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Gambled And Lost: Australian Prime Minister Unseated In Party Leadership Vote; Kevin Rudd Speaks About Role As Incoming Australian Prime Minister; Russia Confirms Snowden Still In Moscow Airport; WikiLeaks Legal Adviser Will Not Take On Snowden's Case; At Least 12 Dead After Military Helicopter Crashes In Northern India; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical Opens In London
Aired June 26, 2013 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Now she gambled and lost: Australia's prime minister loses a party leadership vote that she asked for.
South Africans hold vigils outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition.
And as Google prepares to shut down Google Reader, a look at the future of reading stories on the web.
It was a high stakes gamble that has cost Australian prime minister Julia Gillard her job. She has lost the leadership of her ruling Labor Party to Kevin Rudd. The party vote was 57-45. And that means Rudd will now replace Gillard as prime minister. And here's what Gillard had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: As you would probably be aware by now, Kevin Rudd has been elected as leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. I congratulate Mr. Rudd on his election. In view of his election, I have written to the governor general asking her to commission Rudd as prime minister of Australia. I will shortly leave from this parliament to see the governor general on this matter.
In accordance with the pledge I gave earlier today, I announced that I will not recontest the federal electorate of Lalor at the forthcoming federal election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Julia Gillard appearing there to abide by a bold pledge to leave politics.
Now Rudd himself was unseated by Gillard back in 2010. And the two have been bitter rivals ever since.
Let's get more on this from Michael Holmes. He joins us live from CNN Center. And Michael, again, Gillard herself called for the vote. But what went wrong for her?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they love a good coup in Australian politics, don't they, particularly the Labor Party. I think they have a habit of doing this routinely right through many labor governments.
What precipitated this was the poll numbers, really. They stink. Gillard was going to go down in flames at the election, which is due in September. And members of her party knew that, they could read the writing on the wall.
As Kevin Rudd started going around the parliament and seeing whether he had the numbers to take over this time after a couple of failures at it. And Gillard got wind of this, decided to call it. And she did. And the vote was held. And she lost.
Interestingly, Kevin Rudd is scene by some in his own party even, and certainly by some diplomats as well, as WikiLeaks showed, as a bit of a bully, somebody who is a little bit disorganized and the like. But he's a great communicator. He does better in the polls than Julia Gillard does. And I guess the Labor -- the members of the caucus, the Labor Party members of parliament, they decided that they had a better shot at this election with him. And certainly they probably do have a better shot. Whether they'll win the election is another thing altogether, though.
LU STOUT: Yeah, so the party in the end rallied behind Kevin Rudd. But more on Julia Gillard. Now after the loss she says she will step down from politics. What has been her political legacy? What has been her impact on Australia?
HOLMES: Well, sadly I think -- certainly she'll go down in history as the first female prime minister of Australia and that's certainly something in her good books. She's not been seen as a terribly effective prime minister. I mean, she has -- you know there's been a lot of superficial errors that have been blown up and her own party sniping against her.
The opposition she has accused of open misogyny against her. She has suffered the slings and arrows of some pretty outrageous statements over the last year or two. I don't think she's going to go down as one of the great prime ministers. That's putting it mildly, but certainly the first female prime minister.
She was being seen as somebody that was about to take Labor, though, into what would have been a stunning electoral loss. This nevertheless has been one of the most extraordinary nights in Australian political history. This is about revenge for Kevin Rudd. As you say, she overthrew him after coming in to power as his deputy. They've been going back and forth with these votes and non-votes. And here we are.
And the next election, when will it be? That's the question. Will it still be in September? Will Kevin Rudd, if he is -- does become prime minister -- he's not yet, let's remember. Will he go earlier perhaps?
LU STOUT: As you said, Kevin Rudd, for him it's all about revenge.
But he also said that he is dedicated to uniting the party. So now as party leader, what kind of leader will he be?
HOLMES: Well, any politician is going to say that. They're all out uniting the party, bringing the country together, let bygones be bygones and let's move forward and win this election.
You'd expect him to say that.
You know, he has to -- he has to work hard, though, because Tony Abbott's Liberal Party they are well ahead in the polls at the moment. He's going to bridge that gap, because he's more popular with the Australian public. Whether he can do it enough, though, that's a big question.
If he does lose this election, well Kevin Rudd, the Lazarus of Australian politics, he'll probably get rolled himself if they don't win the next election and it'll be game over for him as well.
He has to convince the Austrlian public I suppose that he is more capable than Gillard at getting the country back on track. Although, let's face it, Australia's economy not all that bad, really, when you put it in the world context pretty economy.
So he's just got to prove to the Australian public that Tony Abbott is the bad guy and not him.
