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Argentina To Petition UN Over Falkland Islands; Tottenham Manager Harry Rednapp Acquitted Of Tax Evasion Charges; Iran Cracks Down On Illegal Afghan Migrant Workers; Japan Arcades Target New Consumer Group: The Elderly

Aired February 8, 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 Syria where the shelling of Homs intensifies as the U.S. condemnation of President al Assad grows louder.

Rick Santorum completes an unlikely sweep throwing the race for the Republican presidential nomination wide open.

And Harry Redknapp, the manager of English football team Tottenham Hotspur is cleared of tax evasion charges.

Your days are numbered, now that is the message to the Syrian president from the U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. And the warning comes as the military bombardment intensifies.

Activists say parts of Syria are like a war zone and report that 47 people have been killed today in Homs including three families in their homes. Now the government has linked the violence on armed terrorist groups.

This YouTube video said to be from the town of Zabadani (ph), that's northwest of Damascus, it appears to show heavy fighting there. Now again, CNN cannot verify the authenticity of this footage, however because the Syrian government limits access to the country.

Now as this bloodshed goes on, international pressure is mounting and the United States has made its strongest statement yet calling for President Bashar al Assad to step down. Now Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN gave the leader a direct message.


SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: Your days are numbered and it is time and past time for you to transfer power responsibly and peacefully. The longer you hang on, the more damage you do yourself, your family, your interests, and indeed your country.


LU STOUT: Your days are numbered -- Ambassador Rice certainly doesn't mince her words there. And if you look back at her recent comments on Twitter, you can see her language has grown stronger with each tweet. For example, on January 28 she said, quote, "the suspension of the monitors in Syria is not a license for impunity. The world is still watching."

And then on Feburary 4 she tweeted her disgust that Russia and China prevented the UN security council from fulfilling its sole purpose.

And on Monday this week she credited a report by Arwa Damon with "reminding us of the consequences of inaction in Syria, quoting an activist that said everyone is becoming used to death here."

Now let's get the very latest on the ongoing violence inside Syria. Ivan Watson is following events from Istanbul, Turkey. And he joins us now. And Ivan, Homs is still under siege. What is the latest?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's not just Homs. We have to make it clear that we are getting reports of violence in a number of different cities across Syria. Homs being one of them, also the western town of Zabadani (ph), which is facing siege-like conditions according to residents and activists there. And the southern region of Daraa where activists tell me a village outside the city is being shelled as we speak.

Now the thrust, and the most violent part of what seems to be the Syrian military offensive is targeting Homs -- is targeting the western opposition stronghold neighborhood within Homs of Baba Amr (ph). And that's where a video has emerged today from residents, from activists that appears to show the aftermath of what seems to be the indiscriminate shelling of a densely populated residential neighborhood, Baba Amr (ph), by rockets, mortar, tanks.

And take a look at this short clip of video that we're going to show you from an activist in this neighborhood who has very much become a spokesman, a figurehead you could say, for this besieged community. Take a listen. And I have to warn you, some of the images are pretty unpleasant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). It's 7:00 am. This is a little child. He's about 2-years-old. He got (INAUDIBLE) at his house. Is this what the UN is waiting for? Is this what the UN is waiting for (INAUDIBLE) any more children left, until they kill all the children, kill all the women?


WATSON: You can hear the outrage, the desperation there. Activists telling us more than 50 people killed in Homs alone today, hundreds believed killed there over the course of the last four to five days, also getting reports of siege-like conditions in the town of Zabadani where we believe telecommunications have been cut off. That town encircled. One resident activist outside the town telling me that the people there will not surrender easily. They will fight. And they're prepared to fight against the regime in that community as well -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, the international world is watching the situation there very closely. In particular Turkey, where you are. What role is Prime Minister Erdogan playing to try to bring an end to this crisis?

WATSON: Well, the Turks are calling for a new conference of countries to try to find some way out here. They're talking about a new initiative, but they haven't illustrated exactly what concrete measures that would include.

Also, the United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has put out yet another statement condemning the violence, what appears to be indiscriminate shelling of communities like Homs. But let me say, we have seen months of statements like this coming from the human rights commissioner, coming from a concerned governments around the world as well. And the killing has continued inside with more than 6,000 people dead, Kristie, over the course of the last 11 months, that's according to the United Nations.

