Return to Transcripts main page


Foreign Freedom Fights In Syria; Opium Addiction Growing Problem In Afghanistan

Aired September 20, 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 with an exclusive look at fighting in the country's commercial hub Aleppo. Where state TV reports a helicopter has crashed in the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Also ahead, millions go on strike across India. Shops, factories and schools are closed for the day to protest new economic reforms.

And Afghanistan's hidden crisis, what is being done to help families torn apart by opium.

Now the battle for Syria continues to rock the commercial hub Aleppo and also the capital. Syrian rebels claim that they have shot down a helicopter in the suburbs of Damascus. State TV simply reports it crashed.

Now meanwhile, opposition activists say at least eight people have been killed in Aleppo in fresh fighting today. They say dozens more have been killed across the country. And CNN has obtained video footage from a journalist who spent time with rebel units in Aleppo.

Now more now from Nick Paton-Walsh.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Aleppo, the fight is mostly Syrian to Syrian, street to street, but on the radio it's for us. A foreign fighter, he is Libyan,

He says he braves the regime's tank shells, because his fight for Libya compels him to also fight here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lived this moment you know, we felt this moment, so you know as it was in Libya. You cannot say this is not freedom fighters. They protest to go free. The governments around the world, I don't know why they only watch. They don't give us support. They don't give us a no-fly zone.

PATON-WALSH: LIbya got NATO's help, Syria for now gets his.

UNIENTIFIED MALE: He looks like Gadhafi, you know. He likes to speak, not speaking, he likes to ark, you know barking. For one, one, two hours. He never stops, he never stops lying.

PATON-WALSH: The Syrian regime blames foreign radicals for the uprising trying to conjure up fears of a takeover by Islamist extremists. While Faras embraces religion, he dismisses extremism and al Qaeda altogether.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I am only student. I left my, my money, my student, my family. We're not al Qaeda. We're not coming to broke this country, we came here to help.

PATON-WALSH: There could be thousands of foreign fighters in Syria, some radical, some not. While rebels may want battle hardened fighters here now, they may regret that when the extremists decide to say, says one expert.

AHMAD MOUSSALLI, EXPERT ON ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS: I think they don't have any benefit in having them, but I think at this point, because of their weaker weaponry and training and ability, they may need them to fight -- if you assume the fighting is going to be finished, I think they are left to stay. And what we might witness is something like Yemen where the foreign fighters will be able to control certain areas or cities.

PATON-WALSH: Faras does say he wants an Islamic government for Syria, but he wants to go back home, that's where he learns about loss. He still wears the shirt of his brother who died fighting in Libya. And in Syria, he's already lost a Libya friend to a sniper's bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sniper was shooting, one here, and the second was here, which is the one and the third one in the stomach. So you can see this.

PATON-WALSH: In the brutal Syrian battle for every corner, the foreigners here and the concerns they bring of radicalism might be attracting more attention than their numbers merit. But the UN believes their influence is growing and that some of it is radical. And that, as this war drags on, may well grow.


LU STOUT: And Nick Paton-Walsh joins us now live from Beirut. And Nick, in our report we follow Faras and we learn that he is a student from Libya, he dismisses extremism and dismisses al Qaeda, are most foreign fighters in Syria like him, or the UN fears are most radical elements that are radicalizing the rebels?

PATON-WALSH: It's very hard to give a comprehensive picture. Certainly it's fair to say most observers consider the foreign fighter influence in Syria to be less than some of the scare stories. They're lesser in number, lesser in influence, and frankly one actually pointed out to me it's important not to equate the phrase foreign fighter with extremist militant as many observers appears want to do.

The question really is how widespread are they amongst rebel ranks. And certainly in Aleppo where we were recently, they're not people you pump into on a regular basis. Yes, there are fears that there are militants in the ranks spread across this large part of the country who are affiliated with al Qaeda, many reports of that . But on the further extreme as well, people like Faras who denounce al Qaeda, don't even want to be Salafi, more kind of radical Islam in their own beliefs and are very clear they're simply there as a freedom fighter in their own words to try and assist the Syian people in a similar way as they experienced in their civil war in Libya.

So a really confusing picture. And certainly the UN's belief, I think, that one of the scariest aspects of this war is the potential role of foreign fighters to radicalize the rebels built more I think on a fear of the unknown than necessarily a comprehensive view of who is there.

