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America Reacts To Zimmerman Verdict; Typhoon Soulik Pounds Taiwan; Glee Star Dies At 31; JK Rowling Writes Novel Under Pseudonym; Track Star Tyson Gay Tests Positive For Performance Enhancing Drugs; Ecuador Passes Tough New Media Law

Aired July 15, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


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

Now protests across the United States as Americans voice their opposition to the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

Now doctors will perform an autopsy of Glee star Cory Monteith who suddenly dies at the age of 31.

And after 163 years, India's final telegram has been sent.

Now this man's trial transfixed Americans. And now George Zimmerman's acquittal has sparked strong reaction across the country. Remember, the case started early last year when Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Now Zimmerman claimed self-defense. And after more than 16 hours of deliberation, the jury found him not guilty.

Now critics of the verdict have taken to the streets all across the country from Florida to California, New York to Colorado. Most protests have been peaceful, like this one in Denver.

Now the death of Trayvon Martin tugged at the sensitive issue of race relations in America. And many demonstrators believed that the teenager was profiled. They say that they are demanding justice.

And one community leader says the goal is to turn disappointment into constructive action.


JAMES DAVIS, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Perhaps we can take this anger and move it into a positive vein, because if nothing else, this snapped our necks back.


LU STOUT: Now U.S. President Barack Obama has called for peace. In a written statement, he said this, quote, "I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son." And he also urged compassion and understanding.

Now it was not the first time the U.S. president has weighed in on this polarizing case. Now one month after Trayvon Martin's death, Mr. Obama had this to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. And, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.


LU STOUT: Now George Zimmerman could end up back in court. It is possible that he may face a civil lawsuit or the U.S. government could file charges. We'll have more on that in a moment.

But first, George Howell wraps up the emotional response to the trial.




HOWELL: George Zimmerman became a free man. And for the family of the teenager he killed, Trayvon Martin, devastation.

Martin's mother, Sybrina Felton said in a tweet, quote, "lord, during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have."

Martin's father wrote, quote, "even though I am brokenhearted, my faith is unshattered. I will always love my baby Tray."

Meanwhile, amid growing protests, the president released a statement asking the country to respect the jury's decision. "We should ask ourselves as individuals and as a society how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us, that's the way to honor Martin's family."

Even Zimmerman's supporters agree...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It comes down to what's right and wrong. And it - you know, it was a terrible thing, but I guess Mr. Zimmerman did what he thought he had to.

HOWELL: The verdict was the focus of sermons at many churches across the country Sunday, including this Atlanta church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: The world has profiled them. The world has stigmatized them. The world has said to them that they are a problem.

HOWELL: Those sentiments were echoed at the home church of Trayvon Martin's family in Miami Gardens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart is heavy.

AESHA FELTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S COUSIN: And we're very concerned and very hurt and very disappointed at this point, but we know in the end god will prevail and he will - justice will be served. And we're just - he - everybody in their prayers.

HOWELL: In the end, the jury of six women, five them white, believed that when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, he did so in self-defense.


LU STOUT: Now a civil rights group is pushing the U.S. Justice Department to file criminal charges. And Randi Kaye explains the process.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department had opened an investigation into Trayvon Martin's death last year, but stepped aside to allow Florida's criminal case to proceed. But now, once again, the pressure is on Justice. But as Attoney General Eric Holder said last year, the bar is high.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: For a federal hate crime, we have to prove the highest standard in the law, something that was reckless, that was negligent does not meet that standard, we have to show that there was specific intent to do the crime with the reckless state of mind.

KAYE: Neither prosecutors or the defense made race the central issue in the state's case against George Zimmerman, but civil rights leaders call the killing of Trayvon Martin a hate crime. They say Zimmerman racially profiled Martin, something Zimmerman and his family have denied.

JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: You look how the jury without a black or without a man on it, it certainly was not a jury of Trayvon's peers. The Department of Justice must intervene and take this case, frankly, to another level.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty.

KAYE: In response to the verdict and calls for action, the Justice Department released this statement. It reads in part that the Department of Justice will continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial. Federal prosecutors will then determine if Trayvon Martin's civil rights were violated and if federal prosecution of George Zimmerman is appropriate.

If Zimmerman is charged with violating Trayvon Martin's civil rights, it won't be the first time a failed criminal case gave way to a federal civil rights case. Remember Rodney King? After the four Los Angeles police officers caught beating him on camera were acquitted, the case moved to federal court where two of the officers were found guilty of violating King's civil rights. They were each sentenced to 30 months in prison.

