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Chen Guangcheng Asks U.S. Help To Get Family Out Of China; 17 Osama bin Laden Documents To Be Released Online Today; Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam Clinch Club Titles With Wins; New Jersey Woman Accused Of Tanning With 6-year-old Daughter

Aired May 3, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET

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


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

Now on his own and afraid, a Chinese dissident makes a desperate plea to the U.S. president, but what can be done for Chen Guangcheng?

Plus, peering into Osama bin Laden's mind, al Qaeda documents will be released online one hour from now.

And the mysterious case of the British spy found dead inside a duffel bag. The coroner's verdict holds few answers.

Now Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has told CNN that he wants asylum in the United States for himself and for his family. But what a difference a day makes.

Now this time yesterday a single photograph appeared to show that a diplomatic storm had been averted. On the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing for high level talks we learn that Chen had left the U.S. embassy for the city for hospital treatment.

Now senior U.S. diplomat Kurt Campbell said he did so voluntarily. And this picture of the pair hugging, which the embassy posted on Flickr, it appears to substantiate that claim.

Now Chen was reunited with his family and apparently promised safety, but soon afterwards, in an interview with CNN, another side of the story emerged. Now Chen claimed the embassy had lobbied him to leave and says he hadn't been aware that he and his family were actually in danger. And now he's pleading for American help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHEN GUANGCHENG, CHINESE DISSIDENT (through translator): I would like to say to President Obama please do everything you can to get our whole family out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Now all of this is playing out as the U.S. and China hold high level talks. Stan Grant and Jill Dougherty are following developments in Beijing. Let's bring in Stan Grant first. And Stan, you spoke with the U.S. ambassador to China a short time ago. What did he tell you?

STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, you know, he's really the man in the storm here because Chen Guangcheng of course now saying that he did not have all the information he needed to make that decision. He regrets leaving the embassy. And he said that he feels let down by the U.S. embassy officials. In fact, he feels deserted.

He said they took him to the hospital and they left him there, that no one has been staying with him. And now he is in fear with his life.

I put those questions directly to Ambassador Locke, the question in particular did you let Chen Guangcheng down?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY LOCKE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: Let me just say that when he first came in, we took extraordinary steps to retrieve him. We found out that he had escaped, was in Beijing, wanted to talk to us. We undertook almost like a mission impossible retrieval to bring him into the embassy. And it was very, very clear all along he wanted to be reunified with his family. He wanted to stay in China to be a freedom fighter, did not want to go to the United States.

GRANT: This was a man who fled house arrest, put his life at risk, who said he'd been brutalized and terrorized for years. Was he in any fit state of mind to make a decision like that that he wanted to stay, or wanted to leave?

LOCKE: Well, he certainly had those options. And we have to respect his desires and his wishes and his free will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRANT: Yeah, now you're hearing -- expressing there that Chen Guangcheng, it was his own free will he wanted to leave. But between leaving the embassy, getting to the hospital, hearing the story from his wife about how she'd been treated in the past few days and then speaking to us at 3:00 am on Thursday morning it completely changed his story.

Now he wants to get out of the country. He wants to go to the U.S. I also put that to the ambassador and he said, look, they can't make promises that they can't keep. But he wants to be able to keep the door open and to keep talking to see what their options may be. But right now, Chen Guangcheng is in that hospital, a Chinese citizen in a Chinese hospital under Chinese law -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, he's changed his options. He has changed his position entirely. And of course Beijing comes into play here. What is China thinking right now? And is China willing to further negotiate what happens next for Chen Guangcheng?

GRANT: That's a really crucial question isn't it? Because China is still demanding an apology from the United States saying the U.S. needs to apologize for harboring Chen Guangcheng in the embassy and the people who facilitated that need to be punished. China -- as far as China is concerned, they have a deal. They had a deal worked out with the U.S. They said that they were going to allow Chen to live freely and safely. They would allow him to go to university. And Chen Guangcheng is now the one saying he doesn't want to stay.

Of course, in the meantime, Chen says other officials in the Chinese government are saying that they are making threats towards his family.

So this is where the story becomes very, very complicated. All we do know is that Chen has changed his mind and wants to go.

But Jill this brings the U.S. into play here, what can the U.S. do now that he's outside the embassy?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first thing I think that the U.S. has to do is to define what Mr. Chen wants. That's number one, because he has changed his mind. He could change his mind back again. So they have to be very sure at this point what does he want?

