Return to Transcripts main page


G20 Summit Closes With No Syrian Consensus; Australian Liberal Party Projected To Win Election; Syrian Children Die Of Starvation; Panda Cub Learns Father; Elon Musk's "Iron Man" Laboratory

Aired September 6, 2013 - 08:00   ET


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

Now we're expecting Russian President Vladimir Putin to speak soon after world leaders failed to agree on a plan for Syria at the G20 summit.

And we will know the host of the 2020 Olympics on Saturday. We'll have reports from all three big cities.

And this is not a scene from Iron Man: how Elon Musk is turning science fiction into reality.

Now the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia is wrapping up today with no agreement on the issue that has dominated the gathering of world leaders: the crisis in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government.

Now away from the conference, we have just learned that European Union defense ministers have condemned the use of chemical weapons last month in Damascus. Their EU meeting is taking place right now in Lithuania.

But at the G20 summit, world leaders are still divided on the issue of what to do about Syria. And for the latest, let's go now to CNN's Phil Black in Moscow. And Phil, at the G20, just how deep is that divide over Syria.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this is what the world leaders apparently spent several hours talking about over dinner last night. And the report from that session sound pretty like the discussion was pretty robust, although perhaps not so much a discussion or a dialogue, but more the leaders of the countries concerned passionately restating their all very -- already very well established positions but not really coming to any common ground there.

And at the end of that meal, the end of that discussion, for want of a better word, Vladimir Putin's spokesman says there appeared to be something of almost a 50/50 split down the middle between those who want military action to happen reasonably quickly and those who oppose that idea or at least those who have concerns about taking military action without a mandate from the United Nations security council.

So what that means is that Russia is not isolated at this summit. Although it is the most vocal, the most public, and in many ways the most influential in its opposition to any sort of military action, it is not being ganged up on in any way by a diplomatic team, a majority, a broad coalition perhaps that the United States would have hoped to have built at this conference.

So what it means it looks like the United States isn't achieving that goal of building a broad international coalition in favor of that sort of military action, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now it seems that existing views that polarized further there at the G20. As you put it, Russia not alone in its stance.

Now there are reports that say that Russia is sending another ship to the eastern Mediterranean. Is this true? And why?

BLACK: There are almost daily reports in the Russian media about Russian naval movements in the Mediterranean. And it's difficult to determine precisely what's going on there, because the Russian government, its navy, doesn't really publicize these moves greatly.

But what we do know is Russia keeps a permanent naval task force in the region. And the government has said recently that they have sent in a couple of new ships just as part of regular rotations, part of preplanned movements that are not in any way related to Syria.

There have been reports of one specific naval movement that is related to Syria, and that is the separate deployment of a reconnaissance vessel to the eastern Mediterranean to keep an eye on Syria. But I stress this is -- this comes from Russian media, not from the Russian government. But according to these Russian media reports, this is not necessarily a response to an escalation, but it's just about keeping an eye on things there, not related to U.S. naval movements in the region.

LU STOUT: Thank you for that clarification there.

And in an attempt to shift Russia's position on Syria, Britain, France and the U.S. have produced new evidence that sarin gas was used in that reported attack in Syria in August. Will that affect or sway Vladimir Putin at all?

BLACK: Well, it doesn't look like it, really, Kristie, I'd have to say. Vladimir Putin said just before this G20 summit began that in theory he hadn't ruled out the idea of backing military action to punish Syria for using chemical weapons as long as there was convincing proof. But at every piece of evidence Russia says it has seen so far it's effectively labeled that as unconvincing.

Russia isn't disputing so much the issue of whether or not chemical weapons were used in Damascus on that date, it is pushing forward the theory that there remains significant doubt over just who used them. It does not believe there is enough evidence to blame the Syrian government specifically and so therefore certainly not enough evidence to take military action.

Russia continues to push the theory that it's more likely the Syrian opposition were responsible. They say that just simply makes sense. They believe from a logical assessment of the campaign on the ground they don't think the Syrian government would do that when the fight is going their way and when the Syrian government would know that it would bring some sort of international response.

And Russia is also released the findings of what it says was its own independent investigation into an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack in Aleppo in March. And it says the results of its investigation on the ground there show that the device, the projectile, the chemicals used, it all points to it being something homemade, more likely by the rebels, than by the Syrian government.

So Russia continues to inject doubt into the theory of the United States and its allies while setting a very high standard for the sort of evidence it believes would be required to prove the Syrian government was responsible -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Phil Black reporting live from Moscow. Thank you.

