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Thailand's Political Protests; China-Japan Tensions; South Korea Speaks Out; Nigella Court Controversy; Football Match-Fixing Allegations; Brazil Stadium Accident; Berlusconi Expelled from Parliament; Euthanasia for Children Debate; IAEA Holds News Conference; Violence Grips CAR; Technology and Human Trafficking; Sizzle or Fizzle?; Thanksgiving Tradition; Howard the "Kimpersonator"

Aired November 28, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. Welcome to NEWS STREAM where news and technology meet.


CHIOU (voice-over): Thailand's prime minister easily survived the challenge to her leadership in Parliament.

But the vote failed to silence protests on the streets.

Plus a Belgian lawmaker surveyed a controversial subject: child euthanasia. We'll examine the painful dilemmas faced by families with desperately ill children.

And this comet is preparing for a close encounter with the sun. Will it put on a spectacular show or fail to dazzle stargazers?



CHIOU: Dozens of protesters on the streets of Bangkok are still chanting for her resignation. But Thailand's prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra has survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament with relative ease.


CHIOU (voice-over): Still, demonstrators are ignoring her pleas to end their rallies. Protesters are still occupying and surrounding government buildings. And today they targeted the national police headquarters.

They accuse Yingluck Shinawatra of being a puppet for her older brother, the exiled former prime minister, Thaksin. But she insists she is not going anywhere. And today the prime minister called for calm. Here's our Anna Coren.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can see, thousands of people have staged a mass rally outside police headquarters here in Bangkok as part of growing protests across the city, demanding for the resignation of Thailand's prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra and her government.

Protesters here say that she is merely a puppet for her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted from power back in 2006 during a military coup. Well, he went into self-imposed exile in 2008 after being charged with corruption. And he hasn't set foot in Thailand since.

Well, it's not just here in the CBD, where they have taken control; it's also government ministries and buildings where the protesters have set up a camp. Now there are hundreds of riot police close by, watching on, armed and ready to respond in case these protests get out of hand.

But organizers say there will be no violence. You have to remember, that these are the very streets that, back in 2010 when demonstrations did turn ugly and it claimed the lives of 90 people, many of them civilians, but as I say, organizers reiterate there will be no arms, no weapons brought to these rallies.

But Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says that she is in control of this country, even more so after surviving a vote of no confidence in Parliament. She says that it's time for these demonstrations to end.

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, PM, THAILAND (through translator): We understand that this seizing of government offices is symbolic of their movement. I'm pleading with the protesters to stop doing this because our administration still need to operate. We government and protesters need to talk. They need to stop their movement first. This would be the best solution so everybody will be relaxed. Then we can discuss the way for our country.

COREN: While the prime minister has offered dialogue to try and resolve this political crisis, she has given more power to the military and police to restore law and order in case these protests get out of hand -- Anna Coren, CNN, Bangkok.


CHIOU: And you can learn more about the turbulent world of Thai politics. We have a simple Q&A to help you make sense of it all from the coup in 2006 to what's at stake for the region right now. You can log on to our website,

Tensions are still brewing in the skies above the East China Sea. Over China's newly declared air defense identification zone, Japan and the U.S. and others are refusing to recognize it and says that territorial overreach. Japan says that its military and passenger planes have flown through the zone, outlined here in red without bowing to China's demands for flight plans and other information.

The zone includes an area over a chain of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China, and Senkaku by Japan. As this dispute continues, Tokyo shows no signs of backing down.


YOSHIHIDE SGA, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): We have no plans to change what we are doing out of consideration to China.


CHIOU: Our correspondents in China and Japan have been asking people on the street how they feel about the latest tensions. David McKenzie is in Beijing and Karl Penhaul reports from Tokyo.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China and Japan are engaged in a tense tussle for control of the skies over the East China Sea so I've come to the streets of Tokyo to see if the alarm bells are ringing.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But first I'm on the streets of Beijing. China started this round of tension when it unilaterally announced an Air Defense Identification Zone which bisects islands disputed with Japan, so patriotism is running high.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): "This is between our countries. I think China should protect its sovereignty," says Prilan Sedlisurong (ph). "But it's too sensitive," he says.

In fact, many people wouldn't talk on camera. But not Hong Kong-born Dickie Wu (ph).

"This isn't about confrontation," he says. "It's defending our rights."

