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NEWS STREAM

Super Tuesday Produces No Clear Frontrunner; Six British Soldiers Killed By Landmine in Afghanistan; Volunteer Japanese Students Restore Tsunami Victims' Photos; Six LolzSec Hackers Arrested by FBI

Aired March 7, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET

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


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 the U.S. where Super Tuesday did not deliver a knock-out punch in the Republican race for president.

Now they are being called the most sophisticated hackers in the world. Now suspects allegedly linked to the group Anonymous are now under arrest.

And there's a lot of anticipation ahead of an Apple event later today, but a blogger here in Hong Kong says he already knows what the next generation iPad looks like.

Now 10 states for candidates, three winners -- Super Tuesday is often a turning point in the U.S. presidential contest, but this year may have simply tightened up the race. Now Mitt Romney, Rick Sanorum, and Newt Gingrich all emerged with victories on Tuesday. And here's a look at how the votes unfolded. Now Romney, he won six states, including the bellwether state of Ohio shown there in darker red. Santorum, he picked up three wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. And Newt Gingrich, he won the primary in his home state of Georgia.

And all three men put a positive spin on the results.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've taken one more step towards restoring the promise of tomorrow. Tomorrow we wake up and we start again. And the next day, we'll do the same. And so we'll go day by day, step by step, door by door, heart to heart.

RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN PRESIDNETIAL CANDIDATE: This was a big night tonight. Lots of states. We're going to win a few, we're going to lose a few, but as it looks right now we're going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a whole passel of silver.

NEWT GINGRICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDNETIAL CANDIDATE: There are lots of bunny rabbits to run through. I'm the tortoise. I just take one step at a time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now Ron Paul did not win any primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, but like the other candidates, he plans to continue his campaign.

Now CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser joins me now live from Columbus, Ohio. And Paul, Mitt Romney, he won the most states, but he is still not the clear, convincing frontrunner. So what is holding him back?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: He had no knockout blow. I think that's fair to say, Kristie. Yeah, he won six states. He won more than half of the delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday. And that's important, because this race for the Republican presidential nomination is all about delegates. And he did very well with them.

But no, he had trouble. And we saw it especially right here in Ohio. He barely won this state by just 12,000 votes. And this is after his campaign poured a lot of money into ad spending here, a lot more than Rick Santorum or anybody else.

So why is he having trouble? Well, he still doesn't seem to be connecting with the very, very conservative voters, the social conservatives, and also working class votes. And those are some of the core people in the Republican Party. That's why Mitt Romney still having some trouble.

It was a good night for him, but definitely no knockout blow for Mitt Romney -- Kristie.

STOUT: And Rick Santorum, he took Tennessee and Oklahoma, both primaries, as well as the caucuses in North Dakota.

Santorum, we know that he has grass roots support, but when will he have what Romney has, a big campaign organization in place? And could that give him the edge?

STEINHAUSER: He may never actually have that organization. Remember, Mitt Romney has a very strong campaign organization, much more of a shoe string budget, I think you would say for Rick Santorum. He doesn't have as much campaign cash, either, to spend. But I think the Santorum team is very happy with their big victories in Oklahoma, Tennesee, that surprise win in North Dakota. And they say, you know what, we almost won Ohio even though we were outspent by Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum really connecting with the very, very conservative voters. And that's important.

Newt Gingrich also did what he had to do. The former House Speaker, he won Georgia, his home state. He said he had to do it if he wanted to stay in the race. He won, and won pretty convincingly, but 21 points over the rest of the field.

As you mentioned, Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, he did not win the state, but Ron Paul did collect some delegates, which is enough for him to continue on as well -- Kristie.

STOUT: And the upshot of Super Tuesday, no knockout blow, no clear GOP frontrunner. Will there be more bitter Republican rivalry ahead? And how much damage will that do to the party?

STEINHAUSER: Yeah, I think if I'm President Barack Obama and his reelection team right now I've got to be very happy I would think, right, because this race is going to continue on for awhile, at least until late April and maybe a lot later.

And it seems that the bitterness, the attacks between the candidates will continue as well. So that is a downside for the Republicans. And they're also spending money battling each other where, you know, rather they would rather be spending it against President Obama.

The upside for Republicans I guess is, though, that they look back to four years ago when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama they battled all the way to June of that year, 2008, and in the end Barack Obama ended up winning the White House -- Kristie.

