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Fire Destroys International Terminal At Jomo Kenyatta; Ariel Castro's House Demolished; Egyptian Government Announces No More Talks With Brotherhood; Online Bullying Blamed For 14-Year Old UK Teens Death; CNN Heroes: Dr. Georges Bwelle
Aired August 7, 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 a fire breaks out at Kenya's main international airport, shutting down all flights.
Another family says their daughter was driven to suicide by online bullying.
And a heatwave hits China. We'll see if there's any relief in sight.
Now, Kenya's main airport is currently out of action after this massive fire engulfed its international terminal. Now this was the scene at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi earlier, flames and clouds of smoke shooting into the air.
Now the blaze is said to be contained. And according to the Kenya airport's Twitter account, cargo and domestic flights will restart later.
Now no word yet on when international flights might resume.
Now the Kenyan government says security at the site has been increased. And journalist Nick Hughes joins us now with the latest from Nairobi. And Nick, what is the latest you're learning about the status of the airport?
NICK HUGHES, JOURNALIST: Yes, hi Kristie. The airport is the arrivals section of the international airport is in cinders. I don't know at this point how they're going to get normal service running anywhere in the near future. This has left thousands of passengers in Kenya, also in transit at other airports coming into Kenya in limbo.
This is the high season of Kenyan tourism, with as I say, tens of thousands of tourists coming in every week.
Now they're getting the cargo running, they're getting the local flights running, but this is the destruction of half of the international airport. And it's not just the airport for Kenya, it's the airport regionally -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: As you've been reporting, the blaze engulfed the entire international terminal. Have you been able to see any of the damage firsthand?
HUGHES: No, I haven't. The airport at the moment is completely sealed off. Those journalist who got in earlier there.
Now, the problem is that they're trying to get security and fire vehicles, they're trying to get the passengers who are at the airport back into town.
This is closed off, in effect, the main artery for central Africa, and certainly the whole of Kenya, the road that runs from the coast into the capital here and then on. So not only the airport, but also the road is partly closed off. It's having far reaching -- far reaching effects indeed.
LU STOUT: And what are you starting to learn about what could have caused the fire? Now we've learned that there was recent construction on a duty free area in the international zone of the airport. Could that be a factor here?
HUGHES: The fire reportedly was started at the immigration -- the immigration section -- at the desks there where people first get their passports stamped as they're coming into Kenya. That's on the first floor.
Now there's no indication of any foul play -- well, the problem is that we don't know at all what caused this fire. And certainly we don't know why it wasn't controlled, why it was allowed to spread throughout the entire building and reduce the whole of the arrivals, which is a building unto itself, to cinders.
LU STOUT: Yeah -- very -- dramatic pictures there of the aftermath of the fire. Nick Hughes, reporter, joining us live on the line from Nairobi. Thank you so much for that.
And Nick reporting just then that tens of thousands of international travelers are now in limbo as a result of the fire and the closure.
Now the airport's closure, it could take a huge toll on Kenya's tourism industry and trade across Africa. And CNN's John Defterios is following that side of the story. He joins us now live from Abu Dhabi. And John, just how important is this airport to the Kenyan economy?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've prided themselves, Kristie, on trying to be an export hub for East Africa. First and foremost, it is the busiest airport in East Africa. And in fact, let's take a look at a graph here, it is the fourth busiest airport in Sub Sahara Africa, trailing behind Johannesburg, Cape Town, Legos, Nigeria, which is a much more populated country, and then you have Kenya.
It's important for tourism. It's very important for the export sector.
Now if we drill down into the Kenyan economy, for the last decade they've been driving up their exports into Europe and here into the Middle East as well. Tea is the number one export product. They're very big into flowers. In fact, a third of the flowers that are in the European Union come from Kenya alone. And of course, tourism is a key driver as well.
If you break down those sectors, the tea and coffee, tourism and horticulture, you're looking at about $1 billion apiece. And the airport, Jomo Kenyatta, is crucial right across the board for all three of these sectors. So we don't want to overplay it at this juncture. We don't know if it's going to reopen and have full cargo facilities going forward.
But Kenya has worked very hard -- in fact, other countries in East Africa and Sub Sahara Africa have tried to followed the Kenya model in terms of exports into Europe and into the faster growing economies of the Gulf States in the Middle East as well -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: OK, John. And hang tight, we're going to bring up some new pictures coming in from our affiliate there in Kenya, live pictures of what the international arrivals hall at that major airport in Nairobi looks like right now. Of course you can see the reporters on the scene. Earlier my producer was describing that smoke could still be seen rising from the airport. And there you see in the background there earlier. That section a critical section of the airport. Live pictures from our affiliate in Kenya right there of the international hall of this airport.
