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Venezuelans Honor Life of Hugo Chavez; Juventus, Paris Saint Germain Through To Quaters; Bolshoi Dancer: Attack Went Too Far; Jordanian Refugee Camps Busting At Seams; Facebook Sets For Facelift.

Aired March 7, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


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

Mourning the loss of a populist leader. Now late into the night Venezuelans lined up to pay tribute to Hugo Chavez as his body lies in state.

A Russian court denies bail for this leading dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet after an acid attack on the company's artistic director.

And words of forgiveness for Oscar Pistorius. The family of the girlfriend he killed speaks out in a CNN exclusive.

No Venezuela is in mourning for President Hugo Chavez. In Caracas, thousands of people have been paying their respects, many waiting all night to do so. Mr. Chavez's body is lying in state at a military academy. The 58-year-old Venezuelan president died on Tuesday following a two year battle with cancer. And huge crowds filled the streets of Caracas on Wednesday as Mr. Chavez's body was transported from a military hospital to the academy. Now Venezuela's national flag draped the simple wooden casket.

Now a state funeral will be held on Friday. And Shasta Darlington joins me now live from Caracas. And Shasta, tell us just who have been paying their respects to Mr. Chavez there.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, just millions and millions of Venezuelans who really looked on him in many ways as their savior. And this is because during his 14 years in office, Chavez managed to really narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. He managed to reduce poverty. And millions of Venezuelans thank him for that. He got them health care, education, in many cases jobs, when they didn't have them before.

Of course this was all financed by a very abundant oil reserves here. And there were a lot of people who didn't support his actions, who feel that he actually left the economy in tatters, that he silenced the opposition, that he closed down the media that didn't support him. So this is a very divided nation.

But for these days, at least, it's going to be a time to remember the man that so many feel made this a better country, Kristie.

LU STOUT: His body is now lying in state in the academy, but can you describe this scene on the streets of the capital before his coffin reached the academy. What did you see?

DARLINGTON: It was really amazing, Kristie. There were just thousands and thousands of people pouring down the streets, most of them walking. But you could just see the red t-shirts and these baseball caps, flags waving, coming down all the side streets, headed towards the main avenue, the Paso (inaudible) where his casket was going to pass by. And they stood for hours waiting.

And while, of course, many people were crying, many people were honoring with their tears, others were actually celebrating, celebrating this life and this man who many people call Saint Chavez.

So, you heard shouts and chanting and song. It was a real mixed atmosphere, but very emotional, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now we know that a state funeral is due to take place on Friday, what should we expect?

DARLINGTON: Well, you can definitely expect a lot of people flying in from around Latin America and even beyond. This is a man who affected the economies of the region. He helped Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, for example, with preferential prices for oil. In Cuba's case, it was paid back often by medical services. So the economies of many countries in Latin America depended heavily on Venezuela.

And there was also strong ideological links. You have to remember right now in Latin America there are a lot of -- a lot of the presidents come from the sort of left leaning spectrum. So even if they didn't share a lot of the same economic theories and policies, they had a historical past and historical bond.

So you'll see presidents from across the region here, many are already here from Argentina and Bolivia and Uruguay for example. Others, like Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will be arriving today.

This is going to be a very formal, very big affair. And they really want to feel that they have done honors to a person who affected not only Venezuela, but the region, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Shasta Darlington, joining us live from Caracas. Thank you.

Now Cuba is also in mourning for Hugo Chavez. He was a close ally of Fidel Castro and of the Cuban government. And crowds are expected in Havana's revolution square for a memorial event for the Venezuelan leader. And in a statement, the Cuba govenrment called Mr. Chavez one of Cuba's most accomplished sons. In a sign of respect, flags at government buildings are at half staff.

Now the friendship between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, it dates back decades. Here they are in 1994. And by 1999, Chavez was president of Venezuela. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. Castro gave the younger Chavez revolutionary street cred, so to speak. President Chavez sent subsidized oil to his island ally.

And when Fidel Castro fell ill in 2006, Chavez appeared by his bedside. Now this image, it helped dispel the rumors that Castro had died.

And in 2011, it was Castro's turn to sit next to a sick Chavez. And this photo, it was released shortly after Chavez announced his cancer for the first time.

Now in Italy, the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been handed another prison sentence, this time for one year. But it's once again unlikely that he'll see the inside of a jail. This ruling has to do with the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap in a newspaper that he owns. Now Berlusconi can appeal. He is currently fighting last year's tax evasion conviction and is still on trial for charges of sex with an underage prostitute.

Now Berlusconi's legal woes have not stopped his return to politics. His party is looking to form a coalition after last month's election.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, controversy in Kenya. The running mate of one presidential candidate is calling for a stop to the vote count.