Nobody really knows the full scale, the full level of the ideology behind these foreigners or precisely where many of them are from -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Nick, there are reports of this helicopter crash near Damascus today. Do we know exactly what brought it down?

PATON-WALSH: We don't. But of course the speculation and fears and claims from rebel sources will be that that was a result of their own fire.

The key battle for the skies over Syria is the absolute essential thing here. The regime will always have military superiority across the country while it can control the skies, while it can drop bombs or attack rebel positions or even civilians we see in many cases from the sky with impunity, the idea that the rebels are taking down more regularly helicopters, and other reports similar to this late last month, will of course inspire them to feel they might have the upper hand and of course remind the regime that it's the supplies and its ability to keep its air power going is tenuous, or at least not infinite.

But really it's always hard to pin down exactly the cause for significant crashes like this, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And also there are these growing concerns about arms deliveries from Iran to Syria taking place over Iraqi air space. What can you tell us?

PATON-WALSH: That's something which western intelligence officials have accused Iran of doing, supplying arms through Iraqi airspace. Iraq has rejected that. Those reports and suggestions were seized upon by U.S. senior senator John Kerry, who is the head of the foreign relations committee there, in which he was deeply concerned that Iraq might be permitting that to occur. And even at one point threatened to cut off potential aid to Iraq were that to be proven on to persist.

Of course it's key here how long can the Syrian regime forces persist? They are to a some degree pinned down in some parts of the country. They don't have infinite supply lines and I think the situation more is a case of less when can the rebels achieve a military victory over these much better equipped, better trained Syrian regime forces, when is the point perhaps when the Syrian regime might begin to run out of ammunition, might begin to run out supplies and then weakened through their own fault rather than necessarily facing a superior rebel force.

And supplies from Iran as some make the accusations that Iran denies, or from Russia as others have accused, but Russia has also denied, would be absolutely key to keeping that force healthy -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nick Paton-Walsh report live for us. Thank you, Nick.

Now a memorial service will be held in Libya's capital today for U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. They were killed when protesters attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last week.

Arwa Damon joins us now from Tripoli with more. And Arwa, I understand that both Libyan and American officials will be there at this memorial service. Can you set the scene for us?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it most certainly is quite somber across all of Libya as the government is trying to grapple with this investigation, figure out specifically who was behind that attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. They say that so far they still have question -- only questioned around 50 individuals, none of whom they say were specifically connected to this attack. The widespread thinking is that it was carried out by extremists, but as to how far they may have pre- planned this or was this simply a target of opportunity, that is what investigators are trying to determine. And of course which group was in fact behind it.

This attack was not an isolated incident. There had been numerous attacks against western interests in Benghazi, not to mention the attack that took place on the consulate itself in June, but following that attack on the convoys of the British ambassador, the head of the UN mission and a complex attack on the ICRC compound in Benghazi itself.

The U.S. for quite some says that it has been monitoring extremist training camps in the east some 300 kilometers, about 200 miles from the city of Benghazi itself. U.S. diplomats on the ground, the ambassador as well, we are hearing from various sources that they had been warned about this rise in extremism.

A source that CNN spoke to that is familiar with the ambassador's thinking says that he, too, in the months leading up to the attack had been expressing his growing concern about the rise of al Qaeda and of these extremist groups as well.

What is of great concern, though, is that the government at this point in time still trying to figure out, still trying to determine its strategy for taking on these various extremist groups, because they do admit to a certain degree that they don't necessarily currently possess the capabilities to take them head on and most certainly they do want to avoid a bloodbath if that is at all possible, Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, there were so many warnings before this violent attack took place last week in Benghazi. Give us the latest on the investigation into that attack. Have arrests been made? What's the latest?

DAMON: Well, we're hearing conflicting accounts from various Libyan government officials. The head of the General National Congress has come out in the past and said that arrests have been made, amongst them foreigners as well saying that they do believe that al Qaeda or individuals affiliated with, sympathetic to al Qaeda were perhaps responsible for it.

The prime minister's office is sort of taking the line of, look, we're still investigating this, we're still looking into the details of it, who may of in fact instigated it, who was specifically behind this. Was it a group or was it individuals within their group.

