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Supertyphoon Usagi Bears Down On Taiwan; Mexico Braces For Yet Another Storm; Intelligence Reports Say Syria Moving Chemical Weapons; A Look Back At Legacy Of Nintendo's Hiroshi Yamauchi; Pope Francis Speaks Out on Role of Women In Church, Homosexuality

Aired September 20, 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 it's the world's strongest storm so far this year. Supertyphoon Usagi is already bringing rain and wind to the northern Philippines. Could Taiwan or Hong Kong take a direct hit?

Plus, German voters prepare to go to the polls, an election that will affect all of Europe. We'll take you live to Berlin.

And the Legacy of Nintento's long-time president, the tech world mourns Hiroshi Yamauchi.

Now right now the world's strongest storm so far this year is bearing down on Taiwan and the Philippines. And Supertyphoon Usagi could be on track to slam directly into us here in Hong Kong this weekend.

Now the storm is already lashing the northern Philippines with heavy wind and rain. Wind gusts have been clocked at 315 kilometers an hour, the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.

Now it is expected to pass over the southern tip of Taiwan next. And storm chaser James Reynolds is there. He joins us now live. And James, what have you been seeing out there?

JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER: Hi, Kristie. Well, on the drive down to the southern tip of Taiwan in (inaudible) we saw long streams of traffic heading north away from where the worst of the typhoon is expected tomorrow. In the town of Tinting where I am now there are still plenty of people here. It's a holiday weekend and there are plenty of people who remain to stay here and ride out the typhoon tomorrow.

Winds are picking up slowly, but it's not going to be a (inaudible) condition tomorrow as the typhoon nears the sub (inaudible) of Taiwan -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: James is all of Taiwan on full alert? Have alerts been issued for flash flooding, land slides, potential storm surges?

REYNOLDS: Yes. The central weather bureau, which is the government weather agency in Taiwan, they have issued land and sea warnings. As the typhoon nears overnight and tomorrow, roads in mountainous and hazardous areas will be shut down by the police. They do this to protect against the hazards of landslides and flash floods, which are the biggest threats to this area when these storms come by, because there are large mountains here and the huge quantities of rain can create a real deadly mix of flash floods and landslides, Kristie.

LU STOUT: I know you're covering the storm from Taiwan at the moment, but you're tracking it across the region. Usagi is also being felt in the Philippines. What do you think is the kind of threat it will pose there?

REYNOLDS: Similar threats to what we'll find in Taiwan as well. The Northern Philippines is an extremely mountainous region. It is prone to devastating mudslides and flash floods as we've seen in the past. I think the only positive we can take from this is the storm's forward motion is relatively average, so to speak. It's not a slow mover.

When the storms are moving slowly that's when you can really get very nasty events unfolding. So while the winds are strong, hopefully the rainfall totals will not be as bad as we've seen in previous storms.

But really that remains to be seen. And it's going to be a rough 24 hours ahead for Taiwan and the northern Philippines -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, James Reynolds joining us live from Taiwan, many thanks indeed for that. And stay safe.

Now let's get the very latest on Usagi, its projected path. Mari Ramos is tracking the storm for us from the World Weather Center.

And Mari, just then, we heard from James talking about that this was a slow moving storm. And that's a good thing.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: That's a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that we're probably seeing the strongest winds already with the storm. In other words, it might have already peaked and we may be gin to see the storm dwindling down in intensity somewhat , not a lot, but somewhat as we head through the next 24 hours. And that's very important.

The bad thing about a slow moving storm is that it can dump some very heavy rain over the same area for a long period of time. It's moving at about 20 kilometers per hour. That's about average when it comes to tropical cyclones. The thing is that it's such a large storm the wind field is about 1,000 kilometers wide extending from here in the north all the way to the southern portion of Luzon here. Manila has had some very heavy rain.

And I want to show you -- go back to that video that you were just showing, Kristie, the ireport video if we have it. Those pictures were taken from Bohol. And Bohol is in the central Philippines. Actually it's in the middle portion of the Philippines. That's 1,000 kilometers away from the center, from the eye of the storm. And look at how high the waves are there. You can only imagine what they're like in other parts of the Philippines and Luzon. And what they're going to be like, or they already are, in parts of Taiwan much closer to the eye of the storm.

Come back over to the weather map. Let's go ahead and move on.

So, right now winds 250 kilometers per hour, moving to the north and west. We could see some changes with this track, maybe a little bobbling to the north, a little bobbling to the south, but overall this is pretty much where we're going to stay, a storm moving across the Luzon Strait and into western -- or southern parts of China here.

