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Trial For Bosnian-Serb General Ratko Mladic Begins Today; Opposition Claims Syrian Army Attacked Refugee Camp Outside Daraa, Killing 3; $1 billion Taken Out Of Greek Banks As Uncertainty Still Clouds Country's Future; Canadian Motorist Hits Moose, Has No Memory Of Accident

Aired May 16, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin at The Hague where the former leader of the Bosnian-Serb army faces 11 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Plus, caught in the crossfire: thousands flee Congo on the run after clashes between government troops and forces loyal to a man known as The Terminator.

And he is the face of Facebook, but as investors prepare to cough up billions, is Mark Zuckerberg a good bet?

Srebrenica, Sarajevo: now they are the names of places that summon memories of 20 years ago when Bosnian-Serb forces unleashed a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. And now, one of the most notorious figures of the Bosnian War has finally gone on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Now former army commander Ratko Mladic is accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Now court has just ended. And we'll try to bring you more on this later in the show.

Now the former Liberian president Charles Taylor is also at The Hague where a UN backed court found him guilty last month of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. Now Taylor addressed the court today ahead of his sentences and he told the judges that prosecutors did not present all the evidence. And that they should take into account the context of what was happening at the time.


CHARLES TAYLOR, FRM. PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: Let me say in the strongest terms, I Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor did not, could not have ever, and would never have knowingly and responsibility and/or authority to prevent, stop, or punish someone from carrying out acts of atrocities feel to do so.


LU STOUT: Now the court is expected to sentence Taylor on May 30. And prosecutors have asked for an 80 year prison sentence to reflect the gravity of the crimes.

And turning now to Greece where for all the conversation there has been little agreement. And Greece is heading for a new round of parliamentary elections now set for June 17. But as the country struggles to form its political future, it is increasingly compromising its financial future.

Now Greece is already regarded by many in Europe as a money pit. And as spat of withdrawals from its banks threatens only to deepen the hole. As Greek president Karolos Papoulias puts together a caretaker government he warned that fear about the nation's banks could turn to panick.

Now John Defterios joins us live with more on this. And John, what is the situation at the banks in Greece?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we've seen a lot of trepidation over the last 48 hours. We know as of Monday that $700 million euros, nearly $900 million dollars, were pulled out of the Greek banking system one day alone. But this is a trend that has had fits and starts since the start of 2010 with the debt crisis started to emerge. Then Prime Minister George Papandreou warned that the Greek deficit was better than 12 percent shocking the European Union, in fact global markets. And at the start of 2010 through March 2012 we've seen $72 billion euros, nearly $100 billion taken out of the country. We have to remember that this is an economy of only $300 billion that has contracted 20 percent in that time frame.

So we've seen this in fits and starts where investors get panicked, even pensioners who have their savings there thinking that if they go to a drachma and you see a devaluation of 20 to 25 percent then they would be better off putting that money into euros in a different country or converting it to British pounds.

This has been a trend that has not been just recent only, but it's come in fits and starts due to the panic level of the 48 to 72 hours since the elections.

LU STOUT: So bank withdrawals are stepping up across Greece. There is fear there. Can the fear be contained? And are Greece's banks strong enough to ride through this?

DEFTERIOS: Well, the Greek banks have been under an incredible amount of pressure for the last two years. I mean, this is an economy even in the first quarter of this year that contracted 6.2 percent, a slight improvement of a contraction of 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter. So this has put a lot of pressure on the Greek banks, also German banks and French banks.

So the big question mark here going forward is will you have clarity going to the June 17th elections. The worst case scenario, and this is what investors and bank holders are worried about here, that you go through another round of elections and you have a caretaker government and you make a hard left turn and elect a leftist government. If that's the case here and there's discussion of exiting the euro, that would be the worst-case scenario for those holding euro deposits.

So what I think the president was suggesting today here is that we have a mild sense of convern right now. We saw withdrawals on Monday. We don't get clarity for the June 17 elections we could have a panic. It's almost like shock therapy suggesting to the Greek people here, we have to come off the fence, we have to make a decision which way we're going to be going in the future of this democracy.