And tensions are rising on the Korean peninsula. North Korea is making more threats. And now it's saying a preemptive nuclear attack is not off limits.

Plus, a CNN exclusive. The family of Reeva Steenkamp breaks their silence for the first time since the man accused of murdering her, Oscar Pistorius, was freed on bail.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

In Russia, the case against this man, dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, is exposing the drama and intrigue behind the scenes at the famed Bolshoi Ballet. Now a Moscow court says that Dmitrichenko will remain in custody during the investigation of the acid attack on the company's artistic director. Police say that he has confessed to planning the attack. He and two alleged accomplices appeared at a bail hearing just a few hours ago.

And police have released a video in which Dmitrichenko says the attack went further than he anticipated.

Phil Black is in Moscow with the very latest. He joins us now. And Phil, what more did the dancer say about the attack?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, he once again confirmed that, yeah, he had a lead role in this. It was his doing, his planning, but only to a point.

He admits that he had problems at work with Sergei Filin. He discussed this with someone that he knows, a man named Yuri Zarutsky, and he then offered to take care of that problem, to fix it by beating up Sergei Filin. And Pavel Dmitrichenko says that he accepted that offer. But what he said he did not do, had no knowledge of, and certainly not order him to do was to use sulfuric acid in that attack. He said he had no idea that was going to happen.

He admits that he agreed to the attack, called the attacker to let him know when Sergei Filin was on his way home from the theater, but he was shocked to hear that acid was used (inaudible) he only heard about it on the news. He said he had no intention of hurting Sergei Filin seriously, Kristie.

LU STOUT: It's incredible. He basically confessed that he hired a fixer, but that the fixer just went too far.

Phil, let's talk more about Sergei Filin, the artistic director and the victim in this. After acid was thrown in his face back in January, how is he doing? What is the latest on his condition?

BLACK: He's in Germany. He's still undergoing treatment. And he's expected to spend several months recovering days, undergoing multiple operations.

And the word from his people, from the Bolsoi, from he, himself is that his recovery is proceeding very, very well. And he remains very hopeful, very optimistic, that he will return to Moscow and return to that position as artistic director. He said he's still involved with the ballet company on a daily basis, but at the moment, where things stand now, while doctors are confident they have saved his sight, they do not know the degree to which it has been saved. Ultimately, they still don't know just yet. It's still too early to know how much of his sight will come back, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah. And what have you learned about his life before the acid attack? Was he under threat? Was he being threatened?

BLACK: He has spoken about that -- well, he spoke about that not long after the attack took place. He said he had been the victim of a campaign of harassment. He said he received threatening phone calls, his email and Facebook accounts had suffered hacking attempts. His car tires had been slashed. He said that as a result of all of that, and given that attack that took place, he regretted, and even the theater has said that it regretted not taking that campaign more seriously.

But from what we've heard so far out of the arrests that have been made, the investigation that to some extent is still ongoing, the police have not established a link between the attack that did take place and to which three people have now confessed varying degrees of involvement, and that alleged campaign of harassment that Sergei Filin says that he received in the weeks leading up to that attack, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now this is a disturbing and riveting story from the world of ballet. Phil Black reporting live from Moscow, thank you.

Now in Kenya, the controversy surrounding the presidential election has deepened. The running mate to Prime Minister Raila Odinga says the vote count is doctored and should be stopped. Incomplete results show Odinga trailing his main opponent Uhuru Kenyatta here on the right. Now Kenyatta's party made its own complaint about the election process on Wednesday.

And election officials are urging citizens to be calm and to be patient.

Nima Elgabir joins us now live from Nairobi. And Nima, I understand that an electronic system was put in place to send election results in a transparent way this time around, but it was switched off. So what went wrong?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, and that is really what people are trying to ascertain now, Kristie, whether the server was overloaded. We've been hearing a lot of increasingly wild speculation about the reasons behind that. There are even some reports emerging that the server had been hacked. All of that, of course, we should say at the time we should say is unconfirmed, but what is clear is that there is a growing sense of anxiety and confusion around the tallying process, and indeed around the vote casting itself.

We heard some really strong words from Prime Minister Odinga's running mate Kalonzo Musyoka a little earlier this morning -- a little earlier today I should say. Take a listen, Kristie.


KALONZO MUSYOKA, KENYAN VICE PRESIDENT: Evidence that the results we are receiving have actually been doctored. Because of these concerns, we as a coalition take the position the national vote tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ELBAGIR: Now the reason, of course, that Kenya spent all this money bringing in this system in the first place was because there were so many concerns about the manual -- the manual counting process. And a commission looking into the violence that marred the 2007 election found that there had been a big factor in the electoral malpractice and voter irregularities. So of course when people hear that that electronic system failed, it does bring up a lot of anxiety.

