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Arab League Summit in Baghdad; Syrians Flee al-Assad Regime; Afghanistan Massacre Investigation; Romney Feeling Heat For Car Elevator Renovation; Panamanian Teenager Rescued After Month Lost At Sea

Aired March 29, 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 HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

And we begin with Syria. From activists clearing landmines at the border, to delegates arriving for a summit in Iraq, the world looks for ways to help Syrians.

Now, new revelations emerge in the investigation of a U.S. Soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians.

And as Myanmar prepares for historic elections, why some monks say they can't trust any new government yet.

Now, they are bracing for another day of bloodshed in Syria. Activists say at least 26 people have been killed in fighting today as security forces shell and storm Syrian cities.

In Homs, new pictures posted on YouTube purportedly show the dramatic rescue of a man buried under rubble. As gunfire rings out around the neighborhood, these men battle to free their friends.

(CHANTING)

STOUT: In the northern city of Aleppo, video shows protesters demonstrating in the streets on Wednesday until they, too, come under fire.

And CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of these videos.

And the renewed violence, it comes as Arab League heads of state meet in Baghdad, hoping to hammer out a solution to the crisis in Syria, and they're widely expected to call for enactment of U.N. Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan. It calls for the Syrian government to pull its forces out of population centers, but it does not demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down. Now, Syria agreed to the U.N.-backed initiative on Tuesday, but the violence has continued.

As you would imagine, security is extremely tight in Baghdad and nerves were a bit on edge earlier when mortar rounds went off near the Arab League Summit site.

CNN's Arwa Damon is at the meeting. She joins us now live from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

And Arwa, first, how united are leaders at the summit over how to resolve the crisis in Syria?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the surface, they are fairly united in the sense that they all agree that there needs to be some sort of resolution, there needs to be some sort of (INAUDIBLE) to the bloodshed, although they do differ on how to achieve that. What we are expecting out of the summit though is a united statement that all those present can in fact stand behind.

That being said, you do have nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are looking for harsher actions to be taken against Syria, and they want to see actions like the military support of the opposition for an intervention, perhaps, even. And in that effect, we have actually seen all Gulf nations except for Kuwait sending over lower-level representation.

The reason behind this, we are being told, is that they are upset with Iraq's position towards Syria and, additionally, with the predominantly Shia government's marginalization of Iraq's Sunni population. But at the end of the day, even if they do come out with some sort of (INAUDIBLE), we are expecting that all of these leaders can in fact stand behind -- this is not a resolution, but in and of itself, is going to put the necessary pressure on the Syrian regime. It does not threaten further action against Syria, should Syria, in fact, not comply with it, or not comply with Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan -- Kristie.

STOUT: Very significant that the emir of Kuwait is there in Baghdad for this meeting, as well as the other Arab League delegates.

Can you tell us more about security at this summit in Baghdad? I mean, that was a big concern going into this event. Mortar rounds were heard earlier today. Just how secure is the event?

DAMON: Yes, we heard a couple of explosions just a short while ago, and we're being told that the rounds impacted close to the Iranian Embassy. They did not fire from the outer walls of the international zone, or Green Zone, as it is called, where these meetings are taking place.

The roads around it, the capital, has been under something of a lockdown for the last week or so. There are checkpoints, there are soldiers every few meters. A lot of vehicle traffic has been ground to a stop. People are having to walk to get places.

So the security forces, most certainly, are out in the streets. They've upped their presence, I think, (INAUDIBLE), concentrating a lot of it in the capital. So one gets the impression that this is as secure as it could be, but, then again, we did show those mortar rounds impacting.

What's been interesting, since you point out as well, though, is that this meeting is taking place in what was once Saddam Hussein's Republic Guard palace. And now it is where these various leaders are gathering, are discussing the Arab Spring, are discussing the crisis in Syria. But when it comes back to security, Kristie, that is still a great concern, and that is going to remain a great concern even when the summit ends. And for the Iraqi population, though, their concern is what sort of violence is going to come once the security (INAUDIBLE), even though they are incredibly frustrating (INAUDIBLE).

