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Protests Erupt In Thailand; Pope Embraces Man; Mass Grave Found In Mexico; U.S.-Afghanistan Wrangle Over Security Agreement; Sandy Hook Report Released; Nanny Saves Boy From Mumbai Terrorists
Aired November 26, 2013 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULINE CHIOU, HOST: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Protesters put the heat on Thailand's prime minister as parliament debates her leadership. It's a script that has played out in the country before, but will it end differently this time?
Plus, they reached a deal, now the U.S. says Afghanistan's president is adding conditions to a new troops agreement.
And seeing the person inside, how a hug from Pope Francis changed the life of a severely disfigured man.
Thailand's prime minister is facing intense pressure on two fronts this hour in parliament and on the streets of the capital of Bangkok.
Anti-government protesters are still occupying the finance ministry building which they stormed on Monday. Protesters also gathered outside the interior and agriculture ministries today. They are calling for the government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.
In the past few hours, Thai police have issued an arrest warrant for the protester leader.
The government is also under attack in the Thai parliament where debate continues right now on a no confidence motion.
He is not even in Thailand, but it is this man, the prime minister's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra who is really at the heart of the unrest. The former telecom tycoon and prime minister was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He fled the country, but was convicted of corruption and sentenced in absentia to two years in prison.
Now Thaksin remains a populous hero among many in Thailand, but detractors accuse him of using his sister as a puppet to run the country from abroad.
So far, the demonstrations in Bangkok have been peaceful. And the prime minister has told reporters that violence will not be used against them.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak is a political scientist and he joins us now on the phone from Bagkok.
Thank you very much for being with us.
Is it a real possibility that the protesters could paralyze the government and actually force the prime minister out?
THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK, THAI POLITICAL SCIENTIST: That's always seen (ph). We've seen the paralysis of government. The protesters have occupied a number of ministries. The government looks impotent, looks ineffective, ineffectual. The government now will be compelled to respond in some way to make Bangkok and the government function again, otherwise it doesn't look good for the government.
The protesters are piling up the pressure in hope of trying to find an outright intervention to break down the government. So we are at a deadlock and something will have to give this week somehow.
CHIOU: Now Thitinan, we've seen something like this before over and over again. Five years ago, we saw the protesters take over the airports, now it's the government buildings. What do you think it will take for this cycle of protests to stop?
PONGSUDHIRAK: It's a big questionmark for us in Thailand. We are seeing a big dilemma that has been ongoing for a decade. We have a populous leader who has mass appeal who has delivered to the masses catering to the grievances and demands, but who is also corrupt and abused power.
But the bottom line is that people keep electing him and his parties back to power. Now the party is called Pheu Thai and his sister is the prime minister, but is in fact Thaksin is really the one who is controlling the buttons from afar.
So somehow the opponents of Thaksin will have to find a way to win the election.
The problem we have in Thailand is that people who win the election are not allowed to rule, but the people who have the real power cannot win the election. So somehow in the middle, somewhere in between, we have to find a way away from Thaksin for his opponents to have a chance as the electoral arena and for the Yingluck government to not use violence and for the protesters to step back a step or two.
CHIOU: Now it really was the political amnesty bill that seemed to be the final straw. That was floated by the prime minister and voted down two weeks ago. And that amnesty bill, in theory, would have given amnesty to Thaksin as well as many other political people who were arrested during that time during the past protests.
But what else are people angry about? Is it just that amnesty bill or something else?
PONGSUDHIRAK: It is the amnesty bill was a catalyst that reignited the anti-Thaksin's grievances in Bangkok -- a lot of this is in Bangkok. What basically has been happening here is that Thaksin has changed the way that Thailand has been.
You know, in Thailand we have a king -- his majesty the king is the center of Thai society. We have a hierarchy that is based on the king, but Thaksin opened up a system and enabled the people in the bottom rungs to kind of rise up, have some expectations and a sense of mobility, a stake in the system. And now Thailand is not the same.
For the people who oppose him, they want the old system back. I mean, they want -- that things were fine before, but the people who have supported him, they think that the changes that we are seeing are overdue, overdue, somehow that Thailand has moved forward into the 21st Century. For that, the crux of the problem -- somehow we have to get rid of Thaksin, but adopt a legacy that he has left behind and for his opponent to accept that.
CHIOU: Now, even though there is that sentiment, the prime minister and her brothers till have pretty strong support among the rural areas and the poor, because of programs that they've instituted in the past. But Yingluck Shinawatra has been criticized for mismanaging some policies, like the rice subsidies for farmers, which is costing the government a lot of money.
