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UN Observers under Constant Fire From Syrian Shells; Kofi Annan: Houla Massacre Tipping Point in Syria; Aung San Suu Kyi Greeted by Thousands of Burmese Immigrants in Thailand

Aired May 30, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRIST 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 UN monitors say they have found 13 more bodies days after a massacre in the town of Houla sparked worldwide anger.

Now former Liberian President Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in jai for war crimes.

And WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange loses his appeal against extradition.

In just about two hours, Kofi Annan's deputy will brief the UN Security Council on Annan's meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Now the UN and Arab League special envoy has warned that Syria is at a tipping point. On Tuesday in Damascus he urged Mr. al-Assad to take bold steps to implement the UN's peace plan and ceasefire. Annan said if that does not happen he fears for Syria's future. But the bloodshed in Syria shows no sign of ending.

Opposition activists say more than a dozen people were killed in fresh attacks on Wednesday. And head of the UN observer mission says 13 bodies were found. The victims had been tied up and some shot at close range.

As Ivan Watson reports, international anger continues to rise over what's happening in Syria including last week's massacre of dozens of children in the town of Houla.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what Syrians call the Shabiha. In Arabic that roughly means ghosts. But since the government unleashed its forces on the Syrian opposition, Shabiha has become a word used daily to describe armed irregular militia loyal to the Syrian government and often seen in activist videos on the internet, fighting the opposition alongside Syrian soldiers.

On Tuesday, the United Nations accused the Shabiha of carrying out one of the worst massacres of Syria's 15 month crisis: the slaughter of at least 109 people in the village of Houla last weekend.

RUPERT COLVILLE, SPOKSEMAN, UN HUMAN RGHTS COMMISSION: A fairly small number appear to have been killed by shelling, artillery and tank fire which took place over a period of more than 12 hours, but the majority appear to have been the result of house to house summary executions of home and getting into houses and killing men, women, and children inside.

What is clear is government forces were involved. They were shelling using tanks and artillery. And appears to be Shabiha militia entering the houses and slaughtering people and that's really an abominable crime that took place throughout the day on Friday.

WATSON: A chilling description of the Shabiha matched by an 11-year- old survivor who spoke to CNN from Syria by phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were talking to my mom. I'm not sure what happened, but they shot her five times. They shot her in the head. Then he turned and shot my sister, Rasha, in the head. Then he shot my brother, Nader, in the neck and the back.

WATSON: The boy then told us, don't mention my name so they don't kill me.

The Syrian government denies any link to the Houla massacre or to any other violations since Damascus agreed to a UN brokered ceasefire nearly two months ago.

FAISAL MIQDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): During this time Syria has not done a single violation of Annan's plan or the initial understanding between Syria and the United Nations. At the same time the other party has not committed to a single point. This means that there is a decision not to implement Annan's plan and make it fail by the armed groups and the opposition.

WATSON: The Houla massacre has triggered international outrage. The U.S. and at least seven other countries all expelled senior Syrian diplomats in protest on Tuesday.


LU STOUT: But even as more countries expel Syrian envoys China and Russia have reaffirmed their opposition to military intervention in Syria. Ivan Watson joins us now live from Istanbul, Turkey. And Ivan, Russia and China, they remain firmly against foreign intervention. Is there any hope for international action at this point?

WATSON: Well, I mean, I think we're seeing another incremental increase in pressure against the Syrian regime. It's more isolated than ever. Turkey and Japan today joins the growing list of countries that have expelled ambassadors, but that's not likely to put a stop to the killing there. This has been going on for nearly 15 months. And the analysts I talk to, they say that no amount of international outrage is really going to change behavior inside Syria either from the Syrian government that's been repeatedly accused of committing crimes against humanity, or the increasingly armed rebel groups who have been implicated in kidnappings of Syrian security forces even within the course of the last week.

And if you want any sign that there's no end of the violence in sight, the UN observers on the ground there, that mission of 300 roughly say that they discovered 13 bodies near the city of Der Azour (ph) yesterday. All the bodies their hands were bound and they appear to have been summarily executed, many with shots to the back of the head. The commander of the UN observer mission called this an appalling and inexcusable act, but criticism alone clearly isn't going to stop the cycle of slaughter in Syria -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, the bloodshed that we're seeing on our screens, it just continues to go on. Can you tell us about the outcome of Kofi Annan's talks that he had in Damascus with Bashar al-Assad? We're still waiting for the briefing to take place at the UN, but have those talks had any immediate impact on the ground?

