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Australian Wildfires; Barack Obama Announces Cabinet Nominees; Irish Protests over Flag Restrictions; Reporting from the Gang Rape Trial in India

Aired January 8, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.


STOUT (voice-over): And we begin in Australia, which is battling a catastrophic fire threat. Ninety percent of New South Wales is now under at least a severe warning.

Also ahead, it seems like these continue in Syria to get rare insight to how refugees are struggling to survive.

And the world's biggest tech show kicks off in Las Vegas. What we should look out for in 2013.



STOUT: Now it has been described as a dangerous day for Australia. Thousands of firefighters are on duty, battling more than 100 blazes in New South Wales on the ground and from the skies. The flames are being fueled by a volatile mix of extremely high temperatures and strong winds. The government is now giving the state fire service access to military resources to fight the disaster.

Monita Rajpal has more.


MONITA RAJPAL, CNN HOST (voice-over): Record breaking heat and high winds have created what authorities warn is a catastrophic fire threat in southeast Australia. Catastrophic is the highest of all threat levels. Residents in New South Wales are being told to keep themselves safe and listen to local warnings. Some already have abandoned properties under threat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) have here and then the firefighter come and said there's another one starting around the back of the house, so we should leave. So I'd already been packing everything for a couple of hours. So I got everything that I wanted to get and evacuated down to the arrow (ph) hall.

RAJPAL (voice-over): But in Australia's island state of Tasmania, authorities are trying to locate dozens who are still missing after fire tore through the town of Denali (ph). In some areas of the southeast, winds of more than 70 kph are threatening to fan fires already burning. Hundreds of firefighters, dozens of trucks and aircraft are now battling the flames.

At last count ,more than 130 fires were still burning with some of them not yet under control. Officials described the extreme conditions as among the worst that New South Wales has ever seen for wildfires. Cooler weather has begun to seep in from the south, but the front is moving slowly -- Monita Rajpal, CNN, Hong Kong.


STOUT: Many blazes are still out of control. Let's get more on this developing situation. Mari Ramos joins us from the World Weather Center.

Mari, the extreme heat is just one factor adding to the fires.

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is just one factor. That's a perfect segue there, because we have a combination of extreme heat, high wind as Monita mentioned also, and what the situation that we have going on with the very dry conditions.

So it's almost as a perfect storm here getting together and giving us these conditions. Go ahead and start from the beginning.

First of all, we're dealing with officially now according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology, the hottest four-month period ever on record for Australia. Between September through December of 2012, the temperatures were about 1.6 degrees Celsius hotter across the whole of Australia than they've ever been.

And that's pretty significant. It may not sound like a lot, but that is actually very significant when it comes to temperature records, because you got to think that you're averaging it out for the entire period, the daytime highs and the overnight lows. So that is a very significant number right there to have the hottest conditions on record.

So we have that extreme heat already in the books, and then we add to this the very dry conditions. The monsoon got a late start across northern parts of Australia. We've had very weak frontal systems coming through across the south and east and even for the west. And normally where we could see some rain showers, it's been extremely dry.

So this combination of things and then the rain that we had last year, you have a lot of growth already on the ground, that growth, those plants begin to die, that is going to be fuel that now can burn very, very easily. So it's a combination of many, many factors here that come together.

Starting here in the west, and in western Australia, back on December 30th, they had their hottest day, their hottest December day in 56 years. This gives you an example of the conditions that they're having to deal with. They -- weather system moved across the area. And look at this, in Hobart, for example, they had 41 degrees.

That's the hottest they ever had, a temperature there, and they've been keeping records for 130 years, Kristie. So this gives you again an example of what's going on. That was in the daytime. But even at night, that was the warmest temperature they've ever recorded at nighttime on that same day. So Hobart, of course, in Tasmania, is dealing with that extreme heat and the aftermath of those terrible fires.

Look at the temperature right now in Sydney, 36 degrees. It's just after midnight there. That gives you an indication of how hot it was today. It was 42 degrees at 2:00 pm. It has not cooled down; the winds are still generally out of the north, some very warm, dry winds coming in here.

We're expecting that front to move through and once that happens, a cooldown for tomorrow. I should say for later today, 25 degrees across those areas and maybe the chance for some light drizzle, but no significant change in the weather -- cooler, but no rain. Back to you.

STOUT: Yes. But meanwhile, extreme heat and high winds, it's been a recipe for disaster. Mari Ramos there, thank you.

And this current disaster it's being called one of the country's worst ever. But in February of 2009, hundreds of bush fires (inaudible) through Victoria, killing 173 people and destroying more than 2,000 homes. The tragedy, it was called the Black Saturday bush fires.

