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Crowds Gather To Sing, Pray Outside Pretoria Hospital; Kenyans Feel Snubbed By President Obama; Lee Rigby Murder Trial Set To Begin November 18; Cycling Battles Doping Image; NFL Battles Criminal Image; Immigration Reform Passes U.S. Senate, Faces Stiff Opposition In House; Gay Couples Hope For Same-Sex Marriage In China

Aired June 28, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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

Now the U.S. president heads to South Africa, but all thoughts and prayers are with ailing icon Nelson Mandela.

Examining the state of same-sex marriage in rural China.

And inside one of the world's most famous stadium, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

U.S. President Barack Obama is flying from Senegal to South Africa this hour. But the deteriorating health of Nelson Mandela is something of a dark cloud hanging over the trip.

Well wishers of all ages continue so sing, dance and pray outside the hospital where the former South African president is in critical condition.

On Thursday, the U.S. president called Mandela a hero and an inspiration. He is not scheduled to visit the hospital, but Mr. Obama will make a stop at Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for decades.

Now Nelson Mandela has been in hospital for nearly three weeks and the strain on his family is beginning to show.

Now Robyn Curnow is live outside the Pretoria hospital where the man known as Madiba is being treated. And Robyn joins us now live.

And Robyn, Mandela has spent I believe his 20th night now in hospital. Can you give us the latest update?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed. And people continue to stream to this hospital paying tribute to the man they call Madiba. What has been very key over the past 24 hours is that we've seen a lot of the people coming here are actually ANC members, the party of Nelson Mandela, the ruling party. People are being bused in to this location to come and pray for him and to come and sing and dance and show their support for him.

In fact there's a brisk trade also being done of Mandela memorabilia. Look, this is ANC colors. And the face of Mandela is on this cloth.

I mean, there really is a sense, perhaps, of some sort of political rally. I put that to the ANC spokesperson just a few moments and said, you know, this feels like a bit of electioneering here. People are wearing vote ANC t-shirts. You know, are they being slightly opportunistic?

And he angrily denied that, saying that's not the case. They were here to pray for Nelson Mandela, that they had initiated prayer vigils across the country. He also said the reason this is just suddenly happened in the last 24, 48 hours is that they heard Jacob Zuma saying the other night that Mandela is critical and for them they felt this was the time now to really show the face of the ANC outside here.

He said the ANC seems to be preparing themselves for the worst, for the end. But still, they said even if -- the ANC said even if Mandela does go, you know, his legacy will live on, policies in the country won't change, the values of Mandela will endure for a long, long time.

LU STOUT: Robyn, it's very curious to hear about the political dimension to those gathering outside the hospital. I read that there was an all night vigil there. Has that continued this day? What have you seen and heard in the scene behind you?

CURNOW: Well, as you can see behind me, people are gathering. It's quiet now. Yesterday, people literally sung for about eight or nine hours. It just continued. Up and down the street people danced. A lot of them were hymns. A lot of struggle songs were sung.

There's a lot of power in a lot of these old songs, because they evoke Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, you know, telling him to wake up, to come out. And in a way that sort of irony -- you know, it translates very well now. They understand the power of those words 20, 30 years later.

So there was a lot of powerful singing.

It's quieter now, people just milling around, dropping off flowers, sticking up a letter on the wall. A lot of people just sort of coming here to be here, not really expecting any information, not really knowing what's going on. I think there's -- people have been drawn here. They just want to be close to him.

So it's that sort of feeling now. It's calmer. It's less hyped than it was yesterday.

LU STOUT: Powerful songs and prayers from well wishers of all ages. And also this steady stream of relatives and very close friends of Nelson Mandela visiting. Does that go on?

CURNOW: Indeed. I mean, the family has been incredibly supportive. He has a large family, remember. And they've been visiting every day coming in and out of this entrance behind me. Also, we know that his wife Graca Machel has been sleeping at the hospital, not in the intensive care unit, but I think in a room close by.

And of course remember they are very anxious, very strict. This is a difficult, difficult time. Even though Mandela led such a public life, they feel that this is a very private process.

And of course he's still in a critical condition -- stable, but on life support, needing help breathing. So things are still very, very worrying not just for the family, but also for this nation as it waits and watches.

LU STOUT: Our Robyn Curnow joining us live from Pretoria, thank you.