LU STOUT: And what is the major factor among the people in Greece that is fueling the fear? Is it the political uncertainty? Or is it the speculation that Greece will leave the euro?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it's a combination of both. But I think we have to put into context, this is an economy that has gone through five -- this is the fifth year of recession, contracting 5.5 percent in 2011. So you put that into context with unemployment rate in the 20s and youth unemployment at some 51 percent right now. They don't see light at the end of the tunnel in Greece right now. They don't see a silver bullet getting them out of the trouble.

So you see the vote that went to the leftist party Syriza almost as an act of desperation. If we can't live under this austerity situation with the euro right now, maybe they though, it would be best to exit. But there's not a clear majority on the left or the right to push that through, that's why President Papoulias has called for a new round of elections.

And the meantime, those who have their savings there, some are converting and suggest to get it out of the country whether it goes into euros and other EuroZone countries or into other currencies outside of Greece not know if they're going to go a new drachma in the future or not.

It's part of the conversation right now. And when you have that conversation people panic. And we've seen a mild sense of panic, but nearly $100 billion since January 2010 is more than just a mild concern.

LU STOUT: John Defterios reporting. Thank you very much indeed for that, John.

Now two weeks after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Chen Guangcheng is still in a hospital in the capital. And we'll tell you whether he is any closer to the U.S. asylum that he's seeking.

And victimizing the vulnerable: Syria's opposition accuses the al Assad's government of shelling a camp for people who are trying to escape the violence.

And England's new football coach makes his first big decision. Who is in? Who's out of the national squad for Euro 2012? We have all the details right ahead.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now it has been two weeks since Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. embassy in Beijing to receive medical treatment. Now he remains hospitalized in Beijing and is again reaching out to the U.S. to U.S. lawmakers for help.

Now you will recall that he pleaded with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was in the Chinese capital to grant him asylum. Now Washington says it's ready to help him, but that the ball is currently in China's court.


VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: All of the processing on the U.S. side has been completed. We are ready when he and his government are ready. We have been for more than a week now in terms of his visa to come pursue his studies.

He is continuing to work with his government. Our information is that those conversations, contacts, and processing continue and we've been in regular contact with him two or three times a day every day.


LU STOUT: Now Chen was again able to talk to the House of Representatives foreign affairs subcommittee on Tuesday. And he told them he did not have the means to speak with his extended family.

Among them is Chen Kegui, the activist's nephew who has been arrested for attempted murder after an alleged attack on police. Now Chen Kegui's father has told CNN that his son was acting in self defense.

And Chen Guangcheng reaffirmed this claim and has called the U.S. politicians. Now Chen's remarks were translated for U.S. lawmakers.


REV. BOB FU, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, CHINAAID ASSOCIATION: After my nephew was beaten up and he actually was waiting and waiting to surrender himself and the police come back again and violently beat up my sister-in- law. They would have been done by the Chinese -- by the Hunan (ph) security officers is total violation against the Chinese own constitution and the Chinese own criminal law. And of course, those charges against my nephew for simply -- for self-defense is in contradiction of Chinese own law as well.


LU STOUT: Again, that was a translation of Chen Guangcheng's call.

Now Chen's brother seems confident that justice can still prevail in this case. Chen Guangfu (ph) told CNN that "our whole family still believes in the rule of law, otherwise Kegui, his son, wouldn't have surrendered himself to the authorities."

Now the International Criminal Court has issued new charges against a Congalese general. Now Bosco Ntaganda, who is also a former rebel leader, is nicknamed The Terminator. In 2006, the ICC first issued an arrest warrant for him for alleged war crimes including the use of child soldiers. And last month, the Congalese government called for Ntaganda's arrest.

Now the Congalese govenrment's call for his arrest sparked clashes between the army and those loyal to Ntaganda. The fighting forced thousands of civilians to flee the area, many ending up in refugee camps in Rwanda.

Nima Elbagir visits one of these camps.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the newest refugees arriving here today at the Inkamira Camp in Rwanda. Only a few miles from the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hundred or so Congalese arrived today to join the thousands already here carrying what they could.

This 17-year-old girl told us she was taking a final exam at school when they heard the bullets outside. "I ran with my family," she said. "We managed to escape together."

After three years of fragile peace, last month the Congalese government vowed to capture International Criminal Court indictee Bosco Ntaganda. The two are doing clashes are forces loyal to him deserted the national army and thousands are now caught in the cross-fire.

ANOUCK BRONEE, ONE U.N. RWANDA: The first challenge that we had to contend with was shelter. The transit center could accommodate a maximum of 2,600 individuals. We've had to do a lot of rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as habilitation (ph) of additional structures that weren't part of the transit center.