And the government put together a Royal Commission chaired by this man, former Victoria Supreme Court Justice Bernard Teague to look into the disaster. And the commission released a 900-page report with nearly 70 recommendations.

One was a retreat and resettlement strategy to help people relocate from areas of high risk. Another was a more comprehensive evacuation policy with more timely warnings and the availability of more community shelters.

Now Australia is a nation accustomed to bush fires. It is particularly vulnerable between the months of December and February. And the weather, it is also taking a toll in Syria. Their extreme cold is making lives even more miserable for thousands of refugees fleeing the civil war. We'll bring you the latest.

And it is two years since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona. We'll tell you what she and her husband are doing now to reduce gun violence in America. And (inaudible) singing dancing spectacles popular the world over. But what is (inaudible) say about the world of women in Indian society?




STOUT: Now in war-ravaged Syria, bitter cold is bringing fresh misery to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the violence there. Aid agencies are working to get winter supplies to people struggling in camps within Syria and beyond.

And with the U.N. expecting the number of refugees crossing the Syrian border to top 1 million in the months ahead, the scale of the operation is enormous and the need for help is urgent.

Inside Syria the violence goes on. opposition activists say at least 72 people were killed on Monday including seven children. And the bloodshed is fueling a mass exodus.

Nick Paton Walsh joins us live from Beirut with the very latest.

And, Nick, the U.N. agencies (inaudible) now says that the total number of refugees is reaching 600,000. I mean, this is a dramatic and disturbing rise in the crisis.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Five hundred and 69 thousands Syrian refugees now in Syria's neighboring countries, perhaps another 20,000 still seeking registered status and perhaps many tens of thousands more who've simply moved across Illyricum (ph). We've seen them here in Lebanon and, of course, in Turkey as well, simply trying to eke out a living in the communities here.

But as you say, the fear is as the violence escalates across the border, as that military end game lunges nearer in the months ahead, the U.N. predicting we'll see 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered officially by June of this year, a quite staggering number in countries which are already straining enormously to accommodate those who've crossed their borders.

In fact, on the Syrian-Turkish border, children are left on the Syrian side, trying to find aid, but also dealing with not only the approaching winter, but the harsh memories of what they've witnessed.


MUR'EE, SYRIAN REFUGEE (from captions): My name is Mur'ee, the son of Ali Raijoub. I'm 12. I'm from Azaz. I have five sisters and five brothers. We have no electricity, no water, a shortage of everything. My mom and dad are dead. The fighter jet bombed him in Aleppo. My dad died there, then I brought my mother to Azaz, where another jet killed her. My dad was fasting.

And while he was leaving the mosque, explosive barrels were dropped; he was hit and died. Three days after Ramadan, my mom died; this jet bombed her. Many in the neighborhood were dead. The jets bombed us daily. They were hitting us every day.

(UNKNOWN, from captions): Bab Al Salama has 8,000 refugees (200 families). UNHCR estimates refugee population will double in the coming months.

MUR'EE (from captions): My, my brothers and sisters are here. Our neighbor came and asked me to work with him so we can survive. My siblings are all small. Our situation is difficult. I'm the only one who works. Our neighbors help us; every day they come to look after us. Sometimes we sleep without bread.


WALSH: Those interviews filmed before the worst conditions and even set in in that camp in Bab Al Salama. What is so jarring is to see those children whose vocabulary of their youth is now filled with words like "heavy machine gun," "jet," "helicopter," even being able to understand the different types of sound those kind of weapons make, Kristie.

STOUT: It's just heartbreaking to hear what that boy, so young, has gone through. And, Nick, more ahead; warnings of a major blizzard threatening Turkey and Jordan. And many, many Syrian refugees are there. Are these camps at all prepared for even worse conditions?

WALSH: In sure, the one we visited in Bab Al Salama that you just so, no, not prepared at all. They're still living in plastic tents that were supposed to be there as some kind of temporary stopgap during summer, but there's nothing like enough shelter for the frost ahead, a cold front moving south from Russia.

We're seeing here in Lebanon intense rain as a result. But there are supposed to be setting in as we speak snows and frosts in the Turkish- Syrian border area. We saw how they'd moved their plastic tents inside large concrete hangars to try and get some extra degree of shelter, but really life there beginning to already get intolerable even before the colder temperatures set in, people burning plastic.

And it's hard to really describe the sort of cramped atmosphere you manage to get in an open field like that when people put so many tents so close together and then burn plastic in their own stoves, the gaps between those tents filled with this really poisonous, acrid smoke, making life for the many children there very hard indeed, Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, it's a dire situation already and could get even worse.

