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Tibetan Tensions; Fighting Reaches Outskirts of Damascus in Syria; Republican Presidential Race; Shafia Family Sentenced to Life in Prison; A Look at Downton Abbey's Real Home

Aired January 30, 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 with an exclusive look at a tense situation in southwestern China while police patrol the streets amid reports of violence against Tibetan protesters.

In Syria, a deadly game of cat and mouse as protesters try to stay one step ahead of government security forces.

And in Canada, a father, his wife and son are found guilty of murdering four members of their own family.

We begin in southwestern China, where violence has reportedly escalated between Chinese authorities and ethnic Tibetan protesters. The advocacy group Free Tibet says several people have been killed in the clashes. In one instance, it claims police opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters, but the Chinese government is offering a different story. It says up to 18 civilians were killed in Tibetan attacks on Hon (ph) Chinese.

Now, the unrest is intensifying, and the U.S. has already weighed in, saying it is seriously concerned about any outbreak of violence in the region.

The media has been restricted in our reporting of this story, but CNN managed to travel to the troubled spots in Sichuan Province. Here is a snapshot of the area.

Sichuan is located in southwestern China. It is home to more than 87 million people. Most are Hon (ph) Chinese, but these prefectures, Aba and Ganzi are also heavily populated by Ethnic Tibetans.

Now, Ganzi has been the source of much of the conflict these past few days. Police have also blocked roads and locked down large parts of the city of Chengdu.

Let's bring in our senior international correspondent, Stan Grant, who was part of the CNN team that managed to get into the conflict zone -- Stan.

STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie, as you say, this is a situation that has been rapidly building over the past few weeks. We've seen the images of the self-immolation of monks and nuns, setting them alight as part of this ongoing protest. It's also seen a fierce reaction from Chinese security forces. And as we found, it is increasingly difficult to get real answers.


GRANT (voice-over): In the dark, icy back roads of western China, a deadly conflict is being hidden from view. In villages nestled into these mountains, Tibetans nuns and monks have been setting themselves on fire. Tibetans and human rights groups accuse Chinese security forces of brutally putting down protests, and we, the media, are being locked out.

(on camera): OK. We're being pulled over by the side of the road here, and we've been traveling for about two hours from Chengdu. We're heading up into the mountains, to where the Tibetan communities live, and of course there was a police checkpoint. Our producer is now outside talking to police, and they're now going to look at our passports.

(voice-over): In the darkness, our camera picks up the police. Eventually, we're ordered back. They say it's for our safety. It won't be the last we see of the police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said yesterday, no checkpoint. Today, checkpoint here. There's something that must have happened.

GRANT: There are reports of fresh violence. Our driver speaks to a Tibetan contact inside the exclusion zone.

"The area is surrounded by police and Chinese military," he says. Later, media reports say two Tibetan protesters were shot dead.

At dawn, right across Sichuan Province, police are moving in. A security net has fallen across parts of Chengdu. In this Tibetan Buddhist neighborhood, authorities are tightening their group.

(on camera): So we're having to stay in the car here because there are police literally every few meters here, absolutely crawling with police. I think you can probably see one through the window just over my shoulder. A lot of Tibetans here, a lot of Buddhist monks that we can see walking around. You really get the sense here that this place is in lockdown.

(voice-over): It's hard to get people to talk here. These young monks say they are verbally abused and harassed by police, pushed to breaking point.

"I cannot bear it any longer," he says. "I can't bear it anymore."

They live here in this tiny one-room apartment. They are far from their home in the mountains, cut off, they say. They cannot even make contact by phone.

"We want to go, but we cannot. You can see all the security out there," he says. "Wherever you go, they see you. You cannot go anywhere."

"Are you afraid?" we ask. He just looks to a picture of the Buddha. "I can't explain," he says, "but I'm not afraid."

In their pouch they hold a keepsake of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, too sacred to even show us. This pouch, they say, carries a dream. "We wish what all Tibetans wish for the most, for the Dalai Lama to return to the palace in Tibet."

They know about the self-immolation about the Buddhists. They support them and vow it will continue until China leaves Tibet. For the Chinese government, these are dangerous men. China claims more than a dozen people have been killed in what they call Tibetan terrorist attacks. Throughout our reporting we've been watched. Our vehicle is followed, our driver says his family has received threatening phone calls.

