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Instagram Adds Video Feature; Syrian Conflict Through the Eyes Of Its Youngest Victims; 300,000 March In Rio For Change; Protests Unite Rivary Football Fans In Istanbul; Miami Repeat As NBA Champions; U.S. Congress Concerned Over Background Checks For Contractors

Aired June 21, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


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

Now massive protests continue across Brazil with reports that a million people took to the streets to express their anger.

The haze in Singapore reaches record levels.

And Instagram adds video. We'll test it out.

Now anger continues to boil in Brazil after two weeks of protest. And now President Dilma Rousseff has called an emergency cabinet meeting that follows another night of massive demonstrations. Now reports say some 1 million people across the country took to the streets on Thursday. One person has been killed in the state of Sao Paulo. And police say that he was run over by an SUV during a demonstration.

And the list of grievances against the government, it seems to be growing. Matthew Chance spoke to protesters in Rio de Janeiro.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not in 20 years has Brazil seen anything like this. From the capital to its biggest metropolis, vast crowds of protesters have again taken to the streets.

In Rio alone, more than 300,000 people marched through the city Thursday demanding change.

(on camera): Well, this is easily one of the biggest protests that has taken place in Brazil since these demonstrations began. You can see, it's partly a victory parade, because the government here has U-turned on the initial issue which was the rising transport bus fares. They've changed their mind and they've brought those fares back down again.

But this has also become something much broader, much more important.

(voice-over): It's as if a catalog of grievances has been unleashed. From official corruption to poor health care and education.

There's even anger at the money spent on preparations for the next World Cup, astonishing in a country so fanatical about football.

(on camera): What are you here for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so many problems that we've got to focus. Today, today is about five causes.

CHANCE: You're focusing on five.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is five causes.

But it won't stop here. It won't stop now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm protesting for the corruption, the health system, the transportation system, the education system...

CHANCE: So many issues.


CHANCE: And many Brazilians appear increasingly impatient for change.

In the capital, Brasilia, protesters tried to storm government offices for the second time this week. In Rio, riot police fought running battles with demonstrators to clear the streets. And Brazil appears increasingly engulfed in turmoil.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.


LU STOUT: As Matthew mentioned, protests initially centered around a bus fare increase. Now Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have since canceled that price hike. But these people in Sao Paulo are chanting it's not about the 20 cents. And this is just the beginning.

Now large protests are still taking place across the country. This huge crowd marched in Fortaleza on Wednesday. As you can see, they swarmed the streets.

And this was a scene in Niteroi on Wednesday. Police used tear gas. They used rubber bullets.

And protests in some cities have been violent and destructive. This crowd tried to tip over a bus in Rio de Janeiro unappeased by the fare hike cancellation.

Now don't forget, all of this is taking place as Brazil hosts the Confederation Cup. And more demonstrations are expected during the final match next weekend.

Now turning now to Sinapore where the air pollution has hit a record high. And the government is warning that the haze choking the city-state could last for weeks.

The pollution index reached 401 at midday on Friday. Now anything above 300 is regarded as potentially life threatening for the elderly and people who are sick.

Now the haze is caused by smoke blowing over from forest fires in Indonesia. And that's causing some friction between the two governments.

Now it is the third day of choking haze for Singapore. So when will the skies clear?

Tom Sater joins us now from the World Weather Center -- Tom.

TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, there's only two factors really that will play a role. One, the weather. The winds need to shift, most likely out of the north, which is not going to happen this time of year. The second thing that could alleviate this problem is if the fires go away. And that's really what they're working on.

If we break this down with you, you can really get an idea, this is the time of year that winds come in from the southwest. Now, farmers in Indonesia -- and several countries really around the world, clear their farm, their fields. It's the fastest way for them to do this and prepare for the next growing season, although it's illegal and in many cases in many countries, and this is why, when you have a smoke that's pretty much in one direction for a long period of time, that smoke, the choking smoke just as you see here, moves into populated areas.

Now, yes, it is illegal. This is done in Vietnam. This is done in Cambodia and Thailand. It's done in India. They just don't have the technology and the tractors to plow the field.

And many believe that for generations this is the way to do it, because it neutralizes the soil and adds nutrients, but that's not the case. It actually starves the oxygen from the soil. And it's really not the best planning procedure.

But notice the fires. We update this constantly for you. And you can see the plum from satellites. So again, a westerly or southwesterly wind is the last thing that Singapore wants.

Unfortunately, this is the time of year -- and the forecast holds true for the next 10 to even 20 days. We're looking at a mainly a southwesterly wind.