Nick Paton Walsh reporting for us, thank you.

Now U.S. President Barack Obama, he has announced his picks for the next CIA director and the U.S. Secretary of Defense. And the choices are not surprising, considering both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel have largely similar views to the president when it comes to foreign policy.

Barbara Starr reports on Mr. Obama's strategic move.


BARBARA STARR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): In announcing his nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense, President Obama made certain he said this message about his second term foreign policy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chuck recognizes that American leadership is indispensable in a dangerous world. He understands that America stands strongest when we stand with allies and with friends.

STARR (voice-over): The White House knows the Hagel confirmation hearing could become a free fire zone over whether the nominee is tough enough on Iran and supportive enough of Israel, criticisms Obama himself has faced.

Hagel seemed to try to deflect that criticism in speaking of traditional diplomatic friends.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY-ELECT: I'm also grateful for an opportunity to help continue to strengthen our country and strengthen our country's alliances.

STARR (voice-over): In Hagel, Obama gets an independent-minded Vietnam veteran and a one-time Army sergeant who strongly believes war is a last resort, a view Obama shares.

OBAMA: Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction.

STARR (voice-over): But global threats could, at any point, compel him to recommend military force, in particular if Iran's nuclear program continues.

SETH JONES, RAND CORPORATION: If it becomes clear that sanctions aren't enough, then there's going to be a discussion that any Secretary of Defense, including Hagel, as well as the national security team has got to decide whether that means limited strikes against facilities.

STARR (voice-over): But in choosing John Brennan, one of his closest national security advisers, to become the next CIA director, the president is showing he will not back down from the CIA's aggressive use of lethal force, both in partnering with the military, as it did on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and in relying on lethal drone attacks -- a drone policy that critics say amounts to targeted killing.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Whatever your views of the drone campaign, John Brennan is one of its principal architects, whether that's in Pakistan or whether that's in Yemen.

STARR: But Chuck Hagel's most immediate challenge may be cutting the military budget, something he's on the record as favoring. With the war in Afghanistan wrapping up in the next two years and a Congress looking for spending cuts, Hagel may be the man for that part of the job unless, of course, another national security crisis rears its head -- Barbara Starr, CNN, Los Angeles.


STOUT: And for more on the man Obama has picked to lead America's intelligence operations, go to our website. Now CNN's national security analyst, Peter Bergen, gives us new insight into John Brennan's career and his influence on U.S. drone warfare. It's called "Obama's Drone Warrior." You can check it out at

Now up next five nights of violence ostensibly over a flag. But what are the bigger issues at play in Belfast as old tensions flare up between pro-British loyalists and Irish Republicans?




STOUT (voice-over): Coming to you live from Hong Kong, this is NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Now I want to bring you some news just in to CNN this hour. An Indian military official is reporting to news agencies that two of his country's soldiers have been shot dead by gunmen on the Indian side of Kashmir's line of control with Pakistan.

Now Pakistan says at least one of its soldiers was killed when the violence flared in this disputed region on Sunday.

Now Northern Ireland's capital is on edge. Protests and some of them violent have rocked East Belfast for five straight nights. And it's all over the Union flag. Now last month, a Belfast city council voted to limit the flying of the flag at the city hall building you see here to 17 designated days. Now pro-British loyalists say that amounts to pandering to Irish Republicans.

Neil Connery reports.


NEIL CONNERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a fifth consecutive night, violence has flared on Belfast streets. Police came under attack with petrol bombs. The clashes started near the nationalist short strand area. These loyalist protesters had just come under attack and within minutes the violence escalated.

Our cameraman was struck on the leg by a rock.


CONNERY (voice-over): Earlier, loyalist protesters had marched to Belfast's city hall, angry at the decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag here. As counselors met inside, the anger and frustration of demonstrators echoed outside.

After five weeks of protests, the police were taking nothing for granted. Community leader Jim Wilson says many loyalists feel ignored and for them the flag protests reflect that wider sense of frustration.

JIM WILSON, COMMUNITY LEADER: This is the straw that broke the camel's back and I would say that the community that I come from -- and I've been saying this for a long way -- have just about had enough. They are -- and the frustration (inaudible) you're seeing on the streets.

CONNERY: These flag protests have acted as a focal point for other frustrations in some loyalist communities. The fact that they're now entering their fifth week represents a major challenge to political leaders here, whose appeals for calm have so far gone unheeded.

CONNERY (voice-over): On the streets of East Belfast tonight, the violence shows no sign of abating. And all the time the challenge faced by the police in the face of it continues to grow.


