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A Recap Of Olympic Action; Interview With Brittney Reese; Britain Announces $7 million In Aid To Syrian Civilians; Manchester United Set To Debut On New York Stock Exchange

Aired August 10, 2012 - 08:00   ET


ANNA COREN, HOST: Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. Hello, I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong.

We begin in Syria where violence continues inside the country as the UK pledges help from outside.

He calls himself a living legend. After what Usain Bolt achieved at these Olympics, it might be hard to argue with him.

And we finish our week long look at gaming culture by asking whether it can become a proper sport.

In Syria, rebel fighters insist the battle for the country's biggest city is not over yet. Well, they're fighting Syrian troops for control of Aleppo. The rebels had to pull back from the flashpoint district of Salahadin (ph) on Thursday, but say reinforcements are on the way. And they may have a big fight on their hands.

Well, state TV reports Syrian troops are tracking down and inflicting, quote, heavy losses on the opposition in several neighborhoods in Aleppo.

Well, as the fighting intensifies, the Syrian opposition will be getting a big boost in financial aid from the British government. Let's got to our Nic Robertson who joins us from London. Nic, foreign secretary William Hague says this is the right thing to do. Do you think this signifies a significant shift in policy?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDNET: Really this just amplifies the position that Britain has had and perhaps takes it a step forward. He says look there a lack of political progress. And we cannot stand by and watch the people of Syria suffering. He said tens of thousands of people are often trapped between the regime, the army, and what he called brutal militias on the one hand, sometimes people he said without food and water, and what Britain wants to do, he said, is to support those people, the people caught in the middle.

And they were going to do this through the civilian part of the Free Syrian Army, the opposition, if you will, the civilian elements of that by providing medical aid, medical training, trauma kits, pain killers, kits for operating theaters, that sort of equipment. He said they were going to train Syrian activists so that they could document war crimes, document evidence of war crimes so that that could be used in prosecutions in the future.

But this 5 million pounds, $7 million worth of aid he said is also an indication for those nations at the UN security council who have been blocking resolutions up to now. The situation is not standing still.


WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: For countries that have blocked resolutions at the UN security council to know that if they do that the world does not stand still. In the face of that, well then we will try to assist people in other ways. And I think if anything that increases the pressure, not reduces the pressure, for agreement at the United Nations.


ROBERTSON: Now the countries he wasn't naming here of course were China and Russia. And there's one area of assistance that perhaps the British may come in for criticism for specifically providing flak jackets. William Hague said that flak jackets would be provided for civilian workers in the field to safely perform their duties recovering casualties from the battlefield, the activists or whatever who are within the fighting, but not military elements and certainly there will be nations like Russia and China who will look at that situation of providing flak jackets and say, well, they could easily end up in the hands of the Free Syrian Army and be used by people carrying guns.

So the British here opened up to a certain amount of criticism as well -- Anna.

COREN: Nic, as you say, this support will come in the form of medical supplies and communication equipment and not weapons, but the opposition has said they need weapons.

ROBERTSON: Yeah. And William Hague was really specific about that. He said there's a number of measures we can take, but arming the opposition is not something they're prepared to do. He said we're checking very carefully that, and to make sure there's accountability for the equipment that is being provided, the satellite telephones, cell phones, radio communications equipment, generators, this sort of equipment so that activists, he said, can provide information to provide people, civilians, to get out of the way of fighting and also to get their message out of the country, the situation as it is happening.

He said that there would be rigorous, there would be rigorous assessment and analysis of how that money is being spent and how it is being used. But he said the weapons you cannot ultimately know into whose hands weapons would arrive. And that's -- that is a path he was very clearly he didn't want Britain to go down.

COREN: Nic, this is an uprising that has been going on for some 17 months. The opposition claims more than 20,000 people have died. The death toll is obviously increasing every single day. We are reporting it (inaudible) sitting back and waiting for the al-Assad regime to fall (inaudible) do you see any change taking place other than what is going on on the ground?

ROBERTSON: Well, certainly if we listen to Iran over this past week, Iran has held a meeting of 29 nations who are allied to its position, it appears, of supporting the regime. The foreign minister of Iran this week has had an op-ed in the Washington Post upping the ante in terms of rhetoric. We've heard from other Iranian officials, a very senior official, the speaker in the parliament Larijani, the senior security chief who went to Damascus earlier. And earlier in the week Jalili, Saeed Jalili criticizing the United States and really appearing to up the stakes.

