Return to Transcripts main page


Tempers Flare at GOP Debate; Iraqi Deadly Bombing; Syria: Displaced Families, Divided Country; Japanese Farmer Defies Government, Continues To Live In Exclusionary Zone; Doctors Without Borders Pulls Out Of Misrata, Cites Torture Of Detainees; Interview With IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond

Aired January 27, 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 we begin in Florida. Tempers flared over immigration and investments at the latest Republican presidential debate.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: "We have to decontaminate this area, or else this town will die. I will stay to make sure it's done," he says. "I want to die in my hometown."


STOUT: Quite defiant. The only man still living inside Japan's exclusion zone. Why he is staying put despite high levels of radiation.

And Twitter refines its technology so it can delete messages in specific countries. But what does that say about the company's expressed commitment to free speech?

One party, two current front-runners. The U.S. Republican presidential contest is becoming much more than a debate on policy. For Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the race is getting more personal.

On Thursday night, the four remaining candidates took to the stage ahead of next week's Florida primary, but the focus was on the two front-runners both vying to win the 50 delegates on offer in the state.

Here is a taste of the contest.


WOLF BLITZER, MODERATOR: Is he still the most anti-immigrant candidate.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think of the four of us, yes.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Speaker, I'm not anti- immigrant. My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales. They came to this country. The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive.

GINGRICH: All I want to do is allow the grandmother to be here legally, with some rights to have residency, but not citizenship, so that he or she can finish their life with dignity within the law.

ROMNEY: You know, they're not 11 million -- our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. All right?

GINGRICH: Governor Romney owns shares of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Governor Romney made a million dollars off of selling some of that. Governor Romney owns shares -- has an investment in Goldman Sachs, which is today foreclosing on Floridians.

ROMNEY: But have you checked your own investments? You also have investments from mutual funds that also invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.



STOUT: I want to remind you of just how close the Republican race has become. Now, this poll, it was taken a couple of days ago, and it shows Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a virtual tie with likely Republican voters in Florida. Now, Gingrich has almost doubled his support there since his victory in the South Carolina primary one week ago.

And the Florida primary is just four days away, and our political editor, Paul Steinhauser, he is on the campaign trail from Jacksonville, Florida. He joins us now live.

And Paul, Mitt Romney, he appeared to get his swagger back in the latest debate. Your thoughts on his performance?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: You know, you're exactly right, Kristie. Mitt Romney got game, and I think you could say that Newt Gingrich didn't have his game, he didn't have his swagger. What a difference a week makes.

Remember -- let's go back a week to South Carolina, two presidential debates. Mitt Romney performed extremely well. I'm sorry, Newt Gingrich performed extremely well and it seemed Mitt Romney was on the defensive throughout the week, and that was trouble for him. And you saw what happened in South Carolina.

It's a very different story here in Florida. Mitt Romney having a very strong debate on Monday and an even stronger debate just about 12 hours ago, right behind me here at the University of North Florida, our CNN debate here.

And it wasn't just immigration though that was -- I mean, it wasn't just Freddie and Fannie and stuff like that. It was also immigration.

And Kristie, take a listen to this back-and-forth between Romney and Gingrich over space exploration.


GINGRICH: But I'll tell you, I do not want to be the country that, having gotten to the moon first, turned around and said, it doesn't really matter, let the Chinese dominate space. What do we care?

ROMNEY: I spent 25 years in business. If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, "You're fired."


STEINHAUSER: You know, it seemed throughout the entire evening that Mitt Romney was on the attack, successfully defending himself against Gingrich's attacks. And Gingrich just didn't seem to have effective responses.

And I was there listening to the audience. The audience was often more with Mitt Romney than with Newt Gingrich.

And Kristie, we know these debates have been outsized in their influence this cycle. And that performance by Mitt Romney, well, that could be very, very instrumental in helping him four days from now for this primary in Florida. Fifty delegates at stake. Kristie, it's winner take all.

STOUT: You know, we've talked about Romney and Gingrich. Let's talk about Rick Santorum.

He is trailing in the polls. He really needed a big night. How did he do at the debate?

STEINHAUSER: Well, the former senator from Pennsylvania had a big night, Kristie. He was very effective in going after both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich over health care reform, which is a very big issue here, attacking both of them, saying that both of those candidates are too close to President Obama and the president's health care reform law, which is not liked, I think that's safe to say, by most Republicans.

Yes, Santorum was really on the attack against them, and he also talked about his faith. And I think that was a way for him to connect with a lot of voters here, social conservative voters. A big night for him.