Even now, we can look at the wind directions with our arrows. And even though at times it may shift to the northwest only briefly, which does help. The big problem is, the fires need to be put out so we can start to get some clearing in here.

Current observations in Singapore, again, a west wind -- not what you want -- seven kilometers per hour. And yes, the numbers, which were at 250 on Wednesday, jumped to 300 Thursday. And then that staggering and record 401.

With pictures like this looking more like this, again the scene we see over and over again, elderly, those with respiratory issues, pregnant women all told stay indoors. But it's getting just as bad for indoor residents as well.

The worst, Kristie, back in 1997 for the region. It believed it cost $9 billion in damage. Although these numbers now are surpassing that.

LU STOUT: Wow. And it is incredible how you can see that plume of thick haze and smoke by satellite and imagery that you just showed us.

Now Tom, stick around, because there is another serious weather situation to talk about. Now one official is calling this a Himalayan tsunami. Homes, temples, and lives have been washed away in northern India where early monsoon rains have swamped towns and villages. The death toll, it stands at 150. And there are fears it can much, much higher.

Now Mallika Kapur shows us the devastated region.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exhausted, but relieved. Car after car brought survivors of the devastating flood that India's Himalayas down to dry, flat land.

One of them stops when they see us. Its passengers are keen to give us a firsthand account of their experience.

"Look," Savjan Singh (ph) says, "I've got something for you."

He shows us this terrifying video he says he recorded on his cellphone.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," he says.

Chilling scenes like this of bridges, homes and cars being swept away have played out in various parts of Northern India which has been lashed by torrential rain since Sunday.

"There was nothing but death in front of us," says his friend Gojip Singh (ph). "Now that we've got out, we feel like we've got a second life."

Rescue teams have brought thousands of people trapped in swirling floods to safety. Some in helicopters, some by road, some on foot. Many are still waiting to be evacuated. Some are still unaccounted for.

Signs of destruction are everywhere. A walk along the bank of River Ganga (ph) show the magnitude of the disaster.

(on camera): Three days ago, the river was almost level with this bridge. The water has subsided now, but people here aren't breathing easy. It's just the beginning of the monsoon, that means there are still two to three months of rainfall ahead.

(voice-over): Deekavig (ph) says this is the heaviest rainfall he's seen in his lifetime. A volunteer at an ashram, he shows us what's left of a giant, iconic idol of the Hindu lord Shiva.

"It was 15 feet high," he says, "but the torrential rain washed it away."

As the weather improves, worshippers return to the river banks to attend a daily prayer service. They stand amid the debris, unshaken in their faith.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Rishikesh, northern India.


LU STOUT: And in Mallika's report, some dramatic scenes of destruction there.

Let's go back to Tom Sater. And Tom, any relief in the forecast for India?

SATER: Very good news, yeah. There is relief. The rains have lightened in the northern states. I mean, we have pictures like this. I mean, can you imagine being rescued up the steep terrain. And that really has been the issue here.

You know, when the rain started just a week ago, in fact just under seven days ago, we heard reports that the town's people were cheering. They've been waiting for this rain. Temperatures well under the mid-upper 30s, even into the mid-40s.

The progression of the monsoon is really quite staggering. This is where it is. It's a month ahead of schedule. Fastest progression in history. Just five days ago, it was pretty much from Kolkata north of Mumbai.

So the northern states, really, had not seen the rain, but then the progression it just unbelievable movement.

We're getting rainfall into the east, and this is good news. We need it. Southern states, western states, looking pretty good. To the north, though, where they typically see the rain last. Chandigarh and Punjab State, and then we have Haryana north of Chandigarh, the town of Shimla (ph).

Notice the terrain here. This is what they've had to deal with, with the torrential amounts of rainfall.

But it's Rajasthan, it's Gertarat (ph), they need the rainfall. We just don't want to see it start off too quickly.

Each one of these green lines is the mean average daily rainfall. This is average in the red line. We want to see this green get as close to the red line as possible for average. Not enough rainfall, drought sets in, terrible news for agriculture and, of course, the economy. Too much rain could either wash away the early seeds or promote disease.

So, again, too much to the north they had a little too much. Again, to the east when the season first started. Now we're starting to see numbers that are still quite impressive and can still produce flash flooding, but we're starting to see it get dispersed somewhat and that's very good news.

Now around Mumbai, that's in the Maharashtra State, they're looking at the worst drought in like 40 years. So it looks a little bit better. We do still have some severe tendencies, well down areas to the southwest and up toward Kolkata in the state of Assam.