Then, if that is a decision as he seems to be indicating that he wants to leave and go to the United States. Then there are certain steps. He has to have a passport. He would have to get to U.S. soil. And U.S. soil is the U.S. embassy, technically speaking.

So he would have to get to the embassy. And that point, U.S. officials now are saying we will try to help him with what he wants to do, but they need that definition. So they are on the phone. They have been talking to him and they have actually physically met with his wife and tried to determine what they want.

But obviously, Kristie and Stan, it's very, very delicate. And you have this other drama playing out with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at these meetings today. Very, very important meetings on the strategic and economic relationship between the United States and China and that is paramount as well.

LU STOUT: Yeah, Jill, as I said a very delicate situation indeed. U.S. officials saying that they do want to help Chen Guangcheng, but without antagonizing Beijing here.

Stan Grant and Jill Dougherty joining us live from Beijing. A big thank you to you both.

Now on Thursday, Hillary Clinton again stressed the importance of human rights during a speech with Chinese officials. Now she did not specifically mention Chen whose situation is being compared to the case of Fang Lizhi, a prominent Chinese dissident who died just last month.

Now here, he past away in the U.S. state of Arizona. And Fang, he was granted asylum by the U.S. in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. And for all their similarities there is one crucial difference between Fang and Chen, and that is they're careers.

Now one China expert told CNN that Chen has a lot to consider if he is to make the move to the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PROF. PERRY LINK, PRICETON UNIVERSITY: Fang Lizhi was an eminent astrophysicist, so his skills were portable, as it were. So for him to go to the west, which he eventually did, wouldn't hurt his astrophysics career at all. In fact, he flourished at the University of Arizona.

Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese lawyer, a self-made lawyer. His career, his roots are all in China. So for him to leave, which apparently now he's leaning towards doing, means he completely abandons his career, loses his reason for living until now -- he's 40-years-old. So it's much tougher for him to do. And that's why originally he was saying he doesn't want to leave China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Perry Link speaking to CNN.

Now in France, sparks fly in a fiery presidential debate and just days before the nation goes to the polls in the run-off election. We are live in Paris with more.

And a glimpse into the mind of al Qaeda's former leader. The U.S. prepares to release documents seized in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.

And a bizarre death that has gripped a nation. New details in the death of a British spy whose naked body was found locked in a duffel bag.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Live from the glitter in Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

And it was a heated debate on Wednesday between French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his rival Francois Hollande. Now the French president accused challenger Hollande of being a liar. And Hollande attacked Mr. Sarkozy's record in office.

Now it was the one and only chance the two men had to debate the issues face-to-face before the election. And Jim Bittermann, he's in Paris. He joins us now with the details. And Jim, ahead of this debate, there was a lot of pressure on Mr. Sarkozy to deliver a clear victory. Did he do it?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not really, I don't think. What the commentators are saying this morning, Kristie, is that in fact there were no winners in this debate but there was a loser because Sarkozy had to win and he didn't, according to the commentators this morning.

Basically he held his own, as did Mr. Hollande. Hollande showed a great mastery of the various (inaudible) various issues that are confronting France. And I think that surprises people that Hollande was as able to hold his own as he did.

It was quite heated, as you mentioned earlier. Just to give you an idea of some of the back and forth between the two -- one of the things that Mr. Sarkozy said about Hollande. He said, in your wish to demonstrate the un-demonstrable you lie. He said you're nothing but a small, little slanderer.

And getting back at Mr. Sarkozy, Hollande said, Mr. Sarkozy you have a difficult time passing yourself off as a victim, as a lamb just born. And he said with you it's always very simple, it's never your fault. So it was quite heated between these two men. And you could get a sense of a real animosity, real personal animosity between the two of them.

But despite the fireworks, did it change anything? Well, we went out on the streets to talk to people and apparently in what we heard, it did not.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They both stood their ground. I didn't hear anything new. And I don't have a feeling that it did much for those who are still making up their minds about Sunday's vote. I'm definitely not in that situation, I've already made my choice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To me, they were basically the same. They both have their tactics and their own manner of speaking. But I had already made my mind up before it even started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was nothing extraordinary. I thought Hollande defended himself well during the part I was watching and that's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Regarding the part on the economy, I didn't think it was very interesting, because it wasn't really a debate with much depth. I had the impression that both of them were lying, so it's difficult to decide. I don't think there was a real winner in the debate. And I don't think it's changed much for those who are still undecided.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BITTERMANN: So about 18 million people saw the debate last night, somewhat less than what was expected. Whether it changed any opinions according to the people on the street apparently not. And that means if the opinion polls are right that in fact Sarkozy will have his work cut out for him on Sunday when the voters go to the polls -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now, just curious, did either candidate during this presidential debate, did they speak to the far right voters, National Front supporters to appeal to their support?

