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Horror Near the Syrian/Turkish Border; Battle for Libya; China- Vietnam Tensions

Aired June 14, 2011 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

Now, a snapshot inside Syria's refugee camps from a filmmaker who says he has witnessed the wounded taking their final steps to safety on the Turkish border.

By boat and by train, North Koreans are being trafficked into Thailand. Now, freedom and food are their reward for a 3,000 mile journey.

And laptops running Google's new operating system are set to go on sale. And we'll introduce you to Google's Chromebooks.

Now, let's begin with the situation in Syria, where there are reports that government forces now control the northern border city of Jisr-Al-Shugur. Now, the Syrian army says it moved in to restore order over the weekend, but human rights groups and witnesses tell a different story, one of soldiers using intimidation and force to carry out house-to-house searches. The army says it is looking for terrorists who supposedly massacred Syrian troops more than a week ago, but witnesses tell CNN that the troops have been using that as an excuse to destroy everything in their path, including homes, shops and farmers' crops.

Now, CNN cannot independently confirm these reports. We still have not been granted access inside Syria. But based on reports by the U.N.'s refugee agency and the Turkish government, the brutal crackdown in Syria has forced nearly 7,000 people to flee across the border into Turkey.

Our Arwa Damon is following the story from there, where she met one man trying to help the wounded who escaped.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A ride on his bike turned out to be this man's final journey. He was shot in the stomach in the coastal city of Letakta (ph) on his way to buy groceries for family.

The circumstances of his death, unknown, and CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the video. But it is one of several clips that we were shown by a man who gave us only his first name, Mohammed.

"I witnessed this," he recalls. "It was after the president's first speech to parliament about two-and-a-half months ago." A month later, Mohammed took his family and fled from his hometown, starting a long and risky journey that ended here, at the Yaladar (ph) refugee camp, just over the border in Turkey. Now Mohammed sneaks between Turkey and Syria.

"I wanted to help the families that are crossing," he says, "and the wounded. And just to help the people that are on the border, to make a small difference."

At the Syrian side of the border is a small makeshift camp close to an unofficial crossing. Mohammed films people as they take their final steps to safety, capturing moments like this, a woman wailing, "My children! My children! All the people are my children!" imploring God to save them.

He shows us the dismal life inside the camp, people living in crude tents, washing in the small river. Most of these people choose not to cross into Turkey because they were separated from family members in the chaos as they fled. "They feel forced to stay there," Mohammed explained, "so they can keep getting news about Syria." They're afraid that if they cross into Turkey they'll be cut off, not knowing if their loved ones were killed or detained.

There are wounded here, too, after clashes in a nearby town. "This man came last Saturday," Mohammed tells us. "He was wounded in the demonstrations in Jisr-Al-Shugur. The bullet hit his leg." He survived, but many others did not, as the military assault on the area intensified.

"The hardest times for me were at the border," Mohammed admits, "when the wounded arrive and they are bleeding out, and we see them die before the ambulance arrives. They die in our arms."

On both sides of the border Syria's tragedy continues to play out.

Arwa Damon, CNN, on the Turkey/Syria border.


STOUT: Now, we want to remind you how the turmoil began in Syria and some of the big events that have brought us to this point.

The first government crackdown happened in mid-March, when security forces broke up a group of protesters in Damascus. Now, dozens were arrested.

Less than two weeks later, President Bashar al-Assad's government.

And one month later, by late April, violence and anti-government protests had escalated. Now, Syria's army sent troops and tanks to the southern city of Daraa to break up the demonstrations there, and there are reports of at least 20 people killed.

And early last month, amid growing international pressure, President al- Assad sent tanks into the city of Homs. Now, the European Union imposed sanctions on Syria a day later and froze the assets of 13 top officials for their role in the violent crackdowns. But so far, there seems to be no stopping the bloodshed.

Now, despite sanctions from various countries and widespread condemnation, there has not been a unified international effort.

As Richard Roth reports, that has many people wondering why the United Nations Security Council hasn't stepped up to do something.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The social media images of repression in Syria. More than 1,000 reported deaths.

