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Chelsea Fires Manager Andre Villas-Boas; U.S. Voters In 10 States Go To Polls; Activists Claim Syrian Army Burning Bodies To Cover Up Crimes; Oreo Cookie Celebrates 100th Birthday; Netanyahu, Obama Meet on Iran

Aired March 6, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWS STREAM where news and technology meet. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and we begin in Syria. Smoke rises above Baba Amr and the death toll moves steadily higher. A prominent U.S. senator calls for air strikes on Syria regime forces.

Israel's prime minister smiles and waves in Washington, but his message is a serious one: the time for diplomacy over Tehran's controversial nuclear program is running out.

And it is Super Tuesday in the U.S. voters in 10 states go to the polls. And will it be a make or break day for some Republican presidential candidates?

The stench of burning bodies is covering Homs as government forces light fires to cover their crimes -- that is the accusation from an activist who posted this footage of smoke apparently from the Baba Amr district. The Red Cross has still not been allowed access to that neighborhood.

And here, a fire rages in another neighborhood of Homs, although we can't verify these YouTube videos.

Activists say 26 people died across Syria on Monday. And 14 have been killed so far this Tuesday.

And here, state TV shows an apparently clean-up of Baba Amr and blames the violence there on terrorist gangs. And the United States has now imposed sanctions on Syrian state media which it says is being used to mask and legitimize violence.

Now Republican Senator John McCain says the U.S. should be leading an international effort to protect Syrian civilians. Now he says, quote, providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary. But at this late hour that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter. Now the only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power.

Now McCain, he acknowledges that air strikes carry risks, but he says that is no excuse for inaction.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I heard that same argument when we decided to go into Bosnia. And I heard the same argument when we went into Kosovo. So if they want to disregard the continuing massacre that in the view of many could go on for months or even a year or more then that's their choice, but please don't tell us it's because they want to -- they are worried about casualties. They're going on as we speak.


LU STOUT: Now in response a Pentagon official said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is, quote, "interested in exploring options that could help end the brutal violence. But he also recognizes that this is an extremely complex crisis. Now intervention at this time could very well exacerbate problems inside the country," unquote.

Now on Wednesday, UN humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos is due to visit Syria to push for unrestricted access to help civilians.

Let's get the very latest now from Arwa Damon who joins us live from Beirut. And Arwa, we have seen brutal online video of what's happening inside the country. What have you learned?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it most certainly seems as if this widespread crackdown does continue. There are various reports of fighting, clashes taking place across the entire nation to the south in Daraa Province, to the north in Idlib Province. And of course in and around the flashpoint city of Homs that we have been talking about for quite some time now.

Horrific stories continue to emerge. And a lot of activists who we're talking to are pointing to Valerie Amos' trip as really just being a move that is going to allow the Syrian government even more time, because as activists have been saying for months now this is not a government, this is not a regime that is going to be willing to negotiate, that is going to be willing to stop.

Many of them will point to this cleanup effort that is allegedly taking place in the neighborhood of Baba Amr that Syrian state television seems to be touting across its broadcasts as being an example of how the Syrian government is continuously trying to dupe the international community, alleging that it's opening various channels for aid from the Red Crescent, from the Red Cross only to then move back in after those people have left and continue to massacre the people.

LU STOUT: Could you tell us more about the Syrian army, the progress it's making. After taking back Homs, is it regaining or is it losing other areas in Syria?

DAMON: Well, this is an incredibly fluid battlefield, Kristie. Yes, the Syrian military is inside Baba Amr, but for the longest time was being held up as the symbol of this entire revolution, that one tiny neighborhood in Homs that was holding out against a relentless barrage of artillery for more than three weeks.

But we are hearing from activists that other areas in the city really in a belt that wraps around the city neighborhood like (inaudible), that they are beginning to push Syrian troops back, although they are also suffering heavy casualties. The artillery there relentless as well.

The great concern, of course, that there is going to be this cycle, a repeat of what we saw taking place in Baba Amr happening in other areas as well. And we continuously are hearing various, at times conflicting reports, about clashes taking place between members of the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian government.

There is one thing, though, that is quite clear at this stage. And that is that the Syrian military most certainly still has the upper hand and it definitely is a very, very uneven battlefield, Kristie.\

LU STOUT: Arwa Damon on the story for us. Thank you very much indeed, Arwa.