LU STOUT: Yeah, Kevin is back, but how far can he go? Michael Holmes reporting for us live from CNN Center, thank you.
And now to the hunt for Edward Snowden and what could be a big blow to his efforts to defend himself against U.S. espionage charges. Now Balthazar Garzon, the former Spanish judge who advises WikiLeaks has declared that he will not provide Snowden with legal representation.
Now meanwhile, the Russian president has put a stop to all the speculation about Edward Snowden's location. Vladimir Putin says the former National Security Agency contractor remains in Moscow, but he is not technically in Russia, that's because he is in the so-called transit area at Sheremetyevo Airport between the arrival gates and passport control.
Now Snowden, of course, exposed secrets about U.S. surveillance programs, but Mr. Putin says he has no intention of turning Snowden over to U.S. authorities.
Now Phil Black joins us now live from Moscow with more. And Phil, any intel about how Edward Snowden is spending his time in the transit area at the Moscow airport?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, Kristie, that very much remains a mystery. We know he's been there for several days and we know that there are teams of journalists staking out that location, some of CNN's included, but there has been no sign of him whatsoever. So he's presumably behind a closed door, but we don't know if that is an official door, if he is receiving some assistance on some level from the Russian government or there is a hotel in that location, so it's possible he's just holed up in a small hotel room trying to decide what to do next.
But it is only several days after his arrival now that the Russian government has confirmed that that's where he is, that's where's he's been. Vladimir Putin, the president, has said so. But he has also said that Russia has no intention of stepping in, intervening and helping return him to the United States.
But on the other hand, he has also said that Russia's security services have no intention of taking advantage of this situation by trying to extract further secret intelligence from him. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Ravings and rubbish, that's how Russian President Vladimir Putin described any suggestion his country is helping Edward Snowden. Speaking on a visit to Finland, Putin said Snowden's arrival in Moscow was completely unexpected, and despite the wealth of knowledge Snowden claims to have about U.S. intelligence operations around the world, Putin says Russia's own security services have not spoken to him since his arrival.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Mr. Snowden is a free man. The sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it would be for us and for himself.
BLACK: Putin also seemed to rule out any chance Russia will help return Snowden to the United States.
PUTIN (through translator): We can hand over foreign citizens to countries with which we have an appropriate international agreement on the extradition of criminals. We don't have such an agreement with the United States.
BLACK: But the United States argues there is still a clear legal basis for Russia to expel Snowden.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're not looking for a confrontation. We're not ordering anybody. We're simply requesting under a very normal procedure for the transfer of somebody, just as we transferred to Russia seven people in the last two years that they requested that we did without any clamor, without any rancor, without any argument, and according to our sense of the appropriateness of meeting their request.
BLACK: Russian officials have told CNN passengers can only remain in transit at the airport for 24 hours. For Snowden, that window has long past. But Russia seems ready to wait for Snowden to make his own decision on where he goes next.
BLACK: So Vladimir Putin says Snowden is a free man, but at the same time he's clearly telling him he doesn't want him to take his time, he doesn't want him camped out at the airport indefinitely. Putin says he hopes the situation will not impact what he describes as the businesslike relationship between the United States and Russia. And he said that he'd rather not be dealing with this situation at all. And he said that using a very colorful phrase. He said it's like shearing a pig, too much squealing, not enough wool, which I think translates to something like too much pain, not enough gain -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Thanks for the translation there. Phil Black joining us live from Moscow. Take care.
Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, we join a rescue operation helping thousands of pilgrims flee the flooding in northern India.
And a mile high heist? How more than a million dollars went missing from a Swiss plane.
And we'll be live in Washington as we wait for a landmark rulings on same-sex marriage from the U.S. Supreme Court.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the death toll has risen from Tuesday's crash of a military helicopter in northern India. At least 12 people are known dead. Now the helicopter was carrying soldiers, police and rescue workers on a mission to help thousands of people still trapped by flooding and landslides in the Himalayan foothills. And despite the tragedy, the rescue operation continues.
Nic Robertson reports from Rishikesh.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a week on the mountainside, help finally at hand. India's air force rescuing stranded pilgrims. They come, young and old, to pray at ancient Hindu Himalayan shrines, and found only hardship.
Pukhraj, 62 years old from the desert state of Rajasthan tells us, "The first two days were the worst, on one to help us. Getting shelter was expensive," adding, "I won't be bringing my family back again."
This lady, too, suffered most in the first two days before the army arrived. "Then, we were well taken care of," she says. "But the roads were washed away, and we couldn't leave." Their prayers for rescue only answered now by a break in the weather, but the weather could worsen, and others are waiting.