Protesters outside the United Nations plead for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need the U.N. to take a stronger measure, more pressure on this regime.

ROTH: And yet, after weeks of Syrian government-authorized violence, the United Nations Security Council remains silent.

CARNE ROSS, FMR. U.N. DIPLOMAT: The Security Council has failed so far to react on Syria, which I think is extraordinary and disappointing.

ROTH: Four European countries on the Security Council are trying.

GERARD ARAUD, FRENCH AMB. TO U.N.: We do think that the Council has to act. And the resolution that we have presented, it's simply sending a message.

ROTH: However, China and Russia have their own message to their Council colleagues -- forget about it. Publicly, their ambassadors say any U.N. action only risks destabilizing Syria, a key Middle East nation.

JAMIE METZL, ASIA SOCIETY: China and Russia are concerned that if the U.N. Security Council feels empowered to address the major human rights violations occurring around the world, eventually the Security Council will focus on issues within China and within the neighborhood of Russia.

ROTH: Russia and China didn't even attend a weekend resolution strategy session. There could be also a Libya hangover effect. Russia and others quickly signed off on a resolution which led to NATO bombing.

ANTONIO PATRIOTA, BRAZILIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Concerns with the implementation of this resolution I think are also influencing the way delegations look at other measures that may affect other countries in the region, Syria in particularly.

ROTH: Russia and China have power to veto any resolution they don't like. The U.K. and France have to decide if it's worth it to run a veto gauntlet to highlight their concern over what's happening in Syria. Until then, the Security Council, designed to clean up and stop threats to peace and security, is deadlocked.

Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


STOUT: Now, meanwhile, in Libya, fighting continues to rage. In the west of the country, rebels say that they have freed the town of Al Rayana (ph). Now, that is just to the northeast of Zintan, and it comes after a siege lasting nearly two months. And a rebel fighter told CNN that more than 20 residents have been killed, a number of the women have been raped, and the town's electricity and water have been cut.

Now, elsewhere in Africa, the U.S. secretary of state says that African leaders should end their relationship with Moammar Gadhafi.

Now, speaking in Ethiopia, Hillary Clinton told African Union members to act now. And with more, we're joined by our David McKenzie, who is in Tripoli.

And David, Hillary Clinton did not mince words when she addressed African leaders on Monday about Libya. What did she say?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Kristie. Certainly in a diplomatic setting, these were very undiplomatic words, very direct words from the U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, saying basically that African leaders need to cut ties with Moammar Gadhafi, and do it now.

Well, we seem to not have that sound right there, but basically what Hillary Clinton said, Kristie, was that the African leaders need to cut the embassies off that are still supporting Moammar Gadhafi. This will be a tough sell with many African leaders, with the African Union, having a long relationship with Moammar Gadhafi. He was at one point the chairman of the African Union, and certainly he's also financially helped many of those countries.

So, some of those direct statements from the U.S. secretary of state will fall on deaf ears. But certainly the diplomatic pressure is building up on the regime here in Tripoli.

STOUT: David, our apologies there for that technical glitch, but thank you very much for that summary there.

Now, Germany has now recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya. Is it your sense that international recognition is growing for the rebels?

MCKENZIE: Yes, definitely growing. I mean, Germany is the 13th country that has really said that the Transitional National Council based out of Benghazi, in the east of Libya, is essentially the de facto government of Libya.

And the foreign minister was in Benghazi yesterday. He met with rebels. He made this statement.

Effectively, it's interesting that Germany has made these more direct linkages with the rebels given the fact that Germany has taken a very backseat role, often a -- well, definitely a very important member of NATO. They had not been part of these airstrikes or the sorties over Libya. So, Germany making a diplomatic push to try and push the level of support for the rebels mostly out of the eastern part of the country.

But whether Moammar Gadhafi, within Tripoli, listens to any of those diplomatic leaders, he's essentially already cut off from most of the rest of the world, and he remains in power and says he refuses to leave.

STOUT: That's right.

And what is the situation there in Tripoli? Have you seen or heard any airstrikes in recent hours?

