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Red Cross Head Discusses Humanitarian Aid With Syrian President; Hillary Clinton Heads To Asia For APEC Summit; Leading Women: Freda Lewis Hall

Aired September 4, 2012 - 08:00   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 as hundreds more are killed in fight across the country, the head of the Red Cross arrives to deal with the crowing humanitarian crisis.

Democrats prepare to make their pitch to the American public to reelect Barack Obama.

And the South Korean cop who wouldn't give up becomes a viral video star.

By any measure, the scale of the fighting taking place in Syria right now is staggering. The daily death toll is routinely in the triple digits. And the violence knows no boundaries as the story of one young victim makes tragically clear. And a warning, our next report contains images that are extremely disturbing as our Nick Paton-Walsh takes us inside the battleground city of Aleppo.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Aleppo's streets, a truck races through traffic. We follow them, because we've seen a man leap inside carrying a limp little girl in his arms. But, perhaps because our car is new, he now rushes towards us for help.

Renault is full.


Quick, quick.


PATON-WALSH: "Go to the hospital," he says, "guys, she's choking."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's happened.

PATON-WALSH: "She was on the balcony at home when a bullet struck from nowhere," he explains. She's struggling to breathe. A bullet has hit her cheek.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, here, here, here. Here, here.

PATON-WALSH: At the hospital, the doctors move to clear her airway. They think she'll live. But this under equipped rebel hospital can't treat her fully.


PATON-WALSH: So they make a tough decision, to send her across the front lines to a better equipped government hospital where we can't go.

This is where the bullet entered her home. Across the street is a cemetery and tall buildings, all inside rebel territory. But snipers work everywhere. This wall has left no one safe.

The grandmother saw it all.

"She was in her mother's lap when it entered here. We saw blood. Then she grimaced, screamed for mother, and then went silent," she says.

Given the trajectory of the bullet, it's likely it was fired from the other side of the cemetery from one of those tall buildings over there. It's unlikely the gunman would have seen his target. But it is an example of what many say here is the horror visited upon normal civilians every day.

The children know what happened.


PATON-WALSH: They find the knocked out tooth, but not the bullet that hit Rena (ph).

They to go visit her, believing the worst is behind them. It is hard to understand why a sniper would fire into a residential home unless to terrify civilians in rebel areas.

Yet the next morning we learned she was taken to two government hospitals. None of the doctors were able to remove the bullet, relatives tell us, which was stuck in her throat. Rena (ph) died. Her body brought home and buried in the cemetery that sat between where the gunman probably fired from and her home.


LU STOUT: A devastating report.

Now Nick Paton-Walsh who brought us that little girl's story has just left Aleppo. He is in the Turkish city of Hatai (ph) and he joins us now.

Nick, are we any closer to knowing who shot and killed four year old Rena (ph)?

PATON-WALSH: It's impossible to know definitively, but a medic traveling with the CNN crew, has decades experience in the military. And his assessment was the trajectory of the bullet made it pretty much impossible for it to have been fired in anything other than a deliberate fashion from one of the tall buildings away across the cemetery from that particular apartment.

It's the angle in which it came in and the angle of the hole in the glass that lead him to that conclusion. Now we have to work out whose motivation would it be to make that particular shot.

It would have been fired from inside rebel held territory, but it's entirely possible that there are many men, known as Shabiha, kind of militia that are loyal to the Assad forces who may deploy men in areas like that. And it's entirely possible, too, according to many of the people living in that area, that part of the tactics to terrify civilians in these rebel held areas may including firing randomly into residential areas.

They have no definitive proof, but the balance of probability was that this was a deliberately fired shot and it may have been intended, as it did, to absolutely petrify people living in rebel loyal areas, Kristie.

LU STOUT: The terror and the threat of snipers, their work is everywhere in this war. So how do civilians go about their daily lives and avoid getting killed?

PATON-WALSH: Well, it's fear that's the main factor here. I mean, there aren't enough snipers for every occasion in which civilians tell you there is a sniper down the street for that to be the case. A lot of the time they're terrified because people had previously heard gunfire coming down the street in question. But the effect is the same.

There's much of the city that's impassable for civilians. They scuttle through open areas, trying to protect themselves by moving fast in case there is a sniper there. And the majority of people believe those snipers are loyal to the Assad forces.