This is where the red, the typhoon winds are, the tropical storm force winds are still here. So they have not reached any land masses yet, but we are going to see them affecting the northern portion here of Luzon first and then continuing to track on forward toward Taiwan. This is the timeline. First thing is going to be the waves and the rain. Then, by Saturday afternoon for you in southern Taiwan and northern Philippines, you will feel the affects of the storm.

This area in the darkest red, that's where we'll have the strongest winds and the heaviest rainfall. And notice this area that also includes Hong Kong here, Macau, Guangdong Province, all of these areas will probably be affected significantly by the storm, unless we see a dramatic change in the track. And we're not expecting that right now.

Wind, a huge concern, let's go ahead and talk about that first and then we'll talk about the rain.

At its closest approach, Tatung (ph) may see winds close to 130 kilometers per hour. But that southern tip of Taiwan, where James Reynolds was reporting from, they could see winds upwards of 160, maybe 170 kilometers per hour. The wind -- the mountains may make that feel even worse.

I do want to talk about Hong Kong, 130 kilometer per hour winds is the forecast right now. This could change depending on how the storms move farther to the north or farther to the south. We'll have to see. And then of course we have to deal with the rainfall, that is expected to be significant, particularly in Taiwan. Some of those areas already expecting 35 centimeters of rainfall. So far for Hong Kong, about 72 millimeters of rain first, but then afterwards it should be significantly more Sunday and into Monday.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, the storm is huge. And it is the most powerful typhoon so far this year. And to everyone watching in the affected areas, please take care. Mari Ramos there. Thank you.

RAMOS: Now in Mexico, the death toll from a series of violent storms now stands at 97. Rescuers are still searching for 68 people missing after a massive mudslide. It happened in the village of La Contada on the Pacific coast. And the region was hit first by Tropical Storm Manuel, which then grew to hurricane strength.

And in the east, Hurricane Ingrid killed 11 people in the state of Veracruz. 32,000 people there have had to be evacuated.

Now aid is starting to arrive in some towns cut off by the flood waters. Thousands are now homeless. And they are desperate for help.

Now many complain that aid has been slow to arrive.

Let's get the very latest with Shasta Darlington. She joins us live from Acapulco -- Shasta.


You know, Mexico was just battered on all sides. So they've really had a lot of problems dealing with all of the needs, all of the needs for aid, for rescue. And we're seeing that on the ground. We went to a town where people said all they've seen so far are bulldozers and those didn't arrive until yesterday.


DARLINGTON: Satarmino Madina (ph) shows us where the river broke through a container wall and washed away his kitchen. He climbed to the roof with half his timber shack swept away.

"We don't even know what to tell you, to tell you the truth" he says.

So far, no government aid.

Medina and his family are left to eat eggs and tortillas donated by neighbors and drink expired cartons of juice they found in the trash dumpster.

About 20 kilometers northeast of Acapulco (inaudible) is one of the many towns ravaged by multiple storms that have been battering Mexico. One neighbor shows us pictures of the neck high flood waters that washed by her home.

Despite all of the destruction here. In many ways, the worst is right over there. That's La Frontiera (ph), a neighborhood that used to be connected by a bridge. But it was washed out by the high waters. And now there is no way in and no way out.

Days after the storm hit, bulldozers and cleanup crews finally arrive. Neighbors shovel mud off sidewalks and out of their homes.

Paulina Bravo's (ph) house is still intact, but her stove, fridge and beds destroyed.

My husband and I take turns sleeping in this hammock, she says.

She shows us two bags of bread, the only government aid she's received so far.

Rescue efforts continue. At least 97 people were killed during the storms and dozens are missing.

In Acapulco, thousands of tourists are still stranded because of flooded roads and airports. But far from beach resorts, neighbors here tell us they feel like they've just been completely forgotten.


DARLINGTON: Now, of course the rescue works will continue today. They're going to be flying back into that community that you mentioned, La Contada where 68 people are still missing. They'll be looking for them, but there isn't a whole lot of hope at this point, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, so many families there just struggling to survive and to cope with the aftermath of the storm.

And after being hit by two storms this week, another storm is in the forecast. So Shasta, how are residents bracing for that?

DARLINGTON: Well, you know, it is, like I said across Mexico they're really trying to gear up for more storms. Manuel itself turned back into a hurricane. And unfortunately it's along both coasts.

But they do have limited resources. And in part that's because they're still trying to airlift tourists out of here, out of Acapulco. There were 40,000 tourists here when the storm hit, about 15,000 have been taken out. There they're still trying to get thousands out of here.