At the airport, we are detained by plainclothes police, held and questioned for five hours before being released. Police keep some of our video.

There are plenty of claims and counterclaims in this dark conflict, all played out behind a veil of state secrecy in the mountains of western China.


GRANT: Well, as you can see there, Kristie, these are the lengths that the security forces are going to, to try to stop any coverage of this conflict. And into that, we're hearing so much concern, so much hysteria, and also so many different accounts of what exactly is taking place. One thing we do know is that the Tibetans are vowing to continue the protests, and this ring of security is only going to intensify -- Kristie.

STOUT: And what is at the heart of this protest? What do the protesters want? Do they want more autonomy? Do they want to see the return of the Dalai Lama?

GRANT: Once again, there are two sides to this. If you speak to the Tibetans themselves, yes, they do want autonomy. They want what they've campaigned for, for decades, and that is a free Tibet. And as you heard from the monks that we got to speak to in that report, they want to see the Dalai Lama to be able to return. They also want to be able to move freely around the country.

If you listen to the Chinese side, they are saying that these people are separatists, they are trying to tear the country apart. And as the police said to us when they detained us, "Why have you been talking to these terrorists?"


STOUT: Stan Grant, joining us live from Beijing with that exclusive report.

Thank you, Stan.

Now, dead bodies are littering the streets of one Syrian city. Now, those words from an opposition activist amid growing violence there.

Activists say at least 64 people were killed in clashes across the country on Sunday. And today, state media reporting a gas pipeline has been sabotaged by what they call an armed terrorist group.

Now, the U.N. Security Council is expected to take up a resolution this week that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Some of the heaviest fighting is reported in the suburbs of Damascus, including Saqba, where activists say that there was shelling and gunfire. Explosions were also heard in Mleha, and roads are blocked there. And the neighborhoods are at the opposite side of the city from the presidential palace. And activists say that government forces are battling the Free Syrian Army in an effort to retake the area.

Access to Syria is severely restricted to Western journalists, but we can speak to our Arwa Damon, who is now live in Beirut.

And Arwa, the uprising there in Syria has been dragging on now for about 10 months. But now that the fighting has reached the outskirts of Damascus, are we at a critical turning point here?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the next few days are really going to determine that. We're going to have to see how things play out on the ground in Syria and how things play out at the United Nations as well. But over the weekend, Syrian tanks, military, according to activists, moving into those restive areas of the Damascus suburbs, including the one you mentioned there, Saqba. And the fighting has been quite intense.

Some of these areas are only a 15-minute drive from the heart of the capital itself. We were in Saqba on Friday, and while we were there, we saw the Free Syrian Army patrolling the streets. That area, according to residents, had effectively been patrolled by the Free Syrian Army for a week and a half, but everyone we were talking to was believing that an assault by Syrian security forces was imminent.

The government is determined not to let the capital fall to the hands from the opposition and is trying to prevent demonstrations from taking place as much as it can, especially when it comes to central Damascus. But while we were there on a short visit just last week, we managed to get into one central Damascus neighborhood and see exactly what it is that the activists are going through. Here's a snapshot of what they deal with every single day.


DAMON (voice-over): We drive in tense silence. The opposition activists we are with checking to make sure we're not being followed. Down a dark alleyway we change vehicles.

We're in Kafarsouseh, in the heart of Damascus. This 21-year-old goes by the pseudonym "Abu Marwan" (ph). He's a first-year medical student. What he's witnessed, haunting.

ABU MARWAN (ph), MEDICAL STUDENT: A lot of horrible things, and especially my friends. And, you know, what does it mean when your friends are hurting and you can't do anything? So, some people dead between my two hands, and that was really very hard to me, especially my friends, my friends which I grow up with them since I was 1 year old. And he died because I couldn't do anything, because I have nothing to do.

DAMON: The losses fuels his determination. Eleven months into the uprising, the activists have it down to a science. Spotters are pre- positioned.

MARWAN: More than 20 people, ,we put them around all the area, in the neighborhood, to watch if any police are coming here.

DAMON: There are posters and other materials hidden in a safe house, along with tiny printed leaflets ready to be scattered.

(on camera): So, this is your message to the people that have basically been staying silent, saying, isn't it about time? Haven't they, the regime, filled the land with enough bad enough things?