ELBAGIR: This used to be an old milk factory, but when the sheer influx of refugees came in, the rains also came and the Rwandan government and the UNAC had to scramble to find some sort of shelter for people. So although this situation really is less than ideal for families often with small children. It really is the best kind of cover that they could find.

And it's not just the violence they're fleeing, young men here told CNN Congalese national army soldiers threatened and attempted to forcibly recruit them. And they fear that as much as they fear the gunfire that still surrounds their homes.

The Congalese government could not be reached for comment.

Rwanda already hosts 56,000 refugees from Congo. Many a legacy of the last time almost a decade ago forces loyal to Ntaganda and the government clashes.

There are also reports of thousands of refugees making their way to Uganda. The worry is that this fresh fighting can further over burden neighboring countries, but more worrying still is the fate of the tens of thousands the United Nations believes are stuck in the Congo out of reach of help, tens of thousands who incredibly would be better off here.

Nima Elbagir, Inkamira, Rwanda.


LU STOUT: Now the organization Human Rights Watch raised mass awareness of the atrocities of African rebel leader Joseph Kony. And now they're putting out a video on Bosco Ntaganda. The organization says it is documented his alleged role in ethnic massacres and in the recruitment of child soldiers.

Now coming up on News Stream, Facebook fever: the world's hottest tech company ups the size of its IPO offering. Now taking the company public is a big challenge for any chief executive so how will Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg cope with his new role? We'll look into that after the break.


LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

Now Facebook is preparing to make its big debut on the NASDAQ just two days and it looks like it will be even bigger then expected. Now Facebook says it will sell 25 percent more shares in its IPO, over 421 million shares in total.

Now what does that mean? Well, that means another $3 billion could be raised in the IPO, bringing the potential total up to $16 billion.

Now the news comes a day after General Motors says it will stop advertising on Facebook. The car maker says its ads on the social network have not had the effect it hoped for. But it is unlikely that will make much of a difference to the social network.

Now The Wall Street Journal says that GM spent $10 million on Facebook ads last year. Well, the paper says that would be a tiny fraction of the $3.7 billion that Facebook made mostly from ad revenue last year.

Now the face of Facebook is 28-year-old founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. And you've got to say he's done a great job so far, but the question has to be asked will he be a good CEO of a multi-billion dollar public company?

Maggie Lake joins me now from New York. She's got some perspective on that.

And Maggie, is Mark Zuckerberg CEO material?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: People are pretty divided about that Kristie. And it matters, particularly in this case, because the way the IPO is structured, he's going to have a controlling stake. So in essence, if you're buying into this IPO, you are buying in to Mark Zuckerberg.

I think -- listen, people across the board say he obviously brilliant, obviously very capable, and a visionary some would even say, but the concern among the sort of skeptics, if you will, seems to be really centered on his maturity level. Have a listen.


MICHAEL PACHTER, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: You really don't learn what you don't know until you've gone through some failure in life. He hasn't hit that yet. I'm reminded of Steve Jobs at 27 who thought he knew better at Apple and essentially got forced out and then got brought back several years later. I think Zuckerberg might have the tools. I'm not sure he has the life experience yet.


LAKE: Very interesting.

Now part of that of course is because we don't see him an awful lot. When we do, he's awkward. But I also spoke to somebody, David Kirkpatrick who wrote The Facebook Effect, who has -- sort of the unusual position of being somebody who is not a Facebook employee, but has spent a lot of time with Mark Zuckerberg personally. There's not a lot of people who have done that. And he said that he thinks the perception is off, that Zuckerberg is actually very mature and more importantly have the sort of bedrock confidence in his vision and what needs to happen for Facebook and that he does have the maturity to be a CEO.

Have a listen to his view.


DAVID KIRKPATRICK, AUTHOR: He has an unbelievably high quality group of people around him. I think he has shown he's willing to hire the absolute world's best talent for a given position. And they all recognize that his judgment has been good for the company. He does not overrule them on matters that concern their expertise.


LAKE: Very interesting take there, Kristie, something we don't talk about a lot when it comes to Zuckerberg.

I know you follow this closely, but he has made some great hires.

