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Amnesty International Report Say 46 Journalists Killed In Syria; Malaysian Government Faces Stiff Challenge In Upcoming Elections; Artist Hosts Fundraiser For Syrian Relief; Chelsea, Benfica Reach Europa League Final; CNN Previews Google Glass; Iron Man III Released This Week With Extra Footage For China
Aired May 3, 2013 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. The prosecutor investigating the death of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is killed by gunmen.
We'll get a unique view on the situation in Syria from an artist trying to help families torn apart by the crisis. And we visit the third biggest smartphone maker in the world, China's Huawei.
Now gunmen have killed a high profile prosecutor in Pakistan Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali was on his way to court when the attackers opened fire in Islamabad. The wreckage of his car is riddled with bullet holes. And our affiliate Geo TV reports that Ali was hit 17 times. There have been no claims of responsibility yet.
Ali worked on terrorism cases. Now he was in the midst of probing the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. And this picture was taken the day she was killed at a campaign rally in December 2007.
Now her widower, the current President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the attack on Ali.
Let's bring in Saima Mohsin live from CNN Islamabad. Saima, what more have you learned about the shooting?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, as you say he was en route to court this morning for that hearing in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case when unknown gunmen on a motorbike came up beside his car and shot at that car several times. Several bullets hit him. He died on the way to hospital.
Alongside him was a guard, which we've been told by police was provided to him because of those very real and credible threats to his life. In fact, he told CNN several times whenever we spoke to him about this case and others that he'd been covering that his life was in danger, that he'd received several phone calls on a number of occasions threatening him, telling him to back off the case, but he was insistent that he would continue and look into and investigate Benazir Bhutto's assassination, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And do we know at this point who is behind the shooting?
MOHSIN: No one's claimed responsibility so far. We've seen often as soon as attacks take place in particular bombings the Taliban or militant groups do claim responsibility. They're often quick to do so, because they want people to recognize their power or the threat that they can pose.
But so far no one has claimed responsibility for this. There are several people implicated in the Benazir Bhutto case, including various militant facilitators of those people who are responsible for her assassination and of course the Pakistani Taliban. Whether they were behind the case, no one has claimed responsibility, but certainly recently he had also had a number of people arrested who were considered to be facilitators.
He was not a man who had made many friends following this case and the case looking at the Mumbai attacks, of course. He'd made many enemies.
LU STOUT: And also, news this day, a Pakistani politician from an anti-Taliban party has been shot dead. What can you tell us?
MOHSIN: Just a short while ago, Kristie, news came through to us that Saadi Khattak (ph), one of the members of the ANP party. This is a liberal, secular party from the northwest which is an anti-Taliban party. It's taken a firm stand. And it's against the Taliban. And it's paying the price for that. A number of its leaders have been assassinated.
This time, we don't know who has carried out the attack. It happened in the province of Sindh in Karachi in the south of Pakistan. He was leaving the mosque after Friday prayers today with his four-year-old son. Both of them have been killed in this attack. They were gunned down in a very similar attack, actually, by gunmen on a motorbike, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Saima Mohsin with the very latest from us joining from CNN Islamabad. Thank you very much indeed for that.
Now let's go to Bangladesh next.
And there was fresh grief as people learned the fates of their loved ones. Authorities say the death toll from last week's building collapse has now passed 500. Now that is a sharp increase. It's unclear how many bodies may still be buried in the rubble.
Now the building collapse is the country's deadliest industrial disaster. And the prime minister of Bangladesh acknowledges problems in the country's garment industry, but she says that the government is on a mission to fix them. Fionnuala Sweeney has more.
FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amid mounting public anger and an international outcry, the Bangladeshi prime minister sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour who staunchly defender her government's response to the disaster.
SHEIKH HASINA, BANGLADEHI PRIME MINISTER: Already we are set up committee to look into all industries, the condition, the building condition, the environment condition, the labor condition, even the working condition, just to look into it.
SWEENEY: With the building and factory owners and government engineers in jail, many survivors are asking how they could have been forced to return to work when management already was aware of the cracks in the building and workers' concerns on the very day of the collapse.
Sheikh Hasina says her government had taken all the necessary action by making arrests, adding that justice would be served. However, she also said accidents could happen anywhere.
HASINA: Anywhere in the world, any accident can take place. You cannot, you know, prevent everything.
This Sunday there was -- you know, accident in a fertilizer industry in Texas. So accidents may take place.
SWEENEY: The Bangladeshi prime minister also denied allegations of corruption in her country and pointed the finger at international companies that come to Bangladesh for cheap labor. She said they could do more to help her people's working conditions.
