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North Korea Keeps World Waiting; Syrian Cease-Fire; Little Red Button; Tense Ceasefire Commences In Syria; Apple, Five Book Sellers Being Sued For Price Fixing
Aired April 11, 2012 - 08:00 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 North Korea, which could launch this rocket any day now in what many see as cover for a missile test.
Well, protests on the streets of Syria, as we wait to see whether a cease- fire will hold.
Hillary Clinton reveals just what it was like to be in the White House Situation Room during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
And a man walking while texting gets a big surprise when he looks up from his phone. We'll bring you his story.
We'll cover the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula in just a moment, but first we want to bring you up to date on the situation in Syria, where a fragile cease-fire has taken hold. However, Agence France- Presse and Reuters are reporting that Syrian forces have shot dead one man in the province of Hama several hours after the U.N.-brokered cease-fire came into force. Well, activists are also reporting explosions and gunfire in a handful of cities in the past few hours, and there are no signs that government forces have withdrawn from urban centers, as called for in the U.N.-backed peace plan.
Throughout the hour we'll be monitoring this uneasy truce and bring you any new developments.
Well, one day down and four to go. We're now within the five-day window that North Korea has given for the launch of a controversial rocket. But liftoff hasn't happened yet. Japan and South Korea scanned the sky on Thursday morning. Both countries say the mission is in fact a long-range missile test and not just a satellite operation, as North Korea claims.
Japan is ready to shoot the rocket down if it enters its airspace. And further south, the Philippine government is warning citizens of the potential for falling debris.
The U.S. has canceled food aid to North Korea over the operation, but the world's most reclusive nation appears resolute.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believes that Pyongyang won't stop with the rocket launch. She has warned of additional provocations, and South Korea says it has evidence to back this up.
An intelligence report suggests that a new nuclear test is planned in the same location where two have taken place before. This new satellite image shows that site at Pon Ca-ring (ph), in the northeast of the country. Well, underground blasts back in 2006 and 2009 were condemned by the South and the U.N. Security Council, but North Korea has a history of showing little regard for international reproach.
In a rare move, North Korea has allowed international media into the country to cover events leading up to the launch, and now Stan Grant is in the North Korean capital, and he joins us now.
Stan, any word on when this rocket will launch?
STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. Day one has passed.
Of course the window was always going to be between the 12th and the 16th. Right now, that rocket remains right there on the launch pad. Everything else is in readiness though.
The North Koreans are telling us that the satellite has been placed inside that rocket, it has been fueled, and can take off at any time in the coming days. The big question though still remains, what exactly are North Koreans up to?
GRANT (voice-over): Down (ph) is looming and the pressure is building. A barrage of the world's media descending on North Korea, and one critical question: missile or satellite?
(on camera): After all of the denials that this is not a missile test, why does the United States not believe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think in my personal opinion, the United States people are very confused.
GRANT (voice-over): Pyongyang has gambled that opening up to journalists would quell the suspicion. Instead, it sparked even greater scrutiny.
(on camera): The U.S. is basically saying you're lying. Why should they trust you?
(voice-over): "This is why we invited you here," says this official. Then, pointing at a space analyst from the United States here with an American TV network for his opinion.
(on camera): They're putting you on the spot here. Do you believe them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be reporting for NBC News.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). I believe -- I believe that this is not a military shot. The conditions -- the conditions -- the future we cannot predict.
GRANT: Well, this is the nerve center. From behind me here, they'll be able to track the progress of the satellite, but, really, failure is not an option.
This is not about science. This is decreed by the "Dear Leader" himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): So our great leader, comrade, Kim Jong-il, led us through the development of our space technologies step by step. And he spent lifelong efforts in development of our science.
GRANT (voice-over): Here, too, there are reminders that this whole operation is in praise of their leaders. This control room is on the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang. Escorted here by our government minders, we see a bare bones facility. One international observer though says it appears to be enough to do the job. But the question remains, what will it be tracking?
