Return to Transcripts main page


Removal Of Bashar al-Assad No Go For Regime Precondition For Talks; A Series of Hurricanes Threaten Opposite Sides Of The World; FLOAT Beijing Turns Air Quality Monitoring Into Public Art Project; Pakistani Lawyer Ensures Victimes Of Honor Violence Have A Voice

Aired August 22, 2012 - 8:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in Syria where the death toll is rising. And now there are more signs that the violence is spilling over into Lebanon.

Also ahead, a heroes homecoming here in Hong Kong as a dispute over islands raises the tension between China and Japan.

And decision time in San Jose, California. They have heard the arguments and now it is up to the jury of the Apple-Samsung patent trial.

Now the Syrian regime is setting a firm line on any negotiations with Syria's rebels. In Moscow, Syria's deputy prime minister said that there will be no talks with rebels if they insist on setting the condition that Bashar al-Assad resign. He says that could only be discussed after any dialogue is already underway. That may not appeal to the opposition or to western governments which have called for Mr. al-Assad to step down.

Now the carnage, meanwhile, from Syria's civil war continues to escalate. 230 people died in shelling and fighting across the country on Tuesday alone. And the violence gripping Syria is spreading into neighboring Lebanon. There have been deadly clashes and running gun battles in Lebanon's second biggest city Tripoli.

I want to bring in Arwa Damon in the Lebanese capital of Beirut for the latest on Syria's civil war. And Arwa, first, the situation inside Syria, we have reports of more shelling in Damascus. What have you heard?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: There most certainly has been, Kristie. I was speaking over Skype with an activist who was from the central Damascus neighborhood of Kapr Souse (ph), said that they were sustaining quite an intense bombardment, that the army had entered that neighborhood from a number of different vantage points. He said that up until now at least 20 people had been killed just today. And then he wrote all of my closest friends have died.

There have also been reports of even more violence and rape in the Damascus countryside. And of those who were killed yesterday, of those 230 at least 104 of them were killed in Damascus alone, so it most certainly seems as if the government is really intensifying its efforts to try to ensure that the capital does not go the way that Aleppo has right now -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Awra, where you are in Lebanon, reports of more sectarian clashes there, what is the latest in Tripoli?

DAMON: You know, Kristie, many will tell you it was absolutely inevitable that the Syria uprising in civil war would somehow spill over into Lebanon. And what we're seeing is just one way it is impacting this tiny nation.


DAMON: This is just one of the ways the Syrian uprising is manifesting itself in Lebanon, along the Sunni-Alawite sectarian front line in the northern city of Tripoli. With the Lebanese army trying to pound both sides into submissions.

Some residents choose to move to safer ground, others hang around nervously in doorways, now living on the lower floors.

"We spent our Eid under gunfire. We had to eat in the stairway," this woman says referring to the holiday at the end of the holy month at the end of Ramadan

Many admit they often don't know how the fighting starts, or how it ends, but what they do know is that events in Syria are aggravating longstanding tensions between these communities.

There have been numerous holes smashed into the walls between buildings here just like this one. But this is not a recent development, these neighborhoods have been preparing themselves for battle for years now.

Some shops are open, not for business, but for safe passage. We're in the Sunni Bab el-Sabani (ph) neighborhood, separated from the Alawite area in the hills Sheb el-Muftan (ph). Dividing the two is the appropriately named Syria Street.

This is as close to the front line as we can get. People are having to dart across this one road, because right around the corner is Syria Street. And that is where these clashes are being concentrated.

It's not the first time these two sides have clashed, each time sparked by different events. In this case, both agreed that it was children playing with BB guns, a scenario that somehow escalated into this. Both blame each other. And this time residents fear it's going to last.

This woman says a shell just slammed into their bedroom right on the front line. They're going to hunker down with relatives nearby. No one was hurt, but it was clearly time to go.

These makeshift, very crude routes are also how families are evacuating.

The Bab el-Sabani (ph) gunmen say they are hardly firing back. The other side claims they are showing restraint as well. With gunfire echoing through the narrow streets it's hard to determine where it's coming from.

They're telling us to be careful of the opening right there as we move up towards one of the fighting positions.