STOUT: A long race ahead. Paul Steinhauser joining us live from Ohio. Thank you, Paul.

Now the Republican race, it's not just about states, it's about the delegates. And here is where the tally stands right now. Mitt Romney has 404 delegates after Super Tuesday, but a candidates needs 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination. And the nominee will be officially declared at the Republican Party's convention in August.

Now Tom Foreman gives us a virtual look inside that gathering.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's easy to see how Mitt Romney was leading in the delegate count before tonight's votes started coming in, but still far from establishing an insurmountable lead. So now let's see how the battlefield is changing this evening.

Remember, at the end of the night the delegates are all that matters. And even though it is complicated to figure out precisely each candidate is picking up, we can say with confidence that this is one of the biggest nights for Newt Gingrich. You see we've added his new delegates over there on the left.

Rick Santorum is definitely collecting some, too. He is in purple there toward the middle. And with his wins now, including Tennessee and Oklahoma, he will certainly be able to show more for him in that section soon.

Ron Paul puts up a few over on the right.

But look at Mitt Romney, expanding his lead, trying to grind down his opponents, but picking up another whole block of seats.

In short, the view from the podium at our virtual convention is changing rapidly tonight. But so far we still don't have an answer. Is this party headed for a coronation of a clear favorite in Tampa, or a confrontation between two or more contenders with legitimate claims to the nomination on this floor?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Tom Foreman there.

Now if you want to keep track of the delegate count, you don't need a virtual convention, just click on our website CNN.com/election. You can get the latest numbers there and read all about the Republican candidates as they continue on the campaign trail.

Now turning now to Afghanistan where British officials say six soldiers are missing and believed to be dead after an explosion hit their armored vehicle. It happened while they were on a security patrol in Helmand province.

Now let's get the very latest now from Nick Paton-Walsh who is at CNN Kabul. And Nick, any more details about today's explosion?

NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this happened in an area known as Nadi Sarag (ph) to the north of the capital of Helmand Lashkar Gah. This was apparently a warrior armored vehicle, one of the British army's more robust vehicles. Driving it, we understand, off the paved road, hit what appears to have been a land mine. It's unclear if this was deliberately targeting them, laid by the insurgents, or whether it was something referred to as a legacy mine, that's something left over from the war here against the Soviet campaign.

What we understand is that the six men referred to as missing are all dead. They're referred to as missing, because the British military has yet to get inside the remains of that vehicle and confirm precisely, medically, that each one of them has in fact lost their lives. But a significant casualty incident, of course a terrible one for the British military here, its 9,500 personnel, and the worst since 2009. So many deep condolences of course coming out of the British isles at the moment -- Kristie.

STOUT: Of course, terrible loss of life.

British troops, I understand, they recently handed over Helmand to Afghan forces. Just how secure is the area since the handover?

PATON-WALSH: Well, not all of Helmand. They handed over Lashkar Gah last year, the capital, because that was considered by many to be an economic hub which was comparatively safe. To its west, they're recent in the process of handing over Nadi Ali (ph), an area which had in the past seen some quite significant violence, but is now said to be safer.

Where this happened, Nai Sarag (ph) is where many British troops have died in the last year or so. And I think instances like this in which six individuals die from one blast tend to focus the minds of certainly the British public or more progress has been made in that area in Afghanistan. Helmand, the place where many U.S. Marines have flooded in in the past years, improving security in a lot of it. Of course, since it is like this when the Taliban perhaps lay a mine looking for a military target, also come to the fore when sometimes these devices strike civilians by mistake as well, many here pointing out the fact that according to many reports and surveys, about three-quarters of civilian casualties in this conflict are now caused by the Taliban, a lot of those by IEDs mistakenly going off, Kristie.

STOUT: Yeah, and today's incident just highlights the dangers that the armed forces face not just in Helmand, but throughout Afghanistan. Just how dangerous is this period of transition happening right now in the country?

PATON-WALSH: It's enormously complicated for a number of reasons. We have diplomatic process on one side in which America is trying to fashion a long-term agreement to keep troops here, in which also America is trying to find with Afghan support, some kind of peace accommodation with elements of Taliban who want to reconcile. There's that happening. We've set, I think a confused tone for many people in the background in the months and the year ahead.

Then we have this complicated drawdown in which U.S. troops are beginning to reduce their numbers. Their NATO partners making noises about wanting to go towards the exit. And the Obama administration clear it doesn't want to prosecute this war for that much longer.

