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Churchill Downs Murder Victim`s Son Speaks Out; President Obama Announces Support for Same-Sex Marriage; Dozens Killed in Damascus; Russian Passenger Plane Crashes in Southern Jakarta; Legendary Hair Stylist Vidal Sassoon Dies at Age 84

Aired May 10, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST, CNN NEWS STREAM: Welcome to NEWS STREAM. I`m Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Now, he says it should be legal. Barack Obama becomes the first U.S. President to publicly endorse same-sex marriage.

Plus the wreckage of a Russian Jet has been spotted on an Indonesian volcano but no survivors have been found.

And deadly explosions in Damascus. The Syrian government once again blames the violence on terrorist.

And now to a change of heart at the White House. Where U.S. President Barack Obama is taking a public stand that no other U.S. President has ever taken.

He says he now supports same-sex marriage. Mr. Obama tells "Abc News" the decision is a personal one.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the course of several years, as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed in magnanimous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together.

When I think about those soldiers or air member marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf, and yet feel constrained even now that "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" is gone, because they`re not able to commit themselves in a marriage.


STOUT: As you can see there, the President has done a lot of soul searching on the issue. And well, he once opposed same-sex marriage. He later said his views on the subject were evolving.

Dan Lothian takes a look at what prompted Mr. Obama to make his statement now.


OBAMA: For me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think the same-sex couples should be able to get married.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): President Obama made the announcement Wednesday in an interview with "Abc News." Becoming the first sitting U.S. President to publicly support same-sex marriage.

His remarks come on the hills of North Carolina passing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. And Vice President Biden`s public support on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women all entitled the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberty.

LOTHIAN: Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney reiterated his long standing position on the issue after the President`s interview.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that`s it. That`s my own preference.

LOTHIAN: Mr. Obama once opposed same-sex marriage. But says his stands on the issue evolved after conversations with the first lady, his daughters and friends.

OBAMA: I`ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally.

LOTHIAN: In 1996, then Illinois senate candidate Barack Obama supported marriages for same-sex couples. In a questionnaire for a gay news paper, he responded "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."

By 2004, the political climate was demanding clarity in a debate Obama clarified.

OBAMA: I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

LOTHIAN: That was before this, his 2004 convention`s speech.

OBAMA: We coach little league in the blue states and yes we got some gay friends in the red states.

LOTHIAN: And then once in the White House.

OBAMA: My feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. Everyone ought to be treated equally and everybody deserves to be able to live and love as they see fit.

LOTHIAN: With the nation split on the issue of same-sex marriage, the President called his endorsement, one of personal conviction. With less than six months before the election, a decision flaunt(ph) with political implications.

Dan Lothian, CNN, the White House.


STOUT: But the issue with same-sex marriage is determined at the state level. Now these 36 states in grey have all defined marriages being between a man and a woman.

Several(ph) of them have put that wedding(ph) in their constitution.

And only six days, and the District of Colombia also hear in orange currently allow same-sex marriage.

Now it is as we all know an election year. Joining me now to discuss the potential impact, Mr. Obama`s announcement could have on the race, a CNN`s political editor, Paul Steinhauser, he joins me now, live from CNN Washington.

And Paul, how will Obama support for gay marriage affect him politically?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: It could help him and hurt him. It could help him obviously with gay and lesbians supporters here in the United States.

Many of them Democrats who were upset that the President hadn`t taken that step and gone all the way in advocating legality for same-sex marriage. So it can help him there.

It can hurt him with other parts of his base. Such as African American voters, Latino or Hispanic voters who -- some of whom because of religious beliefs are not at all in favor of same-sex marriage.

And may now not vote for him. So I guess you`ve called a split decision when it comes to the President`s supporters. Kristie.

STOUT: And give us the pause of the nation, how divisive is the issue of same-sex marriage in America?

STEINHAUSER: The nation seems to be divided -- a slight majority in favor of this. Take a look at this. This is poll from Gallup, the national survey here in the United States, it was just the other day and 50 percent favor, 48 percent disapprove of making gay marriage or same-sex marriage legal.

Now that is very different than what was done 15 years ago, when a vast majority were against legalizing same-sex marriage. Other polls out in the last couple of months have a little high majority for approval of same sex marriage.

Take a look at this, where does the issues stand on the minds of voters in America? CNN ORC national poll indicates the economy by far is the top issue.