There is a glimmer of hope today. And that's because the main highway out that was blocked. They're hoping to open it up at noon. It's not going to be easy going. It's not fully paved along the whole route. But that will definitely take some of the pressure off and enable authorities to use the resources they have to prepare for possible new landfalls and also for the cleanup where other storms have been hitting, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, Mexico and the people there slammed by two storms and more rain is on the rain. Shasta Darlington reporting for us live form Acapulco, thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up, Germany gets ready to vote. We'll have the latest on a race that will have an impact across the continent.

And setting a new tone. We'll tell you what the Iranian president is saying to the people of America.

Also, the pope's very revealing interview. Why he is calling on the Catholic church to find a new balance. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Germans will decide their leadership this Sunday. And the election is being closely watched right across here. Now Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrats are seeking a third term, but her former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck hopes to lead his party to victory instead.

Now the future of the continent's largest economy will have wide ranging effects, far beyond Germany's borders.

Diana Magnay joins us now live from Berlin -- Diana.


Well, everyone has a very different idea about what a possible coalition might look like after Sunday's vote, because you see Germans don't vote directly for a chancellor, they vote for a party.

Of course, Angela Merkel wants to continue with the government that she currently has, black yellow, her Christian Democrat Party and the liberals, the SDP. But they are doing very badly in the polls right now. There's a possibility they might not scrap it into parliament. In which case, she'll have to seek new coalition partners.

But first let's take a look at the two personalities who are running for chancellor.


MAGNAY: There are two candidates for chancellor you need to know about in this Sunday's poll, one you probably won't recognize and one you probably will. Angela Merkel who heads up Germany's Christian Democratic Union is running for reelection. And she's on course to win.

Unemployment is at near record lows. Germans seem to like the stature their so-called Iron Lady has on the world stage. And even the possibility that taxpayers may well have to bail out Greece for a third time doesn't seem to be damaging her standing in the polls, where in terms of popularity she's streets ahead of her rival.

Do you feel like your future is in a safe pair of hands?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? Well, because she brings stability to Germany and the European Union.

DARLINGTON: Peer Steinbrueck, the candidate from the left-wing Social Democrats, is a less cozy figure. Impulsive with a what you see is what you get type attitude. Just look at the recent front cover of Germany's Zoo Deutsche magazine. Steinbrueck doing what the Germans call the stinker finger to a response to a photographer's question.

I asked this man what he thinks of it.

"I don't mind the picture, but I don't like the man. He's too arrogant," he says.

But some think Steinbrueck is better on policy than Merkel is.

FRIEDBERT RUEB, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY, BERLIN: He has much more an idea how to shape the German society, has much more idea how to push through some important policy issues. He feels they are important to put through and that would Merkel never do.

DARLINGTON: Steinbrueck was Merkel's finance minister from 2005 to 2009. It's largely thanks to him that Germany weathered to 2008 financial crisis relatively intact. In terms of Europe, he believes Germany must do all it can to help further still than Merkel is prepared to go.

PEER STEINBRUECK, GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE (through translator): We have to save the euro. Europe must be stable. And on the occasion of this event, on the occasion of such a great event, I say honestly and truly it will cost Germany money to hold Europe together.


STEINBRUECK: Peer Steinbrueck, though, Kristie really is facing an uphill battle. The SPD Party in the last really since the last grand coalition, which was four years ago where he served as Merkel's finance minister has been having serious problems partly because of the labor market reforms introduced by Gerhard Schoeder, the SPD leader eight years ago, which really have contributed very much to Germany's economic success now and which Angela Merkel has gained the credit for.

But those reforms alienated large parts of the SPD. And Peer Steinbrueck hasn't really managed to consolidate his grip even over his own party. So he's got big problems when he's up against Germany's most popular politician, which Angela Merkel is. She, of course, leads this sort of very almost sedative campaign where she tries to convince the public that everything is in hand, Germany has got it good, you know, and she does a good job of convincing them that that's the case as we can see from the polls, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, Diana Magnay reporting. Thank you very much indeed for that.

And do make CNN your destination for complete coverage of the German election. We will have reaction on the ground in Berlin and from around the world. Plus, live results after the polls close. That's Sunday starting at 7:30 pm in Abu Dhabi.

Now in Yemen, security officials say at least 18 soldiers and eight police officers have been killed by militants. It happened on the southern province of Shabwa.

Now officials say that the attackers targeted installations using car bombs and heavy artillery.

And one local security official says some officers surrendered to the militants and are now prisoners.