Now is the economy itself playing into the protester's dissatisfaction?
PONGSUDHIRAK: Certainly, but the economy is not in dire straits. The growth trajectory for Thailand, all things being equal, is fairly steady, 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 percent. There has been some corruption allegations on the policy front, rice (inaudible), plot management, the infrastructure planning projects and also the budget.
But overall, basically when you have a Thaksin led government in Thailand, his opponents were opposed in all ways possible and all means that they can come with.
That's really the bottom line is the battle between Thaksin and his opponent, but his opponents want to get rid of Thaksin and kind of return to the same kind of system we had before, but his supporters think otherwise.
The policy manifestation (ph) is something else. They will go after him with any means possible.
CHIOU: Thitinan Pongsudhirak, thank you very much for your excellent perspective. You're a political scientist there in Thailand. Thank you for joining us.
Now, violence has repeatedly erupted in Bangkok since Thaksin was ousted usually fueled by the side that is not in power. In 2008, demonstrations broke out against moves by the pro-Thaksin government to change the constitution to protect him from corruption charges. And later that year, pro-Thaksin protesters demonstrated against the appointment of an opposition leader as the new prime minister.
Now in 2010, Thaksin supporters took to the streets demanding new elections. A protest escalated over several months until security forces launched a major crackdown.
Then in 2011, the government changed side again when Thaksin's sister Yingluck became prime minister. Recent attempts by her government to grant Thaksin amnesty prompted these latest rounds of protests.
Well, the U.S. and Russia say they fully support the long delayed peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition. The Geneva II conference is to begin on January 22nd, but as Fred Pleitgen explains from Damascus, many Syrians aren't optimistic because it still isn't clear exactly who will attend.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Most people that we speak to here in Damascus say they're skeptical that a Geneva II conference will even be convened at the end of January. And if indeed it does happen, then they're skeptical that it'll actually lead to any sort of success.
Now the Syrian government has said that it's willing to participate in such a conference, but it's also said that any sort of demand for Bashar al-Assad to step down before a conference begins are not going to be met. And even any sort of guarantee that he wouldn't be part of some sort of transitional body that might be formed as a result of the conference would not be met in advance either.
The big question, of course here on the ground is which opposition is actually going to show up? The Syrian National Coalition, which is supported by the U.S. and many other western countries seems to be losing traction among many of the fighting groups on the ground here in Syria who have locked to other partners to try and gain momentum and also try and gain access to additional weapons that they obviously need in their battle.
Nevertheless, people that you speak to here on the ground, people in Damascus say the one thing that they do want is for the fighting to end as fast as possible because it's continuing to take a toll on their daily lives. There's a lot more shelling in Damascus now than there was before coming out of rebel controlled areas into government controlled areas. There are people who are suffering from this. There's also big shortages of medical supplies of food. And it is increasingly becoming clear to many people who have lived in this city for the past three years and have sort have been able to avoid much of the major fighting that seems to be creeping closer and closer to their lives.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.
CHIOU: A diplomatic solution to concerns over Iran's nuclear program seem to be out of reach just a few months ago, but tensions eased up when Iran elected its new, more moderate president.
But as Barbara Starr reports, there may be other reasons for the sudden progress.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps the major reason for a nuclear agreement with Iran: the latest U.S. intelligence assessment. Within nine months, Iran could have enough weapons grade fuel to make a bomb.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: We used to have a time line of about a year, a year-and-a-half to actual development and deployment. I think that's probably been tightened up as a result of the amount of enriched fuel that they have now.
STARR: Enrichment facilities and other sites will now be inspected, including a reactor being built at Arak, which could be used to make weapons grade plutonium.
But even with UN inspectors in Iran every day for the next six months, there are worries.
DAVID ALBRIGHT, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: The big question is will Iran have secret nuclear sites? I mean, everyone is worried that Iran could build a secret centrifuge plant, make centrifuges in secret and then deploy them and even start enriching using secret stocks of uranium.
STARR: Espionage against Iran is tough. The U.S. relies on drones, electronic eaves dropping and spies for information about the current nuclear effort. When an unmanned U.S. drone went down over Iran nearly two years ago, speculation was the high-tech spy plane was caught gathering nuclear intelligence. Iran believes Israel was behind the assassination of several of its scientists and that the west infected its program with Stuxnet a computer virus.
BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: You can't do this remotely. You can't sit in the Persian Gulf and listen to telephones and expect to figure out what the Iranians are doing. You need human assets on the ground. You have to get into their computer systems. You need Iranian nuclear scientists to tell what's really going on.
STARR: Those inspectors will be a big help, but so far no good answer on how to know everything about what the Iranians don't want the U.S. to see.
SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D) MICHIGAN: I love the slogan trust but verify, but I never understood it, because I think the right slogan is don't trust. I don't trust the Iranians.
But, let me -- and by the way, they don't trust us.
STARR: And what about gathering intelligence on Israel? Well, the U.S., of course, wants to know if and when Israel becomes so worried it decides to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
CHIOU: And that is Barbara Starr reporting from the Pentagon.
One year on, a disturbing report into the Sandy Hook school massacre provides new information about the shooter. We'll have the details coming up.
And U.S. patience is running thin as Afghanistan's president makes more demands before he'll sign a key security pact.
Plus, he's not aware of it, but this little baby is for many a symbol of hope for his divided country. We'll explain. Stay with us.
CHIOU: You are watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got on the show today.
We've already told you about the new round of political tension in Thailand. Later, a report about the shooter behind last year's school massacre in Connecticut raises more questions than answers.
But now let's turn to Afghanistan. There's no presidential signature yet on a U.S.-Afghan security agreement. It's supposed to set terms for a continuing U.S. military presence after NATO combat troops pull out. But Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign it as is.
Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from Bierut, Lebanon on this story. Nick, why is President Karzai digging in his heels after this agreement was negotiated?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Better the question many are still asking, Pauline. And I think if you look at this in the longer run this is perhaps the last opportunity that President Karzai gets to exact leverage over the Americans and the timeline he's insisting on that he doesn't want to sign this until the election to choose his successor are even underway or past might suggest that he wants to keep something to use against the Americans so they don't complain about any issues with that process.
That's speculation, but it might suggest some of the timing here, which is very strange. There was a lengthy negotiation between the U.S. and Kabul over this. They came up with a text. Some things had to be put to a council of elders, the loya jirga, to just make sure they were happy with particularly the clause about U.S. troops being under U.S. jurisdiction getting immunity, effectively, inside Afghanistan.
But then after that, he came forward and said he didn't want to sign it immediately. He wanted to see a delay until there is elections. The U.S. were quite clear they wanted it signed by the end of this year. And then, now a National Security Adviser Susan Rice is in Kabul to hold pretty much last minute talks about this. He's come up with further conditions saying he wants U.S. help in peace talks with Taliban and that he wants Afghan's held in Guantanamo released.
So he does keep moving the goalposts here, but I think you have to bear in mind what seems to be a growing diminishing patience in the White House, perhaps not convinced they really even want a permanent presence in Afghanistan in the future. It's going to cause this much hassle. And the key signal sending Susan Rice to have these conversations and not the friendly emissary John Kerry who has a long relationship with Hamid Karzai. That really the U.S. actually aren't bluffing when they say sign it by the end of the year or forget about it -- Pauline.
CHIOU: Yeah, they're really emphasizing that, by the end of this year. And will the U.S. make good on its threat -- Susan Rice has indicated this -- to actually pull out altogether along with the NATO troops? Would they actually do that after investing in Afghanistan for more than a decade?
WALSH: That's why this whole debate, being almost complext and tedious behind closed doors, is so important, because it does effectively spell what's known as the zero option in U.S. circles.
No troops. And with that, very little if no aid for Afghan security forces and the massive drop in contributions of aid towards Afghanistan. It's all part of a broader package really in many ways. And the timetable was set for the next 10 years guaranteeing the U.S. could have a presence and unspecified number of troops.
But if this deal doesn't go through, there's a very strong chance everything collapses. And that's why this is important. America's longest war here effectively could end acrimoniously with America able to exact very little influence on what's happening in Afghanistan in the future.
It's a conflict very much in the back minds of the American people. Many Americans perhaps even sure if they still are 50,000 plus American troops inside Afghanistan. But at the end of the day we're talking about the legacy of this conflict. So many American and Afghanistan lives lost. Is it going to end over a technical dispute like this almost -- Pauline.
CHIOU: OK, Nick, thank you very much. Nick Paton Walsh there live in Beirut on this U.S.-Afghan security packet and whether or not it will indeed be signed.
