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Thousands of Syrian Refugees Stream Into Temporary Camps on Turkish Border; Rebel Coup in Libya; New Zealand Earthquakes
Aired June 13, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
Displaced and demonstrating against the government, thousands of Syrian refugees stream into temporary camps on the Turkish border.
A pair of powerful earthquakes rocks New Zealand's second largest city, serving a fearful reminder of the deadly tremors that caused chaos in Christchurch in February.
And planes in New Zealand and Australia are grounded by volcanic ash from half a world away.
Now, in Syria, government forces are continuing their relentless crackdown on the northern city of Jisr-Al-Shugur. At least three people were killed on Sunday. That's according to local media reports.
Helicopters hovered overhead after hundreds of troops stormed the city. Now, Syrian state TV said troops are answering the residents' pleas for help in cleansing the city of armed gangs.
And in a sinister twist to the ongoing crackdown, state TV also reported the finding of a mass grave in the city. Reports claim it contains the mutilated and decapitated bodies of security forces.
Now, thousands of people have fled the flash point city, heading for the border and into Turkey, and to temporary refugee camps.
CNN has still not been allowed into Syria to cover events there directly, so we can't independently verify what we're hearing from either Syrian state media or other sources. But our Arwa Damon is following developments from the Turkish/Syrian border, and she joins us now live.
And Arwa, tell us about the refugee camp behind you. Who is there and how are the people there being provided for?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we're in the small Turkish town of Givechi (ph), and just across the border is Syria. And it is there that we have this makeshift camp that has been set up inside Syria itself.
Now, people, we are hearing, are choosing to stay there and not actually cross into Turkey because they are afraid of being completely cut off from what is happening inside Syria. A number of them, we are told, still have relatives who are missing, family members who they were separated from. And they are terrified that if they cross into Turkey, they are going to leave them forever.
People in this specific camp itself are receiving help from villagers on the Turkish side who are ferrying things like blankets, bread and basics across. Also trying to help with medical care.
What we had been seeing at other refugee camps is that the Turkish Red Crescent there providing the basic needs for them. We were earlier at a camp where we saw the fifth camp, in fact, being set up to try to accommodate the influx.
What happens is that the refugees mass further down on this side of the border, and then they are picked up by buses and then ferried to these various locations inside Turkey. But although they are being provided with the basics, they are being provided with medical care, they are being completely shut off from the outside world. These camps, when they're set up, end up with these large tarps around them, preventing the media from accessing these refugees. We have not yet been able to figure out exactly why that is the case, but it is also effectively corralling these refugees inside these camps -- Kristie.
STOUT: You're reporting on the refugee situation there at the border, and you're also working your contacts inside Syria. What is your understanding about what is happening in the flash point city of Jisr-Al-Shugur? What is the latest from there?
DAMON: Well, Kristie, according to what we have been able to gather from a number of activists, the city now is in fact fully under the control of the Syrian military. What activists have done is that they have spotters in the hills around Jisr-Al-Shugur that try to call out and provide basic accurate information to what is in fact taking place.
This network of activists was also telling us that the military conducted a house-to-house search in one of the neighboring villages. They say that they heard gunfire. There were also reports of gunfire in one of the other villages as well.
But right now, they say Jisr-Al-Shugur would seem firmly under the control of Syrian military. That also has been reported by Syrian state TV itself as well. But residents have been quick to tell us that they fled fearing for their lives, and they completely refute any claims on Syrian state television that they were being held hostage by these various armed gangs, or that they, by any stretch of the imagination, wanted the Syrian military to enter their town.
STOUT: And Arwa, Syrian state TV has been showing images of what they call a mass grave of slaughtered Syrian security forces. What more can you tell us about this alleged discovery?
DAMON: Well, Syrian state television is reporting that they discovered this mass grave inside Jisr-Al-Shugur. They're saying that it contains the bodies of Syrian security forces who were part of that ambush that is alleged to have taken place around a week ago now, where Syrian state TV said that 120 members of the Syrian security forces had been massacred there, saying that the bodies pulled out of this mass grave were mutilated, some of them were decapitated.
Now, we've been speaking to a number of activists who tried to figure out exactly what is taking place. One activist told us that this most certainly was disturbing and confusing. He is working his sources to try to figure out what happened, who is exactly responsible for this killing. That is pretty much similar to what we've been hearing from other individuals as well.
