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Bond Buying Program Announced By ECB President; French Prosecutor Gives Account of Horrific Multiple Murder in Eastern France; A Profile of Concert Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

Aired September 6, 2012 - 8:00   ET


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

And we begin in Syria where we continue our exclusive look inside Aleppo at Syria's bustling commercial capital, it's not a war zone.

A young girl is found alive after spending hours in a car with dead bodies after a shooting in France. And we're expecting to hear more details shortly from police.

And investors with details from the ECB president Mario Draghi about the Central Bank's expected bond buying plan, bringing his announcement as it happens.

In Syria, the fight to control the city of Aleppo is intensifying. And while CNN cannot confirm this YouTube video's authenticity, it is said to show rebel fighters firing back at government forces in Syria's commercial capital. Now activists say nearly 260 people died on Wednesday. At this hour we are hearing reports of 54 dead across the country.

In the continuing battle of words, just a short time ago Syria's foreign ministry condemned remarks by Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi who said it is time for Bashar al-Assad to go.

Now all this week, CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh has taken us inside the battleground city of Aleppo. And today, he follows a rebel unit as it fights block by block for control. Here is his exclusive report.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The new dead lie next to the old. Aleppo's old city, thousands of years in the making, tore apart fast.

We were with rebel forces as the push in to vital terrain and fight for Syria's commercial capital towards a key police station.

They mass in number and surge forwards.

Chaos, but also bravery.

They move to retrieve an injured rebel at the very front.

Somehow, the superior regime firepower let's them escape with their wounded.

When we rejoin them a few days later, they have fallen back the 100 feet they gained. Civilians in uniform, they're taking potshots at nothing in particular, goading their enemy with revolutionary song, even offering them a number to call if they want to defect.

But they can't advance again.

It's not just the regime's bomber jets that hold them back, up on the roof we see how snipers, deadly accurate here, can freeze the front lines.

In this historic part of the city, the rebels are trying to inch forward, but so often pushed back by government forces. In this case, held back by a government sniper positioned in the buildings opposite us.

Even from the rebel the rebel's sniper positions, the regime is close, but well dug in. Abdul Wahir (ph) was a conscript years ago, but is now an electrician. A sniper is shooting at them and he moves across the road to take him out.

But his discipline and marksmanship is the exception. He thinks he got him.

It's the older men here who recharge. Hakim (ph), a local commander, briefly visits. And tells me his brigade has given up on outside help from the west.

"This is our final word," he says. "We don't want any help from anybody. We're no longer waiting. And we have the means to topple the regime."

He outlines a plan to the men. Shortly afterwards, this bus appears. One rebel tells us they plan to fill it with explosives, then tie a prisoner's hands to the wheel and force him to die driving the bus bomb at the regime. But, even though we saw the brigade take prisoners earlier, that doesn't happen here and the bus leaves. A garbage truck arrives instead, which they plan to place down the street as cover for their gunmen, preparations for an operation.

Hand-made grenades, home made bombs, highly volatile canisters full of fertilizer explosives.

But the men still lack focus, shooting in the dark.

Later that night, we leave, but they drive the truck down the street. At dawn, it's in place in an advanced position.

Overnight, they've tried to gain the advantage by moving that dumper truck about 100 feet down the street past their last position, but still these men who've been unable to advance over this incredibly small amount of terrain.

The regime fires grenades, setting it alight. The rebels decide to fight back.

This is an anti-aircraft gun. They seem to prefer noise to accuracy. They un forwards to fire a rocket-propelled grenade. There too much spoke to know what they hit, more a game here than a fight to the death.

But this is a city of millions torn apart by every pitched battle for every 100 feet.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, Aleppo.


LU STOUT: Now police in France, they were trying to find out who shot and killed four people on a remote road in the Alps. The AFP news agency says three of the victims were members of a British family -- a father, a mother, and a grandmother. And French prosecutors are now speaking about this case. Let's listen in.