STOUT: Now the divisions behind these latest protests, they are longstanding. And while the complexities of what became known as The Troubles are simply too numerous to mention. Here are the basic facts.

Now Northern Ireland with its capital in Belfast is a part of the United Kingdom. They remained there after the largely Catholic Irish free state made its first move from London rule in 1922. Now that geographical area is now the Republic of Ireland. But as you see so often in the world, you can't just draw a line between allegiances. Tensions bubbled for decades before boiling over into violence in 1969.

And that violence came to a head in 1972 on what history has recorded as Bloody Sunday. The killing of 14 men by British troops during a civil rights march in the city of Londonderry or Derry to nationalists, led thousands to sign up to the IRA. Its campaign of extremist nationalism continued until an official cease-fire in 1997.

But the killing on both sides did not stop there. And The Troubles now claimed the lives of nearly 3,600 people over the decades.

Now in the United States, we are learning some disturbing new details about the Coloradan movie theater massacre in July. At a preliminary hearing on Monday, a police officer testified that he found the accused shooter at the scene. He said James Holmes appeared unnaturally calm amid the chaos and the carnage.

Prosecutors also revealed that Holmes bought his movie ticket a week before the shooting. That could suggest possible premeditation. The shootings left 12 people dead, dozens were injured and (inaudible) say that the defense may argue that Holmes has diminished capacity due to mental impairment.

The U.S. has struggled with an alarming amount of gun violence in recent years. And former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, they are taking a stand. Now they just launched this website. It's called Americans for Responsible Solutions to raise money and awareness. They hope to influence the gun law debate in Washington.

And the timing is significant as today marks the second anniversary of the mass shooting in Arizona that left Giffords critically wounded. Six people were killed. But as we have often seen in the U.S., when lawmakers consider cracking down on guns, weapons sales usually go up. Now Joe Johns reports on the subject that divides the country right down the middle.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): People are racing to buy weapons they fear won't be available one day soon.

DELAINO CAMERON, GUN SELLER: We've probably seen I would say at least a 50 percent increase in sales. Our assault rifles, they are (inaudible) have all doubled in sales.

JOHNS (voice-over): One reason for the worry is that the White House where the administration is looking to a working group led by Vice President Biden to come up with better ideas to reduce crimes committed with guns.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have a much more holistic view of how to deal with violence in our -- on our streets and in our country.

JOHNS (voice-over): Gun control advocates like Dan Gross, who have been in contact with the task force, are optimistic the recommendations will move beyond a ban on assault weapons.

DAN GROSS, GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE: I would be fairly confident that the task force is, based on what the president's been saying, that alone that the task force is committed to exploring more broad solutions than just an assault weapons ban.

JOHNS (voice-over): Officials inside the first working group meeting told CNN other ideas included banning high-capacity magazines, tightening the restrictions and tracking of ammunition sales, creating a national registry for firearms, bolstering the federal background check system for gun purchasers, including mental health checks and requiring background checks at gun shows.

And on Capitol Hill, senators like the two Democrats from New York are lobbying Biden's group to accept their ideas on new gun trafficking laws.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), N.Y.: We have thousands of laws but effectively none of them are focused on preventing someone from Virginia from driving up to New York City, parking their car in a parking lot and selling illegal firearms out of the back of his truck to criminals.

JOHNS (voice-over): But the question is whether advocates of gun rights on the Hill and the voters who sent them to Congress will stand for it.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the federal government has any business having a list of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

JOHNS (voice-over): And the Senate's top Republican says gun legislation will have to take a back seat to the more pressing economic agenda well into the New Year.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, MINORITY LEADER: Clearly we'll not be addressing that issue early because spending and debt are going to dominate the first three months.

JOHNS (voice-over): For some gun owners, there may be room for compromise with legislation on mental health being the most likely starting point.

CAMERON: I'm all for trying to weed out the individuals that shouldn't have them, that make the rest of us look bad. And I'm definitely for that. But in the same sense, I don't think we should just, you know, ban everybody from owning a specific type firearm.

JOHNS: This is basically a wish list from some of the stakeholders and the gun control debate. And by the way, one of the people helping out on that wish list is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's been very vocal on the need for new gun control laws.

The whole point for the administration is to get something on paper that Mr. Biden could deliver to President Obama in advance of the State of the Union address -- Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Now still to come here on NEWS STREAM, it's a multibillion dollar business that captivates an entire country -- Bollywood. But does it help lead to the objectification of women in India? We'll look at that next.




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


STOUT (voice-over): Australia's prime minister has warned people across the southeast of the country that they face a dangerous day. (Inaudible) firefighters will be given access to military resources. (Inaudible) more than 130 wildfires rage across Australia's most populous state. Ninety percent of New South Wales is described as being as severe or catastrophic risk.