You have the British foreign minister this week with an op-ed in a British newspaper. You have a former British foreign minister Malcolm Rifkin with an op-ed in an international newspaper this week.

So you're seeing the rhetoric upping here. And you're seeing the stakes if you will getting higher. The issue is that the conflict in Syria is beginning to turn into more of a sectarian conflict. And it's beginning to get to a situation where there appears to be sort of no pull-back from the violence. And this is raising concerns and alarm.

So I think we're seeing people upping the ante in terms of the rhetoric, but in terms of action on the ground we're not seeing concrete evidence of that yet, but clearly it's implicit in some of these statements that we've heard coming from Iran as well.

COREN: The rhetoric continues as the bloodshed continues. Nic Robertson joining us from London, thank you.

Well, it may be hard to believe when you see the destruction in Aleppo right now, but until recently Syria's commercial hub was a tourist destination. Well, take a look at this story from Time magazine. It was published in December of 2010 and talks about Aleppo's, quote, Silk Road splendor.

Well, Aleppo boasted sites like this, medieval citadel towering over Aleppo's old town. The citadel was a refuge for the people of Aleppo in past times of danger.

Well, now it seems there is no refuge as troops battle rebels in the street. And the people of Aleppo bury and mourn their dead. Entire neighborhoods are in ruins. And one of the ancient cities on the Silk Road is now a crumbling shell of itself.

Well, earlier this week our senior international correspondent was inside Aleppo. He got a first-hand look at a city under-siege before he and his crew made a narrow escape under a cover of darkness.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants us to get in the car and go --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Said we go now.



Go. Go. Go. Let's go.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've made it into Salaheddine, we drove from a government-controlled area, but made it around the checkpoint. Now, we're inside. There are very few people actually here. There are some civilians walking around, but the biggest danger is snipers that are on buildings this direction firing like this. So, we've had to sort of make a very roundabout route into this area.

OK. Well, now, we're out of Aleppo. We're heading northwest, here, in the direction of a town called al-Bared (ph). It's been a rather -- interesting ride. Apparently the outpost of the FSA from which we took this truck got hit by a MiG shortly after we left. We're told no serious injuries, but anyway, it's good to be out of Aleppo. Maybe we'll be going back soon.

KAREEM KHADDER, CNN PRODUCER: It's good to be out of Aleppo. Unfortunately, we're leaving kind people behind us. They took care of us, and we wish them all the best.


COREN: Our Ben Wedeman and his crew getting out of Aleppo there.

Well, now to Egypt and more unrest in the Sinai. State TV is reporting nine militants were arrested today. The area has seen a wave of increased violence since Sunday where militants attacked a border checkpoint killing 16 Egyptian soldiers. Hamas has condemned the attacks and said is played no part in them. Well, Egypt has beefed up its military presence in the area, including sealing tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. It believes they were used as smuggling routes for terrorists and weapons.

Well, he's shining brightly at the London Games. And Usain Bolt is clearly not being shy about winning his Olympic double gold. We'll tell you what he's saying about his victory and his legacy.

And in the U.S. the countdown is on to the presidential election. We'll tell you who is on the top of the polls.

And a disturbing story from Russia. How did members of a religious sect manage to spend more than 10 years living underground. Some of their children never saw daylight.


COREN: As you can see he is very much the man of the moment. And in case you had any doubts Usain Bolt has hopefully cleared up the matter by declaring himself the greatest athlete ever. Well, that was after the 25 year old Jamaican became the first man to win the 100 meter and 200 meter titles at back-to-back Olympics. And in his own words, that makes him a living legend.

Well, we are running out of adjectives to describe Bolt, so it's probably good that he describes himself. Our Pedro Pinto joins us from London with much more. And Pedro, he's certainly not humble, but he definitely is the fastest man on the planet.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about that. It may be just a little arrogant, Anna, to call yourself a living legend, but let's be honest if any athlete can do it then its definitely Usain Bolt. Some people have been a little disappointed that he didn't break the world record in either the 100 or 200 meters, but it's worth remembering just how fast his times are. Bolt ran 19.32 seconds to win the 200 meters. Here's confirmation of his time. And only two men have ever run faster than that, Yohan Blake and of course Bolt himself when he beat the world record.

His 100 meters time, yeah, that's not too shabby either. He won it in 9.63 seconds when he claimed gold in that distance. The only time anyone has gone faster than that was when Bolt set the world record in 2009. That of course still stands at 9.58. And the only person to come close to that pace has been Tyson Gay who got to 9.69.