YURI KARASH, RUSSIAN SPACE EXPERT: It is possible to use this launch vehicle to carry or to deliver a nuclear warhead to some part in the world. However, I'm sure that this particular launch vehicle will be used for the launch of satellite.
GRANT: Han Park is a Korea specialist from an American university. He's been invited as a guest of Pyongyang. He says this is all about trust. He trusts them, but --
HAN S. PARK, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: Is it a satellite or is it a missile? And that question is not really ultimately a question of science, because it's the same science and technology. It comes down to the motives on the part of North Koreans.
GRANT: There is a lot riding on this. For a country that can't feed itself, the rocket launch has already essentially scuttled a food aid deal from the U.S. Washington has branded this a serious provocation violating United Nations resolutions. But for North Korea, they're unlikely to back down.
All of this is to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of their founding father, Kim Il-sung. As the rocket reaches for the heavens, people here will be worshipping someone they see as akin to a god.
GRANT: And, Anna, it's not going to stop here. The North Koreans are determined to go ahead with this launch and planning more in the future, even bigger tests in the future -- Anna.
COREN: Stan, we know that the U.S. has warned North Korea that if it goes ahead with this rocket launch, it will further punish North Korea. It's already canceled that food aid, which you mentioned. This was something that was signed off six weeks ago, and this is also something that the North Korean people desperately need.
Does the regime -- do they care?
GRANT: It really comes down to what the regime sees as the priorities. They've been isolated for a long time. They've endured sanctions for many years. What they need to do is to show they are resolute to their own people. The legitimacy of the regime rests on its ability to repel any outside invasion and to send that message to its own people.
This, of course, is the 100th year anniversary of the birth of the founding father, Kim Il-sung. It's very important for them to show the world that they are both a powerful and a prosperous country, despite the fact we know they need to go to the international community for food to feed their own people. They say this is about self-reliance, and that goes very much to the core of this country -- Anna.
COREN: And, Stan, despite all this international condemnation, at the end of the day the world community can't or isn't willing to do anything else, and North Korea knows this.
GRANT: Well, it's a loaded gun, isn't it? They've carried out nuclear tests in the past. If they are successfully able to fire this satellite, as they insist it's going to be, then it also shows it has the technology to deliver an object anywhere in the world.
As we heard from their analyst there, this is not really so much about whether it's a satellite or whether it's a missile. It goes to the technology. If they're able to perfect the technology, then perhaps they have the weaponry to fire directly into cities in the United States themselves. That's a big gun to hold at the world's head -- Anna.
COREN: It certainly is.
Stan Grant, joining us from Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
Many thanks for that.
Well, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, quiet and disquiet in Syria as a supposed cease-fire begins. We'll tell you whether or not the truce is holding.
Nations around the Indian Ocean breathe a sigh of relief after a massive quake does little damage. But while fears of an immediate tsunami are now gone, the aftershocks continue.
And if a picture is worth a thousand words, well, Hillary Clinton has finally spoken them. The U.S. secretary of state tells us exactly what she was feeling when this famous photo was taken.
COREN: Well, birds, not bullets, could be heard as the day dawned across Syria this Thursday. That is according to one Homs resident.
Opposition activists say a U.N.-backed cease-fire is largely holding. However, Agence France-Presse and Reuters are reporting that Syrian forces have shot dead one man in the province of Hama several hours after the U.N.-brokered cease-fire came into force.
Well, activists are also reporting explosions and gunfire in a handful of cities in the past few hours. The opposition is waiting no time in putting the regime's commitment to U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan to the test.
Activists are calling on Syrians to protest across the country against the Bashar al-Assad regime. Well, the right to protest peacefully is part of the U.N.-backed peace plan. Activists in some cities are reporting that tanks and snipers remain on the streets. And they say Syrian forces have yet to pull out of heavily-populated cities.
Well, the Syrian regime has reserved the right to respond to any attacks, but the government insists it is committed to Mr. Annan's peace plan. In an interview with CNN's Hala Gorani, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the presence of U.N. observers on the ground in Syria is under negotiation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIHAD MAKDISSI, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: If you read thoroughly the plan of Mr. Annan, you will find out that there will be observers, military unarmed observers, sent to Syria. These observers will be -- will be operating according to a protocol that we are now negotiating with the technical team of Mr. Annan.