There are a number of variations as to what could have actually taken place. There is the version we're hearing from Syrian state television, where they say armed gangs in Jisr-Al-Shugur were the ones who were in fact responsible for this massacre. A number of activists have been telling us that this was in fact a result of a division within the Syrian security forces itself.
A certain number of them wanted to defect, and they were then caught up in a firefight with the loyalists to the Assad regime. And we have also heard that in all of this, there were also residents of Jisr-Al-Shugur who were fed up with being massacred and decided to fight back.
So, again, we're still trying to piece together exactly what took place and what in fact could have led to this mass grave -- Kristie.
STOUT: That's right. And even though it happened a week ago, it's still, by and large, a mystery.
Arwa Damon, joining us live from Syrian/Turkish border.
Thank you, Arwa.
Now, the author of the "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog is now believed to be a U.S. man in Turkey. Now, the blog received widespread media exposure, particularly when it claimed that the author had disappeared. But over the weekend, an apology was posted and the whole thing was revealed as a hoax. The author said he did not think anyone had been harmed.
Now, Sunday's post said this: "I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground."
It was signed not by supposed blogger Amina Abdullah, but by a Tom MacMaster. Now, a Facebook page of support was established, and several media outlets, including CNN, told the story of the girl now revealed as a fiction.
Now, it is worth pointing out again here that we are not allowed to report from inside Syria, but we do everything we can to verify stories coming out of the country and try to make it clear when we cannot confirm aspects of a story.
Lebanon has had no government since January, but just a few minutes ago, Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced his new cabinet. Now, the situation there has been tense since Hezbollah helped bring down the coalition headed by the former prime minister, Saad Hariri. Now, that government was more or less aligned with the West.
And in Libya, fighting intensified over the weekend. There was a big battle in the city of Zawiya, not far from the capital, Tripoli. A spokesman says 15 opposition fighters and about 100 Gadhafi loyalists were killed there on Sunday.
And more bullets flew near the besieged city of Misrata as well. Now, these images were shot in the nearby town of Dafnia, where a hospital worker says seven more people were killed in fighting on Sunday.
Despite the recent bloodshed, the tables may be turning in the rebels' favor. They have apparently found some of Colonel Gadhafi's top-secret military plans for retaking Misrata.
Sara Sidner has more.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rebel fighters on Misrata's front line have made the kind of discovery that could change the course of a war. They say they got a hold of their enemy's battle plan to retake the city.
ABDALLAH AL-KABEIR, MISRATA MEDIA COMM. SPOKESMAN (through translator): It was very beneficial because we were able to find out about the brigade's movements, the directions they planned their attack, the number of soldiers, the type of artillery used, and the number of military vehicles.
SIDNER (on camera): Rebels gave us this document they say is a copy of the Gadhafi regime's top-secret military strategy. They say they got it from a high-ranking Gadhafi officer captured in late May. They say they fully believe that this is an authentic military document.
(voice-over): It is 15 pages long and comes complete with a government stamp and "top secret" written on nearly every page. The document says it is a battle plan to cleanse the city of Misrata from militant gangs and to destroy mercenary elements and deceived youth. But the vast majority of the rebels we have met on Misrata's front line say they are just citizens fiercely loyal to Misrata and intent on protecting their families who were under attack.
The alleged military document also contains secret codes. For example, the regime's code for NATO is "flies." "Tomato" is code for sniper ammunition. And "beast" is code for Grad missile, a long-distance weapon the Gadhafi military used again and again on the city. It also says there are more than 11,000 forces loyal to Gadhafi surrounding Misrata.
AL-KABEIR (through translator): I think the number of troops and equipment mentioned in this document are definitely exaggerated, because they wanted to lift their soldiers' low morale. Also, our intelligence on the ground indicated that Gadhafi forces have a lot less people than what this document says.
SIDNER: The spokesman told CNN the document was only used for a short period of time before Gadhafi forces became aware and changed their tactics. The government has not responded to our request for a comment on the authenticity of the document, but at a news conference Sunday, a government spokesman said, "In Misrata, it's only the continuous and unjustified bombardment of the sea and the air that is preventing us from declaring total victory there," apparently referring to the NATO campaign.