But the electoral commission is continuing to release votes. And the only way that Mr. Odinga and his runningmate will be able to stop that is if they go to court, which at the moment they say that they haven't gone to court to seek an injunction.

Throughout this, both sides are continuing to call for calm and patience from the Kenyan public. This is a very complicated election. It was effectively six elections in one with everything from the presidential race all the way down to local assemblies having to get carried out in a very tight timeframe to really try and disperse and suspicion around it. So we do have to bear in mind that this was really, really difficult -- really difficult undertaking in the first place. And we're going to keep watching what happens next, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, there is a lot of anxiety. There is for a very good reason a call for calm, but have there been any protests? I mean, what is the general mood in Kenya as the entire nation awaits the result of this latest presidential election?

ELBAGIR: People are very much watching and waiting. The memory of the violence that erupted in 2007. Those memories are very, very fresh. And everybody is very careful to not say anything that might be seen to incite or to harken back to that time. In fact, Mr. Masyoka very quickly after that statement said, just to be clear, this is not a call for mass action. I want Kenyans to continue to be patient and to continue to be calm. And that call is being heard on the streets here, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Nima Elbagir, live from Nairobi, thank you.

Now the United Nations is demanding Syrian rebels release a group of 21 UN peacekeepers. Now the peacekeepers were seized after they entered a Syrian village near the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. The rebels say they suspect the group is trying to help the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The UN says the group was on a regular supply mission.

Meanwhile, rebels are trying to hold on to the Syrian city of Raqqa. Opposition leaders blame the Syrian government for a massive explosion there on Wednesday.

And as the war approaches its second anniversary, more than a million Syrians are living in camps like this. But while danger drove them from their homes, some Syrians are desperate to return.

Nick Paton Walsh has more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It may be hopeless here in the dust as one of an endless crowd of Syrian refugees, but surely you'd think it's better than going back to the horror of Syria. Not for these men. Gathered on the edge, furious at the regime, powerless in their new lives, they beg Jordanian police to be allowed to go back over the border they once fled across.

"We brought our families here," he says, "and secured them. And now we want to go back to Syria to be with the Free Syrian Army. The police won't let us leave, only those who pay leave."

All these men want to go.

They claim the police want big money and endless papers. But the police don't want these men filmed.

Zaatari Refugee Camp here is now a problem without a solution. Sanoff (ph) tends to newcomers all day long and still you have to pitch more, never enough shelter or food for the endless families and children fleeing Syria's shelling who still fear these aircraft as they monitor the border, even though they're Jordanian, the fear never lets up.

(on camera): The story of this camp is, in itself, extraordinary. No matter whose figures you listen to, and some say there are as many as 150,000 people living here, this camp has doubled in size in just the last two months. And it risks a similar increase in the months ahead, because some nights as many as 3,000 people turn up here.

Now since we've been driving, all the tents you've seen were not here at the start of the year.

(voice-over): One night, 90 injured flooded in heaping trauma over trauma. This woman unhurt, but shaking for the loss of her mother. And this elderly lady from the city of Daraa explains how regime soldiers dragged her out of her home and then torched it all because he sons are rebel fighters. She was alone and they shot her in the legs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): One bullet right here. You see where it went in. And it cracked all the bones right here.

PATON WALSH: Such anger and pain, it cannot be absorbed or lost, even in a barren (inaudible) the size of a city.


LU STOUT: Some heartbreaking scenes there.

Nick joins us now live from Amman, Jordan. And Nick, why -- why is there not enough shelter or food? Is this a function of the war or the failure of the international community to do enough and to give enough aid?

PATON WALSH: I think it's a mixture of those, but also in Zaatari, people are arriving, frankly, at a faster pace than you can really put tents up. One aid worker was saying how they were trying to prepare a patch of ground for inhabitants in the future, but 20,000 people were suddenly dumped on that patch early. So I think Zaatari is really struggling to keep pace with the influx of refugees, people who have stuck out the last two years of revolt, but only now are seeing the violence reach the point where they feel they have to come across the border.

I should give you some figures that kind of explain the severity of the problem here. I mean, in Jordan, one in ten people living there now, the UN says, as a Syrian refugee. And half of the people fleeing this conflict are under the age of 11. You see that very clearly in Zaatari, the place is literally cramming with children. Very hard to see how these people can begin to fashion the life here at such a young age, Kristie.

LU STOUT: It is cramming with people, as you point out as many as 150,000 people live in that camp. I mean, it is virtually a city. So could you give us an idea of the logistics and the operation inside to feed and to look after so many people?

PATON WALSH: Well, it is remarkable. I mean, the UN say they're doing the best they can with the resources they have. The money is now in a small percentage in terms of what they need. There was that pledge in Kuwait recently for $1.5 billion to assist refugees inside and outside the country, that is trickling through slowly. But the UN are, in fairness, I think are faced with almost impossible task here. This exodus so enormous.