It was engulfed in flames earlier. You can see attempts to dose it with water. It looks like a jet of water behind the reporter. And you can still see the smoke rising.
Live pictures there from our affiliate of the aftermath of this huge fire at this major airport in Nairobi.
John Defterios is joining us. We've been talking about the financial impact of this. And John, you know, you were mentioning earlier that there are a number of sectors that will be affected here as a result of this. Obviously the travel industry. You were mentioning tea, agriculture. Tell us more about the impact on tourism.
DEFTERIOS: Well, just the pictures alone, Kristie, you take a look at what's taking place here. And if you had in this peak season flights in your tourism packages booked into the country, obviously one would step back and say is it wise for me to go down here. In the back of our minds, of course -- and this is not confirmed, but this does hit on the 15th anniversary of the U.S. embassy bombing as well. So it's something that comes into the mind of the tourist that's looking to Kenya and to going into East Africa for a holiday.
Let's take a look again at how important this sector is to the economy. It brings in, as I noted, just over a billion dollars a year in revenues, but that's been flat. And that's because Kenya has had its own set of challenges. They had the political uncertainty with the March elections. They had the terrorist attacks that have been sporadic with al Shabaab, which the government has taken a very heavy line against. And now you have this bombing -- or the fire at the airport as well.
Arrivals at one point, 7 million, 8 million, with the estimate now 1.4 million for 2013, sliding again. But the government had a very large target, a very high target in 2015 of 3 million.
So if you see in an incident like this, it's going to be challenging to try to hit that sort of target. And it is the second largest foreign exchange earner, just behind tea exports, the tourism sector. So they've had political setbacks, terrorist setbacks, and now a fire at the international terminal creating yet a new challenge for the government and the people of Kenya.
LU STOUT: Yeah. And this huge fire having a massive toll on Kenya's commerce and on Kenya's tourism industry. John Defterios, thank you very much indeed.
And let's stay for just a moment on these live pictures from our affiliate there in Kenya as we're watching the reporter just walk through the scene of emergency services there in front of the international terminal where earlier a fire engulfed the entire international terminal of Nairobi's Kenyatta international airport this Wednesday, causing extensive damage, no injuries, no deaths as we've learned so far, and a potentially huge financial toll as we've been discussing with John Defterios on Kenya's tourism, agriculture, travel, and commerce.
And there you see it, as the emergency workers there, the firefighters are dealing with these blazes, that they've engulfed the international terminal there in Nairobi earlier.
Now you're watching News Stream. We'll continue to keep you up with the very latest on that story out of Kenya.
But coming up next on the program, we know that foreigners are leaving Yemen over fears of a terror attack. And we'll tell you about the security situation there and the latest drone strikes.
And meanwhile in China there's been a record setting heat wave. And it continues to bake large parts of the country.
And we also have the tragic story of this 14-year-old girl who killed herself after her family says that she became a target of online bullying.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now amid fears that a terrorist attack could be imminent in Yemen, a U.S. drone strike has killed at least six suspected militants there, that's according to official sources in Yemen. Now the drone strike happened in the southern province. It's said to be the fifth one in two weeks. And this latest strike, it comes a day after the U.S. and Britain urged their citizens to leave Yemen. And now Yemen's government says it has foiled an al Qaeda plot.
Mohammed Jamjoom is following developments from Beirut. And Mohammed, what's happening inside Yemen right now. What have you learned about this foiled plot?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, it's still very tense. Yemeni government officials still quite worried about the security situation there. And we've heard from the spokesman for the prime minister in Yemen who is saying that authorities foiled a plot earlier this week by al Qaeda to try to capture strategic locations, ports as well as pipelines in the provinces of Mukalla and Shabwah.
This has been a longstanding plot by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They have tried in the past to take over parts of the country. In fact, in 2011 and 2012, they were successful in taking over most of Abyan Province in the south of the country. They ruled there for 14 months before Yemen's military was able to route them out.
So a lot of concern, also a lot of worry today because of something else that happened last night. We heard from a Yemeni government official that a military helicopter that was inspecting the oil pipeline in Marab (ph), this is a pipeline that has been blown up on many occasions by militants and tribesmen, that this military helicopter was shot down, that at least eight people killed as a result, including the brigadier commander of the 107th regiment and that it's possible that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was behind this attack -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: And we know that there were a number of U.S. drone strikes happening the last few days in the last week. Has the Yemeni government given the U.S. the green light to carry out these strikes and to continue doing so against al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen militants?
