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NEWS STREAM

Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng Arrives In New York; Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi Dies; NATO Allies Meet In Chicago To Discuss Afghan Withdrawal

Aired May 21, 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: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in Libya where the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 had died two years after being released from prison on compassionate grounds.

The leaders of Apple and Samsung will meet in a few hours to try and resolve a legal fight. And we will explain how the two companies are both rivals and partners.

And a rare celestial treat as millions in Asia and elsewhere see a special eclipse.

Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is due to be buried today, the only person conviced of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. al- Megrahi lost his battle with cancer on Sunday. He had been living in the Libyan capital of Tripoli since 2009 after he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds, sparking an international outcry.

Now back then, al-Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just months to live. And he received a heroes welcome on his return to Libya and long outlived the doctor's predictions.

Now CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson tracked al- Megrahi down last year at the villa of the former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had built for him. Now Nic joins me now live from CNN New York.

And Nic, there are so many unanswered questions about the Lockerbie bombing. Now the al-Megrahi is dead, will we ever be able to get the full story?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's still a possibility we may get more parts of the story. I'm not sure we'll ever get the whole story. Megrahi said that he would prove his innocence. He failed to do that before he died.

The first minister of Scotland Alex Hammond said in a statement yesterday after Megrahi's death that the investigation into the downing of Pan Am 103 is still live and ongoing.

So where is this information that's going to come from that's going to change this conviction if you will. Too late to do that. But where's the information going to come from? Well, has Megrahi passed on to family members some of this information that would perhaps reveal why he says and has maintained he is innocent. And the other people who would probably have a certain amount of insight into this, if not direct knowledge, would be the former head of Libyan intelligence Abdullah Senussi who has been arrested in Mauritania, and Saif Gadhafi, the second eldest of Moammar Gadhafi. He is under arrest in Libya at this time. Both men would have insights into Megrahi's involvement, his level of involvement, Libya's overall involvement in the downing of Pan Am 103.

So we may get some more information. We may not. But some of it is still out there, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Nic, take us back to when you tracked al-Megrahi down in Libya last year. What kind of conditions did you find him in?

ROBERTSON: Well, he was living in a very sumptuous villa. This was a villa in an upscale part of Tripoli. The street that he was on had large villas behind high walls. It took a long time to attract the attention of his family inside the compound, but when I went in it was a large villa. I was expecting to be able to go in and talk to Megrahi, ask him questions, but when I walked into the room of the villa that he was in he was lying in what was essentially a hospital bed, he had an oxygen mask on. He was breathing erratically, rasping, taking on this additional oxygen. His family told me that he was passing in and out of a coma.

So this was a man who it was clear that the Gadhafi regime was lavishing money and support on. There were two large villas at that compound. We saw that there. Another house of his being built somewhere else in the city. So this was a man who was on one hand very ill, but still being very lavishly taken care of by the Gadhafi regime.

LU STOUT: And after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, did al-Megrahi continue to receive protection and preferential treatment under the new regime.

ROBERTSON: You know, it's not really clear. His family always said that he wanted to be left in peace. And there were demands that Megrahi be handed over to the United States or demands that he be returned to jail in Scotland where he could answer further questions. But perhaps what's interesting here is it had been imagined that Megrahi had maintained his silence over what he claimed was his innocence. He dropped his legal challenge in Scotland to be released back to Libya. But after Gadhafi was dead, why did he not go public with this information that he said would prove his innocence?

That is unclear. And it's not clear the level of support that he had from the current government in Libya to maintain his silence. Certainly it appears there still are potentially embarrassing details that could come out. So he may still have been under pressure to keep his silence, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nic Robertson reporting. Many thanks indeed for that Nic.

ROBERTSON: Now Abdel Basset al-Megrahi's death has provoked mixed emotions for the friends and families of the 270 people killed in the 1988 attack. Now Matthew Chance went to the Scottish town of Lockerbie for reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We join me here in the garden of remembrance on the outskirts of Lockerbie where there are memorials to the 270 people who lost their lives back on December the 21st 1988, including 11 people in this sleepy Scottish town. And when that Boeing 747 Pan Am Flight 103 plunged into their homes.