It's a fairly clear pattern we saw over five days in the city of more or less indiscriminate violence being inflicted upon the civilian population. The only motivation we could really see from that being to terrify people in areas loyal to the rebels to perhaps change their allegiance, to perhaps get tired of rebel forces. At the end of the day, people really living under the fear of these shots from snipers, of airstrikes when jets pass low, of helicopter gunships overhead. And then at night, this ominous, constant sound of thud in the distance, artillery, mortars, the whistle overhead as shells often passed over our heads at night, all leaving a population there, millions of people frankly traumatized only really after just over a month of this conflict hitting that urban center -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nick Paton-Walsh reporting. Thank you.

Now the United Nations registered the highest number of people fleeing Syria last month since the crisis began. Its refugee agency says in August alone more than 100,000 Syrians sought refuge in neighboring countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. That brings the total number to date to about 235,000.

In Damascus today the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross met with President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the growing humanitarian crisis. According to report, Mr. al-Assad said he supports the ICRC's work in Syria so long as it remains, quote, impartial and independent.

Arwa Damon is following developments as they unfold. She joins me now live from neighboring Beirut. And Arwa, the head of the Red Cross has met with al-Assad. What more came out of that meeting?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, all we know so far in a statement by the RC's is the meeting lasted for around 45 minutes with the head of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, really trying to underscore how critical it is to address this growing humanitarian crisis.

Bear in mind that the ICRC, working alongside the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been trying to press the Syrian government to allow more aid workers into the country so that they can broaden the scope of their operations quite simply because there are so many people who are in desperate need of anything ranging from medical care to baby's diapers, baby's milk, in some cases basic food supplies.

I've been speaking to some residents in the city of Homs, for example, that has been besieged for months now, they are saying, and they're not able to access even basic vegetables, not to mention more critical things that they do need.

Now the head of the ICRC is also, we are hearing, managed to visit one of the government hospitals in one of the areas close to Damascus. He is also expected to be meeting with the foreign minister, the minister of interior, other officials as well, really trying to press the case for the government to allow even more aid into the country.

Remember, too, in the past they have tried to, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to negotiate cease fires in certain parts of the country, like Homs for example, and both sides have not been adhering to those cease fires, making the delivery of aid an even greater challenge than it ever has been as well, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Arwa, Syria's refugee crisis, the UNHCR now says 100,000 refugees fled Syria in August alone. How are aid agencies and neighboring countries handling and coping with this growing crisis?

DAMON: They're really struggling, Kristie. And it's varying from country to country. Turkey has a fairly solid infrastructure that has been set up, although they, too, have been scrambling to establish even more refugee camps to deal with the influx of tens of thousands since the fighting in Aleppo broke out some weeks ago.

Jordan also building up massive, sprawling refugee tents in the desert.

Lebanon at this point in time not setting up any sort of official refugee camps. Those who are crossing into Lebanon, numbering in the thousands if not more, are trying to sort of make their way into the local population, in some cases piling families into individual homes. But this has been one thing that the UN has also been underscoring that there needs to be an even greater coordinated effort to deal with this influx of refugees, because it is only going to be growing in number despite the fact that yesterday the minister of information, the Syrian minister of information came out and was urging residents to come back home saying that they had nothing to fear.

But of course when you speak to the refugees in these various countries, for them right now that quite simply is not an option. And either way you look at it, whichever part of this incredibly complex conflict that you do look out, you really only see a disastrous situation.

LU STOUT: Arwa Damon reporting live from Beirut for us. Thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, the future of the Euro is taking center stage. All eyes are on a key meeting of the European Central Bank.

And saber rattling in the Middle East, what Hezbollah says could happen if Israel attacks Iran.

And the Democrats get ready to open their convention in North Carolina and we'll tell you what big name speakers the party has lined up.


LU STOUT: Now, in a sign labor unrest may be spreading in South Africa, there was another violent incident at a mine on Monday this time near Johannesburg. Security officers shot rubber bullets after workers who had been fired in an earlier strike staged a violent protest outside the gold mine. Four people were injured.

Meanwhile, controversial murder charges have now been dropped against 270 miners detained after last month's deadly shootings at the Marikana platinum mine. A judge released 47 of the miners on Monday, the others could be freed this week. And during that incident, police fired on a group of miners who were protesting for higher wages. 34 men were killed.

