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Mystery Woman Seen With North Korean Leader; Cocktail Of Pathogen, Steroids Cause of Mystery Deaths In Cambodia; Egyptian President Morsi To Visit Saudi Arabia; Countries Pledge Money At Family Planning Summit In London; Ashley Cole Testifies In John Terry Racial Abuse Trial; Spanish Miners Protest Announced Austerity Measures In Spain

Aired July 11, 2012 - 8:00   ET


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

We begin in Cambodia where authorities think they have finally identified what was killing children in the country.

As a summit takes place on family planning, we look at the challenges facing women in Africa.

And why the latest Mac is at the center of a split between Apple and an environmental group.

Cambodia's killer disease has been identified. This mystery illness that quickly turns deadly has so far claimed the lives of 62 young patients. And doctors at the Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital say they have never seen anything like it. But today there was a breakthrough.

So what has been killing Cambodia's children? Now the World Health Organization believes a combination of pathogens are to blame including entero-virus 71, strepto-coccus suis, and dengue. And there's a fourth factor, the inappropriate use of steroids to treat the illness. But no new cases have been confirmed since last Saturday.

And with more, I'm joined now by Dr. Sanjay Gupta from the Cambodian capital of Phenom Pehn.

And Sanjay, we finally know the cause of this mystery illness. What are your sources telling you?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's been a -- there's been a lot of pieces of this puzzle Kristie. And I've been talking the last several days, but it's exactly what you said, that there were several different pathogens sort of that were found here. So you had the entero-virus 71 found in 15 specimens, but you also found the strepto-coccus, and the dengue.

Now the question that a lot of people were trying to figure out here is that these are pathogens that have been seen throughout the world and they can be pretty dangerous at times. But the way that they were behaving here being so aggressive leading to death as you heard within 24 hours of a child being admitted that they were trying to figure out why that was. And as you said the steroids probably used before the patients even got to the hospital was the real concern.

Steroids, Kristie, can be a very powerful medicine, a potent and effective anti-inflammatory, but it can also reduce your bodies own immune system. So if you reduce your body's own immune system you have an infection all of a sudden that infection can go from being a bad infection to a deadly infection.

So that's how the pieces of this puzzle came together. And in fact the World Health Organization later on today are going to talk specifically about this. And they're also going to caution health care providers not to use steroids in the case of an infection because it could lead to this very problem.

LU STOUT: Just to confirm here, Sanjay, do officials believe that the children died in Cambodia because they had this mix of pathogens and received steroid treatments?

GUPTA: That's what they believe. Now this is obviously a tough thing to 100 percent prove, but you can say is that all the children who died also received steroids.

Now it doesn't mean for sure that steroids were the cause, but you know it was -- they were trying to explain why some of these pathogens were behaving so aggressively. And that's -- you know, talking to the doctors at the lab where I went The Pasteur Institute talking to doctors at the World Health Organization. This is how they're putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Keep in mind, you know, you still don't have specimens from all of these children. Some of these children died before they could even collect all the specimens. So they may not have adequate data to explain everything ever, that just may not be available. But now after you know so many weeks of looking at this, this is how they're putting it all together.

LU STOUT: And this illness, it was still lethal. It killed so quickly, often in just 24 hours. And that was what initially raised red flags for doctors. Should residents expect to hear more of these deaths in weeks to come?

GUPTA: Well, you know, the pathogens, these viruses and bacteria, are still out there. So it is possible. But again keep in mind, Kristie, these are, you know, pathogens that the world has seen before. People get sick from them -- for example entero-virus 71 can cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. But typically people recover from that. They -- you know, in most places around the world.

So the World Health Organization again saying don't use steroids, don't use it in the outpatient setting. People will still get these infections, but you can prevent them from turning into deadly infections if you follow some of these basic principles.

And as far as everybody else, Kristie, as much as we've talked about this, these viruses -- entero-virus, for example, still transmitted hand to mouth, so still simply washing your hands is the best source of prevention whether you're living here in Cambodia or anywhere else around the world.

LU STOUT: And also should travelers to Cambodia be worried about this?

GUPTA: I don't think so. And I've asked that same question, Kristie. Typically, you know, you do think of some of these pathogens as being contagious, but you know they just didn't seem to be that contagious here. It could be that they just weren't contagious or it could be that there were people who were getting the infection, but it was so mild that they didn't seek treatment or they didn't even know that they had it. So it doesn't appear to be particularly contagious or clustering.