You got to keep going down that list all the way to the bottom to see where issues about same-sex marriage are. And right there, you can see a 2 percent.

So no, it is not a top issue on the minds of Americans, it may be for the next week or two because of the news from the President. But in this country, it`s all about the economy, the economy, the economy. Kristie.

STOUT: And how is Obama`s Republican rival taking it all in? Mitt Romney, what is his reaction to Obama`s support for same-sex marriage?

STEINHAUSER: Well you saw that piece just now from Dan Lothian, our White House Correspondent and Mitt Romney standing firm on his support against gay, same-sex marriage.

He is not a believer in same-sex marriage. He`s not even a believer or supporter of civil unions if that will lead to basically marriage. He reiterated that stand on the campaign trail on Wednesday, where he was asked about it a number of times.

This actually may help Mitt Romney now with some of his base in the Republican party. Social conservatives are a big player in the Republican party base and now they may more firmly embrace Mitt Romney because of the decision by the President to support legalizing gay -- same-sex marriage. Kristie.

STOUT: All right, Paul Steinhauser, thanks as always.

Washington`s Director of National Intelligence is trying to find the leak. Now, James Clapper, has ordered an internal review of all 16 Intel agencies he oversees.

To find out if any employee leaked since the information about the lots of bomb U.S. found plane. This week it was revealed a saggy mode infiltrated.

An al Qaeda affiliate of Yemen forwarding that bomb blast. While U.S. officials investigate the leak, the success of the secret operation is undisputed. Jonathan Mann explains, al Qaeda may have fallen into the same trap it and others have used against the CIA in the past.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The CIA has endured its share of double agents. The most infamous may have been Aldrich Ames, accountant intelligence officer whose spy for the soviet union in the `80s and `90s.

Ames reveal the identities of dozens of spies before he was discovered, convicted and jailed. But the deadliest case involving al Qaeda was a double agent trusted enough to be invited into a secret meeting at a CIA Ford operating base in coast Afghanistan.

He set off explosives strap to his body and killed seven CIA officials and injured Damian Spine. An entire team of a lead agents disappeared in a single suicide blast.

Now al Qaeda would be suicide bomber for a mission against the U.S. airline is revealed to have been a more working for Saudi Arabia. In a way, al Qaeda`s double agent plot against the CIA doubles back against al Qaeda.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: This is a particular poignant victory for the CIA I must say. Remember it was the coast bombing where they were -- where there was a double agent used against them.

So the notion of having a success of a double agent against al Qaeda is a particularly satisfying victory for them.

MANN: Ironically, the more depended on his identity staying secret to succeed against al Qaeda. Having succeeded that secret is gone(ph), his days of double duty are over.

Jonathan Mann, CNN reporting.


STOUT: Earlier today, the U.S. launched a droned strike in southern Yemen. A security official says eight senior militants from the Ansar Al Sharif network were killed.

This al Qaeda off shoot helped seized Abyan province last year during the political stalemate in Yemen.

You`re watching NEWS STREAM live from Hong Kong and still to come, the aftermath of deadly bombings in Syria`s capital. Dozens are dead.

Exploring the world of politicians and the press, the inquiry into British press as they set its sights on 10 Downing street, as David Cameron`s former spokesman testifies.

And a body is found but still no survivors. The latest on the search for victims of a plane that went down in Indonesia.


STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you`re back watching NEWS STREAM.

Dozens of people have been killed in the Syrian capital Damascus. After two powerful explosions shook the city.

Of this is said to be moment, the second explosion went off during morning rush hour. CNN cannot verify the authenticity of these pictures. A state media reporting that 55 people have been killed and more than 300 are injured.

Now Syrian state TV showed these images of the scene.

Now both the government and opposition groups are pointing the finger at each other. CNN`s Arwa Damon is following developments from Beirut in neighboring Lebanon. She joins us now live and Arwa, tell us more of the aftermath of these blasts and the debate over who is responsible?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior that was read out on state television, these blasts were caused by two suicide bombers detonating around a thousand kilograms of explosives.

Which just goes to show you how powerful and exactly why these images that came out of Damascus shows such wide spread and devastating damage at this stage.