ERIC MAILLAUD, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Chevaline where this rather steep -- he was taken over by cyclist who was cycling faster than him. He carried on his route, reached the end of his route, whether it was a car park -- a car park in the forest and this was the starting point of a number of walks where people, both holiday makers and local people, would go on walks in the forest. When he arrived, he discovered a BMW vehicle with the engine on -- the engine of his BMW was on.

He could also see moving towards the front the vehicle a little girl who was collapsing before him. He rushed to help this little girl and put her in a lateral and safe position. And then the fire brigade and the police were alerted.

The cyclist at that time alerted the emergency services -- the cyclist who had overtaken -- the bike was thrown into a corner of the car park and the cyclist had clearly died.

He then walked around the vehicle. He smashed the window of the car on the driver's side -- or I should point out this is a British car and so the steering wheel is on the other side, on the right side. There was a man at the steering wheel, two women behind: one older woman, an elderly woman and another one who was a bit younger. That was what this witness could see when he arrived.

Then, quite clearly, the emergency services arrived and attended to the little girl. And then she was taken to the emergency services, the hospital of Grenoble.

At the time when I'm speaking to you, her health is improving, but she will need to have an operation. She's in an official state of coma.

It appears that she presents a certain number of brain fractions, especially to the brain, and what appears to be a bullet wound on he shoulder. So she was struck in an extremely violent way. That -- but her life is not in danger anymore.

You have all clearly heard about the second little girl who was discovered. I'm going to give you some information about this, the services with your presence here of a particularly horrible murder of four people and a little girl between death and life yesterday.

And so Colonel Goma (ph) will be able to speak to you more about this. He wanted to make the best available of the inquiry services, investigation services, on a departmental level, technical support, criminal forensic support. With this specialized unit attached to a research institute of the Jandamerie (ph), the prison at St. Amery (ph).

Three of them have been sent to the area and others are arriving in the vehicle. Need to understand that when we're dealing with such an important crime scene, apart from the human (inaudible) and the fact that this little girl has been saved the second we found is above all that is our role as professionals in this inquiry, that they should not be any outside contamination that we have to resolve this as best as possible. It is not conceivable that we rush towards the vehicle and touch bodies.

In which case we would have found the little girl much sooner. Otherwise, there's a risk of never finding the authors of this crime. And this is an important element also.

At the time of the intervention of the inquiry services around for, nothing made it possible to know there were other people apart from the four adults who died and the little girl, nothing could leave us to believe this.

And then we could see that it was a British number plate who its owner was and then we carried out this inquiry and thus were able to know that the owner of the vehicle and what we considered being extremely careful could be his family. But the driver of the vehicle and what could be his family were on holiday at a camping site in (inaudible). And a neighbor who become friends with this family, who spoke English and told us and told investigators that be careful there were two children knowing that there was only one child seat in the car and not two.

And so the investigators have no means of except when the information was given by this neighbor in the campsite that there was a second child. And so the information was known by the investigation services.

At 23 hours, we knew about the existence of this little girl, quite clearly there was an acceleration of movement respecting the crime scene as much as possible and the environment with the vehicle arriving around 10 minutes later we discovered this little girl who was completely immobile and who was stuck in the vehicle in the back seat on the legs of one of the women who had died a very large traveling bag. And this explains why she didn't -- was seen. She's four years old. And she was clearly taking care immediately by the investigators who took care of her security, her safety, examined her. But physically she's going -- she's very -- she's fine.

You don't have to guess how she is psychological -- but she is happy to have been found by the inquirers -- investigators who were able to speak English also as she asked very quickly where her family was. You can imagine this little girl, four years in extreme, deep state of sadness and despair, she has been sent to better psychiatric unit with the presence of a nurse throughout the night next to her.

Clearly, this little girl of four, she has to be protected in the same plies -- concerning the healing of her sister who is a little older and the information makes it possible for investigators to move forward. So that is -- those are the elements that we have at the moment.

Then, I know you've asked the questions, there have been a certain number of vehicles, particularly a 4x4. At this stage it is impossible for me to say more to you or be more precise, there's a certain number of vehicles that were seen by difference witnesses. It is impossible to go further concerning these different vehicles we really do not know.