MCKENZIE: Well, we've definitely heard NATO planes passing overhead here in the capital. Early this morning I heard an airstrike before dawn. We haven't seen the level of strikes that we saw early last week here in Libya, and we haven't seen them directly or heard them directly in the center of the capital, Tripoli.

You know, the next place to watch potentially could be west of here, on the road towards Tunisia. There's been fighting there, Kristie, in recent days very close to the capital in Libya. That was quelled by government forces. But really, if that side is cut off, you could see Tripoli being completely surrounded by people, at the very least, unfriendly to the Moammar Gadhafi regime, and, at most, trying to lay siege upon Tripoli.

We are not at that point yet. And certainly the African Union and others are pushing for a diplomatic solution. But because of the sort of sticking point being Moammar Gadhafi leaving, they, the African Union, wants him not to be a prerequisite to any talks that could negotiate a cease-fire. But everyone else essentially is saying he must go before any talks happen.

So we're at the stage that there's the standoff diplomatically while the strikes continue on Tripoli.

STOUT: All right.

David McKenzie, joining us live from the Libyan capital.

Thank you very much for that update.

And ahead here on NEWS STREAM, we will update you on the volatile situation in a southern Chinese city.

And a look at the incredible lengths that North Korean refugees are going to, to escape poverty in their homeland.

Plus, the next U.S. presidential election isn't until the end of 2012, but Republican contenders are already fired up and ready for a fight. And we'll show you how they tried to outdo each other for the chance to beat Barack Obama at the ballot box.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, in China, the streets of Zengcheng are quiet for now. That's after days of rioting and brutal clashes between protesters and security forces in the city.

Now, the violence started after the alleged rough treatment of a pregnant street vendor by security guards. That was on Friday, and it sparked several days of unrest as migrant workers protested. Bottles and bricks were hurled at government officials, and cars were damaged, according to local government officials.

Fearing Arab Spring-style movements, there was a firm crackdown from Beijing, and a heavy security presence still remains there. And it's not just internal issues that China is dealing with at the moment.

In recent weeks, it has exchanged increasingly hostile words with its southern neighbor, Vietnam. Now, China has been accused of attempts last month to sever a Vietnamese oil exploration sea cable. And today, Beijing blamed its neighbor for escalating tensions in the South China Sea a day after the Vietnamese navy held a live-fire drill in disputed waters.

Eunice Yoon reports.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China is blaming Vietnam for escalating tensions in the South China Sea. Vietnam held live-fire drills off its central coast on Monday, a show of force in the wake of a worsening row between the two countries.

At a regular press briefing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Hanoi's move.

HONG LEI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): Some countries took unilateral actions to impair China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, released groundless and irresponsible remarks with the attempt to expand and complicate the disputes over the South China Sea.

YOON: Vietnam says that these military exercises were routine.

The two countries have been hurling accusations at each other for the past few weeks for intruding on what they both believe to be their territorial waters. This area is believed to be full of gas and oil deposits, and it's a very important place for shipping lanes.

Maritime disputes like this are not uncommon in the South China Sea. However, this one has been running particularly long. Because of that, Vietnam has said that it welcomes foreign involvement to try to resolve the dispute. However, China blasted that suggestion.

HONG: We hope countries not related to the disputes over the South China Sea will respect the efforts of the countries directly related to the issue of resolving the disputes through direct negotiations.

YOON: A key congressman has called on the Obama administration to send a forceful message to China and push for multilateral negotiations. The U.S. has said in the past that it believes that resolving disputes in the South China Sea is within its national interests.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.



STOUT: Now, do you remember the days when Google was just a search engine? Starting tomorrow, consumers will be able to buy laptops running Google's operating system, Chrome OS. We'll hear if the Chromebrooks are worth it.


STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now, when most of us use a computer these days, we spend a lot of time in a Web browser, whether we're on Facebook or using Hotmail, or even getting the news from, say, The majority of our time online is spent through looking through a browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer. But you can do everything using just a Web browser.

Is that the case? Well, that is what Google is betting that you will do with its new operating system, Chrome OS.