HASINA: Listen, if they want to do business this buyer, they also consider they should increase the price of the garments so that the business can run properly and the labor can get good salary. So they are also partly responsible for it.
SWEENEY: Major international companies are gathering to decide how to improve working conditions in countries like Bangladesh where they have factories.
Those who lost loved ones, change can't come soon enough to bring them some measure of comfort that the more than 400 deaths were not completely in vain.
Fionnuala Sweeney, CNN, Atlanta.
LU STOUT: And as you heard, international retailers, whose products are made in Bangladesh, are facing scrutiny. The Walt Disney Company is severing ties with factories in Bangladesh. That decision actually was made before last week's collapse, but it was prompted in part by last year's fire at a garment factory near Dhaka. Now the companies say that they are not leaving, but will instead work to improve safety standards.
Now some have called for a boycott of products made in Bangladesh to pressure the industry, but one Bangladeshi activist points out that garment factories provide crucial jobs for millions of women. In a recent opinion piece for the New York Times, Fazle Hasan Abed writes this, quote, "seizing the purchase of Bangladeshi manufactured goods would not be the compassionate course of action." He goes on to say, "the solutions start with the workers themselves. They must be allowed by their employers to unionize. He says that will stand up to the otherwise unaccountable nexus of business owners and politicians who are often one and the same."
Now voters go to the polls in Malaysia on Sunday in what some are calling the country's closest ever general election. The governing coalition could see an end to its more than 50 year rule. Liz Neisloss explains why.
LIZ NEISLOSS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In this neighborhood market not far from Malaysia's capital, you see the battle for voters play out. A candidate from the ruling party coalition reminding his constituents of long ties.
RAJA NONG CHIK, NATIONAL FRONT: I'm a local boy. I grew up here. I've been with these people more than 35 years.
NEISLOSS: This is the party of prime minister Najib Razak. Despite years of impressive economic growth in Malyasia, led by Najib's party, the ruling coalition is facing its toughest fight ever. Voters are concerned about crime, the cost of living and corruption. And despite recent political steps toward reforms pushed through by Najib, it hasn't calmed the calls for change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government is too corrupt. So we have to change.
NEISLOSS: The prime minister and his party are warning that change could be catastrophic for Malaysia. But in this election, there's been an influx of young voters, voters who aren't afraid of change.
And young people have opened the flood gates of debate through social media.
IBRAHIM SUFFIAN, MERDEKA CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH: Almost 80, 90 percent of those under 40 have access to the net. And therefore they have access to information coming in from both sides of the political divide, unlike their parents or their elders who tend to have to rely on the mainstream media that's pretty much following the government line.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I think want of a lot of change, not social (inaudible), but yep, looking forward for a change.
NEISLOSS: Closely following the ruling coalition candidate, the opposition mines the same market for voters. This is the daughter of Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister.
Anwar's daughter scoffs at government warnings against change.
NURUL IZZAH ANWAR, PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE: And for me, all these scare mongering tactics will not go far. Voters are more discerning and more wise.
NEISLOSS: Malaysia still votes largely along ethnic lines. And the government has strong support among the majority ethnic Malays who have long received favorable treatment by the government.
UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: Why we want to change? It's -- everything is good for me, it's OK. For me, yeah, for every -- for a lot of people (inaudible).
NEISLOSS: This election will determine whether one of the world's longest serving governments can keep its hold on power.
Liz Neisloss, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
LU STOUT: Now massive wildfires are spreading in southern California. And coming up next on News Stream, we'll have the latest on efforts to get them under control.
And we visit Huawei to see how they're trying to take on Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market.
And documenting the plight of Syrian refugees. One British artist shares his work and stories.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the United Nations says 712 people were killed in violence in Iraq in April, that is more than any other month since June of 2008. And that violence has continued into May.
Our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon has been on this story. And when she's available to report on it, we'll bring it to you right here on News Stream.
Now meanwhile, crews are battling fast moving wildfires in southern California and they now have to deal with windy weather conditions that are just fanning the flames. The Springs Fire in Ventura County, it has burned more than 3,000 hectares and it threatens around 2,000 homes. And that on your screen, those are live pictures from the scene.
Now the wildfires and the smoke turned the air in Newbury Park City orange late on Thursday night. And several neighborhoods in the area have been evacuated as more than 900 firefighters and law enforcement personnel struggled to control the situation. Now that blaze is one of two that firefighters are battling in the L.A. area.