As for the reasons for this absolutely horrible drama, we do not know quite -- clearly we all have hypotheses, but they only are hypotheses, we do not know why these people died in this place.

I have not yet spoken about the fourth person who died. I spoke about people present in the vehicle. I also said that next to the vehicle, there was a cyclist who died. In this current state of things, this has to be verified. It appears this was a cyclist who was cycling in that place. His wife was worried last night that he didn't -- hadn't come back from his cycle ride. And then the Jandamerie (ph) got in touch.

The wife showed a photo of her husband and that's how they were able to find out that it was just a cyclist who decided to go on that route.

This inquiry, which is being carried out, official inquiry, with more -- I say this very important information which is being set up with around 60 police officers about the means which are being set up quite clearly we're setting up everything which is humanly and technically possible from a forensic point of view in order to find all the clues, all the possible traces. What we can say at this very moment that three of the four people who died were hit by missiles, by bullets, three of the four.

As for the precise cause of death, we need to wait at the Grenoble Institute on Friday afternoon, tomorrow afternoon three of the four people were struck by missiles.

The oldest woman, the younger woman, all these operations are still taking place concerning the cause of death, only an autopsy will be able to reveal the -- what's happened.

All we can do now, we do not know there are very things that we can presume, there are professionals who are looking into this who will have an idea. We need to wait for expertise. But we believe that it was an automatic pistol as well as material which was found outside the vehicle, projectiles which have been found, a large number of shots, 15. It appears to be automatic gunfire.

It's a little complicated to give all of the results we need to study the marks. We need to carry out detailed, in depth analysis. I said they were shot by bullets in the head.

Only the autopsy will make it possible with the information I can I've you is to see this from the outside.

The fourth person at the moment, his body is still in the vehicle. There's no visible trace for the moment. We don't know why this person died.


MAILLARD (through translator): I don't know if we can answer this question.


It's impossible to say. It's strictly impossible to say. We need to wait for logistical analysis if this was done simultaneously or virtually simultaneously we'll know who died first -- suppose this.


MAILLAUD (through translator): I do not have any opinion about this coincidence. The police services were informed, there were various witnesses. We need to -- the former professional forces, some of them very solid knowledge and an extremely quick reflex to put this little girl into a place or a position where she was safer is the resting or trying to overcome his emotion.

LU STOUT: Some chilling details there from prosecutor from Eric Maillard on the shooting in eastern France that killed four adults, three family members, and one cyclist. The shooting also wounded a seven year old girl. Now the prosecutor says that that girl's life is not in danger any more.

Now a second little girl was discovered unharmed amid the corpses a four year old girl. And she was discovered many hours after the shooting. And on that, the prosecutor said nothing made it possible to know that there would be others alive. And also added that the four-year-old girl is being treated in a psychiatric unit.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead we are also expecting to hear from this man, the European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi. And investors will be listening for new action to ease the EU debt crisis. Stick around.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And in South Africa there has been some progress in ending the four week strike by miners at the Marikana platinum mine. Now three unions have signed a deal with management to return to work. And the company, Lonmin, says given the 44 people who have already lost their lives to the labor dispute in Marikana we hope that this will help to bring peace and stability. And the company goes on to say it remains hopeful that the other parties will sign the peace accord. But AMCU, the union still holding out, says it is not interested in anything aside from higher wages.

Nkepile Mabuse joins us now live from Marikana. And Nkepile, we have a deal, but how much tension is still there at the mine?

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kristie, there's still a very heavy police presence here. Of course, following yesterday's events when thousands of striking workers marched to one of Lonmin mine's shops. They were threatening management, saying that they would kill management and kill those who decide to go back to work. And there were even threats that they would torch the shaft at which they used to work.

And of course in the early hours of this morning a peace accord was signed, but it was signed by three unions who have always agreed that workers should return to work. ANCU, the new militant union that's representing many of these striking miners is still saying if the miners don't get the 12,500 grand a month that they demand, that's about $1,500 U.S. dollars a month, they're not going to go to work -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, this is a multifaceted dispute. You have the union rivalry. You have this demand for higher wages, but also politics. You have the South African activists and politician Julius Malema (ph). He has been rallying the workers.

