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North Korea Announces It Will Restart Reactors at Yongbyon; David Beckham Talks Champion's League, Playing For PSG; Activist Organization Estimates 6,000 Deaths in Syria in March; U.S. Forces in South Korea on Alert; Hollywood Alters Blockbusters to Suit Chinese Audiences; 'Leading Women': Sheryl Sandberg

Aired April 2, 2013 - 08:90:00   ET


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, HOST: I'm Fionnuala Sweeney at CNN Center. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Reactor restart -- North Korea says it will resume activity at a nuclear reactor it had agreed to shut down years ago. The UN says it has gone too far.

Also ahead, beyond the battlefield, we go on the road with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan as they hope to win over hearts and minds.

And a hero is reborn. How Hollywood filmmakers are modifying Iron Man's latest outings for the Chinese market.

The UN secretary-general says the crisis on the Korean peninsula has, quote, already gone too far. Ban Ki-moon made the remarks during a news conference in Andorra a short time ago, saying things must calm down. And there is no need for North Korea to be a collision course with the international community.

This all comes as North Korean media report the country is restarting activity at its Yongbyon nuclear complex. It's located in the north of the country. It includes a nuclear reactor and uranium enrichment facility. And that is prompting fears Pyongyang may soon be enriching uranium, including weapon grade material.

The government's new energy spokesman is quoted as saying it's being done to solve an acute electricity shortage as well as bolstering the nuclear armed force.

Well, it is the latest in a string of threats coming from the north directed at South Korea and the U.S. in recent weeks. So let's go live to Jim Clancy. He is in the South Korean capital, Seoul, for more.

Jim, despite what Ban Ki-moon has just had to say, should we be really surprised that North Korea has announced what it has just announced.

JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. This really is the fulfillment of decades of concentration on having a very strong military in North Korea. It has been declared they want to become a nuclear state. They're going to do everything they can.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't disappointing, because that had been shut down in 2008. The world breathed a sigh of relief. And just as we have been battered over the past few weeks with the rhetoric coming out of North Korea, now this announcement further disillusions a lot of the people that were looking towards a brighter future. This is what the foreign ministry here in Seoul had to say about the situation today.


CHO TAI-YOUNG, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): If the report is true, it is really regrettable. North Korea should keep their promise and agreements and they should keep to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Our government will closely monitor the situation.


CLANCY: Now if the Yongbyon reactor is restarted, it will produce enough spent fuel rods to have about one nuclear weapon a year. That would be from plutonium that comes from those spent rods. They get other areas of this complex going -- remember, it's not just one reactor, well then you have a situation where there's more highly enriched uranium. So overall, very disappointing news for a lot of people here in Seoul, but more determination, really, from the North Korean government.

SWEENEY: And Jim, we've been listening to this rhetoric now for some weeks and for some months. And we just heard Ban Ki-moon talk about North Korea having to take itself off this collision course with the international community. Is there in rhetorical terms, in diplomatic terms, a tipping point for this?

CLANCY: Not really. Not really. It's going to go on.

And the region is going to feel the effects of all of this, Fionnuala, because remember -- OK, the nuclear weapons, that's a threat to be sure, but there's another threat out there. North Korea doesn't have a record for nuclear safety. Some of the nuclear inspectors that had visited their facilities said that they were relieved in order to get away from them, because they didn't feel they were very secure. There's not going to be any IAEA inspectors, nuclear experts from the international community, to ensure safety. And there are a lot of risks.

This is very close to China. Listen to what the Chinese foreign minister had to say. "We've noted North Korea's announcement and express regrets. China has consistently advocated denuclearization in the peninsula and maintaining peace and stability in the region."

Now we can assume the enrichment program was already going ahead full speed. Now, China, Japan, South Korea and others have something else to worry about and that's a Fukushima style accident that could pose very real risks to them and their economies -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And a final question, what is being made of this in South Korean political circles? I mean, obviously they're being forced -- their obliged to take this rhetoric seriously and the announcement today. What do they believe is going on in the mind of Kim Jong un?

CLANCY: Well, you know, they look at all of this -- now they were analyzing Satellite photographs as much as a year ago wondering about activity around the Yongbyon plant. You heard there from the foreign ministry spokesman saying they wanted to examine the facts. Some people don't believe that that nuclear reactor could be restarted. It's more than 30 years old. There are a lot of things that they have to consider right now. And the South Koreans are just trying to get through these military maneuvers without having some kind of a confrontation with the North.

They are, however, very aware that the provocations, the whole mindset that the north has shown here, may challenge and may challenge their new president who, as you know, has vowed to take a tough stand. This time it won't be like previous incidents in 2010 where the north hit and South Korea didn't hit back. South Korea has vowed if there's a provocation, they will respond. And then the question becomes, Fionnuala, how do you contain it?