S.R.K. NAIR, AIR VICE-MARSHAL, INDIA: We have been able to evacuate almost 10,000 to 11,000 personnel using our helicopters, and therefore, the numbers of people stranded as is available to us has reduced to around 6,000 now.
ROBERTSON: In the past eight days since the deluge, dubbed here as the Himalayan tsunami, low cloud and rain have been intermittently grounding air crews. The Indian air force, constrained by the conditions, setting up mountainside air traffic control, forced by broken roads to fly fuel in by plane.
NAIR: We flew in a bowser and we flew in a C130, which landed here for the first time during this operation, offload the fuel from the 110s into the bowsers, from which we fuel the helicopters.
ROBERTSON: Below the frantic rescue flights, in the deep, wooded valleys, too soon to know the full cost of the tragedy. But official estimates already say this popular tourist area has been put in a half billion-dollar hole. And for those lucky enough to be plucked off the mountain, the government is putting them on planes.
(on camera): It's almost the end of the journey for these people, home the next stop once they get on the plane here. But this just the tip of the iceberg, and so many more thousands of people waiting for the help to get home.
(voice-over): And all of them in this area, known as the Land of the Gods, praying the good weather holds a little longer.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Rishikesh, India.
LU STOUT: So what conditions are rescue workers in India dealing with? Let's get more now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kristie, the conditions are going to vary widely. You saw those images there from Nic. You are going from very low elevations, or relatively lower elevations up into the mountains. And it's very difficult for those helicopters to fly.
One of the concerns that I have right now is with all of these people, an estimated 6,000 people as of last night were still up on those mountains trapped, and many of them without food or water.
Now that's what they're trying to do where they can't land, they will drop food and water.
Look at this man right over here, they're giving him water. He looks like a relatively younger man. You've got to think about how these people have been exposed to the elements for about a week now in many cases without food or water. So that's going to be a concern.
I want to show you these before and after images seen from space, really amazing. This picture taken back on June 21. And we're looking at this area here of northern India. You see these very large rivers here. The moon -- the Ganges River and then the Ghaggar River, and you can see right over here how wide it looks. You can easily see the blue there showing up on this map of this image taken from space. That was -- that is now. And look if we go back to May 30, the difference, the rivers are almost invisible here on the map because of the amount of water that came down on that last -- or that first week of June, let's say.
This is very significant. And that just gives you an example of the wide scope of this tragedy that continues to unfold here across the north. So this is still a very big concern.
As far as the weather, most of the rain has now been across the north and east, even though Mumbai had some significant rainfall in the last couple of days. They're also getting and seeing some flooding in those areas. But the heaviest rain, I'm afraid, is going to be across the north again, but a bit more toward the east. So areas bordering Nepal could see some heavier downpours over the next couple of days. And those weather warnings also show us that.
And notice how they've still spread it even to areas to the north, because at times we could see some heavy rain across those regions.
I want to switch gears and with my last 45 seconds or so I want to show you something a little bit different, Kristie, something that happens everywhere around the world: lightning. Look at this picture from Germany here. Absolutely beautiful, right? Yeah, but you shouldn't be outside. We're going to get to that in just a moment.
This one from Panama City in Panama in Central America, also absolutely beautiful.
Lighting can happen literally anywhere.
Look at this video, an actual video of the lightning, but the story is pretty impressive anyway. This is a group of Boy Scouts, they were taking shelter under that tent, not a good idea. 23 Boy Scouts and three scout leaders were taken to the hospital, all of them have burns from a lightning strike. If you are close enough to see the lightning or hear the thunder you are close enough to get hit by lightning. He is one of the survivors. All 23 boys ranging from ages 13 to 17 were taken to the hospital with different kinds of burns. That is not a good place to be during a storm. So be weather aware, please, wherever you are in the world.
They are very lucky, lucky boys.
LU STOUT: Yeah, very lucky. A close call there. Mari, thank you.
LU STOUT: Now let's move to China now. And according to the state run news agency Xinhua, 27 people have been killed in rioting. It happened in the western Xijiang Uyghur Automonous Region, which has made headlines because of the ethnic violence there in the past. And according to Xinhua, police near the city of Turban opened fire on, quote, knife wielding mobs who were attacking police stations, a government building and a construction site.
Now it's not clear what caused the outbreak of violence, but tensions are high in Xijian between ethnic Uyghurs and Han Chinese who are the biggest ethnic group in the country.
Now authorities in the U.S. are on the hunt for a missing fortune. More than a million dollars in cash went missing from this plane. And coming up on News Stream, we'll tell you why the money trail is just so hard to find.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.
