Return to Transcripts main page


CERN Announces Evidence Of Elusive "God" Particle; Radwanska, Kerber Join Williams, Azarenka In Wimbledon Semifinal; Historic Floods Displace Millions In Northeastern India

Aired July 4, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

And we begin with a scientific breakthrough. Physicists believe that they have finally found a missing piece in our basic understanding of how the universe works.

The power of protest in China: how people power managed to force the cancellation of a controversial project.

And a sea of flood water covers entire villages in India, forcing some 2 million people to leave their homes.

Now it is a big day for particle physics. Scientists believe that they have found a fundamental building block of our universe, the elusive Higgs Boson. You may know it by another name, it's also called the God Particle. And for the last 18 months, researchers have been smashing protons together using the large hadron collider at LHC as see right here. Today's announcement is just a preliminary result, but scientists say it is very strong.

But what exactly is a Higgs Boson and why do we care about it? Well, scientists believe it is the particle that gives all matter its mass. And finding it will fill a huge hole in the standard model of physics and the theory of how our universe works.

Now here is how science expert Bill Nye explains it.


BILL NYE, SCIENCE EXPERT: It is speculated by mathematical, elegant, physical reasoning that everything was kind of one thing, but then after the Big Bang, things started to separate, things started to take on different properties so that pure energy like light has no mass, the particles of light have no mass. The particles that make up you and me, like you probably heard of protons and neutrons and electrons, they have mass. And do you know why? No one really is sure why. But it could very well be that there's an exchange of particles.

Nowadays we view these things as particles. We do experiments to detect particles and you detect particles. Protons are made of quarks, which are held together with gluons, no kidding, and so it could be, it's very reasonable that these other particles all exist in this ether that would be called -- named after Peter Higgs that is then infused with little particles that give them mass, that help them have mass. And this would be the Higgs Boson.


LU STOUT: So Higgs Boson is the reason why things have mass.

Let's find out more about how scientists made the discovery. Atika Schubert joins us now live from CNN London. And Atika, how did they find it?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically they built a giant science experiment that costs more than $10 billion. And what this is, is 17 kilometers of tunneling under Switzerland and France. It is a massive particle collider. And what they did is they smashed particle beams over and over trillions of times over, really recreating the Big Bang as many times as they could so they could see all of the subatomic debris that was happening from this collision. And in that debris they basically hunted for what they thought would be the decayed remains of the Higgs Boson. And what they presented today basically were their findings that showed that they are 99.999 percent certain that they have found the Higgs Boson. So that's how they did it.

And now, of course, they're going to have to try and find out more about just how the Higgs Boson works.

LU STOUT: And what are the real world applications of today's discovery?

SCHUBERT: Well, the truth is we may not see any practical applications of finding the Higgs Boson in our lifetime. It might take quite some time. That's not to say there won't be any. I mean, let's remember, you know, when they first came out with electromagnetic fields nobody had any idea what this could be used for and now we use them in our computer screens.

And it's also important to note it's not just the end goal of finding the Higgs Boson that might result in an application, the worldwide web was actually of course invented at CERN trying to handle all the data and research that was being done there. So there are actual results that are coming out of this that we do use every day.

LU STOUT: So after today's announcement, discovery of a Higgs Boson like particle, what is next for scientists at CERN?

SCHUBERT: Well, the immediate problem that they're going to have to deal with is making sure that this, in fact, the Higgs Boson. What they have said is that they have identified a boson, it certainly -- it walks like a Higgs Boson, but they're not 100 percent sure. They're only 99.999 percent.

And what they're going to do is, say, well how can we make absolutely sure that this is what we need -- that this is what it is? And once we do know, how does it work? I mean, how is it possible that the Higgs Boson actually gives matter mass? And so this opens a whole new world of possibilities.

And even once they figure that out, it's not going to be the end of it. Remember, what we see all those planet, stars and galaxies made out of matter, that's just 4 percent of the universe. There's a whole lot more out there that has yet to be discovered.

LU STOUT: A whole lot more out there. Atika Schubert joining us. Thank you very much indeed.

And we'll be talking to the director of CERT a little bit later to find out what else needs to be done to confirm that the particle discovered today is in fact a Higgs Boson particle. And the director general says that this discovery, it has global implications for the future. So I'll ask him a little bit about that as well. And that'll be happening here live on News Stream later in the program.

And now to the banking scandal that's rocking Britain. It has been a spectacular fall from grace for the man heralded for building Barclays into a leading global bank. Just one day after resigning as CEO, Bob Diamond is set to face a grilling by British lawmakers.