Now as you can imagine the scenes of celebration in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday when Bolt led a Jamaican 1, 2, 3 finish in the men's 200 meters final were just spectacular.

Yeah, it got pretty rowdy. Thousands gathered to watch the race on giant screens. And they cheered non-stop. The cheering was no less enthusiastic here in London.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's the best of all time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He spices up athletics as well, that's important for the sport with his show, his showy behavior, that's very cool when he does that. And besides that, he's a great sportsman.

BOY: It was really, really cool.

GIRL: We'll never forget it.


PINTO: Well, there's no doubt Bolt is a global superstar, perhaps the only Olympians who can match his fame are the American Dream Teamers. Team USA's men's basketball team led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will be in action later today in London. They're taking on Argentina in one of two semifinals. These two teams clashed earlier in the tournament with the USA winning comfortably by 29 points.

The Americans are two wins away from their ultimate goal which is to win the gold medal. The other semifinal pits Russia against Spain.

Now Dwight Howard would have been part of the Dream Team if he hadn't suffered a back injury. The next time he represents Team USA it'll probably be as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. A four team, eight player trade, which is sending the all-star center to L.A. is being finalized on Saturday. Sources close to the deal have reported that Howard will move to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson go to Philadelphia, Andre Igoudala signs with Denver, and the Orlando Magic get four players, among them Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington. It's a blockbuster deal which sees the man known as Super-Man move to L.A.

Now Howard joins a very illustrious list of players who have played center for the Lakers. Wilt Chamberlain, you might remember him, the man who scored 100 points in one game. He was so good they had to change the rules to give others a chance when he played.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, of course with the sky hook, his trademark move there. He played for the Lakers in the 70s and 80s, winning five titles. He's also the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

And who can forget Shaquille O'Neal. Like Howard, he also started his career in Orlando before moving to L.A.

Now all of these big men have won NBA titles with the Lakers, so we could say the pressure on Dwight Howard to emulate that is pretty big.

Anna, back to you.

COREN: Pedro, enjoy the final days of the Olympics. Thank you.

Still ahead on News Stream, a decade without seeing daylight. A religious sect has been uncovered quite literally in Russia. Members and their children were living underground. We'll show you what it was like.


COREN: Welcome back.

Well, you are looking at a visual rundown of all our stories in the show tonight. We have told you about the fierce fighting in parts of Syria. And later we will return to London for more on the athletic achievements at the games.

But now we want to turn to the U.S. presidential race. Well, Americans will vote in 88 days. And it seems the incumbent currently has an edge.

Well, the latest CNN/ORC poll of registered voters gives President Barack Obama, a democrat, a seven point lead over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Well, let's break down those numbers with CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser who joins us from Washington.

Now, Paul, of course this election is all about the economy. And Mitt Romney has been platforming -- his platform, I should say, is about the economy. But his message obviously isn't getting through.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yeah, it seems that way. You've seen a relentless attack by President Barack Obama's reelection campaign and by other Democratic groups that are supporting the president going after Mitt Romney. And maybe those attacks seem to be working. A lot of those television commercials we've been seeing here in the United States.

Take a look at this. In our poll, this was a national poll we conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, we asked do you have an unfavorable opinion. What's your unfavorable and favorable opinion to Mitt Romney. You can see there 47 percent favorable, 48 percent unfavorable for Romney. And guess what, that 48 percent unfavorable, Anna, is up six points from last month. And that is a troubling sign for the Republican presidential challenger.

But there are also some troubling signs for President Obama. Take a look at this number on the economy. And of course as you know the economy is the top issue on the mind of American voters. We asked, do you think things are going well in the country? Well, it was 43 percent back in April, that number has gone now to 36 percent. So optimism definitely declining and pessimism about the economy improving, Anna -- increasing.

One thing I must say, though, you know all polls are a snapshot of how people feel right now. And, well, we still have three months to go until the election.

COREN: Three months and counting.

Now, Paul, obviously there's been a lot of talk about who Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate. Any word, any clear favorites?

STEINHAUSER: Unfortunately I don't have any word from Mitt Romney. He's keeping very quiet not talking to you or me. And of course it's Mitt Romney's choice, but we didn't in our poll ask Republicans across the U.S. who would you like to see. And well the answers are interesting and maybe take a look at this. Look at the top of our list. No clear favorite, but 28 percent said Marco Rubio. He is the freshman Republican senator from Florida and a favorite of many conservatives. Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, very outspoken person and well liked by a lot of Republicans at 16 percent. And Paul Ryan also at 16 percent, the House budget chairman. He's very popular among fiscal conservatives and Tea Party supporters here in the United States.