The activists inside have now taken to denouncing countries that they believe were on their side, saying they're not taking any measures to help us, that includes Arab countries, the U.S., European countries because they're still dying. One activist I spoke with today in Damascus, she said what's happening now is events are moving beyond diplomacy. The activists are arming themselves. The regime supporters are arming themselves. And the country is heading very quickly towards a civil war, that's the words of one Syrian activist in Damascus. She says that disaster is coming -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Very alarming scenario. Ivan Watson on the story joining us live from Istanbul, thank you.

Now despite nearly a year of protest, President Bashar al Assad, he is still holding on to power. Now he has promised to end the violence and implement reforms, but as Nic Robertson reports opposition groups say he has to go.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Syria, there are two realities. The government, this is a battle against terrorist gangs guided by foreign hands. And the other, the carnage at the hands of government forces the rest of the world sees.

Bashar al Assad is on the offensive. He makes no apologies. At his only public speech this year, he spelled out the future -- his way or the highway.

Syrians must either support reforms on offer -- constitutional change, some political opposition, or face the brutal might of his army. So far, the few to sign up to the president's version of the future, like Zahir Said Aiden (ph), are struggling to find support.

"We need 1,000 signatures to register," he says. "We wanted intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, but we've had to look elsewhere."

Hardly surprising. They believed Assad once before, but were tricked.

"The last time the government said this in 2005," he says, "we were arrested not long after forming a party."

Russia is pushing Assad to initiate roundtable talks. But the answer from the opposition is already no, unless one crucial condition is met.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first condition that will help us provide such an environment is for President Assad to step down. Without this condition -- without the stepping down, the conditions would not be conducive to a dialogue about how to transition into democracy.

NADIM SHEHADI, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: The main issue is his credibility. I don't think the opposition believes in any of his offers while he's at the same time saying that he's going to crush them and that they are agents of Israel and the United States.

ROBERTSON: Besides his military might, Assad's other asset is the opposition's divisions which reflect Syria's volatile mixture -- secular, Muslim Brotherhood, hardline Islamists, urban, rural, middle class, poor, and above all the fault line of Sunni and Alawite. Divisions, observers say, Assad exploits.

SHEHADI: The regime has played games and has managed to divide -- to play on all the divisions, or capitalize on all the international, local, regional internal divisions.

ROBERTSON: Assad, and his father before him, have ruled this way for close to 40 years, masters of divide and conquer. According to western diplomats, he appears confident. And the opposition is far more fragmented than it was several months ago.

And that's not the only problem for activist leaders. Every death builds bitterness, making it harder for them to lead their people to the kind of compromise needed to avoid a civil war. Assad is playing by his rules. And right now there's no one to stop him.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


LU STOUT: In China, many people are talking about dramatic developments in Chongqing. The city is well known for its crackdown on corruption. Police arrested thousands of suspected gangsters and crooked local officials there in 2009.

Now Wang Lijun, pictured here, he led the effort to clean up Chongqing. Now many city residents hail him as a hero. But late last week, he was suddenly stripped of his police post. And Wang was reassigned to oversee education, sports, environmental protection and other areas.

And then, earlier today, the government announced that Wang had been placed on leave for stress.

Now Chinese netizens speculated that he fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu more than 300 kilometers away from Chongqing.

Now Wang was appointed by this man, Bo Xilai. He is the city's Communist Party chief and the son of a revolutionary hero. Bo is widely expected to be promoted during China's political transition this year.

Now Wang's current whereabouts are unknown. Eunice Yoon joins us now from CNN Beijing. And Eunice, the rumors have been swirling all day about Wang Lijun, tell us the reaction inside China.

EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, the internet has just been buzzing with rumors about Wang. The official statement from the Chongqing office about his medical leave was retweeted 55,000 times. And there are plenty of jokes about the government's description of his, quote, vacation style treatment. In fact, on Weibo which is China's version of Twitter, one user wrote "in modern Chinese we have phrases like protective demolition, mild rear-end collision, and now vacation style treatment. Is this what we call Chinese characteristics?"

And there was another Weibo user who joked that the government really understands the art of words. "Just look at the new buzzword they created for us, vacation style treatment."

