeed he's hunkered down in the dom pound or not. there are reports he's fled for his hometown. our fred pleitgen actually had a chance to meet with rebel leaders. when you talked with them, what did they tell you directly about moammar gadhafi's son saif? we were reporting yesterday he was captured. next thing you saw overnight, he was walking freely by the rixos hotel saying he had duped the
rebels, and that indeed his father is still in charge. fred, are you able to hear me? >> reporter: yes. >> fred, it's kyra, are we connected? >> um-hmm. >> okay. fred, it's kyra, can you acknowledge that you hear me? it's kyra. okay. we're going to still try to connect with fred there in benghazi. sara sidner, are you still with me at the checkpoints in tripoli? >> reporter: i am. yes, i am, kyra, i can hear you loud and clear. >> all right. so sara, what is your -- we were reporting this exodus -- >> reporter: i'll give you a quick update. >> okay.
>> reporter: the expo dulles is more and more and more. we did not see this yesterday. residents stayed in their home. they would scream and yell at the rebels, cheering them on. now we're seeing a major -- hold on a second. hold on a second. we can still hear you, sara. >> reporter: whoever is speaking in my ear, i need to listen to kyra. what we're hearing from the national transitional council is they're saying the rebels have taking control of 80%. if that is the case, we are wondering why so many people are leaving the city, and their faces are tense. they don't want to speak to us on camera. they want to get out of the city. we have to wonder what's going on. it's difficult for us to get into the city.
a lot of us are trying to get into the city center. residents saying they were trying to go back to their homes and they weren't able to get there. there's a lot of tenseness in the residents that wasn't actually there yesterday. things definitely changing rapidly here. the national transitional council is telling us that they have put in office in a secret place near tripoli. so they are in the outskirts of tripoli. they have set up a small movie according to our rebel sources. so the political wing, the people saying they are sort of the political wing of this rebel force is in and around the city of tripoli, and that's an interesting development that's gone on in the last couple hours. >> sara sidner, i know you are in a very tense situation there, and we appreciate you rolling with us. thank you so much, live in tripoli. we'll continue to talk with sara. you know, the imminent collapse of the gadhafi regime has revived the dispute over the
lockerbie bomber. you know, politicians both in the u.s. and britain are still demanding that libya's new rulers try to extradite megrahi. 270 people were killed. he was released from a british prison in 2009 on so-called compassionate grounds. then he returned to libya as a hero. you did remember that, zain verjee, that welcome that he got on the runway. it was appalling to those who lost loved ones in that bombing. now several u.s. senators are demanding he be sent to the u.s. for trial, but here's the question s those gee mands have been going on ever since his release. now you have libya in turmoil. do we even know where he is? if he is still there? we saw him at a rally a couple weeks ago, a pro-gadhafi rally,
probably more than a month ago. what's your take on all of this? >> it's difficult in this situation of total turmoil and chaos in tripoli to establish exactly where megrahi is. what's been happening. he was released on compassionate grounds because he had prostate cancer. what they've been doing, every couple weeks, they call him by phone or video link, establish some kind of communication with him, but because of the situation going down right now, it's unclear where he is. a statement from officials was released to cnn where they say with the recent events in tripoli, we want to contact him a little earlier than normal to make sure the lines of communication are open. he was in prison in scotland no about 8 years, sentenced to 27 years, but it caused a massive
furor among families of victims of lockerbie, as well as officials in the u.s. and uk, really angry, because the allegations weigh made at the time that a deal what made with libya, and megrahi was released as a part of that deal. the british government has denied that was the case, but this is something that's suddenly appeared front and center, where is al megrahi? it's difficult to get in touch with him given the situation, especially as right now there's no authority in the country. >> all right. zain verjee reporting to us out of london, zain, thanks. the other store we're following is hurricane erenal. it's churning through the atlantic, gaining a lot of strength. is jacqui jeras will have the latest after the break. hey, the new guy is loaded with protein!
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sglees things are escalating. we don't have a live picture out of tripoli right now. is that correct? let me try to bring you up to date. so far no sign of moammar gadhafi and whether he's even in his compound in tripoli. rebels are continuing to attack the compound from the ground. also we're getting reports that nato jets are attacking from the air, low-level flying there. also more fierce fighting near the hotel where matthew chance is.