It was a similar story in New Orleans after a handful of officers were cleared in a shooting on the Danziger Bridge. In the aftermath of Katrina in 2005, the officers opened fire on a family, killing a 17-year-old. When local prosecutors couldn't deliver a conviction, the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI began an investigation. In 2011, a jury in New Orleans federal court convicted five police officers on charges related to covering up the investigation and deprivation of civil rights.

Still, regardless of the outcome of those two high profile cases, George Zimmerman's attorney continues to insist this case was never about race.

MARK O'MARA, GEOREG ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: My fear is that now that they've connected that conversation to his conviction, that his acquittal is going to be seen as a negative for civil rights, absolutely untrue.

KAYE: Maybe so, but that, it seems, is now for the United States Department of Justice to decide.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: Now Zimmerman's murder trial took place in Sanford, Florida. And CNN's Alina Machado is there. She joins us now live. Now Alina, there has been so much outrage and anger since the verdict came out, what's being done there to defuse the tension.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you're right there has been a lot of anger because of this verdict here. Community leader before the verdict came down were urging people to stay calm and to accept whatever the outcome.

They even had pastors from local churches sit in the local courtroom during the trial to get a better perspective of what was going on so that they can go back to their congregations and educate them about the judicial process. Now that the verdict is out, that message about staying calm continues to spread.

And some churches, including the one that I'm standing in front of, will be opening their doors every Monday afternoon for community prayers to encourage peace and unity.

LU STOUT: You know, that message spreading through the local churches there and also coming from the very top. U.S. President Barack Obama calling for calm reflection. What is the mood there in the community of Sanford. Can we see more protests ahead?

MACHADO: Well, we were in the neighborhood where all of this started in terms of the movement to get George Zimmerman arrested and right after the verdict. That in that neighborhood, there was an immediate reaction of anger right that night that the verdict came down. We talked to one community activist and we want to have you listen to what he had to say so that you can get a better sense of how things were right after the verdict.


DAVIS: I don't blame every white person in Seminole County for this, you know.


DAVIS: Well, I'm not - the system didn't work for us. It just didn't work. The system was broken initially. And I think the system continues to be broken tonight is what I'm suggesting to you.


MACHADO: Now that was immediately after the verdict, the night the verdict came down. Yesterday, we saw small, but peaceful protests. We were at a park where about several dozen people showed up. They were holding signs. They were chanting. But again, they were mainly just expressing their disappointment with this verdict.

There would always be additional demonstrations, but at this point we have not heard of any plans to have any more - Kristie.

LU STOUT: Alina, you've been monitoring reaction on the streets of Sanford. But what kind of reaction have you seen on social media after the verdict?

MACHADO: Well, it's pretty much what you would expect. Facebook and Twitter flooded with reaction from people from all over the world. Several celebrities even weighed in. We saw a tweet from John Legend saying that his heart hurt. And we also saw several people who support George Zimmerman talk about how they were pleased with the outcome.

But the response from supporters has been more subdued, more muted online - Kristie.

LU STOUT; All right, Alina Machado joining us live from Sanford, Florida. Thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead, downed trees and fallen structures have caused significant and deadly damage in Taiwan. We'll show you the aftermath of Typhoon Soulik.

And for 163 years, it was a communications staple in India. Now the country is sending it a final farewell.

And medical examiners are to conduct an autopsy on the U.S. television actor Cory Monteith two days after he died suddenly in a Vancouver hotel room.


LU STOUT: Now there has been a deadly attack in Egypt's northern Sinai. The military says a rocket propelled grenade hit a bus that was heading to a cement factory, killing three workers and injuring 15. Now according to the military, the attack was carried out by a terror group, but the bus was accidentally hit. It says the original target was a police car.

Now meanwhile, we know that China's economy has slowed for the second fiscal quarter in a row. The country's annual GDP now sits at 7.5 percent. And that figure is inline with what some analysts were expecting, but it adds to mounting evidence that the world's second largest economy is, in fact, losing steam.

Now the slower pace of growth, it comes as China's leaders are considering a series of economic reforms. And David McKenzie joins me now live from our Beijing bureau. And David, what is behind this slower growth?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's behind the slower growth is quite a complicated answer to a simple question, because in fact the slower growth it's been coming for awhile, many analysts predict. And the question is what is all the fuss about? 7.5 percent, that would be really an extraordinary high number for large parts of the world's economies, but here in China it pales in comparison to the double digit growth we saw here in China for several decades.

