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UN Investigator Says Evidence Suggests Rebels Used Sarin Gas In Syria; Syria Promises Retaliation For Israeli Strikes; Authorities Struggle To Find Place To Bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev; Fine Dining In Mogadishu?

Aired May 6, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


PAULINE CHIOU, HOST: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Syrian rebels deny a UN official's claim suggesting they used chemical weapons.

We'll tell you one woman's story of survival after she was trafficked from Dubai from Iraq.

And U.S. lawmakers hit at a group that claims it successfully fired a gun put together from parts made at home with a 3D printer.

In recent days we've heard U.S. suspicions the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons. Now one United Nations officials says that current evidence indicates the rebels have used the deadly gas sarin. That information comes from UN investigator Carla Del Ponte. She does not, however, rule out the possibility that the government has also used sarin gas.

But Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, says her comments should bring an end to what it calls the stirred up of an anti-Syrian atmosphere.

Well, the opposition Free Syrian Army was quick to respond saying it does not possess chemical weapons.

Mohammed Jamjoom is monitoring the developments live from Beirut in Lebanon.

Mohammed, what kind of evidence is the UN saying it has received?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pauline, Ms. Del Ponte who is with the UN's commission of inquiry on Syria, she's a rights investigator, doesn't specify exactly what the evidence is. She says that there is enough to suggest that there are strong suspicions, concrete suspicions as she says in her words, that sarin gas has been used and possibly by rebel groups in Syria. Here's more what Ms. Del Ponte had to tell Swiss television.


CARLA DEL PONTE, UN INVESTIGATOR, SYRIA: During our investigation for crimes against humanity and war crimes, we collect some witness testimony that made to appear that some chemical weapons were used, in particular nerving gas. And what was -- what appear on -- to our investigation that that was used by the opponents, by the rebels. And we have no indication at all that the government, Syria authority of the Syrian government had used chemical weapons.


JAMJOOM: And Pauline, important to point out that while Ms. Del Ponte said that there's no evidence to suggest the Syrian government has used this type of gas as of yet, she also didn't rule out the idea that the Syrian regime might have used chemical weapons inside Syria -- Pauline.

CHIO: And Mohammed, the opposition has been adamant about not having chemical weapons. What exactly are they saying?

JAMJOOM: We got a strong denial earlier today from Louay Almokdad, he's with the Free Syrian Army. He told CNN we do not possess any unconventional weapons. We are not trying to obtain any. In any case, we don't have the mechanism to launch these kinds of weapons, which would mean missiles that could carry chemical warheads. And we in the FSA do not possess these kind of capabilities.

More importantly, we do not aspire to have chemical weapons, because we view our battle with the regime as a battle for the establishment of a free, democratic state instead of the unlawful thuggery of this regime.

So, once again the Free Syrian Army flatly denying that they possess chemical weapons, that any rebels have utilized chemical weapons in Syria and more and more over the course of the past few weeks, in the past couple of months, the opposition groups that we speak with and rebels in Syria, they actually point the finger toward the Syrian regime. They say that on several occasions they believe that the Syrian regime has utilized chemical weapons in Syria -- Pauline.

CHIOU: Meanwhile, the United Nations wants to send a team into Syria on the ground to investigate whether either side, the al Assad regime or the opposition is using chemical weapons. Is that even a remote possibility?

JAMJOOM: This seems to be held up at the moment. In March, you had the Syrian regime accusing the rebels inside Syria of utilizing chemical weapons. The Syrian regime called on the United Nations to put together a chemical weapons expert -- a team of experts to send them to Syria to let them investigate these claims to see once and for all if chemical weaponry had been used.

Well, since then, the UN has stated on many occasions that they have a team assembled, that they're willing to go in, but the hiccup here is that they are demanding that they get unfettered access to wherever they want to go to inside Syria to be able to credibly investigate the allegations that chemical weapons were used and to thoroughly investigate any evidence inside Syria. They don't feel at this point that they have those assurances and that's where this is hung up right now.

Meanwhile, allegations flying back and forth between the Syrian regime and the rebels that both sides are utilizing chemical weapons inside Syria -- Pauline.

CHIOU: Mohammed, thank you for keeping your eye on this story. Mohammed Jamjoom live from Beirut, Lebanon.

Well, this comes at a time of increased tension in the region. Now Syria blames Israel for airstrikes near Damascus. It says this attack on Sunday was the second in three days. Israel has not confirmed or denied that it fired rockets into this area, but Israel has long said it would target any transfer of weapons to Hezbollah or other groups that it considers terrorist organizations.