Now as government run hospitals are accused of torturing patients, many wounded civilians are turning to field hospitals like this one to get treatment. Now the co-founder of Medecins sans Frontieres Jacques Beres has just returned from Syria and describes the horrors he witnessed working at these makeshift facilities.


JACQUES BERES, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS CO-FOUNDER (through translator): There were far away detonations, bullets at high velocity, snipers who were emptying their guns on people as if they were targets.

The people no longer have any confidence at all in the government hospitals. There are stories of amputations for no reason, of kidnapping, execution, even torture.

The most difficult thing is that it's private homes have been transformed into makeshift hospitals.

As far as water goes, there's water from the kitchen, from the (inaudible), and not much else in the houses. So it's not practical to create an operating theater.

The list of medications that they are lacking is enormous, but there are nonetheless medications and we can do certain things. We don't have we'd like, but we have to make do with what remains.

In all, I operated on 89 people. I had nine die after we started operating, which is always very, very sad.

I had a little boy arrive, a lovely child, more of an angel. He had an open wound 40 centimeters long and 20 centimeters deep, almost cut in half. How horrific.

I don't get used to it. I'm horrified by it all. I'm content just to be able to save a few lives, which is so minor in the big picture.

It's the symbol that counts, it's the brotherhood of being with them.

I don't want to especially to compare it to other things, but if I have to I'd compare it to Chechnya.

It's a massacre, it's a carnage, it's people who die even without being targeted, it's collective punishment, it's completely revolting.

We need humanitarian corridors in order to get medical materials over there. We need humanitarian corridors.

I have a great desire to return there, not to Homs, because unfortunately that seems impossible.


LU STOUT: And that was the co-founder of Medecins sans Frontieres on the carnage that he saw in Syria.

Now Iran is apparently yielding to pressure from the International Atomic Energy Agency and now says it will allow UN inspectors inside a military complex at Parchin, but the IAEA says significant details must still be worked out. Now the UN's nuclear watchdog wants to see if any suspect activities are being carried out there.

And this turnaround, it comes as Israel steps up its campaign against Iran's nuclear program. On Monday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Mr. Obama says while military action against Iran has not been ruled out as an option, diplomacy and sanctions are the best way to go.

Later in his speech to a pro-Israel lobby Mr. Netanyahu said there is no time to waste.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Now there's been plenty of talk recently about the cost of stopping Iran. I think it's time we started talking about the cost of not stopping Iran. A nuclear armed Iran will dramatically increase terrorism by giving terrorists a nuclear umbrella...


LU STOUT: Now Tehran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Now Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will head to Capitol Hill this Tuesday to meet with leaders in congress. And CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney is in Jerusalem. She joins us now live. And Fionnuala, Mr. Netanyahu, he has certainly ramped up the rhetoric there in the U.S. What has been the reaction in Israel?

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there is, if you look at the opinion polls, a very small number of Israelis, 19 percent accord to the Brooking Institution's poll carried out over the weekend, would support a strike on Iran without U.S. support. I think the question is whether or not the U.S. would support the rhetoric that we heard from Benjamin Netanyahu last night.

Now what we know from the meeting that took place is that both sides are trying to display, and when I say both sides I mean Iran -- Israel, rather, and the United States -- is that there is no light between them that they are both as one. But it seems that in the last couple of weeks each side has moved more and more together, but sticking to their rhetoric which is essentially the question about timing.

All options are on the table, says President Obama, and Iran should not be contained says Benjamin Netanyahu. So the question is really at what point will a decision be made, whether a decision has already been made, and at what time might a strike be carried out?

LU STOUT: What do you think the Israeli leader will actually be able to achieve there in the U.S. after his meetings with the U.S. president and with congressional leaders today on Capitol Hill?

SWEENEY: Well, he obviously is trying to make the case for Israel taking action against Iran. Now the difference, of course, is on the timing. And I think what he is trying to achieve is first of all put the relationship with the United States back on track. And what we've noticed over the last couple of weeks was that the rhetoric, the very heated rhetoric between both Israel and the United States seemed to be dampening down somewhat, the intensity was lessening as both sides move towards having this meeting yesterday.