Now Diamond, he will testify before the treasury select committee is said to come out fighting to restore his reputation. And Barclays is at the center of a storm over banking ethics. And it is struggling to contain the fallout from the interest rate manipulation scandal.

Now ahead of today's hearing Barclays published an internal memo that could implicate not just other banks, but some of Britain's top government officials.

Let's bring in Emily Reuben who joins me now from the London bureau. And Emily, when the hearing begins, what should we expect? Will we see Diamond use the hearing as a platform to fire back?

EMILY REUBEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you know it could go either way. He could use it as an opportunity for contrition as an apology, or as is looking more likely he will go in all guns firing. And in that firing line, as you mentioned the Bank of England and certain government officials.

As you mentioned, Barclays released a memo yesterday which detail the conversation between Bob Diamond and the deputy Bank of England governor Paul Tucker which seemed to suggest that the bank and the government officials were sympathetic to efforts to bring down the LIBOR rate. Now don't forget, this was at the height of the credit crunch when market stability was seen to be paramount.

Now the Bank of England has said that this -- that this tacit approval if you like is nonsense. The FSA, the Financial Services Authority who investigated this LIBOR fixing has dismissed it too. So I think in just under an hour Bob Diamond will give his version of events and it could be politically explosive.

LU STOUT: All right. The hearing will take place in an hour from now. Bob Diamond, he may have resigned from Barclays, but he's in line for a substantial payoff. Just how much could he get? And how strong are the calls to prevent the payoff?

REUBEN: Well, the rumors swirling around are that it would be something in the region of $31 million. And don't forget that Bob Diamond was the man who earned the name the unacceptable face of banking from the previous administration.

Now this is obviously going to be hugely controversial. Diamond has been paid something like 188 million pounds in bonuses and salaries since 2007. In April, it was actually a shareholder revolt, because shareholders have seen the value of the Barclays stock fall by some two-thirds since that day. So I think they'd be anxious to reign in any payoff that Bob Diamond gets, given that bonuses for staff have outstripped dividends to shareholders in recent years.

LU STOUT: And just how big is this scandal? It's not just Barclays is it? And it's not just British banks?

REUBEN: Well, Kristie, UK politicians are looking at something like 15 other banks. We don't know the names of all of them, but four have come forward and said they are being investigated. That's Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.

I suppose the issue here is if 15 banks are found guilty to some degree of LIBOR bank rate fixing, what does that mean? Does it mean that all 15 heads will roll? All 15 CEOs will leave? And if that's the case, doesn't that leave a vacuum of experience at the top of the city? These are very interesting times.

LU STOUT: All right. Very much indeed. Emily joining us. Thank you.

Now one of the world's most valuable sporting teams has set its sights on the Big Apple. Iconic English football club Manchester United has picked the New York Stock Exchange to make its market debut. Now Manchester United hopes to raise $100 million to help reduce mounting debt levels stemming from a 2005 takeover of the club by the Glazer family.

And its IPO application provided a glimpse of the state of its balance sheet. Now in it, the team is reported to stay, quote, our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and competitive position.

Now still ahead on News Stream, the deadly shelling continues. And why it has already been one of the bloodiest weeks in Syria's uprising.

And the power of pulling together, how demonstrators in China use protest to win their fight against a planned chemical plant.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now protests in China are often met with severe punishment, but in the southwestern city of Shifang there has been a remarkable example of people power. Now the government says it is abandoning plans for a billion dollar chemical plant after thousands of determined residents took to the streets. Eunice Yoon has the story.


EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment a peaceful protest in China turned into a bloody battle. Tear gas and stun grenades used by anti-riot police on residents over the planned construction of a chemical plant in their city. Home videos like this one posted online captured this standoff in the southwester looking outraged in a rare win for the nation's growing environmentally conscious urban class.

Many in Shifang feared the copper processing plant could pollute their town and wreck havoc on their health. Thousands gathered, similar to a protest a year ago in the coastal town of Daoyen (ph). Middle class residents who marched to stop a petrochemical factory built in their backyard. This one turned violent.

"Somebody is going to die," an onlooker shouts. The authorities denied anyone has died, but a dozen were hospitalized and several detained. Officials warn residents to stop what they described as illegal protests. But eventually the government called off the project, the pressure overwhelming.

The middle class in China is growing more demanding. People often use the internet to get together and voice their concerns. And that trend is unnerving Chinese authorities who are determined to keep any protests under control.