So plenty of jokes there from Chinese microbloggers. Chinese microbloggers also took a lot of photos outside of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu of the police cars that were surrounding the U.S. consulate. They have said that they believe that Wang sought refuge at the U.S. consulate and was there for hours. And that has raised a lot of speculation that perhaps this was an attempted defection. A lot of discussion about that. Of course the U.S. embassy here in Beijing wouldn't comment on those rumors, but did say that they did not request the increased security detail -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Eunice, if Wang Lijun is found to have broken the law, that could be politically damaging for his former boss in Chongqing Bo Xilai. So just how embarrassing are these rumors for him?

YOON: Well, that's another discussion that's going on online. A lot of people have been saying that it is very embarrassing and potentially damaging for Bo Xilai who is his boss. A lot of people have been talking about their very close relationship.

As you well know, Wang is a very close ally with Bo. The two of them have been known to be a crime fighting team in Chongqing. And there have been a lot of questions now raised because of this incident about their relationship and the future of Bo. Bo Xilai has been tapped to be part of the next generation of leaders here in China.

Now one Weibo user said someone in the central government is clearly unhappy with Bo Xilai. He might be ruined if he fails to tackle this tricky situation with skill. Again, because of their close relationship, this relationship as well as the future of Bo Xilai is being questioned online. And certainly a lot of people are talking about how an attempted defection, if it is indeed a defection, or even if we see that Wang is a very depressed man because of his current situation, that couldn't be good for his -- for Bo's political standing in the next transitional leadership change -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, a number of questions for both men. Eunice Yoon, joining us live from Beijing. Thank you.

Now coming up next here on News Stream, another twist in the U.S. Republican presidential race. We'll tell you why Rick Santorum is feeling new momentum. And frontrunner Mitt Romney is feeling the heat.

And winter's dreadful toll in Ukraine. Dozens are dead. And one official says frigid temperatures aren't the only culprit.

And Afghan child workers expelled from Iran. We hear their desperate story.


LU STOUT: The conservative alternative to Barack Obama. Now that is how Rick Santorum describes himself after winning all three Republican presidential contests on Tuesday. The former senator swept past frontrunner Mitt Romney to claim victories in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado. He led by double digits in two of those states.

Santorum's success is also bad news for Newt Gingrich who sees himself as Romney's chief rival and the pick for the conservative vote.

And as you just saw, it was all smiles in St. Charles, Missouri when Rick Santorum addressed his followers on Tuesday night. And he spoke to CNN a short time ago.


RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, obviously we feel very appreciative of the people of those three states and frankly of folks across the country for the great support. I mean, Soledad, I mean even as we were not doing particularly well in Florida and Nevada we saw our contributions online just continue to go up. This last couple of weeks have been frankly the best two weeks we've had of the campaign fundraising wise. So it's not just those three states, which we're most appreciative of, but in a way I believe conservatives are beginning to get it that we provide the best opportunity to beat President Obama.


LU STOUT: Now CNN estimates that Rick Santorum is still in third place in the delegate count. But it is important to note that Missouri's 52 delegates are not allocated during its primary. Now Delegates will be awarded at the state's caucuses in March. And Newt Gingrich was not even on the ballot in Missouri.

Right now Mitt Romney is still well in front as you can see with 106. And the candidate needs 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination.

Now the Santorum sweep of all three states has caught many by surprise and thrown a new curve ball in the race. And CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser joins me now from Washington.

And Paul, a clean sweep for Santorum. Tell us how did he do it?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: You know, I guess the old fashioned way -- hard work. He earned it. He spent time in all three of these states. Remember, he left Florida even before the Florida primary to go to Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. He spent a lot of time on the ground in all three states. As you mentioned, it helped in Missouri that Newt Gingrich wasn't on the ballot.

I tell you, Kristie, this is a funny thing. The interesting thing about this Republican race for the nomination if you don't like the way it is, just wait a second. It's going to change. And we were thrown a big curve ball last night with these contests.

We had a feeling that Santorum was going to win one, maybe two, but a clean sweep of all three. It really changes the game.

Listen, Mitt Romney is still the frontrunner, no doubt about that, but this really gives Rick Santorum a boost in the arm as he tries to be the conservative alternative to Romney, not Newt Gingrich -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now Mitt Romney is still the frontrunner, but the night it was a huge disappointment for him. What went wrong?