Back to you.

SWEENEY: And of course implications as well obviously for finance and business in the region. Jim Clancy, thank you so much. Joining us from Seoul.

Well, as the war of words continues between North and South, Pyongyang has launched a new propaganda campaign. As Kyung Lah reports, North Korea wants to show its citizens and the world that it is ready for war.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The message is clear: North Korean soldiers firing on a paper target with the words USA on the helmet. A live fire drill that aired on state TV vowed to show its enemies, the United States and South Korea, that it was ready to fight, showing off the military's skill with weaponry. And the nation's top athletes running through physical drills with ease. The hermit kingdom releasing this video just days after it declared it was in a state of war.

This is not the first time North Korea has aired this sort of military readiness video. In March of last year, it pledged a, quote, sacred war against South Korea. State video showed soldiers unleashing dogs in the snow, attacking an effigy of then South Korean president Li Myung-bak. A train is shown running over a cutout of the president.

State TV also showed the military using rocket launchers to blow up an effigy of the then president who they called the leader of the, quote, "puppet nation of traitors."

But what's unusual about this latest video? Is the rare show of firing on a U.S. target, even if it is just paper. The Pentagon says it remains unconcerned about what North Korea says, the U.S. cares what it does.

GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: We haven't seen any kind of troop movements on the North Korean side that would indicate imminent military action. So we think that things may be dialing down just a bit on the Korean peninsula, at least we hope so.

LAH: South Korea responded to North Korea's days of threats with a warning of its own. South Korea's president announced an provocation by North Korea against her country would result in a strong response in initial combat, essentially lowering the military's barriers to respond immediately to a North Korean attack.

(on camera): The big concern here on the peninsula is miscalculation, that in this heated environment there could be a mistake either from the north or the south. And then this region could trip into conflict.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Seoul.


SWEENEY: And a little later on News Stream, we'll go live to the Pentagon. CNN's Barbara Starr will have reaction from the U.S. of that North Korea's nuclear announcement. That's in about 20 minutes from now.

Moving on, the people of Syria have just suffered through the deadliest month yet in their two year old civil war. A Syrian activist group says more than 6,000 people were killed in March alone. To put that into context, that's more than all the deaths that occurred during the first nine months of the war. The UN estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed since the conflict began.

Let's get more on the situation. Mohammed Jamjoom monitoring developments from neighboring Lebanon. He's joining me now -- live now from CNN Beirut.

These are very unsettling figures as they always have been every month. I mean, when you look at the breakdown of the figures, what do we learn about this civil war?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fionnuala, shocking and disturbing, really the only way to describe this. 6,005 people killed in March, that's according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which is based in London. This group says that March saw the deadliest month since the beginning of the uprising and the conflict in Syria more than two years ago.

Now you mentioned that the UN had said that they estimate around 70,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. Many people say that's an underestimate, because it's so hard to get accurate figures. They believe that that figure could be as much as 20,000 to 30,000 higher than that.

We look at the numbers today what we're told by the Observatory for Human Rights is that at least 2,000 of the more than 6,000 killed were civilians, that almost 300 were women, that almost 300 were children. It's truly shocking even at a time when we discuss day after day how horrific the civil war in Syria has become. Even today reports of fighting, reports of deaths. It just seems that there is no end in sight -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And you know over the last two years you and I have often talked about a potential tipping point in this war, as indeed many journalists have and what that might be. I mean, if you look into your crystal ball and you envisage how things are going to look or evolve in the next few months, in the next year, what strikes you about how this war, which seems to be coming more and more entrenched, is heading?

JAMJOOM: Well, Fionnuala, one of the biggest concerns is if it will have a destabilizing factor on neighboring countries. This is such a regional concern. In a region that is fraught with tensions.

Let's take Lebanon, for example. Now some estimates say that there's about 400,000 Syrian refugees that have crossed over into Lebanon. That's a huge influx for a tiny country that already -- that already have to deal with its own sectarian tensions.

Because there has been a spillover of violence in the last several months, because at times on the border with Syria there are rebel soldiers getting into clashes with Lebanese soldiers, because it seems to be stoking more sectarian tensions in Lebanon, that's a huge concern for this country.

Let's talk for a second about a country like Jordan, that's another very small country. Population of around 6 million, a country that has -- that's in its own economic depression. There's maybe almost 500,000 Syrian refugees that have crossed over into Jordan. That's a huge strain on a country that has already resource poor. It is taking away from its economic resources, which are already dire at this point, and is causing anger amongst the local population.

