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UN Observers: Vast Majority of Houla Victims Executed; Felix Baumgartner Attempts to Break Fall Record; 5.8 Aftershock Kills 10 in Northern Italy; Aung San Suu Kyi Leaves Myanmar for First Time in 24 Years

Aired May 29, 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 Syria where the UN says government forces executed civilians, most shot at close range. Will this now prompt international action?

Plus, deadly aftershocks rock Italy. We'll tell you where these latest quakes hit.

And preparing to make a big leap, this man wants to sky dive from the edge of space.

Those grieving in the Syrian town of Houla are burying their dead and some are wondering will the brutal massacre full of children finally trigger international intervention? Now Syrian government reports that President Bashar al-Assad held talks with UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan in Damascus a short time ago. Annan says his six point peace plan is simply not being implemented.

Now Houla, where Friday's massacre of more than 100 men, women, and children took place is in central Syria. A spokesman for the UN office of the high commissioner of human rights says most of those killed were executed. Now Houla is just 32 kilometers from the flashpoint city of Homs that has endured government shelling for months.

As Arwa Damon reports, Houla may be turning into another Homs as the world watches. And we need to warn you some of the images in this report are disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A man shoots video on his cell phone as he runs breathlessly to where a shell has fallen. We can't show you the bodies he found ripped apart by shrapnel, but his efforts began to save those not beyond help another shell.

Unknown to the outside world until Friday, the town of Houla is now a shocking symbol of Syria's carnage. More than 100 people killed in just one day. And according to UN observers in Syria, 49 of the victims were children under the age of 10. Again, we can't show you the video of these children, it's simply too horrifying.

But at one point a man off camera shouts, "Arabs, look at this, all the world should look at this, these are the crimes of Assad."

This woman who seems to have been wounded claims Assad's men went house to house to finish off the survivors.

"They crammed us into a room, pulled out their guns and sprayed us like sheep," she claims. "My father, brother, and mother died."

The camera pans to an apparently wounded child. There is no way for CNN to authenticate her story, but the UN special envoy Kofi Annan, arriving in Damascus Monday said his observers will continue to investigate the massacre.

KOFI ANNAN, UN/ARAB LEAGUE SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: Those responsible for these brutal crimes must be held to account. I understand the government has issued an investigation.

DAMON: Despite the bloodshed, there are few signs of a tougher international approach toward the Assad regime.

WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The absolutely urgent priority is to have the Annan plan implemented. That plan involves a more plural democratic system being created in Syria.

DAMON: But how to get there? Even a ceasefire is the first step in the Annan plan seems an impossible goal. And Russia continues to say that Assad's opponents are as much to blame as the regime.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): You know, it takes two to dance, it takes two to tango. Even though in the current situation in Syria what we have is not the real tango, we having a disco party where many players are dancing. And they should all dance in the same way.

DAMON: And there is little appetite in the U.S. for a Libya style military intervention.

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: My preference of course always as a -- as the senior military leader would be that the international community could find ways of increasing the pressure on Assad to do the right thing and step aside. But of course we always have to provide military options and they should be considered.

DAMON: After Houla, the city of Hama, which rose up against Assad's father 30 years ago. These bags of ice cover the bodies of just a few of the 40 victims of shelling over the weekend.

On Monday, UN observers went to the town of El Rastan and met the local commander of the Free Syrian Army in an effort to bring calm.

MARTIN GRIFFITH, U.N. OBSERVER: They're pleading to us to have UN observers to be present in places like this and Houla and in Homs. And that proves, I think, that there is a lot that we can do.

DAMON: But not in time to save these infants. Lined up as if asleep, they are said to have been the youngest victims of the Houla massacre. And the rebels have sworn to avenge their deaths.

Arwa Damon, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Gut wrenching seen there.

As Arwa mentioned, Syrai has been the focus of diplomatic deadlock for months even as the unrest there has claimed thousands of lives in just the past year. I want to bring in Ivan Watson in Istanbul, Turkey. And Ivan, will the massacre in Houla finally break the diplomatic deadlock?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, a lot of the veteran Middle East analysts and foreign policy analysts, even some diplomats I've talked to are sadly saying that it may take many Houla massacre type situations before any deadlock over Syria is actually broken. Nobody is anticipating anything like a use of force.