Anna, what's interesting when we ask these Republicans about who they liked as their running mate, the names that come up a lot that Mitt Romney may be considering -- Rob Portman the senator of Ohio, Minnesota Governor, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, those names were very low on our list.

But again it's Mitt Romney's choice nobody else's, Anna.

COREN: Yeah, that's for sure.

Now one thing I wanted to ask you, Paul, is about the negative campaign, the negatives ads that we've seen. And both parties have been criticized for this of recent. Can we expect more of that over the next 88 days?

STEINHAUSER: We sure can.

Listen, both sides say they don't like to do attack ads, to do negative ads, but the clear truth is that they are effective. And they do stand out with people. And they do stand out when it comes to media attention, so I think you're going to see a lot more of those negative attacks in TV commercial here in the U.S. straight through November 6 on election day, Anna.

COREN: Interesting viewing. And Paul Steinhauser, as always, great to talk to you. Thank you.

Let's now turn our attention to China. And a court is considering the fates of Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai has been tried for murder. Well, prosecutors say she and a family aid poisoned British businessman Neil Haywood last year. Well, this is the first time that Gu has been seen since her arrest in April. The hearing lasted less than eight hours on Thursday.

Well, tight security strictly limited access to the proceedings, a verdict could come within weeks.

On Friday, four policeman accused of helping cover-up Gu's alleged crime was set to have their turn in court.

Well, Gu's trial has been reported by the state run Xinua News Agency, a major Chinese newspapers republished the story, but kept it off the front page. But Sina Weibo is blocking posts about the murder case. Some users are getting around censors with code words, for example Bo and Gu together are referred to as B&G.

Well, other posts mention the word tomato, that refers to Chongqing, the city where Bo was party chief. Its name means red city in the west.

Well, now to Russia where there's been an astonishing discovery. Authorities have found an underground bunker run by leaders of an Islamic state. Well, members lived underground for at least a decade, including children. And Matthew Chance has their story.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Russian police say 27 children along with more than 30 adults lived in catacomb-like cells in what's described as an eight-level underground bunker. Some children had never left the compound or even seen the light of day.

IRINA PETROVA, POLICE PROSECUTOR (via translator): The premises consists of cells without natural light and ventilation located in the basement and foundation and dug into the ground as it was set in the official report. It was an eight-level ant hill. Not only adults were living on these premises but also children.

CHANCE: At least 19 of the children, ages between one and 17 years old were removed by the authorities. Some placed in care. Others in hospitals.

TATIANA MOROZ, HEALTH WORKER: Children were in satisfactory condition. The children were all fed, although they were dirty. Upon receiving them, we washed them. They have undergone a full examination. All the Russian specialists have examined them and taken all the analysis. Tomorrow, the full analysis will be finished and we will give our final conclusion about the condition of their health.

CHANCE: The Islamist sect was unearthed last week in a suburb of the city of Kazan in Russian mainly Muslim Tartarstan region during an investigation into militant groups. Chance of defiance, police retained some of its members, including its reclusive 83-year-old leader, Fayzrahman Satarov. They're facing charges.

Russian media reports say his followers lived in isolation, refusing to recognize Russian laws or the authority of mainstream Muslim leaders in Tartarstan. Isolation that allowed them to keep their activities literally underground.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.


COREN: Coming up on News Stream, we'll talk to Olympic champion Brittney Reese. The U.S. athlete jumped her way to gold at the London games.

Plus, it takes skill, tenacity, and dedication, can professional gaming be considered an actual sport? We'll examine that.


COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. You are watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Rebel fighters insist the battle for Syria's largest city of Aleppo is not over yet. Well, troops loyal to the regime push the rebels out of their stronghold in the city's Salaheddin district on Thursday, but the opposition says reinforcements are on the way to launch a counter offensive.

Well, coach of Italian football champions Juventus has been banned for 10 months as part of a match fixing investigation. Antonio Conte was punished for failing to disclose knowledge of two fixed matches while working for Siena two seasons ago. Juventus say they fully support Conte and are preparing an appeal.

The U.S. and China are top of the medal table at the Olympics. Well, the tally is based on the number of gold medal wins, making it too close to predict who the overall winner might be. Well, host Great Britain remaining in third place.