Now there's been a fifth consecutive night of violence in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, as loyalists protest restrictions on the official flying of the British flag. Last month the Belfast city council voted to limit the flying of the Union flag at the city hall building to 17 designated days. Protesters say the council is pandering to Irish Republicans.

New details are emerging about the behavior of the man accused of murdering 12 people at a movie theater in Colorado last year. A police officer testified on Monday that James Holmes was, quote, "very, very relaxed" when the officer approached him. A preliminary hearing will determine if there's enough evidence (inaudible) on trial.

Officials in Peru say seven people were killed when a helicopter crashed in the central part of the country. Authorities say at least two of the passengers were Americans. Three bodies have been recovered.

The Indian Army says two of the country's soldiers have been shot dead by Pakistani troops on the Indian side of Kashmir's line of control with Pakistan. Reports earlier said that Pakistan says at least one of its soldiers was killed when violence flared in (inaudible) region on Sunday.


STOUT: Now this is the video, the New Delhi gang rape suspects leaving court on Monday. Their trial and the tragic events surrounding it are shining a light on the way women are viewed in India. And some are pointing to the television and film industry which they say frequently portray women as sex objects. Mallika Kapur reports.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some say it's sexy. Others call it offensive. Not just the dance moves, but the lyrics, too. "I'm a piece of tandoori chicken," this actor goes on to sing in a popular Bollywood film. "Wash me down with alcohol."

Many in India argue that films portray women in a derogatory way, particularly in so-called item numbers, songs that have no relevance to a film's plot but appear in several commercial movies.

SHABANA AZMI, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: You see fragmented images of a woman's bosom, of her swinging hips, of her swiveling navel. And it makes the woman lose all autonomy and surrender to the male gaze.

KAPUR (voice-over): This actor feels it's unfair to blame item numbers. Chitrangada Singh's upcoming movie is about sexual harassment. She says it's really about the way men think.

CHITRANGADA SINGH, ACTRESS: When you buy a cigarette pack, it shows you what cancer looks like and people still buy it. You know, so I don't think it makes so much of a difference what you see. It's what's in your head.

KAPUR (voice-over): But what's in the public's head is often colored by what it sees onscreen, a subject that's being heavily debated in India following the New Delhi gang rape that has outraged the country and made it question how its popular culture portrays women.

KAPUR: Bollywood and television serials play a huge part in shaping Indian society simply because they reach millions of people. Take a look at this slum. There's no sanitation; there's no running water. But almost every home has a television set.

KAPUR (voice-over): Entertainment channels (inaudible) alone reaches 18 million households. Its serials center on women often playing the role of a dutiful wife or daughter-in-law.

NACHIKET PANTVAIDYA, STAR PLUS: Yes, I mean, we want to make it identifiable. You don't want to make situations in our shows, you know, which are alien to consumers, because then we simply don't get people watching them. But we want to -- we want to show particularly how these situations change with effort.

KAPUR (voice-over): Azmi, who led a silent march of theater and film personalities to condemn the New Delhi gang rape, says it's time for the industry to reflect on its role.

AZMI: But, but we do not want the morality brigade to appropriate us. We don't want somebody else to tell us, you do this and you do that. We have to indulge in soul searching and talk about self-region.

KAPUR (voice-over): At Star Plus, the introspection could result in a new show, one that targets a male audience.

PANTVAIDYA: How do we tell our male audiences this is right and this is wrong? And that's something that (inaudible) model for. But that is something that is -- that is something that we're reflecting on.

KAPUR (voice-over): TV and film folks say there's no point blaming their industry for recent events. The only people to blame for rape are rapists -- Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.


STOUT: That's a story being watched by women in India and around the world. Now history has been made in world football. Let's take a look at the sporting headlines now with "WORLD SPORT's" Amanda Davies.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. As Lionel Messi has warned, there's more to come from him after claiming a fourth straight FIFA Player of the Year trophy as the Argentine struggles to find some space in his cabinet to fit yet another piece of silverware. The debate rages once again as to whether or not he's the greatest footballer of all time.


DAVIES (voice-over): Messi collected the award at a star-studded ceremony in Zurich on Monday night, seeing off competition from Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo. He wore a (inaudible) Ballon d'Or with a 41 percent of the vote after bagging a record 91 goals in 2012. But didn't take home the Spanish title or the European Champions League.

LIONEL MESSI, FOOTBALLER (through translator): I never stopped to think about whether I'm one of the best of all time. I just try to enjoy every game and every title I win. Since we play every three days, I really don't have time to think about what I've accomplished. Maybe when my career is over one day.


