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Tokyo, Madrid, Instanbul Last Three Standing For 2020 Olympics; Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Has Far Reaching Effects; Iran Nuclear Talks Break Down In Baghdad; Philadelphia 76ers Force Game 7 Against Celtics; Queen Victoria's Diaries Released Online
Aired May 24, 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 with a special look at Japan. The country is still dealing with the impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Now police suspect more than 100 school girls are poisoned in Afghanistan.
And they are hosting the World Cup, but Qatar's capital didn't even make the short list for the 2020 Olympics.
Nuclear power remains a hot button issue in Japan. The country's last working reactor was shut down earlier this month making Japan the only developed economy without nuclear power. Now the country's ruling party wants to restart them, but there has been a huge public outcry since last year's earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis. And now a World Health Organization report finds that most of Japan experienced low levels of radiation exposure after the accident.
Now the preliminary report is part of a wider health probe and comes amid warnings that contaminated concrete from Fukushima Prefecture has made its way across the country.
Kyung Lah shows us that.
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One mother's rage -- local government representatives had finally shown up to talk to Ayoku Yaigashi (ph), her husband and two young children months after a horrific discovery at their apartment complex. This brand new building's foundation is radioactive. The city's experts found a level 10 times higher than average exposure in Japan. But this city is supposed to be in a safe area, 40 miles away from the so-called danger zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant.
So how did this happen? This cement came from this quarry just miles from the crippled nuclear plant. When the triple meltdown happened, radiation rained down on the quarry. The radioactive rock was then shipped across the country and used to build this apartment building.
Residents from the first floor have all moved out. The Ayoku Yaigashi (ph) lives on the third floor where the government keeps trying to tell her it's safe.
Do you feel nervous even just standing out here?
"Yes, I'm worried," says Yaigashi (ph). "Radiation is invisible. It could be airborne right now. It could be coming out of the ground. We don't know."
It's not just the apartment building. The contaminated rock from the quarry made its way to nearly 1,000 different locations across this entire region. It's right under my feet in this new section of this little canal, just an example of how radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has worked its way into ordinary life here in Japan.
Radiation tainted straw was fed to cattle which became tainted beef that ended up in supermarkets and restaurants across Japan. Radioactive particles flew across the country and landed on green tea fields in south Japan, which ended up in tea cups. And airborne radioactive particles appeared to have entered a baby formula factory, formula which ended up on store shelves.
All these scares have lead to the opening of nearly 100 independent storefronts across Japan where residents like Yuki Kubo (ph) can test food and soil for radiation.
"I can't believe the government. I don't believe them," she says. "We have to protect ourselves. That's what we've learned from Fukushima."
Japan's government is constantly monitoring radiation in the air, ground, and water on a local and national level. But Ayoku Yaigashi (ph) is a living example that the government can't control the spread of radiation everywhere.
"Never listen to what the government tells you," she says. "If you do, you'll pay."
She and her family go back inside with little relief from the government. They'll try to handle this crisis on their own.
LU STOUT: Now Kyung filed that story from Nihonmatsu. That is here. And it's more than 50 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. And remember, two days after the double disaster the government ordered an evacuation. Now everyone within this area, that's a 20 kilometer radius, had to leave their homes. As you can see Nihonmatsu outside that exclusion zone.
Now Kyung is now back in Tokyo. And she joins us now live. And Kyung, just how dangerous is this contaminated concrete?
LAH: It's a very complicated question, Kristie. The science simply isn't very clear on what the impact of low level radiation will be on these residents. And that's really the big concern here among the people who live there, but also people all around this region, because remember we're talking about almost 1,000 spots that have been affected by this concrete.
And then turn to expanding it to other areas like people who may have inadvertently eaten some contaminated beef, or maybe somehow had some of that green tea. So the concern is what is the overall impact of that low level radiation, they simply don't know at this point.
And some of the people, Kristie, if you sit down and talk to them, they say they feel like a bit of a test cast that perhaps 20, 30 years down the line the scientists will talk to them and maybe have better science then.
LU STOUT: Yeah, very disturbing. So much is unknown. And people there are clearly angry at the government. Is the government incompetent, or is the government flat out lying about the ongoing nuclear threat here?
LAH: Well, when you talk to people and how they feel, some will say they absolutely feel that the government is lying, that what the government is trying to do, and specifically the bureaucrats, is that they're trying to protect their jobs, they're trying to save their political hides, and try to keep the country calm and keep the truth away from the public.