State media tabloid "Global Times" took readers in another direction, holding an unscientific survey online, pushing options like "intercept unidentified foreign aircraft", "shoot after warning" and "flaming tracer bullets" -- 51.8 percent went for that one.

Soldier-turned-makeup artist Gau Nan (ph) knows about military matters.

But does he think China should take on Japan?

"It depends if China has enough power," he laughs.

PENHAUL (voice-over): Over in Tokyo that kind of Chinese tough talk is striking a raw nerve. Office worker Kenji Iwadate thinks enough is enough, time Japan flexed its muscles.

KENJI IWADATE, OFFICE WORKER (through translator): Japan is weak against foreign countries and I don't think we get respect from them. So I want the government to take a stronger stance.

PENHAUL (voice-over): There's no love lost between neighbors. This poll published by the Japanese government days before the airspace declaration showed 80 percent of Japanese dislike the Chinese. They don't like the Russians much better.

Despite rising tensions, Eiko Kondo recalls the lessons of World War II.

EIKO KONDO, HOUSEWIFE (through translator): I really don't want a war. That's the last thing we need. We cannot repeat our dark and sad past. Our two countries should find a solution.

PENHAUL (voice-over): That's not to say younger generations are ready to roll over. Nursing student Miki Sawada has no doubt who owns the disputed islands.


PENHAUL (voice-over): But she's not worried about a flare-up.

SAWADA (through translator): Japan promises in the constitution it will not go to war, even if China tries to start it. I believe Japan can solve it by negotiation. So I'm not worried.

PENHAUL (on camera): Many of those I've been speaking to say the Japanese government should do more to stand up for itself. But although they may not like the Chinese that much they clearly say they want peace, not war.

I'm Karl Penhaul in Tokyo.

MCKENZIE (on camera): And I am David McKenzie in Beijing.


CHIOU: Well, this isn't just a dispute between China, Japan and the U.S.; South Korea is also critical of the new defense zone. Paula Hancocks has more from Seoul.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: South Korea has now become more heavily involved in the ongoing territorial and airspace disputes between China and Japan. Seoul said on Thursday that it flew a military plane on Tuesday through China's newly declared air defense zone without notifying Beijing.

Now the defense ministry here in South Korea says it was a maritime patrol plane and it was flying over the disputed Ieodo Reef. This is a reef that is claimed and controlled by South Korea. Seoul says that it was a routine flight.

Now also this Thursday there was a high-level defense strategic meeting between China and Korea. South Korea did ask China to change its new air defense zone and it does overlap that of South Korea's, Seoul even saying that it would consider enlarging its own air defense zone, which of course could escalate the situation even further.

Seoul says that at this point, China has rejected its demands -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


CHIOU: Still ahead on NEWS STREAM, shocking allegations against the celebrity chef has two of her former assistants go on trial. We'll have the latest from London.

Arrested and accused of match fixing in the beautiful game, some current and former footballers are detained in the U.K.

And we'll hear from parents coping with desperately sick children and hear what they think about a very controversial law being debated in Belgium.



CHIOU: You're watching NEWS STREAM and you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.

We've already updated you on the political turmoil in Thailand, where protesters insist they won't back down until the prime minister resigns.

In a moment, we'll tell you about allegations of match fixing in football in the U.K. But first we turn to a closely watched court case in London.

She has become a household name for her food. But now celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's dirty laundry is being aired out in a London courtroom. Two former assistants to her and her ex-husband are on trial for allegedly defrauding the couple of over a million dollars.

Max Foster has more from London.


MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Nigella Lawson's former personal assistants accuse her of lying to her husband about her drug use and about what they were spending on the company cars. Today Charles Saatchi will explain what he knew and when.

FOSTER (voice-over): The bitter battle between celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson, and her multimillionaire ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, now taking a shocking term with new accusations of illegal drug use.

In an email read out in court, Saatchi accuses Lawson of using cocaine and marijuana on a daily basis, allowing two former personal assistants to walk away with more than $1 million over four years.

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: You really don't know what the truth is, but what it does do is pretty much damage Nigella Lawson's reputation. Whether or not it's true or not, we don't know, but now we have this story of alleged drug use from Nigella. And this could affect jobs that she has coming to her right now.