In other news now, police in Mexico have made a very gruesome discovery. More than 40 bodies have been found in mass graves in the state of Jalisco this month. It could be tied to the explosion of violence between drug cartels in the neighboring state of Michoacan.
Well, Rafael Romo has more on this story.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: The Mexican attorney general's office has confirmed that so far, 42 bodies have been found in mass graves. It all started earlier this month with the discovery of 14 bodies in the town of La Barca located on the border between the states of Jalisco and Michoacan. As crime scene investigators looked for evidence in the area, they continued to find more mass graves and more bodies until the number reached 42. The state of Michoacan has seen an explosion of violence in recent months caused by fighting between cartels and vigilante groups.
LUIS CARLOS NAJERA, GENERAL PROSECUTOR, JALISCO STATE (through translator): We have personnel spread out. And we're working in coordination with the federal authorities so that the problems in Michoacan do not have a negative effect on Jalisco.
ROMO: Authorities say many of the bodies found so far have bullet wounds and show signs of possible torture. This is not the first discovery of mass graves in Mexico. Earlier this month, bodies were also found in clandestine graves outside the beach resorts of Acapulco.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Oaxaca, Mexico.
CHIOU: And as Rafael mentioned, a little over a week ago, police in southern Mexico found 13 bodies in mass graves near the popular resort city of Acapulco. That is part of Guerrero state which is known to have one the highest homicide rates in the country.
Well, coming up next on News Stream, the FDA takes aim at genetic testing firm 23 and Me. We'll take a closer look at the Google backed company coming up.
CHIOU: Welcome back to News Stream.
Have you ever wanted to know what diseases you might develop later on in life? Well, this company, 23 and Me, offers home testing kits that claim to do just that. You send in some saliva samples and technicians will figure out your genetic risk for dozens of health conditions.
But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered it to stop sales of home testing kits. The FDA says the company has failed to prove the validity of its product.
For more on this story, let's bring in our regular contributor Nicholas Thompson. He's editor for The New Yorker.com.
Nick, these are $99 tests that are sold directly to consumers. So it's not like you're going to the doctors or the lab to to this. What are the main issues of concern for the FDA?
NICK THOMPSON, THE NEW YORKER.COM: Well, the general issue of concern is that the information given to consumers is potentially inaccurate and potentially dangerous, that consumers could take this information and then make medical decisions that are quite harmful. They might see something in genetic tests that comes back from 23 and Me and say, oh my god, I need to have surgery. Or, oh my god, I'm going to die much sooner than I thought. And instead of taking actions that will make them healthier, which of course the whole point of 23 and Me, they could take actions that make them less healthy.
So, that's the general concern.
The particular concern -- and this is actually in some ways where, the sympathy shifts very much to the FDA's side, it appears, from what the FDA has put out there, that 23 and Me has been totally nonresponsive to a government agency. They have not responded to a letter of the past six months. They have not responded in many different ways. So, it makes you not fully trust what's going on at 23 and Me. And I'm sure it led to a lot of anger at the FDA, which is behind the decision that we've just heard.
CHIOU: And in fact on their website, Nicholas -- on 23 and Me's website, they say that they acknowledge that they didn't meet the expectations of the time line from the FDA. So they are saying, yeah, we - - you know, we kind of messed up on that front.
But this is genome mapping. And it's about compiling data of personal medical information. So how critical is it for a company like this to actually work with the government when you're dealing with medical data? And actually to answer their letters and answer their questions?
THOMPSON: I mean, it could not be more critical. You could not think of a company that you want to have a closer relationship with a government agency. This is a company that at the moment is dealing with the most sensitive personal information you can possibly imagine. Not only that, but their future business model depends on aggregating all of that personal information and storing all of our genetic data, the information that makes up who we are.
So here is this company - and you would think that both from a moral perspective and from a political perspective and from a business perspective they would say we're going to put the emails from the FDA people at the top of our inbox and we're going to return their phone calls and we're going to return their letters because we know we have to work this out. So it's kind of crazy that they didn't.
CHIOU: Now you used the word aggregating. And to me, that often leads to the word Google. And this is a company that has serious major backers from Silicon Valley. How deeply involved is Google? And how deeply involved are other tech venture capitalists in this company? This is a serious company even though it's only five years old?
THOMPSON: Yeah, it's -- well, I mean, the company was founded by the wife of Sergey Brin. They're now separated, but she, you know, is very, very close. It's very much tied into the Google founders, into the Google executives.