The Lebanese militant group has not commented on these strikes, but just last week Hezbollah's leader suggested the group would send fighters into Syria if needed. Remember, the Shiite Hezbollah movement fears the rise of Syria's Sunni majority if the Assad regime falls.

Now, Israel believes that Iran, a Shiite nation sends weapons to Hezbollah through Syria. And it fears that those weapons could then be used against Israel.

Well, Iran says it believes Syria will deal a crushing response to Israel. And so far, Syria's deputy foreign minister has delivered very strong words.

Frederik Pleitgen had an exclusive interview with him.


FAISAL AL MEKDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: This is a declaration of war. This is not something that is strange, but we dealt with this I mean on several occasions. And we retaliated the way we want and the retaliation was always painful to Israel. And they will suffer again.


CHIOU: You're watching News Stream. And still to come, after a hotly contested political race, a familiar ending -- Malaysia's ruling party looks set to maintain its decades long hold on power.

Pakistan is also preparing to go to the polls, but in the run-up to the vote, violence continues to mar what some are calling the most important election in the country's history.

And she thought she was going to Italy for work, but found herself in Iraq. The CNN Freedom Project follows one Indonesian woman's odyssey of abuse.


CHIOU: Welcome back to New Stream. Let's go back to the situation in Syria. The country is blaming Israel for airstrikes near Damascus. Israelis are taking precautions. And Sara Sidner joins us now live from Haifa near the border with Lebanon.

Sara, how is Israel preparing itself?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the Israeli military has moved two Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems into the north to try and make sure that it has all of its military assets in the right places as we speak. And certainly this comes after Israel is accused of striking inside Syria the second time over the past three or four days, the third time they've been accused of striking inside Syria this year.

Israeli officials have not publicly commented on this. They had said that they cannot comment, confirm or deny the accusation that the Israeli military did strike inside of Syria hitting what the Syrians say was a research facility used by the military there.

What we can tell you, though, is the reason why we are here in Haifa, a city which is actually on the Lebanese border as opposed to the Syrian border is the general sense is if you talk to security analysts is that the fight may come from Hezbollah who is over in the Lebanon side of the border, because Israel has said time and again that it wants to stop any kind of weapons coming out of Syria into the hands of Hezbollah which is Israel's enemy and also an organization which Israel and the United States consider a terrorist organization.

The big concern is that it will be Hezbollah that strikes Israel, perhaps as retaliation for what is happening inside of Syria and so they have put their military assets on this side of the border and that is why you are seeing the movement here as opposed to on the Syrian side of the border.

Syria has been a two year war, now going into the third year that has really weakened its military, weakened its position and military analysts looking at the situation not thinking that Syria is going to have a big reaction to this, at least not militarily -- Pauline.

CHIOU: And Sara, the target on Sunday was apparently a research facility in Syria. Do we know anything more about what that facility was used for?

SIDNER: Well, what we only -- what we know is what the Syrian regime is saying that it was indeed a research facility, but we saw such massive explosions you have to think that there were munitions of some sort inside just considering the continuous explosions that went on for some time. And if you look at the pictures you will see that those explosions happening.

Exactly what was inside, we are not being told. We do know that there have been some analysts talking about certain kinds of missiles, particularly the Fatah 110.

We spoke with a military expert on these weapons who said that that particular missile is very dangerous, because it has both a long range missile that also is very accurate, something that they don't believe Hezbollah has a hold of now. And they're worried that Syria was perhaps trying to get those missiles into the hands of Hezbollah over the Lebanese border. And so that may have been either the strike that happened Thursday night or Friday, or the strike that happened Saturday that may have had something to do with it, Pauline.

CHIOU: Some very important details. Sara Sidner, thank you very much. That's Sara live on the border of Lebanon in Haifa in Israel.

Now we turn to the situation in (inaudible) Asia. For 56 years looks set to hold on to power. Results from Sunday's general election show prime minister Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional won 133 seats in parliament. The main opposition garnered 89 seats.

Now while that's up by seven, many analysts had said the opposition stood a very, very strong chance of winning this election largely due to its focus on reforming decades old ethnic policies.

According to the latest census conducted in 2010, there were 26 million Malyasian citizens. Ethnic Malays make up the majority, over 67 percent. Nearly a quarter of Malaysian citizens are ethnic Chinese and Ethnic Indians account for just over 7 percent.