FOSTER (voice-over): The former assistants, sisters, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, are now facing criminal charges, accused of committing fraud using a company credit card. They deny the charges.

But Saatchi claims Lawson's drug habit allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked.

A spokesman for Lawson declined to comment. But the celebrity chef did tweet out a recipe and thanked her supporters using the #TeamNigella.

The couple divorced earlier this year after photos from this restaurant of Saatchi grabbing Lawson's throat during an argument made front-page headlines. Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault.

According to defense attorneys for the Grillo sisters, that's when Saatchi learned of Lawson's alleged use.

BALTHAZAR: We have three different parties basically all at each other's throats and we really don't know the truth. Even if Nigella were to take a drug test tomorrow and test positive for drugs, we still wouldn't know whether or not she was authorizing all this money to be spent.

FOSTER (voice-over): The defense claims emails showed Saatchi and Lawson had attempted a manipulation of the court and that the case should be thrown out. The judge has ruled that the case against the personal assistants will continue.

FOSTER: Nigella Lawson says she's not making any comments about this case whilst it's ongoing, so we still haven't had her point of view.


CHIOU: Also in the U.K., six men have been arrested, accused of match fixing. "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper reports that some of the men are current and former footballers but not top league professional players.

And authorities say they are investigating a large international betting syndicate.

For more now, "WORLD SPORT's" Amanda Davies joins me now from London.

Amanda, how has all of this come to light?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pauline, yes. As you said, it's a National Crime Agency investigation that's been carried out over quite a significant period of time here in the U.K.

What we know is that there have been six arrests over the last two days; three of those arrests are footballers. But we know that they, on the whole, are lower league players. The clubs haven't been identified because this is still very much an open investigation, an ongoing investigation.

But we know that the clubs aren't Premier League clubs and the players aren't Premier League players.

The statement that we have, the only real concrete statement that we have from the National Crime Agency says, "The focus of the operation is a suspected international illegal betting syndicate. The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association.

"This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further detail at this time."

As you mentioned, "The Daily Telegraph," the newspaper here in the U.K., they are the people who started an investigation into Asian betting syndicates targeting British football. And they've been following a Singapore-based internationally known fixer for a period of time.

He arrived in the U.K. last week; they put in place some secret filming. And on camera, he was found, saying that you could fix a match for as little as 50,000 pounds. That's about $81,000, by forecasting results and predicting yellow cards.

I think we can have a listen to a little bit about now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): On Saturday, if you talked to -- when we talked to players, you -- would you ask them or tell them or what? Or just not say anything?


DAVIES (voice-over): There, quite difficult, but suggests you can imagine it's secret filming, Pauline.


DAVIES: Quite worryingly, this fixer goes on to say it's not just English games that he has control of, there's other matches around Europe he can control. And he also went on to say that he had power over foreign officials as well. So quite worrying times for the football community.

CHIOU: Yes, and it also shows that it's quite pervasive.

But the thing is, Amanda, there have been so many scandals about match fixing recently in football.

Should we really be surprised by this?

DAVIES: I think, in blunt terms, no, we shouldn't be surprised. The big thing that is the development here is that this is the first time there's been enough evidence collected that British football, English football has been implicated.

We know that there are about 60 different investigations going on around the world at the present time in countries as widespread as Hungary, South Africa, Korea. This is a serious problem, one that the former head of football's governing body, FIFA, their security force described as endemic just a couple of months ago.

There was -- you might remember, Pauline, that Europol investigation and their report that was published at the start of this year, they said that they had managed to identify 425 individuals across match officials, players, managers, referees, that were involved in these -- this business, these dodgy dealings.

And they had mentioned 630 matches that they could pinpoint that this had taken place, because what happens, of course, is that these people influence the players. And in -- they say they can then predict the outcome of the games.

And on top of that, these big Asian betting networks then take advantage. They can make hundreds of thousands of dollars from correctly being able to predict what is going to happen in these games.

There is a very big criminal underworld that we're talking about operating within football.

CHIOU: Yes, and that's another angle to this, the tentacles of this. It's such a huge animal to try to take down.

Amanda, thank you very much, Amanda Davies there, live from London.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, an investigation is underway into a deadly construction accident at a World Cup stadium. Two workers were killed when a crane collapsed on Wednesday and as Shasta Darlington reports, the accident is raising new questions about preparations for next year's tournament.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At least two workers were killed at the construction site of the stadium set to host the opening match of the World Cup here in Brazil.