Those people will be telling you the truth, as the Arab observer did before and nobody believed them. So what I'm telling you --
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So let me ask you this -- yes. What you're saying is there will be observers from --
GORANI: -- the United Nations to verify that the military has withdrawn. Is that what you're saying?
MAKDISSI: Not only the military. The cessation of violence, Hala.
Someone needs to say you can't rely on Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya or the YouTube. We will be having -- once we sign our protocol, we want Mr. Annan to send them as soon as possible. We are not afraid of the reality of the Syrian story. We want them to be on the ground and see for themselves, who's violating this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Well, it's far too early to call this a victory for diplomacy. Right now the world is waiting to see if the cease-fire will last.
CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been closely following this story. He joins me now live in London.
Nic, we are hearing that the truce is holding for now. But then there are reports that a man has been shot in Hama.
What do we know?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, these reports are very hard to confirm at this time. And the reports that we're seeing that perhaps are a little easier to verify because there are video links to video that's being posted by activists in Syria, they're showing that some shells today have fallen, a couple of a shell strikes, in the city of Homs, which is an indication that this cease-fire, although it's largely holding, is still very shaky.
It is difficult to verify all the details that are coming out of Syria from the activists. Also, the government, as well, has been saying today that a hundred opposition fighters, terrorists, they call them, have decided to surrender and turn in their weapons. And that also is impossible for us to verify. We don't have access inside Syria to verify these accounts, but it does show that the government is trying to at least give the indication to its supporters in Syria that it is winning, that it is coming out ahead in this cease-fire, that it has got a cease-fire on its terms, and that does seem to be important for the government.
And it's also the fact there is a cease-fire is an indication the government is under a huge amount of pressure to change its tactics, that it cannot continue with this course. But that doesn't mean that these initial breakdowns that we're hearing about, the shelling and the possible killing of someone, are not going to trigger more actions and, therefore, that the cease-fire may break down in a bigger way. That's just not clear yet -- Anna.
COREN: Nic, central to Kofi Annan's cease-fire plan was Syrian forces pulling back. And that doesn't appear to have happened.
What can we read into this?
ROBERTSON: Well, as recently as two days ago, Kofi Annan was saying that the little that had happened was in fact not really withdrawing from urban centers, but merely as sort of a rolling redeployment of Syrian forces into other neighborhoods. And the videos that activists are posting from today, from yesterday as well, show that for the large part, the Syrian armed forces, the armored personnel carriers, the tanks, remain in central locations in these cities.
And what appears to be happening is that, while the government has told its people that it has, you know, won this campaign against what it calls a terrorist, but in doing so, it seems to be leaving in place a very, very strong military presence around these opposition areas in cities like Hama and Homs. So, at the moment, there does not appear to be a withdrawal, and that means that there's a potential for a return to military force very quickly and very readily. And without that agreement that Jihad Makdissi, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, was talking about there, without that protocol signed with the U.N., there are going to be no independent observers there to witness what those tanks do on the ground. But the activists that are filming them clearly believe that those tank barrels could be turned back on them at a moment's notice -- Anna.
COREN: And Nic, with that strong military presence, the government has also come out and said that it will respond proportionately if it is attacked by rebel forces. Now, the opposition is calling for people to take to the streets. This is a frightening prospect.
ROBERTSON: The two things that are going to -- that re going to potentially trigger a breakdown in the cease-fire would be protests that are not limited to those areas where the opposition activists are strongest. We've seen protests that are happening in small towns down back streets. And now perhaps in places like Homs and Hama, greater numbers of people can come out on the streets.
If they do it in their neighborhoods, it seems unlikely that that will, on the face of it, challenge the government. But if, for example, people in Hama would decide that they wanted a protest that was to march into the center of that city -- i.e., going through government checkpoints -- then that's going to severely test this cease-fire agreement. And not only that.