And also it's very much tied into the philosophy of Google, which is let's give power to the -- let's give power to the consumers. Let's -- information wants to be free, let's put it out there. Information about people's health has traditionally been held in a very closed system. Your doctors knows the results of your tests, interpret them for you, you don't really know anything about your health. Let's change the equation.
So that was the principle upon which this company was founded. And it's why it got so much attention and so much support and so much love for so long, because that is a very important idea philosophically.
And Silicon Valley is very tied into it, Google is very tied into it. And this is a reflection of some fraying, in a way I think, between West Coast culture and East Coast culture.
CHIOU: OK. So let's see if the company actually sends a letter to the FDA. It seems quite simple, doesn't it.
THOMPSON: I think they're going to do so.
CHIOU: Yeah. OK. We will follow that story.
Nicholas, thanks so much. That's Nicholas Thompson, our regular contributor.
And just ahead on News Stream, one year on and still searching for a motive. What a new report reveals about the Sandy Hook school massacre.
And this little guy is only a couple of months old, but he's already reached a major milestone for his country. We'll tell you why after the break.
CHIOU: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Thai authorities have now issued an arrest warrant for a main protest leader as anti-government demonstrations widen in Bangkok. But they say they won't arrest him just yet to avoid inciting public anger. Demonstrators are demanding Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra resign, but she is expected to survive a no confidence motion.
Japan is not the only nation upset by China's sudden declaration of a so-called air defense identification zone over much of the East China Sea. Australia has summoned the Chinese ambassador for an explanation. Australia's foreign minister says the imposition of the zone is, quote, "unhelpful" and could harm regional stability.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is still refusing to sign a joint security deal with the U.S. On Monday night, he met with U.S. national security advisor Susan Rice in Kabul. Mr. Karzai wants assurances that the U.S. military will not conduct raids on Afghan homes. Separately he has also said he won't sign any deal until after the presidential election in April.
Now we have a disturbing look inside the mind of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza. A new report says the young man who killed 20 children and six staffers at a Connecticut elemenatary school last year was obsessed with mass killings. But any motive he might have had remains largely a mystery.
The report provides few answers to victims families who continue to ask why.
For more now let's go straight to Susan Candiotti live in New York. Susan, what was this report able to tell us?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does give us an even more disturbing and complicated picture of 20-year-old Adam Lanza who, though he lived with his mother, would only talk with her by email.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Among the evidence released publicly for the first time, dozens of photos of Sandy Hook Elementary School and a look at the gunman's near bye home. He blasted through a window to bypass the lock door and begin his shooting spree. We see the rifle used to kill 20 children and six adults in less than 11 minutes. Found in the same classroom as the shooter's body and the handgun he uses to kill himself. All bought legally by his mother.
DR. JEFF GARDERE, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, TOURO COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: She may have thought this was a way to control him or get through to him because she seemed to have a fascination with guns and shooting herself so a way for them to connect, but absolutely the wrong way to do it.
CANDIOTTI: One question that remains unanswered, why? The 44-page report concludes the evidence clearly showed that the shooter planned his actions, but there is no clear indication why he did so or why Adam targeted Sandy Hook, a school are he used to go. What emerges is a picture of a deeply troubled 20-year-old, a loner obsessed with mass murder.
He spent hours a day playing video and computer games, many violent including "Call of Duty," another called 'School Shooting'. The report also references a video not shown to the public, a 5-second dramatization of children being shot. And surprisingly, he seemed fixated on the game, "Dance, Dance Revolution." With a dance pad at home and spending up to ten hours a day playing it at a theater down the street.
His computer hard drive was smashed make it nearly impossible to retrieve information. But investigators found a spreadsheet detailing mass murders. Including this "The New York Times," Lanza not only suffered from Asperger's syndrome. He was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems.
Changing his clothes several times a day, obsessed about how his food was arranged on his plate. He wouldn't allow his mother into his room even to clean it.
GARDERE: It seemed like as time was going on, he was starting to decompensate more towards a psychotic behavior as well you see obsessive- compulsive disorder traits. Paranoia going on and paints a picture of someone who was extremely difficult to manage. CANDIOTTI: His bedroom windows covered with black garage bagged. He hates birthdays, Christmas and holidays and even after Superstorm Sandy refused to stay at a hotel. He also didn't like being touched.
CANDIOTTI: And there's more to come with this investigation. The Connecticut State Police has a report that's thousands of pages long which contains all the evidence they gathered. When they release it, it could provide us even more insight and hopefully more to think about when it comes to preventing these kinds of tragedies in the future -- Pauline.
