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Syria Blames International Media For Encouraging Foreign Intervention; Typhoon Vicente Hits Southeastern China; London Manufacturer Sees Opportunity After Eviction For Olympic Venue

Aired July 24, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in Syria and go inside one town caught in the fighting now virtually abandoned.

Rebekah Brooks says she is not guilty. British prosecutors say that they will charge the former News of the World editors and others with phone hacking.

And how being evicted to make way for the Olympic stadium turned into a profitable opportunity for one British business owner.

On Monday, the Syrian leadership appeared to admit what many had feared: that it is storing weapons of mass destruction. But the regime is now stepping back from that suggestion, saying that it was only outlining its defensive policy and responding to false allegations.

On Monday, Syria's foreign ministry said it would not use chemical or biological weapons against its own citizens, instead reserving such weapons for use in the event of an attack from foreign aggressors. While no foreign attack seems imminent in the absence of a United Nations agreement, the U.S. has had strong words against any WMD use. As the death toll rises, so does the tension.

Now Syria's opposition believes those weapons exist. And forces say that another 37 people have been killed in the country this Tuesday, many in the city of Aleppo. While battles reportedly continue to rage there, the capital Damascus appears to be firmly in the hands of the regime for now, that's according to ITN's Alex Thompson who has traveled to parts of the city where rebellion doesn't stand a chance.


ALEX THOMPSON, ITN CORRESPONDENT: The banality of normality: traffic jams again a feature of life here. The gains claimed by the rebels in the capital appear exaggerated. The regime's boast that they've pushed the fighters out of some districts altogether is ever more credible. But independent reporting is near impossible.

We're heading for Midan where fighting has been prolonged and intense in recent days. An army checkpoint seals off the edge of the district. You film covertly and fast and move on in a game of cat and mouse to try and get into the area. And then our guide who better stay anonymous says we're here. Look around, he hardly needs to.

Government forces turned helicopter gunships, tanks, mortars, rockets, heavy machine guns on this district for three days.

The government says in two days time families can begin moving back into Midan. But just take a look at what the family when they find when they move back to this house. People say, yes, of course, the rebel fighters have been pushed out, but they'll fight another day in another way. And there is no chance that President Assad will win this civil war.

A shopkeeper who fed the fighting comes back to find his business has disintegrated. In theory, the government will pay -- in theory. But all around us, they're talking now off camera of a massacre here.

Finally, one man will tell us anonymously everything he knows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Because this is the only family who stay in the district during that time. They want to live in a peaceful way. And they couldn't (inaudible).

THOMPSON: Channel 4 news spoke to seven residents independently of each other who all either named the Ismaili (ph) family as the victims or the figure of 16 being killed.

We were sent this video said to show the scene of the killings. The details of a family shot through the head can't be shown. You do see the sight of an unfinished family meal.

House after house trashed. Everyone here said soldiers, or their Shabiha militias, went on an orgy of looting here. They know Syrians keep large amounts of cash at home. This man said the militia stole 18,000 pounds from this place.

Outside, the pathetic remains of rebel barricades, futile against organized ground and air assault, the tank tracks of a departed government army.

Weirdly, the authorities have fastidiously painted over most of the anti-Assad graffiti which covered the walls around here and left their own, The Soldiers of God were here. President Assad has won the battle for Damascus and won it convincingly, but everyone knows winning the battle is not the same as winning the war.


LU STOUT: Incredible footage there from Damascus. Now CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom has been monitoring the situation inside Syria this Tuesday from CNN's bureau in Abu Dhabi. And he joins me now live with the latest.

Mohammed, there has been this strong international concern and reaction over Syria's threat to use chemical weapons. So what more -- what exactly is Damascus saying about its weapons stockpile.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, Kristie, because yesterday you had this presser that was given by Jihad Makdissi, the spokesperson for the foreign ministry in Syria. People were surprised not just because there was a presser being given in response to all the concerns about chemical weapons, but also because the Syrians for the first time were actually saying that they possessed chemical and biological weapons.

Yet today, the Syrian government seems to be backtracking somewhat. In fact, earlier there was a statement that was issued on the Syrian news agency that said that the press conference yesterday wasn't to declare, but rather to respond to a methodical media campaign targeting Syria to prepare world public opinion for the possibility of military intervention under the false premise of weapons of mass destruction.