But again, as you mentioned, he's pretty far down in the polls. Santorum, looking ahead, I think he understands that he is not going to be a winner here in Florida on Tuesday.

And Ron Paul wasn't much of a factor in the debate, but he did have some comical moments and showed off his human side -- Kristie.

STOUT: OK. Yes, he did manage to get a few cheers from the audience, Ron Paul there.

Now, this was the final debate before the key Florida primary. Fifty delegates, as you said. They're up for grabs.

So what's your thinking right now? How does the race stand now, especially after the latest debate?

STEINHAUSER: I think the latest debate is going to help Romney more than Gingrich. A brand new poll out this morning here in Florida among people likely to vote in the primary, it was taken before our debate though last night, but it did indicate that Romney is starting to open up a little bit of a lead here. And we're seeing that in some other polling as well.

But, still, please stay tuned on this one. I'm not saying this is over at all. Who knows what's going to happen on Tuesday night? Such a crucial primary -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Paul Steinhauser, live from Jacksonville, Florida.

Thank you.

Now, as Newt Gingrich's popularity grows, so does the focus on his recent past. After he left Congress, critics say he became a lobbyist for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and other companies. Gingrich says he was just a consultant.

Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congressman Jeff Flake remembers the occasion well. In 2003, he was one of the few Republican holdouts who didn't want to pass a bill expanding Medicare. Other powerful Republicans did, and they brought in a closer to persuade Flake and his allies. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, he says, was forceful.

REP. JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: And then, he told us quite memorably, if you can't pass this, you don't deserve to govern as conservatives. And so, I felt lobbied.

TODD: So did then-GOP Congressman Jeb Bradley of New Hampshire.

JEB BRADLEY, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Knowing that he had healthcare clients that had this legislation would have an impact on him, I mean, I feel in retrospect what he was doing that day with myself and other members of Congress clearly was advocacy that most people would think of us lobbying.

TODD: Flake and Bradley are both Mitt Romney supporters. Gingrich and his campaign have fired back, saying he never lobbied on anyone's behalf for that bill, that he'd supported it as a public citizen for years.

GINGRICH: It is not correct to describe public citizenship having public advocacy as lobbying. Every citizen has the right to do that.

TODD: He's right, and technically, Gingrich wasn't lobbying. He'd never registered as a lobbyist. But listen to what Michael Beckel of the watch dog group, The Center for Responsive Politics, says about that bill, which became known as Medicare Part D, a program that provides drugs for seniors.

MICHAEL BECKEL, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: At the time, he had clients that would have benefited from that legislation passing. He had pharmaceutical companies paying him to be able to get his services.

TODD: Like drug maker, Novo-Nordisk.

(on-camera): In its reports to shareholders, Novo-Nordisk has listed a firm Gingrich founded, the Center for Health Transformation, headquartered here, as a group, helping the company with public policy activities. A Novo-Nordisk spokesman is quoted as saying, "Gingrich never lobbied for their company, only offered guidance and strategic advice."

(voice-over): That's the same thing Gingrich did for mortgage giant, Freddie Mac.

BECKEL: Strategic advice looks a lot like lobbying. You can tell people, your subordinates, your clients, who to call and what to say. You can coach people what they need to do to be persuasive on this issue. They can tell you who to meet, what to say, but you, yourself, aren't registering as a lobbyist when that happens.

TODD: And this 2006 contract for Freddie Mac released by the Gingrich campaign says Gingrich was paid as a consultant but reported to the director of public policy, who's a registered lobbyist. Gingrich has said he did no lobbying for Freddie Mac, but watchdog groups say it's part of the so-called influence game where that line is often blurred.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now, CNN is covering all the candidates and issues in the run-up to the Florida primary. And after the polls close, we'll have live coverage and analysis of the results. That's early Wednesday, starting 8:00 in the morning here in Hong Kong.

Our big night of coverage includes a special edition of "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT." It's all part of CNN's coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

Now, ahead on NEWS STREAM, the U.N. Security Council is about to consider a draft resolution on Syria. We have seen a copy of that draft and we will give you the details.

People in Kano, Nigeria, are watching as one bomb after another reduces their buildings to rubble. And the police are making more arrests.

And in Libya, the aid group Doctors Without Borders stops its work in Misrata because it says some authorities are committing gross abuses.


STOUT: Now, in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, at least 31 people have been killed, dozens more are wounded after a suicide car bombing. Officials believe an Iraqi colonel and his family were the main targets.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is in Baghdad with more.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The blast was caused by a suicide car bomber in the Zafaraniyah neighborhood in Baghdad. And apparently what happened was that it was a Shiite funeral procession that was on its way to recover the bodies of three people who had been killed in gunfire the night before. Now, as this funeral procession was on its way to the hospital to recover the bodies and then to bury them, it was hit by the improvised explosive device.