JAMJOOM: The Yemeni government does have a tacit agreement with the U.S. government for the U.S. government to carry out drone strikes in Yemen. Most of the time these drone strikes, if not all of the time, happen from the base in Saudi Arabia operated by the CIA. Those are the drones that take off from that secret base. Then they go into Yemeni airspace and that's where they launch their attacks against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targets.
This is something that has traditionally caused a lot of tension between the Yemenis and the U.S. The population there, there's a rising anger towards America because of these drone strikes, because Yemenis say that more and more innocent civilians are being killed as a result.
Right now, though, the Yemeni-U.S. Relationship is being frayed for reasons other than that as well. Take a look at our report on what's going on in Yemen right now.
JAMJOOM: Sanaa is at a standstill and nerves are on edge, tanks throughout Yemen's capital only add to the tension. A threat level so serious, U.S. and British personnel have been evacuated with many people worrying attacks against embassies could be imminent. But why now? And why Yemen?
The poorest country in the Middle East is home to what many experts consider to be the most dangerous branch of al Qaeda. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, was formed in 2009 when al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia merged with al Qaeda in Yemen.
Its extremely porous borders and harsh mountainous terrain make Yemen easy for militants to enter and hide. Despite years of U.S. drone strikes targeting its leadership, the group has yet to be vanquished. Some analysts even suggest it has yet to be seriously weakened.
AQAP first got the attention of the world on Christmas Day 2009 with a failed attempt to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit.
But it's violence has not only been directed toward foreign targets. Last year, suicide bombers infiltrated a military parade close to one of the most heavily guarded bases in the country. More than 100 soldiers were killed.
In 2011, one of AQAP's affiliates ruled a southern province for more than a year, inflicting punishment so brutal it was deemed a human rights catastrophe. One example, a man accused of spying for the U.S. was killed, then his remains crucified.
Shocking developments in a country that's been so heavily supported by allies like the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, and Yemen's neighbor to the north.
Just last week, Yemen's president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi met with U.S. President Barack Obama, both stressed their continued commitment to fighting terror.
But now a key partnership is being put to the test. The Yemeni embassy in Washington, D.C. says embassy evacuations will serve the interests of extremists. The U.S. maintains it may be evacuating its personnel, but it isn't abandoning its ally.
JAMJOOM: It has been the stated aim for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to make Yemen an Islamic emirate of that organization. They have tried to do so many times in the past. They are continuing to try to do so now. And one of the reasons Yemen is so important to the U.S. and other allies of Yemen, not just because AQAP has tried to launch attacks against the west, has tried to launch spectacular attacks against the U.S., but also because they've launched attacks against their neighbor to the north Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world. If there is less stability on the border with Saudi Arabia, that could also drive up the price of oil for the world.
A big concern for the region, for the rest of the world, this terror threat still a major threat and it's still very tense in Yemen at this hour -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for us, thank you.
Now U.S. President Barack Obama has made his first remarks on the latest al Qaeda terror threat and security precautions taken in response. And he sat down with late night talk show host Jay Leno.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, it's significant enough that we're taking every precaution. We had already done a lot to bolster embassy security around the world, but especially in the Middle East, North Africa, where the threats tend to be highest. And whenever we see a threat stream that we think is specific enough that we can take some specific precautions within a certain time frame then we do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now Mr. Obama also said that closing the embassies is not an overreaction. And when asked about the controversial NSA surveillance program, the president called it a critical component to counter terrorism. But he did not confirm whether it turned up the latest threat information.
Now to Egypt where state media reports that the country's army backed government will not be holding any more talks to try to resolve an impasse with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy. Now the news comes after some two weeks of international mediation efforts. And those efforts included a visit from the EU's top diplomat and just recently from two U.S. Senators.
Now the reports go on to say that Egypt's presidency is demanding Morsy supporters stop all violence now.
Let's get the very latest with senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. She joins us now live from Cairo. And Arwa, what led to the breakdown in this talks?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was the sense that these talks were perhaps more of a show or an attempt to appease the various international players who were actually quite alarmed at the deterioration in this situation here, especially following the bloodshed that took place last weekend. We've been having this flurry of diplomatic activity, all sorts of mediation attempts at the local levels as well.
But it's not really all that surprising that the government is now saying enough. We've been entertaining these talks for around two weeks now. And we need to really begin to take action, to clear these demonstrators, these sit-ins from the streets. Exactly how that is going to take place, we're going to have to wait and see.
We had been told in the past that security forces would initially be setting up a cordon.
One of the main sticking points, of course, when it came to all of this was exactly what would be the fate of deposed President Mohamed Morsy. We don't know the details of whatever deal may or may not have even been on the table, but we do know that of course the Muslim Brotherhood at the -- in the best case, perhaps, scenario wanted to somehow see him reinstated. That, of course, was not going to happen. But at the very least, they offered some sort of pardon, safe passage out of the country.