Understandably, a lot of raw emotions still in Lockerbie, particularly over the news of the death of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, very mixed emotions as well. Many people we've spoken too happy that this individual, the only person to have been convicted of involvement of the Lockerbie bombing, has finally died. There was a lot of anger that the Scottish government chose to release him on humanitarian grounds after it emerged he had terminal cancer.

David Cameron is the British prime minister and he, when he gave his reaction, refused to sympathize with the Megrahi family.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, of course, I've always been clear that he should never have been released from prison. But I think today is a day to remember the 270 people who lost their lives in what was an appalling terrorist act. And our thoughts should be with them and their families for the suffering that they've had.

DR. JIM SWIRE, FATHER OF LOCKERBIE VICTIM: How sad but (inaudible), because I knew this man quite well. And because I'd become satisfied (inaudible) Lockerbie, he'd become my friend and I met him last in December last year. And he was in a lot of pain then. And I knew he would have been in a lot of pain in between. So at least his death has brought his pain, his suffering to an end.

But I was very, very glad that the last part of his life was led with his family back in his own society in Tripoli.

CHANCE: The death of al-Megrahi does close a chapter on this very dark period. But there are now concerns that with his death many questions still hanging over the Lockerbie bombing may never be answered.

Matthew Chance, CNN, in Lockerbie.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: And turning now to a massive suicide attack in Yemen's capital, at least 101 Yemeni soldiers are now dead. Now the bomber blew himself up at the central security headquarters in Sanaa as soldiers rehearsed for unification day ceremonies.

Now the building is just 200 meters from the presidential palace. Yemen's defense minister was at the scene, but was not hurt. Intelligence officials say the bomber wore a military uniform. No one has claimed responsibility. But the Yemeni embassy in the U.S. says suicide attacks are the hallmark of al Qaeda.

Now the Syrian conflict is igniting sectarian tensions in neighboring Lebanon. Now violence has broken out in Beirut after this shooting at a military checkpoint. Now the car was part of a convoy carrying two Sunni clerics. The national news agency reports that they were shot dead by Lebanese soldiers when they failed to stop. Some Sunnis in Lebanon oppose Syrian president Bashar al Assad. They've been clashing off and on with supporters of the Syrian regime. Two people have been killed in Beirut so far on Monday.

Now world leaders are meeting in Chicago for a NATO summit. We will have the latest on who was there and what they hope to achieve at the two days talks.

And Chinese human rights activist Chen Guantcheng has made the journey to the U.S. But what about fellow activists left behind in China.

And the battle of the titans: the heads of Samsung and Apple are set to meet in a bid to end their legal bickering. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago this Monday with one major question on their minds: how do you wind down the war in Afghanistan?

Heated protests outside the two day summit conveyed the strength of feeling over this 11 year war. And U.S. President Barack Obama has a delicate balancing act to carry out in a tough election year: persuading the American people the country's troops are pulling out while reassuring the Afghan people that they are not being abandoned.

Now Mr. Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai seem agreed that the U.S. will and combat operations next will and exit Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Now all parties may be prepared to sign off on President Obama's transition plan this Monday, but not everybody is sticking to this time line. Now France plans to remove its forces by the end of 2012.

Now Nick Paton-Walsh is in Kabul for us and he joins us now live. And Nick, at the summit in Chicago, the commander of NATO, he emphasized the challenge ahead saying U.S. troops will be fighting through the year 2014. How does that view match the reality there on the ground?

NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But certainly the very challenging time ahead, nobody can doubt that at all. I think what your seeing from General Allen is an attempt to make people here in Afghanistan and America's NATO allies feel that the U.S. is in for the longer fight. That's not entirely compatible with what you are hearing potentially from President Obama who says more clearly -- you know, a word you're going to be hearing a lot in the next 24 hours called Milestone 2013. And that's a specific point in the middle of next year in which NATO wants to see their troops go into a support and advisory role and Afghan soldiers take the lead for security across the country.

That's vital, because then they expect, even in General Allen's opinion, that they will be in a lesser combat role, they will be called into the fight when necessary. Exactly how much, nobody knows, and nobody quite knows -- I'm sure President Obama has an idea -- but nobody has been told how many troops that will require.

