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NEWS STREAM

Fair Labor Association To Perform Audit On Chinese Manufacturer Foxconn; UN Holds Summit On Human Trafficking in Hanoi; Jeremy Lin Continues Strong Play Against Sacramento; 15 Million Children in Afghanistan Suffer Malnutrition

Aired February 16, 2012 - 8:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LU STOUT: Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And we begin in Syria. Scenes of defiance in Daraaa, but there was no sign of a respite as violence spreads across the country.

As the company that builds many of the world's gadgets is audited over its working conditions, we speak to the president of the inspection team.

And will the Jeremy Lin fairytale ever end? The Asian-American star leads his team to their seventh straight win.

Now the bloodshed in Syria shows no signs of letting up. Activists say 32 people were killed on Wednesday in multiple cities including Homs, Damascus and Aleppo. Now human rights groups says one person has been killed today in Daraa. Protests have been held against President al Assad. At least 14 others are reported killed this Thursday in Hamaa.

And heavy artillery fire continues in Homs. And cases of suffocation are now being reported there after an oil pipeline exploded on Wednesday.

And here we can see what appears to be citizens being detained by government forces in Damascus, though we can't verify these images from YouTube.

And to the southwest, the Syrian military has reportedly stormed a village searching for military defectors.

Now as we've been reporting, the situation further south in Homs is deteriorating. And Arwa Damon is inside the city. And reports on how the civilians are coping with continued heavy fire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The bombardment at some point was so intense that buildings were shaking, glass was shattering. A nine-year-old girl that was caught in the house we were in burst into tears and there was absolutely no way to comfort her. We also spent a couple of hours at the medical clinic inside Baba Amr, which is the neighborhood that has been the hardest hit in this most recent government onslaught.

Non-stop shelling, residents here are telling us, that has been going on for 11, 12 days now. And the doctors there are beside themselves.

One of the doctors is actually a specialist in internal medicine, the other a dentist. They have neither the medical expertise nor the equipment at their disposal to deal with the scope of injuries that are coming in.

There was one 30-year-old man who was lying on the brink of death. He had taken a chunk of shrapnel to the brain. The doctor said that his brain was beginning to ooze out. All he was able to do was stitch it up and insert a tube to try to prevent the blood from clotting.

There was another man lying close by in a hospital bed whose leg was going to have to be amputated. He was unable to get out of the country in 24 hours. And the doctor's eyes filled with tears as he heard this man talking about how life had no value anymore, the shells were just raining down on them.

The other patients, they had to be distributed to homes in the area, because the clinic keeps getting targeted. And in one of these cases, one of the patients was actually a volunteer himself, a young man who had gone through a 15 day course and then volunteered to help out. He's been wounded during one of these attacks. And he was lying there, (inaudible) conscious. The nurse tending to him also a volunteer was trying to do the best that she could to comfort him, petting his head, and also crying out wondering how it is that the world could just watch what was taking place and not take action.

"Look," she said. "This is a human being, this is not something that is made of stone.

We later on heard that he did, in fact, pass away. He didn't make it.

But the activists here continue to say that they're determined to keep up this fight, even though they do realize what (inaudible) going to be a very long and bloody war.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Homs, Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now I want to show you another disturbing video posted online. And again, we cannot independently verify these images. And I've got to warn you that you may find this graphic video distressing.

You can see, and you can hear there, those are the cries of a young boy who has apparently lost his brother in the northern city of Idlib. He appears to have been shot in the torso and arm.

And this is just one example of the countless stories that we are seeing and hearing of families grieving for their loved ones who were killed in the violence inside Syria.

Now western journalists have been barred from reporting freely in Syria, but Ivan Watson has made it to the north of the country. He joins us now live. And Ivan, has the government exerted any control over the areas you're seeing?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDNET: You know, Kristie, it's been astounding what we've seen so far is large chunks of Syrian territory in the north of the country will virtually no Syrian government presence whatsoever. And it seems like these have been opposition held communities for months now where the opposition, the Syrian Free Army, the rebels, have enjoyed autonomy from a government that they loathe and hate right now where local community councils are organizing basic services, schooling for their children, and setting up stealth defense units to protect themselves from periods deadly incursions from the Syrian military.

And from what we've heard, the opposition is claiming that they've held on to these villages and town, really, for months now.