And we do know that the various international players have also been urging the interim government and the military to at least release what they were calling to be political prisoners, members of the Muslim Brotherhood had been detained as well.
When it comes to the government's perspective on all of this, though, Kristie, they say that these individuals, even the deposed president himself, were not necessarily political prisoners, because the interim government is filing criminal charges against them.
LU STOUT: And since the news of the breakdown of these talks, have you seen any sort of reaction out on the streets from protesters, supporters of Mohammed Morsy or any increase in security?
DAMON: We haven't actually seen any increase in security just yet. We are also about the enter the Eid holiday that comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. So it's a pretty sensitive time frame at this point in time.
The deposed president's supporters naturally continuing to defy these orders, to clear out of the various locations. It seems as if the more the government threatens to use force against them, the more the government urges them to leave these locations even though it does continue to provide them -- or at least promise them safe passage, the more determined they end up being in wanting to stay there.
For them, this is very much the last card that they have to play. And so the sense is that they are going to try to, at the very least, see this until the very end.
None of this, of course, Kristie, bodes well for the future of this country at this point.
LU STOUT: That's right, so much uncertainty there. Arwa Damon reporting for us live in Cairo. Thank you so much for that update.
Now meanwhile in Tunisia, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in the capital Tunis on Tuesday. Now the protesters say that they want to country's Islamist-led government to resign.
Earlier on Tuesday, the national body elected to forge consensus on a new constitution was suspended.
Now Tunisia has been embroiled in political unrest for months. And protesters blame Islamist militants for the assassinations of two opposition leaders.
Now Shanghai has had a very, very hot summer. And up next, we'll look at the heat wave that is simply baking parts of China. Find out what people are doing to keep cool.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now large parts of eastern and southern China are dealing with a record setting heat wave. Now we're talking about temperatures peaking at more than 40 degrees Celsius or over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And there is not going to be any relief in the next few days as temperatures are set to stay high around that region.
Let's get more on this heat wave that is gripping China with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, millions of people affected and some of the hottest temperatures in over 100 years across many of these areas. So it is a fairly serious situation that continues to develop here.
Amazingly, there haven't been any huge blackouts from this. But let's go ahead and start with the record temperatures.
So we just got to 40.8 degrees, an all-time record high set on Wednesday for Shanghai. Remember yesterday we were saying, oh, it's 40.6 - - 40.6 was the old record. So you're at 40.8, rounded off to 41 again. But that is an all-time record high for the city.
Now this is the third time that these record high temperatures have been reached in the last two weeks alone.
We did see those temperatures back in July when we first got to that 40.6. But now, again, that 40.8, the all-time record. And they've been keeping temperature records in Shanghai for quite a long time. So 140 years, they haven't seen temperatures this hot. So this is pretty significant.
And unfortunately this forecast is for those near record high temperatures that are going to be quite challenging over the next few days are going to continue here. So that is still a huge concern.
When we look at some of the temperatures from yesterday, well there's your record high in Shanghai, but notice as we continue down the list, we're looking at temperatures well above the average for this time of year. That's the air temperature in the shade, that's not counting the humidity. It feels a lot hotter when you factor that in.
35 right now in Shanghai. So even this late -- that's a concern, because even overnight the temperatures don't really cool down very much.
Those hazy, hot and humid conditions will continue here. A little bit of relief to areas to the north, even though Beijing got to 30 degrees anyway.
Notice the heavy rain here across Southeast Asia. That is because our tropical storm is moving in. And you can see all of the moisture, we talked about this one yesterday as well. It's going to be fizzling out as it interacts with land now within the next 24 hours. But the main threat will continue to be the heavy rain that's expected along these areas, the threat for flooding and mudslides. And that would include these areas right here, 8 to 15 centimeters of additional rainfall not out of the question.
Northern areas of the Bay of Bengal also getting some very heavy rain, this having to do with the monsoon. And you can see it back over into parts of India as well.
Pakistan has been having some extremely heavy rainfall as well. Those dangerous downpours continue. This is from Quetta. Any amount of rain that falls here is going to be a huge concern for people living in this region. So this is definitely another story that we'll continue to monitor. They have over 160,000 people already that had been affected there by the flooding.
But with my last 45 seconds or so, Kristie, I want to talk about something a little bit different. This is also potentially hazardous, but we're going to be looking up to the skies, way up. And you're looking at a map of the solar system. You see all this stuff? Well, there's the sun, there's the orbit of Mercury, orbit of Venus, and there's the orbit of earth.