So a major change in the kind of mission in the middle of next year for NATO's decade long presence here. And I think that's really, I think, what's trying to be explained gently in Chicago is President Obama is making it sound like the middle of next year marks a sea change, almost an end in the war, where if General Allen is having to give a different message to make sure NATO allies and Afghans on the ground here worried about their security don't think there's going to be a sudden rush to the exit in the middle of next year, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And while delivering that different message, General John Allen, he also played down the impact of Pakistan's closure of NATO ground supply lines, but just how critical are those supply lines to NATO's mission in Afghanistan?

PATON-WALSH: There's no doubt there are extremely important. Ever since they were closed in November we heard from ISAF officials that it's not a big deal, that it's not really impacting them, but they've had surplus supplies, because as you know the relationship with Pakistan have been rocky for months, since they killed Osama bin Laden.

But think about it, you've got to bring everything else -- rather than going through that short route from the sea from Karachi, through Pakistan, through the south of Afghanistan, you have to bring it through the north, through Russia, through the Stans to the north and Central Asia, through rail, through air. It's significantly more expensive and that cost is going to mount in the months ahead, particularly for America's less resourced allies, because they have start pulling equipment out, thousands of trucks, armored vehicles, personnel, containers, you name it, are going to have to leave this country. And increasingly fast-paced in the years or so ahead to make sure that draw down can happen.

If you have what Pakistan suggesting a $5,000 per container pricetag, that could financial cripple some of the less financially well off NATO allies here, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Nick, also talks with the Taliban. At the NATO summit, the U.S. president Barack Obama urged Hamid Karzai to engage with the Taliban and to reach some sort of political settlement. But can that be done?

PATON-WALSH: It's an incredibly complicated question. The U.S. effort is stalling, to be honest if not completely stopped in its tracks here. Major hurdle in that the Taliban wanted to see some of their high profile prisoners from Guantanamo Bay released. That was always going to face major opposition in Washington and congressional circles. And it certainly seemed to have slowed the process down to the point where the Taliban want nothing more to do with it until the U.S. could clarify their position.

So real concerns that that U.S.-Taliban bilateral communication that was beginning only to show some kind of fruit, to have stalled in its tracks, real concerns that the Afghans, given the assassination of a high level peace negotiators, one only just two weeks ago, may be also flawed. I think real concerns now as the fighting season picks up. It's not really in the Taliban's interest to be seen to be negotiating peace. And of course it's harder now for President Obama as he enters an electoral campaign to seeming to be appeasing somehow the Taliban they've been trying to fight for nearly a decade, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nick Paton-Walsh, live from Kabul, thank you.

Now the Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng is now in the United States. He arrived in New York on Saturday with his wife and their two children. But his supporters and other activists back in China are facing even more intense scrutiny. Stan Grant reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The sign in Chinese says this is a civilized neighborhood. Standing by, security guards. Inside, under house arrest, the wife of China's Nobel Peace Prize Laureate himself still in prison. Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, has been holed up here since her husband won the award in 2010.

CNN has been stopped here before.

Right. OK.

Well, we're being stopped...

The heavy police presence may be gone, but there is still no way through for us.

Well, we're just trying to get to see Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's wife. And we're being stopped right here. We've been told to pass on a message to tell the guard and he'll pass the message on to her, but we're absolutely not to go any further then this gate right here.

Do they ever get to see Liu Xia. Does she ever come out?

Not many people come looking for her, this guard says, because they know they won't get in.

Liu Xia is just one of the many dissidents and human rights activists deemed enemies of the state. Her husband is serving 11 years in prison for circulating a pro-democracy document. The Nobel Laureate has been dubbed China's Nelson Mandela.

Liu and other Chinese dissidents have been overshadowed by fellow activist Chen Guangcheng's flight to freedom in the United States. As Chen makes a new life for himself in New York, the crackdown continues in China. This friend of Chen says she can't feel happy, just numb.

HE PEIRONG, CHEN SUPPOERT (through translator): I used to take interviews and say that I feel happy and content, but right now I just feel empty.