STEINHAUSER: Yeah. They were already trying -- they being the Romney campaign -- was already trying to downplay the results. They said, listen Missouri, a non-binding primary. Basically a beauty contest. Romney didn't even campaign there.

But he did go to Minnesota. He spent the day there right after his big victory in Florida. And he spent the last two days in Colorado. He had planned to have a big victory celebration there, but it didn't happen.

But he is still very confident he is going to be the nominee. Here is what he said.


MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Senator Santorum, wish him the very best. We'll keep on campaigning down the road. But I expect to become our nominee with your help.



STEINHAUSER: I'd expect now that the Romney campaign goes after Santorum. We've seen how the Romney campaign has been tough against Newt Gingrich, really not so much, kind of leaving Santorum alone. That will now change.

What went wrong for Romney? Well, I think with Republican voters a lot of them are still looking for that conservative candidate. They don't feel it is Mitt Romney. They're looking elsewhere. Maybe it's Santorum, maybe it's Gingrich, but a lot of the conservatives are still not so happy with Mitt Romney, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And to what extent is Newt Gingrich still in this race? I mean, especially after that Santorum sweep, could his campaign be fading?

STEINHAUSER: It was a tough night for Newt Gingrich, no doubt about that. He told our Wolf Blitzer in an interview before the results came in that he was still charging ahead, that nothing had changed. He's looking forward to March, to some of the southern states that vote on March 6, which is called Super Tuesday, where he thinks he will do better.

But, you know what, it's a long way away. And if he continues to have more bad nights, it really hurts his campaign.

Well, Gingrich says he is marching on. This thing is far from over. We still have a four man field. Nothing has changed there, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Paul Steinhauser, thank you very much indeed. Take care.

Still ahead here on News Stream, English football manager Harry Redknapp is cleared of tax evasion charges. And we'll have a live report from outside the courts next.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong. You're back watching News Stream.

Now Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp learned his fate in court today. Alex Thomas is here with more on the verdict and what it means for the club -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kristie. Yes, he called the two-and-a-half week trial a nightmare, but Harry Redknapp is now free to lead Tottenham's Premier League title race after being found not guilty of two counts of tax evasion.

Let's get more details on it now from Atika Schubert. She's our reporter outside Southwark Crown Court in Central London. Atika, what can you tell us?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can imagine, Harry Redknapp is very relieved to hear the not guilty verdict come in from the jury. In fact, when he heard the news he hugged his co-defendant Milan Manderic there. And he came out and made a brief statement saying that he was looking forward to getting back to the business of football.

Now what's interesting is that the jury actually deliberated for some time, more than four hours yesterday and then returned today to deliberate a little further. And the reason it took so long, one of the reasons, is that the judge said he wanted a unanimous verdict. And so that meant a lot of discussion among jury members.

And it's interesting to note that one of the things the judge said is that he -- you wanted the jury to leave their emotions out of it. He said he knew that football was a very emotive subject, but that they wanted the jury to simply consider this as a case of possible tax evasion and to strip away any sentiments they had about football.

Clearly they decided no guilty. And Redknapp is very relieved to be over this nightmare as he calls it and getting back to the business at hand.

THOMAS: OK. I thought we were going to hear some reaction from Redknapp who had spoken outside court. As you mentioned, nightmare is the word of the moment.

Thanks for that Atika.

Redknapp called the trial a nightmare, but it hasn't been for his club on the pitch. Tottenham faced three games while Redknapp was enduring that court case. They won two of them and drew the hardest of the three games away to Liverpool in the Premier League. Overall, Tottenham a third in the Barclay's Premier League, which is the most lucrative in the world. They're seven points behind leaders Manchester City and very much still in the title race, Kristie.

And one other thing to consider, of course Redknapp the book makers' favorite to become the next England manager. That would have been very difficult if he'd gone to jail, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Alex Thomas, joining us live from London, thank you very much with that.

Now ahead here on News Stream, the big freeze in Europe claimed more lives. And we'll take you to a hospital in Ukraine where victims of the deadly chill are being treated.

And the custody battle over the Falkland Islands continues. Argentina wants to take the fight to the United Nations, but Britain has other ideas. The details next on CNN.