But in recent weeks, NATO has not been particularly active in Misrata, and rebels have stayed in full control of the city. The rebels say this confiscated document reveals the Gadhafi regime is so desperate, it is even lying to its own troops about their capabilities on the battlefront.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Misrata, Libya.
STOUT: Now, stay with us here on NEWS STREAM. Later in the program, our Nic Robertson will tell us why a group of medical workers in Bahrain had to leave the hospital for a courtroom.
First, in New Zealand, many are shaken and scared after a series of earthquakes near Christchurch bring back memories of the city's February disaster.
And from the ground to the skies, strong winds carry an ash cloud more than 9,000 kilometers to wreak havoc over the South Pacific.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, one earthquake after another hit near Christchurch, New Zealand, on Monday. Now, the first one, it struck in the early afternoon, within a couple of hours within the other one. And both had magnitudes of over 5.0. At least one less powerful one followed shortly thereafter. No one was killed, but a number of people were injured as buildings rattled or came down, causing phone and power outages.
Christchurch is just getting back on its feet after February's earthquake killed more than 180 people.
As Tom McRae of CNN affiliate TVNZ reports, above all, the new tremors have left people shaken and scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get away!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get away!
TOM MCRAE, REPORTER, TVNZ (voice-over): All afternoon Canterburians have been running for cover as new, big aftershocks batter the city and surrounding suburbs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very scared.
MCRAE (on camera): You all right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This quake is like -- and it just kept rolling like -- I've only felt one other quake that rolled like you're on a ship or something. That was freaky.
MCRAE (voice-over): The shocks are so strong, they almost throw you off your feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something hit my head.
MCRAE: We arrived at this intersection when the largest aftershock hit. It's clear to see that the shakes are too much for many people, and too much for buildings as well, many suffering more severe damage today.
(on camera): So this block of shops and offices was thankfully abandoned. As you can see, the awning has completely collapsed and the roof has fallen in, too.
(voice-over): People were desperate to get hold of loved ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just said to my colleagues, New Zealand should decide, really, it's an ash cloud or an earthquake. I can't deal with both.
MCRAE: This security camera footage from a Miravelle (ph) coffee shop shows the panic Canterburians will never get used to.
Prime Minister John Key says the country stands in support.
JOHN KEY, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: For the people of Christchurch, I'm sure they just want this to end. Quite frankly, I'm sure they're over all of this and they want a sense of normality to return. And I think we can all feel their frustration. But they've got to know that we stand beside them, that we are totally committed to rebuilding the city.
BOB PARKER, CHRISTCHURCH MAYOR: Look, everybody is tired. You know? I mean, we've been through more than just about anyone should ever have to even contemplate going through.
MCRAE: Chunks of the city are again faced with the devastating effects of liquefaction. This car, swallowed by silt, forced to the surface yet again.
Riccarton's Westfield Mall was evacuated and will remain closed until all buildings are assessed. Traffic around the city was brought to a standstill. Two people were pulled from St. John's Church just across the road from where CTV once stood. The damage shows just how lucky they were.
The shakes which have rattled nerves yet again are far from over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There certainly will be smaller shocks coming. And we can never rule out the possibility of large events. And that's what we've been trying to convey.
MCRAE: Everyone in their own way struggling on.
STOUT: And that was Tom McRae, reporting from Christchurch.
STOUT: Now, it has been quite a year for New Zealand so far. The south island has been rocked by a number of big earthquakes, and Monday's two quakes of magnitude 5 and above brought more destruction.
Now, Mari, just then, she explained liquefaction, and this is similar, huge landslides taking buildings with them. And here you can see just even more damage, buildings simply caving in. Now, the roof on this one, it appears to be actually resting on the floor now.
And who can forget this image? This, from a few months ago, the city's iconic cathedral without its spire. And that was after the magnitude 6.3 quake struck on February the 22nd.
And there was a similar scene across the city today, smoke billowing from the ruins of flattened buildings, rescue workers carrying the injured to safety. Scores of buildings were razed to the ground, with many more deemed unsafe and earmarked for destruction.
And the families grieving for their loved ones, either dead or missing. Now, rescue attempts, it took days and days, with many buildings simply too dangerous to enter as the city was rocked by hundreds of aftershocks. And tragically, more than 180 people lost their lives.