No one really knows the exact numbers. 152,000 one government source told us, for the number of people registered at that camp. The UN think about 80 to 90 probably live there every night. There are people moving in and out. You saw some trying to go back to Syria as well. But inside that camp, there are a mixture of groups trying to supply assistance. A whole new set of prefabricated housing, porta cabins in a way, delivered it seems by the Saudi government in a bid to assist there as well.

But one other key thing, too, the charitable organization, part of the government here that was running the camp, in the past few days that responsibility was moved over to the Jordanian police. And I think that's an indication of what lies ahead here.

Jordan is really straining at accepting this number of Syrians. They probably can't take that much many more without risking their economy and their own country's stability. And the question is, when do they think about shutting that border, almost an impossible task given how porous it is. But it's all about, really, Jordan I think trying to ensure it stays intact in the months ahead as that exodus from the south and around the capital increases with the summer's fighting -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Powerful reporting from our Nick Paton Walsh joining us live from Amman. Thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And still to come, a story of love for nature and animals that went terribly wrong. There are a lot of questions after a young woman is mauled to death by a lion.


LU STOUT: Now, let's get more now on these deadly avalanches taking place across the Alps. Mari Ramos is watching the situation from the world weather center. She joins us now -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, the last couple of days have really been deadly for lack of a better word across portions of the Alps.

Now especially in some of the higher elevations we're talking about climbers that are in areas that are usually not for the faint of heart. I want to show you some pictures that we have from that region. This is just one of the latest ones. This is near the Austrian border. The helicopter actually had to land several hundred feet away, because the winds were so strong they weren't able to get closer. And then rescue workers had to climb on foot to try to find the people who had been missing.

At least seven people overall have been killed over the last couple of days. And these climbers, as we understand, were experienced climbers and they did have a guide with them. The level -- the situation -- the risk level across the mountains in some cases was either a two or a three depending on the location. Like I said, this is just one area and you can see, of course, just how difficult that terrain would be.

We are expecting more snowfall across this region. And I want to show you right over here. Notice all across the Alps. And that has been one of the concerns, not only are we still getting more snow, but over the last couple of days it has warmed up just a little bit.

The other thing has been the winds, the winds have picked up. And that can create large snowdrifts up against the gullies or the sides. And that really creates a lot of problems. So those risk factors when it comes to avalanches, no matter what part of the world you're in.

Of course, the snow conditions is one, but the weather and the temperature, the wind direction, the way that orientation of the mountain is, whether -- which side if faces, all of those things are so important, and even the amount of vegetation that might be there.

Now like I said, these climbers did have an emergency beacon, which is one of the most important things, because if you do get caught in an avalanche, one of the main things is the amount of time that it takes people to find you, for the rescue workers or your own party to find you. And if it takes -- time is of the essence here. You have a 93 percent chance of surviving if they find you within the first 15 minutes, but it's highly unlikely to -- for a person to survive once it takes over two hours.

So those are some of the critical, critical points.

Let's go ahead and switch gears now and take you to another part of the world. I want to go ahead and take you to the U.S. We've been tracking, of course, that winter storm across that region. And it is finally starting to wind down. That's a little bit of good news. Well, what happens when you're trying to get away from the cold and you decide to go to the beach? My last 15 seconds are going to be this video right here.

Look at that, Kristie. Isn't that something? This is off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida where thousands, literally thousands of sharks were swimming by. This is normal part of their normal migration across that area. And they say just stay out of the water. They had to close down the beaches for awhile, temporarily anyway, and they said, you know, if we don't bother them, they don't bother us.

I don't know.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah. Yeah, can we play the Jaws theme song right now, you know, just on top of that video? Good idea. Stay out of the water. Good advice. Thank you. Mari Ramos there. Take care.

You're watching News Stream, and still to come, the sound of saber rattling is echoing across the Korean peninsula. North Korea is now threatening the possibility of a preemptive nuclear attack. I'll tell you what it all means.

And we'll hear from the relatives of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman killed by the track star Oscar Pistorius. He says her death was an accident, but what is her family saying about the case?


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

Now Pavel Dmitrichenko, a leading dancer from the Bolshoi Ballet, has been denied bail in a Moscow court. Police say that he has confessed to orchestrating an attack on the company's artistic director Sergei Filin. He claims that the attack went further than he had anticipated. Now two alleged conspirators have also been denied bail.

Venezuelans are paying last respects to President Hugo Chavez. By the thousands, people have been filing past his casket at a military academy in the capital of Caracas. Mr. Chavez's body is lying in state there until Friday's state funeral.

As the United Nations security council prepares to vote on tougher sanctions on North Korea, the secretive country is making dramatic new threats. North Korea now says it will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack against its enemies.