GRANT: He Peirong helped Chen escape house arrest and flee to the U.S. embassy. She's been detained. Now free, she says she is under scrutiny. She says she hopes for the best for Chen, but fears for his extended family.

She says Chen's brother and family have been beaten and Chen's nephew is charged with attempted murder after defending himself.

PEIRONG (through translator): It's been a highly stressful year for me planning the rescue of Chen Guangcheng, because as you can see every attempt resulted in him being beaten up. And his brother Guangfu being beaten up. So right now I feel I have been doing the right thing, but still can't say I'm happy.

GRANT: China is not commenting. Local officials refuse our calls.

One man is free, but from New York, Chen Guangcheng knows the struggle back home is far from over.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now tributes have been pouring in for British singer Robin Gibb of the band the Bee Gees. He died in England on Sunday at the age of 62.

(MUSIC)

LU STOUT: The band was made up of Gibb and his two brothers. They had their first hits in the 1960s and went on to make a number of chart toppers, including "This is Where I Came In," "Staying Alive," and "How Deep is Your Love?" Now music dominated disco dance floors in the 1970s. And the band sold more than 200 million albums. Gibb died after a long battle with liver and colon cancer.

Now still to come here on News Stream, the leaders of Apple and Samsung are set to sit down and talk through their company's patent problems. We'll examine the tech giants' love-hate relationship.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And they are the leaders of two of the biggest tech companies in the world. The CEOs of Apple and Samsung will be in San Francisco today to try and find a solution to a legal fight over their products.

Now Apple accuses Samsung of copying its products. Samsung accuses Apple of violating its patents. As Paula Hancocks explains, the two company's share a complicated relationship.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a love-hate relationship with billions of dollars at stake. Samsung and Apple are currently fighting around 30 different lawsuits in nine different country's around the world suing and countersuing over smartphone and tablet patents for the past 12 months. But for both, the legal battles are double-edged.

Now many of us already know what an Apple iPad looks like. This is the product itself. But to truly understand how interconnected these two companies are, you have to go inside the iPad. So this, as I said, is an Apple product. And beneath here, you can see here are the Samsung chips. So even in the midst of all this legal bickering, these two companies are very interdependent.

Analysts say up to 15 percent of Samsung's operating profits come from Apple orders. And Apple is heavily dependent on Samsung components.

The U.S. company could threaten to use hardware from other companies and move away from the South Korean company, but it would be a costly move.

ANNOUNCER: It's time for a better tablet.

HANCOCKS: Despite the risk of losing Apple as a major customer with the increasing lawsuits, it is possible that there's no such thing as bad publicity for Samsung.

PARK YOUNG-JOO, WOORI INVESTMENT & SECURITIES: Samsung was recognized as the very strong rival against Apple. So this kind of -- Samsung electronics is worth saving. They're like advertisement costs, that's what I believe.

HANCOCKS: Most analysts agree it is high time the two bosses met to end the bitter litigation and work towards and out of court settlement. Even if the meeting wasn't voluntary, but ordered by a U.S. judge.

As for now, the only ones truly benefiting from the status quo are the lawyers.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now Apple and Samsung's fight is just one of many legal battles being fought between smartphone handset makers. And they have led to some strange situations.

For example, take Microsoft, they provide the Windows phone software running on handsets like the Nokia Lumia. And if you buy a Nokia Windows phone, Microsoft gets a cut. You're buying a phone running their software after all.

But let's say that you decided against buying a Windows phone and say you wanted to buy an Android phone instead, well Microsoft still gets a cut. Now why? Because Microsoft has an agreement with many Android handset makers. Microsoft shares patents and gets royalties in return.

And that shows why having good patents is almost as good as having a good product. And a good patent portfolio is one of the reasons Google launched a $12.5 billion bid to buy Motorola's handset operations. Now Chinese regulators have now approved Google's plans, the last significant hurdle before Google can complete the deal.

Now winding down the war in Afghanistan, NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago this hour hoping to chart their exit from the decade long conflict. And we will go there live just ahead.