So at this point in time a week, more than a week after the attack took place there are still very few facts as to what may have happened, very few detentions of individuals, if any, who are specifically affiliated with the violence that then transpired.

A lot of Libyans are saying that at this point in time the onus really is on the government to take control. This nation in many ways at something of a crossroads. The Libyan government fully aware that it cannot afford to not hold those responsible for this attack accountable, but at the same time trying to determine exactly how to do that.

LU STOUT: Yes, the LIbyan government needs to take control of the situation. What is it saying about securing the country and disarming militias inside the country. Does it have a plan after what happened last week in Benghazi?

DAMON: Well, government officials that we've been talking to have been saying that they are working on a plan. One has to actually go back to what took place post revolution when you had these various revolutionary brigades, these armed militias that yes were responsible for bringing down the Gadhafi regime of course with the help of the NATO air attacks and other guidance that they got from NATO as well, but post revolution once the regime was brought down these entities were brought into, per se, the fold of the Libyan government, but many of them still operate independently and they have been largely absorbed as these individuals units instead of being put in through training, put in through the sort of measures or procedures that one would expect a national army or police force to go through.

The government says that it is working on a plan to try to weed out extremist elements within them, to try to weed out Gadhafi loyalists, but at this point this is one of the main challenges that the government does face, establishing a credible nationalistic security force that is going to be accountable to the government, but also perhaps more importantly operating fully under the orders of the government itself.

The government also fully aware that it does need to somehow reign in these fringe elements, again wanting to avoid a bloodbath, wanting to take the political route, but saying if they have to they will put the guns on the table as well, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Arwa Damon reporting live from Tripoli, thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream, and coming up next, Afghanistan produces most of the world's opium. And now it's dealing with a growing addiction problem inside its borders. We'll take you to the front lines.

Also, the latest from the CNN Freedom Project. We meet a woman in Tel Aviv who is helping rebuild lives shattered by human trafficking.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now this just in to CNN, Syria is making some stunning claims regarding a helicopter that went down in the outskirts of Damascus earlier today. Now state run TV says the helicopter clipped the tail of a Syrian airlines passenger plane. 200 people were onboard the plane. Now state run TV says no one on the plane was hurt and it landed safely at Damascus airport. Now earlier, Syrian rebels claimed that they shot down the plane.

Now to India where shopkeepers and opposition supporters have taken to the streets to protest against a series of government back economic reforms. Now many shops and schools are closed across the country. Some protesters blocked rail lines, others burned effigies.

And one of the biggest changes will allow foreign supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Tesco to sell directly to Indian consumers. And that has major consequences in a country where retail goods are sold largely in locally run shops.

Now Sumnima Udas has more from New Delhi.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Angry traders march through New Delhi streets urging retailers to obey the nationwide call the strike. They say their country has sold out to western corporate pressures after the government announced it would allow foreign supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Tesco to sell directly to Indian consumers.

PRAVEEN KHANDELWAL, CONFEDERATION OF ALL INDIA TRADERS (through translator): These companies come here, it will be impossible for small traders to compete. There are 700 million people who do these small jobs in India. So the real threat is to this country's manual laborers, the small traders, farmers, the poor who earn less than 20 rupees a day.

UDAS: On a normal working day, these busy streets account for more than 90 percent of India's retail sector and nearly 15 percent of the country's GDP. (inaudible) has been selling everything from rice to soap for the past 70 years.

It's a family run business. The third generation proprietor Mulchand Gupta is worried about the future.

MULCHAND GUPTA, SHOP OWNER (through translator): An ant will never survive in front of an elephant. Once Wal-Mart comes, there's no way small shops will be able to survive.

UDAS: Mohammed Gautam has been coming to this store for the past 20 years. He says no big supermarket will be able to match the services he gets here.

MOHAMMED UMAR GAUTAM, CUSTOMER : Sometimes if I don't have money, I don't need to think about any -- I have to rush to my home to bring money, they provide a very kind service.

UDAS: Analyst say as long as small traders offer this kind of service, they don't have to worry.

ANKUR BISEN, ASSOCIATE VP: The market is India is big enough. It's about $500 billion. And this (inaudible) market (inaudible) organized retail as well as mom and pop stores.

UDAS: The government says foreign retailers will help improve the supply chain of products from farm to shelves and create new jobs. But many here simply aren't buying it.