Another (inaudible) is that the Syrian government has consistently accused the opposition of being armed terrorists and gangs. What we have seen is village elders, the senior people in the communities, high school teachers, carpenters, farmers, they are the people who are the backbone of this revolution. And for now, in many of these communities in northern Syria, are now running the show in their own villages and preparing for the threat of possible Syrian military attacks of which they are very poorly armed to face tanks, personnel carriers and the threat of attack helicopters.

LU STOUT: So Ivan, there in northern Syria you are seeing opposition held communities that are being managed by elders. Have you seen any signs of fighting there?

WATSON: We heard that just yesterday there was shelling of communities in this area. In one village called Sarline (ph) the opposition say that two people were killed on Wednesday what they was firing from the distance into this opposition held village. There were funerals held for a boy who was killed in that killing onslaught. And, you know, actual (inaudible) of loved ones and relatives mourning the death of this person.

Nearly everybody I've spoken to knows of some neighbor or relative who has been killed over the course of uprising of the last 11 months. Nearly everybody I've spoken to knows a brother, or cousin, or neighbor who has also been arrested and they claim subjected to torture by the Syrian security forces.

What is astounding how complete the uprising is within these communities against the Syrian government.

One disturbing observation is that it does seem to break down along sectarian lines. There's one village in the area that is populated by Shiite Muslims. And they're described as being supporters of the regime. And it's a dangerous place for the opposition members who are almost all exclusively Sunni Muslims to go there.

LU STOUT: You know, and Ivan, in these opposition held town, and you've had a chance to talk to the locals there, what do they want from the outside world? The UN general assembly, you know they're going to take up a resolution on Syria later today. But what do Syrians you've been talking to there, what do they want from the international community?

WATSON: You know, they've talked about basic things like medical supplies. Some of the contacts I've been talking to are having to smuggle in illegally (inaudible) there isn't a fully established hospital in the opposition held territories of control here. And they have to rely on makeshift clinics. Weapons is another demand.

Many of these young men that I've met say they didn't have a Kalashnikov assault rifles just two months ago. Now they do. But they say they can't afford bullets and they don't have supplies of bullets to protect themselves. They say that makeshift landmines to try to protect their villages, ring them with landmines in the event of an offensive by Syrian tanks and armored personnel carriers. (inaudible) which they really don't have many defenses.

And finally many have asked for the establishment of some kind of a buffer zone. And there is a deeply rooted belief here that if a bumper zone is established, if some kind of free zone that protected by foreign military is established that that will give a free and safe area for many more defectors from the military to come to to try to bring their families to. And it will increase the rate of defections from the Syrian military. That's a deeply held belief here.

LU STOUT: Ivan Watson, incredible access, incredible reporting. Thank you for calling in. Our Ivan Watson reporting live on the ground. He's made it inside northern Syria. We'll be checking in with him later here on CNN.

Now later today diplomats at the UN general assembly, they are expected to take up that non-binding resolution condemning the violence in Syria. And negotiations are also taking place with Russia over the security council resolution that Moscow vetoed earlier this month.

Now China also vetoed the proposal and now says it will send and envoy to Syria to help diffuse the crisis.

Now to developments, new ones, in the Greece bailout talks. Now EuroZone finance ministers, they are set to meet face to face on Monday to discuss whether they will green light the next bailout package for Greece. With Greek elections planned for April, European officials are concerned that promised economic reforms won't be carried out by the next government.

Now German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, he led the charge and is suggesting Greece replace its current leadership with a technocratic government, but the Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos says that European leaders are playing with fire and may be trying to force Greece out of the EuroZone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVANGELOS VENIZELOS, GREEK FINANCE MINISTER (through translator): We face a peculiar situation, because we have new terms and new conditions. This is because there are apparent forces within Europe that play with the fire because they estimate that it is not possible to apply the agreement of the 26 of October of the European council, that we won't abide by the standards that we have agreed. Perhaps they want Greece out of the EuroZone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: The Greek finance minister there.

Now Greece is seeking $172 billion in bailout funds so it can meet debt repayments in March.

And ahead on News Stream, investigations begin into Foxxconn, manufacturing plant and Apple supplier that has been accused of inhumane workplace practices. I'll speak to the man in charge of the audit.