The accident happened when a crane at the Sao Paulo venue fell over and a huge chunk of roofing came crashing down on the site. It's a tragedy for workers but also a blow to Brazil as it gears up for this huge sporting event next June.

A total of 12 arenas are building built or refurbished for the World Cup, and this obviously races questions about the quality of the work. In fact, the Sao Paulo Stadium was being built by Brazil's biggest and best known construction company, Odebrecht, for Sao Paulo's most popular football club, Corinthians.

We visited the construction site earlier this week, and it was actually pretty impressive. Most of the seats were in; all but one piece of the roofing had been installed. The grass was down.

They told us the stadium was 95 percent done. They also said there'd be an inaugural game in January between Corinthians and the workers. The accident will obviously delay works. Initially, stadium officials say they'll resume construction on Monday.

Either way, it's looking very unlikely that the stadium will meet the end of December deadline set by FIFA and even more important it just won't be the happy event that so many Brazilian fans had wanted -- Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.


CHIOU: And CNN did reach out to the construction company, Odebrecht. It said that the accident is under investigation and it will not comment until that investigation has been completed.

Well, just ahead on NEWS STREAM, Silvio Berlusconi is out of Parliament, but he's still very much in the limelight. We'll bring you reaction from Italy to Wednesday's vote that showed the colorful politician the door.



CHIOU: The man who dominated Italian politics for decades is now out of Parliament. The Senate voted to expel former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on Wednesday, following his conviction for tax fraud.

But as Ben Wedeman discovered, Berlusconi still has plenty of supporters in Rome.



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To the bitter end, embattled former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, rallied his supporters outside his residence in Rome, posing as the victim of an unrelenting political vendetta.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI, FORMER ITALIAN PM (through translator): I had to resign from government and gradually they continued to go ahead through trials to get rid of me from the political scene. There have been 57 trials against me; in no civilized democratic country has this happened that a political leader had to go through such persecution.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): In a (INAUDIBLE) and surprisingly rapid vote, the Italian Senate sent Berlusconi packing, 192 lawmakers voted to oust him against 113 who voted for him to stay.

The three-time prime minister has fought the law time and time again, but this time, having exhausted the appeal process for a tax fraud conviction, the law finally won.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Italian.)

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The sentence is relatively light on account of his age, 77, one year of community service and a two-year ban on holding public office.

But his legal troubles are far from over. He's appealing a conviction for having sex with a then-underage prostitute known as Ruby the Heart-Stealer, and then using his office to cover it up.

And he's been ordered to stand trial for bribing a senator to switch parties. His diehard supporters refuse to accept his defeat.

CLAUDIO MINERVA (PH): (Speaking Italian.)

WEDEMAN (voice-over): "He hasn't lost," insisted Claudio Minerva (ph). "Unfortunately, an injustice has taken him out of the game. But Silvio Berlusconi can get back onto the team and bring results."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am 23 years old and I've always lived my life with Berlusconi. And this is, I think, the first day in my life that Berlusconi isn't a member of the Parliament. So, for me, that is a new day.

WEDEMAN: Silvio Berlusconi has been at the center of Italian politics for more than 20 years. Sometimes in power, sometimes in opposition, but always in the limelight. Now his expulsion from the Italian Senate is a serious blow, but it would be premature to conclude it's a fatal one -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.


CHIOU: Coming up, it is devastated by sectarian violence and the humanitarian crisis is getting worse. We will bring you the latest on the Central African Republic.

Plus the situation no parent ever wants to face.


LINDA VAN ROY, ELLA-LOUISE'S MOTHER: (INAUDIBLE) of morphine they kept on her body, we didn't take them off anymore. So you always keep sticking more and more.

And you start asking and questions and they say, what's the use of keeping this baby alive?

CHIOU (voice-over): Belgium's Parliament considers legalizing the right to euthanasia for children.




CHIOU: I'm Pauline Chiou in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM and these are your world headlines.


CHIOU (voice-over): Demonstrators in Thailand have refused to call off their protests after the prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Yingluck Shinawatra is asking protesters to go home. She has opened up the prospect of talks with her critics, who are demanding her resignation.

