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Peace Talks With Taliban; Crisis in Syria; Nigerians Protest Government's Decision on Fuel Subsidies; Arab League Warns of Civil War in Syria; Turkish Film Makers Fight Homophobia With New Movie

Aired January 13, 2012 - 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.

And some of the U.S. Marines videotaped urinating on bodies in Afghanistan have been identified. Will this video affect the possibility of talks with the Taliban?

Nigerian protesters may suspend their fuel strikes for the weekend.

And fighting for phones. Clashes break out at an Apple store in China on the day the new iPhone is released in the country.

And we start in Afghanistan, where there is a lot of attention right now on potential peace talks between the United States and the Taliban. Now, a U.S. diplomat is headed to the region next week to work out details, but now there's an unwanted distraction.

This video made public, it shows four U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan. A Marine Corps official says the two men in the video have been identified, but their names will be withheld while an investigation is ongoing.

The Afghan government has described the act as inhumane, and Washington is hoping the scandal won't affect its progress with the Taliban or its diplomatic visit to Kabul next week.

Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from the Afghan capital.

And Nick, both Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta, they were quick to condemn this video, but is that enough for any progress in U.S.-Taliban talks.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the end of the day, it's really hard to see just yet how this is going to play into these extremely nascent peace talks. Bear in mind, the insurgency here is not some kind of joined up corporate structure that only (INAUDIBLE) what cause of action they're going to take after seeing a video like this.

The Taliban initially came out and said it wouldn't really affect peace talks, but then haven't made any statement to that effect since then. In fact, conspicuously leaving that out of their future statements. So we're not really sure how it's going to play in, we're not really sure what scope of public reaction there's going to be here.

Remember, many Afghans don't have TV or access to the Internet. So they many not necessarily know about this video just yet. So it's going to be in the days and weeks ahead that this issue comes to surface, but certainly it could not come at a worse time, when America is trying to build confidence in its policy here.

We have Marc Grossman, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, turning up in the forthcoming days or weeks to try and sell this preliminary stage of peace talks to the Afghan government here. Now, remember, we understand from a senior Afghan official that they haven't really been involved in this bilateral communications between a representative of the Taliban and the Americans so far. And part of what Marc Grossman is going to do when he arrives here is try and get the Afghans on board.

One senior Afghan official saying, look, we have what he said was the last cards in this. They can't really achieve any sort of peace here without the Afghan government being entirely on board. They're not so far. There are concerns they may be irritated by being shut out of the process until this point, but certainly this preliminary talk about talks, about what kind of peace process could follow, is in its early stages, and now the Americans need to get the Afghan government on board -- Kristie.

STOUT: And prior to this video being released on YouTube, there was optimism of talks resuming. What brought about this window of opportunity? Did, for example, the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the Arab Spring play a role in convincing the Taliban to go to the negotiating table and talk to the U.S. again?

WALSH: My understanding, really, it's not 100 percent clear what the motivation has been from the Taliban coming forward. Nobody is sure if they speak in a unified voice or whether they're a variety of fraction motivations that meant that they released this announcement last week citing they would open an office in Qatar through which they'd get (INAUDIBLE) dialogue with the U.S. or Afghan officials.

That announcement came as a surprise to many, taking I think many officials on the back foot, to a certain extent. Talks have been going on for years that they've been thwarted by leaks about those talks, by potential imposters turning up and pretending to represent the Taliban.

The man I understand that's now representing the Taliban is called Tal al- Agar (ph). Now, he is supposed to be an aide to Mullah Omar, and I do understand from one observer very close to talks that he has done a number of measures that, to a degree, give a medium amount of confidence that he is connected to higher levels of the insurgency. But really, whether or not these talks can deliver that very complicated negotiation, the confidence-boosting measures that have to even precede concrete talks, is an open question -- Kristie.

STOUT: Nick Paton Walsh, joining us live from Kabul.

Thank you.

Now, Myanmar has released hundreds of people from jail. It is the country's second prisoner amnesty in four months, and this time a number of dissidents were freed.

A former pro-democracy prime minister was released from house arrest. And prominent leaders of the ethnic Shan minority were also freed, as were student leaders of the 1988 protests. And celebrations could be seen outside the gates of Yangon's notorious Insein prison.

A total of 651 detainees were granted amnesty. Nearly half are political prisoners.

Now, Myanmar's civilian leadership has implemented many reforms since taking over in March, and this prisoner release comes one day after the government announced a cease-fire with Karen rebels. The ethnic group has been fighting for greater autonomy for decades, and Karen leaders say it is still too early to tell if peace will hold.