Now where this attack took place, it happened in front of what is known as the Palestine branch of the military -- sorry of the intelligence agency. Now this building is located right in front of a university complex and it`s also on one of the main roads, the southern ring roads that goes round the entire capital.

So multi-lane highway. Again why the death toll is so incredibly high because these explosions happen when the area was fairly crowded. As for, who is in fact to blame at this stage, the Syrian government is saying that it was terrorist that carried out this attack.

The opposition is saying that it was not involved in this attack. The Free Syrian army also denied responsibility and said both the opposition and the Free Syrian army, saying that this was carried out by the Syrian government itself as part of its on-going effort to discredit the opposition. Kristie.

STOUT: Now we`re also keeping an eye on the U.N. observer mission inside Syria. They`re not making any difference to the violence on the ground. That`s plain to see.

They`re also in danger, will this mission go on?

DAMON: Well at this stage, there has not being any sort of public at least conversation about withdrawing the observers as we saw. The head of the U.N. mission on the ground there, surveying the aftermath of the explosion and remember yesterday two of their convoy was targeted just outside of that.

So most certainly an incredibly risky operation that they are undertaking. We are also expecting Kofi Annan to show up in Damascus at some point.

And then your future, to try to talk to the Syrian government and other parties to really make something of a final push towards genuine implementation of a cease-fire because of course without a cease-fire, there`s no peace plan. And at this point in time, Kristie there is no plan B, should Kofi Annan peace plan be declared dead in the water.

And the other thing, that is of rising concern and it is being underscored by today`s violence is that various extremist organizations thrive when there is a security of action day.

Thrive when there`s chaos. And there are grave concerns being expressed by all sides. That if the Syria uprising is not resolved in some way shape or form, Syria could become the next breeding ground for extremist organizations.

STOUT: All right, Damon reporting. Thank you very much indeed for that Arwar.

Indonesian officials, they have found at least one body amid the debris of a Russian passenger plane scattered on the mountain side south of Jakarta.

Now the Sukhoi`s super jet 100 dropped off radar 21 minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian capital on Wednesday. And the wreckage was later discovered at a height of 1800 meters on volcano, Mount Salak.

Relatives gathered in Jakarta. A search and rescue team said they had yet to find any survivors. We`re hearing different reports on the exact number of passengers on board, but a Russian investigative committee says there were 48 people on the plane.

Now the jet was on an international demonstrations tour, common marketing exercise for manufacturers.

After leaving Kazakhstan on May the 3rd, they travelled to Pakistan and later to Lima(ph) before arriving in Indonesia. Russian officials have launched a criminal case to the possible safety violations.

A Sukhoi was in the process of trying to make a name for itself in the civil aviation field. The company claims to be the world`s third largest producer of modern fighter jets and the super jet 100 that crashed on Wednesday, it was supposed to represent a new generation of passenger aircraft.


HOWARD DUGGER, AIRCRAFT MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE : This airplane was conceived back about 10 years ago and has just recently being certificated by the Russian Civil Aviation Authority as well as the European YASA, Aviation Authority.


STOUT: But despite that certification, there have been two reported defects in super jet 100 over the past six months.

A look next, China`s most popular micro blogging website is set to implement new rules and we`ll tell you what that means for more than 200 million people on the Sina Weibo.


STOUT: Broadcasting live from Hong Kong. You`re back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now new rules are ahead for the popular Chinese micro web blogging site Sina Weibo, a user contract. It`s said to come into effect on May the 28.

And more than 200 million people use the site. China has made moves to clamp down on social media sites specifically on contents that "spreads rumors, disrupts social order or destroys social stability."

Now Weibo users who fail to comply with the new rules could have their accounts suspended.

Now angry birds soars to an incredible milestone. One billion downloads that includes the original game, all of the spin offs and all the platforms is on including iPhones, iPads and Android.

And the franchise is only getting bigger. Last month the company Rovio revealed that Angry Birds space topped 50 million downloads. Just the first 35 days. Impressive.

Now question, will there be heat relief for east Asia? It`s getting pretty hot out here. Mari Ramos, she joins us now, she`s got the answer. Mari.

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, you know what Kristie, it`s almost like a trade off, OK. Let`s go ahead and -- cool temperatures down but here comes the rain right, that`s the only way really they cool things down this time of the year, so yes.

A little bit of relief in sight as far as the heat but for the most part. Most of you will be getting an increase in rain showers so it`s trade off. Which one do you prefer right?