And a painfully personal story from the war torn country: a young Afghan woman disfigured by her husband's family is making plans for her future. Her story is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now some families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing are calling for a fresh inquiry into conviction of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi who died of cancer on Sunday. Now Megrahi is the only man to be convicted for the terrorist attack which killed 270 people when a Pan Am Airliner was brought down over Scotland in 1988.

The death toll in Yemen continues to rise after a suicide blast in Sanaa. Interior Ministry officials say at least 101 soldiers are dead. Now the blast happened as soldiers prepared for a ceremony on Tuesday marking Yemen's unification day. Officials say the bomber wore a military uniform.

Now Robin Gibb, one of the three brothers who formed the Bee Gees has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 62. The Bee Gees were one of the biggest selling groups of all time with more than 200 million albums sold.

Now NATO leaders are gathering in the city of Chicago with the issue of Afghanistan will dominate the second day of summit. And members are expected to sign off on U.S. President Barack Obama's plan for withdrawing troops.

Elise Labott is live in Chicago with more. And Elise, what is the latest thinking there on winding down the war in Afghanistan?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, here NATO allies are going to be talking about the next year to two years. 2013, Afghan security forces are supposed to have security lead for all of the country and then you talk about NATO having train, support, and assist mission. And then they're going to be talking about what NATO's role is passed 2014.

Yesterday, President Obama told NATO allies and obviously electorate here back home that the war as we know it is over. So certainly they want to send that message that the war is winding down, but certainly there's going to have to be a very significant role for NATO going forward.

Now even the Afghan air force isn't really supposed to be stood up until 2016. So certainly there's going to have to be some heavy component of support for Afghan forces going forward.

LU STOUT: That's right in particular, financial support. Who will pay for the build up of Afghan forces as ISAF draws down?

LABOTT: Well, it's going to be a combination of the U.S. having the bulk of that cost. And also NATO allies. They estimate that it's going to be about a $4 billion cost per year to sustain the Afghan forces. And now the U.S. is going to be taking the bulk of that at about $3.2 billion. Then you look at the Afghans having to pay quite a bit, about $500 million.

But President Obama really is going to have the hat out to NATO allies asking them to pay their part. They estimate they'll need about $1.3 billion in shortfall. And some country's like Britain, Germany, Australia have already announced their contributions. But President Obama is going to be looking for other allies to make up that cost.

And we're told by U.S. officials that they think they're getting not all the way there, but they're pretty close and they feel comfortable that they'll be able to make up that cost, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now there in Chicago at the summit, Barack Obama refused a meeting with Pakistan's president. There is a rift in relations, but how will this rift affect Afghanistan and an orderly withdrawal from there?

LABOTT: Well, that's right. NATO allies have been unable to use those NATO supply routes through Pakistan since that deadly attack in November when 26 Pakistani soldiers were killed. U.S. and Pakistan have been trying to negotiate Pakistan reopening those supply routes. Pakistan, U.S. officials say, is asking for upwards of $5,000 per truck to go through those NATO supply routes. Right now they're using distribution network in the north through Russia and central Asia. And right now they're paying about $250 per truck, Pakistan wants a lot more now. And the U.S. is saying no we're not going to pay that, we're not going to pay even close to that. So that really needs to get reopened. Right now they're able to compensate, but as you try to get those trucks out, you try to remove supplies and personnel, they're certainly going to need -- they're going to need Pakistan.

And also they really want Pakistan's help on two other major items, Kristie, reconciliation with the Taliban and cracking down on that Haqqani Network that is attacking U.S. forces and NATO forces in Kabul.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with President Zardari, pressed these items. We're told there's not a lot of progress. But publicly Pakistan is saying it is committed to a stable Afghanistan and it is willing to work with NATO on all these items. We'll just have to see how the program progresses. But certainly, President Zardari is going to be under -- in the hot seat today when ISAF forces meet not only to open those supply routes but to commit to reconciliation and cracking down on that Haqqani Network, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. We'll be looking out for headlines from day two of the NATO summit. Well, Elise Labott reporting live. Thank you Elise.