STOUT: Arwa Damon, reporting live for us from Baghdad.

Thank you.

Now, thousands of people have been forced to flee towns and villages caught up in the violent crackdown, and many have ended up from Syria into Turkey. But they say that their journey across the border was filled with danger because of landmines planted by Syrian authorities.

Ivan Watson reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mazen Hajisa has a secret. Here, in the olive groves of Turkey, just a stone's throw away from the Syrian border, he's hidden away several Styrofoam boxes. Their contents are deadly -- unexploded landmines.

"If you put pressure on the black trigger," Hajisa tells me, it will explode.

Experts say this is a PMN-2 anti-personnel mine, probably manufactured decades ago in the Soviet Union, but Turkish authorities say Syrian troops began planted these in new minefields along the border earlier this winter. Soon after, Hajisa and several activist friends started digging the mines up, removing more than 300, he claims, in the last two months.

(on camera): Nobody taught you how to pull this kind of mine out of the ground, right?

MAZEN HAJISA, ACTIVIST: No, no.

WATSON (voice-over): And this is why Hajisa is risking his live to remove landmines. Several weeks ago, a mine blew off Rami Bakor's (ph) right foot as he was trying to flee with his family from Syria to Turkey.

"I protested against the Syrian regime, and then the security forces came to try to arrest me," he says. "So I tried to smuggle my family out of the country. That's what led me to this fate."

Many of the more than 17,000 refugees currently living in Turkey have relied on smugglers' paths to flee their country. The new minefields have added yet another threat to an already perilous journey. At least 10 Syrian landmine victims are currently being treated in Turkish hospitals.

Hajisa says he and his friends have been trying to clear the trails for the refugees.

(on camera): Mazen is demonstrating how he's been digging up landmines on his own. He does not have any protective equipment, armor, whatsoever, no electronics. And his tool of choice is a kabob skewer.

(voice-over): "This is my duty," Hajisa says. "The refugees must have a safe place to escape to."

The young activist doesn't know what to do with the landmines he's unearthed. He's not trained to destroy them, so he hides them once again under the trees. He may be one of the bravest men you'll ever meet.

Ivan Watson, CNN, on the Syrian/Turkish border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: So where does all of this leave Kofi Annan's peace process? Well, CNN's Ben Wedeman is following developments from the Lebanese capital, Beirut. He joins us now live.

And Ben, more violence today in Syria. It is clear that the regime does not have any intention to carry out the Annan peace plan?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the day before yesterday they said they were going to -- they did agree to the Annan peace plan, but certainly on the ground, actions speak far louder than words. And this has been the complaint from the Syrian opposition, that in the past, last November, when Syria accepted the Arab action plan for Syria, the Arab League action plan for Syria, it took weeks for them to start to implement it. And implementation was weak, at best.

So, I mean, really, what you have to do is look at what's going on. And certainly what we've seen in the last 24 hours is a real concentration of Syrian regime military activity in the province of Idlib, particularly around the town of Sarateb (ph), where there have been dozens of people killed. We're receiving reports of public executions there.

So it appears Syria is following a two-track approach to this uprising, on the one hand, accepting this U.N.-Arab League peace plan, and, on the other, carrying out a completely contradictory military (INAUDIBLE) opponents in the country -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, Ben, a hypothetical question for you next. In the event that Bashar al-Assad is removed from power, what would happen to Syria?

WEDEMAN: It could be very messy. We've been speaking to analysts about this, and some are saying that the opposition is very aware of the sectarian divisions within Syria, and it's working very hard to try to prevent any sort of ethnic cleansing that could happen after the fall of the regime, keeping in mind that this is a regime very much based upon the Alawite minority, of which Bashar al-Assad is a member.

Many people are worried that given the sectarian divisions, the fact that there are 16 different religious sects in Syria, that after the fall of the regime, the eventual, possible fall of the regime, the aftermath could resemble something like Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. So many people are worried about what the day after could be -- Kristie.