So all these factors are swirling around an Afghan population who, to be honest, I think are feeling violence on the rise here. That's tallied by United Nations surveys, though denied by ISAF. I think the general concern here is we're in for rocky months ahead as this fighting season is the summer months where it gets warmer here begins to pick up, Kristie.

STOUT: Nick Paton-Walsh, live from Kabul for us. Thank you.

You're watching News Stream, and coming up, as the bloodshed continues in Syria we'll speak to refugees who have escaped across the Lebanese border.

And nearly one year after Japan's worst crisis since World War II we have powerful new images of the aftermath.

And also on News Stream, the excitement is building up as Apple is said to reveal its long awaited new iPad. Details coming up right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: As the first anniversary of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami approaches, we are reflecting on the scale of the disaster and the progress being made to rebuild communities. Now some CNN iReporters have been helping to document that progress.

Now Tokyo photographer Osakave Yasuo took these pictures after returning with locals to the Fukushima exclusion zone in January. They show stretches of ruined buildings and abandoned animals roaming the streets.

And these shots, they were taken by Christina Sawka who witnessed the tsunami in Miyagi, Japan. They show a field that is now home to a mountain of rubbish created by the debris.

If you have any photos to send us just go to iReport.CNN.com.

Now many Japanese lost everything in the disaster, but they were able to salvage valuable photos of family and friends. And now a group of university students in Tokyo is helping to restore those precious mementos that were damaged by the tsunami. And here is their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): After the earthquake and tsunami I wondered what I could do to help the victims. I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what exactly, that's when I learned about this activity and I decided to help.

My name is Ryo Waku (ph). I'm 22-years-old.

These were sent from tsunami victims who found their photos and are hoping to have them restored. We reach out to these people.

First, we sort out the pictures that can be restored and those which can't. This is what I'm doing right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My name is Daisuke Shibama (ph). And I am 22-years-old. I am about to restore a photo that I've opened here with Photoshop. I'm erasing these marks.

When we get the pictures from the victims of the tsunami, they also contain letters. They tell us that their homes have been washed way, but that they found their albums from the remains.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is a lot of work, but I also think about the people who send us these photos. And it makes me feel like I need to do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These pictures represent people's memories. And many of them show people smiling. I like to think that by seeing their photos restored, the people smile as much as they do in the photos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have no way to know if the person in the picture is alive or not, so I try to restore them and make them as clean as possible all the while keeping in mind what these pictures represent for those who sent them to us.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: There are 97 volunteers working on that project. And they tell us they have photo retouching requests from roughly 350 families and currently sorting through approximately 30,000 photographs.

And the university behind the project works with two others in Japan. One is in Tohoku region where the tsunami struck and the other is in Kobe where students worked on a similar project after the Kobe quake in 1995.

Now scientists are still tracking debris washed into the Pacific Ocean by the tsunami. And one analyst says 1 million to 2 million tons of trash are still in the water. Now computer models, like this, indicate it could reach Hawaii as early as this winter. And scientists believe the debris will reach the U.S. west coast next year. Researchers say it is no longer moving together in a field, instead items are spread over a larger area.

Now our focus on Japan's rebuilding, it continues on CNN. In fact, tomorrow we bring you the heartbreaking stories of those who lived through the earthquake and tsunami, how they struggle with survivor's guilt and how they are compelled to see their communities bounce back and thrive.

Now ahead on News Stream, a dangerous journey across borders. We introduce you to Syrian refugees who have fled into Lebanon to escape the bloodshed in their homeland. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now it is the invite that has the tech world in a frenzy. Apple is set to unveil the iPad 3 at a press event later today. And it comes almost a year after the release of the iPad 2. And in traditional fashion, the tech giant has remained tight lipped about the announcement, but Apple is holding its event at the same venue it used to introduce the previous two iPad models.

So let's bring in CNN's Dan Simon who is in San Francisco for the announcement. And Dan, what should we expect to see at today's Apple event?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all Kristie, Apple has made these product announcements and these incremental updates into a real art form. And we should point out that when he iPad first came out a couple of years ago there were a lot of naysayers, people didn't think you would need another device in your life if you had a cell phone and a laptop. Well, as it turns out the iPad is Apple's fastest selling device in the company's 35 year history. And that's not only true for Apple, but for the entire consumer electronics industry.

So let's look at the new iPad, what are we expecting to see?