there's clashes near the airport, and according to our sara sidner, we're seeing this max exodus opposition leaders sea they don't know what happened with saif gadhafi. yesterday they want they captured him, and today the libyan leader said he is walking free, that he duped the rebels. so we're trying to wade through, obviously as professor abubake saad says. we talked to him last hour. he's at the west connecticut state university. he used to be a direct aide to moammar gadhafi. professor, as you are watching all of this unfold, what is your
take with regard to moammar gadhafi. when we last talked, you said there's no way he's hunkered down. more likely he's in his home dumb town taking refuse there. yet a number of them saying he's hunkered down. you used to be his aide, is that possible that he could be hiding out somewhere? >> the compound i know way back in the '70s is definitely different. i know one of the two old buildings there that were built on top of bunkers. one of those is actually four stories deep. so i don't know whether he's still in there or not.
in compound december bombarded for months. they used antibunker bombs, which basically, i mean gadhafi he was a military man, you know? you have to remember that he is a military man. he knows they have weapons that could penetrate those bunkers, that's why i'm dismissing the idea that he's in there. everything knows that that's why i'm hesitant to accept the idea he's still there.
>> are you surprised that we have not heard from him this morning, and is that any -- does that give you any case of whether he is alive, not alive, in tripoli, outside of tripoli? >> well, the fact that you didn't hear from him, he actually did not appear in pup for now. all of husband communication was through telephone calls to his television. all of them were audio messages. that tells you that he didn't want anyone to know where her is the. quality of the audio has deteriorated, and that's an indication that he is speaking from a distance. that's why i am not really
convinced that he is in the compound right now. >> professor abubaker saad, former aide for gadhafi, thank you for staying with us through this coverage. still churning through the atlantic gaining strength and jacqui jeras will bring us the latest. stay with us. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
and damage to buildings there, but no word of injury. there's new protests in san francisco. b.a.r.t. stations were closed to keep demonstrators from getting out of hand. they had been upset with the recent shootings that involved transit police officers. in florida, some folks getting prepared in case of hurricane irene. generators, gas cans, flashlights flying off the shelves. people are also stocking up on food. jacqui jeras, should they be doing that still? >> absolutely. you alternates need to be prepared. you should have that stuff ready to go. yeah, folks in the carolinas in particular need to be ready for this. other people need to be concerned, too. we've got seeing some changes. they've been continuing to trend off in the east. we might have some changes with that photograph track. it's a category 2 storm, maximum winds 100 miles per hour. the center of that storm right
up here to the north of the dominican republic, moving toward the turks and caicos. the center is pulling further north. that means it will start to intensify more as it starts to interact a bit less with haiti and the dominican republic. you can see the south side of the storm is starting to get beat up a bit. as it pulls away from that, we'll start to see this thing intensify. let's watch the official forecast track. this is what the international hurricane center is expecting, through the bahamas, through the day tomorrow into your thursday, and intensifying, becoming a major hurricane. now south florida, eastern florida needs a heads-up. you guys might get brushed by this thing just a bit. you see the turn to the north, the big bull's-eye here toward the carolinas, but notice the delmarva is in the cone. let's show you the models i was talking about. the big thick white line, that's the official forecast track
there from the national hurricane center, but take notice, loose at the models which are way out here. they all have been trending east, nothing brings it into florida anymore, one stray model brings it into parts of georgia as well as the carolinas. we may have a change in the track. that will happen before the end of the hour. any big changes, we'll let you know right away. jon huntsman said he would be open to being michele bachma bachmann's vp. is hi gaining confidence in her campaign? the political buzz is next. and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪ i'm a dad, coach, and i was a longtime smoker. in my heart i knew for the longest time that did not want to be a smoker. and the fact that i failed before. i think i was discouraged for a very long time. ♪
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now, that's progressive. call or click today. we're checkling top stories for you. hurricane erhine could become a category 3 storm later today. it could impact the southeastern coast over the weekend, but it's too early to say how much. police in pakistan say they have arrested three suspects in the captured of warren weinstein. there's fierce fighting between
rebels and loyalists in tripoli. gadhafi's whereabouts are still unknown. all right. it's time for our political buzz, the rapid-fire look. three questions, 30 seconds on the clock, and playing today, roland martin, john avalon, and will cain. this is going to be good the first chance to say what they would do. okay. why haven't we heard from them? >> hmm, wimps. because they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. they know the actions the president tourk was the right action, but then you have the folks on the right, like senator john mccain, he should have done something sooner, but remember you had the house reps who wanted to pass a resolution saying you should not be taking
any action in libya, so they don't want to say anything. that's called weakness. you want to be president? say something. they are simply wimps. >> boy, roland, you will die on your own words with that. you mean the candidates haven't said what the goal is? >> they have said nothing, will. >> which would make them very similar to the president of the united states of america. >> they have said nothing. >> isn't that interesting? the one thing they have said, they wouldn't go into libya in the first place. that's not backwards-looking. that informs how they would make decisions about syria, the congo, every place in the world that's under these same situations. >> john? >> i think the reality is there's confusion on foreign policy. and there are a lot of folks who simply approach politics with a partisan lens, one who reflexively opposes anything that president obama does. so i think there's a fundamental confusion, and the president
does deserve credit. i think it's time to rally around our military efforts and the people in libya. >> guys, recently a web side hosted violent threats to letter man. what did he do? of course he joked about it. >> tonight, you people are more to me honestly more than an audience tonight. really. more than an audience you're more like a human shield. >> will, did you laugh? >> did i laugh? >> yes, as he smiles and laughs. >> yeah, i think it's great. you notice what this does, kyra in this says, we win. terrorists do things to adjust the way americans live or how
any people live. and you know how we've adjusted? we've taking your core concepts and made jokes out of them. we win. >> roland? >> david letterman is a comedian, so obviously he will joke about it. if this was someone who wasn't a comedian, the reaction would be different, but there's no doubt that david letterman will make a joke, so of course it's funny. they keep trying to threaten him, he'll keep making more jokes. >> john? >> i do think there's a danger that we return to the summer of the shark, where weunder estimate the serious threats out there, but the reality is this was not a credible plot. this was an online statement. he did exactly the same thing, to mock those folks who try to intimate date through fear. that's a good response. rock on, dave. one for letterman, one let for the fatwa folks. >> piers morgan asked jon huntsman about the idea of joining a bachmann ticket.