STOUT: A lot of scenarios to plan for.

Ben Wedeman, joining us live from Beirut.

Thank you.

Now, still to come here on NEWS STREAM, when you've got plenty of cash, one of the biggest problems must be knowing what to do with it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to have an elevator for your car, and you can afford it, have an elevator for your care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: We'll tell you which U.S. Republican Party presidential hopeful is doing just that.

Meanwhile, international observers are heading to Myanmar just days ahead of contested elections in the secretive country.

And lost at sea, how one teenager beat the odds and survived alone at sea for weeks after a simple fishing trip went wrong.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, we're hearing more about the investigation into the shooting deaths of 17 Afghan villagers in Kandahar Province earlier this month. U.S. soldier Robert Bales is charged in those murders, but American officials are facing obstacles as they try to investigate the case. Now, one official says U.S. investigators have not had access to the crime scene.

For the latest, let's go to Nick Paton Walsh at CNN Kabul.

And Nick, new revelations about the investigation into the massacre. What more can you tell us?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning today one of the key questions, really, about the timeline of this night in which Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly killed 17 Afghans. Remember, he's supposed to have left the outpost where he was for an hour, gone to one village, killed some of his victims, then come back to the outpost for as much as half an hour or more, I understand from one U.S. official, before going out again for another hour to a second village, where he killed the remainder of his victims.

What I understand today though is that during that half-hour when he returned to the base, he went back to his room and woke one, perhaps two, of his roommates. One of the roommates and he had a conversation. The exact details of that aren't clear, but apparently he admitted to having gone off the base and killed some Afghan civilians.

His roommate heard that but thought nothing of it, thought he must have been talking nonsense and turned over, and apparently went straight back to sleep. But that will raise questions, really, as to how it was possible he came back to the base and wasn't stopped before going out again. But, really, the big challenge, Kristie, will come because U.S. investigators can't get to the scene of these crimes to gather their evidence -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, it is incredible. The U.S. has no access to the crime scene. So how can prosecutors build their case against Sergeant Bales?

WALSH: Well, they have to rely mostly on evidence from the crime scene given to them by Afghan investigators. I'm sure the U.S. defense attorney for Bales will try and pick holes in that. Allegation of corruption and ineptitude pervade much of Afghan law enforcement, so that will be one issue.

I understand, also, there is some DNA in the blood of the victims of Bales apparently, allegedly on the uniform he wore as he returned to the base after that second spree in the second village. That may assist them in some ways, but the key issue is going to be gathering DNA from his dead victims to prove the murder charges. These people have, I understand now, been buried, and that will make it very hard for that logical chain of evidence to be constructed by U.S. military prosecutors -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, we've also heard from Sergeant Bales' lawyer about his client suffering from depression after serving in Iraq. Tell us what you know about the mental state of the suspect.

WALSH: Well, I think in the months ahead, we're going to hear a lot from Bales' defense attorney, trying to question his state of mind, trying to make him sound almost like the victim of psychological trauma in a way. Yes, there's been talk about traumatic brain injury, none of it confirmed, about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from his multiple tours.

I heard today from a U.S. official there have been claims that some of the instances around the base recently could have sent him off the edge. I understand that three or four days before these murders, this massacre, if you were, there was an instance in which one of the soldiers based at the same place as Bales lost his leg in an explosion. We understand though that Bales was not present at the scene of that particular explosion, but may have known the individual in question.

So U.S. officials here, I think, trying to pour a little bit of doubt upon the idea that some traumatic event sent him off the edge. Suggestions perhaps alcohol may have been a factor, but not really the overriding one in this. So the big question, really, the motivation here, and that will be what defense attorneys try to prey upon as they try and suggest that, somehow, that their client was a victim of repeated deployments -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Framing the case for us, Nick Paton Walsh, joining us live from Kabul.

Thank you.

Now, just three days to go. Myanmar holds by-elections this Sunday, with the opposition party contesting each and every one of the 47 seats.