And Mari Ramos joins us with more to control these blazes, what they're up against, what they have to do -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this is a situation where the Santa Ana winds, and this comes up every single year -- a little bit out of season right now -- but this is the time of year where they really start monitoring what is happening with the wind and with the warm conditions as the weather begins to get warmer. Fire season begins to kick off here in southern California.
Let's talk, first of all, about the Santa Ana winds. This is what they have to contend with. And this is an effect that happens in different parts of the world, but normally across southern California we have, you know, that nice California breeze. Kristie, you're from California, you know how it is. The wind generally comes off the water and it keeps the weather very temperate, a little bit on the cool side, if anything. In places farther to the north, you get that morning fog. It burns off later during the day. Similarly here across southern California, except a little bit warmer, right, and not so much fog.
Well, sometimes when you get areas of high pressure that settle in right here in the inter-mountain west, what ends up happening is the wind shifts and it comes off the desert. Those hot desert winds eventually move across -- it's already relatively warmer, right, than the wind coming off the mountain, and it's drier, so that makes a difference. The relative humidity goes down.
As it continues to move across the mountain ranges here across southern California the wind speeds up. It increases in speed. There's two ways I can explain this. The first one is for you guys in Hong Kong or any big city with a lot of skyscrapers, when you walk in between the buildings the wind all of sudden gets really, really strong, that's because it gets funneled in right in between that small space. That's one way of putting it.
The other one is for you, people that like to do gardening. If you have a water hose and you're watering your lawn or your plants or anything and you put your finger in front of it and all of a sudden the water shoots out even quicker, it's kind of the same situation. As that wind moves across these mountain canyons, it increases in speed. So it gets very, very windy very quickly. It tends to be windier -- it's windy all day, but it tends to be windier in the early morning hours right before sunrise. So right about now is when they're probably dealing with some of their stronger winds.
The areas affected when we talk about Santa Ana winds is southern California. This is the affected region right in here. Those Santa Ana winds are still going to be affecting this area throughout the rest of the day today. A bit of an improvement is expected tomorrow, so today the winds are still going to be blowing maybe up to 50 kilometers per hour at times. And when you saw those pictures you saw how -- how rugged the terrain is across that area, so it poses a huge, huge concern. We're also talking about densely populated areas here of southern California that's what those red flag warnings are. And then you see right over here more spread out, that's the areas of the critical fire danger.
So they still have a lot to contend with. And this, like I said, only the beginning. As we head into the warmer months we could see even more of that. And they are well below the average for their rainfall. So there's a lot of dry brush there to burn.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: All right. And thank you very much indeed for that explanation there and how the Santa Ana winds literally fan the flames there in southern California. Mari Ramos, thank you.
Now let's get back to Iraq now. Again, the United Nations says that April was the deadliest month in the country since June of 2008, a very grim statistic. Our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon has more. She joins us now from Baghdad. And Arwa, just explain what is behind this upsurge in violence?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A number of different factors, Kristie, really all coming to a head at this juncture in Iraq's history. You have the fact that the violence here never really subsided, it only got progressively worse, especially since the U.S. military troops withdrawal. You have growing sectarian tensions over the last few months. We've been seeing an increasing number of demonstrations in Iraq in dominantly Sunni areas targeting the Shia led government as the Sunni population really feels is oppressing them much in the same way that Saddam Hussein's regime used to oppress the Shia, plus you have the Syria effect while perhaps not a main driver of Sunni discontent, it most certainly adds fuel to an already raging fire.
And then more recently over the last 10 days, there have been a series of incidents involving the Iraqi security forces targeting what people are saying are Sunni protesters using excessive force and tit-for-tat attacks targeting both the Sunni and the Shia population.
And the violence here really ends up mired in politics. And given the political instability, the discontent that exists right now with the Shia led government, that provides ripe ground for the groups that would be carrying out these attacks to do just that. Unfortunately, this is still a country where politics and violence do go hand in hand.
Now we spoke with a Shia member of parliament who is also a member of the prime minister's state of law coalition. And he said that the prime minister originally did try -- did try to set out to form a nationalistic government. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMI AL-ASKARI, AIDE TO IRAQI PM NOURI AL-MALIKI: I have to say this, we failed to attract people to this. We find that for different reasons, internally and outside effects, that our society is not mature enough and not ready to cross those lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: Now opponents of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will lay a lot more blame with al-Maliki himself, but there is the overarching realization across the board that unless Iraq can somehow resolve its political disputes, reform its own government, the violence here is never really going to be fully resolved, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And Arwa, the UN report, it says where you are, Baghdad, was the worst affected area with a total of 211 people killed last month. Could you tell us just what it's like there in the city? And have you seen any added security given this uptick in violence?