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

Now Harry Redknapp, now the manager of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur has been cleared of tax evasion by a court in London. Speaking outside the court, Harry Redknapp thanked the Tottenham fans for their support during the trial.

Rick Santorum has surged back in the U.S. race for the Republican presidential nomination. He led the pack in Republcian contests in three states: Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado all on Tuesday. He poses a fresh challenge to frontrunner Mitt Romney.

People in the Syrian city of Homs say government forces are shelling their neighborhood again today. Activists say at least 47 people have been killed in the besieged city today. And the government continues to blame what it calls armed terrorist groups for the escalating violence.

European safety officials are ordering airlines to inspect all their Airbus A-380 super jumbo jets for cracks in the wings. Airbus says any cracks found so far are not dangerous. And A-380s are not being grounded. But the Australian airline Qantas took one super jumbo out of service after finding tiny cracks during a routine check.

Now the brutal winter across Europe is proving a severe test for emergency and relief services. At least 250 people have died from the cold, 135 in Ukraine alone.

And one emergency official in the Ukraine says alcohol abuse has contributed to the high death toll there. And the capital Kiev has more than 14,000 homeless people whose living conditions make them the most vulnerable to the bitter cold.

Matthew Chance visited a hospital set up to deal with the victims of the frigid weather. And we have to warn you some viewers you may find scenes in this report hard to watch.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the impact of freezing temperatures when you've got nowhere to live. (INAUDIBLE) was found half frozen, sleeping at a bus stand in Kiev. His toes and fingers blackened by frost bite.

It's badly affected his feet and hands, the doctor tells me. There's also painful frost bite on his nose and face, he says. Another casualty of the cold.

I mean, there are huge problems in Ukraine at the moment with the cold. I mean, people are really getting severely injured and worse. We're just going to see somebody who is being prepared for surgery. Apparently they're going to have their hand amputated. There have been instances over the past week or so as well as people having their legs amputated because of the cold.

And it gets much worse as well. I mean, look just through this window here, you can see over there there's a body that's been shrouded in a white sheet, somebody who was a victim of this freezing weather.

At a mobile soup kitchen, one of 11 now plying the streets of Kiev, city officials admit the problem of deaths caused by cold is increasing. But they say it's not through lack of effort to help on their part.

"I think it's just a tragic coincidence," the deputy head of Kiev's administration tells me. "We're putting three times more money into helping the homeless than last year. But the weather is a harsh test," he says.

Back in the hospital, another homeless patient is being prepped for surgery. His frost-bitten hands, say doctors, can't be saved.

For many, in freezing Ukraine, the test of the weather is proving harsh indeed.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Kiev.


LU STOUT: And now we have seen the brutal impact of freezing temperatures there in Europe. Let's get the forecast for the cold. Mari Ramos joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, just amazing to see those pictures like that. You know, kind of puts everything in perspective about how dangerous this cold wave actually is. It doesn't take a long time for a person to freeze or to get frost bite, for your skin to freeze, for your flesh to freeze in temperatures like this, usually in as little as 10 to maybe as much as 30 minutes in some cases depending on how much wind there is, if their clothing is wet, if their hands are completely exposed or maybe just wearing some sort of light gloves or something like that. But 10 to 30 minutes when you're talking about temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius.

And we've seen widespread 20 degrees Celsius again today, not just in Ukraine, but also into parts of Poland and into Russia and all across Eastern Europe.

This is a picture from Berlin and this is called a warmer bus. They have a bus that they activate when the temperatures get extremely cold like what we see now to help the homeless people, find them shelter, maybe take them to a shelter if they would like to try to avoid people being exposed to the cold for so long.

It's a lot of problems also with the blocked roadways that we've seen over and over. This is in southern Italy. The blocked roadways are a concern because people can get trapped in their vehicles. You may not be a homeless person, you think oh I'm not at risk right? I'm not going to be outside. But if you get stuck in your vehicle for a long time you could also freeze inside your car. So be extremely careful in these extreme temperatures that we're seeing, and conditions with the heavy snowfalls in areas that normally don't get snow.

You could get stuck in your car. And that is extremely dangerous as well. So be prepared and avoid travel if you can.