Now the European Union is put on notice by Moody's. The U.S.-based ratings agency is warning that the EU's top notch AAA credit rating is at risk. It has lowered the EU's outlook to negative. Moody's says the move reflects the negative outlook for several of the EU's top budget contributors Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. This comes as the European Central Bank prepares for a crucial meeting on Thursday. Diana Magnay joins us live from Berlin with more.

And Diana, can you tell us more about Moody's rationale and the reaction to Moody's warning?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the rationale is that the fundamentals in Europe don't look all that good, especially the outlook even for the powerhouses, the economic powerhouses like Germany. And investors really are also aware that the outlook for the EuroZone isn't fantastic. So I think Moody's warning is a warning that the markets have sort of taken on board.

As you've said a little earlier, though, there are a rash of meetings going on around Europe at the moment. The French and Italian heads of state are meeting in Rome. Angela Merkel hosted Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president here in Berlin a short while ago. She is going to be meeting with the Spanish prime minister on Thursday at the same time the ECB comes out with its proposal on the -- on its bond purchasing program, which investors are hoping is what the EuroZone needs to bring borrowing costs down for countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy. But the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warns don't expect too much from the European Central Bank on Thursday.

You have this conflict, really, between the ECB and the Germany Bundesbank who are very clear that they feel that the ECB cannot overstep its mandate. So it'll be interesting to see what Mario Draghi comes out with on Thursday. We expect Angela Merkel to be behind him. There's been a lot of speculation, though, in the press here in Germany that Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank, has been considering resigning if the ECB goes as far as some people think it might on Thursday to prop up the bond markets, Kristie.

LU STOUT: So we have a number of critical euro crisis meetings happening this week today in Berlin, the ECB meeting later this week. Back to Moody's decision to cut the credit outlook for the EU. It echoes and earlier decision made in July when it cut Germany's credit outlook to negative.

A question about Germany, just how exposed is the country to the region's debt crisis?

MAGNAY: Well, Europe is Germany's biggest trading partner. And German -- the German economy depends on its exports. So it is absolutely crucial that France and the rest of the EuroZone keep buying German products. You hear a lot of German middle sized companies, the Mittelstand, which is the backbone of the German economy, this (inaudible) say, but it's true, who are, you know, in a lot of trouble because the rest of the EuroZone can't afford to buy their products any more. So, yes, the outlook for Germany is critical because of its exports to the rest of the EuroZone.

China also an important partner, obviously. Angela Merkel went there to try and see if they could help with the EuroZone's debt crisis and keep on taking German exports.

But, yeah, an export based economy obviously in trouble when its neighbors can't buy its products anymore, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Diana Magnay reporting live from Berlin. Thank you.

MAGNAY: Now tensions between Israel and Iran are already running high. And now there's a new threat. The leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah warns that if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities, Tehran could retaliate by striking American bases in the region.

Hassan Nasrallah told the Lebanese TV station does he does not expect Israel to target Iran in the coming months, but he says if that happens Iran would fight back, possibly against U.S. facilities in the Middle East.

Now concerns about Iran's nuclear program and how to deal with it are increasingly putting a strain on Israel's relationship with the United States. Frederik Pleitgen has that.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the most controversial topic in Israel these day: the possibility of an Israeli airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities as prime minister Netanyahu sharpened his rhetoric once again, saying Israel feels abandoned by the international community in stopping Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): I believe that the truth must be said, the international community is not drawing a clear red line for Iran and Iran does not see the international determination to stop its nuclear program.

PLEITGEN: Netanyahu's words seem a direct criticism of the Obama administration's policies. Israeli media is even speaking of a disconnect between the U.S. and Israel on the nuclear issue.

Where the Netanyahu government wants more forceful action, Washington says sanctions should be given more time to work.

In a recent TV interview with Israel's Channel 2, the U.S. ambassador to Israel played down the tensions.

DANIEL SHAPIRO, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: There is definitely a narrative in the media right now, I'd say an overheated one, about tension between the United States and Israel over the issue of Iran.

I understand why people like to write those stories. And there's a new version of it every day. But the truth is they don't reflect the very close coordination and very intense work we've done together to address an issue that we perceive the same way, which is the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

PLEITGEN: The Netanyahu government is facing criticism at home. Many prominent Israelis warning the prime minister not to attack Iran is the U.S. is not on board.

At the same time, preparations continue in Israel. A recent civil defense exercise simulated dealing with the aftermath of a missile strike in Jerusalem. The soldier in charge said Israel is more prepared than ever for possible reprisal attacks.