(voice-over): Demonstrators move in groups of two or three to avoid attracting attention.

MARWAN: They come very carefully. Now they will go to other streets and hide.

DAMON: As a signal, the street erupts into activity. Everyone has a duty.

The revolution's flag ripples above the crowd. It's the Syrian flag before the Ba'ath Party took over more than 40 years ago.


DAMON: The leaflets rain down like confetti.

(on camera): One of the chants that we have been hearing is (SPEAKING ARABIC), which loosely translates to mean, "We are slaves for you, oh Lord." That chant, the activists were saying, has become especially prominent, because they feel as if the Arab League, the United Nations, the international community has all abandoned them. They say at this stage, all that they have left is their courage, their determination and their faith in God.

(voice-over): Every night the protesters do this. Their numbers are small; their determination is not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not just people -- a symbol or one demonstration. This is a very big deal. We are facing a bad regime, so we had to do this. This is one of the hardest things that we have to do daily.

DAMON: "Oh how nice is freedom?" the crowd chants. But every night the protest is short-lived. Just 10 minutes after it started --

(on camera): The government might actually be coming in. So now everyone obviously is rushing away as fast as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to go faster. All right?

(voice-over): They leave the flag behind to make a point -- that even if just for a while, they did it.

(on camera): They were just telling us that we have to go faster. The government is moving in from all sides right now.

(voice-over): Another deadly game of cat and mouse in the Syrian capital.


DAMON: And those types of demonstrations are especially critical, activists are telling us, because it is, after all, the street, those young individuals that go out on a regular basis that are the driving engine of the Syrian uprising -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, can you tell us more about the Syrian rebels? In your reporting just then, we could see quite clearly that they are determined. But are they well organized? Are they well equipped?

DAMON: Well, on that level -- and that is when it comes to organizing demonstrations -- they are actually very well organized. They have it pretty much down to a science.

When it comes to the entities like the Free Syrian Army -- that is the opposition's fighting force that's mostly made up of defectors, although more and more civilians are joining their ranks -- they're significantly less organized. And they still struggle in terms of trying to coordinate between Free Syrian Army elements in one neighborhood to another. They're still facing challenges in terms of getting weapons.

But they, too, are becoming more organized by the day. And that has been one of the main trends that we have been seeing as this revolution has been dragging on for 11 months now. Yes, they are getting more organized, but the big challenge they're actually facing, Kristie, is getting more organized on the upper political level.

At a political level, the Syrian National Council, the council that exists inside Syria, are still very fractured, and they've been unable to reach out to some of the minorities in Syria. And they've also been unable to put forward their program, their plan for political change.

STOUT: Arwa Damon, reporting on the story for us from Beirut.

Thank you.

Now, ahead here on NEWS STREAM, four family members died, three more are facing life in prison. We'll update you on the so-called "honor murders" trial in Canada.

And leader of the pack. A new poll says Mitt Romney has pulled ahead of his Republican rivals in Florida. We'll have the latest on the race in the Sunshine State.

And game, set, six-hour match. A marathon final at the Australia Open rewrites history in men's tennis. We've got the details coming up right here on CNN.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, new polls show that Mitt Romney is holding a comfortable lead over his opponents ahead of Tuesday's Florida primary. This is where the polls stood last week, before Thursday night's CNN debate in Jacksonville.

Romney and Gingrich, they were neck and neck, with 36 and 34 percent respectively. Now let's bring up the latest numbers, and it shows a big shift. Romney now leads by a double-digit gap, with 43 percent of likely GOP voters. Gingrich has slipped slightly, with 32 percent. Now, Santorum and Ron Paul, they run (ph) out the group with 11 and 8 percent.

Despite changes in poll numbers, the Republican race has proven to be volatile. Each candidate's campaign has had its ups and downs.

Candy Crowley has more.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida will break the tie, but it won't end the game. The four survivors of the Republican primary process intend to keep on keeping on. They can all see the White House from their campaign headquarters.


CROWLEY: Newt Gingrich thinks he can muddy up Mitt Romney's prospects by doing well in states that divvy up delegates by percentages.

GINGRICH: The fact is, once you get beyond Florida, these are proportional representation states, and he's not going to be anywhere near a majority by April. And so this is going to go on all the way to the convention.