But the numbers do pretty much show you where the rain has been. 28 in Mumbai for a high on Saturday where typically they've been in the mid- 30s. But where the absence of rain now, where they need a little bit of a break from New Delhi northward, temperatures are going to be warming back up.

But it's good to see at least no more rain, Kristie, in the forecast for those northern India states.

LU STOUT: All right. Good to hear. Tom Sater there, thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, we could hear official autopsy results in the death of actor James Gandolfini. We'll go to Rome where there are new details about the night the Sopranos star died.

And China's finless porpoise. It's even more rare than the giant panda. And we'll tell you what scientists are doing to save this endangered species.

Also, the app wars are heating up. Instagram launches a new video function.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.

Our top story is the anti-government protests in Brazil. It is estimated that more than 1 million people were out on the streets on Thursday night. But now, I want to take you to Turkey where like Brazil there was also deep anger against the government. Now the two nations also share something else, a passion for football.

Now Turkey's fans were known for feverishly supporting their teams, sometimes even clashing with one another. But as Karl Penhaul tells us, many fans put those rivalries aside to unite for a common cause.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For these Turkish fans, the beautiful game is not just for fun.

"Football is not just a game, football is a very powerful force that can bring people together and play a part in politics, too," she says.

They're members of the Sharsha (ph) fan club, supporters of Istanbul side Besiktas. Admirers, too, of revolutionary icon Che Guevara. Some are self-described hooligans, all are self-confessed fanatics.

"I love, it's all about love," he says.

They join thousands of activists camped out in Gezi Park, the cradle of anti-government protests. With them, the fans brought chants and fighting skills learned in the football stands. They quickly gain street cred.

"We fearlessly supported this protest. We've brought some humor to the resistance," he says.

Early on in the protest, Sharsha (ph) fan club skirmished with riot police in their home neighborhood. They taunted the police, calling for more tear gas.

In another episode near Gezi Park, protesters praised the Sharsha (ph) fan club for commandeering this back hoe and driving it into police lines.

"We're not that political, but I guess we have leftist tendencies. Most importantly we're here for our freedom," she says.

The protests have forged unity among deadly rivals. Besiktas fans have declared a temporary truce with supporters of the two other Istanbul clubs Galatasaray and Fenerbace.

"On the field it will always be a competition, but in the future we will have brotherhood in the stadium," he says.

It's been almost a week since the night riot police ousted demonstrators from Gezi Park. And Sharsha (ph) fan club is switching tactics.

(on camera): The street battles have died down, and now fans are organizing late night neighborhood forums like these to debate peaceful ways to change Turkish politics. The protest, like football, is clearly a game of two halves.

Karl Penhaul, CNN, Istanbul.


LU STOUT: An autopsy has been completed for American actor James Gandolfini. He died on Wednesday while on vacation in Italy. Now Gandolfini is best known for his starring role in the HBO series The Sopranos. HBO, like CNN, is a division of Time Warner.

Now early indications suggest that he died of a heart attack. And autopsy results could be announced as early as today. And meanwhile, we're also learning new information about the night he died.

Let's got to our senior international correspondent Dan Rivers live for us in Rome. And Dan, first, what have you been learning from hospital officials there?

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hospital sources telling us unequivocally now that the result of the autopsy is natural causes. The official document, I don't think, at the moment is going to be released, but that is dependent on the permission of the U.S. embassy and the family. And it appears at the moment they don't want that to be released. So we may not get the official document, but unofficially, or off the record, that we're being told it is a heart attack -- myocardial arrest, which is basically a blocking of the artery with no suspicious circumstances.

So that that kind of, I think, clears up that aspect of the story, that this was simply a case of a massive heart attack.

What we've also learned, as well, is circumstances around the family. The family came here earlier on along with embassy officials to the morgue where James Gandolfini's body is being held. We now understand from one source at the film festival where he was due to speak that it was Michael, James Gandolfini's 13-year-old son, who alerted the hotel concerned that his father had taken too long to go to the bathroom. Hotel staff broke down the door, and found him inside, we understand collapsed on the floor. And at that point, then, the emergency services were called.

They tried to resuscitate him at the hotel. They continued that CPR on the journey into the hospital, but he was in cardiac arrest when he arrived and was pronounced dead shortly afterward. And it was then a few hours later when his body was very sadly transferred here to the morgue on the eastern side of Rome.

LU STOUT: OK, a number of key details revealed today.

Dan Rivers on the story for us live in Rome. Thank you, Dan.

And you're watching News Stream. And still to come, scientists in China race to save a rare and endangered species of porpoise. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong on a Friday night. You're back watching News Stream.