And while diplomats and politicians debate about what to do about Syria, the suffering of ordinary people goes on. There are critical food shortages in some areas. And as Arwa Damon reports, people are dying of starvation.

Now CNN has not been able to verify the authenticity of the video in this next report. And a warning, the images are very disturbing.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the utter devastation caused by weapons of war there is another killer working silently amid the chaos. Its first victims, the most vulnerable.

In this video uploaded to YouTube by opposition activists, two-and-a- half-year-old Ibrahim (ph) struggles for life. His body can't take solid good. It can only digest milk. But there isn't any for him.

Through Skype, we reached Dr. Abu Samer in Syria, the pediatrician who treated Ibrahim. "There are many illnesses we are confronting because of an absolute absence of food," Dr. Samer explains. We've depleted all of our food reserves. Even animal products that could act as alternatives because there are no animals left. Most of the residents to Madamidasham (ph), just to the southeast of Damascus, have long fled. But among the 15,000 who remain, an estimated 5,000 are children, under siege now for months by regime forces, cut off from all aid.

RIMA KAMAL, ICRC DAMASCUS: For us, the fact that reports keep coming in from the area indicating there are (INAUDIBLE) inside, indicating that people are dying because we don't have medical supplies, people are dying because, you know, they don't have food supplies, they don't have, and as you mentioned, probably the necessary staple as well, it a serious cause for concern.

DAMON: The ICRC's request for access have repeatedly been denied and there are hundreds of thousands of people living under a similar siege across the country. In this area, there are tanks on all sides. Only one route sporadically opens and it's high risk. Presented with the tough choice between weapons and food, the rebels say they have to choose weapons, otherwise they will all be slaughtered by the regime.

9-year-old Ahmad (ph) had a neurological disorder and there were no nutrients, no food, no medicine to sustain his already weak body.

"People are eating leaves off the trees to stave off the hunger," Dr. Abu Samer tells us. "Adults can force themselves to handle it, but the children can't. Some people rely on vegetables they can grow and their gardens," he adds. "And this doesn't give one enough vitamins. There are no proteins, no fats."

With little or no food and medicine simply unavailable, anyone with any sort of medical condition simply cannot fight it off. Ahmad had part of his intestines removed two months ago after he was hit by shrapnel in the abdomen, but there was no way to provide him with the amino acids and proteins his body needed to recover.

"The main reason is a complete lack of food ingredients that supports a child's immune system," dr. Abu Samer tells us.

We're told Ahmad died the day we spoke to the doctor. We cannot independently verify the authenticity of the videos or the causes of these children's' deaths. The ICRC also can't confirm how they died or indeed how many people are in this condition. A point of immense frustration for them.

KAMAL: Because what needs to be highlighted, these reports cannot be confirmed, for example, by international organizations because they have not had access. And that lack of access has been a concern.

DAMON: Unless the siege is broken, the doctor says, this is just the beginning. Two-year-old Ibrahim is another one of the innocent victims. The day after this video was shot, he took his final breath.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Beirut.


LU STOUT: Some haunting images there.

Now the violence in Syria has forced more than 2 million people to leave their country and to take shelter in neighboring countries. And CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he joins us live from a refugee camp in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. And Sanjay, what are you seeing?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONENT: Well, you know those 750,000 refugees that have ended up in Lebanon, some of the sickest have ended up in places like this. This is sort of a makeshift clinic that has been commanded by people who are sympathetic to the Syria -- Free Syrian Army. And they've essentially taken over this mosque and turned it into a sort of a clinic hospital.

Let me just show you. Come inside here.

You get an idea here that there are patients who are in these beds who have had all sorts of different injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to amputations who just need care that they cannot get in some of those refugee camps you were just watching.

So they come to a place like this. They are treated by doctors who are again from Syria who actually want to come and take care of patients here. But also, Kristie, to some degree at their own risk. This is a bit of a underground, secretive clinic, but they've designed it to specifically take care of people who need it the most.

LU STOUT: And Sanjay, this is a makeshift clinic dealing with some pretty serious injuries including, as you said, gunshot wounds. What kind of access to medical equipment and expertise? Is it enough there?

GUPTA: Well, it's a challenging -- it's challenging as things stand now because they have one doctor who is sort of overseeing about 50 patients in this particular makeshift clinic. But there are more refugees that are coming across the border, many of them needing medical care. And as you've been talking about this morning, Kristie, those numbers expected to go up.

There's a lot of nervousness, obviously, in Damascus about what might happen. But there's also nervousness here about being able to take care of those patients. So having enough doctors and nurses, having enough supplies, just simply having the space.