CHIOU: Susan, that report is so troubling with some of the details you told us about.
Has there been any reaction from the victims' families or even the relatives of the shooter?
CANDIOTTI: Yeah, not from relatives of the shooter, although I did reach out to them. The family of one of the brave teachers who was killed, however, trying to protect her students said the report does not make sense of the senseless for them. Instead, every day is spent trying to live without their loved one.
And of course, a very difficult anniversary coming up, December 14, that's the anniversary of that school's massacre.
CHIOU: All right, Susan thank you very much. Susan Candiotti there from New York.
Now we turn to India, which is also marking a somber anniversary this Tuesday. It has been five years since that attacks that terrorized this city for four days. 10 gunmen associated with the Pakistani militant group attacked several sites in India's biggest city. They started at a railway station and then moved on to a hospital, a cinema, a Jewish center and a cafe before taking over several luxury hotels.
Now, here you see an image that brings back the horror of the siege. Gunmen hold themselves up at the Taj Mahal hotel for three days before commandos stormed this building and killed them.
In the end, 164 people were killed in the attacks and nine of the 10 gunmen were dead. The surviving gunman was tried, convicted and then hanged in November of last year.
Among the victims of the attacks were the parents of this Jewish boy. He was also at the Jewish center where gunmen opened fire, but he was saved by his Indian nanny.
Now, as Ian Lee tells us, five years later they are still inseparable.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Moshe is your typical 7-year-old rambunctious...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Funny, funny guy, this boy.
LEE: His nanny Sandra Samuel raised him from a baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're becoming big now. I can't carry you.
LEE: But carry him she did from gunfire and smoke five years ago in Mumbai when terrorists stormed this Jewish center where they were living, killing Moishi's (ph) parents Gabriel Holtzberg (ph) and his wife Ribka (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even now I can picture Rabbi Gabby and Ribka (ph) screaming and (inaudible) fighting the noise. I think the terrorists throwing the chairs down -- the sound of it, yes, even now I can see that a picture.
LEE: Reciting psalm 23, Sandra shepherd Moshe to safety. Once security forces regained control, they found six people were dead. Moishi's (ph) parents bodies were brought to Israel. Ribka's (ph) father Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg helped burying them on the Mount of Olives.
RABBI SHIMON ROSENBERG, MOSHE'S GRANDFATHER: His nanny was not a regular nanny. His nanny was feeling like (inaudible) take the boy.
LEE: Sandra is never far from Moshe's side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Moshe boy and I will always be close. And I hope we will always have that connection.
LEE: Moshe's grandfather wants to keep memories of his daughter and son-in-law alive. He's constructing a community center to honor the young caretakers of the Mumbai Jewish center. He also hopes it inspires Moshe.
ROSENBERG: I keep them in the mind. Moshe (inaudible) doing the same the father and the mother doing.
LEE: There might be some solace for Sandra in that. She still carries regrets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bravery, I can't say I was brave at that moment, no. If I was brave, I could have gone that same day and done something for the parents.
LEE: While she may question her bravery, for this family, there's no question. She's a hero.
Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.
CHIOU: And CNN's Mallika Kapur was the first journalist allowed inside Habbad House (ph) after the attack. She says it was the hardest assignment she ever had. And you can read Mallika's reporter's notebook on our website at CNN.com.
Now we want to turn to Lebanon. And this baby may look like any other newborn, but he is making history. He has said to be the first child born in Lebanon who does not have a religious sect listed on his birth certificate. Mohammed Jamjoom shares his family's unique story.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a country as small as a newborn is tiny, this baby is a big deal.
KHOLOUD SUKKARIEH, GHADI'S MOTHER: Ghadi was born pure, was born Lebanese citizen. He was not born a sectarian person then a non-sectarian person, but he was born purely Lebanese citizen.
JAMJOOM: Which wasn't even possible until about two months ago when adorable little Ghadi arrived.
SUKKARIEH: Right here they mention, usually they mention what is the sect of the father and the mother.
JAMJOOM: Oh, they used to put it here or here?
But on Ghadi's birth certificate, that section is very deliberately blank.
SUKKARIEH: Actually it means a step forward for a better Lebanon. The results of a long struggle.
JAMJOOM: A two year fight from engagement to marriage, which required special approval showcasing just how fractured his family's homeland remains.
Ghadi's mom, Kholoud is a Sunni Muslim, his father Nidal a Shiite.