COL. CHEN LIVNI, DF COMMANDER JERUSALEM: The level of readiness of the forces, the amount of training that we do, the type of training that we do, the length of the specific exercise that we do, what we challenge our soldiers and our officers within these exercises, everything is completely different level.

PLEITGEN: Training, Israelis hope, they will never need.

But every week seems to bring more heated rhetoric and stronger warnings from the Israeli government, leaving observers guessing how much longer Israel will stand by before taking matters into its own hands.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Jerusalem.


LU STOUT: The sports headlines are next on News Stream as a Russia club spends big on Brazilian star Hulk. Pedro Pinto will have all the details next.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

Now in the United States is it the Democrat's turn. Republicans held their national convention in Tampa, Florida last week and now the Democratic National Convention is getting underway in Charlotte, North Carolina. And that is where the party will formally nominate President Barack Obama to a second term.

Now the convention will see quite the lineup of speakers. They include: First Lady Michelle Obama who is set to speak later on Tuesday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton who will address the convention the following day, and the president himself is set to formally accept the party's nomination on Thursday night.

Now, with all the big names headlining the convention, you may not be as familiar with the keynote speaker, but he could be the party's next big star. Ed Lavendera reports.


JULIAN CASTRO : Hey, everybody. I'm Julian Castro.

ED LAVENDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First thing you need to know, it's pronounced Julian Castro. The Jay is silent, not Julian. But even if you get the Spanish wrong, don't worry, San Antonio's Latino mayor has never mastered Espanol either.

CASTRO: I understand Spanish better than I speak it. I grew up in my household with my mother and my grandmother, mostly speaking English. So I understand it. But speaking it back is always the challenge.

LAVENDERA: Julian Castro's grandmother immigrated to San Antonio from Mexico and worked as a community activist in San Antonio's Chicano movement. From those humble beginnings, Julian Castro and his twin brother went on to Stanford University and Harvard Law School. Now he's a rising star in the Democratic Party, tapped to give the keynote speech at the Democratic convention, the same speech an unknown Barack Obama gave at the convention in 2004.

You get talked about as someone who could be the first Hispanic governor of Texas, some people even suggested the first Hispanic president of the United States. Do you like that kind of talk? Can you handle that kind of pressure?

CASTRO: No, I'd be lying if I said that that's not flattering. Of course, it's flattering to anybody, but the biggest mistake that I could make or anybody could make in this situation, is to believe the press, to believe the hype.

LAVENDERA: Castro was elected mayor in 2009 and then reelected with 82 percent of the vote. Now he is 37, the youngest mayor of a top 50 city in the United States.

He's also used to the baby face jokes.

I mean, one of the funnier things that has happened to you when you first met President Obama, he jokingly asked if you were the intern.

CASTRO: That's right, yeah.

LAVENDERA: You being asked to do this speech, is that kind of making up for that jab?

CASTRO: No, I don't know. I don't know. But I accept, you know -- I always got the age jokes at different points in my career.

LAVENDERA: Is it still happening?

CASTRO: Every now and then, you know, but I'm starting to get the gray hair that I need from my three year old daughter and from politics.

LAVENDERA: This is the biggest speech of Castro's career. Latinos enjoyed prominent speaking roles at the Republican convention and Castro must convince Latinos to convince Latinos to stick with President Obama and turn out in big numbers.

There are a lot of Latino leaders out there who say that President Obama has not been a friend of the Latino community.

CASTRO: Under any score: immigration, education, health care, and any number of issues he has been a very effective advocate for the community -- for the Latino community.

LAVENDERA: He's in the midst of pushing for a small sales tax hike to fund pre-kindergarten programs for low income children back in San Antonio. Castro enjoys a squeaky clean political image, except for that 2005 San Antonio River Walk parade scandal, Castro was a city councilman and couldn't make it to the parade in time. So his twin brother jumped on the city council float instead.

Castro's political opponents said the brothers were trying to fool the massive crowd. Castro laughs it off now.

How can we be sure that you're going to be the Castro brother giving the speech tonight?

CASTRO: Well, he says he's a lot better looking than I am. So there you go. And the wedding ring is another good...

LAVENDERA: Actually his brother Joaquin Castro will introduce his twin at the convention. You'll see the Castro bothers standing side by side.

Ed Lavendera, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.


LU STOUT: And while the biggest names in the Democratic Party are meeting in Charlotte, the secretary of state won't be there as Hillary Clinton heads to China. We'll tell you more about her trip right here on News Stream.