But generally people here do feel overwhelmingly that what the world saw during the Fukushima crisis is that the government largely was not able to handle it. And that simply has continued over the year that in many ways the government has been falling down on the job, it has been incompetent.
But we should say that when you look at the large amount of area that was impacted by this radiation release and the fact that this is the worst radiation disaster that we've seen in modern history, in the last 25 years, well certainly it -- this government has had its hands quite full, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Certainly. Kyung Lah joining us live from Tokyo with that. Thank you.
Now Egyptians are going to the polls for a second straight day in that country's historic presidential election. It is the first such vote since Hosni Mubarak's regime was toppled in the Arab Spring more than a year ago. And one of the key players in the protest movement, Egyptian internet activist Wael Ghonim was among those who voted on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAEL GHONIM, EGYPTIAN INTERNET ACTIVIST: It's the first time for me to vote for a president. And I think for many people from my generation are doing the same thing. And I think it's a historical moment. No matter who wins, at the end of the day, it's the time where the new president understands very well that it's the people who put him in power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now election results are not expected before the weekend. And our Ben Wedeman joins me now live from Cairo. And Ben, at the polling stations, can you describe the scene there? Are the lines long? And what has the turnout been like?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say what the turnout has been. I mean, at the moment it is 2:00 in the afternoon in Cairo and there was a line here before, but I think the police and the army who are running these elections didn't want you to see the line of women who were here waiting to vote and suddenly we played a positive role in this election by helping them go inside and cast their ballot.
What we've seen is there's been a steady number of voters coming. Usually it's in the afternoon when people get out of work, out of university then the numbers really start to pile up. We were in one polling station yesterday at 7:00 pm. And there were hundreds of people lined up to vote.
The expectation, according to one opinion poll, was that as many as 80 percent of the eligible electorate would be casting their ballot. And whether you're in the south of the country of in Cairo or in Alexandria, it seems that everyone who is going to the polls is voting with real enthusiasm.
WEDEMAN: Even at 70 years of age, Nadia Fahmy is still learning. Today, how to vote for Egypt's next president. She waited two-and-a-half hours outside the polling station in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Garden City to ensure she was the first to get in and vote.
NADIA FAHMY, FIRST-TIME VOTER: Sure, sure it's the right step. I mean, now at least we have confidence. We think that it's going to be a proper vote and that's why we're out here.
WEDEMAN: For the grand dammes of Garden City elections are at last worth the effort.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since I was born in 1948 (inaudible) anybody.
WEDEMAN: The choice facing Egyptians is fairly stark between candidates who want to go down an islamist path and those who want to follow a more secular, civil route. I ask Amel Shoukerostum (ph) which way she wants to go.
"Civil," she says. "If the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power," she worries, "they'll persecute minorities." She voted for former foreign minister Amre Moussa, one of the leading candidates on the secular side.
Ali Ahmed Ali, a lawyer at the health ministry, is voting for Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate.
ALI AHMED ALI, CAIRO RESIDENT: Not personal reasons, but I vote for him because they proved they can handle the country. They can handle the law. They work with the parliament very good. This good for my country, that's all.
WEDEMAN: A clear winner is unlikely to emerge from the field of 13 contenders in this, the first round of voting. The only real clarity to emerge so far is that Egypt has indeed discarded the tawdry, staged politics of the Mubarak era.
"For 30 years we were completely blind-folded," says Samir Moudweli (ph). "We didn't know what was going on behind our back."
Under Hosni Mubarak, voting days were raucous, noisy affairs complete with paid musicians and often paid voters.
In the new Egypt, process is relatively calm and quiet. The lines are orderly. Voters largely patient and in good humor still learning something new after more than 5,000 years.
WEDEMAN: And Kristie, we've just learned from the election commission here in Egypt that voting will be extended an extra hour so it -- it was started this morning at 8:00 am and will be going to 9:00 pm this evening. But it does appear that there will be no clear winning in this first round. So we'll be looking forward on the 16th and 17th of June for a second, hopefully decisive round -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: So there will be a second round. As you mentioned, no more staged politics in this vote. But we do know that election monitors are there in Egypt watching this process. Ben, have there been any voting irregularities?