Now Senegal was the first stop in President Barack Obama's week long trip to Africa to discuss democracy, trade and development issues like food security. And before he left -- he's on his way to South Africa -- Obama met with farmers and entrepreneurs who are modernizing agriculture across west Africa.

Now the U.S. government's Feed the Future program is working on a mobile technology that will link up farmers across Senegal that will help them coordinate sales of corn to South America and become more competitive.

Now let's cross over to the Senegalese capital now. Vladimir Duthiers is standing by live for us in Dakar. And Vlad, food security at the top of the agenda today. Tell us what happened.

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie.

Well, yeah, the president had a very, very busy schedule in Senegal. He spent most of yesterday with president -- Senegalese President Macky Sall. They originally started out with a meeting at the presidential palace followed by a join press conference where the president was asked many, many questions. He was asked to comment on the problem that Africa has with homosexuals on the continent. He was asked about the NSA fugitive leaker Edward Snowden and his relationship with -- how that would effect his relationship with Russia and with China.

He then moved on to a meeting with the Sengalese judiciary at the supreme court here. And the point of that meeting was to just underscore what he had been saying all along throughout his visit, which is that Senegal is a model of democracy for the continent. This is a country that has never had a coup. This is a country that last year the former president wanted to, or attempted to extend his term by trying to add a third term to his presidency, which is constitutionally not allowed. And the Senegalese people voted against that. They protested peacefully. And he stepped down without problems. The new president, Macky Saul, took over.

And so he was really here to highlight how Senegal can serve as a model for success across the continent -- across the region in Africa and west Africa that has seen some destabilizing events over the last couple of years, especially with the military intervention that took place in Mali earlier in January.

As you said, he is now -- he has just left Senegal, but before he left he spent some time visiting a program by which the United States will increase its assistance for seeds and agricultural technology in Senegal by some $47 million and hoping that U.S. companies will actually also invest another $134 million in Senegal's agricultural system.

And so this was an idea that, you know, people are still going hungry in sub-Saharan African and the president felt that it was important. While he understand -- he underscored the idea that the United States doesn't want to continue to just provide aid to Africa, they want to step up trade partnerships with the continent.

As you know, China has now eclipsed the United States as far as trade with the continent is concerned, $200 billion between China and Africa. The United States is seeking to ramp up efforts on that regard. But that he felt that food security was still a very, very important problem, one that the United States should take the lead in providing assistance with, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Vladimir Duthiers reporting on President Obama's tour of Africa. Thank you, Vlad.

Now one country that is not on the U.S. president's African itinerary is Kenya. Now the government of Nairobi is shrugging it off, but as Nima Elbagir now reports, many ordinary people see it as a slight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At Cafe Deli (ph) in Nairobi, Kenyans can signal political allegiances and celebrate their special occasions all at the same time. Cakes of former prime minister Raila Odinga, among others, are still big sellers. But there's one man whose had a pretty spectacular slide down the rankings: U.S. President Barack Obama.

(on camera): Now you actually making this especially for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, sure.

ELBAGIR: Because you just don't get any orders...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not anymore.

ELBAGIR: But at one point, this was one of your biggest sellers. And then how many do you sell now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely none. We are really, really disappointed. And now that he's coming to Africa and he's not coming to Kenya, not that makes it even worse.

ELBAGIR: Often referred to as east Africa's anchor state, Kenya is a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamist militants and is viewed as crucial to regional economic growth. Throw in the fact that President Obama's father hails from here and the country's omission from the president's itinerary has left some Kenyans more than a little snubbed.

And this trip comes as the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto both face charges of crimes against humanity from the International Criminal Court has brought a noticeable chill to Kenya-U.S. relations.

But if the Kenyan government is feeling slighted, it's certainly not letting on.

MUTHUI KARIUKI, KENYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: We have not been snubbed, because like I have said it before, President Obama did not snub us as a country. There are reasons that he goes to only three countries in Africa, you know, not the 54. And that is the point I'm trying to point out.

So I wouldn't say that we have been snubbed. And I'm not worried. And we as a government are not worried.

ELBAGIR: A lot of the observers and the analysts that are commenting on this are interpreting this as a distancing from President Obama's side, that he does not want to be associated with the charges that are hanging over President Kenyatta and Vice President Ruto. What do you say to that?

KARIUKI: You know, I'm not a lawyer. But they say you are innocent until proved guilty.