KHANDELWAL (through translator): If multinational superstores are really so good for the economy then why is America's economy in such a bad shape? If that can happen there, then what chance has India got so that when the multinationals come here everything will change for the better.


LU STOUT: Now Prime Minister Singh's so-called big bang reforms go beyond the retail sector. Now a cut to subsidies means that the price of gas is going up by more than 12 percent and that will affect drivers as well as people who use generators. And the government is also selling stakes in some state owned companies. And for the first time, foreigners will be allowed to invest in broadcasting and domestic airlines.

And again, the government says it is all in the bid to boost India's economic growth that has slowed to between 5 and 6 percent. And still, the issue of foreign retailers being so divisive, the government is leaving it up to individual states to decie what is best and only large cities will be allowed to welcome the big box supermarkets, at least at first.

Now coming up here on News Stream, trying to overcome the life of addiction in Afghanistan. We'll look at what beings done to help drug addicts in the country that grows 90 percent of the world's opium.

And we'll introduce you to Sister Aziza. She is helping to provide a safe haven for some African refugees who have fled to Israel.


LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.

Now Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world's opium, the main ingredient in heroine. And because the drug is so plentiful there, addiction is skyrocketed. Now Anna Coren shows us what some are doing to help. And a warning, her report may be difficult to watch. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a park in downtown Kabul, huddled under the trees, are a group of Afghans ignored by society. With the syringe in one hand, a vial of heroin in the other, this 28-year- old man begins a ritual that's been part of his life for the past seven years. He draws the liquid out. What's leftover, he drinks. And then he gets into position.

Health workers give him sterile swabs to clean his skin. He doesn't use the crook of his arm because his veins have collapsed. Instead, he chooses the back of his hand. For the next five minutes, he slowly pumps heroin into his veins. He then collapses with the needle still sticking out of his hand.

This is a tragic scene repeated throughout the country with up to one million Afghanis addicted to drugs. That's 80 percent of the population, double the world average. With Afghanistan producing 90 percent of the world's opium, the main ingredient of heroin, drugs here are pure in quality and very cheap

`Twenty-eight-year-old Reza injects half a gram a day, which costs around four U.S. dollars. He started a year ago after being introduced to it by a bad friend. He says he'd like to give up, but at the moment he can't. ??"Using drugs made me leave my home, my family," he tells me. "If I didn't use drugs, I would have a family, a good life."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will show you the...

COREN: Burns Visa runs a preventative drug program for (inaudible in Kabul. It's the only clinic that provides methadone, a substitute for heroin, but can only legally cater for 71 drug users.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would describe the drug addiction problem in Afghanistan as enormous and growing.

COREN: The clinic also helps addicts who walk in off the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is his first day that he has not used any other drugs. Normally he's ingested (inaudible).

COREN: He introduces me to 38-year-old Assadoula , who's been an addict for 14 years. The father of four says his family has had enough. "I want to use methadone until I forget drugs completely," he says. "I want to be a healthy person, to find a good way to start a normal life."

COREN (on camera): Two years ago there was a real sign the Afghan government and the international community were serious about tackling drug addiction in this country. A methadone program started, but two months later it was shut down. Officials saying they're still trying to work out the best form of treatment.

COREN (voice-over): According to the United Nations, it is, but that means little to the countless number of desperate Afghanis who can't access the methadone program.

Twenty-five-year-old Mesoma is willing to try a more basic form of treatment. She and her entire family, including her two young boys, are addicted to opium.

"I started to use the drug like a medicine for pain relief after my husband died. But when I became an addict, I had to search for a way to stop this." They're staying at Mother Camp, an organization founded by a local Afghan woman which tackles drug abuse through counseling.

"I feel shame and say to myself, why did I do this? Why didn't I think of my children, my future?"

A powerful motive that for now is keeping her addiction at bay. But for so many other Afghanis, that battle is lost.

Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul.


LU STOUT: Desperate scenes there.

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


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM and these are your world headlines.

Syrian state-run television says a helicopter crashed today in a Damascus suburb after it clipped the tail of a Syrian airlines plane. (Inaudible) Syrian ministry information and according to the ministry, the plane was carrying about 200 passengers. It says no one was hurt and the plane landed safely at a Damascus airport.