And also as I mentioned, this particular clinic. This is something that they advertise, they want to keep it somewhat secretive, because they worry they, themselves, could become the subject of attacks in the future.

So there's sort of two parallel things going on at the same time. But in short, there's not enough supplies as things stand now. And that shortfall could worsen over the next couple of weeks.

LU STOUT: I see a patient behind you appears to be a child. Is that true? And how many child victims of the conflict have you seen there at this makeshift clinic?

GUPTA: Well, you know, even since the time that we've been here, you've seen patients come in and out. There are children that are being cared for here. There is a gentlemen in the back corner who has covered his face. He does not want to be shown, but I can just tell you, he talked to me earlier, he is someone who suffered a spinal cord injury and took about three months to get him any sort of care.

So even making it to a place like this doesn't mean that it's going to be the answer for patients. Often times it's still difficult, even if they make it across the border and into a somewhat makeshift secretive clinic like this that they're going to get care at all.

So it's -- the numbers fluctuate, the numbers vary.

But again these are some of the sickest patients of all among those three-quarters of a million refugees.

LU STOUT: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joining us live. Thank you very much indeed for that update.

And if you want to help the victims of Syria's civil war, you can start right here at this website, it gives you links to more than a dozen organizations already helping refugees all over the region. You can find it at

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, reports that the U.S. National Security Agency can crack the codes that keep our online data secure.

And will this man become Australia's next prime minister? Australians get ready to vote as polls predict a victory for Tony Abbott.

And the canine companions returning home from war. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now this just in to CNN, non-essential diplomatic personnel have been ordered to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Beirut. Now a senior state department official told CNN that the measure is being taken out of, quote, an abundance of caution because of the situation in Syria as well as potential threats.

We'll have more for you on this story as we get it.

Now new documents reportedly provided by the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden showed just how vulnerable our internet data is. Now a lot of sensitive online data is encrypted, it's protected by encryption programs -- that means things like credit card numbers of scrambled so that people can't read it.

But the U.S. National Security Agency isn't just anybody. Now The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica are reporting that the NSA is able to crack most encryption programs.

OK, so what does this mean for you. How can you protect your internet privacy?

Well, here's some tips from The Guardian.

So like I said earlier the NSA can reportedly crack most encryption, but not all. So continue to, if you can, encrypt your communications if you don't already do so. And having said that, you also want to be careful of commercial encryption software, especially from large vendors. And finally if you're dealing with very sensitive information, you can transfer it offline through a USB stick.

Now less than 10 hours from now, Australians go to the polls in the country's national election. It's widely tipped that the opposition leader Tony Abbott and his conservative Liberal Party will win power.

Now the current prime minister Kevin Rudd regained the leadership in a party vote just a few months ago. And as Andrew Stephens reports, political infighting may spell the end of the ruling party's six years in government.


ANDREW STEPHENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's known as the night of the long knives. Back in June 2010, the ruling Labor Party shocked a nation and dumped its leader Kevin Rudd.

KEVIN RUDD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: This has been a very busy two- and-a-half years.

STEPHENS: Replacing him with his deputy Julia Gillard.


STEPHENS: Many saw it as the most spectacular stab in the back in Australian political history.

But it was never an easy prime ministership for Julia Gillard.

GILLARD: I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not.

STEPHENS: Almost three years into her leadership, an ugly row over sexism, rumblings within her own party, and a dismal performance in the opinion polls left Julia Gillard exposed.

RUDD: Today, I'm announcing that I will be a candidate for the position of leader of the parliamentary Labor Party.

STEPHENS: Gillard was ready. Finally, a chance to silence Kevin Rudd for good.

GILLARD: I believe anybody who enters the ballot tonight should do it on the following conditions, that if you win you're Labor Leader, that if you lose you retire from politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have just conducted the ballot. It was a spill (ph) for the position of leadership. I'm going to announce the result. It is Kevin Rudd 57 votes, Julia Gillard 45 votes.

STEPHENS: True to her word, Gillard retired from politics, taking some of her key front benches with her.

GILLARD: Kevin Rudd has been elected as leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. I congratulate Mr. Rudd on his election.

STEPHENS: Kevin Rudd was sworn in as prime minister for the second time. He could now take aim at his bitter rival, the conservative Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, a Rhodes scholar, devout Catholic, and if the opinion polls are anything to go by, Australia's next prime minister.

Andrew Stephens, CNN, Hong Kong.


LU STOUT: Now when we come back, battlefield buddies: U.S. soldiers and their canine friends from Afghanistan are reunited. We'll have this heartwarming story.