Now, laptops running the new software -- it's called Chromebooks -- will begin shipping on Wednesday. They resemble regular laptops, but they are built around the concept of cloud computing.

Think of that as a digital version of outsourcing. You don't store data on your Chromebook. Instead, it's stored online. And you access it over the Internet, and that means you'll save space on your computer.

If you lose it, your data still lives safely online in the cloud. But that approach has one big drawback.


JOANNA STERN, THISISMYNEXT.COM: To use this thing, you've got to be connected if you want to check your e-mail, if you want to work on a document. You know, it works with all of Google's suite of documents and spreadsheets, et cetera. But obviously that's the main drawback.

If you are not connected, this thing is sort of a brick, right? What can you do with it?


STOUT: Now, reviewers of Chromebooks say that they still have some way to go. And there are complaints that they're slow, and that the Chrome OS is still incomplete.

For instance, printing doesn't quite work yet. And the Chromebooks, they come with just 16 gigabytes of space. That's roughly the same as an iPad Nano that holds 4,000 songs. It's a sign of how heavily Google is betting that you will want to keep your data off your computer and in the cloud.


STERN: When I use my regular laptop, I mean, I'd say 80 percent of what I do on my MacBook, or even on a Windows 7 PC is in the browser. So it sort of strips out everything else, right? And it's supposed to be a very lightweight OS, and there's a lot of appeal in that, right?

I mean, you are basically -- you don't have to install anything, though Google does have its app store. But basically, those are just Web sites. So that's really the appeal.

But for me, the big question was, can I just live in the cloud? And I think Google is seeing into the future, right? They're seeing a day where we don't use any local storage, we're storing everything in the cloud, everything is based on the Internet, the services we use are more powerful. But the question is, is that our reality right now?

I think right now, most of us are used to using a combination of the cloud services and our local apps. And that's really the drawback right now is, for me, I use a combination of both. And just living on the Google Chrome browser isn't really optimal.


STOUT: Now, Chromebooks will begin shipping to consumers on Wednesday.

And to say that today is a day that gamers have been waiting for might be an understatement. Now, "Duke Nukem Forever," in stores in the U.S. on Tuesday, over 14 years after the game was announced. Not familiar with the Duke? Well, let's take a little bit of a history lesson.

Now, it is the sequel to "Duke Nukem 3D," starring a man who looks like a match-up of every '80s action movie hero. Now, "Duke Nukem 3D" was a raunchy, violent, but also popular, and even critically acclaimed, game. So fans celebrated in 1997, when the developer, 3D Realms, announced that they were working on a sequel.

Now, here is one of the earliest trailers for the game. This is from 1998. But then, the game was hit by a series of delays.

This tiny picture is from a 2001 CNN Money story. It represents the few glimpses we saw of "Duke Nukem Forever."

The trailer was eventually released in 2007 to assure fans that the game was still in the works. And eventually, 3D Realms ran out of money and could not complete the game. But then another company came in and picked up the pieces and finally finished it off.

So, is "Duke Nukem Forever" worth the wait? Well, the reviews are in and they're pretty brutal.

I mean, Kotaku says this: "What we've got here is no magnificent resurrection. It's more of a reanimated corpse, a shambling, shivering thing of the past, thought dead but now brought back."

Eurogamer took aim at the Duke himself, saying, "He is a parody of something that no longer exists, the gaming equivalent of an embarrassing uncle who says, 'Whaaaaasup?' and pretends to breakdance at wedding receptions."

And Joystiq summed it up like this, just stealing words from the Duke himself. His catch phrase is "Hail to the King, baby." And Joystiq's take, "Fail to the King, baby."

Now, we have plenty more ahead here on NEWS STREAM, including the debate between U.S. Republican presidential candidates.

And we'll be following the plight of North Korean refugees from poverty in their homeland, next.


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now almost 7,000 people have crossed Syria's border with Turkey to get away from the crackdown by government forces. And human rights groups say the Syrian army now controls the northwestern city of Disha al Sukkur (ph). Now the government says its aim was to stamp out armed terrorist groups there.