But again, you know, if you're traveling through here, that the most common way that people are going to pick up one of these infections is by actually touching a dirty hand to their mouth and getting contaminated that way. So just, you know, not doing that, making sure the hands are clean is going to be your best bet.

LU STOUT: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting for us live from Cambodia. And thank you for being there this week and staying fixed on the story for us.

Now last year the people of Egypt they did the unthinkable, because they wanted change. But despite the removal of Hosni Mubarak, more than 80 million people are living in a nation that is unstable and they face an uncertain future. Now that's because of a growing power struggle taking place in the heart of the capital Cairo.

Now the country's Supreme Court has overruled the new president's decision to reconvene parliament.

Now lawmakers, they briefly gathered on Tuesday in what was scene as a symbolic show of support for President Mohamed Morsi defying the military that's been running things since parliament was dissolved.

Let's get the latest on what's next for Egypt. Ivan Watson joins us now live from Cairo. And Ivan, the political in-fighting drags on.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It sure does. But in the meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood recently elected president Mohamed Morsi is expected to make his first foreign trip as an inaugurated president. He's expected to travel to Saudi Arabia, a regional power that has offered reportedly more than a billion dollars to help prop up Egypt's struggling economy.

But Morsi is making this important trip as a -- he is engaged in a very public argument with rival branches of the Egyptian government here in Cairo over whether or not the Egyptian parliament should be dissolved.


WATSON: The generals and the judges said no, but the president from the Muslim Brotherhood said yes. And in the end, riot police let lawmakers through for a session in parliament. This was the first meeting of parliament since Egypt's highest court dissolved the elected legislature last month. Tuesday's session lasted less than an hour.

But this looks like different branches of the Egyptian government fighting each other.

MOHAMED ANWAR AL SADAT, PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, this is a revolution. And you have to expect that there is -- these things happen.

WATSON: The recently elected president, Mohamed Morsi, is asserting himself against the generals who have ruled Egypt since last year's revolution. Morsi's sometimes colorful band of supporters argue he is defending millions of disenfranchised voters who elected the Islamist dominated parliament.

WALID AMER, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SUPPOERTER: They said they want to cancel the parliament. How can you do this? How can you cancel the authority of 30 million people?

WATSON: But critics say the last thing Egypt needs is more upheaval.

FATHI DESOUKI, PARLIAMENT MEMBER (through translator): The decision by the president has split the Egyptian street in an unprecedented manner and has caused an untimely crisis.

WATSON: Egypt's power struggle is being fought in parliament and in the courts.

The scene here at the administrative court building is much more tense as you can hear the crowd here chanting the name of the president from the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi whose lawyers are defending him against multiple court cases against him and his decision to reinstate the parliament.

On Tuesday, the angry crowd hurled abuse and water bottles at one man they accused of being Falul (ph), a remnant of the old regime. The tense standoff abruptly ended when judges decided to postpone the verdict for a week.

Brinksmanship and street theater, some of them tactics both sides are using in the struggle for this country's future.


WATSON: Now Kristie, Tuesday night the Muslim Brotherhood organized what it called again one of its million man marches. And there were certainly thousands of demonstrators, many of whom had been bused in who gathered in Tahrir Square. And many of them were very angry at a late night decision, announcement that was made by the constitutional court which said that Mohamed Morsi's decree last Sunday to reinstate the parliament was basically wrong.

So these two institutions, the presidency and the judiciary, are basically talking in circles saying one of them is saying we need the parliament, it should be back in place, the other is saying no. And that argument continues. Despite the anger that was expressed by some of those demonstrators in Tahrir Square, the meeting, the gathering ended peacefully. So for now it seems this dispute is being fought in the courts, sometimes in the streets, but not using violence. And that's a positive development in my book, especially given all the violence we've seen in the streets of Cairo over the past Turbulent year-and-a-half -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's very good to hear indeed despite the deep divisions that you're reporting on. Ivan Watson joining us live from Cairo, thank you.

Now a developing story from Yemen now. And officials say at least 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing at the country's police academy. Now that took place in the capital Senaa. Now dozens more are reported to be wounded. We'll bring you more information as this develops.

Now still to come, tough love: Spain's prime minister dishes out another round of budget cuts to meet Madrid's debt obligations. For many Spaniards are saying enough is enough.

Green scheme: find out what one city council is doing to pressure Apple to reduce its carbon footprint.