So it really depends on one viewpoint. It's a rather subjective position. Benjamin Netanyahu can argue that he has stuck to his guns. The question is really how much time is he prepared to give sanctions to work?

LU STOUT: Fionnuala Sweeney joining us live from Jerusalem. Thank you very much indeed for that.

And still to come here on NEWS STREAM, the Republican presidential candidates, they face their biggest test today. Will Super Tuesday claim any political casualties? We've got live analysis straight ahead.

And then we'll meet one of the world's youngest self-made billionaires. This giving guru is helping boost business in Japan after last year's natural disasters.

And flooding in Australia drives thousands of people from their homes. We'll have all the details and your global weather forecast. Stick around.


LU STOUT: A somber anniversary is approaching for Japan. And all this week we are focusing on the country's rebuilding efforts after last year's earthquake and tsunami. Even 12 months later it is hard to comprehend the scale of the disaster. Nearly 16,000 people were killed. Japanese authorities say more than 3,000 are still listed as missing.

In addition to the high human toll, the economic cost has been staggering. These are the three prefectures that were hardest hit. Now the region's fishing industry, it was decimated and could take up to 10 years to rebuild. Electronics companies and automakers were also affected. Some leading firms have factories in this area.

And as companies, they struggle to get back on track following the disaster, Japan's traditional business model is going through some big changes. And at the forefront is a new breed of young, tech savvy entrepreneurs as Andrew Stevens now reports.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a country already used to bad news from its corporate titans, this was out of the box dreadful Sony, Sharpe, and Panasonic last month said their combined losses would hit an eye-popping $17 billion. Missed opportunities, rising competition, and the ever strengthening yen has crushed these one-time rulers of the electronics universe.

But it's not all doom and gloom. I've come to visit a new breed of company. And it's not only making waves here in Japan, but well beyond its borders.

Meet 35-year-old Yoshikazu Tanaka, Japan's youngest ever self-made billionaire, the second youngest in the world, in fact, behind Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. From his gleaming headquarters in one of Tokyo's desirable addresses, Tanaka is leading a new wave of Japanese social media and gaming companies.

He launched GREE as a social network just eight years ago. It is now the country's leading mobile games company with 30 million members and sales are soaring. Last year, they hit $1.8 billion.

Japan has had a long and proud history of games makers, think Nintendo, Sega, and Sony. And Tanaka plans with GREE to join that list.

YOSHIKAZU TANAKA, FOUNDER, CEO, GREE (through translator): Mobile gaming is popular in Japan because we are the most advanced in it now just like the Japanese game industry expanded in the world in the past, I hope it will become popular outside Japan as well.

STEVENS: Is the mobile gaming industry going to be the savior of Japan do you think?

TANAKA: I don't know whether we can be a savior or not, but I can say that there are not many industries which can generate this much profit and become successful globally.

STEVENS: GREE has already spent more than $100 million to buy U.S. games maker OpenFeint, gaining access to its 90 million users worldwide. It's also investing in China.

But they aren't the only game in town. Not far away, GREE's bitter rival DeNA is also started expanding aggressively. CEO Isao Moriyasu plans to make their flagship social gaming platform Mobage the world's biggest. He plans to quadruple sales to $4.5 billion by 2014.

It acquired U.S.-based games maker ngmoco in 2010 for $400 million.

ISAO MORIYASU, CEO, DENA: I think that mobile social gaming will become a boon not only in Japan but all over the world.

STEVENS: Its growth has certainly been explosive in Japan, and coupled with a booming growth of mobile phones worldwide, this new wave of Japanese entrepreneur may indeed be the future for a Japan struggling to redefine itself in a challenging global environment.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Tokyo.


LU STOUT: Now the March 11 earthquake and resulting tsunami have radically changed Japan's energy landscape. 51 nuclear reactors have been idled since the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. And currently, there are only two reactors in operation and they are scheduled to go offline next month.

Now Japan's long range energy policy remains unclear, but there is growing support for pulling the plug on nuclear power.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This kind of large-scale anti-nuclear protest was once unthinkable in Japan, a country that rarely challenges authority, but since the Fukushima disaster the public has changed and with that the state of play for city and business leaders.


LU STOUT: And you can see more of that report from Kyung Lah coming up next hour on World Business Today.