And turning now to Brazil, more protests are planned despite President Dilma Rousseff's call for a referendum on political reform. Now the president is now trying to get lawmakers on board.
Now Brazil has seen rapid economic growth over the past decade and it's risen on the global stage as host of next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. So what is driving the discontent on the streets? Shasta Darlington has some answers.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A booming economy, millions lifted out of poverty, this Johnny Walker ad summed up national and international sentiment around 2010 pretty well.
"The giant is no longer asleep."
Long the country of the future, Brazil had finally arrived. It won the bid to host the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016. But it turns out that was just half the story.
More than a million people have taken to the streets over the last two weeks in the largest demonstrations in decades. What started as a protest over a 9 cent hike in bus fares exploded, fueled by a harsh police crackdown.
Brazilians vented their anger at what they called political corruption and decrepit public services.
Protesters turned to social media to urge a boycott of the World Cup.
CARLA DAUDEN, BRAZILIAN ACTIVIST: A country where 13 million of people are underfed every day and where many, many other people die waiting for medical treatment. Does that country need more stadiums?
DARLINGTON: Most people demonstrated peacefully, but some elements broke into looting and vandalism. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets.
After initial silence, Presidnet Dilma Rousseff tried to convince protesters she was listening.
DILMA ROUSSEFF, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The streets are telling us that the country want quality public services. They want more efficient mechanisms to fight corruption to ensure the good use of public funds.
DARLINGTON: The president proposed more than $20 billion in investments in urban transport, vowed to use oil revenues for education, and to import foreign doctors.
She also called for a national referendum to implement the most ambitious political reforms in decades and to combat corruption.
In this football mad nation, even idols like Pele came under fire after he criticized protests in a message sent to Globo TV.
"Let's forget about all this confusion in Brazil, all these protests," he says, "and let's think that the Brazil team is our country, our blood, and support them."
Brazil's love affair with football hasn't disappeared, but it's no longer enough to appease the crowds.
(on camera): Brazil is undoubtedly better off than it was 20 or even 10 years ago, but expectations are also higher. In fact, people are preparing to head back out on the streets to protest against corruption, and yes, stadiums, even where Brazil is playing.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
LU STOUT: And World Sport's Pedro Pinto will be live at the Confederation's Cup all week. He will have all the latest from the semifinals as host Brazil take on Uruguay in just a few hours from now.
Now China has completed its longest manned space mission ever. Three astronauts landed in Inner Mongolia earlier on Wednesday. They spent a total 15 days in orbit. Officials are praising the mission as perfect. Among the highlights, Wong Yaping's lecture from Space. More than 60 million students and teachers watched her perform physics demonstrations in zero gravity.
Now the astronauts spent 12 days on the Tiangong 1 space lab. Its successor is scheduled to launch in 2015, the next big step in Beijing's plan to build a permanent space station. And President Xi Jingping says space is part of the dream to make China stronger.
Now U.S. authorities are looking for more than a million dollars in cash stolen from a Swiss plane. Now the flight was traveling from Zurich to New York with crates full of cash in a cargo container. The problem is, authorities don't know when the money was stolen.
Mary Snow has more.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than $1 million disappears from a Swiss International Airlines flight. What's unclear is when the $1.2 million all in $100 bills actually vanished. Was it before passenger flight 17 left Zurich on Saturday or after it arrived in New York?
A federal law enforcement official says the cash was part of a bigger shipment, roughly $50 million coming through the JFK International Airport.
The money belongs to a U.S. bank, says a law enforcement source, shipped in a cargo container headed to a Federal Reserve facility. The shortfall was discovered, the source says, when the shipment arrived there Monday.
Former federal agent Robert Strang says huge cash shipments aren't unusual.
(on camera): Is it common that so much cash would be on a passenger flight?
ROBERT STRANG, INVESTIGATIVE MANAGEMENT GROUP: Oh, sure. I mean, when you look under the belly of most commercial airplanes, you're going to find many things that you can't believe that are there because you're transferring money, assets, whether it's gold bars, jewelry, other valuable items all around the world. And that's done mostly in passenger aircraft.
SNOW (voice-over): The Federal Reserve declined comment. Swiss International Airlines would only say an investigation is underway.
The caper brought back memories of the 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK made famous in the movie "Goodfellas."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from the scene of the heist at JFK. It looks like a big one. Maybe the biggest this country has ever seen.
SNOW: Thieves made off with roughly $8 million in cash and jewelry. At the time, it was the biggest heist in history, but the amount pales in comparison to one earlier this year in Belgium. Eight heavily armed men burst through a fence on to Brussels airport tarmac in two vehicles, stole $50 million worth of diamonds from a plane bound for Zurich, Switzerland. Months later, more than 30 people were arrested.