So people really divided about this issue. The interesting thing is very different to run a tech start-up, be an innovator, then it is to manage -- and that's what you are, manage a public company, especially somebody like Zuckerberg who doesn't like to be in the spotlight publicly speaking all the time. That's often required of public CEOs.

LU STOUT: Yes. So Zuckerberg, he's young, but he's also got good judgment and a good team around him.

Now Maggie, let's talk about the headline about General Motors, GM has pulled its ad campaign from Facebook. How is that going down on Wall Street? Is that being seen as a warning sign about Facebook and its revenue growth ahead?

LAKE: Absolutely, Kristie. This is really interesting. And this is part of what we talked about. We've been talking about this week about the risks of Facebook.

The way they make their money, revenues, is right now based on advertising. Ultimately it's about making money off of the fact that we are all there. Now GM, not one of their major advertisers. It's small in comparison to Facebook's overall revenue, but if this is the beginning of a trend where advertisers say, you know, is this really helping me sell products? Is this the most effective way for me to advertise? And you start to see them peel away from the advertising. They still have a presence there, but peel away from the advertising part, that's going to be problematic. That is a trend that Facebook does not want to happen.

So this is maybe an earlier warning sign.

But Kristie, as you know, we've been talking about rationally Wall Street worried about it, but there is still so much demand for this. So people are just afraid to miss out on what might be the next thing, on what might be the next Google. So they're worrying about it, but they're not actually following through with their actions.

LU STOUT: Yeah, there's so much interest. Facebook has increased the size of its IPO. But in addition to some ad revenue concerns out there, what are some of the other reasons why some investors may be thinking twice about Facebook?

LAKE: I think one of the other main things that I've been hearing is this issue of privacy, government regulation, again the way Facebook, you know based on this business model, the way that they are going to be able to monetize us as users is to do something with our data, either get us to five things, sell our information, tell advertisers about us. And there's always been a concern that the more they do that, it may alienate the very users that have put it in this position. And it's something I'm sure that comes up with you when you're talking to people. There was a poll out yesterday. Only 13 percent of people trust Facebook with their data. Only 12 percent say they'd buy something from, you know, through the site. So there's a lot of sort of concerns about this.

I will say that it tends to -- when you talk to the younger people, the younger the polling gets the more apt they are to maybe reconsider that. And that may be something that Facebook can work with. It might be the sort of older generation on there that are more skeptical. But still, that's going to be a major concern with them if they start to run afoul of some of these privacy issues.

LU STOUT: Yeah, a number of Facebook users forget that what is Facebook selling? It's selling you, it's selling me, it's selling our data.

Maggie Lake reporting. Thank you so much.

Now World Business Today will have much more on Facebook, including why one of the sites co-founders has become a citizen of Singapore.

Now England have announced their squad for the upcoming European Championships and there were a couple of surprises. Amanda Davies has all the news for us from London -- Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Yeah, it's very much a new era for English football with the new manager, Roy Hodgson having just named his first squad ahead of Euro 2012. It looks like the end of an international career, though, for Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. The 33-year-old has been omitted from the 23 man squad for Poland and Ukraine.

There's been lots of attention on whether or not Rio Ferdinand would play with John Terry, because of Terry's impending court case for allegations of racial abuse towards Rio's brother Anton Ferdinand. Terry has been included in the party. With two uncapped players also named: Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy and Arsenal's 18-year-old Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain.

Liverpool's Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll have also been included despite disappointing seasons. As well as Ferdinand, though, other exclusions include Peter Crouch, Phil Jagielka, Michael Richards, and Daniel Sturridge.

We haven't heard from Roy Hodgson yet. He's giving a news conference in about an hour's time.

To the NBA, though, and championship favorites Miami Heat didn't get off to the best start without Chris Bosh in their first playoff game without the injured star. They were beaten by the Indiana Pacers 78-75 to leave their Eastern Conference semifinal series tied at one apiece.

With Bosh on the sidelines it was left to LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to carry the Heat. And early on there was a little evidence that last year's runner-up would have any problems. After a James dunk, D-Wade puts a spin move on Paul George and slams it home. Miami up nine at that point.

But the Pacers went on an 11 to nothing run to take the advantage with George providing the exclamation point. Pacers led by nine at the end of the third, but Miami wore their way back in. Wade with the jumper off the glass to give his team a one point edge.

Indiana reclaimed the lead later in the quarter. Leandro Barbosa to David West for the lay-up. West led the Pacers with 16 points.