BITTERMANN: Absolutely. At the very end, Mr. Sarkozy made a very direct appeal to the National Front voters, in fact said he was appealing to them to vote for him. And that was in itself was a little bit unusual to make such a blatant play like that. And it was particularly in contrast to what Mr. Hollande did at the very end. And the end he made a very presidential and kind of optimistic statement. And there was Sarkozy trying to scramble for votes.

So, it wasn't very balanced there at the end. And I think that was quite apparent to a lot of people who are watching, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now the economy must loom large in the debate. How did Sarkozy defend his economic record? And how did Hollande attack it?

BITTERMANN: Well, all can attack it pretty easily, because in fact the unemployment has risen quite sharply here in France and the buying power has decreased.

Sarkozy defends it, basically, by comparison. He says, look, you look around Europe you'll see that in fact France is not as bad off as Spain, for example, where the unemployment is about two-and-a-half times as high as it is here in France. And he says look at the other countries around, look at how badly they've done. France is the only country that hasn't gone into recession. And so he has some grounds for argument there.

But it may not be enough for the French people. They don't like to sort of see themselves necessarily being compared to others and saying look you've got it better off than they do. I think they'd like to have just feel like they have it better off in general and that they're buying power and that the unemployment were not as bad as it is right now, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Jim Bittermann live in Paris. Thank you, Jim.

Now Londoners are heading to the polls today to pick their next mayor. Incumbent Boris Johnson stands against former mayor of London Ken Livingstone. Now whoever wins will have quite a year. London is hosting the summer Olympics and the queen's jubilee.

And there are new developments, meanwhile, in a mystery that has captivated Britain for nearly two years since the death of British spy Gareth Williams. His naked body was found stuffed in a duffel bag inside a bath tube in 2010. And now the coroner has issued a ruling. But as Atika Schubert reports, a lot of questions remain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How did Gareth Williams, British spy and code breaker, go from this last video taken in August 2010 to this: his naked body found a week after that video was shot, curled up into a padlocked duffel bag and placed in his own bath tube. The key inside the bag under the body.

After more than a year of police work and three postmortems, a British coroner on Wednesday was finally able to deliver a verdict, but very few answers.

Cause of death: asphyxiation or poisoning, likely overcome by carbon dioxide within minutes of being locked in. But did he lock himself into the bag, or was there someone else with him?

This video proved key. An expert on escaping from confined spaces, attempted to lock himself into the same type of bag. And it showed that Williams, small, slim and athletic, could have folded himself into the bag, but not without leaving hand and footprints everywhere: none were found at the scene.

And the bag was uniquely locked, virtually impossible to do from the inside. Most likely, said the coroner, quote, "a third party placed the bag in the bath and locked it."

But his body had no signs of injury or distress. And his immaculate apartment, clothes neatly folded on the bed, showed no sign of forced entry and no evidence of anyone other than Williams had been in the apartment. Nonetheless, the coroner ruled Gareth Williams' death was, quote, "unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated."

The coroner could find no evidence of a connection between his death and his work for the British secret service, MI6, but she criticized his employers for failing to report his disappearance for a week and holding on to important evidence for months, including nine memory sticks of data.

It has been especially difficult for Williams' family. Their lawyer read this statement after the verdict.

ROBYN WILLIAMS, FAMILY SOLICITOR: Our grief is exacerbated by the failure of his employers at MI6 to take in the most basic inquiries as to his whereabouts and welfare.

SCHUBERT: The detective on the case says the investigation will continue.

JACKIE SEBIRE, DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR: I urge anyone who knows Gareth, who had contact with him, to search their conscience and come forward with any information about what happened that night.

SCHUBERT: Both coroner and detective agree someone out there knows what happened to Gareth Williams.

Atika Schubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now recently, cell phone video of a gang rape in South Africa brought attention to a terrible problem there: the exploding number of sexual assaults. And now we're hearing about another case.