Still, though, there are concerns, and growing concerns, about those chemical and weapons -- chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria. In fact today we spoke to a member of the Free Syrian Army who told us that they had intel in Syria that stockpiles of those chemical and biological weapons had been moved 15 days ago by the regime, that some portions of those stockpiles had been moved to Syria's southern border, to airports on that southern border, and that other portions of those stockpiles had been moved to Syria's coast.

Now Colonel Moustafa Sheikh (ph), who is with the Free Syrian Army told us there were two reasons for the move by the regime. First, they're afraid of the Free Syrian Army's reach. And secondly, moving the weapons to the border is a threat to the international community.

All in all, just showing how much concern there is these days about these chemical weapon stockpiles in Syria. For months now, members of the international community have been warning Syria that they should not be moving these stockpiles. And the U.S. officials have gone on record as to say that they're very concerned about this and that there is worry that the Syrian regime might use those chemical weapons against its own people -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, a lot of concern out there about the size, scope, and movement of these weapons. And also there's this renewed fighting taking place right now in Damascus and Aleppo and also in Homs. What's the latest?

JAMJOOM: The violence, Kristie, just seems to be escalating as it has for weeks now. And today we're hearing of increased shelling going on in suburbs of Damascus. We're hearing about fierce clashes going on between rebel Free Syrian Army forces and members of the regime's military -- this is all according to opposition activists. We also heard about violence going on in Deir ez-Zor. We've heard about violence going on in Homs and in Idlib.

Now also I want to point out our viewers some amateur videos that we've seen coming out of Syria today. One of them purporting to show shelling going on in Zour e-Chia (ph) in Syria. The voice on this tape is heard saying that this is artillery and rockets. This morning targeting that town, but also there's video to point that we've seen. We can't authenticate this video, but this purports to show a demonstration -- anti- regime demonstration going on this morning in Hama.

All in all today we've heard from opposition activists that at least 37 people have been killed. Yesterday we heard from opposition activists at least 175 people killed across Syria -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom on the story. Thank you very much indeed.

Now we have shown you the scenes inside Damascus where opponents of the al-Assad regime have apparently been battered into submission.

But elsewhere in Syria, the opposition does have a stronger voice. Now Ivan Watson traveled to the town of Atareb where successful resistance has come at a huge human cost.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Syrian regime has lost this town, but the retreating army left a trail of destruction in its wake. Atareb was home to one of the busiest markets in northwest Syria, now it's a bombed out ghost town.

This bullet riddled town is mostly deserted except for rebels and a few shell-shocked residents. This street was nicknamed the street of death, because anybody who set foot on here was likely to be shot.

Atareb sits on a strategic crossroad just 20 miles from the commercial capital of Aleppo. Rebels captured it a few weeks ago after months of fighting. They bled for this town.

"My brother is a prisoner. They captured him during a battle here," this fighter says. "My cousin was killed by a sniper who shot him in the head."

The retreating government troops left behind a mini graveyard of burned out armored vehicles and pro-regime graffiti with a terrifying warning.

The words say "Either Assad or we'll burn this city."

The rebels lead me into a ransacked municipal building regime troops used as a base. Some of the government soldiers marked the walls proudly identifying themselves as men of the special operations unit. These are some of the sniper's nests they used to rain bullets on the town.

Residents tell horror stories of atrocities committed by government troops.

"They said they were punishing us because we fed and sheltered the anti-government demonstrators," say Um Abdul Aziz (ph). "They captured my 24 year old son Kusseim (ph) and ran a plow over his legs even though he was handicapped," she tells me. "Then they threw his body down the street. They shot him in the chest, in his head, and his arm," the woman says. "I hope Bashar's mother loses her son one day."

Locals say government troops still shell Atareb daily from a base a few miles away. In the ruined town, there is anger and grief and fear. During our brief visit we see a prisoner break free from some rebels.

"Please don't kill me," he screams. "For gods sake please pardon me."

Rebels later tell us the man is a suspected looter who will be judged by a legal council. We never saw what happened to him.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Atareb, Syria.


LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, the man excused of the Colorado shooting rampage makes his first court appearance as investigators probe his background for a possible motive in the massacre.

And China begins clean-up efforts following widespread flooding. And we'll tell you why the disaster has sparked an angry backlash.

Also ahead, UK prosecutors announced charges in the phone hacking scandal. We'll tell you which journalists are accused of illegally eaves dropping on the voice-mail of some of the world's biggest celebrities.