And all of these lines that you see here, it looks like one of those drawings we used to do as kids with those like spiral thingies. Well, this is actually -- what you're looking at here is the potentially hazardous asteroids that are circling near Earth.
When you look at this over here, what we have is more than 1,400 -- 1,400 PHAs, or potentially hazardous asteroids, that are in these orbits that are near Earth. That sounds so scary.
I mean, when you looking at space, that's a huge area that we're talking about of course.
What NASA is saying is, we have to know where these are. And these are the ones that they know about. From these, there's no direct threat for at least 100 years with these orbits that are near Earth.
The thing to remember is, the ones that they don't know about, that can catch us by surprise. That's why they say it's so important to keep watching.
So there you go, keep watching.
Potentially hazardous asteroids, no need to phone home or anything like that just yet.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah, but still, this is like really important for us to know.
You know, in addition to the travel advisory, Mari, I want an asteroid advisory, because you're going to play your role in saving the planet one day. I just know it.
Mari Ramos there. Thank you. And thank you for watching the skies.
Now you are watching News Stream. And still to come on the program, the Cleveland house where three women were held captive for a decade is being demolished this very hour. And we will take you there live as this happens.
And a father calls on the British government to act, saying his teenage daughter was driven to suicide by online bullies.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now a massive fire at Kenya's main international airport has been contained. And flights in and out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Nairobi have been suspended for hours. But according to the Kenya airport's Twitter account, domestic and cargo services are set to resume later this Wednesday. They have not said when international flights will restart.
Now Egypt's state media reports that the country's army backed government will not be holding any more talks with supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy to try to resolve a political impasse. And the news comes after some two weeks of international mediation efforts.
As foreign nationals leave Yemen amid the threat of a terror attack, Yemen's government says it has foiled a plot by al Qaeda. A prime minister spokesman says militants plan to capture oil and gas facilities and seize two key ports. Also on Wednesday, officials say a U.S. drone strike killed at least six suspected militants. It was the fifth such strike in two weeks.
Now let's go back to our top story, the massive fire that shut down Kenya's main international airport. Now resident aviation expert Richard Quest joins us now live from CNN Center. And Richard, what is the very latest you're learning about the shutdown and how it will affect international travelers?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the fire -- the seat of the fire, if you like, was in the immigration and the arrivals hall for the international passenger section of the airport. So that obviously has a dramatic effect for all incoming and outgoing international flights to Nairobi.
It has a spillover and knock on effect to the rest of the airport.
You have to understand when there is ever any incident at an airport, particularly one of this size, and one that is going to require the fire brigade to attend, those -- no matter what the incident, you've got to shut down the airport, because those resources are not available if there was to be an air accident.
So the entire airport shuts down.
And then you start to look at what can you get moving again. And in the case of Nairobi at Kenyatta Airport, what they've determined, because this was in the international section, they can get domestic travel moving again, albeit very slowly, and they can convert one of the cargo hangars, they've now got permission to use that for domestic flights check-in and for passengers. And that's what they're going to be doing.
But let's be clear about this, Kristie, it's going to be very, very messy, very, very slow, because here you have an airport that has been brought to its knees by this fire as indeed any airport in this situation would be in a most -- would be in a similar situation.
No getting away from it.
For the international passengers, well, the disruption is going to be long and it is going to be painful. Kenya airways, which is the main hub carrier at the airport, obviously uses Kenyatta as its main hub in and out as an east -- East African hub and over towards Asia. And that is going to be major problems for passengers there.
LU STOUT: And can you give us a sense of how critical Kenyatta International is as a major travel hub, not just for Kenya, but in Africa. How much air traffic goes through?
QUEST: Oh, a sizable amount of air travel goes through it. I was looking at the -- just getting the watch numbers up, which we can talk about in the next hour.
The point about Nairobi, Africa has very few full scale hub and spoke airports. You've got Johannesburg for South African, you've got Addis Ababa for Ethiopian on the west you've got, and you've got, of course, on the east side you've got Kenya airways -- Kenya airways and Nairobi. You've got Legos on the west, you've got Nairobi on the east.
And because of that reason, pretty much going anywhere within Africa, or indeed across over towards the oceans on the far east down towards the southeast Asia region, you can transit through places like Nairobi. And that is why in the hours ahead you've going to see a dramatic knock on effect, not just from Kenya airways, but from every other airlines that use Nairobi as their transit.
In the next hour, we're going to show you exactly the hub and spoke network of Nairobi at Kenyatta Airport. And that'll make it quite clear why this is so significant. And why even though, thank goodness, there have been no causalities, or at least none serious, why this will have a knock on economic effect for Nairobi.