They never wanted a religious wedding ceremony, but in Lebanon civil marriages aren't legal. Kholoud and Nidal's marriage has inspired others. And the movement has gained momentum of late.
Lebanese citizens asking for the right to marry who they want and how they want to.
Committed as much to each other as they were to their case, Kholoud and Nidal took on political and religious leaders. Despite strong opposition and multiple threats, the persevered, making history, the country's first civil marriage. When their ceremony was televised earlier this year, the newly weds dance showcased hope and happiness.
But in Lebanon, where religion can mean the difference between life and death, love and birth aren't always celebrated.
SUKKARIEH: Somebody talked to me on Facebook and said I will turn your baby into blood, because he's illegal baby based on his point of view.
JAMJOOM: Literally threatening Ghadi just like that.
SUKKARIEH: That's right, yes. As clear as it is. And they are just saying that you won't see him growing up, you will see him killed someday between your hands.
JAMJOOM: Hard to imagine how anyone could see Ghadi as a threat, yet sectarian tensions have long existed in this country of 18 different faiths.
A civil war in neighboring Syria only made things worse. Just last week, two suicide bombs rocked Beirut. Over the summer, dozens were killed in blasts targeting both Sunni and Shiite strongholds throughout the country.
It's no wonder Nidal is so fearful for his family, no surprise they're thinking of leaving Lebanon altogether.
"I just constantly want to protect Khooud and Ghadi," Nidal tells me, "hold them close and not let them go."
Ghadi, whose name in Arabic means "My Future," isn't old enough to worry yet. His parents dream of a future where he'll never have to.
Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Beirut.
CHIOU: Still to come right here on News Stream, one man's holy moment after a lifetime of living with a disfiguring medical condition. We'll be right back.
CHIOU: Anne Sweeney is a top Disney executive and a name to be reckoned with in the entertainment business. In this week's leading women, she sat down with out Poppy Harlow and talked about her path to success in a very tough industry.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's a powerful and familiar face on the Hollywood red carpet. Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Network and president of the Disney/ABC television group oversees the company's interests in 187 channels and affiliates around the world.
You have repeatedly been called one of the most powerful women in Hollywood and one of the most powerful women in business period. Does that ever bother you? Do you ever wish that it was just the most powerful period?
ANNE SWEENEY, DISNEY MEDIA NETWORK: I do. I think for all of these years it has been very important to acknowledge women, because they were -- we were unacknowledged for so long.
But I do hope we're moving to the day when we are powerful people. We stand on our accomplishments, we stand on our failures, we stand on the risks that we've taken.
HARLOW: For Sweeney, risks, like becoming president of ABC in 2004. We talked about that at the Fortune most powerful women summit in Washington, D.C.
When you did take that role as president, some criticized it and said she doesn't have enough experience in broadcast. Is she really the right person for this job? And I wonder, did that bother you?
SWEENEY: No. I knew they were right. I didn't have the experience, but that's where it stopped for me. I really didn't care what people said, because I was so excited to lead.
HARLOW: In her nearly 18 years with the company she led a turnaround and a technological transformation.
SWEENEY: Bob called me and said Steve Jobs wants you to call him. He has this new technology. And Steve explained the video iPod. And no one knew that that would be the beginning of probably the biggest moment in our television group that would make our content available wherever you are on whatever device you're holding at the moment.
HARLOW: Was there a single or a few pivotal moments for you in your career that you think led you here?
SWEENEY: Yes. I did have that moment of wanting to be an actress. And a friend of mine was a casting director. And then I went into his office, I was in college. And I looked down at the floor and there were piles and piles and piles and piles of headshots. And it struck me at that moment that I could spend my whole life in a pile on the floor, or I could stay close to the things I loved, stay close to the arts and do something else.
HARLOW: The path she chose has taken her far. And one thing she's always believed...
You've said that you've never had a promotion to promotion plan.
SWEENEY: I didn't see my life or my career in that way. It doesn't matter, what matters is what you're learning, how you're learning it and then how you're employing it in the day-to-day.
CHIOU: Anne Sweeney, our Leading Woman today.
Well, next on News Stream, he's been discriminated against because of his appearance. And now he says he has a newfound confidence thanks to the pope's embrace.
CHIOU: Let's check on the weather forecast right now. We are tracking a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. Tom Sater is live at the world weather center. And Tom we've seen a few of these recently.
TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we sure have. Last month, we have -- of course a massive one, Phailin. They evacuated a million people on the coast.