Well, the typical things that you would expect, a faster processor, a faster data connection, and a higher resolution screen. The question is, are there some secrets that Apple is holding back? Are we going to see some revolutionary features, if you will? That's the big question mark, that's what we're hoping to see in a couple of hours.

And also Apple is expected to update its Apple set top box TV device. That's not to be confused with an actual television, which many think Apple will come out with later in the year, Kristie.

STOUT: So there could be two separate product announcements later today.

Now the overall look of the new next generation iPad not expected to change, but as you mentioned there may be a higher resolution screen, support for Siri et cetera. But with these changes, do you think it's enough to entice consumers to buy the new iPad, especially if they already have one?

SIMON: Well, you know, that's where Apple has really made a serious dent is that somehow time and time again they're able to convince people who shelled out $100 or hundreds of dollars for the last device to do it again the next year. And, you know, people feel like they just have to have these devices.

You know, in the fourth quarter, you know, Christmas last year, Apple sold 15 million iPads and counted for 20 percent of their revenue. And as I said before, it's their fastest selling device in history. Something tells me that if you have an iPad 2 that a lot of people are going to rush to the stores to get the iPad 3, at least that's what its nicknamed unofficially the iPad 3. Some people think that this is going to be called the iPad HD. We're just going to have to wait and see what happens at the announcement, Kristie.

STOUT: All right, Dan Simon joining us. Thank you very much indeed for that. Dan Simon live in San Francisco.

And well ahead of today's expected launch of the latest iPad, one Chinese tech blog claims to already know what it looks like. Now over the weekend the Hong Kong based MIC Gadget released a video of what it says are authentic supplier parts of the new Apple device. And so earlier I talked to the blogs 21-year-old founder Chris Chang about the alleged leak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CHANG, MIC GADGET: You will take a look carefully, you will find some difference with the iPad 2. Here's a (inaudible) right here and a top and these are 3G models. And you'll see is (inaudible). And much (inaudible). The (inaudible) back here is that when compared to the iPad 2 it looks slightly different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: But how did a 21-year-old blogger get hold of these components? Well, by working his supplier contacts in Shengen, China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHANG: The parts we got here were a little difficult get. And we couldn't just go and say, hey, we would like to have some (inaudible) parts of the new iPad. It's not going to work that way. And we got it through a number of contacts of our website, sources. We just confirmed with each of our sources and asked them if this is really the iPad 3. And they say, yes, this is the iPad 3 parts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Now Chang says he obtained the alleged iPad 3 parts some two months before the official launch, a worrying sign for a company well known for being secretive about its sourcing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHANG: These leaks are not good for Apple, actually, because manufacturers out there like other competitors -- Apple competitors, they will know what the next Apple's (inaudible) will look like and they will know what Apple is planning on for the next step.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: So, did a Chinese blogger scoop Apple with its early expose of the new tablets? We'll have to wait to get our hands on the next generation iPad to find out whether the leaks are the real deal. Until then, Chris, he left us these iPad cases to play with. They're said to be for the next model, but they happen to fit iPad 2's as well.

Now missing MIC Gadget's iPad model is the screen. It's expected to be much sharper and clearer than almost anything available today. Now remember, every image that you see on a digital screen is made up of pixels or dots, more pixels mean more dots, and more dots mean more detail. For instance, our test screen over here can display more than 2 million pixels. It's the same as the top end HD TV standard, which is the red box here.

Now the current iPad has fewer pixel than that. If you were display an image in the screen using the exact number of pixels in the iPad 2 it would be the black box. And a standard definition TV would be the blue box.

Now what about the next iPad, well it reportedly have so many pixels that we simply cannot fit it on this graphic. The iPad three's expected resolution is represented here in white. And the number of pixels in our test screen is still in red. As you can see, the next iPad should have four times as many pixels as the iPad 2. And because it will be crammed into a screen roughly this size, it is expected to set a new standard for clarity and detail.

And ahead here on News Stream, the group Anonymous used elite hacking skills to get access to secret information, but could it also put alleged affiliated members behind bars? We'll have more on the intricate web of Anonymous ahead on the show.

And the U.S. and Europe looks set to resume talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Could this be the last chance to forge a solution to the crisis. We'll take you live to the headquarters of the IAEA.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now in the U.S. presidential race, Super Tuesday is over. Republicans in 10 states cast their votes for the man they want to run against President Obama in November's election. Mitt Romney won six states, edging out his explosive rival Rick Santorum who won three. Now Newt Gingrich, he was the winner in his home state of Georgia. And Ron Paul is hanging in there, but he didn't score any primary wins on Super Tuesday.