Now in China, there's an animal even more rare than the celebrated giant panda. It is called the finless porpoise. And David McKenzie introduces us to this critically endangered species and the scientists who are trying to save it.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Coming up for a quick hello, and coming in for a closer look.

This quirky creature is a finless porpoise.

It's mating season, so they're dancing and acting a little strange.

Amazing how intelligent they are. You can see the wheels turning in their brains.

Porpoises are smaller than dolphins with snorter snouts, sociable, but shy.

Unless you're professor Ko Jun Bing (ph) of Wuhan's Institute of Hydro Biology. He calls them over, gets a kiss and gives it a snack while doing a medical checkup.

"The porpoises are part of my life," he says. "They've become our friends."

Friends under threat. Now there are fewer than 1,000 left. Their natural home is the Yangtze River.

Habitat loss, pollution and over fishing are killing them off.

ZHANG XINQIAO, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (through translator): If proper measures aren't taken, they will be extinct in 10 years. But to be honest, we only have five years to take action.

MCKENZIE: Chinese scientists are acting, creating a breeding sanctuary cut off from the river.

GAO DAOBIN, TIAN-E ZHOU SANCTUARY (through translator): Only China has this species. And children will start asking questions one day like why did we let them go extinct? That's why we want this reserve.

MCKENZIE: So they take painstaking care to build up the numbers.

(on camera): So we're going to a holding pen which is on the edge of the lake. There are three porpoises here, around four to five years old. They feed them like this by hand so they know they're getting exactly the right nutrients they need.

(voice-over): For scientists like Ho (ph), it's personal. Losing the (inaudible) would be like losing a friend.

David McKenzie, CNN, Wuhan.


LU STOUT: An adorable animal.

Now David Beckham, he tends to draw crowds wherever he goes, but on Thursday things got a bit out of hand when he visited a university in China. Hundreds of people flocked to see the former England star. And police failed to control the crowds, leaving at the end at least five people injured.

Now Beckham became an ambassador of Chinese football earlier this year. And he cut his visit to Tongzhe University (ph) short after it was revealed that people had been hurt in the stampede.

Now there was a picture perfect moment in Vatican City on Thurdsay. After the general audience, Pope Francis spotted a boy who was particularly intrigued by his ride, so the pope invited him on the Pope Mobile. Now the 17-year-old, who has down syndrome, climbed up and took a seat on the pope's chair and he took a spin.

And we can't help but notice the boy is wearing an Argentina football jersey. And the pope, of course, hails from Buenos Aires.

And Pope Francis isn't the only one making headlines. Now one of his predecessors is also in the news. And it looks like Pope John Paul II, who was much loved during his papacy, is one step closer to sainthood.

Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At his funeral, thousands chanted "Santos Subito," "Sainthood Now," a tribute to John Paul II, maybe the most popular pope in the modern history of the Catholic Church. It's now eight years later, and it's about as close to sainthood now as you can get.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: For an institution that typically thinks in terms of centuries, this is remarkably quick.

TODD: CNN Vatican analyst John Allen says, according to Vatican insiders who spoke unofficially, a second miracle had been performed by John Paul posthumously, a miracle that will likely make him a saint.

ALLEN: In this case, the Vatican is saying that there is a report of a miraculous healing of a woman in Costa Rica.

TODD: Allen says, according to the reports, the woman recovered from a severe brain injury. Church protocol says it takes two miracles performed after death to make someone a saint. John Paul's first, curing a nun who reportedly had Parkinson's, led to his beatification, the final step before sainthood.

If a second miracle then happens...

PATRICK KELLY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JOHN PAUL II SHRINE: And a team of doctors first examine the miracle, then secondly, the team of theologians look at the miracles. And then they discuss amongst themselves the legitimacy and all the facts surrounding the miracles.

TODD: John Allen says that's already happened. Then a body of cardinals has to approve sainthood. And finally the pope signs off on it. The record for the fastest canonization in modern times: Jose Maria Escriva, founder of the conservative order of Opus Dei, made a saint 27 years after his death. John Paul could shatter that.

(on camera): But there are critics who say "not so fast" on canonization. They say, despite being so beloved, John Paul II didn't live up to expectations at a crucial moment in the church's history, a moment of shame that church leadership is still dealing with.

(voice-over): A crippling sex abuse scandal, involving thousands of victims, with several church leaders accused of cover-ups.

ALLEN: The wrath against John Paul in terms of the sex abuse scandals is basically that this stuff metastasized during his papacy, and he didn't respond adequately to it.

TODD: I put that to the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

(on camera): What do you say to those people?