Now, in the past, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party has boycotted the vote, but this time she has campaigned around the country. We even have a speech broadcast on state TV earlier this month.

The election is being seen as a test of the Myanmar government's commitment to political reform, and will be watched by observers from the U.S. to Europe and Asia.

So times appear to be changing in Myanmar, but has Paula Hancocks reports, for many the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists lives fresh in the memory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The crackdown on Myanmar's "Saffron Revolution" five years ago was swift and brutal. Tens of thousands protested against the military junta and a sharp rise in petrol prices. Thousands were arrested; the number of dead and injured is still unclear.

Media organization the Democratic Voice of Burma puts the death toll at more than 100. The official figure is far lower.

This protest was led by the country's Buddhist monks. Hundreds were incarcerated. This monks in Yangon were among them and were released in January as part of the new civilian government's pledge to release prisoners of conscience.

"When we were in prison," this monk tells me, "the authorities locked up our monasteries." The monasteries have been reopened and the deeds have been handed back. Government officials are keen to show respect to the months, a sign that things have now changed, at least in front of the cameras.

But memories of incarceration are fresh for many. At a nearby monastery, Uen Daka (ph) says it was a difficult time. His robes were taken away, he was often questioned for long periods of time, and he became very thin.

I ask him if he feels things have changed now there is a civilian government. "The majority of this government was taken from the military," he tells me. "They just changed their clothes. There are very few democratic groups among this government, so the international community needs to push for further change."

But some change is undeniable. These monks are now free and able to openly support the political opposition.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Yangon, Myanmar.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Still ahead on NEWS STREAM, this pretty pink drink has a not-so- secret ingredient, but should we bugged about it? We'll explore the uproar over a natural form of food coloring.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now, more than 40 years ago, a Saturn V rocket carried three men to the moon. Extremely powerful engines lifted the Apollo 11 off the ground, and then these engines, they plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. But now Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos says they have been found.

On his blog, Bezos writes that deep-sea sonar located the engines more than 4,000 meters under water. Now, he wants to raise them up from the seafloor, but that's not going to be easy.

Now, here's a Google SketchUp model of an F-1 engine. Each one weighs nearly nine tons. And Bezos admits that they do not know what condition the engines are in after their four-decade saltwater bath, but he says they're made of tough stuff and hopes to recover at least one of the five.

NASA still owns the engines, and on Twitter, the U.S. space agency calls the discovery "cool."

(WEATHER REPORT)

STOUT: Now, more details are emerging about some midair turbulence, but it was caused by a JetBlue airline pilot. He was supposed to be flying the plane. What happened on board Flight 191? We've got that story just ahead.

And White House hopeful Mitt Romney's renovations, how he plans to store his Cadillac collection, next on NEWS STREAM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now mortar rounds have been fired in the Iraqi capital as the Arab League holds a summit in Baghdad. It happened about a mile from the summit venue injuring four security forces. Now leaders at the meeting are expected to call for enactment of a Syrian peace plan proposed by UN/Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, but stopped short of calling for Bashar al Assad to step down.

The U.S. has suspended plans to deliver food aid to North Korea. Pentagon official says the decision was made because Pyongyang went back on its pledge to stop missile launches. Now these new satellite images show activity on North Korea's launchpad as the country prepares for a controversial satellite launch in about two weeks. The U.S. and South Korea say it is a long range missile test in disguise.

Now new developments in the investigation to the shooting deaths of 17 Afghan villagers in Kanadahar Province earlier this month. Now U.S. soldier Robert Bales is charged in those murders, but one American official now says U.S. investigators have not had access to the crime scene impeding their inquiry.

And there is an extraordinary story of survival out of Central America. A Panama teenager spent the last month lost at sea after a fishing trip with two buddies went horribly wrong. Now Adrian Vazquez he watched on helplessly as his friends died before his eyes.

Now the 18-year-old, he stayed alive on a diet of raw fish and rain water until help arrived.