ELBAGIR: And both men maintain their innocence.

If there is one place Mr. Obama will be assured a warm welcome if and when he does visit, Kenya's western Nianza (ph) province where his father Barack H. Obama Sr. was born and raised. And his cousin Said Obama is asking his fellow Kenyans to be a little patient.

SAID OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT'S COUSIN: Whatever he does, there will be -- there will be always been criticism. If he engages with Africa, there will be criticism. If he doesn't, there will be criticism.

ELBAGIR: Do you feel that there is a part of him that belongs to this place?

SAID OBAMA: Yeah.

ELBAGIR: That belongs to Africa?

SAID OBAMA: Yeah. He traces his (inaudible) to, you know, Kogelo (ph), which is in Africa or to Kenya which is in Africa. And that relationship will always be there. I think he means a lot for Africa, a lot of good things for Africa.

ELBAGIR: He has visited Kenya before. Most recently in 2006 as a senator. But many Kenyans hope Mr. Obama will eventually visit his father's land again as president. And then all they say will be forgiven.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Still ahead on News Stream, did this retired U.S. general leak classified information about a cyber attack on Iran? We'll tell you about the latest intelligence investigation.

And cyclists start the Tour de France in less than 24 hours. But on the eve of the big race, disgraced winner Lance Armstrong speaks out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now the U.S. intelligence community is under the microscope for leaks again. This time a former top military adviser to the president is under scrutiny. Now a source says that retired marine general James Cartwright is being investigated over information that was given to a reporter.

Now NBC News reports that information included classified material about Stuxnet. Now remember, Stuxnet was the powerful computer virus discovered in 2010. It was believed to be the first designed to cripple infrastructure. And analysts say its primary purpose was to shut down Iran's nuclear centrifuges. And leaked information revealed how the U.S. and Israel were behind the cyber attacks.

Now Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is following the story for us and she joins us now live from Washington.

And Barbara, what more have you learned about the Stuxnet leak investigation?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, so far General Cartwright has not spoken. His attorney here in Washington has offered no comment and neither has the Obama administration. But our sources are telling us, yes, that General Cartwright, now retired, is under investigation by the Justice Department for giving information that appeared in a book by the New York Times Journalist David Sanger "Confront and Conceal" was the title of the book about Iran's nuclear program.

NBC reporting that it was about Stuxnet, that computer virus that the U.S. was said to be behind.

Besides and in addition to the potential leak of classified information, terribly serious, it is just jawdropping around the Pentagon that General Cartwright could have potentially done this. He is respected as one of the most brilliant military minds that there is, a four star marine retired in 2011, very close to President Obama, an expert in nuclear weapons and cyber warfare. Hard to understand, many people say, that he might have gone down this road. So a lot of people are waiting to see what happens, what the next step is.

We must emphasize so far no indication that General Cartwright has been charged. But he is under investigation -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, waiting to see what's next, a shocked reaction there in Washington, especially inside the Pentagon to this. Now the first story involving leaked information about Stuxnet came out last year in the New York Times. How damaging has it all been?

STARR: Well, the revelation of Stuxnet, damaging to U.S. intelligence because when it was then understood that the U.S. and even potentially the Israelis were behind it, it certainly gave the Iranians a bit of a roadmap as to what the U.S. was after. But experts in cyber warfare, in communications networks will tell you that Stuxnet then made its way into computer systems around the world causing damage and really becoming one of the first well understood spreads of a global computer virus. So it gave a lot of people a lot of pause for thought about what this whole concept of cyber warfare can really do -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Barbara Starr joining us live from the Pentagon with that. Thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream live from Hong Kong. And coming up, as teams prepare for the start of the Tour de France, we'll look at how cycling is trying to change its doped up reputation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And this is a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today. We began with the thoughts and prayer of South Africans being with the ailing Nelson Mandela. And a little bit later, we'll look at the state of same-sex marriage in rural China.

But now to sports and the start of one of the world's most prestigious sporting events. Now the Tour de France gets underway in less than 24 hours from now. And cyclists are gathering on the French island of Corsica where they will take part in a grueling three weeks of competition. It is the 100th addition of the famous race, but it's being overshadowed by the ongoing scandal of doping after a year when one of cycling's greats, Lance Armstrong, admitted taking drugs to win.