Japan says it will not stop military patrols over the East China Sea, despite China's newly declared Air Defense Identification Zone. Earlier this week, two U.S. bombers entered that region, ignoring China's demand that aircraft identify themselves and submit their flight plans to Beijing.

Tycoon Charles Saatchi is on the witness stand today at a London trial for two former personal assistants charged with embezzling money from him and his ex-wife, the celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson.

In a pretrial hearing, there were also drug abuse allegations leveled against Lawson.


CHIOU: It's a decision no parent should ever have to face, whether or not their terminally ill child should be given the right to die to end unbearable pain.

But in Belgium, a Senate committee has voted in favor of a bill that would legalize euthanasia for minors in certain circumstances. Diana Magnay spoke with two mothers who find themselves too close to this issue.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There was no medicine that could save Ella-Louise from a rare genetic mutation called Krabbe disease, which destroyed her nervous system. Heavily sedated in these final days of her short 10-month life, no food or water to try and speed up the inevitable.

VAN ROY: (INAUDIBLE) of morphine they kept on her body, we didn't take them off anymore. So you always keep sticking more and more.

And with all the other medication you need to give, yes. And then you start asking and questions and they say, what's the use of keeping this baby alive?

MAGNAY (voice-over): Sedation, withholding food and water, it's all perfectly legal. But Linda wishes she could have administered a fatal dose, which is not, and spared them both the pain of those long final days, which is why she's campaigning for a change to Belgium's end of life and euthanasia laws.

VAN ROY: We want for those children -- we wanted to be able to talk about euthanasia and to ask those questions. And if they really want to stop, this is it, I don't want it anymore that they can have the choice.

MAGNAY (voice-over): Lawmakers in Belgium are now considering this very question: should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?

Pediatricians like Gerlant van Berlaer say it will simply legalize what happens anyway.

DR. GERLANT VAN BERLAER, FREE UNIVERSITY BRUSSELS: Doctors do terminate lives of children as well as of adults. And -- but today it's done in -- let's say in a gray zone or in the dark, because it's illegal.

MAGNAY (voice-over): Critics question whether children can even reasonably decide whether to end their own lives and whether their decisions won't simply reflect what they think their parents want.

Izabela Sacewicz has Huntington's disease, a degenerative neurological illness, which drastically reduces life expectancy in children. She's just turned 18. In the last few years, she's lost the ability to walk, eat or speak properly. But she can still think for herself.

IVANA SACEWICZ, IZABELA'S MOTHER (from captions): Do you know what euthanasia means?


IVANA SACEWICZ (from captions): No.

Euthanasia means if you are unwell, you are so unhappy that you don't want to stay here, you want to leave, go high above, to God. But if you leave, you leave forever. You can't come back.

What do you think of that? Is it good or is it not good?

IZABELA SACEWICZ (from captions): It's not good.

MAGNAY (voice-over): Her mother, Ivana, struggles to look after both of her children and keep working as a cleaner to keep the money coming in.

IVANA SACEWICZ (from captions): If we do everything for our children, if we try and make them happy, see them smile, that makes up for everything. If we had help, you wouldn't think of death for your children.

MAGNAY (voice-over): She thinks the senators inside these walls should focus instead on better support for families like hers, especially as children like Izabela pass into adulthood, when au pair (ph) options shrink further.


CHIOU: And that was our Diana Magnay, bringing us the different sides to this very difficult issue.

And Diana joins me now live from Berlin.

Diana, if this bill passes the full Parliament in Belgium, what kind of checks and balances would there be?

MAGNAY: Well, various. The legal guardian or the parent does have to give their consent; the child has to make a repeated, well-reflected decision, so they have to be capable.

And they have to be in intense physical suffering. And I stress the word physical, because one of the criteria, part of the criteria for euthanasia for adults in Belgium -- it's been legal there for adults since 2002 -- is that they can be intense physical or psychological suffering, unbearable suffering, physical or psychological.

And that has caused huge debate in Belgium when people with depression, for example, have chosen to take their own lives.

This for children would be only if they are suffering from unbearable physical pain without any hope of improvement from which there is no remedy. And I think one other important thing to note about the criteria here is that there is no age limit.

If you compare this with the Netherlands, where there is a sort of restricted form of euthanasia allowed for children over the age of 12 with parental consent, you know, there's an age limit there, over the age of 12.