Now Mohammed Jamjoom has been following the story for us closely. He joins us now from CNN Beirut. And Mohammed, what is the latest you're hearing about the attack, this kidnapping, and the overall death toll?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, concern really growing in Yemen at this hour. This is one of those days that really shows how prone to violence parts of Yemen can be.

Now these attacks happened just in the last hour and a half in Shabwa Province, that is in southern Yemen. It is a province that is known to be a hotbed for militants and for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is the most resurgent, the strongest, the deadliest wing of the al Qaeda network, which makes its hub in Yemen.

Now these attacks happened in different installations. At least three that we know of so far in Shabwa. One of those installations was the (inaudible) district military compound. 12 soldiers were killed there.

Another one, the (inaudible) district military compound. Six soldiers killed there and another one the Azam police compound. Eight police officers killed there.

That is the compound you were just talking about a moment ago that was raided. We're told by officials that the militants took equipment, that they pilfered, that they pillaged, that they killed anybody who resisted them, who tried to counterattack them. They may have taken a hostage as well. But many of the soldiers and the police cadets that were at that compound, we're told, surrendered.

This is a situation that is still very fluid at this hour. We don't yet know if Yemeni special forces will be called into the area. But I can tell you that the south of Yemen is really on high alert right now and people very concerned that this might be the work of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the past two months, we've seen an uptick in these types of attacks. In the last month, you had two bombings targeting buses, military buses in Yemen, in the capital, many deaths because of those two bombings on buses that should have been very fortified, that should have been heavily secured.

This is the latest in a string of incidents that really shows you how much militancy there is in Yemen and how much of a problem it is for that country -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, raising a number of concerns across the board. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for us. Thank you very much indeed.

You're watching News Stream. Later on in the program, the new Miss America, she is in the limelight in both the U.S. and her parent's home country of India, but not for the reasons you might think. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.

Now let's turn to India where there has been a bit of discussion about the new Miss America. Now Nina Davulura is the first person of Indian heritage to win the beauty pageant which is held every year in the United States. And as we reported earlier this week, her win prompted a vicious racist reaction from some people on social media, but the story has also led to some soul searching in her parents' home country of India over how you define beauty.

Mallika Kapur explains.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The crown then the controversy as the U.S. debates how American the new Miss America is, irony in India.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: There is as much racism in our country as there is perhaps in America.

KAPUR: Many say she's too dark-skinned to win here.

Pictures of Indian beauty queens show the most popular ones usually have lighter skin.

DR. JAMUNA PAI, BLUSH CLINICS: Unfortunately in our country, they think looking better means they have to look fairer.

KAPUR: Dermatologist Dr. Jamuna Pai says there is a major demand for whitening treatments.

PAI: People do come and ask -- younger girls, girls of marriageable age, girls before going for their jobs.

KAPUR: The preference for fairness is deep rooted in India's culture. On most any matrimonial advertisement you look at, will ask for a bridal groom who is fair.

For Indians who are naturally darker-skinned, there are plenty of products pedaling an alternative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: World's number one in (inaudible)

KAPUR: In this ad, Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan says he achieved more success after using this cream.

The company maintains it's a grooming aid with fairness just one of the qualities it offers.

India has a massive demand for skin lightening treatments and products. In fact, India's whitening cream market is worth more than $400 million.

A recent entrant to the market, a vaginal wash that promises freshness, protection, and skin lightening. Critics say it's taking the fairness obsession too far.

But the company says it's simply giving women what they want.

SHIVANGI GUPTA, MIDAS-CARE PHARMACEUTICALS: We had a very proactive consumer coming and asking us for this product. And I think it would be very, very irresponsible for us to not provide that as a solution.

KAPUR: Nandita Das supporting a campaign called Dark is Beautiful is trying to change things.

NANDITA DAS, ACTOR: The prejudice definitely proceeds the products, there's no question. But the point is do we want to capitalize on this prejudice, on this lack of self-worth and, you know, further sort of perpetuate it or propagate it, or do we want to address it in a way that we can empower more women. We can make them feel good in the way they are.

KAPUR: The campaign's gone viral. It's Facebook page flooded with responses for people who say they want to feel comfortable in their own skin, whatever shade it may be.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.


LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, reports that Bashar al-Assad's government is moving its chemical weapons stockpile in Syria. Barbara Starr has details from the Pentagon.

And can your iPhone protect you against potential physical assaults? We'll take a look at some gadget weaponry on the market.


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

Now the world's strongest storm yet this year is rumbling across the waters near Taiwan and the Philippines. Now Supertyphoon Usagi could bring torrential rain, flooding and mudslides. It is expected to weaken slightly before potentially closing in on Hong Kong and southern China.