We are seeing a concerted effort, it seems, to expel Syrian diplomats from western capitals, however. We've confirmed that the Australian government has expelled the senior Syrian diplomat in Canberra, that France has expelled Syria's ambassador to Paris, and no British officials telling CNN that the Syrian diplomats at the Syrian embassy in London are also being expelled. And we've gotten press reports that Germany is planning to do the same.

This is a scenario that was discussed months ago at the last friends of Syria meeting. And it seems it's taken the massacre of 109 people at least as well as at least 49 children under the age of 10 to prompt the international community to adopt this measure.

Now why? A United Nations human rights spokesman by the name of Rupert Poleville (ph) has come on record saying that only a fraction of the 109 people killed in Houla over the course of Friday night and Saturday morning were killed by Syrian government tank and artillery shells, the rest, Poleville (ph) says, appear to have been killed in a house to house move by the pro-government Shabiha militia. And we know according to the United Nations observers on the ground that some of these children that were killed appear to have been killed by ax wounds.

He goes and says that it appears, quote, "the Shabiha militia entering houses and slaughtering people in what is really an abominable crime that took place throughout the day on Friday," end quote. That is a direct connection between the Sabiha militia and this atrocity, this massacre that took place, a massacre that the Syrian government has denied any connection to -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Wow. So we're hearing that children executed in Houla, executed with the use of axes. I mean, it's truly sickening the details there.

You gave us the diplomatic update just then. I want to bring up a picture on the ground. And here on the monitor you can see a UN monitor there in the blue helmet. He's in Syria. He's clearly overwhelmed by the crowds there.

Now Ivan, the UN mission has been criticized for being simply too under equipped, too weak, can you tell us what its been able to achieve there?

WATSON: Well, here we're seeing a very valuable role that the UN observer mission is playing. It's important to note these are not peacekeepers, they do not have that mandate. To get Syria to agree to this plan, to get its close ally Russia to agree to it, the only formulation that they really could come up with was this limited observer mission. And they played a very valuable roll in the wake of this horrific Houla massacre as being an independent group of observers on the ground who can explain the scale of this atrocity and also indicate who may have carried it out.

Because from the beginning, since this news came out, the Syrian government has denied any responsibility and has accused the opposition of carrying out the attacks. The opposition has accused the government of carrying out the attacks. And now you have this independent voice on the ground, eyes and ears in that town of Houla, who are telling us it looks like the Syrian government in fact carried out the attack. That's something that we journalists cannot do, because the Syrian government won't let foreign, independent news organizations go in and report these scenes on the ground.

And it's going to be very difficult for Damascus and its protectors in the international community, in the United Nations Security Council -- Russia -- to stand up to this body that it has signed off to and further continue to defend Damascus from what it -- it does appear to have been, a government sanctioned massacre of women and children in this village of Houla -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Ivan Watson reporting. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now Italian officials say at least 10 people were killed when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Italy near Bologna and three of the victims were workers killed by falling rubble when a factory crumbled around them. Now there have been several powerful aftershocks. And this comes after an earthquake hit the same region just nine days ago, killing seven people and destroying homes.

Now this area has been hit by a number of aftershocks. Mari Ramos is following developments from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Let's go ahead and start taking a look at some of the latest aftershocks that you mentioned right now across Italy. This is the area that we're talking about, northern Italy. Every single one of these dots, this is from the US Geological Survey by the way, every single one of these dots is an earthquake. And they're color coded by age, so the ones that happened more than 24 hours ago are in yellow, the more recent ones are going to be in orange. If they happened within the last hour they would be in red.

This right here is the epicenter of that 5.8 quake that you just mentioned, the one that killed at least 10 people and was felt widespread across this region.

Now there was another one just in the last hour-and-a-half or so and that's this one right over here. That was a 5.6 quake. And that happened just, what, four hour and about eight kilometers away from the last quake.

And then back over here, this is the Finale Emilia, this is one of these towns that we've been talking about quite a bit with the May 20 quake that felt all of that shaking. Well, they felt quite a bit of shaking this time around as well.