Now the European finance ministers are trying to stop Greece's debt crisis from deepening. Now they are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss whether Athens needs a second bailout in just over a year. The credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor's says Greece is likely to defaul on its debts at least once by 2013.

And the race to become the next president of the United States is heating up, even though the election isn't until the end of 2012. Republican hopefuls had their first national televised debate on Monday. Seven took part. Among them, the current frontrunner Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

And a cloud of ash from the volcano in Chile continues to disrupt air travel in Australia. At least three airlines have canceled flights on domestic roots. Some services between Australia and New Zealand also remain grounded.

Now we want to bring you two reports on the plight of North Korean refugees. Now we don't know much about life inside North Korea only that it is so desperate that thousands will risk their lives traveling thousands of kilometers to escape. And for a growing number, Thailand is the gateway to freedom.

Now John Sparks has more on their incredible journey and what lies waiting for them once they reach Thailand.


JOHN SPARKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The river is wide and treacherous. But for an increasing number of North Koreans it must be crossed. Freedom and food await.

The Mekong River, it's the final obstacle at the end of an extraordinary 3,000 mile trek. Once these waters are negotiated, their lives will change dramatically.

67 North Koreans are led in groups to a rusty old bus. They hide their faces, but it's a happy occasion. In a few hours, they'll be locked up in a cell in central Bangkok. And it's a privilege many are risking their lives for.

There's a different sort of photo-op, Kim Jong-il, North Korea's elusive dictator in China a few weeks ago for hugs and handshakes. At home, however, his people are starving to death. The UN says 6 million need urgent assistance.

While the dear leader enjoyed the sights, a U.S. diplomatic team landed in North Korea there to consider pleas for emergency food aid. The EU has a team in the country this week.

Many North Koreans can't wait. They know that South Korea will accept them and support them with a settlement grant, but they have to get there first. People traffickers move them across the border into China, then down towards Laos. They risk their lives. They'll be sent back if they're caught. The final challenge, crossing the Mekong River into Thailand.

One thing they don't have to worry about is how to pay for the trip, a trafficker told us why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The traffickers charge about $5,000 each. But the refugees don't have the cash so they hand over their settlement money when they get to South Korea.

SPARKS: The South Korean money now financing a modern day underground railroad.

Seven years ago, 46 North Koreans crossed the Mekong into Thailand. But last year, 2,500 did.

We asked the Thai police whether they tried to stop them.

LT. COLONEL PONGNAKORN NAKORNSANTIPAP, IMMIGRATION POLICE (through translator): No country can stop this. We don't have the budget.

SPARKS: This is what freedom looks like for many North Korean escapees. It's the Chiang San police station. More than 600 turned up here last year. Upon arrival, they're given a room around the back and then they wait patiently to be arrested.

When we visited, five North Koreans had taken up residents in the old police station. They were free to walk around. We tried to speak to them, but they were too frightened. A Church volunteer told us how they survived in their homeland.

INGYU KIM, VOLUNTEER (through translator): The food shortage is so bad, they couldn't stand it anymore. In winter they ate straw and roots. They have to wash out the dirt and eat them.

SPARKS: They'll stay in this scruffy yet well stocked border town for a few days before being moved to a detention center. But it's all done quietly. Few wish to acknowledge this secretive migration.

NAKORNSANTIPAP (through translator): It's a very sensitive issue. The Thai government wants to be friends with all nations. We don't want to get involved in other country's problems.

SPARKS: It is an unlikely coalition of people traffickers, church groups and governments who have given these people something they never had at home: hope.

John Sparks, Channel 4 News, Chiang San in Northern Thailand.


STOUT: Now many North Korean refugees end up right next to where they started -- South Korea. And as Paula Hancocks explains, many find it hard to adjust to life outside the hermit kingdom.


PAUL HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Belting out a South Korean classic, unimaginable in his native North Korea. This defector is learning to live in a new reality.

We'll call him Lee. And we're hiding his identity, because the 34- year-old still has family in the north and wants to avoid retribution.