So one of the biggest concerns right now is these countries that surround Syria, if they have the infrastructure to cope with this unending influx of Syrian refugees that are fleeing the horrific violence in their country. It just seems to be getting worse and worse not just for Syria, but the countries that border it. And really, nobody knows at this point just what will come.

Everybody wants the fighting to stop, but no matter what diplomatic solutions are tried, it seems to have no practical impact on the ground in Syria -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: Yeah, a civil war that's becoming more and more entrenched, it seems.

Thanks very much indeed. Mohammed Jamjoom there in Beirut for that update.

Well, coming up on News Stream, six hours of terror. One woman's story of battery and abuse in Rio de Janeiro. We'll bring you a live update from Brazil in a moment.

And as the United States reigns in its mission in Afghanistan, we have an exclusive report on how American troops are handing responsibility to their Afghan counterparts. Stay with us here on CNN.


SWEENEY: Brazilian police say a third suspect has been arrested for the rape and robbery of an American tourist in Rio de Janeiro. It happened over six hours on a minibus. Another tourist on the bus, a man, was beaten and robbed. Police say the pairs credit cards were used at several locations and that helped police find them. Now they say a Brazilian woman who was raped a week earlier has also identified the suspects.

Well, CNN's Shasta Darlington is following developments from Sao Paolo, Brazil. She joins us now. Shasta, what do we know about the background to this awful story?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fionnuala, this is really having a big impact not only in Rio de Janeiro, but around Brazil for one reason that you mentioned, another woman has come forward and said that she was raped by these same people a week earlier. So people are saying this isn't just an isolated incident. And not only is it not an isolated incident, but the police didn't do enough to go after the perpetrators and make sure it didn't happen again.

And so what we've actually seen this morning is the Rio de Janeiro police chief who is a woman, Martha Rocha has fired two people, ironically also women. The police commissioner in a nearby city who she says didn't do enough to investigate this and also the woman in charge of the legal -- the medical institute that received this Brazilian woman who made the complaint that she was raped said they made her wait interminably to be attended. And she said it's just shocking and embarrassing that two women who have been promoted within the police system now have to fired because they aren't responding to these terrible crimes.

And so the problem here is there's concern that more women may come forward. And while rape has never been considered one of the worst problems that Rio de Janeiro has to deal with, it isn't a hot spot when you look at current crime statistics locally -- globally that is -- there is concern about robbery and violence and maybe that this has just been brushed under the carpet Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And of course the image of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil internationally coming up to some major sporting events.

Let me ask you, if I may Shasta, what is being said about the lady who was raped on the minibus? What's being said about the people who allegedly perpetrated it? And where is the story going in terms of a prosecution?

DARLINGTON: Well, what we know Fionnuala is that the woman was a U.S. citizen. The other tourist, we have not been told the identity, the nationality, nobody wants to go into details because they want to protect the identity of these people.

We understand that the woman has left the country and that the man is staying in Rio de Janeiro to help police so that obviously they can continue the investigation and make sure that the perpetrators stay behind bars.

But what's also obviously going to happen is a huge PR operation, as you can imagine. Now only do we have the World Cup next year, we have Rio de Janeiro hosting the Olympic Games in 2016. And just three months away, Pope Francis is going to make his first big international trip to Rio de Janeiro where he's going to celebrate World Youth Day. And we expect millions of young people to show up.

Now, it's interesting the head of the Rio Hotel Associations told Brazilian media this is outrageous, we have to deal with this. This is like somebody being attacked on a bus in Disneyland. This can't happen on Copa Cabana Beach, which is exactly where this couple boarded the minibus. So people are taking it seriously. But I expect we will continue to have a lot of repercussions, Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: Shasta Darlington, thank you for that update.

Now to Myanmar where police say at least 13 children have been killed in a fire at an Islamic school in Yangon. Four children are missing and police say 70 students were asleep in the schools dormitory when the fire started overnight. They say faulty electrical equipment caused the blaze.

It is a huge night ahead in the European Champion's League. Coming up, we have a one-on-one with a big star at a very rich football club. Guess who? You don't need me to tell you who it is. Stay with us.


SWEENEY: April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. And Sydney's famous Opera House has been lit up in blue. It's meant to highlight the campaign to improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the person's social interaction, behavior, and communication skills.

Any minute now, football's governing body FIFA is due to announce which goal line technology has been chosen to make football history. And Alex Thomas is in London with the very latest. Bring us up to speed.


It's been one of the most controversial issues in football for years, but after decades of complaints from players, fans and officials, the world governing body FIFA is finally announcing the details behind the introduction of goalline technology. FIFA is about to say which company's system has been picked for the Confederation's Cup in June and the 2014 World Cup. Four different methods of judging whether or not the ball has crossed the goal line were being considered. Hawk-Eye is a system that's already successfully employed in sports like cricket and tennis while the other companies in contention are GoalRef, Kairos (ph), and GoalControl.