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

And it has been a very rainy week for much of east Asia, including here in Hong Kong. So will there be any improvement ahead? Let's get some answers now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. It has been very rainy across much of east Asia, not just for you guys there in Hong Kong, but all across China as we head through the Korean peninsula and in particularly over Japan. So, yes, a little bit of relief for most of you.

So let's go ahead and get started.

Notice this front that's moving, again, across the Korean Peninsula headed into Japan. You know that's going to spell some trouble for you. However, this time around the rain not expected to be as heavy.

Notice how much -- how widespread the rain is across much of southeast Asia. Here we're not seeing too much of a change as far as the rainfall is concerned. Anywhere from Vietnam all the way back over through the Bay of Bengal and into parts of India.

But let's go ahead and get started over here across the north and east. The heavy rain begins to subside. But that chance for some isolated rainshowers continues.

So if you're a little bit rain weary, just remember that it's not expected to be as intense as what you've had over the last couple of days and weeks, even.

But some scattered rainshowers are still in the forecast here and there, but it's definitely not a washout for you as we head into the weekend.

The Korean peninsula begins to dry out and then relatively cooler temperatures also moving in here as we head back over toward Beijing.

Let's go ahead and head south. And for you guys in Hong Kong, 126 millimeters of rainfall. That's just since Wednesday. There are some areas that have had significantly much more than that. This is at the airport. The location that we're using to get this information. But some other areas have had over 200 millimeters of rain. Neighboring Macau has had over 350 millimeters of rain just in the last few days.

And notice farther to the south, we're also dealing with over 150 millimeters of rain. So much, much to talk about here as far as the rainfall.

The good news is high pressure is moving in across this area. And we're starting to see those coastal regions slowly drying out. And even when we're going to see more rainfall farther inland, which I know you guys are tired of this as well. Even there, it's not expected to be as severe, as intense as we had before, because that area of low pressure that had been sitting over this region is finally beginning to move away.

So, let's talk about changes. This is London, but that was then. That was yesterday. Today, a little bit different. I think this guy is going to need a shirt today, because yesterday it was 29, today you probably won't make it past, maybe 17 for your daytime high. This happening with a coldfront that's coming through across this area.

They had the hottest temperature recorded in September since 2006 in Kent here in the UK, 30.4. So that's pretty significant in itself. That, of course, happening ahead of the cold front that changes are happening already. It's 16 in London right now. Maybe you'll go up another degree.

20 in Paris. That's about as warm as you're going to get today. So that push of cooler temperatures happened across the north and west. And then central Europe remains warm as does the south.

Back to you, Kristie. Have a good weekend.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you too. Mari Ramos there. Thank you. Take care.

Now though it's been often overlooked. Man's best friend has long had a role on the battlefield from bomb sniffing to simple companionship. And one group of U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan, they formed a very special bond with some local dogs. And when the soldiers returned home, they decided to bring their old friends with them.

Randi Kaye has the story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Terminal 4 at JFK Airport, Sergeant Edwin Caba and his fellow soldiers from the Army National Guard are anxiously awaiting a special delivery from Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm extremely excited. I don't put into words, antsy, excited, pumped up.

KAYE: To better understand why, let me take you back to Afghanistan earlier this year where Sgt. Caba and the others were helping train Afghan patrols on the border with Iran. A stray dog took a liking to them and the men immediately bonded with her. She went on patrols with them and waited each night for their safe return. They named her Sheeba.

When she got pregnant, the soldiers knew her life and puppies' lives were in danger. The puppies were hungry and Sheeba was dangerously thin. So the men started giving her and soon her seven pups their rations, MREs, beef jerky, you named it. They bathed them. Swaddled them in blankets and loved them like their own. Sergeant Caba realized he couldn't leave Afghanistan without the dogs.

SGT. EDWIN CABA, U.S. ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: I fell in love. You know what, from the second she was born we're like they are cute and started getting personalities and taking to us very well, and, you know, you can't leave something like that behind.

KAYE: A couple of phone calls and soon Sergeant Caba was in touch with Guardians of Rescue, a New York group that rescues animals. They got word to this dog shelter in Afghanistan and after some very generous donations the dogs were brought there, quarantined for three months. Next, they were shipped to Dubai then flown to the U.S., an 8,000-mile journey which brings us back to JFK's Terminal Four. Late Wednesday, the dogs arrived to cheers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got you here. We said we would.

KAYE: The puppies had grown a bit, but they sure seemed to remember the guys.

CABA: I feel fantastic. I haven't seen them in awhile, and she's gorgeous. I can't believe that they are here.

KAYE: They were checked out at a local shelter where they got some strange stairs from others wondering where they came from. There was also a group photo. Well, sort of. All the excitement was a bit too much for Sheeba, the puppies' mother, but her babies now 5.5 months were thrilled.