Mary Snow, CNN, New York.
LU STOUT: Now, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce some key rulings on same-sex marriage. And coming up on News Stream, we'll take a look at what is at stake.
Plus, why the Texas legislature's special session ended in chaos and confusion in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is out of a job. She lost the leadership of the ruling Labor Party to rival Kevin Rudd and before the inner party vote. She pledged she would retire from politics if she lost. Rudd now becomes the de facto prime minister and will lead the Labor Party in a general election slated for September.
Now a blow for fugitive NSA leader Edward Snowden, high profile ex- judge who fights legal cases for WikiLeaks Balthazar Garzon, says he will not represent Snowden. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Snowden remains in the transit area of Moscow's airport. He says Russia won't send the intelligence leaker back to the U.S. despite appeals from Washington.
Now the International Court of Justice will hear arguments today over Japan's whaling program. Australia says that what Japan claims to be scientific research is actually commercial whaling in disguise. Now the two countries are making their cases before judges in The Hague. Australia says that Japan has killed more than 10,000 whales since a ban was introduced in the mid-1980s.
Respect and resignation filled the air in South Africa. Recent prayers for former President Nelson Mandela have called for a peaceful, perfect end. But as South Africans steal themselves for the worst, they're also showing their love for Madiba.
Vigils continue outside the hospital where Mandela has been treated since June 8. The 94-year-old is in critical condition. And the nation's former surgeon general is among the many family and friends visiting Mandela. And we're going to get some live reaction from the people in Soweto where our Ivan Watson is.
But first, let's start with Robyn Curnow. She joins us outside the hospital in Pretoria. And Robyn, describe the scene where you are.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there.
Well, more and more people are coming to this hospital. And they're not coming here for information, because there's not a lot of that. I think they're coming here to just connect with Nelson Mandela. They stand outside this entrance. And they kind of just stare at the hospital building. Some of them leave flowers or stick up hand written notes onto the entrance wall.
But essentially I think there's just a sense that they've come here to just try and connect, pay their respects to him. And some of the letters that are up on that wall are quite touching. One young child I saw wrote, I wish I was a magician so I could make you fit, make you better again.
Somebody else wrote, 27 years in prison can't have been as difficult as what you are experiencing now.
So I think there's a deep sensitivity also here. People are holding back. There's a deep respect, I think, for the family. There's an understanding that even though this man is a public figure, that the family are going through a very private process, they of course themselves have told me that they really don't like -- in fact, they're slightly angry at all this focus, all this attention. They want everyone to back off, give them space.
I think people are trying to do that. But for many people here in South Africa, Nelson Mandela just means so much.
And of course there isn't any information except for those official statements, one liners coming out saying that he's still in a critical condition. It's unchanged. Local media reports are coming out with various options and rumors and speculation on what exactly he is undergoing. One newspaper saying he's on a ventilator, that he's on life support. You know, another newspaper saying things are very, very difficult, giving more medical information.
But the authorities and the family again not liking any of that. They just want people to back off, as I said, and pay their respects in a calm and quiet way.
So that is essentially what we're seeing here.
But you know day 19, there is a different atmosphere compared to the rest of this time he's been in hospital. There is definitely more of a somber, calm feeling as people make their way here to literally just stare at the building where Nelson Mandela is.
LU STOUT: A different atmosphere as you describe it and some touching tributes there outside the hospital in Pretoria.
Let's go to our Ivan Watson who joins us in Soweto. And Ivan, what kind of reaction have you come across there?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here the scene is pretty quiet and pretty mellow, Kristie. There's a constant stream of tourists that are coming into this museum called Mandela House, which is the simple four room brick house with a corrugated steal roof that Nelson Mandela lived in and that his second wife Winnie Mandela lived in for years when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.
When you talk to the locals who are moving around here, to the tourists who are coming through, for me a first time visitor to South Africa, it is very striking to hear the reverence with which people refer to the first black president of South Africa.
As one 55-year-old man who came through here said, you know, I'm just praying for the old man right now -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Deep reverence for Nelson Mandela across South Africa.
Let's go back to our Robyn Curnow in Pretoria. And Robyn, we've got the reactions to Soweto, the reaction there outside the hospital in Pretoria. But we know Nelson Mandela's family have been meeting at his home in the village in Qunu. Can you tell us what's happening there?
CURNOW: You know, it's so difficult, you know, with so little information. We do know that his family traveled yesterday just for the day to his home village of Qunu. We understand there was a family meeting, also a meeting with local tribal elders. We also understand that there were sort of talks, so at least movement around the grave site where he will eventually be buried, but to speculate as to the content of that meeting is just very difficult. You know, we just don't know.