Nkepile, what role is politics playing in this mine dispute?

MABUSE: Well, politics is playing a huge role in what's unfolding here in South Africa. Actually, the minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, is actually at the moment in the UK trying to reassure investors, but at the same time expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema (ph) has been going from mine to mine telling miners that they should demand this 12,500 rand a month and if they don't get that they should make the mining industry in South Africa ungovernable. He's been accused by many of inciting these miners. Also he's a supporter of mine nationalization. And he says that's the only solution to the miners' problems -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Nkepile Mabuse, joining us live at the Marikana mine. Now the strike in its fourth week.

Now let's go live to Frankfurt now. The European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is speaking. Let's listen in.

MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: I will try to read the statements without all your cameras clicking. That would be the best.

So, can I -- I'm sorry, can I read the statement without the cameras clicking and -- as we usually do. Yes?


OK. So, huh?

Ladies and gentlemen, the vice president and I are very pleased to welcome you to our press conference.

We will now report on the outcome of today's meeting of the governing council which was also attended by the president of the euro group Prime Minister Juncker and by the commission Vice President Mr. Rene (ph).

Based on our regular economic and monetary analysis we decided to keep the ECB interest rates unchanged owing to high energy prices and increases in indirect taxes in some euro area countries, inflation rates are expected to remain above 2 percent throughout 2012, to fall below that level again in the course of next year and to remain in line with price stability over the policy(inaudible) horizon.

Consistent with this picture, the underlying pace of monetary expansion remains subdued. Inflation expectations for the euro area economy continue to be firmly anchored in line with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below, but close, to 2 percent over the medium term.

Economic growth in the euro area is expected to remain weak. With the ongoing tensions in financial markets and heightened uncertainty weighing on confidence and sentiment. A renewed intensification of financial market tensions will have the potential to affect the balance of risks for both growth and inflation.

It is against this background that the governing council today decided on the modalities for undertaking outright monitoring transactions, OMTs, in secondary markets for sovereign bonds in euro area.

As we said a month ago, we need to be in the position to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism in all countries of the euro area.

We aim to preserve the singleness of our monetary policy and to ensure the proper transmission of our policy stance to the real economy throughout the euro area. OMTs will enable us to address severe distortions in government bond markets, which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the price stability of the euro.

Hence, under a proper conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive sin areas (ph) with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area.

Let me repeat what I said last night. We act strictly within our mandate to maintain price stability over the medium term. We act independently in determining monetary policy. And the euro is irreversible.

In order to restore confidence, policy makers in the euro area need to push ahead with great determination with fiscal consolidation, structural reforms to enhance competitiveness and European institution building.

At the same time, governments must stand ready to activate the EFSF ESM in the bond market when exceptional financial circumstances and risks to financial stability exist with strict and effective conditionality in line with the established guidelines.

The adherence of governments to their commitments and the fulfillment by the EFSF ESM of their role are necessary conditions for our outright transactions to be conducted and to be effective.

Details of the outright monetary transactions are described in a separate press release which I'm going to read shortly.

Furthermore, the governing council took decisions with a view to ensuring the availability of adequate collateral in the euro system refinancing operations. The details of these measures are also elaborating in a separate press release, which I'm going to read shortly.

Let me now explain our assessment in greater detail starting with the economic analysis. A recently published statistics indicate that euro area real GDP contracted by 0.2 percent quarter on quarter in the second quarter 2012 following zero growth in the previous quarter.

Economic indicators point to a continued weak economic activity in the remainder of 2012 in an environment of heightened uncertainty. Looking beyond the short-term, we expect the euro area economy to recover only very gradually. The growth momentum is expected to remain dampened by the necessary process of balance sheet adjustment in the financial and non- financial sectors, by the existence of high unemployment and by an uneven global recovery.

The September 2012 ECB staff macroeconomic projection for the euro area foresee annual real GDP growth in a range between minus 0.6 percent and minus 0.2 percent for 2012 and between minus 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent for 2013.