This Sunni gunman says the Alawites are well armed, funded by the Syrian regime. On this side of the battleground, it's clear where loyalties lie. The Syrian opposition flag is painted on a storefront, a poster on the wall of four people from the area killed in clashes since the Syrian uprising began amidst fears that yet another generation will grow up to the sounds and brutal lessons of war.


DAMON: And so far, Kristie, at least seven people have been killed, another 70 wounded in these clashes. Amongst the casualties, people, residents from both neighborhoods as well as soldiers with the Lebanese army.

The situation right now in Tripoli being described as something of an uneasy calm. There is still intermittent gunfire, sniper fire, but clashes nowhere near as intense as they were yesterday. But residents fearing that they will flare up once again.

LU STOUT: Arwa Damon with the very latest for us. Thank you, Arwa.

Now the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least 21 journalists have been killed in Syria. And that grim toll now includes the Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto. She worked for the independent news agency Japan Press. She was shot dead in a gun battle in the city of Aleppo on Monday. And in the hours just before she was killed she filmed these images in Aleppo that we want to show you now.




MIKA YAMAMOTO, PHOTOJOURNALIST (subtitles): That's dangerous.






YAMAMOTO (subtitles): They are shooting indiscriminately. They are dropping bombs onto the town from bombers onto people running one after the other without discrimination.

We are headed right now to the front lines where they have just bombed the town. We believe there's been considerable damage. We are heading out there to investigate.



(subtitles): People are still living around here despite all the bombings. So there are still people living here actually.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE (subtitles): They are closing down the city here. The residents are fleeing.


LU STOUT: Gripping and haunting images there.

Now you heard shouting and a gunshot ringing out at the end of that footage. And then the filming suddenly stops. Now fellow Japan press reporting Kaautaka Sato was traveling with Yamamoto when she took those images and he described what happened.


KAZUTAKA SATO, JAPANESE JOURNALIST (through translator): We were moving along with the Free Syrian Army which was expanding its territory. We met an armed group on the way. I realized that the head man was wearing a helmet when I stepped closer with the camera. I sensed that it wasn't the Free Syrian Army. And it was at that moment they started firing toward us and screaming.


LU STOUT: Mika Yamamoto's father says that his daughter made it her mission to tell the stories of women and children who were caught in the horrors of war.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, we continue our in depth look into so-called honor murders. A Pakistani woman made a desperate call for help before she was murdered. And the man her mother accuses of killing her has not been charged, but a human rights lawyer is trying to increase prosecutions.

And activists get a heroes welcome in Hong Kong as tensions between China and Japan escalate over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

And making their case, the fate of a long running legal battle between Apple and Samsung is in a U.S. juries hands.


LU STOUT: Now Pakistan was the country where women have risen to prominent positions of power from the current foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar who is shown here, to the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto whose party continues to lead the nation. But Pakistan also has major cultural and social divides. And in some regions, the practice of honor murder is still far too common.

But one man is trying to make sure that women do not suffer in silence. Reza Sayah reports.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: ...Bibi's husband accused her of flirting with other men so he beat his wife, then killed her, her mother says. He knows this, she says, because she heard her daughter's frantic cries in a desperate phone call for help.

HAMIDA BIBI, VICTIM'S MOTHER (through translator): I could hear her on the phone. She was screaming why are you beating me? Mother, please save me. They're killing me.

SAYAH: Farida's (ph) husband used her scarf to strangle her, her mother says. The bloody scar that rings her neck too gruesome to show.

BIBI (through translator): I have cried so much. I have gone blind from crying.

SAYAH: CNN has been unable to reach Farida's (ph) husband, but police say he denies killing his wife. He's not been charged or named as a suspect. According to police, the husband says a relative killed Farida (ph) over a land dispute. Police say they're investigating, but more than a year has passed since the killing. And activists are convinced Farida (ph) is another victim of an honor murder in Pakistan. Farida's (ph) parents say the only place that answer their plea for help in trying to build a case this dark and dusty office in Karachi.

This is where we found Hamida Bibi at the Madagar (ph) help center in Karachi. The reason the interview with her looks so dark is because the power often goes out here. As you can see, this place is nothing fancy, but for the many families who come here, the man who started this place is nothing short of a hero.

ZIA AWAN, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: My name is Zia Awan. I'm a lawyer by profession.