Earlier Syrian rebels had said that they shot down a helicopter.

In India, protesters have taken to the streets nationwide, including members of the opposition and retailers . They are angry over the government economic reforms and the changes will allow foreign supermarkets, such as Walmart and Tesco to sell directly to Indian consumers.

Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in wash. Suu Kyi was originally awarded the medal in 2008 while under house arrest in Myanmar. She was released in 2010 during a period of reform and now she's a member of parliament.

A German satirical magazine says it will publish an issue mocking, quote, "Islamophobia" next week, and it says it will include a cover illustration that could be interpreted by some as depicting Islam's revered Prophet Muhammad. And that could heighten tensions and prompt more protests like the ones today in Afghanistan.

Now demonstrators gathered after the French magazine, "Charlie Hebdo," published cartoons featuring a figure resembling Muhammad. They also were protecting an online anti-Islam film. The authorities say that the protests have been peaceful.

CNN has brought you some remarkable stories in an effort to raise global awareness about modern-day slavery. And through our Freedom Project, we've met a woman whose work in Tel Aviv is making a huge difference. Elise Labott met the tireless activist known simply as Sister Aziza.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a harrowing flight through the desert, thousands of African asylum seekers look to one woman as an oasis.

SISTER AZIZA, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: You can realize immediately when a person comes in for the interview how might they have suffered. You realize immediately.


LABOTT (voice-over): She was born in Eritrea as Azezet Habtezghi Kidane. In the migrant shelters of South Tel Aviv, she is known simply as Sister Aziza. Sometimes they call her Mother.

Listening to the migrants relive their journey through the Sinai, Sister Aziza found a pattern of abuse. Volunteering as a nurse with Physicians for Human Rights, she started to document their stories.

AZIZA: They want to tell somebody who can understand them, who can shout for them to become a voice. They tell you -- they tell us it's me that I control myself, not to ask them more, not to hurt them more.

LABOTT (voice-over): Over the past two years, Aziza has conducted some 1,300 interviews, tireless work, exposing shocking tales of kidnapping, rape, torture, forced labor and sexual slavery.

RAN COHEN, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: If anyone in the world today knows what is happening in Sinai, in the individual level of every -- and each and every story, this is Aziza.

LABOTT (voice-over): But her work doesn't end there. Sister Aziza accompanies those who seek her help along their path to recovery.

AZIZA: Sometimes they call me at 1:00 and (inaudible) I'm sleeping sometimes during my prayer time. But I have to be for them. It is because the wounds are here. The wounds are cured by the doctor, but the internal suffering, the internal wounds to here, it takes time. It takes strength. It takes faith. It takes courage. It takes a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sister Azezet Habtezghi Kidane.


LABOTT (voice-over): Earlier this year, the State Department honored Sister Aziza's work, crediting her patience and devotion in getting the migrants to come forward with first-hand accounts, shining a light on the previously unknown atrocities trafficking the Sinai.

COHEN: I think that Aziza is paying a very high individual price for her work.

After all these atrocities and after all what she hears and after all what we see here, there are many difficult things. It's Aziza who keeps everybody with their head up.

AZIZA: There is a strength that God give me and that strength of them, the victims. They're my community, my sisters, my staff around me, every it really gives me a lot of encouragement in order to come again.

LABOTT (voice-over): A servant of God, giving hope and a voice to so many of His children, who could have remained in the shadows -- Elise Labott, CNN, Tel Aviv.

LU STOUT (voice-over): And joining us Friday for the premiere of "A Stand in the Sinai," it is the powerful follow up for Pleitgen's award- winning documentary, "Death in the Desert." It debuts Friday night at 11:30 here in Hong Kong; that's 7:30 in Abu Dhabi.


LU STOUT: Now Google and Alibaba are in a war of words over Android. Google accuses the Chinese Internet giant of basing its new mobile OS, Aliyun, on Android. Alibaba says Google is wrong and it's not based on Android at all.

And this situation highlights a fundamental question, just what is Android? Now this Samsung phone over here shows what we commonly consider Android to be, a Google-made OS for smartphones and tablets. But Android is more than that. Now this e-reader from Barnes & Noble is also an Android device, but even that is not as odd as the next device.

