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I.K. Kim Misses One Foot Putt To Win; Bin Laden Wives Sentenced to 45 Days; 'New Era' For Myanmar; China Cracks Down Online Coup Rumors; Journalist Talks About Five Days Under Siege in Syria

Aired April 2, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


MANISHA TANK, HOST: Hello. A warm welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Manisha Tank at CNN Hong Kong.

And we begin in Myanmar. This is where Aung San Suu Kyi says her party won nearly all the seats that it contested in Myanmar's historic elections.

We also have an exclusive look at how journalist Paul Conroy escaped Syria.

And a huge miss. How one golfer blew her chance to win a major by missing a one-foot putt.

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she hopes her military- led homeland is beginning a new era. The Nobel Peace laureate who spent years under house arrest may soon be a member of Myanmar's parliament. The National League for Democracy Party says it's won 43 of the 44 seats that it fought for in Sunday's parliamentary by-elections. That includes a seat for Suu Kyi.

We probably won't know final official results until a little bit later this week, but it is confirmed then they would cement a significant transition in the isolated Southeast Asian nation which has been under military rule for half a century. Well, the military-backed ruling party will still control parliament, but Suu Kyi has promised to push for political reform.

So let's get more now from Paula Hancocks in Yangon, in Myanmar, to bring us really up to speed on what winning this by-election would mean -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Manisha, let me describe how one person described it to me this morning. One man said that it was like Myanmar has been in prison for the past 50 years. Aung San Suu Kyi was the only person who had a key, and, finally, she's been allowed to open the door to the prison. He says people finally feel free.

Now, (INAUDIBLE) Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters, but these are sentiments that we've been hearing everywhere we have been over the past few days, at polling stations and also here in Yangon. People really very emotional. One woman had tears streaming down her face, saying she is so proud that Aung San Suu Kyi has won.

And this is what Aung San Suu Kyi said in her victory speech just a little earlier today.


AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR OPPOSITION LEADER: It is not so much our triumph, as a triumph of the people who had decided that they must be involved in the political process of this country. So what is important is not how many seats we have won, although I am extremely gratified that we have won so many, but the fact that the people are so enthusiastic about participating in the democratic process. We hope that this will be the beginning of a new era where there will be more emphasis on the rule of the people in the everyday politics of our country.


HANCOCKS: Now, even though Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD Party will be very much a minority in the parliament, she also did encourage and invite other parties to join with her in the realm of this national reconciliation -- Manisha.

TANK: Paula, you were there, weren't you, when Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar very recently? And people were asking the same question then, that, can we trust this move towards reform? Can we trust that, suddenly, we're not going to see Aung San Suu Kyi put under house arrest again or anything like that, that this really is progress now?

HANCOCKS: You know, it's very interesting. Even since December, I have seen the attitudes of people on the street change quite dramatically.

In December, people were reticent to talk to us. They were concerned that whatever they said could get back to the ruling party. They were worried about officials here and what they were saying, if that would have repercussions for them.

This time around, and even a month ago, when we were here, everybody was very willing to talk to us. There does feel like there has been an opening up. Some residents telling us that they feel they're much safer now in being able to say how they feel and to discuss things that they could never discuss before.

The fact that Aung San Suu Kyi is free -- there are posters of her everywhere, she's in the parliament. And there are T-shirts of her everywhere. If you supported Aung San Suu Kyi a couple of years ago, that would have landed you in a lot of trouble.

And also, we have a response from the ruling party. Of course, the president, Thein Sein, a former general himself, and strongly influenced, one could say, by the former military regime. His adviser has said that this election is a reflection of the people's decision.

When it comes to voting irregularities, he pointed out it is a third world country, there are flaws, but you have to look at the bigger picture. And he did explain that if it wasn't a free and fair election, ,then the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi's party, would not have won such a majority -- Manisha.

TANK: And just finally, Paula, just the fact, the mere fact that there are journalists such as yourself there, that you've been allowed to go in, a lot of journalists there, shows how pronounced these reforms really are. Why the reforms, though? Why is this happening now?

HANCOCKS: It's a question that everybody is asking, to be honest, the international community is still asking. There are a number of reasons that this could have happened.

Obviously, it couldn't have happened without the ruling military regime at the time deciding that this was the way to go. They really ruled this country with an iron fist. It had to be a decision that came from the top, from the general, Than Shwe.

And, of course, the reforms -- with those reforms comes the potential for lifting of sanctions. There are crippling sanctions against this country at the moment from the United States, the European Union, other countries. And the ruling party, the government, wants those sanctions to be lifted so that this country can start to reboot its economy and can start to encourage investment in this country. And, of course, having Aung San Suu Kyi as part of the parliament is going to add legitimacy.

So it does help Aung San Suu Kyi, it helps democracy, but of course it helps the government as well, having extra legitimacy in the international eyes -- Manisha.

TANK: All right. Paula, thanks for bringing us up to date. The people really have spoken, haven't they?

We'll leave it there for now. Thanks for that live report from Myanmar.

Now, China's most popular microblogging Web sites are being are being punished by the government there. This is according to the state-run media in the country.

Sina Weibo, on the left over here --you can see it quite clear -- and Tencent QQ have both been ordered to clean up rumors and other illegal information. The sites suspended their comment functions over the weekend, and Beijing says it's part of a recent campaign to reduce Internet crime.

But as Stan Grant tells us, politics is in play.


STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a popular coffee shop in Beijing. Wi-fi here is free, and people flock here to be able to use the Net. There are more than 300 million users of microblogs in China, the Chinese equivalence of Twitter, and that is making the government concerned with censorship and secrecy especially nervous.

(voice-over): Rumors have been swirling across the Net in recent weeks, some even suggesting a coup in Beijing. Comments posted claim military vehicles were seen in the city, along with high (ph) security.

The rumors were dismissed, and people here say they don't really take the story seriously. "It's a lot of rumors and people cracking jokes about the government," this man says, "but no one really knows what's going on because they are so far removed from what's happening."

(on camera): But the Communist Party is cracking down. Six people have been detained, more than a dozen sites have been shut down, as well as the restrictions on people making comments. Getting anyone to talk here is difficult. People fear that we're being followed and that even the phones are being tapped. And anyone who does speak does not want to be identified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My Weibo was censored, but I don't care about politics, so it doesn't make any sense why I should be censored. It's puzzling.

GRANT: Rumors and comment on the Net have spiked since the sacking of senior party official Bo Xilai. It's a mystery that has captivated people here.

(voice-over): "I don't read a lot of rumors about Bo Xilai online," he says. "It's mostly stuff we talk about with friends conversationally. I'm more interested in news that affects me directly."

(on camera): The government says it will lift restrictions on comment later this week, but as anyone her can tell you, in China censorship really never goes away.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


TANK: Well, on the subject of people being monitored, the British government is being criticized for its plan to increase the monitoring of its own citizens. British media reports that the proposal would require Internet companies to install tracking software, and it would log the time and also the duration of phone calls. And police could keep track of text messages and any e-mail that's sent, as well as Web sites that people visit, but they couldn't actually listen to your calls or even read an e- mail without having a warrant to do that.

The British Home Office says the purpose is to keep data available. It put out a statement saying, "It's not the intention of the government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications."

A similar proposal was shelved in 2006. And one British-based human rights group calls the new plan chilling.

Well, Liberty says, "The Coalition agreement explicitly promised to 'end unnecessary data retention' and restore our civil liberties. At the very least, we need less secret briefing and more public consultation if this promise is to be abandoned."

Just ahead here on NEWS STREAM, a British photojournalist was trapped for days in the besieged Syrian city of Homs as shells rained down on him. Now he's telling CNN who helped him escape and saved his life.

Rattling sabers. Tensions rise between Britain and Argentina on this 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.

And blossoming opportunity. A rose farm provides an encouraging haven for young adults with autism.


TANK: It's nearly a week since President Bashar al-Assad promised to stop the bloodshed, but the fighting rages on across Syria and patience is wearing thin.


TANK: Nowhere is that frustration more keenly felt than inside Syria. These pictures reportedly show demonstrators taking to the streets in Idlib just this morning. Activists say at least 30 people have been killed in fresh fighting this Monday, and now the international community is calling for a timeline for next steps if the bloodshed continues.

U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan will brief the Security Council on the prospects for peace in Syria. That will happen later today.

Well, CNN has obtained exclusive footage of the five extraordinary days that the British photojournalist Paul Conroy spent in the besieged city of Homs. This followed the death of his colleague, "Sunday Times" correspondent Marie Colvin. The British photojournalist says he owes his life to the opposition activists who protected him.

Nima Elbagir now with this exclusive report.




PAUL CONROY, JOURNALIST: We took about 10 direct hits on the house today, or part of the house that -- even possibly more than 10 direct hits. There's absolutely no likelihood that it's ever going to get any lighter.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This never- before-seen footage is from a neighborhood in Homs in Syria where photojournalist Paul Conroy and colleagues were trapped for days. Shells by government forces during a relentless siege.

CONROY: The mortars were the worst because you could here the launch, that very deep rumble, "boom." And then there'd be about a two-second gap and then you'd hear "whoosh." And it was from the "whoosh" effect you either knew there was going to be a direct hit on the house or that it was going to be very close.


CONROY: Hopefully starting the evacuation of myself. (INAUDIBLE) our translator (INAUDIBLE) makes me really, really, really (INAUDIBLE).

We've decided to go the route that we came in and make a go of it ourselves. I think we could sit here for too long and things could get quite, quite bad. They're already quite bad.


CONROY: It was quite oppressive. Things slowly ran out. We were getting less and less visits from the people who were looking after us, the fight was getting more intense.

ELBAGIR: After an international uproar over the condition of the journalists, Syrian Red Crescent ambulances were sent in to evacuate them, but they were warned of a possible regime trap. Escape from the city looks more and more difficult.

CONROY: We'd lost the ambulances, we'd lost the tunnel. I mean, at that point, nobody had -- you know, there were no options on the table. I couldn't lay there and allow some idiots to come in and just shoot me.

ELBAGIR: The decision to move came quickly, activists risking their lives to enable the escape.


CONROY: The shelling (INAUDIBLE). We've taken a lot of hits on the house today. All of a sudden, the guys, (INAUDIBLE), ran in. Ran in and just said, "Get ready to go." They threw us in trucks, and we've just been through a rather arduous journey to get out of Baba Amr, and we're now heading to a relatively safe place.

There he goes. Well done. No more Baba Amr.

This was a guy who was in the same house as Marie and myself when Marie was killed when the explosion happened. And he was one of the people who dragged me -- dragged me to safety when my leg was in pieces.


ELBAGIR: He's referring to famed correspondent Marie Colvin, his colleague at "The Sunday Times" in London. She was killed, along with a French photographer, on February the 22nd. And finally freedom.


CONROY: I'm on the last leg of my escape from Syria. Just crossed into Lebanon. I'm on a motorbike one more time, and I think we've just crossed the boulder (ph) fields, and I have a big hole in my left leg and some shrapnel in my thigh, and it's quite unpleasant.

ELBAGIR: Safely back home in London, Paul credits the activists with keeping Syria in the headlines, saving not only his life, but the lives of countless others.

CONROY: These guys who have been out there with the cameras, they're the ones who have really kept the lights on in Syria. And I think the regime now are determined just to turn the lights off.

We're getting news through that they're picking up -- picking up the activists. You know, one by one, they're picking them up. And a very good friend of ours, Ali Ofman (ph), has been picked up. They will kill him unless somebody steps in and shouts his name far and loud.

ELBAGIR: Which is why Paul says he will keep reminding the world of the days he spent trapped in Homs.

CONROY: I'm not going to keep my mouth shut about that. You know, them people went through hell. And we got a glimpse of it, and it was bad.

ELBAGIR: Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


TANK: Incredible to see the story from that perspective.

Well, an opposition group, the Syrian National Council, says it will pay rebel fighters for their services. The announcement came after a meeting in Turkey of the Friends of Syria That coalition, with 83 members, has recognized the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The council says salaries will boost the morale of rebel fighters and may convince more government forces to defect the coalition, and that includes Turkey -- the coalition itself includes Turkey, the Arab League, France, the U.K. and the United States, has ruled out arming the rebels.

Well, the U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, told the conference that the days of President Bashar al-Assad are numbered, but the Syrian president is clearly still in power. So CNN's Jill Dougherty asked Clinton why.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: With the sanctions, with the pressure, if you look at all of this pressure, something doesn't seem to be working, because Assad is still there, and, notably, you don't have any major defections.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, Jill, I think the sanctions are beginning to have an effect, but we have to do more to implement them. And that's why we formed a sanctions committee today. And the United States will be working with the Arab countries, the European countries, North Africa and others, to have them understand the most effective way to implement sanctions, because as one of them said to me, "The Americans have a lot of experience of doing sanctions, we don't."

So we're making progress. Also, the individual sanctions -- you know, the travel bans, the visa bans, the kinds of direct, personal sanctions -- are beginning to really wake people up. They're looking around thinking, you know, for the rest of my life I'm only going to be able maybe to go to Iran? That doesn't sound like a great idea.

DOUGHERTY: Let's look at the opposition. A number of them are expats, people who have lived out of the country for years and years. Why should anybody who's inside Syria right now trust them?

CLINTON: Well, what's happening is that the Syrian National Council is expanding. I just met with four representatives, including a young woman who just escaped from Homs. I mean, she is someone who is bearing witness to the horrors of what the Assad regime did to the neighborhoods of her city, and she had very poignant stories of, you know, close friends who were tortured and are in hospitals, and if they're discovered as having been in the opposition, will be killed.

I mean, it's a terrible human tragedy. But she is a witness. So I think along with the people who started the Syrian National Council, who are in a position to do so because they had been driving out by the Assads, father and son, over the course of many years, they're now being joined. And, frankly, their credibility is being enhanced by both civilian and military defections, and we think that's significant.


TANK: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking to our very own Jill Dougherty.

Well, the United Nations estimates at least a million people have been affected by the violence in Syria, and more than 9,000 have been killed since the unrest began a year ago.

Still a lot to come up here on NEWS STREAM, including a passenger plane crashing and bursting into flames in Siberia. Now the search is one to find out how and why it happened. The details are next.


TANK: At least 31 people have been killed in a plane crash in Siberia. The twin-engine plane went down immediately after takeoff from the city of Tyumen. Twelve people are thought to have survived. All of them are in intensive care, however.

(INAUDIBLE), the operators of the plane, say it was trying to make an emergency landing when it crashed. A technical malfunction or pilot error are thought to be the most likely causes of this crash. Officials have recovered the plane's data recorders.


TANK: Coming up here on NEWS STREAM, more details emerge about Osama bin Laden's life on the run as three of his wives are sentenced in Pakistan.

It's 30 years today since the beginning of the Falklands War, meanwhile, and tensions are rising again over who owns the islands. That story just ahead.


LU STOUT: I'm Manisha Tank in Hong Kong. And you're watching NEWS STREAM. These are your world headlines right now.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party is claiming victory in Myanmar's parliamentary elections. The National League for Democracy says it has won at least 43 of 44 legislative seats in contested, including one seat for Suu Kyi. Official results are expected this week.

Activists say at least 30 people who have been killed across Syria this Monday. The international community is calling for Syria to honor its commitment to accept a peace plan by the United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan. And that will brief the security council on the prospects for peace in Syria that will happen later today.

31 people, meanwhile, have been killed. And 12 are in critical condition after a plane crashed in Siberia early on Monday. Russia's RIA Novosti News Agency says the twin-engine aircraft crashed just after takeoff in the city of Tyumen. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Osama bin Laden's three widows will spend the next 45 days under lock and key in Islamabad, so will two of his daughters. A Pakistani judge sentenced the women to a month-and-a-half in prison for illegally entering and living in Pakistan. And he ordered they be deported back to their home countries once their sentences are completed.

The women have been in Pakistani custody since U.S. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's secret compound in Abbottabad and killed the al Qaeda leader. That happened last May.

Well, the women will serve their sentences in the same Islamabad home where they're trial took place. CNN's security analyst Peter Bergen is in our Islamabad bureau and joins us now. We can talk a bit more about this with Peter.

I guess D the questions a lot of people are asking is what they were doing in Pakistan and whether or not anyone in Pakistan helped them. Would it be in the interests of the Pakistanis to keep these women there for quite a bit longer?

PETER BERGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, let's start, Manisha, with the fact that there is no evidence of any Pakistani official complicity in bin Laden's several years that he has been living in Pakistan. The United States government has recovered thousands of documents from the compound that he lived in and there's no D nothing in those documents that point to official complicity in bin Laden's stay in Pakistan. So I think that issue is sort of moot.

And, you know, the judge in the case has given this incredibly lenient sentence that could have been a sentence as much as 10 years, instead it's 45 days including time served, so in practical matters as a practical matter they'll be out of prison in two weeks.

Now will they be able to go back to Saudi Arabia -- three of the wives are from Saudi Arabia -- that isn't at all clear. It's not clear the Saudis actually want these women back. The Yemeni wife may be able to go back to Yemen. And so there are still some unresolved questions, Manisha.

TANK: Yeah, I mean, as someone who, you know, keeps his eye on this scene in particular, what particular interest do you think has emerged from this trial and from the fact that they were there in the first place?

BERGEN: Well, some of the documents that have surfaced in the case - - I mean, the kind of key takeaway from these documents that are coming out of the court proceedings is that bin Laden really spanned from 2002 until the day he was killed -- i.e. nine years -- entirely in Pakistan. And that was something that was sort of surprising.

Most of us understood that bin Laden had been living in Abbottabad, a city not far from where I'm talking to you right now, for six year, but it was sort of a blank between his escape from a battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in the winter of 2001 and his arrival in Abbottabad sometime in mid-2005.

The court proceedings (inaudible) that he really was in fact living in major Pakistani cities such as Peshawar, smaller city of (inaudible) and that he was really, you know, kind of hiding in plain sight for almost a decade in Pakistan. However, that said, no evidence of Pakistani complicity in his movements around country.

TANK: So is there is any more evidence who did help him? And, you know, was this really the work of, for example, the Pakistani Taliban moving him around?

BERGEN: You know, the two people who were helping him out were basically members of al Qaeda. They were two brothers who came from a Pashtun family in northwest Pakistan, grew up in Kuwait. They were basically the support staff for all this.

The Pakistani Taliban was in touch with bin Laden occasionally, but there's no evidence that they were helping him either. In fact, I mean, just look at it from bin Laden's point of view. He's a very paranoid and secretive guy. He wanted to limit the number of people who knew what he was doing to just his absolutely most trusted confidantes and to his immediate family.

TANK: Well, as much as he was a wanted man, still a lot of questions about this. And a lot of intrigue for people interested in how that story came to light and what he was doing there. But thank you for bringing us up to date on that -- the latest with the trial with his widows in particular.

Peter Bergen there live from Islamabad.

Now today marks the 30th anniversary of Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands. Britain won the 74 day followed, but Argentina continues to lay claim to the territory which it calls Las Malvinas.

Well, tensions between Britain and Argentina have been building again. Britain refuses to discuss the island's sovereignty, saying all the evidence shows that the residents of the islands overwhelmingly wish to remain British. Argentina, meanwhile, accuses the British of exploitation.


JORGE ARGUELLO, ARGENTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: The Brits are taking off the fishery. They are exploiting the oil, the minerals, and let me be clear please, it's an illegal exploitation of the natural resources of South America.


TANK: Well, Argentina is now threatening legal action against some of the banks that are funding oil exploration there. I'm joined now live from 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister, by our correspondent Dan Rivers.

And tell us a little bit more about these banks. And exactly what's being said to them.

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, they've been threatened with legal action both civil and criminal action -- 15 banks in the U.S. and UK all related to their involvement with the oil industry. They are threatened by action from the Argentine government in Argentina.

This is just the latest in a series of spats between the two countries. In many ways a lot has changed on the islands in the last 30 years. The population, for example has almost doubled to 3,000 people, the GDP has gone up by about 20 percent. They've discovered oil as you've mentioned.

But the one constant in the island is the dispute over sovereignty between the UK and Argentina with Argentina insisting Las Malvinas as they call them are there's, historically should be theirs with the UK insisting that it's part of Great Britain. It's up to the Falkland Islanders to decide.

That bitter roar of words looks set to continue.


RIVERS: Took look at them today, it's difficult to imagine that three decades ago these remote islands were a battleground. But on the 2nd of April, 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands, or Las Malvinas as they call them, a shock landing of troops that stunned the world.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher cemented her reputation as The Iron Lady by immediately dispatching a taskforce of troops, ships, and planes to retake the territory.

Major General Julian Thompson got the call to lead his troops into battle.

MAJ. GEN. JULIAN THOMPASON, (RET) BRITISH ROYAL MARINES: A huge number of people were taken by surprise. Most of my brigade were about to go on leave. In fact, some of them were on leave. I had some of them doing jungle training in Brunei, which is not a very good preparation for fighting in a country where there aren't any trees.

RIVERS: The 74 day conflict was as sudden as it was bloody, resulting in a British victory, but plunging relations with Argentina into the deep freeze for decades.

Today, Argentina maintains its claim of sovereignty on the islands, which is now enshrined in its constitution.

This memorial wood contains 255 trees, one for each British life lost during the war, but the Argentine losses were almost three times that number. As the anniversary approaches, people on both sides will be reflecting on the huge sacrifices made during the 1982 conflict.

British governor of the Islands, Nigel Haywood, says the anniversary won't be marked now, but rather in June when Argentine forces surrendered.

NIGEL HAYWOOD, GOVERNOR OF FALKLAND ISLANDS: There's a fair degree of optimism here. And that wouldn't be possible without the sacrifices made in 1982. So it'll be -- it'll be looking two directions, really, the 30th anniversary.

A number of veterans come down here. And the most reassuring thing for all of them is to see that really the very best use is being made of the sacrifices they've made. And they've all found that comforting.

RIVERS: Former Colonel Manuel Dorrego was in charge of Argentine army logistics during the conflict. He also lost his son-in-law during the war.

COL. MANUEL DORREGO, (RET) ARGTINIAN ARMY (through translator): It's not about the place, but the symbolism that these islands have. It was a very difficult time. The weather, the maneuvers, and becoming unaccustomed to normal life; it wasn't the most pleasant of times, so it is probably best to leave it in the past.

THOMPSON: It could have been far, far worse. And there were moments when had certain things happened, a lot more people would have become casualties than actually did.

RIVERS: Colonel Manuel Dorrego is still tormented by the loss of his son-in-law.

DORREGO (through translator): It's been 30 years. Time heals slowly, but you can never forget it.

RIVERS: A conflict that remains unresolved as far as Argentina is concerned, but one neither country will ever forget.


RIVERS: David Cameron here, the British prime minister, has put out a statement saying Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders. The foreign secretary here, William Hague, also adding that Argentina's recent action is deeply regrettable and the policies have impressed few people, including those in South America.

Now Christina Fernandez, the Argentine president, is expected to speak in the coming few hours. And it is expected to speak out a southern port where Argentine forces deploy from and will undoubtedly reiterate Argentina's claim of sovereignty over Las Malvinas as they call it.

TANK: OK. Dan Rivers, live at 10 Downing Street. Thank you very much for that.

Just ahead here on NEWS STREAM, a family's rose farm face extinction, but now it's providing new hope and new life for young adults with autism. That story is coming up next.


TANK: So, golf's major season is well and truly underway. The best women's players have just finished their first of the year, while the men are about to face theirs. Our very own Alex Thomas is in London. He's got all the details for us. Hey, Alex.


Doug Sanders, and Scott Hoch will know exactly how she feels. And now the name of In Kyung Kim can be added to the list of players who have agonizingly short putts to win a major golf title.

Kim's miss coming at the end of a thrilling tussle for the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship. Sweden's Karin Sjodin was the overnight leader and was three strokes clear at one stage, but despite an eagle at the 14th she dropped back to seven under par and a tie for fourth.

Most of the drama came at the final hole where Sun Young Yoo missed this birdie attempt to finish at nine under par for the tournament. I.K. Kim was leading. She also had a birdie put, slide past, but it still left her with a short chance to stay at 10 under par, but the ball horseshoed around the hole and didn't drop in leaving Kim back at nine under.

World number one and five-time major winning Yani Tseng also had a birdie chance at the last. She almost holed it, collapsing to the ground in disbelief when it didn't go in. Tseng was third while Yoo and Kim went to a sudden death playoff.

At the first extra hole Kim missed another birdie chance and that gave Yoo an opportunity to claim the opening grand slam even of the season. She made no mistake. The South Korean's first victory of the year. And she and her caddy jumped into the pond by the 18th, the traditional way to celebrate victory at that event.

Meanwhile, at the Shell Houston Open Louis Oosthuizen was the leader going into the last round of the final event before the opening major of the men's season. But the former British Open winner slipped back during the day. A wild hook here at the par 5 8th hole leading to a double boogie as the ball disappeared into the bushes. Nasty place. Oostheuizen would finish the round at 13 under par.

He was playing alongside Hunter Mahan. And the American showing his -- he had far better control of his game. A great tee shot at this par 3 9th, ending up just a few feet from the hole and the subsequent birdie took him to 16 under par.

Now that mark could have been matched by Sweden's Carl Pettersson if he holed this birdie. The ball didn't drop and he had to settle for a total of 15 under par and a staring look at the heavens said it all.

At the same hole, Mahan, then left to tap in for par and a victory, his second of the season. He rises to world number 4 heading into the Master's.

Now, he hasn't been able to match his remarkable winning streak from 2011, but after capturing the Sony Ericsson title in Florida, Novak Djokovic says his tennis form is just as good this year as it was 12 months ago.

On Sunday, the world number one was facing Britain's Andy Murray in the final. Djokovic making a lightning start taking the opening set by 6-1 in just 47 minutes. The second set was much closer. Murray at the far end here, forcing Djokovic into mistakes and the serve showed his frustration banging his racket against the court. That was three games all.

And the set went to a tiebreak. Here's Murray closest to the camera now, coming up with a big shot when it mattered, a drop shot, making it two points all.

But in the end, the Brit couldn't take it to a third set. Djokovic yet again showing his astonishing will power and a long forehand from Murray meant the top seed successfully defended his title, revenge after losing to Murray in Dubai recently.

And that's all the sport for now. Manisha, back to you in Hong Kong.

TANK: All right, Alex. Thanks. Good to see you.

Now to the United States where people with autism have a lot of trouble finding work, but in our next story a family farm is providing opportunity for adults with autism. As a result, business is booming. Jean Asomera, explains.


JEN ASOMERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tom Pinchbeck never dreamed he'd turn his family rose farm into an employment center for people with autism. After fierce international competition forced him to close the farm started by his great grandfather, a family friend, worried about his own autistic son's future, help reshape Pinchbeck's legacy.

TOM PINCHBECK, ROSE FARMER: At the time, you know, I was looking for options. I was reeling from having to close the place down. And it seemed like an interesting way of putting together a really neat program from the ashes of the old Pinchbeck's Rose Farm.

ASOMERA: Now Pinchbeck is working with the non-profit group Ability Beyond Disability, to put a dent in the staggering 88 percent unemployment rate among Americans with autism.

JOAN VOLPE, ABILITY BEYOND DISABILITY: We like for folks to come into our program, learn the skills that they need to learn, and let us have them place them in their community where they live and find a job and hopefully career.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what we don't (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yeah, right. Come on. Give me a break.

ASOMERA: Get your apron on, let's get to work, right?

Laurie Gregan, the farm's retail manager, is part cheerleader, part mom, and part boss.

LAURIE GREGAN, ROSES FOR AUTISM: I don't have the book knowledge on autism. I do have the people knowledge. I have that instinct.

ASOMERA: It's those instincts that help the farm's autistic employees harness their own skills.

GREGAN: With Ethel, she's a perfect example. She came and every time there was a change, any change at all that I would ask her to do, it was like I quit. Why are you quitting? She's like, I can't do this. It's always I can't. Now it's like I will, I am, and I'm going to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; They were supposed to be for just Valentine's Day, but people wanted them afterwards.

ASOMERA: Oh, that's fabulous.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: They still want them. They're a big hit.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what they look like when they're done.

ASOMERA: Wow, that's amazing, Ethel. It's beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.

Will Swartzel, a 19-year-old with autism, is one of Roses employees. He and his mother Saundra say potential employers should put aside stereotypes that may prevent them from hiring those with autism.

WILL SWARTZELL, ROSES FOR AUTISM: I believe that autism only, for me it tells me that I learn a certain way, that the majority doesn't really, you know, is used to learning. You know, on my free time I mean I go out and I DJ at raves and parties and you would never expect anybody with Asperger's Syndrome to say that.

SAUNDRA SWARTZELL, WILL'S MOTHER: Well, I think it's awesome. And I just think it just shows that there's a big misperception about kids on the spectrum. When you've met one, you've met one.

ASOMERA: With the help of a few charitable grants, Roses for Autism is now helping young adults with autism improve their lives. And Pinchbeck's rose farm is also back, producing close to 1 million flowers year.

Jean Asomera, CNN, Gilford, Connecticut.


TANK: Great story.

Now we want to update you on a story we brought you last week. Remember Igor Vovkovinskiy? Well, he's about 234 centimeters tall, or 7 foot 8. And for the last six year he says he's not had a pair of shoes that fit. Vovkovinskiy says it's the process of making custom footwear costs $16,000. And that's because his roughly size 26 feet have been deformed by multiple surgeries.

His friends convinced him to start this web site to raise the money. And in two weeks, he received nearly $3,000. But since we shared his story, this amount has skyrocketed. And as you can see, people have now actually given him more than $38,000, well over the amount that he actually needed. So great to have a good news story for you.

Now as the saying goes, one person's garbage is another person's treasure. And that is also the case with the landfill in Malaysia. We're going to check out how one company turns it into a sustainable resource.


TANK: OK, so a landfill in Malaysia has been given a new role. It's no longer a place where trash is just dumped. One company found a way to give it back. Alex Zolbert checks out the site.


ALEX ZOLBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What was once 26 football fields of garbage, a foul smelling eye sore sitting in the sweltering Malaysian sun is these days being transformed into this, a sprawling renewable energy park.

DAUD AHMAD, GROUP CEO, CYPARK: This is very new to this part of the world.

ZOLBERT: In the past 12 months, engineers have sealed off much of the landfill, adding a layer of soil and grass, and then blanketing the site with solar panels, lots of solar panels, about 32,000 so far.

AHMAD: It's harvesting the solar power from the sun, converting into this inverter, and channel it all to the building and combine it there.

ZOLBERT: The power is then sold to energy suppliers who put it on the grid. But it's not just about harnessing energy from the sun, there are also the biogases given off by the trash itself.

AHMAD: This, what they do is they go actually deep inside, which actually has the (inaudible) to collect the gas from the surrounding area.

ZOLBERT: While most of the power generated at this facility, nearly 85 percent comes from the solar panels, it is a two pronged approach.

AHMAD: I mean, if you look today, it's not really sudden, but if you actually look at the meter, there is a lot of energy coming in.

ZOLBERT: You can see in the distance, there is still more work to be done here converting this landfill into a renewable energy park. And this is just one site here in Malaysia. Another five projects are set to come online by the end of this year in the hopes of generating power for more than 40,000 basic homes.

That is only a drop in the bucket in a country of nearly 30 million people, but the government has set targets that 5 percent of the country runs on renewable energy by 2015. Fueled in part by turning and environmental concern into a sustainable energy solution.

Alex Zolbert, CNN, Haja, Malaysia.


TANK: Now that's a very, very sincere project, but we're about to move onto things which aren't so sincere. April Fool's Day of course has come and it's gone, but we can't resist showing you the best of what the internet had to offer. And where better to begin than Richard Branson's apparent attempt to go where no man has gone before, to the center of the earth no less. Branson boasts that Virgin Volcanic's unique vehicle will take him and also -- here it is -- and three passengers to our planet's core. Among his guests include Will I. Am and Tom Hanks. If you think back, you'll remember that Tom Hanks played the title role in the film Joe Versus The Volcano. It makes total sense.

Now a slightly more plausible joke comes from the web retailer Think Geek which launched the iPad version of the classic children's game Hungry, Hungry Hippo. And if you're thinking this might not be such a bad idea, in fact even I was convinced by that one. Think Geek has been known to turn some April Fool's jokes into actual products. So you never know.

But this has to be one of our favorites. Google Maps, remade for Nintendo's original videogame system. We'll let Google explain how it works.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really easy to use. These are the cartridge, connect the cable, then turn the power on. Blow on the cartridge to fix bugs. And your automatically connected to the internet.


TANK: Yeah, how many years has been since you've heard those dulcet tones of a dial-up.

Now while you obviously can't access Google Maps on the original Nintendo you can try it on the web. Just go to Google Maps and click quest in the top right corner.

And that is it for NEWS STREAM for now. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is up next. Don't go anywhere.