FIFA's decision doesn't mean that every competition will have to follow suit. And Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has already expressed reluctance to use GLT in the Champion's League.

Despite that simmering row, the tournament resumes later on Tuesday with two of this week's four quarterfinal first leg matches. Last season's runner's up and the runaway Budesliga leaders Bayern Munich face Italian champions Juventus in Germany. While in France, the reward for the investment of Paris Saint-Germain's rich Qatari owners is a mouth-watering contest against Barcelona.

PSG's new signing David Beckham is available for the game. The former England captain won the Champion's League during his time at Manchester United. And over the weekend, he spoke to our own Pedro Pinto about the chances of a repeat triumph with his latest club.


PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This club is trying to become a European giant. And they're trying to do it very quickly. How would you describe the project here and how the people at the club convinced you to be part of it?

DAVID BECKHAM, PSG MIDFIELDER: They didn't have to convince me too much because, you know, being part of a club that is looking to the future and looking to become a bigger success than they have been in the last few years, I wanted to be part of that, especially with Carlo as the manager and players like Zlatan and Lucas Moore and the other players that we've got throughout the team. You know, to be asked to come and play here was obviously an honor and something that I was excited about.

So, they have big plans at the club and rightly so. You know, Paris is an amazing city, like you said amazing culture, and this club has not been around for many years. And, you know, the success that they want to achieve is doable, so is achievable.

PINTO: What do you think continues to make you so popular? What do you think people want from you all the time? Because no matter how long you go in your career, the attention doesn't stop.

BECKHAM: No. You know, I've had the attention almost everywhere I've played, or everywhere I've gone, or everywhere I've lived. And that's the -- you know, the attention I've got used to. There's other things that come with me and that come with me coming to a club, like you said. But I think the thing that people always look at is the professionalism.

PINTO: Yeah, you mentioned your family and I believe they're in London. You're here in Paris. You go back and forth all the time. How is it being back in Europe and being so close to London again?

BECKHAM: I mean, when you speak about the sacrifices that's obviously the sacrifice that I have to make as a father and as a husband, you know, being away from my family. You know, it's only for a short time, but it's difficult being away from the children, you know, being away from the children every single day.

But, you know, they understand it. They understand that daddy works hard.

PINTO: Has it been a challenge, sometimes trying to explain to your kids how famous you are, how their life is not like other kids' life? How there are certain things that they just can't do and...

BECKHAM: Yeah, I mean, you know, my oldest now is at the age where he kind of wants to do things and wants to go places and you kind of have -- you have to hold him back, or we have to hold him back, because you have to kind of explain it to him that there's certain things that he can't do.

But, to be honest, with our children we let them do 99 percent of the things that they want to do, because we want them to lead a normal life.

PINTO: You've got a big, big tie against Barcelona. How can you beat them? Can you beat them?

BECKHAM: Yeah. Without a doubt they're one of the best teams ever. You know, they've got some of the best players individually and collectively. I think that's what makes them the team they are. You know, it's not about just Messi, Xavi, you know, they have a unit that works together so well, that why they've been successful over the years. Yes, they've got the best player in the world -- player in their team. They've got committed players and I think that's what makes them a special team.

So it's a huge test for us. You know, it's a huge game for this club, for this city. It's exciting. You know, we have to look at it as players this is an exciting game and a huge challenge.

PINTO: What about your future with England? Could you ever see yourself putting on the England shirt again? I know how passionate you are about it.

BECKHAM: One of the reasons why I've never retired from the England team is because if there's ever an opportunity to play for them again then I'm available. If there is any chance of me playing for my country again I would never turn that down. So, you know, like I said I'm almost 38 years old, so the chances are very slight, but you never know.


THOMAS: Exciting stuff from when David Beckham met Pedro Pinto. Much more in World Sport in just over three-and-a-half hours time. For now, though, Fionnuala, back to you.

SWEENEY: All right, Alex, thanks very much.

Now the end is in sight for the war in Afghanistan, but the battle to win the hearts and minds of its people is still being fought. Anna Coren is on the ground. And we'll bring you her exclusive report in a moment.

And in Hollywood, film supremos are tweaking some of this year's biggest blockbusters. We'll tell you why a little later. Stay with us.


SWEENEY: I'm Fionnuala Sweeney at CNN Center. And you are watching News Stream.

These are your world headlines. Syria had its deadliest month in March. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 6,000 people were killed. That's more than all deaths during the five months of the war.