But here, the Belgian lawmakers are saying any child facing that sort of situation will be allowed to be given (INAUDIBLE), if their parents agree, if the psychologist agrees that this is the right decision for them.

So various checks and balances, but no age limit -- Pauline.

CHIOU: Yes, and we heard from the mother of the infant at the beginning of your story, such a difficult situation to be in.

Now you were in Belgium doing this story. Now is Belgium considered much more liberal than most other countries on the issue of euthanasia?

MAGNAY: Well, since the debate in Belgium and the neighboring Netherlands, you know, both of them have legalized euthanasia. And in both countries, the general public is behind it.

In 2002, when this bill was introduced, the legislation was introduced in Belgium, 78 percent of the public said they were behind it in principle.

Now that figure is up even further. There are, of course, certain exotic cases that are discussed in Belgium and outside of Belgium.

For example, recently, we had a man who'd had a botched sex change and felt so trapped by this -- what had befallen him, basically, that he requested euthanasia and was granted it.

There was also a case of two deaf twins who realized they were also losing their sight and requested euthanasia and (INAUDIBLE).

And critics point to examples like that and say, you know, this is a slippery slope. And if we open the gates to euthanize our children, what are we opening -- what are we unleashing here?

But actually when you talk to people who crunch the statistics in Belgium, they say this isn't a slippery slope; yes, the numbers of people who are requesting euthanasia have gone up.

But all that practice that happened in the dark, which we heard from that doctor in that report, you know, those kinds of cases where people have requested euthanasia or requested a speeding up the end of life, whether minors or adults, those (INAUDIBLE) have gone down since the euthanasia legislation was introduced -- Pauline.

CHIOU: All right, Diana, thank you very much for bringing us the passionate voices and all sides of this difficult and very, very sad issue -- Diana Magnay there from Berlin.

Well, only a few countries do allow euthanasia in addition to Belgium, as Diana was saying. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize assisted suicide in 2002. The Dutch law allows euthanasia for children over the age of 12.

Luxembourg approved euthanasia in 2009 for adults only. In Switzerland, doctors can assist a patient seeking to die. But euthanasia itself is illegal.

Now in the United States, four states -- Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont allow doctor-assisted suicide.

Let's change tack right now and bring you to Vienna. The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog is holding a news conference. The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency is taking questions.

We are monitoring what he has to say.

Now earlier on Thursday, the IAEA received an invitation from Iran to visit its Arak heavy water reactor. This comes on the heels of that historic agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program. And here's what Yukiya Amano had to say about this a short time ago.


YUKIYA AMANO, DIRECTOR GENERAL, IAEA: I welcome a joint plan of action. We are now looking at the way in which the elements of the agreement relevant to the agency could be put into practice.

This will take some time. I will consult on the board as soon as possible when analysis has been completed.


CHIOU: Again, there is a news conference going on by the IAEA, and we will keep you -- keep tabs on that as well.

Well, in other news now, gripped by sectarian violence and slipping deeper into chaos, the terrorized citizens of the Central African Republic are crying out for help. Humanitarian organizations and the U.N. have warned the crisis risks escalating into a full-blown war.

Former colonial power, France, responded with a promise to deploy more troops to try to stabilize the situation.

Fionnuala Sweeney has more.


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grounds outside this church in Busuanga have become a makeshift camp for thousands of families fleeing violence in the Central African Republic.

The country has been racked by unrest since March, when Muslim Seleka Fasha (ph) seized the capital of Bangui, ousting the country's president. A transitional government was put in place. But reprisal killings between Muslim fighters and Christian militias known as the anti-balaka, are growing in number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The Seleka came to loot my house. They killed my husband and my child. That's why I've been here since November 17th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The Seleka are mercenaries. They are assassins. They are killing women, children and men. They are killing with no distinction. They think everybody is anti-balaka.

SWEENEY (voice-over): But many Muslims see the Seleka fighters as protesters, not aggressors. Some say they're afraid to leave their neighborhood, fearing attack by the anti-balaka.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They kill Muslims. They broke the mosques, everything, even the bread. They took it all, leaving us with nothing. We can't do anything. We are locked in at the moment.

SWEENEY (voice-over): And in rural areas, members of the Christian militia group say they're only trying to protect their villages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are farmers. How can we take our revenge on the Muslim communities? We don't even have the means to do that.