So, how does it feel to win a gold medal? Well, U.S. women's long jump champion Brittney Reese is someone who certainly knows all about that. And she joins us now from Olympic Park.

Brittney, firstly, congratulations, you are the first American woman to win the long jump since 1988. Who does it feel?

BRITTNEY REESE, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER: It feels great. When you represent your country and you do it with a historical moment. I'm real blessed and I'm real honored to even be able to get the gold medal and bring it back to the United States.

COREN: Describe the scene, describe the atmosphere. Sit in the -- you know, competing in that stadium, 80,000 people watching you. It must have been incredible.

REESE: It was great. That was the liveliest crowd that I've ever competed in -- stadium I've competed in. And when the crowd gets behind me, it makes me want to jump further. And they had a magnificent crowd here in London.

COREN: Seven meters, 12 centimeters, that is quite extraordinary. Were you surprised that you jumped that far?

REESE: Yes, I really actually wanted to go a little bit further. When I jumped seven, 12 that I knew that probably could be beaten, but it probably would get me on the stand. So I was trying to go as hard as I could to get at least seven, 20. I didn't get that attempt, but I'm glad I got the gold.

COREN: Now I want to talk a little bit about your background, because I believe that you were tossing up as to whether to do track and field or basketball, because you were offered a basketball scholarship, but it was your mom who persuaded you to stick with track and field. Tell us about that.

REESE: Yes. I did -- I was in high school. And I just had started track in my 11th grade year, but my mom -- I went to a community college and competed there, played there -- basketball there for like two years and had decision to either take a track scholarship back to Ole Miss where I originally supposed to go anyway, or take a basketball scholarship. And my mom sat me down and basically she decided that track was where I needed to be. So like everybody say, momma knows best. And that's where I'm at. That's the reason why I'm here right now.

COREN: Mommas do know best, exactly. That's a very good thing to take away from this conversation.

Now Brittney, the women's long jump world record is one of the oldest in the record books. And it stood since 1988. Do you think you can beat it one day?

REESE: That's the goal. I want to get the record. And I think it's just going to be have to be the perfect day, the perfect time, everything - - my run has to be perfect and my whole jump has to be perfect in order to succeed at that jump.

So I'm working towards that. I'm getting better each year. So that's the goal to get better each year and lead up all the way to it.

COREN: Brittney, what makes a perfect jump?

REESE: To me, for me, to make a perfect jump I'd have to have the right approach. I'd have to have the right knee drive, and a good landing. My landing is getting better each year, so that will help improve and be able to get closer and closer to the world record.

COREN: Now you are of course 25 years old. You are also the reigning Olympic and world champion. Some would say what else do you need to prove, but I can only presume that Rio is in your sights?

REESE: Yes, Rio is in my thoughts. I do want to go back to back Olympic champion. So therefore I'm just going to continue to train four more years. And if I have to gain four more medals in the world championships in order to get to where I am again, I'll do it. I'll do it all over again.

COREN: Now Brittney, the U.S. women have performed very well in track and field. What's the feeling among the team?

REESE: This is a great feeling, you know. We have Sanya Richards and Allyson Felix leading us all the way to all of these victories. So we still have more medals to go. We have the high jump still going on. And we have the women's relays still going on. So we have some more opportunities to gain some more medals for the women's side. But altogether as a team we're right ahead of schedule where we want to be for 30 medals. So I think we're doing a great job here in London.

COREN: You certainly are. Brittney, we can't help but notice that huge, big gold medal around your neck. For us mere mortals, who'd love to obviously win one, what does it feel like to actually wear that, to know that that is yours?

REESE: This is the greatest feeling of all. Even though I have four gold medals, but they're world championship medals, they're not Olympic medal. And to finally get an Olympic medal from when I was devastated in '08 is a great feeling. I just want to give all my honor to my coach and to god for helping me get on this level.

And Team Reese was behind me. My (inaudible) family was behind me. And the whole state of Mississippi was behind me. And I did this all for them and I'm just glad that I came out on top and have something to take home.

COREN: Well, Brittney, a real pleasure to speak with you. Thank you for taking this time and once gain congratulations.

REESE: Thank you.

COREN: Fantastic. Brittney Reese there, gold medal winner of the women's long jump.

Well, many athletes have praised the Olympic stadium's track, calling it a fast track. But what makes a track fast? Well, Amanda Davies found out how it was built from the designer.