Also on Thursday, Aung San Suu Kyi's political party said it would participate in upcoming elections. The National League for Democracy plans to put forward 23 candidates, including Suu Kyi herself. And here you see Suu Kyi with U.S. diplomats.

And they are just the latest in a stream of high-profile Western visitors. The British foreign secretary, William Hague, met with Suu Kyi last week. And in December, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Myanmar. And they were the first such representatives from their countries to visit in 50 years.

Now, more large anti-government demonstrations are planned today across Syria as protesters appear to be getting more organized. One of the country's main opposition groups says it is now joining forces with army defectors. The Syrian National Council says it is opening a liaison office with the Free Syria Army.

The United Nations says at least 5,000 people have died since mid-March. That's when Syria's anti-government protests began.

And the body of French journalist Gilles Jacquier has arrived in Paris. Jacquier and eight Syrians were killed this week at a pro-government rally in the city of Homs, and the circumstances surrounding their deaths are not clear. The French foreign minister is calling on Syrian authorities to provide more information.

Nic Robertson was on this same government-organized tour of Homs, and he later filed this report on what he was shown there.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gun- toting soldiers in civilian trucks, checkpoints at the edge of Syria's third city. There's a sense of siege. We're on a government-organized trip to Homs.

(on camera): The government has brought us here to what we're told is a military hospital. There's a tiny handful of journalists that have been brought along on this trip, and we're told we're going to see injured soldiers here.

(voice-over): Inside, men with injuries they say are gunshot wounds. He tells me he was on a mission in Homs several weeks ago, was ambushed and shot. He calls the men who did it terrorists, but admits they're good fighters.

This man shows me a bullet he says was removed from his chest. Shot 36 hours earlier, he winces in pain.

A small bullet the same as an American M-16 uses, he says. It convinces him the opposition are being armed from outside the country.

I see at least 10 casualties. Everyone I interview not only denies they shoot civilians, but blame the opposition for the spiraling death toll.

(on camera): What we've been told here in the hospital is that, over the last few weeks, there's been a small increase in the number of casualties, and the director of the hospital ventured that could be because whenever the monitors come here, there are fewer soldiers on the streets. And that emboldens the opposition forces, he said.

(voice-over): As we drive into Homs, impossible for us to know the impact the Arab League monitors are having. In some neighborhoods, life seems near normal. Stores, open. Others almost empty, deserted. And in many parts, plenty more checkpoints and soldiers.

It's what the government wants us to see. We stop in an area loyal to the president.

"I live just over there," he says. "The opposition aren't far away. We don't feel safe." He shows me a bullet he says came through his window.

We take a huge detour around Baba Amr, an opposition stronghold, to get just a short distance across town. When the bus stops at our request, we find this.

(on camera): We're told that these soldiers have just been injured. They've just been loaded in here to be taken away from medical treatment at the army hospital.

(voice-over): Impossible for us to know if these soldiers are winning or losing ground. They are certainly taking casualties.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Homs, Syria.


STOUT: Now, the tensions in Syria can make it difficult for correspondents like Nic Robertson to report live, but he's been giving us a glimpse of what he's witnessing in Hama through his Twitter feed. And traveling with Arab League monitors in the last couple of hours, he tweeted this: "Roads mostly deserted. Saw one tank on hill overlooking village, army checkpoints on roadsides."

And also, visiting the center of Hama, he describes a lot of riot police, water cannons on streets, soldiers with batons and riot shields near ancient water wheels. He goes on to say that "The streets are empty, the shops are shut."

And Nic also tweets that "Hama feels like a city under curfew, but we're told it's not."

You can follow Nic on Twitter. He's at @NicRobertsonCNN.

Nigerians protesting their government's decision to do away with fuel subsidies may get a rest this weekend. And one of the country's labor leaders says that unions will stop their strikes for two days on Saturday and Sunday. Now, the protests began after gas prices more than doubled.

And thousands of Nigerians have been out on the streets all across the country for five straight days. And you're looking at images taken by one of our iReporters in northern Kano State on the first day of protests there.

And in Lagos, the country's commercial capital, some protests have at times become violent. People have been turning to social media to plan rallies and to take video like this one you're looking at right now, but also to warn demonstrators of dangers at particular protest sites.

Let's get the very latest now from CNN producer Vladimir Duthiers. And he joins me now from Lagos, from one of the protest sites there.

And Vladimir, what are you seeing?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN PRODUCER: Kristie, as you said, we're in the fifth day of protests here in Lagos, Nigeria, and all across the country shops are closed, banks are closed, businesses have completely shut down in the main business centers. There is no activity.

The activity is here in places like this, where ordinary Nigerians have gathered to protest what they feel is an injustice to them. The price of fuel has more than doubled over the last couple of weeks. Many of them in the crowd today told us that it's gone beyond the fuel subsidies, that what they're concerned about is corruption and accountability and transparency within the government.