CROWLEY: Looking to caucus states where dedicated followers might produce outsized results, Ron Paul also depends on the law of political gravity.

PAUL: We're going to stay in and see what comes of it. And who knows what will come of the other two candidates? You know, there's been lots of ups and downs, so maybe there will be some downs and we might be able to pick up the pieces.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't come from, you know, a background of wealth.

CROWLEY: Steady, sure and under-funded, Rick Santorum needs a miracle like Iowa, but on time and bigger. He needs a tumble from the top, leaving space for him to step in as Newt without the baggage.

SANTORUM: We're doing great, and we -- but we're in this for the long haul. We just weren't going to go out and spend every dime in a hug state like Florida.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to get America working again by --

CROWLEY: Ever the CEO, Romney is a numbers cruncher. Figuring in the highs and lows, he patiently awaits a return on his investment.

ROMNEY: This is a campaign that's going to go the distance. I'm confident we're going to get the delegates we need and that, despite all the ups and downs of a campaign, in the final analysis, if I do my job right and get our supporters motivated, well, we'll be able to take the prize.

CROWLEY: Even if the Florida results do not change the players, they will surely change the game.

SANTORUM: Game on.


CROWLEY: Florida is not Rick Santorum's Iowa, dismissed as too white, too rural, with a lousy record of choosing winners.

ROMNEY: Thank you, New Hampshire!

CROWLEY: Nor is Florida Romney's New Hampshire, discounted by critics as a hometown win.

And Florida is not Gingrich's South Carolina, diluted by naysayers as an over-sampling of Evangelicals.

Florida is nobody's home state. It is populous, diverse, and hard hit by the economic downturn. There is a constituency for everyone. Florida is the no excuses state.

(on camera): A good win for Romney would reestablish him as the front- runner, the better for his bruises. And a nice win for Gingrich would make him more than a one-state wonder. Florida will change everything, even if we don't notice at first.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now, he was vital to the U.S. mission to capture Osama bin Laden, but now Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi remains in custody and a sort of legal limbo. We'll have an update on his story when we come back.


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

And it's time now for a sports update. And there were some fantastic finishes this weekend, including an historic tennis final in Melbourne.

Don Riddell is in London. He's got more -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Kristie.

Novak Djokovic is heading out of Melbourne following his epic victory against Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open. And the tennis community is still marveling and buzzing at the drama that both men served up in the longest final in Grand Slam history.

Djokovic won his third Aussie Open title and his fifth major in a five-set encounter that lasted almost six hours. It was a titanic struggle, and at times both men looked dead on their feet. But Djokovic came from a set behind and a breakdown in the fifth to grind out an incredible victory.

You know, if it wasn't for Djokovic, Nadal might have won 13 major titles by now. Instead, he's lost his last three Grand Slam finals to his new nemesis.

Having won this title and Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, Djokovic has now won three consecutive Grand Slam titles. And he's certainly enjoying his (INAUDIBLE) Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Nadal as the only man to have won three consecutive majors in the Open era. Novak, though, still has a losing record against Nadal, but he has dominated him in the last year, winning their last seven matches, all of which were tournament finals.

It was a terrific weekend for sports, and in golf there were two incredible tournaments, both of which had surprise winners.

In the U.S., you would have put your house on Kyle Stanley to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines because the American had a seven- shot lead early on Sunday. But the 24-year-old who is one of the game's rising stars then suffered one of the greatest meltdowns of all time. He still had a four-shot lead at the 18th hole, but that's when he realized just how cruel the game could be.

His approach looked perfect until it spun back off the green and into the water. His lead was still big enough, but his nerves must have been frayed, because leading only a double bogey for his first tour win, he free-putted from 45 feet. By less than four feet there he missed what would have been the winner, and that put him into a playoff with Brandt Snedeker.

On the second extra hole, Snedeker knocked in a par putt that caused Stanley to do the same. But sadly, it was another fine mess as Stanley missed again, handing Snedeker his second tour victory. And afterwards, Snedeker said he wouldn't have wished a round like that upon even his worst enemy.

Kristie, we'll have more sports for you in about three-and-a-half hours on "WORLD SPORT." See you then.

STOUT: All right. Good stuff.

Don Riddell, thank you.

Now, you're watching NEWS STREAM.

Coming up after the break, the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden is often touted as one of the central achievements of the Obama administration. But fallout from that raid, it continues in Pakistan.