JOE HOEKSTRA, OLYMPIC TRACK DESIGNER: Well, we for one changed the backing to make it from smaller, bigger holes to completely only directional. This track is only directional, not ignoring the fact --

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So this is the track that's in the stadium --

HOEKSTRA: -- in the stadium at the moment.

It's also what was in Beijing, but it was a much harder surface. This is much softer and allows the athletes roll of the foot to be more natural and quicker. And we think that is the difference in the speed.

DAVIES: How much is it the athletes and how much is it the track?

HOEKSTRA: Oh, it's 99 percent the athlete, that's sure. But, you know, just like any -- whether it's motor racing or any kind of sport, technology has played its part to assist and strive to better times. So the track also is not just a simple from years ago where it was just a concrete mixer and mix up some stuff and you spread it on the ground, it's no longer like that.


COREN: Amanda Davies there discussing London's fast track.

Well, it's not just the tracks that are designed for top performances, even the stand on the beach volleyball court is tightly regulated. A Canadian company is credited with refining it to perfection so it does not stick to the player's body.

Well, Kenya is celebrating after a great day for the country at the Olympics. Let's get much more from a very proud Kenyan, that being our Zain Verjee. She joins us now from Olympic Park.

Zain, you'd have to be almost as happy as Brittney Reese, yes?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, right, exactly. No, you know, we were focusing yesterday, all of Kenya was talking about David Rudisha as was the rest of the world. What an amazing runner. Did you watch the race, Anna? He was absolutely incredible. He's the only athlete in these Olympic games in track and field to break a new world record. And it was an amazing race to watch. He pretty much sprinted two laps doing the 800 meters. And he kept the pace the whole time. He likes to lead from the front. And he always maintains the lead. So it was really phenomenal. Everyone had their eyes on him.

He's only 23 years old. And he's trained so hard in the Rift Valley Province in an area called Etan (ph) which is a high altitude place. A lot of Kenyans will train there because it helps them -- and it actually increases the level of red blood cells. And they can breath easier when it comes to lower level areas and allows oxygen to pump harder through their bodies.

So that's my analysis of why we're so good.

When I spoke to the Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga a short while ago, listen to what he had to say, Anna.


VERJEE: What makes Kenyan athletes such great runners?

RAILA ODINGA, PRIME MINISTER OF KENYA: Well, I think there's discipline, there's also training, and most importantly also the environment in Kenya.

VERJEE: Training in high altitudes like in the Rift Valley and Etan (ph).

ODINGA: Yeah, we've got a good climate and the right altitude. But also athletics is popular in our country. And we try and promote it.

VERJEE: Are expectations too high of the Kenyan team?

ODINGA: I think sometimes we are judged by a higher standards than other countries, which is also fine because we are really a superpower when it comes to athletics. And we want to remain there. So I mentioned yesterday we want to beat the host 2024 Olympics to be the first African country to host the Olympics on the African continent because of our performance in the Olympics since we started, and secondly because we think that it is time that Africa also hosted the Olympic games.


VERJEE: So 2024 the Olympics may be Kenya. Anna, all of Africa is hoping, at least, that at some point we're going to be able to host the Olympic games.

But there's one other point I wanted to make, too, something that David Rudisha address when he talked in an interview after he won the gold medal. He said that he was just -- he had prepared well for it. He was physically, he was mentally ready, but also he was -- he just went for it, too, because the weather was great. The weather helped him. And that's some of the problems that Kenyan athletes can run into, because when it rains, you know, it just throws the whole game and the whole strategy off.

So you have to look out for more Kenyan athletes today. You've got the women's 800 meters, also a little bit later this weekend the men's marathon and also the 5000 meters. So look out for us. Watch out.

COREN: And we will. Anna, I'm sure it's not just the athletes that are enjoying the sunshine, you too. Zain, sitting out there on the balcony enjoying it. So it's great for Olympic coverage that's for sure.

Zain Verjee joining us there from Olympic Park.

Well, the countdown to kickoff is on for Manchester United. The British football team is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange, but will the (inaudible) or will the IPO miss the mark?


COREN: Welcome back to New Stream. You're looking at a visual rundown of all the stories in today's show. We've had plenty of coverage from the Olympic games in London. And now we're going to stay with sport and look at the upcoming debut of one of the world's most popular football clubs on the New York stock exchange.