Now coming up here on NEWS STREAM thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in southeastern Australia as flood waters continue to rise. We'll have an update on the weather just ahead.


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

Now thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in southeastern Australia. Let's get an update on their situation with our Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, it really has been tough for people across southeastern Australia in particular. Now remember that we went through about 10 years of drought across these areas and people really had to learn how to readjust their lives to the drought situation. And now, especially in the last year or so, we have had so much significant flooding over this region that it is a new normal almost for people across this area. This doesn't mean that they're used to it at all.

I want to go ahead and show you some pictures that we have from New South Wales. And let's go ahead and roll the video. And you can see again those familiar images, unfortunately, of the water continuing to rise in many areas.

Now this is in Wagga Wagga. And this is one of the areas that was expected to flood. And as you can see that has happened. Now authorities were saying if you decided to stay back at home and not heed that mandatory evacuation then it was going to be very difficult for someone to come get you. As you can see the situation continues to be quite perilous. And there's no telling how long it will actually take for all this water to recede.

Let's go ahead and hear what some of the local residents had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got up on the roof and listened to it come. It was like the ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pretty eerie about 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning when it was coming, breaking over the top of the bank. And, you know, it was pretty eerie sort of seeing it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very tough, because I've got two kids in there begging me to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just really have to dust yourself off and wash off the mud and go again.


RAMOS: Those are very tough people that are accustomed to adversity. And they are fighting back. Many people saying that they are going to rebuild, Kristie.

I want to go ahead and show you a couple of different things. Let's go ahead and just look at this website from the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. What you are looking at here is the river gauges. And you can see these areas here in red. Those are river gauges that are considered to be at major flood stage.

Let's go ahead and zoom in. And Brandon Miller is helping me out with this. And you can see that along the rivers here there are many river gauges that are still at high river stage. Wagga Wagga way down here to the south, that is one area that was expected to peak today, and it did, but slightly lower than it was predicted to do so. And now we see that water level going up, now beginning to even out, and eventually start going down. And that's definitely something that we are happy to see happen here.

Let's go ahead and go back to the weather map, because I want to show you the areas where the rain has been heaviest this time around. And we talked a little bit about this yesterday, Kristie, and that's here across the coast of Queensland, including Brisbane, by the way. The rainfall totals not as impressive as what we had yesterday, remember, in the 300 and the 400 millimeter range over the last couple of days, but still impressive enough in areas that have had over a week's -- over a month's worth of rain in just the last week or so. So this is very significant. Unfortunately these are areas that were flooded a few weeks ago before and now they're having to deal with that again.

River gauges are starting to go up in this area as well even as this area of low pressure begins to move away and the weather begins to improve somewhat across much of southeastern Australia. It's going to be mainly along coastal areas. We will continue to see the problem. And of course that doesn't make it any easier for people living there.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Certainly not. Mari Ramos, thank you very much indeed for the update there.

Now coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, voting gets underway in 10 U.S. states in a Republican Party showdown also known as Super Tuesday.

And you may recall the man seen here, the gruff guard who strong armed actor Christian Bale in China. But to millions of Chinese surfing the web he is better known as Panda Man. A look at humor as a political tool online just ahead.


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

Now activists in Syria say 14 people have been killed today as the government widens its attack on opposition strongholds. Two of those deaths were reported in Daraa Province. U.S. Senator John McCain is calling for international air strikes on regime forces to protect the Syrian people.

Iran is offering to open its Parchin military complex to UN nuclear inspectors after they'd previously been denied access, but the IAEA says significant details must still be worked out. Meanwhile, the European Union's foreign policy chief says the U.S., Russia, China, and three European nations have offered to resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Now the announcement follows a warning from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the time for diplomacy over Tehran's controversial nuclear program is running out.

Now more than 170 soldiers have been killed in southern Yemen since Sunday's attack on a military base there. Now that attack is blamed on Islamic extremists. Now fighting has intensified as the government steps up its battle against terror groups. Now Yemen's newly elected president has vowed to hunt down the perpetrators.

Australia is emerging from a weather pattern that first brought devastating floods to southern Queensland last year and is behind current flooding in parts of Australia. Now the country's bureau of meteorology says the strongest La Nina on record is waning, but waters off the eastern coast are still warm enough to trigger months of rainfall in just a few days.