Now the environmental group Greenpeace is demanding Russia release dozens of activists from a ship in the Arctic Sea. Now Russian coastguard officers boarded the vessel as it circled a Gazprom owned oil platform to protest against oil exploration. Now Russia says the activists were being aggressive and provocative.

In Iraq, at least 15 people are dead and many more wounded after two bombs blew up at a Sunni mosque near the city of Samara (ph). Now Reuters says the explosives were hidden in the air conditioning units.

Now Syria's deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil says Damascus is ready to call for a cease-fire in the country's civil war. Now he told The Guardian newspaper that this would be one of Syria's proposals when a long delayed peace conference can be organized.

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United Nations must be ready to act now that UN inspectors have confirmed chemical weapons were used near Damascus last month. He says there is not a shred of evidence that the opposition has those weapons. The Russian president Vladimir Putin says he is confidence Syria will honor its commitment to get rid of its chemical stockpiles. But Mr. Putin adds that he is not 100 percent certain.

Now meanwhile, CNN has learned the Syrian government may be moving its chemical weapons stockpile. Now that word from two Obama administration officials.

Now CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins me live from Washington with the details. And Barbara, Syria is again moving around its chemical stockpiles? What have you heard?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORREPSONDENT: Sources are telling us that this has been taking place since that August -- pardon me, that has been taking place mainly now, this latest round of moving, since the Kerry- Lavrov agreement was signed.

We've seen, we've understood that there's been from our sources some movement of Syrian chemical weapons over the months, but this is the latest round of it. So the question becomes since this Kerry-Lavrov agreement when Syria was supposed to sign up to declare all its weapons, why would they be moving them around now? That's the key question, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah. And why would they be moving them around now? Is it to avoid the rebels or to avoid UN inspection?

STARR: Well, in the past absolutely right they say they've moved them around to consolidate them as rebel -- and secure them as rebel fighting has gotten closer.

Now, two possibilities on the table. Are they consolidating them to make it easier, fewer locations perhaps, to declare them to international inspectors? Sources are telling me that they are skeptical, the U.S. government is skeptical of that motivation.

The concern is that they are moving them around to hide them from inspection.

But the real bottom line is at this point, nobody knows, nobody is at all certain exactly what the Syrians are moving, how much they're moving it, or why they're moving it.

LU STOUT: And behind the scenes, can you tell us how the U.S. intelligence community has been able to gather this sensitive information about Syria moving its chemical stockpiles.

STARR: Well, you know, in the public arena we have seen satellite imagery in the past of the movement of Syrian weapons, troops, military formations that kind of thing. Satellites do keep watch over Syria all the time. So it's very typical that they will keep watch over the known chemical sites and see trucks, vehicles, convoys moving around. That's the problem. You see the vehicle pulling up to the facility, you see it move away a short time later, but you don't maybe know where it's going exactly, you don't what it's carrying, you don't know how much it's carrying.

So movement. But still the key intelligence problem what are they really up to -- Kristie?

LU STOUT: Barbara Starr reporting for us, thank you.

Now Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani has directly addressed the American public and the world. In an opinion piece penned for the Washington Post on Thursday, he called for broad dialogue from among world leaders to help tackle challenges in the volatile Middle East, including Iran's own nuclear energy program.

He writes this, quote, "world leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities."

Now President Rouhani goes on to say, quote, "we must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart."

His article comes one week after Russian President Vladimir Putin made his case against military intervention in Syria in an opinion piece in The New York Times.

Now Mr. Rouhani's Washington Post column seems to be part of a new public relations initiative targeting the United States. Now his stance on Iran's foreign policy appears to be more pragmatic. And that has many analysts watching and waiting to see what he does next.

Now CNN's chief U.S. security correspondent Jim Schiutto has more.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new Iranian president, a new outreach to the U.S. by a government until recently virtually defined by its anti- American posturing. Tonight, President Hassan Rouhani took to Twitter to say he hasn't ruled out the possibility of meeting with President Obama at the U.N. General Assembly next week in New York, adding, "Everything is possible in the world of politics."

Asked about Iran's digital diplomacy, U.S. officials we have spoken to are reserving judgment.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Everything needs to be put to the test. We will see where we go, and at the right moment, I think the White House and the State Department will make clear where we're heading.

SCIUTTO: Rouhani's invitation is the latest in a series of diplomatic overtures that began with another surprising tweet two weeks ago, wishing the world's Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah holiday. Rouhani then moved quickly to the issue at the center of his country's tension with the West, telling NBC News:

HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb and we are not going to do so.