If the activists come out, the protesters come out on the streets, will there be follow-up repercussions? Will there be arrests of demonstrators based on the fact that government forces can see who they are? Which again is likely to -- would likely be something that could trigger a backlash. And these are all things that have been happening up until now.
So these protests are really going to test the strength of this cease-fire. If they're just in their neighborhoods, then perhaps they won't trigger a reaction, but if they move beyond that, then there's a real potential for it here -- Anna.
COREN: Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson, joining us from London with that update.
Thank you very much for that.
COREN: Well, coming up on NEWS STREAM, something worth turning the virtual page for -- how prices for your next e-book might be dropping because of a lawsuit against Apple and several publishers. That's coming up.
COREN: Well, there is something about a big red button that makes it hard to resist pressing it, a fact that's been proving in a dramatic ad campaign in Belgium.
Our Jeanne Moos has the story.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether it's the self- destruct button, or the abort button, there's something irresistible about pressing buttons, especially if you're not sure what they do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEN IN BLACK")
TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: You remember the little red button?
WILL SMITH, ACTOR: Yes.
JONES: Push the little red button, and you may want to put on a seatbelt.
(END VIDEO CLIP, "MEN IN BLACK")
MOOS: But those are movies. What happens in real life when residents of a quiet town in Belgium are offered a button to push?
It only took a couple of minutes for someone to push it.
MOOS: Now, most of these folks are stunt people, except for the onlookers and those pushing the button.
MARC WELLENS, PARTNER, DUVAL GUILLAUME: The people are too flabbergasted really to react or to run away or to intervene.
MOOS: What it is, is a viral ad from CNN's sister network, TNT, which is being introduced in Belgium. Speaking of shootings, how many times did they shoot this? One continuous performance?
WELLENS: We did it, like, 11 times. So there were actually 11 people pushing the button. And from the best reactions, of course, we made a compilation.
MOOS: The ad agency, Duval Guillaume, got permission from the town to set up its hidden cameras. When a real person pushed the button, the director yelled, "Action!"
(on camera): These days buttons are a staple.
AUTOMATED VOICE: That was easy.
MOOS (voice-over): Easy enough for a dog --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make it easy.
MOOS: -- to learn to do.
Even the secretary of state gave a reset button to Russia's foreign minister to signify resetting U.S.-Russian relations.
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will do it together. OK?
MOOS: Maybe you'd like a button for more drama in your town, but don't get carried away. The closest you're probably going to get to a button that produces excitement, it's watching a quiz show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FAMILY FEUD")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something a burglar would not want to see when he breaks into a house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rob (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Naked grandma!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Naked -- huh?
(END VIDEO CLIP, "FAMILY FEUD")
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to see that either.
MOOS: -- New York.
COREN: Who can resist?
Ahead on NEWS STREAM, it's an unforgettable image, but what was it like inside the White House Situation room when Osama bin Laden was killed?
And watch where you're going. One California man gets a big surprise while walking and -- that's right -- texting.
COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. And you're watching News Stream. These are your world headlines. Well, a fragile ceasefire has taken hold in Syria, however, Agence France Presse and Reuters are reporting that Syrian forces have shot dead one man in the province of Hama several hours after the UN brokered ceasefire came into force. Well, activists also reporting explosions and gunfire in a handful of cities in the past few hours.
Well, the first window for the launch of a controversial rocket in North Korea has come and gone and still no lift-off. But North Korean officials say they have until Monday to carry out the operation. Pyongyang says the rocket is carrying a satellite, but critics fear it's actually a front for a ballistic missile test. But Pyongyang says the mission has no military purpose.
Well, Sony's new CEO says the company will slash 10,000 jobs after a record $6.4 billion loss at the firm. The cuts amount to 6 percent of Sony's workforce and will be made in the next year. Kazuo Hirai took control of the struggling company on April 1st and is pledging to a return to glory for Sony.
George Zimmerman is due to make his first court appearance today over the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. Well, George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder after turning himself into police in Florida.