LU STOUT: Now it was only a short court appearance, but as you might gather from this photo, it made a striking impression.

Now this is James Holmes, he man suspected of last week's shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. 12 people were killed, 58 were injured. In court on Monday, Holmes wore a maroon jumpsuit, his hair dyed red and orange. But take a look at his facial expression. He appeared at times alarmed, dazed, and fatigued. Now formal charges are expected on Monday. And prosecutors have not ruled our pursuing the death penalty.

Now a law enforcement official tells CNN that more than 30 homemade grenades and 10 gallons of gasoline were found in the suspects apartment. The official said the devices were set up to explode if anyone entered his residence.

And we are slowly learning more information about the suspect. Now James Holmes was a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, but asked to withdraw last month. And authorities are now looking into what they say was a series of deliveries he received in the months before the rampage. And Drew Griffin has more on what we know about James Holmes.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even though the world saw him for the first time today, shock of hair dyed red and orange, at times wide eyed, even dazed as he watched what was going on.

There was little hard evidence as to who he was and what on earth could have motivated him. Authorities over the weekend track the weapons, the ammunition and the protective gear he had amassed. CNN was the first to report he had purchased a protective vest, a knife and two magazine holders for his gun from a web site called "Tactical Gear."

That was July 2nd, three weeks ago. Everything, including thousands of rounds of ammunition, purchased legally, over the internet with a few keyboard strokes. A week earlier, he had e-mailed an application to join this gun club, The Lead Valley Range."

In response, the owner phoned him, not once, but three times, to get things going. But he said he was having trouble understanding the voice message at the other end of the line.

DON ELLIMAN, CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS: The answering machine was very guttural, very deep voice, deliberate, bizarre, kind of strange utterings. It was almost freakish.

GRIFFIN: At the Anschutz Medical Campus here, we did find some people who knew him. One student who worked with him for three months told CNN, quote, "I worked near him, but I wasn't close to him. I don't think anyone was close to him."

Said another who sat in the same lecture classes, "I can't remember him uttering a single word." None of the students wanted to be identified. School officials had told everyone not to talk to reporters unless cleared in advance.

As for reports that dozens of packages were sent to him at the school, this was the chancellor's answer.

ELLIMAN: UPS and FedEx and people like that can come into the buildings and do and make deliveries directly to the departments. They don't necessarily have to go through shipping or receiving dock.

GRIFFIN: As an undergrad at U.C. Riverside, he received the highest academic honors. In Colorado, his federal grant from the National Institute of Health paid him about $26,000 to do postgraduate work in a select program in neuroscience, the study of nerves as they affect the brain. It was an elite program.

BARRY SHUR, DEAN, ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS GRADUATE SCHOOL: They recruit from a highly competitive pool of applicants from around the country and the world, five or six students each year to enter the program.

GRIFFIN: But other than the school's official statement that he was in the process of withdrawing last month, we don't know much else about his time at school. We have confirmed his membership in an adult web site,

Late today, an attorney for the family said he would have no comment about his relationship with his parents. He was silent, mysterious even ghost-like it seems.

But on July 20th, James Holmes apparently decided to no longer blend in. I talked to a survivor who had a front-row seat to the carnage inside theatre nine.

CORBIN DATES, MASSACRE SURVIVOR: It seemed like this person was probably acting like a villain, to swing through the door, to walk in, dressed all in black, black cap, a black gas mask, body armor and weapon wrapped around his neck, which I thought was fake.

And I'm thinking, this person's going to do something to thrill the audience and somebody dressed as Batman is going to come in, subdue this person and drag him out the theatre.

GRIFFIN: According to police, the suspect has barely uttered a word since. According to the police chief, he asked for attorneys shortly after being arrested. Not expressing anything to one overriding question, why?

Drew Griffin, CNN, Aurora, Colorado.


LU STOUT: Now many people searching for any motive in the massacre turned to the internet hoping to find clues about what the suspect James Holmes may have been thinking? But dig around and you'll discover that the 24 year old suspect has no social media presence. Unlike many people his age, Holmes has not been found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr or similar sites.

Now police say that the only thing they have found is this account on Adult Friend Finder that drew mentioned in his story. Now this profile on the dating website has now been taken down, but the headline on it reads, quote, will you visit me in prison?

Still, another item that has appeared online paints a different picture. It is a video obtained by ABC News of Holmes speaking at a science camp in 2006. Let's take a look.