DAMON: There has been increased security, especially on a day like today which is a Friday. We have reports of beefed up presence outside of mosques, whether that's to try to control any demonstrations that take place or to try to prevent an attack from mosques, marketplaces, areas where civilians gather do tend to be one of the main locations that these very extremist groups are targeting, really trying to wreck a maximum damage.
And you can just imagine what this is like for the population here. After going through everything that they've had to go through over the last 10 years and still be confronting these same fears, the same level of violence, the same lack of faith that they have in their own security forces to be able to protect them. Baghdad is still a city of checkpoints and blast walls. Driving through, one gets stuck in traffic jams because of these various checkpoints, which then become even more frustrating because people don't understand how it is that with such a widespread effort by the security forces with the checkpoints with the searches, the types of attacks still are able to take place.
And a lot of people will tell you that right now in some ways they are even more hopeless than they were back in 2006, 2007 when the violence was really at its worst.
LU STOUT: Yeah, again, 712 people killed in a single month there in Iraq, just a stunning statistic. Arwa Damon joining us live from Baghdad, thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, we're going to look at the latest in smartphone technology. And we'll show you one product that the Chinese telecomm giant Huawei hopes to win over an international audience.
And I went to Shenzhen to talk to its CEO and had a chance to check it out.
LU STOUT: We just had to take a look at that, the famous inflatable, what is it six story tall duck in the middle of Victoria Harbor. It's a live shot of the view outside all in the name of art, I hear. Welcome back. You're watching News Stream.
Now China's telecom giant Huawei has been plagued by security concerns that have kept the companies equipment out of American networks. Nonetheless, it sells its smartphones in the U.S. and in a lot of other markets. And in so doing has become one of the top three smartphone vendors in the world with nearly 5 percent of the world's smartphone market last year, that's according to the research firm IDC.
Now Huawei has courted both the mass market with inexpensive models and high end consumers with its super fast smartphones. And I got a chance to check out both when I spoke to Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu.
LU STOUT: Richard, this is the Ascend Y300. This costs less than 100 U.S. dollars. Tell me about it.
RICHARD YU, HUAWEI CONSUMER BUISINESS GROUP CEO: Yeah. You know for the mass market, the entry level smartphone. I think that's very important to bolster the emerging market smartphone. You let more user to experience a smartphone with an affordable smartphone for everyone.
LU STOUT: So it could be like an entry market smartphone for the developing world or for rural users in China even.
YU: Yeah, for China, but also for -- even for European market who also need it.
LU STOUT: OK, let's move up the value chain and go over to see the Ascend P2 series. Here is your smartphone. This is about 500 U.S. dollars. It's available in Europe and in Japan. Walk me through the functionalities.
YU: I think, you know, this one is high end smartphone. This is the fastest smartphone in the world, (inaudible) that means 150 megabit beats per second.
LU STOUT: And yet it is not your most expensive smartphone, it's right over here isn't it?
LU STOUT: It's the Huawei Ascend D2. And this you can only get in China, right?
YU: Yeah. It's now is launching this in China and also globally. And it's the five inch (inaudilbe) screen phone with the best camera, 13 mexapixel camera, but also it's water and dust proofing. And there is a very long battery life.
LU STOUT: I heard about the waterproofing. There's a photograph of you circulating on Sina Weibo swimming with the D2. Is that right?
YU: Yes. You're watching that?
LU STOUT: So it is waterproof?
YU: Yes. We can take it to the swimming pool, take it to the seashore and put it in water. I can take a photo inside water.
LU STOUT: Now as you know, I'm from the United States. And a lot of Americans kind of have a trust issue with Huawei. They regard the brand with suspicion. So how do you plan to sell your smartphones in America?
YU: OK. I think that's -- the reputation is most important. And we -- I think that we want to win the reputation from -- in the U.S. After they buy the phones, they're going to love it. Not only do we have good quality, good design, voice quality and now the screen quality, everything is good. And they can introduce their friends -- more and more friends to buy. I think that's -- we need some time to let more and more people to trust Huawei, but I believe that's -- we continue to provide the best quality, best user product...
LU STOUT: ...from the chairman of Huawei device Richard Yu.
Now Washington's dealing with Huawei are just one example of the U.S. expressing its concern that too much American data passes through Chinese electronics. Their worry is that data could be intercepted by Beijing's intelligence services. So, now for a twist to the story, the Pentagon is apparently using a Chinese commercial satellite to provide communications for its Africa command. According to several reports, bandwidth space has been leased on the Apstar 7 satellite, which is operated by a Hong Kong based company whose majority shareholder is China's state owned Aeropace Science and Technology Corps. And that has sparked an outcry from U.S. lawmakers.