Now CNN's Amanda Davies joins me now from Porto-Vecchio where the race will begin. And Amanda, tell us more about just how Lance Armstrong is casting a big shadow at the Tour de France.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Indeed I will, Kristie.

Welcome to Corsica, the final French region to be used for the tour with Porto-Vecchio which is the third largest city on this island just off mainland France. It's really not that large, though. So much so that we're actually standing on a ferry that has been moored here specifically to house the international media for this Tour de France.

As you said, it's the first Tour to be held after those revelations about Lance Armstrong. The cycling community were very much hoping that it would be a tour that saw the sport move on, but the man himself has had other ideas. And has given an interview to the French Newspaper Le Monde on this Friday morning, basically saying that he feels it's impossible to win the Tour de France without doping.

We shouldn't believe what we've been seeing.

As you would expect, the sport's governing body, the president of the UCI, Pat McQuade, has spoken out angrily about that very, very quickly today. He says Lance Armstrong is wrong. And that the sport has changed, saying the culture within cycling has changed since the Armstrong era. It is now possible to race and win clean.

And I have to say, Kristie, that is the view that does seem to be shared by the current, newer generation of young cyclists. I've been speaking to quite a few of them as part of the changing gear series that we've been running on CNN this week. Have a listen to the final part which is about the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVIES: A day at this year's Euro D'Italia could have convinced you that cycling's never been better. In some ways, that's true. But for those at the top, there's a clear message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've had your chance. You messed up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have cleaned up the sport. Now we have to clean up the image.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time for a new agenda. I think cycling has hit rock bottom.

DAVIES: Can cycling truly move on with the current leadership at the helm? There's calls for president of world cycling's governing body Pat McQuade to go. And September's election could bring his controversial tenure to an end.

BRIAN COOKSON, UCI: Brian Cookson, UCI, presidential candidate.

I think the first priority for the International Cycling Union has got to be putting to bed once and for all these allegations about collusion and cover-up. We've really got to investigate those things transparently and independently and publish those results.

DAVIES: Despite its political problems, cycling's popularity continues to grow both at the professional level and the recreational one. It's a sport that's gone from geek to chic.

CHRISTIAN PRUDHOMME, DIRECTOR, TOUR DE FRANCE: You've got in western societies a bicycle comeback on a daily basis -- for going to work, for going out with your friends, for sport. And this link must be strengthened right up to a champion, a rider in the Tour de France.

DAVIES: The global reach of the sport is on the up with tours of Bejing, Amman and Qatar added recently. This year, we've seen the developments of the first ever African professional team as well, MTN Qhubeka.

SONGEZO JIM, PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST: For us, when we win races, we mobilize more kids on their bikes in Africa. So which is great. We're doing a change in Africa.

DAVIES: Songezo is just one of the current generation predicting a healthy future for cycling, even if suspicions about doping persist.

TAYLOR PHINNEY, PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST: As a young rider, you know, I'm happy that they're clearing out that path and making it, you know, possible for us in the future to compete in a clean sport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever sport it is you'll always get people that are cynical and doubters, but you know by continuing to do what we're doing and answering these questions and putting itself to be up there to be shot at. In time, it might take 15 years, I think, you know, it will gain credibility.

DAVIES: Just like its toughest races, cycling's fight against (inaudible) its leadership and image have had its ups and downs. But (inaudible) on the inside track have confidence the present generation and beyond will continue the efforts to keep the sport on the road ahead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DAVIES: And, Kristie, last year's winner Bradley Wiggins isn't involved this year, of course. HE has pulled out injured. But we have seen a few of the teams around and about in Porto-Vecchio earlier today going for their final training runs. We've seen Team Sky. We've seen RadioShack as well and Belkin. Very important to get a handle on the stage one route, because there's no prologue this year, 198 riders from 22 teams will all start together on the very small roads just over my shoulder. They know there's 212 kilometers between them and Bacea (ph) and the possibility of wearing that yellow shirt, maybe just for one night at least.

LU STOUT: That's right, the race will start very soon. Who is the man to beat this year?

DAVIES: Well, a lot of people are saying the favorite is Team Sky's Chris Froome. He was the runner up last year. He was the wingman to Bradley Wiggins. And he has had a season unlike anyone else's. He's won four of the five stage races that he's ridden in. And people very much talking about him as the favorite.