The U.N. estimates that since the civil war began in March 2011, more than 17,000 people have been killed.

In Myanmar, at least 13 students were killed in the fire at a school in the city of Yangon. The blaze broke out around 3 in the morning, at a building housing about 70 students. Police say it was caused by a short circuit in an overheated electrical component.

The militants have attacked the major power plant in northwest Pakistan killing at least seven people. It's temporarily cut electricity to parts of the city of Peshawar. No group has claimed responsibility, but the area is known to be a target for Taliban insurgents.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the crisis on the Korean Peninsula has "already gone too far." This comes after North Korea announced it will reactivate its Yongbyon nuclear complex. It includes the nuclear reactor and uranium enrichment facility. And that has prompted concern, the north could soon be enriching uranium for nuclear weapons.

Well, the reactor of Yongbyon has been dormant for almost five years now. In October, 2007, North Korea agreed to disable its nuclear facilities and declare its nuclear program as part of the disarmament for a deal with the United States, South Korea and three other nations in the so-called six party talks. In June, 2008, it demonstrated that commitment to the deal by blowing up the cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. But by August of that year, North Korea, then led by Kim Jong-il, began having seconds thoughts when the U.S. refused to remove it from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. And in November, 2009, it announced it had reprocessed fuel rods, part of the preparation to restore Yongbyon to working order. This came after the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea over a satellite launch.

The United States Navy says it's deployed a warship on a radar platform to move closer to the North Korean coast. Let's go to CNN Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon. Overall, Barbara, I mean what status would you say the state of the alert is among the U.S. military in the region?

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Fionnuala, for U.S. forces in South Korea, they are always at a high state of alert, watching across the border the DMZ, very much into North Korea, making sure they know what is going on. Very tough, however, to do that. So, what they are doing now, moving a warship into the region, some aircraft, some bombers, some fighters, as this exercise with the South Koreans goes on. Trying to just beef up the presence to reassure the South Koreans that the U.S. is there for them. But what's interesting is trying to figure out the motivation of the North Koreans for all of this stepped up rhetoric on their part, because, still, the U.S. doesn't see crucial military moves by the North. I want you to listen to the White - what the White House had to say about all of this.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: The United States is committed to maintaining peace and security in the region, as you know. North Korea should stop its provocative threats and instead concentrate on abiding by its international obligations. And pursuit of nuclear and missile programs - its pursuit, rather, of those programs does not make it more secure, but only increases its isolation and seriously undermines stability to pursue economic development. I would know that despite the harsh rhetoric we're hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large scale mobilizations and positioning of forces.


STARR: So, that's a bottom line from the White House. While there is plenty of concern about the nuclear program, the missile program of North Korea, still, not those military moves that would match the rhetoric. No major movement of land forces, air forces, missile forces by the North Koreans. That's the thing the U.S. is watching for, because if that were to happen, it would come very quickly and the concern, of course, is things might spin out of control. Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And let me ask you, Barbara, about South Korea. A new prime minister in place talking about how essentially that there will be immediate retaliation if there is any military action on the part of North Korea. Does the Pentagon, does the United States feel that it is because of its tight alliance with South Korea, in a sense almost being led by developments in the region by the South Koreans as much as by the North Koreans?

STARR: Well, I think that's a really good point, and that's what the U.S. is trying to avoid. They are very aware of this South Korean comments. They are very aware that the new South Korean government is very much on edge, and it says, it's ready to move against North Korea if there was even the slightest provocation. That is part of the reason, Fionnuala, that U.S. is putting its military assets into the region, trying to reassure the South Korean government. Look, we're here for you, the United States, we've got plenty of assets in the region. Don't overreact if something happens. That's what they don't want to see.

SWEENEY: All right, Barbara Starr, thanks for your reporting live from the Pentagon. And, of course, you can get all the very latest on this developing story by logging to our Web site. We have a special section with news and express analysis on North Korea. You can check it out at

Let's turn our attention now to Afghanistan. The United States is winding down its mission there, but as Anna Coren reports from her embed with American Special Forces, a lot of work lies ahead as the battle to win hearts and minds continues.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While the landscape may be visually stunning, this is inhospitable terrain. And for the team of U.S. Special Forces in charge of the drop in eastern Afghanistan, this environment is brutal, if not deadly, as they try to distinguish friend from foe. In the past few weeks, (inaudible) had been in this valley that harbors Taliban members and sympathizers.

But 12-year old Wasim (ph) has no loyalty to those he calls "the bad people." After discovering a landmine near his home and reporting it to police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you all know (inaudible), like you guys look for that kind of stuff or do you - you just notice some stuff suspicious on the ground?

COREN: "I found the IED with wires sticking out," explains Wasim to the U.S. Special Forces who've gone to thank him an donate supplies to his school.