And he is not only shaking up the National Basketball Association, he's taking over our vernacular as well. Now Jeremy Lin has spawned a whole new Linguage for fans and media worldwide.

And North Korea commemorates the birth of the late dear leader Kim Jong il. He would have been 70 today.

These stories and more coming up right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now we've been following the controversy over working conditions at Foxconn for months now. Now the Chinese supplier that builds Apple iPads and other electronics has been visited by auditors as part of an investigation into working conditions at its Chinese plants.

Now the Fair Labor Association inspected a Foxconn complex in Shenzhen earlier this week. Apple commissioned the audit following reports of employee suicides at Foxconn factories and inhumane working conditions.

Now Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is confident the association will do a thorough job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: The audit that they're conducting is probably the most detailed factory audit in the history of mass manufacturing in scale, in scope, and in transparency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now the president, CEO of the Fair Labor Association was on that team inspecting the Foxconn plant. Auret van Heerden joins me now live via Skype from Shenzhen where that plant is located. And Auret, thank you very much for joining us here on CNN. You have spent the past several days visiting Foxconn plants, tell us what have you seen?

AURET VAN HEERDEN, CEO FAIR LABOR ASSOCIATION: We've had complete access. So we've been in a number of different facilities, very large facilities, and we visited various aspects of the campus, like the kitchens, the dormitories, the training center and so on.

What we've seen, of course, is not what you would expect to see, but we're trying to penetrate the appearances. We're trying to get beyond the appearances and to -- through worker interviews understand what it's really like to work at Foxconn.

LU STOUT: Now earlier today you told the Reuters news agency that the facilities were, quote, first class. The physical conditions are way, way above average. Is that right?

HEERDEN: That is right. Let's be perfectly frank about this, Foxconn is a very modern facility. It's something of a state of the art facility. So I think it's important that we appreciate that the issues that we're looking at there do not have to do with the poor quality of the infrastructure, the issues are deeper and more complex than that.

LU STOUT: That's right. Could those issues, perhaps, give us an answer into why there have been this string of worker suicides that have taken place at Foxconn. Are you getting tot he bottom of that?

HEERDEN: I hope so. I hope -- we will paint a very detailed picture of Foxconn. We are doing 35,000 worker interviews. And those interviews span the range of life at work. And so we will be able to come out with statistical data telling us how people experience life at work. And I think that will really shine a light into Foxconn in a way that's never been done before.

LU STOUT: But based on what you've seen so far, you describe the physical condition of the plant as being well, well above average is your words, but what about the emotional well-being of the workers you've met at Foxconn? How do they appear to you?

HEERDEN: That is, of course, much, much harder to probe. I'm absolutely not an expert, I'm not a psychologist. I can't really comment on that. But our survey does ask them questions about their emotional well-being. And so in a few weeks' time, we will have data on their perceptions of that.

LU STOUT: Are you confident that the workers will be open and honest with you, not scared about losing their jobs?

HEERDEN: That's certainly a concern. We have taken precautions to ensure that they are not subject to any victimization. We've actually signed an agreement which protects them against victimization. The surveys are anonymous. They fill them out on an iPad in fact. And the data is uploaded automatically to the chart, so there's nowhere of tying that data back to any particular worker. And we've tried to make sure that we give them -- we put them in an environment where they can be candid with us, but free from any victimization.

LU STOUT: There's this irony here that you're conducting this audit on iPads.

Just how extensive is your overall audit of Foxconn? And are you getting free access to every corner of its plants in China?

HEERDEN: I want to be very clear. We have about 30 people visiting different aspects of the plant. We have had access. We've had absolutely no problems with access to date. We're getting deep -- delving deep into the human resources management practices at Foxconn. And so, so far, so good. We're satisfied with the access that we've had.

LU STOUT: All right. Auret van Heerden of the Fair Labor Association conducting the audit on Foxconn, the company that builds Apple iPads in China. Thank you for joining us here on News Stream.

Now you are watching News Stream. And when we come back, Jeremy Lin's Midas touch continues. And we'll show you his latest triumph after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream. And the fairytale continues. Jeremy Lin led the New York Knicks to another win on Wednesday. Pedro Pinto has more on this amazing story -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie, another game, another win for Jeremy Lin the point guard who was virtually unknown just a couple of weeks ago is now one of the biggest stars of the NBA. And on Wednesday night he lived up to the hype at Madison Square Garden. He may not have scored as many points as usual, but he contributed in other ways.