DAVIES: Finally, play has got underway at the first PGA tour event of the year in Hawaii. (Inaudible) after storms (inaudible) America's (inaudible) Dustin Johnson with a three-shot lead after they played two rounds on Monday.


DAVIES (voice-over): After the driving winds and rain, it was a very different picture in Maui on Monday with a return to the paradise (inaudible) expect from Hawaii. Here Johnson midway round the first round where he was tied for lead with Mark Wilson. That pitch helping him to a birdie.

Onto round two and Steve Stricker went into an early lead at -6 with that great shot on the 18th. He's currently in second place, heading into the third and final round. And just behind him is (Inaudible). The American climbed up the leaderboard with a nice shot on the 6th to finish the day -7 overall. That's four shots off the pace.

The day, though, very much belongs to Dustin Johnson. He followed up his first round at 69 with a second round 66 to lie --11 overall. Interestingly, he's got former new shot (inaudible). He's won the last two 54-hole events and there's just that one round left to play on Tuesday.


DAVIES: In the NBA, there's some bleak news for L.A. Lakers fans with the news that forward Pau Gasol and center Dwight Howard are both sidelined indefinitely with injuries. Both were hurt on Sunday and their home loss to Denver. That was the Lakers' third straight defeat.

Spain's Gasol took an elbow to the face from 10 percenter JaVale McGee in the 4th quarter and he left the court with a bleeding cut on his nose. He's now got concussion. And Howard, who's already playing with a sore right shoulder, suffered another shoulder tear. He's due to be examined in a week. But despite that injury, Howard managed to tie his career high with 26 rebounds in the defeat.


Well, now that's proof that no matter how hard you try, you simply can't provide blanket security cover all the time. Unfortunately, it proved to be the case for one Kenyan runner. Edwin Kipsang Rotich, while he was completing in the King's Race in Brazil over the weekend, look at that, he was tackled by a member of the public along the route, taken off course.

But amazingly, still went on to win the renowned south (inaudible) race in Sao Paulo. He was immediately assisted by police, as you can see. And they said that the 33-year-old attacker has a history of mental problems. (Inaudible) incredible, Kristie, the way he dealt with that, just brushed the assailant aside and carried on to win.

STOUT: That's right. It's quite a comeback. And brush it off and he went on to win the race. Great story. Amanda Davies there, thank you.

Now right now, in Las Vegas, the annual International Consumer Electronics Show or CES is about to begin. It is the world's largest consumer technology trade show. Now CES, it started back in 1967. It brought us the debut of the VCR, the CD players, HD TVs, Blu-Ray discs and Microsoft's Xbox, just to name a few.

But this year, Microsoft dropped out of CES although CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance at Monday's keynote speech. And some gadget geeks will argue that CES has lost some of its relevance over the years. Others would say that with large companies lying low, smaller players have a chance to stand out.

Now Dan Simon highlights some items to look out for.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a January tradition here in Las Vegas as crews work furiously to get the booths and exhibits ready for the start of the Consumer Electronics Show. More than 150,000 people are expected to roam these vast halls over the next couple of days to get a glimpse of the technologies that might hit the store shelves in the coming year.

TVs are always the biggest crowd draw at CES. Last couple of years the companies who are pushing 3D TVs, they didn't really take off but consumers this year they're hoping that a technology called Ultra HD will win over consumers, these are screens that have four times the resolution as a typical HD TV but they're expensive. Some of these sets cost as much as a car.

And speaking of cars, they're becoming a bigger deal every year at CES. This year you'll hear the term connected car a lot. That means using your smartphone for a lot of different things including using the phone to start the car on those especially cold winter days.

Another big theme: home automation, run your home from wherever you are. This category used to be for people who are really wealthy, now these products are a lot more affordable and it's about being able to control your lights, your thermostat, your appliances, while on the go.

And of course look for the latest innovations in PCs, tablets and cameras, more than 3,000 companies are on display here, all of them really vying for one thing, attention -- Dan Simon, CNN, Las Vegas.


STOUT: Now it's well known that Apple does not attend CES. The company prefers to hold its own product launches. Google also is not going. And chairman Eric Schmidt is about as far from Vegas as he can get. Schmidt is in Pyongyang, North Korea. The former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, (inaudible) State Department has objected to the private humanitarian mission.

North Korea has extremely limited, almost non-existent Internet access, but analysts point out that leader Kim Jong-un was educated outside North Korea and may be keen on Western technology. Now still ahead right here on NEWS STREAM, a unique vision in India, how this woman is breaking ground both for women in the country and for arts as a whole.