It seemed important. And there's various thoughts that perhaps there was sort of -- some sort of cultural ritual that needs to be done in sort of preparing the way for the spirit world, that was one suggestion. Other people say there was just a briefing of the elders within the community. We just don't know.
But I think what is key is that it was important enough for many of the key family members to leave his bedside here and travel all the way to that rural eastern Cape village.
But we understand that most people are back here. And of course don't forget his wife Graca Machel who we understand spends every night at this hospital. And we also understand while that meeting was taking place in Qunu, Mrs. Machel was being consoled by the archbishop of Cape Town who came here and they said a special prayer. And the details of that prayer were released in which they were asking for Mandela to get relief from pain and suffering. And crucially they called for him to have a peaceful, perfect end.
So, you know, not very -- not the kind of words I think South Africans would like to hear. They'd like to hear a little bit more upbeat prayers, perhaps better news. But I think the language that is coming out from all quarters here is increasingly looking more and more somber.
LU STOUT: Prayers for Nelson Mandela.
Robyn Curnow joining us live from Pretoria. Ivan Watson in Soweto, a big thank you to you both.
Now in the United States, all eyes are on the Supreme Court. The justices are set to announce landmark rulings on same-sex marriage. And large crowds have gathered to hear the historic decision. Joe Johns explains what is at stake.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two hot- button cases that could change life in America expected to be decided this morning at the Supreme Court.
In one case, it's whether the federal government can take away benefits from married couples under the Defense of Marriage Act because they're the same sex. And in the other, if it was OK for voters in California to decide that marriage should be between a man and a woman because of Proposition 8. Two gay and lesbian couples brought the case.
KRISTIN PERRY, PROP 8 PLAINTIFF: I think America is ready for that. I think America does have this founding principle around fairness and equality that we believe in, too.
JOHNS: Court watchers are wondering whether the last case the court decided overturning the key part of the Voting Rights Act is a hint about how justices will rule today.
JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: The decision on voting rights in some ways was viewed by the majority as supporting state's rights. That certainly works to the advantage of states like California in the Proposition 8 case.
JOHNS: The voting rights ruling could change life in America as well, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling. All or parts of 15 states, mostly in the South, no longer have to ask the federal government for approval before they make changes to voting laws that could affect minorities.
But other parts of the law were left standing.
TURLEY: It is still unlawful to engage in practices designed to discourage minority voting.
JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: OK. Let's take you back to Australia now. Kevin Rudd, the new leader of the Australian Labor Party and Australia's incoming prime minister is speaking for the first time since his victory over Julia Gillard. Let's listen in.
KEVIN RUDD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY LEADER: ...assume today with humility, with honor and with an important sense of energy and purpose. In recent years, politics has failed the Australian people. There's just been too much negativity all around. There's been an erosion of trust. Negative, destructive personal politics has done much to bring dishonor to our parliament, but done nothing to address the urgent challenges facing our nation, our communities, our families. In fact, it's been holding our country back.
And all this must stop.
And with all my heart, that is the purpose I intend to pursue through the office of prime minister.
I want to pause to acknowledge the achievements of my predecessor Julia Gillard. She is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, of great strength and great energy. All of you here in the national press gallery and across the nation would recognize those formidable attributes in here. And I know them, having worked with her closely for some years.
Also, Julia, as prime minister and prior to that as deputy prime minister, has achieved much under the difficult circumstances of a minority government. And in doing so, she has been helped by a group of dedicated ministers and members of parliament whose contribution I also wish to acknowledge.
In Julia's case, let me say this, were it not for Julia we would not have a Fair Work Act. If it were not for Julia, we would not have a national scheme which ensures that the literacy and numeracy performance of every Australian school is tested regularly and that interventions occur to lift those students who are doing poorly.
She has been a remarkable reformer. And I acknowledge those contributions again formally this evening.
I also wish to recognize the contribution of the deputy prime minister as he has been, Wayne Swan, with whom I've also worked intimately, in fact over several years, working in the trenches day in, day out, night in, night out here in Canberra working together to prevent this country from rolling into the global economic recession and avoiding mass unemployment. So Wayne, whatever our differences have been, I acknowledge your contribution here as part of that team which kept us out of a global catastrophe.
The question many of you will understandably be asking is why am I taking on this challenge? For me, it's pretty basic, it's pretty clear. I simply do not have it in my nature to stand idly by and to allow an Abbott government to come to power in this country by default.
I've known Mr. Abbott for 15 years. Since I was elected to this place the first time. I recognize his strengths. I also recognize, however, that Mr. Abbott is a man steeped in the power of negative politics. And he's formidable at negative politics. But I see no evidence of a real positive plan for our country's future.