But there is also Alberto Contador, a two-time winner. He wasn't involved last year, because he was serving a doping suspension. But he is back with Saxo-Tinkoff. And he has a very strong wingman as well. He has Michael Rogers fighting in his corner.

There's some suggestion Andy Schleck who we saw earlier today, that he might have a decent say, but he hasn't done so well to get to this point so far this year.

But the thing with this race, Kristie, it is three weeks long. Every day is an opportunity for so much drama. And it promises to be a fantastic race. There's a lot of climbs in the last week this year. The schedule, because it's the 100th Tour de France, the organizers are very keen that it goes very much through to the final stages of the race. They say you can't win it here on Corsica in the first couple of days, but you can certainly lose it.

The streets are so narrow, there's so many hairpin bends, a lot of the main leaders, the main contenders, will just want to get off here out of trouble and in one piece.

LU STOUT: It will be a thrilling race to watch. Amanda Davies joining us live from Corsica, thank you.

Now next up, a look at the world headlines. And then after the break, the U.S. Senate passes the most sweeping immigration reforms for almost 30 years. But what are its chances of actually becoming law?

And we discover the campaign for same-sex marriage goes further than the U.S. and Europe, it goes all the way to China.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now a judge has ruled that the two men accused of killing a British soldier in south London will stand trial starting on November 18. 25-year- old Lee Rigby was killed in broad daylight in the Woolwich district of London in May. Now Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo appeared in court this Friday via video conference from separate rooms in jail.

Now a source tells CNN that a retired U.S. general James Cartwright is under investigation about revelations in a recent book that dealt with U.S. national security secrets. NBC News says Cartwright is suspected of leaking classified information about a computer virus that infected systems at Iranian nuclear facilities. Now the book said that the virus was, in fact, a cyber attack orchestrated by the U.S. and Israel.

Nelson Mandela's eldest daughter has attacked the behavior of the media covering her father's illness saying they've been acting like vultures. The 94-year-old former South African president is said to still be in a critical, but stable condition. He was taken to hospital nearly three weeks ago with a recurring lung infection.

As South Africans wait for news on Mandela, the U.S. president is flying into the country. It will be the second stop on Barack Obama's tour of Africa. And earlier today, he took part in a food security event in Senegal.

Now back in Washington, one of Mr. Obama's top priorities has cleared a key hurdle. Now the Senate voted to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. And the proposal creates a path to U.S. citizenship for million of undocumented residents. But it also beefs up security along the Mexican border.

Now President Obama calls the bill a compromise.

Now immigration reform is a politically sensitive topic in the United States. And it faces intense opposition in the House.

Dana Bash has more.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, one House Republican leader called immigration reform a pipe dream, another said the Senate bill is dead on arrival.

Now supporters in the Senate were hoping that this big bipartisan vote would give the issue momentum going into the Republican-led House, but that's hardly what we're hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: The speaker of the House presides over the next step for immigration reform. He was noncommittal at best.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: We're going to go home for the recess next week and listen to our constituents. And when we get back we're going to have a conference on July the 10th to have a discussion about the way forward.

BASH: Immigration politics is tricky business for House Republicans, prone to pressure from conservative constituents to oppose any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. John McCain gets it. He almost lost the 2008 GOP presidential nomination for supporting immigration reform.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: To our friends in the House, we ask for your consideration and we stand ready to sit down and negotiate with you.

BASH: Supporter Marco Rubio may be a future White House Republican hopeful.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: I support this reform not just because I believe in immigrants but I believe in America even more.

BASH: The Cuban-American used his closing argument to beat back conservative critics by humanizing the issue, talking about his own immigrant parents.

RUBIO: Well before they ever became citizens, in their hearts they had already become Americans.

BASH: But the Republican split was on display, opponents saying they just don't believe supporters who promise the border would be secured before illegal immigrants can earn legal status.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) IOWA: We need a bill that puts security before legalization, not the other way around.

BASH: Despite the divide, senators agreed the vote was a big moment. They took the rare step of voting formally from their desks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Donnelly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aye.

BASH: And the vice president presided.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The yeas for this bill are 68, the nays are 32. The bill as amended is passed.

BASH: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham joked that 68 votes in a body so divided they can hardly agree that Sunday is a day off is significant. On a more serious note, he also said he hopes this will put an end to the GOP known as the party of self-deportation. Because that is something that Mitt Romney said in the last election, many Republicans think it really hurt the party. And that is why 14 Republican senators joined all Democrats in voting yes on Immigration reform in the hopes that they can lure Latino voters back to the Republican Party -- Kristie.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Dana Bash there.