We'll give you the details, next.


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

Now a gas pipeline in Syria has reportedly been sabotaged by what state media described as an armed terrorist group. It comes after activists said 64 people died in clashes on Sunday as the Arab League suspended its observer mission in the country. Now the UN security council is expected to take up a draft resolution this week that calls on President Bashar al Assad to step down.

Freedom today for 14 Chinese workers kidnapped in South Kordorfan State. Now the Sudanese army freed them from the captors on Monday. They were being held on the border of South Sudan. But there is still no word on the fate of 56 other workers who were also taken hostage.

Now militants launched another attack Monday in the northern Nigerian city of Kano striking a police building. No one was injured in the latest attack. Now hours earlier, two people were killed when another police building was targeted. Officials blamed the Islamic militant group Boko Haram which has carried out a wave of deadly attacks to the city in recent days.

Now the U.S. Defense Secretary says that he is, quote, "very concerned" about a Pakistani doctor who helped gather intelligence for the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound back in May. Now Pakistan is deciding whether to try Dr. Shakeel Afridi for high treason.

Reza Sayah is live in Islamabad. He joins us now. And Reza, the U.S. has voiced its concern for Dr. Shakeel Afridi, do we have any more information about his whereabouts or his well-being?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that he's in custody, he's been in custody, according to Pakistani authorities for roughly eight months. There have been some reports that he's been tortured while in custody, but we have not independently verified this.

But certainly this is a doctor that's been a bone of contention between the U.S. and Pakistan. The U.S. says he's a good guy, Pakistan says he's a bad guy. And so far they've treated him as a suspected criminal.

His name is Shakeel Afridi. Over the weekened Defense Secretary Leon Panetta came out and said he was a key figure in the operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. It's not clear exactly what he did, but we do know that he tried to set up a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad, the town where bin Laden was hiding. And the plan was for nurses to go into this compound, extract blood from bin Laden's kids in an effort to try to verify bin Laden's identity.

The plan didn't work. It failed. Even so, Pakistani authorities were outraged. They arrested him. And late last year, a commission investigating the bin Laden raid suggested, recommended that he should be tried for treason. It's not clear if that's going to happen. But Defense Secretary Panetta very concerned. Here's what he said in a CBS television interview over the weekend.


LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I'm very concerned about what the Pakistanis did with this individual. This was an individual who in fact helped provide intelligence on -- that was very helpful with regards to this operation. And he was not in any way treasonous towards Pakistan. He was not in any way doing anything that would have undermined Pakistan. As a matter of fact, if Pakistan's -- and I've always said this -- Pakistan and the United States have a common cause here against terrorism.


SAYAH: That was U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta calling for Dr. Shakeel Afridi's release. But there is no sign at this point if he's going to be released any time soon, Kristie. It's now up to the Pakistani government to decide whether they will try him on charges of treason.

LU STOUT: Leon Panetta very concerned about the doctor's fate. In that interview he also said that he believes someone in authority in Pakistan must have known that bin Laden was hiding out there in Abbottabad, so what is Islamabad's response to that?

SAYAH: Yeah, Islamabad's response has always been that they had no idea bin Laden was hiding there. The Pakistani government, the civilian government has said this, the military leadership has said this. Some here have said perhaps rogue elements, or retired members of the Pakistani military could have known where he is, could have helped him, but there's absolutely no evidence to substantiate this.

But it's also important to point out in his interview with CBS television Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed that this was only his opinion that he believes some members of the government may have known where he is. He said he didn't have any facts to support this, but this is what he believed. But certainly because who he is, defense secretary of America, it was a statement that raised a lot of eyebrows.

LU STOUT: That's right, just his opinion, but it is the opinion of the U.S. Defense Secretary. Reza Sayah joining us live from Islamabad. Thank you very much for that.

Well, the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, he has revealed that he cautioned President Barack Obama against the raid on Osama bin Laden. Now he told a meeting of congressional Democrats that when the officials were gathered in the Situation Room. Mr. Obama asked everyone's opinions on whether to go ahead. And Mr. Biden said, quote, "my suggestion is don't go." Now he added that only the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the president to go ahead with the operation.