STOUT: Welcome back. Now in our "Leading Women" series this week, we take you inside the global arts scene, where Bharti Kher is pushing boundaries and earning recognition from India to Europe and beyond. Much of her inspiration comes from the streets of New Delhi. Felicia Taylor has her story.



FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside the world of contemporary art where canvas, fiberglass and fabric come alive at the hands of this artist.

BHARTI KHER, ARTIST: And these are like footprints, (inaudible) footprints of a lady. And there' s a kind of very formal aspect of the work with the pillar, which is the concrete, which is like body.

TAYLOR (voice-over): To see her body of work we follow her to the U.K. where she was born, to Abu Dhabi, where she's in a major art fair, and to India, where her roots are and where she finds inspiration for much of her creations.

KHER: So it's really important every now and again to leave that isolation or the bubble that you create for yourself as an artist in your studio and come back onto the street and see how everybody else is living and what they're really doing.

TAYLOR (voice-over): She began her career in 1992 after graduating from college, a trained painter, she's moved on to sculpting and experimenting with fabrics. She's exhibited all over the world and has won numerous awards.

KHER: I think from the age of 7 or when I started going to school, I knew that I wanted to make art.

TAYLOR (voice-over): This preeminent artist, who turned her childhood dream into reality, is Bharti Kher.


TAYLOR (voice-over): For Bharti Kher, the essence of her work is in part found here in Delhi, India's second largest city.

With a population of more than 16 million, this market in particular is a gem for Kher. She's come here for the last 15 years.

KHER: This is where all the trading is done and where all the manufacturers of stainless steel, (inaudible), flowers, everything is made here (inaudible).

I always smile when I arrive. I love the chaos and I think -- I love bumping into everybody. Everybody's working. Everybody's doing their own thing. It's such incredible energy here. Don't you feel it? It's -- there's such energy here.

TAYLOR (voice-over): That energy can lead to looking for bindis, the forehead decorations worn by south Asian women.


TAYLOR (voice-over): Bindis have become a signature motif in Kher's work.

KHER: It's a kind of philosophical as well as conceptual idea of repetition so that if you stick these bindis day after day after day, they're the day in the life of a woman or a person. And the residue of that experience, so they can become geometric They can become -- they can start to become like topographical maps.

These are all going to Hong Kong, one, two, three -- actually four and five.

TAYLOR (voice-over): In addition to creating fine art, Kher heads a fairly large operation that includes running her studio, supervising staff and preparing for exhibits. On this day, she needs to work on a show catalog.

KHER: (Inaudible) mixed media (inaudible) lot more stuff in here.

I think the worst part for me is the administration, which thankfully now I handle a lot less than I used to, because you can almost drown under it.

TAYLOR (voice-over): What Kher says she isn't obsessed with the business side of art. She has a clear understanding of what it takes to remain on top.

KHER: Success in monetary terms gives you freedom.

I decided maybe 10 years ago I wanted to be a player. So if you want to be a player, play. Come into the ring. You know, you've got to come in like a tiger and, you know, leave as a phoenix, I think.

TAYLOR (voice-over): And part of being a player means exhibitions around the world, like here in London. She shows us some of the works in the collection.

KHER: (Inaudible) the difference. This piece is "Warrior with Cloak and Shield." (ph) This piece was made in 2006. Basically I was inspired from the -- from actually from a music clipping (ph) from (inaudible) in India and it had been loaded onto the back of the truck.

When people go away with my work, I want them to go away with questions, say, what, why is she, why has the artist made this? What is it about? Is there contradiction? (Inaudible) talk to the sculptures for a long time.

TAYLOR (voice-over): What seems clear is that after more than 20 years on the scene, Kher is a creative and tenacious force in contemporary art.

KHER: To decide to be an artist, for me, I think it takes a lot of courage because there are years of rejection and a lot of loneliness. And to be able to believe in your work when nobody's even looking at it takes real stubbornness, actually. You have to be really stubborn.

TAYLOR (voice-over): In the coming weeks, more with Bharti Kher.


STOUT: A very honest interview there.

Now next week we'll have more from Kher. She opens up more about her family. We'll also hear from this month's other leading woman, the Turkish executive, Guler Sabanci. For more of the series, log on to

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And up next, few people ever get to see Earth like this. But lucky for us, one astronaut is sharing his view from space.




STOUT: Welcome back. And another update on that developing story this hour. A spokesman for the Pakistani military has denied a statement from the Indian Army and says two of India's soldiers were shot dead by Pakistani troops on the Indian side of Kashmir's line of control with Pakistan. An update on that story there.