>> if you love this country, you serve her. if you're in a position to better the country, bring whatever background, experiences you have, i'll be the first person to sign up, absolutely. >> that's an unusual admission i would say. i think it's to your credit, but it will get headlines and people will pick up on that and say, jon huntsman says i would happily serve under michele bachmann. >> what do you think, guys? is he losing confidence in his chances or is he getting confidence in hers? roland. >> first of all, he's had more people leave his campaign. everybody has lost confidence in his campaign. look, if you're running for president, you never entertainment any conversation as it relates to trying to be somebody else's vp. first of all, one reason he answered that way, as a republican, he served as ambassador to china under president obama, but again you say, no, i'm running for
president. she can serve with me. >> i don't think i heard the same thing. i don't think i heard him say he will be a vice president candidate or would accept a candidacy under bachmann. i think he was being very magnanimous and would serve the country -- if that was presented to him, i would be curious, but i don't think huntsman is insecure in his bid. pierce, it's michelle, know me-shell. >> come on, he mass a sophisticated speech. >> the problem with some spin is what puts politicians on defense. he was talking about service, and i think he deserves credit to talk about this common-sense conversation he wants to have and stop the b.s. he was talking about service, not strengthening michele bachmann. we need more folks willing to take that risk of telling the
truth. >> roland always has to be such a smart-aleck. >> i love will's checked shirt. very gq there. >> no ascott there. a judge is expected to dismiss all sexual assault charges against the former head of the imf. we'll have a live report. booking a flight by itself is an uh-oh. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal. that's a hint, antoine. ooh! see what anandra did? booking your flight and hotel at the same time gets you prices hotels and airlines won't let expedia show separately. book it. major wow factor! where you book matters. expedia. sure, but let me get a little information first.
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glee we have our live picture back up out of tripoli. the smoke you're seeing is coming from moammar gadhafi's compound. you can hear the gunfire as well. we can't confirm in moammar gadhafi is instead holed up on his compound, but we can tell you that nato has been doing some low-level flying above the
compound there. rebels are claiming that they have breached the gates of that compound, but we cannot confirm that. we're just getting words from the rebels that are telling us that at this point. but it is clear that the u.s., nato, they are eager for an official overthrow, they are eager to get him face-to-face, dead or alive. at the same time they are also very concerned about the transition, and in particular all the weapons that gadhafi, a former military man, has hidden in various places throughout libya, and of course there on his compound. in particular, the tons of mustard gas that we have been talking about stockpiled among other weapons.
spider, we are going to go a different way with our conversation. i still want to touch on the weapons, but as you are watching these live pictures, the smoke in the air there, that you can hear the gunfire, what's your take with regard to what gadhafi could have there on the compound if indeed he's there or not. what do you know as a former intel guy with regard to what could be there on the compound? >> having seen this? several places around the world, number one, we don't know where gadhafi is. let's assume he's in his coup pound. if he is, he will be extremely well protected. it goes well beyond small arms. i would think they would have some critical capabilities, and they'll protect them until the very, very end.