I want to go ahead and show here the shake map from the US Geological Survey, you can see the epicenter and you can see this area of widespread orange, this would be strong to very strong shaking that was reported across this region. And if we go ahead and zoom back in, Brandon, please, I want to show you one particular town that would have been not only Finale Emilia, but also Mirandola that would have been in that intense shaking, because I have some pictures from that one particular area to show you. And you can see those right over here.

This is the cathedral in Mirandola and you can see the entire top of the cathedral came down, some of that went inside the cathedral itself and there's a lot of rubble on the bottom as well.

The main concern, of course, is about the people that live in these towns. And just to see this woman's face being comforted there by police officers and you see the police officer's face as well, Kristie, how worried they are and how shocked they are to feel such strong shaking across this area.

One of the things that's important about these quakes is that even though they are moderate, relatively moderate, less than a 6.0 they're relatively shallow quakes, they happen on the top layer of the earth, less than nine kilometers below the ground. Also the ground here is very fractured already, so imagine if you have -- so you feel that shaking a lot more across this region, that's something that's very concerning of course for people in this area. Many of the buildings like the ones that we saw are not prepared to feel that kind of a jolt and that's why you see so many of these buildings come down.

One more thing I want to show you, so this is for any earthquake anywhere in the world when it happens. And the US Geological Survey has something call did you feel it? And I want to show you the one for this particular 5.8 quake that we've been talking about. And so people from the area can go on to the website and report what they felt and how strong the shaking was. And this helps geologists when they're studying earthquakes to see what has happened. And then you see the epicenter where the star is right here, there is Venice right over there, you can see different areas where people have responded.

In Ferrara, they responded an intensity of six with three responses. So of course sometimes you'll get a lot more depending on where the quakes happened. Just want to make sure you guys know about this. And I'll go ahead and tweet this link once again. So you guys have it for future reference as hopefully it'll never happen to you.

Back to you, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah. Please do. Please do.

A crowdsourcing earthquake science. It's fascinating stuff. The situation there in northern Italy very concerning. Thank you very much indeed for the update there. Mari Ramos.

Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM, protests erupt in Egypt over the result of the first round of presidential elections.

Also, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is making her first trip outside Myanmar in more than two decades. We have the details.

And child brides in South Africa -- changing the views on the custom of marrying off young girls as part of our CNN Freedom Project series.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now, for a human rights icon it is perhaps the ultimate freedom: the ability to leave her home country for the first time in 24 years, safe in the knowledge that she can return. Aung San Suu Kyi has touched down in Thailand ready to address the World Economic Forum on East Asia, an admittedly short journey for the veteran politician, but it is symbolic of the journey that Myanmar has already taken from pariah nation to fledgling democracy, opening up in talking to and trading with the world.

Now Andrew Stevens is in the Thai capital ahead of Suu Kyi's arrival. And he joins us now live. And Andrew, tell us how Thailand is preparing for her arrival and exactly when will Aung San Suu Kyi touch down?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She's due to touch down in a little over two hours from now at the new airport here in Bangkok, Kristie. As you say it's quite a short trip from the Myanmar capital Yangon to here, but a giant step, really, both for the country as you put it symbolically a giant step for the country, but also for her Aung San Suu Kyi herself.

24 years she has been in Myanmar. Her first footsteps on foreign soil since 1988. She went to Burma as it was known then in 1988 to care for her ill mother. And she got swept up in the political movement and never left despite the fact that the military junta of the time offered many times for her to leave so she could be with her stricken husband who had cancer and also her two sons in London, but she always refused fearing that she would not be allowed back into the country. And now this really does illustrate the growing level of trust between the new leadership in Yangon and Suu Kyi that she feels confident enough to leave knowing that she can, indeed come back.

She's going to be addressing the World Economic Forum here in Bangkok a little later this week, but she's got quite a busy schedule. She's also going to be meeting leaders of the migrant, the Myanmar migrant community here in Thailand both economic and political refugees if you like. Thailand is home to an estimated 2.5 million Myanmarese who have fled because of economic reasons or because of political reasons. So she'll be meeting people involved with those local communities who many of them dream of returning home one day.

The people of Thailand themselves are curious like the rest of the world, Kristie, to see this woman who is, as you say, a democracy icon. And I'm sure she's going to be as fascinated with the rest of the world stepping out to see it after 24 years as the rest of the world is going to be in seeing her.