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

The United Nations says more than 100,000 Syrians fled to neighboring countries in August, almost double the number from the previous 17 months combined. Inside Syria, the Red Cross chief met with the country's president hoping to approve access for aid workers who are trying to bring relief to civilians.

Now four people have been hurt in a new outbreak of violence at a mine in South Africa. The wounded were all former workers at a gold mine near Johannesburg. They were staging a protest at the site when they clash with security officers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. It's a least the second incident of unrest at a South African mine in less than a month.

Now the European Union has been put on notice by a ratings agency. Moodys says the EU's cherished AAA credit rating is at risk and has cut the bloc's credit outlook. Moodys says the mood reflects its negative outlook for several top contributors to the EU's budget: Britain, France, Germany and The Netherlands.

Now one top Democrat is far from the festivities in Charlotte, North Carolina where the Democrats are holding their national convention. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Asia. Now because of her position she says it is inappropriate for her to attend.

Now she is traveling from the Cook Islands to Russia ahead of this weekend's APEC summit. As Stan Grant tells us, what awaits Clinton in her next stop: China.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton touches down in Beijing at a time of rising political tensions across the region. China is involved in a tense standoff with U.S. ally with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. At the same time, it has similar disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam. Hillary Clinton trying to walk a careful line.

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States has a national interest, as every country does, in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea. As I have said many times, the United States does not take a position on competing territorial claims over land features, but we believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively together to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and certainly without the use of force.

GRANT: The U.S. may say that it is standing on the sidelines, but it's far from an innocent party in all of this. It is increasing its troop presence throughout the region. At the same time, China is boosting its own military, increasing spending, and also boosting the firepower of its navy.

Now there is much that divides these two countries in what is seen as the emerging and defining relationship of the 21st Century. China, of course, has issues with the United States over its economy. U.S. has problems with China when it comes to the thorny question of human rights.

But there is a lot they have in common.

As far as China is concerned, U.S. is its biggest export market. And from the U.S. side, China is its biggest foreign creditor. And this relationship, money does indeed talk.

Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: Now China says it hopes the U.S. keeps its promise to not interfere in regional territory disputes. As Stan mentioned there are a number of competing claims.

First, let's look at the East China Sea. Now the battle between Beijing and Tokyo is over this group of rocky, uninhabited islands. China calls them Diaoyu, Japan calls them Senkaku. They could hold valuable oil and gas reserves.

And then there's the South China Sea. Now China recently deployed a garrison of army soldiers to the Paracel Islands, tightening its grip on the string of 130 mainly uninhabited islands and reefs. Now Taiwan and Vietnam are also seeking access to the rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves.

Not far away, China and the Philippines are in a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal. Now Taiwan is also a player in the dispute over that tiny area.

And laying claim to the Spratly Islands, we have China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Now the Spratlies are prized for their strategic location, good fishing, and potential oil and gas reserves.

Now to sport now where one Russian club made the headlines in the football world by spending $100 million in one day.

Pedro Pinto joins us now from London to make sense of it all -- Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, football fans out there are wondering how can Zenit St. Petersburg spend a fortune when the transfer window is closed. Well, it is in many countries, but in Russia it's still open. And Zenit dished out $100 million on two players: Hulk and Axel Witsel on Monday.

The highly rated Brazilian striker Hulk arrives from Portuguese giant Porto for a fee that could total around $50 million over the course of his contract. The 26 year old won three Portuguese titles and also the 2011 Europa League trophy with his Portuguese club.

Now Zenit shelled out another $50 million on 23 year old Belgian international Axel Witsel who also arrives from a Portuguese club, this time Benfica.

Two major signings for the reigning Russian champions ahead of the upcoming Champions League campaign.

Now Zenit are one of the few clubs who spent big this transfer window. Chelsea here in England spent roughly about the same as you can tell by this graph, but they've been playing second fiddle to Paris Saint Germain. And PSG added to their transfer haul by signing Dutch defender Gregory van der Wiel on Monday, bringing their total outlay this summer to $194 million.

A lot of people wondering if financial fair play will curb this kind of spending for clubs at all. UEFA have started to scrutinize debt. The rules are long from UEFA and they're complicated, but to put it simply they're designed to make clubs spend only what they can afford and avoid clubs taking on huge amounts of debt.

Punishments for failing to comply with the rules includes exclusion from the Champions League and also other penalties in the coming years.