The temperatures, again, what can I tell you, look, this is the middle of the afternoon across Europe and we're still dealing with extreme cold. Minus 15 in Kiev. You had minus 18 this morning. Minus 3 right now in Paris. Barely at 0 degrees right now in London. Glasgow way to the north actually a little bit warmer at 2 degrees. That's just an indication of how this cold air is traveling from east to west and just entrenching itself yet again across this region here. 3 in Madrid. And the cold temperatures have returned also as we head into Greece.

Now a lot of changes as far as the weather patterns. We still have the big area of high pressure, the slow -- the areas of low pressure with the storminess moving across central and southern Mediterranean.

And this weather system right in here could make it far inland enough that the latest computer models are showing us the possibility of some snow even in places like London.

So here is comes. The purple is actually the coldest air. And I want you to keep an eye on this, because we have a pool of very cold air here over Ukraine and Russia and then another pool of very cold air that will be making its way across the Balkans as we head through the next couple of days. So the extreme cold returns. The snowfall not as heavy in the south, but still significant enough across central and southern Europe that it's going to be a problem.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast now.

And no this is not pictures from Europe, these are pictures from Japan where the snow is continuing to pile up across these areas. You can see roadways completely impassable, cars barely visible, and snow banks that are in some cases up to a meter high. The snow has been affecting this area significantly, also with some very cold temperatures all across northeastern portions of Asia.

The next images I want to show you are rare indeed. These are from North Korea. These pictures taken on Monday. Temperatures here, according to televised news reports in that country, plummeted to the coldest that they have seen this entire winter. Minus 18 in Pyongyang -- it's minus 8 right now in Seoul. And we're seeing minus one in Vladivostok, or somewhere there inbetween. North Korea also experiencing freezing temperatures, Kristie.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Mari Ramos, thank you for sharing those pictures with us. And we'll check in with you a little bit later.

Now Britain is hitting back in the row with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. On Tuesday, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner warned that her country would file a protest at the United Nations over what she called the militarization of the south Atlantic. Buenes Aires views the recent deployment of Britain's Prince William to the Falkland Islands as a provocation.

Now the UK foreign office responded to President Fernandez's comments in a statement saying the people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice. They are free to determine their own future. And there will be no negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty unless the islanders wish it.

Now CNN's Dan Rivers has more reaction from the islanders themselves.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was a bit of a air of anticipation here on the Falkland Islands, people here waiting to hear what the Argentine President Cristina Kirchner had to say in a much (INAUDIBLE) speech she got in not only her own supporters, but opposition parties, unions, human rights groups, veterans of the 1982 conflict with Britain as well.

In the end, though, people here say they were relieved that there was no major announcement about the ending of flights to Chile and South America. Instead, Cristina Kirchner talked about taking the issue of Las Mavinas, as they call the Falklands, to the UN, the security council with a petition for some sort of action.

But no other concrete measures that would have an impact on the lives of the islanders here. They say that had that ending of flights gone ahead, it would have had an impact on tourism. Of course on businesses, it would have meant some produce as well wouldn't have been able to been brought in so easily.

Nevertheless, there is still a regular -- what they call an air bridge, a flight to Britain, to a royal air force base in Oxfordshire that operates twice a week. So it still has its air links in place. But the main overwhelming message from islanders here that they thought they have been ignored, in their words, during this war of words between Argentina and Britain. And many of them here feel that perhaps the best solution in all this would be for them to get a greater say about the sovereignty of these islands and about how they're run.

Dan Rivers, CNN, in Stanley, the Falkland Islands.


LU STOUT: The United Kingdom has long claimed sovereignty over the islands. Indeed the territory has been under British rule since 1833, but much closer geographically, Argentina also claims what it calls Las Movinas as its own. In April of 1982, an Argentine military force invaded. And the subsequent war ended 74 days later with a British victory.

So why does Britain want to hang on to the islands? Well, historic ties, of course, but also economic interests. Now the islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds as well as a growing oil drilling industry.

While Argentina's president was talking tough on Tuesday. A picture also paints a 1,000 words. Just take a closer look at the background behind President Ferrnandez here. And you will see it's a map of the islands with the Argentine flag flying right over them.