SAYAH: Few in Pakistan have done more to fight honor murders than Zia Awan.

AWAN: Honor killing is the worst form of violence against women, because they are being killed.

SAYAH: Killed because they're accused of bringing dishonor upon their families or communities. In 1999 Awan started the first help line for victims of abuse and those who lost loved ones in honor murder.

AWAN: We listen to them and we help them. Whatever we can do.

SAYAH: 13 years later, Awan has helped centers in four cities, every year giving thousands of victims and their families shelter, legal advice, medical care, most of it at no cost.

AWAN: The anger which I have, the cry which I have in my heart, so we convert into our movement.

SAYAH: Every day this call center gets scores of call or people just walking in. This is Shabira Bibi (ph) and her son Saddam (ph). Shabira (ph) says she's here because her husband was a victim of an honor killing. Now she says the killers are after her. Sadly, it's impossible to tell all these stories.

Activists here say one out of every five homicides in Pakistan is an honor murder, the crimes often justified by communities that say it's part of deeply rooted cultural norms.

AWAN: It's a dishonor killing, whatever they do. It is not an honor killing.

SAYAH: Awan and human rights groups say killers often go unpunished by local governments that either sympathize with them or are too weak or corrupt to prosecute them.

AWAN: Sometime it is very frustrating when you see that the systems are not working.

SAYAH: But he says the fight is slowly paying off. Police are making more arrests, the courts are prosecuting more cases.

AWAN: This is the change which I see, a big change.

SAYAH: And most importantly, he says, more and more people like the Bibi family, are no longer afraid to speak up.

BIBI (through translator): She was such a good girl. I need justice. The killers of my daughter should not go unpunished.

SAYAH: Reza Sayah, CNN, Karachi.


LU STOUT: Now in the United Kingdom, a longtime sufferer of locked in syndrome has died. A brief statement on his Twitter account said Tony Nicklinson died of natural causes. Now local police said that they are not investigating his death. Nicklinson fought a long legal battle over assisted suicide. And his death comes just days after his lost a high court bid seeking to end his life on his own terms. Now Nicklinson had described his life as intolerable after a stroke seven years ago left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Tony Nicklinson died of natural causes, he was 58.

You're watching News Stream. We'll be right back after this.


LU STOUT: Looking good here in Hong Kong. Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream. And we have yet another typhoon roaring about Taiwan. Let's get the details now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

LU STOUT: Kristie, this is a storm that's moving so slowly, it's almost been standing still just off the shore of Taiwan. But we're expecting that to start changing as we head through the next 24 hours. And I think that change is going to be critical.

We're talking about Typhoon Tembin. And you can see it right over here just offshore.

What's happened is you know the things that make storms move, it's almost like they're going ot take the easiest way to go. So if there's anything from blocking their path in the atmosphere then they're not going to go. And that's what's happened lately. There's nothing really pushing the storm anywhere. But we think as an area of high pressure begins to form farther to the north again it's going to help steer the storm over to the west. And we'll expect that movement to begin probably some time during the day today. We'll have to watch.

There's another storm not too far behind, you see it right there, Bolavin. It's also a typhoon. Even looks a little bit bigger than Tembin. But we're going to talk a little bit more about Tembin because this is the one that is the biggest threat right now, a threat for millions of people of course across Taiwan. There are coastal warnings and inland warnings because of this approaching storm. And all computer models are pretty much in agreement that this is going to start taking a turn a bit more to the west probably in the next 24 hours or so.

Winds with this storm are probably close to 170 kilometers per hour right now, gusting to nearly 200 to a little bit weaker than originally thought, but still quite a formidable system. And you see already, I want to show you on the radar from the central weather bureau in Taiwan that you can start to see some of those outer bands of the storm already starting to approach the coastline. And some of you already getting some of those scattered rain showers.

Gradually as the storm gets closer, these more intense bands of rain will continue approaching the coastline. And as that happens, of course the weather will deteriorate very quickly.

Whoever had to get ready as -- you have to get ready today, tonight, because tomorrow the weather will be significantly different. And of course as we head through the day late Thursday and into Friday it will be considerably worse as the storm very, very slowly, we think, continues to move across the area.

And you can see it right here -- we'll put this in motion to kind of sticking around for a little bit and then starting to hug the coastline as I was saying in the next two days.