Nkepile Mabuse has the disturbing details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Like most of rural South Africa, (inaudible) is a beautiful place. But last Monday, its lush green hills hid a terrible crime.

While walking home from school, this woman's eight-year-old granddaughter was dragged into the sugar cane field, raped, strangled, her eyes were partially gouged out. She was found along this path trying to feel her way back home. Her attacker, a 15-year-old neighbor who goes to the same school and church as his victim.

Because they're both underage, we cannot identified them or their family members. The victim's granny tells me the child's face was so badly mutilated she didn't recognize her at first.

"Granny, it's me, she shouted. A boy dragged me and raped me, she said. What happened to your eyes, I asked? He tried to take them out with his hands."

The girl was rushed to hospital. One eye was saved, but the other is permanently blind.

The boy's grandmother called the police. They've charged him with rape and attempted murder. She says that earlier on the same day the boy attempted to rape another girl at school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I was very angry. I don't know where he learned to hurt other children.

MABUSE: The two attacks happened about an hour apart.

It's been extremely difficult to try and piece together what could have driven this teenager to commit such a horrific crime. The school refused to speak to us. And the grandmother says besides steal a couple of things, the boy wasn't really troublesome. But the department of education has received reports that he was teased by some of his classmates who accused him of being gay.

JOAN VAN NIEKERK, CHILDLINE NATIONAL COORDINATOR: The factors that produce this kind of behavior are multiple.

MABUSE: Joan Van Niekerk is one of South Africa's most prominent child rights activists. She says the country's violent past and the fact that most young boys here grow up without fathers are some of the factors partly to blame.

VAN NIEKERK: So where you have a child who is growing up without a parenting figure with whom they identify, they lose out on this very, very important teaching of social norms, consideration for others, empathy, understanding how if I do something bad to another person that must feel for them.

In 2009, a U.S. government report estimated that more than a third of child sexual offenses there were committed by other children. In South Africa, that figure is over 40 percent.

Research shows that with good treatment programs, juvenile sex offenders have a better chance to be rehabilitated. But for victims and their families, the pain can be everlasting.

Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Kazulunatal (ph).

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: A sickening story, the details just horrifying.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up next, the NFL is mourning the death of one of its own. And some are asking whether the game that Junior Seau loved and played so well may have contributed in some way to his death. We'll explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: You're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now in the U.S. the sports world is in shock over the death of NFL great Junior Seau. The 43-year-old father of three was found dead at his California home on Wednesday. And police say he apparently shot himself in the chest.

Now fans left flowers at his home and gathered to remember the former NFL linebacker. A native of San Diego Seau spent a large part of his career in his hometown with the San Diego Charges and is remembered for leading the team to their only Super Bowl appearance.

But off the field there have been at least one troubling incident in 2010 when he drove his car off a cliff after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He told authorities he was asleep at the wheel.

Now it is not clear if Seau might have suffered any kind of brain trauma from his years taking bone shaking hits as an NFL linebacker, but his death is raising new concerns about the potential concussions and resulting brain injuries that some football players may suffer in the rough and tumble game.

Now CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more now on the search for answers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Now we don't know for sure if Junior Seau has what a lot of people are talking about -- CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And it's tough to talk about, but the only way to really know for sure is to examine someone's brain after someone has died. And that's when they know for sure if in fact this dementia-like symptoms, this dementia-like syndrome affected Junior Seau.

But there's a lot of similarities between him and a player named Dave Duerson. You may remember last year Dave Duerson also shot himself in the chest as did Junior, and this is again an unusual thing to do. In Duerson's case he left a note saying he wanted his brain examined for evidence of CTE. That examination revealed that Duerson in fact did have chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

This dementia-like disease is characterized by people having memory problems, cognitive problems, depression, anger issues. And you know we're seeing this more and more. In fact, I visited a lab in Boston where they examine brains for chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the numbers are quite striking. 18 out of 19 NFL players who had their brains examined there after their death showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, 18 out of 19. And the youngest brain overall where this was seen in a high school football player was 17-years-old. So this process does seem to start quite early in life.

Now today, there's in fact a lawsuit being filed against the NFL on behalf of 114 former NFL players, specifically regarding this issue of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Lots of details still coming in about Junior Seau, tragic, tragic case. As more details come to us, we'll bring them to you.