LU STOUT: That's right Aung San Suu Kyi.

And Myanmar's economy will be in focus at the World Economic Forum on East Asia later this week there in Thailand. And wanted to get your thoughts on the economy there, on the impact of sanctions and the potential wealth for Myanmar.

STEVENS: The potential wealth is extraordinary. Myanmar is rich in minerals, in jewels, in jade, all sorts of both base metals and wealthy minerals that many countries, particularly neighboring countries, Kristie, would love to get -- or be a part of exploiting.

Just today we have pictures in the local press of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Yangon speaking with the leadership there. China has made it very clear that it also wants to be part of Myanmar's opening up. And it has been interesting, China has always been quite a close ally of the military junta, yet the new leadership in Myanmar seems to be pushing more towards western involvement in the development of this economy.

This is an economy which is incredibly basic at the moment. It is basically an agrarian economy. The main exports are primary products -- rice, that sort of thing. So there is an enormous step to be taken for this economy to move towards anything like a neighboring economy like Thailand. It is going to take time. It is going to take a lot of money.

There is a lot of people talking about almost like a modern-day gold rush to get into Myanmar, to stake their claim, the businesses to get in there, to get the mines up and running, and to take -- or to be part of the opening up of this very resource rich country.

LU STOUT: Andrew Stevens reporting for us live from Thailand. Thank you very much indeed.

And as Andrew mentioned just then, Aung San Suu Kyi due to arrive there in Bangkok in about two hours time.

Now China's former railway minister has become the latest high profile politician to be expelled from the Communist Party. Now Liu Zhijun has been found guilty of corruption with an official report accusing him of taking a huge amount of bribes. Now the report says that he was under investigation months before the crash of a bullet train last year that killed 40 people. An investigation of the crash said Liu and several other officials should be held responsible.

Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, love and marriage don't always go together as CNN's Freedom Project continues, we travel to South Africa where misplaced superstition is robbing young girls of their innocence and forcing them into a life of abuse. That story ahead on NEWS STREAM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: We are bringing you a special CNN Freedom Project series. Now for millions of young people around the world their parents decide who they marry. And supporters of arranged marriage, an institution that is centuries old, argue that these unions help strengthen family relationships. And they point to lower divorce rates and millions of happy, productive marriages. But some arranged marriages are not productive, they are criminal.

Robyn Curnow reports from the eastern cape of South Africa where idyllic landscapes are the setting for a horrific practice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Change does not come quickly in these hills. It's here that a tradition called ukutwala (ph), which literally means to pick up or to take, has been used to justify the abduction of girls as young as 12, kidnapped by older men and forced to marry them.

Mumbasa Mluwe (ph) from the World AIDS Campaign says the ukutwala (ph) tradition has its roots in arranged marriages where parents or the village elders had the final say on who local girls should marry. Even though many girls were too young to get married, parents often turn a blind eye as long as some form of bride price, or labola (ph) was paid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is happening, the young girls got abducted at first to marry this guy. And then after the people from this family can go to the girl's parents to pay the bridge price, or labola (ph). And then it depends what they choose to pay. The girl is already with them. So it can be one goat, or two goats, or a chicken for that.

CURNOW: No matter how small the fee, one family now indebted to another for a child bride.

And despite these cultural expectations, some girls have escaped from their husbands, their community.

We went looking for the teenagers who defied conventional practice and found them more than an hour away in this prison-like safe house run by the local authorities and the church. Still children really hiding out, too scared to show their faces on camera, too fearful to tell their stories of abduction, or rape by husbands who stole them a practice fueled by myth and superstition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's because of the myth that if you sleep with a young girl who is a virgin and as a man you are HIV positive, then your HIV can be cured. So that's why we are focusing on these younger girls, because most of them are virgins.

These men are old, most of them they are riddled due to HIV. So in practice, in the (inaudible) brought into the house. The first they have to sleep with this man. So there are chances that she will get infected with HIV. So they spread.

CURNOW: When the men of Watele (ph) started taking younger and younger wives, virgins, these village elders didn't (inaudible) on the backlash from the outside world, a world far removed from what they're used to here -- no electricity, running water, or women and children's rights.