There is a sense, though, Kristie that the Chinese government is trying to manage a slowdown of this economy, trying to move away from manufacturing and export and move towards a more consumer-driven model. Why has the number depressed?

Well, there is a sense that there is lower demand from export - importing countries for Chinese products. There's also a somewhat depressed demand here for manufacturing in China.

It's not all bad news, there were some positive numbers today. But overall sense is that Chinese economy is slowing. And the real question is whether the Chinese leadership can manage that slowdown and avoid any major hard landings - Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right, because it's about the nature of the slowdown, isn't it? I mean, is this a gradual fine tuning to get China to reach a more sustainable pace, something that the leadership can, indeed, manage. Or is it something far more worrying? What are experts, what are economists telling you?

MCKENZIE: Well, they're saying really the economists that I've spoken to that this is a slowdown in part managed directly from the government. It's also must be scene as a kind of tough love from the government towards lenders, particularly smaller banks and provincial administrations here in China.

The fact that Chinese credit has been extraordinarily high and the proportion of credit to growth has been very worrying to international economists.

This number, again, points to the fact that the Chinese government isn't willing to just flood the market with cash and bailout either - in a big sense - or bail out in a small way, these various institutions, that they want to see more efficiency in the Chinese market. They want to it moving away from a command economy where the government can just kind of stick in money whenever it wants and transition to a more normal developed economy.

Again, the big risks of that, economists tell me, that there will be a major hiccup at some point, or that they cannot manage the slowdown carefully and in a considered way, and that could cause an even more rapid slowdown in China, which obviously, being the second largest economy in the world, would have a major impact on the global economy, particularly resource heavy countries exporting to China.

LU STOUT: All right, David McKenzie, joining us live from Beijing, many thanks indeed for that.

Now let's take you back to Egypt. Now we told you about violence a few minutes ago. But the country's political divide and the unrest, that continues to be played out on the streets of Cairo. You have the camps for and against the deposed President Mohamed Morsy. They have called for more rallies today. But Egypt's interim government is moving ahead with some prominent figures appointed to key posts, and a top U.S. diplomat is in Egypt today meeting with the interim leaders.

Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is following all these developments from Cairo. He joins us now. And Nick, as the U.S envoy, it is there in Cairo for talks, what is the situation on the streets?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is calm behind me. And in fact Tahrir Square where the anti-Morsy protests were, have been significantly lower in numbers the past few nights.

Everyone called back on the streets, though, tonight for the Iftar Dinner that breaks the traditional day-time Ramadan fast in this particular period.

You mentioned William Burns, the U.S. deputy secretary of state. Well, he has, according to state television here, met the interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi. He should also about noon local time here have also met the chief of the army here, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. A lot on their agenda, because clearly Washington called two days ago for the release of ousted President Mohamed Morsy still being held in an unknown - disclosed location somewhere in Cairo.

And of course that's something which is not really featured in the rhetoric of the interim government. They've been pushing ahead with appointing their own cabinet here, western friendly faces like a foreign minister Nabil Fahmy, well known as a Washington friendly ambassador there. And of course, former nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei as the vice president with a responsibility for international affairs.

Getting that international relations back on track as quickly as possible, and I think perhaps trying to get their cabinet in shape to deliver the technocrat efficiency, they promised the people who are behind me in Tahrir campaign for the removal of President Morsy.

But tension, of course, in that relationship because of the U.S. demand to see Morsy released.

But all eyes really on the streets, Kristie, to see whether or not there is an adequate fuel in the people to appear behind me in Tahrir. We do still know that the pro-Morsy crowds are there in their thousands on the other side of town. And they seem to be digging in for what looks like the long haul, Kristie.

LU STOUT: So two rival rallies at this state, but the situation calm right now. And a day before the U.S. envoy arrived to sort of size up the political progress there. What do the Egyptian military chiefs say about ousting Morsy and the army's political intentions?

WALSH: Well, General al-Sisi released a very lengthy statement on military Facebook page in which, in short, he said, look, we only intervened because we were concerned about the economic and social collapse of Egypt.

Now remember, the critics for the Brotherhood administration led by Mohamed Morsy said that they were incompetent, at fault, and effectively were allowing the country's economy to crash here.

He also said most importantly to try and justify the extent of the military intervention, the forceful way in which they took Morsy from power that they had twice sent envoys to him to suggest he hold a referendum on his administration. That's obviously the military trying to suggest they tried democratic means before they intervened quite so directly.

That's part of a general PR offensive we've seen from the military and the interim government here to show they're moving down towards this road map they've promised when they came to power that would see potentially presidential elections as early as next year.