JAMES HOLMES, SUSPECTED THEATER SHOOTER: Hello. I'm James. I've been working with the temporal illusion. It's an illusion that allows you to change the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His goals are to become a researcher and to make scientific discoveries. That's a good start.

HOLMES: Gamers might feel like they have a superpower and it might let them have more fun.


LU STOUT: Incredible, the 18 year old Holmes you saw there a stark contrast to this image of him in court. It merely deepens the mystery surrounding an apparently academically gifted young man now accused of mass killings.

Now still ahead, surviving the severe weather. China tries to recover form some of its heaviest rainfall in decades, but should more have been done to deal with the disaster? We're live in Beijing with more.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual rundown of all the stories in the show. Now we've covered the renewed fighting in Syria. And we'll talk about the Olympics a little later, but now we want to focus on China and the aftermath of deadly flooding in Beijing and elsewhere.

Now a massive clean-up effort is underway in China after devastating floods swept across the country. Xinua News Agency reports at least 95 people were killed. And officials say more than 2 million people have been affected by the deluge with the economic impact set to top $1.5 billion.

Now for more, I'm joined by Eunice Yoon in Beijing. And Eunice, more public outrage over the aftermath of these deadly floods. What have you heard in Beijing? And what have you seen online?

EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, Beijing authorities have been calling on citizens to donate money to the flood victims, but even that gesture is not going over very well. People have been ridiculing it online with one social media user summing it up this way, "when the rain storm came," this user writes, "you did nothing. And now you're calling on us to donate for the victims? Where were you when the people needed help?"

These types of critical comments have been seen online, but they're getting deleted and censored on the internet. Certainly, though, they highlight the frustration that people have here with what they perceive as government ineptitude, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Also, this ongoing debate about a warning system. We know that Guangdong mobile overnight, they sent some 30 million warning texts ahead of Typhoon Vicente. Why didn't Beijing work with telecom operators there to warn mobile users about the rain storm in Bejing?

YOON: Well, that's a very good question. And it's a question a lot of people here have been asking as well. The Beijing weather authorities say it would have been impossible to send so many text messages and to coordinate it for all of Beijing's 20 million residents because they say that the systems are too slow.

However, the telecom operators themselves say that they disagree. They've all issued public statements saying that technically they are capable of sending out all of those text messages in a coordinated fashion, however they need the proper government approvals in order to do so.

So the fact that this didn't happen in the same way that it did in Guangdong is really frustrating people and really feeding into that public anger over the fact that Beijing doesn't have a proper warning system, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, another point of contention there.

Now in Beijing we know that the clean-up effort is underway, but will there be a rebuild of the city's drainage system?

YOON: Well, that's something that a lot of the engineers here would certainly like to see. There have been -- there hasn't been an official investigation, but there have been several engineering experts who have been blaming the drainage system for the flooding. Many of them have been saying that the drainage system here really wasn't well equipped and is not built to withstand so much water and that much of the network still is clogged with sediment. Others have been saying that the vast majority of the roads here are built with materials that really don't allow water to be absorbed quickly into the ground.

And this really again feeds into the annoyance and the frustration that people have been feeling about how tens of billions of dollars have been invested into the city in order to modernize it and to really get all the fancy skyscrapers up, but a lot of people are asking did the authorities get the basics wrong? Did they get the drainage systems wrong? And that's really what people are talking about here today, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Eunice Yoon joining us live from Beijing with that. Thank you very much indeed for that, Eunice.

And we have extreme weather in Beijing and overnight also here in southern China. Let's get the very latest now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. I wanted to talk about Typhoon Vicente in just a moment, but just a couple of things about all of this going on across China. There's definitely of course a lot of attention on whether the drainage system, was it politics, is it the building, is it the urban infrastructure, all of those questions. I can tell you about the weather. This was an exceptional day for Beijing.

Now when we look at the city here in Beijing, of course very widespread. There was damage in many different places in Beijing not just where you see the big skyscrapers. There was damage in some of the outlying areas as you can see here, including some damage made by wind. So you've got to think about that, that they had 160 millimeters of rain in a period of just 24 hours. And by some accounts that rain actually fell in a period of only nine hours.

Think about this, 160 millimeters of rain in Beijing equals to more than a quarter of their annual rainfall, more than a quarter, about 28 percent of the rain that's supposed to fall across the entire year fell in a period of 24 hours or less, that's why you had so much flooding.