"It would have blown up my family and hurt them the way it hurt my friends." Standing beside him with a prosthetic leg, 11-year old Kawains (ph). "I was caring for my animals when I stepped on an IED, he tells us. "Without a leg, I feel hopeless."

He is one of the many helpless victims caught up in a war that's been dragging on for almost 12 years and a harsh reminder that the enemy is almost impossible to defeat.

Considering we've been at the school for more than an hour. The concern is that either the Taliban or insurgents have had time to plan an attack or plant an IED on this road. And even though these guys have been on a mission to win hearts and minds in the village, they have to remain constantly vigilant, because this is a hostile environment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it's just taking a quick call.

COREN: Less than 24 hours later, another IED is reported. As Special Forces stop in at the local Army checkpoint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said like 400-500 meters east of the grid, the guy buried the IED last night.

COREN: But the ANA is reluctant to search the property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. (inaudible) walk this over to the compound, and then Afghans are going to search the compound. It's not going to be us.

COREN: During an ambush, a surveillance drone hovers overhead, as the soldiers quickly surround the perimeter. They move in, and a short time later, mortars and grenades are discovered. But there is still no sign of the ANA chief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got fricking mortars underneath the fricking doorstep, I need (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out here.

COREN: As the war in Afghanistan winds down, security is now in the hands of local authorities. But there are serious concerns in these insurgent areas whether they are willing to put their skills to use.

U.S. Special Forces will be the last to leave this war. It's now up to the Afghans to prove they have the heart to continue the fight.

Anna Coren, CNN, Nidrab, eastern Afghanistan.


SWEENEY: Well, let's go to check on the weather now. Europe is still in the deep freeze. Mari Ramos at the world weather center. Good news, Mari, or no?

MARI RAMOS, METEOROLOGIST: You know what, not for the rest of this week, unless you're enjoying the cold weather, maybe you want to go skiing or something, because that's about the only outdoor activity that many of you will be able to do across Europe.

It's still very, very cold, and we're not seeing any kind of real relief from the colder temperatures. Even the snow was kind of winding down, just a little bit. Look at these temperatures from yesterday, Fionnuala. London had seven, the (inaudible) daytime high, the average is 13. As you go down the list, you can see how significant those cold temperatures have been. Typical for more - feeling more like January than the beginning of April.

So, this is a big deal and it's taking a toll on people, and businesses, and on your wallet, even across parts of Europe. This is a picture from Wales, remember that snow that they had in Wales? Well, you saw those pictures of the sheep trying to get out, and well -there's still a lot of snow on the ground, so farmers are still having to buy feed for their animals, for their livestock. That's an extra expense. Guess who is going to pay for that later on? The consumers. So, all of these are things that are kind of begin to -- that we need to begin to watch as this winter just kind of hangs on and on.

Energy bills, many people, you know, we will see how the people in Europe don't have air -- a lot of people don't have air conditioning, right, in some of the older homes. Well, most people have heating, right? Of some sort. Well, they should have stopped paying for those heating bills weeks ago. But they are still. The heat is on across many of these areas, and they have to keep paying for this fuel. Retail -- people tend to hold back on all of their spring purchases, clothing, outdoor items just because they can't go out, because it's been so called and there's so much snow on the ground. Kind of psychologically, doesn't feel like spring either. In tourism, areas that, you know, should already be beach areas or people should be on holiday, in some of these outdoor areas, you know are still consider to be in the dead of winter, kind of dangerous, you can't go out there. So, that also kind of puts that cost in the overall general economy. So these are a lot of different things that, you know, we need to start watching as we head into this very, very long winter.

And all of that snow in the northern portions of Europe is rain, as we head into areas to the south, like, for example, here in Spain where they have the most rain in the wettest winter, I should say, in the last 50 years, the wettest March in 50 years. So, that's pretty significant as well. It's already 7 in London, so it's better than 4 like what you had at the beginning of the week, but still well below. The average, notice, even colder as we head to areas here, to the north. So it's still a fairly chilly across this region, we've had some very heavy rain again, over Spain and Portugal, that has moved on now, some of that falling in the way of snow across the Balkans over the next couple of days and in the higher elevations here for you across Italy, the bulk of the rain will be in this area and the bulk of the snow will also remain across this region. So that will be the area to watch, the rest of you remaining still on the cold side.