So, we're yet to really see exactly what that's doing to the number of people willing to turn out in protest and support of them. Though I will say the numbers have been low behind me in Tahrir the past couple of nights.

The other question, though, is how much longer will the military allow the pro-Morsy protests to continue. They dropped leaflets over the weekend, telling them they'd be safe to stay there. But bear in mind, they're sitting tight on some key roads in the capital. So a clock must be ticking surely somewhere, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Nick Paton Walsh joining us live from the Egyptian capital, thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead, India says good-bye to one of its oldest forms of communication: the telegram. Find out why this 163-year-old service was cut finally next on CNN.


LU STOUT: Another gorgeous night here in Hong Kong. And you are back watching News Stream.

Now before Twitter, before texting, and before even the telephone there was the telegram. And now India's state run telegram service that once connecting millions across the country has closed its doors after 163 years of operations. Sumnima Udas has this look at the end of an era.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 56-year-old Ulm Dat (ph) is a man in a hurry. In his pouch, dozens of telegrams to deliver, even in searing temperatures and monsoon rains, he cycles from one part of Delhi to another.

"Telegrams are a great way to communicate," he says. "Everybody can send one whether he's illiterate or literate, rich or poor."

Dat (ph) works as a messenger for the 163-year-old Indian telegraph service which is now winding up forever.

Under the colonial arches in New Delhi, nostalgia lingers, scenes reminiscent of a different time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): A, or B, or C?

UDAS: Arke Goyal (ph) explains how he used to translate sounds into words using the morose code. Goyal (ph) joined the telegraph service 39- years-ago. It was his dream, proud to be the messenger of important events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In villages, it would wait anxiously wondering what news each telegram brings - happy news, sad news, if someone has had a son, if someone has died.

UDAS: In its heyday in the 1980s, tens of thousands of employees used to type away on 24 hour shifts, sending and receiving some 600,000 telegrams a day. Since the arrival of mobile phones and e-mail, though, demand has dwindled.

Many of the telegrams today, citizen complaints.

Fourth reminder, sixth reminder, these are all telegrams addressed to the president of India requesting him not to stop the service. This one they've just received from a far away state, says, "you may increase the cost, but please do not discontinue the telegram services."

Authorities say with more than $20 million in losses every year, it's financially unviable.

In its last few days, the wistful (inaudible) may end.

You've got so many options. You've got e-mail, you've got mobile phones, you've got Skype, fiber, why are you sending a telegram?

ROSALYN DMELLO, WRITER: I was so keen on being able to send one at least just to know what it was like.

UDAS: Rosalyn Dmello has never sent a telegram before, but as she completes the last chapter of her first novel, Dmello marks the occasion by submitting it as a telegram. And when every word counts, a new sense of meaning emerges.

DMELLO: The very fact that you have to put each word into a different column. And obviously, because you're paying for each word, there the sense of value that each word has.

UDAS: This particular telegram did not come cheap. But for the sake of history and a book, it's worth every penny.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.


LU STOUT: Now U.S. President Barack Obama has appealed for calm after a U.S. jury acquitted George Zimmerman of a murder charge. And ahead, we'll take a closer look at some of the demonstrations that have been taking place across the country.

And, as feared, Typhoon Soulik wreaked havoc on Taiwan. We will assess the damage. Stay with us.


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

Now a civil rights leader has called for George Zimmerman to face criminal charges, saying the former neighborhood watch volunteer targeted Trayvon Martin because of his race. Now Zimmerman's acquittal in Martin's killing has sparked protests across the United States.

Now there is mounting evidence that China's economy is slowing down. Second quarter GDP grew at 7.5 percent over the previous year. Those figures are inline with what analysts expected, but they signal a downward trend of the world's second largest economy.

The successor of the former South African president Nelson Mandela says Mandela's health is improving. Now former president Thabo Mbeki says his condition remains critical, but stable and that he believes the 94- year-old statesman will eventually be allowed to return home. Now Mandela has been in hospital since early June with a lung infection.

Now let's return to our top story, the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial. Now CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now live from New York. Thank you so much for joining us here on CNN International. And I saw your reaction to the verdict on Twitter, three words, quote, not guilty wow.

So Jeffrey, you're reaction? And do you think it was the right verdict?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Boy, that's a tough, tough call. I usually have a very clear idea of how I feel about a trial. This one was hard. I think it was an understandable verdict. There were a lot of ambiguities in the jury, in the prosecution's presentation. There was no eyewitness except George Zimmerman who had a self-serving explanation obviously.