So, we'll monitor it closely. The next storm, Bolavin, the one that's farther back, this one also appears to be taking that west to west/northwest track. And we'll have to see how it actually develops over the next few days.

The other storm I want to tell you about is on the other side of the world in the Caribbean. This is Tropical Strom Isaac. Winds about 70 kilometers per hour. It is expected to become a hurricane as it moves closer to and into the Caribbean. These are the Lesser Antilles. There's Puerto Rico. There's Hispanola over there. And this is what the computer models are saying this storm is going to do.

The track that you see right here in the middle, the one in red, that is the track that the National Hurricane Center is saying the storm is going to take. All of the other ones are different computer models. We call this a spaghetti model, because it looks all jumbled up. But this time, a lot of agreement, huh?

The storm moving across Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and then back over possibly toward Florida as we head into maybe into the weekend.

For now, though, the areas that really need to be aware of the storm is the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and I would go ahead and count Haiti into that as well.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Always precise in your forecasting. Mari Ramos there, thank you.

Now the United States and Japan have begun a month long military drill in the western Pacific. Now it comes amid heightened tensions between China and Japan over a disputed group of islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. Now Chinese media reports suggest that Japan is using the military exercises to stake a claim over the islands, but Japanese officials insist it is merely a routine drill.

But it is not just the Japanese and Chinese governments who remain at odds. Now growing tension over the disputed islands is also apparent on the streets. And as Stan Grant reports, activists from both sides are becoming increasingly vocal.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The message is clear, this is a no go area. The Japanese embassy in Beijing is sealed off, police and army on guard.

So we're on this side. The embassy is just over there. There's been a flurry of activity behind us, a lot of talking on phones, on walkie talkies. And there's a soldier here coming to speak to us now.



GRANT: So we can't film the embassy from here at all.

Large protests have raised the alert. Thousands of people across China taking to Japanese consulates, attacking businesses, at times turning ugly. And it is all over this, uninhabited rocky outcrops in the East China Sea. Japan says it owns the islands. China says no.

"The Diaoyu Islands are ours," this activist says. "They are part of China. It's as if they are our home. If a thief breaks into your home, don't we have to drive the thief out?"

Song Kin Shin (ph) took it upon himself to claim the island for China. The Hong Kong based activist known as Bull joined others in the symbolic protest. They were detained by Japanese police.

Diaoyu, or as Japan calls it Senkaku, is indeed many things to many people. There's resource riches here: oil and gas. It is strategically vital. Japanese activists, too, have swum ashore raising their flag.

"I believe that our landing was a success if we could show that Senkaku Islands are Japan's territory. And we, the Japanese, must protest by ourselves," this man says.

It is touched off a diplomatic row. Chinese analysts say it is rooted in history and age old hatreds.

"There shouldn't be any discussion on Diaoyu Island. It has always been part of China."

China says it has claimed Diaoyu for hundreds of years. Japan says China ceded sovereignty when it lost the Cino-Japanese war in 1895. Japan's surrender in Worl War II clouded the issue again before the United States returned Senkaku to Japanese control in 1972.

"The U.S. handed over the island to Japan for its own purpose during the Cold War," this analyst says. "So personally, I think the U.S. should take the blame over the dispute of Diaoyu Island."

The U.S. says it's not taking a position in this current dispute, but it is treaty bound to defend its ally Japan. It's now begun joint war games with Japan, a yearly routine. The aim this year, to seize back an island.

Chinese activists returning to Hong Kong harbor just as determined to seize an island for themselves.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Now coming up on News Stream, Apple and Samsung battle it out in court. And now it's up to a jury to determine if one tech giant illegally copied the other.

And they're in the air, how kites can help make it a lot easier to breath in Beijing.


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

Now in Moscow, Syria's deputy prime minister says there will be no dialogue with rebels if Mr. al-Assad's departure is a precondition of the talks, though he suggests the matter could be discussed once the talks get underway.

Now the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is set to deliver an update later on Wednesday on her visit to Syria last week. And she has said the fighting in Syria has uprooted more than a million people.

A British man who had been fighting a long running legal battle over assisted suicide has died. Tony Nicklinson, who was 58 years old, and suffered from locked in syndrome, which made it impossible to take his own life without help. Now a statement on his Twitter account said Nicklinson died of natural causes. And police say that he had been receiving visits from a doctor over the past week.