One last chance for the Heat. Down by three, Mario Chalmers misses the three. The Heat can't get another shot off. So the Heat lose 78-75.

Well, LeBron and Wade scored 52 of the 75 points. And the Heat are going to need more help in Bosh's absence, though.

Now I never need much of an excuse to bring you David Beckham as part of my bulletin, but now he's been described as being in a category of toughness all by himself, and that's according to one of his biggest fans.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last year at the age of 36, David had his best year in MLS, leading the team with 15 assists. He did it despite fracturing his spine halfway through the season, injuring his hamstring the week before the championship game. He it tough. In fact, it is a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear.


DAVIES: All in good fun there at the White House as President Barack Obama welcome the L.A. Galaxy soccer team as the 2011 Major League champs.

It has to be said David Beckham didn't laugh immediately there, Kristie, but I suppose if you're Barack Obama making the jokes then you have to laugh don't you?

LU STOUT: That's right. When have you the president of the Unite States taunting you about your underwear you have to laugh along. I think he handled it OK in the end.

Amanda, thank you so much. Amanda Davies there for you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up, it's a treacherous border crossing as people escaping Syria must side step landmines on their dangerous flight to Turkey.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now the trial of Ratko Mladic began today at The Hague. Prosecution started by outlining the case against the former commander of the Bosnian- Serb army. The 70-year-old Mladic is charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed during the war in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995.

Charles Taylor addressed the special court for Sierra Leone also in The Hague. The former president of Liberia was convicted on 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes. He says money played a corrupting influence in his trial and that he did not knowingly commit atrocities. Now sentencing is set for May 30. And prosecutors are asking for an 80 year prison term.

As Greece gears up for a new round of elections, President Karolos Papoulias has warned of possible panic over the country's banks. Now withdrawals have spiked as the political stalemate fuels fears that Greece could default on its debts and be forced out of the EuroZone. Elections have been set for June 17.

Now we could be a step closer to knowing the cause of that Russian jet crash in Indonesia last week. Searchers say they have found the cockpit voice recorder from the Sukhoi Superjet 100. All 45 people on board were killed when the plane slammed into a dormant volcano.

And returning now to our top story, the trial of Ratko Mladic. Among those in The Hague courtroom watching the trial were the families of victims. Now senior international correspondent Nic Robertson was also watching proceedings. And he joins me now live.

And Nic, earlier we heard from the prosecutor today. What is his strategy to prove that Mladic is guilty of war crimes?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he laid out what is going to be a very complex and clearly a long trial. This was half the prosecution's case being laid out. It took around about three hours in total in three different sessions in the court room. What we heard him do, the prosecutor Dermot Groome do, was to explain how ethnic cleansing happened. Now this wasn't happening by accident, that people were being forced from their homes not as a result of war, but because that's what the political leaders told Ratko Mladic to do and that's what he did even though he'd warned them that this moving people ethnic cleansing he told them wasn't as simple as moving keys from one pocket to another.

So we heard and saw with different diagrams the prosecution laid that out. We were shown testimonies, video clips of some of the atrocities happening in Sarajevo, talk about bombs being used there by the Serb forces under Mladic's command. The prosecutor said that he'd be bringing a Serb sniper to court to give testimony about how they were ordered to shoot civilians on the streets.

So a very sort of detailed presentation. And part of that presentation as well really intent on showing that Mladic directly was responsible for all of this, directing the forces that he was in command of there, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now the last time we saw Mladic in court, Nic, he was defiant. He was dismissive. How did he appear to you today?

ROBERTSON: Well, where I was sitting in the court was just very close to the victims and we were a few feet away from Mladic. And for me, looking into his face, it was like looking into the eyes of a man that I remembered seeing in 1993, 1992 during the Bosnian war. He had the same anger and fire in his eyes. There were times when you might have expected to see some emotion from him when there was some of the -- perhaps some of the most horrific images of the war civilians killed, dying in the streets, he showed no emotion.

Yet at other times he chose to engage with the victims, looking at them, staring at them, glowering at them even. And at one point he did what he'd done before, which was made this motion with his hand as if he was cutting his throat. And he made that motion to the victims directly looking at them. The judge told him not to do that. I even asked his lawyer about it afterwards. And his lawyer told me that -- that he's warned Mladic not to do that, because he's done it before and it certainly doesn't help his case, Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, the behavior of Ratko Mladic in court today, it must have stirred up some strong emotions among the survivors who were in the court gallery. You mentioned earlier that you were sitting right next to them. How are they reacting to Mladic and to the hearing?