Compared with June 12, 2012 euro systems staff macroeconomic projects, the ranges for 2012 and 2013 have been revised downwards.

The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro are assessed to be on the downside. They relate in particular to the tensions in several euro area financial markets and their potential spillover to the euro area real economy. These risks should be contained by effecting action by all euro area policymakers.

Euro area annual HICP inflation was 2.6 percent in August 2012 according to euro stats flash estimate, compared with 2.4 percent in the previous month. This increase is mainly due to renewed increases in euro denominated energy prices.

On the basis of current figures, or current future prices for oil, inflation rates could turn out somewhat higher than expected a few months ago, but they should decline to below 2 percent again in the course of next year.

Over the policy relevant horizon, in an environment of modest growth in the euro area and well anchored long-term inflation expectations, underlying price pressures should remain moderate.

The September 2012 ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area foresee annual HICP inflation in a range between 2.4 and 2.6 for 2012 and between 1.3 and 2.5 for 2013. These projection ranges are somewhat higher than those contained in the June 2012 euro systems staff macroeconomic projections.

Risks to the outlook for price developments continue to be broadly balanced over the medium term. Upside risks pertain to further increases in indirect taxes owing to the need for fiscal consolidation.

The main downside risks relate to the impact are weaker than expected growth in the euro area, particularly resulting from a further intensification of financial market tensions and its affects on the domestic components of inflation.

If not contained by effective action by all euro area policymakers, such intensification has the potential to affect the balance of risks on the downside.

Turning to the monetary analysis, the underlying pace of monetary expansion remains subdued. The annual growth rate of M3 increased to 3.8 percent in July 2012, up from 3.2 percent in June. The rising M3 growth was mainly attributable to a higher preference for liquidity as reflected in the further increase in the annual growth rate of the narrow monetary aggregate M1 to 4.5 percent in July from 3.5 percent in June.

The annual growth rate of loans to the private sector remained weak at 0.5 percent in July. Annual growth rate in MFI loans to both non-financial corporations and households remain subdued at minus 0.2 percent and 1.1 percent respectively for financial corporations and households.

To a large extend, subdued long growth reflects a weak outlook for GDP, heightened risk aversion and the ongoing adjustment in the balance sheets of households and enterprises all of which weigh on credit demand. Furthermore, in a number of euro area countries the segmentation of financial markets and capital constraints for banks continue to weigh on credit supply.

Looking ahead, it is essential for banks to continue to strengthen their resilience where this is needed, the (inaudible) of banks' balance sheets will be a key factor on facilitating both an appropriate provision of credit to the economy and the normalization of all funding channels.

To sum up, the economic analysis indicates that price developments should remain in line with price stability over the medium term. A crosscheck with the signals from the monetary analysis confirms this picture.

Although, good progress has been made, the need for structural and fiscal adjustments remain significant in many European countries. On the structural side, further swift and decisive product and labor market reforms are required across the euro area to improve competitiveness, increase adjustment capacities, and achieve higher sustainable growth rates.

These structural reforms will also compliment and support fiscal consolidation and that sustainability.

On the fiscal front it is crucial that governments undertake all measures necessary to achieve their targets for the current and coming years. In this respect, the expected rapid implementation of the fiscal compact should be a main element to help strength and confidence in the soundness of public finances.

Finally, pushing ahead with European institution building with great determination is essential.

Now, I will now read the technical features of outright monetary transactions.

As announced on the 2 of August, 2012 the governing council of the European Central Bank has today taken decisions on a number of technical features regarding the euro system outright transactions in the secondary sovereign bond markets that aim at safeguarding an appropriate monetary policy transmission and a singleness of the monetary policy.

These transactions will be known as outright monetary transactions and will be conducted within the following framework: first, conditionality. A necessary condition for outright monetary transactions is strict and effective conditionality attached to an appropriate European financial stability facility dash European stability mechanism. So EFSF-ESM program.

Such programs can take the form of a full EFSM-ESM macroeconomic adjustment program, or a precautionary program called enhanced conditions credit line, ECCL provided that they include the possibility of primary market purchases by the EFSF and possibly later the ESM.