WEDEMAN: Nothing really dramatic. I mean, one of the sort of the most common voting irregularity at the moment has been that there's been electoral campaign material distributed very close to the polling stations. But I have to tell you, compared to what I used to see on a regular basis in presidential elections, presidential referendum, and parliamentary elections in pre-revolutionary Egypt, those pale in comparison. You would see people being driven in, there -- many people openly admitted to getting paid to vote. The numbers were inflated. We watched as they would fill out ballots for voters that, you know, were either dead or whatever. In fact, just a little while ago I was speaking to a man who said the only time he voted in Egypt under Mubarak, he went to fill out his ballot and found it had already been filled in.
So the violations that we're seeing now really are just a tiny fraction of what was commonplace under Hosni Mubarak -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Wow, dramatic change. Thanks for the historic context there. Ben Wedeman reporting live from Cairo, thank you.
Now still to come here on News Stream, EU leaders gathered in Brussels to tackle the debt crisis in the EuroZone. And we'll tell you if they found any common ground.
And there is usually plenty of harmony at the Eurovision singing contest, but this year controversy may be drowning out the music.
And the private thoughts of a queen: a look at the diaries of British Queen Victoria and the secrets that they hold.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now there is no new plan to resolve the EuroZone's debt crisis, that's the outcome from a summit in Brussels where leaders failed to resolve disputes over euro bonds and other measures. Now they did, however, agree that Greece should stay in the EuroZone. Now Lee Reuben joins me now live from London with more. And Emily, can you tell us more about what was actually achieved last night?
EMILY REUBEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you know the markets had a pretty low expectation of what would come out of this summit. And in fact not even those expectations were met.
On the table were some pretty uncontroversial measures to encourage growth, like for instance, boosting the European investment bank. But not even those measures could be agreed on. And instead, what came out from the summit was a pledge by the EU leaders that Greece should stay in the euro. However, key to that was is that there would be no relaxation of the bailout terms, no relaxation in austerity.
And I think this was a clearly designed message to send to the Greek voters who of course are going to polls on June 17. What's been happening in Greece is that the left-wing party Syriza has been gaining a lot of popularity. And they're arguing that Greece can stay in the euro and can renegotiate the terms of its bailout. But I think the message from the EU leaders after their six hour meeting last night was we want you in, but you stick to our rules.
LU STOUT: Now European leaders, they want Greece in the EuroZone, but is there a plan B? Is there a plan to respond to a possible Greek exit?
REUBEN: Well, we know now that senior EuroZone ministers had a telephone conference call on Monday in which they all discussed their individual contingency plans should Greece leave the euro. However, EU officials are very keen to point out that this is just contingency planning and they'd be criticized if they didn't have contingency planning in place. It doesn't mean that they are actively pursuing Greece's exit from the euro.
Don't forget Greece is a very small economy in the EuroZone. It only accounts for about 2 percent of GDP. And in fact, China produces the same that Greek produces in a year, China produces that in a 11-and-a-half weeks, that's according to Goldman Sachs. And you can see that it's not really the issue of the size of Greece's economy, it's more the precedent that it sets.
You know, when the single currency was set up there was no plan put in place in case a country was going to leave the euro. And if Greece does leave the euro, it sets a very dangerous precedent and causes great concern for other countries, especially those who are suffering: Spain, Italy, and Portugal.
LU STOUT: That's right. If Greece exits the euro, others could go next.
Now Emily, certain European leaders, they want to shift the focus from austerity to growth. But how can that be achieved given the dismal data out there like the latest figures on the British economy?
REUBEN: Well, I think that's a multimillion euro question, Kristie. Two gloomy tickers came out today -- the TMI, which is the manufacturing and services index in the EuroZone which showed that it was at its lowest level since June 2009. And yes, of course, in the UK GDP here has shrunk .3 percent in the first three months, which is worse than expected. That causes a headache for the chancellor who has put everything on his austerity measures.
And now we've got people like the British Chamber of Commerce coming out and saying, well, let's focus on long-term growth. So I think the key problem here is that the UK and the EuroZone are key trading partners, they're both reporting very bad figures today. The key question now is where does that growth come from?
LU STOUT: All right. Emily Reuben reporting there. Thank you so much, Emily.
Now the International Olympic Committee is down to the final three candidates to host the 2020 Olympics. Did Tokyo make the short list, or what about the capital of Qatar? Alex Thomas will have more next.
LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now London's Olympic games may end up costing more than $14 billion to stage and yet five cities were still keen to host the event in eight years time. Only three of those have made it to the short list as Alex Thomas in London can tell us now -- Alex.