CARDINAL DONALD WUERL, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON, D.C.: His ministry was so clearly a ministry of concern for everyone. Now, when you're presiding over a worldwide church with over a billion members, surely there are going to be things that happen over which you don't have a lot of control or maybe no control.

TODD: Cardinal Wuerl and others say the measure of a saint is not the list of accomplishments or setbacks but how holy the person was. John Allen says at this point it is very likely that Pope Francis will approve the sainthood of John Paul II.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And coming up, seeing the suffering through the eyes of the youngest victims of Syria's civil war and the efforts to help ease the trauma.


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

Now a reported 1 million protesters took to the streets across Brazil's major cities on Thursday night. And police used tear gas to try to stop clashes (inaudible). And the protests, which began two weeks ago, show no sign of fading. And Brazil's president called an emergency cabinet meeting for Friday.

And meanwhile, in Pakistan, at least 14 people were killed and another 25 injured by a suicide bombing at a (inaudible) mosque in Peshawar. Now the attack happened during Friday prayers. And police say the bomber shot and killed a guard at the entrance before blowing himself up inside the mosque.

150 people have been killed in flooding in northern India. And officials expect the death toll to rise. Now tens of thousands remain trapped in the Himalayan foothills where entire towns are submerged after early monsoon rains.

And Singapore has recorded its highest ever pollution level. Now the haze there is so thick, as you can see the city skyline is almost disappearing. The government is blaming nearby Sumatra. And the smoke is from the fires there.

Now the Syrian conflict has been described as a slow motion civil war. And the last two years have been marked by violence, death, and terrible injuries. But many Syrians are also suffering from psychological scars.

Now Frederik Pleitgen met children who are trapped and traumatized by the fighting.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the onslaught in Syria continues, it's often the smallest ones, the country's children, who suffer the most. Many have been killed or maimed, many more displaced.

Like these kids in Homs where fighting is still intense. 8-year-old Bilal has not been to his home in about a year, he says.

"We were visiting some relatives, because there was no electricity in our home. And while we were gone, there was shooting and bombing in our neighborhood," he says. We went home just to get our stuff and never came back.

This center for education and psychosocial support is run by a local aid group and partly funded by UNICEF. Many of the children have not been to school since the conflict began more than two years ago.

Here, they get lessons in English, Arabic and sciences. And perhaps more importantly, the chance to play and be creative and try to forget some of the horrors they've witnessed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of our volunteer teachers have trained how to deal with children, how to make them talk and talk and talk and forget everything that caused pain to them.

PLEITGEN: Homs was one of the first cities where rebels managed to hold territory at the beginning of Syria's civil war, but the government has taken back some of the neighborhoods after intense fighting.

Most of the children come from areas in this town that were engulfed by violence as the two sides faced off.

8-year-old Isra (ph) says she wants to become a teacher.

"We're very happy here," she says. "They're helping us by letting us study and learn."

In many ways, the children who make it to centers like this one are the lucky ones. But the facilities are overcrowded as Syria and international relief groups struggle to cope with a rapidly increasing number of people in need of help.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Homs, Syria.


LU STOUT: Some very moving scenes there.

Now by the end of the year, the United Nations believes that nearly half of Syrian citizens will need aid, and that includes nearly 7 million people inside Syria. Many of them internally displaced, another 3.5 million Syrians are expected to have fled the country.

And right now, there are more than 1.4 million registered Syrian refugees. As you can see, the exodus has increased sharply this year. It's estimated that someone flees Syria every 14 seconds.

Christiane Amanpour has more on this crisis.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As Lebanon, already drowning in Syrian refugees, braces for a million more, imagine a world where the human tide is also overflowing into all of Syria's neighbors, including Turkey and Jordan.

Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie is in Jordan as the U.N.'s special envoy, giving voice to the tens of thousands of women and children who've been left homeless by the Syrian War. And so on World Refugee Day, she's filing this moving report for us.

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS (voice-over): Less than one year ago, Zaatari Refugee Camp was desert and dust. It was meant to house 20,000 refugees. Now Zaatari is home to more than 120,000, the second largest refugee camp in the world. It is also Jordan's fifth largest city.

But the majority of refugees live elsewhere. Those not in camps are invisible. Refugees struggling to survive in villages, towns and cities across the region.

Ahmehamet (ph) is an example of courage in war.

AHMEHAMET (PH) (from captions): The person that was brought to my house was my neighbor. He was injuried; his foot was gone. I didn't know what to do. So I went to the pharmacist and I said, hypothetically speaking, if my son or husband had this injury, what should I do?

He taught me how to sterilize a wound and how to use sodium (inaudible) and I started working.