Well, Manchester United's initial public offering is set to raise $233 million, valuing it at $2.3 billion. The amount being raised is well below what many had expected. And as Jim Boulden reports, the club's fans may not be cheering too loudly at the opening bell.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Manchester United has made plenty of headlines over the past decade. It has been the most successful English football club on the pitch for a generation, not to mention the headlines when buying and selling star players. But there has been just as much drama coming from the board room.


BOULDEN: It all kicked off in 2005 when the Glazer family of the United States secured a successful takeover. Many supporters worried their beloved club was becoming a private cash generator for a foreign based owner.

GAVIN HAMILTON, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: Manchester United are already the world's most profitable club. They already make more money from merchandise than any other club. So the fans are asking how on earth he's going to squeeze more money from us when we already pay over the odds for everything.

BOULDEN: They also feared the Glazers would load hundreds of millions of dollars of debt on the books.

SEAN BONES, MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTERS TRUST: Manchester United supporters are the customers of this company. And if the customer of the company are against the owner and the numbers are there, 93 percent, the last Independent survey, that the owners have got nowhere to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'll go before us. If it takes one year, 10 years, 12 years, we'll still be here.

BOULDEN: Well, seven years on, and he, Malcolm Glazer and his family, have not gone. And now they stand to make millions by listing some of their Man United shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to the prospectus, the main goal is apparently to pay down some of the debts. If that is successful, then Man United would spend less money paying interest on the debts and fans hope more money on bringing in star players to at least counter the Middle East wealth propping up last year's English league winners from the blue side of Manchester.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


COREN: Well, coming up, are video gamers athletes? And should professional gaming be considered an official sport? That's coming up on News Stream.


COREN: Well, all this week we're taking a special look at gaming culture in South Korea, a country where some professional gamers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Well, this week we've also been watching the Olympics. So we thought about combining the two. Can gaming ever become a properly recognized sport?

Well, let's get more on this from the reporter behind our week long series on game, that being's John Sutter. He joins us from CNN Center.

John, firstly congratulations on this series, because I just think it's been truly quite fascinating. Do you think that gaming, which is something that people think of and do for fun can be considered a sport?

JOHN SUTTER, TECHNOLOGY WRITER, CNN.COM: It's a really interesting question and one that's sort of yet to be answered. When we put out, you know, all these stories online on Sunday that was one of the responses that we got from the online gaming community. They were saying that, you know, these -- that online games should be -- they call them e-sports in South Korea. That they should be treated -- they should be treated as proper sports.

Today on Twitter someone sent me a petition that's going around online to make video games an Olympic sport. So this conversation is certainly going on, especially in the online gaming community.

As far as like a mainstream audience, I think there's a big backlash to that idea among some people who say that, you know, sitting at a computer and you know making characters move around in a digital space for whatever reason isn't considered athletics in the same way, you know, doing the hurdles would be.

But I really think it's an interesting debate and one that will continue as these online games continue to grow in popularity.

COREN: E-sports for 2016, who knows. We might see it at Rio.

John, let's look outside South Korea. Are there competitive gaming leagues outside this country?

SUTTER: There are competitive gaming leagues outside the country. In the United States there's one that was started I believe in 2002. You know, it's been televised at times. It -- I would that it's not nearly as popular here or in other countries as it is in South Korea.

I went to the World Cyber Games in South Korea in December, and that's an international tournament that hosts players, you know, from Europe, from the States, from all over the world really. There were players from Africa, there was one from Namibia that got a lot of attention and that I spoke with.

But, you know, South Korea is sort of the world's leader in this space. They're the country with the leagues that have the highest payouts. Like you mentioned in the intro, some of these players you're seeing MarineKing there make six figures easily between endorsements and sort of winning tournaments.

And, you know, it's televised in South Korea. These players have fan clubs. MarineKing, that player of the year you were seeing just a second ago like when we followed him at the World Cyber Games, you know, fans came up to him to bring him gifts and one woman turned away in tears after she had an encounter with him.

So I think like the level of popularity in South Korea is something that's unique in the world, but this is something that's been tried -- tried elsewhere. And you know that could grow.

COREN: It certainly takes it to another level, another league, doesn't it?

John, obviously the beauty of sport is that we get to watch it, the spectators get to watch it. Why hasn't gaming become a spectator sport?

SUTTER: Well, I think it is in Korea. I think elsewhere -- I think one of the barriers to this is that it can be confusing to watch a game that you're unfamiliar with. I would say that a lot of the people in the audience at that tournament I attended were online gamers, or at least were very familiar with online games and online gaming culture.