The government, for their part, says that the removal of the fuel subsidies is a necessary thing to rebuild the Nigerian economy, to build new roads, to provide for education, to provide for maternal mortality, which has been rising in Nigeria. But they also say that they are talking to the labor unions, and the labor unions have said that they are also engaged with the government to see if they can come about -- if they can find a solution to this.

One of the labor unions, the one that represents the oil industry, has threatened to shut down oil production on Sunday if the president does not revert back to the 65 naira, 40 cents a liter price for gas. The government has said that they are talking to them.

Right now we're also being told -- top labor officials tell us that they are suspending the protests for two days, Saturday and Sunday, because people here have started to run out of food, they've started to run out of water, and so they want people to restock those items and come back here on Monday. As for the threat to shut down oil production on Sunday, we're told that that is still in effect -- Kristie.

STOUT: And what's at stake here, Vladimir? If this fuel subsidy does not return, what does it mean for the scores of people behind you? What does it mean for the people of Nigeria?

DUTHIERS: Well, Kristie, as you can imagine, most Nigerians live on less than $2 a day. We keep repeating that. I say that every hour, but I think it's very -- people need to understand that if you live on $2 a day, and you have to pay 86 cents a liter for gasoline, and you drive a taxi, or you need to get to work, or you need to pay your employees, and you can't get them from one place to another, it's a significant impact on almost everybody in Nigerian society.

So, if that continues, if oil production, as threatened, does curtail, that could have a significant impact on global economies, on the United States, which imports nine percent of its oil from Nigeria. Many people are not aware that although Nigeria is sitting on immense quantities of oil, they do not refine that oil into gasoline here. They actually import the gasoline from other countries.

So, many Nigerians here feel that because they are living on $2 a day, they make a meager income, one of the benefits from being a citizen of Nigeria was the fact that they were able to buy gasoline for 40 cents a liter. That's gone away and that's why they've taken to the streets -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Vladimir, you've been on this story for almost a week now, and you've talked to and met the participants of these strikes. Who are they? Are they students? Are they laborers, labor union members?

Tell us about them.

DUTHIERS: We've seen Nigerians from across the social spectrum here protesting. We've met people that are just struggling to get by on one meal a day and we've met people -- yesterday, we met a small business owner that owns a fast food restaurant chain -- the director of a fast food restaurant chain in Nigeria. And everybody is -- from what we can tell, there is real solidarity here.

There is, as you mentioned, a vast movement on social media. The hashtag "Occupy Nigeria" has popped up all over the place, as you're well aware. Over 500 iReports have been submitted to CNN. So you can say that we've seen people from just across the spectrum here protesting -- students, laborers, middle class.

Everybody is here. And what they're telling us is they're in solidarity with this movement. The labor unions are also saying that, obviously, they're with the people. And so we can say that from where we've been broadcasting, and from the people that we've spoken to, seems to have taken all Nigerians. This is something that they're all participating in -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Vladimir Duthiers, joining us live from Lagos.

Thank you very much for your reporting all this week for us.

And coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, angry customers as things take a sour turn on the day Apple planned to release its iPhone 4S in China.

And in the United States, a face that is often misunderstood. But with two Republican presidential hopefuls who are Mormons, things could be changing.

That and more when we come back.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, the release of Apple's 4S in Beijing turned ugly Friday morning. This was the angry scene when Apple's flagship store in the Chinese capital failed to open as promised. One frustrated member of the crowd hurled eggs at the store's glass walls.

After the scuffle came the bad news that the iPhone 4S would not be available at that store on its first day of sale in China. Apple said it was halting sales in Beijing and Shanghai to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

And one of CNN's reporters was caught up in the scuffle outside the Apple store. Our senior international correspondent Stan Grant joins me now.

And Stan, you were there, so describe the mayhem at the store in Beijing.

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, I think those pictures really give you an indication of just how heated this became.

You know, we arrived there in the early hours of the morning, certainly before dawn. People had been sleeping overnight in subzero temperatures, absolutely freezing, just to get their hands on an iPhone 4S.

Now, all was going well until about 7:00 a.m., when the store was meant to open. As the time ticked past, the mood certainly turned very, very sour, as you saw.

Then there was an announcement that they simply would not be opening the store, they would not be selling the iPhone 4S that day. That's when people started chanting, that's when the eggs were pelted at the building. I think you saw there a couple of security from Apple came out to try to move people back and they were physically attacked.

Some men chased them down an alleyway. Punches were thrown. The police had to intervene.

A very large contingent of police arrived a bit later to cordon off the entire area. They had to physically restrain a lot of the customers, drag them out of there in some cases, one by one, just to move them away from the area.