(on camera): Does she know any tricks yet?

CABA: She doesn't know she's doing it but shakes hands.

KAYE (voice-over): Back home in Long Beach, New York, Sergeant Caba's puppy seems at home after her first night.

(on camera): How did she do overnight?

CABA: She did well. She's a howler so that was something we weren't expecting.

KAYE (voice-over): During our interview, she was easily distracted by all the new sights and sounds.

(on camera): She thinks she's still in Afghanistan.

CABA: She does.

KAYE (voice-over): For Sergeant Caba and the rest of his unit, these dogs managed to give them a bit of normalcy far from home.

CABA: To see someone excited to see me when we walk back in, her butt shake and tongue out is fantastic. It was. It means the world. She made things so much easier. Come on, girl.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Long Beach, New York.


LU STOUT: Beautiful animals. And such a wonderful story. You're watching News Stream. And still to come this hour...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It's not our fight.


LU STOUT: U.S. lawmakers feel the heat from voters in their districts. Unhappy about the prospect of American military action in Syria.

And Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid compete to host the 2020 Olympics. Which city will get the nod. We'll take a look after the break.


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

Now world leaders have come to no consensus on Syria as the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg comes to a close. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian defense minister says that European Union defense ministers have condemned the Syrian government's suspected use of chemical weapons.

Now EU meetings have been underway in Lithuania.

Now tensions are running high in Egypt one day after a failed assassination attempt targeted the country's interior minister. Now state run media in Egypt are porting that the government has decided to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood. Now Egypt's state run news agency says that the group is accused of violating a law that bars non-governmental organizations from operating political groups.

Now non-essential diplomatic personnel have been ordered to evacuate the U.S. embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. A senior State Department official told CNN that the measure is being taken out of, quote, an abundance of caution because of the situation in Syria as well as potential threats.

Now U.S. citizens are also being warned against traveling to either Lebanon or southeastern Turkey.

Now the closely watched U.S. employment report has just been released. And the U.S. added 169,000 jobs in August. Now economist, they had predicted 185,000 jobs would be added. The unemployment rate, it fell to 7.3 percent as anticipated.

We'll bring you more analysis of those numbers a little bit later here in the program.

Now the U.S. Congress is expected to vote next week on possible military action in Syria. The White House is lobbying for a yes vote saying that the world can't afford to let chemical weapons use go unpunished.

Now House leaders on both sides of the aisle are backing the president's call to action. But a significant number of lawmakers remain undecided and the outcome of the vote is by no means certain.

Now many lawmakers are getting blowback from their constituents who say that they don't want to see the U.S. involved in another Middle East war. Now for more, our chief U.S. congressional correspondent Dana Bash joins me now live from Washington.

And Dana, you know, from Russia President Obama, he's been working the phones. She's been calling U.S. members of Congress to lobby for support. How much support is he getting?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it felt like he was getting some momentum earlier in the week when the bipartisan congressional leaders signed on and other key players like John McCain signed on. But since then, it really appears to have stalled. And that's for several reasons, and not the least of which is you mentioned, and that is that members of congress are hearing back home deep opposition from the people who sent them here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We sent you to stop the war.

BASH (voice-over): For undecided lawmakers watching what happened to pro-Syria bombing Senator John McCain back home is a cautionary tale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I think of Congress. They are a bunch of marshmallows. Why are you not listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It's not our fight.

BASH: Even for a town hall veteran like McCain this was rough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We not afford to turn Syria into another Iraq or Afghanistan. I beg you.

BASH: Lawmakers are hearing that kind of opposition all across the country. It's part of the reason even the president's most loyal supporters like members of the Black Caucus are very wary of authorizing a strike.

REPRESENTATIVE GREG MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: A large number of them say we don't want you to go to war.

BASH: A House Democratic leadership source insists to CNN the majority of lawmakers are still persuadable because they have not yet been briefed. The problem for the president is how many especially fellow Democrats are reluctant even after attending classified briefings intended to persuade them.

SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MARYLAND: What will our allies do? I know that 37 nations have said they would support us, but what does support mean?

BASH: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is a combat veteran of the Iraq war.

REPRESENTATIVE TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: I've seen firsthand the extreme costs of war both overseas as well as here at home, is something that is giving me a unique perspective but great pause.

BASH: She is like many who don't question whether Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons, but do question Obama officials' ability to answer key questions in public or private about military contingencies after the U.S. bombs like what if Assad finds a way to use chemical weapons again?

SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Do we strike again? Well, that's the definition of further entanglement. That's the definition of our becoming deeply involved in a war.


BASH: Now there will be even more classified briefings for lawmakers today as there have been virtually every day this week. Most undecided lawmakers who we talked to really are doing their homework, even attending more than one of these briefings in addition to making phone calls on their own to members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and people like that to try to get a handle on some of those questions particularly with regard to the military operation and contingencies after this first operation.

But, you know, many say that what would help is a presidential prime- time address. We expect to actually see that in the next few days. And lawmakers are saying it would not only help them, but more importantly again their constituents were calling them an overwhelmingly saying please vote no -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Dana Bash reporting live from Washington. Thank you, Dana.

Now CNN is keeping track of which way the vote might go. As you can see, most senators are still undecided. And that holds true in the House of Representatives as well. And we're updating this tally three times a day to reflect any change in opinion. You can find it

Now some shocking newly released video is raising fresh questions about extremism in Syria's rebel ranks. It has some asking whether opposition fighters are any better than government forces when it comes to human rights.

And again a warning, this report by Chris Lawrence, it contains very disturbing images.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The men are stripped of their shirts and kneeling. The New York Times says this video was just smuggled out of Syria and shows a rebel commander executing captured Syrian soldiers in April.

It's shocking.

But some lawmakers say they've seen classified reports that suggest half of the rebels are extremists.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, (R) TEXAS: The briefings I've received, unless I've gotten different ones or inaccurate briefings is right at 50 percent.

LAWRENCE: Secretary of State John Kerry argues it's as low as 15 percent.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There is a real moderate opposition that exists.

LAWRENCE: Kerry and Republican John McCain both cited reporting from an analyst who has traveled to Syria.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Dr. Elizabeth O'Bagy.

KERRY: She works with the Institute of War. She's fluent in Arabic.

LAWRENCE: Apart from the cities Assad still rules, Elizabeth O'Bagy says there are distinct areas where moderate rebels are in control and can keep weapons out of the hands of extremists.

ELIZABETH O'BAGY, INSTITUTE OF WAR: I travel with groups where we actually can kind of identify the more extremist checkpoints and simply move around them into areas where the moderates are in control and have authority.

LAWRENCE: But one U.S. official tells CNN he does not see the clear division between moderates and extremists that Kerry and O'Bagy suggested. Both elements are mixed among the opposition.

Another official says most of the groups fighting Assad are composed of Islamist fighters, but only a minority could accurately be characterized as extremist.

(on camera): That official they defined a rebel extremist as someone who is tied to a terrorist ideology or linked to a terrorist group. He said most of the fighters who are in Syria right now fall between moderate and very conservative islamist.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, The Pentagon.


LU STOUT: Now the Obama administration is intently lobbying congress to support a military strike on Syria. But as you've heard, many Americans oppose such action. And this new White House website, it aims to change their minds. It lays out the president's position and it includes the U.S. assessment of last month's chemical weapons attack in Damascus.

But will this digital argument work? Now the White House, it tried a similar tactic to push for gun law reforms. And that proposal had popular support. But it still failed in congress.

You're watching News Stream. And coming up, Tokyo's Olympic bid, it may still be the city to beat. But will concerns about Fukushima be a setback? We'll take you inside each finalists Olympic campaign.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

You're watching News Stream. And let's return to our visual rundown of all the stories in the show.

Now later, we'll tell you why Elon Musk's lab resembles Iron Man's. But now, let's return to the U.S. economy.

Now as mentioned, the U.S. has just released its jobs report for August. Felicia Taylor joins us now from CNN New York. And Felicia, walk us through the numbers.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, it's a very interesting report, and not necessarily a positive one, Kristie, because what we've got is on the face of it 169,000 jobs were created in the month of August. The expectation was for anywhere between 180,000, 185,000. So it did come in lower than expectations.

However, in July -- and this is what is really most significant about this report. The number was revised downward to 104,000. That was a loss of 58,000 jobs that we thought were created.

But what's interesting is that the employment rate, the unemployment rate, dropped to 7.3 percent. But you have to look at the actual data that is within that, because what that is telling us is that the participation rate, that is the number of people that are actually out there actively looking for jobs fell considerably to its lowest level in about 35 years. I think it's around 63.2 percent versus what expectations were -- or what July was of a little bit higher than that.

So that's where the concern is in the economy. People are dropping out of the jobs market.

That employment number -- unemployment number may have dropped to 7.3 percent, but that doesn't indicate that things are getting better. And that's where the concern is.

However, if you do look within. You know, some of the numbers -- where were the jobs created? You see in health care employment they rose by 33,000 in August. With retail trade it increased by 44,000. Professional business services were up by 23,000.