Now, you're watching News Stream. And still to come on the program, an artist's heartbreaking impressions of Syria's brutal civil war. Hear the stories behind the images and how they're raising funds for families whose lives have been torn apart.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now gunmen in Pakistan have shot dead a leading prosecutor. Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali is leading the investigation into the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Now police say attackers shot at Ali's car in Islamabad on Friday morning. And president Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the killing. No one has so claimed responsibility.
Now authorities in Kyrgyzstan say a U.S. military refueling plane has crashed. They say it went down in a mountainous region. An official says five people were onboard and emergency crews have been dispatched to the area.
And there are now no South Koreans at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. The last seven South Koreans left the jointly run industrial zone earlier on Friday. Until recently, employees from North and South worked together there. Last month, North Korea halted cooperation at Kaesong, preventing South Korean staff from entering.
And U.S. jobs numbers for April have just been released. They show an increase of 165,000 jobs in the last month. That compares to analysts' expectations of 140,000 additional jobs in April. And the unemployment rate, it has fallen to 7.5 percent.
Now Syria is now the deadliest country in the world for journalists, that is according to a new report from amnesty international. Mohammed Jamjoom joins me now live from Beirut with more. And Mohammed, this is just such a damning report from amnesty. And it says that both the regime and elements of the rebel movement have targeted reporters.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Kristie. It's an extensive 56 page report that Amnesty released today. Why today? Because it's World Press Freedom Day.
Amnesty International goes into great detail in this report talking about how journalists in Syria, both foreign and Syrian journalists and citizen journalists have been targeted they say both by the regime and by some opposition groups when these journalists have reported on things that some of these rebel groups have considered to be controversial or untrue about the opposition.
Now, I spoke last night to Cilina Nasser. She's the Syria researcher for Amnesty International. She talked about why it was important to release this report now and just how dangerous it is for journalists in Syria. Here's more of what Ms. Naser had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CILINA NASSER, AMNESTY INTERNAITONAL'S SYRIA RESEARCHER: We are very concerned about the situation of journalists and media workers who are in Syria. We believe that based on the research that we have done that the -- both government forces and opposition forces have been targeting journalists and media workers who are perceived as opposed to them. And -- including by killing these journalists or arresting them, detaining them and torturing them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAMJOOM: You know, Kristie, this report goes on to say that by Amnesty International's estimation at least 46 journalists have been killed since the fighting began in Syria a little over two years ago. But it also says that at least 36 journalists have been specifically targeted to be killed, that's even more disturbing.
Amnesty International goes on to say that as dangerous as it is for journalists in this war in Syria. They are the ones who are really bringing the news out of Syria to the wider world at a time when the government forces are cracking down, trying to make sure that that news doesn't filter out.
The Amnesty report talks about how, yes, there are at least 70,000 people killed in Syria over the course of the past two years and that even though this number of at least 46 journalists, even though it's miniscule by comparison, it is important to highlight how fraught Syria is with peril for journalists, both foreign and Syrian that they've been targeted for being abducted, for being killed, for being detained, and that because of that we want to highlight this on World Press Freedom Day.
One more thing to add. Later on today, there is going to be a press conference in Boston for one of the American freelance journalists who has been missing in Syria for so many months now. James Foley is going to -- the family of James Foley, rather, is going to be holding a press conference in Boston to once again highlight the fact that he is still missing, presumed to be in Syria -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Thank you for that update on James Foley there.
And this has been just such a drawn out bloody, bloody conflict.
Can you give us an update on the civil war itself. We know that Syrian troops have taken large parts of Homs. What is the latest from there?
JAMJOOM: Well, that's right, Kristie. And I should start by saying that actually we've just seen some news by the Syrian news agency saying that a fire has broken out in a kerosene tank at the international airport in Damascus, because of two mortar shells fired by, as they call it, terrorists. This is the term that the Syrians use for rebel fighters at the airport on Friday morning.
We're still trying to get more details about the extent of the damage at the airport and how dangerous that might be there in Damascus.
But as you mentioned, Homs, also very disturbing reports beginning last night, opposition activists, rebels tell us that one part of the city in Homs that surrounds the old city, which is an opposition stronghold in Homs that that's been retaken by Syrian soldiers and that a lot of families and a lot of opposition fighters within the old quarter of Homs are very concerned because they say now the Syrian army has direct access to them and direct access to a neighborhood, as I mentioned which has been an opposition stronghold for some many months there in Homs.