SWEENEY (voice-over): Four hundred French troops are already in the capital of its former colony, fearing the country is on the verge of genocide, France plans to increase that number to at least 1,000.

Twenty-five hundred African peacekeeping troops are also there with more likely coming. But aid workers call this a humanitarian disaster in the making.

JULIAN DONALDS, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES: Well, the area is -- has many different (INAUDIBLE) factors. There are constant reports of violence from the countryside. The roads are in very bad condition. The supply situation is extremely difficult. And there are far too few international actors providing assistance in the area.

SWEENEY (voice-over): And one of the poorest countries on the continent may be facing its worst crisis yet -- Fionnuala Sweeney, CNN.


CHIOU: You're watching NEWS STREAM. Coming up next, CNN's special Freedom Project investigation into the online fight against human trafficking. We go inside Microsoft's new cyber crime unit.




CHIOU: This week we're exploring the role of technology in the fight against modern-day slavery. And today we have a look at Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit. It is staffed with specialists from all around the world; their sole focus is disrupting crime on the Internet, which can include the fight against human trafficking.

Chris Wheelock has more.


JOHN MORTON, DIRECTOR, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: The results of our investigation have been impressive but gruesome. Sadly, what we have ultimately uncovered is a major sex trafficking and prostitution ring.

CHRIS WHEELOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The crime is not new. What is new is that it's becoming more attractive to organized crime.

Police tell us it's easy to see why. There's less risk of getting caught and unlike drugs, women and girls can be sold again and again.

Advances in technology around the world are helping to facilitate human trafficking and exploitation. But there's an opportunity.

MARK LATONERO, USC ANNENBERG SCHOOL: Because the same technologies which are being used to facilitate trafficking can be turned around and used to catch criminals, locate victims and help essentially disrupt the trafficking trade.

WHEELOCK (voice-over): At the U.S. government's request, USC researcher Mark Latonero and his team have been investigating the relationship between technology and human trafficking for three years now.

Working with technology firms, law enforcement and victim advocates, they're all in the early stages of understanding how email, mobile phones and the Internet are harnessed to help traffickers make a lot of money. It's a directive that comes right from the top.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're encouraging tech companies and advocates and law enforcement, and we're also challenging college students to develop tools that our young people can use to stay safe online and on their smartphones.

WHEELOCK (voice-over): Microsoft is funding research projects looking into very specific areas. One is trying to unravel the coded language used in Web ads linked to child sex trafficking. Software could help identify such ads.

SAMANTHA DOERR, MICROSOFT DIGITAL CRIMES UNIT: Things that we've learned already are, yes, obviously online classifieds play a role in advertising for prostitution.

Mobile phones are really important in this scenario, in this trade. The victims themselves are using mobile phones. The johns are using mobile phones. The pimps are using mobile phones, all in coordinating the transaction.

WHEELOCK: Microsoft is one of the global leaders of the tech industry, lending its resources and know-how to develop technician -- and in some cases repurposing it -- to help combat human trafficking. Photo DNA is an example of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Photo DNA is an image matching technology used to break down a single photograph into a unique mathematical fingerprint in order to find copies of that same image. It can even work if criminals change the image.

WHEELOCK (voice-over): While photo DNA is focused mostly on child pornography, it's an example of how tech companies like Microsoft are collaborating, in this case with Dartmouth college professor Henny Fareed (ph), turning the tables and using technology to block the spread of images and catch the criminals.

DOERR: It's one technology. There's a lot of things that are happening out there. But those are only possible because the technology industry has been working really closely with the child protection community for a number of years on child pornography issues.

WHEELOCK (voice-over): Microsoft says more research is key to fully understand the depth of the problem. What's clear is that criminals are using technology to traffic human beings. And collaboration will be key to disrupting technology's use in the exploitation of people -- Chris Wheelock, CNN, Atlanta.


CHIOU: Coming up next on NEWS STREAM, dubbed the comet of the century, it is set for a close encounter with the sun, but will it survive the journey? Stay with us.



CHIOU: It is one of the most talked about and closely watched comets in years. In a few hours, ISON is set to make its closest approach to the sun.

Here you can see the comet moving on the left side of your screen. The sun is offscreen to the right. Now ISON will pass less than 1.2 million kilometers or 730,000 miles from the surface of the sun.