Now in the 1970s the Barisan Nasional introduced policies favoring ethnic Malays. The opposition had been hoping to win more support in this election by pledging to reform that system. While the ruling party claims victory, the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is refusing to concede. And he's alleging widespread vote fraud.


ANWAR IBRAHIM, MALASYIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: We want the election commission to give a satisfactory answer why this fraudulent process were being condoned or done. And they are (inaudible) complicit to the crime.


CHIOU: And that was Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who is also a former deputy prime minister.

The ruling party is responding to his allegations and it insists Sunday's vote was free and fair.

A blast near a political rally in Pakistan has killed at least seven people and injured 30 others, according to a government official. It happened in a tribal region here.

Pakistan's general election is just five days away. And today's explosion is just another deadly example of a campaign marred by controversy and violence.

Saima Mohsin sets up the race.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a country that spent most of its 66 years under military rule, this election is being dubbed the biggest and best yet with 36 million new voters, more female candidates, more independents, more polling stations and more observers than ever before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This time around, yes, we can expect a lot of things to happen, but hopefully they will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a new hope for a country. And I hope that, you know, this will change the situation in Pakistan. So I think what, you know, giving word this time would make a difference.


MOHSIN: The Pakistan People's Party is campaigning to win a second term. Led by the son of its assassinated former leader Benazir Bhutto. Even though at only 24-years-old, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is legally too young to stand for election himself.

The PPP made history by completing a full term of government, but its record is questionable. The country is still plagued by growing extremism and sectarian violence, endemic corruption and a broken economy.

The main opposition comes from the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, led by one of the country's leading industrialists and richest men Nawaz Sharif. He's been prime minister twice before and was overthrown in a coup and exiled when Musharraf seized power in 1999. Viewed as a religious conservative, he feels its his turn to take back the reigns of power.

Hot on his heels is Imran Khan. The cricketer turned politician and his political party boycotted the last election, calling Musharraf a dictator. He says he's not resting on his laurels as a sportsman, celebrity or heart throb. He's calling for an end to corruption, drone strikes, and a reliance on western aid. His party is being credited for pulling in the youth vote.

Conspicuously absent is former President Musharraf. He returned from self-imposed exile to take part in these elections, but has been banned by a court from participating in politics. His party, the APML, has announced a boycott.

Add to the mix major secular and liberal parties like the ANP and MQM in the northwestern and southern provinces. The Pakistan Taliban had warned secular parties against campaigning. Party offices have been bombed and politicians from both parties have been assassinated.

Despite an increase in violence across the country, all eyes are on May 11 when the people of Pakistan hope to have their voices heard by voting in a Democratic government.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


CHIOU: Police have declared that no rallies can take place in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka this Monday, that's after scenes like this took place throughout the day and late into the night on Sunday. Police and paramilitary troops battling Islamists who laid siege to the commercial center of the city.

Now members of the ultra-conservative Protectors of Islam Group were demanding laws against blasphemy. Journalist David Bergman tells us what we know about those involved.


DAVID BERGMAN, JOURNALIST: An organization that is based in Chittagong. And they are primarily from what are known as Kwame Madrasas. These are schools that are religious schools where students only get a religious education and no other kind of education. It's important to recognize, however, that there are only a very small proportion of the total number of students that do go to schools in Bangladesh. Kwame Madrasas where this group comes from, where these supporters study, represent only about 2 percent of all schools of Bangladesh.

So, though, they were able to occupy Dhaka, and clearly there were very serious clashes with the police, it is important to get into perspective that Bangladesh remains a relatively secular, modern country in which the people with these kinds of views are at a small minority.


CHIOU: The violence only ended when 10,000 security forces moved in to disperse the protesters earlier today. Bangladesh's national news agency says 14 people were killed in the clashes and more than 75 were wounded. Human rights activists say the final death toll will be much higher.

The UN said violence in Iraq killed more people last month than in any other month since June of 2008. And that's being blamed on a rise in sectarian clashes. The majority Shia were sidelined under Saddam Hussein, but they now hold significant power. And many Sunnis say they are gearing up for a showdown.

Arwa Damon has our report, but we must warn you it does contain some images you may find disturbing.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Run. Run away. The soldiers taunt the men as they flee. The narrative scene in videos posted to YouTube, whose authenticity CNN cannot independently verify, appears to contradict the government's versions of events that its forces were targeting terrorists who infiltrated a camp of anti-government demonstrators in the town of Hawija last month, some two hours north of Baghdad.