Let's go ahead and take that into an example with another city like New York for example, another big city that has you know many urban problems as well. Well, in New York if they were to get a quarter of their annual rainfall we would be talking about 300 millimeters of rain that would fall in New York in a period of 24 hours. And guess what, since they've been keeping records, Kristie, that has never happened. The most they've ever had is 170 millimeters of rain. And that of course caused some serious problems in that city.

Let's take another big world class city that has a lot of attention right now, that would be London. Well, London, for them to get a quarter of their annual rainfall in a period of 24 hours they would have to get 160 millimeters of rain and that would be an exceptional amount, that's about what London -- what Beijing got, the same amount, 160 millimeters. That would not only be a record month for London, it would be never -- of course a record day. And even with all the rain we had in June and July, we still didn't see figures like that.

So just to kind of put it in perspective how intense this rain was across those areas.

So kind of moving it along here. I do want to show you some of the other pictures of the damage that happened in Beijing. So we're not talking just about the big skyscrapers that were damaged or, you know, the big cities, but also there was in the outlying areas quite a bit of damage here from these rain storms.

OK, let's go ahead and switch our focus now to the situation here with our typhoon. Pretty dramatic stuff happening there as well. And very heavy rainfall that was moving through that area. I hear stories from people in Hong Kong talking about the windows rattling. And there are usually pristine streets for the most part in Hong Kong. It was littered with debris this morning after that typhoon 10 signal was hoisted. That's the first time that's happened in 13 years in Hong Kong. And the winds were howling across those areas pretty intently.

Now, 230 millimeters of rain in Hong Kong. That's quite a bit, right? We did see some flooding, but Hong Kong has somewhat more prepared for this kind of an event, because they do get a lot more rainfall, Kristie, in comparison to what Beijing would get. And they did set out many alert messages. And there were advisories and warnings so people were prepared for this oncoming storm.

Areas in southern parts of Wendong (ph) are still getting some very heavy rain and could continue to see rain, even Hong Kong, probably for the next 24 to 48 hours. So the threat for flooding does remain.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, we knew it was coming thanks to local services, but also thanks to your reporting. Mari Ramos there. Thank you. Take care.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead, the UK phone hacking scandal widens. Eight journalists are facing charges in Britain. Find out who has been named.

And relocation revenge: one man builds his very own Olympic dream after being forced to move from the site of the games.


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

Now Syria's main armed opposition group the Free Syrian Army says the regime is moving stockpiles of chemical weapons, but the government is back peddling on a remark that came out of the foreign ministry on Monday that it's prepared to launch chemical attacks if it faces foreign aggression. It says those remarks were taken out of context. Meanwhile, activists say fierce fighting is continuing in the city of Aleppo.

Now the so-called Troika of International Creditors are in Athens today to talk to Greek leaders about ways to get reforms back on track. Now Greece has fallen behind on commitments it agreed to as a condition of its bailout deal. And the Troika will determine whether Greece will get billions of dollars in loans.

Now British prosecutors have announced that eight journalists will be charged with phone hacking. They include Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International. She denies the charge. Andy Coulson, the ex-communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron, has also been named.

To get more on the phone hacking scandal now, Britain's crown prosecution service has named some of the world's biggest celebrities as victims including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Paul McCartney and Wayne Rooney. Dan Rivers joins us now from London with more. And Dan, we have Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and six others facing a number of charges. Walk us through the details.

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well this is really significant, because this is the first time now we've seen people actually charged with the commission of phone hacking itself. Up until now we've had people arrested and some charges around the periphery, around sort of an alleged cover-up of phone hacking, around allegedly lying to courts about what went on, but this is the first time we've actually had people charged with intercepting or being involved with intercepting communications.

As you say a number of public figures involved from show biz -- so Paul McCartney, Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, all alleged victims of this. In sport, the former England soccer manager Sven Joran Ericsson, Wayne Roone the Manchester United striker. And various different politicians, some quite senior including the former deputy prime minister John Prescott.

Already Rebekah Brooks has issued a statement denying that she's guilty, saying she's distressed and angry about this decision, say she spent her journalistic career campaigning for the victims of crime.

Neville Felbeck (ph), the chief reporter, he's also among those charged, said he's most surprised and disappointed in the outcome. And he said I've always followed the strict guidance and advice of News International lawyers and under the instructions of the newspapers editors which will be abundantly clear when this matter comes to court.