I also passionately believe that the Australian people want all of us engaged in our national political life to have worked together, to come together whenever that is possible. And I see my role as prime minister in forging consensus wherever I can, identifying our differences where they do, in fact, exist, and without reverting to personal vitriol. That just diminishes and demeans us all.
LU STOUT: OK, disruption in the feed there, but we were able to get the gist of that.
Live comments there from Australia from the new ruling party leader Kevin Rudd. He said that he is dedicated to uniting his party. He also made comments about his political rival, the outgoing prime minister Julia Gillard. On her, Kevin Rudd said the following, quote, "she is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, great strength and great energy. She is a remarkable reformer."
He also answered a question why did he decide to take on this role? His answer, I do not have it in my nature to have an Abbott government come into this country by default. He is referring to his challenger for the upcoming election in Australia on September 14.
Live comments there from Kevin Rudd, the new party leader of Australia's ruling Labor Party.
Now you're watching News Stream. We'll be back right after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
On this week's News Stream, fast forward, the clock is ticking for fans of Google Reader. On July 1 it's closing down. In very simple terms, the site, it gathers stories from all your favorite websites and puts them in one place.
Now here is my producer's Google Reader. His tech feed combines stories from The Verge, Gizmoto and Wired and puts them all here so he can read stories from all three without actually going to their websites.
But Google says that Reader will shut down next Monday, because it doesn't have enough, well, readers.
And that got us thinking about the future of how we read stories online. So let's bring in our regular contributor Nicholas Thompson. He is, of course, the editor of TheNewYorker.com.
And Nick, first tell us about the traffic to your website. What is the breakdown of how your readers access TheNewYorker.com?
NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, it's about 40 percent who type it in or bookmark or get it through a newsletter. And then it's about 20 percent who come to it from other websites. So somebody links to it, CNN links to the New Yorker because of the story. 20 percent who come in through Google, through search. And then 20 percent who come in through social. And the most interesting thing is that the percentage of people who come in through social has, of course, been rising as social networks have become more powerful.
So those are the trend lines. That's where we are.
LU STOUT: Yeah, clearly, the online work is still moving towards social, so what does that mean for the online editor and the online journalist? Do you go buzz feed? Do you create content that people are more likely to share? Or do you do something else?
THOMPSON: It's totally interesting, right. So at the beginning of this movement where the web started to be organized by social, everybody thought it would lead to a dumbing down of the internet, that there would be all these incentives to create sort of silly, frivolous content that would populate these social networks.
What I found is sort of actually the opposite, that the fact that the internet is moving from being organized from search to social has made the incentives for quality content to actually increase. What you want to do is you want to create stories that people are proud of sharing. People put stuff on Facebook, they put stuff on Twitter and they say I read this. And if they're putting up something they feel proud to have read, they're more likely to put it up there.
So actually the incentives for good journalism in this way have improved, which is a great thing and something a lot of people didn't anticipate when we started to see the rise of all these social networks.
LU STOUT: That's right, good, strong, long form journalism is out there. And what does this mean for the digital reader? I mean, because the bad stuff along the good. They're all out there on the social web. If we want quality, where should we go. What type of devices should we use?
THOMPSON: Well, OK. So starting with your desktop, it's probably most important that you organize your desktop and you organize your feeds correctly. There's a real -- it's really important how you organize your Facebook feeds, how you organize your Google+ streams, how you organize your Twitter streams. It's very important that you figure out tools like Hootsuite. You put -- you follow people who give you the stuff you want to read, the stuff you think is important. You unfollow the people who don't.
It's a real skill. It's hard. It's important.
For devices, one of the most interesting things we've seen is that people read on tablets in entirely different ways from the way they read on desktops. On desktops you're kind of at your office. They lighting in not good. It's hard for people to read long stories. Some people do, but generally they just print it.
It turns out that on tablets, and increasingly on phones, people do read long stories. They read books. They read complicated things. So the fact that now people have these devices whereas they didn't have them just a couple of years ago, has created an entirely new market.
You can actually see this through data of the people -- you can look at sites like Read It Later or Pocket. And they can tell you exactly when people read the stories that they save. And it turns out that the people with tablets tend to sort of relax. They save them during the day. They come across something at work. And then they read it at night.
On desktops, you see entirely different habits and people aren't as likely to get through this stuff.
So, this change in the hardware we use has really changed some of the incentives for journalism in a good way and in a way that helps places like the New Yorker and many other magazines, institutions.