Back to you for now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now Eric LeGrande dreamed of making it one day to the NFL. And that dream may have seemed impossible after he was partially paralyzed in a college football game two years ago. But LeGrande's former college coach is helping make that dream a reality. He is now coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And this week the team signed LeGrande to its offseason roster.

Now the contract is symbolic. It does not include any money. And LeGrande is used to defying expectations. I'm told that he would never walk again. He has stood with the help of a metal frame. And he vows that he will walk one day.

Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM, a new window on the last days of Osama bin Laden's life. Some of his personal documents are going online today and we'll give you a preview just ahead.

And trouble at sea, what the Philippines government is doing to safeguard its seafaring citizens from piracy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has told CNN he wants the United States to grant him asylum. Now Chen left the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Wednesday the same day U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the Chinese capital for high level talks. And while U.S. officials say that Chen left their protection voluntarily, Chen claims he hadn't been aware that he and his family are in danger.

Now French President Nicolas Sarkozy sparred with frontrunner Francois Hollande on TV on Wednesday in the only debate ahead of Sunday's crucial second round vote. Sarkozy called his Socialist challenger a liar, but Hollande shot back and accused his rival of making partisan appointments.

Doctors in Cairo say the death toll from Wednesday clashes has reached 22. At least 150 people were injured. Witnesses say armed men attacked demonstrators who were protesting the disqualification of a presidential candidate. Now Egypt's state news agency says protesters have now started a peaceful sit-in at the site.

Now one year ago this week, U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan killing the al Qaeda leader and seizing thousands of documents. Now U.S. officials say it is the single largest collection of such material ever obtained. And now some of those papers are being posted on the web.

Now 17 of the documents are to be released in the original Arabic along with English translations. And you be able to find them online on the website of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in about half an hour from now.

Now with more on what they're likely to reveal, Nic Robertson joins us now live from London. And Nic, what is the material likely to reveal about bin Laden himself?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to reveal a man who was trying to control and run this organization al Qaeda that he started in 1998 and how he was trying to do that from the isolation of a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There are exchanges of letters that are there. And some of them indicate differences with his commanders. He's trying to micromanage in cases from example where he's trying to tell al Qaeda in the North of Africa they should plant trees so that they can be hidden from aerial surveillance. The real concerns about al Qaeda's operatives close to the border with Afghanistan inside Pakistan, telling them perhaps they need to move from there inside Afghanistan where they will be hidden from U.S. drone attacks and satellite coverage in the mountains being able to sort of be out of sight underneath trees.

So some of it is very, very detailed. But what's going to emerge from this is an hour we will be able to draw some limited analysis of bin Laden's state of mind and his relationship with his sort of al Qaeda deputy and affiliated commanders.

But of course this is only a small picture. This is 17 of what is believed to be about 6,000 documents that were pulled out of that house a year ago.

LU STOUT: These documents will depict bin Laden as a micromanager as you mentioned, also as a delusional leader. I understand that they will show bin Laden's concern about his media image and about the al Qaeda brand, this according to CNN's Peter Bergen who had early access to the documents.

Could you tell us more about that.

ROBERTSON: Yes, it's very interesting. You see bin Laden telling his deputies that the image in the media is an important one. And Iraq seems to be one place where they've drawn a lot of conclusions from. Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Zarqawi, was very, very brutal. And even at the time, intercepted letters back in the 2006 indicated that al Qaeda was concerned about what Zarqawi was doing. And here bin Laden now to the Shabaab in Somalia, telling them that shouldn't join al Qaeda's brand name because it will make them more enemies, it will make perhaps harder for them to get funding.

But also he tells Shabaab in Somalia not to attack the tribes there.

Now this was a direct lesson learned from al Qaeda in Iraq. And bin Laden is trying to pass that on to others, because of course in Iraq when Zarqawi targeted the tribes in Al Anbar province, eventually they united and turned against him. And bin Laden clearly identifies this as a weakness.

There's also indications in letters saying that al Qaeda didn't ever sanction in al Qaeda in Iraq's attack on Christians. That that has back- fired on al Qaeda's image, that President Obama has been able to use that against al Qaeda.

So it's this sort of CEO figure, if you will, isolated in a house trying to give advice, but not always being listened too, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Compelling and very significant find of a senior terrorist. And of course it's all going to be released in about 25 minutes from now.

Nic Robertson joining us live with a preview. Thank you very much for that.