Online discussion of this protest was allowed, hinting Beijing may be unhappy with the local government response. Officials had just broken ground on the $1.6 billion facility and argued it would have brought in billions of dollars to a city ravished by a major earthquake in 2008. The potential boost to the local economy, but money these residents decided isn't worth the environmental risk.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Incredible scenes there. Now Shifang has been a huge talking point on blogs and microblog sites on China. And this page, it belongs to Han Han is China's most famous blogger. And he has hit out at the initial crackdown on protesters saying this, quote, "people's request for improving their environment must be respected." He also slammed local leaders, adding, quote, "the best of you emigrate, the worst of you are shot, but none of you actually live in the pollution, only ordinary people live there."

Now to Syria where according to activists more than 300 people have already been killed this week alone. Now a warning, the video we are about to show you has some very disturbing and graphic images of the violence. And this video posted online you can see bodies in the street. It is said to show Douma, it's a suburb of the capital Damascus.

And this is said to have come from Daraa. And it appears to show youngsters caught up in the violence. Activists say six children were killed in Syria on Wednesday.

Let's get the latest now from Mohammed Jamjoom. He's been watching the unrest from CNN Abu Dhabi. And Mohammed, what is the latest you are hearing from inside Syria?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, opposition activists are telling us that there has been intense shelling today throughout the day in Homs and also in Idlib. We're getting very disturbing reports out of Deri ez-Zor. Activists telling us they're encountering shelling there from helicopters, from Syrian regime helicopters attacking parts of Deri ez-Zor as well. And we're also hearing that there has been intense gunfire throughout the morning and for the rest of today in Douma.

So another bloody day throughout Syria. And so far, according to opposition activists, there's at least 18 people killed just today -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now gunfire and shelling across the country. And meanwhile, the Syrian opposition's two day meeting in Cairo has ended and division and discord are front and center.

JAMJOOM: That's right. You know, the Syrian opposition was hoping to present a unified front, finally, at this two day meeting that happened in Cairo that ended yesterday. Now there was a consensus statement that emerged from the meeting late last night in which it said that they would support the Free Syrian Army by all possible means. They agreed on disregarding the Kofi Annan peace plan. They said there would be no negotiation with Bashar al-Assad or any members of his regime and they would support the revolutionary movement on the ground in Syria.

Now that's where they presented some type of unity. But we must remember, this was a very divisive series of meetings. In fact, we got confirmation from the head of the Kurdish delegation that not only did they walk out of the meeting yesterday, but in fact members of the Kurdish delegation felt insulted by another Syrian delegation there and that that descended into a fist fight.

This clearly shows how much animosity there is, how much divisiveness there is between these different groups. The Kurds feel as though they've been marginalized and so they walked out of that meeting. There were other factions that also walked out of the meeting throughout the day.

And before the meeting even started on Monday, we were hearing from battalions in the Free Syrian Army that they were against this meeting. There were some of the battalions that were saying that this was clearly just propaganda and that they didn't support what was going on by the Syrian opposition there in Cairo.

This is very worrying, especially for world powers that are trying to support the Syrian opposition. They want to see a united front. They want to see them get past their divisions so that they can support some type of Syrian opposition formulation of groups that can try to yield to this transitional government everybody is trying to come together and support.

But it's very worrying what happened in Cairo. It just shows how much division still remain in the Syrian opposition. And it's something that's really worrying the west -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, it's incredible. It's scenes of chaos, fist fighting between members of the opposition. And now reports of Bashar al- Assad, he's now blaming Turkey for the bloodshed in his country. What exactly is he saying?

JAMJOOM: This was the second part today of the interview with the Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper. It was an interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. And he actually says that in the past year the Turkish prime minister Erdogan, that he had gone beyond a friendly relationship with Syrian and one in which Turkey was meddling in the internal affairs of Syria.

He goes on to say he would never allow outsiders interfere in our affairs. This initial desire to interfere in our internal affairs unfortunately made Turkey a party in all the bloody activities in the later process. Turkey has supplied all kinds of logistic support to the terrorists who kill our people. So clearly blaming a lot of the bloodshed of what's going on in Syrian on the Turkish prime minister.

It really highlights the tensions between the countries that used to be friendly. And it shows those divisions that have grown there. And this is a really critical time in the relationship between Turkey and Syria. In the last week, the relationship has really deteriorated. There was the shooting down of the Turkish F4 Phantom jet by Syrian forces. That happened last week. Since then, Turkey has deployed troops and tanks on its border with Syria. And in the past three days we've seen three separate occasions when Turkey deployed F16 fighter jets, they scrambled them so the border with Syria because there had been Syrian helicopters approaching the Turkish border.