JOLIE: What do you think about your mother starting to work as a nurse suddenly? You must be very proud of her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): She's very strong.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's very strong.

JOLIE: Have women been facing much abuse inside (inaudible)?

AHMEHAMET (PH) (from captions): Yes, especially women whose husbands or sons are detained.

JOLIE: And they target the woman in revenge?

AHMEHAMET (PH) (from captions): If that husband is not there, they take the wife. They interrogate her. They ask, "Where is your husband?" They may even take the children. They terrorize, beat and rape them. They have no limits.

Why is no one standing by the Syrian people?

No one is helping us. They all say they want to support us, but nothing is being done. They have conferences and make statements ,but it is worth nothing.

We want the situation to get better so we can go home. The most important thing is to go home. The situation is bad here. At least here my kids and husband are safe.

JOLIE (voice-over): Syria's children have suffered the most. Over 50 percent of refugees are children. Hundreds of thousands are traumatized and thousands have died.

MUMINAT, SYRIAN REFUGEE (from captions): This is him as a boy. He's older here. Basel was everything to me. I loved him so much that after he died, everyone thought I wouldn't be able to go on living without him.

It's hard to believe. I still don't believe that he's gone. I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. I still can't accept that he's not with me. But in the end I know that he went to a better place.

JOLIE (voice-over): Every 14 seconds, someone crosses Syria's border and becomes a refugee. And by the end of this year, half of Syria's population, 10 million people, will be in desperate need of food, shelter and assistance.

AMANPOUR: That is truly a staggering fact, half of Syria's population will be in desperate need and may even be on the move by the end of this year.

Now obviously, Jordan and Turkey, which have taken in hundreds of thousands, are already themselves under terrible strain. You've heard Lebanon. You've heard the prime minister tell me that the refugee crisis is testing the very fabric of his country as well.

CNN has been covering this terrible crisis from the very beginning and correspondent Arwa Damon has a special report this weekend.

Here she is with a glimpse of another dark reality in those camps: young refugee girls forced to marry and have children in order to survive.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Families struggling to cope see marriage as the only way to protect their daughters from something worse. But the social protection of marriage comes at a price. Not only are these girls unprepared emotionally, many are having children before their bodies are fully developed.

In one house, we meet Ayman (ph). She has such a sweet young face. And yet the baby she is awkwardly cradling is hers. Ayman (ph) is 14. She speaks softly.

"I wouldn't have gotten married," she tells us, "but it's because of the situation now."

AMANPOUR: A tragedy, indeed. And be sure to watch Arwa's special investigation Syria Uncovered: Risk of Refuge. That airs all weekend here on CNN. Wherever you are, check your local listings for the time.


LU STOUT: Now you don't want to miss it. And you can also see Syria Uncovered just a few hours from now. It airs 11:30 pm here in Hong Kong, only on CNN.

And you're watching News Stream. And up next in the program, it's no longer just about posting photos, you can now shoot and post videos with Instagram as well. And coming up on the program, we'll give you the hands on demo.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now when security analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified U.S. secrets to the media, questions were immediately asked about how he had access to such sensitive information. Now the 29 year old had been working as a National Security Agency contractor. And now the company that vetted him is under scrutiny as Chris Lawrence now reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing but the truth...

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A congressional hearing produced a stunning admission, a private contracting firm may not have done a thorough background check on admitted leaker Edward Snowden.

SEN. JON TESTER, (D) MONTANA: Are there any concerns that Mr. Snowden's background investigation by USIS may not have been carried out in an appropriate or thorough manner?

PATRICK MCFARLAND, INSPECTOR GEN. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT: Yes, we do believe that there may be some problems.

TESTER: The company in question is now under investigation for repeatedly failing to conduct quality background checks.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D) MISSOURI: Do you believe you're catching most of the fraud, Mr. McFarland, or do you believe there's more?

MCFARLAND: No, I believe there may be considerably more.

LAWRENCE: Alarming when you consider at least 18 employees have been convicted of falsifying background checks. In one case, a record searcher faked 1,600 credit checks that she never actually completed. Even worse, this woman's own background check to get her job had been faked by another investigator, someone convicted in a separate case.

The inspector general calls it...

MCFARLAND: A clear threat to national security. If a background investigation is not conducted properly, all other steps taken when issuing a security clearance are called into question.

JOHN HAMRE, CSIS: The background investigation process is broken.

LAWRENCE: Former Defense Department official John Hamre filled out a standard government form to renew his top secret clearance. What shocked him was, the investigator spent hours asking the most basic questions.

HAMRE: Is your wife really Julie? Is your -- did you really go to school at Augustana College? Did you really live at this address?