Now this week, U.S. President Obama, he declared that the defeat of al Qaeda is within reach. Now was that overly optimistic, or is the terror group on its last legs? Reza Sayah reports from Pakistan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today, the compound where Osama bin Laden used to hide from authorities is a patch of dirt and rubble Pakistani kids use as a playground. One year after the raid on the compound, U.S. and Pakistani analysts and government officials much of the core group of al Qaeda lay in ruins as well.

Hamid Mir is one of the few journalists who interviewed bin Laden before and after 9/11.

What is the state of al Qaeda in Pakistan today?

HAMID MIR, INTERVIEWER OF BIN LADEN: Al Qaeda is weak after the death of Osama bin Laden.

SAYAH: Have you seen any evidence that al Qaeda is plotting and planning an attack against the U.S., a legitimate plan to attack the U.S., have you seen any evidence of that?

MIR: No. I have not seen any evidence after 9/11.

SAYAH: Analysts suspect al Qaeda's current leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, and several other operatives could still be hiding in Pakistan. But they say what mostly remains is al Qaeda as an ideology against the U.S. government and its policy in the region.

A poll by the Pew Research Center completed this month shows even the ideology is losing support here. The poll shows 13 percent of Muslims in Pakistan have a favorable view of al Qaeda, 55 percent have an unfavorable view, and about a third offered no opinion.

Despite al Qaeda's apparent decline in Pakistan, the region is still plagued by Islamist militants motivated by different factors, according to Mir.

What inspires al Qaeda operatives, militants, in this region today?

MIR: The majority of the people in this region, they consider the U.S. troops as the occupational forces. And then the incidents like the desecration of the Holy Koran, the killing of the innocent women and children in Afghanistan -- majority of them, more than 95 percent militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they just want the ouster of the foreign forces from Afghanistan that's it.

SAYAH: They don't necessarily want to attack the U.S.

MIR: They don't want to go to the United States and organize attack on the United States, because they are not capable of doing that.

SAYAH: And that's perhaps the most complicated dilemma for Washington when it comes to the fighting against extremism in this region. The mere presence of U.S. forces seems to serve as the main motivating factor for Islamist militants. Washington has made it clear, for now, leaving immediately is not an option.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now still to come on NEWS STREAM, how Philippines shipping crews are learning to deal with pirates on the open seas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now in the Philippines, the government is taking new steps to protect the many Filipinos who make their living at sea, because as Kyung Lah found out many often -- they put their lives at great risk in pursuit of a better life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so happy I'm still alive.

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDNET: Antonio Plaza Arosco (ph) cries just thinking about being one of these men.

Freed hostages returning home after being held at sea. Arsoco (ph) was working as a senior crewman after the coast of West Africa last year aboard this ship. Pirates cut through the barbed-wire. On the deck, they beat them bloody with their AK-47s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will cut your neck and I will throw you overboard.

LAH: Did you think he was going to kill you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. There were crazy. Crazy. Very crazy.

LAH: An 11 day ordeal that found Arsoco (ph) negotiating for his life and the life of his crew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I make friends with them. And I told them please, my friend, my brother, my brother, don't kill us.

LAH: Befriending a pirate, something he learned in this anti-piracy class, a government mandated course for these Filipinos who work at sea, because so many of them are at risk of becoming hostages.

One-third of all seafarers, the people who work on international waters, are Filipino. The reason why, the money. In just one month, they can earn $1,500, an unimaginable income in a country where 40 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day.

There is no other option, say Ray Domingo Nuvall (ph) who was held hostage with Arsoco (ph).

Why would you even consider going back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I have to. I have to support my family so I have to go back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one son still in school. I am the one who send him to school. That's why I sacrifice.

LAH: It's an unfair sacrifice, says the country's second biggest seafarer's union. The government anti-piracy training is something, but...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that it's not the solution.

LAH: The union says what's really needed is more than exercises in class through simulations. It would like a naval escort or private armed security on board, both options the government says its weighing. What's not an option is stopping the work of the seafarers, something on which all sides, even these former hostages agree.

Arsoco (ph) and the rest of the crew are alive, because the pirates simply decided to take the cargo and go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's life.

LAH: A dangerous life that Arsoco (ph) will continue when he returns to the job this week joining hundreds of thousands of Filipinos already at sea.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Manila.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now risking so much just to make a living.