A village elder tells me, "everybody here in Watele (ph) didn't know that ukutwala (ph) is against the law. This has disturbed them a lot. So much that they feel like they do not have right any more. These days rights are for women only and the government."

But still the men now admit they were wrong.

He says, "what we learned is that it was disturbing that 14 and 15- year-olds were getting married. In the past, 18-year-olds and above would be the ones ready, eligible to be twalaed (ph). That's where the mistake was. And we even apologized for that."

The confusion of an isolated, rural community deeply unsure of the expectations of the democratic South Africa.

In these remote parts, the clash between traditional culture and the constitution plays out every day in these homes, across these hills.

Mumbasa (ph) and many other organizations have spent many hours talking to the men, trying to make them understand that the rules are different now. And their campaign seems to have succeeded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up until now, there's nobody thinks that has been supported of the ukutwala (ph) practice. So it looks like winning.

CURNOW: But then the next battle is to get these girls back home where people blame them for betraying their culture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They see them as being rebellious and uncontrollable because they're not obeying the rules of the parents of the rules of the community.

CURNOW: The community unsure of how to deal with girls who now know they have the right to make their own choices.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now the UN says that over the next decade, some 100 million girls will get married before turning 18. You can learn more at CNN.com/Freedom.

Now as Egypt heads to a presidential run-off some Egyptians are unhappy with who made the cut. Large protests return to Cairo. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now UN special envoy Kofi Annan has met Syrian President Bashar al- Assad just days atfer more than 100 people were massacred in Houla, almost half of them children. Now more countries are expelling Syrian diplomats in the aftermath of the killing. Spain, France, Britain, Canada, and Australia have all told Syrian diplomats to leave.

Now officials in Qatar investigating whether sprinklers and alarms were functioning at an upscale shopping mall where 19 people were killed in a fire. Now many of the victims were foreign nationals at a child care center, among them a set of triplets from New Zealand.

Aftershocks continue to rock northeastern Italy after a deadly earthquake struck earlier on Tuesday. Now the 5.8 magnitude quake, it killed at least 10 people, but authorities fear that number will rise. An earthquake hit the same region nine days ago killing seven people.

Let's get more now on that deadly earthquake that hit northern Italy. Residents say that the region has been shaking non-stop for the past week. And journalist Barbie Nadeau joins me now on the phone from Rome. And Barbie, give us an update on the human toll of this latest earthquake.

BARBIE NADEAU, JOURNALIST: This really is a devastating blow, the second earthquake just nine days after the first one. But the dynamic was completely different this time around, because it happened at 9:00 in the morning, so most of the victims were at their place of work. There were people who perished in factories that collapsed and even a parish priest who died when the dome of his church collapsed on him.

But more than that, even is the psychological damage of these people who have just been living in tents, who can't return to their homes, who haven't had a normal life for nine days. Whatever confidence they had to go back and try to start a normal life is now completely crushed with this really devastating earthquake.

LU STOUT: We're looking at these pictures from the scene. We're seeing a lot of rubble. Do you know if there are people trapped in the rubble?

NADEAU: Right now we don't have a definite number of people who may be missing, but it was 9:00. Factories were open. People were at work. So as these small towns start to, you know, start talking and gathering a number then we'll have a better idea I suppose in a couple of hours how many people are missing to see exactly who showed up and who is unaccountable.

For a lot of people have not returned to their jobs. And some people were temporary workers who were there repairing damage from the earthquake last week. So the number is still in a situation, a volatile situation, also because these are small town and small communities. And there were three small towns around the epicenter. So the civil protection authorities and the people who are emergency workers are really combing that area.

And they're just coming off of a, you know, the earthquake nine days ago. So I mean, you've got a really stressful situation for a lot of people right now.

LU STOUT: That's right. There has been non-stop shaking in northern Italy. What is the mood among the people there? And how are they coping with this?

NADEAU: Well, it's a very, very stressful situation for them. This is a very important part of Italy, for the economy. 30 percent of the industrial GDP is produced here. And they suffered heavy, heavy losses in last week's earthquake. So they had just started to get on their feet again, maybe find temporary factories, temporary facilities to start producing some of the great made in Italy items like balsamic vinegar and luxury car parts and ceramic tiles and things like that that come out of this area.