I mean, I was -- they simply read the form to me. And I simply said it was true.

LAWRENCE: Hamre says with the personal information available online, a computer could do the same background check for $100.

HAMRE: And instead, we're spending $4,000 to have people conduct rather -- conduct investigations that aren't revealing anything.

LAWRENCE: This is a $1 billion a year program that's never been audited. Hamre says 90 percent of the work could be done by machines. And with the money saved, you could send people out to do some real digging and conduct thorough investigations.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.



LU STOUT: You've probably heard of the video service Vine where videos can only be six seconds long.



And this is Instagram's new video feature. It has all the filers you expect from Instagram. And an added bonus, the videos are 15 seconds long.


LU STOUT: Now Instagram launched their new video feature on Thursday. As you can see, it's pretty simple to use. It's already got one very high profile fan, Justine Bieber, posted a topless video to Instagram, it already has over a million likes.

Now some people considering the purchase of an electric car say that they hesitate because of the time it takes to charge the battery. Now Tesla Motors has unveiled a new response to that criticism. It says the Model S is designed to quickly exchange a battery.

Now you're looking at the company's demonstration, which showed the battery swap against the time it takes to refill a gas tank.

Now Tesla's supercharging stations take about 20 minutes just to power up a battery. And the company says they will be free, but there are currently just eight stations in all of North America. Now it plans to increase that number to 27 by the end of summer. And by winter, Tesla hopes its stations will reach from coast to coast.

Now the Model S has won rave reviews from many critics, but it was famously blasted by one New York Times reporter for running out of electricity while on a road trip.

Now still to come here on News Stream, the NBA season comes to a dramatic conclusion as the Miami Heat emerge as the NBA champions for the second straight season. We'll be live in Miami next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And coming to a box office near you, the uncouth, the unread and the undead. It is all part of this week's movie minute.


CHRIS MOZINGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a zombie invasion in theaters this weekend. Brad Pitt battles the undead as World War Z breaks out in India, the UK and more than two dozen countries worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be a scarer.

MOZINGO: For family audiences, there's Monster's University. The animated prequel from Disney Pixar opens in nearly 30 countries, including Germany, Russia and Brazil.

Another animated sequel, Despicable Me 2 makes its world debut Down Under, opening first in Australia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a firm believer in karma.

MOZINGO: Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame stars in the Bling Ring. Based on actual events, it's about a group of friends who rob Hollywood's rich and famous. Already playing in a handful of countries, it opens in Croatia, Poland and North America.

And Man of Steel soared to a recordbreaking $200 million opening last week. Now Superman flies into two dozen more countries, including France, Israel, and Spain.

I'm Chris Mozingo, and that's your new movie minute.


LU STOUT: Now we're coming to the end of the show, but we can't let you go without showing the dramatic finale to the NBA season. The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA finals. LeBron James scored 37 points to secure his second championship and second finals MVP award. And Rachel Nichols watched it all happen.


RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They fought to the very end, to the very last possible minute of the very last possible game of the season. If sometimes sports is about fantastic feats of athleticism, this NBA finals was about unrelenting determination. Two past champions bringing out the best in each other, but only one was left standing.

LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: Saying hard work pays off was a true testament to what happened tonight. Last year when I was sitting up here, with my first championship, I said it was the toughest thing I've ever done. This year I tell last year, he's absolutely wrong. This was the toughest championship right here.

TONY PARKER, SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Obviously, we were really disappointed, you know. I had a great opportunity in game six and tonight, you know, we did a great fight, but just couldn't get over the hump. That's the life of sports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought we had a little bit of everything. We've got a bunch of guys who aren't going to give in, who keep playing for each other, with each other and really feel a responsibility to each other. You know, I expect nothing less, and that's what I got.

NICHOLS: The San Antonio Spurs had every right to think they had won the series three days ago in a potentially clinching game six, they were up by five points with less than 30 seconds to go. But the Miami Heat fought and fought some more, pushing the finals to a thrilling seventh game and ultimately a second straight title. Afterward in a champagne-soaked locker room, players took extra time to savor the moment.

DWYANE WADE, MIAMI HEAT: I just wanted to soak it in, you know. We go through life so fast. We never really get to enjoy moments. It seems like they go past us. So I just wanted to take that moment, soak it in, holler at my home boy, Larry, right here and just have my own moment.


LU STOUT: Let's get more now with Rachel who joins us live from Miami. And Rachel, can you first just take us back into the arena just before game 7 and tell us just how loud it was in there.