For the first time in 15 months Iran will return to the negotiating table on Saturday to talk about its nuclear program. Well, this weekend Christiane Amanpour will explore the mysteries surrounding the Islamic Republic and its nuclear ambitions. Here's a preview.
MOHAMMED LARIJANI, ADVISER TO IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER: Somebody thinks in the world that way attacking (inaudible).
CHRISATIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Or Fordo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or Fordo (ph), then Iran will be defiant and delayed for 10, 20 years in their progress in the development of nuclear technology they are deadly wrong.
AMANPOUR: There are ways that people are concerned that Iran would retaliate if struck -- closing the Straits of Hormuz. Would you do that?
LARIJANI: Well, here I want to copy the world leader of President Obama. Every possibility is on the table. So nothing should be excluded.
HILLARY MANN LEVERETT, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: If the United States is seen directly or through Israel is trying to attack this critically important scientific program of an Islamic country, the reverberations against the United States and Israel I think will not be subdued for a generation. I think that we will see U.S. standing in the Middle East dwindle to near zero. We will be left with at most our alliance with Israel. I don't even think at the end of the day the Saudis would stand with us.
HOOMAN MAJD, IRANIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR & JOURNALIST: Iranians are really very, very nationalistic people, even those who are very, very much against the regime and would like to see the regime fall or be overthrown would hold a very negative view of the west, a very negative view of the attackers.
ANTHONY CORDESMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The best strike does not necessarily stop this, particularly Israeli case might simply create a situation where Iran declared we have been preemptively attacked, aggressively attacked. We now have no choice but to basically have a crash nuclear weapons effort.
COREN: Well join CNN's Christiane Amanpour for an in-depth look at what you need to know about Iran, the threat of war over its nuclear program, and the way forward. Well, that's a nuclear Iran: The Expert Intel. Tune in at 9:00 pm Saturday here in Hong Kong.
Well, it has been nearly one year since U.S. Navy SEALs killed terrorist Osama bin Laden. He was considered the FBI's most wanted fugitive. Well, his death opened up a spot on the FBI's top 10 list. And on Wednesday a new name was added. It is this man, Eric Justin Toth. He is wanted for allegedly possessing and producing child pornography.
Well, the FBI says it hopes to bring in new tips by adding him to this most wanted list and offering a reward of up to $100,000.
Well, more now on Osama bin Laden. We are learning new details about the day the al Qaeda leader was killed. Well, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the White House situation room when it went down. This iconic photo captured the tense mood as President Obama and other officials awaited news of the mission.
Well, Secretary Clinton describes what it was like in that room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: When we gathered that Sunday it was a pretty intense, tense, stressful time, because the people who are actually doing it on the ground were thousands of miles away. We did have good communications, so we -- in the White House there's a large situation room in the whole protected sort of secret area of the basement. And there are smaller rooms, so we were in one of the smaller rooms when the attack began. And we were able to have some communication, so we were in real time aware of what was happening.
And I'm not sure anybody breathed for, you know, 35 or 37 minutes. And for me, the worst part was when one of the helicopters, if you remember looking at drawings of what the compound looked like, there was a yard and there was a wall. And as the helicopter went in, the tail got stuck and it was not flyable.
That had been planned for, but it was still somewhat, you know, worrisome that this had occurred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Fascinating account, isn't it?
Well, Secretary Clinton was responding to a question from students at the U.S. Naval Academy. Well, she told them she was thinking about her constituents when this photo was taken. Well, Clinton was a New York Senator during the 9/11 terror attacks. Many people thought she was trying to hide her reaction as you can see here gasping with her hand over her mouth, but Clinton has said she may have been trying to stifle a cough.
Well, notably, President Barack Obama is not front and center in this image. You can see him back there leaning forward intently in his chair.
Well, the White House put that photo up on its Flickr stream. It has been viewed more than 2.6 million times, but it still hasn't passed this picture of a waterfall. That's right. It has nearly 3.2 million views. Well, the poster says it has no idea why the photo is so popular.
Well, the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Apple and several publishers over an alleged scheme to raise the price of ebooks. Well, until around two years ago, the market was largely controlled by Amazon, maker of the Kindle tablet. But that changed in 2010 when the launch of the iPad ignited a sharp rise in ebook prices.