SCIUTTO: At home, Tehran released one of its most prominent dissidents, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, though hundreds more remain behind bars.

(on camera): You have been a skeptic like others of pass attempts by this regime at outreach. Why should we consider this one more substantial?

KARIM SADJADPOUR, ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: This has really been one of the more significant charm offensives since the 1979 revolution. I think the big question is not whether the Rouhani administration is interested in a detente with the United States. The big question is whether they can deliver on that detente.

SCIUTTO: The one man who can deliver is Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who gave an intriguing speech earlier this week about the need for, quote, "heroic flexibility," which some read as his own public endorsement of Iran's outreach.

However, the U.S. and Iran have so many substantive disagreements and one that Iran is showing no flexibility in its support for the Syria.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: Now there's a new dispute brewing between the U.S. and Venezuela. President Nicholas Maduro is accusing Washington of denying permission for his plane to fly through U.S. air space when he heads to China this weekend.

But as Nick Parker reports, the U.S. denies the allegations.


NICK PARKER, CNN CORREPSONDNET: Outrage in Venezuela over a claim by President Nicholas Maduro he was denied access to U.S. airspace. Officials say the presidential plane was not given permission to fly over Puerto Rico on a planned visit to China.

President Maduro described the move as a serious offense. But the U.S. State Department says it did not deny access.

It comes as Venezuela claims several of his delegates were denied visas to the UN general assembly in New York.

NICHOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT VENEZUELA (through translator): If I have to take diplomatic measures against the U.S. government, I will take them to the most drastic let if it is necessary.

PARKER: Relations between the two countries remain strained. In July, Venezuela offered asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Nick Parker, CNN, Mexico City.


LU STOUT: Now the mood in living rooms across the world would be very different without the accomplishments of this man, Haroshi Yamauchi. Up next, a look at his legacy at Nintendo.


LU STOUT: That it's a scene we've seen before, though subtly more subdued this time around. Apple fans lined up for the two new iPhones, the 5s and the 5c. They hit stores in the U.S., China and seven other countries on Friday. Now critics are calling the new handsets underwhelming. But there were long lines overnight outside some Apple stores like this one on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Well, the new iPhones, they have a range of new features, but here's something you might not know your iPhone was capable of: self-defense. Dan Simon takes a look at some new gadgets turning phones into stun guns.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is now being issued as standard equipment. Strap it on your wrist.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gadget weaponry, a staple of James Bond. But this is real: an iPhone with a big secret, a stun gun.

It's called the Yellow Jacket. Snap on the case, and you've got a serious weapon capable of delivering 650 thousand volts of electricity.

(on camera): You just lift this flap, expose these little electrodes, turn the unit on and press the button.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It protects your phone, extends your battery life, and most importantly it protects you.

SIMON (voice-over): But that's not all. This case shoots pepper spray. It's from a company called Spraytecht. The inventor says he came up with the idea for his college bound daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She would never leave home without her phone. That's when I had this idea of combining her phone and pepper spray.

SIMON (voice-over): What makes these things so unique is they're so perfectly concealed. They look just like any number of phone cases. And since people carry their phones all the time, the weapons are always with you and ready.

(voice-over0: But self-defense experts stress the need for training.

SCOTT JACKSON, SELF-DEFENSE EXPERT: If you are formally trained, if you are taught the mindset to defend yourself correctly, if you go through repetitious training, it would probably be effective.if.

SIMON: Also it's important to note that stun guns aren't legal everywhere. But as this promotional video claims, many would-be victims now have a new high tech tool to defend themselves.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


LU STOUT: Epic video there.

Now as we told you on Thursday, the man who turned Nintendo into a video game giant has passed away. Hiroshi Yamauchi, he was 85. And as the head of Nintendo he oversaw the release of many now iconic games and consoles including the GameBoy and Nintendo 64.

Now Yamauchi, he ran the company for some 53 years. So let's talk about his legacy with our regular contributor Nicholas Thompson. Nick is the editor of The New He joins us live from New York.

Nick, good to see you. And let's talk about his legacy. What do you consider to be his early pioneering work?

NICK THOMPSON, NEW YORKER.COM: Well, he started the company -- or he became the CEO in 1949, but the company sort of struggled. It was a card company. It tried all sorts of crazy things. And they really only became a big gaming company 30 years after that. But then they became utterly iconic and transformed the industry starting with Donkey Kong leading into Mario Brothers and Zelda. And then even up through the Wii.