And the prosecution never really established what happened, who was the aggressor, who made the first punch. And the jury just found that they couldn't find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime took place here.

LU STOUT: Yeah, because of those ambiguities, the jury in the end, they saw reasonable doubt. But the American public apparently did not. You know, there's so much anger, so much outrage, many, many protests over the weekend. So why the disconnect here?

TOOBIN: Well, I wouldn't - I think that might be a bit of an overstatement. The American public did not react, a handful of people in a handful of cities reacted because this is part of a pattern in American history, an African-American boy being killed by a white man, that is a - that is a very ugly resonance in American history for a lot of people of all races. And people were outraged by the verdict.

But these protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, brief, and you know life goes on.

But it is quite clear that this case touched a nerve for some people and a lot of people are - and some of those people are angry about it.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it did touch a nerve. We know that the U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the case. But is there legal ground to make this a federal civil rights case?

TOOBIN: See, what's unusual about these kinds of cases is that there is the possibility for a second prosecution, because most crimes in the United States are prosecuted by the states, here Florida. But when there is the possibility of a racial hate crime, the federal government can step in and there is now a federal investigation.

The answer is it is possible, but frankly I think somewhat unlikely. A federal case would be almost identical, the facts would be identical, the burden of proof would be identical, but the state of mind that the prosecutors would have to prove would not be exactly identical, but very similar.

And in light of that, I'm sure the federal prosecutors will be asking themselves, well, why would we expect any different result? And so for that reason I think it's probably unlikely that a federal prosecution will take place, but it is not out of the question.

LU STOUT: All right, unlikely but not out of the question.

Now all eyes now on the family of Trayvon Martin and their next legal move. If they are to file a civil suit, explain that process to us. What would happen?

TOOBIN: Right. The - this was a criminal case that ended - that ended over the weekend, and that could have resulted in George Zimmerman going to prison for a very long time. In the American system, someone who has been the victim of an assault, or that person's estate, their family, can sue for money damages. This happened most famously in the OJ Simpson case. OJ Simpson was acquitted in criminal court in California, but his victims' families sued for money damages and won a very large award. This could happen in this case as well.

There is a lower burden of proof in a civil case. You only have to prove that it is more probable than not that this offense took place.

The problem with a civil suit here is there's no evidence that George Zimmerman has any money to speak of. So, yes, they could get a judgment against George Zimmerman potentially, but what would that mean in the real world and would it be worth it to go to all the trouble of filing a civil lawsuit if there was no money at the end of the line?

LU STOUT: And a final question for you, the Zimmerman trial highlighted the stand your ground rights in the U.S. So what is the case, what does it mean for the self-defense rights in the U.S. especially in states like Florida? And do you think we're going to see an expansion of that ahead?

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, one of the big changes in American life in the last 20 years has been not only the more - the greater prevalence of guns, but the greater prevalence of gun rights, the idea that you have the right, in many states, to carry a gun, you have the right to carry a gun in a concealed way, the way that George Zimmerman was.

And particularly in southern, more conservative states, juries are very sympathetic to the idea that you have the right to a gun, you have the right to defend yourself, you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force if necessary. And frankly, I don't see that changing. If you look at the Republicans who are in charge in most of the most conservative states, like Florida, they are very protective of gun rights. And they believe that gun - that individuals should have the right to protect themselves with guns. And I don't see that changing any time soon.

LU STOUT: Well, Jeffrey Toobin, your legal analysis always very straightfoward, very clear. Thank you so much for joining us here on News Stream. Take care.

Now one of the journalists who broke the Edward Snowden story says that the man who revealed that there was a U.S. surveillance system, he has even more damaging information, but that is his insurance policy.

Now the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald says it could be a, quote, "nightmare for the U.S. government if the information is revealed."

Now for weeks, Snowden has been stuck in a Moscow airport. And Russian immigration officials say that they have not yet received an application from him for asylum.

But several countries in Latin America have offered Snowden refuge. One of them is Ecuador. But there is a touch of irony in that as Rafael Romo now explains, a new law there bans the publication of certain private communication.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORREPSONDENT: It's front page news in Ecuador, 19 media companies have to get rid of parallel businesses. It's part of a new media law that also creates a watch dog group that can force media outlets to issue apologies in libel cases. It can also impose steep fines.

STEPHEN KUFFNER, ECUADORAN JOURNALIST: If you look at several legal initiatives, including this media law, whistle-blowing is a crime. And there's - you can see it in this media law, you see it in other restrictions are being planned in a new penal code.