Now one young woman has become the human face of the conflict in Afghanistan. Aesha well held up by Time magazine as an example of what will happen when U.S. troops withdraw. Now she was relocated to America after a brutal attack left her disfigured. And as Jessica Ravitz reports, she is still trying to find her happy ending.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a very outgoing person. She likes to go on walk around. And she just take off and go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she (inaudible) playground there is the swing and she love to swing. All the time she laughs (ph).

AESHA MOHAMMADZAI, VICTIM OF ABUSE (through translator): Whatever is my life from childhood I should be like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day by day she is getting more comfortable.

Obviously, everybody has moments, I know. We all know that.

MOHAMMADZAI (through translator): I think all the time why this thing happened to me here. Why did he cut my ear and nose? If I had my nose, I could have my life now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is 19-year-old Bibi Oyashe (ph). It was her husband who cut off her nose and ears.

JESSICA RAVITZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Born in a village in southern Afghanistan, Aesha was forced into marriage at a young age. In a tradition known as Baad she was given as payback for a crime committed by someone else in her family. After years of abuse from her in-laws Aesha ran away, but was caught. She spent months in prison. Her father-in-law retrieved her. And with her Taliban husband and others brutally cut off her nose and ears.

She appeared on the cover of Time and was brought to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery. But she was deemed to emotionally fragile to undergo the procedures.

Almost two years later, she has settled with and Afghan family who wants to give her the life she never had and the tools to become independent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is very injured. And I wonder how people injure somebody like this?

Aesha has been living with us for the past four months. We are trying to support her to become independent in her life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you say it in English? You can say it better in English.

MOHAMMADZAI (subtitles): My English is not good, I don't have enough words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (subtitles): Don't worry. If you go off words, we will help you in English.

MOHAMMADZAI: Study. Learn. I want to be a police officer.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wants to be a police officer. That's what she wants to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. And she thinks she (inaudible) officers and soldiers.

MOHAMMADZAI: I love police officers.

RAVITZ: Aesha had arrived in America more traumatized than anyone had anticipated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody wants to kill me, or somebody falling me. Here is a (inaudible) she has these kind of dreams.

RAVITZ: For more than a year, a strong support system of women surrounded her. They included teachers, a therapist and other volunteers with an organization called women for Afghan women. But still, Aesha struggled to find a sense of belonging.

In late 2011 she asked to move in with the family who cares for her now. This step, taken of her own initiative, was seen as a sign of growth. But progress is slow. And Aesha's past is not easily over come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a fighter, a typical fighter, that's what I like in her. It's awful hard for me, you know, but I like as a woman she is a good fighter.

MOHAMMADZAI: Where are we practicing? I'm practicing in the classroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Practicing, practicing English all the time.

MOHAMMADZAI (subtitles): Mom! You're making me laugh!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of the days she watching on the computer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And she does have a hobby, making jewelry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the first time she started doing jewelry in jail in Afghanistan.

MOHAMADZAI (through translator): If I get married, first I have to be capable of -- to stand on my two feet.

She say if my husband tells me something I will kick him out of the house.

(LAUGHTER)

And I will go out from the house and say I will not live with you anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That means I can kick out myself in (inaudible) will come and say, ha ha.

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was painful when you see such a nice, young girl and she's orphaned because she doesn't know what to do with it. Now she's confident. She write all of her names in all the table. I told you don't do that, you know, on the table Aesha Mohammadzai. She like it.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: So which do you like? Do you like Ms. Mohammadzai or Mz. Mohammadzai. You like Ms. OK, so...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is interested to learn the language. She is doing her homework. She's going to the English class.

(CROWD SPEAKING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are your words?

MOHAMMADZAI: Classroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Classroom, good.

Aesha?

MOHAMADZAI: You are a good teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you are a good student.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is like our own. She's part of this family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the dinner time we are all together. We talk about some small things, how was our day. And she talk also she share her mind, opinions. She sees how the people have the relationship with each other, the respect, all the stuff the routine we need in your daily life.

RAVITZ: The family hopes Aesha will soon get the surgery to rebuild her nose and ears. If she does, it will be a grueling and complicated process that could take up to two years to finish. Aesha and the whole family have a long road ahead of them.