To give you an idea of the difference between this one, Lehar, and Phailin, the winds right now are 140 kilometers per hour. That's up from 120 yesterday. Phailin at this time was up to 260. So this is no Phailin. And there's good reason I don't think we're going to have to evacuate a million people from the coast.
Category two strength, but it is going to make landfall -- this is a fickle creature, though. We're watching the warm waters that are feeding it. And I think it will get a little bit stronger, not to Phailin strength, but what's been interesting about this is you take a top and you spin a top on a table. For so long you can only stay vertical before it starts to wobble. This one is wobbling somewhat and it's causing it a path which was going to be further to the north to slide now further to the south.
So there is still some uncertainty. I think landfall time, which was going to be Thursday morning, looks to be maybe midday to 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm in the afternoon.
We're still talking about winds at 150, possibly stronger wind gusts.
Now the current position, this system is a good 827 kilometers southeast of Asaka Putnam (ph).
Now originally, it looked like we would have this landfall just a couple hundred kilometers to the south there. But now it is being shifted to the south. This is Machili Putnam (ph), a fishing community, 250,000. There is a radar in Machili Putnam (ph) and it actually covers the whole 960 kilometer coastline of Andhra Pradesh.
So we're going to watch this.
Current wave heights with this are about -- what do we have, eight meters in height? The system doesn't want to lose much strength, but I think it will before landfall. Our computer models want to take it even a little bit further southward. If it gets into this little bay we could have a pretty good storm surge, maybe a two meters. But or the most part, we're not talking about much, Pauline, but we're going to keep an eye on this system, because this -- even though this is an area of concern, and we do have of course cyclones make landfall quite frequently, this one doesn't seem to have nearly the strength that Phailin had. But we'll continue to watch some gusy winds and some rainfall move its way into that area of the world.
Keeping an eye on it for you.
Yeah, I know you will. And thank you for putting it into perspective with Phailin.
All right, thanks so much, Tom.
Well, one recent image of the pontiff embracing a man disfigured by a rare disease has gone viral and has become yet another symbol of the pope's deep compassion. Ben Wedeman talked with the man whose life has been forever changed by that chance meeting with Pope Francis.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After four hours of work, Vinicio Riva is done. Five days a week, he does odd jobs at a home for the elderly in Vicenza in northern Italy.
By the way, did you notice something? Yes, 53-year-old Vinicio suffers from a hereditary genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1. His body's almost covered from head to toe with growths, swellings and sores.
His mother had the same condition, as does his sister. He's had it since the age of 15.
His appearance often terrifies strangers. Vinicio recalls trying to take a seat on a bus, but being told by the passenger next to him to sit somewhere else.
"I wanted to answer back, but I controlled myself," he says. "I felt my blood pressure rise. I wanted to leave the bus, but I had a doctor's appointment. There were lots of people on the bus, but no one said a word."
Not all strangers, however, react like that. Earlier this month, Vinicio went with his Aunt Caterina to St. Peter's Square where Pope Francis approached him and without a moment's hesitation kissed and hugged him. "When he embraced me", he recalls, "I quivered. I felt a great warmth."
Aunt Caterina was struck by the pope's very down to earth manner.
"I looked down at his shoes. They were like this," she says. "I thought, yes, this is someone who really walks. And he was someone who, if he weren't wearing that clothing, you wouldn't even know he's the pope."
Since then, Vinicio has returned to his daily routines. He continues to work and root for his favorite soccer team Juventus, but something has changed.
The pope's simple embrace was a symbol to millions that underneath Vinicio's tortured surface is a fellow human being. "I feel stronger and happier", he tells me. "I feel I can move ahead because the Lord is protecting me."
However, he still has some unfinished business with Pope Francis. "I hope he calls me so we can have a face-to-face meeting," says Vinicio. I have many things to tell him.
What do you want to tell him? I ask.
"That's a bit private", he replies. "It's between him and I".
He returns home from work on his bike, his dignity far more apparent than his illness.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Vicenza, Italy.
CHIOU: What a beautiful story there.
On our website, the CNN belief blog explores why the pope's embrace can be so powerful for followers.
Let's look at some other feel good papal hugs. On Easter Sunday, Francis cradled an 8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy while standing in the pope movile. Nd last month, he hugged a disabled man at Vatican City during a ceremony for an organization that takes sick people on pilgrimages.
On that note, we have to say good-bye. That is News Stream, but the news continues right here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.