This Motorola watch also runs a version of Android. Now the OS has been found in media players, e-readers, netbooks, even televisions. And that's because Android is open source. Developers can use it to build their own software on top of it. But that deep level of customization means not all Android devices are compatible with each other.

It may make sense an Android tablet app won't run on this watch, but some Android apps won't run on Amazon's Kindle Fire. Now it may be an Android tablet, but because it uses a custom version of the OS, it can't run some apps. Let's get more now from our regular guest.

Nick Thompson is the editor of; he joins us now live.

And Nick, Android, it is the world's number one mobile operating system. But is its openness its biggest strength or biggest weakness?

NICK THOMPSON, EDITOR, THENEWYORKER.COM: Well, it's both. The openness that Android has allowed it to get onto many devices has allowed Google to partner with all sorts of handset makers, so that there are all kinds of Android phones, cheap ones, expensive ones, big ones, small ones.

That's all great for Android. But it does lead to fragmentation and confusion and to fights like the one we're seeing right now between Google and Alibaba and Acer.

LU STOUT: Yes, let's look at Alibaba more closely. Now whether Aliyun, its OS, is based on Android or not, it won't be compatible with all Android apps. So why would companies like Alibaba go on their own? Why not work with Google?

THOMPSON: Well, really there are two forms of Android right now . There's kind of the totally open form of Android, which is what you see in those watches, what you see in your Nook tablet or Kindle tablet.

And Google says, hey, if you're going to do something like that, you can take Android, you can take the code, you can do with it whatever you want, go for it. Have fun. However, there's also something called the Open Handset Alliance. And those are the hardware manufacturers who make phones that we generally consider Android phones.

So you know, for example, at Samsung and Motorola and Acer. And Acer -- and what Google says is if you're part of this Open Handset Alliance, you can call your phones Android, all of our apps will work, we'll work really nicely with you, we'll give you new releases, all will be great. If you're not in this alliance, you're not going to get al these nice things from us.

So now Acer has said, hey, we want to be in this alliance, but we also want to use this Aliyun code, which is maybe based on Android, to build incompatible devices. And Google said no. If you're in our alliance, you can't build these things, right? So Barnes & Noble's and Amazon are not in the alliance; they can build outside of it. Acer is. So that's where the fight's coming from.

LU STOUT: Now Google's basically saying you can't have it both ways. Now the Android OS has been found in media players, in e-readers, in netbooks, in TVs. Does Google want to stop this fragmentation or does it like it? Is having Android in many devices a good thing for Google?

THOMPSON: I think it likes to have it in many devices. The kind of fragmentation it's really worried about is fragmentation within the main phone manufacturers, right? It doesn't really care if Android has used the power of my eyeglasses or my shoes.

You know, that's great they made this project; it makes the world a better place to let anybody do -- let a thousand flowers bloom in that way. But Android is Google's phone operating system. And if someone's going to make a phone, sell it as a phone, Android, Google's wants to be able to have some control over it.

The classic difference is Apple versus Google here, right? Apple builds its hardware, it builds its software. It's very clear what Apple operating system is and it's entirely optimized for a very small number of phones.

Google is trying to be kind of in the middle. It doesn't want, you know, phones to be totally unoptimized, totally confusing, totally different sizes. It wants to sort of have the phones that use Android to vary within a relatively small band. So the fragmentation it's worried about is phone fragmentation, but it'll let Android go into all these other things, if need be.

LU STOUT: Got it. Nick Thompson, thank you very much indeed.

Nick Thompson with

We'll see you next time.

THOMPSON: Thanks, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now (inaudible) here on NEWS STREAM, artistry meeting athleticism in this week's "Human to Hero." And find out how this prima ballerina pushes herself to the "pointe" of perfection.




LU STOUT: Welcome back. Now there is a protest right now outside the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, Pakistan. We're hearing that police have fired warning shots and it comes in the wake of anti-American protests across the Muslim world. Now it's all in a reaction to a privately- produced film insulting to Islam.

And meanwhile, the United States has issued a travel warning for Pakistan. We'll keep you updated on the situation there.

Now meanwhile a sports update. We know that all 32 teams have played their opening group matches of this season's Champions League, and there was a mixed result for title holders Chelsea. Alex Thomas was there. He joins now for more on that and the other top sports stories.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Kristie, yes. Roberto Di Matteo said he and his Chelsea players feel disappointed and deflated after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw their opening match of this season's Champions League.