And as you've pointed out there, too, Kristie, then Apple has taken the decision to suspend the sale of iPhone 4S from the stores. Now, we understand people can buy it online, but for reasons of security, as well as, they say, stock -- because stock was sold out in some other stores that were selling the iPhone 4S today -- for those reasons they've suspended those sales.

But these scenes certainly very ugly, giving you an indication not just of how much people want to get their hands on these gadgets, but just how much anger, too, is bubbling beneath the surface here in China across a whole range of issues. When you see things like this, it's an opportunity for people to vent, and that's a bit of what we saw today -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Stan, can you tell us about this phenomenon of scalpers in store lines in China? I mean, just how many people standing in line were paid to buy phones for others? And did they contribute to the chaos?

GRANT: Yes. Impossible to know the breakdown, but certainly it's a common phenomenon. People either pay others to stand in line to buy something for them -- and look, if you can afford to shell out the best part of $1,000 for an iPhone, you can afford to spend a couple of bucks to get someone to stand overnight for you and buy the phone.

There are also the scalpers. It's been common in the past for scalpers to move in, buy up as many of these devices as possible, and then sell them for a profit on the black market. But a lot of people that I spoke to today were genuinely there themselves to get their hands on an iPhone 4S.

You know, Kristie, these are the most popular stores in the world. Not just in Beijing and Shanghai, but in Beijing and Shanghais, the Apple stores generate more income, more profit than any other store in the world. And when you walk into those stores they are crowded day and night.

So, people have a genuine interest in getting the phone itself. So, hard to know the numbers, but most people we spoke to were there genuinely today to try to buy the phone -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Stan Grant, joining us live from Beijing.

Thank you.

Oprah Winfrey has jetted back to South Africa, and she's calling herself one proud mama. We'll tell you why when we come back.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, we turn our attention now to Mexico, where this city, Ciudad Juarez, for years has been known as the murder capital of the country. In 2011 alone, there were almost 2,000 killings due to the ongoing violence of Mexico's drug war.

Now, streets have been deserted and businesses shut, but now there seems to be some glimmer of hope.

Rafael Romo reports.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Music, lights and plenty of dancing. At this nightclub in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the lights are back on for the first time in years. It's one of the first businesses to reopen in this city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

MARIO FIERRO, NIGHTCLUB OWNER (through translator): Fortunately, since violence has decreased a little bit, people are feeling more confident. Many who fled to El Paso or other cities are coming back, and we're betting on the confidence that we have in our city.

ROMO: For years, Juarez has been Mexico's murder capital. Last year, there were still more than 1,900 violent deaths in this border city of 1.2 million, but that number represents a 40 percent decline from 2010.

The National Chamber of Commerce says between 30 and 40 percent of businesses shut their doors during the violence, but that's beginning to change.

GUILLERMO SORIA, NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (through translator): It used to be that you would stop at a traffic light and you were the only one driving at 11:00 p.m. or midnight, and it was very sad. Seeing people waiting in line at restaurants and stores makes me very happy, and that's exactly what's happening.

ROMO: So what's happened to bring about this change? The federal government sent in thousands of troops and federal police. There's also a new mayor and a new chief of police.

JULIAN LEYZAOLA, JUAREZ POLICE OFFICER (through translator): The city was in a state of abandonment which generated anarchy. There was no authority, no police on the streets.

ROMO: Julian Leyzaola is a former military officer. Under his watch, the powerful boss of the street gang known as La Linea was caught. La Linea terrorized the city and is believed to be behind the murder of American consular employee Leslie Enriquez (ph) in March of 2010.

But the crackdown has not been without controversy. Leyzaola and his police officers have been accused of human rights violations, including the beating of prisoners. But he dismisses the allegations as an attempt to derail his crime-fighting efforts.

What matters to the locals is that streets that used to be empty now have plenty of traffic. Street vendors like Jose Hernandez are no longer afraid to come out at night.

JOSE HERNANDEZ, FLOWER VENDOR (through translator): We used to live with a lot of anguish, fearful of getting caught in the middle of the street violence and shootouts.

ROMO (on camera): Some fighting among drug cartels that used to happen in Juarez seems to have moved elsewhere in Mexico. States like Veracruz and Guerrero, which used to be relatively safe, are now teeming with violence. According to the latest statistics from the government, more than 47,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug wars in the last five years, 13,000 in the first three-quarters of 2011 alone.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


STOUT: You are watching NEWS STREAM.

And ahead, we take a look at the faith factor in U.S. politics with not one, but two Republican presidential hopefuls who are Mormons.