WATSON: Well, we're still getting reports of violence in different cities. It's fascinating that within 36 hours of the Houla massacre where you had some children axed to death, Syrian artillery were shelling the city of Hama and killing dozens of people there.

The UN special envoy Kofi Annan has moved on to Jordan now. In his statements in Syria he said that this is a turning point, that he expects the Syrian government as the strongest party in the conflict in Syria to take bold steps today, not tomorrow to implement his peace plan, which of course was supposed to be implemented nearly two months ago. And that clearly has not occurred -- Kristie.

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

Now the former Liberian President Charles Taylor, he is facing the rest of his life behind bars. An international court in The Hague sentenced the 64-year-old to 50 years in prison after convicting him of aiding and abetting in a series of war crimes in neighboring Sierre Leone. Now those crimes included rape, sexual slavery, and murder during a civil war that left 50,000 dead or missing.

Now Taylor is the first former head of state to be convicted for war crimes since World War II. In sentencing him, the judge spelled out the devastating effects of his actions, effects that can still be seen on the streets of Sierre Leone.

And for more, Vladimir Duthiers joins us not live. And Vladimir, the judge during the sentencing he said, quote, "while Mr. Taylor never set foot in Sierre Leone, his heavy footprint is there." Can you tell us what have you seen?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Kristie. Yes. It's true that the prosecutors had a hard time placing Charles Taylor at the command structure of the RUF, the Revolutionary United Front that he led from Liberia. There's no paper trail, that's true. But what you do see are the hundreds upon hundreds of people that I've come across over the last couple of days that have had their limbs amputated. And that's really sort of what we've seen today from the courthouse here at the special court for Sierre Leone.

We met a bunch of Sierre Leoneans had their limbs hacked off. One man told me that the reason when he was put to the ground and the RUF rebels all sat around him and they basically put his hand out in front of him and they told him that your hand should no longer be in politics and so we're going to take it off. And that's what they did. And I spoke to him and he had more to say about what he had witnessed today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice day to me? It mean peace. It means, you know, international justice has prevailed. And our country, with all what we've gone through. If you can compare the act of Charles Taylor, with what happened to us, I think we have to live with charity for the rest of our life. And that's not good enough for a human being.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The debt of people in Sierre Leone to us, the world, created by Charles Taylor -- I feel bad, because if I'm standing here and a victim (inaudible) I lost my father. Yes, he was shot dead in front of me and there was no way for me -- I have (inaudible) within me towards this act.


DUTHIERS: And that's really what we're talking about, Kristie. You know, there's a special emphasis to say, look, this is the first head of state since Nuremberg to be tried, convicted and sentenced at The Hague. But there is a human element here that you just sort of everywhere that you walk around. And the contrast of emotions is that while people here are very, very happy that Taylor has gotten what one man told me is his, quote, "reward," there are a lot of people that feel, especially those -- the amputee victims -- that they've been forgotten not only by the international community but by Sierre Leoneans, that people has just sort of moved on, the country is going through an economic sort of a mini boom here. There's growth in the country in all sort of diverse industries. And these amuptees are left, basically most of them are -- you find them on the streets begging for a living, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Feeling forgotten. But what about a sense of justice? During the sentencing Charles Taylor, he showed no emotion. His sentence is 50 years in prison, not the death penalty. And he also plans to appeal. So do the victims, and there are tens of thousands of them there in Sierre Leone, do they feel that justice has been served?

DUTHIERS: I mean, everybody that we spoke to does feel that justice has been served. They do think that -- I think that, you know, somebody told me today earlier this morning that they would be happy with 20 years. A lot of people say that Charles Taylor is an old man and you know 20 years is enough for him to -- they hope is that he'll pass away in prison.

Another person told me earlier this morning that the danger for the -- what people feel is Charles Taylor ever being released. Now a 50 year sentence, I don't think there's a chance of that, but there was a fear that if this sentence wasn't at least 20, or 30, or 40 years that this man is still popular enough in some parts of his country that he could go back and cause a lot of trouble.

This is a man who -- if you could imagine, somebody whose campaign slogan that is, "he killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I'm still going to vote for him." There's nothing else that you can say other than that, that's a veiled threat to people that they need to really come out and support him.

LU STOUT: Yeah, truly horrifying campaign slogan there. Vladimir Duthiers on the scene live from Freetown. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now prosecutors meanwhile in Sweden are one step closer to getting their man. The UK's high court has thrown out Julian Assange's appeal against extradition, leaving the WikiLeaks founder with one last option.

And innocence lost in Afghanistan: as part of CNN's Freedom Project, we explore the issue of forced marriages among the young and vulnerable.


LU STOUT: Now WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal in the British Supreme Court against being extradited to Sweden, but the judge leave open a way for him to continue his legal fight. Now Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange about sexual abuse allegations. He has never been charged. And Assange maintains that he is innocent. Now the case is not related to WikiLeaks. And Assange claims that the allegations against him are politically motivated.

Now he founded the whistleblowing website in 2006. And WikiLeaks came to prominence in April of 2010 when it posted this video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter firing on and killing two journalists and a number of Iraqi civilians in 2007. Now WikiLeaks would go on to leak thousands of classified U.S. military documents about Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now in February 2011 Assange found himself in a British court fighting extradition after two women accused him of sexual assault. Now the lower court ruled that Britain can extradite him. And his lawyers promised to appeal.

Meanwhile, as he waited for his appeal to be heard, Assange spread himself across many forms of media. He appears as himself here on the Simpsons. His memoir was released. And he hosts a talk show on Russian television.

Which brings us to now. Now Assange brought his appeal to the British Supreme Court in February and today they delivered the verdict. But this might not be the end of his legal battle.

Now with more on the case we join Atika Schubert live from London. And Atika, how is Julian Assange's legal team reacting to the ruling?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly this is not good news for them. We actually have the judgment here. And it took them four months to come up with this judgment out of a panel of seven supreme court judges, only two had a dissenting opinion.

In fact, let's take a quick listen to what Nicholas Phillips the president of the supreme court said when he gave out this ruling.


NICHOLAS PHILLIPS, BRITISH SUPREME COURT PRESIDENT: The majority has concluded that the Swedish public prosecutor was a judicial authority within the meaning of both the framework decision and the extradition act. It follows that the request for Mr. Assange's extradition has been lawfully made. And his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed.


SCHUBERT: Now his lawyer, Gareth Peirce briefly spoke to the press afterward and said that they would be filing a petition to reopen the case, which is an unusual step, but the reason, she said is because she said this judgment is based on a point of law that his -- her legal team, Assange's legal team did not have a chance to discuss in court. And for that reason they believe there is an opportunity to try and reopen the case at the Supreme Court.

So as a result, the Supreme Court has granted Assange a delay of extradition by 14 days in order for him to file that petition if he chooses to. And it seems pretty clear that he will, Kristie.

LU STOUT: So there's a chance that the case may be reopened. But Atika, what would happen to Julian Assange if he is indeed extradited to Sweden.

SCHUBERT: Well, if he is extradited to Sweden what's important to remember is he has not been charged. So he is only wanted for questioning. So basically he would be brought back on the orders of the Swedish prosecutor and he would face further questioning. At that point the Swedish prosecutor with them decides whether or not they should go forward if charges should be applied.

So we're really at the only very beginning stages of this case, but because he was resisted extradition to Sweden, it's sort of been stalled in the courts.

And it's also important to remember that even if the case does not get reopened by the Supreme Court he does have another avenue of appeal. He can actually appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. And if the European court decides to hear his case, then he could still have several more months here in the UK.

LU STOUT: And also could you describe the scene outside the court for us. Is the case still attracting hordes of supporters of Julian Assange as you've seen before?

SCHUBERT: Well, you know, Assange has a very strong following of supporters. And in fact, the very first supporter was here at 3:00 in the morning to get in line to ensure that he had a place in court to watch what happened. So yes there are still a lot of Assange supporters here with Free Assange posters. And the banner that we see at all of the hearings here that says truth is the first casualty of war.

So he still has you know a point of considerable following from around the world. Some of his bigger celebrity backers, however, were not seen today. John Pilger is the veteran journalist was here in support of his friend, Julian Assange, but some of those other backers like Jemima Khan, Objacka Jagger (ph), we did not see them today.

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

And still to come here on NEWS STREAM, forced into Marriage: in Afghanistan some young girls are married into a life of hardship and abuse. Their stories next as part of our CNN Freedom Project series.


LU STOUT: Well, all this week we're bringing you a special CNN Freedom Project series. We're examining a small segment of arranged marriages, ones that are forced marriages. Now the United Nations calls it a form of human rights abuse since it violates the principle of freedom and individual autonomy.

Now in south Asia half of all girls will marry before becoming an adult. In Afghanistan, it is against the law to marriage a child under the age of 16, but as Arwa Damon reports the law is difficult to enforce partly because only one in five girls has an identity card showing her true age.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Women's rights activists say traditions that allow women to be traded like commodities are difficult to overcome. Fear and shame keep most from escaping abuse and speaking out. Those who do are too afraid to be identified on camera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I heard them haggling over a price for me like an animal. My mother hugged me and told me to be quite otherwise my father would beat me.

DAMON: Yasimin (ph) was sold for $1,000 to a 60-year-old man. She was just 14.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I threw myself at my fathers' feet and begged him not to marry me off.

DAMON: What happened on the first night that your husband took you home?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I could not stop him. He was stronger than me. He raped me. He locked all the doors. I had no chance to escape.

DAMON: After more than a decade, she did.

What made you finally decide to run away?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I was afraid that he would rape my daughter.

DAMON: Her husband was serving jail time for murder. Yasimin (ph) realized it was her only chance.

Yasimin's (ph) story of courage and survival is rare. She now supporters her three children on her own after taking a typing course. She recently saw her husband in the streets of Kabul. He had been released. And she's terrified that he's going to come after her and their three children. And she won't go to the authorities for good reason.

Trying to escape from a life of abuse and slavery, is that considered a crime?

HUMAIRA RASULI, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Unfortunately we have several of the cases that these women were escaping from the family they are arrested by the police.

DAMON: Once arrested, women are often accused of adultery or moral crimes and can be jailed for years. Some of those who do find sanctuary at secret shelters tend to be suicidal.

RASULI: Cannot express their problems. And they just want to, no I want to commit suicide. I want to end my life. Of course they blame themselves for any kind of acts, for any kind of violence. And they were forced to marriage, or they were sold to the marriage. And now they have to live in a slavery life.

DAMON: Merriam (ph) was just 13 when was married off as compensation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): One day I was married off to an old man because my brother loved his niece. One day my brother ran away with his niece. My family forcibly married me to the old man as compensation.

DAMON: What did your husband and his family do to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My husband's entire family was torturing me and beating me, especially me my old husband. He forced me to beg. And when I didn't bring back enough money he would beat me. I felt like I was a slave. I was working day and night and they never valued me.

DAMON: Merriam (ph), like a growing number of Afghan women, has escaped such abuse but must now endure a lifetime in the shadows, never sure if she will be safe tomorrow.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Kabul.


LU STOUT: Now UNICEF says that abuse is common in child marriages and other harmful consequences include health problems and denial of an education. And you can learn more and find ways to help right here at

Now coming up next here on NEWS STREAM, UN monitors on patrol in Syria, but can they do anything to stop the violence?

And some consider it the world's most dangerous cyber weapon. We'll tell you about a malicious new computer virus that is so invasion it's headed for a warning from the UN.


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

Now Charles Taylor, the former warlord and president of Liberia, has been sentenced to 50 years in jail by an international court in The Hague. The court found 64-year-old Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierre Leone in the 1990s. It's likely he'll serve a sentence in a top security prison in Britain.

Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website has lost his appeal. The court has ruled that he can be extradited to Sweden, but his lawyers could challenge the Supreme Court ruling. And if that doesn't work, they can take their fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

Now police in Scotland have detained Andy Coulson, the former communications chief for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Now Coulson who previously edited the now closed newspaper News of the World is suspected of committing perjury during a court case. Now separately Coulson is on police bail after being questioned over phone hacking at the News of the World.

Now just when it seems that the violence in Syria could not get worse there are reports of horrifying new atrocities. The head of the United Nations observer mission says the bodies of 13 people have been found near the eastern city of Der Razour (ph) and some of the victims' hands had been tied. And some were shot to death at close range.

As Alex Thomas reports, Syria seems to be engulfed in violence with UN monitors seemingly powerless to prevent it.


ALEX THOMAS, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, CHANNEL 4 NEWS: Heavy firefights in some districts of Homs until the early hours. So this morning, the UN ceasefire monitors were patrolling with caution from its streets.

Out, along the main north-south highway towards Rastan where they tried to negotiate a ceasefire just three days ago. And then a hold after one incoming round was fired at the patrol from the direction of the town. It happens routinely.

These UN monitoring patrols come under fire in this area with great frequency. This is not a situation where there's much trust. And each ceasefire has to be renegotiated almost town by town, village by village.

Moreover, yet again United Nations said here the Syrian army was jamming their radios. With no effective communications, no ceasefire in fact, Kofi Annan certainly has his work cut out two hours south of here in Damascus.

There, he's been meeting key officials. And hanging heavy in the air, the question for President Bashar al-Assad: he's seen events in Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt and barring any radical change of direction the likelihood is this will one day end for him in exile, imprisonment, or death. But still tonight, and rightly, the Houla massacre commands the agenda, its consequences reverberating around the globe.

"This has to stop," Kofi Annan's central message to President Assad today.

But worldwide, governments are not using words, they're taking action: diplomats expelled across Europe, the French government describing President Assad today simply as a murderer.

Kofi Annan would not use such language, of course, but told the Syrian president to be bold in stopping this war.

KOFI ANNAN, UN/ARAB LEAGUE SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: I shared with President Assad my assessment that the six point plan is not being implemented as it must. We are at a tipping point. The Syrian people do not want a future -- their future to be one of bloodshed and division, yet the killings continue and the abuses are still with us today.

THOMAS: Tonight, more details from Houla where 108 people are now reported dead. But from what I've seen and the location of bodies, I'm certain that that number will rise.

According to the United Nations, fewer than 20 died in the initial government shelling after rebels clashed with soldiers on Friday. Another 88, mostly women and children, were executed according to UN monitors who visited that town. People there insist it was Shabiha, government backed armed civilians, who slaughter people house to house, family to family.

COLVILLE: A fairly small number appears to have been killed by shelling, artillery, and tank fire which took place over a period of more than 12 hours. But the majority appear to have been the result of house to house summary executions of home and getting into houses and killing men, women, and children inside.

THOMAS: One eyewitness told Channel 4 news he'd hidden in a pile of hay and seen men in black and army uniforms surrounding the town. He said at first they were welcomed in this Sunni town surrounded by largely Shia and Alawite areas. Another villager said they went building to building shooting people in the head and then looting.

The UN confirms 49 children, 34 women were killed on Friday. Amateur video shows tanks still surrounding the town today and I certainly witnessed them in action here two days ago.

President Assad, of course, blames what he calls terrorists.

Alex Thomas, Channel 4 News, Damascus.


LU STOUT: Now more than a dozen countries are saying effectively get out to Syrian ambassadors and envoys to protest the Houla massacre and the violence that is gripping Syria. Now Japan and Turkey became the latest nations to expel Syrian envoys on Wednesday. Now they join the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia.

And White House spokesman Jay Carney called the massacre, quote, a horrifying testament to the Syrian regime's depravity. He went on to say this, "we are ratcheting up the pressure on, and isolation of, this murderous regime."

Now United Nations agency plans to issue a serious warning on the Flame computer virus. Now you're looking at some of the code of the malware, which seemed designed for espionage. Now Phil Black spoke to the cyber experts who found Flame.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: At the start of May, Vitaly Kamlyuk was part of an expert team looking for malicious computer code said to be wiping data from computers in Iran. They found something else.

VITALY KAMLYUK, KASPERSKY LAB: We came across an interesting and suspicious file that initially wasn't looking like malware at all.

BLACK: It turned out to be part of the most sophisticated malware he'd ever seen.

KAMLYUK: This obviously is a cyber weapon. And if that is nations supported as we think it, this is actually a new stage of cyber warfare.

BLACK: This code is much bigger than the Stuxnet virus which attacked and damage uranium nuclear reactors in 2009 and 2010. But it looks like it's only designed to gather information, the usual malfare fare: emails and passwords. But it can also grab images from computer screens and switch on computer microphones to record conversations. Then it sends it all somewhere.

KAMLYUK: And the hackers are smart. They are trying to hide their entities. We tried to fool the control servers and infrastructure, but it turned out to be more than a dozen of different servers located in many different countries.

BLACK: These are the targeted countries who confirmed infections, all Middle East and North Africa. It's believed the malware has been out there for at least two years. This is a chart of the code structure.

In terms of complexity, have you ever seen anything like this before?

KAMLYUK: This is not the whole picture, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

BLACK: Kamlyuk says its size is huge for malware: 20 megabytes. And the programming language is known as Lua, never seen in malware, he says, but common in computer games because you can keep adding to it.

So it shows that this either has been a long-term project or was intended to be a long-term project.

KAMLYUK: Yes, obviously. Its so universal and so extensible maybe expansive in terms of development, but very flexible.

BLACK: The Kaspersky team say they don't know who they're going up against, but they say it's their duty to share what they do know with the world.

KAMLYUK: This is something that provides decorous and unauthorized access to doing all systems. And this is something unlawful from you know the point of view of laws of any developed country. It's obviously unlawful.

BLACK: The Kaspersky team believes this code took more than a year to write and perfect. And it will take them just as long to analyze and understand.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


LU STOUT: Now Kaspersky adds that the Flame virus shares some similarities with Stuxnet. And there are signs that they could have been developed together, but there isn't enough evidence to confirm that the same people were behind both viruses.

Now Apple CEO promised that the company will do more with Siri, but refused to comment on whether Apple was making a TV. Now Tim Cook spoke at the All Things Digital conference in the U.S. He said Apple will, quote, double down on Siri, that's the voice activated personal assistant on the iPhone. But when asked whether Apple was working on a TV, he avoided the question only saying TV was an area of intense interest for Apple.

Apple is also embroiled in a legal fight with rival Samsung. And Cook spoke about that, saying he wanted other companies to innovate instead of taking Apple's ideas.


TIM COOK, CEO APPLE: From our point of view it's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy and all of our care and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it. What we want to accomplish is we just want people to invent their own stuff and we don't want to be the developer for the world.


LU STOUT: Now Cook also spoke about his relationship with Steve Jobs, Apple's founder. Jobs died of cancer last year. And Cook said that in his final days Jobs said he did not want employees constantly asking what would Steve do. Cook says Jobs told him, just do what's right.

Now the lady arrives in Thailand, and thousands are there to greet her. Aung San Suu Kyi brings hope to Myanmar migrants as she steps on foreign soil for the first time in 24 years.


LU STOUT: Now nearly one year after launching his campaign, Republican Mitt Romney will face Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election. Now he has now secured the magic number of delegates needed to become his party's nominee, but that accomplishment was partly over shadowed by comments made by his supporter, Donald Trump. Now the businessman has frequently questioned the validity of the U.S. president's birth certificate. And he had this heated exchange with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Donald, have you seen the actual newspaper announcements within days of his birth in Honolulu, for example the Honolulu Star Bulletin? We'll put it up there. You see the birth announcement back in 1961. For -- listen, listen to me, Donald. Honolulu -- can I ask -- can I ask the question...


BLITZER: Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.

TRUMP: You are, Wolf.

Let me tell you something. I think you sound ridiculous.


LU STOUT: All right. Well, in addition to Trump and the so-called birther conspiracy, Romney is also raising eyebrows with this app. And can you see why? Well, it's promoting a better Amercia, with a "cia." It's an unfortunate typo for a man who wants to be president of America. Maybe the Romney camp should have gone with USA instead.

Now on Thursday, the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is set to speak before the council on foreign relations in New York. Now the human rights activist has already put some of his opinions on paper. His editorial appears in today's New York Times. And in it, Chen says this, now quote, "the fundamental question the Chinese government is face is lawlessness. China does not lack laws, but the rule of law. As a result, those who handled my case were able to openly flout the nation's laws in many ways for many years."

Now remember Chen, he fled illegal detention in April, triggered a diplomatic firestorm between Beijing and Washington. And he is now studying law at New York University. Now Chen says he hopes the stay in the U.S. will be temporary, but his brother tells Radio Free Asia that officials in their home village are calling his trip treason.

Now pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been swamped by supporters on her first visit outside Myanmar in 24 years. The veteran politician and activist in Bangkok on Tuesday to address the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Andrew Stevens has been following her movements in the Thai capital.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An emotional and uplifting moment for a migrant population living in Thailand with little hope in their lives. The woman many here describe as a savior, Aung San Suu Kyi, came to their town to listen to their issues and offer her support.

It was a day many have dreamed of. And for some, it was overwhelming.

"I was so happy that I cried," she told us.

"We are living in Thailand and we are working and we are struggling and we want to go home."

"Some people are living here 10 or 20 years. And this is like our savior come to see us."

Some 2.5 million Burmese are estimated to live in Thailand, most as economic refugees. Aid groups say they are treated as second-class citizens in many cases, preyed on by corrupt officials, forced to live hand to mouth. And they gathered in their thousands, singing the Burmese national anthem...


STEVENS: ...chanting her name, Dor Suu (ph), Mother Suu, to welcome the person that they hope can one day bring them home to a better life.

We are now waiting for the imminent arrival of Aung San Suu Kyi. And the crowd has been building all morning. And the people I've been speaking to have very simple wishes. They want democracy. They want independence. They want jobs. And they want to go home.

After waiting for hours in the blazing sun, the crowd erupted as she appeared on the balcony of a community center to make a brief speech.

"She would not forget them," she said. "She would fight for their rights and to work towards making it possible for them to come back home." With that, she turned inside to get a clearer picture of the lives of her compatriots.

Upstairs here, Suu Kyi is now meeting leaders of the migrant community and also workers and hearing some of the stories, some of the problems they face daily.

And then deviating from the script, she spoke about what she'd heard.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, LEADER, NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR DEMOCRACY: Of course, in short meetings I cannot really learn what all their problems are, but some of them are to do with the fact that the laws of this land, which do provide protection for workers, are not always observed.

STEVENS: From the relative calm inside to the tumultuous crowd waiting outside, hoping for one last glimpse as she made her way to her car for the trip back to Bangkok. Brief though it was, her visit made a powerful impact. It was too much for some, but for most a glimpse of a much brighter future.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Mahachai, Thailand.


LU STOUT: Now incredible scenes there in Thailand. And the last time Aung San Suu Kyi traveled outside Myanmar was 24 years ago, that was when gamers enjoyed the 16 bit technology of the Sega Genesis, it was when Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister and when the Soviet Union still existed.

Now up next here on NEWS STREAM, a stunning upset at the French Open and Serena Williams crashes out in the first round. Amanda Davies will have all the latest in a world sport update.


LU STOUT: Now one of the biggest stars in tennis is on her way home early from the French Open. Here's Amanda Davies with all the details. Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Yeah, Wednesday at Roland Garos really does have somewhere to go to match up with the drama of day three at the French Open. The 13-time grand slam winner Serena Williams was dumped out of a major in the first round for the first time ever.

She was beaten by the world number 111th Virgine Razzano, the French woman who won the hearts of tennis fans last year after deciding to play in last year's Open just five days after the death of her fiance and former coach from a brain tumor. This year, she did upset a few of those fans as she was twice penalized for hindrance after crying out in pain during points with a leg injury. But it turned into a seriously epic battle lasting three hours and three minutes. And in the end, Razzano won through at the expense of Serena Williams 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

Here's Williams earliest loss at a major since she was eliminated from the Australian Open in the second round by her sister Venus back in 1998. Until Tuesday, Serena has won all 46 of her career grand slam first round matches.

And she had been in pretty good form, too, going into Roland Garos, on a 17 match winning streak, all of those successes on clay as well.

In terms of Razzano, her record this year stands at 3-4. She's ranked 111th in the world, though, as I said. But that will certainly change for the better now you'd think.

Elsewhere the player who famously once described herself as playing like a cow on ice on the clay, Maria Sharapova cruised 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.

Rafael Nadal began the defense of his title with a straight sets win over Simone Bolelli.

And in terms of Wednesday morning, we've already seen the women's top seed Victoria Azarenka roll to an easy second round victory. The men's top seed Novak Djokovic is also through. He beat Slovenia's Vlad Kocic in straight sets. Roger Federer, though, has had a little bit of a scare. He's won the first two sets against Adrian Ungur, but he lost the third on a tiebreak. But he does now have the advantage in the fourth.

We will, of course, keep you up to date on the action from the French Open throughout the day here on CNN.

But the San Antonio Spurs continue their perfect run in the NBA playoffs going to a record breaking 20th straight win on Tuesday night to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

The top seeded Spurs overtook the 19 game record set by the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2001. Yet to lose a postseason game this year, once again were lead by the big three of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan, the trio combining for 65 points as the Spurs run up to a 20 point lead at one stage.

The Thunder did cut that to six at one point midway through the fourth quarter, but it was Ginobili who carried the Spurs home, scoring 11 in the fourth and lifting the Spurs to the victory and to that 2-0 series lead. The best of seven on that.

Of course, that's it for me. Back to you now, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Amanda, thank you.

Now India has been hit by a powerful heat wave. Details now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. This is the time of year when, if you're going to see hot temperatures, this will be when you will have that.

Today, 45 degrees was the hottest temperature recorded in New Delhi. And that's actually the hottest its been the entire year. It's down to 44 degrees now at the airport, but that's very significant. When we talk about these temperatures, that 44 in New Delhi right now, that 45 in Sukkur, 39 in Karachi we're talking about temperatures recorded in the shade. So if you're going to be out in the sun it's going to feel even hotter than that.

And it does take a toll on people. Already 80 people have been killed in India alone because of the heat wave. And the fear is, you know, when you talk about heat, that's a silent killer, you're talking about temperatures easily three to five degrees above the average. And that's a lot for -- when you're talking about temperatures like this.

Here's some of the high temperatures. There you see Sibi in Pakistan, New Delhi 45 as I was telling you.

So extreme heat. Unfortunately very uncomfortable. And we're not seeing too much of a change again tomorrow as we head through the day on Thursday. Those temperatures will continue to rise. 45 again for New Delhi. So this could be day one. Maybe 46 by the time all is said and done. So be extra careful, drink a lot of water, try to stay in the shade as much as possible if you can.

So the heat warnings are going to continue. The heat wave conditions persist not just for India, but also for Pakistan, and southern parts of Afghanistan continue to experience extreme heat.

I want to kind of switch gears a little bit and talk about something different. Kristie, have you heard about Manhattan henge? Kind of like ringing off Stonehenge? Basically what happens is the grid in Manhattan, the streets in Manhattan lined up to the sun twice every single year. And guess what, that's now. So they're saying you know kind of look toward the east, toward New Jersey. And then that's where you'll see the sun, the entire ball of the sun kind of line up. Best time to see it, of course, will be at sunrise and -- or sunset, depending on which way you're looking.

But it happens twice -- May 29th and May 30th. And again on July 11th and 12th. They call it Manhattan henge. I love the name.

This is a picture from last year in July. And look at that, it looks absolutely beautiful. They say the best place to see it is actually near the Chrysler Building and near the Empire State Building particularly beautiful sunsets, I say.

And I was thinking about it, you know, future civilizations come back and say wow that must have been some sort of message that they had in Manhattan. I don't know. You know, it's pretty cool, though, isn't it?

LU STOUT: It is very cool. It doesn't quite have the same ring as Stonehenge, but I like the pictures and how everything aligns. That's fascinating.

Mari Ramos there, thank you so much.

And finally, Zimbabwean president Robort Mugabe will be getting a new title, UN international envoy for tourism in recognition for agreeing to host a UN tourism assembly. Now human rights activists, they are stunned by the news that a man widely accused of despotic rule and terrorizing the opposition would be picked to promote travel and vacations. Now he is also under a travel ban, a fact the UN world tourism organization seems to look past.

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