The biggest plus point for the reigning champions was the star performance of the aptly-named Oscar, a 21-year-old Brazilian signed in the summer who scored two goals in three minutes to put Chelsea in control at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

But their opponents, Juventus, the Italian champions, fought back the goals from Arturo Vidal and substitute Fabio Quagliarella. Elsewhere in the Champions League on Wednesday night, there were victories for Manchester United and last season's runners-up, Bayern Munich.

However, 2011 winners Barcelona were given a scare at the Camp Nou, expected to stroll to victory against Spartak Moscow, Barce took the lead, but then went 2-1 down and seemed to be heading for a shock defeat. However, the Spanish club were rescued by star player Lionel Messi, who struck twice in the final 20 minutes to help his side win 3-2.

Now the intriguing rivalry between golf's biggest star of the last 15 years and the man best placed to succeed him continues in the lucrative Tour Chairmanship team, up later on Thursday.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be paired together for the fifth time in recent weeks as they chase top spots in the FedEx Cup playoffs with a bonus worth $10 million. Our own Patrick Snell is at the tournament today in East Lake.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have seven PGA tour victories between them this season. But in 2012, only one of them was a major champion, and that accolade went to Rory.

But after his flurry of recent successes, former world number one and two-time major winner from Australia, Greg Norman, has come out and said that he believes it's now actually Tiger that's intimidated by Rory, a sentiment hotly disputed by McIlroy himself.

RORY MCILROY, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: How can I intimidate Tiger Woods? It's got to be the hair, like can some little 23-year old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate him? I mean, it's just not possible.

TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: We go out there and we play our own game and see where it falls at the end of the day. Some individual sports such as like, let's say, tennis, you actually can do that physically, because you're playing against somebody. Here, no one's affecting these shots.

SNELL: Rory and Tiger are paired together for round one Thursday here at East Lake. Woods, of course, has been here and done that as far as the FedEx Cup title is concerned. But Rory is playing in his first-ever tour chairmanship as he bids to make it three PGA tour victories on the bounce -- Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.


THOMAS: That's all for now. "WORLD SPORT" is in just over three hours' time. Back to you, Kristie, in Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: All right, Alex. Thank you.

And now for this week's "Human to Hero."

Svetlana Zakharova is a principal dancer with the famed Bolshoi Ballet. She says dance is not work; it's her whole existence. Zakharova takes us backstage in Moscow and discusses her desire to be the best.



SVETLANA ZAKHAROVA, BALLERINA (through translator): Before the performance, I try to be closed off to everyone so that I can contain my emotions.

When I am in the wings, it is hard for me to describe my condition, courage and joy on one hand and on the other, entire wild nervousness.

When I am rehearsing, I feel like a pupil, not a ballerina. But for some reason, when I get out on the stage, I feel complete opposite. This transformation is quite unique. Something happens from within and you understand that human ability of (inaudible) and sometimes you end up doing things which you didn't even know you were capable of.



ZAKHAROVA (through translator): My mother dreamt of being a ballerina, but as she was an only child, her parents wouldn't let her move to another city to study. And all her life she has regretted it.

We lived in Ukraine, and she put me in for an audition at the Kiev Ballet School. And from that moment on, my life changed forever. I went on to study at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, such great dancers studied there.

The thick walls were saturated with history and I walk around just touching them. I did not miss a single class, irrespective of the fact I was ill or I had pain in my leg or in my back. I wanted to learn everything and miss nothing.


ZAKHAROVA (through translator): It took me a few years to get used to ballet. My child's body was not ready to handle such strains, legs that were used to walking upright had to be twisted and my back had always to be straight. I remember that all the time I was crying and I wanted to go home. But when I started to get high grades, it was a huge incentive. I wanted to get better and better.

In order to be a world famous prima ballerina, first of all, you need the physical attributes, a huge ability to work, charisma and a huge desire to be number one.

I practice a huge number of hours a day. I remember preparing for "Cinderella," and I would come in at 10 o'clock in the morning and leave at 10 o'clock at night. (Inaudible).