Now let's keep with this money theme. Rory McIlroy won over $1 million on Monday after picking up the Deutsche Bank title in Boston. Rory was locked in a final round battle with Tiger Woods and Louis Oosthuizen. The former world number one started well, carding four birdies on the front nine. He nearly got an eagle here on the par five seventh, but a birdie was good enough for him to stay in contention.

He was still trailing McIlroy throughout the day. The Northern Irishman was in fine form. He moved to 20 under after a birdie on eight that followed this fantastic approach.

Back to Woods. And the American continued to put himself in good positions only to miss a few key shots around the greens. A round of 66 would only be good enough for third place.

Oosthuizen had began the day with a three shot lead, but an unimpressive start meant he was overtaken by McIlroy and Woods. The South African got himself back into contention with a birdie on 15. He was still one stroke behind McIlroy.

Now on to 18. And you can tell how close McIlroy got to a birdie and getting the outright win there. Would a par still be good enough? Well, Oosthuizen with his birdie attempt to level the scores but he misses as well. That means McIlroy manages to hang on to win by one stroke. It was his third win on the PGA Tour this season.

If there were any doubts about who is the player to beat in a women's draw at the U.S. Open, then Serena Williams put a lot of them to rest. The three time U.S. Open champ trounced the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova 6-0, 6-0 on Monday, beating the world number 82 in less than an hour. The 30 year old Williams, a 14 time grand slam title winner and the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion has dropped just 12 games in four matches at Flushing Meadows this year. And she was never seriously threatened by her opponent at all on this occasion.

Now both the men's and women's world number ones will be in action later on Tuesday. Victoria Azarenka faces defending champion Samantha Stosur, while Novak Djokovic takes on Stanislas Wawrinka in the men's draw.

A rematch could be Andy Roddick's last as he vowed to retire after the U.S. Open. Juan Martin del Potro will be hoping he's the American's last career opponent.

A lot more to come on World Sport, but that's all from me for now. Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. Pedro Pinto in blue jeans, thank you. Take care. Nice look.

Coming up right here on News Stream, she is a leader in her field, a top dog at the world's largest drugs company. We meet a new Leading Woman after the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now in our Leading Women series this week we want to introduce you to a larger than life chief medial officer, a Dr. Freda Lewis Hall, the top doc at the world's largest drug company Pfizer. She started her career in medicine carrying for her own patience. Today, she helped to shape health care policy that impacts millions all over the world. Felicia Taylor introduces us to this Leading Woman.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT; A giant, an industry leader, a behemoth, all superlatives that can be used to describe Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, maker of Viagra and Lipitor, the best selling drug of all-time. It's a Pfizer headquarters in New York that we find an executive who also seems larger than life.

FREDA LEWIS HALL, PFIZER: Exactly. What's happening, darling. Here you go.

TAYLOR: Though with a softer side.

HALL: All right. Come on in, let's rock and roll.

TAYLOR: Whether it's discussing a website redesign...

HALL: I'm really excited about the prospect of this. People will come in. They'll search.

TAYLOR: A clinical trial...

HALL: People who participate in clinical trial so often say the reason that they're doing is to help.

TAYLOR: Or, her schedule.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then from D.C., you head out to L.A.

HALL: So I'm on the road quite a bit, which is for Pfizer almost every country that has a flag and a seat at the UN.

TAYLOR: Such is the life at Pfizer's executive vice president and chief medical officer, where she leads the company's medical and regulatory policy and patient safety around the world, a position she's held since 2009. The top doc at Pfizer is Freda Lewis Hall.

Dr. Freda Lewis Hall is not an overly guarded executive. She laughs easily.


TAYLOR: She forthcoming.

HALL: Never take a job you already know how to do.

TAYLOR: A confessed geek who studied brain biology and psychiatry.

You don't seem to have airs or walls around you at all, but you handle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business. How do you balance that.

HALL: I learned in medical school the words for it: equanimity under duress, which is the calm to make the right decisions and the confidence to inspire other people to get things done.

TAYLOR: Awareness of tough times came early for Lewis Hall. It's also what lead her to medicine.

HALL: I've wanted to be a doctor since I was six years old. And I had an uncle who lied with us who was a paraplegic as a result of being stricken by polio. And just watching the medical care that he received and the people that gave it inspired me. Then I knew right away that's that I wanted to do.

