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Japan Airlines Ground Boeing Dreamliner; Helicopter Crash In Central London Kills Two; French Troops Begin Ground Offensive In Mali; Maria Sharapova Sets Up Third Round Match With Venus Williams; Facebook Announces New Social Search Tool
Aired January 16, 2013 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Now Boeing's bad dream: the two biggest operators of its flagship 787 Dreamliner ground their entire fleet. So, what has gone wrong?
Also, two people are killed in central London as a helicopter crashes into a crane and plunges to the ground.
And is this the future of Internet searches? A look at Facebook's new graph search tool.
Another blow for Boeing. The two biggest operators of its flagship 787 Dreamliner have ground their entire fleet of the plane. Now earlier on Wednesday, on all Nippon Airways Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing in Japan after a burning smell in the cabin. Now ANA and Japan Airlines both said that they were grounding their Dreamliner fleets immediately.
And today's mishap brings the number of Dreamliner incidents to at least six in just the past nine days. And it all started when a maintenance worker discovered a fire onboard an empty JAL Jet in Boston. And since then, there have been fuel leaks from the wing as well as an engine generator.
Now a crack appeared on a cockpit window of an ANA plane while it was in the air. Another flight was canceled after the crew discovered an error message related to the breaking system. And then today, cockpit alarms indicated a battery problem as well as smoke in the forward electrical compartment. And as we said, there was a burning smell in the cabin.
Now we can go to CNN's aviation expert now. Richard Quest is standing by in Seoul, South Korea. He joins us now. And Richard, from the consumer point of view, how concerned should we be about the safety of this plane?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In terms of the raw safety, you shouldn't be that concerned at all. If you look at all the incidents that have taken place, various protections, alarms, detectors all kicked in as they were supposed to, including incidentally, today's incident with the ANA plane. There were two alarms we believe. There were warnings. The plane did an emergency landing and everybody got off the aircraft safely.
So in a raw safety sense, is one of these planes going to fall out of the sky? That's fundamentally what people are always really asking when they talk about safety. The answer is no.
But from an airline point of view wanting reliability and from a passenger's point of view wanting piece of mind and from a supply chain point of view wanting to have an element of quality and consistency, then there are questions to be answered. And that's why I can tell you Boeing right at the very top of the company are taking this extremely seriously. The airlines want answers. And they have a huge tolerance or teething problems, but when those teething problems start to cost them money in delays and aircraft on the ground, then they want answers.
LU STOUT: Yeah, Boeing is looking into this and taking this very seriously. These incidents that have been called teething problems.
But Richard, there are so many, and they're so varied. I mean, you have battery issues, and then the fuel leaks and cracked windows. What do you make of that?
QUEST: Well, there aren't so many. Let's have a reality check. Yes, there have been some very high profile cases, but glitches with things like, you know, a warning light on the breaks. I mean, what they are going through the process now is seeing how the plane functions in real-life operational requirements. Now that doesn't mean how it flies. They know it flies beautifully. And it really does, I've been on it. This is about the day in, day out, day in, day out flying for an airline. So you have a difference between the certification for safety and the operational reality.
And what I think we're seeing with a lot of the mistakes, not today's and certainly not the fire that took place in the Boston one, but with most of these glitches, they are the operational reality, operational reality of getting the thing up and running.
Now, nothing I say in that sense should diminish what the Japanese authorities are calling a very serious incident. And it was. An onboard fire has the potential to be the most gravest incident you can get. And that's why the FAA, the Japanese and Boeing are all now looking into why there have been these glitches and what needs to be done to put them right.
LU STOUT: So we should not be concerned about the fundamental safety of this plane, but as you mentioned earlier, reliability is an issue. So what are your thoughts about the business impact, the future success of the plane?
QUEST: The future success of the plane is unquestioned. There's more than 800 of them on order. The future profitability for Boeing might be more questionable if it certainly can't ramp up to the 10 a month it was hoping. Remember, they are hoping to make these numbers -- they took so many orders. You make the first two almost bespoke, and then you start to get into a rhythm and you build an assembly line.
Now they have to get industrial ramp up. If they're having problems with the first few, that could be because of batches of equipment, that could be because of early supplier issues, but to make the Dreamliner truly profitable for Boeing, they have got to get to industrial commercial ramp- up.
And if they start seeing problems then, then they're in deep trouble.
LU STOUT: All right, Richard Quest, great insight as always. Thank you.
Now let's take you to central London where a helicopter plunged to the ground in a fiery crash during morning rush hour.
Just take a look at this, this video was taken just after the crash. And the pilot and one other person were killed.