Well, now the DOJ says Apple was at the height of an illegal price fixing plan and Dan Simon explains.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Electronic book sales have skyrocketed, thanks to devices like the Kindle and iPad. But prices have also risen. A few years ago, an average ebook might cost $10. Today they can run around $13 or more. And that's exactly why the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and five of the nation's largest publishers, alleging an illegal price fixing scheme.
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Concerned that ebook sellers had reduced prices worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling ebooks ultimately increasing prices for consumers.
SIMON: Before the iPad came along, Amazon completely ruled ebooks with its Kindle and set its own prices for ebooks. But then the iPad appeared and Apple allowed the publishers to set their own prices with Apple take a cut of the proceeds. The publishers, in turn, demanded similar pricing from other ebook sellers, says the DOJ. That led to higher prices across the board. And according to Attorney General Holder, caused consumers millions of dollars.
HOLDER: During regular near quarterly meetings, we allege that publishing company executives discuss confidential business and competitive matters, including Amazon's ebook retailing practices as part of a conspiracy to raise, fix, and stabilize retail prices.
SIMON: Three of the publishers have already settled with the government which will likely mean better prices for the consumer. Sales of ebooks rose more than 100 percent last year, generated nearly $970 million, according to Publishers Weekly.
By their very nature, ebooks generate higher profits than physical copies, that's why the pricing is so important.
COREN: That was our Dan Simon reporting there.
Well, if there was any doubt about the popularity of ebooks, consider the facts. Amazon has long held a reputation as the web's leading bookstore. And for about a year now it's been selling more ebooks than it has print books. Well, that milestone came just four years after the launch of the Kindle. So does this spell the end for the so-called dead tree version?
Well, not quite, thankfully. A study carried out by Forrester Research in 2011 found that in the wider market ebooks accounted for just 14 percent of all titles sold.
Well, just ahead on News Stream, a big night in Bundisliga. We'll show you how Dortmund edged closer to a second successive German title.
COREN: Well, Bahrain is gearing up to host its Formula1 Grand Prix in 10 days times, but it's still unclear if the race will actually go ahead. Well, political unrest in the country has triggered concerns over safety and human rights. And even if drivers and sponsors are still keen to race, ultimately it's not their decision as CNN's Eunice Yoon reports from Shanghai.
EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Formula1 teams are in China gearing up for the Shanghai Grand Prix, but the big debate is about what's going to happen at the next race in Bahrain. The Bahrain Grand Prix is set for April 22. And it's viewed by the authorities there as a glowing achievement and a validation of the government.
However, protest against the ruling royal family have been growing ever since an uprising last February. And as the race date approaches, many here are wondering if the Bahrain circuit will have to be postponed or canceled as it was last year?
World champion Sebastian Vettel said that it's up to the organizers to decide.
SEBASTIAN VETTLE, TWO TIME FORUMULA1 CHAMPION: I think generally it's not for us drivers to decide. Obviously we have a lot of people behind Formula1 and trying to organize the race. There's a lot of work involved in that, I'm sure. So it's about, you know, it's their decision at the end of the day. I think if we go it's a good decision to take, if we don't go we don't go.
YOON: There are safety concerns. And also there is the issue of moral conscience. One of the prominent pro-Democracy activists was jailed and had been on a hunger strike for over two months. Some hint that going ahead with the race would give motor racing a bad name.
So far, corporate sponsors seem unphased saying they'll go with whatever the organizers decide.
ANDREAS SIGL, GLOBAL DIRECTOR, INFINITI FORMULA ONE: The people that make the decision do the right decision and then we are ready to activate the same way we do it here, but we respect it also if they don't and they will know better.
YOON: The Bahrain government says that the protests are limited and that their country is safe. F1 organizers say that the race will go on at least for now.
Eunice Yoon, CNN, Shanghai.
COREN: Well, in the world of sport there were several crucial clashes in some of Europe's top football leagues. And our Pedro Pinto has all the details. Hello, Pedro.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: I do indeed, Anna.