There is one story that we're starting to follow over now here now at CNN, and that is the very heavy rain that has been affecting parts of Argentina, Brazil and also Paraguay. And you can see right over here, how -- how some strong storms that have been moving through this area in the overnight hours. The bulk of the rain now over Paraguay, as you can see here, moving over Brazil, so in Buenos Aires you'll probably, or hopefully start to dry out. They've had 160 millimeters of rain. It's some pretty intense pictures coming out. There are people, you know, trapped in the vehicles and that kind of stuff. So, we have some pictures for you, hopefully in the next hour. Right here on CNN, I'll bring you the rest of the story. Back to you.

SWEENEY: Mari, thank you.

RAMOS: Sure.

SWEENEY: Next, contrite words from Apple CEO Tim Cook. He apologized directly to Chinese customers two weeks after state media first accused Apple of unfair service practices. At the center of the spat, Apple's one year warranty on iPads. Even though China requires a 2-year warranty on computers sold in the country. Apple's use of refurbished products in iPhone repairs also drew criticism. Apple is responded with three key changes in China. All repairs of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S's will be made using new parts; warranties will be renewed for one year after repairs, and all computers in China, including the iPad, will come with a two-year warranty on major components.

And an apology posted on Apple's Chinese language site, could (inaudible) recognized what some view the company's lack of communication as arrogant or uncaring.

Few things represent America better than Hollywood, but with movie companies looking for profits abroad, Tinseltown is having to tweak some of its latest blockbusters. And as Jake Tapper reports, cinema is on the rise in China, and as the old saying goes, you've got to know your audience.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Iron Man 3", Hollywood superhero based on the Marvel comic books.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do about these attacks?

TAPPER: Malibu mansion ...


TAPPER: Air Force One, it's as American as it gets, but this blockbuster is tweaking its tone to appeal to Chinese audiences, too, by making a second version just for them. China is now the world's second largest movie market behind the U.S, passing Japan last year, with nearly $3 billion in box office revenue. And Hollywood is taking notice, relying on experts like Rob Cain for guidance.

ROBERT CAIN, PACIFIC BRIDGE PICTURES: I really encourage filmmakers here in Hollywood and the rest of the United States to think about China and to really go after it. It's such a big, growing market, that if all you did was make movies for the Chinese audience, you could do very well in the next few years.

TAPPER: According to Marvel, the Chinese version of "Iron Man 3" will include new footage featuring one of China's top actresses, Fan Bingbing, and they'll put a larger emphasis on Chinese elements in the film. Make no mistake, the process of tailoring for international crowds can be daunting.

CAIN: There is censorship, and there is also checks for suitability for the Chinese market. They are very sensitive about things like political stories, crime. They want to make China look good on film.

TAPPER: But studios see dollar signs in the differences.

In "Red Dawn," released last year, this invading army was originally Chinese.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not your enemies.

TAPPER: But the enemy was later changed, frame by frame, to be North Korean.


TAPPER: This Chinatown battle scene from "Men in Black 3" was cut entirely from the version released in China.

BRAD PITT: What is going on?

TAPPER: Even Brad Pitt's upcoming zombie thriller, "World War Z," had to tailor its script to fit. At first, the film's undead epidemic originated in China, but that plot point had to be changed, because as we all know now, China is actually where American blockbusters are coming back to life.

You can catch "Iron Man 3" in theaters on May 3rd. Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


SWEENEY: Now, some news coming in to us. The spokesman to the Cypriot government says the finance minister of the country, Michalis Sarris, has resigned. CNN's working together more details on this breaking news, the newspaper (inaudible) that Sarris will be replaced by the Labor minister, Harris Georgiades. Cyprus has just agreed, of course, to a $13 billion bailout from the European Union to rescue it from bankruptcy, and no doubt we will have much more on this on "World Business Today" in about 15 minutes from now.

But coming up next, don't lean back, lean in. That's just some of the advice for women in the workplace we'll hear in a moment from Facebook's chief operation officer, Sheryl Sandberg. "Our Leading Women" series is next. Stay with CNN.


SWEENEY: On "Leading Women" this week, a bold voice in feminism. Sheryl Sandberg runs the business site of Facebook and hopes to inspire more women to lead. Soledad O'Brien has more.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is on a mission to empower and inform women.

SHERYL SANDBERG: Our lack of positions of power means that when the decisions are made, our voices are not equally heard.

O'BRIEN: It's not the first time Sandberg has given women this pointed talk.

SANDBERG: Do not lean back, lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and them make a decision.

O'BRIEN: She's fine-tuned this message in her book "Lean In", viewed by some as a modern day feminist blueprint.

(on camera): Is this a movement?

SANDBERG: I really want to help change the conversation on women from what we can't do to what we can. We're not close to getting our share of the leadership roles in any industry, anywhere in the world.

O'BRIEN (voice over): And to combat that dismal reality, Sandberg challenges women to take ownership of their careers.