LU STOUT: You know, it is incredible how he shifted the family business away from cards and simple toys citing a lack of imagination.

Now, Nick, Mr. Yamauchi he said himself that he never, ever played video games. What strikes you about that?

THOMPSON: I'm sure that's not entirely true, right. He's known for meticulous attention to things like the shape of the controller, which is one of the things Nintendo did so well and you can't really think about the shape of a controller if you've never played a game.

But what it also shows you is that it reflects both the talent he hired, like Miyamoto, the famous game designer, who was most of his most important deputies. And also his ability at running a company, right. You can be -- in order for a company like Nintendo to be successful you need game geniuses and you need business geniuses, so it sounds like his expertise is more in the later.

LU STOUT: So he was detail oriented and possibly a classic gamer himself.

Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, they became huge hits under his leadership. We know that 3D Mario and Donkey Kong coming out this quarter for the WiiU. Why are these old brands for Nintendo, why are they still big, still big draws today?

THOMPSON: Well, I think they were really important for a couple of reasons. One, they were some of the first video games that had story lines, right? The point of Donkey Kong is you have this guy jumping up and he's trying to save a princess as opposed to just shooting asteroids or something like that or eating circles. They had music, they had story lines, they had characters you could relate to. Mario is this kind of dumpy carpenter.

He also had a couple of other interesting features. One was that they weren't that complex, right. There weren't that many ways Mario would interact with a block, but it seemed like the game had infinite possibilities. So it combines simplicity and the ability to understand with what appeared to be to certainly to a child or someone growing up real complexity.

And then there is this cool mishmash of supernatural powers and you know regular human abilities. So Mario jumps higher than some -- than -- jumps higher than a human can, but he's also limited by gravity. So you feel -- to a child it feels magical, but it also feels real.

So they had these incredible story lines and these great characters. And the games just became parts of our childhood. And for people my age or people anywhere near that age you see one of those characters and you get this little buzz.

LU STOUT: I know. I loved playing the NES back in the day.

In defense of Mario, you called him dumpy. He may be dumpy, but he has an incredible moustache, OK.

Now, the people --even though, you know, you and I fans of Nintendo, many watching this right now, fans of Nintendo as well, will all concede that the company today is not like the Nintendo of yesteryear. So your advice, what do you think that the company needs to do to get the group back/

THOMPSON: Well, there are two big problems that Nintendo has, right. So the consoles and devices they make now, the DS and the new WiiU, they fall kind of in the middle of where game companies can be successful. So the people making the really complex high end machines, mainly Microsoft and Sony, you can play these infinitely complex realistic games on them, or the people who make games for your iPad, very simple like games like Angry Birds. And Nintendo is in the middle. And it seems a little bit like no man's land.

And the second big issue that Nintendo has right now is that you can only play Nintendo software games on Nintendo hardware. And there are a lot of people saying, look, you've got games that people want to play, but you should make them available on the devices where people play games. So their tablets and their phones instead of making them buy a whole new device in order to play your games.

So Nintendo is stubbornly sticking by the strategy they've had for quite a long time. There were some signs that it's been picking up this year, but they are -- they're in a lot of trouble compared to the Nintendo of 30 years ago.

LU STOUT: Yeah, in a lot of trouble. But I do hope it gets its mojo back. It's a great brand, great storied history as well.

Nick Thompson, New Thank you. Take care.

Now, let's talk about Netflix. Now the service is changing the way Americans watch TV. It used to be seen mostly as a DVD mail-order business, but now it's synonymous with critically acclaimed and original content. Nischelle Turner tunes in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards. Robin Wright, House of Cards.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And with that, Netflix went from the new kid in school.

KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: It's all about location, location, location.

TURNER: To most likely to succeed.

LACEY ROSE, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Netflix has made a loud and pricey statement that they've arrived, betting $100 million on a project with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey and many others is a real signal to the community that they're serious about this.

TURNER: 14 Emmy nominations drove the point home, nine for the series House of Cards alone.

It's the first time a series distributed via the internet was nominated in the top categories.

ROSE: If you're a broadcast network you have to be concerned.

TURNER: The numbers don't lie. The subscription base provider says it gained 3 million new subscribers once it began airing the original series House of Cards.

And in an interview with a Hollywood report, Netflix's CEO says because they've been so successful the network plans to double its original programming in 2014.

Yes, I said network.

And now so does Netflix.

On Monday, they made a small wording change to the company motto. They used to say "we are movies and TV shows." Now it's "we are a movie and TV series network."