Against Sacramento, Lin and former roommate Landry Fields continued with their pre-game ritual which was been working a charm. Lin and Fields then combined on the court early as the Knicks took control. Fields nailing a three pointer in the corner after the pass from his point guard.

Lin had been averaging 27 per game, but on Wednesday night he turned provider.

Here's another assist, this time to Tyson Chandler as New York led by 18 points in the first half.

More of the same after the break. Lin to Fields for the lay-up. The Knicks sensation had a career high 13 assists. He added 10 points as New York won easily, inspired by Lin. The Knicks suddenly look unstoppable. They beat the Kings by 15 points, 100-85.

Lin adding another chapter to his growing legend. For more on the 23- year-old phenom, let's join CNN's Joe Carter who was at the game last night at Madison Square Garden. Joe, tell us about the atmosphere over there in the arena -- electric?

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Good point. Electric. Great word.

Madison Square Garden, and specifically the Knicks, haven't been relevant in this town in a long time. It was fun to listen to some of the media that was showing up early to the game yesterday. And let me just say there was tons of media.

They were talking about, hey I haven't been in this dome in 10 years. I haven't been in this building in five years, because the Knicks really haven't been a good team that long. But because of Jeremy Lin basketball is certainly back in New York City. They say this is a baseball town, but when I talk to folks here in New York City they say basketball is king and that's their prince, Jeremy Lin.

His face was everywhere last night. The number 17 jerseys all over the place. Great signs, great puns, Super Lintendo. Linderella. All he does is Lin. Lin there, done that. I love the creativity, loves the puns. The celebs were out last night. Heavy weight champ, former heavy weight champ iron Mike Tyson was in the house. Al Gore was in the house. Mary J. Blige. Spike Lee. Whoppi Goldberg. This felt more like a game five playoff series than a Wednesday night game against the terrible Sacramento Kings.

This team is now a seven game win streak as you said, Pedro. We've seen Lin for the very first time in person. I thought he looked relaxed. I thought he played well. He was smiling with the guys. He was joking with some players on the bench. You know, everybody is talking about this guy, the way the world seems to be on his shoulders. And I was wondering going into this, watching him in person, how he'd be able to handle the pressure, how he would be affected by the fact that everybody was there to see him.

11 days ago nobody knew his name, now everybody knows his name. And he's handling the pressure with grace. This is a graduate with an excellent economics degree from Harvard. So Pedro, if he can handle final exams at that Ivy League school, he can certainly handle the pressure of a basketball game and a bunch of people there to watch him play and to watch him do wonders.

This story has been one of the best we've seen in the NBA this year and it continues to get better with every turn -- Pedro.

PINTO: What's crazy, Joe, is that if we saw this unravel, develop in a movie we'd think this could never happen. It's too cheesy. Yet it's happening in real life. And I think it's captivated everyone, and not just in the states, and not just everyone of Asian descent. I mean this is a story that I've seen, you know, in the Spanish papers, in the Italian papers, across the world. And over there in New York I imagine that it's also crossing gender and it's also crossing race, right?

CARTER: Absolutely, this is a global story as you pointed out. And I think that's because it doesn't matter where you come from, it doesn't matter your background, your ethnicity. I think people love an underdog story, that rags to riches story, and that's what this is about, it's about a guy whose persevering. It's about a guy who has been given the chance to do something great.

He wasn't wanted by a couple of NBA teams. He was sent down to the Developmental League just a few weeks ago. That's where most careers go to die, not thrive. He was given an opportunity because of injury. He's making the most of his opportunity. And in just 11 short days, he's essentially revived basketball in New York and he's certainly brought the Knicks franchise back to relevance, which New York basketball is doing good, the NBA is doing good Pedro.

PINTO: Joe, great to get your insight. And the question is now what can he do for an encore, thanks Joe.

Here in Europe, the Champions League took center stage on Wednesday. It was a case of men against boys at the San Siro last night as Milan comprehensively beat Arsenal 4-nil in the first leg of the round of 16.