THOMAS: Yeah, Kristie. And the story here isn't so much the cities that made the cut, it's the ones that didn't. Qatar's capital Doha missed out on the final short list for the second straight time even though the country is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The IOC questioned whether a nation that size could host both events within two years. And Olympic organizers didn't like the suggestion of staging the games in October, because they were concerned about the heat. Unlike FIFA, the IOC weren't convinced by plans to put cooling systems in stadia.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's capital Baku also missed out. The IOC said in their report that the city's infrastructure as well as their planning wasn't developed enough to successfully host the games in eight year's time.
So that leaves us with Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid as the only remaining cities on the short-list. Tokyo are the only ones who have hosted the Olympics before. Spain hosted the 1992 Barcelona games. Turkey have yet to host the event.
These cities now have 16 months of campaigning before the IOC votes in September 2013.
On to football now, and Corinthians are through to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores after beating Vasco Da Gama. Falling a 0-0 draw in the first leg, Corinthians clinched the second leg with an 88th minute goal from Paulinho. And Boca Juniors are also in the last four. They took a 1- 0 lead from the first league of their quarterfinal into the away match for their tie against Fluminense.
Let's pick up the action in the 17th minute. It's scoreless. A free kick for Fluminense. Carletto takes the kick the long way out, but the ball sneaks through the wall and inside the left post, beating the Boca keeper. It's an early lead for the Brazilians in front of their fans.
Fluminense kept their advantage until late on. Riquelme streaking down the right flank here. Boca gets a good shot that deflects off the far post, Santiago Silva is there to bury the rebound. A dramatic last ditch win for Boca Juniors and they're through to the semifinals.
To the NBA playoffs where the Boston Celtics would have liked to close out their series against Philadelphia on Wednesday. The odds just weren't in their favor, though. You go back to 2008, the period since then, the Celtics have a losing record in these decisive games of a series, including the 2010 NBA finals themselves when they were beaten by Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
So let's go off to Philly for the action.
Former Sixer great Allen Iverson presenting the game ball. And nine seconds of the first half, Celtics looking good. The game is tied. Rajon Rondo to Mikhael Pietrus and Boston are up by three at the half.
Third quarter, back on the Sixers, Andre Iguodala throws it down with authority. Philly up by 4.
Then in the fourth quarter, Sixers start to pull away. Drew Holliday drives through all kinds of traffic. Philly up by 8.
Later, more Holliday, this time the give and go to Levoy Allen. The Celtics wouldn't recover from this. They're going to a game seven. The Sixers even the series, winning this one 82-75.
Much more in World Sport later in the day. Kristie, for now back to you in Hong Kong.
LU STOUT: Alex Thomas, thank you.
So Azerbaijan won't host the Olympics in 2020, but they are hosting this year's Eurovision song contest. Now it is the biggest non-sporting event on TV. It attracts more than 120 million viewers worldwide. But the usually light-hearted show is sparking a political storm over the host's human rights record.
Atika Schubert reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The light is slowly turning green.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Azerbaijan as the country's tourism ads sell it: stunning natural beauty, a wealth of culture and history, a budding democracy.
And this is how groups like Human Rights Watch see it: political repression, police crackdowns on those that dare to speak out against the alleged corruption of the family of president Ilham Aliyev.
Enter Eurovision, that bastion of kitsch, the contest that's meant to celebrate Europe one pop song at a time, hosted this year in Baku Azerbaijan.
So should Azerbaijan, a country ranked 162 in the press freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders be hosting Eurovision? A definitive yes from two Azeries, but for very different reasons. Azerbaijan's ambassador to the UK says Eurovision will showcase his country's culture and hospitality. Human rights, he insists, are guaranteed by the constitution, but admits there are problems.
FAKHRADDIN GURBANOV, AZERBAIJAN'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: We are only 10 years old. And we're building democratic society. It's a long way to go. It's not easy. It's very challenging.
SCHUBERT: This is just one of those road bumps to democracy. When Azeri bloggers claim the government had imported two German donkeys for tens of thousands of dollars and then Milli produced this video of a donkey giving a press conference explaining why he really was worth all that money.
Violin virtuoso, just one of many reasons satire clearly. But a few weeks later, after a quote, unquote altercation in a Baku street, Milli was given 17 months in prison for hooliganism.
EMIN MILLI, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER: The way the government acts, they pick up two or three people, you know, and then punish them. And then try to scare everyone else.
SCHUBERT: Milli's conviction was sharply criticized by the United States. He now studying in London. And he, too, wants to see Eurovision in Baku, but with a twist.
MILLI: If one or some or several singers during live show, which would be seen by more than 125 million people would just say one sentence that we demand release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
SCHUBERT: Doing that would disqualify any contestant according to Eurovisions strictly apolitical rules. And the authorities in Azerbaijan have made it clear they would not be happy.
GURBANOV: My personal view is I would be very disappointed if this event will be used in political purposes. I hope that the people who come themselves will see the reality of the country.
SCHUBERT: This year, Eurovision may have a record number of viewers waiting to see not just who wins, but if anyone decides to make it a political platform.
Atika Schubert, CNN, London.
LU STOUT: Now in Afghanistan, more than 100 girls were hospitalized after police suspected they were poisoned simply because they dared to go to school. We'll take you live to Kabul to check on their condition. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now for a second day, Egyptians are lining up to vote for their country's next president. It's being called Egypt's first truly free presidential election. Results are not expected before the weekend. If no candidate wins a clear majority, a run-off will be held in June.
Now EU leaders say they want Greece to stay in the EuroZone, but that it must stick to its bailout commitments. Still, some governments reportedly are preparing back-up plans in the event Greece crashes out of the euro. Now meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande is pushing for the introduction of jointly underwritten euro bonds as a solution to the debt crisis.
Now Tokyo is on the short-list to host the Olympics in 2020 alongside Madrid and Istanbul. The IOC has announced its finalists. Now it's bad news for the city of Baku in the Azerbaijan, and for the Qatari capital Doha, they did not make the cut. The final decision will be made in September of next year.
Now a very disturbing story now from a girl's school in Afghanistan. More than 100 girls and their teachers were rushed to the hospital complaining of dizziness, headaches and vomiting. And police believe that they were poisoned.
Now this is the second suspected attack in the region in the past couple of months. Nick Paton-Walsh is in the Afghan capital. He joins us now live with more. And Nick, it is sickening to know that this has happened again there.
NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Indeed you can imagine the terror these school girls must have felt as they went into class, smelled something strange in the air, and then began feeling sick. Police aren't exactly clear yet what the cause of this was, though they do suspect poisoning, but now you can see some rare pictures of the aftermath and panic of such an event.
PATON-WALSH: To Afghanistan's most extreme conservatives like the Taliban, girls going to school is so offensive, they'll do anything to stop it, including poison school girls. This morning, students went into class at the BB Hajero (ph) Girl's School in northern Takhar Province and noticed a powerful smell. They began to fall ill.
In panic, the 125 girls were rushed to hospital. There headache and dizziness set in. 40 of the girls requiring longer treatment.
DR. HABIBULLAH ROSTAQI, HOSPITAL DIRECTOR (through translator): A number of girls aged from 15 to 18 were brought from a school to hospital today. Generally, they are not in critical condition. We are looking after them. But let's see what happens later. We understand so far from the situation that they are mostly traumatized.
PATON-WALSH: Amid the distress here, a growing fear that even in the once peaceful north, hardliners can strike at will. Police have sent blood samples from the poison girls to Kabul for analysis to work out what the poison is, but they already know who to blame.
KHALILULLAH ASEER, SPOKESMAN, TAKHAR POLICE (through translator): Actually, the Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them from going to school. That's something we and the people believe. Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan. And we want girls to be educated. But the government's enemies don't want this.
PATON-WALSH: This has happened elsewhere before. And in this province, only a few months ago fear, a powerful weapon, but not powerful enough yet to stop these girls from wanting to learn.
PATON-WALSH: Now we understand five of the school girls have today gone back to hospital for further treatment, I think strengthening police suspicion there was some sort of poison at play here. Blood samples, as I reported, have been sent to Kabul. And analysis is expected to complete some point early next week.
But really whatever the cause of this, the message is still chillingly clear, one that fear toward Afghan women trying to pursue their studies. And it gives you a bleak perhaps even more uncertain picture of what kind of Afghan society could be left behind as NATO troops begin to withdraw, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And thanks for giving us an update there on the girl's condition. I wish them well. And we can see quite plainly girls are under threat today in Afghanistan. But Nick, what will happen when NATO forces leave Afghanistan? I mean, will the situation get even worse for them?
PATON-WALSH: It's hard to tell, to be honest. I mean, ISAF weren't really present at this event. So this is really occurring in Afghan space to a certain extent. This is a fight between extremists in this case. It's not clear precisely if this was the Taliban, per se officially involved in this. They haven't claimed responsibility. And there are plenty of other extremists across the country who could be involved in this sort of thing to take offense at women education.
But really that's actually a battle for Afghan society in the future ahead. It's not something given the NATO draw down coming, but NATO can really begin to really influence. There are Afghans who want to see women educated. And as you know, there is the Taliban and other extremists who consider that offensive.
So that's really the large question and one of many vital issues Afghan society have to consider as it begins to take hold of its own security and take on the insurgency itself -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, let's talk more about that. The strength of the Taliban who are believed to be behind this poison attack. Why? Why is it after a decade long campaign by U.S. and NATO troops that the Taliban has such a grip of terror on the country?
PATON-WALSH: Well, it seems to me the Taliban really in many ways it's a broad catch-all term people use. And that can extend to anybody from the leadership in Pakistan supposedly in Quetta to hardcore groups like the Haqqani Network, considered to be part of the Taliban, to basic indigenous groups of armed men who in many cases appear to be resisting the presence of foreign troops. So it is a deeply complicated insurgency, because of that nature and because so much of it is indigenous, it's simply people in local villages often fighting back against ISAF and what they sometimes see as Afghan corruption. Often it has a very unpleasant face, such as attacks like this, often it ends up in civilians being killed by roadside bombs left out by the insurgency.
It's a very complicated picture which ISAF over of the past decade have struggled, really, to find the uniform approach towards success to put it on its back. And slowly I think people are seeing as NATO troops begin to look towards the exits that they're going to have to deal with a very complicated multifaceted insurgency that ranges I say from extremists to simply people from the local villages trying to fight for what they consider to be right in their area, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Well, the Taliban remains strong. And now apparently targeting girls who just want to go to school. Nick Paton-Walsh reporting live from Kabul. Thanks very much indeed for that.
Now in neighboring Pakistan, a doctor who assisted the CIA in locating Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason. Shakil Afridi worked to help the CIA confirm bin Laden was living in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad where the al Qaeda leader was killed last year. Now the doctor assisted in a vaccination drive in an attempt to obtain DNA samples from residents of bin Laden's compound. Officials say Afridi was tried under Pakistan's tribal justice system with no opportunity to defend himself.
Now in Baghdad, diplomats from Iran are sitting down for a second day with negotiators from six world powers. The talks over Iran's nuclear ambitions were extended after Wednesday's meeting hit an apparent deadlock. And with more on that, Mohammed Jamjoom joins us now live from Baghdad. And Mohammed, hopes have faded for progress at these talks. What went wrong here?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, clearly the mood not nearly as optimistic as when these talks first started yesterday. They ended in a stand still late last night with the Iranians balking at the demands put forth by the P5+1 and the package that was offered. The Iranians also made their own offer with five points, some dealing with the nuclear issues, some not dealing with the nuclear issue.
We'd expected these talks would wrap up much earlier in the day, but in fact plannery sessions resumed. And now there is a bilateral meeting going on once again between EU high representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. We're awaiting to find out more details about what that bilateral meeting may yet yield and if there will be further talks even later in the day.
We just heard a short time ago from Michael Mann, the spokesperson for Catherine Ashton. He was asked point blank if the talks so far have been a failure. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MANN, CATHERIN ASHTON SPOKESPERSON: The meeting hasn't failed. They're still talking. They're still having a meeting. And they've made progress. They're pushing forward. They're finding areas of common ground. And, you know, they are negotiating. These things take time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAMJOOM: That sentiment very much being echoed by other western officials we've spoken with here to say, look, it is tough going, but at least it's still going.
What's up in the air at this point is one of the key things: will this, will this round of talks end with the announcement of another round of talks taking place in the next three to four weeks? Yesterday, when we were talking to western officials, they were very hopeful that this was just the beginning of this process, that this meeting would yield to further meetings at regular intervals and that these problems could be worked out in some fashion.
Right now, it's not clear if any other meeting will actually be set. And if that's the case, will this meeting actually be deemed a failure -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Wow, incredible. So a best outcome here at this point could be just more meetings ahead. And to ask you, are all members of the P5+1 group, are they all together aligned in their approach to Iran in these talks?
JAMJOOM: What we've heard, yes. They are all aligned right now. But we've gotten so few concrete details about what exactly is being offered. We know that the uranium enrichment is one of the key issues that's being discussed, and we know that the Iranians have wanted to see an easing of sanctions or a reduction of sanctions being offered by the P5+1 nations.
But what's been discussed exactly today, we just don't know. And they've not yet really put out a full list of what is right now on the table, has been mentioned (inaudible).
We have heard from the western diplomats that everybody is in alignment, but clearly it's much more chaotic behind the scenes right now than the officials here would like anybody to believe. A lot of confusion about what exactly will happen and what it will mean by the end of the day -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom reporting live from Baghdad. Thank you very much indeed for that.
Now the brother of Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng is now in Beijing, that's according to a lawyer who spoke to Cheng Guangfu. Now last week Chen told CNN that security officials were preventing his family from leaving their village in Shangdong province. His son is being held on what he calls a trumped up charge of attempted homicide. Now you'll recall Chen Guangcheng, he arrived in the United States this last weekend with his wife and children. But there are fears his extended family remains vulnerable to abuse by authorities.
Now a glimpse into the world of Britain's longest reigning monarch as the public gets access to Queen Victoria's personal diaries, a look at her life and her loves coming up next on News Stream.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now today would have been the 193rd birthday of Britain's longest reigning monarch Queen Victoria. And now her private diaries can be read outside of Windsor Castle. They've been published on this website. And you can browse all 141 volumes, that 43,765 pages. And here is the entry for 150 years ago today. You can zoom in and try to read the royal handwriting. Now transcripts for most entries are still pending.
Now CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster got his hands on the real deal.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The round tower at Windsor Castle. From the top, some of the best views in England. And inside these ancient walls, shelves of manuscripts and books, firsthand accounts of the royal family's rich history. In this section, diaries written by Queen Victoria, monarch of a vast global empire.
Well, let's have a look at three of the journals, then. They're fascinating reading. And this is an early one from 1835. And in it, Victoria writes today is my 16th birthday. How very old that sounds, a typical teenager you can say.
This is a later journal, and it shows an illustration by Victoria. So she was an illustrator as well. Victoria there next to her husband Prince Albert and her half-brother Prince Charles there. Do note they were dressed in fancy dress there.
This is a particularly poignant entry. And what you need to understand about the later journals is that they were rewritten by Beatrice. So Beatrice's writing but Victoria's words. Here you see the words, "the Lord Chamberlain then equated me with my poor uncle the king was no more and had expired at 12 minutes past two this morning. And consequently that I am queen."
That was the day in 1837 that Victoria had succeeded to the throne. The diaries were edited by Beatrice, who was Victoria's daughter. At her mother's request, she removed trivia and things that might embarrass other royals. You wonder what these diaries don't tell you.
DAVID RYAN, DIR. OF RECORDS, THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD: Because the length of her reign, she reigned for 63 years, and because of the time the size of the British empire, relationships also with continental Europe and with America made her a major figure of that period.
FOSTER: And we're talking here about not just the Commonwealth, but the British empire at its biggest.
RYAN: We are. So this includes countries such as India, which she was empress of India later in her reign. And obviously Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the empire which have gone on, of course, to become the Commonwealth.
FOSTER: Over four months, castle staff have painstakingly scanned 43,000 pages of journals. And now, they've gone online for the world to see, once private thoughts finally unlocked from the 850 year old Round Tower of Windsor.
Max Foster, CNN, Windsor Castle, England.
LU STOUT: Now still ahead, a scary situation at the laundromat. Now this couple is trying to stop that washing machine. And the reason will shock you.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Storms in the tropics, let's get the very latest now with Mari Ramos. She's tracking all the action. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, Kristie. It's that time of the year as spring begins to turn into summer, we start to see a bit more in the way of activity in the tropics. And we're talking, of course, about the northern hemisphere right now. And there are a couple of areas that I want to talk to you about. I want to start in Latin America, right here in Mexico.
Check this out. We do have -- the blue is a tropical storm warning. The purple here, that is a hurricane watch. Basically, this is in advance of a tropical cyclone that is about 500 kilometers off the coast of Mexico. This means, the tropical storm warning, means that within probably the 24 to 48 hours you could begin to feel the effects of a tropical storm and the possibility that hurricane conditions could also happen if that is upgraded to a tropical -- to a hurricane warning.
This is what it looks like. The name of the storm is Bud. Remember we were talking about Bud just a few days ago? It is now a full fledged hurricane, a category 1 storm. And you can see how much better organized it has become in the last few hours.
Now already we're starting to see some of those outer bands of the storm starting to affect the coastline. Most of these are high clouds, not really bringing us a lot of in the way of rain. But some rain showers have been recorded. And there is an advisory already for mariners in this area to stay out of the water, because conditions are getting -- going from bad to worse as the storm continues to approach. High surf also expected along these areas here.
The other interesting thing is that the storm is actually expected to start slowing down. And as that happens, we'll probably see it weaken somewhat before it actually -- if it does indeed reach the coastline in the next couple of days.
So we'll monitor it closely. Right now winds close to 150 kilometers per hour. Notice the forecast for rain. Most of the rain still staying offshore even as we head through the next 48 hours.
Now there's one more storm I want to tell you about before we head to Asia. And that's this one way back here in the Caribbean. This is not officially a tropical cyclone, it's not even a tropical depression, but it is bringing some very heavy rain along these areas.
I'm concerned about the central parts of Cuba here where 100 to 200 millimeters of rain are expected. This is the same weather system that brought all that heavy rain into South Florida. The Bahamas not a good beach day even as we head into the weekend here, because of all of the rain expected and the bad sea conditions.
So we head very quickly across east Asia. We do have one more storm, that's this one right here. And I'll tell you about it after we take a look at your city by city forecast.
So we do have one storm here in the Pacific and this one has now become a typhoon. We are tracking it as it continues to move we think possibly right past Iwo Jima. Winds close to 120 kilometers per hour. And then staying safely away from Japan as you can see continuing to weaken into a tropical storm yet again.
But I want to end on a happy note, Kristie. Don't you love this picture? Oh, to be that age again. I love this. This is in London. And at the park. And yes, flying a kite, laying in the sun, running around, just overall being outside. It's the trend right now. 23 degrees in London, 25 in Paris. Even as we head north, look at Oslo at 24, definitely t-shirt and shorts kind of weather. 23 in Berlin. And as we head into Munich, 24. So these above average temperatures have been dominating the weather map in Europe for the last couple of days.
And I think you can hang on to the sunglasses, especially across western Europe over the next couple of days. I think it will still stay rather warm, 22 in London for tomorrow. 19 on Saturday, that's still not too bad, still above the average. Paris also warm and toasty. Back to you.
LU STOUT: Nice forecast. A nice snapshot there. Thank you for sharing. Mari Ramos.
Now we have all heard baby sitting horror stories, but one mother got perhaps the shock of her life after she left her child with the sitter and then saw a disturbing viral video and then realized her kid was in it.
Jeanne Moos has the story.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's scary enough watching this surveillance tape of a guy playing with a one-year-old by putting him in a washer and then the door automatically locks and the washer turns on. The man and the woman baby sitting the child panic. But imagine you're the mother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you the mom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this the baby?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MOOS: He's adorable.
Takia David (ph) is the 22-year-old mother who watched the video for the first time on the news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said dad you can't tell me that ain't -- I said that's my baby and that's her.
MOOS: Her being the child's baby sitter who never told the mother what happened almost two weeks ago at this Camden, New Jersey laundromat.
The baby sitter and unidentified friend brought one-year-old Samir Bush (ph) along to do the laundry while his mom was at work. After he got stuck in the machine, the pair frantically rain for help. A laundromat employee came to the rescue heaving aside tables and turning off power to the machine. The other guy was jumping out of his skin. The baby sitter was banging the table.
KONG ENG, FEDERAL LAUNDROMAT EMPLOYEE: And I pulled the baby out. I feel good because I saw the baby has still the life.
MOOS: Still alive and basically unharmed. The pair took the boy to the hospital then returned him to mom who noticed nothing amiss.
After the video went viral, police got in touch with the mother. The Camden County prosecutor's office says this was not an intelligent choice to put the baby in the washing machine, but it was not a crime.
How does the mother feel?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm pissed. I was mad, because you shouldn't put a kind in the washer. But at the same time, he was just playing around.
MOOS: As for the baby sitter, mom says she won't be baby sitting any more.
Meanwhile, back at washing machine number 15 the owner of the laundromat says she knows it's ridiculous, but she's actually thinking of putting up signs to protect herself from liability. Do not put kids in washers.
This is one story you can't spin as anything but dumb.
Jeanne Moos, CNN...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel like a hero?
MOOS: New York.
LU STOUT: And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.