So this just goes to show how the tension is only increasing, only ratcheting up at a time when there's great concern of what might happen, even though there haven't been any incursions by Syrian helicopters into Turkish airspace. The tensions are on the rise right now. And that's worrying everybody in the region -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting. Thank you very much indeed for that, Mohammed.

Now coming up, we will have more on that scientific breakthrough involving the so-called God particle. We speak to the director general of CERN live right here on News Stream. Stay with us.


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

So when is the last time you were frustrated by your mobile phone company? Jeanne Moos shows us one customer who had enough.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How badly did this guy want his money back? Badly enough to tear everything he could off the walls of this T- Mobile store in Manchester, England, badly enough to attack the store with not one, but two fire extinguishers, badly enough to do all of this with people watching through the windows.

His name is Jason Codner (ph), though on the Facebook fan page admirers made he's just called Angry T-Mobile Guy, everyone's favorite vigilante.

When police finally arrived and arrested him for criminal damage, his look said no need to get rough. After they put on the cuffs he was nodding and smiling pleasantly.

As police broke up the crowd, his amazing rampage had attracted, and is still attracting, one line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all I can do is cheer him on. Yes!

MOOS: Considering how much we all love our phones, it sure is a lot of pent-up anger at phone companies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't feel sorry for T-Mobile. Them (inaudible) for somebody else.

MOOS: But for every I feel your pain, man. Someone else posted this behavior is inexcusable.

T-Mobile says the customer wanted a refund, a refund that we were not able to give as it was clearly outside of the stated terms and conditions.

But some of the angry guy's fans said they sometimes felt like doing what he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what is that going to prove? Nothing. I would just feel better.

MOOS: One clever YouTuber played the angry guy video backwards and entitled it happy man attempts to repair damage to mobile phone shop.

This tantrum now joins other memorable rampages. For instance, the Russian doctor who rammed his car into showroom vehicle after vehicle after he got fed up with waiting for his car to be fixed. And the woman who stiffed armed bottles at a liquor store after she says the clerk used the phrase "you people" while refusing to let her use the restroom.

In this case, the T in the T-Mobile stood for trashed. And their slogan, life is for sharing, well this cell phone video is sure getting shared along with comments like can you hear me now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I don't recommend it, but what that guy did.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kudos to him, man.

MOOS: New York.


LU STOUT: Now up next, we'll give you the headlines and also the latest on the crippling floods in India as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assesses the damage. He promises to help rebuild the affected areas. We'll have the latest on the disaster after the break.


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

Now Barclays former chief executive will face tough questions from UK politicians later today. Bob Diamond will appear before the British Parliament's treasure select committee where he is expected to reveal new details about a major scandal involving manipulation of interbank lending rates.

Now in the past few minutes, Turkey's military says it has located the bodies of two pilots killed when Syrian forces downed a Turkish jet last month.

And opposition groups have reported what they call indiscriminate shelling in the country. Activists say more than 300 people have been killed in the first half of this week alone.

Police in Germany say four people have been found dead following a hostage taking incident. And the dead include a bailiff who came to evict the man from his flat in southern Germany. IT is not known yet whether the gunman was among the dead.

NATO supply convoys bound for Afghanistan will soon be following through Pakistan again. They've been halted since last November when a NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Now Pakistan reopened the routes after the U.S. apologized for the deaths.

Now it is being called the biggest scientific development in decades. Now researchers at the European organization for nuclear researcher, or CERN, have found a new subatomic particle. And they say it looks like the long sought after Higgs Boson, but more research still needs to be done.

Now CERN's director general Rolf Heuer joins us now live from Geneva Switzerland. Welcome to the program.

And first, congratulations.

ROLF HEUER, CERN DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Thank you very much. We are all excited.

LU STOUT: Now you've discovered a Higgs Boson like particle. Just how much more work do you have to do to confirm that what you've seen what you have is in fact a Higgs?

HEUER: Well, I think we have a Higgs, but we don't know yet if it's really the standard model Higgs or if it's a brother or a twin brother of it. And for this we have to investigate all its properties in very tiny detail. I cannot say how long it will take. It will take quite some time after the discovery of the particle to pin down its properties.

LU STOUT: Now you've said that this discovery has global implications for the future. What kind of implications?