ROMO: Kuffner and other journalists find this part of the law ironic, since Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa has said his country would grant asylum to leaker Edward Snowden and has been helping Julian Assange.

An Ecuadoran journalist doing the same in his country, he says, would face harsh penalties.

KUFFNER: Absolutely. If it was not Edward Snowden, but Eduadro Sanchez (ph), he would have had a lot of trouble.

ROMO: That's a double standard.

KUFFNER: That is a double standard.

ROMO: In 2011, columnist and media Emilio Palacio was sued for defamation by President Rafael Correa. The case, denounced by freedom of the press advocates in Ecuador ended with a three year jail sentence for Palacio and a $40 million fine against the columnist's newspaper El Universo.

Palacio was granted asylum in the United States last year.

(on camera): But government officials say the law was necessary, because here in Ecuador, traditionally the media had been concentrated in the hands of a few companies. Those companies, they say, have not served the people or democracy well.

(voice-over): Romel Hudado (ph) is a constitutional attorney who was involved in drafting the media law. He says there's no double standard, because the legislation wouldn't punish cases where whistle-blowers were protecting the interests of the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The cases of Assange and Snowden are different. They have to do with international relations and the concept and assisting somebody when there's a belief that what he has done ratified justice and it's not a violation of our rights.

ROMO: Correa's government has launched new government TV and radio stations in what officials say is an effort to better inform and represent the people. But journalists fear the new law marks the beginning of an era where freedom of expression is tolerated only as long as it doesn't interfere with government interests.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Quito.


LU STOUT: Now a major clean-up operation is underway in Taiwan and southeastern China after Typhoon Soulik struck over the weekend. At least six people were killed.

Now Soulik brought down hundreds of trees in Taiwan. Officials say power to thousands of homes was knocked out.

And this was the scene as the storm moved over Fujian and Guangdong provinces in China. Hundreds of thousands there were evacuated from their homes before it hit.

And although Soulik has weakened, it is expected to deliver even more rain to some already soaked areas.

Let's get the details now from Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center - Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, yeah, it has been bringing some very heavy rain. You even had some severe thunderstorm and severe rain storm warnings earlier today, earlier this morning your time there in Hong Kong. We're looking at the potential for some more heavy rain across the areas.

I want to show you something pretty interesting, Kristie. Just how this storm actually developed.

Let's go ahead and start over here. This is what it looked like last week, remember, as the storm was moving on through. That's what it looked like as it moved over Taiwan.

Like you mentioned, some of these areas had over a meter, over a meter of rainfall as the storm was moving through. Pretty significant stuff that brought so much devastation through the area.

You know, the winds were pretty strong, but it was the rain, really that caused a lot of the problems. And then the storm moved over into mainland China and this is what it looks like now. Not a lot left over from it, but enough moisture here to still cause some problems.

These are some of the rainfall totals. And you can see in Fengshan they had 700 millimeters of rain. In Alishan, 900 millimeters of rain.

There is the belief that some areas may have had more rainfall than that, there were just no rain gauges, really, to measure that kind of rainfall.

So anyway, here we are to what we have today. The remnants of the storm pretty much dissipated now, but there's still enough moisture in this area that we can still see some potential for some flooding so that's skill going to be a concern as we head through the next 24 hours, actually the next couple of days. You can see a lot of moisture still hanging on here.

And remember that there's been so much rainfall here already that any amount of rain is really going to cause some problems. A potential for landslides, the potential for some more flash flooding is still a huge concern.

Most of the heavier rain has been farther to the north. And I'm going to show you that in just a moment, but before we get away from the tropics here, I do want to show you that there is the potential for a new storm to develop, this one just east of the Philippines. Right now, the - it's just kind of disorganized, but it could maybe in the next couple of days become something a bit more organized and getting closer to Luzon probably. We'll have to wait and see what happens with this.

For now, it is bringing some rain showers across central and northern Philippines, but you can see from this forecast precipitation graphic here that most of the rain is expected to remain offshore at least for the next couple of days.

That's a little bit of good news. We'll wait and see what happens across northern Luzon in the next couple of days.

We've had another heavy rain round - of rain, I should say - across northeastern China and moving across the Korean peninsula. The potential for flooding still remains here. A lot of moisture coming through. Really concerned about some of this. Expect some travel delays also here as well.