The nightmare for the Gunners began early when Kevin Prince Boeteng smashed the ball past Arsenal's goalkeeper for 1-nil. The Italian Serie A leaders were 2-nil up by halftime when Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up Robinho. The Brazilian added a second after the break. And Ibrahimovic completed the routed 4-nil. Milan are well on their way to the quarterfinals while Arsenal were left licking their wounds from what Aresene Wenger called their worst performance in Europe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARSENE WENGER, ARSENAL MANAGER: We were never in the game. We were very poor offensively and defensively. And it was shocking to see how we were beaten everywhere. And so our worse performance in Europe by far. And not one moment during the 90 minutes we were winning the game. And I believe as were, what made it worse, was that we had to chase the game, open our game up. But always caught for us over in the same problem -- balls over the top. And were beaten.

It's different to analyze and I think it's better not to talk too much and to analyze it as a cooler head. And regroup for our next game.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINTO: A tough night for Wenger and Arsenal, no doubt about it.

In the night's other match in the Champion's League, Zenit St. Petersburg beat Benfica 3-2.

Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: All right, Pedro, thank you. Take care.

And still ahead here on News Stream, protecting Vietnam's most vulnerable from human traffickers. The CNN Freedom Project has shown you one group's efforts. And now we'll explore what more can be done.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now China says it will send a top diplomat to Syria this week to try to help end the escalating violence. Activists say at least 14 people have been killed by government forces near the city of Hamaa this Thursday. They say one person was also killed in Daraa.

Now delegates at the UN general assembly are expected to take up a new draft resolution later today.

North Korea is celebrating what would have been the 70 birthday of Kim Jong il who died in December. The government held a massive military parade in the capital city Pyongyang as the late leader's son successor Kim Jong un looked on.

At least five Palestinian children been killed in a school bus crash near Ramala in the West Bank. A sixth person was also killed. Police say a truck hit the school bus which burst into flames. Dozens of people were injured in the accident.

The CNN Freedom Project took you to southern Vietnam. We introduced you to a community of Cambodian refugees forced to live and work in a garbage dump. Now one small school is helping to lift them out of poverty and to protect the children from human traffickers.

Now here's an excerpt from Natalie Allen's reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAROLINE NGUYEN TICARRO-PARKER, CATALYST FOUNDATION: No one in the larger community was counting them as human beings. So they were nobodies.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The poverty is crushing, making these already vulnerable people easy prey for human traffickers. And the children are most at risk.

That's why Caroline opened a school, Catalyst, to educate kids about the dangers of human trafficking, especially girls. These children live with the threat of child traffickers every day. They grab them off the streets. They trick parents into selling them, offering jobs that don't exist. Caroline says with an education they have a chance.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Natalie Allen there highlighting the work of the Catalyst Foundation. The school has more than 200 students with another 100 on a waiting list.

And earlier, I spoke to Matthew Friedman of the United Nations inter- agency project on human trafficking. And I started by asking what else should be done to protect these children.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW FRIEDMAN, UN INTER-AGENCY PROJECT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: The idea that there's an organization that's already going and focusing on this is the first step that needs to be kind of addressed in this type of a situation. Unless people care enough to get involved, unless people care enough to kind of focus on these vulnerable children, it's just not going to happen. Once they are basically identified what they need is a safe, secure place where they can basically live out their childhood, get an education, be able to thrive like any other child in the world.

LU STOUT: Now the catalyst group is a grass roots NGO that is there at this dump site in Rach Gia in Vietnam. And they focus on education, educating the local children so that they can protect themselves from predator. But is education enough?

FRIEDMAN: Well, the thing is that education by itself just knowing what a problem is isn't always protective. What you need to do is to teach the children that if a person comes and approaches you with a particular message this is what that message might mean, this is what might happen to you. So offering them the tools and the means and the understanding to protect themselves in that type of circumstance is extremely important.

And so the thing about human traffickers and these individuals that do this to children is they'll use any trick in the book. They will use any lie that is going to perhaps get a particular point across to a child, to accommodate what that child wants or needs and that's where it becomes very difficult, because children are used to listening to authority figures, used to listening to individuals who are older than them and basically what they will do is follow them. So you have to basically say it's OK not to follow them.

LU STOUT: Now all this week we've been focusing on one corner of Vietnam for the CNN Freedom Project, meanwhile where you are in Hanoi there has been a high level summit on how to fight human trafficking. What has been dominating the discussion there?