Now six British soldiers are missing and presumed dead in southern Afghanistan. The British Ministry of Defense says they were on patrol in Helmand Province when their armored vehicle hit a landmine. ISAF personnel have secured the area, but the bodies have yet to be recovered. And the families of the soldiers have been informed.

U.S. and North Korean officials are meeting in Beijing to discuss details of an agreement for the U.S. to send food aid in exchange for concessions from Pyongyang on its nuclear program. Now the meeting comes just as North Korea inflamed further tensions in the region by releasing footage of military exercises close to the border with South Korea.

A UN humanitarian officials is traveling to Homs in Syria as the bloodshed continues across the country. An opposition group says 39 people were killed on Tuesday including 13 members of two families in what it calls a new massacre.

Here, a mosque is apparently attacked in the southern town of Hiraq (ph). Although we can't verify these YouTube videos. The building blazes in a Homs neighborhood, which activists say is being bombed with mortars and tanks. The government blames the violence on terrorists.

And these images appear to show the (inaudible) area of Homs which the poster says is being cleaned before the Red Crescent arrives.

And the protests continue. These demonstrators shout we want freedom in an apparent anti-government rally in central Damascus.

Now the UN humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos is on her way to the besieged city of Homs as she starts a two day visit to Syria. State media says that she will travel to some areas of the country. And officials say she has already met with the Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem.

Now on Saturday, the UN Arab League convoy Kofi Annan will also travel to Damascus to urge President al Assad to stop the violence. And it comes as a new draft resolution is being discussed by the UN security council. The text focuses on humanitarian access as well as calling for an end to the violence and is aimed at securing agreement from China and Russia who both vetoed the last resolution.

As world leaders continue to push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Syrian refugees are flooding cross the border to escape the bloodshed. And the UN says as many as 2,000 people have crossed from the Homs area into Lebanon since Sunday. Nic Robertson reports many of them are traumatized by what they have seen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Hidden in woods close to the Lebanese border, Lebanese Red Cross ambulances wait for Syria's wounded.

We're less than a few hundred yards from the border. On the back of that Red Cross ambulance are two wounded men. They wouldn't let us film them being loaded in. One of them has got wounds on his arms and on his body and another has got head wounds is all bandaged up.

Now far away in the mountaintop town of Arsol (ph), more Syrians are getting Lebanese help. These refugees arrived two days ago. Many are camera shy.

Some, though, are prepared to talk and their tales are horrific. Sisters Dalia and Zana (ph) both suffer nightmares.

"I see Assad's forces killing us," she says. "The shelling and shooting was unbearable."

Their father tells me they fled their home just across the border in Al Kasia (ph) two days ago.

"We were told it was going to be bombed," he says.

12 people live in this tiny room. Three families all sharing each other's grief.

Six-year-old Mahmoud's father is dead, they say, killed by the Syrian intelligence service he worked for. Mahmoud barely seems able to understand.

They are a fraction of the estimated 2,000 who have fled Syria in the past few days. 120 of them crammed into this eight room building made for far fewer.

Local officials are worrying they are running out of space.

"We expect more refugees," the deputy mayor tells me. "Everyone wants to help, but we are filling up. We are asking aid groups to build a camp."

Throughout Arsol's (ph) rugged alleyways refugees are squeezing in wherever there is space. Four families here hosted in an elderly lady's house, all from Al Kasia (ph) and all terrified of what they've been through.

"Assad soldiers came into my house," Nora (ph) tell me. "They asked my three-year-old son if he likes Assad. He said no. They were going to kill him."

Her friend Sowa (ph) tells me of rapes. "Two women I know were raped," she says, "by Assad's forces. We couldn't stay."

Another friend, Nabiha (ph), tells me we had to leave. The shelling was so bad I saw houses destroyed. All that was left of the families were body parts.

But when I ask about their husbands, they all tell me they've gone back to fight.

The UN refugee agency says that until last week it had registered close to 7,000 refugees crossing into northern Lebanon in the past year. The concern is that now Bashar al Assad's new military offensive is well underway. That number could rise dramatically.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Arsol (ph), Lebanon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: An opposition group says refugees are also fleeing form the northern city of Idlib after the government threatened to shell the town. And further south, one of the main routes to Lebanon that people had been using to escape from Syria has now been cut off. Activists say this bridge in Rableh, close to the border, was destroyed by the Syrian military.