Now North Korea's latest salvo of fiery rhetoric, it's getting a lot of attention, but experts say that Pyongyang is still years away from being able to launch a nuclear armed missile. Now Anna Coren is in Seoul, she joins us now with the very latest. And Anna, what do you make of this threat from North Korea?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we're used to the fiery, angry rhetoric that comes out of North Korea, but the language of this particular statement is a first. Preemptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea. We've heard of a preemptive strike before, but not a nuclear strike. So it certainly ups the ante here on the Korean peninsula.

And of course this comes just a few days after North Korea said it would scrap the 1953 armistice, which effectively ended the Korean War. So there's certainly a lot of warmongering coming out of Pyongyang.

We have heard from the South Korean defense ministry that they have noticed a great deal of activity in North Korea. These large scale military drills, air, sea, and land. So they have described them as quite unusual. So as I say, Kristie, tensions are rising here on the Korean peninsula.

LU STOUT: Yeah, warmongering in the Korean peninsula. And meanwhile, in New York, potential sanction action to be taken by the UN security council. And these sanctions have already been described by the U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice as some of the toughest sanctions ever imposed by the UN.

But sanctions have failed to control the North's nuclear ambitions. So, Anna, could they, will they ever work?

COREN: Well, that is the problem, isn't it? You know, the UN security council will meet in New York in less than two hours to most likely vote and enforce these tough new sanctions. We know that the United States has the backing of China. So it's more than likely that these will go through. But as you say, these sanctions haven't worked in the past. It almost seems that North Korea is immune to them. So the concern is that sanctions are not going to work, even though they're targeting luxury goods and international financing. Obviously, the aim being to deter North Korea from developing its nuclear weapons problem.

But from the experts that we've spoken to, Kristie, in the last couple of days, they say it's time to change our thinking, for the international community to really reevaluate the way that they are addressing North Korea. And it's time to open dialogue. And there's a real pressure now on the new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to make that connection with Pyongyang, to perhaps take the first step and to open dialogue, because the analysts say unless that happens this issue is not going anywhere.

LU STOUT: Yeah. And North Korea's own motivation, it has tested a nuclear device. It has threatened to scrap a 60 year old truce. It's now issued this new threat of a preemptive nuclear strike against its enemies. Why is North Korea turning up the heat this way? What does it want?

COREN: It wants to be relevant, Kristie, at the end of the day. This is what it's all about, it's about political leverage. And it's about getting the attention of the United States, that's what we've seen time and time again.

But as far as developing a nuclear weapons program, you know, when the new leader Kim Jong un took over from his father, there was real hope that he would perhaps be a reformer and perhaps be open to dialogue with the international community, but as we have seen he's conducted a missile test and then last month's nuclear test which, you know, as we're hearing was a success, whether or not, you know, this means that they're much more sophisticated in their nuclear weapons program, that is yet to be seen. We may never know. But certainly this gives them the confidence and the credibility. And it also means that they have something to protect their sovereignty, and something as we are hearing these last couple of days that can threaten the international community.

LU STOUT: Yeah, bellicose actions and statements from the marshal.

Anna Coren joining us live from Seoul, thank you.

And now to South Africa and the Olympian Oscar Pistorius. He is charged with premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. And some people who know him, they're speaking out to CNN. One soccer player says that there is another side of Pistorius that the public hasn't seen.


MARC BATCHELOR, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCCER PLAYER: He would have a trip switch, and you know, he'd get violent and angry and he'd fight with people. And it would cause a lot of problems. It's like, well, we were waiting for something like this to happen, you know.


LU STOUT: And one of Oscar Pistorius's other friends tells CNN that he never saw the track star behave in a violent or aggressive manner.


KEVIN LERENA, FRIEND OF PISTORIUS: Good guy. Could have fun with his mates. But never was he reckless and ever in my company aggressive towards anyone.


LU STOUT: Reeva Steenkamps family is also speaking out. In a CNN exclusive they are breaking their silence for the first time since the man accused of murder in the death of this beautiful young woman was freed on bail. Now Steenkamp's cousin and uncle talked to CNN's Drew Griffin about how they are coping with the tragedy and what they would say to Pistorius if they saw him face to face.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The interview took place in the home Reeva often stayed, in the back room of her cousin's, Kim Martin's. It is where we interviewed her and Reeva's uncle.

(on camera): Has -- has the family now realized emotionally what has happened?

MIKE STEENKAMP, REEVA'S UNCLE: You sort of wake up in the morning expecting Reeva still to give a phone call.

KIM MARTIN, REEVA'S COUSIN: It's easier to deal with it if you don't concentrate on anything else other than the fact that Reeva's not here and at the end of the day, she's not coming back.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): What the family says it does not want to concentrate on is just why Reeva Steenkamp is not coming back. She died in the home and at the hands of her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius. He is charged with murder, awaiting trial for what he has called an accidental shooting.