FRIEDMAN: Basically bringing the entire countertrafficking community together led by the governments themselves going and saying that we ourselves can't do this by ourselves -- it's the governments, it's the UN, it's the civil society, even the private sector. So much of the discussion at this particular conference has been focusing on the unity that needs to exist within the counter trafficking community to identify the comparative advantages of each of these different groups to be able to really make a difference.

LU STOUT: You know, I read someplace that about a quarter of a million people are trafficked each year in the greater Mekong subregion. This is a startling statistic. Can we ever end human trafficking?

FRIEDMAN: I think we can, actually. I mean, the idea of people feeling like trafficking can't be sorted out kind of exists because what we tend to hear are the stories of the misery that people face in all parts of the greater Mekong subregion. There are many different organizations that are addressing the problem. They are doing it at the community level, they're doing it at the national level, the regional level. We are seeing -- they are combining forces on both sides of the border. We see that more people are being trained to understand what the issues are. We see laws that are being put in place.

As a result of many of these things coming together, each year we get closer and closer to being able to address the issue more -- in a more tangible way. And in fact what we're seeing in countries like Vietnam is that the prosecution in arrest figures continue to go up year after year. And so there is a difference that's taking place.

LU STOUT: Now again there is this major anti-human trafficking summit taking place there in Hanoi in Vietnam. Are you and your delegates have even aware that CNN has been focusing on Vietnam this week in our Freedom Project Special?

FRIEDMAN: (inaudible) but it's a good time to be focusing on Vietnam. The government takes human trafficking very seriously. They've identified it as a critical area that they will be focusing on. They took the leadership to set up this international conference. It went very, very well within this conference. Not only did the Vietnam government commit itselves to addressing human trafficking in a very assertive way, but also the other governments in the Mekong region as well. This includes China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. They all came together, they all came together. They all had a common vision of where to go which is basically to make the world safer, to reduce vulnerabilities, to put the bad guys in jail and basically to take care of the victims. And they have all committed themselves to moving in the direction of seeing that that happens.

LU STOUT: You do feel a sense of urgency right now?

FRIEDMAN: I certainly do and so do they. I feel the entire countertrafficking community, if you're talking about figures of a quarter of a million people in the region, you're talking about a certain number of people each day who are being trafficked. And every day that goes by that we don't address this, then we realize that more people could be victimized.

LU STOUT: The UN's Matthew Friedman there. And learn more about modern day slavery and how people are taking a stand to stop it. You could also explore how to help. It's all at CNN.com/freedomproject.

Now in Afghanistan food prices are soaring because of drought and war. And many mothers cannot afford a proper diet for their children. Now the charity Save the Children says one in four Afghan children dies before their fifth birthday.

Emma Murphy is in the country reporting on this tragic story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMMA MURPHY, ITV NEWS: His cry is tortured, yet for all his distress Mohammed's eyes are dry his body too dehydrated to produce tears. At three, he's the weight of a six-month-old baby. His withered neck barely able to hold the weight of his head.

This is what malnutrition is doing to 15 million children in Afghanistan. Their tiny distorted faces evidence of a rapidly growing problem. Drought and conflict have forced food prices up by 80 percent. For mothers living in grinding poverty it's not a matter of cutting back, there's nothing left to cut. They simply cannot afford to feed their children.

There is a dreadful cycle here: babies starved of nutrients in the womb, born to mothers too weak to breast feed, too poor to buy food substitute. And so from weeks old their feed on bread and tea. The luckier ones end up in places like this, but 30,000 die every single year here in Afghanistan from malnutrition.

Ramata (ph) is two-months-old and weighs just five points. However much his mother tries, she will never straighten his deformed limbs. She was starved of nutrients in pregnancy and so her baby, should he live, will bear the consequences for life.

"Two of my children died already," she tells me. "I'm frightened he would also die. We can't stay in hospital forever. What will I feed him on at home?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has the chronic malnutrition. He is stunted.

MURPHY: And it's not just the baby who is suffering, 59 percent of children have stunted growth. Akbar (ph) is 13 and well below height.

So he's a whole a 20 centimeters shorter than he should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should be here.

MURPHY: Yeah. OK.