Now polling places are opening along the east coast of the United States. It is Super Tuesday, an important date in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And these 10 states are in play. And the payout is huge. As you can see 419 delegates are at stake, and that is more than the combined total of all the other contests so far.

Now Ohio is a key state to watch on Super Tuesday. It is traditionally a swing state in the general election, a crucial gauge of voter sentiment. Now CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser joins me now from Mount St. Joseph in Ohio. And Paul, Ohio closely watched. Why is it significant? And who will take the state?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, we are in Hamilton County just west of Cincinnati. This is the third most populated county in the state. And it's got a lot of conservatives. So this is you could say one of the ground zeroes here in Ohio. And you mentioned Ohio, listen we know traditionally Ohio is such an important state, a battleground state, a swing state if you will call it in the general election, but it's also very important in the primaries.

And that's why you've seen Rick Santorum the former senator from neighboring Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney the former Massachusetts governor, they've both spent a lot of time campaigning here, a lot of campaign commercials up as well. So much here at stake.

This is a blue collar state, a working class state, so both candidates very important for them to win it. That's why there has been such an emphasis.

And Kristie, where does it stand? Take a look at this, this is our brand new CNN/ORC poll. And well you can't get any close than that, dead even between Romney and Santorum, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and congressman Ron Paul of Texas further down.

As you can see, we're at a polling station here. People have been voting for a couple of hours right now. And it's probably going to be a long night here in Ohio -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Wow, dead even there in Ohio.

Now Super Tuesday is usually a turning point in the U.S. presidential campaign, but could the Republicans find themselves yet again with no clear frontrunner after today?

STEINHAUSER: They could. Let's say Rick Santorum ends up winning here in Ohio. You saw our poll, it could go either way. Let's say he also does well -- right now polls suggest he's doing well in Oklahoma and Tennessee, two other states that vote today, much more social conservative states than here in Ohio. So if Santorum has a good night, this race could go on for quite some time.

On the flip side, let's say Mitt Romney does win here in Ohio, let's say he does take Tennessee. We know he's going to win a bunch of other states than it could give him a lot of daylight, a lot of space between Santorum and the rest of the field. And he could be moving towards being the eventual nominee.

And also, you know, let's keep our eyes on Newt Gingrich. Very important for him to win his home state of Georgia today. If he doesn't, tough for him to continue on in the race for the nomination -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: I also want to ask you about Ron Paul. He is still in the race. What is his goal right now? Is he running to win the nomination or does he have a message or some sort of cause to promote?

STEINHAUSER: His cause is one of limited government, less taxes. And he's really going for delegates, that's his strategy here. Where is he going? To more of the smaller states, the caucus states -- Idaho, North Dakota. We've seen him spending a lot of time in those two states. He also went up to Alaska as well, another caucus state that votes today. That is his idea to win as many delegates as possible and take his cause of limited government maybe all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa come August -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now one more question about Rick Santorum, and do correct me if I'm wrong here, is it true he's only won caucus states up to now?

STEINHAUSER: He has won caucus states up until now -- Iowa. He also won Minnesota and Colorado. He won a non-binding primary, non-binding in Missouri. So, yes, I think he would like very much to win a primary state or two. And we may see that happen right here tonight -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right, a big test to see if he can win a primary election. And, of course , Ohio definitely up in the air between Mitt Romney and him.

Paul Steinhauser, thank you very much indeed for that.

Now there has been some frantic campaigning in the lead-up to Super Tuesday. Now this map, it represents each of the four candidates and the states that they have visited. Now let's take a look at the two frontrunners. Now Mitt Romney now pictured here, he has focused his attention quite heavily on the battleground state of Ohio represented by the cluster of dots you can see on the map there.

Now it's a similar story for Rick Santorum as you were discussing just then. Now most of his campaign stops have been in Ohio, although he's also spent time in Georgia. That is the home state of Newt Gingrich. You can see Gingrich's campaign has certainly been focused and based in Georgia as well as in neighboring Tennessee.

Now do stay with CNN for all the developments of Super Tuesday. Hala Gorani, she is hosing an iDesk special and she'll be joined by Jonathan Mann who will tell us how you can campaign in 10 states at the same time.