Kim Martin says she was as close to Reeva as a sister. There were no secrets. She knew the couple were dating. She also knew Reeva was not in love.

MARTIN: And I knew that in time she would chat to me about it.

GRIFFIN (on camera): but she never did?

MARTIN: No. She never did.

GRIFFIN: January 2 on Small Bay in Cape Town, Kim and her daughters finally did meet him at this seaside cafe. It was the only time she ever met Oscar Pistorius. He barely made an impact.

MARTIN: Wasn't long enough to form an opinion on his personality, you know? Reeva, her and I were chatting and the kids, and what I saw of him, it wasn't -- but he was nice. He did seem like a nice guy.

GRIFFIN: You still think that?

MARTIN: I don't really want to comment on that.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): In what now seems an ominous event, we now know Reeva's own mother had met Oscar Pistorius, too, at least by phone. Oscar and Reeva were driving on a highway and Oscar, prone to fast cars, was supposedly speeding.

STEENKAMP: She phoned her mom and she told mom, "Mom, Oscar's speeding."

So June takes to the phone and says, "Let me speak to Oscar. Oscar, hey listen. That's my precious and my only daughter, my precious daughter. And that's everything. That's my angel, and you'd better slow down. Otherwise I will get the mafia onto you afterwards."

And Reeva said afterwards, "Mom, he slowed down."

GRIFFIN: Now the family, including Reeva's parents, Barry and June, are trying to come to grips with a lot of tales from the past. Former friends of Pistorius speaking out about anger, rage and guns, early signs that police may have mishandled the crime scene and the fact that Oscar Pistorius, who's admitted killing Reeva in an accidental shooting, is now free from jail awaiting trial.

MARTIN: Because the less I hear about it, all the other stuff, the better.

STEENKAMP: None of us are going to be represented at the court and the trial. None of us in family are going to go up. We won't be present. I can tell you that now. And for that reason, it's not about the court case. It's about Reeva.

MARTIN: It would be too painful, but choking back tears, Mike Steenkamp did say he one day does want to meet the man who killed his niece.

STEENKAMP: I would like to be face to face with him and forgive him, forgive him what he's done. And that way I can find more peace with the situation by telling him face to face.

GRIFFIN (on camera): You would forgive him, Mike, whether this was a tragic accident or whether this was...

STEENKAMP: Whatever, whatever the outcome. I feel with my belief and if Christ could forgive when he died on the cross, why can't I?

GRIFFIN: You must have seen the reports about things in his past that have come out. Is there any reaction to any of that?

STEENKAMP: The least I know from the outside, the better. For myself. That right or wrong, I'm still focused on the one thing is forgiveness, and I'm not going to change from that.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): As for what happens to Oscar Pistorius, it doesn't matter, says Steenkamp. Nothing will bring Reeva back.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Cape Town, South Africa.


LU STOUT: And while Oscar Pistorius awaits trial, he is staying at his uncle's multimillion dollar mansion in Pretoria South Africa. A date for the trial has not been set. And he is no longer required to visit police twice a week under the terms of his bail. Instead, authorities will now visit him at his uncle's and only occasionally.

And we have this just in to us here at CNN. Now Britain's foreign office is looking to reports that gunmen have kidnapped two British tourists in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. The AFP reports that the tourists are a husband and a wife. And the couple, they were reportedly were abducted as they were driving from Cairo to the rusty resort of Sharm el Sheikh. And the kidnappers reportedly are demanding the release of prisoners being held by Egypt.

Now, to the sports news. And four teams are set for the Champion's League quarterfinals. Amanda Davies joins us now with the very latest -- Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie, yeah, we're halfway there in terms of the quarterfinal lineup and the Paris Saint Germain head coach Carlo Ancelotti has praised his players who secured a place in the quarterfinals for the first time in 18 years.

The Ligue 1 leaders did just enough on Wednesday. They played out a 1-1 draw against Valencia to put them through 3-2 on aggregate. The nerves were dangling at the Parc des Prince when Valencia scored first. It was Jonas who put them ahead, leveling the aggregate score at two apiece, but they still needed another away goal. And when Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi scored his second of the tie, that meant Paris were through. A lot of the buildup had been about David Beckham returning to Champion's League football. He, though, was on the bench and didn't make it onto the pitch.

So, PSG, the fourth different club that Ancelotti has lead to the quarterfinals of the Champion's League. The Italian made the last eight with Juventus, Milan, Chelsea and now PSG. He's won the Champion's League with both Milan as a coach and a player as well.

Jose Mourinho, though, is the only other manager to guide four teams to the quarterfinals. He's done it with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, and of course Real Madrid. And he won the title with both Porto and Inter.