The involvement of the IMF shall be sought also for the design of country specific conditionality and the monitoring of such program.

The governing council will consider outright monetary transactions to the extent that they are warranted from a monetary policy perspective as long as program conditionality is fully respected and terminate them once their objectives are achieved on, or when the reason non-compliance with the macroeconomic adjustment of the precautionary program.

Following a thorough assessment, the governing council will decide on the start, the continuation or end the suspension of outright monetary transactions in full discretion and acting in accordance with monetary policy mandate.

And this is for conditionality.

Now the coverage. Outright monetary transactions will be considered for future cases of EFSF-ESM macroeconomic adjustment programs or precautionary programs as specified above. They may also be considered for member states currently under a macroeconomic adjustment program when they will be regaining bond market access.

Transactions will be focused on the shorter part of the (inaudible) and in particular on sovereign bonds with a maturity of between one and three years.

No (inaudible) quantitative limits are set on the size of outright monetary transactions.

The third part concerns the creditor treatment. The euro system intends to clarify in the legal act concerning outright monetary transactions that it accepts the same (inaudible) treatment as private or other creditors with respects to bonds issued by euro area countries and purchased by the euro system through -- of outright monetary transactions in accordance with the terms of such bonds.

Fourth part is about sterilization. The liquidity created through the outright monetary transactions will be fully sterilized. Then we have transparency, aggregate outright monetary transactions, holdings and their markets values will be published on a weekly basis. Publication of the average duration of the outright monetary transactions holdings and the breakdown by country will take place on a monthly basis.

LU STOUT: All right. And that was ECB president Mario Draghi speaking in Frankfurt. He announced at the beginning that the ECB interest rate is unchanged. He said, quote, economic growth in the euro area is expected to remain weak, but insisted that the euro is irreversible. And it gave details on the ECB's bond buying plans, something that he calls OMT bong buys. We're going to get details on that in a second with our Jim Boulden.

Of course we know that Draghi, he has pledged in the past to do what ever it takes to end the crisis, but is it enough?

Jim Boulden joins us now live with analysis from London. And Jim, your thoughts, did Draghi's measures go far enough. And can you explain it for us.


Well, it's exactly how it's been leaked over the last few days. I think what's most interesting is this fits exactly what we have been hearing for the last few days the ECB was going to do, so the markets were being primed, the German taxpayers were being primed, investors were being primed to this bond buying program. Mr. Draghi making it very clear that it's strictly within our mandate. What he meant by that is we are allowed to do this based on the treated that created the ECB in the first place. There's been a lot of debate on that subject.

But basically what the ECB will do is if a government goes to the bailout fund and says we need help, part of that help can be the European Central Bank going into the secondary bond market and buying short dated bonds.

What does that mean? That means that the ECB will be using its funds, which are huge, to go into the market and compete with other people to buy these bonds. And of course if you have more people buying these bonds, more entities buying bonds, the yield should be going down. And the idea with that is that the long-term, the 10-year, the 20-year bonds, those yields should also be coming down. And that means it would lower the borrowing costs of countries like Italy and eventually Portugal and Ireland and Greece when they can return to the markets and hopefully help Spanish bond yields come down.

So Kristie the idea is, is that the ECB very politically tricky had to stay within its mandate, but do what it could do to help bring confidence back into the markets. It may be enough. It may be the bazooka in order to sort of warn off people who were out there attacking the bond yields of these southern countries, especially Italy, Spain and eventually if some country like Greece can get back in.

It's not going to change the budget deficits of governments, it's not going to end a recession. It's not going to erase employment or cut unemployment. He can't do that. The governments still have to do that and that's why he kept saying that governments need to continue to structural reform.

The point for that is, of course, as he's trying to warn countries as Germany has been warning them, we're not just going to give you this money and then you go away and not reform your governments and not bring down your budget deficit. You still need to do that, but he is trying to do what he can do. And this has taken months and months and months to work this system out.