Still to come on News Stream, their actions affected more than a million people. We'll tell you how authorities tracked down six elite hackers in an operation spanning three countries. The details next on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome background

Now discussions over Iran's nuclear program are being revived a year after negotiations stalled. The development comes after Iran's nuclear representative says Iran will now allow UN inspectors inside the Parchin military base. It had previously been refused access to the site.

Now the talks would include the five permanent members of the UN security council -- the U.S., France, Britain, China, and Russia as well as Germany. International experts suspect that activity related to Iran's nuclear program could be taking place in Parchin. Iran says its uranium enrichment program is for civilian purposes.

Now CNN's senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Vienna outside the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency. And he joins us now.

And Matthew, major world powers, including the U.S. are to hold these fresh talks with Iran on its nuclear program. Have world leaders changed their tone on Iran?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't think they have. But I certainly think that Iran has changed its tone when it comes to dealing with those global powers. For instance, it appears to have dropped its conditions that it had previously placed on nuclear negotiations with the five permanent member of the security council plus Germany, the so called P5+1.

It had said previously that it wouldn't engage in nuclear talks until the UN sanctions now crippling the Iranian economy of course were lifted and that its right to enrich uranium had been acknowledged by the international community.

The text of the latest letter from the Iranians, which has now been responded to, suggests that those conditions have now been lifted, enabling these talks at a very high level between these P5+1 countries and Iran to be resumed hopefully with the objective of opening up Iran's nuclear program and convincing the world, in the words of William Hague, the British foreign secretary, that Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes, Kristie.

STOUT: Now you've been covering a week long meeting of the IAEA there in Vienna. What have you learned so far?

CHANCE: Well, what's being discussed here in Vienna at the UN's nuclear watchdog headquarters, and we're right here in the middle of the corridors of that organization, is a report that was compiled several weeks ago. It was leaked to CNN and to other media outlets a week or so ago, basically setting out all the questions, all the problems with Iran's nuclear program, all the sites they want to visit to inspect what nuclear activities have been carried out there in the past, what nuclear activities continue there right now. It also poses all sorts of questions about the people who have been engaged in Iran's nuclear program. There's been calls for IAEA inspectors to interview, for instance, top officials, top scientists in Iran's nuclear program. They've been kept away from all objective of trying to, you know, verify what Iran says which is that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

At the moment, the IAEA says that it simply can't verify that claim. In fact, Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the organization says that he's got credible information that Iran has, you know, research weapons nuclear technology, Kristie.

STOUT: All the uncertainty very worrying. Matthew Chance joining us live from Vienna, thank you.

Now they are accused of wrecking havoc on government websites and multinational corporations. Now authorities in the United States and Europe are fighting back. They say six hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous have been arrested.

Now U.S. investigators describe the suspects as the most sophisticated hackers in the world. Brian Todd has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORREPSONDENT: They allegedly breached government websites, major financial services, entertainment conglomerates, and law enforcement networks. Six elite hackers from LolzSec, an offshoot of the hacktivist group Anonymous, have been arrested in the U.S., Britain and Ireland charged with hacking and other crimes which authorities say affected more than a million victims.

I spoke to Anup Ghosh from the cyber security firm Invincea.

ANUP GHOSH, INVINCEA: It's fairly significant that the FBI in concert with their partners were able to identify the individuals behind these attacks and cyber, getting attribution of the attacker is very difficult.

TODD: One of those charged, Hector Monsegur, known as Sabu, seen in these photos posted online, pleaded guilty back in August. A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN Sabu agreed to cooperate with the government as part of his plea that he helped build a case against other suspects.

Law enforcement officials say Sabu and his associates are behind some notorious hacks, launching denial of service attacks against Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal to hit back for their refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks.

Retaliation, officials say, was a trademark tactic with Sabu and others at LolzSec.

The group didn't like a PBS documentary about WikiLeaks. So it hacked into PBS's website, posted a fake story about Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls being alive and well in New Zealand. Both rappers were killed in the late 90s.