The helicopter, it hit a crane that was on top of a high rise construction site in the Vauxhall area of the city and ignited what you're seeing right there, just a wall of flames along a commuter route as it plunged to the ground with reports of injured people being dragged from burning cars.
Now no cause has yet been given for the crash. And it all occurred in thick fog.
Now police say that the crash does not appear to be terrorism related.
Now Erin McLaughlin, she joins us now live from the scene with more. And Erin, can you give us the latest details on this crash?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie, well we understand it happened at 8:00 am this morning. It was a very foggy morning here in London when that commercial helicopter collided with a crane on top of a 50 story residential luxury commercial building. Eye witnesses tell us that they saw the helicopter flying very low and very fast when it collided with that crane in a big bang.
The crane then went spiraling down to the ground as you described the wreckage -- the scene of the wreckage there -- very fiery, strewn across the road.
Now police have cordoned off the area around the St. George's Warf. And perhaps that is because of the matter of the crane, which is still dangling precariously over the construction site. We are still waiting from authorities to find out what exactly they're going to do about that, but for now, authorities are not allowing anyone near that building. The tubes -- the London Underground systems and the buses and traffic all not allowed to run through this area, Kristie.
LU STOUT: This crash, it took place during rush hour this morning. Can you tell us more about the area? Is it a densely populated area? Is it a transport hub there in London?
MCLAUGHLIN: It is both, Kristie. It's a densely populated area and it is a transport hub. There's a major bus station not far from St. George's warf. It's also -- it's a mixed residential area. So incredibly congested.
That being said, the helicopter -- the only two, actually, two people were killed in this crash: the pilot as well as one person who was in close proximity to the crash. Others were injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. But no doubt authorities -- authorities perhaps thankful that it wasn't any worse, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Now I don't know if investigators have arrived to comb through the wreckage, but what is the latest thinking about the cause of the crash?
Sorry -- OK, it seems that we lost our Erin McLaughlin. But our reporter there at the scene of this helicopter crash which killed two, it took place earlier today during morning rush hour in Vauxhall near Central London.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, scenes of destruction in Syria. And even when opposition fighters win, it comes at a cost. And we'll show you the toll on one town.
Plus, French forces begin a ground offensive against Islamic militants in Mali. And we will examine how well armed the rebels may be.
And addressing gun violence, the U.S. president is set to unveil a plan he hopes will help prevent future mass shootings.
LU STOUT: Now the death toll has climbed in Aleppo, Syria after two blasts at a university. Now an activist groups says some 87 people were killed on the campus on Tuesday and that number is expected to climb.
Now they're among more than 240 Syrians killed across the country on Tuesday. And some towns caught in the crossfire, only rubble remains.
Nick Paton Walsh has more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what life sounds like after the Syria regime has punished a city: the silence of extinction. A people vanished, their homes and lives bombed away. This is what Syria faces when the bloodshed stops and it becomes time to rebuild.
A regime air base next to it, Taftanaz was cursed to be caught in the crossfire during a battle lasting several months to seize the launchpad for jets and helicopters across much of the north. This cameraman filmed what remained from outside its walls. The Islamist brigades who won filming their victory.
Yet still jets sought this week to hit rebels that remained. This substantial victory over regime air power not stopping a devastating onslaught nationwide.
The town of Houla (ph) hit Tuesday. Children killed by shelling.
And then another massacre, blasts striking Aleppo University. The regime blaming terrorists, activists saying rockets hit the building. It's dormitories full of the displaced already bombed out of their homes.
Freezing, bad weather have prevented regime planes flying for some days, reducing casualties, but that was short lived. Many asking after Taftanaz what blow will be large enough to slow the onslaught?
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Beirut.
LU STOUT: And now, turning to the situation in Mali, the battle for the west African nation rages on between Islamic militants and government troops aided by French forces. And on Wednesday, France launched its first ground offensive since it joined the fight six days ago. Now French troops, they headed north into rebel territory as tanks and armored vehicles were seen rolling out of Mali's capital city of Bamako. And so far, France has used air strikes to attack behind enemy lines. And countries including the U.S., Canada and Nigeria have said that they will send troops or provide logistical support to aid the operation.
Nigeria says that they plan to send around 900 soldiers within the next 10 days and the first of its soldiers should arrive today.
Now some 2,500 French troops are involved in the overall operation. And Vladimir Duthiers joins us now live with more from CNN Legos. And Vlad, France is now expanding its campaign with these ground troops. What more can you tell us?