ROBERTSON: Well, people would shout out. And there was one point where a video clip was played where Mladic was riding in a car and being interviewed. And during that clip Mladic said that whenever he would go past Sarajevo, he would kill someone. He went on to use expletives in that conversation.

And really the details that were coming out were drawing gasps and angry cries from some of the victims.

One man who was in one of the prison camps here that I'd talk to, and he spent a long time in the camps he said and lost a huge amount of weight, a very emotional for him to watch Mladic sitting there. And he told me he had to actually get up and leave the courtroom at some point. He was angry that Mladic, a 70-year-old general who knew precisely what he was doing, shows no contrition and no remorse or appears to show no remorse for all those criminal acts that he's accused of committing, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nic Robertson, thank you for giving us the details and a sense of the drama that happened earlier today in the court room. Nic Robertson reporting for us.

Now Syrian opposition activists are reporting that government forces attacked a camp for displaced residents in the southwestern city of Daraa. They say at least three people, including a young girl, were killed.

Now watching the situation for us is Mohammed Jamjoom in Beirut. He joins us now live. And Mohammed, more violence today in Syria. What more can you tell us?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Kristie. And let's start in Daraa. Those reports from opposition activists that a camp for displaced Syrians from the Golan Heights, that it was shelled by Syrian security forces in the overnight hours. And as a result of that attack, three people killed, they tell us, including one child.

Now let's take a look at this disturbing video, this is amateur video, we can't verify its authenticity, but purports to show the aftermath of that attack. You see the body of the dead child. You see the chaos. And you hear somebody screaming off camera are these the reforms that you're offering us, Bashar? Referring of course to the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Now we've been told all in all today at least 15 people so far have been killed across Syria due to continuing violence.

Let's talk also about the town of Honshe Hu (ph) and that is in Idlib Province. We heard of a lot of violence there yesterday. We hear the violence is continuing today.

Yesterday we got reports that over 20 people were killed as a result of an anti-regime funeral procession that was fired upon by Syrian security forces. There's also amateur video that purports to show that.

You see anti-regime demonstrators coming closer to Syrian security forces standing there, some standing with sticks, some standing with rifles, then all of a sudden you hear the shooting begin. The security forces opening fire on those demonstrators. And the opposition activists that we've been speaking with have called this a massacre. They say the violence there in that town is continuing even today -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Mohammed, more details on an attack on UN monitors took place yesterday in Idlib. What have you heard?

JAMJOOM: Well, Kristie, this actually happened in the same town we were just speaking about Hanshe Hu (ph). And opposition activists say that it happened at the same time that that attack was going on against those anti-regime funeral procession that was happening. It was a four vehicle convoy, UN monitors were in that town. The UN says that that four vehicle convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device, that three of those cars were damaged. None of the personnel, however, they say were in fact injured. And they say that they were extricated from that town at some point in the overnight hours.

Now this just goes to show how dangerous it is even for the UN monitors who are there. We've heard repeated claims and reports from opposition activists that even in the towns that these UN monitors are visiting that violence has continued, whether it's towards opposition activists and anti-regime demonstrators that are there, or whether it's just under the nose of UN monitors driving around meeting with opposition activists trying to get a sense of what's going on on the ground there -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom on the story for us. Thank you very much indeed, Mohammed.

Now thousands of people have fled the violence in Syria. And the opposition says government forces have laid landmines along escape routes into Turkey. Many Syrians are paying a deadly price. Ivan Watson reports.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Agony in the emergency room: 25-year-old Murad Hajisa (ph) just stepped on a landmine planted along the Syrian-Turkish border. Doctors later amputated his mangled left foot as well as the foot of another victim of a Syrian minefield. In all, six Syrian men took several bloody wrong steps early Saturday morning.

Mazine Hajisa (ph) was one of the luckier ones. The blast left him with only minor shrapnel wounds and burns. "I was holding the border fence open so the guys could get through when suddenly I heard the blast," he says. "I saw my cousin Murad (ph) lying next to me screaming. And then there was a second explosion and I said nobody move there are landmines."

Something like this was bound to happen.