Amidst the blue tents used by demonstrators, bodies are strewn about, one collapsed next to a wheel chair. A man in what appears to be a SWAT uniform kicks a corpse in the head. The images feeding the rage of Iraq's Sunni population.

The following Friday, the calls to bring down the Shia-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were amplified, especially here one of the main centers of the protests located in Iraq's Sunni heartland of al- Anbar province. Demonstrators have been blocking the highway for months.

We traveled there over the weekend. The men launch into a tirade against Maliki's government who they accuse of oppressing the Sunnis and indiscriminately throwing them behind bars.

"He considers us all to be Saddamists," one states. "They tell us the Hawija massacre was a message."

And it's a message they've been expecting.

"We've been ready for a long time. We are certain that al Maliki is a liar. The political process is just a game." Sheikh Ali Khatem Suleiman (ph), one of the main tribal leaders here, tells us. "Our weapons are everywhere light, medium, and on up."

The tribe is a culture entrenched in weaponry have a fighting force at their disposal that has plenty of experience. They allied themselves with al Qaeda in Iraq and battled U.S. forces for years before turning on the terrorist group. This time, Suleiman (ph) vows that no matter what they won't allow al Qaeda to dominate again.

"The tribes are not and will not again be a nurturing ground for terrorism," he tells us.

The tribes are forming the so-called Army of Pride and Dignity. Each tribe will be responsible for its own men and their actions, pledging their won't be another Hawija.

(on camera): This is what remains of an Iraqi army convoy that was attacked at the end of last month following the incident in Hawija. And a few days after this attack took place on this same road, a vehicle carrying Iraqi army soldiers in civilian clothing came under fire as well. Five of them were killed.

Following that incident, the Iraqi government enraged demanded that the perpetrators be handed over, or else. And all of this happening just outside of where the demonstrations take place.

(voice-over): Everyone claims they don't know who the attackers were. And while there are some efforts to dial back the tensions, many Iraqis fear that their country is on the brink of yet another civil war.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Ramadi, Iraq.


CHIOU: Still ahead, we'll tell you about a young Indonesian woman who ended up in Iraq against her will. And now she's trying to help other migrant workers avoid the same abuse. Her story is next right here on News Stream.


CHIOU: A recent report from the international labor organization says 600,000 people may be victims of forced labor in countries all across the Middle East. It says many of those victims are lured into jobs that don't exist or to conditions far worse than they expected. Atika Shubert met one woman who was told about an opportunity in Italy, but instead of trafficked to Iraq.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Eli Anita tells her story in broken English, but there is no mistaking her anger when she recalls how her employer at a labor company in Dubai sexually harassed her in 2007.

ELI ANITA, TRAFFICKING VICTIM: He was so angry and he also beat me and kidnapped me in the back room for many hours. And he locked the door and he say Eli just obey to me.

I say I'm sorry, I doesn't want anything from you. I came for working. And I will not allow anybody touch my body. Also working (ph) at my body I say like this.

And then he asking me what do you want?

I say I want another job.

SHUBERT: Eli says her employer shunted her off to a new job in a place she'd never heard of far from the skyscrapers of Dubai.

ANITA: He tell me there is -- I will send you to a new country. High technology, it's good country.

Which one? What's the name, I say like this.

It's (inaudible), it's a party of Italy.

SHUBERT: For a village girl from Indonesia, Eli says she had no idea she was being sent to Kurdistan in northern Iraq, at that time in the midst of war. She says she was flown to Erbil Airport under the constant watch of labor company chaperones with about a dozen other women from Ethiopia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

She says the labor company took her passport.

ANITA: Every 10 minutes is some army, you know, stop us with the gun touch our body say show us your identity like this. I say, oh my god, I'm in wrong country. I was thinking like this...

SHUBERT: But you still didn't know where you were?

ANITA: Yeah, I still doesn't know where I am at that time.

SHUBERT: Eli finally convinced one of her minders to let her call her Dubai employer.

ANITA: I used the telephone, I call my agency. You send me to Iraq and then you're telling me they're part of Italy?

They say like this, they say, Eli, just keep quiet. I already received 400 -- 5,000 U.S. dollars.

SHUBERT: 4,500 dollars?

ANITA: So that time I know that they sell me.

SHUBERT: She says she tried to run away several times, but after days on the street, she was found by the labor agency, dragged back and she says beaten as a punishment.

ANITA: The agency also kidnapped me inside the back room with the gun on my head. They say if you doesn't stop your action call or your government I will kill you.