Now, Qantas is resuming some flights in Melbourne, Australia, but many others have been grounded due to a cloud of volcanic ash that has floated halfway around the world from Chile.
Ellie Southwood of CNN affiliate Network Ten has more.
ELLIE SOUTHWOOD, REPORTER, NETWORK TEN (voice-over): Finally up in the air. After hours of delays and hundreds of flight cancellations, the southern skies are once again open for business. The first carrier to take off this morning, Virgin Australia, much to the relief of its stranded passengers.
DANIELLE KEIGHERY, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA SPOKESWOMAN: Obviously, to do so, we made sure that everything was 100 percent safe, and we believe that it is 100 percent safe to fly now.
SOUTHWOOD: Virgin planes used more fuel by flying lower and going around the plume. Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger weren't prepared to do the same.
OLIVIA WORTH, QANTAS SPOKESWOMAN: Our policy is very clear. Qantas will not fly under the ash cloud, Qantas will not fly around the ash cloud.
GEOFF THOMAS, AVIATION EXPERT: They're an ultra-conservative company. And for many, many people, that's just the way they like them to be.
SOUTHWOOD: Qantas and Jetstar didn't resume Melbourne's services until after 1:00 p.m. That's six hours after Virgin.
THOMAS: So it's different policies, different airlines. It doesn't mean that one's safe and one's unsafe. It's just a different way they look at this situation.
SOUTHWOOD: This is where the ash is coming from, the Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile which erupted nine days ago. From space, these NASA pictures show the ash cloud drifting east, full of tiny particles of rock and glass that could shut down an aircraft engine.
All up, Qantas canceled over 100 flights, including three international routes. Jetstar canceled more than 80. Virgin suspended 20 flights this morning. And Tiger has a backlog of at least 40. Qantas and Jetstar flights to New Zealand and Tasmania remain grounded for now.
WORTH: This will take some time. There are 20,000 Qantas passengers who have been impacted by these flights, and this is obviously a significant backlog.
SOUTHWOOD: And the delays may continue. The volcano is continuing to erupt.
STOUT: And that was Ellie Southwood of Australia's Network Ten reporting.
STOUT: Now, ahead on NEWS STREAM, U.S. politics Republican style, as presidential hopefuls prepare for a nationally televised debate. We'll take a look at the candidates and who may have the best chance at channeling Barack Obama in 2012.
STOUT: Now, the next U.S. presidential election may still be a year and a half away, but candidate hopefuls are already positioning themselves in a run for the White House. Now, there are seven Republicans who are officially seeking their party's nomination to challenge U.S. President Barack Obama in 2012. And CNN will host the first Republican debate of the season in New Hampshire later on Monday.
So, who are some of the big names in the ring? Suzanne Malveaux takes a look.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this corner, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, once a formidable foe, now abandoned by most of his campaign team just four days ago.
GINGRICH: There's a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting (ph) community and the kind of campaign I want to run.
MALVEAUX: The conservative firebrand is trying to wage a comeback.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, we're going to return the responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs. And that will begin with a complete repeal of Obamacare.
MALVEAUX: Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, with a strong showing in the polls, but handicapped by health care legislation he passed as governor. Critics say it's similar to Obama's health care law.
TIM PAWLENTY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare, and basically made it Obamneycare.
MALVEAUX: Also in the ring, another former governor, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, on McCain's short list as running mate in 2008.
PAWLENTY: We're going to need a new and better president.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Making Barack Obama a one-term president!
MALVEAUX: And another from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party superstar, who's not even yet officially in the fight, but making it clear she's ready.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Join the fight! Join the fight!
MALVEAUX: Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is coming out swinging. But as a staunch conservative, some question whether he'll appeal to the middle.
REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: World history has never seen the monetary inflation that we have seen in the last couple of years.
MALVEAUX: And this is round three for Ron Paul.
PAUL: Thank you very much.
MALVEAUX: The first time he ran for president, it was as a Libertarian. While his fan base is loyal and growing, he faces the problem of being considered by many too radical.
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The sleeping giant has awakened. It's called we the people.
MALVEAUX: And then there's Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, attracting attention, but not enough yet to be considered a contender.
STOUT: Now, there's another debate in the U.S. that is also drawing a lot of attention. It is over whether or not New York Congressman Anthony Weiner should resign over allegedly inappropriate behavior online. He was facing more pressure to step down after these new self-photos emerged showing him shirtless at the gym facility where other House members work out.