HEUER: Well, I think for the first time since quite a few years, or quite -- I say one decade or even more, we have now some indication in which direction the future of particle physics experiments should go. So that means we know now what instrument we might need. We have just to finalize the way we have to build an instrument. But we know now the direction we have to go.

Beforehand, many, many directions are open. Now it points towards a certain direction and that will have global implications because we have to see where to build such a nuclear collider.

LU STOUT: There seems to be so many question marks ahead.

You found the particle just in time. I understand that the large Hadron collider there at CERN, it's going to shut down for almost two years at the end of this year for an upgrade. What will the new supercollider allow you to do in terms of particle research?

HEUER: Excuse me, I didn't get the second part of the sentence?

LU STOUT: Oh, what will the new supercollider allow you to do?

HEUER: Oh, it opens a completely new energy region, because we will bring the collider to its full specification that means we will nearly double its energy. And that opens a completely new window even beyond the Higgs Boson. But it will also allow to study the Higgs Boson in more detail. So it allows many, many different things and this is why we have to do it, why we have to shut down for nearly two years. But then afterwards we come back with full power, with even more power, and this is fascinating.

Then we open a new window into the early universe. We are already having fun, but we have only one small window. We open it larger, a bigger window.

LU STOUT: Now during the live webcast, I mean there was loud applause and cheering there in CERN. I mean, just how emotional are you and fellow scientists right now?

HEUER: Well, I think I slowly start realizing that I have some emotions about this. You see the last days were full of tension, how far can we go? What can we announce? And today it coordinated in a fantastic agreement between the two experiments which is excellent because you should cross check research. So you need two experiments to cross check. That was fun. They both come to the same result.

And I'm starting to develop more and more emotions. So it's time that I soon go on the plane to the conference in Melbourne to calm down and to have a glass of champagne.

LU STOUT: No doubt looking forward to that.

And the Nobel committee is no doubt watching your announcement very closely. Who deserves credit for the discovery announced today?

HEUER: Well, I think many people deserves credit for today. A huge number of people deserves credit for today. And that is one of the crux of the -- for another committee. I mean, today's big science is no longer single persons, it is really groups of persons. So maybe it's at some stage time to think about changing guidelines? Maybe?

LU STOUT: Now leading up to today's Higgs Boson breakthrough there was a bit of competition between scientists at CERN and scientists at FERMA lab in the United States. But you were able to identify and make this announcement of this Higgs Boson like particle first. What gave you the edge?

HEUER: Well, I think the main thing between FERMA lab and CERN is really that we are in competition, yes, but we are also in collaboration, yeah? They helped us when we had problems. We help them when they have problems. It's a healthy competition, a healthy collaboration. You can call it coopetition if you want, a new word I know, but you could use it. And the results from FERMA lab underline what we have found, because they are in a different way the boson can materialize so to speak, can show up as a picture in the experiments that's different at FERMA lab and different here at CERN. So they underpin our result. So I think it makes it stronger.

LU STOUT: There's a lot of exciting work ahead. You have to confirm that what you found today is in fact a Higgs Boson particle. You have the upgrade of the large Hadron collider taking place at the end of this year. But from what you know right now, this particle that you've discovered, what does it look like? And does it have mass itself?

HEUER: Oh, yeah, it has mass itself. It's -- it is mass I think it's 130 times the proton mass roughly. So it's a pretty heavy particle. Now if I'm not mistaken, it's the second heaviest particle we know. But it's a different type of particle. It's neither meta nor force (ph) and that makes it so fascinating, so interesting because it's the first type -- first particle of this type. So we are all looking forward to studying it.

LU STOUT: Well, thank you very much for sharing your discovery with us. And also for sharing your story with such clarity. I have to admit I took only physics for poets in university. So it's very much appreciated from me.

Rolf Heuer, director general of CERN joining us live from Geneva. Thank you.

Now let's go now to our world weather center. We've got Mari Ramos standing by. And Mari, what are you monitoring?

HEUER: Kristie, we are talking about weather extremes this time around. There's a lot of different weather extremes that we've been monitoring around the world and catching people's attention, really, and catching many, many people off guard from heat to heat waves, historic, unprecedented heat waves like the one we have here in the U.S., but there's also a heat wave in east Asia, one also across central and eastern Europe.

Then there's also some very significant flooding. They're calling it historic flooding across portions of northeastern India. For example, this city right here in Assam had about more than half of their monthly total in just a period of two days. That's just an example of what we're talking about here.