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie, just this morning speaking on French radio RTO, defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that French ground forces are, in fact, on the move. He said that there are some ground troops that are in Bamako. They are there to protect civilians. They are there to protect the French citizens and the Malians that are in Bamako, but that French ground forces are on the move up north. They've continued the aerial bombardment because he says that the move to the north will be a much more difficult fight than it has been obviously from the air. Ground forces taking on rebels in -- on the ground will be a much harder fight. He says that they're better equipped, that they're entrenched that's why he's been using the French air force has been using aerial bombardment to soften those targets.
He says there are some 1,200 to 1,300 rebel fighters in the area, but that the French military, using satellite imagery, using some of the more advanced technology that they have, are hoping to dislodge them from the northeastern part of Mali, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And Vlad, what kind of enemy is France up against? I mean, just how well armed, how well equipped, are the rebels in Mali?
DUTHIERS: Well, according to the defense minister, they are very well armed. They are very well equipped. I think that the French were surprised by some of the reprisal attacks, especially when the rebels launched a counter offensive to take the town of Diabaly. They were surprised by the speed and the way that they were able to advance so quickly.
So they are entrenched. These are some fighters that have also fought in other wars. They fought in Libya. They fought in other African countries. And so this is not going to be an easy fight for France. The defense minister said as much. He said that his is going to be difficult, that this is going to be long and hard.
But what they are hoping is that with the arrival of a contingent of African soldiers we know that 190 Nigerian soldiers are scheduled to arrive in Mali any time now, today, and that another 700 soldiers from Nigeria will follow, followed by a force from the Economic Community of West African states that this will hopefully be able to be turned over to an African led force to shoulder the burden of the fighting, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Some more help on the way.
And we have to talk about the civilian toll. I mean, the civilians have really been bearing the brunt of the instability of Mali since last year. And now active fighting taking place inside Mali since last week. What impact is it all having on the civilian population?
DUTHIERS: Well, you know, Human Rights Watch released a statement yesterday saying that the rebel insurgents were using child soldiers, some as young as 12 years old. And what ultimately ends up happening is these child soldiers are, for example, manning checkpoints. They're at the bases where the French are carried out their aerial bombardment. So there is that. And a lot of the families of those children have said that those children have been taken from them and they're hoping that they can return from the grips of these rebel insurgents.
We also know that over the last year since March of 2012 that hundreds of thousands of Malians have been displaced because of the turmoil there. We also know that the insurgents are carrying out their very strict form -- their strict interpretation of Sharia law. They are beheading -- they're beheading -- there are reports of beheadings, of people's hands being amputated, of stonings. And so this is a -- this is going to be -- and what the advancement of French ground forces that you're going to see a lot more refugees, more than we've already seen in the last six to nine months, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, for sure. And some terrifying reports there of torture and abduction happening inside Mali.
Vlad Duthiers reporting live for us. Thank you very much indeed.
Now Mali is a former French colony. It gained independence in 1960. And Lindsey Hilsum tells us how France's current presence inside the country is being received on the streets of the capital.
LINDSEY HILSUM, JOURNALIST: There's no doubt which flag is most popular on the streets of Bamako today: the tri-color flag of La France. People feared the jihadis would sweep down and impose their harsh form of Islam here in the capital.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We're delighted that France is helping us. We can't pay them. So we're showing our satisfaction with this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the French were unable to come, so everybody knows that they (inaudible) the country. And they will impose their so- called Sharia.
HILSUM: There is from the north say the French are liberators, the jihadis occupiers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My family are still there. Unfortunately they're still under the fire of the occupation. The Malian army and France most liberate them very quickly.
HILSUM: Enthusiasm it seems has not bounds. I asked how long the French should stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In my view the French shouldn't leave. They should stay in Mali.
HILSUM: But they're the old colonists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'd like to be colonized again.
HILSUM: That's not the French plan.
More troops arrived today, some transported in British planes. They're building up to a force of 2,500. The French president seemingly determined to destroy the group linked to al Qaeda.
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): You asked me what we will do with the terrorists if we find them, destroy them. Take them prisoner if that's possible and ensure that they won't be able to be a threat in the future.
The operation isn't to defend a line. There are no internal borders in Mali. I've told you the aim is to stop the aggression and to allow Bamako to be secured so that the authorities in Mali can be preserved and our nationals protected.
HILSUM: Today, West African military chiefs met in Bamako. Several African countries will provide troops, including 900 Nigerians who are expected to start arriving in the next 24 hours. Their problem will be logistics. No African army has the capacity of the French whose forces are moving north in numbers now. They have the momentum and the advantage. The problems will come when the jihadis regroup, which they undoubtedly will.
LU STOUT: Lindsey Hilsum reporting there inside Bamako.