Zafaraniyah is actually a mixed neighborhood where you have Sunni and Shia. However, that district of Zafaraniyah is one that is predominantly Shiite.

Now, on top of the 31 people who were killed, there were also dozens who were wounded in the incident. And it comes at a time where it appears as though sectarian violence is on the rise here in Iraq.

There's been a string of attacks, most of them targeting Shiites, one very large one in Baghdad earlier this week. Also, a massive attack on pilgrims in the predominantly Shia town of Basra a couple of weeks ago that killed 53 people.

Now, on top of this, what you also have, of course, here in Iraq right now is the very volatile and deadlocked political situation where many of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc blame the Shiite prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, for orchestrating a power grab. Now, because of that deadlock, and in the wind shadow, if you will, of that deadlock, many believe that violent extremist groups are trying to exploit the situation to try and incite extra sectarian strife, which is, of course, that this country has experienced a lot of in the past years.

Now, in other news, we also have information from Iraq's Interior Ministry that a U.S. helicopter, one flying for the U.S. Embassy, had to make an emergency landing at a Baghdad hospital. The latest that we have from the authorities there is that no one was injured in that incident.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Baghdad.


STOUT: The U.N. Security Council is about to meet behind closed doors to discuss the crisis in Syria. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is urging the group to act as one.

Now, a draft resolution suggests part of that action may be a call for sanctions. And just a short time ago, a senior Russian diplomat said that Russia will not back any call for President Bashar al-Assad to go.

Meanwhile, there has been more reported violence in the flash point city of Homs. These pictures purport to show a series of explosions there. Opposition activists say at least six people were killed across the country overnight.

Now, in a Damascus suburb, thousands of people took to the streets today for the funeral of a man they say was killed in violence overnight. It has been almost a year since the anti-government protests first broke out in Syria, and in that time the security situation has sharply deteriorated. And now some families have begun to flee their homes, saying that they are scared of their own neighbors.

From Damascus, Arwa Damon shows us why.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the heart of the Syrian capital, a neighborhood whose loyalties are crystal clear. Children just back from a demonstration chant pro-Assad slogans as an angry crowd gathers around us. "The regime's opponents are terrorists!" they cry.

Marb Lawi (ph) says she was forced out of her home elsewhere in Damascus. "The terrorists started to threaten us, saying, 'You have to go out and demonstrate, or else we will kill you,'" she claims. She moved here with her husband and two children.

(on camera): In this one Damascus neighborhood alone, the local leader says that hundreds of families have arrived. The vast majority of them, we were told, fleeing the violence in the flash point cities of Hama and Homs.

(voice-over): Like the Hadurs (ph), now living in a single room. The rent claims half their earnings. The four children, their parents and grandfather fled Homs a month ago, where they say they came under attack by armed gangs.

"They are gunmen who don't fear God," Rim (ph) tells us. "Whatever they say, it's a lie. They are not human."

Their area, an Alawite part of Homs, is known to be pro-regime. One of the children's classmates was kidnapped, they say, because he had "I love Bashar" written on his arm.

"The gangs attack funerals. They are shooting at the people," the family patriarch tells us. Rim's (ph) 11-year-old says, "They were throwing dead bodies in front of houses." Families would be called and asked, "Do you want the body decapitated or ash?"

Rim's (ph) husband is a soldier stationed in Damascus. He asks that we hide his identity. He's afraid of repercussions. He worries about sectarian undertones to the growing violence.

"We are forced to talk about this," he says. "Syrians are not sectarian. They have seen first hand what happened in Iraq and Lebanon." But he says tensions are beginning to percolate.

The family wants a hard line against the opposition. "We need the president to terminate them," Rim (ph) says. The crowd outside their tiny home would agree.

Far from any solution, Syrians seem set on a collision course, each side leveling the same accusations against the other.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Damascus.


STOUT: Now, there is more unrest in Nigeria's second largest city. Hundreds of explosive devises in soft drink cans have been found in Kano after one of them detonated at a crowded bus park. No one was hurt.

Police are also searching for a German worker they say was kidnapped in the city on Thursday. Last week, more than 200 people died in a series of bombings and shootings blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram. Security officials have arrested more than 150 suspected members of the group.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. We'll be back right after the break.


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

When, back in the day, James Cameron's "Avatar" was released, it showed just how much money could be made from 3D movies. But instead of using 3D cameras, some filmmakers are using IMAX cameras to make an impact.