Let`s go ahead and look at some of the high temperatures that we`ve had in the last 24 hours for example. As we look over here, hot weather continues again, Beijing for example, the average high this time of the year is 25 and you got up to 30 degrees, it`s pretty impressive huh?

When you fight through the humidity it does feel very sticky. Not as sticky as Hong Kong though, there -- 34 was your day time high today.

You advertised 27 and you know what we talk about areas here especially -- some tropics, the difference between 27 and 34 is pretty significant.

In a continental climate that`s not such a big deal but here it definitely is. And even at this late hour we`re still at 30 degrees here in Hong Kong.

Beijing is starting to cool down just a little bit about 25 degrees and notice are relatively warm even as we hit into interior parts of China, there in Chongqing at 28.

Hanoi 31, it`s a big difference though. You can remember we were up to 40 degrees last week so we`re starting to see a little bit of a change here and that has a lot to do with the amount of rain that you`re getting.

So you expect to see a lot more in the way of cloud cover and rain showers. And some of these rain showers will be a bit on the heavy side.

And notice back over here, we are starting to see a little bit of rain showers moving in to the Hong Kong area as well.

The Philippines also getting some rain showers so those temperatures that have been well above the average will return way a little bit more closer to normal in the north east.

Still warm though in south -- area to the south and still a bit on the warm side. We haven`t had any relief from the heat we have in areas here.

South Asia, New Delhi again topping over 42 degrees for your day time high. Karachi is already -- it`s only 37 right now. Across the north, so we continue to see storm systems move through Afghanistan, in northern Pakistan and into the border with China.

And you can that right here, again popping up in the way of thunderstorms in the south. But in the mountain, that really begins to turn into some pretty nasty weather.

Let me go ahead and talk to you a little bit about this area Kristie. It`s fascinating really, it crosses here the mountains and between the border of Pakistan and China, the Karakoram highway is the highest paved road in the world.

You think it looks impressive here, it goes through a height of over 4500 meters. This ancient highway is a treacherous road to travel in with the weather when it turns bad, take a look.

It gets even much more difficult. But you know what? The controlling, the access from one side to the other, both on the Pakistani side and on the Chinese side.

So they`re doing this for the safety of the travellers in this area. The highway has to be shut down because of bad roads. Commission confirm that, did driving through that for hours and hours and hours.

But they`re expecting the weather to improve within the next three days, but in the mean time it`s not going to be easy travelling there.

Let`s go ahead and check out yesterday. Right.

Hey check it out, take a look at the conditions across Europe. A bit breezy, as we head into southern parts of the U.K., still cloudy. Even though most of the rain have fade away.

We`re looking at temperatures -- a kind of an upslope for most areas. Now, Paris you saw there also in the mid 20s, Brussels at 21 as we hit south Madrid sizzling at 28.

We`ll seek a warm up across central and southern and even into eastern Europe over the next couple of days. Overall like I was saying, the rain staying to the north here.

It`s going to move into the London area in just a little while. Some of thunderstorms might now cross some of this region here and also on the other side of the channel so do expect travel delays today specially out of Heathrow.

Back to you Kristie.

STOUT: As you said, it`s a trade off right, when the rain comes in. Mari Ramos, thank you very much indeed.

Now many of you have these products in your bathroom. Now it bears the name of legendary hair stylist Vidal Sassoon. British native Sassoon, he began his career as a barber shop apprentice. Went on to create his own hair care line in school and he will always be remembered for his signature her style.

The now classic bob. Sassoon passed away at his Los Angeles home of apparent natural causes. The family members by his side, he was 84. That`s here on NEWS STREAM.

The Leveson inquiry. The British Prime Minister`s former Communication`s chief gives evidence to the inquiry. It`s expected to share the (INAUDIBLE) on dealings between politicians and the press.

And Pakistanis tackle a worrying trend. Acid attacks on women are becoming increasingly common but we`ll show you evidence that men are also becoming victims.


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

Now this is set to be the moment, the second of two blasts shook the Syrian capital Damascus killing at least 55 people, that`s according to State TV. CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of this video. Now 372 people are injured in the attacks during morning rush hour. State media says the blasts destroyed a building housing a branch of Syrian intelligence.