Now this week, the U.S. high court gave the gay rights movement a huge boost in political and legal momentum. But the debate over same-sex marriage is not confined to any one country. Steven Jiang has the view from China.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVEN JIANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These two young men blend in with a crowd at the local village fair, but their story stands out. Wu Yebin and An Wei are an openly gay couple living in rural China where homosexuality is still largely taboo.

WU YEBIN, STORE OWNER (through translator): My family sought medical treatment for me, hired a shaman to exorcise me. I had to comply. But at the same time, I found information on homosexuality online and shared it with them. The more they learned, the more accepting they became.

JIANG: And now almost 10 years later, Wu and An live together and run a roadside convenience store next to the Wu family house.

Following advancements in gay rights in other countries, the two partners in life and business have been thinking more about cementing their relationship.

AN WEI, STORE OWNER (through translator): I hope to see same-sex marriage become legal in China one day. We'll go get the license right away to enjoy all the rights like married straight couples.

YEBIN (through translator): It's going to happen, I bet next year.

(LAUGHTER)

JIANG: Not everyone is so optimistic, especially after recent video of a lesbian couple seeing their marriage application rejected by local officials went viral on the internet.

Although the government has removed homosexuality from its list of crimes and mental disorders, activists and experts say social prejudices and discrimination persist.

Sociologist Li Yinhe is a leading expert on gay issues in China. For more than a decade, she's been calling on national legislators to legalize same-sex marriage.

LI YINHE, SOCIOLOGIST (through translator): Gay people can't make their voices heard. They have no representatives in the legislature. Same-sex marriage is an issue affecting a minority group and ranks really low on the government's agenda.

JIANG: But opposition to a different kind of gay marriage has been a priority for many activists.

Unlike in the west, experts say the vast majority of gay people in China, especially men, marry the opposite sex, caving under strong social and family pressure to have children. State media has cited one estimate putting the number of Chinese women married to gay men at more than 10 million.

Wu was married to a woman for 40 days. And he regrets it.

YEBIN (through translator): My momentary lapse of judgment ruined my ex-wife's life. Even though I never touched her, it would be hard for her to find an ideal husband as a divorcee.

JIANG: Now leading by example, Wu and An hope to see more gay Chinese take off their masks in real life and maybe one day get married.

Steven Jiang, CNN, rural (inaudible) province, China.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream, and still ahead the spiritual home of Brazilian football. Pedro Pinto takes us on a tour of the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro ahead of Sunday's Confederation's Cup final.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And there's more legal trouble for NFL's Aaron Hernandez. Now a judge has denied bail for the former New England Patriots player. And Hernandez is facing first-degree murder charges. And a source tells CNN that authorities are investigating whether Hernandez was involved in an unsolved double homicide in Boston two years ago.

Now the NFL was quick to cut ties with Hernandez, but his arrest is not an isolated incident. And it raises questions about the league's image.

Jason Carroll reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That surveillance was then destroyed.

JASON CAROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron Hernandez's arrest on murder charges is the latest brush with the law associated with NFL players. This picture may look like a team's roster, but it actually shows more than two dozen players arrested for various crimes ranging from DUI to misdemeanor assault over the past year according to the NFL.

MICHAEL MCCANN, LEGAL ANALYST: We don't know if there are convictions in any of these arrests. And secondly, it's still a relatively small percent of all NFL players.

CARROLL: The percentage may be small, but the arrests attract a spotlight like when police charged rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott with attempted murder for beating a man outside a New Jersey club this week.

Although they both plead not guilty, Walcott and Hernandez both had previous encounters with the law.

KEVIN ADLER, PRESIDENT, ENGAGE MARKETING: The league find themselves in a situation like this, not the least of which is at the team level. Team, player personnel executives looking past a player's very public history, especially in the case of Aaron Hernandez, for the sake of what they can do for the team on the field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So we'll open it up for questions.

CARROLL: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell toughened the league's conduct policy six years ago, making it easier to sanction players for infractions. Goodell declined our request for an interview, but an NFL spokesman told CNN the average arrest rate per year of NFL players is consistently lower than the general population.

TJ WARD, CLEVELAND BROWNS SAFETY: Well, two players can make the whole league look a certain way.