Well, I'm joined now by Mark Lewis who is one of the lawyers for one of the -- or several of the hacking victims, including Millie Dowler. Millie Dowler's name again coming up in these charges. She was a murdered 13 year old schoolgirl whose phone was hacked.

That case that you were involved with is pivotal to this all coming to life, isn't it?

MARK LEWIS, LAWYER: Well, I think that was pivotal to things that were happening. Prior to that, the story was the rogue reporter and anyway it was just celebrities, sports people, politicians, people who the public wouldn't be sympathetic to. And then of course it turned out that they've hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl. And that got the attention of people, people were listening. The police are investigating this since 2011. And they've found that this was a much wider situation than it came out in the 2006 investigation.

RIVERS: We must stress of course this has yet to come to court. And the people charged may well protest their innocence as Rebekah Brooks has said today. But, you know, clearly this does show the scope and extent of alleged phone hacking if they're found guilty. It's not, as you say, people from showbiz. It's a wide variety, politicians as well.

LEWIS: Well, this is the opening of another chapter, that people are now beginning. The charges, allegations are being made to people. And people have to answer them in some ways. And the proper investigation of the proper application of the law will apply and find out what was happening or not happening as the case may be. People who have been charged with -- are starting to protest their innocence and their explanations can be given to the court.

RIVERS: Initially, the police looked into this and very quickly dismissed this as you know it's not really having much merit of any prosecution. Now, clearly, that decision was wrong. This vindicates that -- the inaccuracy of that decision.

LEWIS: Well, at the beginning of the operation it was under assistant commissioner Andy Hayman (ph) in 2006, very much along the line of a rogue reporter. He didn't investigate people. When it was reopened by the Guardian newspaper in 2009, a very quick six, seven hour investigation reviewed by assistant commission John Yates (ph) who is very much a Laurel and Hardy type operation between the two of them has taken 18 months for operation to get to this stage. It started in January 2011, the police started investigating probably assistant -- deputy assistant commission Sue Akers (ph) has gone to this stage and got the CPS (ph) who have taken a view that these charges should be made.

RIVERS: A significant milestone in all this.

Thanks very much indeed. Mark Lewis is one of the lawyers who is involved with helping the victims of these alleged crimes.

It may now be several weeks before they appear in court for their initial appearance. And of course the full case when this will be tried is probably going to be many months away, possibly next year. And we'll have to wait and see what pleas are entered at the early stages and how these cases proceed once they get to court -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: These charges today are very significant development in the British phone hacking scandal. Dan Rivers reporting. Thank you, Dan.

And there are just three days to go before the opening ceremony at the 2012 summer games in London. And we have started out own countdown here at CNN. Just take a look at the bottom right of your screen.

Now in a crowded city like London, it's safe to say space to build the Olympic site did not just appear magically overnight. Now this is what the area looks like now -- the grand Olympic park, two-and-a-half square kilometers in east London. It is the home to eight Olympic venues, including an iconic Olympic stadium and aquatic center. Now let's take this step back in time and check out what it used to look like before London was picked to host the games. Here it is in 1999, 13 years ago when it was an industrial area.

Now all of the businesses that used to be on the Olympic site had to go somewhere, but moving was an inconvenience for everyone. In one case, it was an opportunity.

Jim Boulden joins us now live from CNN's Olympic bureau now. And Jim, this is being called a relocation revenge. Tell us the story.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One individual, Lance Forman, used to have his factory right there in the Olympic park. He had to go. But he held out for a long time. He's moved to this side, outside the perimeter fence. And he hopes to make a lot of money from the Olympics.

Here's his story.


BOULDEN: If revenge is a dish best served cold, then smoked Scottish Salmon is that dish for Lance Forman. The Forman family salmon factory has been in the east of London since 1905, but in 2005 his factory happened to be right smack in the middle of the planned running track inside the future Olympic stadium.

LANCE FORMAN, H. FORMAN & SON: You know, that 500 acres of land was the greatest concentration of manufacturing land in the whole of London potentially being wiped out for three weeks of sports.

BOULDEN: 200 small firms were forced to relocate or close. Forman held out.

FORMAN: After four years of fighting them, you know, we finally got them to understand that the Olympics should not be about destroying 100 year old heritage businesses, and that they should do the right thing and they should fund us to relocate. That's all we wanted.

BOULDEN: Authorities eventually paid him enough money so Forman was not out of pocket. He erected a new factory just meters outside the Olympic Park on the other side of this canal. Then, as the stadium rose, so did Forman's interest in the games. He got an idea.