As you can imagine, his rescuers say he was suffering from malnutrition and severe dehydration. Our senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo is following the story from CNN Center. He joins us now. And Rafael, again, this is an incredible story of survival, but how did Vazquez survive when his two friends could not?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: It is very difficult to tell right now. I had a conversation with his mother last night. And she told me that they don't really want to ask many questions, because as you can imagine he's very traumatized right now.

What we know is that they had fishing poles, some fishing equipment, and they had a small amount of drinking water for the first few days of the trip. After that, we don't really know what happened. According to some media reports they had been eating some raw fish and there was also a big storm that supplied Adrian Vazquez with some drinking water.

But again the family is just waiting for him to be able to process everything that happened. He was scheduled to be taken to a psychologist today, that's what his mother Nyssa Delacruz (ph) told me last night. And so they're taking everything just one step at a time and the family is just loving on him and giving him time for peace and calm -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yeah, of course, a very traumatic experience for the teenager.

CaN you tell us more about the rescue? When was he discovered and how?

ROMO: It was not until -- let me take you back to the beginning. They went missing on February 24. It was not until March 22 that a fishing boat north of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador saw him alone. And that's the moment when he got rescued.

He was severed dehydrated, as you mentioned. He was extremely hungry, but otherwise OK.

Now psychologically after having witnessed the deaths of his two best friends, we don't really know how he's doing right now, but it's just amazing that he was able to survive for that long on his own.

STOUT: Yeah, Vazquez lost at sea for a month. It's incredible. He's currently being treated in Panama. Any details about his condition? What is his family telling you?

ROMO: The family says that it was a very emotional scene as he arrived at the airport in Panama City a couple of days ago. Immediately after that, he was taken home and right now was Nyssa Delacruz (ph) is telling me -- his mother -- is that he is just being left alone in his room to have time to really process what happened to him. They say that he looks very quiet, very pensive, trying to just cope with what happened to him. And they don't want to ask too many questions, they don't want to disturb him, they just want to be there for him and help him.

And again he's being taken to a psychologist to begin to process everything that happened to him at the last month -- Kristie.

STOUT: Yeah, here's hoping he gets all the support he needs to cope and to get through this.

Rafael Romo joining us live with the story, thank you.

Now the JetBlue pilot who was locked out of his cockpit and then restrained by crew and passengers during a flight, he now faces criminal charges. And he could see 20 years in prison and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars if convicted with interfering with the crew.

Now take a look at what happened on board Flight 191.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) now! (inaudible)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: A passenger caught it all, all on camera. And analysts are saying that Osman's (ph) behavior displays all the traits of some form of psychosis. And of coruse that could end his career as a pilot.

Now CNN's aviation correspondent Lizzie O'Leary has been following the story for us. She joins us now live from Washington. Lizzie, tell us more about the charges and the criminal complaint.

LIZZIE O'LEARY, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, the charges as you mentioned are federal charges -- interfering with a flight crew. And they could carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a quarter million dollar fine.

One of the really amazing things, though, in these charging documents are the details that have come out in the affidavit from the law enforcement officers here. And I want to point out a couple of things, because they really put this into perspective. We know that Osbon was acting a little bit strange, according to his first officer, partway into the flight. And things sort of seemed to progressively get worse to the point where he was very much worrying that first officer who wanted to get him out of the cockpit, eventually did so when Osbon went to the bathroom and he locked him out.

Here are a couple of things. The first officer became really worried when Osbon said, quote, "'we need to take a leap of faith.' Osbon started tring to correlate completely unrelated numbers like different radio frequencies and he talked about sins in Las Vegas. At some point, Osbon told the FO 'we're not going to Vegas.' Osbon began giving what the FO described as a sermon."

At this point they do manage to lock him out of the cockpit. As you mentioned, passengers and the flight crew restrained him. At one point Osbon broke free and ran back to the front of the cockpit, banging on the door. What the affidavit says is "Osbon started trying to enter his code" -- these doors are locked -- :in order to reenter the cockpit, and he anged on the door hard enough that the FO thought he was coing through the door."