And race row: Chelsea football captain John Terry takes the stand for another day. Find out what he had to say.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Apple is pulling out of a program to certify its products as environmentally friendly. It's a move that could end up costing the company. Apple is pulling out of EPEAT. Now that's a program, backed by the U.S. government, to build a registry of environmentally friendly products. And there's a page that lists which companies have products in EPEAT. You'll find Dell, HP, Samsung, and Sony among others there, but not Apple. And that's a problem, because U.S. government regulations say that 95 percent of electronics it purchases must be approved by EPEAT. Now many company have similar restrictions to ensure they only buy environmentally friendly products.

Now for its part, Apple claims it is an environmentally friendly company. Its website has big sections full of graphics detailing Apple's environmental impact. And stresses that they still meet the U.S. government EnergyStar specifications. There are even reports for each product. If you look at the report for an older computer like this MacBook, you will see this a gold certification from EPEAT, a logo missing from all its current products.

So why has Apple pulled out of EPEAT? Now EPEAT CEO Robert Brisby says it is because of this, the new MacBook Pro with a retina display. Now Apple boasted about how thin the new computer was and that may have lead to the split from EPEAT. Now Brisby told CIO journal that the new MacBook Pro would not have made it to EPEAT's lists. The new laptop's battery is glued to the display, which makes it hard to recycle because you need to separate it.

Now Apple's already feeling the effect of that decision. The City of San Francisco says it won't buy Apple computers anymore. You'll notice I said computers, because EPEAT doesn't yet cover tablets or phones, so the iPhone and iPad are safe for now.

Now one of Apple's rivals, struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion face a shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Sales have slumped. The company has seen its share price cut in half this year. Now CEO Thursten Heins acknowledges the company was going through tough times, but pinned his hopes on the company's long delayed new operating system BlackBerry 10.


THORNSTEN HEINS, CEO, RIM: This was a disappointing quarter following a difficult year. And we're focused on stabilizing our financial performance as we transition to the BlackBerry 10 platform. The successful launch of BlackBerry 10 and the delivery of high quality, pro featured BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first calendar quarter of 2013 remains the company's number one priority.


LU STOUT: All right. Well, priorities set.

Now Heins also mentioned an interesting note, the first devices using BlackBerry 10 will be touchscreen only, like this BlackBerry Storm. While phones of the famous BlackBerry keyboard will get the new operating system later. Now it's an interesting shift for a company famous for building phones like this in the face of touchscreen only phones from rivals like Apple and Samsung.

Now it was hardly a surprising announcement. Nevertheless, the fresh round of austerity measures unveiled today by Spain's prime minister is expected to deal a severe blow to the Spanish people. Mariano Rajoy unveiled several measures, they include a 3 percent increase in consumption tax, and cuts to unemployment benefits, and the salary of civil servants. The austerity plan is expected to save nearly $80 billion by 2014 and it's needed to make the conditions of a EuroZone bailout of Spain's troubled banks.

Meanwhile, hundreds of miners ended a weeks long protest against the cuts that they say will contribute to job losses.

Now Madrid bureau chief Al Goodman has been following developments and he joins us now. And Al, I understand in the heart of Madrid, protesters were speaking out against this decision.

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. Well, there has been high tension here outside the industry minister -- in an industry ministry. The miners protesting this day against the government cutbacks in the subsidies to the mining sector, the troubled coal mining sector saying that 60 percent of the subsidies in this year have been cut, they say that's equivalent to a debt flow for this industry.

So these hundreds of miners who marched to northern Spain were joined by thousands of their fellow miners and many other Spaniards for large crowds late last night in central Madrid. And right at this moment outside the industry ministry now they were right from our position there were clearly hundreds or several thousands of people scattered in a matter of just a few moments as riot police moved in. We did not see clashes, but we noted there are reports of clashes possibly in another part of this demonstration just away from our position -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: No clashes, but clearly anger against these new austerity measures. Now Spain is already experiencing 25 percent unemployment. What impact will these new measures have on the people and the families and the businesses in Spain?

GOODMAN: Well, we can start right with these miners. We talked to one this morning who said if he loses his job that's pretty much it. His wife is a hairdresser. They have two kids. And she says if the mines closed, her hair salon will also go out of business. But you take it out broader, because the mining industry has had problems long before the latest economic crisis that's pushed that unemployment rate over 24 percent.