And Ali Velshi is going to be live from Oklahoma. Stay with CNN for complete coverage and analysis of the results from all 10 states. For viewers in Asia that starts Wednesday morning at 9:00. It's all part of CNN's America's Choice coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

Now in Russia the outcome of the presidential election is dividing the country. With nearly all the ballots counted, Vladimir Putin won almost 64 percent of the vote in Sunday's balloting.

These supporters are claiming a great victory. State run news agency says around 10,000 people gathered in central Moscow on Monday to celebrate Mr. Putin's win, but his opponents say the vote was rigged in his favor. Thousands of people also turned out to demonstrate against the president elect.

Now police arrested 250 people in the Russian capital. The final results are expected next week.

Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, meet China's latest cartoon villain. He's known as Panda Man. We'll look into the comic side of political activism in China when we come back.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now a military commander in North Korea has threatened to turn the South Korean capital into, quote, "a sea of flames." Those comments were shown on state TV.

Now let's go straight to Paula Hancocks who joins us live in Seoul South Korea. And Paula, tell us more about this latest threat from Pyongyang.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, they say that actions speak louder than words. And certainly if that's the case there will be some concerns here in South Korea this Tuesday evening.

We have seen some new footage on North Korean television which shows what appears to be a military drill of the North Korean military. Now this is, we believe, on the southwestern coast of North Korea where this unit is practicing its exercises, actually looks out onto the disputed maritime border between North and South Korea and you can actually see in the distance apparently one of the South Korean islands with what appears to be artillery pointed towards that island.

Now this island is very close to the island of Yongpyong, which remember was attacked by North Korea just in November in 2010 which killed four civilians -- four people, two civilians and two marines.

Now you can see tanks being repositioned, you can see live fire exercises at this point. And also we're hearing, as you say, some very strong words from one of the commanders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): By then it won't only be Yongpyong Island, but also Encon (ph) and the Blue House in Seoul which will also be turned into a sea of flames.


HANCOCKS: Now the quote of sea of flames we have heard from North Korea before, but it is quite rare to get this kind of footage seeing the North Korean military in action in this particular way.

Now it comes at the same time that the U.S. and South Korea are carrying out their own joint military drills which North Korea has called a provocation. Now we can see North Korea is doing similar kind of drills.

And of course it only comes a week after a big diplomatic breakthrough. The U.S. and North Korea making a deal where the North Koreans effectively agreed to put their nuclear ambitions on hold. And the U.S. agreed to give food aid.

So certainly there's a contradiction at this point as the U.S. wants inter-Korean relations to get better. But some very interesting footage we are seeing today -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yes, very interesting footage. And we can only scratch our heads and wonder why Pyongyang is doing this. Why is it using such threatening language directed at South Korea when, as you pointed out, it just agreed to suspend major parts of its nuclear program and to allow inspectors back in? I mean, just how sincere is North Korea about -- about this moratorium on its nuclear program?

HANCOCKS: That's an impossible question to answer. I mean, it's a question that obviously the U.S. would love to have answered. How sincere is North Korea?

We've seen these kind of deals in the past. And we've seen these kind of deals collapse in the past and North Korea walk from talks, from six party talks, the wider regional talks to try and denuclearize North Korea.

Now what we are seeing is a definite increase in rhetoric against South Korea. We are seeing rhetoric against the president Lee Myung-bak as well, some very personal attacks on him, calls for him to be killed which in the past we haven't really heard.

So it is interesting we're seeing this increase in rhetoric. And of course we're seeing the new leader Kim Jong un making a lot of visits to military units as well. And North Korean news agencies making sure that this is being reported -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And of course Kim Jong un he made that visit to the DMZ just the other day. Paula Hancocks reporting for us live from Seoul, thank you very much indeed for that, Paula.

Now China is notorious for having some of the tightest internet restrictions in the world. In an effort to squeeze past the so-called great firewall of China some Chinese bloggers have become masters of comic subterfuge. Now savvy web users are now using social networking sites as a tool for political satire. Stan Grant reports.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Coming to an internet near you -- Panda Man. You may know him better from his natural habitat. This apparently plain clothed cop has become an internet sensation with a mocking figure the very face what some Chinese netizens see as state sanctioned thuggery.

JEREMY GOLDKORN, SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTATOR: He is a sort of comical looking thug. I mean, he looks like a cartoon goon. But he's also representative of the kind of small authority figures that one can meet every day in China.