Now the French defense minister said on Tuesday that France will stay in Mali for, quote, as long as it is necessary to defend Mali and its government.
Now the Reuters News Agency is reporting that Islamist militants have captured five Japanese nationals and one French citizen at an oil facility in southern Algeria. Now Reuters is attributing that information to diplomatic sources. And Statoil, the Norwegian joint operator of the Yeminas (ph) facility has reported only that there has been a serious situation involving an attack at the site.
Now another joint operator BP confirms what it calls a security incident. And we'll bring you more on this story as we get it.
And this news just in from Syria. Two car bombs have killed 22 people and injured 30 more in Idlib, that's according to Syria's state news agency. And we'll bring you more on this as soon as we have it.
And you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, we'll update you on the very latest from the Australian Open as Maria Sharapova sets up a mouth watering third round clash. Amanda Davies will tell us who she is playing.
LU STOUT: All right. Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are watching News Stream. And there have been no major upsets in the first two days at the Australian Open. Let's get details now with Amanda Davies. She joins us on day three -- Amanda.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie, yeah. Very much business as expected so far. And the world number on and defending champion Novak Djokovic has been back on court. He's now back in his hotel room having secured his place in the third round. So Djokovic saw off America's Ryan Harrison in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. So he stays on course to become the first man to win three straight titles in Melbourne.
The number four seed from Spain, David Ferrer, is through as well. He was given a scare, though, by the world number 125. He lost a set and took just over two-and-a-half hours to book his place in the next round.
There's good news for the former world number one Rafael Nadal after losing his race against time to be fit for Melbourne, Nadal is now expected to return to action at next month's Brazil open in Sao Paolo. He's been struggling with a knee injury, of course, having not played competitively since Wimbledon back in June.
On to the women, and there's a tasty third round tie and prospect. The 2008 champion Maria Sharapova rampaged into the next round, handing out a second straight double bagel. Sharapova, the current world number two, and pulled out of the previous tournament in Brisbane with a shoulder injury, but she's been showing no evidence of it, certainly not against 21- year-old Misake Doi of Japan. She pushed through without dropping a game in just 47 minutes. So next up for Sharapova, the small matter of the seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams.
The American has seen her ranking drop over the last two years, because she's been battling injury and illness. And she needed to draw on all of her experience against France's Alise Cornet, but did win through 6- 3, 6-3.
It was heartbreak once again, though, for the home favorite and world number nine Sam Stosur. She threw away the last five games to give China's Jiang Zheng a place in the next round. Stosur was 5-2 up in the deciding third set, but really went to pieces in front of her home fans and double faulted to hand Zheng victory 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. Stosur, 2011 U.S. Open champion never made it past the fourth round in 11 trips to Melbourne now.
Well, away from the tennis, after missing out on the captaincy of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, Collin Montgomerie has given his support to Ireland's Paul McGinley and offered to help in any way he can. McGinley was announced as Ireland's first ever Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi after winning the support of players like Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Justin Rose.
He was handed the role by the European tour tournament committee after seeing off competition from Montgomerie, Paul Laurie, Sandy Lyle, and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez.
And finally, no Chris Paul, but no problem once again for the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. They won for a second night in a row despite missing their star point guard through injury. They beat the Houston Rockets, starting to pull away in the third quarter.
Paul's replacement Eric Bledsoe with the three as part of his season high 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
James Hardin lead Houston with 23 points. And there in the third quarter, spurring a mini run for the Rockets, but he couldn't stop their season worst four game losing streak. And the Clippers very much shot it down in the fourth. Jamal Crawford scoring a season high 30 points, including 12 straight to start the fourth quarter. In the end, it was a Clippers win, 117-109, their second straight victory.
That's it, Kristie. I'll be back with far more on the tennis in World Sport in a couple of hours time. Perhaps you can join me then.
LU STOUT: All right. Good Stuff. Amanda Davies there, thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream, and up next the Newtown massacre, it revived the debate on gun control in the United States. And later today, the U.S. president Barack Obama is said to layout his plans to curb gun violence.
Also ahead, CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls it Facebook's, quote, "coolest new tool." And coming up, we'll tell you what it is and how it works.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now two people have been killed in Central London after a helicopter hit a construction crane on top of a high rise building and crashed during morning rush hour. Now the incident took place in Vauxhall, south of the river Thames. The police say the crash does not appear to be terror related.
Now two major Japanese airlines have grounded their fleet of 787 Dreamliners after one plane made an emergency landing in Japan. And the latest of a series of problems with the jets. Now a Japanese ANA Dreamliner made the unscheduled landing on Wednesday after the crew noticed a battery alarm and a burning smell in the cabin.