MOHAMADZAI: I'm not scared. I'm a little big scared, my nose. I hope they don't make it bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said, I'm worried a little that I hope they give me a very nice nose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The goal is that she become after the surgery independent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be a productive member of society. She will be the best spokesperson for all the women, you know, been through such a thing and hopefully make proud everybody, us and everybody else. She'd be a good person.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now in the French football league this season, it was a case of David beating Goliath. Pedro Pinto joins us now with more on what was an amazing achievement -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It was, Kristie. Against all odds Montpellier won the French league title. They did it for the first time ever, finishing three points ahead of big spending Paris Saint Germain. The decision came down to the final round of fixtures. Montpellier needed to avoid defeat at Auxerre to be crowned champions. Let's take a look at how it all played out.

It didn't look good early on for Montpellier as they were down a goal to Auxerre. Auxerre who were relegated this season scored through Olivier Capot.

Meanwhile, PSG, who were playing at the same time, needed to beat Lorien to have a chance at winning the title. They also went a goal down, though. Monnet-Pague heading past (inaudible).

Back to Auxerre where Montpellier got back on level terms. Soueymane Camara with the cross and it's John Utaka with the finish.

PSG knew they needed to turn their match against Lorient around and they equalized in the 61st minute through Javier Pastore. And Carlo Ancelotti's side will take the lead shortly after. Diego Motta heading in a corner to put the Parisians in control.

Now PSG still needed Montpellier to lose their game in order to be crowned champions. But they didn't get their wish, they waited and waited for an Auxerre goal, but instead it was the league leaders who netted a winner, Utaka again finding the back of the net. The Nigerian becoming the hero for Montpellier who clinch their first ever league crown.

And it's fair to say they came out of nowhere to finish first. Last season they were 14th. So not many people at all expected them to be title contenders. It was their first trophy since the French Cup back in 1990.

As I mentioned earlier, Auxerre were relegated to the second division. And during Sunday's match with Montpellier, their fans staged a protest. Supporters pelted the pitch with tennis balls and toilet paper. It forced a halt in the action and sent both sets of players back into their respective dressing rooms. Order was eventually restored.

Rafael Nadal has just won the Rome Tennis Masters. The Spaniard beat world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets in a match which ended just a few minutes ago. It was Nadal's second straight win over Djokovic after he had lost seven straight matches to the Serb. Rafa coming out on top 7-5 and 6-3 as he won the tournament for the sixth time.

Finally, some NBA basketball from the United States. The San Antonio Spurs move to the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night by completing a four game sweep of the L.A. Clippers. Los Angeles have the lead in the second half thanks to some acrobatic plays from Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan. But San Antonio tied up the contest with a 3-pointer from Daniel Green in the fourth quarter.

And then moved in front for good. The Clippers had one last chance to tie the game with time winding down, but they couldn't get a shot off. The Spurs winning 102-99.

And they're still undefeated in the NBA playoffs this season.

That's a quick look at sports, Kristie. Back to you in Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

Now a rare solar eclipse casts a ring of fire across Asia and parts of the U.S. Now this annular solar eclipse, it was watched by millions. And if you missed it, stick around, the full view is just ahead.

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LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now there is rainy weather for earthquake survivors in Italy. Let's get the very latest now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the World Weather Center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this earthquake that struck Italy over the weekend caused some serious damage across portions of north Italy, particularly just south of Bologna and Emilia Romagna region.

Now I want to show you a couple of the pictures that we have from that area. Here you see in Ferrara an older couple with umbrellas standing outside in the aftermath of this quake. Now what's happening is people in many cases are scared to go back into their homes. We've heard from reporters in the region that many people are sleeping outside or sleeping inside their cars and just spending as much time outdoors as possible, bu the temperatures have been relatively chilly, it's been cloudy and it has been raining.

One of the hardest hit areas is the town of Finale Emilia in there in northern Italy. And what you're looking at here is a rescue personnel and civil authorities building tent cities -- building a tent city for survivors. There's thousands of people that may need this now, because of damage to their homes, cracks in the walls, and just because they're scared to be in these concrete structures until they're actually checked.

But it has been raining. And a reporter there earlier was saying that they're building these tent cities inside a football stadium and there was water this high, several centimeters high where they're building these tents. So it is a problem for people in this area.