Barack Obama has become the first president of the United States to openly support same-sex marriage. Now the issue divides America and is expected to heat up as November`s presidential election draws near.

Debris from a Russian passenger plane that missing over Indonesia has been found on a volcano south of Jakarta. A search and rescue official has confirmed the parts of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 have been identified on the side of Mount Salak. And officials say one body has also been discovered.

The relationship between British politicians and the press is coming under close scrutiny. The UK prime minister`s ex-chief of communications is set to take the stand at the Leveson inuiry into media ethics. Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World before he joined David Cameron`s administration.

Now Andy Coulson is expected to take the stand soon. And Atika Schubert joins us live from outside the courthouse in London. And Atika, Coulson is set to give evidence about half an hour from now. What will be the focus on the questioning when he appears?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what the Leveson inquiry is really focusing in on now is that relationship between media and politicians. Was this too much of a cozy relationship? And the focus, of course, on Coulson today will be the fact that he had to resign from the now defunct News of the World where he was editor and he had to resign because of allegations of phone hacking in his news room. What we now know, of course, is that phone hacking was riff and endemic in the news room. He resigned from News of the World, but he then became the chief spin doctor for Prime Minister David Cameron.

So a lot of questions are being asked as to why Coulson got this job. Was there any vetting of these phone hacking allegations before he got that job. And then afterwards why did it take so long for these allegations to then come out and why did he only resign at the very height of the phone hacking scandal.

Now Prime Minister David Cameron has steadfastly said that he basically took Coulson`s word for the fact that he did not know how or the extent of the phone hacking scandal, but clearly it is an embarrassment for Cameron and there could be more embarrassing revelations to come out today when he speaks to the inquiry in about half an hour, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now as you mentioned this long running inquiry, it has turned its focus onto the relationship between politicians and the media. So ahead of Andy Coulson and when he`s set to give his testimony, what have we learned so far about the extent of the relationship between British officials and the Murdochs and their media assets?

SCHUBERT: Well, we know it`s a pretty cozy relationship. Prime Minister Cameron himself has socialized many times not just with Andy Coulson who was of course his chief PR man, but also Rebecca Brooks who was formerly the top executive at News International. They were known to lunch together, to share a love of horse riding together, apparently sending each other text messages, very chummy text messages according to a new biography that has been released on David Cameron.

So that`s the extent of that relationship. It`s interesting to point out that Rupert Murdoch also took the stand, of course, just a few days ago -- about three -- and in that he talked about his dealings with previous prime ministers such as Margaret Thatcher and so forth, but he says that he never asked any favors of any prime ministers. It`s just something he would not do. But this is something Leveson is going to be exploring more intently now is exactly how that relationship between politicians and the media worked. And was there too much influence one way or the other.

LU STOUT: All right. Atika Schubert joining us live. Thank you very much indeed.

Atika mentioned Rebecca Brooks. And of course she is set to give evidence on Friday.

Now Greece is hoping that it is third time lucky. Now the leader of Pasok, Evangelos Venizelos is now tasked with forming a coalition government after the first and second place parties failed. Now here`s the breakdown of the seats won in Sunday`s parliamentary election and where they are on the political spectrum.

Now in the green, you`ve got the Socialist Pasok party with 41 seats. Center-right New Democracy in light blue with the most seats at 108. Now these parties were the ones that ushered in the austerity measures which turned off a lot of the parties on the fringes. But together they are still short of the 151 seats needed to form a government. But Venizelos is going to try approaching pro-European parties to ensure that Greece stays in the EuroZone.

And now to Egypt where people will tune in today to watch the country`s first ever televised presidential debate. Now only the top two candidates Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh will take part. Now the face-off becomes two weeks ahead of the vote and follows clashes last week that killed 12 protesters.

Now the demonstrators, they are angry with the pace of reform. And they suspect that the military may be trying to delay a transition to civilian rule. Now one candidate who won`t be taking part in the debate is Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood`s Freedom and Justic party. Now his party initially said it would not field a candidate in the race.

Christiane Amanpour asked him what changed.


MOHAMDED MORSI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people have accepted our majority in the parliament. And we haven`t been able to do whatever we want through the parliament, because the government is not in our hands. And the presidential campaign will enable the Egyptians, if they choose us, to pass through this bottleneck and have a better situation in the future.


LU STOUT: Now the voting begins in Egypt on May 23.