TAYLOR: And she hasn't looked back. Defying race, gender, humble beginnings and naysayers along the way.

Chief medical officer of Pfizer.

HALL: Chief medical officer of Pfizer. It's a great job, I have to say. It is an amazing job...

TAYLOR: But it's huge responsibility.

HALL: Part of my responsibility is the safe, be affected, and appropriate use of our products from the first time they touch someone in a clinic trial to the last time someone touches one of our medicines anywhere in the world.

TAYLOR: A lofty goal, but not always easy for the industry to do. Pfizer, like some of its competitors, has taken some hits over the years: drug recalls, even a lawsuit accusing the company of delaying a less expensive generic version of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor form entering the market, claims Pfizer vehemently denies and is vowing a vigorous defense.

Let's go to Lipitor, which was obviously enormous drug. Now it has to go into generic form. What does that mean to a company? I mean obviously a tremendous reduction in profits.

HALL: We support generics. In fact, we make generics. And we understand that at a point the patent will expire, it will become generic, and hopefully we will have brought new, innovative medicines into the hands of patients.

TAYLOR: In a male dominated industry, what's it like to be the chief medical officer? You must have men around you that probably question your authority. That's not easy.

HALL: I actually feel empowered as a woman in this position. And I as a woman feel like I have some very special attributes to bring to the table.

TAYLOR: In the coming weeks, find out more about Lewis Hall, how visits to the science museum with her father influenced her career.


LU STOUT: Your weather forecast is coming up after the break and the video gone viral of a South Korean super cop. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now right now at the Paralympics the quarterfinals of the women's wheelchair tennis are being played. And Esther Vergeer has just won her 467th match in a row. Earlier she spoke with Erin MacLaughlin about her drive to succeed.


ESTHER VERGEER, WHEELCHAIR TENNIS PLAYER: I think it's a combination of, you know, will, prepare team that helps me keep motivated. They just give me stuff to work on and it's a physical, mental equipment. You know, we can work on so many things. I think wheelchair tennis, or maybe disabled sports in general is quite young. And so there's still a lot to develop. And I just love the game. I love playing tennis. I love training. I love getting better and I see improvement every day I'm on court. So probably that's what motivates me, that's what keeps the fire going.

ERIN MACLAUGHLIN, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: And it's as much mental as it is physical.

VERGEER: It is. And maybe it is even more a mental at this point. Maybe for me, this Paralympic games is maybe the mental toughest games I've ever played, because there are so many expectations from so many people around me.

MACLAUGHLIN: What do you think will set apart this Paralympics from Beijing or Athens?

VERGEER: I think the awareness and the -- well, the media attention that we get and then probably the -- the -- how do you say the exposure we get worldwide. I think that's going to be the main difference in all the other games I've been to.

MACLAUGHLIN: Other tennis players when you talk to them, wheelchair tennis players, they talk about how intimidating you are. Do you find yourself intimidating?

VERGEER: I don't find myself intimidating. No, no. I hope I'm not intimidating, because I hope, you know, we all -- I don't know, challenge each other, push each other, or motivate each other to get better.

Yeah, I don't know. I hope they're like -- I've nothing to lose and I'm going to kick Esther's butt. But I don't know. I would like to know.

MACLAUGHLIN: If you had to give them advice as to how to...

VERGEER: I'm not going to.


VERGEER: Maybe when I retire I'll give them advice, because I probably know a game that would beat me, but I'm not going to tell them now.

MACLAUGHLIN: Do you think this streak is a good thing for your sport?

VERGEER: I don't think it's good for the sport. One hand, it's not good for the sport, because of course more competition and more countries and more women involved would be better. But then again with my streak and with all the media attention I get from that, wheelchair tennis gets publicity. so that's good on the other hand.

I'm hoping that I'm not scaring new girls from, you know, getting involved into sports, because maybe they think they -- you know, it's impossible to do or -- but, well, let's all hope for more opponents, more girls involved.


LU STOUT: And just to reiterate, Vergeer has won 467 matches in a row. And for an idea of just how incredible that is, last season Novak Djokovic had one of the greatest winning streaks in men's tennis history. He won just 43 straight matches.

And the record for the most consecutive wins by an NBA team is just 33, that's by the LA Lakers in the 1970s.

Now one of the only people to have a longer streak than Vergeer, Pakistani Squash legend Jahangir Khan. Now he won over 550 straight matches in the 1980s, a target Vergeer is steadily closing in on.