You can see that circulation in the clouds there still across central parts of Italy here with that big area of low pressure. When you have a lot of moisture, any amount of rain that falls here will be a problem, but we think the heaviest rain will now be across pre-Alpine region and over toward the Alps. So I think we're going to be in a little bit better shape coming up in the next few days across this region, that big swath of rain has moved on, but that area of low pressure that's still lingering here in the Gulf of Genoa will bring you windy weather, cooler weather, and still the possibility of rain.

Let's go ahead and check out your city by city forecast.

Kristie, this next story might be one of my favorite stories so far this entire year. And it's the story of the annular solar eclipse. The pictures were mesmerizing. And Ramy Inocencio was right there in the crowd in Hong Kong Harbor. Let's take a look.

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RAMY INOCENCIO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was always touch and go whether Hong Kong would see it or not, but this lucky camera captured Monday's solar eclipse before it slipped from view. Others in Hong Kong weren't so lucky.

This morning, thousands of people gathered here on the Hong Kong harborfront to witness a rare astronomical event, that was of course the annular solar eclipse. But unfortunately as you can see behind me, the clouds obscure their view and have dashed their hopes. Luckily some other people elsewhere in the world did get to see some pretty beautiful images.

Early risers in parts of southern China were treated to this blazing site. Totality, the time of maximum darkness, started just after sunrise local time and lasted just over three minutes. Here in Hong Kong, some 5,000 sun gazers at viewing party missed totality, but there was a brief break in the clouds.

There it is.

(CHEERING)

Which did reward them with literal three second burst.

And then it's going away again.

After Hong Kong, the eclipsed dazzled viewing parties in Tokyo as it kept on its easterly path. This shot was taken from a solar powered camera placed on top of Mount Fuji.

The eclipse then ended over the western United States at sunset having crossed over California, the Grand Canyon in New Mexico and ending in Texas having traversed nearly 14,000 kilometers in just over three hours.

An annular solar eclipse is when the diameter of the moon isn't able to cover the whole entire disc of the sun, so basically what you get is you get a halo, or a ring of fire, around the moon. Unfortunately here in Hong Kong we weren't treated to that pretty beautiful and spectacular sight.

The next time this is going to happen is going to be 300 years from now, viewable from here in Hong Kong. But if you're elsewhere in the world, particularly in Australia, you will be lucky enough to see this next year in May of 2013. And then also in April of 2014.

So get ready to head on over Down Under. In the meantime, folks here are leaving a little bit disappointed. But hopefully you got to see it where you are.

Ramy Inocencio, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAMOS: Hey, you know what, I didn't get to see it. It wasn't visible here in Georgia. It was raining anyway.

But I do want to show you some pictures, Kristie, from different places around the world. Our iReporters have been busy. I love this picture from Joel in New Mexico in the United States. There the weather was generally clear and they were able to get some pretty nice images. And Ronald in the Philippines, in Paranque City said that what a treat to wake up to this site for thing in the morning. The solar eclipse happened in the early morning hours, of course, here in the Philippines.

And this last one, right here, I love it, from Derek. You see why you have that ring around there, Ramy mentioned it, remember the supermoon Kristie, kind of the same thing, because the moon is so close it's unable to cover the entire disc of the sun.

And there you have the ring around the sun. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Wow. Our iReporters definitely delivered. A big thank you to all of the. And Mari Ramos, thank you.

Now politicians, they may not always seem like the common man, but in their down time it seems that they do like to kick back, relax, and watch the game. Now the big game this weekend was the UEFA Champion's League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. And the politicians in question were some of the world's most prominent.

Now if you've been living in a cave and have not heard the result, this picture should tell you all you need to know. You've got British Prime Minister David Cameron, he's doing the Superman, that staple of British soccer celebrations. While Angela Merkel totally thinks that there is nothing super about the penalty that Chelsea has just scored.

The U.S. is often said to have a special relationship with Britain, and judging by President Obama's expression it seems pretty clear where his allegiance lies.

But Chelsea wasn't the only winner, I'm happy to report diplomatic decency also won the day.

And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

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