Now in Pakistan, many women were mutilated by acid attacks last year. The attacks are not going away, but something is changing. Our Reza Sayah has a story. And we must warn you that some of the images you are about to see are disturbing.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INERNATIONAL CORRESPONDNET: The attack happened in second. A knock on the door. The answer. Then the pain of a face on fire.

"I`d never felt such pain in my life," the victim says.

The searing pain was the result of another acid attack in Pakistan. This time the victim was not a woman as we`ve seen so often here. This time the victim was 24-year-old husband and father Sheikh Mohammed Noman (ph).

His attacker was his wife. Noman (ph) says she left him for her ex- husband. She wanted a divorce. Noman (ph) wouldn`t give it to her. This was her revenege.

"She said I`ve got something for you. Please forgive me. As soon as I turned around she threw acid on me," Noman (ph) says. "The pain of the acid is still there, but my heart aches too, because I loved her. This is what she gave me in return."

This attack made headlines in Pakistan, because Noman (ph) was part of what seems to be a small, but sudden surge in acid attacks where men were the victims and women were the attackers, at least three this year, unusual for a country where it`s almost always the other way around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see this type of incident is increasing. I don`t know why. I think it`s sort of revenge. Anybody can take revenge in this kind of -- by this kind of -- they use acid like a weapon.

UZMA HOORANI, PAKISTAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: I don`t condone violence by anyone.

SAYAH: Rights activist Uzma Hoorani says acid attacks are crimes no matter who the victims are. But it`s still women, she says, who make up the overwhelming majority of victims.

HOORANI: In most cases, the husbands are attacking wives because of the power structures that exist in society. It`s a very patriarchal system where women are treated as commodities.

SAYAH: A leading support group for acid victims says 150 women were mutilated in attacks last year, more than double the number in 2010.

Last year the Pakistani government put in place stricter laws and tougher punishments to help put an end to attacks. Noman`s (ph) wife is free on bail. Police say she`ll soon go on trial. Much of Noman`s (ph) face is burned. His left eye is blind. Doctors say his recovery will be painful and long.

"It`s like living and dying every day," Noman (ph) says. "But I want to be part of the fight to keep this from happening to anyone else."

Reza Sayah, CNN, Karachi.


LU STOUT: Using acid as a weapon a disturbing trend in Pakistan.

Now tensions are reaching the boiling point between China and the Philippines. And it is all over this tiny island.


LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you`re back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now on the face of it, it is a massive ruckus about a rock. But China showing signs that it is serious about unleashing its military might on the Philippines over ownership of this tiny island in the South China Sea. As Stan Grant explains, the surrounding waters offer immense national wealth.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The world`s biggest military. And China is threatening to unleash it. State run media is ramping up its rhetoric. The Communist Party mouthpiece The Global Times says, quote, "peace will be a miracle." And it`s all over this tiny island, a rocky speck China calls Huangyan, known elsewhere as Scarborough`s shoal. It doesn`t look like much, but the seas are rich in fish and potential gas and oil worth fighting for.

STEPHANIE KLEIN-AHLBRANDT, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: There are a dozen plus votes right now facing each other off in the shoal. And both sides are using the opportunity to increase the sort of heated domestic rhetoric, nationalist rhetoric which is making it difficult to deescalate.

GRANT: Ancient maps show China claiming the island in the 13th Century. The Philippines says geography is on its side. The Island sits about 200 kilometers, 130 miles from Manila.

KLEIN-AHLBRANDT: Actually both sides have very legitimate claims. And both of them claim maps going back very, very far. So the Philippines claiming a map going back to the 18th Century.

GRANT: The dispute flayed about a month ago when the Philippines war ships intercepted Chinese fishing vessels. For China, that was a provocation too far.

HONG LEI, CHINA`S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): The current situation at Hyuangyan Island is unilaterally caused by the Philippines. And over the recent days, the Philippines side escalated the situation.

GRANT: Philippine president Benigno Aquino is standing firm. His message hands off the island.

BENIGNO AQUINO, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES: Well, we want to respect your rights, please respect ours.

GRANT: Chinese state media is stepping up preparations for potential conflict. Reporters moving into the location, this one symbolically claiming the island. On the line, Chinese sovereignty. This dispute just one of many in the South China Sea. China is very firm on what it claims as its own. One state TV anchor going even further than Hyuangyan Island claiming the entire country.