Yes, you can send the planes to Mombasa, you can divert them to Rwanda, you can send them across to Uganda, but this airport, Kenyatta, is crucial to the export driven economy of flowers and agricultural produce of the economy.
LU STOUT: All right, Richard Quest there. I'm glad you mentioned it, again no casualties, but this airport fire very crippling for a number of reasons. Richard Quest reporting, thank you.
Now Japan's prime minister says that his government will take action to accelerate the cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Now the company that runs the plant has acknowledged that highly radioactive water is leaking out of the site into ground water and the harbor nearby.
Now Tepco says it has built an underground barrier to try and stop contaminated water from seeping into the ocean, but Shinzo Abe is not content to leave the cleanup in the company's hands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHINZO ABE, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN (through translator): The stability of Fukushima is also one of our tasks, notably the contaminated water problem is one that the Japanese people have a high level of interest in, and is an urgent issue to deal with. This is not an issue that we can let Tepco take complete responsibility of, and we have to deal with this at a national level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were damaged when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March of 2011. It was the world's worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Now to the U.S. state of Ohio now. And the house where this man, Ariel Castro, held three women captive for a decade.
Now demolition of that house has just started. And the aunt of one of his former captives made the first hit. And one of the survivors herself handed out yellow balloons.
Now plans call for the lot to be cleared in a single day.
And Martin Savidge is at the site. He joins me now live. And Martin, can you describe what you're seeing what's happening right now?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, yeah, it's not often I will tell you that you are at a demolition of a home and you hear people cheering, but that was exactly what happened when the first blow was struck against Ariel Castro's home.
And what the city did was they allowed a family member of Gina DeJesus, that's another one of the women held captive for almost a decade inside, to literally launch the first blow with the excavator.
Well, they've already got most of the house leveled down. And they're beginning to load it into those large open-backed semi-tractor trailer trucks and start hauling it off.
But this is a huge event in the city of Cleveland -- church bells are ringing, people gathered on the sidewalk, and city officials are also on hand monitoring all of it here.
So it's quite a phenomenal event, because let's face it, many in this community could not wait until that home was gone.
A very moving moment just before it all began. Michelle Knight, the young woman who was held the longest inside that house of horrors, showed up handing out yellow balloons. Listen to some of what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE KNIGHT, HELD CAPTIVE: I go through here as being a motivational speaker and let everybody know that they're heard, that they are loved, and there is hope for everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: The idea, of course, is that by getting rid of this house, you create something else in this community and that is hope. The plan is, first and foremost, to get it all done today. And then they want to put grass seed down there and they want to put some landscaping. And then after that, they're not sure. Maybe it's going to be a park, maybe it's going to be a playground for children.
Michelle Knight was asked what she would like to see there. She said, a statue of an angel to serve as a kind of remembrance of what that house once was. No longer a house of horrors, not part of a community looking for hope -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: And can you describe the scene immediately around you? I mean, behind you, we can see the demolition crew at work. But who else is there to witness this happen?
SAVIDGE: Well, we've got any number of city officials here, the county prosecutor, the man who was the one building the case against Ariel Castro.
I should tell you as these trucks that are loading, they realize that the debris from this house is no ordinary debris. And there's a great deal of concern that someone may want to try to get a piece of that home, for whatever twisted reason, to have it as a souvenir. So they are carefully monitoring. And when the trucks are loaded, they will be escorted to parts unknown. And that same debris will then be mixed with other demolition debris gathered from all across the city and then it will be shredded and then it will be disposed of. And the whole idea is to make sure that none of this ends up on somebody's mantle someplace, or in some way they wish to remember Ariel Castro and the house of horrors. They want it all completely gone.
So you've got the police monitoring, you've got the fire hoses playing on what remains of the debris, and they are about to enter into the basement, which of course was one of the horrible, horrible places where those young girls were often chained -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: This is an incredible moment to witness, a deeply symbolic and no doubt cathartic for the victims. Martin Savidge reporting for us. Thank you.
Now we've been following stories of online abuse here on News Stream. And now it looks like online bullying has claimed another life. The family of a 14-year-old girl in the UK says that she was driven to suicide after endless abuse posted on the Internet.
Juliet Bremner has the story.
JULIET BREMNER, ITV NEWS: To the outside world, a bubbly, friendly girl. But like most 14-year-olds, Hannah Smith had insecurities, doubts which were used to attack her.
At the family home in Lutuwa (ph), her father accepts flowers. He's convinced that anonymous bullies drove his little girl to kill herself.