FORMAN: Everybody had said to me that they'd never known a building to be this close to the main stadium ever. We think it's completely unique. And consequently we think that they will all come here to our hospitality space.

BOULDEN: On a piece of waste ground next to the factory, a temporary Riviera. Sand is going in for beach volleyball along with palm trees, a night club, and hospitality suites.

Well, if you're wondering what this temporary venue and this incredible view would cost you for the 17 days of the games? Well, it's around $125,000. And that's even before catering costs.

Forman hopes to attract a few athletes and celebrities, not just those who pay for suites. Though those suites were not sold out with a week to go.

FORMAN: One of the other messages we've had back from a lot of (inaudible) what, are we allowed to do anything at the Olympics? You know, corporations have come on so strongly that you can't do this and you can't do that and you can't do the other a lot of people think that they're not allowed to do an Olympic celebration because they'll be infringing on some branding.

BOULDEN: Forman says he has risked more than $1.5 million to build all this.

FORMAN: There are times in your life when you have to take gambles, but you've got to choose those times well. I'm never going to be in a position, ever, where I'm 100 meters from the biggest event ever on the planet.

BOULDEN: It could pay off if the great and the good look over the fence and see a party going on right here.


BOULDEN: The organizers don't want us to tell people too much about the opening ceremony, but I just heard Paul McCartney practicing Hey Jude, so I don't think that's too much of a secret now that seems that will be part of the opening ceremony on Friday night.

LU STOUT: Ooh, spoiler. Jim Boulden, thank you.

One more question, though, before you go. We are three days to go before the games. Security has long been a concern. Are there new measures in place?

BOULDEN: Yeah, a few hours ago the government confirmed that they're going to call up another 1,200 troops. So that's 18,200 soldiers who will now be on active service duty protecting the various Olympic venues. That's a lot more than was originally envisioned, but of course we know the company G4S has failed to be able to fulfill its contract of hiring private contractors. So the government is calling up more troops. That was just announced a few hours ago.

LU STOUT: OK. And back to the story that you shared with us just now. I mean, that was just one of many venues around the Olympic venue site where you are. It seems like there's going to be a party atmosphere of the games. Can you give us a hint of what will be on offer for fans and for athletes off the track and away from the stadiums when it all kicks off?

BOULDEN: Well, we have of course the usual fanzones. One of the big ones will be in Hyde Park. And they're hoping a lot of people will go there if they don't have tickets. You also have out here of course for people who are able to go inside of it. There's some amazing venues. There's even one of the world's largest McDonalds right over here as well.

And of course there's going to be a lot of celebrations up and down the Thames. We've got the torch coming through west London today. And it will make its way ever closer as we get closer to the opening ceremony. That's what organizers hope will really spark interest in London and people stop talking about security, stop talking about the traffic, they want them to talk about the torch and they want them to talk about the sporting events, of course, that have to go on starting actually tomorrow night when football actually begins around the UK.

LU STOUT: That's right. That's right, tomorrow night. Jim Boulden with all the details for us live from our Olympic bureau in London. Thank you.

Now we will have plenty of coverage in the weeks ahead, but we also want contributions from you and whether you're in London or you're watching around the world take a picture and show us what catches your eye during the Olympics. Submit your photos and videos at And the best ones could be featured as part of CNN's coverage.

Now a stock exchange boss and a chocolate maker may not sound like they have much in common, but the two women you're about to meet have reached the top of their fields and paved the way for many to follow. And they share a common philosophy. This week's Leading Women is right ahead.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And as part of our Leading Women series, we've recently introduced you to two women at the top of their game. Ester Levanon, CEO of the Tel Aviv stock exchange, and Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges Haut Cocholat. While these two women have vastly different careers, they live by a common philosophy: follow your passion, and the rest will come.

Felicia Taylor and Becky Anderson track their paths to success.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ester Levanon has been a groundbreaker almost her whole life. Aside from being the first female CEO of TZA, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, she was one of few women to major in mathematics at Hebrew University. And she helped convince the largely skeptical Israeli security service that it needed to adopt new technology in the 1970s.

She went on to lead the service's IT department.

ESTER LEVANON, TZA CEO: The Israel Security Service was managed only by men. I was the first woman manager in their history. Whenever I walked into a room to have a meeting, it usually was only men and me.