"We all know that the Philippines has always been part of China`s territory," she said. "The Philippines is under Chinese sovereignty. This is an indisputable fact." She later called that a slip of the tongue. Others, though, are far more deliberate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we going to war? Let me quote President Obama as saying that all options are on the table.

GRANT: Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Well, rampant in Romania -- Atletico Madrid won the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday beating Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao. Pedro Pinto joins us now live from London with more -- Pedro.


It was truly an unforgettable night for Spanish football as two La Liga sides, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao clashed in the final in Bucarest. After an intense battle it was Diego Simeone`s side who came out on top. It was Atletico`s second Europa league title in the last three years.

The star of the show was undoubted Radamel Falcao who scored two sensational goals in the first half putting Los Colchoneros in control. The Colombian striker became the competition`s competition this season with 12 goals in 15 games. Brazilian playmaker Diego added a third goal as Atletico celebrated a convincing 3-0 victory over their rivals.


RADAMEL FALCAO, ATLETICO MADRID STRIKER (through translator): The result was the hard work of the whole team during the last year with ups and downs in difficult moments. Because of that, we deserve to finish the final this way.

MARCELO BIELSA, ATHLETIC BILBAO COACH (through translator): Yes, I`m disappointed. The game we played was not good. Obviously I`m responsible for managing this team which could not succeed reaching the goal we set for ourselves. And this makes me even more disappointed.


PINTO: You would think Atletico`s victory in Bucarest would have prompted scenes of joyous celebrations back in Madrid, but that wasn`t the case. Actually hundreds of Atletico Madrid supporters clashed with riot police in the Spanish capital after they were held back from celebrating their team`s Europa League title at the city`s famous Neptuno fountain.

Tensions escalated with supporters throwing bottles and candles at the security forces who responded by shooting rubber bullets. There were injuries reported to both the police and the fans as well.

News from Moscow where the Russian government announced it has foiled a plot to stage terrorist attacks at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The national anti-terrorism committee said Russian special services have confiscated weapons during raids last week in the breakaway Abkhazia region of Georgia, the former Soviet Republic with which Russia fought a brief war in 2008.

Thursday was an important day in the countdown to this year`s summer Olympic Games. The Olympic torch was lit in ancient Olympia officially commencing the relay that will now take place over the next 78 days. The first torch bearer Spyros Gianniotis, Liverpool born Greek swimmer, started the seven day Greek leg of the relay before the flame is handed over to London organizers on May 17 and then flown to Britain a day later.

That is a quick look at what`s happening in the world of sport for now. Kristie, back to you in Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now the dust has settled after this weekend`s Kentucky Derby, but a mystery over Churchhill Downs. A stable worker was found murdered after the horse race. Ed Lavandera speaks to the victim`s son.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mystique of Kentucky Derby day draws tens of thousands to watch a millionaires game. The glamorous fashion, a tip of the hat to a bygone era.

What many people might not know about horse racing is. And on that side of the racetrack it`s a completely different world, that`s where all the fanfare and the beauty of race day takes place. It`s a different story on this side of the track.

This is the forgotten side of a horse track, it`s called the backside, a secluded world of transient workers in the horse racing industry. Some 600 people live on the backside of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It`s where 19-year-old Wilson Perez worked alongside his father Adan Perez until Adon`s body mysteriously turned up in barn number eight just hours after one of the most famous horse races in the world.

Wilson Perez is speaking about his father`s murder for the first time.


How difficult has these last days been?

Wilson says "it`s been very hard supporting everyone in my family. I need to stay strong."

Wilson Perez is one of Adan`s seven children. Their family lives in Guatemala. Wilson begged his father to bring him to the United States two years ago so they could work together. They groomed horses, son walking in father`s footsteps.

Wilson says the last time he spoke to his father was around 11:30 Saturday night just a few hours after the final race of derby day. Wilson says his father called from a restaurant. He was out with friends.


He said everything sounded normal on that phone call. He called to ask him where he was and what he was doing and everything sounded normal.

About five hours later Adan Perez turned up dead.

This is barn number eight where the body of Adan Perez was found. And the barn backs up to the race track itself. This is the backstretch. You can see the twin spires in the background there. This is where the horses ran on the backstretch of the Kentucky Derby.