An international military offensive to repel Islamist rebels in Mali is gathering force. Now troops from France and Mali are heading north toward military held territory. And France says it has prevented the Islamists from marching to the capital of Bamako. Now Italy also says it is ready for a, quote, logistical support operation, that's according to Italian state media.
Now JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon saw his salary and bonus slashed by more than half. The company says it's due to trading losses from the so-called London whale, but don't feel too sorry for Dimon, he will still take home over $11 billion. The bank also announced fourth quarter net income of more than $5.5 billion. And World Business Today will have much more on JP Morgan Chase in about half an hour from now.
Now one month and two days after the Sandy Hook School Massacre, U.S. President Barack Obama is taking steps to curb gun violence in America. And just hours from now, he and Vice President Biden will unveil their proposals for tighter gun control. But Mr. Obama's vision will likely face tough opposition in a country that's nearly eight times as many firearms as the second place nation India.
Now the president will propose universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. Likely standing in his way will be the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.
Now the gun control debate is nothing new in the U.S., but events in Newtown have brought it into political focus like never before. And Dan Lothian joins us now live from Washington with more.
And Dan, we know President Obama in just the hours ahead are set to layout his proposal. Can you tell us more about what he will reveal?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He really is. And I'll get to that in just a moment. But just getting some news here that according to a White House official, some Newtown families, so these are family members connecting to the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut will be here at the event today with the president when he unveils his plan, his proposals. In addition to that, the president will be joined by a group of children. These are kids, the White House says, who wrote the president some intimate letters shortly after the Connecticut shootings. Of course that's also being criticized this morning, because some see that as the president using kids as props.
But nonetheless, that will be sort of the backdrop for the president as he rolls out this plan that he had promised he would do very quickly. At the top of the list, obviously, an assault weapons ban. This is something the president had supported shortly after the shooting, something that members of Congress had been talking about reinstating.
Also the president plans to push for a ban on those high capacity magazines and the new part here is with more than 10 rounds. This is aimed preventing a gunman from firing off more than that, up to 30 rounds, in a shorter period of time.
And then, as part of sort of a screen process, the president will push for universal background checks for everyone buying guns whether at gun shows or private sales, probing their criminal records and also their mental health record.
So this is all part of what sources say the president will be rolling out today.
Some of the things will need to get congressional approval, but the president also plans to push ahead on some things on his own through executive action. White House spokesman Jay Carney saying that the White House understands that there are limits to what the president can do on his own within existing law -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: That's right, there are limits, but he does have executive powers, after all.
Now Dan, before the killings in Newtown, Connecticut, did anyone there in Washington expect this, that gun control would be so high on the president's agenda?
LOTHIAN: Not at all. I mean, you know, you look back at some of the other shootings that we had last year in Colorado there was one. I mean, all across the country over the last few years there have been several of these mass shootings. And there's always a lot of talk on Capitol Hill that they're going to do something to prevent another one from happening again.
And so I don't think, you know, that anyone thought that gun control would be dominating the discussion the way it is now. Perhaps we thought that it would be something around the debt ceiling, some fiscal kind of debate taking part. So I think this certainly was a big turn after those shootings. And so now you have this very controversial issue -- everyone agrees that something has to be done, but it's finding the right solution to it. And then you have the NRA, which by the way since the shootings and since talk of regulations have seen their membership jump, a record spike by some 250,000 new members. They have over 4 million. And you've seen these long lines of people lining up to buy guns, because they're concerned that their second amendment rights might be impacted.
And as the president gets ready to roll out his proposals today, the NRA is rolling out a controversial ad going after the president. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Are the president's kids more important than yours? Than why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?
Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids, and gun free zones for ours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: So a very tough ad going after the president. This ad, by the way, will be running on the Sportsman Channel, which is a cable channel. A lot of the viewers, their audience are gun owners. It will also be posted on the internet. And I should point out, it's not just the NRA pushing back, there's a sheriff out in Oregon who says if these regulations are passed that he doesn't plan to enforce any of them, because you know there are concerns about violating their rights.
LU STOUT: That's right, a number of groups there in America, they are against any attempt to limit access.
Dan Lothian reporting live from Washington for us, thank you.
And you can see the announcement of those new gun proposals from the U.S. President Live right her on CNN. It takes place 11:45 am Eastern Time. And CNN's special coverage begins at 11:30 am. So please, join us for that.
Now with the possibility of tighter gun control, gun stores say that they are seeing an upsurge in sales. And Miguel Marquez reports from Las Vegas where the world's biggest gun show just got underway.