Now, in response, Weiner has asked for a leave of absence from Congress so that he can regroup and get professional help. But it still did not stop his colleagues from speaking out about it on the Sunday talk shows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: I think that Anthony Weiner needs to resign so he can focus on his family, focus on his own well-being.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MINORITY WHIP: It seems to me extraordinarily difficult that he can proceed to represent his constituents in an effective way given the circumstances of this bizarre behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, despite the pressure, Weiner says he still has no intention of stepping down.
And now to a new photo that is stirring a very different kind of reaction in the United States. Now this is the first image of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released since her shooting. Now Giffords was shot in the head at a meet and greet event in January in Arizona. And these images showed up on her Facebook page on Sunday.
Now Giffords recently underwent extensive brain surgery and has been in rehabilitation since the shooting. And now doctors say she is well enough to go home at the end of the month. But despite her incredible recovery, she still has a long healing process ahead and will continue to undergo therapy at home.
Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM we will be in Bahrain at the trial of 47 medics accused of trying to overthrow the government. Human rights groups say that they were just doing their job and treating patients.
And in China, thousands of protesters took to the streets in the southern province of Guangdong, leaving a trail of destruction in the wake. We'll have more on that in just a moment.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM. And these are your world headlines.
Now at least one person has been killed in a suicide blast at a bank in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Now some people said the bomber walked into the bank and blew himself up. They say a bank security guard died in the attack.
Now six members of Pakistan's paramilitary forces accused of killing an unarmed teenager last week have been turned over to police. Now the country's supreme court has sent the case to an anti-terrorist court. Television stations across Pakistan aired video last week that showed the victim pleading for his life before being shot.
Now a series of earthquakes has hit Christchurch in New Zealand bringing further destruction to the city. No one has died, but there are reports of injuries and some buildings had to be evacuated. Now the quakes come nearly four months after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the same area killing more than 180 people.
Now in Bahrain, some of the 47 medics who treated injured protesters during anti-government demonstrations in March have appeared in court. Now the 24 doctors, and 23 nurses and paramedics are charged with trying to bring down the country's monarchy.
Now Nic Robertson is following this story for us. He joins us now live from Manama. And Nic, you were inside the courtroom there. What did the defendants, the doctors and nurses, what did they say? And how did they appear to you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well this is a military court. Not all of the 47 were in the court today, that's because some of them are essentially on the run if you will and hiding in Bahrain, according to some government officials or outside of the country. All the men, the male doctors that we saw, 11 of them in dock, all had their head shaved, all were clean shaven. They looked nervous. They looked worried. They looked stressed.
There were five or six female doctors, defendants lined up in front of them. One of the doctors said that he had been tortured. That his confession had been extracted through torture. Several of the defense lawyers representing the doctors said that their clients had also been tortured as well.
But this all stems back to when the -- to when the protests -- anti- government protests here started back in February.
ROBERTSON: Around me, doctors and nurses were fighting to save lives. On February 17, I was in Bahrain's Salmaniya hospital recording the horrific injuries anti-government protesters were receiving at the hands of the police. On the hospital grounds, more protesters were rallying seeking sanctuary.
Now 47 of the hospital's doctors and nurses are on trial in a military court. I've come back to follow their case. The government accuses them of turning the hospital into a base for the opposition.
ABDUL-AZIZ AL KHALIFA, INFORMATION AFFAIRS AUTHORITY: We've actually had deaths related to ambulances not being allowed to leave the hospital grounds. We've got evidence of platforms being used in the complex where they have staged political rallies.
ROBERTSON: One of the accused doctors, Qasim Oman, fled to the U.S. who escaped.
And the government said that the doctors there were excluding patients on the basis -- on a sectarian basis, excluding Sunni patients for example, Indian patients.
DR. QASIM OMAN, FORMERLY SALMANIYA HOSPITAL: That is a lie also. Why we should do that? We were peaceful in our demand. Why do you do -- on one side when the human thing, on the other side we do the opposite?
ROBERTSON: In February, the mostly Shia protesters were clashing with the mostly Sunni police.
On this tiny island, a Sunni minority rules the Shia majority. Almost all the doctors and nurses are Shia. And the few exceptions, their families dare not talk to us. Some say they've been beaten and told not to speak to journalists like us.