Meanwhile, back over toward mainland Japan here, so hot still. 21 right now in Tokyo. I want to show you some of the - I like this picture - that's a crowded pool, right? This is in Tokyo, because temperatures here have been some 5 to 6 degrees above the average over Honshu.

These are some of the temperatures from Sunday. Again today, they were fairly similar to this - 34 in Tokyo for the daytime high. That's pretty high. You've got to remember that that's in the shade.

Last but not least, it's still quite hot as we head back over toward Europe.

Look at some of these temperatures. 30 degrees in London - yikes. We are dealing with some of the warmest conditions so far this entire year. Look at this, 28 in London right now. So you're well on your way to close to 30 degrees again today.

Also, quite warm in Paris at 28 and also as we head farther to the south across the Iberian peninsula, Madrid sizzling at 32.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, a lot of high temps. I love that picture you shared of the very crowded swimming pool. You know, just whatever it takes to keep cool, right?

RAMOS: That's right.

LU STOUT: Mari Ramos there, thank you.

Now, Israel is not making any official comment about reports that it carried out an attack in northern Syria earlier this month. Now the target was reportedly a shipment of Russian missiles at the Syrian port city of Lakatia. But while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not confirm the report, he did outline what Israel's policy is.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Every time something happens in the Middle East, Israel is accused. And most often, it's accused - and I'm not in the habit of saying what we did or we didn't do.

I'll tell you what my policy is. My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah and other terror groups. Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we stand by that policy.


LU STOUT: And as the Syrian civil war grinds on, the Israeli occupied Golan Heights have become particularly tense. Now Vladimir Duthiers now on the preparations Israeli forces are taking.


VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Israeli army's Golani brigade wraps up a large two week exercise on the Golan Heights. This drill was aimed not a preparing for an all-out war, but to respond to a new threat that has emerged on this once quiet outback facing Syria.

LT. COLONEL ANAN ABBAS, ISRAELI COMMANDER (through translator): We're making sure that there will be no penetration through the northern border of Israel.

DUTHIERS: Lieutenant Colonel Anan Abbas, the deputy commander of the area, showed us the crossing in Quinetra (ph) where a large skirmish took place between rebels and the Syrian army last month.

He takes us into no-man's land and points to the area where in June Israel's military forces faced an almost explosive situation.

ABBAS (through translator): All the burned ground you have here is a result of the fighting that happened here.

DUTHIERS: To strike back at the rebels, the Syrian army moved several tanks and armored vehicles into the area while Israel had tanks, special forces and the air force at the ready.

(on camera): How close do you feel on that day during all of this fighting that you came to an all-out response?

ABBAS (through translator): If we had seen that there'd been a leakage of direct fire into our territory, we would have reacted immediately and destroyed the source of fire.

DUTHIERS: The Israelis are also beefing up their intelligence gathering, tripling resources over the last six months. Soldiers now monitor this area around the clock.

The IDF shared some pictures showing Syrian army movement right next to the security fence.

In this video given to us by the IDF, you can see Syrian mortar positions firing at Israeli forces.

Within minutes, the position is taken out by an Israeli Tamoz (ph) missile.

Colonel Abbas takes us to an observation point and shows us where the mortars were fired.

ABBAS (through translator): For three days, the Syrian anti-aircraft position fired at our patrols and hit them.

DUTHIERS: The Syrian rebels controlled this area down in the valley below me. Now the Syrian military has cut it off from the rest of the country. Israeli defense forces say that they've observed the Syrian army and the rebels engaged in hand-to-hand combat just in this forest right down here. This has been happening all up and down the front.

That's why the army is on high alert.

Israel is quickly putting up a 130 kilometer fence. That, along with the build-up of forces here indicate that the IDF are taking this latest menace very seriously.

Vladimir Duthiers, CNN, the Golan Heights.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And up next, he was one of the stars of one of the best known shows on TV. Glee star Cory Monteith dies at the age of just 31.


LU STOUT: Now, two more elite sprinters have tested positive for banned substances. Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell are two of the fastest 100 meter sprinters ever. And Jamaica's Powell, on the left here, is a former world record holder while American Tyson Gay on the right is a former world champion. And both have denied they knew they were using performance enhancing drugs. But Gay pulled out of next month's world championships.

And it is another blow to athletics signature event, the 100 meter dash has long struggled with athletes associated with doping. Here's a list of the fastest men ever. And second on the list is Tyson Gay.

As we just said he failed a drugs test.

But he is not alone. Yohan Blake, he was banned for three months in 2009 for testing positive. Asafa Powell, he tested positive on Sunday. Justin Gatlin, he was banned for four years back in 2006. And Steve Mullings, he was handed a lifetime ban. That's leaves just a handful of man who are as far as we know clean.