MARQUEZ: Whoa. My god.
(Voice-over): Go big or stay home, as they say in Vegas.
(On camera): Wow.
(Voice-over): Yes, that is a chrome plated, fully automatic 50- caliber machine gun, a one of a kind weapon that can now be fired right on the Vegas Strip.
(On camera): This is the place for the gun connoisseur.
JUSTIN MICHAELS, STRIP GUN CLUB: Yes.
MARQUEZ: Somebody who wants --
MICHAELS: We're going after a little bit of a higher end demographic.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): For gun lovers, it's the sort of things dreams are made of. The world's most powerful handgun. The Smith & Wesson 500 is here, too.
(On camera): Look at this thing. My god.
MICHAELS: Just make sure you not to put your finger on the trigger and point at anyone.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The Strip Gun Club has only been open a month. Co-owner Justin Michaels is attending the SHOT show now in town hoping to find new sources of ammunition now in short supply.
(On camera): Why is there a shortage of ammunition?
MICHAELS: It's because there -- certain people have a fear that with the -- what they perceive to be upcoming gun legislation.
MARQUEZ: Rick Cass, an Indianapolis gun dealer, is also here for the SHOT show. Like ammunition, he says, gun owners are buying up AR-15s at about 2,000 bucks a pop in record numbers.
(On camera): Eighty percent of your business is AR-15s.
RICK CASS, INDY CUSTOM FIREARMS: Yes.
MARQUEZ: And you cannot keep them in stock.
CASS: I cannot keep in stock. We received 17 this week. And I sold them in 36 hours.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): He also sold 20 100 high capacity magazines in just three days, he says. All this the unintended consequence of talk of new gun laws.
This is a place perfectly comfortable with guns. You can even go to the state-of-the-art Clark County shooting range opening this week. We got a sneak peak.
Gun carts, desert views, 30 manicured shooting stations, it is golf with guns.
In Vegas anything goes. Sports shooters and high-end gun rangers don't think the new gun laws will have much effect on them, but retailers and manufacturers of guns gathered in here are watching, waiting and worried.
Miquel Marquez, CNN, Las Vegas.
LU STOUT: Now on Tuesday, we showed you the NRA's new app. It puts the user in a gun range where a variety of handguns and rifles are available to shoot at targets. And the game, it was initially rated as appropriate for children as young as four, but that has now been revised to age 12 and up. Now the rating cites frequent and intense realistic violence. Now the NRA and the app developer, they have not commented on that change.
Now this was the scene in the Indian state of Goa where a head mistress has been taken into custody over accusations of negligence. Why? Because a seven year old girl was raped in her school's bathroom. Now police have now released a sketch of the man accused in the case. Now this attack has sparked huge outrage in Goa. And police are still searching for the suspect.
Now the fatal gang rape of a student last month, it brought the issue of women's safety to the forefront in India. It led police in the city of New Delhi to pledge new efforts to protect women. But has anything really changed?
Sumnima Udas followed a patrol to try to find out.
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Midnight in New Delhi. Though the city has been dubbed India's crime capital it's teeming with activity. People here seem resilient. And the roads, even at this hour, are crowded with traffic. Adding to the congestion, police barricades now set up ever few hundred meters throughout the city.
The Delhi police bore the brunt of criticism after the December gang rape. Protesters camped out in front of police stations for days demanding better security for women.
Deputy commissioner Devinder Aria (ph) says it was a wakeup call.
DEVINDER ARIA (PH), NEW DELHI POLICE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Delhi police has (inaudible) a lot of criticism over that incident. State policing in a city is always difficult. And people have huge expectations. We are trying our best to rise up to that expectation.
UDAS: That means greater visibility. They are stopping almost every car, on the lookout for suspicious behavior, drunk drivers, and to try to ensure women's safety.
In a city of 19 million people, police officers say it's almost impossible to check every single vehicle. But they say they're being more vigilant than ever.
Tinted film is being peeled off car windows. It was banned by the supreme court last year, but the law was never rigorously enforced until now. The bus in which the 23 year old student was raped also had such windows, one reason why the vehicle could tour the city for hours and no one could see the brutality taking place inside.
Night patrols have been stepped up, even officer level staff are on the streets.
SHIV DAVYAL, INSPECTOR, DELHI POLICE: We have increased our force under rules at least by 40 percent or 50 percent.
UDAS: Back at the police station, daily briefings on what is now a top priority.
"If you see a woman standing alone in a bus stand, then please ask her how can we help," he says. "The main point is women's safety, that's what you need to work on, that's what we all need to work on. Is that clear?"