SANDBERG: "Lean In" is not about (inaudible) women, "Lean In" is about all of us coming together to understand the stereotypes that are holding women back and fix them.

O'BRIEN: And according to Sandberg, what's holding women back is in part women themselves. The book offers potentially career boosting advice in chapters titled "Seat at the Table", "Make Your Partner a Real Partner", "Don't Leave Before You Leave", in which Sandberg tells women considering motherhood, don't enter the workforce already looking for the exit.

SANDBERG: If you start leaning back too early, you're going to wind up in the job that pays less, or you're going to wind up working for some guy who ten years before was leaning forward when you were leaning back.

O'BRIEN: But "Lean In" prescription may be a bitter pill for some women to swallow, those who believe while women can make some changes, the established work structure is what needs to become more flexible.

But Sandberg is convinced, women can benefit from her work experience and lessons learned, especially young women. Since graduating from Harvard Business School, she's been a chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department, a vice president at Google, and for the past five years, COO at Facebook, working side by side with the co-founder and her boss, Mark Zuckerberg. She considers him a mentor.

(on camera): When you talk about your mentors in the book, it's mostly men.

SANDBERG: I've never worked for a woman. I have been really lucky and I've had great mentors and great sponsors, and part of "Lean In" is trying to help people find the right way to develop as mentors and sponsors, and thanks to every man out there, it should be a badge of honor to mentor a young woman.


SWEENEY: Soledad O'Brien there talking to Sheryl Sandberg. Still ahead on NEWS STREAM, it is surprising, but you probably have no idea what you can control from your phone -- a lot. You may be able to control in the future.


SWEENEY: Police in Paris say they've arrested a young man accused of cutting a tusk of the skeleton of an elephant displayed in the museum. Authorities say a neighbor heard the sound of a chain saw from inside the Museum of Natural History earlier on Saturday morning and called police. The elephant belonged to King Luis XIV and was a gift from the king of Portugal. Museums around the world have been warned that thieves are trying to steal elephant tasks and rhino horns.

Well, not so long ago a phone that could turn off your light, so or turn on your car only existed in science fiction. Today, your mobile device can do that and much more. Zain Asher has a look at how your mobile phone could become the remote control for your life.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Going grocery shopping, you can now see inside your fridge from your Smartphone. You need to switch channels on your TV? Your Smartphone can do that, too. Need help waking up? How about light that turn on in sync with your phone's alarm?

CHARLES GOLVIN, FORRESTER RESEARCH ANALYST: Smartphones are going to be the remote control for our lives, controlling our home, security, heating and ventilation, air conditioning.

ASHER: The trend of using phones to replace manual tasks is nothing new. But according to Transparency Market research, the home automation sector is expected to grow from $17 billion in 2011 to 47 billion in 2018.

JONATHAN COLLINS, ABI RESEARCH: Really what you're talking about is anything that you can manage and be controlled remotely, and that opens up an enormous world, both in the home and in industry.

ASHER: At home companies like Savant System are allowing us to control our living rooms, simply by tapping a touch screen photograph.

ROBERT MADONNA, CEO, SAVANT SYSTEMS: I can basically just touch the light in the picture, and it goes off in the room and off in the picture.

ASHER: And startups like Viper have developed apps to remote control your car.

(on camera): OK, so check this on -- if I want to start my engine, using my Smartphone, all I have to do is download the (inaudible) app, tap this one right here where it says smartstart -- and the engine starts.

(voice over): But none of this is cheap. Viper's technology retails at $300 while a smart fridge costs over $3,000.

GOLVIN: A lot of people say they are interested in this capability, but they perceive it as something that is only for rich people, you know, for Bill Gates' house and not for their house.

ASHER: Experts say as prices fall, automated tech will no longer be for the wealthy few and the Knight Riders among us .....

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (inaudible) drove around a truck that steered itself.

ASHER: But for us all. That future mass market appeal had Nissan joining forces with Intel to develop a vehicle that notified the owners of Smartphone, if they're parked car is hit by another driver.

Meanwhile, iRobot makes robotic cleaners that can wash clothes and clean carpets. Reminds you of anything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just cleaning the rug, madam.

ASHER: But the Jetsons didn't have a smartphone to control theirs.

Samsung is calling its Galaxy S4 phone a life companion, perhaps we're not that far off from needing anything else to get by.


ASHER: Zain Asher, CNN, New York.


SWOONEY: And finally, April 2nd is international children's book day. The idea is to inspire a love of reading and give children, especially those in developing countries, better access to books. And did you know, it's also the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen? He wrote some of the world's best known fairy tales, including "The Little Mermaid", "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling." He also said, life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.

Well, that is NEWS STREAM. World Business today is next. Thanks for watching.