Now let's stay with sports and talk about professional gaming. You may not consider that a sport, but the U.S. government does. According to the gaming site Polygon, professional League of Legends players can indeed travel to the U.S. on the same visas that professional athletes use, a much simpler process than what they currently go through. League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the world. It is an online game where players form teams and battle each other. And Forbes says the final day of the game's all-star game, it drew some 18 million viewers.

Now it's a story some said is just too good to be penned by a first time author. And it turns out, they were right. Coming up next on News Stream, we'll tell you why JK Rowling decided to publish her latest work under a pseudonym.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now in the literary world, good reviews will only take you so far. Case in point, the name JK Rowling is publishing gold. Now the name Robert Galbriath, well, not so much. As Erin McLaughlin now reports, Rowling herself has just proven that even the most talented author can stand to benefit from a little magic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what that is, it's an invisibility cloak!

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The beloved mastermind behind Harry Potter's invisibility cloak has come up with a clever cover of her own. It's been revealed that JK Rowling has written another best selling book, this time using a secret identity. The Cuckoo's Calling was hailed as a brilliant debut novel. Critics called it a rare feat and the start of a fine crime career. That's great news for the supposed author, the elusive Robert Galbraith.

THOM GEIER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: She certainly took extra steps that other authors who have used pseudonyms haven't taken. She not only created this new name for herself Robert Galbraith, but she created a whole back story for this guy.

MCLAUGHLIN: On the publisher's website, Galbraith is described as a retired military man, married with two sons. But the Sunday times unraveled the mystery. And Rowling acknowledged the work as her own. Here is the statement from JK Rowling, quote, "I hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience."

Sales of the Cuckoo's Calling are now skyrocketing. They've gone up more than 500,000 percent on, making it their number one selling book, another hit to add to Rowling's billion dollar Potter empire.


LU STOUT: And that was CNN's Erin Mclaughlin reporting there.

Now, I want to tell you about a fabulous reward for performing a good deed. Emily Crass (ph) and her boyfriend, they were on their way to see her favorite singer Dave Matthews in concert. They were running a bit late for the show, but they still stopped to pick up a man on the side of the road. And Crouse (ph) quickly realized that the hitchhiker was none other than her idol Dave Matthews himself. He had gone out for a bike ride, but the back tire of his bike popped leaving him stranded with no cell phone.

So as a thank you, Dave Matthews, he invited the couple to dinner and then back stage at the show and upgraded their seats to the front row.

Now, fans of the hit Tv show Glee are expressing shock at the news that one of the shows stars has died. Now Cory Monteith was found in a Vancouver hotel room. An autopsy is to be held today. Nick Valencia has more on the investigation into Monteith's death and a look back at his life.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sudden and tragic. News of the death of 31-year-old "Glee" actor Cory Monteith stunned his closest friends. The Hollywood star found dead in a downtown Vancouver hotel room. His cause of death was not immediately clear, but at a press conference late Saturday, police ruled out foul play.

ACTING CHIEF DOUG LEPARD, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA POLICE: Mr. Monteith checked into the hotel on July 6th and was due to check out of the room today. There were others with Mr. Monteith in his room earlier last night but video and fog key entries show him returning to his room by himself in the early morning hours. And we believe he was alone when he died.

VALENCIA: "Glee" guest director Adam Shankman spoke on the phone to Monteith just hours before his death.

ADAM SHANKMAN, FRIEND OF CORY MONTEITH: He was the glue. He was the cheerleader that really held everybody together on that. That I really felt. He would always smile. He was patient. He was one -- you know, he always knew all of his lines right away. He was, you know -- he was the first to laugh when things were muddy.

VALENCIA: Monteith skyrocketed to fame in 2009. Playing a lovable heartthrob quarterback, he's credited with making the FOX TV series a hit. But for all of his success, there were stumbles. Since he was 13 years old, Monteith openly said he battled with his sobriety. It was just four months ago when the Canadian actor voluntarily checked himself into a rehab facility. His friends and girlfriend were encouraged by his steps to stay clean.

SHANKMAN: He even said, I'm feeling fantastic again, and, you know, he was obviously referring to, you know, that moment he had this year with going to rehab. So I'm, like everybody else, really devastated and confused by what happened.

VALENCIA (on camera): Investigators have not officially tied Monteith's death to substance abuse. An autopsy will be conducted on Monday.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: A sudden and shocking loss. And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.