TAYLOR: At the security service, she had to make her first difficult management decision, telling someone (inaudible) department. It's a memory that sticks with her 35 years later.

LEVANON: It was so difficult to know that I made a decision for the organization, but I'm influencing someone's life and actually pushing someone to go and look for another job. So that was really a very difficult moment.

TAYLOR: Another difficult moment when she finally accomplished her goal of becoming CEO of TZA, her mother was too ill with Alzheimers to share her news.

LEVANON: My mother encouraged me all my life. She told that I can do whatever I'd like. And at the moment that I wanted to share her with, that's what happened. I wasn't able to do, and that was a pity for me. It was a very sad moment for me.

TAYLOR: For all of her firsts, Levanon is resistant to the concept of being a role model. Instead, she offers this advice.

LEVANON: Be yourself. Do what you want to do. Don't do what you think other expect from you or what society expects from you, just go and do what you believe, that's true for men, it's true for women, it's true for everyone.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Becky Anderson. That sentiment of doing what you believe in continues as chocolatier Katrina Markoff who decided to go to cooking school right after she graduated college as a double major in psychology and chemistry.

KATRINA MARKOFF, VOSGES HAUT CHOCOLAT: I think it's so important to find your own individual voice, because I think people respect it so much. People are very attracted to people that are passionate in their own way that speak their mind.

Maybe we do like a pair of teaser to just seize their cocktails for the other one.

I just think it's important to remember that you have this sort of guiding light within yourself and to always go to that as your sounding board and as your voice of truth.

ANDERSON: Markoff wasn't always clear on her voice, though. Luckily, her mother let her jump from passion to passion.

MARKOFF: I wanted to be a mechanic. I wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a truck driver. I had all these wants. And I would go home and I would say, mom, I really want to be a mechanic. I love working on the bikes in my (inaudible) garage. She'd be like, great. What is the best school for you to go to?

She would never be like, you can't -- you don't want to be a mechanic. You don't want to be a truck driver. She would never say that.

ANDERSON: What Markoff finally came around to was making chocolate. She founded the gourmet Vosges Haut Chocolat in 1998. And just this year began a more massed produced line called Wild Ophelia.

Her success is a testimony to pursuing what you love. And she uses her experiences advice for budding entrepreneurs.

MARKOFF: I think really following that gut instinct is so critical. And it has to be passionate. And it has to be smart. You have to know that there is a niche in what you're doing. You can't copycat. That never works. You have to have your little niche. You carve it out. And then follow it with all your heart. And, you know, success will come to you.

ANDERSON: Markoff's niche is chocolates for the whimsical with unexpected flavor combination that. as she puts it. tell a story. And she's taken inspiration from another company founder with a distinct vision: Steve Jobs.

MARKOFF: I think it's really cool how he focused so much on beauty in his products. They're so beautiful, so you can -- why wouldn't you want to have it? That's right. I want it!

ANDERSON: With a company netting $30 million last year, that's a lesson she's taken straight to the bank.


LU STOUT: And if you'd like to find out more about CNN's Leading Women, check out our website at

Now just ahead here on News Stream, we will remember the achievement of another inspirational woman: Sally Ride, America's first woman in space. Stay tuned to our tribute to a person for whom the sky was no limit.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And I want you to take a close look at the next video. Is this thing alive or some sort of unusual science experiment? Well, it looks like a jelly fish, but it is actually a bioengineered creature made out of heart cells from rats and silicon polymer and then jolted into lifelike movement by an electric shock. Its creators at Cal Tech and Harvard, they call it a medusoid. It has the ability to pump just like a human heart. Researchers hope the medusoid will provide insight into the real human heart and help develop drugs or even a new generation of artificial hearts.

Now before we go we want to take a moment to remember Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Now Ride joined the U.S. space agency back in 1978 after responding to a recruitment ad in the Stanford University student newspaper. She's on the left here with NASA's other female astronaut candidates.

But it was Ride who made that pioneering journey in 1983 on the Shuttle Challenger. She was just 32 years old at the time. And Ride later described the launch as exhilarating, terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time.

Now she traveled to space twice and went on to start a company supporting science, math, and technology education. As President Barack Obama called her a national hero saying Sally's life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve.

And Ride leaves behind her partner of 27 years, Tamara O'Shaughnessy.

An obituary published by Ride's company said this, "Sally lived her life to the fullest with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment and love. Sally Ride was 61 years old."

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