The Juventus coach Antonio Conte has urged his side to remain humble after they've progressed into the quaterfinals. They beat Scottish side Celtic winning 5-0 on aggregate. Though Conte says the Italian giants still have a long way to go to compete with the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

They took a 3-0 lead into their match from the first leg. Alessandro Matri made it four midway through the first half in Turin. Fabio Quagliarella finished emphatically to make it five. So Juve join PSG in the last eight. They're looking to win the tournament for the first time since 1996.

So, we now know we've got Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, PSG, and Juventus into the quaterfinals. There's plenty of football chat coming your way later on Thursday on the CNN football club. It airs 6:00 central Europe, that's 5:00 pm for our viewers in the United Kingdom. The 2005 European Cup winner Didi Hamann is joining Pedro Pinto in the studio to break down all the stories.

Last year's European champions Chelsea are in the Europa League now. And that's what takes center stage on Thursday. Rafa Benitez's side are in Romania. They trained at the national arena ahead of their match against Steaua Bucharest. The blues have a tough FA cup tie against Manchester United at the weekend. But Benitez has said his side will be playing a competitive game. And David Luiz says the team are looking at the competition as a good chance for more silverware.


DAVID LUIZ, CHELSEA FC: This is a great opportunity to win another title, Europa title. So last season was with Champion's League and the people was happy with this. But I have a hunger again. And I think it does have a hunger again to win titles. This is one big club. This is the way for it to think for play for a big club. So tomorrow we have an opportunity to win one more game, the first leg. And you're looking for the title for Europa League.


DAVIES: That's David Luiz having a bad hair day, I think, Kristie, taking a leaf out of Christiano Ronaldo's book from Monday with his hat on.

LU STOUT: I know, bad hair day, but good quote, they have the hunger again to win. We shall see. Amanda Davies there, thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And up next, brace yourself. Facebook is about to unveil another change. And this time, a major Facebook feature could get a face lift. We'll tell you what to expect next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And you're looking at a visual representation of all the stories we're covering on today's News Stream. Earlier, we took you to Kenya where there are claims that presidential voting has been doctored, but now to a new look for Facebook. The social networking site has promised reporters who travel to its California headquarters, a glimpse of a redesigned news feed this Thursday.

So, it could be farewell to this familiar Facebook feed, complete with the big white borders. At the end of January, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that it needs to move towards, quote, bigger pictures, richer media and something perhaps like Instagram, which Zuckerberg praised as very immersible even on a small screen. Of course he would say that. I mean, Facebook paid a reporter $1 billion to buy Instagram last year.

And there is speculation that Facebook could separate its content into multiple streams. And for more on the makeover, let's bring in friend of the show and editor of Nicholas Thompson. He joins us from New York.

Nick, good to see you. Sorry about that.

Now, what should we expect here visually with this new revamp for Facebook? I mean, should we expect some big, flashy images a la Instagram, or streams of data?

NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, I think we're going to see it becoming much cleaner and much more visual right now. I mean, the whole web is moving towards a sort of different aesthetic than it's had in the past. There's going to be I think probably fewer links, fewer places to go. It will be simplified. And there will be larger images, which is something that almost everybody is doing now. So Facebook will go along that way and it'll be certainly good for advertisers and maybe the users will like it too.

LU STOUT: So, who are they targeting, the advertisers or the users? Who is the target market with this redsign?

THOMPSON: Well, it's both. I mean, they're seen that there's been some word that people are using as boredom among users. There are a lot of people who have been checking out of Facebook, and there are a lot of young users who don't go on Facebook, they go on Instagram, so that's a real concern. And then there's a problem with advertisers. The click through rate on Facebook ads is pretty low. Facebook was supposed to be this advertising revenue generating machine. And it's had some troubles with that as we all know, because of their troubles since the IPO.

So, they're going to try to do both things. They're going to try to make the design look a little hipper, a little cleaner, a little more fun, a little more exciting. And they're going to try to make the advertisers happy. And then they're also going to try to allow the users to sort through the different kinds of content in their streams so that if I'm going through and I only want updates about what kind of music people are listening to, I can possibly toggle my stream so it's just that.

The real toggle that I need in my demographic is sometimes I want to toggle and see only baby pictures and sometimes I only want news updates. And my newsfeed is basically because my kids all -- my friends are all having young kids is sort of 70 percent baby pictures, 30 percent news updates. And I want one or the other sometimes and I want to be able to toggle. So we'll see if they give me that.

LU STOUT: That's right, the freedom to toggle and that flexibility to see what you really want. And you're right, there have been kinks in the machine, kinks in the filters. Let's talk about the edge rank filter. There's been a lot of criticism subscribers don't get to see the content that they actually want, the content they subscribe to. So will that filter change?