And has the world evolved into a place where your refrigerator can chill your food and play your favorite iTunes mix? We'll look for an answer at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.


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

Now a senior U.S. official say envoy Mark Grossman is going to Kabul next week to work on details of possible peace talks with the Taliban. That is despite outrage in Afghanistan over a video showing U.S. Marines desecrating Afghan bodies. Now the envoy has been meeting secretly with the Taliban for more than a year.

The head of the Arab League is warning of possible civil war in Syria. Now league observers seen here in a suburb of Damascus remain in the country and they might have a busy Friday. A Syrian opposition says it has begun coordinating actions with the Rebel Free Syria army.

The U.S. denies it had any part in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Now Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's death came amid rising tensions with Iran threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz. Now U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave this warning to Iran.


LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We can not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line.

Number two, we cannot tolerate Iran blocking the Straits of Hormuz. And that's a red line.


STOUT: Now the Thai government says it has arrested a terror suspect from Lebanon believed to be a member of Hezbollah. Now earlier the U.S. had warned American citizens of the possibility of an attack in busy tourist areas of Bangkok. And Thai officials say the situation is under control.

And to the U.S. where the county of Spartanburg in South Carolina is preparing to welcome the Republican presidential campaign. Now a local high school host a candidate forum on Friday night with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum among those attending. And it comes ahead of the state's primary set for next week.

And South Carolina has a large population of evangelical Christians. And for two of the candidates, their faith has become a talking point. Now Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman are both Mormons. And Mary Snow has more on a religion that is sometimes misunderstood in America.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, two Republican presidential hopeful who are Mormon, there's increased attention on a religion seen by many on the outside as mysterious. Outside of politics, the faith has also been thrust into the spotlight with the Broadway musical satire The Book of Mormon and TV shows such as Big Love about a polygamous family.

Polygamy was official banned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1890, but if the findings of a new poll are correct Mormons see themselves on the cusp of a significant moment in the United States, but it comes with a mixed picture.

GREGORY SMITH, PEW RESEARCH CENTER: They feel discriminated against, but they feel like they're not necessarily accepted as part of mainstream society. At the same time, Mormons also tell us that they think acceptance of Mormonism may be on the rise and they tell us they do think that the public may be ready to elect a Mormon president.

SNOW: Gregory Smith is a senior researcher with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life which surveyed 1,000 Mormons. Almost all of those questioned identify their religion as Christians, but it is a source of tension. 50 percent say evangelicals are unfriendly toward them. Separately, Pew found nearly half of White evangelicals don't view Mormonism as a Christian religion.

And in Iowa, Mitt Romney didn't have evangelical support. 57 percent of caucus goers were evangelical or born again Christians, but only 14 percent of them supported Romney.

It's a stark contrast to the 86 percent support he has among Mormons. Only half have a favorable view of Jon Huntsman.

David Buckner, a Mormon church leader in New York doesn't mind the questions.

DAVID BUCKNER, MORMON CHURCH LEADER: Presidential candidates generally draw a lot more scrutiny, a lot more questioning. I know when John Kennedy ran when -- even when Richard Nixon as a Quaker. Those are big questions. Those are questions that I do believe are elevating an inquiring audience. What does this mean? Who are these folks?

SNOW: Why the mystery?

BUCKNER: I don't think that we're very good as an open people inviting in.

SNOW: All told, Mormons make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. Researchers found they're very similar to evangelicals in two ways: religious commitment and political leanings. The survey found that two-thirds of Mormons describe themselves as politically conservative.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


STOUT: And CNN is following all the twists and turns of the Republican primaries. Join us next week for the CNN/South Republican presidential debate. We'll have live coverage from Charleston, South Carolina. That's early Friday at 9:00 in the morning here in Hong Kong.

And then join us on January 21 when voters in South Carolina go to the polls. That's all part of our America's Choice 2012 coverage right here on CNN.

Now two Turkish film makers are trying to fight homophobia. A new movie is about a friend killed by his own father for his sexual orientation. Ivan Watson shares their story.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Turkish zenne means male belly dancer. It's also the title of a few film that explores sexual identity and highlights a deadly case of homophobia in modern-day Turkey.

MEHMET BINAY, PRODUCER/CO-DIRECTOR ZENNE: Well, the starting point was that a dear friend of ours was murdered in 2008 for being gay by his own father.

WATSON: Mehmet Binay and his partner of the last 14 years Caner Alper wrote and directed Zenne which releases in Turkish theaters this week.

The main character is their friend Ahmet Yildiz who was shot dead in Istanbul. Alper says Yildiz's family wanted to cure him of his homosexuality.

CANER ALPER, WRITER/CO-DIRECTOR ZENNE: And when he refused to go back to his -- to live with his parents and to get cured his father decided to kill him.