CARROLL: Like the vast majority of NFL players, Cleveland Browns safety TJ Ward says he has not been in trouble, but understands how just one arrest can tarnish the brand.

WARD: A couple of issues can make, you know, the whole league look a certain way. It's all about perception, especially in our society, it's all about what people see, not necessarily what's true.

CARROLL: If the truth lies in numbers, consider this, Nielson ratings for the past NFL regular season were the highest in a decade. Despite everything, fans keep watchin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made the decision a long time ago to respect athletes for their performance on the field moreso than for their behavior off the field.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love football, so I'll probably be following. But we'll see.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now it's almost a part of Wimbledon as the grass court and the all white clothing. I'm talking about the rain.

Now the start of play, it was delayed by the weather yet again. So let's get the forecast for that and a few other sporting events with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, yeah, you know, pretty -- I was just looking at the live blog from Wimbledon. And they're looking at delay of play and actually all of the outer courts in the last couple of hours or so because the rain has been so relentless across that London metro area.

This is a picture from earlier there. There you see it, umbrellas were out and the courts were covered in those areas.

Actually, these are pictures from yesterday -- similar conditions today.

I was just reading on their live blog that they are expected to star play momentarily. It's not looking good, though, you can see that swath of rain that has moved through here. They're going to get a break in between. I think that's where they're going to try to maybe play a little bit, but then another bit of rain will be moving in, in the next couple of hours.

So not quite over yet.

Looking a little bit better, though, as we head through the next couple of days. Cloudy -- you can see the little rain drops right over here. The temperature about 17 degrees in the London area.

When you think about Wimbledon, everybody was just -- oh, it rains all the time. But in the last 135 years that they've had these matches, how many days have been completely rained out? Have you thought about that? Well, we went ahead and looked it up. And look at this, there have been 32 days where they have not been able to play at all, because of rain.

So that's not too bad in 135 years, right? But a month worth of rainfall.

There have been years, actually, where if you think about it they have never even had any rain at all. Those lucky years, those five times -- the first time was all the way back in 1878. And the last time that happened was in 1993. And I wonder -- I'm sure there's a lot of people who may remember that.

I wonder if they noticed there was no rain at all those years.

So the forecast over the next couple of days. Today, of course we're still looking at rain. Tomorrow looking a little bit better, then the clouds return as we head through the day.

On Sunday, temperatures pretty comfortable, into the 20s.

I saw you talking earlier about the Tour de France. It looked absolutely beautiful out there with the beautiful backdrop. You can see the clouds kind of forming in the background. You know, stage one starts of course on Saturday. As we head into the weekend we're looking at pretty nice conditions. So those skies will be clearing. Temperatures into the 20s.

It starts at Porto-Vecchio. The first time it's been held, of course, in Corsica. So it's looking good. And along the French countryside there on that eastern side of the island, finishing in Bastia (ph) a high of 24 - - a temperature of 24 by the time they get to that later afternoon hours.

And last, but not least, another one -- and this is one of my favorite sporting events -- football finals. Yes, Confederation Cup. The first match will be -- I should say the second to last match -- will be in Salvador. That's the third place match. And that will take place earlier in the afternoon around 3:00 local time.

Temperature expected to be good. We're not expecting any rain. So all those fans celebrating outside will still be able to have a good time.

But the big one, Kristie, of course is the one in Rio on Sunday. And that's going to be later in the afternoon. We're expecting sunny skies in Rio, which of course will be absolutely fabulous. A little bit of light winds. I don't think that's going to bother anybody. Any other parties happening -- Brazil and Spain of course playing in this match. And I can't wait. I'll be watching.

LU STOUT: Mari Ramos with all the sporting weather. Thank you and have a great weekend. Take care.

Now that Confederation's Cup final will take place in one of the world's most famous stadium, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. And Pedro Pinto took a tour around the spiritual home of Brazilian football.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to the world famous Maracana Stadium, the centerpiece for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It's the biggest stadium in the whole of South America. And it also gave organizers here the biggest headache leading up to the tournament next year.

Construction was running several months behind schedule. And costs escalated. The total bill, close the $500 million.

That meant costs ran almost 50 percent over budget. FIFA had asked for the stadium to be delivered in January, but it was only reopened to the public at the end of April.

There were just so many problems to resolve both inside and outside the venue.