LU STOUT: All right. Jim Boulden joining us live, thank you very much indeed. And of course we need to tap into market reaction a little bit later. We'll have that on World Business Today, but as Jim was saying it's already been priced in since details of this bond buying plan had already been leaked in the days leading up to the moment you witnessed just then.

Now you're watching News Stream. And year after year of practicing several hours a day has transformed this classical musician from human to hero. Get this story and his music ahead.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now he was the youngest finalist ever in the UK's young musician of the year competition and now he is the youngest classical musician that Deco records has ever signed.

In our Human to Hero series we bring you the music of former child prodigy Benjamin Grosvenor. And he talks to us about the passion, hard work, and sacrifice it takes to stay on top.


BENJAMIN GROSVENOR, MUSICIAN: There are concerts for which you have about half an hour you just feel pretty awful. During that time you're questioning why am I doing this to myself again?

When I walk out onto the stage this is the realization of weeks and months of work.


GROSVENOR: This has been a long process to get there, a lot of time spent just me alone in a practice room with a piano.

I think being a concert pianist is probably one of the most difficult things human beings can do. Because you have the physical aspect to it, to an extent, we're athletes using our fingers. And then you also have this sort of intellectual side of it, learning how to memorize pieces of music, and then there's the emotional side to it as well.

I had my first lesson at the age of five. I had no great desire to practice. And then some friends of school started playing. And I was spurred on to work by little (inaudible). And then I think from that moment onwards I gradually fell in love for playing for an audience.

Being good at it isn't just about talent, it requires a lot of work, a lot of time practicing.

There are really two sides to playing the piano, I suppose is the ability to just play the notes and ability to sort of find meaning in them.

Generally I practice about eight hours a day playing the same things over and over again to get them under your fingers and to get them in your muscle memory.

There are times I get very frustrated with certain passages. I'm very obsessive about them. And those moments I want to leave the piano alone.

To give one example, there's a passage here where we have thirds in the left hand. And that goes quite fast. And because of the nature of how the notes are spaced out, it requires rapid movement of the wrist. Something like that is unfamiliar and it's a passage which I haven't come across in other music recently. So it's something I have to work on further.

I think the ability to interpret a piece of music well is something that one can work on. It is all about complete control of the instrument to a certain extent and being able to get every sound from it that you want.

In a way the rhythm is written is like this. To me, that sounds to regimented. And so when I play this I like to extend this like at the end and to move through the rest of the bar. So it's going dat-dadadadayet, datdatdatdat. And so it's got a sort of lilt and a sort of airy quality to it.

And so I think that's an example of a way -- a place in which you don't really take the score literally.

I think if you want to be really good at something you have to accept that you have to make certain sacrifices. I think one of the greatest difficulties is the loneliness of the career. You're not part of an orchestra, you're not part of a group, especially giving a piano recital is just you on a stage playing to an audience and just you in a concert hall rehearsing.

And then you have critics at concerts and sometimes they say nice things and sometimes they say things that aren't quite so nice. But the bad ones sort of stick. I think really they -- the greatest pressure probably comes from me.

You spend all your time working so that everything is in the muscle memory. So that you're very safe when you go on stage, at least I do anyway. So everything can sort of happen without thought, because there's less potential for things going wrong.

I think now what really appeals to me about music is the ability it has to communicate emotions to people. I think that's what it's all about.


LU STOUT: And now before we go I want to end on a story that we covered extensively here on News Stream. It's a hit and run case that shocked China and the world. Now a court in Foshan (ph) has sentenced the driver who struck two year old Wang Ye (ph) last year. He received three- and-a-half years in prison. The accident was caught on security camera.

Now this footage, it was posted online and you can see Ye Ye wandering in front of a white van. She is hit, run over, and run over again by another vehicle. And more than a dozen people passed by the bleeding child and do nothing. She lay there for 10 minutes before someone moved her out of the way Ye Ye was taken to the hospital, but later died of her injuries.

The court says it gave the driver, Hu Jun (ph) a lenient sentence partly because he helped pay for Ye Ye's medical expenses. But many Chinese netizens say three-and-a-half years behind bars is not enough.

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