How is the marketplace interpreting this? Well, that, too, is very interesting. The marketplace is up across the board by about a quarter of one percent before the market opens in about 45 minutes time.

Now why would that be on what is a less than desirable jobs report? The expectation is, is that the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back from that stimulus that they've had in the marketplace for such a long time.

Now the perception is amongst traders, at least the few that I've spoke to this morning, is that that is not going to happen in September. This jobs number wasn't good enough to allow that tapering to begin, even if it was a small, you know, pullback of about $5 billion per month -- which was pretty much the consensus up until now.

Now people are saying the Federal Reserve will pause, take a look at the information, and probably wait until October.

That is good news for Wall Street and for the -- for people investing in the stock market -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: OK. Good news for Wall Street, but we won't be expecting any sort of pullback from the fed in terms of that stimulus.

But what is the economic picture going forward? You were anticipating that the fed will act perhaps in October. Are we going to see continued improvement ahead or still more volatility?

TAYLOR: In terms of the marketplace or in terms of the economy?

LU STOUT: In terms of the economy.

TAYLOR: In terms of the economy, I would say that this is a very steady, but slow recovery. So I would expect there to continue to be some confusing numbers moving forward. I mean, again, we've had pockets of strength throughout the United States. When it comes to housing, things are certainly getting better in certain areas of the U.S. But not everywhere. And that's where the concern really lies.

In the middle part of the country, things are still very desperate. And obviously those jobs are not being created.

So there's a lot of reason for concern moving forward.

Yes, there has been strength in terms of autosales. Those numbers that came out earlier this week were pretty good. Private sector jobs, that was an OK number that we got on Thursday. But overall this is not in a rapid pace, the kind of rapid pace that I think the Federal Reserve would be comfortable saying, you know what, we are definitely moving in a direction that we can count on.

You need at least three months -- and I mean at least three months. And we haven't seen that yet, especially when you get these revisions in like the months of June and July lower in terms of job creation. That's really the concern in the marketplace -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Felicia Taylor, joining us live from New York. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now let's turn now to what's happening in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now members of the International Olympic Committee, they are there right now. They will cast their vote on Saturday for which city will host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Tokyo is still seen as a frontrunner, but concerns over the nuclear crisis in Fukushima could pose an issue.

Now Istanbul and Madrid are also strong contenders.

Now CNN's Ivan Watson, Al Goodman, and Paula Hancocks tell us more about the campaigns.

First up, Turkey.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If Istanbul wins, it'll become the first majority Muslim city to host the Olympic Games. The Istanbul Olympic bid committee is highlighting that symbolism.

This is a city that straddles both Asia and Europe. So it could become an Olympic bridge of sorts, uniting religions, cultures, east and west.

The committee is also making an economic argument. It claims Istanbul will spend far less money than Tokyo or Madrid on building new stadiums and infrastructure, because the Turkish government has already earmarked billions of dollars as part of a master plan to modernize Istanbul.

So projects like this soccer stadium, which is now being demolished and is expected to be replaced with a newer, bigger stadium are already underway regardless of whether or not Istanbul wins the 2020 Olympics.

The problem is these huge government-backed construction projects are highly controversial.

Last May, protests erupted against a government plan to replace one of Istanbul's last green parks with a shopping mall. The Turkish government was widely criticized for the use of excessive police force to crush the protests as well as clouds of tear gas, which affected thousands and thousands of innocent bystanders.

The protests were largely a youth driven movement. So it's perhaps ironic that Turkey's Olympic committee is marketing youth as one of Istanbul's selling points. It says nearly half the population of Turkey is under the age of 25.

That, organizers say, is why this ancient city can also serve as an Olympic symbol for the future.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Madrid's third consecutive bid for the summer Olympics and they say they're more ready than ever building on their previous bid and adding some new elements, like the bull ring here. Bullfighting is not an Olympic sport, so they would use it for basketball and put a roof on it. It would look like this.

Over here, the Olympic stadium. It doesn't look like much right now, but it would be transformed into this.

And this giant piece of land near the airport would become the Olympic village.

This would be the centerpiece of a very compact Olympic games. Everything will be close. 80 percent of the sports venues within 10 minutes of the village. And because it's the third consecutive bid, almost everything is already built -- stadiums, roads, and hotels.

A weak point, some analysts say that's Spain's economic crisis and high unemployment. But Madrid counters it only needs to spend $2 billion to finish the job.

And it points to a long track record of hosting international sports events.

And then there's the intangible Madrid called passion. They hope the IOC sees that too.