ICARO MORENO, LEAD ENTINEER, MARACANA STADIUM (through translator): There were several moments when I thought this stadium wouldn't be ready on time for the Confederation's Cup. I cried three or four times because I was so stressed. There were so many problems to resolve. There were also two major strikes as well. Then we had to stop when it rained. It was very tough to get it done.

PINTO: Before a new stadium is inaugurated, the major concern is normally with the pitch, making sure it's ready for international football. But here at the Maracana, it was all about the roof. The existing structure was old, outdated, the metal was corroded, meaning engineers had to find a way to build it from scratch.

The roof renovation is one of the major changes from the old stadium, which was initially built for the 1950 World Cup, a competition which holds traumatic memories for people here. Brazil lost the final to Uruguay to the dismay of nearly 200,000 fans at the Maracana. The new arena holds fewer people, the capacity is now 79,000. And for the first time ever, every single fan will be able to sit down and watch the action.

And the thousands of fans filling these seats on Sunday will witness another chapter in the history of the stadium unfold when the Confederation Cup champions are crowned. There's no doubt it'll be another magical moment at the Maracana.

Pedro Pinto, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Coming up on News Stream, South Africa's post-apartheid generation. We will hear how the nation's young people see Nelson Mandela.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: And if White House Down seems kind of familiar, it's because it is. Olympus Has Fallen was released in March of this year. And that was also about the seat of the U.S. government coming under attack. But it is far from the first time that two similar movies have come out within months of each other. In fact, it happened twice in 1998. That year saw the release of Deep Impact about a comet threatening to collide with Earth and Armageddon about and asteroid threatening to hit our planet. Also in cinemas in 1998, Disney Pixar's animated movie A Bug's Life. Its hero is a misfit ant. And Dreamworks animation Ants. I don't think I need to point out similarities there.

And then in January 2011 came No Strings Attached. And the movies tag line was, quote, "friendship has its benefits." And then six months later Friends with Benefits was released. So no prizes for originality here.

Now a group of young South Africans, they traveled to Pretoria this week to sing for Nelson Mandela outside the hospital where he's being treated. And they say that they owe their freedom to Mandela even though his struggles ended before their time.

Now Ivan Watson reports on the born free generation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The song you were singing just now about Nelson Mandela, what do the words mean?

SIMPHIWE JIYANE, 20 YEARS OLD: The words basically mean that, like, Oh, Mandela (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). Meaning that Mandela is bringing peace. He understands, because June 16 was a struggle and he fought for our freedom. And he was there. And he brought peace amongst the blacks and whites.

WATSON: On Thursday, the Zansi Youth Choir (ph) traveled to Pretoria to sing songs outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela lies in critical condition.

TSHEGO RAHUBE, 13 YEARS OLD: I know a lot of things about Mandela, because my great-grandmother used to tell me about him and how he brought peace in this world.

WATSON: And how did it feel for you to be at the hospital today?

RAHUBE: I felt like I was going to cry.

WATSON: South Africans born after apartheid ended with the country's first democratic elections in 1994 are sometimes called the born free generation, because they did not live to see the brutal area of minority white rule which Mandela and many of his colleagues struggled against.

THANDO MASHININI, 17 YEARS OLD: Things are very different now. I -- well, I went to -- I go to school with a white person like it was different -- white people used to be one side, black people had to be one side. So now it's very different. Everything is just multiracial and there's happiness.

WATSON: Is Nelson Mandela's illness right now something that a lot of people around you are talking about these days?

JIYANE: It's actually affecting a lot of people. I think if they had (inaudible) these days, a lot of people would really be sad, a lot of people would cry over it, because it's somebody they related to, it's somebody they see as a role-model.

MASHININI: We look up to Mandela a lot. And we would like to be leaders like him one day. And we're very inspired by his work. And we'd like to say to the family, the Madiba family that they must keep praying and stay strong. And then we'll hope that everything will go well.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: So many beautiful messages in that report by Ivan Watson.

Now we want to leave you with this poignant picture from the U.S. president's visit to Goree Island in Senegal. It looks like a scenic spot, but it's beauty hides a brutal history.

Now Goree Island was once a hub for the slave trade between Africa and the Americas. And the door you see Barack Obama standing in here is called the door of no return.

Now Africans were forced to walk through it as they boarded ships to spend the rest of their lives as slaves.

And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.

END