GRANT: Panda Man, as he's been dubbed, grabbed headlines after his clash with another cartoon character, Batman, or rather the actor behind the mask, Christian Bale.

At the center of this, a blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. Chen, a self-taught lawyer, has campaigned against alleged forced abortions and the treatment of villagers in China. In the past he's been placed under house arrest and jailed for four years for disrupting traffic and damaging property.

Panda Man makes sure no one gets near Chen, his house and local village in Chiangdong Province in lockdown.

Bale, along with our crew, felt Panda Man's fury when he tried to get close.

Within days of the clash with Batman, Panda Man went viral. But this is not all in jest, there is a movement in China, say analysts, a new tech savvy generation using the web as a political pressure valve.

GOLDKORN: People do feel more comfortable commenting using humor rather than direct criticism.

GRANT: In China, there's always the sense that Big Brother is watching you. The challenge for the Communist Party now is how to shut off information in the technology age. And the stakes are high. China puts a big emphasis on harmony, but the country with big gaps in literacy, education, and wealth the fear is that the wrong information in the wrong hands would spark social unrest.

China's Twitterati and bloggers are so far proving hard to stop.

GOLDKORN: A lot of the online humor is done anonymously or with pseudonyms. And it's passed around on microblogging websites where it's difficult to track down who, in fact, made it.

GRANT: As China's leaders gather for their annual parliament, the National People's Congress, the walls are slowly coming down. The sometimes hulking face of security isn't quite as scary when it is so funny.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Now the satirical images of Panda Man are not the only way people are protesting Chen Guangcheng's house arrest. Now, this, it may look like a bumper sticker for the fast food chain KFC, but if you look a little bit closer and you'll see it says CGC for Chen Guangcheng.

Now Chen's friend, Hope Heywong (ph), is behind this twitter account. And she helps distribute these CGC stickers. Now they ask people who take them to post pictures online.

And other activists are raising awareness of Chen's case around the world. Now this website, it has images from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, Italy to D.C.

Now coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, dunk, twist, or bite, the Oreo cookie is one of the world's most iconic treats. Now savoring an important milestone. We have all the sweet details next on CNN.


LU STOUT: It's time now for a sports update.

And there was a big NBA showdown on Monday night between the defending champions and the team that's best in the west so far this season. Let's go to Alex Thomas in London with more on that and a look ahead to more Champion's League action -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. They may not attract as many headlines as Jeremy Lin, The Heat, or the Lakers, but Oklahoma City has the best record in the NBA's western conference. And their game against the Dallas Mavericks certainly got star billing.

The deadly duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant often get the Thunder rumbling. And here's Westbrook with three of his 24 points in the game.

Oklahoma recovering from a half-time deficit to level it at 52-all.

Durant kept up his high standards too, draining this three, part of his 22 points on the night. Although the highest scorer was on the Mavericks' team. Dirk Nowitzki with four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone as the German racked up 27 points in the game.

It's almost tight right to the end. Dallas up by one when Serge Ibaka was fouled. He makes both of his free throws and the Thunder would stay ahead winning by 95-91, their 13th victory in a row at home.

Now to Derrick Rose and the Bulls with the NBA's best overall record looking to avenge a home defeat by the Pacers earlier in the season. Here's Rose with a three as Chicago takes a six point lead.

Later in the quarter Rose finds Luol Deng for the deep three and he makes it. Deng leading the Bulls with 20 points. And that's the same amount that Chicago outscored the Pacers by in the third quarter.

Rose with another successful three. He had 13 points and a game high 9 assists.

The Bulls could afford to showboat a little by this stage. Here's Taj Gibson with a huge slam and Chicago make it seven wins on the trot with a 92-72 victory.

Now temporary Chelsea manager Roberto DeMateo admits the club has had a difficult 24 hours, but says the squad needs to move on after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. The first task for DeMateo is to lead the team into an FA Cup fifth round replay later against Birmingham City who are in the division below England's Premier League.

DeMateo, a former Chelsea midfielder and one of Villas-Boas' assistants says he wants to see passion from his players and staff.