It gives you a picture in these details just exactly what was going on, on that air plane as they were trying to restrain the captain and as this first officer and an off duty captain who happened to be traveling on board this plane safely landed it after they diverted to Texas, Kristie.

STOUT: Strange behavior from this JetBlue pilot. And recently, an American Airlines flight attendant was taken off a plane after rambling about 9/11. How does the aviation industry in America screen for mental health for on board crew?

O'LEARY: Well, they screen pilots and flight attendants separately. And in terms of pilots who get a more rigorous certification process, essentially what goes on is once a year if they're under 40 they get a medical evaluation by a doctor who has been approved by the FAA. And that doesn't include a formal psychological evaluation. Essentially they ask and evaluate how the patient is doing, but they're not seen by a separate psychiatrist. And that is something that people have been looking at.

Now recently the FAA changed its rules. Over the past two years, they have allowed pilots to fly on one of four approved antidepressants, but if you say that you're on one of these pills pilots are grounded for a year. So there's a lot of questions about whether or not pilots fully report all of the medications they might be taking to the authorities.

STOUT: And where is Osbon now? And do we know the reason for his strange behavior?

O'LEARY: We don't know the reason for his strange behavior. Certainly people have talked about looking at his mental state. And he's getting a complete medical work up. He's being investigated by the FBI, by local law enforcement, and the Federal Aviation Administration. But he's in custody of a local hospital in Texas. They are basically watching him.

Remember, initially the airline called this a medical situation. They later added that obviously this was a security situation as well. But first and foremost he's being evaluated medically before we even proceed down the path of these charges.

STOUT: Lizzie O'Leary joining us live from Washington. Thank you.

Now it is no secret that U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is richer than the average American, but just how rich is becoming something of a distraction for his campaign. Now CNN's Joe Johns reports on Romney's multi-million home renovation that's threatening to turn into elevatorgate.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORREPSONDENT: Mitt Romney's reputation as Mr. Moneybags just stepped up a notch with the latest reports about the big upgrade on his beach house south of upscale and amazingly beautiful La Joila, California near San Diego. It goes all the way back to 2010 as first reported by a San Diego newspaper, Romney puts in renovation plans basically to raise his already multi-million dollar house that's only about 3,000 square feet and replace it with an 8,000 square foot house with a gigantic basement. One of the distinguishing features, according to Politico which broke the story nationally, a four car garage with an elevator for the cars.

JOE LACAVA, LA JOILA PLANNING BOARD: They're actually proposing a full elevator solution that the entire floor of the garage is essentially the floor of the elevator, if you will. That entire floor descends down into the basement level. And then from above there is a second element that actually drops down from the ceiling that allows two new cars to pull into the garage.

So, yeah, I would say it's fair to characterize it as a car elevator.

JOHNS: A project so complex, San Diego City records show Mitt Romney hired a lobbyist in 2010 to push it through the permitting process. But Lacava makes the point that for people that have the money to live out on this part of the coast, this kind of a renovation is actually no big deal.

LACAVA: What is remarkable is how unremarkable the application and proposal was.

JOHNS: Romney has gotten some bad publicity because of how rich it makes him look, like when he talked about how his wife drives two Cadillacs. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with a big, fancy redo on the California beach house says a spokesman for Newt Gingrich. Though he concedes it's not how everybody lives.

PATRICK MILLSAPS, GINGRICH CHIEF OF STAFF: I am a rabid capitalist. And if -- if you want to have an elevator for your car and you can afford it, have an elevator for your car. I mean, have fun.

Now, if you're running for president -- I mean, there's not a lot of people that think they can relate to that.

JOHNS: The Santorum campaign's Hogan Giddley (ph) also said there's nothing wrong with Romney making a lot of money, but he questions Romney's hiring a lobbyist to push the project through. The lobbyist, Matthew Peterson, told us he's really a land use lawyer. And what he does is very different from what the general public considers lobbying at the state or national level.

A campaign aid told CNN, construction on the project will not begin until the campaign is over.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now two of the most successful teams in European football history met on Wednesday night. Could Milan stop Barcelona? Pedro Pinto has the answer next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Welcome back.

Let's bring up an image of Apple CEO Tim Cook on a tour of one of Foxconn's newest factories. Now Foxconn makes many of Apple's products like the white iPhones that Cook is apparently inspecting here. But the company has been the spotlight recently due to labor issues. A series of suicides at Foxconn plants brought global attention to the conditions faced by Chinese workers.

Now earlier this week, Cook met China's vice premier Li Keqiang called on multinational companies to pay more attention to the care of Chinese workers.

Now they have won a combined 11 European Cups, but on Wednesday Milan and Barcelona could not combine for a single goal. So what happened?

Pedro Pinto joins us now. He's got all the details. Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. What happened was that it was case of Milan's defense containing Barcelona's attack. It was the first time, actually, in two-and-a-half years that the Spanish giants failed to score in a Champion's League game.

As you might expect, Barca did dominate possession in Italy. They had the ball for 62 percent of the time, but they still couldn't find a way through in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie at the San Siro.

Both sides at their fair share of chances to score, but just couldn't hit the back of the net. The tie remains in the balance ahead of next Tuesday's second leg at the Camp Nou.

Also on Wednesday Bayern Munich took a huge step towards the semifinals with a 2-nil win against Marseilles in France. Second half goals from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben did the trick for the German giants. Gomez now has 11 goals in the competition, second only to Lio Messie.

Well, all good things must come to an end, that would be a good way to describe what happened to Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday. The women's world number one tennis player lost for the first time this season. She couldn't win her 27th match in a row.

The Belarussian had been in a great groove in 2012, but that came to an end in the quarterfinals at the Sony Ericsson Open against Marion Bartoli. The French woman started the match on fire, winning the first four games. And although Azarenka reacted well and shortened the distance to her opponent, she couldn't avoid losing the opener 6-3.

Remember the Belarussian had staged an amazing comeback earlier in this tournament against Dominika Cibulkova, but she couldn't do it again. Bartoli stayed aggressive and pulled out the upset, handing Azarenka her first loss of the season 6-3, 6-3 the score.

On the men's side of the draw in Miami Rafael Nadal set up a semifinal showdown with Andy Murray by beating Joe Wilfred Tsonga on Wednesday. It wasn't easy, though. The world number two dropped the second set.

Nadal, who has never won this tournament, wasn't too happy with the way he played, but he still played well enough to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Finally, England's rugby football union has named Stuart Lancaster as the national team's permanent head coach on Thursday. The 42-year-old had been in charge on an interim basis for the last six months. And England's solid showing at the Six Nations tournament convinced the bosses that he was the right man for the job. Lancaster is signing a deal that will run until after the 2015 World Cup which is hosted by England.

And that is a quick look at sports for this hour. Kristie, back to you.

STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now it's been said if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but in our next story we've gotten elephants. And he's working his magic for free. Peter the elephant has proved mighty handy with a sylus as he promotes the Samsung Galaxy Note. Jeanne Moos has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine your caller ID showed Peter the Elephant calling from his smartphone. Peter is the start of a viral ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note. Note his favorites are the apps that make noise.

ED ROBINSON, THE VIRAL FACTORY: It uses its -- the end of its trunk like we use our fingers.

MOOS: Ed Robinson is co-founder of the ad agency, the viral factory who dreamed up this ad to go along with Samsung's bigger is better slogan. Look at him swipe. The ad was shot in Thailand with an actress holding the phone and the young elephant's Thai trainer alongside.

ROBINSON: The elephants have no training. You can (inaudible) turned up and presented the device to the elephant and it started interacting.

MOOS: Cheese! They shot for three days as Peter got more and more engaged. The ad agency was inspired by all those other web videos of animals using touch screens.

Who wouldn't find a tongue flicking bearded dragon lizard inspiring as it plays ant smasher.

Dogs are scratching like mad. Is this any way to treat an iPad? Make that an iPaw.

Don't you sometimes feel like doing this to your device?