Such stunting is physical, but can also be mental. Say the children are now working with mothers across Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It affects our society very badly. Most of our resources are being spent treating these children, and after treating them we will not have normal children because they don't have enough to eat at home.

MURPHY: Young lives have been saved by the billions of pounds of aid plowed into Afghanistan, however hunger now threatens the future of this country and its children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Apple is embroiled in another controversy, this time involving user privacy. Apple says it will require apps to ask users for permission before collecting personal information after users discovered that apps were uploading their address book without their knowledge. Now reports say apps like FourSquare and Instagram do it, but most of the attention is focused on the social networks Twitter and Path and both have admitted that they take your address book and they upload them to their own servers and then they scan your address book to figure out who your friends are. So if you ever wondered how the suggested users feature in a social network often contains your actual friends, that's how it knows.

Now the CEO of Path in iPhone social network that limits you to just 150 friends admitted it made a mistake. And it says that it updated its app to ask permission for collecting and storing your contact list.

Now that is in contrast to Twitter which did not say it would ask for permission, only that it would be clear in the future about what it does with your data.

But Apple is taking a hard-line on apps that collect data without permission. In a written statement, Apple says those apps are in violation of their guidelines and says this, quote, "any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit approval in a future software release.

Now, no release date has release date has been set by that software update.

Now let's get a check of your global weather forecast with a focus on the Philippines. Apparently rain is headed there. Let's go straight to Mari Ramos. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey Kristie, the reason this rain is important is because again it's going to be some heavy downpours moving across the southern Philippines in particular.

This is the rainy season for the southern Philippines so you would expect the rain showers as opposed to the warm temperatures and the relatively dry conditions that you have across Luzon, for example. The central and the southern Philippines get more rainfall.

You may remember over the weekend we had some significant rainfall and flooding over these areas, a couple of days ago it happened again. And then here we go with round three.

This is significant, because the threat for flooding and mudslides is there. We have a large tropical wave that will be moving through here. It looks pretty ominous when you look at it there. And we're going to see a lot of that moisture continuing to just trail along here, especially into areas of the south with this next weather system that will be moving along as we head through Friday. And also by Saturday, though, most of that rain should have moved out as you can see here from our forecast map. Some scattered rain showers here, but then most of the moisture continuing to move along here into the South China Sea. Notice some rain showers also back over here for Vietnam and also into Cambodia could see some very heavy rainfall also as we head through the next couple of days. So keep that in mind.

Let's go ahead and head north. And as we head north, fog is one of the problems that we have. Low clouds and poor visibility across central parts of China. Our next big weather system still way back here waiting in the wings across western China, but there's still enough moisture and enough lift in the atmosphere to continue bringing some significant snowfall across Japan, that has not stopped particularly on those areas facing towards the west here.

Frigid temperatures continue. And that, of course, have given way to some pretty impressive ice formations across the South China Sea. And they're saying that this is the first time that they've seen the ice this thick. There you have it. Ice, Kristie, as far as you can see, over 100 kilometers in some cases of icy conditions. This is near Dali Yen (ph). And you can see those boats there have nowhere to go.

There's also a concern for certain types of sea birds, because they have to go out farther and farther out in order to be able to find areas where there isn't any ice so they can find food. So that's a concern as well. Some of the elders in the community that have lived and fished these waters their entire lives say they haven't seen ice this thick in a very, very long time.

I want to show on the satellite image over here how you can actually see this from space, the ice covering these areas across the Yellow Sea. Right over here, look at that, that's ice visible from space. In some cases, over 150 kilometers across. Pretty impressive.

I want to take you to Europe. And this is a picture of the coliseum back on February 4, Kristie. All of that cold and snow that we have been talking about has taken a toll on the buildings. It's move obvious, of course, in these extremely old buildings. The Coliseum almost 2,000 years old. They say that some of the mortar and some of the pieces of some of the upper arches could come down and fall on people. So they've actually closed it until they're able to figure out what to do with it. They say the frigid temperatures had a lot to do with what's happening now with this very old building. Other Medieval structures across Italy are also suffering the same thing, Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: The consequences of the cold. Mari Ramos, thank you.

Now North Koreans are marking their late leader's birthday. Kim Jong il would have turned 70. It has been dubbed the day of the shining star. But as Paula Hancocks shows us, not everyone is celebrating.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Perfectly choreographed, not a soldier out of step: military parades are what North Korea does best.