THOMPSON: I don't know. I mean, that's a huge controversy, and that's a big deal for a lot of publishers and a lot of advertisers. What Facebook did is they changed the way their algorithm works. Sometimes -- when you post something in your newsfeed it doesn't necessarily go to everybody who you're friends with or everybody who follows you. In fact, it goes to only a small percentage of them. And they change the algorithm and a lot of people said, hey wait, they've changed it and now nobody can see what I'm posting, nobody can see this content I'm putting out there.

Part of it was based on just misunderstanding how the algorithm worked before, and part of it was a change that Facebook made whereby they're trying to encourage you to advertise. And the way it works is this, if I put a post on, if I'm either a company or an individual, and I post something on Facebook, it will be seen by lots more people if immediately it's liked and shared and commented upon by other people. Facebook says that's a sign that people are interested in it, therefore it should show to more people.

Well, one way I can get more people to like, comment and share it is if I advertise to promote it, because then Facebook will get it to be seen by more people. So I pay to get it promoted, then it gets seen by more people, then more people like it, then it's seen by even more people and so the perception arose that really in order to get your content seen you had to pay Facebook and so people have been claiming -- there was a big story in the New York Times over the weekend. They've been claiming that Facebook is doing something that's a little bit corrupt and creepy. Facebook is saying no, no it's just an algorithm, it just works this way.

We'll see if there are changes on that. It's very complicated, but it's also very important.

LU STOUT: Indeed. And here's looking forward to seeing some leaks into what the new newsfeed from Facebook will look like. Thank you for the preview there, and the analysis as always. Nick Thompson, got it right there, Thank you so much. Take care.

Now you're watching News Stream. And in just a moment a terrible story, a fatal mauling by a lion. This didn't happen in the wild, but in a California sanctuary.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now police if Fresno County, California are investigating the death of a young woman who was mauled by a lion at a big cat sanctuary. And among the questions, why the intern went into the animal's cage in the first place. Well, attempts to destrict the lion failed. And 24 year old Diana Hanson died at the scene.

Now CNN's Dan Simon is in the central California city where this mauling took place and he joins us now live. And Dan, this is such a terrible grisly story. What more have you learned about this attack?


I think the main question this morning is how did this woman find herself in harm's way? What were the protocols here. Were they followed? Were they ignored? We should point out that this place called Cat Haven does seem to have a decent reputation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a Cousy, a North African lion.

SIMON (voice-over): A lion shot dead Wednesday afternoon.

DALE HANSEN, CAT HAVEN FOUNDER: Female volunteer intern entered the lion's enclosure where she was attacked and fatally injured. The lion was shot and killed per our safety protocols.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the -- our friend and family and to her family at this time and this trying time.

SIMON: The 24-year-old volunteer has been identified as Dianna Hanson from Washington state. Her Facebook page shows her pictured with large cats.

Her father released a statement last night saying in part, "Dianna was so excited at working in Cat Haven and living in California. Her favorites were the tiger and the lion Cous Cous who killed her today."

JENNIFER MICHAELS, THE JUNGLE JENNY FOUNDATION: We're moving over to the African lions and I'm going into the den.

SIMON: Jennifer Michaels also known as "Jungle Jenny" got an up-close view of the lion while getting a tour of the animal sanctuary called Cat Haven in central California.

MICHAELS: I didn't see any type of aggressive behavior or anything that I need to be worried about. SIMON: Cat Haven is a 100-acre, wooded sanctuary, home to some of the rarest cats in the world, including lions, tigers and leopards. It describes as an innovative park, dedicated to the preservation of wildcats.

Five-year-old Cous Cous came to the sanctuary as a cub.

Founder Dale Hansen says this species of lion no longer exist in the wild.

HANSEN: The North Africans were killed off in the wild about the 1920s. So, all the ones you see are in captivity.

SIMON: As for the victim, Dianna Hanson, it's not clear exactly how she died. But her father says big cats were her passion, writing, "We will miss you so much but I know you will be happy. For now, you truly are in the eternal Cat Haven."


SIMON: What strikes me about the father's statement is he doesn't seem to show any bitterness or animosity towards this facility. In fact, he says that the way to honor his daughter's memory is to support foundations just like this one -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That is an incredible statement from the girl's father. And the lion behind this attack, we know that it was raised at that animal park from a very young age, but did it ever exhibit any aggression before this attack?

SIMON: You know, that's a good question. It came here at just six weeks of age basically has lived its whole life here. It's been in the public limelight, if you will, it's been on TV shows. And apparently it's never shown any aggression whatsoever. So it makes you wonder whether or not this particular woman, the victim, Diana Hanson was lulled into some sense of false security. And of course experts will tell you, you can never let your guard down when you're around these kinds of animals -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Indeed. Dan Simon reporting live from central California. Thank you very much indeed for that.

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