We first met Mazine Hajisa (ph) last March when he showed us some of the more than 300 landmines he and his friends pulled out of the ground along the border.

Nobody taught you how to pull this kind of mine out of the ground, right?


WATSON: In this amateur video, Hajisa (ph) demonstrates how he digs up anti-personnel mines buried by Syrian soldiers along the border fence. He's got no protective armor and uses a kabob skewer to probe for the lethal devices.

Hajisa (ph) applies that same instinct for improvisation when treating his own wounds.

Mazine (ph) your bandage is a napkin and some tape. This isn't a professional bandage at all.

The 800 kilometer long border between Turkey and Syria is riddled with smuggler's paths. They became an essential escape route for tens of thousands of refugees fleeing a deadly Syrian government crackdown. And the porous frontier has since become a vital lifeline for rebels and activists smuggling in supplies, fighters, and weapons to the opposition. Turkish authorities say Syrian troops began mining the border last winter.

Back in March, Hajisa (ph) told us it was his duty to keep the smuggling routes open. And he swears when his wounds heal, he'll go right back to work digging up landmines.

You almost got killed, why would you go back and do this again?

"We have refugees, women, and children coming through this border," he says, "they must have a way to escape."

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hatay, Turkey.


LU STOUT: Still ahead here on News Stream, we will tell you why Iran accused this man of being an Israeli spy.


LU STOUT: Now we want to bring you some new pictures out of Greece now. Now we know that new elections are expected to be held on June 17. After the stalemate following the previous polls some 10 days ago. And president Karolos Papoulias has had to cobble together a caretaker government for the months ahead. Now a senior judge has been named to prime minister of that government.

Now to Iran now where authorities have hanged a man accused of being a spy for Israel. Now prosecutors say he was trained by Mossad and then killed an Iranian nuclear scientist. Now details now from Jim Clancy.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Executed: Iran media report this man, Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged at Tehran's notorious Evin Prison on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Fashi was tried, convicted and sentenced to death last August in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Iranian authorities claim Fashi confessed to the crime and that he was an agent for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

The scientist, Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed in January of 2010 when a remote controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle exploded outside his Tehran home. Mohammadi is one of four Iranian nuclear scientists believed assassinated in recent years.

The most recent came in January, another Iranian scientist was killed when a magnetic bomb was attached to his car. Tehran accuses Israel and the U.S. of plotting the assassinations to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. Washington denies any U.S. role. Israel refuses to comment.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: Now it's monsoon season in India, but how much water is falling and where? Now both very critical questions. Mari Ramos joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hi. You know what, we're officially still waiting for the onset of the monsoon. But because of the rain showers that we've had across portions of India, at least it hasn't been as hot as other times.

India Meteorological Department is now issuing their latest forecast for the onset of the monsoon, Kristie. And if all goes according to plan, we should begin to see the onset of the monsoon around the first of June. And that actually is the average when it usually starts. And average is good. And I've been telling you this for awhile already. When it comes to the monsoon, when it comes to the rainfall that comes from the monsoon average, normal, that's what we want to hear. That means that we wouldn't have above average precipitation or below average precipitation. It's important for the farmers, for agriculture, to know when the rains are going to start so they can plan where they're going to start their planting and their harvesting and preparing their soil.

So all of these things are very important.

Now what the IMD department is saying is that they have seen the signals in Karala that the monsoon, that the rainy season, is getting ready to start in the next couple of weeks and that's really important.

Now the forecast can be off by maybe a few days before or a few days after. And we'll have to see what actually pans out, but we have still a couple of more weeks to go.

What I was telling you about the temperature, Kristie, when you look at New Delhi right now it's 43 degrees. We had a lot of thunder storms in the second half of April, for example, and that allowed New Delhi to keep its high temperature before 40 degrees. And that's the first time that's happened in about 15 years. So that gives you an indication of how important this rain is, not just of course for agriculture, for it to be persistent, but also even now during the dry season it really helps moderate the temperatures significantly. Right now it's 43 degrees in Delhi, pretty significant as well.

Kolkata at 35, 39 in Hyderabad. So still bond dry across many of this region.

So until the monsoon officially starts, look at that, that's what we're going to have, generally dry weather, a few clouds popping up here and there, some thunder storms popping up over Bangladesh, also back over to Myanmar.