AC Milan are expected to book their place in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champion's League later. They've flown into London with a comfortable 4-nil lead from the first leg of the club's round of 16 clash. Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri says striker Zlatan Ibrahimavic, who scored a hat trick at the San Siro, is playing as well as Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo right now -- quite some claim.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's backtracked slightly, having said his team had no chance in the immediate aftermath of his side's defeat in Italy, Wenger now thinks a comeback isn't impossible, although he only has two recognized midfielders fit enough to start.

Tuesday's other Champion's League last 16 match sees Portugals Benfica host Zenit St. Petersburg. Benfica conceding a late goal to lose the first leg 3-2, but those two away goals could yet prove crucial. At the very least, Benfica looking forward to slightly more comfortable contitions in Portugal. Temperatures for the first leg in Russia dropped to minus 17 degrees at one stage.

So, Kristie, it'll feel like a Hong Kong summer night by comparison. Back to you.

LU STOUT: That's right, putting it into perspective there.

Alex Thomas thank you very much indeed.

Now it is a fairly simple recipe -- two parts chocolate biscuit, one part cream filling, but who would have thought that the Oreo would become the world's top selling cookie, providing a century of crunchy goodness to desert lovers everywhere.

Felicia Taylor has more on Oreo's 100th birthday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's so much fluffy cream in between.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aren't Oreo kids lucky? Aren't Oreo mothers great?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been an important part of childhood for generations, the venerable Oreo cookie, a product with such culture longevity that to this day people still talk about their favorite way to eat it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tilt your head at a 45 degree angle to make sure you lick all the cream off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And take the cream and I like it down the middle. And there is now a streak that runs through it.

TAYLOR: The Oreo is one of the world's most popular brands with $1.5 billion in global annual revenue. It's now sold in over 100 countries. And it all began here in New York City at what is now the Chelsea Market.

100 years ago on this very spot the first Oreo cookie was made. This, of course, was the original Nabisco bakery, the parent company responsible for those classic chocolate wafers joined together by a vanilla cream filling.

JOHN GHINGO, SENIOR DIRECTOR GLOBAL BISCUITS, KRAFT FOODS: When Oreos began being sold 100 years ago, they were sold in tins like this in bulk. And the very first Oreo cookie sales were recorded in Hoboken, New Jersey on March 6, 1912.

TAYLOR: It's not just Oreos that have stood the test of time, Corn Flakes had been around since 1896, Campbells Soup was founded 1877, and Jell-O, this one is over 110 years old.

Marketing experts say it takes skill for a brand to last through good times and bad.

ALLEN ADAMSON, LANDOR ASSOCIATES: They've been able to balance consistency and change. It's original. It's authentic. But they've kept it fresh. They've kept pace with the change in times.

TAYLOR: Indeed, social media is now an important part of Nabisco's marketing mix. Oreo has its own Facebook page with more than 25 million followers.

You made a mess.

GHINGO: I did make a mess. I did.

TAYLOR: Kraft, the owner of the Oreo brand, works hard to keep the product fresh at its research kitchens in New Jersey.

GHINGO: What you'll see here is a variety of different flavors. Ideas, some of them we've heard from our consumers over the years.

TAYLOR: Rainbow sherbet.

GHINGO: Rainbow sherbet, you have toasted coconut, lemon, orange, tangerine.

TAYLOR: Kraft also takes care to cater to each new global market.

GHINGO: It's a smaller pack size to fit the size of the smaller stores in China.

TAYLOR: But across the world, one thing stays the same, the classic way to eat an Oreo.

GHINGO: Twist open the cookie.

TAYLOR: Twist open the cookie.

GHINGO: You might want to lick out a little bit of the cream.

And then if you're a milk fan, you can dunk it right in the milk.

TAYLOR: Who knew I'd be making an Oreo cookie.

GHINGO: Thumbs up.

TAYLOR: This is better than straight of the package for sure.

No matter how you make it or how you eat it, one thing is clear to last 100 years you must be one smart cookie.

GHINGO: It's a good cookie.

TAYLOR: Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.


LU STOUT: Now 100 years ago it was 1912, that means the Oreo was created around the same time the South Pole was discovered and the Titanic sank.

Now here's another piece of trivia for you. Apparently about 50 percent of all Oreo eaters, they pull apart their cookies before consuming them, but women are more likely to twist them open than men. So perhaps it's simply a question of patience.

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