There is little sign a territorial row between Japan and China is letting up. A group of Chinese activists who were deported by Japan from a disputed island have arrived back in Hong Kong to a heroes welcome. They were on the ship that has sailed to the island one week ago.

Greece is seeking more time to get its economy going and make the budget cuts demanded by international lenders. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is meeting EU officials today. And the leaders of Germany and France later this week. And he is expected to ask for two more years to hit the cost cutting targets built into the bailout deal.

Now Apple and Samsung presented closing arguments in their trial in the U.S. And both sides are essentially suing the other for infringing on patents, just one of a series of trials worldwide between the two tech giants.

Now Apple's attorneys accuse Samsung of stealing its work, saying, quote, "Apple took years to bring this revolution to the U.S. Samsung took three months to copy it."

Now Samsung chose not to dispute the similarities between their products, but instead insisted that you shouldn't be able to patent the basic shape of a phone or tablet. Now Samsung's attorney said this, "let's have Samsung freely compete in the marketplace instead of Apple trying to stop it in court."

Now for more on Apple and Samsung's patent battle, we are now joined by Dan Simon live from San Jose, California. And Dan, both Samsung and Apple, they have given their closing arguments. But what struck you the most in their final statements?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they both really just dug in their heels. And, you know, there was a chance that this case was going to settle. I mean, the two CEOs have been talking apparently just a couple of days ago. The judge wanted them to settle this case. But clearly both companies feel like they're in the right here.

And I want to show you something that I think was powerful. This was in the Apple exhibit that was shown during the case also shown during the closing arguments. You can see the iPhone on one side of the screen and the Samsung device on the other. Then you can look at that a couple of different ways depending on your point of view and who you agree with, you know, with respect to this case.

So you see the iPhone and you see the Samsung device. They look a lot like each other. Apple says, well that's a violation of their patents. What Samsung says, no, this is about competition. And we can draw inspiration from the other product no problem.

Now Apple CEO Tim Cook, he never made an appearance in the courtroom. But I think it's interesting to hear from him. And he spoke out about the patent war just a few months ago at a technology conference in Southern California. And I want you to listen to that.


TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: From our point of view, it's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy and all of our care and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it.


SIMON: Now with respect to that painting, there are a couple of different patents in question here. There are design patents. And that's how a phone looks and appears. And there are also utility patents. And utility patents are also very important in this case, because they cover things like the rubber banding effect, you know, when you get to something at the -- you know, when you're using the phone and you get to the end of a list or a website, the rubber banding effect is also in some of these Samsung devices. And what Samsung is saying with respect so some of these utility patents is that these technologies existed before the iPhone came out. They may not have been in a smartphone, but they were there. And so these patents are invalid.

So bottom line here, there is so much for this jury to consider. I look at the form that they have to fill out. It's 20 pages, 700 different questions that they have to consider. So it's going to be awhile before I think this jury reaches a verdict -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah. I mean, they have to consider as you mentioned the bounce back patent, also the tap to zoom patent. I mean, so many patents in dispute here.

And Dan, yesterday we saw the 36 questions that the jury of nine people they've got to answer. Today, we've got the 109 page document of instructions that they need to follow before they answer those questions. And the nine jurors here, they have no background in patent law. And they have to sift through all this documentation.

So Dan, how is Silicon Valley viewing this? How much confidence will the tech industry have in the final decision of the jury?

SIMON: Well, it's the system we have. So they have to have confidence in it, that's the way it works here in the United States of America.

A lot of people feel that this jury is a hometown jury, in other words that they'll side with Apple. But they took an oath here that they have to look at both sides.

So it -- like you said, they're not technical wizards, they're just ordinary citizens. And for them to really, you know, look at this form and try to come up with the answers, you know, they may have some questions. And the attorneys may have to come back and answer some more.

It's going to be very, very difficult, I think.

LU STOUT: Yeah, an incredible and very daunting challenge for them. Dan Simon reporting for us live from San Jose, California thank you.

And staying in the world of Apple, Foxconn, a major supplier of Apple products has improved conditions for workers at its factories in China. Now that's according to the latest report by the U.S. based fair labor association. It finds several health and safety measures have been put into place such as enforcement of breaks and the redesign of some equipment to prevent injury.