And the measures that were outlined by the prime minister this day for over the next three years that nearly $80 billion in cuts is just going to further hit people. Just an example, they're going to take away the Christmas extra bonus pay for the civil servants, that's a standard thing here in Spain. Some people earn as much as $2,500 on that as an extra bonus every year. They're going to say good-bye to that. And right across the board, there are some who are saying the families right now is the only social safety net in Spain. And as they get further and further squeezed, the problem is going to get bigger and bigger -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Al I know that you've been surrounded by the raw emotion, the raw reaction from people there reacting to this new austerity package. But just to pull back a little bit, is austerity the answer for Spain's crisis? Or should Spain have focused more on growth programs? What are experts saying?

GOODMAN: That is a vigorous debate among some of the world's leading economists. And many are coming down on the side that there should have been more growth policies, not just these austerity cuts.

Now remember, this conservative government came into power last last year after the socialist government got the country deep into a mess. The conservatives then blamed the socialists for everything, but they have been on board now. And basically it's been cuts, cuts, cuts. What the opposition is saying is why not do like in France, for instance, where the new French president has put some of the higher taxes on the wealthiest individuals. Here, that has not happened. And so that is the kind of criticism that you are getting that yes it could have been done differently.

But austerity clearly some of the conditions that Europe is demanding of Spain as it turns over the first tranche of a bank bailout. By the end of this month more than $30 billion, up to a 100 -- more -- up to $125 billion may be on the way. Remember, all of these banks getting in trouble with real estate loans when the bubble later went bust and that's what got everybody into trouble -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right, these cuts is exactly what the European commission wanted, but not particularly the protesters surrounding you there in the heart of Madrid.

Al Goodman reporting. Thank you very much indeed.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up next two words that could save thousands of lives: birth control. Many women in the developing world do not have the right to decide when to have a baby.


LU STOUT: Now right now London is hosting a summit on family planning. If you're wondering why, just look at this and consider this number. Now more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who do not want to become pregnant can't get access to contraceptives. That is expected to result in some 80 million unintended pregnancy this year.

And giving birth can be dangerous. A woman dies of pregnancy related complications roughly every two minutes, that's nearly 800 women a day. And 99 percent of them are in developing countries. Contraception could save thousands of lives. But family planning faces cultural and religious hurdles in many parts of the world.

Now David McKenzie joins us now from Nairobi, Kenya. And David, from Kenya you're watching this big family planning conference taking place in London. Your thoughts on what will be achieved there.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they want to achieve, Kristie, is a renewed focus on family planning. There's a feeling among aid professionals particularly that -- particularly during the AIDS pandemic there was a dropping of the ball on family planning.

You know, in the 80s it was a big issue in the U.S. and European Union to push for family planning around world that, as I said, kind of -- they lost that focus a little bit. Now this is -- it's a meeting called by the Gates Foundation and the UK government -- government across the world are going to London to discuss how to figure out how to give a woman the option, the choice as it were, to control the size of their families.

Now you mentioned some pretty staggering statistics, Kristie, but all these statistics obviously have human faces. We went into Koragacha (ph) slum in Nairobi, met with women, they have a woman's group who discussed these issues together. They come up against some pretty serious hurdles if they want to get contraception. And one of them is in fact the church in that area. Let's hear about what one pastor, one father we spoke to had to say about the amount of money that will probably be pledged today for family planning.


FATHER JOHN WEBOTSA, ST. JOHN'S CATHOLIC CHURCH: (inaudible) because if you could have invested the same amount of money teaching people (inaudible), teaching people how to control themselves, you could have (inaudible) return. I can only think (inaudible).


MCKENZIE: John also told us that in fact he tells his congregation that family planning contraceptive options are dangerous for them for health reasons. So certainly on that side, they don't necessarily have an ally in these areas, Kristie.

LU STOUT: There's so much push back in Africa to family planning options. What do the women of Africa and where you are in Kenya make of it? Or what challengers are they facing?

MCKENZIE: Well, it's very interesting I found it was deeply moving to talk to these women and the fact that a lot of these options that they want to have are for very fundamental nuts and bolts reasons. They're in tiny shacks in Koragacha (ph). They sometimes have five to seven children squeezed in there with them. One of the biggest issues they faced, though, they said is this unequal relationship between women and men and not just here in Kenya but certainly this would be an issue in large parts of the world, not just Africa. And they said that really, you know, even if they want to get contraceptives they sometimes have to go in secret to get them and risk abuse if they are found out.

Let's hear some misconceptions as one aid professional called it of what men say family planning causes.