Now turning now to a troubling story along the Afghan-Iranian border. Some young migrant laborers, they were returned to Afghanistan recently after enduring hardships beyond their years in Iran. Nick Paton-Walsh has their story.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many have been grateful to leave Afghanistan, but few grateful to come back. Here, at the border with Iran, we discretely film how every day Afghanistan's fiery neighbor deports dozens of the tens of thousands of illegal Afghan immigrants struggling to make whatever they can on its streets.

Many (INAUDIBLE) decade of war here across the border to work as illegal immigrants. But now after a crackdown are being pushed back towards a war that's still continuing.

The men simply wander back towards the war. Some didn't make it back alive. This 22-year-old killed in an accident. But the youngest few return adult in appearance.

Beginning a slow process of aid workers reuniting them with families who can't care for them, who needed the money they were earning in Iran, or who sometimes send them straight back again.

They come hungry, soon given new clothes and food, even age 12 still carrying stories of a yet harder life in Iran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My uncle told me my father was in Iran. So he took me there. But he made me do hard labor collecting plastic and metal trash to sell to factories. My uncle took the money I earned and disappeared. The Iranian police found me and sent me back here.

PATON-WALSH: The older few, here mostly 15, all old before their time, fearing they might have to go back to Iran's hardships.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I used to work in a aluminum smelting factory. It was so hot. And I had to carry very heavy things. They put a lot of pressure on me. That's why I have kidney problems. It hurts all the time, especially in the morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Because I was lifting very heavy things, I now have a problem in my waist. If I sit still for a long time, I can't stand up because I have a pain there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now what will I do? Shall we starve? I know, I can't find work in Afghanistan so I'll have to go back to Iran or go to Pakistan.

PATON-WALSH: Iran is purging itself of illegal Afghans. These few falling into a system laid on by the international community to try and get them home to their families, back to a life in a country where with outside help begins to leave, they somehow face yet greater uncertainty.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, Islam Karla (ph), Western Afghanistan.



LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Japan's aging population is well documented. The government says nearly 40 percent of people will be age 65 or older by year 2060. Many of the elderly are still young at heart.

Now Kyung Lah shows us a growing past-time for pensioners.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the hyper animated, shoot 'em up world of Japan's video game arcade, the pleasure has gone from pre-teens to retiree.

When we look around we see a lot of people who are about your same age. Why?

"Because it's fun here," says Taro Kataoka (ph).

He's 70, and so is his wife.

"We're bored," says Sumeko Kataoka (ph). "We have nothing to do. I don't have anything to say to my husband anymore. It's much better to come here than just sit in the house watching TV all day. We need some excitement too."

So many gray-haired gamers gather here that this arcade has morphed into an unofficial senior center.

"Of course we did," he says, pointing out the game that meets here every other day. "Games are good to prevent dementia." A clear trend spotted by the corporation that owns this arcade, now pushing senior days, building more pin ball, coin generated games and marketing easy to use point cards.

Are you purposefully making this more analogue to meet the needs of an older population?

"That's right," says Sega spokeswoman. "In Japan the trend is to use the mobile phone to collect points. But we're using paper, because it's senior friendly."

If you think getting elderly people to play video games is a crazy idea, well consider this. For every child in Japan there are two elderly people. In 50 years, that number will grow, for every child there will be four elderly people. It only makes economic sense.

Japan is aging faster than anywhere on the planet with a birthrate at historic lows. The arcade is just one example of a once youthful focused industry shifting to meet the population reality.

Do you think it's at all weird, though, to see so many elderly people in the arcade?

"No. It's not that weird," say these 16-year-olds. "As long as the seniors stick to their games."

If you saw them playing one of the shoot 'em up games with the gun or a sword would that be weird?

"Yeah. Now that would be weird."

There's no telling, says the video game industry, what the future of this gray nation holds.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


LU STOUT: As Kyung mentioned, it makes economic sense to market video games to older consumers, but there may be a health benefit as well. Now a study done by the university of Illinois found that strategic video games improved the mental fitness of people aged 60 and up. And physical games like Nintendo's Wii Bowling are thought to help keep the elderly active.

Now this sounds like something from a political sketch show, three state ministers from southern India have resigned after they were accused of watching pornography in the local assembly. Now the politicians were filmed apparently viewing the footage on their mobile phones as the legislative debate was taking place.