LolzSec once disabled the U.S. Senate's website. And officials say one of those charged was involved in hacking into emails, giving them information about an important conference call recently between the FBI and New Scotland Yard, a call where a probe into hackers was discussed. The suspect allegedly recorded that call. Some hackers apparent real names are bleeped out, their aliases are not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've set back the further arrests of Kayloa and T-flow, that being (BEEP) and (BEEP), until we know what's happening.

TODD: I asked Ghosh about the social media onslaught in the aftermath of this take down.

A lot of bragging tweets out there today cut off one head and we grow two back. So they really haven't tapped into much of this network, right?

GHOSH: That's right.

I mean, the important thing to realize here is Anonymous is a movement.

TODD: Ghosh believes these arrests will be a rally cry for other so- called hacktivists within Anonymous to launch more operations both to retaliate for these charges and to send out their signature message, reminding governments and companies that their cyber security is porous.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: So who exactly are these hacking groups? And what are their aims? Well, first there's Anonymous, a loosely affiliated group of online hacktivists from around the world who carry out hacking attacks in support of various causes. Now these include targeting private security firms, Middle Eastern regimes, and the Church of Scientology.

And then there's LolzSec, short for Lolz Security. It's a smaller, more organized group. It carried out several attacks last year. And LolzSec says it hacked PBS, putting this image up on the broadcaster's website. And other alleged targets include the CIA, FBI in the U.S., and Sony.

Time for a look at the world weather and space weather. There have been some recent solar flare ups. So how does that affect us here on Earth? Mari Ramos has the answer. She joins us now -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, yeah, Kristie at least some of the answers, right, because there's still so much about what happens in space and how it affects us here that we don't know. And there are agencies completely dedicated to studying space weather and that is one of the areas that I want to talk to you about right now.

I want to show you something pretty interesting. You know, when we talk about the solar cycle, well that's what's happening right now. We're in a very active solar cycle. And this year and next year it's supposed to be the peak of this latest solar cycle.

I want to show you this picture from the Solar Dynamic Observatory, the SDO. And what we're looking at here -- we went ahead and put these circles onto here to highlight some of the sun spots. This is looking at the sun through a specific filter that shows us the sun -- but then you've heard about sun spots before. It's areas where geomagnetic activity is very intense, but the surface is actually somewhat cooler and less bright than other parts of the sun so they appear darker when you look at them here.

This particular sun spot here on the right, or on your left, this one right here is called 1429. And it just came into view as the sun's rotation continued. And you can see that it is precisely in these areas where these sun spots are where we're seeing the most solar activity, the solar flares. So when the solar flares happen, they put plasma, solar material, out into space. And that, sometimes, can actually move closer to Earth.

You want to see this again? It's actually pretty cool. Here it is in the visible wavelength, what it would actually look like. You couldn't see it with the naked eye. But here it is with the ultraviolet wavelength. And you can see again where the solar flares are actually happening. Well, that particular solar flare, here's another example of it right here, has already released -- it's been very active and it's already released at least four M-class solar flares and one X-class.

What does that mean? Well, those are the most intense type of solar flares. X-class are actually the most intense. M would be one less on that scale.

The interesting is, is that this is the second most intense flare of the solar cycle it was an X-5. It goes all the way up to X-10. So there you have it. We're still barely halfway. And it's not directly headed toward Earth. So in this case, we only have a moderate or S-2 solar radiation storm. What does that mean for us here on Earth? There's also a scale for this. As you can see it goes from 1 to 5. In this case we are looking at a moderate potential. And what this could have problems with is high latitude aircraft, those transpolar flights from -- sometimes from North America over to Asia, very common, those people on those flights may be exposed to a little bit additional radiation. And there are at times, Kristie, can be possible satellite upsets.

Of course we're at the bottom of this scale here. Had this been facing Earth directly, it would have been a different story.

And watch out for auroras too. Those could be quite possible this morning, tonight as well.

Back to you.

STOUT: Yeah, incredible, something that happens so far away can have direct impact to us here on Earth. And of course our transmission here on CNN.

Mari Ramos, thank you.

Now still to come here on News Stream, armed and ready to play. A new sport is being debuted in Thailand with stunning results. We have all the details for you after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Manning and the Colts go together like bread and butter. But the familiar NFL combination may be about to disappear for good. Alex Thomas is in London to explain -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie.

A famous and successful 14 year association between the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning has almost certainly come to an end. Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay are holding a news conference in just over three hours time. It's thought they'll announce the four-time NFL MVP is leaving the only pro team that he's ever played for. If Manning is cut, it means that Indianapolis won't have to pay a $28 million bonus the quarterback was due to receive this week. During his time with the Colts, they reached the playoffs 11 times and won the 2007 Super Bowl.