The people are in a state of shock and in a state of fear, because these aftershocks have been relentless for the last week. And even this morning after the first earthquake there were 40 aftershocks in the first two hours after that followed by another 5.1 and 5.3 big aftershock after the major one this morning.

LU STOUT: A lot of aftershocks, a lot of victims, and a lot of concern for the people there in northern Italy.

Barbie Nadeau reporting, thank you very much indeed for that update.

Now let's slip over here. And these are the two men facing off in Egypt's run-off election next month. You have Mohammed Morsi, he is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. And remember, that was an illegal group until last spring. And Ahmed Shafik, who served as the last prime minister for ousted Hosni Mubarak. Now he is viewed by many as the military's top choice.

And protesters took to the streets when they heard that Shafik made it to the second round. They ransacked his campaign headquarters and set it on fire, also marched on Tahrir Square on Monday calling for the Egyptian courts to disqualify Shafik from the run-off election.

And there are reports that Libya's national assembly election could be delayed. Now Reuters reports that the head of Libya's National Transitional Council has said the June 19 vote will be postponed because they are still reviewing possible candidates. No word on a new date or how long the vote will be delayed.

Now it was just early last year when hundreds of thousands of people took it upon themselves to create change in what is now called the Arab Spring. Now the movement saw Arab dictators and their governments crumble, but that isn't the end of it.

Now author and Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges says now more barriers must be crossed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAWAZ GERGES, AUTHOR: Politics is about trust. They're trying to learn about one another, discover the idea of trust in politics. And my take on it is that we should not look at the negative aspects and ignore the fact that this is truly a significant historical moment. And when the dust settles, and it will settle, a new world will be born before our eyes. We don't know how democratic, we don't know how inclusive, but the reality is we need -- I would like to make a plea for your viewers for patience and realize that the bitter inheritance, you're talking about 60 years of authoritarianism, and that's why we're seeing a great deal of turmoil in the transitional period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: Gerges asking for patience. He also adds that the reason we're seeing an emergence of Islamic parties is because right now they are the most organized.

Now the internet was a crucial tool and catalyst in the Arab Spring, but a complex computer virus found to be spreading throughout the Middle East could now make users think twice about what they say and do. Now the malware, it's known as flame, has been infecting computers in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Israel and other countries. And security experts say it grabs screen shots of computer monitors, records computer users' instant messaging chats, even turns on their microphones to record their conversations. Now we don't know for sure whether flame is a state sponsored weapon. And experts say that flame has been gathering sensitive information from Middle East computers for at least two years.

Now coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, women leading the way. We'll introduce you to two women who have built up empires in two very different fields. And they're sharing with us their secrets to success.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now on our website we are spotlighting Leading Women, women who are making a difference. And today we look back at the two women who kicked off our series Weili Dai and Carolina Herrera. Now one is a trailblazer in the high tech and male dominated semiconductor industry and the other is a force in the fashion world and on the red carpet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEILI DAI, MARVELL: All girls I want to tell you, you are the future of our country, of our world.

LU STOUT: Words of wisdom from a woman in a position to know, an audience of schoolgirls transfixed. We're with Waili Dai as she speaks to future leaders.

DAI: If a person like me came here and in this beautiful country and be able to co-found a world leading semiconductor, or high tech company -- so guess what, all of you guys absolutely anything is possible.

LU STOUT: For Dai, this moment is at the heart of who she is: a tech geek, born in China, who settled in this California neighborhood in 1979, received a topnotch education, and today gladly offers her recipe for success.

DAI: The technology to me is a foundation. You know, using my own experience, today I see women or girls are really capable of leading our industry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Morning.

DAI: Morning. Good morning. Good morning.

LU STOUT: And she ought to know, Dai co-founded Marvell technology in 1995 with her husband of 26 years. The company now boasts 7,500 employees, designing a product that benefits millions.

Dai has no problem sharing the credit for her company's success.

DAI: I am a true believer of teamwork. I'm a true believer of how do we leverage the natural talent of women and men to accomplish more.

LU STOUT: A one-time semi-pro basketball player, Dai credits the game for her early discipline in life. She often makes basketball analogies when talking about business.