Now the association says that the changes have been made ahead of schedule. And it says Foxconn is on track to fix remaining issues by the middle of next year.

Now last March, the FLA found multiple labor violations at Foxconn following a spate of worker suicides and an explosion at one of its plants.

Now Twitter sparked up a controversy with developers late last week thanks to a blog post. And as details changes in how apps can interact with Twitter, changes that critics say are squeezing out some apps.

So let's go to an expert to explain what these changes mean. Nick Thompson is the editor of He joins me now from our New York bureau. Nick, good to see you.

Twitter's new rules, they were disclosed late last week in a very technical and confusing way. Please break it down for us.

NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, what Twitter basically said is that for a long time Twitter has just provided data. You could read tweets inside of Twitter, or you could read it inside of any other company that would take the data from Twitter. You could go and read inside of tweet bot. You could read inside of Flipboard, which changed the ways tweets look, you could use HootSuite, you could use all sorts of different ways to read Twitter.

Twitter has now said, hey look, there are a lot of developers that take our data, some are doing things we really like, like business analystics, you guys are all fine. But all you developers who are taking our tweets and finding new ways for people to read them, not so much anymore. We're going to put a lot of restrictions on you. We're going to limit your growth. And we may just eventually stop you.

So what they're really doing is they're shooting an arrow at the HootSuites and the Tweetbots and the Flipboards and saying you're going to have to follow our rules from now on. And the reason, of course, that Twitter is doing this is that I read Twitter on Tweetbot it's much harder for Twitter to make money than if I read tweets on Twitter.

LU STOUT: You know, it's incredible isn't it, Nick? I mean, third party developers, they have played a huge role in the rise of Twitter. Now here's an example here, Twitterific. The developer of Twitterific listed the first that came from his app and not from Twitter. Some of the first include the first use of the bird logo that came from this third party app, the first native iPhone app, not from Twitter, but again third party. Even the first use of the word tweet.

So, I mean, again why did Twitter decide to limit these API's and alienate the people that helped fuel the rise of Twitter. Is it really about making more money for Twitter itself?

THOMPSON: It is about making more money for Twitter itself.

I mean, I think Twitter had the right strategy in the beginning in letting these guys do what they wanted. The truth is, Tweetbot is better than Twitter that's why I use it. It's better to read your tweets in Tweetbot than it is to read them in Twitter.

For a long time it was very helpful for Twitter for these guys to exist, because it made it easier for people to approach the service. Now Twitter is a huge company. They've got an $8 billion evaluation, or whatever it is now. They can afford to build the copy to make their own service good so they're shutting down all these exterior players.

And as for whether it's really about making money, absolutely. Twitter is watching. I mean, they've seen Facebook. They've seen GroupOn. They've seen Zynga. All of these companies really struggle in the last year. All of the Web 2.0 social media companies are in trouble. Twitter needs to show that it has a real, viable business model if it wants to keep raising money and if it wants to have an eventual IPO.

LU STOUT: You know, it's been fascinating watching and hearing your analysis about the changes happening in Twitter in recent weeks. And for example, the CEO, he recently made that comment. He says he wants the world where people build into Twitter not off of it. And that sparked a huge discussion about Twitter's new platform. Now we have these new rules. What does Twitter want to become?

THOMPSON: Well, I think Twitter wants to become not just a service that sort of powers the rest of the web and create this whole ecosystem of invention around it, they really want to become a content company. You know, in a way they're switching from data to content. They want people to come inside of Twitter and spend their days looking at tweets the way that Twitter wants them to look. And they want them to see advertisements that Twitter's ad salesmen sell. They want to figure out how to structure and curate everything.

So it's not quite Facebook where everybody -- you go inside of Facebook and it's really an alternative universe than the rest of the web, but it's moving a lot closer in that direction.

We'll see what the next steps are for Twitter, but it has been a pretty clear pattern of moving away from sort of the data service to the web to content curator model over the last year.

LU STOUT: Now we know that you're a third party app fan. You like Tweetbot. You said it's better than Twitter itself. What has been the other reaction out there to the new rules from users, from makers of third party Twitter apps. Is there outrage? Is there just a shrug? What's the reaction?