If you come from the outside -- and I can say that for myself, too, I do play some games, but not with nearly the intensity as these players -- it can be somewhat confusing if it's a game you're unfamiliar with to tell, you know, who is winning even, or what the strategy is, or like how truly complex like these games are.

With Starcraft II, which is one of the games that we featured this week, players, you know, live in training centers and spend you know hours and hours a day, sometimes almost like 20 hours a day playing and practicing this game. They watch tapes of their opponents. They practice their actions per minute, like which is the number of clicks that they can make, the number of maneuvers that they can make with their hands in a minute, it's something like 200 to 400 actions, which is, you know, several clicks a second. So it's like truly incredible when you get down to the detail of it. But if you just saw it on TV I don't know that all that would come through right away if you were outside the gaming world.

COREN: Yeah, the focus on the face of these competitors, it really is quite extraordinary, isn't it?

John Sutter, as I said, it has been a fascinating series. We commend you. And we thank you for bringing it to our attention. John Sutter there joining us.

SUTTER: Thanks so much.

COREN: Well, millions of people in Eastern China were relocated because of severe flooding. And our meteorologist Jen Delgado has the very latest. Hello, Jen.


We are starting off right now with flooding once again in China, this time coming from rain that's been left over from the typhoon that made landfall on Wednesday morning. Now as I show you some of the totals out there, we're talking about incredible totals within the last 24 to 48 hours. You can see some locations up to about 450 millimeters of rainfall. You can see especially for areas including the Zhejiang Province as well as Anhui.

Let's go to some video. And this is going to show you various locations across parts of eastern China. And you can see the flooding that's happening there. Actually you can probably notice a barge that was actually just trapped.

Now this is another area you're seeing sandbagging there. Apparently million of people had to be relocated. We're talking 2.1 million. We're talking in China's Shanghai municipality as well as in Jiangju (ph) as well as the Zhejiang and Anhui provinces.

Now there are also reports of a dam that basically was destroyed and that sent rushing water to a nearby village. And you are seeing residents being evacuated, very scary situation there.

As I show you on the satellite, as we look at the leftover remnants of Typhoon -- we can see for yourself all that rain is still coming down, especially along the eastern edge. Again that was Haikui that made landfall on Wednesday and now it's showing some (inaudible) for areas including the Guangdong province all the way up towards again Xiangxi (ph) as well as even into Fujian.

Now as I show you as we go through the next 48 hours, this system is going to continue to rain itself out, that means more rainfall for today and even for part of Saturday. Sunday I think we'll start to see some improvement.

Another area we're following, we're talking about in southern parts of Mexico. Of course, we talked about Tropical Storm Ernesto. It made landfall yesterday. Now it is a tropical depression. And as I show you the really big story we're talking about now is the heavy rain that's going to be affecting the southern states. We're talking some of these locations are going to be dealing with some really extreme flooding problem. The torrential rain is going to be sticking around there in this area as we go through Saturday. Some of these locations could be picking up roughly about 25 to 50 centimeters of rainfall. So certainly we'll be watching at for that area. You can kind of see for yourself where the heavier totals are going to be, especially right along the Pacific coastline we're going to see some of those areas with potentially about 25 centimeters and that could include parts of, say, Acapulco.

But, I want to leave you with something positive, of course. We do know the clock is ticking for the end of the Olympics. And I want to show you this weather is going to get a gold medal. We're talking for Friday and Saturday high temperatures in the mid-20s. And we're also talking about dry conditions even through Sunday.

Anna, I know we all can appreciate that one.

But you know what, I'm telling you, I cannot see gaming in the Olympics. I'm sorry.

COREN: Yeah. I know. But just getting back to the weather, hasn't London been lucky, truly?

DELGADO: Oh, they have been spoiled.

COREN: So, so lucky. Very much so.

DELGADO: A rough start, but a nice finish.

COREN: We have to go. Lovely to see you, have a great weekend.

Before we go, we want to say happy birthday to the Lego group. We've even done up our logo in Lego, which is rather cute, using the company's iPhone app. Well, Lego was founded in Denmark 80 years ago. And while it is best known for its classic bricks, it didn't start out that way. Well, back in 1982 Lego made wooden toys. The brick we know and love was launched about 15 years later.

And if you are wondering what Lego means, it comes from a mash-up of Danish words meaning play well as plenty of kids certainly have over the years.

Well, that does it for News Stream. The news continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.