24 hour help lines for women have been set up at all police stations. More female police officers are being recruited. And self defense classes are being taught by the police. The aim is to bring down the trust deficit and ensure women in Delhi are safe.
But subinspector Keloni (ph) says citizens also share responsibility.
"The police cannot change our mentality. The people need to change that themselves. Our close may have become westernized, but our mindsets have not become westernized," she says.
It's now well past midnight. The government has mandated all restaurants and clubs close up by 1:00 am, one of many steps aimed at making the Indian capital safer.
Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.
LU STOUT: And as you can imagine from Sumnima's report, the idea of traveling around India alone can be something that many women are apprehensive about, but a CNN.com journalist Alexis Lai (ph). She recently did just that. And her experience might surprise you. You can read her article here, CNN.com/travel.
Now ahead on the program, Facebook is showing off its new search tool. Is the social network taking aim at Google? Our weekly tech talk with Nick Thompson is next.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. And this is News Stream. And right here is a visual rundown of all the stories that we're covering. And if you look at the column nearest to me, we have brought to you the latest on Dreamliner's troubles and updated you on the Australian Open, but now it's time to talk tech.
Now Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he calls it one of the coolest things he've done in awhile. And critics say the newly unveiled graph search is a long overdue upgrade to the site's current tool which you can see up top here. Now as you know, you can only find people in pages with it.
Now graph search, it looks like this. It's basically a bigger blue bar that let's you look for people, photos, places and interests. You can use it to find friends who like trail running, for example, or pizza places your coworkers like in Hong Kong. Now Zuckerberg emphasized that graph search is still a beta product. And it's only available in English for now. Now Zuckerberg also highlighted the difference between graph search and web search.
Now let's bring in our Nick Thompson. He is our regular contributor and editor at the NewYorker.com. Nick, good to see you. And I'm going to start by paraphrasing that Gizmoto headline over night. Is Facebook declaring war on Google with this search tool?
NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, I mean, they're already at war. This is a new front. I mean, Google started a search engine, Google+ which went straight at Facebook. Now -- sorry, Google started a social network. Facebook is now starting a search engine.
I mean, the most hilarious thing is -- so Mark Zuckerberg gives an in depth interview to a reporter at Wired. And as he's demoing how this new Facebook search product works, what does he show? He shows how it can used by Facebook to poach engineers from Google. These companies are going at it.
LU STOUT: Yeah, and the grand irony here, the engineers behind this Facebook search tool, they're ex-Google engineers themselves.
Now the search tool, it's a threat to Google, but it's also as you pointed out, a threat to other websites who trade on social data, right?
THOMPSON: Right. I mean, so that example that I just mentioned, right -- so Facebook and Google are fighting, but Facebook is actually trying to do is to build a search engine that goes beyond what Google does and it could also answer questions. So it's not just providing -- it's not just leading you to a web page that has already sorted information, Facebook is trying to sort information itself. So it's providing a kind of structured data. And that is going to go at lots of other companies.
So the example I gave you about poaching engineers from Google, that's actually a direct shot at LinkedIn. Facebook is also going to be -- allow you to search for, you know, single women in New York, right. That's a direct shot at Match.com and lots of dating services. So they're -- you know, you can look for that -- pizza restaurant -- pizza restaurant near you that friends like. That's a direct shot at Yelp.
So Facebook is going after a lot of major companies. They're going after the business that a lot of these major companies have. So this will have a very intense and broad affect on the tech industry -- assuming it works. I mean...
LU STOUT: Yeah, that's right, assuming it works.
THOMPSON: So, we'll see.
LU STOUT: Yeah. Let's talk about another issue that, you know, assuming it works and the users like it. People in the Facebook community, there's always that nagging community. There's always that nagging question of privacy. I mean, it's always been an issue for Facebook. But founder Mark Zuckerberg, he did address it head-on during the big search announcement.
First, let's listen to what Zuckerberg said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER: The search that we wanted to build is privacy aware, right. So every piece of content on Facebook has a different audience that can see it. And this is both one of the most powerful things about graph search. In addition to one of the things that made it the most difficult and challenging to build. So it's really powerful, because on Facebook most of the things that people share with you aren't public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: You see that right there? Zuckerberg says, and puts if full screen, that the search tool is privacy aware.
Now Nick, what do you think?
THOMPSON: I mean, sure, they're doing -- they're doing something, but of course it's not really privacy where I mean how many people who have Facebook accounts actually know how to set the privacy settings and how to set, oh wait, I'm putting this content up and I want to make it public. I want to share this with my certain group of friends.
Zuckerberg is sort of assuming that we're all power users of Facebook and we all really know how to adjust the privacy settings on every piece of data that we put up there and we certainly don't.