Lee has just graduated from a state sponsored course helping him to start a new life in South Korea. The Hanawon Center teaches basic finances, how to open a bank account and how to find a job. The South Korean government gives defectors a one off payment of $5,400 for resettlement, but almost $12,000 for living expenses as well as job training subsidies.

Lee tells the class, "I've learned a lot about the basic rules of Korean society. How to get around on the bus, how to greet people in the morning and so on."

Lee calls the megacity of Seoul heaven. He says North Korea is stuck in the stone age.

He had seen pirated copies of South Korean dramas while still in the north. So new it was affluent and very different.

He says, "everything is difficult. Language, actions and the most difficult part is to understand how to act around others and not offend them."

Lee tried to escape North Korea once before. After he was caught he says he was interrogated and imprisoned. He then felt like he was on a wanted list.

He was refused counseling as he doesn't want to relive his experience.

He tells me, "I can't put it into words, because it was so painful. They put my hands in cuffs, tied me to a chair and beat me."

He wants to say no more about it.

Lee says his wife and three-year-old son defected about a month ago. They passed safely through China and are now being held by authorities in Thailand. This is the usual process for defectors who are questioned before being released to South Korea. All Lee can do is wait.

Almost every defector who comes to South Korea will end up here at the Hanawon Resettlement Center. Over the course of three months, the students are taught the basics of living in an open and a prosperous society, the exact opposite of the society they came from.

Lee says three months was not enough to learn a new life, but it was a start. Everything for the defectors is new. For many, even the concept of religion.

YOUNG MIRYANG, HANAWON RESETTLEMENT CENTER: 25% of refugees are suffering from sort of post traumatic stress disorder. They feel anxiety. They can have phobia against the people.

HANCOCKS: Children find the process far easier with less experience of the repressive regime they have left. They can easily adapt, which gives Lee hope his child can lead a normal life here.

He tells me he finally understands what it's like to live like a human being.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


STOUT: Now in Sudan, after decades of civil war and bloodshed and just days ahead of the country being split in two. A fresh humanitarian crisis could be developing. We'll have that story in a moment.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Sudan has long been a tinderbox of tension and high emotion. And fears are rising that the country could sink into a renewed civil war ahead of an official split between the north and the south on July 9th. A humanitarian crisis is developing on what will be the world's newest border. Now on the frontline, up to the south of the new border is the oil rich region of Abyei. It has been at the center of recent heavy fighting. And civilians are getting caught in the crossfire.

Now with more on that, Jane Ferguson joins us now from CNN Abu Dhabi. And Jane, at the border between north and south Sudan, the situation is very desperate with children at risk. You were there. What did you see?

JANE FERGUSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, like you say, what I saw was desperation. There are children there and the elderly. But mostly what was most compelling was families that have been separated. And compounding that situation we've seen the border closure.

So food, fuel, water not coming through. And that's just made the situation for these refugees much worse.


FERGUSON: Nankeer (ph) has three days before she starts to die. She is eight years old. Her father Joseph is a mechanic in Abyei. The family ran in the night as their home was attacked by north Sudanese forces staking claim to territory on the south side of what was supposed to be the border between the north and south.

Nankeer (ph) has diabetes. And Joseph had just enough time as the attack began to grab a cool box of insulin. Now, the family of seven sleep outside next to a precious box which has just three days medicine left. There's no more to be found in this small village of Turalei 70 kilometers south of the original border.

JOSEPH DENG, ABYEI RESIDENT (through translator): I don't know what to do. There is a god after all. It's up to god. I rely on him. If there's no insulin, it's surely a problem. If there is insulin I'll stay here. But since there isn't, I have to move ahead. I have to find a way, look for the insulin so I can treat my child.

FERGUSON: The nearest town is a six hour drive away, but there's no fuel to get there. North Sudan's government, led by Omar al Bashir, has closed the border starving the south not only of fuel, but food, water and medicine. The village market has no food. The roads are empty. And thousands wash in filthy, stagnant water.

The UN world food program has given food to more than 60,000 people here.