THOMPSON: Oh, it's outrage. I mean, you go -- the day it was announced you go on Twitter you can't read Twitter, because everybody is complaining about Twitter.

There is some confusion about the initial rules. People thought they were harsher than they were. They though, you know, Tweetbot will be shut down immediately, which is not at all the case. The rules have enough leeway built in that these third party providers will be fine for some time.

But mostly people are upset. There are some people who are saying, look, Twitter has to do this. They have to make money. We want Twitter to survive. It's got to do what it's got to do to survive. There are some developers who are saying at least we've not got clarity.

You know, Twitter has been kind of making vague statements -- you know, we're going to crack down on developers. Now developers know exactly what they can do and exactly what they can't do. So some people are happy.

But mostly the Internet was not happy with Twitter for doing this.

LU STOUT: That's right. But we have clarity now from Twitter, because it wants to control its business after all.

Nick Thompson of the, thank you so much. And we'll talk to you again next week hopefully.

All right. You're watching News Stream. And up next, the tradition of Kite flying, it gets a unique twist in Mainland China. This popular past time is in fact being used to track air pollution. We'll explain.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And you're looking at a visual rundown of all the stories in the show. And we've examined both sides in the high profile tech trial between Apple and Samsung. And then later, well look at that, the cultural phenomenon in South Korea known as the horse dance. But first, let's turn to China and the contentious issue of air quality.

Now the U.S. embassy in China is the only known monitor of the fine particulates considered the greatest health risk. It posts hourly readings for Beijing on this Twitter account. In June, China's foreign ministry said embassy's lack the legal authority to monitor China's environment. Now that's taken as a direct dig at this feed, which frequently rates Beijing's air as unhealthy.

Now I spoke to U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke about the monitoring service on a particularly smoggy day last year.


GARY LOCKE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: It measures the very fine particles, particulates which are health concerns. I think it's things that are less than 2.5 microns. I think the acceptable range in the United States is 35.

LU STOUT: Oh my goodness.

LOCKE: Here we are almost at 400, more than 10 times the acceptable level.

LU STOUT: And this is a monitoring service you've set up for U.S. embassy staff and families. But a wider community has been looking at this every single day.

LOCKE: I look at it every single day, because I also know that, you know, I'm concerned about the kids' health. The schools use it, international schools use it to determine whether or not they should allow the kids to have recess outside or whether they keep them inside.


LU STOUT: Gary Locke speaking to me last year.

Now in comparison, China's National Environmental Monitoring Center says the country's air quality is mostly good to excellent, but it measures larger particles, between 2.5 to 10 micrometers in diameter, or PM10. Now China's government says that it will make PM2.5 the nationwide standard by year 2016.

Now air pollution is such a hot button issue that Beijing has opened up its monitoring station to the public. And it's starting to use the stricter PM2.5 standard.

And one group wants to give Beijing residents the tools to measure air quality for themselves. It's called FLOAT. And it recently raised $4,500 to produce pollution sensing kites in the Chinese capital. And we have one of these kites right here.

Now they carry these sensors up into the sky and the LED lights, they change colors depending on the level of the pollution.

Now Float Beijing recently held workshops for residents to build and to fly these kites. And Xiaowei Wang is one of the group's co-creators. I spoke with her about the project.


XIAOWEI WANG, CO-CREATOR, FLOAT BEIJING: The (inaudible) nighttime kite flights that we had went really well. The second one there was a lot of you know people who were just walking through the plaza in their after dinner stroll who came up to us and asked what we were doing. And, you know, said really nice things like, oh, we need more people who care about the environment like you guys. And other people who were asking, oh, can I buy a module off of you? Where can I get one of these things.

So it was just exciting to see a lot of strangers approach us about this project too.

LU STOUT: Air quality is a serious concern in Beijing, but why use kites to monitor it?

WANG: The reason why we started using kites to monitor air quality was because there's a long tradition of kite flying and kite making in China. And there's already a group of really enthusiastic kite hobbyists and kite flyers. So we really wanted to tap into this existing group of people who are excited about kites.

LU STOUT: Who took part?

WANG: It was divided up between probably half of the people who came were Chinese university students and also foreigners, and the other half were probably 40 to 70 years old retirees or workers who really enjoy flying kites. We had this one guy who was 72, I believe, but he was so excited about soldering and starting drawing all these circuit diagrams.