SHUBERT: Eli finally escaped by secretly contacting the International Labor Organization. They brokered her release from the labor agency and brought her back home to Indonesia.

We made repeated attempts to contact the company, but did not get a response, so we visited their office asking to speak to the man who Eli says sold her, trafficking her from Dubai to Iraq.

He refused to talk to us or give us his side of the story, but Eli is clear about what she thinks this is.

(on camera): Do you feel like this is essentially a form of modern day slavery?

ANITA: It's more modern day slavery.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Eli now works with migrant care in Jakarta, Indonesia helping other workers who have returned home. She has no intention to work abroad again.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jakarta.


CHIOU: And don't forget, you can see much more on the efforts to fight human trafficking around the world and find ways for you to join the fight. That's at this website

And just ahead on News Stream, hear what one U.S. lawmaker is saying after controversial pro-gun group in the U.S. says it has successfully fired the world's first 3D printed firearm.

And the question remains where to bury Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. We'll look at the narrowing options.


CHIOU: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong, you're watching News Stream and these are your world headlines.

The United Nations says testimony from victims of Syria's conflict suggest chemical weapons are being used. Top UN investigator Carla Del Ponte has told Swiss media that witness accounts indicate rebels may have used the deadly nerve gas sarin. A Free Syrian Army spokesman denies that.

At least 14 people were killed and 75 injured as protesters clashed with police in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. Huge crowds of Islamists have brought that city to a halt, making 13 demands including rewriting the national constitution. They want a new law that would punish blasphemy against Islam with death.

After a hotly contested election campaign, Malaysia's ruling coalition appears to have managed to extend its 56 year hold on power. The prime minister is calling for a national reconciliation. The opposition leader is rejecting the election results alleging fraud.

The world's first gun made with 3D printer technology has reportedly been successfully been fired. Now this is the website of the controversial U.S. group that created the plastic fire arm, Defense Distributed. Now a video posted on the site appears to show the weapon being fired. And a Forbes writer witnessed that event.

Now Defense Distributed says it plans to make the digital blueprints for the prototype weapon, called the Liberator, available online. That would skirt gun control efforts as anyone, anywhere in the world could then download the plans and build their own gun.

Now Congressman Steve Israel and Senator Charles Schumer, both from New York, are renewing calls for legislation to ban 3D printable weapons.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: The guns are made out of plastic, so they would not be detectable by a metal detector at any airport or sporting event. Let's think about this for a second. Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage. And the only thing they need: a computer and a little over $1,000. No background check. And you don't even have to leave your house to make hundreds of these guns.


CHIOU: According to the company Defense Distributed, all you need to build the gun is a 3D printer, internet access and a nail to act as its firing pin.

And 3D printers may soon be as readily available to the average American as the other two requirements on the list. Now Staples has become the first major U.S. retailer to stock them. And this model sells for $1,3000.

Instead of using ink like regular printers, 3D printers use materials like plastic and by building upon layer upon layer of that material the printers can create complex solid objects. And as with normal printers, the more expensive the model the higher quality the final product is.

Now the printer used to make the Liberator cost around $8,000. But Defense Distributed told Forbes its goal is to adapt its gun production method to work on cheaper printers as well.

In other news, the body of deceased Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev remains at a funeral home more than two weeks after he was killed. So far, no cemeteries in or around Boston will accept his remains for burial.

Let's get more on this story from Susan Candiotti who is live in Boston.

Susan, where do things stand now?


Well, at this hour, there is no cemetery, no burial plot that will accept the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. And the funeral home's director is wondering what he's supposed to do.

Now also the city of Cambridge where Tsarnaev used to live is also rejecting the notion that he should be buried anywhere near Boston, even though he lived in this area for more than 10 years.

So no one knows what's going to happen next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send him back to Russia.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): For days protesters outside a Wooster funeral home making it clear suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev is as hated as much dead as he would be alive. One sign reads, "Bury the garbage, but not in America." His remains in limbo at a funeral home, much to the chagrin of its director.

STEFAN: The thing is we have to bury this guy. Whatever it is, whoever he is, in this country, we bury people. I don't care who it is.

CANDIOTTI: So far not a single cemetery will take Tsarnaev's remains. His uncle from Maryland who in the days after the bombing called his two nephews losers spent Sunday at a funeral home to cleanse and shroud the body as required by Islamic faith.

RUSLAN TSARNI, UNCLE OF TAMERLAN TSARNAEV: I'm left alone to deal with this matter. And I also stress that Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried.