Now just ahead here on News Stream, thick sea ice strands ships on China's eastern coast. We'll get the details from Mari Ramos at the world weather center.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now three Afghan immigrants in Canada have been sentenced to life behind bars for murdering four members of their own family. The Canadian jury convicted Mohammed Shafira, his wife and their son of first-degree murders of Shafia's three teenage daughters and his first wife in a polygamous marriage. Now prosecutors say the trio plotted to kill the girls as punishment for living a supposedly western lifestyle. The four victims were found dead inside a car at the bottom of a canal.

Now Paula Newton has been following this story from Kingston in Canada. She joins us now live. And Paula tell us more about what happened during this trial, in particular, what the defendants said and how they justified their actions?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To the very last, even when the judge was about to pronounce his reasoning about this verdict, those defendants maintained we are not murderers.

What they said happened, Kristie, was that this was a tragic accident. That that car accidentally fell into that canal, that these women were not killed before they went into the canal and that it was basically a misunderstanding between the family members.

But the jury over several months, three to be exact, almost 60 witnesses, heard a lot of conflicting evidence from those three family members. They didn't seem to have their stories straight. And that, combined with some very incriminating bugged conversations between these three members of the family served to convict them. They'll serve 25 years in prison without possibility of parole -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And why is this called an honor murder? What is the difference between honor killing and fatal violence against women in the form of domestic abuse?

NEWTON: You know, it's a very good question. And during this trial, Kristie, they had an expert on honor crimes that presented here. And what she said was quite clear, these crimes are different because these people, their lives were sacrificed in order to preserve this concept of honor. It's a very concept that many people, including the judge here, said has no place in civilized society. And yet some family members maintain that if these women do not lead a pious life that they must be, in the words of one, cut off like a diseased limb so that the rest of the family can survive and go on.

And Kristie, it must be pointed out, you know, even those these three family members have never admitted that they've committed any kind of crime here, some family members will say I would rather go to prison than put with the shame to this family. And right now there's still a lot of work ahead to really understand why this happens in communities.

Just to underscore, though, Kristie it is still a very rare crime.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you talked about a lot more needs to be done to understand why this happens. Can we talk more about the legacy of this verdict, the impact that it will have on wider Canadian society? And for example, there will be more calls for police or social workers to be alert for signs of violence in traditional Muslim families there.

NEWTON: Well, Kristie here the intervention is key. Now most people, most police services, social services know that honor crimes in Europe and North America go under reported. And in so many different communities around the world. They are just not reported.

What needs to be done is the need to be more warning signs that this is happening, more intervention, certainly more they say even just counseling with these families.

And what's been interesting here is that the UN estimates there's more than 5,000 of these honor crimes that go on every year around the world. The point here is how to get these families to move beyond the turmoil in their lives.

And Kristie, when I was following these stories in the UK and a lot of similarities in a lot of the different crime patterns here, many social service workers, teachers would complain to me and say, look, if it was a person of British descent that was missing school, that was being taken to foreign countries for months on end there was a lot I could do. They seem to be unwilling to go into very culturally sensitive areas and intervene on behalf of those young women.

LU STOUT: Paula Newton joining us live on this story, thank you very much indeed for sharing your reporting with us here on News Stream.

Now time for a worldwide weather check. And there is a weather warning in effect for shipping off the coast of northeastern China due to thick sea ice. Mari Ramos has more, she joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.


You know what, sometimes -- well, you know, this time of year you'd expect to see sea ice, right, in many areas across northeastern China. The thing is that this time around we're talking about some of the thickest in quite a long time.

Let's go ahead and look at the pictures first of all, and then I'll show you which part of the world we're talking about.

So this is an (inaudible) in Lazhou Bay in eastern China, just near Shandong Province. And just off the water here you can see how thick the ice actually is. Well, this is a problem, particularly for shipping because of course both cannot get in and out of the harbor. There are hundreds of boats that are literally stuck in that very thick ice and some of those boats can be permanently damaged because of the ice.

Now one of the questions that comes up -- there you see the boats stuck in the ice -- that comes up often is also fishing. What happens with the fishing industry? Well, there's a lot of areas there for fishing that -- where they have fish farms, for example. Well, most of the farmers had actually finished their harvest already this year. Usually they finish that by the end of December. So they don't think that those areas will be affected. But, you know, you can see it there, pretty significant.