Let's start with the top of the table clash in the Bundisliga. Borussia Dortmund took a huge step towards the title by beating Bayern Munich on Wednesday night. With Germany's largest stadium, Signal Ebuna Park packed to the rafters, there was plenty of excitement and drama.
Borussia took the lead in the 77th minute. Robert Lewandowski with a cheeky back heel putting the league leaders on top. Definitely worth another look. It was his 20th goal of the season.
Bayern had a golden chance to get back on level terms when they were awarded a penalty. But Arjen Robben who was ruled down in the box was denied by Dortmund goalie Roman Weidenfeller.
More heartbreak for the Bavarians in injury time when Robben somehow missed an open net. Dortmund hold on to beat Bayern, extending their unbeaten streak to 24 matches. They now boast a six point lead over Munich with only four league games remaining.
Bayern saw their nine game winning streak come to an end. Dortmund now very close to a second consecutive championship. Jupp Heynckes's side will have a chance for a measure of revenge. The top two teams will meet again in the German Cup final on the 12th of May.
Well, the German title race looks done and dusted. That's not the case in Europe's other top leagues. Juventus returned to the Serie A on Wednesday after a 2-1 win over Latsio. Juve were amazingly still unbeaten this season are just one point ahead of Milan with six games remaining.
In Spain, Real Madrid calmed some of Jose Mourinho nerves with a 4-1 thumping of cross town rivals Atletico. Real lead Barca by four points, mainly thanks to Christiano Ronaldo who scored his seventh hat trick of the season and took his record in all competitions this campaign to 52 goals.
And in England, there was an unexpected twist in the title race as leaders Manchester United lost 1-nil away at relegation threatened Wigan. Man City took full advantage beating West Brom 4-nil and closing the gap with the neighbors to just five points. Game on, you would think, but Manchester City's manager was saying otherwise in the post match press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTO MANCINI, MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER: ...fantastic team. And I don't think that they can lose five points. For us, as you (inaudible) good season for us, because this season is the best season after '68. And this is important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINTO: The NBA regular season is reaching its climax. And teams are jostling for playoff position. On Wednesday the top four sides in the Western Conference battled for playoff positioning and battled each other.
In San Antonio, the Spurs hosted the Lakers who were without Kobe Bryant once again. He continues to recover from tendonitis in his left shin. One of the most recent additions to the L.A. line-up had a good night. Ramon Sessions with 10 points and 5 assists.
The Spurs who had their 11 game winning streak snapped earlier this week trailed for most of this game. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker keeping them in the contest in the first half.
But Parker really struggled with his shooting after the break. And San Antonio missed his offense.
The Lakers started to pull away thanks to Meta World Peace. The man once known as Ron Artest was on fire. He scored a season high 26 points. Andrew Bynum added 16 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles got a big road win 98-84 the final score.
Chris Paul and the Clippers were in Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder in a battle between fourth and first in the Western Conference. The Thunder had a lead in the second half, but L.A. stayed in contention. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin doing what they do best.
The Clippers then took the lead in the fourth quarter. Paul with a shot from downtown, making it 92-89. It was close down the stretch. And a 3-pointer from Kevin Durant tied up the contest at 98. He had 22 points.
Paul led all scorers with 31. The lay-up in the lane putting the Clippers up by 2 very late in this ball game.
Last chance for the Thunder, but Durant can't connect on the winning attempt. L.A. hang on to win 100-98.
What an exciting basketball in the NBA last night.
That is a look at sports for now. Anna, back to you in Hong Kong.
COREN: Nice and close the way you want it. Pedro Pinto, good to see you. Thank you for that.
At a high end shopping mall here in Hong Kong there's a guest that is certainly causing quite a stir. She's not a movie star, but she's a celebrity in her own right. Her name is Lyuba a preserved wooly mammoth who has unlocked mysteries of life in prehistoric times.
Our Ramy Inocenio pays her a visit.