You know what, let me go ahead and show you the satellite image for Southeast Asia, because here we've had some pretty violent storms over the last few days. When these storms form, they can produce some very heavy rainfall, flooding, and also very strong wind. And again we're seeing some of that across these areas.

But a nice change across much of China. Here is where we need the dry weather right now, not because we're no longer in a drought, but because the areas that have been getting rain have been getting way too much. So we're going to see a little bit of a drier weather pattern start to form starting today and over the next couple of days. So much needed dry weather there. But the showers and thunderstorms will continue across the south and east.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast.

You know what, the threat for severe weather across portions of Europe today will be in the way of strong thunder storms that will be forming across the northeast corner of the continent here. Possibility of heavy rain. I think that's going to be one of the things to watch out for the most along with the thunder and lightning, possibly some strong wind gusts and cannot rule out the possibility of some hail also popping up.

Already we're starting to see a little bit of activity coming along. These areas particularly over Russia here, western parts of Russia back over towards Ukraine. You had some pretty nasty weather across parts of Turkey over the last 24 hours. I think that should begin to wind down. We're seeing that front continuing to move towards the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Central Turkey will also see some rain and thunderstorms associated with this. And definitely not -- pretty unsettled weather.

The western portions of Europe, Kristie, are enjoying actually some cooler temperatures. And even a little bit of snow across northern parts of the UK and also into Germany. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Snow in May, who'd have thought? Mari Ramos there. Thank you. Yeah -- take care.

Now up next here on News Stream, this is what one woman's care looked like after it collided with a moose. But the lady behind the wheel is none-the-wiser about her ordeal. We've got the unforgettable story of a totally forgetting journey right ahead.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now do you have any idea what this is? It looks a bit like a bicycle seat on top of a dehumidifier, but it's actually the latest compact Honda. It's called the unicub, a personal mobility device which used to just be your legs.

Now it's sort of like an electric mobile office chair or a mini-segway that moves in all directions. It's not available to the public yet, so no guess on cost.

Now, if you were in a crash that tore off your care roof and left you bloody and bruised you think you would remember it, but the driver you are about to see had no clue how it happened. Here's Jeanne Moos with this unforgettable story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's black and blue and has fur all over? A Canadian motorist who hit a moose, lost all memory of the accident, and drove the car like this 25 miles to arrive at work on time.

Co-worker Cindy Paulson came running.

CINDY PAULSON, CO-WORKER: And I said, Michelle, what happened? And I heard nothing.

MICHELLE HIGGINS, HIT MOOSE: And then -- well, she asked me if I was OK. And I said yeah, why wouldn't I be?

MOOS: Blood streaming down her swollen head.

PAULSON: And I said Michelle, you were in an accident. And she said, no I wasn't.

MOOS: But when she turned and saw her car, the one she had just stepped out of.

HIGGINS: I was devastated to see the state my care was in.

MOOS: Next stop, the hospital.

Michelle Higgins has been recovering ever since from two broken bones in her neck and bruises galore.

Did you actually have a hoof print on your face?

HIGGINS: Right up there.

MOOS: She calls it a scuff mark.

But the moose looked worse than Michelle did. Police found it dead on the side of the road.

Michelle was driving from home to her job as a behavior therapist in Gander, Newfoundland. She believes she rounded a bend on the TransCanada Highway and struck the moose, peeling back the top of the car. Officials told her...

HIGGINS: If I had have been an inch taller they figured it would have took the top of my head off.

MOOS: She has no memory of driving the next 25 miles.

Were you stopping at red lights and you're making lefts and rights and...

HIGGINS: Exactly. Yeah. I made two -- I made two lefts and a right.

MOOS: Michelle says the memory loss really bothers her.

HIGGINS: I lost five dollars a few years ago. And that still drives me crazy wondering where it is. Now I lost my mind.

MOOS: Finally, a pair of pedestrians came forward confirming they've seen her driving by.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a lady driving a car with no windshield.

MOOS: She may never go down memory lane with her moose, but she's happy.

HIGGINS: I'm breathing and I'm walking.

MOOS: Michelle says there was moose fur all over the car, all over her clothes.


HIGGINS: Oh, that was in my bag.

MOOS: In your purse?


MOOS: Sadly for them both, Michelle bagged a moose.

Jeanne Moos, CNN...

HIGGINS: You can take it out in handfuls.

MOOS: New York.


LU STOUT: And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.