Let me go ahead and show you right here on Google Earth. And weather producer Taylor Ward (ph) is helping me out with this. Taylor (ph), let's go ahead and zoom in over here to the Indian state of Assam. It's here in the north and east. And this is an area that is very flat, a very flat terrain. This line that you see right here, we didn't paint that on, this is actually what it looks like from space. This is the Brahmaputra River. And it's a very large river, one of the largest rivers in India.

Well, you can see how large it actually is, but when you zoom in you can see that it's actually several little squiggles of water that are moving through here. This is about 7 to 8 kilometers wide, that's how wide the river actually gets during the rainy season, which is where we are now. However, we are seeing areas that are far away from the river, even farther than 2 or 3 or even 4 kilometers away that are already suffering from floods.

Let's go ahead and zoom in to the next town over and you can see cities like this that are completely underwater already. This is very significant. And millions of people have been affected.

Sara Sidner picks up the story from there.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A sea of flood water leave no trace of the villages that lie beneath or the dozens of lives the water has claimed. On the water's surface, the struggle to survive comes into sharp focus. Those with access to boats save themselves and their animals if they can.

Flood waters have forced nearly a million people to leave their homes. In all, about 2 million have been affected by the flooding.

"How am I to survive? I'm force to move to railway tracks with my children," Dossier Sabir Ali (ph) says.

Desperation reigns in the temporary shelters that have been set up.

"There is no water, no food for me and my children," villager Sahida Evan (ph) says.

The state of Assam lies in India's northeast. It is a part of the country that many complain have long been neglected by the central government, a place with fewer services and less infrastructure than other states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who toured the area says the government is doing everything it can to send in flood relief. So far the army and disaster management division has sent nearly 1,400 rescuers to the area.

MANMOHAN SINGH, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER: For the next two days our focus will be on rescuing people, (inaudible) flood waters and on extending relief to those who had been forced to leave their homes.

SIDNER: The monsoon rains started the second week of June. And Assam has seen weeks of flooding. Some stranded villagers say they have waited for days, but food rations have yet to reach them. 2,000 villages are now inundated with water, nearly every district in the state is consumed by it.

Other villagers have refused to leave their homes, willing to lose their lives trying to save what little they have left.

Sara Sidner, CNN, New Delhi.


RAMOS: A very tragic situation there continuing in India. We are expecting more heavy rain across portions here of northeastern India. You can see these strong thunderstorms that continue to develop. Bangladesh, by the way, is also suffering from significant flooding as the water continues to eventually drain across this entire region.

Well, from flooding to heat. And this is across east Asia in particular. We're going to go ahead and switch to this part of the world right now. Just a quick little sample in here of cities. Look at Shanghai, got to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 38 degrees Celsius, just another example 34 degrees for you in Hong Kong. That heat warning it was actually canceled just a little while ago in Hong Kong, that's because it's night time. The sun has set and so it should get a little bit cooler. But even in the overnight hours it should be significantly warm, warmer than you'd expect.

We're also seeing some very heavy rainfall starting to pull in out of China and into the Yellow Sea. That's going to move across the Korean Peninsula and eventually into parts of Japan. Japan has already had some significant flooding as well, deadly flooding and even mudslides. At least one person was killed with some very heavy rain. Can you imagine, over 91 millimeters per hour falling in some of these places?

You want to see what the pictures look like? Pretty dramatic stuff here. Water every as far as the eye can see in some cases. We're still seeing some rain showers over the area and there were some flood warnings that were posted. Mudslides are also a concern. And look at the torrents of water that continue to flow through some of these rivers and channels and drainage systems across this area.

And a little bit of an improvement overnight tonight. And then the rain comes back as we head through the day tomorrow.

We will take a quick break right here on News Stream. More news on CNN right after the break.


LU STOUT: Now it was the holiday that went horribly wrong. In January, the Costa Condordia cruise liner strayed too close to the Italian shore and ran aground. And when the liner first hit the rocks, the passengers were told not to worry. But as the ship began listing dangerously on its side, chaos ensued. And the ship's captain stand accused of abandoning ship. 32 people lost their lives and many more were injured. It was a disaster that stunned many around the world and sent the cruise industry reeling.

Now Dan Rivers spoke to survivors as part of a new documentary called Cruise to Disaster.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When the order to abandon ship was given, Hector Perez and Sohaim Khan were at a lifeboat.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Please remain calm. Everything is under control.