RAMY INOCENCIO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wooly mammoths were never publicly traded on any stock market exchange, but if eyes were orders to buy then the value of this little one right here would be skyrocketing.
This here is Lyuba. She is the world's most well preserved baby wooly mammoth and she's making her world debut right here in Hong Kong.
Scientists say she died when she was just about one month old, but now 40,000 years later she doesn't look too bad.
Dr. Bernard Buigues is the French explorer who announced Liuva's (ph) 2007 discovery.
BERNARD BUIGUES, DIRECTOR, MAMMUTHUS PROJECT: She fell down in the mud in the water. And cannot breath any more. And we know this because we make many CT Scan of her. And we can see that the (inaudible).
INOCENCIO: Like the CT Scan right here, actually, right?
BUIGUES: The trachea is full of mud.
INOCENCIO: ust right in the trunk area.
Lyuba is believed to have drowned in mud in what's now Russia's Siberia. The harsh cold and the lack of oxygen helped preserve her body for millennia. And then in 2007 a reindeer herder found her nearly 100 percent intact, missing some toenails, but still sporting some fur. Even her last meal was preserved. And that includes her mother's milk.
Unfortunately, there's also some damage to Lyuba. You can see right here that she's actually missing her tail. And she's also got some bite marks on her right ear. These are apparently from when wild dogs attacked her body after she was discovered, going for a bit of mammoth jerky.
And Lyuba is not alone. She has got this three story, two ton wooly mammoth skeleton replica to keep her company along with a real skulls of other extinct ice age animals like a wooly rhino, a steppe bison and a cave lion.
But modern-day retailer paired with ice age relics?
KARIM AZAR, GENERAL MANAGER, IFC MALL: We tried to be a little bit more than a shopping mall. We want to try and be a cultural center. We're always looking for events that will attract a more arty-farty, more cultural kind of angle.
INOCENCIO: The name Lyuba means Love in Russian, and Hong Kong residents an visitors alike can show their own love to Lyuba as well as all her friends through me.
Ramy Inocencio, CNN, Hong Kong.
COREN: I am going to have to check that one out, I think.
Still ahead on News Stream, it's one of the bare necessities of life, but don't let your mobile phone distract you too much or you might just bump into a bear. We've got the whole hairy scary story. That's coming up.
COREN: Well, distracted texters have hit the headlines for many reasons, but the guy in our next story is going to be hard to beat. Well, he almost ended up breakfast for a bear. And it was all caught on camera thanks to a news crew watching from the air.
Miguel Marquez explains.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ: Vaz Terdandenyan is a busy guy.
VAZ TERDANDENYAN, LA CRESCENTA, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: I was texting my boss that I would be for work, something is going on.
MARQUEZ: Was he ever right. In his L.A. neighborhood, his face, buried in his smartphone Terdandenyan came face to face with a 400 pound black bear looking for breakfast.
TERNDANDENYAN: Well, I guess I wasn't save -- I mean, I figured out in a hard way.
MARQUEZ: The very hard way. Did you see it? Here it is again. There's the bear. And at the right of our screen here comes Terndandenyan in a rush absorbed by his smartphone walking into trouble.
TERNDANDENYAN: And I'm coming down the stairs and I see the bear coming up the stairs towards me. So I turned back and run for my life.
MARQUEZ; The bear who is suspected of stalking the L.A. suburb of La Crescenta for more than a month may have taught us all a lesson.
How many times have you nearly been knocked out, run over, bumped into while someone, maybe you, is paying attention to their phone not what's right in front of him.
How could we forget that texting and walking Cathy Cruz Mareno (ph) and her encounter with a fountain at a mall in Pennsylvania. It's all very modern problem.
Vaz Terndadenyan now faces our fast-paced world armed with new knowledge.
TERNDADENYAN: You have to be prepared any time some bear can run after you any time.
MARQUEZ: Hello, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz knew that years ago.
In a world of smartphones, texting, and bears we're not in Kansas any more.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.
COREN: He's lucky he certainly looked up at the right time. Well, that is News Stream, but I'm going to leave you with that video one more time. World Business Today is coming up next.