And then another retiree just loved showing off his kites to everyone who attended the workshops.

LU STOUT: Now I understand you also also consider your project as a work of public art. So how do you describe what the project looks like, especially when it's in full flight, and what does it feel like to be part of?

WANG: It's -- it's really interesting and exciting, because -- so from the ground when you're looking up there's almost like there's a kite flash mob in a way, because the sky is just filled with all these kites. And then when you're on the ground it's very, very community oriented. People just talk to each other.

And also to launch the kites you need two people. And so you start getting a lot of people who were just watching the kites being flown who become interested and start talking to you and help you get the kites up.

LU STOUT: Now on your website, your group says this, quote, "urban air quality is a serious issue that affects rapidly industrializing cities globally. And within Beijing as the capital of China it is an issue kept quiet by the government under fear of criticism and protests from the public.

So Xiao, I want to have to ask you, have you encountered any problems from Chinese authorities with this project?

WANG: We've had a little bit, but it's actually -- I think because it is a public art project, I think it's not seen as threatening in a way. It's not so much a scientific paper that's being done that will be published to the rest of the world.

LU STOUT: Yeah. I mean, and I can see that you're sort of towing the line. So I mean, do you fear that you're on sensitive ground here?

WANG: I think initially we weren't sure how deep the water was in one sense. But I think as we've worked through the project and as we've seen, you know, the kind of people who come to our workshops, it's hard to imagine the government getting really upset with a group of like retired guys who enjoy flying kites.


LU STOUT: Xiaowei of FLOAT Beijing there.

Now air quality is also a major concern here in Hong Kong. Earlier this month we saw the worst pollution in two years. You can see the thick layer of haze in this photograph.

Now a typhoon in the region was blamed for creating conditions that trapped smog, but this is not an isolated incident. In fact, Hong Kong's government reported a record air pollution levels last year. And one out of every five days saw a high reading.

Poor air quality has hit Hong Kong's ranking on an annual list of livable world cities. The government has proposed new guidelines for tracking the city's air quality.

You're watching News Stream. And up next, move over Justin Bieber, it is all about South Korean rapper Psy, the man behind the sweet moves up Gangnam style. After the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now a penguin in Japan has become quite the escape artist not once, not twice, but three times the three year old penguin chick has found a way out of its enclosure at the zoo. And it was finally captured in a pond 200 meters away.

Now here is a close-up of the runaway chick whose gender is unknown, by the way. And zookeepers say it will spend time indoors to reflect on its behavior before being allowed back outside in the penguin habitat.

Now he is not your average South Korean singer, but Psy's unique style has catapulted him to international fame. Now his music video Gungnam Style has been viewed more than 45 million times online. Now Paula Hancocks introduces us to the man behind the horse dance.


PAUL HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Uncool just became cool. This horse riding dance by Korean rapper Psy is the reason why.

"There's a saying in Korean," says Psy, "let's ride a horse. It means let's have a drink and have some fun, hence the dance."

Psy, short for psycho, is a slight departure from South Korea's usual ultra groomed musical export.

"I think foreigners think I'm funny," he says, "the way Korean people think Austin Powers and Mr. Bean are funny. There's no language barrier."

HANCOCKS (on camera): Psy's hit song "Gangnam Style" refers to this affluent neighborhood. It's considered to be the Beverly Hills of Seoul, and it is filled with expensive brands and trendy people.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Usually associated with a more moody, chiseled look, Psy has turned the idea of Gangnam on its head.

"I'm crazy about music," he says. "Crazy about the stage, crazy about performing and crazy about my fans."

And he has plenty. Thirty thousand fans turned up to see him last week in all his geeky glory. And they seem to be enjoying themselves. After a decade long career, it took just one unorthodox song to spiral Psy into stardom. What better way to burn calories. Some Seoul gyms are using Psy to work out.

"I'm a very bad dancer," this woman says, "but this dance is easy. Also, it makes me work out and sweat a lot and I'm smiling all the way through."

And in case you thought this dance was Psy's only skill, he adds -- "just so you know, I can dance to Beyonce's song "Single Ladies" just like Beyonce." After his impersonation of Lady Gaga and her hit "Poker Face," uncanny.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


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