But this brave father overcame his fear out of love for his son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a father when you see a (inaudible) abducted (ph) like that -- you see, then you said what is this world? If that government tell me my son has committed the crime, let them prove it. What crime? What crime? A crime to be as a doctor? Is this a crime?
ROBERTSON: He tells me his son is locked in a tiny cell with nine others.
Ten people in a six meter by six meter room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not meter -- six meters square.
ROBERTSON: Six meters square. So that's even smaller.
Government officials deny the accusations say the doctors and nurses are being held according to international standards. But human rights organizations say there's worse, that some of the doctors have been tortured and beaten, all because they say they dared to challenge the government.
As protests raged, accurate casualties figures were hard to come by.
NABEEL RAJAB, BAHRAIN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Human rights groups, journalists found the hospital and doctors and basic source of information. That dissed (ph) the government so much, because that exposed the level of human right crimes committed by government.
So government targeted them for that reason.
KHALIFA: It was an issue of national security where they gave the outside world totally different picture of what was actually going on inside the hospital.
ROBERTSON: I was there. I remember the chaos, the confusion, questioning doctors for details.
OMAN: And I remember I have seen you there.
ROBERTSON: Yeah, I think I remember seeing you there as well.
ROBERTSON: You were busy, very busy as I remember. And you were trying to save lives is what I remember.
OMAN: Yes. I mean, we were there. We were communicating. I mean, everybody was seeing everything. There is nothing to hide. The Ministry of Health wanted to minimize the number of casualties. They wanted to deny that casualties.
ROBERTSON: Not just the doctors on trial, but the truth as is so often is the first casualty of war, or in this case the first casualty in a battle for rights.
ROBERTSON: Well, government officials say that the charges relate not just to that short period where we were in the hospital visiting, but for the weeks afterwards as well. Inside the court room all the defendants plead not guilty to the charges. They asked to be seen by a civilian doctor. The judge said they can see a doctor, but it would have to be a military doctor -- Kristie.
STOUT: Nic Robertson joining us live from inside Bahrain. Thank you very much for that update.
Now the king of Jordan is pledging political reforms. Now six months after protesters started demanding a greater say in running the country. Now King Abdullah announced that he is giving up the right to choose the country's prime minister and government, instead a parliamentary majority will elect them. Now the king also said he plans to change the country's tax system and to do more to help young people get a job.
But a group of young men attacked the king's motorcade as he visited the southern city of Tafila on Monday. Now these men, they hurled stones and empty bottles, but no one was hurt. This, according to a security official.
Now a group of migrant workers are the latest to riot in China. Now protesters overturned police cars in central Guangdong. And they set fire to local government offices. It is not the only case of rioting in China as of late. And from Beijing, Eunice Yoon looks at a string of protests and what may be behind this trent.
EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Physical attacks, people in the streets, commotion all around. These military veterans protest at the railway ministry in Beijing.
"We've been wronged!" Shouts this demonstrator. They want jobs and say there aren't enough to go around.
In the past few weeks, scenes like this have played out in a number of Chinese cities.
Over the weekend in a small town in southern China, hundreds of migrant workers turned over police cars and set fire to local government offices, a violent melee sparked by a dispute between street vendors and security staff.
And a week ago in Inner Mongolia, thousands of ethnic Mongolians swarmed security officers after the death of a Mongolian who had been hit by a car driven by ethnic (inaudible) Chinese. The protest come at a sensitive time for a government believed to be unnerved by uprisings and changes in the Arab world.
PATRICK CHOVANEC, POLITICAL ANALYST: Because of the Arab Spring and also some of the economic insecurities that people in China are feeling, the government has been much more proactive in cracking down on -- and incidents, even if they're just of the local nature.
YOON: The protests are over jobs, allegations of corruption, or ethnic tensions. However, analysts say they lack coordination. And they're not a nationwide movement.
CHOVANEC: The reality though is that for many years now there have been bombing incidents in China. There have been violent protests. We just haven't always heard about them. They've been localized. And I think one of the things that the government is always very concerned about is keeping these incidents local.
YOON: Part of the problem is perceived injustice. This country is developing really, really fast. There some feel they're being left behind. In this one party system, they have little recourse to air their grievances.