Also, another thing to report, very disturbing allegations coming out of al Bayda. This is a predominately Sunni village in Baniyas Province there towards the coast in Syria. Allegations beginning yesterday that perhaps another massacre has taken place there. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported to us and to others that regime soldiers and pro- regime militia groups entered that town and started indiscriminately killing people. By the estimation of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 50 people have been killed and other opposition groups are saying that they believe that many of these victims, including women and children were summarily executed.
So again, very disturbing report. We're trying to get to the bottom of this, but a lot of opposition groups telling us they believe that the death toll in that village will be rising throughout the day as they find more bodies there -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, very disturbing to hear reports of another massacre there inside Syria. Homs under siege. The airport as well. Mohammed Jamjoom with the very latest. Thank you.
Now Syria's civil war has gone on for more than two years now. The United Nations says more than 70,000 people have been killed and 1 million have fled the violence. And many are now living in refugee camps. And a British artist has documented their plight.
Here now is George Butler's personal account of his experiences in Syria.
GEORGE BUTLER, ARTIST: In February I went to (inaudible) Turkey which is on the border with Syria and we just traveled -- I traveled over the border and into a place called Idlib which is right in the northwest.
I went into Syria with a UK registered charity called Syria Relief. And then I was working on the border of Turkey and Syria with Medecins San Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders.
A lot of the drawings were of refugees outside camps or setting up their homes in Turkey. Some of these people have suffered kind of incommunicable amount of trauma.
This little boy had lost his right leg, his mother and his brother the day before in a shelling. And he was always struggling with this oversized oxygen mask and then his father, who was just in such a state could hardly sit still. And I just remember trying to draw his hands which kept moving up and down from his head and stroking this little boy's foot.
I think we often become a bit immune to a lot of photography, especially some of the more gruesome images. We can just flip past and think there's that barrier of a screen or a camera between us.
I think the role of art in war is to depict as close and as accurately as you can as a record or as an emotional feeling what is going on in a way that will describe to people who don't understand or may never have seen that before.
Yeah, in particular these two were refugees in a camp in Turkey. He moved to a new village in northern Syria and his mother told their host that her sons were fighting for the free army. His older brothers. And her host was a regime sympathizer and told militia employed by the regime and they came and shot his father in the door of his house. And his mother and him escaped, took a car to the border where they were intercepted by a checkpoint and he was -- he was dropped from the car by his mom and told to run and sort of escape.
And he did as he was told and he turned around to watch his mother be taken from the car and head being chopped off.
A lot of the places I've been in I think Syria in particular is still a huge culture of art and calligraphy and they can understand what you're doing in a lot of them have similar passions (inaudible) particularly in Syria.
It was -- I mean, it was such an extraordinary thing to be -- I suppose in a funny sort of way a privilege to be able to stand there and see what was going on. It's just impossible to get a gauge when this -- when this crisis might be resolved. But certainly the second time I went it appeared to be a lot worse than the first. Some brothers and fathers all killed or lost their grandparents or, you know, everybody has one of those stories. And it's heartbreaking really.
LU STOUT: Yeah, heartbreaking and devastating stories of Syria.
And we filmed that piece at one of Butler's fundraising events for victims of the crisis. And the aim is to raise almost $50,000 to send a team of seven medical staff to a field hospital in northern Syria. You can help their cause at Syriarelief.org.UK.
Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, just try to imagine your life without the internet? Now one man pulled the plug a year ago. And find out what Paul Miller learned during his time offline.
Meanwhile, a new gadget would have you wired all the time. Now CNN takes Google Glass for a spin. That, straight ahead.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the buzz surrounding Google Glass is starting to pick up pace. The tech giant says consumers will be able to get their hands on the glasses by next year. Maggie Lake took a pair out for a test run in New York.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We got a pair of the Google Glass. We got some instructions. We're ready to take a test drive.
OK glass, directions to Times Square.
The glasses are actually very comfortable. You get used to them quickly. There's a little screen that you can look which is showing you a map of how to get to Times Square, so whether you're in a cab or whether you're walking, you just follow what's on the screen.
The glasses work with any bluetooth enabled phone, but the best fit is with an Android phone running Google's MyGlass companion app.
So here we are in Times Square. So the easiest features to use right off the bat on Google Glass are taking pictures are recording video. And what a better canvas?
Now the camera is turned on the cameraman.
You can get some of the features of Google now with the glasses, but there are no third party apps yet. And that's where the real potential is. I would love if I had an app that told me where the nearest Mexican restaurant was to Times Square or something where I could compare prices for a shop that I was going to go into. And that is not far off.
So no restaurant app? I guess I'm going to rough it. Hey there, can I have a pretzel?