Stable hand Hugo Hernandez shows us where Perez`s body was left. Access to the backside of Churchill Downs is mostly restricted. Workers are registered and carry special identification, which heightens the mystery: is the killer living among those who work here?

KEN BOEHM, CHURCHILL DOWNS CHAPLAIN: The outside world doesn`t see this world. They don`t know what the backside of a racetrack is like.

LAVANDERA: Churchill Downs chaplain Ken Boehm says this mostly Hispanic immigrant community keeps to itself. Workers here are transient, move from horse track to horse track. The work is exhausting, seven days a week, no vacation. Some clean barns, groom and feed horses. Workers can live for free on these grounds. Most come from Central America.

Workers tell us most people earn between $250 and $800. Wilson Perez hasn`t stopped working, even as he tries to get his father`s body buried in Guatemala.

He says he wants answers for what`s happened here and he wants whoever is responsible to be found guilty.

He can only wait for investigators to solve his father`s mysterious murder.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.


LU STOUT: Well, here`s hoping that there will be answers.

Now coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, we`ll tell you how one luxury car brand made its mark in China much to the anger of the locals.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now it seems Italian car maker Ferrari has struck upon a particularly bad idea for promoting its products. Now it involves spinning tires and burning rubber right on top of Nanchang`s ancient city wall which was built during the Ming Dynasty back in the 14th Century. The idea was to celebrate the supercar maker`s 20th anniversary in China, but instead it drew outrage and an apology from Ferrari.

Now many of us enjoy sugary snacks, but one kid`s determination to get some candy left him caught in a very sticky situation. Here`s Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This two-year-old wanted to chew some gumballs. Instead, the gumball machine swallowed his hand, or as his dad put it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I turned around for one minute, they were trying to get some gum out of the gum machine and his hand was stuck up in there completely, man.

MOOS: His cheeks were wet with tears as the Texarkana fire department came to the rescue of Terrell Parks Jr.

VINCENT JOHNSON, TEXARKANA FIREFIGHTER: Basically we did not have a plan. We were hoping that we would come in and it would be as simple as putting some oil or something on it and sliding it out. It wasn`t that simple.

MOOS: It turns out they had to break the plastic and disassemble the mechanism.

You mean there were gumballs all over the floor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over the floor.

MOOS: All over the floor not counting the ones in Terrell`s hand.

At one point during the rescue the kid got some gumballs in his fist, but he refused to open his fist and give up the gumballs.

Firefighters had to coax him so they could get his hand out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open your fist. Open your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: let the gumball go.

MOOS: Which he finally did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go, buddy.

MOOS: No injuries to the hand.


MOOS: But the best kid stuck in a toy machine video ever features a girl who climbs head first into the door where the prize normally comes out in one of those claw machines like the one in Toy Story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been chosen. Farewell my friends. I go on to a better place.

MOOS: Once the girl disappears up the hole, another kid tells mom and his mom goes for help. The little girl pops up amid all the toys.

Mom spent some time trying to retrieve her by the feet and knocking on the window, but the girl keeps climbing the mound of toys.

Whatever you do, mom, don`t try to shake her our.

Actually, this isn`t so uncommon. There are other photos of kids trapped in the belly of a toy machine.

Eventually this little girl came out exactly the way she went in, exiting feet first with a little help from her mom. It was as if the vending machine gave birth. Did she leave without taking hom a prize? The gumball kid got to keep a few to help him chew over the experience.

Jeanne Moos, CNN...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ready to go home?

MOOS: New York.


LU STOUT: So cute. Now you`ve probably heard the one about Kim John- na (ph) the eldest son of North Korea`s dear leader Kim Jong-il who disgraced himself and dismayed his father with that illicit trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Now rumors have been circulated that his half-brother, the new leader Kim Jong-un also visited the amusement park and actually got away with it.

Now whatever the truth of that story, we are pleased to report that Mr. Kim Jr. has had a day at the fun fair, albeit one that appears less Donald Duck, more pretty yuck; not so much Cinderella as less than stellar; perhaps not Tinker Bell, but tinker hell. Now we don`t have any footage of the supreme leader enjoying any of the Manyong Day (ph) fun fair`s rides, but it`s pretty clear he has the place all to himself. We just can`t understand why.

And that is NEWS STREAM. The news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.