WATSON: Did he have any idea that his life was in danger?

ALPER: Oh, he always knew it.

WATSON: It was thought to be Turkey's first gay honor killing. And the chief murder suspect, Yildiz's father is still at-large and warranted by Turkish police.

BINAY: Death and murder is still on the agenda of our country. We still couldn't get rid of this mentality.

WATSON: Zenne also depicts how gay Turkish men are treated by the Turkish military. All Turkish men must perform military surface, but gay men can be exempt if they prove their homosexuality.

ALPER: They would definitely take me into the military. I have to dress up like a drag queen and then provide pictures to the jury...

WATSON: Pornographic pictures basically.

BINAY: Yourself in the act of sex.

ALPER: ...of sex in a passive platform (ph).

WATSON: The Turkish military denies it has such a policy, but classifies homosexuality as a, quote, "psycho sexual deviance." That's not stopped members of Turkey's gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender community from demanding equal rights under the Turkish constitution which is currently being rewritten.

BINAY: They want recognition. They want protection by the state. They want to be able to live, first of all, and not be murdered.

WATSON: The directors hope this film pushes Turkish society into a debate about sexuality and ensures no one like Ahmet Yildiz is ever hurt again.



STOUT: Welcome back.

Now it's faced some controversy in the past, but the school founded by Oprah Winfrey in South Africa is graduating its first class. Now 72 girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy will take part in tomorrow's graduation ceremony. And Oprah is in South Africa for the big event. She says the school has helped the girls to raise their aspirations.


OPRAH WINFREY, TV PERSONALITY: In the beginning I think we had teachers who were like, oh, the girls. They come here disadvantaged. So we've eliminated that word disadvantaged, because disadvantaged allows other people to look at you like you have some kind of disease and they lower their expectations for what you can be. I said nobody has a disadvantaged brain. Nobody is here with a disadvantaged mind. Nobody has a disadvantaged spirit.


STOUT: Now all the students graduating tomorrow have been accepted at university. On her Facebook page, Oprah calls herself, quote, "one proud momma."

Now, over the last month India's cricketers, they have suffered a miserable tour of Australia. And things haven't got any better in the latest match. Now Alex Thomas is in London with the details on that and the day's other top sports stories -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie, let me reveal the latest score just in a moment, but first just remind us all that a month ago India's cricketers flew into Australia with high hopes of winning a test series there for the first time. Those hopes quickly dashed. And now they're 2-nil down with two matches to go.

And on the eve of the third test in Perth, India's captain M.S. Dhoni had to defend his team from accusations they were divided.


MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI, INDIA CRICKET CAPTAIN: I've never seen the Indian team fighting. So it's something that I think is happening maybe after a few beers, you know, the (inaudible) position. They're just sitting and dreaming of it because it has not really happened. And you know that's one thing we are really proud of, you know, when we speak about the dressing room and how we love each other's success, you know, so that has been the real strength of the Indian cricket team. And I don't see it moving in any direction. You know, just try to strengthen it further.


THOMAS: That was a relaxed Dhoni yesterday, laughing off suggestions that India's players were fighting with each other.

But something is going wrong, because they've taken another hammering. On the opening day of the third test at the whacker.

India losing the coin toss. Asked to bat first. And yet again, their vaunted batting lineup failed. They were dismissed for just 161 in Perth. No one even reaching a half century. Virat Kohli top scoring with 44.

In reply, Australia showed the pitch was a good one. They raced to 149 without loss by stumps. David Warner getting hit in the head, but still managing to complete a 69 bowled century. The joint four fastest in test cricket history.

As far as India's cricket fans are concerned. Well, their team wouldn't even be good enough to give away in the post-Christmas sales.

Now after weeks of complaints, British boxer Amir Khan has finally been granted a rematch against American fight Lamont Peterson. Khan lost his WBA and IBF world titles before Christmas after a controversial split decision in Washington. The Brit had been docked a couple of points by the referee. And a so-called mystery man was seen speaking to one of the judges and handling the score cards during the bout.

Only the WBA has ordered a rematch so far. The IBF will decide next week.

Now some tennis news for you. And the draw has come out for the Australian Open. And there have been some interesting one. I can tell you that as far as the men singles are concerned. Well, Andy Murray has been drawn against Novak Djokavic, the men's top seed, the defending champion and world numer one in the same half. And it's Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in the other half.

As for the women's singles, well top see Carolina Wozniacki has defending champion Kim Clijsters in her half of the draw, while Serena Williams is in the other section with Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.

Third seeded, Victoria Azarenka will start the tournament at Melbourne Park full of confidence after winning this week's warm-up event the Sydney International. She beat China's Li Na in the final, although it was a real battle. The final score was 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. It was the 22-year-old's 9th career title.