In a statement he said, "I would appeal to David Cameron as prime minister and a father, to look at this to make sure these sites are properly regulated so bullying of vulnerable people like my daughter cannot take place."
It was here in her own home where she had every right to feel safe, that Hannah Smith was relenteless bullied, and by faceless individuals who she pleaded with to stop, but without success.
Mr. Smith wants the owners of Ask.fm to be prosecuted for manslaughter. Hannah faced a torrent of abuse, much of which we can't repeat. It included these exchanges, "do us all a favor and kill yourself." She replied, "wouldn't you feel bad if I did, eh?" Then, "go die, you pathetic emo." Hannah says, "I'm not pathetic. If anyone is pathetic, it's you telling people to go die."
Teenagers who knew Hannah are horrified by what's happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a shock, like -- like you wouldn't have ever thought that she would have done it, because she was just so lovely. It was really like just really hit you.
BREMNER: Her dad wants Ask.fm shut down. Do you think that is the right kind of way to go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now. Yeah, because Hannah is not the first. And by what people are saying she won't be the last if it's not -- if something isn't done about it.
BREMNER: Ask.fm says they encourage parents to report bullying and have a team of moderators. But campaigners believe it's still damaging to young minds.
SCOTT FREEMAN, CYBERSMILE FOUNDATION: I think the anonymity played a massive role, because it creates a far bigger problem in your mind, because you don't know if that's your best friend or complete strangers, people hate you around the world.
BREMNER: This is the message left by Hannah the day before she died. Unable to save her, the family now wants time and space to mourn their loss.
Juliet Bremner, ITV News, Leceistershire.
LU STOUT: And the suffering, it doesn't end there for the Smith family. Hannah's older sister Jo told the Daily Mirror newspaper that she is now being subjected to the same hateful online taunts her sister received before she died.
Now this is News Stream. And yesterday, we told you about Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon acquiring the Washington Post. After the break, we will go deeper into that story and talk about what the purchase could mean for the future of journalism. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now in the central African nation of Cameroon, there are only two doctors every 10,000 people. And even many of those lucky enough to find health care can't afford to pay for it. But this week's CNN Hero is a surgeon who devotes his personal time and income to bringing medical care and surgery to remote parts of his country for free.
Meet Dr. Georges Bwelle.
GEORGES BWELLE, DOCTOR: For a country like mine, people like to dream, to dance, to enjoy their life, but with poverty they cannot enjoy their life. To go to the village is a pleasure. If I can help two or three people, that could be great.
I saw my father ill for 23 years. Before he passed away he asked me, do you see how people suffer to see a doctor? Please, if you graduate to be a doctor help people.
My name is Georges Bwelle. I bring free surgery and health services to people of (inaudible).
They're beating the drums to say thanks to come. They can live 60 kilometers around and they are coming (inaudible).
(through translator): So are you also her for the operation?
We are starting by doing consultation.
(through translator): We will do the exams to see the possibilities for this mass.
And in the afternoon, we have a list of patients that we are going to operate.
We need our generator, because in the village there is no light.
We start doing operations until Sunday morning.
We are doing around 40 surgical operations for free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have no money, that's why they brought me here. This will change my future in my family.
BWELLE: We leave our address to all the patients that if there's any problem they can come back to us.
I help people and they are happy. I am doing that to give them opportunity to restart (ph).
LU STOUT: Dr. Georges Bwelle, a truly amazing man.
And now to our viewers, we need your help to find great stories like these. So please, go to CNNHeroes.com right now to nominate someone that you know is making a difference and deserves to be recognized.
Now still to come here on News Stream, how will Amazon's Jeff Bezos change the Washington Post? We'll speak to our regular contributor Nick Thompson in just a minute.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now it looks like Samsung is getting ready to unveil a smart watch. Now designs for the device have been published in patent filings in the U.S. and South Korea. And here is what we've learned so far.
Now it's set to be called the Samsung Galaxy Gear. And the patent says the device will provide access to the Internet and be able to send and receive phone calls, emails and messages.
Now this Korean website, it gives you an idea of what it could look like. Now the patent filings, they say it will come in the form of a wristwatch, a wristband, or a bangle.
But this is not the first time that Samsung has developed a smartwatch. Now you're looking at what Samsung says is the world's very first watch phone. And this was introduced all the way back in 1999.
Now Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post. And he's making the $250 million purchase out of his own funds, not through his company. Now Bezos plans to take the Post private. And analysts say that judging by his past investments, he is likely to forego immediate profits with a view toward the long-term.
Now with the growth of the Internet, making money has been something of a struggle for the print industry as a whole. Let's bring in our regular contributor, Nicholas Thompson, he's the editor of The New Yorker.com. And Nick, what is, in your view, the fundamental problem with newspapers today?