All Goodman, CNN, Madrid.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Japan's national stadium, the focal point of Tokyo's 1964 Olympics and it would be the venue for the opening ceremony and the track and field events if the games return to this country in 2020.

But not in its current form. This stadium is more than 50 years old. It doesn't even have a roof. So it would be rebuilt from scratch. And it would be ready just one year before the games begin.

This venue is very central and the majority of the sporting venues and also the athletes village will not be within an 8 kilometer radius. So geographical proximity and therefore shorter travel times will certainly be a plus for this bid.

This is the bay area of Tokyo. And it is built entirely on reclaimed land. And it would be developed to become the main focal point of the watersports. For example, this man-made canal beside me would be used for the canoeing events. And there would be many other arenas built in this area.

The entire budget for the Tokyo bid is $4.9 billion. But the elephant in the room is a big one. The Fukushima nuclear power plant. There are recent reports of fresh toxic water leaks and that will inevitably be a negative factor when considering Tokyo for 2020.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Tokyo.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, sure it looks cool, but why should you care about comic book technology becoming reality? We'll explain.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now tech tycoon Elon Musk is frequently compared to the fictional Tony Stark. Now the Iron Man analogy is only increased last month when Musk tweeted this, quote, "we figured out how to design rocket parts just with hand movements through the air. Seriously," he adds.

And it made many people think of the movies where Tony Stark can manipulate holograms in his lab. Even the film's director Jon Favreau ask Musk if it was like Iron Man.

And this is Musk's reply, "Yep. We saw in the movie and we made it real. Good idea."

Now Musk and his team at SpaceX have posted this video to YouTube. And here you can see him manipulating a rocket engine. He says it feels more natural to interact with the computer that way and believes it will help engineers design faster. And the technology is still evolving.


ELON MUSK, SPACEX FOUNDER: standing glass projection, which is what the sort of technology that was used in the Iron Man movies. And then finally we used the occulus (inaudible), which is immersive virtual reality that actually tracks your head position and you really are moving around the object. It feels like it's right there in front of you.


LU STOUT: That's an incredible demo.

But Musk, he did not want to stop at virtual reality, he wanted a way to take the design out of the computer. So he used a 3D printer to make it out of metal. And Musk says that the entire process will revolutionize design and manufacturing.

And he's not the only one with that opinion. Now NASA is also trying to make rocket parts with 3D printers. The U.S. space agency recently fired up an engine to tested a printed injector. And early results show that it worked flawlessly.

NASA says 3D printing not only opens up new design options for spacecraft, it could also reduce the cost of rockets.

Now, at Washington's National Zoo, meanwhile, one baby panda finally knows who to call dad. Jeanne Moos delivers the results.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tongues were wagging, who's your panda daddy? That's mommy giving birth at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Panda cubs are born so undeveloped, you can't even tell what sex they are, but almost two weeks after the birth, genetic testing has revealed it's a girl.

BRANDIE SMITH, SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL ZOO: It's got a fat, little belly. It's very active. It's very vocal.

MOOS: Looking like a lizard with a twitch, but you'd be twitching, too, if everyone were asking, who's your daddy?

(On camera): How could the zoo not know who the father was? I mean, it wasn't as if a female panda was out whooping it up with every panda bear in town.

(Voice-over): Actually, the mama, Mei Xiang, is pretty much stuck with one suitor. But 16-year-old Tian-Tian was laying down on the job, and not with her. His big passion is bamboo. But when it comes to sex, well, "The New Yorker" did a deliciously detailed article called "Bears Do It," but pandas in captivity often won't.

The article quotes an expert calling Tian-Tian and Mei Xiang "reproductively incompetent," saying she gets into the pancake position, flat on her stomach, legs outstretched. And rather than doing what you'd think he'd do naturally, he steps on to her back and stands there like a man who has just opened a large box from Ikea and has no idea what to do next.

Eat the box is our guess.

(On camera): So what do you do when your panda bear barely performs? You artificially inseminate.

(Voice-over): But for good measure, two pandas contributed to Mei Xiang's insemination. Tian-Tian and Gow-Gow, a real Romeo who's never had his romantic technique questioned out at the San Diego Zoo.

So who came through? Well, they swabbed the cub's cheek to check the DNA, and then just like a paternity edition of "Maury Povich Show" --


MOOS: Only with a little more dignity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sire is Tian-Tian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tian-Tian is the father.

MOOS: No relatives protested.


MOOS: Truth be told, when daddy finally gets a look at this little girl, he'll probably just scratch his head or some body part.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


LU STOUT: And that is News Stream. World Business Today is next.