With only weeks to go until South Sudan gains its independence, violence on the border has caused a humanitarian crisis. Factions involved say that that violence could continue.

Waiting under the beating sun, the people here are pawns in a power play, suffering because the south voted for independence from the north.

DENG ALOR KUOL, SOUTH SUDAN'S MINISTER OF REGIONAL COOPERATION: They close the border. President Bashir said he did that because he was trying to teach the south a lesson. I mean, it was -- it was a policy. That was...

FERGUSON: And when did he do that?

KUOL: Some two weeks ago. Some two weeks ago. He said the attack on Abyei was one. The closure of the border was two. And then he still has some other things to do to punish the south, according to him.

FERGUSON: The south independence becomes official on July 9th. Nankeer (ph) and Joseph's home village remains in disputed territory. They and tens of thousands of others from Abyei are now suffering the pains of a new nation.


FERGUSON: And, Kristie, those images were shot by me last week. And unfortunately, what we're hearing from there is that the situation is in fact worsening with more IDPs arriving every day.

STOUT: Now Jane according to reports, Sudan's President Omar al Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir have agreed to withdraw all troops from Abyei. Have you confirmed this? Is this, in fact happening?

FERGUSON: These are confirmed reports right now. What we haven't heard is whether or not there will be a time-line to this. Hillary Clinton has released a press release on this saying that she's pushing for that withdrawal of troops.

STOUT: And also South Sudan will become the world's youngest nation on July the 9th. But how much hope, how much fear is there ahead? Could war and conflict jeopardize its independence?

FERGUSON: Absolutely, Kristie. What we're seeing right now is a complication of the situation. Just as Abyei is beginning to sit down to talks, what we're seeing is further violence in other areas. Unity State (ph), also along the border and South Koridfan (ph), which is actually north of the border. So the violence is spreading. So it seems unlikely that this is going to be resolved within days.

STOUT: All right. Jane Ferguson joining us live from Abu Dhabi. Thank you very much indeed for that update.

Now ahead here on News Stream, Republican hopefuls for the U.S. president, they faced off in their first organized debate on Monday. But did anyone gain any ground? We'll take a look at some of the frontrunners next.


STOUT: Welcome back.

And so it begins, campaign season in the United States. Now we're just over 500 days until the next U.S. presidential election. Seven Republican candidates duked it out in their first organized debate on Monday. And each one, they built a case for the run at the White House. Samantha Hayes has more.


SAMANTHA HAYES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the economy to foreign policy, seven Republicans with their eyes on the White House got a chance to debate the issues. Each candidate came with a different agenda. For some, it was about getting their name out.

HERMAN CAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be a president that does what's right, not what's politically right.

TIM PAWLENTY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The message everywhere around this country, from business leaders large and small, including manufacturing is get the government off my back. As president I will.

HAYES: Each participant tried to differentiate him or herself from the growing field, all taking aim at the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has turned his back on American allies, and he has embraced our enemies.

RON PAUL, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should think about protecting our borders rather than the borders between Iraq and Afghanistan.

NEWT GINGRICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not about what one person in America does, it's about what the American people do.

HAYES: MitT Romney, front runner in the latest CNN Opinion Research Poll, defended his stance on health care, saying he would repeal Obamacare. He is often criticized for the law he signed as Massachusetts as governor that became a model for national health care.

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann used her podium to announce she's filed the paperwork to make her run official.

MICHELLE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN PRESIENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to announce tonight, President Obama is a one term president.

HAYES: While their politics may differ, that's one point these seven Republicans agree on.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any one of the people on this stage would be a better president than President Obama.

HAYES: Another topic of agreement among the seven candidates, the economy and how that issue will be the driving force in the 2012 presidential election.

In Manchester, New Hampshire I'm Samantha Hayes.


STOUT: Now in Washington calls for Congressman Anthony Weiner's resignation are growing louder over his inappropriate online behavior. Even the U.S. President Barack Obama weighed in on Monday with this piece of advice.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ultimately there's going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me I would resign.