NICK THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, the fundamental problem is economic, right. Newspapers existed for a long time. And they had -- they do two things, they publish this hard news, which is expensive and difficult to get together. And then they provided all of these other things that were pretty easy to get, like sports scores, the weather updates, classified ads, movie listings. And those things didn't cost a whole lot and people came to them and love them.
The Internet has taken away all of those things. You can get your sports scores and your weather and your classifieds in a whole lot of other places. So the newspapers have lost a lot of the reasons people came to them, and they've lost a lot of the money, and so they've been declining for awhile.
So now, they need to figure out how to make money off the Internet, and how to keep this the long, hard, complicated reporting, which is why people go to work for newspapers, why they have such cultural respect, how to keep that going.
LU STOUT: So how do you run a successful news website?
THOMPSON: Well, the first way to do it is to it the New York Times did and become completely essentially, really invest in your reports, hire the best people, do the best things you can, come out with stuff that everybody has to read.
The Washington Post has tried to do that. They haven't done it as well as the Times. And they've dropped off and they've declined.
So one way the Washington Post, under Bezos, could survive and revive itself is to just be better, to become more essential, to hire better people, to do better stories, to report more, to do longer stuff, to do things that you can't get on the rest of the free Internet.
That's one route.
The second route is to become even tardier. This is what other, you know, website have done. And that is sort of scandalize headlines, more celebrity coverage. Maintain the veneer of seriousness, but really go hard after traffic.
My hope, of course, is that the Washington Post will choose route one and reinvest in quality and try to do everything you can do to create a product that people can't get for free elsewhere and that therefore they're willing to pay and subscribe for, and along with, you know, intelligence cost cutting and reorganization, the company can do quite well.
LU STOUT: Yeah, you want them to go for quality, not for click views.
Now, what can Jeff Bezos do, in particular, given his digital native background to turn around the Washington Post?
THOMPSON: Well, so, first of all, as you said in the intro, this is a man who looks at the long-term -- Amazon has absolutely is a long-term thinking company. So that's very good. It's not as though he's going to have to return the Washington Post to profitability in the next quarter. That's a big plus.
He also absolutely knows how to track customer data. The loyal readers of the Washington Post, a lot of them are local. They live in the area, or they're devoted fans of politics. They're going to come there all the time.
You can learn a lot from the behavior. Once he's really studied their behavior, he can figure out, OK. They like to read this journalist, so let's present that in a different way. Let's put that right on the home page when they come. Let's figure out what we can sell them.
He can figure out -- if he can do as well figuring out customer reading patterns at the Washington Post as he did figuring out customer buying patterns and recommendations and all the things that Amazon did, he can transform the Post, even if it starts out in subtle ways, into something that's much more useful and that readers engage much more deeply in.
Amazon's success wasn't just the foundational idea, which was brilliant, Amazon's success is they've also they've iterated a zillion times. They make the page, you know, tiny a fraction of a second faster, makes people come back more. The recommendations are a tiny bit better, people come back more.
And over time, they just gain customer loyalty.
If the Washington Post can be as technologically innovative in that way as Amazon was, then the paper will do great.
LU STOUT: So using data better as a way to turn around the Post.
Now can Bezos play a role in pushing journalism to the next frontier, not just at the Post, but as all news media platforms start to converge?
THOMPSON: Yeah, I think actually he can. I have a sense that over time news media is going to converge, right. So newspapers are going to become more like television stations. Long stories are going to have embedded video in them. There's going to be a way that we watch TV and interact on social networks on our screens.
So these things are coming together. We don't know exactly where it's going to end up.
But Bezos is very smart about this. He's very innovative. He not only built Amazon, he foresaw what was happening with eBooks and built the Kindle. So now he has one of the platforms with the best brand names that's going to be in this competition, that's going to be in this sort of merged media competition.
And if he can figure out where things are going before, and more accurately than everybody else, he can turn The Washington Post into something much more than a newspaper, into a larger media organization that can compete and do well. And that's another possible bright future for the paper.
LU STOUT: Yeah, as journalism media watchers, we will be watching his every move. Nick Thompson there, thank you.
THOMPSON: Thank you, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Now, before we go, I want to give you one final update on our top story this hour. Again, that massive fire at Kenya's main international airport, it has been contained and flights in and out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airpot near Nairobi have been suspended for hours. But according to the Kenya airport's Twitter account, domestic and cargo services are set to resume later this Wednesday. And a government minister told Reuters that it will use the domestic terminal for international flights, using tents for extra space.
Working to get more details on that and hope to have them for you minutes from now in World Business Today.
But that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN.