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Risk Of Disease Increases As Fiji Flood Waters Recede; Barcelona, Bayern Munich Advance To Champion's League Semis; Tornadoes Pound Texas; Syria Fighting Escalates; Mitt Romney Wins Three Primaries
Aired April 4, 2012 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
Hello. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong.
We begin in the United States, as powerful tornadoes touch down in a major metropolitan areas, tossing huge trucks around.
Well, Mitt Romney sweeps three more Republican primaries as President Obama spends (ph) his focus to the man who could be his opponent in November's election.
And we speak to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei one year after Chinese authorities detained him for what they later said was tax evasion.
In the U.S., a major cleanup is under way and rescuers are fanning out to search for anyone who may still be trapped after tornadoes pounded northern Texas on Tuesday. The sky turned dark as at least six and as many as 13 twisters cut a path of destruction.
Well, the storms hit in the middle of the afternoon while businesses and schools were still open. They tore through one of the most densely- populated areas of the state, sending millions of people scrambling for safety. But this driver chased after the storm, capturing these images of one of the tornadoes tearing through buildings.
Another man got even closer from the roof of his house.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VINCENT TANG, LANCASTER, TEXAS, RESIDENT: Please! It's about a block or two away from my house. Look at that. Oh, shoot! Oh, shoot! Oh, holy shoot!
Look at that! Oh my God! Debris is flying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well, there are some injuries reported, but, incredibly, no deaths. Hundreds of homes were damaged, some flattened. Others, as you can see, have their roofs ripped off.
We want to show you some more incredible video showing just how ferocious these storms were. Well, take a look at this. You can just see the tornado picking up a big tractor-trailer and then flinging it through the air like it's just a weightless toy.
Here is another still image of the twister tossing two (INAUDIBLE) through the air for hundreds of meters. And to give you a sense of how strong those storms were, well, this is a tractor-trailer not being tossed around. On average, those trucks weigh about 15 tons, and that's when they are empty.
Well, Texas is part of what is known as Tornado Alley because tornadoes are so frequent in that part of the United States. Texans know exactly what to do when they strike -- get inside and seek shelter.
Ed Lavandera is in Arlington, Texas, and he tells us people are just thankful they made it through the storms.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is an absolutely stunning story, that the house that we're standing in front of, what is left of this home, is in the middle of a neighborhood in the city of Arlington, which sits between Dallas and Fort Worth. This is one of the cities that took one of the initial hits with this wave of storms that came through here today.
I want to start off by showing you a piece of video that was shot from a neighbor across the street looking back at this house. The neighbor was standing in front of their garage. There's a lot of -- you can't see it here in the darkness, but there are a lot of trees around here, so it was hard to get a sense of just how dramatic and what was unfolding just a few miles away as a tornado was dropping out of the sky, headed in this direction.
And just moments before, you can see the wind starting to pick up and howl. And it actually started sucking things out of this man's garage, this neighbor's garage. This was taken just before what many neighbors described to us as that the tornado dropped down into this neighborhood.
Many homes around here have very minimal damage, but the tornado appears to have dropped down right on this house, went back up in the air, didn't -- left almost everything else unscathed. We spoke with the family that was in here. A woman and her two sons had taken shelter inside a bathroom.
There's only one little sliver of the area that has any ceiling remaining, and it was over that very bathroom where the woman and her two boys were taking cover and shelter from this tornado. Everything else in this house completely destroyed. They walked out of the bathroom, they looked up, and all they could see was the sky.
COREN: Absolutely amazing, isn't it?
Ed Lavandera, reporting there from Arlington, Texas.
COREN: Well, U.N. peacekeepers are heading to the Syrian capital of Damascus to monitor a cease-fire, but more reports of violence in new video suggest diplomatic efforts have yet to produce any semblance of a cease- fire.
Mortars can be heard here in footage purportedly taken in the city of Homs. Activists say that the violence seems to have increased since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's promise to withdraw forces by April 10th.
Well, rockets were also launched in other parts of northern Syria. Here, video taken in the city of Idlib.
The Russian foreign minister warned against opposition forces, saying it will only prolong the fighting. Countries represented in the Friends of Syria have been supporting the opposition. They hope to see a Syria without President al-Assad at the helm.
Well, meanwhile, activists report at least 74 people were killed on Tuesday.
Our Mohammed Jamjoom is monitoring developments from our bureau in Abu Dhabi, and he joins us now.
Mohammed, this escalating violence is certainly alarming considering, what, it's less than a week before the cease-fire is supposed to be enforced?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's extremely alarming, Anna. And just to update, we've just heard from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Just today, in the city of Homs, the reports are that at least 16 people have been killed. That's just today. And we've heard from so many activists and opposition figures since yesterday saying they just don't believe the claims of Bashar al-Assad that he will actually begin withdrawing tanks, military forces, from those population centers.
Now, one area -- we spoke with an activist in Hama today. There are reports that there's a crackdown going on there, that tanks have arrived.
The activist that shot some video that you'll see here says that he's seeing tanks on the streets there that are like taxis driving through the streets. He says that there are raids going on, arrests, intimidation campaigns, that they're really going after opposition figures and the resistance.
Another area to talk about, the north of Syria, Idlib province in particular. We heard horrific reports yesterday that that province and, specifically, the city of Binnish, were seeing the worst violence that it had seen since the beginning of the revolution. There were videos purporting to show Syrian helicopters firing on villages, and we got reports from activists in Binnish and in the city of Taftanaz which are saying is very -- been very hard hit and has been hard hit, that there are helicopters that are hovering overhead, that they are continuing to fire into villages.
Very, very disturbing reports. And this all coming on the heels today of yet what seems to be another diplomatic row.
You talk about diplomatic efforts, how complicated this has all been. Today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying that he's confident that even if the Syrian opposition is armed to the teeth, it will not defeat the ruling forces, indicating that there is displeasure amongst the Russians, that there will be material aid provided by countries to the Syrian opposition.
And this all just seems to be undermining the efforts that are under way by the U.N. There is an advanced team that will be going in, we here, by Thursday to try to set up a monitoring mission there, a peacekeeping force, to make sure that there is a cease-fire that will hold. But with all this diplomatic back and forth going on, it just doesn't seem to be making things easier, just complicating the efforts, when the international community and the opposition is just very, very skeptical that Bashar al- Assad will actually adhere to the promises he's made and end this crackdown once and for all -- Anna.
COREN: Mohammed, if that April 10th deadline rolls along, and there is no cease-fire, that they are still fighting, what is the international community going to do?
JAMJOOM: That is the key question, Anna. Nobody knows.
There seem to be threats, there seem to be indications that the international community wants to do more, but this resolution that was passed by the U.N. Security Council, this presidential statement that appointed Kofi Annan as the special envoy to Syria, that allowed him to go with a six-point peace plan, that agreed on the six-point peace plan, this is all non-binding. So there is no clarity as to what will happen and what the international community will be able to do, or what the U.N. would be able to do, if Bashar al-Assad continues in the crackdown and he does not withdraw his forces and does not adhere to either the timeline or the promises that were made.
And this just shows the frustration about Syria when it comes to the international community. So much is being said. So many people want to do so many things. They know that more has to be done, but the hands really seem to be tied, especially when it comes to Russia and China continuing to stand by Syria and complicating matters for the other countries that want to make sure that something concrete can be done by the U.N. to counter what's going on in Syria right now -- Anna.
COREN: Mohammed Jamjoom in Abu Dhabi.
We appreciate the update. Thank you.
Coming up on NEWS STREAM, three primaries, three more victories for Mitt Romney. Well, now he's shifting his focus from his Republican rivals to the man he wants to replace in the White House.
No women members allowed at Augusta, but is that about to change?
And artist Ai Weiwei turns the tables on the Chinese government and turns the cameras on himself. We'll talk with him. That's coming up.
COREN: In the United States, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has pulled off a stunning triple victory in the latest round of primaries. In fact, Romney's clean sweep in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington is threatening to relegate his rivals to also-rans. And that's certainly got President Barack Obama's attention. More on that in just a moment.
Well, first, let's take a look at the current delegate count.
Remember, a candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination. Well, Mitt Romney now has 648, as you can see there. So he's over halfway.
His closest rival, Rick Santorum, has 264. Newt Gingrich on 137. And Ron Paul trailing, with just 71.
Well, with more on how the race for the Republican nomination is heading up, I'm now joined by CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser, live from Washington.
Paul, surely this Republican presidential race is over.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, it pretty much is over. You can write the epitaph here.
Listen, Mitt Romney now, Anna, only needs to win, according to our CNN estimate, about 44 percent of the remaining delegates, so that is it. Whereas, Rick Santorum, if he had (INAUDIBLE) clinch the nomination, he would have to win 80 percent of the remaining delegates.
We've now got a three-week gap, Anna, until the next round of primaries on April 24th, and four of those five states on April 24th look very good for Mitt Romney, not so good for Rick Santorum, except for his home state of Pennsylvania, where his lead has definitely diminished in the latest public opinion polls. Rick Santorum, though, is looking ahead. Take a listen to what he said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have now reached the point where it's halftime. Half the delegates in this process have been selected. And who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: Well, he remains optimistic. He says he's going to take his fight into May, when the primary calendar looks much more favorable to Santorum with a lot of southern and more conservative states.
But remember, four years ago, Hillary Clinton won five of the eight last contests against Senator Barack Obama. In the end, it didn't matter. Obama became the Democratic nominee.
It really -- it does seem like it's over here -- Anna.
COREN: Yes. Well, I guess one man who certainly knows who the GOP's man will be is Barack Obama. And he took a shot at Mitt Romney in a speech.
Tell us about that.
STEINHAUSER: He sure did. And it really seems like the conversation has changed now from a primary battle between Romney and Santorum to a general election battle between Romney and Obama. And you're absolutely right. The president, in a speech Tuesday afternoon, here in Washington, D.C., really attacking the Republicans -- Paul Ryan, the House budget chairman, and his budget, and Mitt Romney by name.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. He said that he's very supportive of this new budget, and he even called it "marvelous," which is a word that you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: President Obama making a little bit of fun of Romney there, too, maybe trying to paint him as a little bit of an old-timer and a fuddy- duddy, using the word "marvelous."
But, really, we feel like -- it really feels here like the general election is now under way. The president and his reelection team now starting to fire away at Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney not talking about Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, for that matter, but now concentrating totally on President Obama -- Anna.
COREN: Paul, as you say, it does seem that this campaign has shifted gears. This race, if it is to be between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I can only assume that from here on in, things will really start ramping up.
STEINHAUSER: They will. You saw yesterday here, Tuesday here in the United States, the president's reelection team out with their second campaign commercial, and it had mentioned Mitt Romney by name. So they're starting to heat things up on the other side. It looks like Republicans, more and more now -- we've seen it over the last two weeks, but more and more now, will coalesce around Romney as they set their targets on President Obama and the November general election -- Anna.
COREN: Paul Steinhauser in Washington, D.C.
As always, great to see you. Thank you for that analysis.
Well, we now want to update you on a campaign we told you about yesterday, UNICEF's push for the world to pay attention to a crisis that is emerging in Africa's Sahel region. The area spans seven countries on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, and a drought threatens millions in the area with starvation.
To draw attention to it, UNICEF launched a social media campaign called Sahel Now, hoping to emulate the success of the Kony 2012 campaign. Well, did it work?
Our Nima Elbagir joins us.
And Nima, what has been the reaction?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Unfortunately, Anna, it doesn't seem to be having the impact UNICEF were hoping for. And one of the issues, really, is it's very difficult to recreate that kind of viral word-of-mouth success.
But just to give you a little example, you know, yesterday, the video had received 200 views on YouTube. Today, it's at 2,000. I mean, that is a perfectly respectable rise, but it's not the impact they were hoping for.
And the worry is that, increasingly, we find it difficult to engage until we've hit the emergency threshold. We saw that with Somalia. The emergency famine threshold is 15 percent malnutrition. Donors didn't get involved until it had hit 40 percent malnutrition rates.
And the hope was that we were going to take those lessons learned from Somalia, where thousands of children and adults, men and women, died, and try to make sure that didn't happen in the Sahel region. UNICEF is saying that they're already seeing children coming into their feeding centers, and they were hoping that if this alarm could be rung early enough, that we wouldn't see a repeat of the Horn of African crisis again -- Anna.
COREN: It is just quite staggering considering the facts. You know, 10 million people facing starvation.
Nima, we mentioned in the introduction the Kony 2012 campaign. You know, that went viral and so many people got on board.
Why do you think that Sahel now just is not resonating with the international community?
ELBAGIR: Well, I think it really is just that you have to hit all of those buzzwords. You know, Kony 2012 had -- even though they weren't personally endorsing it at the time, but it had a lot of clips of celebrities like George Clooney. It was cut in a very, very watchable way.
Whether you agreed with the way the message was simplifying the reality on the ground in Uganda or not, it was definitely something that instantly had impact. And it gave people something very easy to do -- buy this pack and you will be saving lives in Uganda, buy this pack and you'll be helping to stop a very bad man.
Unfortunately, UNICEF can't simplify its message in that way because that's not what they need people to do. What they need is donors to be motivated. They need this to trend. And often, we don't seem to respond until we see those really horrific pictures on our television screens, until we're told that, you know, we're saving people from death. And that just seems to be the sad reality of what motivates people to reach into their purses -- Anna.
COREN: Well, if it takes celebrities, let's hope that they are listening and that celebrities around the world certainly get on board.
Nima Elbagir, joining us from London.
We appreciate that. Thank you.
Well, ahead on NEWS STREAM, the August Golf Club is at a crossroads. For the first time ever, the club could open its doors to a woman.
COREN: Welcome back.
We're just a day away from the start of the Masters Golf Tournament, and the exclusive and famous August National Golf Club is under pressure for what critics call its sexist policy. But now, for the very first time in its 80-year history, the male-only club might open its doors to a woman.
Here's CNN's Patrick Snell from Augusta.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the world famous Masters every years, opened up for play back in December of 1932, but it wasn't until 1990 that it accepted its first-ever African-American member. Now, nearly 80 years on since its beginnings, the clamor is on for this exclusive club to announce a first-ever female member.
(voice-over): The Augusta clubhouse is one of the famous sites in golf. The private, male-only club is believed to have around 300 members at any one time, and membership is by invitation only.
The last four CEOs of IBM, on of the main tournament sponsors, were all invited to join. The question is, will that still be the case for the company's current and first-ever female CEO, Virginia Rometty?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it discrimination? Possibly. But I think at this point, that they deserve the right to be able to determine what they want to do in their own club.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I think, definitely, females should be given the opportunity. I mean, this is 2012, and women are allowed to do everything else. So --
SNELL: In 2003, women's rights campaigner Martha Burk led a protest outside the grounds of Augusta National, with Burk adamant that hosting the Masters at a male-only club was tantamount to endorsing sexism. But her effort to pressure the club to change its mindset proved unsuccessful.
MARTHA BURK, FMR. CHAIR, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN: I talked to IBM in 2003. They called, they balled me out. They said I was trying to force them to do something they didn't want to do, which was pull their sponsorship.
This is IBM's problem. The dinosaurs at Augusta should not be calling the shots for one of the largest corporations in the world.
MICHAEL BAMBERGER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED" WRITER: If the club chooses to be all male, I think they should be honest about it and say that, because they actually are an all-men's club, but they never say they're an all-men's club. They just say membership (INAUDIBLE) are private, and we haven't had women. And that does sort of rub me the wrong way.
SNELL (on camera): In 2006, when Billy Payne became chairman here, he announced that there was no specific timetable to address the whole issue of female memberships. Now, it's possible that Mrs. Rometty has been invited to join, but it really is difficult to know for sure, because the club simply doesn't comment on its membership policies.
Patrick Snell, CNN, Augusta, Georgia.
COREN: And we'll be speaking live to Patrick in Augusta for a preview of the Masters a bit later in the show.
But coming up next on NEWS STREAM, we speak with artist and activist Ai Weiwei one year after his detention began.
And aid workers struggle to clean up flood damage in Fiji.
COREN: I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. And you're watching NEWS STREAM. And these are your world headlines.
Well, a blast in Somalia has killed two of the country's top sports officials. The head of the Olympic committee and football federation were among the casualties of a bombing in Mogadishu. Well, the blast happened during a celebration of the first anniversary of Somali national television.
Officials from the UN are on their way to Damascus to discuss the use of unarmed UN peacekeepers in Syria. Activists inside the country say the Syrian government still hasn't withdrawn its forces from cities as promised. They say at least 74 people were killed on Tuesday.
U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney scored three wins in Republican primaries on Tuesday in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the national capital district. Well, the results extend Romney's lead in the national delegate count. The next Republican contests are in three weeks time.
And Texas is recovering from a series of huge tornadoes that tore through one of the most densely populated areas of the state. As many as 13 twisters ripped homes apart and tossed heavy trucks into the air as if they were toys. Incredibly, there are no reports of any deaths.
One year ago, Chinese authorities detained artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He was held for three months and eventually charged with tax evasion. Well, Ai Weiwei denied the charges. And his supporters sent him money to help pay. Well, he re you can see some of the UR notes thrown into his garden. In one week, Ai says 30,000 people donated nearly $1.5 million. And that was enough for him to pay a bond and request an appeal.
But late last week authorities denied his petition for a public hearing. And just a few hours ago, they ordered him to take down this website.
Well, Ai launched what he called Weiwei cam to coincide with the anniversary of his detention. And four cameras as you can see down here positioned over his computer, bed, and courtyard provided snapshots of his activity. But now as you can see the page is blank.
Well, the website was shut down just minutes after I finished speaking to Ai Weiwei. And I asked him if he had put up the cameras so his supporters, family and friends could keep tabs on him.
AI WEIWEI, CHINESE ARTIST/ACTIVIST: That's for one reason to -- to set up a camera for people who care about me, and also who feel so much damage during the time of my detention. They couldn't -- they feel helpless. They just don't know where I am. And they don't get any answer about it. So I want to give them an opportunity to share my situation. So I set up the camera in front of my computer and above my computer in my office, also in my bedroom.
COREN: Do you think that these cameras you've set up in your studio will upset authorities?
WEIWEI: Well, also I -- you know, also in front of my house there are 15 cameras here just in front of my house, basically 100 meters. It's so much cameras to kind of absurdity -- absurd. So I think the intention is to know what I'm doing, under who is visiting me, and you know what's the secret life in my private space.
COREN: You think about this extra surveillance that you are having to endure, these cameras outside your home. Now these cameras inside your home which you have put up. You also believe that your phones are being tapped. How is this affecting you?
WEIWEI: At beginning it was very frustrating, because you really -- you know, when you -- when I was in detention I see people standing next to me watch me to taking shower or go to toilet or you know you see a camera right above your bed, but also two soldiers standing next to it. It really give you very, very strong frustration.
But after awhile, then you realize I don't have secret to hide. I mean, you know, I get more used to it.
COREN: You describe these cameras as a gift to your supporters, to the public. You mentioned your detention, 81 days after your arrest at Beijing Airport. You disappeared. There was an international outcry. Are you at all concerned that this could happen again to you?
WEIWEI: Yes. That is very possible. And, you know, they can do once, they can do three times. You know, there's many people who is taken away every day, actually, for different reasons. Some just very, you know, minor conditions (ph), but they do that.
COREN: Ai Weiwei, you are an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, but why do you think you are such a threat to the establishment?
WEIWEI: I don't think I'm a threat to anybody or any government. I - - if artists have some freedom to express himself or to even to share the ideas with the public so I really want them to talk with me or can discuss or make an argument, but in China.
COREN: That was -- well, Ai Weiwei has been on probation since his release and that ends on June 22. He says that he can't make any plans yet, but he does hope to attend the opening of his latest architecture project in London in June.
Well, it could be happening right next door, a very young woman held against her will, coerced into marriage with a stranger all but orchestrated by her own family. Well, the UK 's forced marriage unit says this practice may be happening up to 8,000 times a year in Britain alone. CNN's Atika Schubert looks at the rising number of pleas for help.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORREPSONDENT: The calls come from girls and women mostly, but sometimes men and occasionally children. An estimated 500 calls a month at Karma Nirvana, Britain's national hotline for forced marriage.
JASVINDER SANGHERA, KARMA NIRVANA: When I was 14-years-old my mother presented me with a birch wrap (ph) of the man who I was to learn I was promised to at the age of eight.
SCHUBERT: Born in Britain, raised in an Indian Sikh family, Jasvinder Sanghera is Karma Nirvana's founder.
SANGHERA: My mother tried to engage me in the actual marriage, wedding dress, and the whole thing. And I said no. I'm not marring this man, I want to finish school. And that was when they took me out of school and I was held a prisoner literally in my own room.
SCHUBERT: Sanghera managed to escape, but her family disowned her. Her younger sister was forced to marry in her place. And her older sister set herself on fire after years trapped in an abusive forced marriage.
SANGHERA: I was born in Darby. I went to school in Darby with my sisters.
SCHUBERT: Sanghera is now a relentless campaigner against forced marriage, speaking at schools to raise awareness.
SANGHERA: Sometimes families cross the line where a person is saying actually I don't want to do this and then it becomes a forced marriage. And that's not tradition.
SCHUBERT: The problem is such a concern that Britain created the forced marriage unit, a unique cross government team that aims to protect British citizens from forced marriage here and abroad.
AMY CUMMINGS, FORCED MARRIAGE UNIT: Last year, we dealt with just under 1,500 cases. Of those, the oldest was 87, the youngest was 5. So a huge spread across the ages.
SCHUBERT: More than half the cases come from Pakistan. And of those, 70 percent come from just one region. But many Muslim leaders there don't support forced marriage which is why the forced marriage unit recently invited the Mufti of Mirapur to Bradford, England with this message.
HAFIZ AHMED, MUFTI OF MIRPUR: Islam does not know forced marriage. According to Islam, forced marriage is a crime not a method.
SCHUBERT: That sparks an angry debate. Some feel this is an attack on the tradition of arranged marriage.
"Even a forced marriage can be a successful marriage," says this man.
But Pervez Akhtar, who runs a British-Pakistani aid agency insists there is a difference. Force marriage, he says, should be illegal.
PERVEZ AKHTAR, KARI SHARIF WELFARE SOCIETY: We need to make clear this distinction that arranged marriage is totally acceptable, in fact all marriage are arranged to some extent or another. And forced marriage is absolutely acceptable.
SCHUBERT: With the number rising and help lines reporting more calls than ever, Britain is now considering whether to make forced marriage a crime.
Atika Schubert, CNN, London.
COREN: Coming up on NEWS STREAM, Fiji tackles the damage after days of severe flooding that left at least five people dead. But the waters are receding, but the threat of disease is on the rise.
COREN: Well, to Fiji now, a South Pacific island nation that's usually a prime holiday spot, but right now it's dealing with severe floods. Well, food and water desperately needed in many parts of the country. And as TV New Zealand's Lisa Owen reports it's going to take awhile.
LISA OWEN, TV NEW ZEALAND CORRESPONDENT: When you've lost your home and all you own, the basics become everything and the local Fiji community is rallying to provide them to the flood ravaged island.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation is extremely series and Fiji needs a lot of help.
OWEN: There's still no clean running water, power, or toilets in many areas. While filthy soot (ph) this water has yet to drain away raising concerns about sanitation.
KATE MALCOLM, TOURIST: I mean, we're witnessing families in the street washing the mud out of all their sheets and clothes in the runoff that was still coming out of the gutters.
OWEN: Some people are also still without food. In Auckland, Indian Station Radio Teranus launched an appeal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NZ account number 0101.
OWEN: They're aiming to ship over containers full of donated essentials, while in Nandi a group of ex-pat New Zealanders and Australians are handing out hot meals to the hungry and newly homeless.
BRETT WHITTAKER, OPERATION FOUNDATION: Some people are hungry. They're hungry today. They're not hungry in three days, they're hungry today.
OWEN: The New Zealand government is channeling a half million dollar donation through the Red Cross rather than giving it directly to Fiji's interim government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe they have the networks on the ground to make sure it reaches the people who are in need.
OWEN: Fiji's interim prime minister has visited the worst affected areas and concedes it's going to take awhile for the country to get back on its feet.
FRANK BAINIMARAMA, FIJI INTERIM PRIME MINISTER: We'll have to make some hard and fast decisions about what we do with infrastructure, with our rivers, with the dredging, with a whole lot of other issues, so that we don't continue to get bogged down every time there's heavy rain.
OWEN: But that's no comfort to the tourism industry as thousands of tourists flee the country ahead of what should have been a boom holiday period.
COREN: Lisa Owen reporting there.
For more on the flooding in Fiji let's go to our Jen Delgado. And Jen, what is the forecast in Fiji?
JEN DELGADO, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Oh, right now they're getting a break from the heavy rainfall, but Anna, as the reporter just said it's going to take a while before we start to see Fiji drying out over the last several days. And really about the last seven days they picked up 580 millimeters of rainfall. That is two months worth of rain coming down in a week period.
And you can see typically for the month of March and April they should see about 487. That's why we're seeing images of the flooding there, people are really struggling.
Anna, as I show you on the satellite I really -- they're getting a little bit of drying period right now. But the problem is we're still going to be picking up some more moisture and that means another round of rainfall working in that direction. Certainly it's not going to be as heavy as what they just dealt with, but the problem is they really don't need any more precipitation. The reality is as we head into the later portion of the week, we are going to see more of that returning across the region.
Another area that has been recovering from bad weather, this is in Japan. They dealt with some very strong winds yesterday. You can see that area of low pressure pulling away off the coast of Hokkaido, but let's go to some video and give you an idea what was happening there.
You can see the clouds moving through. They had rain, they had snow, they had strong winds with an excess of 150 kph and that meant hundreds of flights were canceled out of Japan. You're looking at video coming out of Japan's main airport. And passengers there had to pass the time, because, hey, you can't take off and you can't land when the winds are over typhoon and hurricane strength.
Now as I take you back over to our graphic here, we want to talk a little bit more about some of the winds. You can see the strongest were down towards the south as well as the eastern part of Japan. For Tokyo, they clocked in winds at 126 kph and for Kobe we saw winds at 119. So certainly a windy day, but things have settled down as I show you on a wider view.
We are going to be dealing with another frontal system sliding through. That's going to keep the showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for parts of southern China. And we'll also see some of that moving through northern parts of Vietnam. But other than that, it's going to be fairly quiet.
Right now let's find out what the weather is like in your area.
And welcome back. High temperatures for your Thursday. 21 for the high in Taipei, 25 in Hong Kong, 33 degrees in Manila and for Tokyo 19 degrees.
Looking through parts of Australia, quiet. Nothing really happening there. You can see for New Zealand as well to the north as well as the South Island the temperatures running a bit warm for this time of the year. Expecting a high of 30 degrees in Adelaide on Thursday, 25 in Sydney. And then for our friends in Darwin 33 degrees.
Anna, back to you.
You knew I'd throw that in there.
COREN: Yes, well, it's turning into Autumn in Australia so temperatures should be cooling off soon. Nice to see you, catch you tomorrow. Thank you, Jen.
Well, just ahead, we're live in Augusta as the year's first golf major is just a day away from starting. A full world sport update is coming up next.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
You may remember last Friday when we were giving you the very long odds of winning the Megamillions lottery in the U.S. Well, John Vause put the chances of winning the $640 million into context.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what are my chances of winning -- not Ivan's chances, but mine. It's actually -- well, it's a little bit long, the odds, 176 million to 1. Americans are way more likely to be struck by lightning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Yes, there was more of a chance of being struck by lightning than winning. And just to prove we're right, I give you Bill Isles of Kansas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL ISLES, STRUCK BY LIGHTNING: And it was like flash, boom, instantaneously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Poor Bill went out last Thursday and bought three lottery tickets. A few hours later he was struck by lightning and he didn't win the lottery. Well, Isles works for the national weather service and he was using an amateur radio in the backyard checking the storm activity when he was struck. But proving that he was truly lucky, he survived the lightning strike virtually unharmed.
He certainly is a lucky man.
Well, earlier in the show we told you about the controversy over Augusta National's all male membership policy. Of course that is only a sideshow to the golf itself at the Master's tournament. And Alex Thomas joins us with all the details from London. Hello, Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, hi Anna. We're hoping to cross live to Augusta National in just a moment. But first let me tell you about some Champion's League actions from last night. And Barcelona are looking forward to their fifth consecutive semifinal after a 3-1 win against A.C. Milan at the Camp Nou stadium.
And for their star player, Lionel Messi, was another record breaking night. Messi scoring two penalties in the first half to take his tally for the season to an incredible 58 goals. He's now scored 14 in the Champion's League alone, the best ever tally since the European Cup changed its name.
Barca will next face Chelsea or Benfica who play later on Wednesday.
And Bayern Munich await either Real Madrid or APOEL Nicosia in the other half of the draw. The Bundisliga club easing through to the semifinals with a 4-nil aggregate victory over Marseilles. Ivica Olic scoring both of Bayern's goals in a 2-nil win in Tuesday's second leg at the Evian's Arena.
Munich stadium will host the final. So there's an extra incentive for the German club to match their achievement two seasons ago when they reached that final match.
Now the Miami Heat has become the latest team to book its place in the NBA playoffs after a reasonably comfortable win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Let's pick up the action from last night in the third quarter. (inaudible) gets in the paint and hits the floater as Miami take a 57-54 lead.
Later in the third Chris Bosh gets the ball in the corner and hits the three, part of his 17 points on the night.
With no Dwayne Wade for the Heat. LeBron James filled the gap. Here's Terrell Harris setting up King James for the layup and foul.
And later in the game, Shane Battier dives to save the ball. Mario Chalmers throws the alley oop to LeBron for the slam and in Wade's absence he scored a season high 41 points in a 99-93 win.
Elsewhere, Lakers coach Mike Brown had to work out how to cope without all-star Andrew Bynum against the New Jersey Nets. So more pressure than usual on Kobe Bryant to perform and here he is with the alley oop to Pau Gasol for the dunk.
A 15 point lead was down to three by this point in the fourth. Darren Williams pulls up for a three from downtown for the Nets as they tie it with the clock ticking down.