Now, both "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises" are shot using the giant film, and it allows movies to be shown on far larger screens than normal.

Let's go now live to Richard Gelfond. He is the CEO of IMAX, and he joins us live from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

And Richard, welcome to NEWS STREAM.

An IMAX ticket, it could be regarded by some as an expendable luxury. So, has your bottom line been hurt in markets particularly hit by economic recession?

RICHARD GELFOND, CEO, IMAX: Surprisingly not. That was certainly a concern I had, but some of our best per-screen averages are in markets outside of North America.

So, you take, for example, our ticket price in China is about $15 a ticket, and our per-screen box office is about double. Russia is one of our best grossing markets in the world. Japan is another one. South America, which is obviously doing a little bit better, is doing well.

So, it seems to go the other way, which is it's an affordable luxury. Maybe you can't go to an expensive restaurant, or you can't go on vacation, but for a few extra dollars, you can really feel a sense of escapism.

STOUT: Now, when I think IMAX, I think of a great cinema experience with those huge wrap-around screens, but you also have a diverse portfolio, including something called IMAX Digital, which is on a far smaller screen.

Does something like that dilute your brand?

GELFOND: Not at all. As a matter of fact, we've done a lot of market research.

I think if you went back 10 years, IMAX meant strictly big. In the last 10 years, it really means a superior viewing experience. So it's like first class in airline travel, and it's based on really field of vision. So if it's a smaller theater, the consumer has a very similar experience if they're closer to the screen than they do in a larger theater, where they are farther away from the screen.

And size actually is one of many, many elements. The sound system is far superior. The color is better. The resolution is better. The blacks are blacker, the contrast.

And I think it just makes you feel like you're inside the movie, rather than it's kind of a third-party experience, you're watching something else.

STOUT: A truly immersive experience.

Now, I've got a geeky technical question for you. "Dark Knight Rises," it will be in the theaters this summer. I understand that less than half of it was shot in IMAX simply because the cameras were too big, they were too unwieldy.

So, is there a solution in sight? Will this change?

GELFOND: Well, first of all, I mean, I thought your lead-in was right on point. And in a way, IMAX cameras filming in IMAX is a compliment to 3D, because 3D isn't right for every movie.

And I think some of the leading filmmakers like Chris Nolan or Brad Bird, who just did "Mission Impossible 4," Michael Bay in "Transformers," have used our camera because they want to try something different. They want to make a statement. And, in fact, they've really learned to work with the cameras.

It's true, they are big, but they've created some of the most dramatic scenes people have seen, including Tom Cruise scaling the Burj in "MI 4." If you haven't seen it, you ought to go out. It's really amazing.

But the short answer to your question is, yes, we are making new digital cameras which are going to have -- similar to IMAX resolution, and hopefully will be more user friendly.

STOUT: You mentioned that 3D isn't right for every movie. Can you sort of tell us more about, when is it right? When is it best to film in 3D versus in IMAX, using IMAX cameras?

GELFOND: It's actually kind of a little bit counterintuitive, which is when you see these vast landscapes such as Davos behind me, in certain ways 2D is a superior medium, because it really captures the scale, it really lets you see and experience this vastness around you. Quick cuts are also something that works very well in 2D.

3D -- as I said, it's a little ironic -- creates a sense of intimacy in a way, and that's because it brings the image closer to you. It brings it out of space, right in a space around you. So, shooting through close interiors, certainly "Avatar" used it in really intelligent ways.

So I think it's a matter of the kind of movie it is. So, some of the animated movies, for some it works. For all, clearly, it doesn't work. Even for live action.

I think "My Dinner With Andre" probably wouldn't be a great 3D movie, whereas some of the action sequences like the last "Harry Potter," it worked very sell.

STOUT: Well, thanks for talking with us on film craft, technology and ticket sales.

Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX, joining us live from Davos.

Thank you and take care.

GELFOND: Thank you so much.

STOUT: Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, the reign of Moammar Gadhafi. It may be over, but there are still accusations of torture in the country. We'll tell you why one medical assistance group is withdrawing from a key city.

Plus --


LAH (voice-over): "I'm full of rage," he says. "That's why I'm still here. I refuse to leave and let go of this anger and grief. I weep when I see my hometown."


STOUT: -- we meet the lone man living inside a town in the nuclear exclusion zone in Japan. Fifty-two thousand other people left, and he tells us why he stayed.

That's next on CNN.


STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

Now, in the U.S. state of Florida, the four Republican presidential candidates met for their 19th televised debate Thursday night. The front- runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, both leveled personal attacks at each other. The Florida primary takes place on Tuesday.

In Iraq, at least 31 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide car bomb explosion. People say attackers targeted a funeral procession.

The families of the two hostages freed from their Somali captors by U.S. Special Forces on Wednesday have issued a statement thanking their rescuers. Now, in it, relatives of Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted say that they are grateful that "a very difficult chapter" in their lives is over. The pair had been held hostage in Somalia since October, and they are now expected to undergo a series of medical examinations and debriefings by psychologists.

Each of the 3,200 passengers on board an ill-fated Italian cruise liner will receive more than $14,000, that's according to the Italian Association of Poor Operators. The Costa Condordia hit rocks off Giglio Island on January 13. Witnesses say an overwhelmed crew conducted a disorganized evacuation. 16 people are dead and 16 are missing.

And those who helped oust Libya's former brutal regime are now being accused of being the aggressors. Now some aid groups are accusing Libyan forces and militias of torturing detainees, some to the point of death. And the situation has become so acute that Doctors Without Borders say that they will halt operating in Misrata to protest the alleged violations.

Jonathan Miller reports.


JONATHAN MILLER, ITN CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to believe, but it's not even a year since the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi first started. Already, though, serious accusations from serious sources that in the new Libya the abused have become the abusers.

8,000 or more detainees, most alleged Gadhafi loyalists and Africans accused of fighting as mercenaries. Many, it's said, subjected to violent interrogation and torture -- whips, cables, chains, wooden sticks, metal bars, and electric shock treatment. Plus ca change.

The UN human rights chief briefed the security council in New York expressing extreme concern about the treatment of detainees in Libya.

NAVI PILLAY, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The lack of oversight by the central authorities creates an environment conducive to torture and ill treatment. My staff have received alarming reports that this is happening in places of detention that they have visited.

CLAUDIO CORDONE, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: From the evidence that we have gathered, we know that people are being tortured as they're being taken prisoner or during interrogation sessions while they're being held in this variety of unofficial detention centers. We have talked to them, we have access to these detention centers. We have seen the marks on their bodies. We've talked to doctors and we've talked to the guards, some of whom have actually admitted that this is going on.

MILLER: The aid agency Medicin Sans Frontieres, renowned as first and last out of conflict zones pulled out of detention centers in the city of Misrata because it said it had treated 115 people with torture wounds, accusing official of delivering detainees to MSF doctors to get patched up between torture sessions.

What has changed?

AHMED JIBRIL, LIBYAN NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL: A lot has changed in Libya. The NTC is not denying these allegations as the previous regime used to do. We are dealing with the international community. We are asking for assistance. But we are also admitting that we have not been in control of all prisons and all detention centers.

We are making a lot of progress.

MILLER: But with respect, Amnesty International says the authorities have been informed of all of this, but no action has been taken.

JIBRIL: The authority didn't deny it. The authority admits that there are some violations.

MILLER: So you're not in control?

JIBRIL: We are in control. We are not in full control. That's a fact. But the reality in Libya is that the country has come out of eight months of war.

MILLER: Moammar Gadhafi's horrifying death raised serious concerns about rule of law and thirst for revenge in Libya. This month's red carpet welcome for President Omar al Bashir of Sudan, indicted war criminal, infuriated human rights groups.

Libya's new rulers must now convince the world that torture and abuse and deaths in custody died with Gadhafi's unloved, unmourned regime.


LU STOUT: And that was ITN's Jonathan Miller reporting.

Now more than 10 months after a magnitude 9 earthquake and massive tsunami struck northern Japan the town of Tomioka stands eerily quiet and empty. The farming and factory community sits in the southern part of Japan's exclusion zone, a 20 kilometer area around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was evacuated after the March 11 disaster. It remains off limits because of the long-term health risks from radiation and contamination.

Now Tomioka was once home to 52,000 people, but now only one man remains. Kyung Lah ventures into the exclusion zone to meet him.


LAH: In the shadow of the Fukushima nuclear plant one man's quiet defiance echos through these contaminated, empty streets. 10 miles away from the disaster, the town of Tomioka is inside a government mandated evacuation zone, but that hasn't stopped Naoto Matsumura from refusing to heed the evacuation order in place since the nuclear meltdown.

Since then, you've been living insid the exclusion zone.

"Yes," he says. "I remained."

It began with a simple desire to feed the animals on his farm. The government evacuated 78,000 residents around the exploding plant last March without a plan to rescue pets and valuable livestock. Weeks turned to months and now a year. Matsumura capturing pictures of the solitary life, his dying cattle, his untended farm. Defiance grew into fury.

Are you angry at the government a year later after this disaster?

"I'm full of rage," he says. "That's why I'm still here. I refuse to leave and let go of this anger and grief. I weep when I see my hometown. The government and the people in Tokyo don't know what's really happening here."

Do you feel the people of your town are the ones truly paying the price?

"We're the victims," he says. "The government and TEPCO, they are the perpetrators, but they don't treat us as victims."

The clean-up, he says, has been painfully slow. Only small signs of progress, like this park where contaminated soil is under blue tarps. So Matsumura continues to keeps tabs and needle Japan's government as the sole citizen of Tomioka.

He's actually taken on a neighbors pet and feeding this little dog, just trying to keep this dog alive. Inside his house, there's no electricity. There's very little access to water. And the reason why he would live in this way is because he says this is home.

Are you worried about your health living there?

"I'm completely contaminated," he says.

Why take your personal health at risk for this?

"We have to decontaminate this area or else this town will die. I will stay to make sure it's done," he says. "I want to die in my hometown."

His determination has turned him into a local legend. Money is coming in after he posted this YouTube video asking for donations. Matsumura survives on canned food, which he grabs outside the exclusion zone. The local township looks the other way as he continues to break the law. But the pressure from authorities is growing. Matsumura said he would do this interview only outside the mandated evacuation zone.

What is it you want the international community to know one year after this disaster?

"You've seen what can happen. The U.S., Russia, and Japan this is the third nuclear accident, the third time something we created that ended up hurting us. We haven't learned our lesson yet."

Kyung Lah, CNN, inside the exclusion zone.



LU STOUT: Now Twitter says it now has the ability to delete tweets on a country by country basis. Until now, Twitter was forced to remove an offending tweet, it would have to delete it entirely from its servers. Now Twitter can block tweets only in a specific country, but the rest of the world can still see the offending tweet.

Now why would Twitter do this? Well, in a blog post explaining the move, the company specifically pointed at France and Germany banning pro- Nazi content. What was otherwise vague about what would and would not be blocked. That has led some to worry about the microblog's future, especially since Twitter posts were cited as helping to fuel revolutions in the Middle East.

When Iranians took to the streets in the aftermath of a controversial election in 2009, Twitter was seen as such a critical tool that the U.S. State Department asked the company to hold off on scheduled maintenance.

Now Twitter CEO Dick Costolo once boasted, "we are the free speech wing of the free speech party." But he is facing some high profile resistance.

Now Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei says if Twitter sensors, he will quit tweeting. But Twitter is getting support from an unusual source, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the group that advocates free speech online. They say that Twitter is not above the law, and admit that it's doing its best in a tough situation.

So how does it actually work? Well, if someone objects to your tweet, Twitter will contact you and explain why they're withholding your tweet. Anyone who follows you in that country will see this, a message telling them your tweet has been blocked.

Now Twitter has also set up a way to see all the take down notices they've received, but some thing there may be a way around it. Now Twitter automatically detects what country you're in, but you can also manually set your country in Twitter settings. Now we've tried setting our location to the United States. It appears to work. So it looks like there may be an easy way around Twitter's new feature.

Now if you have ever tried to make a recipe you found in a newspaper, you might want to pay attention to our next story. Now the Supreme Court in Chile has awarded $180,000 to 13 people who were injured after they tried to make a popular dessert. Rafael Romo has the story.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was supposed to be an innocuous exercise. Instead, Lucrecria Sepulveda ended up with severe burns on her face, arms, and hands. The Chilean woman says she suffered the burns while she was following a recipe to make churros, a very popular Latin America dessert.

This common confection can be found in cities across the region. It's easy to make. It's a combination of fried dough and sugar. But what Sepulveda didn't know was that the recipe she was following was a ticking bomb.

At home in her kitchen she describes to us how as soon as she placed the dough in the pan, the mixture exploded on contact. After this happened in 2004, she sued La Testeda (ph), the newspaper that published the recipe, it took more than seven years for the case to get all the way to the Chilean supreme court which ruled in favor of Sepulveda and 12 other plaintiffs who joined the class action law suit.

LUCRECIA SEPULVEDA, VICTIM (through translator): I thought that we were not going to have a good outcome, but after seven years it happened. All of us who were affected will get compensated.

ROMO: The Chilean supreme court awarded 13 plaintiffs the equivalent of $180,000.

MATIAS VALDIVIESO, VICTIMS' ATTORNEY (through translator): This sets a very good precedent. Mass media, in this case a daily newspaper, are responsible, and should be responsible for the information they publish.