STOUT: Now just yesterday Weiner began a two week leave of absence from congress. He said he needs the time to seek professional help.

Now last week Weiner admitted to sending inappropriate photos and messages over several social media sites after first denying it. But despite the pressure from his colleagues to step down, Weiner says he must discuss it with his wife first. And right now, she's traveling with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a diplomatic visit to Africa.

Let's take a look at the sport headlines starting with Ice Hockey where the Stanley Cup finals are going down to the wire. Pedro Pinto joins us now live from London -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, NHL fans can't complain about not having enough excitement or drama in the finals, Kristie. For the sixth time in the last 10 years the title series is going the distance. Game 7 is needed once again to decide whether it's Boston or Vancouver lifting the Stanley Cup.

The Canucks could have won the title on Monday night at the TD Garden, but they could not seal the deal against the Bruins.

It was all Boston early on as Brad Marchand fired the Bruins into an early lead, a lead that was quickly doubled when Rich Peverley dropped the puke to Milan Lucic and he beat Roberto Luongo to make it 2-0.

The Canucks haven't had a good time of it in Boston in the series. And they were reeling by the end of the first period. In fact, Roberto Luongo spent most of the time picking the puck out of his own net.

On the power play he conceded another goal to Andrew Ference. And he was done for the night. He was pulled.

At the other end, Tim Thomas showed how it should be done. Another big night for the Boston goalie who stood tall between the pipes.

Even when Vancouver thought they'd beaten the Boston veteran, they learned they hadn't. Henrik Sedin thought he cut the Canucks deficit to 4- 2 with that effort in the third period, but the play was reviewed and the goal was ruled out. It never crossed the line. It's just another case of proving that it wasn't the Canucks' night.

And Boston signed off in front of their home fans with a comprehensive victory. 5-2 the final score. The series is tied at 3-all. Game 7 is in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Vancouver and their fans will be relieved to be leaving Boston and going home for the deciding game, because they have simply been crushed in Massachusetts so far. The Bruins have won all three games. They're out scoring the Canucks 17 to 3. Goalie Tim Thomas has been stellar at home. He remains the likely candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Canucks have been better in Vancouver, of course, in this series winning all contests there. But every game has been close in Canada.

The newly crowned NBA champions will hold a victory parade on Thursday. The Dallas Mavericks returned home with a trophy that had always eluded them and will now celebrate their achievement with their fans later this week.

Owner Mark Cuban announced that he will be paying for the parade, because the city of Dallas is currently in debt.

The Mavs closed out the NBA finals on Sunday night with a big win in Miami against the Heat. They won the series 4-2 with Dirk Nowitzki being voted most valuable player.

Here in England, Serena Williams is playing her first competitive match in 11 months right now. She's in action at the Aegon International Tournament in Eastborne. The comeback isn't going too well for the America as she lost the first set to Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1. Regardless of how she does today, the former world number 1 is happy to just be able to be on the court after overcoming a major health scare. To be precise, a blood clot in one of her arms.


SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: I'm really honored to have a chance to walk out on the court, because three and a half months ago I'd never though that I would have that chance again. I never even thought about that chance. I just thought if I could just pull through this and survive then wow I would be really excited for that.


PINTO: Serena Williams speaking with CNN. And you'll hear more from her in the next addition of World Sport.

For now, back to you Kristie in Hong Kong.

STOUT: All right Pedro, thank you very much indeed.

And now let's go over and out there. We've all seen photos of things that look like Jesus, right? In fact, there's even a web site. From furniture to food items, people think that he's appeared in and on everything from windows and candles to cheese on toast, burritos, even bruises.

And on Facebook, there is even an I Found an Image of Jesus in Something appreciation society. It may have only 18 members, but there are plenty of photos there.

But we're going to take you out of this world for a sighting of another famous face. And we're not talking about Jesus this time. We are going extraterrestrial to Mars. And can you see anything yet? Here, Google Mars? No? Well, let's keep zooming in. And there we have it. Have you seen it yet? Do you recognize the face? We'll bring it up for you just in case you can't tell. It's Mahatma Gandhi but of course.

And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.