DAI: For any company to be successful, it's not about one or two people, it's about a team that with complimentary skills even at the top management level we all kind of chip in of playing slightly different positions. But together we are playing championship for the basketball.

CAROLINA HERRERA, FASHION DESIGNER: So happy.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Hi, I'm Felicia Taylor.

Like Weili Dai, Venezuelan born fashion empress Carolina Herrera views teamwork as fundamental in business.

HERRERA: If I don't have my team behind me, I wouldn't be sitting here. Fashion is a collaboration with many people. I have a fantastic president for the company who takes care of the numbers of the company. If you ask me to take care of that side, I would be sitting there crying because I don't know what to do.

Oh, perfect.

TAYLOR: We were in New York recently during Fashion Week as she got ready to present the 40 pieces in her fall 2012 collection.

So this is how the creative process happens?

HERRERA: This is the beginning.

TAYLOR: These colors are fantastic.

HERRERA: We started with the colors.

So the whole beginning of the collection is quite something really navy blue and black. And I use different materials for that. And then the evening is very glamorous.

TAYLOR: And nothing speaks to glamor more than the dress designed for the show's grand finale, a dramatic silk ball gown with a velvet wrapped belt treated like a star every step of the way.

(LAUGHTER)

TAYLOR: Back stage at the show, we find movie star Renee Zellweger.

Tell me what you love most about Carolina's designed.

HERRERA: Oh no. No.

TAYLOR: Oh, come on. They're gorgeous.

RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Classic elegance, but they're always fun. She finds a way to make it fun.

TAYLOR: Always savvy, Herrera understands that while the runway abounds in pageantry and glitz. At the end of the day, what matters is the sell.

HERRERA: You might be the best designer, you are so creative and new and have the most beautiful ideas, but if they all stay in your room and they don't go out to be worn by someone then you are not in business.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now we all have things we'd like to do before we die, but how many of us are prepared to risk death doing them? We'll introduce you to a man who plans to free fall from the stratosphere to Earth at more than 1000 kilometers an hour after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now the earthquake that struck Italy on Tuesday has affected the Euro 2012 preparations for the nation's football team. Amanda Davies is in London with more details -- Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDNET: Hi, Kristie. Yeah, I can tell you that Italy's friendly against Luxembourg has been canceled in the last hour or so after the earthquake which struck the region near the northern city of Parma. At least 10 people have died after the magnitude 5.8 quake as you've hearing.

Well, the Italy squad preparations for the match had already been disrupted by the latest chapter of the match fixing scandal which the former Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has described as a humiliation for the Italian game. Police turned out for Italy's Euro 2012 training camp on Monday to question defender Domenico Criscito who has now been omitted from the squad. Juventus defender Leonardo Banucci has been included in Italy's final 23 man party for next month's tournament despite being mentioned in the investigation, though.

Almost 20 people, including players and coaches have been spoken to in all with Juventus coach Antonio Conte who has just lead his club to the Serie A title in his first season in charge. Among those being questioned by police, they wanted more information about several matches that took place two seasons ago when Conte was at Siena in Serie B.

But Conte has come out fighting saying, "my football history as a player and coach speaks volumes. You can ask my teammates, my players, and my opponents. Last year with Siena we won promotion through sacrifice and effort. It was an amazing year. And I repeat I and my players have nothing to do with these facts."

Well, with just two weeks to go until the start of the European Championships Ukraine has hit back at charges of racism from the British press, describing the allegations as an invented and mythical problem. The Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleh Voloshyn has responded to claims from the former England captain Phil Campbell saying UEFA was wrong to award Poland and Ukraine this year's championships because of concerns over the safety of fans.

Campbell has warned fans to stay away from the tournament altogether, citing concerns that supporters could be the target of Neo-Nazi racists. During an interview with the BBC's Panorama program, Campbell was shown secretly shot video of what appears to be racially motivated attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOL CAMPBELL, FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN: No chance. Stay at home. Watch it on TV. Don't even risk it, because you can end up -- you know, you coming back in a coffin.

Innocent people, innocent. Look at them. It's just gang rammed. And no one is helping. No police is helping. Look at that. Look at that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: And we've got a lot more reaction to that story on World Sport here on CNN in about three hours time. I hope you can join me then.