CANDIOTTI: President Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is buried in the Dallas area. Homegrown Oklahoma City terrorist bomber Timothy McVeigh's ashes were scattered after his execution, where remains a mystery. As for Tsarnaev's widow, according to her in-law, she's steering clear of burial plans. Her attorney says she's still cooperating with the FBI.

On Sunday, FBI investigators wearing protective suits spent hours back at Tsarnaev's home where a law enforcement source says bomb residue had earlier been found on a kitchen sink, table and bathtub. Surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar told the FBI the bombs were built in that top-floor apartment.

And a few hours from now one of the younger brother's three jailed friends, American student Robel Phillipos, will ask a federal judge to set him free on bail pending trial. He's accused of lying to investigators about going to Dzhokhar's dorm room. Two other students from Kazakhstan are accused of ditching evidence.


CANDIOTTI: Now back to the controversy over burying Tsarnaev's remains. Even if the family wanted to have him taken back to Russia, we are told the following, for example, first the Russian government would have to -- says that Tsarnaev would have to be proven to be a terrorist. And since he's deceased and not going to be put on trial, obviously, that's unlikely to happen. But even if he were to be proven through the trial of his younger brother, then if the Russian government would then be able to take him back. They said they would not tell the family where he would be buried.

So, I mean, none of this has yet to be resolved, Pauline. No one knows where this will wind up. Back to you.

CHIOU: And it sounds very bureaucratic as well.

Susan, thank you very much for the update on this story. Susan Candiotti there live in Boston.

The trial of this woman has been fascinating many Americans for many months now. Jodi Arias is accused of murdering her boyfriend in 2008 and now jurors are deliberating her fate. Ted Rowlands reviews the salacious details that have people captivated with this case.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To Linda Kur, a direct mail production manager in Washington, D.C. is hooked on the Jodi Arias trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm addicted, I get home and I immediately turn my TV on, I turn my computer on.

ROWLANDS: Thousands of people around the country are watching this trial. Some are even showing up at the courthouse in Phoenix, like Kimberly McDonald who says she passed on a trip to Hawaii to see Arias in person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked if he could instead take a road trip and come down here and get a ticket into the courtroom.

ROWLANDS: Marilyn Landis from Akron, Ohio dragged her husband into the courthouse from his baseball sprint training trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I watch it every day starting at 5:00 all night long.

ROWLANDS: Why do they watch?

TRELYNDA KERR, ARIAS TRIAL WATCHER: I think it's just the manner of death. It's the whole toxic relationship between the two. It's the whole Mormon faith.

ROWLANDS: And of course, there's of course the graphic testimony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's somebody that you cannot stay away from sexually, right?


ROWLANDS: Nude photos, even phone sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one would ever believe that they would record all these tapes sexually and the pictures. KERR: It is graphic and quite frankly I tweeted about that, I said I needed to take a shower after I heard some of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got some new information just in. What do you got?

ROWLANDS: Ratings are way up for CNN's sister network HLN, which is not only carrying the trial gavel to gavel, but providing near constant analysis going so far as building this replica of the bathroom where Travis Alexander was killed.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, HLN'S "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": It's sex. It's the attractiveness of the defendant. It's the salaciousness of the testimony. This case has it all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder.

ROWLANDS: This, of course, isn't the first trial to draw high ratings. There were three O.J. Simpson trials, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson and most recently Casey Anthony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a real good one. Casey Anthony did not have this.

ROWLANDS: Casey Anthony did have a dramatic ending, being found not guilty which sent some trial watchers into his hysterics.

The verdict in this case is expected at some point later this month, when it does come, thousands, make that hundreds of thousands of people, like Trelynda Kerr will be tuning in to find out what happens.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


CHIOU: In other news now, one woman's efforts to raise money for a project online turns into a cyber nightmare. You won't believe some of the things that actually happened. And we have that story coming up next on News Stream.


CHIOU: Now we want to explore a case of what's mass internet trolling. Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist media critic who launched a web campaign last year to raise money for a video project, but that led to her becoming the subject of an online smear campaign by what she describes as a cyber mob. Sarkeesian spoke to my colleague Ralitsa Vassileva about what happened.


ANITA SARKEESIAN, FEMINIST MEDIA CRITIC: So I announced my intentions to create a video series examining the way women are portrayed in video games. And I was attacked by a section of male gamers. And I think part of the attack was based on their attempt to preserve the statue quo of gaming as a male dominated space and all of the privileges and entitlements that come with an unquestioned boys' club.

RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tell us a little bit more about the kind of threats and attacks you received?


So, all of my social media sites were flooded with sexist and racist slurs and pornography, threats to my life, threats of rape and sexual violence. The Wikipedia article about me was vandalized with sexist and racist comments and pornographic images. There were attempts made to hack into my website and into my email accounts. There were attempts made to -- denial of service attacks used to knock my website offline for days. Pornographic images and my likeness being raped by video game characters were created and distributed. There were attempts to collect and distribute my personal information such as my home address and phone number.

There was even a game made about me where players were invited to click on the screen and when you did that, an image of me became increasingly battered and bruised.

VASSILEVA: But you didn't give up, why?

SARKEESIAN: I didn't. I think that the work that I do sort of deconstructing female characters in popular culture and talking about how important the media is, is important work and really valuable.

Princess Peach is in many ways the quintessential stock character version of the damsel in distress.

I was -- I was determined to continue with my project. I also -- one of the things that I did when the harassment started was I documented it and I shared some of what happened to me, because a lot of times when women talk about online harassment they're told, well, it can't be that bad, or you know you're just exaggerating or you need to grow thicker skin.

And what I wanted to do -- or what I hope to do by telling my story is to create a space where people take online harassment more seriously.


CHIOU: Now there is a positive note to Anita Sarkeesian's story. While the cyber mob attempted to silence her, she was actually able to generate a lot more support than she thought for her video project. She was only asking for $6,000 on, but she raised close to $160,000 in the end.

Well, some of football's biggest names are getting together to try and fight racism in the sport. And Amanda Davies joins us now with more on that. Hi, Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pauline. Yeah, I can tell you that the first meeting of world football's anti-racism and discrimination task force has taken place and now finished at FIFA HQ in Zurich. It's a task force, of course, that's been set up by FIFA after AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the pitch during a game in Italy having been racially abused by fans.

Boateng is one of the 12 members of the committee looking at implementing stronger punishments and deterring repeat offenders. And the head of the task force, Jeffrey Webb, told me exclusively last month that they won't shy away from hitting teams hard.


JEFFREY WEBB, FIFA VICE PRESIDENT: The sanction must be -- must be also removal from a competition, suspension from a competition, relegation. If we have to take points, if that's a deterrent, then we take points. But we must send a very clear message that it's totally unacceptable.

DAVIES: Let me put it to you that Spain in a World Cup qualifier ahead of the next World Cup there is a major incident of racism involving Spanish fans. Could you foresee a situation whereby Spain, the defending world champions, would not be competing at the next World Cup as punishment?

WEBB: Well, if of course any national association regardless of they're world champions or someone not competing in a World Cup, if we create the infrastructure, if we set the laws and the parameters and you consistently infringe on those laws, then you are deciding the outcome yourself.


DAVIES: Well, Pauline, we understand that a task force meeting has finished for the day. The next step is putting the findings and the recommendations to the FIFA congress at the end of June.

CHIOU: It's good to see FIFA really putting its foot down.

Amanda, thank you very much for the update there.

Well, coming up next, Mogadishu frequently makes news for pirates, famine or violent militants, but now see another side of Somalia. This restaurant's owner risks his life to bring a taste of normal life to a war torn city.


CHIOU: As we look at a night-time shot of Victoria Harbor there, let's take a look at the global weather forecast. And near record high temperatures in India as they wait for the monsoon rains.

Mari Ramos is live at the world weather center with more -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: You know, Pauline, they're not going to get any kind of significant rainfall until maybe June when the monsoon is set to begin if all goes according to plan and that's when we're expecting the rains to happen.

But look at some of these temperatures on Sunday, easily some six degrees above the average for many areas. And even in New Delhi you're looking at temperatures well above the average. Again today, you got past 40 degrees in New Delhi. And it's 40 degrees right now, just another indication of this extreme heat that has been affecting this region really taking a toll, particularly in those areas over here toward the west. Those are the areas worst affected by the drought and the areas that have critical water shortages. So that's still a huge concern.

Notice as we head back over here toward Kolkata and toward Bangladesh, slightly cooler. You've had some pretty intense thunderstorms pop up in the last few hours. The problem with these storms is that when they happen they can actually be very violent, very strong winds, very heavy rain, hail, and they can really do some damage. So watch out for these -- in these areas, you begin to see them popping up once the heating of the day gets going. If there's a little humidity you will start to see these come up.