All ballets are saturated with big techniques. The task of an artist is not to turn his technique into a sport, but to perfect to a point where you are no longer thinking and can instead convey emotion and be really hero on stage, because a dance is all about emotions, and the audience comes to be enchanted.


ZAKHAROVA (through translator): In order to become female ballerina, very many traits are needed. First of all, diligence. I always try to watch and learn something new. We learn from the French how to dance with the foot. Russians like to dance with hands.

Also discipline. When I was 13-14, my peers were going to discos, a no-go territory for us. Ballet is not just a profession for me, it is my life, and that is why when people ask me that I sacrifice many things, I cannot understand what I sacrifice.

It is not simple work for me. It is my existence in this world and it is horrible for me to think that one day it will end.


ZAKHAROVA (through translator): The most important time for us is the final applause. All the hours, months, years you spend practicing in the studio are all for this. Over time, I have learned to savor this joyous moment.

Throughout the performance, all my emotions and strengths I give to the audience and at the end, they return all to me. In our profession, this moment is probably the most important.



LU STOUT: So up next, we're going to mark a very special anniversary, the 10th anniversary of this day. And we'll tell you which very important person celebrated it and how -- that's next.



LU STOUT: Welcome back. And an update on the situation in Islamabad, Pakistan. The protest there has ended. As many as 1,500 people marched on the diplomatic area in the Pakistani capital. Some carried sticks, threw rocks, set barricades on fire, and police used tear gas and fired warning shots to disperse the crowd.

Now to repeat again the protest there in Islamabad is now over. And it comes in the wake of anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world. And these protests are largely in reaction to a privately-produced film deemed insulting to Islam.

Time now for a check of the world weather forecast, including the latest on these violent storms in South America.

Mari Ramos is standing by from the World Weather Center. She has the latest.


MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There has been a -- two terrible days across portions of South America with these strong storms that have been pushing through that region. And we're starting to see a little bit of that light at the end of the tunnel, but let me go ahead and show you some of the amazing images that are coming out of this area.


RAMOS (voice-over): Let's go ahead and start in Bolivia. This is Santa Cruz . This is a high elevation place. It doesn't rain very much and definitely this kind of scenes are very rare for people here, many not accustomed. There's not good drainage in the street because it simply -- they don't get this amount of rainfall.

And you can see the widespread flooding. There are amazingly no reports of serious injuries in this region. But you can see quite a bit of damage to infrastructure, to homes, to businesses, roadways that were completely washed out. And right here, you're looking at pictures from Paraguay , a tornado hit here and at least five people reportedly killed.

There are dozens of injuries, hundreds of homes that were damaged by the violent winds that swept through that area on Wednesday morning, many still -- people still sleeping when the howling winds came through.

Thousands were left without power and then we have Uruguay, also, that suffered a tremendously from what people are saying almost felt like a hurricane going through.

There are literally thousands of trees that are down across the country, hundreds of homes that have been damaged, windows that were blown out by the sheer force of the wind, Kristie, in some cases winds reported as high as 172 kph. And that happened in Punta (inaudible), that famous resort there along the beach. We are starting to see, like I said, the winds ease up across these areas.


RAMOS: Come back over to the weather map over here. Those pictures are truly amazing. This is the wind across Uruguay, Maldonado, had those winds at 172 kph. The front itself is starting to move away. We also had some flooding along Buenos Aires, because the winds pushed the river back in and don't allow it to flow out.

So we had some problems with high water levels over those areas. There are still some rain showers being reported over this region, and winds could be as high as 40, even 50 kph. And today, but nothing like what we saw before. Be extra careful because we could still see some tree limbs or trees come down that were damaged earlier.

But the worst of the storm has moved along. All of this as rare winter storm that moved through here. And as you can see, the front all the way here to the north and some remnants of it right here, still, affecting portions of Argentina and Uruguay in particular.

Kristie, back to you.

LU STOUT: All right. The worst is over, but still folks are out there. Be careful. Mari Ramos, thank you.

And before we go, Wednesday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And enthusiasts, they celebrated with phrases like, "Ahoy," and "Arrgh, matey!" And among them, none other than U.S. President Barack Obama.

He is of course, busy running the country and campaigning. Still, Mr. Obama found the time to recognize the day. And this photo was posted on his Twitter page on Wednesday with the caption, "Arrgh, you win."

And that is NEWS STREAM. The news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.