i don't think he's going to try to kill himself, i don't think that's in his dna, but clearly this will be a tough fight. i think what we're seeing on the streets is clearly the unknown, a lot of chaos. what you don't have with the rebels is a command and control system that allows great young fighters in the streets to report up. do what they have to do and report up to the higher headquarters to give them a sense of the next step. what you want to have, these series of engagements have to be tied together. the question i have is, in tripoli, with the rebel forces, who is at that operational level, that senior tactical level that's ties these different -- i'm sure this isn't reporting that gives us on the outside a sense of what's going on. >> if you were the intel guy in the middle of this conflict, and you were advising nato forces, what will you tell them with regard to tracking and securing
the stockpiles of weapons that are known to be there in libya? what would be your biggest concern right now? >> kyra, that's a great question. the higher headquarters, the responsibility of higher headquarters is to take care of the next task, the task that's qulon going right now has its own momentum and it's happening. it is the security of the weapons of mass destruction, and it's those weapons systems that gadhafi is not using right now, obviously. those need to be sequestered away. so the higher headquarters needs to be looking over the horizon for the next task. that's, where does she secure his weapons of mass destruction, the mustard gas that we have talked about, all the tons of precursors for sarin, where is that located? i would guaranteed nato hats a good bead on it, the international community has a good bead a it, folks know where this is, but what we don't know
is, who is minding that right now? that's either being done by gadhafi's forces or the rebels, the fourth alternative needs to be what force will walk in there and say you boys haven't sorted this out yet, i'm here to make sure the next issue, wmd and these other systems don't get out of control. >> if they're not secured, they could be sold. >> absolutely. and it gets very personal. we're at war for ten years. our sons and daughters are buddies. they're still in, and this stuff shows up elsewhere, some unknown where we're going to go uneventually? >> spider marks, thanks for weighing in. >> you bet. we'll continue to follow the breaking news. live pictures out of tripoli. you can see the smoke there coming from gadhafi's compound.
fighting once again is increasing. our matthew chance is actually not far from moammar gadhafi's compound where you're seeing the smoke rise. he's hunkered down at the rixor hotel. he has to be careful with his communications due to the threat of possible snipers not far from where her is staying, but that gives you an idea of how this is a fluid situation and how the fighting picks up. right now we can tell you rebels are saying they have breached the gates of moammar gadhafi's compound. that's where this smoke is coming from. earlier we reported nato flights, jets doing some low-level flies. nato wouldn't confirm if indeed they had dropped any bombs, but we were able to report the number of explosions were heard from the compound there. we still have not been able to confirm if indeed moammar gadhafi is there holed up on his
compound. we talked to one of his former aides who doesn't believe he is there. we've talked to orel journalists who say that rebel forces are reporting that they do believe he is in the compound. we're going to continue to follow these live pictures and get in touch with our various reporters -- okay. we do have fred pleitgen with us, joaning us out of benghazi. fred, as we watch these live pictures, we listen to the fighting that continue toss intensify, you actually met with rebel leaders this morning. what are they telling you about the fighting here, and do they believe his is huchberred down somewhere in there? >> reporter: that's a very good questio
questions. >> reporter: their feeling is gadhafi is still in tripoli. whether or not he is actually inside the compound is something they say even they do not know at in the point in time, but some do believe he might in fact still be there. this is a vast compound, very large in side, but also one where a lot of people believe there's a lot of layers underneath that compound. so there's certainly peel here in benghazi who are at this point in time gearing up before possibly going to tripoli if in fact gadhafi is ousted. they say they believe he is inside that city, most probably inside that compound. one, is baba al aziya has been
hit a number of times by nato strikes. it was just the target of air strikes. certainly you get the mood here in benghazi, you talk to the guys running the rebel operations, they say they believe he could very well be inside that compound at this point in time. >> fred, stay with us. we're going to take a minute to listen, as we're getting live pictures out of tripoli. you can hear more of the fighting that's taking place there, as rebels are reporting they have surrounded gadhafi's compound. they do believe that he is holed up inside there. conflicting reports about that, but we can tell you the fighting has increased, rebels reporting that they have breached the gates. let's see if they can take a listen.
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do we want to head to business now? let's check in now while we're trying to reconnect there out of tripoli, alison kosik, you've been very patient, on stand by -- and i guess still good news to report, i haven't had a chance to see the numbers, but compared to last week, we are in better shape, yes? >> this is despite the report that newly built homes have dropped. so what wall street is thinking is backwards. they think with each piece it could be ben bernanke more reason to step in and possibly help the economy and prop it up. kyra? >> okay.
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stay with cnn throughout the day. we're going to continue to following what's happening. what you're looking at and we're trying to reconnect with our live signal, it's been very fluid this morning. this is actually tape of moments ago, the smoke coming from moammar gadhafi's compound. here's what we know so far. fierce fighting outside the compound. rebels say they have breached the gates. we cannot confirm if moammar gadhafi is holed up on the compound. nato has been doing low level flyi