Some busy New Yorkers never noticed what I was wearing, but those who stopped us were very enthusiastic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the Google Glass?
LAKE: It is the Google glasses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god.
LAKE: What do you think?
Do I look like Star Trek?
Google Glass. How do you say hello in French.
We're at the top of The Rock. A beautiful day. Now you might want to have a bodyguard when you have these. They're about $1,600 a pop, but remember they're just a prototype. They're actually very comfortable and fairly easy to use some of the simpler functions. I have to say, though, the setup is a little bit difficult. And sort of working some of the connectivity issues, that's definitely something they're going to have to iron out.
OK, Glass, take a picture.
Take a look at that view.
This definitely feels exciting. I feel like I'm looking at the future, but there is a learning curve, no doubt about it.
This is -- is this still recording?
Did I turn it off?
LU STOUT: I like those outtakes there by our Maggie Lake.
Now I want to try it out myself. It looks life augmenting. But if someone tried to have a conversation with me wearing a pair I'd say no.
You're watching News Stream. Coming up next, the superhero movie Iron Man III gets its U.S. release this weekend, but Chinese filmgoers get to see four more minutes of footage than other audiences. We'll tell you what they're watching and why just ahead.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
And despite a mainly disappointing season, Chelsea could still make some football history after reaching the Europa League final. Let's join Alex Thomas in London for more on that and the rest of the sports headlines -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Hi, Kristie.
No football team has ever won the Europa League a year after lifting the UEFA Champion's League trophy, but Chelsea could become the first after beating SC Basel in the semifinals. Although they became the first Champion's League title holders to crash out of the group stage earlier in the season, the Blues are finishing strongly. Victor Moses and a terrific goal from David Luiz are amongst the goals in a 5-2 aggregate victory at Stanford Bridge on Thursday night.
It's manager Rafael Benitez's fourth European final in a decade. That period of success for a coach feels despised by many Blues fans.
Starting with a UEFA Cup triumph in 2004 with Valencia, now Chelsea can join Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich as the only sides to have won every major European Club trophy.
Benfica are the other Europa League finalists after their 3-1 victory over Fenerbahce in Lisbon. Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo scored two of his side's goals, taking his tally in the competition this season to six in eight games.
Top of the Portuguese league by four points with three matches remaining and through to Portugal's Cup final, Benfica are on course for a treble of trophies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL BENITEZ, CHELSEA INTERIM MANAGER: Pleased for the players, for everybody here, for the club. An opportunity will be tough, because we know that Benfica is very, very dangerous team to play against. But this (inaudible) and I feel with the commitment and the quality we will have a chance for sure.
JORGE JESUS, BENIFCA MANAGER (through translator): Chelsea are rightfully in the final as are Benfica. Chelsea have showed their quality during the Europa League as a team and individually. The best two teams of the tournament will be in the final, and in a final anything can happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: He's been the controversial boss of world football's governing body for a decade and a half and was expected to quit in 2015, but now Sepp Blatter is hinting at a fifth term as FIFA president.
Many FIFA observers felt Blatter was lucky to be cleared of criminality in the organization's own verdict on the IFL scandal this week. However, insteado f being humbled by the criticism and scrutiny, Blatter seems more bullish than ever about the strength of his position. Speaking at the Asian Football Confederation congress in Kuala Lumpur earlier, Blatter said this will be the last term of -- not of office, the last term of the reform.
Finally, the Golden State Warriors completed the first upset of the NBA playoffs by knocking off the Denver Nuggets in six games. Their rising star, Steph Curry, carried the Warriors in game six, nailing four three pointers on his way to 22 points on the night. Golden State led by 18 points early in the fourth quarter, before holding off a final Nuggets flurry.
Down by two in the closing seconds, they steal the inbounds pass with a chance to tie it. Wilson Chandler drives the lane, but misses the floater and the putback attempt. Golden State hang on to win 92-88 taking the series by 4-2. They'll face the San Antonio Spurs next.
More in World Sport in just over three hours time. For now, Kristie, back to you.
LU STOUT: All right, Alex, thank you.
Now there's a busy weekend in store at the Box Office. Among the latest film characters showing up -- a man of iron, a man named Mud, and a man with pointy ears. Here is this week's movie minute.
CHRIS MOZINGA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The summer movie season is off to a recordbreaking start.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR., ACTOR: How many in the air?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 13, sir.
DOWNEY: How many can I carry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four, sir.
MOZINGA: Iron Man III opened huge internationally, grossing $195 million in its debut week. Now, the superhero soars in the theaters in China, Germany, Russia and the U.S.