JANE OTAI, SENIOR PROGRAM ADVISER, TUPANGE: They believe family planning will cause cancer. They believe that when they are -- when a woman using family planning she will become promiscuous. They believe that, you know, maybe a woman uses family planning they will get deformed children.


MCKENZIE: Well, Kristie, you know, certainly that might sound to some people a little bit absurd who have had access to contraceptives over their lifetimes, but very real these misconceptions that women come up against.

The final thing that they have a problem with is if they go to a clinic, they make that decision sometimes very brave decision to get contraceptives. These clinics sometimes run out of the key contraceptive they need, particularly injectable contraceptives. So they go there. They make the decision. And because of bottlenecks in distribution, a lack of funding, they can't get them.

From the perspective of the Gates Foundation and others, they want to change it. They want to throw a lot of money at this problem. And they say it's also an economic issue, that countries with smarter choices of families will end up developing faster. That is a very, you know, fiercely debated concept, but certainly one that they want to push forward today in London.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and these women, they're up against so much with very few options. Here's hoping that the summit will bring about somehow some meaningful change. David McKenzie reporting for us. Thank you.

Now today's summit in London, it aims to make contraceptives available to 120 million more women by the year 2020. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation says there is no controversy in that goal. Now it has set up this site for people to show their support.

And Melinda Gates sat down with Christiane Amanpour. So be sure to tune in for that.

Now coming up next here on News Stream, footballer John Terry returns to the witness stand at his own trial.

And after days of being targeted by the Obama campaign for his wealth, Mitt Romney fights back.


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

Madrid is bracing for protests as Spain's prime minister announced new budget cuts. Coal miners and their supporters are gearing up to demonstrate over government plans to slash support for the industry. A few hours ago Mariano Rajoy unveiled a higher value-added tax and cuts to government wages to help meet the debt reduction targets of the EuroZone finance ministers.

Officials say at least 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing at Yemen's police academy. Now the incident took place in the capital Sanaa. Dozens more are reported to be wounded.

Authorities believe they have solved the mystery of a lethal illness that has claimed the lives of 64 children in Cambodia. A combination of infectious viruses and bacteria are to blame.

Hans Kristian Rausing, the son of one of one Britain's richest men has been arrested following the death of his wife. The body of American Eva Rausing was found in the couple's London mansion on Monday. An autopsy was inconclusive and her death remains unexplained.

The Chelsea football captain John Terry has continued to give evidence at his trial. Now he is accused of racial abuse during a match last year, but he denies he committed any racially charged offense. Matthew Chance is at the court in Central London. He joins us now -- Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, thanks very much. That's right. John Terry, the former England captain and the current captain of Chelsea football club appearing in this Westminster magistrate court this morning taking the witness stand again to face cross examination by the prosecutors.

The prosecutor is trying to essentially undermine his defense that he did not make a racial slur when he said the words he's said to have said to Anton Ferdinand, another player from the Premiership during a football match last year. It's said John Terry's case is that he merely repeated the accusation that he'd made a racial slur sarcastically in order to reject them. The prosecutor didn't accept that saying that you know you crossed the line in the remarks you made. You've regretted it ever since. And you stuck with this story.

John Terry denied that.

Later in the day, later this afternoon, Ashley Cole, another very high profile footballer who also plays for Chelsea and also plays for England as well, so he's one of John Terry's teammates, he took the stand. He was reluctant to do so according to the chief magistrate, because he is friends with all the parties. He's a friend of John Terry, he's also a friend of Anton Ferdinand. And Anton's much more high profile brother Rio Ferdinand who also plays for England.

But he said that during the altercation on the pitch he may have heard Anton Ferdinand say the word black to John Terry. That's interesting, because if the magistrate accepts that, then it would support the defense of John Terry that Anton Ferdinand made the accusation first and John Terry merely repeated it.

So this is what the real nub of the case is. Essentially it boils down to this, either John Terry made a racist remark on the pitch back in October of last year, or Anton Ferdinand essentially made a false allegation of racism against Chelsea skipper.

The case here in Westminster continues.

LU STOUT: And Matthew, what are the potential consequences for John Terry if he is found guilty?

CHANCE: Well, the consequences in terms of the penalty the court can impose is a relatively light. They can impose a penalty of nearly $4,000 in fines. And that of course a drop in the ocean for a man who owns more than $12 million a year.