Now the Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, may have ruffled a few feathers with this tweet. He wrote that he's ready to support the Toronto Maple Leafs now that the NHL lockout is over. But when his pictures from the International Space Station aren't about hockey, most people agree that they're pretty stunning. Let's take a look.




STOUT: Stunning imagery there. Hadfield is said to become the first Canadian ISS commander and he recently bonded with another Canadian who knows a thing or two about the final frontier -- we're talking about William Shatner, also known as Captain James T. Kirk from "Star Trek." And the two, they had a short exchange after Shatner asked Hadfield if he was tweeting from space.

And Hadfield replied, "Yes. Standard orbit, Captain." And "We are detecting signs of life on the surface."

And Hadfield, he followed up with another joke, saying he's starting to question wearing the red shirt. And Trekkies, of course, will understand that one.

Now no need to remind Mari Ramos that space is indeed the final frontier. Let's get back to her for the global weather forecast.


RAMOS: Hey, I love that. I love -- I love that tweet about detecting life forms on -- detecting life forms on the surface. I love it. That's great.

You know, one of the --


RAMOS: -- yes, one of the cool things when they -- when they tweet those pictures, a lot of the astronauts will say things like, oh, can you guess where this is, like the picture of the Bahamas, can you guess where this formation is, this earth formation, and those weather geeks here, those of us that love that kind of stuff, we actually sit there in the weather office and try to figure out without cheating where it is that we're looking at or what exactly, what land formation we're looking at.

So I thought I was going to play that game with you guys right now. This is a picture not from (inaudible), but it is from NASA and I was wondering if you guys could guess where this is. It is an island. You should know the little island over here.

You know bodies of water all around. And I'll give you a clue. You know, these right here, these little wispy things that you see over the land, that's not clouds. This over here is clouds, but not this. You know, any guesses? I'll go ahead and tell you because I don't have time to wait for you guys to answer. They're actually Tasmania. We've been talking of course quite a bit about Australia.

Now there's Hobart right there. You can see the land then of course if we zoom out, Brandon Miller (ph) helping me out here, you can see it right there, Tasmania, I love that, because it's really, really hard to try to figure out the land masses when you look at them that close and you have no other point of reference. But anyway, let's move on.

And let's talk a little bit more about Australia. That has been one of our top stories and we've been talking about the high temperatures and of course those fire danger that they continue to have. I want to show you something pretty interesting here, too.

Here's Melbourne and the current conditions there. Notice the temperature Melbourne already 14 degrees. The winds have shifted here. They're out of the south and west. And that's a big difference because what we're having here is the front came through. Once that front comes through, those cooler winds have moved in. That's what we saw in Hobart which, by the way, also has a temperature of about 12 degrees right now. It's a big change.

It's still very windy, so if any fires are burning in that vicinity, you could still run into some problems. But at least the temperature and the humidity, temperature goes down, humidity has gone up. And in Sydney, look at that. What a comparison. It's still 35 degrees. It's already after midnight. The winds here out of the north.

Those are some hot, very dry winds, winds earlier here have been as high as 50 kph and the temperature in Sydney earlier today was 42 degrees. Once that cold front moves through, the winds will also shift out of the south and will begin to see those temperatures cooling down.

And that's going to be the trend across southeastern Australia, a little bit of an end to this heat wave, this searing (ph) heat wave that has cost so many problems across the region leading to those catastrophic fire danger warnings that we've had across the area. Once the front moves through, it will look a little bit better.

Another thing that I want to show you over here, there is a tropical cyclone off the northwest -- northeast coast of Australia. And northwest coast of Australia -- out here we are. And this is tropical cyclone Narelle. And you can see it here.

And it is expected to intensify, to winds up to 200 kph. We'll watch it as it moves closer to the coast, but it's still fairly far away and not really having an impact on the weather there.

With my last 40 seconds or so, I want to show you a little bit about northeastern -- about eastern parts of Asia and South Asia. Temperatures continue to be very cold here, Kristie, even as we head into the weekend and then toward Friday, I should say, we're going to see those temperatures cool down yet again. So get your sweater out.

Look at that, Friday in Hong Kong, only about 14, low temperature closer to maybe 10 or 11. So definitely a chill in the air. Everybody else remains also quite cold and more serious cold weather stuff happening here across south Asia. It's 10 degrees in New Delhi right now.

But temperatures remain well below the average across these areas and even over the next few days their average high is 22. They'll only be warming up to about 14. So that still continues to be a big problem here. Back to you, Kristie.

And (inaudible) --


STOUT: All right. Mari Ramos there. All right. Thank you. Take care.

And that is NEWS STREAM. We've got "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" coming up next.