Now time now for a check of your global weather forecast. Mari Ramos is standing by at the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORREPESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, how do you even keep track of that many matches, right. That's amazing -- amazing record there.

You know what, let's go ahead and get started, let's talk about the weather here across Asia. And a couple of things that have been happening, we're still getting some heavy rain along coastal areas. A little bit drier, though, across the north and east, but notice the wet weather extending from the Korean peninsula all the way down to Shanghai and all the way down even as we had into southeast Asia. And even the southern parts of China here, Southeast Asia, very heavy rain and then also back over toward India.

I wanted to kind of go back in time a little bit. And remember how we had this just horrible streak across East Asia when it came to tropical cyclones. We had actually seven typhoons, six of which made landfall as typhoons across East Asia and one made landfall as a tropical storm.

One of the latter ones was Bolavin. And that one made landfall here across the Korean peninsula.

I want to show you some pictures that we have from when the storm made landfall. That was last week. And these rare pictures that we got from North Korea are really quite telling of the devastation and the damage that happened.

We got the pictures but not a lot of information as to what was going on. What new information now, North Korea announcing that at least 48 people died from Typhoon Bolavin in that country and 21,000 were actually left homeless, that's an incredible number.

Now they're saying that there's a problem with severe malnourishment to a largescale, this coming from humanitarian agencies that are working within North Korea, and this situation of this storm making landfall back to back behind another storm that made landfall just days after has really made a taxing situation here across this area.

Come back over to the weather map. You can see the damage there. Across the Korean peninsula in Japan we're still going to see more heavy rain over the next couple of days. So any amount of rain that falls I think is still going to be a problem, though it looks like most of the rain will be coming along southern portions of the peninsula and then back over toward western Japan.

As far as temperatures, not too many problems. A little bit on the cooler in Beijing at 19, that's not too bad. 28, hot and humid in Hong Kong there. And then across south Asia and Southeast Asia, look at this, so much going on on the map here. Heavy rain warnings also across India and back over toward Vietnam.

Let's go ahead and check out your city by city forecast.

I was just looking at this heavy rain warning across Italy that includes (inaudible), the Pia Monte, Lombardia, Sardinia, Cambria, and even Lazio. We have an area of low pressure that is still kind of hanging around here and that's causing some very heavy rain back over toward the east along the Adriatic. Cervia had 51 millimeters of rain. Rimini, look at that, 78 millimeters of rain and Brescia in the north, this is the Pia Monte region had, what, 48 millimeters in the last 24 hours. And the rain is still falling.

There is a threat for not only flooding, but also mudslides, because this has just been sitting here for so long and it continues to rain. So watch for travel delays, watch for some problems with this, and watch it to stick around.

The rest of Europe actually not doing too bad as you can see. We have some moisture here across the eastern portion of the continent, but everybody else staying dry. I know we could really use the rain across parts of central Europe. It still remains very dry there. And generally dry, also, as we head across Portugal and Spain, they could also use some wet weather. But I think for now everybody is still on the dry side except for this area right here across the central Mediterranean, not just Europe, but also North Africa getting some heavy rain.

Back to you, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, Mari, thanks for the alert there, take care.

And finally, we bring you the story of a South Korean traffic cop who went beyond the call of duty only to become an Internet here. Here's Paula Hancocks.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's been dubbed South Korea's John McClain, referring to actor Bruce Willis' police character in the action movie Die Hard.

A 34 year old traffic policeman in Pusan (ph) on the south coast refused to let a suspected criminal escape last week by hanging onto the windshield of his car for 25 minutes. The driver tried to shake Kim Hung- chul (ph) off by zigzagging through the back streets for 15 kilometers.

Kim said in an interview for the first 10 minutes I thought I was going to die, but then as he kept zigzagging the car did an illegal U turn and crashed into other cars, including police cars to get rid of me. I was determined to survive and catch him.

As the car stopped, Kim jumped off the windshield and chased him into the subway before apprehending him.

Kim had only stopped the man for a traffic violation when he suddenly drove away. It emerged later that he was also wanted on drug related crimes.

Kim has since been promoted to assistant inspector and a video of his heroics is going viral here in South Korea.

Kim does feel slightly sorry for what he's done, though, he says, because when he told his wife and his mother what he'd done, they both burst into tears saying he doesn't need a promotion, he needs to stay safe.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


LU STOUT: Intrepid and caught on camera.

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