RIVERS: The crew member who barred access to the boats told passengers to calm down.

HECTOR PEREZ, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: As soon as he opened the door, everybody ran towards that emergency boat and pushed him out of the way. Everybody was panicking. Everybody was running for their own lives.

A lot of them didn't realize that they were going to let people jump into the boat without an actual seat. Those that realized it, they jumped into the boat and they just stayed standing on the boat. It was way over 150 people limit.

RIVERS: The boat carrying Khan and Perez made it to the sea. But even then, they were not safe.

PEREZ: I look up and I see the emergency boat, a, goes sideways one way. Suddenly it went this way again and it fell right on top of our boat.

SOHAIM KHAN, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: If our boat would have turned when we were evacuating and the second boat fell on us, we would have been dead.

RIVERS: Several lifeboats couldn't be lowered. And with the ship listing, the problems of evacuating people multiplied.

The Ananias family pulled in to a lifeboat, but were forced to return to the ship when the lifeboat wouldn't launch. Once back on board...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bam, the boat flipped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It takes another five, eight more degrees roll to the starboard side.

RIVERS: One of the crew told investigators that some officers literally pushed passengers into the water. But the Ananias family turned around and tried to climb across the ship with nothing to hold on to.

VALERIE ANANIAS, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: The side of the ship is now the bottom of the ship. So you're literally walking on the side of the ship.

RIVERS: The speed with which the Concordia tilted, first one way, and then the other, has alarmed maritime experts.

(on camera): This is the Safety of Lives at Sea rulebook, the maritime safety Bible if you like, issued by the International Maritime Authority here in London. It specifies that ships should remain stable with two water tight compartments flooded and they should be able to be evacuated within 30 minutes.

(voice-over): But the loss of power, the flooding of the pumps and backup generators had turned the Concordia into a helpless hulk.

As the water continued to rise, the ship tilted yet further, more than 60 degrees.

GEORGIA ANANIAS, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: And then I remember us all starting to pray and saying our goodbyes. And I can remember thinking, oh my gosh, we're going to die let's just get it over with.

RIVERS: By now, it was nearly 1:00 in the morning. The Ananias family and dozens of other passengers were still trying to climb a metal ladder to reach the outside of the ship. But it was still a mad scramble to escape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men pushing women aside, pushing children aside.

VALERIE ANANIAS: I put my foot down and I said this is not going to happen. I'm not going to sit here and watch one other man jump in front of his mother and child to get his way up there. It wasn't going to happen.


LU STOUT: This weekend, join us for a CNN special. Senior international correspondent Dan Rivers investigates safety issues within the cruise industry. We'll take a focused look at the Costa Concordia disaster off the Italian coast. That's Sunday 9:00 in the morning in Hong Kong.

Now still ahead on News Stream, tennis star Novak Djokovic aims to take another step toward victory at Wimbledon, but who is his biggest threat? Alex Thomas will have all the sport as the quarterfinals get underway.


LU STOUT: Now after a week-and-a-half of tennis action, the surviving players at Wimbledon can see the big prize looming. Let's join Alex Thomas in London for more -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie, it's getting interesting now isn't it? Men's quarterfinals day at Wimbledon and a day off for the women semifinalists. Serena Williams, the only former champion left in the ladies singles after a straight sets victory over last year's winner Petra Kvitova on Tuesday. Perhaps spurred on by the shock first round exit of her sister Venus, Serena produced an impressive display to move to within two victories of a fifth Wimbledon title.

Next up for the former world number one is Victoria Azarenka. The second seed and Australian Open champion was also a straight sets winner. She beat Austria's Tamira Paszek's 6-3, 7-6. Azarenka will reclaim the world number one ranking herself if she beats Serena Williams next.

Elsewhere, Angelique Kerber overcame Sabine Lisicki in an all German quarterfinal. She'll now play Maria Kirilenko's conquorer Agnieszka Radwanska in the other semifinal. And all those matches taking place on Thursday.

Weather permitting, eight will become four in the men's singles later. Here are the opening two quarterfinal matches scheduled for Center and Number One courts. They've just gone off because of rain with Federer 4-1 up on Mikhail Youzhny. Novak Djokovic and Florian Mayer's match is going with serve. Djokovic and Federer due to face each other in semifinals. They'll be favorites to get through to a sixth meeting in eight grand slam events.

While in the other half of the draw, Andy Murray says his next opponent David Ferrer is more than just a clay court expert. After Rafael Nadal's surprise defeat last week, all the players in this section have a great chance of reaching the final. And if Murray does it, he'll be the first British man at a Wimbledon single's final for more than 70 years. Remember, Ferrer beat Murray at the same stage at the French Open a few weeks ago.

Wimbledon has the most famous grass courts in the world, of course. And they'll see more action than usual this year, because the All England Club is also hosting the Olympic tennis competition. Don Riddell now looks at how Wimbledon will cope with two such big events so close together.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: For more than 20 years Eddie Seaward has monitored the magic on Wimbledon's Center Court, watching both the cut and thrust of the game as the cut and dust of the surface beneath the players' feet. He's seen champions come and go, but before he contemplates his own retirement this year, Eddie faces the toughest challenge of his career as Wimbledon's head groundsman.

EDDIE SEAWARD, RETIRING HEAD GROUNDSMAN, WIMBLEDON: This year is different because of the Olympics. But the Olympics only being about 10 days after the championships. So we've got very little time in which to prepare the courts.

RIDDELL: Eddie's team is making sure the All England Tennis Club is ready for the ultimate workout: hosting two high profile tournaments within just a month of each other. They must stick to a strict routine, cutting the grass to an exact 8 millimeters for optimum plan and keeping an eye on ground temperature and humidity.

SEAWARD: When I first started here, the players used to serve and run in and wait to receive the return ball. And they used to check and stop and wear the grass out. There was a patch in the middle there. And that slowly, but surely moved players back every year until it's disappeared completely.

RIDDELL: This is what they're hoping to avoid: heavily worn courts with barren patches almost devoid of grass. So the ground staff have brought in extra help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we cut a little hole in Center Court. And it's quite an important hole to me, yes. It allows me to measure how much moisture there is at different depths through the roots under the court. There must be several million grass plants out there. And I've picked on three of them, because this is the wrong grass. It's a big disaster in the making if this grass comes to the fore, we're going to have a very spongy, soft surface which is the last thing we want.

RIDDELL: The perfect Wimbledon lawns aren't the result of work just in London, but also hundreds of Kilometers away in the north of England where a mini Wimbledon has been created.

ANDY NEWELL, SPORTS TURF RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Just behind me is our Wimbledon grass testing area, a little bit of SW 19 (ph) in west Yorkshire. And here we've got the Wimbledon soil and we can test the grass we've got in main use in the future here. And we whittle them down, we can get rid of the (inaudible).

RIDDELL: Some of Britain's most iconic sporting surfaces have been through their paces at this institute in Yorkshire: the golfing fairways of St. Andrews, the cricket wicket of Lourdes (ph), Wembley Stadium soccer pitch and the racing royalty of Ascott.

NEWELL: One of the problems here is that we can't actually get tennis players to run around on our court systematically. So what we have is a (inaudible) make sure that we can have the same amount of wear on each block on each layer of grass.

RIDDELL: For purely scientific point of view, the perfect player to minimize wear and tear would be a lightweight serve and volley specialist rather than a bruising baseline battler, more Giles Simon than Jo-Wilfried Tsonga perhaps.

While the world's best tennis players battle over their Wimbledon dream, the grass court king Eddie Seaward will be keeping his feet and his gaze firmly on the ground.


THOMAS: Don Riddell on the science behind a perfect grass court.

Now after the successful defense of their European championship title, it won't surprise you to hear that Spain have strengthened their lead at the top of football's world ranking. However, five time world champions Brazil have dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since the ratings began. The 2014 World Cup hosts are down in 11th place. And that's not the only controversial position on the list.

Few would argue with Germany, Uruguay and Portugal's spots in the top five, but England dropped for fourth in the world despite losing at the quarterfinal stage of Euro 2012. And they were soundly beaten by Italy. The Azzurri, the European championship runners-up are back into the top 10. They've risen to sixth while Euro bloc Holland has slipped to 8th.

Back to you in Hong Kong, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Alex Thomas there, thank you.

Now we've been telling you about the scientific breakthrough from CERN. And research suggests that the long elusive Higgs Boson has been found. It's named for scientist Peter Higgs who attended today's announcement.

Now back in the 1960s he and other physicists, they proposed a theory to explain how particles get their mass. But the Higgs Boson, it also goes by another name, the God particle. And don't be fooled, because there's nothing religious about it. That popular nickname, it comes from this book by Nobel prize winner Leon Letterman. But he reportedly had that title forced on him.

Now Letterman had said that he wanted to call it the Goddamn particle, because nobody could find the thing.

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