ROMO: Grupo Copesa, the newspaper's parent company issued a statement about the ruling saying "we have the utmost respect for judicial decisions. Therefore, we will proceed to pay the amount specified by the court as indicated.

None of the victims was permanently disabled. The payout will be based on the seriousness of their injuries. The largest award will be nearly $50,000, while those with the least serious injuries will only get about $5,000.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: Now coming up next on NEWS STREAM, U.S. budget cuts mean a smaller military. But some units may feel the pain more than others. Find out why U.S. special forces could be largely spared. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching NEWS STREAM. And it's time now for a sports update. And the world's top ranked men's tennis player was involved in a hard fought lengthy battle in his Aussie Open semifinal but did he survive to reach the final? Don Riddell is London. He's got the details and he joins us now -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Kristie. Novak Djokovic have just served up an epic men's semifinal at the Australian Open. They played for almost five hours and well into the Melbourne night. And it has only just produced a winner, which means I'm going to have to ask my producer if we've actually go the video cut yet, because it was only just finished.

Do we have the video that we can show, guys?

All right.

Well, tell you what, why don't we move into the next story. And I'll keep you in suspense. Hopefully we can bring you the action and bring you the winner in just a couple of minutes.

So let's move on to football now. And Barcelona will take on Valencia in the semifinals of the Spanish Kings Cup following Valencia's comfortable win against La Vente on Thursday. It was 3-nil on the night, 7-1 on aggregate. Remember, Barcelona knocked our Real Madrid the previous day.

Barely a month seems to go by without Barca and their star Leo Messi winning some kind of award. And this is a new accolade for Messi, he's on the cover of Time Magazine, the international addition of the U.S. based weekly feature. And it features the Argentine striker with the title, King Leo.

Inside, Messi speaks about handling criticism from his compatriots and says that he still has room to improve his already amazing skills, if you believe.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast have become the second team to book a place in the quarterfinal round of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Elephants won their second consecutive group B on Thursday, beating Burkina Faso. Soloman Kalu scored the opening goal in Malabo (ph). And Ivory Coast added another when Bakary Kone inadvertently headed the ball into his own net.

In the day's other game, Angola and Sudan drew 2-all. Those are the teams that are battling for second place in the group.

Now you may recall the former NHL star, Richard Zednick, whose throat and Carotid artery were slashed by a player's skate back in 2008. Well, incredibly he's just had another brush with death. Zednick was coaching a youth team in Slovakia when the roof of their new ice rink in Namastova (ph) collapsed because of heavy snowfall. Everyone was OK, but Zednick must now be wondering how many of his lives he has used up.

All right. We've got the tennis for you now.

Are you sitting comfortably? This was just incredible. An incredible semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murry. This was a repeat of last year's final, but Murray was determined to produce a different result this time around. But the defending champion Djokovic got the upper hand in the first set. He got a break ahead and took the set by 6-3.

Murray responded brilliantly, though. His new coach Ivan Lindel (ph) has been working on his mental strength. And he went on the offensive in the second set, winning it 6-3. And he took that momentum into the third.

But he had to dig deep, saving three set points before winning it on a tiebreak.

Murray now 2-1 ahead, but Djokovic, who dominated the tour last seasons set up in the fourth and destroyed his opponent by 6-1.

The match now approaching 4 hours and a decisive fifth set. And it went to the wire. Both players broke and broke back. But eventually Djokovic got himself into a winning position and he settled it. He was absolutely exhausted at the end as you would expect when he has finally recovered he will meet Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday.

I imagine Rafa enjoyed watching that. He had his feet up. He will certainly be the fresher of the two players when they meet in the final -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: So Djokovic gets to the final. Glad to get the video there. Don Riddell thank you. Have a good weekend.

Now time now for a look at your global weather forecast. And parts of eastern Europe were paralyzed by heavy snow. Details now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. You know, Don was just telling us some of that story there with that ice rink collapse in Slovakia. That's just one of the examples of the very heavy snowfall that's been affecting this entire region.

Let's go ahead and take a look at some of the other pictures. These are from Romania where -- quite a mess right -- can you imagine being stuck on a roadway like this just waiting for someone to come rescue you?

You know what, this time of year, if you live in an area where it can snow, and you can get caught in something like this very quickly. It can be extremely dangerous. At least three people have been killed in Romania due to the heavy snowfall. People had to be rescued by military personnel. And they were using sometimes even tractors to try to pull the cars out of the snow drifts. Really dangerous situation there, because you could run out of gas. Your car could get buried in the snow like that one there. People can become disoriented very, very quickly. And then of course you can freeze to death. It's very dangerous indeed.