And there they are, back over here toward Myanmar even and then also into parts of Bangladesh and also India. So that's definitely something to monitor.

25 degrees right now in Beijing, but you've got for the first time past 30 degrees, 30.3 the official temperatures in Beijing today. That's the warmest it's been so far this season. And as we head into the beginning portion of the week you're going to see a lot more yellows and reds filling this map even well north into portions into portions of southern Russia and even over here into the far east.

Most of the rain will remain in areas farther to the south. Some of that rain will be very heavy so watch out for that as we head through the next couple of days. But actually pretty quiet as we head toward the Korean peninsula and then back over toward Japan.

I want to show you a little something different. Let's go ahead and roll the pictures. This is a file video -- actually, no, this is new video. This is from China. You see these explosions right there? Remember the earthquake that we had last month, it caused tremendous damage across some of these areas.

Well, some of the things that happened is that they have very big landslides. And those landslides cover the rivers. Once they cover the rivers they begin to form lakes because the river can no longer flow through these gorges. It's a huge -- it's a serious situation for these very steep terrain areas.

Look how small the workers look there at the bottom, Pauline. They -- what they did is they started blowing up these boulders. It's a huge undertaking. They're trying to blow up the boulders so that the water can start flowing freely again.

What happens is -- can you imagine if that gets backed up, forms a huge lake and then it can burst suddenly, so that's what they're trying to avoid from happening. And this area right over here in Sichuan after the latest earthquake.

Back to you.

CHIOU: Yes. Such an enormous effort there as if we see the workers there looking so tiny against those boulders. OK, thank you very much Mari for the forecast.

Well, for years the people of Somalia's capital learn to do without. They had no security, not even a workable government, but now the capital Mogadishu has something no one would have thought possible a few years ago, they have fine dining. Nima Elgabir looks at a Somali chef who is making a difference one mouthful at a time.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the weekend, and on Mogadishu's main waterfront, families have come to enjoy the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean. Girls splash as boys strut and show off.

Amid the rubble of the abandoned colonial era villas, new developments are emerging. All unthinkable a year-and-a-half ago when the al Qaeda linked militant group al Shabaab controlled vast swaths of the city. Owner of The Village restaurant, this is the busy time for chef and owner Ahmed Jama. When he first came to Mogadishu five years ago, though, it was a very different story.

AHMED JAMA, OWNER, THE VILLAGE: When I opened this restaurant, they could not believe it. Is someone going inside in this place and he's going to have a restaurant.

ELBAGIR: In Mogadishu?

JAMA: In Mogadishu.

ELBAGIR: During the war, at the height of the war...

JAMA: This was a front line.

ELBAGIR: Where we're standing right here?

JAMA: Yeah. This was at the grave (ph) area along (inaudible).

ELBAGIR: Today, it's one of the most popular places in town, one of five restaurants all called The Village, owned by Ahmed.

JAMA: They never seen (inaudible) 20 years. People, they all of a sudden they have a nice fresh coffee, and also have a nice fresh food. It seems like my restaurant is next to open the world and see, you know, they have a life. Before -- they never have a life before.

ELBAGIR: First the first time in a very long time, Somalis have a choice of where to go to meet friends, enjoy cappuccino and even a pipe of flavored tobacco, albeit discretely.

His patrons have developed a taste for green polenta, ox tail, and lobster Somali style.

But of course, this is still Mogadishu. Al Shabaab may no longer have a visible presence in the city, but they're still here. At the entrance to The Village restaurant stand armed guards. The gate is fortified with sand bags, a gunman looks down from the turret.

A legacy of the last time al Shabaab chose to make their presence felt.

In November last year, two men came up to the front gate of Ahmed's restaurant with explosives strapped to their bodies, detonated the explosives killing a soldier right here. At another restaurant another explosion, 25 of his customers were killed, and yet Somalis, Mogadishu residents still keep coming out to these restaurants day after day with their families.

ELBAGIR: Ahmed says as long as his customers keep coming, he's willing to keep risking his life alongside them.

JAMA: They're trying to stop the people feeling like they have a new life. I will not going to stop for that, I just keep going.


ELBAGIR: For the first time in the more than two decades of Somali conflict, there's a sense of optimism. A newly appointed president planned reform for the country's security forces and promises of substantial support from the international community, Somalis, it seems have had a taste of normal life. And al Shabaab violence, no matter how bloody, no longer holds the power it once did.

Nima Elgabir, CNN, Mogadishu.


CHIOU: And that is News Stream, but the news continues right here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.