The government says its addressing many of the protesters' concerns, yet these people were so desperate they tried to stop police from blocking CNN from shooting this demonstration, emboldened to get a message out, and keep their voices from being silenced.
Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.
STOUT: Now staying in China now where hundreds of thousands of hectares are experiencing severe drought. And elsewhere there's devastating flooding. Almost 100 people have died after torrential rain triggered deadly floods and landslides in eastern and central China.
Now according to China News Service, some weather stations recorded more than 20 centimeters of rain in just six hours, a sort of downpour that occurs once every 300 years.
Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM, I recently took to the seas of Hong Kong in search of these -- pink dolphins. That's right, pink dolphins. They're beautiful. And they're under threat. We'll tell you more in just a moment.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong. You're back watching NEWS STREAM.
Now on paper, the NBA finals, they looked like a mismatch. The Miami Heat, they have three of the NBA's best players. The Dallas Mavericks just one. But it's the Mavs and their star that now stands alone atop the NBA. Don Riddell is here with all the highlights for us -- Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kristie, thanks very much. The Dallas Mavericks are today celebrating their first ever NBA championship. And their German star Dirk Nowitzki is being hailed as one of the all-time greats. Their game 6 victory was a crushing blow for Miami, though, whose much vaunted team of all-stars flopped in front of their own fans.
Dirk and the Mavs knew this could be the biggest night in the team's history, leading the series by 3 games to 2. This was the night for LeBron James to step it up for the Heat.
He scored 21 points, but it was to be a very disappointing night for him. It was Jason Terry that led the scorers. The Mavs guard came off the bench to shoot 27 points. This coast-to-coast lay-up seeing Dallas 5 points up in the first quarter.
Into the second now, just a point in it. And Dwayne Wade blocking Tyson Chandler freeing up Eddy House for the 3-point shot. He made it. Putting the Heat clear by 2.
But the tension was rising. Udonis Haslem and DeSean Stevenson exchanged words. And they both ended up with technical fouls as did Mario Chalmers. Nowitzki then popped in the free throw.
In the second half it was the German that made the difference. Nowitzki who up until yesterday was one of those players saddled with the best player to never win a championship tag, he made shot after shot to lead his team to a 10 point victory. 21 points and 11 rebounds helped him to the series MVP while on the sidelines Rick Carlisle became one of 11 men to win the championship as both a player and a coach.
It was a team effort from Dallas, but Nowitzki take an awful lot of the credit. The big German averaged 26 points per game during these finals and he totally outgunned Miami's big stars when it counted. While James and Wade combined to score 62 points in all of fourth quarters in the series, Dirk scored that amount all on his own down the stretch. He's only the fourth player born outside of the U.S. to be named the final's most valuable player.
Now they say the best things come to those who wait and anyone that sat through Sunday's long rain delay at the Canadian Grand Prix was rewarded with an absolute thriller. According to McClaren's team principal Martin Whitmarsh, it will be remembered as one of the most eventful, exciting, and suspenseful races in Formula 1 history.
But he probably wasn't thinking that when his two drivers collided in the pouring rain here. Jensen Button nudged Lewis Hamilton into the pit lane wall, putting Hamilton out of the race.
It was the start of an eventful day for Button -- torrential rain meant that the race was stopped shortly afterwards, by which time Button was all the way back in 21st place.
He had more than two hours to plan his attack, though. And when they restarted, the former world champion scythed his way through the field.
He was in the walls again, though, making contact here with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was now out of the race. And Button had to limp back to the pits for a new tire. In all, he made six trips to the pits in a race that was producing drama all over the track.
At one point, it looked as though Michael Schumacher was going to make the podium for the first time since last year's comeback, but Button easily passed him and Mark Weber and set his sights on hauling in the leader Sebastian Vettel.
He caught the Red Bull driver on the last lap. Vettel was pressurized into making a mistake, giving Button his 10th career win. And it was surely one of the most satisfying of his career.
Kristie, it was an absolute joy to watch that race last night. Myself and F1 fans all over the world still haven't come down from it. Great drama.
STOUT: And just looking at his reaction here, really dramatic indeed. Don Riddell, thank you so much.
Now they are rare. They're pink as you can see. And these animals are endangered. I'm talking about dolphins in Hong Kong's Pearl River Delta. And I recently went to see if I could catch a glimpse of this special species and to find out why their numbers are dwindling.