Now it's job done already for Maria Sharapova on day three of the French Open at Roland Garos. The second seed breezed into the second round in just 48 minutes, conceding just 18 points on the way to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu as she looks to reach the final for the first time at the clay court grand slam. Next up for Sharapova is Ayumi Morita of Japan.

And the Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is also throught. The 22- year-old fourth seed advanced with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win win against Australia's Ashley Barty.

That's it for me for now Kristie. Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray get their campaigns under way at the French Open later on Tuesday as well. Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Exciting stuff. Amanda, thank you.

Now some people would call it the height of craziness. This man is planning to sky dive from the edge of space. And Brian Todd caught up with him on the ground.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's base jumped from the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, and from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. How do you top that? How else? By sky diving from the edge of space.

You know, the moment is almost at hand. Are you afraid of dying on this?

FELIX BAUMGARTNER, STRATOSPHERE JUMPER: Well, dying has always been part of my life, because as a base jumper you always face death on every base jump. And therefore it is important that you do your homework.

TODD: later this summer, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner will attempt the longest and highest free fall ever, from about 120,000 feet above sea level, that's more than 22 miles. If he pulls it off, he'll also break the speed of sound. No one has ever gone outside a plane or spacecraft to fly at more than 690 miles an hour.

Some of the more tense moments of this mission will be when Felix Baumgartner steps out of that capsule and into the stratosphere. At that point, the only thing protecting him from certain death will be this helmet and this high pressure space suit. This is similar to ones worn by U2 spy plane pilots. But those pilots are about 50,000 feet closer to Earth and Felix Baumgertner is going to be.

There's only one person alive who can fathom all of this, retire air force colonel Joe Kittinger, the man whose record fearless Felix will try to break. Kittinger jumped from 102,000 feet in 1960.

JOE KITTINGER, RET. AIR FORCE COLONEL: I know exactly what his body is going to go through.

TODD: What is it?

KITTINGER: He's going to be awed being at that altitude and that view he's got, but he's also awed with the responsibilities that he's got. You've got a bunch of people on the ground who have been working their rear ends off four to five years with the goal to get him down. And it's hostile up there. You don't want to hang around if you don't have to.

TODD: Like Kittinger, Baumgartner will be taken to the stratosphere in a capsule pulled by a helium balloon. It's a massive undertaking called the Red Bull Stratos Project.

You're first time here, you're like a child in a candy store.

BAUMGARTNER: Oh yeah. I mean I was amazed.

TODD: As Felix, Joe, and I move around the air and space museum, Felx says the site of John Glenn's and Yuri Gagarin's spacesuits scares him.

BAUMGARTNER: If you compare it to my suit, I'm not sure if I would have done this in the old days with that kind of equipment.

TODD: Kittinger is now a consultant on the project who is in Baumgartner's ear on the test jumps.

How important is hearing his voice going to be to you when you're up there?

BAUMGARTNER: It is extremely important, because this is what I feared on my last test jump when I was going up, sometimes you lost communication for a couple of seconds. And immediately you can feel how lonely you feel, you know. So I wanted to hear that voice, because I'm so used to this. Every time I'd be practicing on the ground, Joe was talking to me. So I'm so used to the voice and it makes me feel safe.

TODD: A mission that will obviously be tough to top. And it doesn't look like Felix Baumgartner is going to try to. He says after this jump he'll pursue his long-time dream of becoming a helicopter rescue pilot.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now if you don't have a head for heights, you might want to look away right now. As Brian mentioned, Felix's free fall will see him drop 35 kilometers above sea level -- a lofty plane for sure when you consider that it's four times higher than Mount Everest. It's almost three times as high as a commercial airline flies. And if you've ever looked out of the window, you know that that is hardly skimming the ground. The Concord flew even higher, nearly 20 kilometers up.

Now the free fall record that Felix has to beat is more than 31 kilometers. And if you're still struggling to get your head around all this, well take the tallest bungee jump in the world and make it 150 times taller.

Now whether Felix falls head over heels, falls on his face, or falls off the radar, it's a whole lot of falling.

And that is NEWS STREAM, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.

END