The real consequences could come if the football association here in England decides to take action against John Terry if he's found guilty of racist abuse. His club, Chelsea Football Club, could also choose to take disciplinary action against their captain, or possibly even strip him of the captaincy.

Remember, he's already been stripped of the England captaincy because of this. If he's found guilty there could be much more serious consequences.

LU STOUT: Matthew Chance reporting for us. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now let's get more football news and the sacking of a famous name in the sport. Alex Thomas is in London with more on that and the day's other top sports stories -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Yes, Kristie. As a footballer, he was often described as being touched by genius. And he's credited with almost singlehandedly winning the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. But the only spectacular aspect of Maradona's managerial career is how bad it's been. The latest failure, a sacking by United Arab Emirates Club Al Wasl a little more than halfway through a two year contract. After finishing sixth in the UAE pro league before Maradona's arrival the team slipped to eighth under the Argentine's stewardship.

Maradona's first coaching jobs were back in his home country in the early 1990s and resulted in very little success. His biggest managerial job coming in 2008 when he took charge of Argentina's national side and steered the team through qualifying to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They reached the quarterfinals before being thrashed by Germany 4-0. The Al Wasl job was his first since quitting that role with Argentina.

Now as another chapter of Maradona's career closes, a new one is opened for South Sudan. The fledgling African nation has played its first ever FIFA sanctioned international match. It made a non-losing start after drawing 2-all with Uganda in the country's capital. South Sudan became an independent state after a peace agreement ended decades of fighting which had left about 2 million dead and thousands more displaced.

Lance Armstrong has refiled a lawsuit aimed at trying to stop the U.S. government anti-doping agency from pursuing a case against them. The original suit was dismissed by a judge earlier in the week who was highly critical of the record Tour de France winner. It comes as three former colleagues of Armstrong were handed lifetime bans for their involvement in an alleged doping conspiracy.

The former U.S. Postal team doctor Luis Garcia del Moral, consulting doctor Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose Pepe Marti were all banned from cycling for life after the USADA found they had violated a series of anti- doping regulations.

One of the highlights of the baseball season, the all-star game, has been taking place in Kansas City. The American League facing the National League for the 83rd time with home field advantage in the World Series up for grabs. The Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones gave a speech before what was his last all-star game.


CHOPPER JONES, ATLANTA BRAVES: Winning three, that's a winning streak. We've got an opportunity to do that tonight. And I am not going out losing my last one, all right?


THOMAS: Let's pick up the action at the top of the first as Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants drives one deep to right with the bases loaded. Brian Brawn (ph), Carlos Beltran, and Buster Posey (ph) all score, a triple for the National League. They go up 4-0.

The leads increased to 6-0 by the top of the fourth when the Giants Melke Cabrera (ph) drives one deep to left field and that ball is gone, a two run homer for Cabrera who gets the game's MVP award.

So Chipper and the National League win their third straight all-star game, hammering the American League 8-0.

Much more on World Sport in just over three hours time. Back to you in Hong Kong, Kristie.

LU STOUT: OK, Alex Thomas there. Thank you.

Now time for a check for your global weather forecast. And reports of heavy rain in east China. Mari Ramos has more on that -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, yeah, the rainy season here continues to cause a lot of problems across eastern China. Now we could use a little bit of the rain farther to the south. Remember when we had the rain across southeastern China and in Hong Kong your temperatures were a lot more comfortable. Now, most of the rainfall has been across eastern China and through the Korean peninsula.

Look at some of these rainfall totals. Easily over 120 millimeters of rain in many cases. And we continue to see that very heavy rain shifting from the Korean peninsula now back over toward Japan. And so the warnings and the advisories now for heavy rain are posted along this area.

Some of that rain will be locally heavy and I'll show you that in just a moment, but notice how much drier it is across the south. You had that heat warning earlier for Hong Kong. We should be looking at another very hot day through tomorrow.

Clearing across North and South Korea. Western Japan is now beginning to get in on the action as far as the heavy rain is concerned. And here is that forecast I was telling you about. Look at these areas in red. That's 25 centimeters of rainfall possible.

This is a concern, because the ground is already wet and saturated. It has been a very wet summer across some of these areas of Japan. And any amount of rain that falls, remember you also have two tropical cyclones a couple of weeks ago that hit this region. And any amount of rain that falls could be a problem, it could trigger not only flooding, but also there's a threat for mudslides. We're talking about very mountainous terrain here. Flash flooding is also a concern. Widespread areas of 8 centimeters not out of the question with this weather system.