There are reports of heavy rain, meanwhile, in Japan. Mari Ramos has the latest on that from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, quite a bit of rain. There are some warnings extending from just north of Tokyo all the way up the coast of Honshu because of this heavy rainfall.

Let's go ahead and look at the pictures first of all. Now, Tokyo has a pretty good drainage system, so to see a lot of standing water is a little bit unusual. In some cases we've had almost a month's worth of rain happen just in the last few days across these areas. Look at the torrents of water that are just gushing down.

One of the things, no matter how good your flood control system is, which is very good like I said in this part of the world, when you have a lot of mountains there's always the risk for landslides. And that is one of the things that is in the warning across these areas.

These pictures that you are looking at here are actually from China. And across parts of China there have been some pretty strong storms as well. These have been with howling winds over 100 kilometers per hour at times since Saturday. So there's downed trees, downed power lines, and of course many homes that have been damaged.

Come back over to the weather map, there you see the damage to the homes, pretty serious damage as you can see.

Let's go back over here to Japan. Some of these rainfall totals are really impressive. In Tokyo, over 130 millimeters of rain. Oshima over 230 millimeters of rain. So you can see how the heaviest downpours have been here across central parts of Honshu along the east coast as this area of low pressure continues to list to the east.

Now we're going to see those warnings extended across this area I think at least through the overnight tonight with an improvement through tomorrow as this system starts to slowly move away. Already in Tokyo we're starting to see drier weather. Still can't see the stars, but at least a little drier and the clouds should be clearing by tomorrow morning.

Scattered rain showers also across China, some strong thunder storms popping up here as we head across the south. And some beneficial rain falling here across Southeast Asia. This rain, it can really make a difference.

Take a look at these pictures from Thailand, the drought here is pretty significant. You're looking at areas that should be green this time of year, but crops are suffering quite a bit.

Kristie, it's hard to imagine that some of these areas -- that entire province for example -- Nautaya Province (ph) and even in Bangkok proper are so dry considering they were in what, a meter, two, maybe three meters of water just six months ago? Remember that extensive flooding that we had across Southeast Asia in Thailand in particular. Now they're having to bring water in to communities. Over 200,000 people have been affected. They have to bring water in because the river levels are so dry, including the Chapraya (ph) River which is pretty spectacular to think it's at some of its lowest levels that it has been in quite a long time.

So the temperatures still quite hot. And those thunder storms we just saw on the satellite map pretty impressive.

This is in Hyderabad in India. Also here we're dealing with very dry conditions. This farmer tending to his animals there, this is a reservoir and it's completely dry. And this is kind of a sign of the times here as we wait for the rain to finally get going here. So we're looking at some pretty hot conditions through this area -- 37 in New Delhi. This is, by the way, the hottest time of the year in this part of the world until we begin to see the monsoon rains finally pop up.

And speaking of strong storms and even some intense heat, we've had some pretty strong weather systems coming in across this western half of Europe. Now we're starting to see them come up back over toward Germany and even through Poland. This is a change in weather that's coming in to you. As we head through the next few days you're really going to notice the temperatures coming down. And Berlin, the high only about 9 degrees compared to what, 26 that we had just a couple of days ago. So big change your way.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast.

Very quickly, once again, you can see how this big area of high pressure here breaks down. Temperatures cooler. I know you've been waiting for this for the Czech Republic and Austria and Poland and even back over here toward Ukraine and Romania, finally starting to see temperatures a little bit closer to seasonal.

Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: All right, good news. Mari Ramos, thank you.

And coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, we've got the case of the very tan mother. Now some say she went too far when it came to her own daughter. And she says they've got it all wrong. We've got the dark details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now football tops the sports headlines. And there were league champions crowned in Spain and The Netherlands. Pedro Pinto joins us. He's got all the details -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, I do indeed.

Let's start in Spain where Real Madrid won their first league title in four years. Los Blancos needed an away win against Atletico Bilbao on Wednesday night and they got it. Even though Christiano Ronaldo missed an early penalty, Real still got first half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil to take control of the contest at San Manes (ph). Ronaldo did get on the score sheet later, and I think his 44th league goal of the season. Real winning 3-0 on the night, clinching the title with two games to go.

Jose Mourinho joins an elite group of managers who have won league titles in four different countries. And here we can see a roll call of his positions over the last nine years and it's pretty incredible. He won titles with Porto in Portugal, Chelsea in the Premier League in England, Inter in the Serie A, and now Real in Spain.