How can Kobe and the Lakers respond? Well, Bryant manages to regain the lead with a three of his own. (inaudible) watching actors Ashton Kutcher and Jack Black.
Now with only 10 seconds left in the game, the Lakers lead by one. Off the in-bounds, Kobe Bryant pulls up for a huge 3-point shot. It rattles in. The lead up to four with 6.8 seconds left. Gerald Wallace for the Nets in-bounds it to Darren Williams who tries for the same shot as Kobe, but this time it bounces off the rim, doesn't go in. The Lakers win for an eighth straight time against the Nets.
Now we wanted to go to live Augusta National, but we're having a few technical problems, so I say you'll have to tune in to World Sport in around three and a bit hours time. Much better than NEWS STREAM anyway, Anna. Just kidding.
Back to you in Hong Kong.
COREN: I was going to say, did you want to be on this show tomorrow, huh?
THOMAS: I'll stop talking.
COREN: All right. Yeah. We'll watch your interview with Patrick Snell in World Sport a bit later. Alex, we'll see you tomorrow if you're lucky.
Well, the Olympic games are still 114 days away, but starting today many travelers will get an early taste of what's to come. Well, British Airways has unveiled a plane that has been given an Olympics makeover courtesy of a team known as Great Britain.
Well, they are acclaimed British chefs, artists and filmmakers tasked with taking the food, the entertainment and the look of the BA plane to new heights. Our Becky Anderson has more.
BECKY ANDERSON: Reveals at last, a new bird set to take flight. This is one of nine British Airways planes that have been given a facelift, especially for the London Olympic Games. The fleet, or should we say flock, took the A319s been painted to look like doves, complete with beak, eyes, winds, tail, and feathers.
It's the creation of British artist Pascal Anson.
PASCAL ANSON, ARTIST: Doves are the Olympic symbols used as--- it was actually used as a kind of technology in the ancient Olympic games to send back to the villages around where the Olympic games were being held the results of the races that had just been won. So it was like a homing pigeons. So that's where the dove comes from in the Olympics.
But now it's kind of a symbol of social unity and peace and part of the Olympic spirit.
ANDERSON: Anson was chosen for the task by London based artist Tracy Annon, a mentor, and the British Airways Great Britain's program.
TRACEY EMIN, ARTIST: And I'm just absolutely thrilled. I can't believe it. As you see it now moving out into the light it's brilliant. It's really, really good.
ANDERSON: Tell me about the project.
EMIN: When I just Pascal, because I liked his idea, very simple changing the plane into a dove. Brilliant for the Olympics, uncomplicated, that's what we thought. But the engineer inside of it was really complicated.
ANDERSON: Not least because of safety restrictions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really want to draw a line under this and say that those wind boxes are not areas that we will paint (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) could paint on those areas, but we have to take their direction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that. No, I don't want the plane to crash.
ANDERSON: What were the biggest challenges?
EMIN: I think the biggest challenge is what works on the ground doesn't work at 36,000 feet in the air. And also to make this design work when you see it taking off and going up, because you didn't want it to just melt and disappear, even though we wanted it to be a gold dove you couldn't actually have gold, because you can't have metallic things in the sky because of the reflection. So all of that was quite complicated. And actually it was time consuming working out what to do with the tail, working out what to do with the British Airways logo. The British Airways have been brilliant. And they let us do what we wanted. And it worked.
ANSON: I think she wanted a piece of art on the plane. I mean, that's very, very important. So it wasn't a pattern. It wasn't a piece of graphic design. So what I wanted to do, I wanted to transform what the plane looked like so to just make people stop and think again what am I looking at? What is this? Is it a plane or it a giant bird? So that was- -- what was very, very important from an artistic point of view.
ANDERSON: The dove isn't the only Olympics project Emin has been involved in. The iconic British artist has also designed the poster for the Para-Olymipcs. And is about to open a new exhibition of her work which will run throughout the games.
You are known for what we would consider more controversial art generally, not the livery of a plane. Did you enjoy this project?
EMIN: Yeah, loved it. I like flying. I like the air. I like everything about internationalism. I like airports. I think they're sexy. I'm never going to get married, but if I did I wouldn't mind meeting my husband in an airport and getting married in one. I like the whole idea of it. So that side of it suited me. And also I like birds a lot. I draw lots of birds. So the whole thing was congenial and made sense. I didn't? find it difficult.
COREN: Becky Anderson there.
Well, that is NEWS STREAM, but the news certainly continues here at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is coming up next.