Come back over to the weather map. This is a very busy area across northeastern China. We're talking in that northwestern corner of the Yellow Sea, in the Bohai Sea. And right over here you can actually see it on this visible satellite image from NASA the extent of the thick ice, in some cases over 125 kilometers. This is not the thickest that they've ever measures, or the widest that they've ever measured. They actually had more ice back in 2010. So this is the second time in two years where we have something so significant.

And you guys in Beijing and Seoul, you know what I'm talking about. But it has been so cold over the last couple of weeks. And that of course has helped create that sea ice that you see there.

Minus 4 now in Tokyo. The situation in Japan is going to be more snowfall on the way for you after all the snow that you had over the weekend, also very strong winds expected here as another push of cold air continues to move across the northeastern portion of the continent.

This is what it looks like on the satellite as you can see here.

Another area I want to talk to you about is as we head farther to the south, this is Indonesia. Over the weekend reports coming out of this area, particularly near Jakarta, of some very heavy rain. Well, this rain I don't think it's really associated to Tropical Cyclone Iggy, that storm is way down here to the south nearing the coast of Australia. However, this time of year we are talking about the wettest time of the year here across this part of world, anywhere from Papua New Guinea, which we had landslides last week, back over toward Indonesia of course, and peninsular parts of Malaysia. So definitely something to monitor.

The other thing is, of course, is our Tropical Cyclone Iggy right here off the coast of Australia. Even though high waves have been a concern and even some scattered showers, the center of the storm itself is expected to stay out at sea and not have a direct impact here on this western coast of Australia.

I want to switch gears completely and give you a brief update on what's happening in Europe, because this is also another big story, a lot going on. The heavy snowfalls across eastern Europe finally coming to an end. You look at the snow banks, Kristie, in some cases several meters high here. The snow coming to an end, but that Arctic high pressure will spread that cold air all the way into western Europe -- London, even today you were struggling to get out of freezing. Paris, you might not even get out of freezing over the next couple of days.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Wow, I liked that photo caption just then. It said significant snow. Yeah. Very.

Mari Ramos, thank you and take care.

And just ahead here on News Stream, we asked these Downton Abbey devotees what it is about the costume drama that has them captivated.

And visit the castle where the program is made.

And Star Wars, as you've never seen it before, take a look at the movie made by online fans re-imagining their favorite 15 second scene.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now if you're a fan of costume drama, you may recognize this building, it's Highclere Castle. It's the setting for the popular series Downton Abbey. Now the drama has won fans around the world as well as a string of awards including a Golden Globe. So we sent Max Foster to check out what life is really like in the stately home where the series is set.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, mama. This is very early for you to be up and about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: War makes early risers of us all.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Downton Abbey oozes class. And crucially it's about class. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family at the outbreak of World War I.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ethel, I have a message for you from the ladyship.

FOSTER: But it also tracks the parallel lives of servants living downstairs. It's a costume drama, but without an ending, airing in more than 100 countries.

What's the reality behind the story line? I went to meet Lady Carnarvon who owns the real-life Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle in southern England.

Lady Carnarvon, thank you very much for having us.

LADY CARNARVON, OWNER, HIGHCLERE CASTLE: How do you do. Welcome to Highclere.

FOSTER: Lady Carnarvon, a room many people recognize, fans of the show. I'm wondering how realistic this show is. Were the Carnarvons at the time have the same sort of life as the Crawleys?

CARNARVON: They would have had a lot more staff living here. Julian Fellows has contracted in sort of 18 major characters, I think it was to follow. And here I think there possibly would have been like 60 living within the house.

FOSTER: Even more staff.

CARNARVON: A lot more staff.

FOSTER: You're very patient with us. You obviously got used to film crews.

CARNARVON: You're a lot smaller than them.

FOSTER: There's got to be some horror stories. What's it like having all these film crews in the house all the time?

CARNARVON: It's just the sheer number of people. And then there is so much kept inside these trolley dolly things and video (inaudible) and then there's the camera, the light, and the balloon. This isn't a film set, it's our home. It's being used for a set for a wonderful TV series. So there is a funny balance.

And I remember after it had gone through the first deficit (ph) in the first series wondering if anyone would like it. Now it's amazing that it has a very steady audience here. America seem to have fallen in love with the series and the house and the characters. It's a complete phenomenon.

FOSTER: The big star in America, in terms of the show, has been Maggie Smith. The sofa where we often see her sitting. She's made your sofa very famous.