You can see here the lowest he has ever finished in that span in second. He won seven league titles in nine years. His lowest finishing position is second. An incredible run, no doubt about it, for Mourinho who also won the Champion's League twice and picked up a lot of other cups along the way as well.

Now another headline coming out of Spain on Wednesday was Lionel Messi, Barcelona had their title winning streak come to an end, but the Argentine was just on fine form once again. On Wednesday he set a new record for goals scored in a season. He scored a hat trick against Malaga, bringing his grand total to 68 in all competitions.

Barcelona beat Malaga 4-1 at the Camp Nou. The Argentine forward was once again the star attraction.

And we're really running out of superlatives to describe Lionel Messi. He has yet another record to his name. What's notable isn't just who he surpassed for the goal scoring record in one season, but the era in which he has done it.

Let's have a quick look back at some of the other players who have the records before. Messi now with 68 goals in the season as I told you just a minute ago. We have Gerd Muller, the Germany striker. He had 67 goals back in 1972/1973. Pele when he was a Santos in Brazil, he scored 66 goals in one season back in 1958. The English record here in the Championship in England belongs to Dixie Dean all the way back in the 1927/28 season.

So you have to see that all these other records were set in times when football was a lot more offensive and Messi may have played less games -- may have played more games now, but it was against a lot more defensive teams and at a time when it's a lot harder to score.

Well, just like in Spain, the title race over in Holland has come to an end. For the 31st time Ajax Amsterdam are champions of The Netherlands. They clinched the title thanks to their 12th straight win in the Eredivisie. Their victory over Venlo on Wednesday night to give them enough points to guarantee their second straight championship. Siem de Jong was the star who scored two goals, the second of which here in the 58th minute.

Now back in February Ajax were eight points behind the leaders, but they managed to overtake all of their rivals and lift the trophy once again with a 2-0 win on the night.

That's our sports update for this hour dominated by football headlines, of course. Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now a woman in New Jersey admits that she loves to tan. No confession needed. And you can probably tell that just by looking at her.

Jeanne Moos reports the bigger mystery is whether the woman took her little girl inside the tanning booth with her.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In court she pleaded not guilty to endangering her child by taking her into a tanning booth.

PATRICIA KRENTCIL: I'm innocent.

MOOS: But what she's not innocent of is torturing her own skin with that flabbergasting tan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That lady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.

WOOPI GOLDBERG, THE VIEW: That's the mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's 44, or 84?

GOLDBERG: She's 44. And she's burned up.

MOOS: Talk about tan lines. That's a tan that crosses the line, sort of like this.

Though her shade changes from interview.

KRENTCIL: I've been tanning my whole life.

MOOS: To interview.

KRENTCIL: Mommy tans.

MOOS: Maybe because of the lighting?

KRENTCIL: She's my little girl. I mean, that's not normal.

MOOS: All of those interviews make her mug shot look normal.

44-year-old Patricia Krentcil of Nutley, New Jersey was arrested after her daughter showed up at school with a sun burn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did you get a sun tan?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

MOOS: Anna told the school nurse she got it going tanning with mommy. And the school called child services.

Mommy says Anna got some sun playing outside.

KRENTCIL: She's six-years-old, yes. She does go tanning with mommy, but not in the booth.

MOOS: When she showed up for court with her pale-faced attorney the whites of her eyes stood out as she rolled them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would never, ever allow her child to go inside a tanning bed.

MOOS: And though she stated her case convincingly that this is all a misunderstanding at her daughter's school, it's hard to look past her skin tone.

Early onset mummification, said one poster. Another said she resembled an oompaloompa from Willy Wonka. Or Magda in there's Something About Marry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, doll, you're in my light.

MOOS: Patricia Krentcil seems like a perfect candidate for way too tan, a blog that collects those who have fried themselves to a crisp.

But there's nothing funny about skin cancer and the word tanorexic (ph) kept coming up.

Some researchers say people may get addicted to UV rays, that UV rays produce endorphins, those feel good chemicals.

But this mom is not feeling so good now.

KRENTCIL: I'm a wonderful mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much do you love your daughter?

KRENTCIL: I would die right now for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patricia, are you excessively tanning yourself, though.

KRENTCIL: yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You admit that, OK.

MOOS: No shades of gray in that answer. She prefers shades of brown.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Not a good look.

And that is NEWS STREAM. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.

END