This was to mark the birth of the late leader Kim Jong il, a birthday memorial for the dear leader coupled with a public pledge of allegiance to his son and successor Kim Jong un.

There were the usual speeches praising the Kim dynasty and the nuclear program which the international community is trying to talk the country out of.

The march rounds up weeks of celebration for Kim Jong il, including the unveiling of a sizable bronze statue of him riding a horse next to his father, the founder of North Korea Kim il Song.

One day later, Kim Jong il was posthumously promoted to generalissimo, grand marshal, the highest military title in the country which he now shares with his father. Military and civilians alike have been paying their respects.

South of the border, however, some North Korean defectors are marking Kim Jong il's birthday in a very different way.

Helium balloons carrying 200,000 propaganda leaflets, showing Kim Jong il with the former Libyan and Egyptian leaders, calling on North Koreans to rise up and overthrow their leadership. Plus, propaganda DVDs and 1,000 1 dollar bills.

This North Korean defector tells me "after the sudden death of Kim Jong il we hoped his son would adopt a people first policy, not military first. But we see him making frequent visits to military bases."

He hopes these balloons will help educate the people in the north. Unfortunately, the wind does not cooperate and sends them south towards Seoul.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, near the north-south Korean border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now still to come on News Stream, the name that's launched a 1,000 puns at least. We'll show you why Jeremy Lin is becoming known for more than just his basketball skills. That story next here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now his incredible performance on court has made him an overnight star of the NBA, but the speed of Jeremy Lin's rise to fame has also been helped by his name, which as Jeanne Moos reports, is a godsend for headline writers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In less than two weeks he went from frugally sleeping under the covers on a teammates couch to the cover of Sports Illustrated. And the three letters of his last name have become everyone's favorite word game.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Linesplicable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Linsanity.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COLBERT REPORT: My symptoms Linsomnia and Lintestinal blockage.

MOOS: Winning has become Linning. Headline writers are finding it thrilLin, insighting devine Lintervention. Shot like this with half a second left in the game sure look devine. The rhymes trip off the lips off announcers. Lin to the rim.

Jeremy Lin, cut by two teams, came off the bench and made the hapless New York Knicks winners. Now Linsanity is inspiring songs. And to top it off, Lin comes across as a really nice guy, a team player.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you believe this is happening to you?

JEREMY LIN, NEW YORK KNICKS: No.

MOOS: He has an economics degree from Harvard and did a parody video telling kids how to get into the Ivy League school.

LIN: Step one, get glasses. If you already have glasses, get bigger glasses.

MOOS: After Lin was seen doing a multi-step handshake that includes cupping the eyes to signify thick nerdy glasses, a few folks starting Linning, just like those Tebowing photo ops to focusing on the eyes.

And if all the Lin wordplay and the puns are driving you nuts, too bad, they're spreading like Linfluenza.

If you have trouble making up your own, there's the Jeremy Lin word generator. Lin plus insult -- Linsult. Lin plus indestructable -- Lindestructable. Lin plus Ninja -- Linja.

Lin himself came up with one.

LIN: Super Lintendo, because I played that growing up.

MOOS: Director Spike Lee got positively giddy reciting poetry slamming Lin nicknames to the Wall Street Journal.

SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR: Jeremy, I love so fast I must be a Ritalin. Jeremy, stop Asian profiLin.

MOOS: Stephen Colbert offered Lin an endorsement deal...

COLBERT: Of premium Linoleum tile.

MOOS: But Lin prefers the basketball court. He's become a Linerella story kissed not by a prince...

LIN: ...we couldn't get a stop.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN -- Lint -- New York -- get it?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: And if you haven't heard enough about Jeremy Lin yet, we have one last bit of Linformation for you. There's been a lot of talk about his Asian heritage, but that is not the only reason he's somewhat unique in the pro basketball world. As Jeanne mentioned, Lin is a Harvard graduate, the only one currently playing in the NBA. His economics degree would make him well suited for a job on Wall Street, but as our partners at Fortune magazine point out that would not pay as nicely. Now while his $800,000 contract is low by NBA standards, according to Fortune, Lin would make just 15 percent of that as a banking analyst.

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

END