NICHOLS: Absolutely electric. The fans down here in South Florida get criticized sometimes for being fair weather fans. And certainly appropriate since the weather is very nice here. People sometimes rather be outdoors than inside an arena cheering. But all of that criticism was washed away for Game 7. The fans were there. They were very loud. The excitement was so strong, really on both sides, because Game 7s are rare. There's only been five in the past 30, 35 years.

So in this sport, Game 7s and NBA finals are a rare thing. And every one knew it was special from the moment the ball tipped off.

LU STOUT: LeBron, I mean he had been facing a lot of questions about his performance. Do you think the ultimate win, did it shut down all the criticism?

NICHOLS: You know, it's interesting with LeBron James. He's a guy who we had the same back and forth about last year. He finally won his first ring. A lot of people said this is it, this should shut down the criticism of LeBron James, but there's something about him that might be the age that we're in of social media where everybody gets to question everything instantly. It seems that his narrative is never completely written, that people are always questioning him as he goes.

But he was funny about it yesterday. He said that that questioning, the constant questioning he said helped motivate him, actually was helping to drive him on. And he said keep at it. He said I need you guys. It motivates me. So I'm not sure it's ever over with LeBron, but he's certainly having fewer and fewer doubters every time he steps out on the floor.

LU STOUT: Yeah, great personal insight there and about his team. I mean, the victory, it means back to back titles for the Miami Heat. What's next for them?

NICHOLS: You know, they're going to really regroup here. They had this core together. This Big 3 players. And they'll have to go into next season trying to figure out if those three guys can still be the center of their team. LeBron James who is of course the guy who want to build around, then you have Dwayne Wade who has had injury problems the last two seasons. They'll have to see if he can get healthy. Chris Bosh is the third member of that group. And he's had some trouble against the bigger and more physical players they did come up against in the NBA, especially in their Eastern Conference.

So I'm sure they'll take a step back, try to figure out if they need to shake things up going into next season. But for now, they're going to enjoy this. They throw a good championship parade in Miami, I can tell you, because I was at the one in 2006 and I was at the one last year. They know how to party here in Miami. And they're going to keep doing it for the next two days.

LU STOUT: Yeah, good to hear.

We also have to talk about the Spurs. I mean, it was just so close. How did they come back after losing such an epic battle?

NICHOLS: Yeah. I mean, you know, and Game 6, they were literally seconds away from having a trophy. It was within sight. It was just a few feet of the court, because with less than 30 seconds to go they were up by five points. And NBA officials started putting yellow tape around the court to get ready for that trophy, championship trophy presentation. And yet, they lost that game in overtime. Came back and played this game a lot tougher than a lot of people thought that they could.

Their coach Gregg Popovich actually held a team dinner between Game 6 and 7 and encouraged guys to be cathartic and just get out their disappointment and then talk about other times that theyve been disappointed in their careers and how they had gotten over it as a way of encouraging each other to get over this one.

That part seemed to work. Mentally, the Spurs really were in good shape for Game 7, but the basketball wasn't quite there the way it was for the Miami Heat. And it turned out to be a great game. And in the end, a great victory for Miami.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and historic. Rachel Nichols joining us live from Miami, thank you.

Now the Miami Heat, they weren't the only ones smiling. Britain's Queen Elizabeth has also made sporting history.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...have won for her majesty the Queen. In second place, it was Seven On (ph)...


LU STOUT: She is beaming there.

And she has become the first reigning monarch to own the winner of the Royal Ascots prestigious Gold Cup. Her horse, estimate, took the top prize.

Now the Queen had been scheduled to hand out the winning trophy. And the Duke of York had to step in so he could present it to his mother instead.

And finally, a football match that has to be one of the biggest mismatches that the sport has ever seen. Now on the one side was Spain, the reigning European and world champions, hailed by some as one of the greatest international teams of all time and on the other, tiny Tahiti, competing at their first major international tournament and featuring just one professional player.

So what happened when two teams clashed in the Confederation's Cup? Well, let's just say it was not a fairy tale ending. Now Spain beat Tahiti by 10-0, that's right, 10. The Pacific Islanders, they were cheered by the crowd the whole way, but that wasn't enough against the merciless Spain.

Fernando Torres scored four times. He also provided he biggest cheer of the night when he missed a penalty.

Now some context on just how remarkable it is for Tahiti to even compete at the Confederation's Cup, Thursday's match, it took place in Rio's famed Maracana Stadium, the site of the World Cup final in 1950. Now almost 200,000 people filled the Maracana that day, that's more than the entire population of Tahiti.

And that is News Stream. And we leave you now with a little video we made with Instagram video. Stick around.