This is where Maggie Smith sits. This is the very room she's in. Though she has, she's amazing. And we all watch out for the lines that she delivers so brilliantly. But then Julie writes the lines for her...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't mind my drinking over the flowers do you?

Chorus flowers (ph) always (inaudible) first communion in southern Italy.

FOSTER: Max Foster, Highclere Castle, CNN.


LU STOUT: Now Highclere Castle is in the English country of Barkshire, west of London. But thanks to Downton Abbey every detail of the estate is now eagerly lapped up by audiences across the Atlantic. Now the series has inspired fans to host viewing parties like this one in Brooklyn, New York where friends, they gather to dress up in period costume and eat traditional English dishes.

So what makes the program so popular?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously I love the clothes, I love, you know, the house and the furniture, but it's a good drama. I like TV drama.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really into English history. So it was kind of a natural -- kind of a natural outflow of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The countess, Dowager, is my favorite because of her one liners, mainly.


LU STOUT: Now, not everyone is devoted to Downton Abbey like those fans, though the U.S. magazine Newsweek, historian Simon Shalma (ph), he offered up some comment for the magazine. He criticized the shows historical inaccuracies and described the drama as a, quote, "servile soap opera servicing the instincts of cultural necrophilia." Ouch.

Well, there are just six days left until the U.S. Super Bowl. And it's not just the biggest night of the year for American football fans, it's also a dream for advertisers. It seems it is now not enough for brands to spend big on the ads that air during the game itself. An unknown company has released this teaser trailer for an upcoming ad.


MATTHEW BRODERICK, ACTOR: How can I handle work on a day like today?


LU STOUT: Yep, that was Matthew Broderick in what looks like a reprisal of the role he played in Ferris Bueller's Day Off more than 25 years ago. And considering that character's cult following, it's perhaps not surprising that the clip has generated a lot of buzz online.

But the YouTube page where the video was posted is not giving anything away. It reads this, quote, "we hate to be such a tease. Stick it out until the Super Bowl, or take a day off on Monday and catch the big reveal."

Now one of last year's favorite Super Bowl ads was the Star Wars theme commercial from Volkswagen. It featured a young boy in a Darth Vader costume trying to use the force to start the families new Passat car. And this year, VW is hoping the galactic theme will be just as popular.

Now take a look at this teaser for its new Super Bowl campaign. It's called The Barkside.

And that is 11 dogs, different breeds, barking out a version of John Williams Imperial March. And it has already had 10 million hits on YouTube.

Now a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away -- or rather back in 2009 on the internet the Star Wars uncut project was created. And more than two years later it's become a movie. It is a crowd source remake of the original Star Wars film A New Hope. And fans from around the world, they sent in their own take of scenes from the movie in a dizzying array of cinematic styles. And these are just a few of them. We'll take a closer look at them in a moment, but first lets hear from the man behind the project Casey Pugh.


CASEY PUGH, STAR WARS UNCUT: I had a -- just generally interested in crowd sourcing in 2009. I was inspired by a lot of different projects. And at the same time I was also working at And so the conversation of always thinking about crowd sourcing and how to take it to the next level and how to make something more meaningful and also always thinking about how to get film makers to collaborate better online and using, like, for example through Vimeo or in any capacity. I started thinking about, well, what's the easiest way to create a feature length film using the internet. And thus I just stumbled upon the idea of splitting a film in pieces and asking the internet to recreate it.


LU STOUT: OK. So here's how that worked. The movie, it was divided up into 15 second parts on And then fans, they picked scenes, re-imagined them, and uploaded their clips to the sight. So rather than a live action Han Solo and Chewbacca battling storm troopers you get figures of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Woody taking on a couple of Mr. Potato Heads.

Users were inspired by a whole range of different media. And this is the scene in which Han Solo kills the alien bounty hunter Greedo in the style of a video game. At the bottom of the screen you can see the virtual player choose the blaster and its victim.

But it's not all animation, this is a memorable conversation between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo playing out as instant messages.

Now in total there are 473 scenes like those, but more than 1,000 were uploaded before the sight was closed for submissions. And the scenes, they were all stitched together into the full film.

You can find out more about the Star Wars Uncut movie and hear more from its creator on CNN's geek out blog. Just go to

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