But as Sara Sidner reports, they deny any wrongdoing.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These two minister say they were doing the people's work during this legislative session, but critics say that's not what they're doing here on camera. The ministers are accused of watching video of a sex act on a cell phone.

Several local TV stations were filming while a debate was underway when they noticed the two ministers staring down at his cellphone in the Karnataka House Assembly in southern India. In one shot, the camera zooms in to the cell phone and it appears to show several people involved in a sex act.

The video, from local news channels, was broadcast across the country and caused such an uproar leaders were forced to adjourn the subsequent state legislative meeting. The two ministers shown looking at the phone Lakshman Savadi, minister for cooperation, and C.C. Patil, minister for women and child development resigned along with the minister for ports who allegedly supplied the cell phones. The ministers denied they were watching pornography, but said they were resigning to save their party from embarrassment.

"We told our government and our party we don't want to be seen as criminals so we're happy to resign," he says.

Public outrage heightened because one of the ministers involved is the minister of women and child welfare who recently blamed the rise in rape cases on women wearing provocative clothing.

When confronted with the incident, the minister for cooperation said he was not watching pornography, but instead watching a woman being raped by four people as part of an investigation into the ill effects of rave parties.

The chief minister of the state says the three men didn't make any mistakes, but he is accepting their resignation. All three say their names will be cleared. But for now, they are stepping down.

Sara Sidner, CNN, New Delhi.


LU STOUT: Now Iran is working on spreading soft power around the world, especially in Latin America.

It has just launched a 24 hour Spanish language satellite TV channel apparently to counter U.S. dominance in the Americas.

Now Iran is also trying to stem the influence of western culture at home. The government has just slapped a ban on all toys and dolls associated with the U.S. cartoon family The Simpsons. And this comes on top of last month's ban on Barbie dolls.

Yep, and oddly the two western characters who do get the stamp of approval are Spider-Man and Superman. The (INAUDIBLE) police, they say it is because they fight for the oppressed.

Well, still to come here on News Stream, they impressed us with their dance routine on treadmills. And now the band OK Go has released a new music video and it is racing to success on YouTube. That next on CNN.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now it was a creative process that involved around 300 guitars, 55 pianos, and a Chevy. But for American bank OK Go, making a music video is never an easy day's work. Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why just play the car radio when you can play the car?

It's so unusual we had to make up a name for it.

Drive-by what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess it's drive-by rock 'n roll is what it is.

MOOS: Rock 'n roll on over 1,100 home-made instruments like glass jars and pipes. The group OK Go has gone and done it again after making music videos on treadmills, and with a dozen leaping dogs, and with a Rube- Goldberg contraption big enough to fill a warehouse. Now OK Go is going on the road.

Lead singer Damian Kulash says it took four months of prep and four days of shooting in the California desert on a two mile track in a car that deployed seven arms.

DAMIAN KULASH, SINGER, OK GO: It you're off by a little bit you just rip the arms off the car. I mean, we broke -- we broke dozens of those arms.

MOOS: His fellow band members turned levers to deploy the arms, arms that tickled the ivories on 55 pianos.

KULASH: Each piano we had to tune the bottom half of it down to one note so that no matter where you hit it, you'd get the same note.

MOOS: Damian had to take a stunt driving course. He says the tricky part wasn't driving fast, it was driving at the perfect speed.

KULASH: The guitar solo is about 42, which doesn't sound like much, but on an unpaved road on the edge of a cliff with some turns in it, it's scary.

MOOS: Did he say guitar solo?

KULASH: The guitars were played with a fishing rod.

MOOS: 288 guitars with four of their six strings removed.

Chevrolet paid for the project and gave OK Go total creative freedom as well as the new Chevy Sonic. In exchange, Chevy got to use OK Go's material in a commercial that first aired during the Super Bowl.

The car even ran over hoses that blew air into tubas.

To commemorate the video, OK Go is selling car air fresheners with their faces on them. Each guy is a different sent.

KULASH: I think I might be new car smell. I hope I'm new car smell.

MOOS: New car smell?

New car smell with a top note of dusty guitar.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


LU STOUT: Now OK Go, they posted that clip on YouTube just a few days ago. It already has around 7 million hits. In the past, company's like Samsung and Range Rover have also invested in the band's videos, an advertising dream, it seems.

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