STOUT: Scientists call them the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. They aren't just found here in southern China, but as far afield a South Africa and even the western Pacific. But only the ones here in the Pearl River Delta are pink.
SAMUEL HONG, HONG KONG DOLPHIN CONSERVATION SOCIETY: We're not quite sure why they're pink in color. When they're dead, they become white in color. So we think that the pink color maybe sort of a blushing effect that's how they regulate their internal heat.
STOUT: We set off to an area behind Hong Kong's busy international airport, which was built in Dolphin habitat. As the anticipation builds, our guide says that declining populations has made her job harder.
JANET WALKER, HONG KONG DOLPHIN WATCH: The great, amazing sightings that we used to have fairly regularly are fewer and further between. And we probably would see three to five dolphins in an average day whereas we probably would have seen six to eight 10 years ago.
STOUT: But then a sighting, followed by many more.
Now dolphins are very social creatures, usually traveling in a small group. Here they're often found near fishing boats trying to feed off some of the catch. The sightings are breathtaking.
Now we have seen about five to six individual pink dolphins, which is absolutely incredible given the fact that off the coast of these waters in Hong Kong there are only 100 of these creatures.
In the entire Pearl River Delta, estimates put the figure at 2,500. These dolphins are gray when they're born and they gradually become pink as they mature.
It has been a successful outing, but the threats to these dolphins are very real.
WALKER: We've just sailed through a narrow channel here, but this was the ocean 15, 20 years ago. So you're destroying fishing grounds and dolphin territory. Pollution obviously is the main thing. We treat very little of our sewage in Hong Kong. We dump about 400,000 cubic meters every day into the harbor, that's about 4,000 truckloads.
STOUT: Plans for another airport runway and a new bridge connecting mainland China and Macao could further impact that dolphins, according to conservationists. The government, however, says the plans were approved after it passed a required environmental impact assessment. Even the busy sea traffic leaves hefty scars on these creatures.
WALKER: If you add all these up, they're all nails in the coffin. And we're talking 25 years. Yeah, I don't see us being out here then.
STOUT: Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
STOUT: Now beautiful animals. Come to Hong Kong and see them if you can.
Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, like some songs and some bands, some photos never get old, at least not when those photos show images like these never before seen. We've got this story ahead. Stay with us.
STOUT: Now, the Beatles are probably the most famous band in music history. And now you're about to see images of the Fab Four you've never seen before. Now this picture is part of a collection that the photographer is showing off for the first time. Well, Mike Mitchell described the pictures he found in his basement.
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MIKE MITCHELL: Well, the rainy day came. And I knew I had them all along. And I kind of knew that there would come a point where it would be appropriate to try to do something with them. But they were literally in the basement gathering dust. I was a working magazine photographer. And I called all my clients and said I really want to go to that concert, can you get me a press pass and they did.
It was taken from up on stage during the press conference before the concert. And I was a pretty kind of an ambitious kid. And I would look around to see what other photographers weren't doing. And there was nobody up on the stage. And I thought, well, you know, I wonder if I could do that. So I climbed up and nobody stopped me. And that's where I did a lot of the sort of more really close-in stuff of them.
And that was a moment when somebody in the news pool turned on film lights and it just, you know, arced around them. And I got -- I was taking my cues from the light that was available. You know, I didn't have a flashlight -- flash gun, so I had to go where the light was allowing the photograph.
It's pretty amazing. I have read about that concert that he has said he could have played all night long for that audience. You know, the audience was giving them back so much that it just really juiced those guys up.
During that Washington concert, particularly as I've seen the footage from it, they did a lot -- they did a videotape to do a closed circuit broadcast a couple months later. And you know you've never seen two -- four guys who were so on, right? They were just really, really, really energized. And there was mutual between them and the audience.
From what I hear, those of us who were next to the stage were the only people who really heard the music. Everybody that was maybe five or ten rows back was only hearing the screaming. And those who us who were right next to the stage really heard the music.
Just the magnitude of it. You can really feel what was going on in that room. You couldn't necessarily know what it was, but you knew it was really huge. And that obviously gathered momentum as time went on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: And those 50 pictures, including this one, will go on auction next month at Christie's in New York.
And that is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.