During a morning talk show at radio station WMMR, a monkey named Bubba went nuts on one guy's iPhone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Easy monkey.

MOOS: Who cares about the phone, Bubba's big sin was stepping on a button and disconnecting a live call with Ryan Seacrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

MOOS: Peter the Elephant on the other hand was a gentle giant. They had to modify the stylus with a lump of wood so he could grip it. Is that a portrait of that other elephant?

But at least all those creatures aren't dumb enough to do what we humans do. Excuse me?

Texting while walking, whether it be off this pier of into a shopping mall fountain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's funny when it's not you.

MOOS: And if you think technology is intimidating. Look what it did to this chameleon.

These devices sure can take a licking. Or sometimes the owner isn't as smart as the smartphone.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Can't get enough of the chameleon.

Now still to come here on News Stream, waiter there's a bug in Frappuccino, but it's not a joke. I'll tell you why Starbucks is attracting the wrath of vegans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STOUT: Coffee, cocoa, cream, all staple ingredients at Starbucks. But another has been revealed which is really bugging some customers. Now ever wondered what gives the strawberry Frappuccino its distinctive rosy color? Well, here's a clue it's got nothing to do with fruit. But we warn that Brian Todd's report might leave you, well, crushed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The grande Starbucks strawberries and cream Frappuccino, tastes terrific and has a beautiful pink hue courtesy of crushed insects. You heard right, a barista at Starbucks who is vegan recently divulged that the strawberries and cream frappuccino is colored using cochineal extract, the ground up bodies of cochineal insects native to South America. The barista gave that information to a vegan news site run by Daelyn Fortney who says she's shocked.

DAELYN FORTNEY, VEGAN BLOGGER: We were that the any way you want it frappuccinos were made with soy milk were completely safe for vegans.

TODD: A Starbucks spokeswoman says the company never claimed the drink was vegan friendly.

Nicely textured. Starbucks didn't want to put anyone on camera with us, didn't want us filming anyone in the stores making this frappuccino. The company spokesman did tell us they started using cochineal extract to move away from some dyes and other artificial ingredients, but the extract is FDA approved and that it would never do anything to harm its customers.

As for the customers we spoke with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still technically all natural. It is still probably organic.

TODD: Does it gross you out at all that they use bug extract in this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We use bugs in all sorts of things. IOm not terribly surprised or concerned.

TODD: After all, bugs have been a staple of nutrition for years on Discovery Channel's Man vs Wild.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can just eat them raw.

TODD: Starbucks officials also point out products like juices made by other companies have the same insect extract in them. But according to the World Health Organization, there have been instances where cochineal extract is believed to have caused asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

Probably wonderful, right? Tastes pretty good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEALE: It's OK. I prefer my own homemade smoothies.

TODD: Renowned nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge also warns of those symptoms. But if you drink one of these is it going to do anything to you? Is it bad for you?

KATHERINE TALLMADGE, NUTRITIONIST: Nutritionally it's fine. But any time a restaurant puts an ingredient in a food it should be disclosed.

TODD: Tallmadge says the cups seen by customers should disclose that the strawberry frappuccino has insect extract in it. Right now, only the boxes of liquid mixture used by the baristas behind the counters have those labels.

An FDA official tells us the law does not require the cups to be labeled, because the drink is prepared by Starbucks staff, not sold in any packages bought directly by customers.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STOUT: Now, until three years ago cochineal extract was often listed as natural color on food labels. And that is what's written on this yogurt container. But in the United States the FDA requires that the extract to be specifically listed on nutrition labels, sometimes it's called carmine instead like on this tube of icing.

But it's also commonly used in natural food coloring, which is what gives this red velvet cake its scarlet hue.

Now cochineal extract can also be found in some cosmetics, including lipstick and blush. So what's the alternative? Well, typically it's red dye number 40. That gives these gummy candies their strawberry shade.

Now red dye number 40 is also known as coal tar color. It's used -- used to be made from the byproduct of coal processing. Now it's mostly made from petroleum. Delicious.

That is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END