Now there have been also withdrawals out of the Australian Open because of injuries left, right, and center, although it could have been worse for the organizers. Take Nadal, for example. He's not got a great record at this event, but he was one of several super stars who, well, in the end they decided to play through some niggling injuries rather than pull out altogether.

Rafa Nadal saying on the eve of the tournament that he's got a sore left shoulder. We know already he's going to take a break from the game after the Australian Open, but Nadal saying it won't hamper his chances.

He's only won the Australian Open, you know, that was back in 2009 when he beat Roger Federer. Not a great record recently, though. He's lost in the quarterfinals two years running and three out of the last five years.

We'll bring you all the action from Melbourne Park in the next couple of weeks. And more sport later today. That's all for now, though, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Thank you, Alex, take care.

Now when you think of the Consumer Electronic Show you might think of smartphones, computer, even cars, but just ahead we'll show you how that kind of technology is being transferred to everyday kitchen appliances.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Russia's failed Mars probe, the Phobos-Grant is falling to Earth. It was supposed to explore one of Mars' two moons, but when it's rocket boosters didn't ignite, it got stuck in the earth's orbit. Now scientists from Russia and the U.S. say the defunct spacecraft is due to re-enter the atmosphere on Sunday likely in the morning hours GMT.

Now they can't predict precisely where it will hit the earth, but the Russian Space Agency now believes the Phobos-Grant will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean. And according to state media, Roscosmos had previously forecast it would plunge into the Indian Ocean. And the agency says 20 to 30 pieces of debris weighing some 200 kilos would hit Earth.

And according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the scatter zone, it stretches from a latitude of 51.4 degrees north to a latitude of 51.4 degrees south. So basically that includes virtually every major world city except for London, Moscow, and most of Canada. But don't worry, scientists say that the most likely scenario it will splash down in the ocean. So fingers crossed for that.

Now meanwhile, there is a new volcanic island in the Red Sea. Mari Ramos has been watching that formation. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. As you were saying, a little new piece of land out there, right for this satellite to have could fall on? You know, we never know.

But the cool thing about this island is that it's visible in satellite and it's been going on for awhile.

Let me show you what we're talking about over here. So here's Africa. Here's the Arabian peninsula. This line right here in the middle is the risk zone. We just went ahead and drew that in so you would see this is the African plate and this is the Arabian plate. This is where they meet. So there's a bit of a weakness, of course, right there in the middle and volcanoes form.

Because the Red Sea is so shallows, let's go ahead and move in, I want to show you what the before actually looks like. These are the islands right over here in the middle. And these are all volcanic islands. They're uninhabited. And you can see, you know, the rough terrain. A little farther to the north, right in between these two islands right over here. Tad da, there it is.

Back in December, fishermen started noticing smoke spewing out of the ocean. And then they realized that, hey, this is another volcanic eruption. The eruptions became more and more violent. And in the latest imagery you can see not only that plume of smoke right over here, and this is an image from NASA by the way, but also you can see the land actually coming out of the water already.

Now scientists say that this is actually a little bit different than other islands when they form in the middle of the ocean, because now that it's out of the water they say that this land will probably stick around and stay for a long time. So that's actually a little cool.

I want to go ahead and show you a different picture, the latest image that actually came out. You can actually see the land already formed all the way around. Meanwhile, the eruption continues. I think it's pretty cool.

Let's go ahead and move on and talk a little bit about some other weather. Let's talk about what's happening in south Asia. Again, another cold spell coming through.

This is a picture from northern India. And you can see this very well dressed gentleman here. Nice shoes. But walking in some very thick snowfall, very difficult conditions for people, because this is some of the heavier snowfalls they've seen in awhile. And guess what, more snow to come for Afghanistan, for Pakistan, for India even as we head up here to Tajikistan, some of these snowfall totals are going to be pretty impressive.

And snow is going to be one of the problems that we're going to have. Heavy snow to the north here of India, but there's also warnings across central parts of India because of cold temperatures. Now, when talk about cold temperatures we're talking about overnight lows, early morning lows probably hovering around the freezing point and that's very significant. Even right now conditions are pretty chilly. New Delhi you're only at 6. Jaipur at 6. Look at Islamabad at 3. You may yet see another dusting of snow close to the mountains like you did last week as we head through the overnight tonight. And freezing. Minus 5 right now in Beijing. The cold air continues here as well.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast.

Look at this, not good. These are images from Illinois, in the U.S. state of Illinois where winter has finally arrived. You know, Kristie, at this time last year we were talking about 49 of the 50 U.S. states, only Florida didn't have some sort of snow on the ground. This year it was actually only about 12 percent of the country that had snow. That has changed starting today. We have seen that percentage come up significantly already. There are huge travel delays.

Let's go ahead and role the next piece of video. This is actually from Tennessee, so even way down south there is some snow. Here in Atlanta, by the way, I just talked to my daughter on the phone because I'm indoors so I can't see what's happening there, but I just talked to my daughter on the phone and she says there's still snow flurries coming down. She says it's really cold out there. And it is.

We're looking at temperatures that are well below freezing. And the big travel delays are already starting.

Come back over to the weather map over here. Right in here. This is where the snow is continuing to come down. You can see it moving all the way up into the north and east. There may be a few flurries. I think she's exaggerating to be quite honest.

But anyway, it's minus 4 here, minus 8 in Chicago. Bundle up if you're coming to the U.S.

Back to you.

STOUT: Yeah. And a big shoutout for your daughter again. What, she's in grad school and she's our eyes and ears on the ground. That's great to hear.

Mari, thank you. Take care.

Now all week we've been showing you what are set to become some of the biggest gadgets of the year from the Consumer Electronic Show. Now Nintendo is set to release the next version of the Wii video game console later this year. And the president of Nintendo of America spoke to CNN Money about the many different ways players can interact with the system.


REGGIE FILS-AIME, PRESIDENT, NINTENDO OF AMERICA: The biggest differences are, first, the system, the console is fully HD capable. So the best looking games are now going to be on the Nintendo platform.

The other big innovation is the Wii U controller. The Wii U controller gives a unique view, because the screen is touchscreen, it can show information that's different than what you're seeing on the big screen. And in addition up to all of the other peripherals for the Wii system can be used. So the Wii remote. We played an experience that has four players with Wii remotes in addition to someone utilizing the Wii U controller. We've shown experiences utilizing the balance board from Wii Fit Plus that can also be integrated. We've shown experiences that leverage the nunchuks that come with the Wii system.

So right now we've shown up to a five player experience. But certainly it's all dependent on what developers want to do and how they want to bring their game experiences to life.


STOUT: Now this week at CES we've told you about the new technology set to make your TV picture sharper and help you stay connected in your car and even everyday home appliances are becoming more high tech. As Mario Armstrong reports, if you're refrigerator doesn't already chill your food and play your favorite tunes at the same time very soon it will.


MARIO ARMSTRONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So technology is supposed to make our lives better, right? Well, one of the ways it's doing that is in our home. We're talking about connected homes, homes that are smarter. The appliances in the homes, they're basically computers now.

PAUL REYNOLDS, CONSUMER REPORTS: One of the things that's happened here, because electronics is so important to appliances is that the so- called appliances shows have dwindled a little bit and more of it has come here to CES because electronics is so integral to innovation in appliances just like it is in phones and computer and cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's one (inaudible) Craftsman and Liftmaster are showing phone controlled garage door. So you can put an app on your Android, your iPhone, Blackberry, whatever it is. And you can control your garage door. And more importantly, you can check the status -- how many times have you gone to bed and said did I leave the garage door open? You don't want to get up in your pajamas and go outside in the winter and check if it's up or down. You look at the phone, it'll say it's up, it's down, and it'll tell you how long its been up if you left it open. So you can think was it open all day or for a few minutes? Should I go check if someone stole something.

It's really cool.

ARMSTRONG: Here is where it's happening, some smart home technology right here. Refrigerators aren't boring anymore. They're connected to the internet, wi-fi enabled. And you can do everything on these refrigerators now. They can run apps, everything from getting recipes, even playing Pandora music. Yes there are speakers under the water dispenser on some of these connected refrigerators.

And also in the home, one thing we all must do is wash our laundry. But no one loves to do that stuff, right? Well, with these washing machines at Samsung you might just enjoy putting a load in, because you can walk away, look at your devices and be notified later where you are in your wash cycle. You can even control the washer or dryer cycle from your handheld device.

So it's all about saving money and getting you more connected in today's digital world.


STOUT: Now all week we've been showing you some of the best gadgets at the show, but what about the worst? Now CNN Money asked Joanna Stern from The Verge what she thought was the worst gadget at CES.


JOANNA STERN, THE VERGE: I think there is one that's pretty outrageous. It's a Berringer, like, I don't even know the size of it. It's literally the size of a car. It's eight feet wide. This is an iPod speaker dock. So there's a tiny iPod on the top of this car wide speaker dock. I'm not joking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you even fit that in your house?

STERN: I don't know how you get it in your house. I mean, you also have to have $30,000 to purchase it. And then I guess you have another $30,000 to figure out how to get it into your house. But it's outrageous.


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