Let's go ahead and move on and come back over to the weather map over here. They were not alone. This is a picture from Bulgaria. Similar situation here. Cars blocked on parking lots and roads. No one could get around because of that heavy snowfall that has been plaguing the area.

It's also very cold, some of the coldest temperatures so far this entire season. The average temperature in Ukraine is about minus 7, their actual low temperature this morning was minus 17. And it was windy, too, so it felt even colder than that.

In Bucharest, you have the coldest temperatures so far this entire year as well -- this entire season I should say. Your average low is about minus 4. You are at minus 10 today.

And notice Sophia and Istanbul, Turkey -- Turkey by the way, you guys are next when it comes to this heavy snowfall, have been affected widely by the cold temperatures as well. And you can see that clear contrast right over here between western Europe and eastern Europe. And then Moscow, minus 13 right now. Minus 14 in Kiev. Minus 2 in Berlin. There's some snowfall expected across central parts of Europe as well as along as Germany in particular back over into parts of France and then back over here as we head into northern parts of Italy. And Switzerland and Austria will also see some heavy snowfall.

And you can see it, the front is coming in right here. A lot of cold air in place. So all of these combining to move more snow to central Europe. But the snow in eastern Europe will begin winding down. But like I said, continuing to move to the east for areas like I said back over here around the Black Sea and maybe portions of the Middle East will get some snowfall.

What about across the Middle East, Kristie, we were talking about even some snowfall in some of the highest elevations even in the UAE. It's the first time in three years that's ever happened. More like frost. I don't think that will happen again today, because the temperatures are moderating here already. And we're starting to see conditions improving back to those warm, southerly winds. It's not going to be hot, but definitely you'll notice a difference from the frigid air that had been in place for the last few days.

So, whatever you're doing, hope you have a great weekend. And even in Hong Kong, Kristie, which has been very cold with temperatures are increasing. Back to you.

LU STOUT: That's right. I will bundle up. Mari Ramos, thank you. Take care.

Now a leaner, stronger U.S. military for the coming decade, that was the promise from U.S. Defense Secretary as he unveiled details of a new budget plan. Now big spending cuts are in the works, but Chris Lawrence reports some areas will be spared.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They killed bin Laden, rescued an American hostage, and 1,000 other secret missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when it comes to special ops, how much is too much?

ADM. ERIC OLSON (RET), FORMER SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMANDER: I have said that this great force is beginning to fray around the edges.

LAWRENCE: The former special ops commander sounded the alarm last year. But Thursday, Pentagon officials announced that special operations will be spared in the new spending cuts.

LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: More opportunities for special operations forces to assist and advise our partners in other regions.

LAWRENCE: It's budget went up 7 percent from last year to this year. And it will keep growing. But it is manpower, not money, that's an issue.

MACKENZIE EAGLEN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: President Obama has dramatically increased a covert war around the world, relying more heavily than any of his predecessors, particularly the last president, on the use of special forces to achieve missions beyond counterterrorist.

LAWRENCE: So while some conventional troops have deployed on four or five combat tours.

EAGLEN: Special forces operators are in double digit territory, in 10 and 11 and 12th tours. This is simply unsustainable.

LAWRENCE: Budget cuts will mean 60,000 fewer soldiers, 20,000 fewer marines, that means a smaller pool for special ops to recruit from.

EAGLEN: The Army and the Marine Corps will probably have some trepidation about losing ever more personnel to the special forces community.

LAWRENCE: It can up to 30 months and half a million dollars to train a single special operations fighter, compared to a few months and $50,000 for an infantry man. They can't be mass produced quickly.

But Pentagon officials claim this budget accounts for that.

PANETTA: The special operating forces can only be, quote, unquote "special" if there's a conventional force that allows them to conduct their operations and shape the environment. So we've got to do this all on balance. And I am confident we've done that.

LAWRENCE: And there are potentially big changes on the horizon for special operations forces, including establishing some training centers closer to home so they don't always have to travel to train. But perhaps even more importantly, establishing a network of special operations commands around the world, in effect putting them closer to the potential problems they may have to respond to and establishing relationships with armies to develop their capabilities.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


LU STOUT: And while the new budget places more emphasis on robotic assets like unmanned drones, according to a Reuters report there is still room for old fashioned technology -- the U-2 Spy Plane, a mainstay of the Cold War, will fly on into year 2023, again that's according to Reuters. And it will fly, because the unmanned drones that were supposed to replace it were too expensive.

And that is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.