BRIAN GRAZER, FILM PRODUCER: Never would I say taking over the business, but they're another very viable outlet to watch programming and quality programming.

TURNER: Think about it, like another of their original series titles suggest, if orange is the new black, could Netflix be the new HBO?

PORTIA DE ROSSI, ACTRESS: I mean, it is completely different now. I find it really frustrating having to wait a week to watch a show and I'm just so used to seeing things back to back when I want to see them.

TURNER: OK. Certainly streaming program may not be taking over television, but it's creating a buzz, one that some critics say may not be sustainable.

MARY MCNAMARA, LOS ANGELES TIMES TV CRITIC: They're super, super smart. It's always hard to have competition, because you know -- but in terms of are they doing anything that terribly different or -- that remains to be seen. You know, there are as many problems with the Netflix model as there are just in terms of like keeping the cultural conversation going. That's why you saw this huge Emmy campaign.

TURNER: And seemingly, it worked, at least for this year's television academy.

KEN EHRLICH, EMMY SHOW PRODUCER: You know, a lot of the -- the landscape is so much broader now on television that, you know, you just -- you look for the corners, you look for the places that are not obvious. And I think that's really well represented this year.

TURNER: 14 Emmy nominations, a big coup for the company that simply used to mail you DVDs.

Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And coming up, frank words from the pope who was speaking out on a number of controversial issues, including homosexuality and abortion. Hear what he had to say next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now the pope is speaking out on a range of hot button issues, including homosexuality and abortion. And he gave a very revealing interview to a Jesuit magazine. And what he said, it could signal the beginning of a new chapter for the Catholic church. Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance has more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This is the first in-depth interview with Pope Francis since he was elected in March, and he addresses controversial issues like homosexuality, abortion, and what he called the feminine genius.

And the words will be carefully examined by millions looking to him for guidance. On the role of women, he's said in the past the door is closed on their ordination as priests, disappointing many Catholic liberals. But in the interview, he says women should have a greater role in the church. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," he says.

REV. THOMAS ROSICA, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: How can we possibly make decisions without consulting half of the human race? And most of the people who are in our churches and playing very leading roles as mothers, as catechists, as teachers. Those transmitting the faith are the women in the church.

CHANCE: It was after his successful visit to Brazil earlier this year that Pope Francis made one of his most surprising remarks on homosexuality, telling reporters, "Who am I to judge gay people?"

The church traditionally condemns homosexual acts. In his interview, the pontiff says he was asked if he approved of homosexuality. He answered: "Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love or reject and condemn this person?"

And that seems to be the conciliatory tone Pope Francis is trying to set for the church he leads, not so much breaking with doctrine as shifting the church's emphasis, in the words of one Vatican commentator -- from condemnation to mercy.

Pope Francis in this interview also defends himself against criticism that he hasn't taken a sufficiently tough line against abortion, gay marriage or the use of contraception, all opposed by the church. But he indicates that's not likely to change. It's just not necessary, he says, to talk about these issues all of the time.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Rome.


LU STOUT: Now in the eight part series Expedition Sumatra, CNN is taking a hard look at environmental issues in Indonesia with a focus on the rain forest. And here's a clip from our latest installment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The island of Sumatra is the only place in Indonesia where wild tigers roam free. And Bobo (ph) would make a nice meal for Sumatran tiger. That's why it's critical for him to get off the ground and into the trees. This is one of the key lessons that rangers teach the orangutans while they're in the sanctuary.

Orangutans like Bobo (ph), who are former pets, are not used to climbing. They had to be taught how to find food, build shelters, and most importantly stay away from predators.

Peter and his team carefully monitor each orangutan's learning progress for years until they're sure the orangutan has mastered these survival techniques.

It's got to be frustrating for the rangers who knew Bobo (ph) can climb the trees to watch him stay on the ground.

Do they normally go straight up the tree, or?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, normally they go straight up the tree, but Bobo (ph) different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time Bobo (ph) moves, we're quick to give him plenty of room, because although Bobo (ph) is used to people, he's still an unpredictable wild animal.

He can't quite seem to make up his mind that the -- I think all of our adrenaline is pumping, because there's distance. When he turns to look at you and starts to head towards you, it gets your heart racing.


LU STOUT: A little peak there at Expedition Sumatra due tune in tonight, 11:30 in Hong Kong.

And before we go, an update on a mystery we told you about earlier this week, the Northampton clown. He's been frightening residents of the English town. And now he has spoken to a local paper. In the interview, the clown says he can understand why some people have been scared by his posts, but he insists it is all in good fun.

And that -- I'm thoroughly creeped out -- is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.