So continued heavy rain over this region. Hot and humid as we head farther to the south.

You know, it's been touch and go for you in Shanghai for example. You got to almost 40 degrees a couple of days ago and then the showers are coming in, that helps refresh things just a little bit, but still has been very hot and humid there.

We head south and a little bit drier weather for you across southeastern Australia. We had some very heavy rain. We're almost in the in between so to speak and beginning to see the next bulk of rain coming through this region. We're not expecting that to be as heavy as what we had before. But we could again see some very heavy rainfall move through this area even as we head through Friday. And by the time all of this is said and done a month's worth of rainfall possible through the region.

Last but not least I do want to talk to you about Russia. This is the clean-up that continues in the aftermath of that flooding that occurred there, that deadly flooding that killed over 150 people. They're still cleaning up. And you can see the widespread damage. It has been generally drier. The sun was shining as this group of people went to try to collect clothing, the kind of things that they need for their every day. 35,000 people lost their homes in that flooding there.

Scattered showers expected in that area there. More heavier downpours as we head back over towards Eastern Europe. And some of that rain will be a little bit on the strong side. Those summer thunderstorms will continue popping up. Not enough, though, across areas to the south where it's still really, really hot.

Some rain showers, though, across the northern portions of Europe. I'll leave you with this picture from Sweden. Look at this house. It's teetering on the edge. More rain is expected in this area.

We are going to take a break right here on News Stream. But don't go away, Kristie, we'll be back right after this break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back to News Stream.

And you're looking at a visual rundown of all the stories in the show. Now we've covered the medical breakthrough in Cambodia, the desperate need for family planning in Africa. But now it's time to turn to U.S. politics as Mitt Romney strikes back at criticism on the campaign trail. And according to a new CNN poll of polls, the race for the White House is in a statistical dead heat as averages of the results of three major U.S. polls conducted in the last 10 days. And it comes as the campaigns seemed to enter a nasty new stage.

Jim Acosta has more.


MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to turn to you and ask you for any questions you might have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why is the Obama team and the liberal media want us to think that we should be more angry with what you do with your money than what Obama has done with mine.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It took a question at a town hall for Mitt Romney to offer up a rare public defense of his former private investment firm Bain Capital.

ROMNEY: I went out and began a business and the business turned out to be far more successful than I ever would have imagined.

ACOSTA: And Romney brushed off calls from the Obama campaign to release years of additional tax returns.

ROMNEY: And all they're doing is attacking on every diversion they can come up with.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Should he return release the tax returns.


ROMNEY: The Obama campaign says Romney won't show more than the 2010 and 2011 tax records he's already released because he's hiding his foreign investments.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his.

ROMNEY: Even the president is piling on.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What's important if you are running for president is that the the American people know who you are, what you've done and that you're an open book.

ACOSTA: Romney told an Iowa radio station even he doesn't know the full extent of his foreign holdings, because they're managed by a blind trust.

ROMNEY: I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are. Those -- that trustee follows all U.S. laws, all the taxes are paid as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there.

ACOSTA: Appearing in swing states on the same day, Romney in Colorado and the president in Iowa, both men also exchange blows over outsourcing.

ANNOUNCER: Newly published documents show Mitt Romney's firms were pioneers at helping companies outsource their manufacturing to countries including China.

ACOSTA: The Romney campaign seized on this Obama ad that accused the GOP contender of shipping jobs oversees, citing which said the spot included untrue claims. And Republicans tried to turn the tables, blasting out this 2010 letter from four Democratic senators who complained the president's stimulus program was using taxpayer dollars to support foreign manufacturing and foreign jobs.

ROMNEY: If there's an outsourcer in chief it's the president of the United States, not the guy who is running to replace him.

ACOSTA: At his own event, the president appeared to repeat the outsourcing attacks in his ad.

OBAMA: As long as I'm president I will keep fighting to make sure jobs are located here in the United States of America.

ACOSTA: Both campaigns will have another chance to go at each other in the coming days with both Romney and Vice President Joe Biden scheduled to speak before the NAACP. The president is not making the trip.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: And as the candidates focus on each other, congress is voting today on Mr. Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, the first time since the Supreme Court ruling last month. So to stay on top of that story and more, just go to

Now an American convicted of insulting Thailand's king has been given a royal pardon. His freedom comes as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to meet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at this week's business forum. Joe Gordon was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for translating excerpts of a banned book about the king and posting them on his blog.