MARK WALBERG, ACTOR: Look, when this is over, we'll all go camping.
MOZINGA: Pain and Gain also put up some big numbers. This week, the comic caper spans across Eastern Europe and Ireland.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You never said your name?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: Mud. You can call me Mud
MOZINGA: Matthew McConaughey stars as a convict on the run in Mud. The indy film was a favorite among critics at Cannes last year. It's opening internationally in France.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shall we begin?
MOZINGA: And next week, get ready for another blockbuster when Star Trek Into Darkness beams into theaters.
I'm Chris Mozinga, and that's your new movie minute.
LU STOUT: Now, Iron Man III has an ironclad grip on the Chinese box office. It set a new record for ticket sales in the country, raking in $21 million on its opening day.
But the movie shown in China has some key differences to the one that will open in the United States this weekend. An extra four minutes of footage have been added to the Chinese version of the movie. Now Dr. Wu and his assistant, played by the Chinese actors Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing appear to help out Iron Man. And there's also prominent product placement for a Chinese branded milk drink.
Now, the extra scenes haven't been appreciated by all Chinese film fans. And some have taken to the online microblog Sino Weibo to complain.
One user writes this, quote, "the Chinese appearance at the end is the worst part of this movie." It went on to say, "it just forced in some Chinese."
Now another user asks this, "what's the point of having Chinese people appear in the movie for just a few seconds?"
But some people didn't seem to mind the product placement. In fact, one user wrote this, quote, "it's my first time seeing so many Chinese advertisements in the movie. That's awesome."
So, why are studios willing to add the extra scenes? Well, it all comes down to cash. China passed Japan as the world's second largest movie market last year. So the studios can expect to reap sizable profits if they can successfully appeal to audiences there.
Now Dan Mintz is the CEO of the Beijing based DMG Entertainment Group which teamed up with the Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios to co- produce Iron Man III.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN MINTZ, CEO, DMG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP: And I think what makes a market really successful in the film industry you need three elements. The first element is access. The screens have to be there. Right now, China is about 12,000 screens. The U.S. is about 35 -- 35,000 plus screens. So access is key.
The second one is content. You have to have something want to go and see.
But the third is the most important and the one that really defines a market and the success of a market. And that is the habit. The habit of the filmgoer. You see other markets that have much less screens like Japan only has 3,000 screens, but at one point they were number two in the world and that is because the habit of going to the cinema two, sometimes three times a week was part of the culture and that's what's happening in China now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: So those are the three ingredients to success to make it in the movie business in China.
But for international film studios wanting to tape that lucrative market, Chinese censorship and restrictions on non-Chinese movies can prove tricky to negotiate. The inclusion of special scenes featuring Chinese actors can help appease authorities. And if that's what it takes, you can expect a lot more made for China content to come.
Now to the United States now. And the crowning achievement of the tallest building in the western hemisphere is now almost in place.
Now Jeanne Moos looks at the phoenix of a building that's rising from the ashes of ground zero.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's what people record. The star on top of the tree. The ball above Times Square. And now New York's newest ornament has been lifted, the spire that will top off One World Trade Center.
The antenna on the old World Trade Center was the last thing to come crashing down. And now we've come full circle with a new spire going up, an American flag attached. For the construction workers...
PHIL DUCATELLI, WTC CONSTRUCTION WORKER: To see this go up and cap it off, it's a beautiful moment for everybody. You know, not just for New Yorkers, for America.
MOOS: Workers applauded as the spire was lifted. It will serve as a broadcast transmission center. There will be a beacon on top.
STEVE PLATE, WTC CONSTRUCTION WORKER: The beacon that will be seen for miles around and give a tremendous indication that we're back and we're better than ever. MOOS: Workers on lower floors took pictures as the spire was hoisted past them, atop the 104-floor building. Workers savored the moment with upraised arms and dangling feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't knock us down. Because we just keep on getting up and doing what we have to do.
MOOS: A giant crane lifted the 22-ton section. The spire, when fully installed, will bring the building to a height of 1,776 feet, the date America declared its independence.
This was the view from up there with the spire looking like a rocket suspended over Manhattan. Liftoff.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
LU STOUT: And finally the movie star Reese Witherspoon put on a less than stellar performance some two weeks ago. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: ...harassing me as an American citizen. I have done nothing against the law.
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: Reese, can you please -- yes you have...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Website TMZ.com posted this dash cam video and it shows her confronting a Georgia State patrol officer as he arrests her husband for drunk driving. She was arrested as well. Witherspoon later admitted that she and her husband were drunk and apologized for the incident.
And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. In fact, we have World Business Today next. Stick around for that.