This is going to have -- there are going to be real privacy problems with it, there's no question about it. Because we have put up stuff on Facebook like our relationship status that we put up there expecting our friends to find while browsing, not to sort of have anybody, or anybody connected to us find while searching. So suddenly all this information that we expected to be available to a small group of people will be available to a ton of people. And there are going to be some pitfalls.
Now, it does seem like Facebook is trying. They're going to do their best to avoid these things. They have very smart people working to prevent them. So the problems may not be as bad in the past where Facebook had sort of a willful dislike of privacy. But there are going to be some potholes.
LU STOUT: Yeah, I mean, for me as sort of a casual Facebook user I can't help but notice for it to properly look, this graph search, you have to be willing to give up more privacy, give up more personal information for users to get the most out of it.
Anyhow, Nick, always great time to talk with you about this. Nick Thompson there, thank you so much.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, the flooding in Indonesia. And thousands have been evacuated from areas in and around the capital. And we'll have more on the situation as well as our full weather update after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, major flooding in Indonesia has sent thousands into forced evacuation of the capital city. Mari Ramos joins us now with more -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it seems like this type of flooding across parts of Jakarta in particular tends to happen every time we get into the rainy season. I want to go ahead and show you some pictures that we have of that area.
And first of all, look way in the background there, that's where you see all of that water. Well, these are the lower lying areas of Jakarta proper and it happens to the east of the city, it happens to the west of the city. It seems as if the city center is built up on somewhat higher ground. But there are dozens of rivers that drain down into this basin here and many of them have actually burst their banks. That has left about 20,000 people trying to find new places to live. It's a very serious situation.
Now we are in the rainiest month of the year right now for Jakarta. They get almost 400 millimeters of rain. And they had about a fourth of that just in the last 24 hours. So the fact that it's raining so heavily right now, of course makes it worse. So much water is still standing.
Many parts of the city, Kristie, actually have pumps that work almost year around to try to pump the water out, but it's not enough when we get so much heavy rainfall. And as you can see there, water up to their chest. It's very, very serious. And it actually could get worse, believe it or not. As we head into the next couple of weeks if the rain continues once we get into those higher tides during the full moon and during the new moon, that's usually when we get the higher water levels across these cities and you can see, wow, just so much damage happening there.
Come back over to the weather map, tear you away from those images. I'm going to show you how there's a lot of rainfall still across all of these areas here even right now. And as we head through the next 24 to 48 hours notice that there are still some pockets that you see some red popping up. So widespread areas of heavy rain this time of year. This is what tends to happen here when we get those heavier rainfalls.
Now we're getting a little bit of better air quality here as we head across Beijing. Some scattered clouds moving across the Korean peninsula and then back over toward Japan. And Beijing proper, I do want to show you this, look at that. In the last 24 hours, we've really seen that air quality improve below unhealthy. That's actually good news for people there. We could see those levels go back up as we head through the next couple of days in the air settles in yet one more time.
Last but not least, that story of the helicopter crash in London proper. I want to show you very quickly an iReport picture that came in earlier. This is how foggy it was when the crash actually happened. It killed two people right there in Central London, Kristie. Our iReporter Christopher said that they could hear the sirens and smell the smoke. He was at a nearby tube station.
Authorities are going to be looking at the cause of this crash, but some people are saying -- or some already speculation that the weather may have had something to do with it. Back to you.
LU STOUT: That's right, the conditions definitely a factor in this as investigators look at what happened earlier today.
Mari Ramos there, thank you.
Now Disney has unveiled what it says is its most ambitious game ever, one which will eventually put its vast range of characters inside one game. Now Disney Infinity is due out in June. And users will be able to play as Disney and Pixar characters in their own worlds as well as create new worlds. But there's a catch, you need to buy characters individually in the form of physical action figures. It's only once you scanned the figurine on a dock that you can play with them in the game. And without all the characters you won't have access to all the games, levels, and worlds.
So, it's not just about buying the game, it's about buying what Disney describes as collectible figures as well.
Now, Disney's latest offering, it bears strong similarities to the hugely successful gaming franchise Skylanders. And you can argue that it pioneered the combination of physical characters and digital games. And it is hugely successful. Now, U.S. sales have topped half a billion dollars since its launch 15 months ago. It is said to be the fastest kids gaming franchise to get to that point.
And it's not just popular as a game, its figurines are reportedly outselling all other action figure toys in the U.S. So not only are the parents paying for the game, but they have to keep on paying for all the figures too. It's a smart business model, but I can tell you it's one pretty hard for parents to appreciate.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.