Arsenal came within one goal of an unprecedented comeback in the UEFA Champion's League after a thrilling round of 16 second leg match at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night. Trailing AC Milan 4-nil from the first leg, Arsenal were on the verge of a miraculous recovery after goals from Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, and Robin Van Persie in the opening 45 minutes.

However, Milan avoided conceding again to scrape through 4-3 on aggregate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI, AC MILAN MANAGER (through translator): I just said to them that we couldn't change what happened in the first half. The score was still 3-0, but we still had great chances to score goals. That was my feeling. I thought that we could find space to score, but we've got the last pass wrong. I said to my players at the end of the first half that we would still qualify.

ARSENE WENGER, ARSENAL MANAGER: It's a night where I think players can be proud to play for this club, because they put absolutely every effort in and you win at home 3-nil you can only say well done to the players. And, you know, that's when you play 180 minutes, you miss 90. It's difficult at that level.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: And the other Champion's League match on Tuesday night also finished 4-3 on aggregate. Benfica going thorugh against Zenit St. Petersburg.

Now just four years ago Allen Stanford was set to transform cricket with the richest one-off match in the sport's history worth $20 million. Now he's facing a life behind bars.

A court in Texas has found the businessman guilty of masterminding a multi-billion fraud deal. Stanford famously landed a helicopter at Lourdes, the home of cricket, and showed off a pursepecks (ph) box with $20 million in cash a few years ago to promote that one-off game between an all-stars 11 and the England team. His legal team say they'll appeal against the verdict.

It's also been a difficult week for the Miami Heat. NBA title favorites who lost two games in a row without Chris Bosh who was grieving after a death in the family. And Bosh was wearing a tribute to his grandmother as he returned to the Heat lineup to face the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night.

He was keen to do her memory justice, finishing this move with a slam in the first quarter as the Heat took an early seven point lead. And Miami were a massive 20 points ahead in the second when Bosh found the target again during a run of 15 unanswered points for the home team.

Later in the second here's Dwayne Wade goes baseline for the reverse layup. He sat out the second half, but it didn't cool the Heat down. LeBron James had a game high 21 points and here were two of them.

It was something special just before the buzzer, a halfcourt 3-point shot that goes in. And Miami go on to complete a 108-78 point racking.

And that's all your sport for now, Kristie. Back to you.

STOUT: Alex Thomas, thank you.

Now this, it may not be a sport for everyone, especially the feint hearted, but for those looking for something a little bit more electrifying this could be the game for you. It was unveiled in Bangkok where punters and players alike are getting a shock, quite literally.

John Vause reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The game is called Ultimate Tak Ball. The rules are simple. Two teams try to put the big ball in the goal to score points. But what makes this sport different is the players are armed with stun guns. And any player holding the ball is fair game. Ultimate Tak Ball is the brainchild of (inaudible) sports fanatic. They call it a mix of rugby and soccer with stun guns.

LIEF KELLENBERGER, FOUNDER, ULTIMATE TAK BALL: They're really, really low voltage as you can see. As you can see. I will even do it to myself. You just get a little twitch. So, nothing really affects you long-term or the nervous system. Nothing really affects your vital organs, especially your heart. But this is what we play. It's a real low grade taser.

VAUSE: The stun guns used in this game pack only about 10 percent of the power of the tasers used by police. But being shocked by one still hurts.

RYAN MOORHEAD, ULTIMATE TAK BALL PLAYER: I quit counting once I was on the ground and two people were stunning me a lot. But it felt like one continuous one, but there was probably like 10, 15 individual ones.

VAUSE: These players are all paint ball pros. And they say they're used to playing a sport with a certain amount of pain.

DAMIAN RYAN, ULTIMATE TAK BALL PLAYER: It hurts, but it's not enough to stop you because you're adrenaline is pumping, but it does not feel good. I probably got tased at least 10 times throughout the entire match.

VAUSE: The fans are warned don't try this at home.

GRAHAM MCDONALD, SPECTATOR: I don't want to say crazy group of guys, but they got what it takes to do it.

VAUSE: Organizers are hoping the game catches on with adrenaline junkies worldwide. But for now, the sport is building a lot of buzz.

John Vause, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: That's insane.

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

END