LU STOUT: You know, it's incredible isn't it? Thanks to tablets, online readers are shifting to longer pieces. And just think back from the early days back in the mid-90s of Drudge Report. You know, is multimedia storytelling today finally rivaling and maybe even surpassing the print experience?
THOMPSON: Well, that's an extreme, extremely complicated question. But we are absolutely seeing the rise of mutlimedia. And you're seeing this at all sort of publications right.
So initially, the reason why you wouldn't have a multimedia story, the reason why you wouldn't have embedded audio, you wouldn't have embedded video, you wouldn't have crazy web infographics is because downloads speeds were slow and we didn't really have the tools to create it and readers weren't really used to it.
So over the last few years, all of that has shifted. Download speeds have accelerated. We all have much faster broadband connections, meaning you can download and read rich content. There have been tools that have been developed to help create this stuff. And people are getting used to it.
So, you're starting to see lots of experimentations. And you're starting to see also a general trend in adoption. I should mention as a disclosure that I have an incentive here, because I have a company, The Atavist that I helped to found that does this. And of course, The New Yorker is doing this as well.
But I think this is a very important trend. It's the way we craft stories is expanding.
LU STOUT: You are very, very well placed to coment on this trend. And after this show, I'll have to go read the latest Canaletto (ph) on my tablet computer. Nic Thompson, thank you so much. Take care. Nick Thompson of the NewYorker.com there.
Now speaking of reading, many children love the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." And now the pages are coming to life on the stage. We'll bring you a sneak peak at the London musical next on News Stream.
LU STOUT: Now Willy Wonka is at the heart of a sweet spectacle now on stage in London's West End. The celebrated movie director Sam Mendes is behind a new musical version of Roald Dahl's classic childen's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Neil Curry got a golden ticket to its official opening night.
NEIL CURRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just like chocolate, Willy Wonkas are a matter of taste. And almost everyone has a favorite. Gene Wilder's Willy tickled the taste buds with a lighter flavor.
GENE WILDER, ACTOR: Would you come forward, please?
CURRY: While Johnny Depp's Wonka hitted at a dark secret within the center.
And now the award winning actor Douglas Hodge mixes the best of both ingredients to create his own recipe for the musical stage show of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Bringing Roald Dahl's magical story to the stage has been a long held ambition for director Sam Mendes.
SAM MENDES, DIRECTOR: All my childhood relationship with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" I hope I brought to this show. And, you know, it's something that meant a lot to me for a very long time. I first tried to do this when I was a student and they wouldn't give me the rights. Then I tried again when I was 25 and I was working (inaudible) and they still wouldn't give me the rights. And each time I went back, it got bigger and bigger. And now here we are at Drury Lane, you know.
CURRY: Actors Matthew Broderick, Jessica Parker and Uma Thurman were among those attending the official opening night of a production which introduces new songs, surprises, twists and turns to the story and immerses audiences into a world of colorful characters and spectacular sets.
OPHELIA DAHL, DAUGHTER OF ROALD DAHL: I think there are aspects to it that feel very emotional, because you can't help but feel connected to him and to the bits and pieces of stories that really, really appeal like, you know, parts of him. There's obviously the chocolate goes without saying. He loved chocolate. But he also loved to be creative. And I think this is probably going to be one of the most creative shows that anyone is going to see for a long time.
CURRY: Special that the Dahl family members (inaudible).
MENDES: Very special. And they've been amazing, actually, incredibly supportive. And I think it's a sign of their confidence in Dahl's work that they allow people to come and this is just the latest version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," You know, there have been two others -- two on screen and others on stage, even. But I think this is the first show of this scale that's ever been mounted of that -- of that piece.
CURRY: Wonka's enigmatic assistance, the Oompa Loompas, appear as never before, brought to life by a team of expert puppeteers.
Anyone who sees this can understand why you would make this a priority. But is there still hope for Bond fans?
MENDES: Well, you know, I'm still in discussion with them about -- I just haven't had the time to really make a decision. And I won't until this is open. And my priority has been this until tonight, really.
CURRY: In the meantime, Charlie has granted Mendes a license to thrill theater audiences with a production that has the potential to run as long as an everlasting gobstopper.
CURRY: Neil Curry, CNN, London.
LU STOUT: I really want to see that.
Now before we go, how would you like to chat with an astronaut. Well, NASA's Karen Nyberg will speak to CNN on Friday. And we want to ask her your questions. Use the hashtag #CNNSpaceChat and share them through Twitter. Or you can leave a comment on our website.
One of the questions we've received so far, "how will private companies affect future space missions?"
And another, "what do astronauts do when they have to sneeze?"
Log on to CNN.com on Friday for the answers live from the International Space Station.
And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.