Now Thailand's lese majeste laws are some of the harshest in the world. Gordon's lawyer says his client is expected to return to the U.S. immediately.

Now we all know that behind every successful man is a woman, but the question is who is the mystery female with North Korean Kim Jong-un? His girlfriend, his sister, his wife? As Brian Todd reports, no one really knows.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The face that launched 1,000 rumors. North Korea watchers are abuzz over this young woman seen twice in recent days next to the country's new leader Kim Jong-un. She was spotted once at a high profile musical performance seen on state TV which happened to include Disney character that Disney didn't authorize. Then she was seen at an event paying tribute to Kim's late grandfather.

Who do we think this mystery woman is?

VICTOR CHA, AUTHOR: Well, the short answer is that we don't know for certain.

TODD: The speculation is rampant and centered on two possibilities. One South Korean newspaper said the woman seemed to be Kim Jong-un's younger sister Kim Ya-jong (ph).

Victor Cha, former national security council official who dealt with North Korea thinks that would be unparalleled.

CHA: There's only one leader in North Korea. There's no leadership by 10. There's only one leader. And this fellow who has been anointed person. So that -- so for them to then suddenly put a younger sister right next to him, make her look at least almost like a co-leader would be highly unusual and would give you the sense that they're not doing the things the way they've been doing them in the past.

TODD: The other possibility, a prominent South Korean newspaper, citing South Korean intelligence officials, identifies the woman as Hyon Song-wol, former singer for a group called the Bochonbo Electronic Music Band.

That band was hugely popular in North Korean, had hit songs with titles like I Love Pyongyang, and Excellent Horse-Like Lady. We're not making this up. How could we?

That newspaper reports that Hyon Song-wol and Kim Jong-un became romantically involved about a decade ago, but that his father objected. She then married someone else, according to the paper.

As if you needed another twist, there's a family pattern.

CHA: When the father Kim Jong-il was around a similar age as the current leader, you know he became interested in a young female performer who was also married to somebody else. And that person no longer was relevant anymore. And, you know, in North Korea if the Kim family wants you, then they have you.

TODD: Cha and other analysts say the North Koreans have an interest in projecting this woman as a possible wife for Kim Jong-un, not only to make him seem more human, but also to show that there will be another generation of the Kim family after this one. It's crucial, analysts say, for the family to project that strength.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: Now up next, the troubling story behind a shell fish sensation -- we're talking about the clam that appears to be, well, you'll need to see the video to figure out just what it's doing. We'll have that for you in just a couple of minutes.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And now to that clam in a jam. Now people are marveling over the shell fish that seems to season itself. But what viewers are actually witnessing is a desperate survival attempt. Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the story of a clam that did not clam up. And that little slurp launched an internet star as it slithered across a heavily salted table top.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The video doesn't appear to be fake, just not very nice.

MOOS: It was one of those images that once seen cannot be unseen. Clam eats salt was its slug. It's biggest effect was to gross people out and make them swear off seafood, though some saw the clam as seductive.

"Ladies must love him."

One website dubbed it "wonder clam."

The first celebrity clam ever if you don't count man eating mascots and bit part characters in the little mermaid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This little clam here, don't have a jam here. I'm going to be...

MOOS: Adrift on YouTube, the clam's caption reads "consider it clams flavor themselves before being eaten."

But in reality it is not flavoring itself.

REBECCA GRAY, MYSTIC AQUARIUM: No, in fact it's trying to save its life.

MOOS: So says marine biologist Rebecca Gray from Mystic Aquarium. She sees clams do this all the time when they're disturbed.


MOOS: And that tongue? That's not a tongue.

GRAY: It's actually the animal's foot. It's a very strong muscular tissue.

MOOS: Clams use it to move or to bury themselves in the sand to hide from predators.

As for salt, it agitates clams. A YouTuber shared his technique of sprinkling salt down the hole left by a razor clam to see it surface. Other force feed a clam a potato chip.

GRAY: It would be a lot like rubbing salt on a wound. It's very sensitive tissue.

MOOS: The salt is way more concentrated than the salt in the ocean.

As for the foot often mistaken for a tongue.

You know, when you eat a clam you actually eat that foot. Technically you've got its foot in your mouth.

The moral of the story, take talk of salt eating clams with a grain of salt.

We can assume that this is -- this clam is not as happy as a clam.

GRAY: Not even close.

MOOS: Even the marine biologist admits to eating clams, but salt would just be adding insult.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


LU STOUT: And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.