But will ISON sizzle or fizzle?

Tom Sater is at the World Weather Center.

Tom, what do you think is going to happen?

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I don't know. I really don't know. It's just amazing to me that we even have the knowledge and the knowhow to know that this comet has been on its journey for 5.5 million years and it may be coming to an end now.

I mean, we see the pictures before it made its way toward the sun. It's on the other end of the sun. It's got about five hours to go before NASA can start to realize if it made it or not.

The tidal forces are so strong maybe breaking this apart. Here's what we're watching. The primordial ices on this comet go back 4.5 billion years, the dawn of the universe. So to know that the journey is coming to an end, it's just amazing to me. The journey has been making its way. It's now on the other side of the sun.

It goes through this trail that we see, the ices and the gases, we see that trail which, believe it or not, it's almost 92,000 kilometers long. And as you mentioned, 1.2 million kilometers close to the sun.

But the tidal forces around the sun could break it up. Let me show you what's going to happen here. It's got a 40 percent chance of survival. Let me show you the pictures again and the animation, because scientists believe one of three things could happen.

One, it'll come around the other end and provide a celestial event of one we haven't seen in centuries. I mean, this could be the comet of the century.

Two, it could break up into several pieces with those tidal forces and still give us a pretty good display, several chunks of this comet giving us little trails.

Or it could make it all the way around and really provide a celestial event.

Now here's how you can see it. In the Northern Hemisphere, it really is going to make its way toward the Arctic Circle, to the North Pole, looking east before sunrise. This is in the Northern Hemisphere now. We may see just an incredible trail, because it goes through what we can sublimation.

And the closer to the sun, that bright sun, it's really going to fire up the trail here. And the tail.

Before here, it is sunset, looking west after sunset.

Now we're going to break it down even more for you, unfortunately, those of you in equatorial regions to the south, Santiago, Buenos Aires, not going to be able to see it, Cape Town, from Perth to Sydney, unfortunately, in December before dawn, early December as possible, mid-December, actually you could see this, northern parts could see it a little bit better all night long.

You get closer to the Arctic Circle, but again, this is really going to be something.

If it survives the next five hours, so probably we're going to watch this and see what happens. NASA's going to start to take pictures in the next 4-5 hours. Do not look at it today or the next 24-48 hours; it's too close to the sun, you know, you don't want to destroy your eyesight here.

But just give it some time. Hopefully, it'll make it.

CHIOU: Yes. Don't look up. Just check out the photos and check out NASA's Twitter feed.

OK, very exciting stuff. Thanks so much, Tom. We appreciate it.

Well, let's move on to things on the ground in New York City. The windy weather in New York almost ruined a holiday tradition. But officials have just said that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will go ahead with all of its famous giant balloons going on display.

Our Jason Carroll joins us live now from the parade route.

So Jason, how do things look so far?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is looking terrific. It's looking really great. It's cold out here without with the cold weather is really not the concern of parade organizers. It was the wind, wind levels have remained low.

And if you take a look right up the street there, you can see Snoopy and Woodstock are in position, one of those giant helium balloons, one of 16, that one measuring more than 70 feet long.

The balloons have all been given the go-ahead to participate in the parade, certainly that is good news to a lot of people who have come out here, that could (INAUDIBLE) family from Long Island, some others from New Jersey, a lot of questions about whether or not the balloons were going to fly. But it turns out they are going to fly, certainly --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Balloons are up?

CARROLL: Balloons are up. You can see them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kids are all excited. We can't wait. Thank you.

CARROLL: Yes, I know you guys must be excited.

I know there were some questions about whether the balloons were going to fly. I know you guys must be excited that you came out for the parade.


CARROLL: (INAUDIBLE) all going to be there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so excited. It's been my dream to come out here. So I'm here finally, after 19 years.

CARROLL: Nineteen years and you finally made it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 13 and I want to say it's (INAUDIBLE) performing.

CARROLL: (INAUDIBLE). So as you can see, it's not just about the balloons, but also about the performances as well. But once again, 16 giant helium -- thank you, you guys -- 16 giant helium balloons. They're all going to be in the parade this year.

Pauline, a lot of excitement about these balloons. There was a lot of -- earlier a lot of people were concerned that the balloons were not going to be able to fly, but last-minute decision was made. So once again, the Macy's parade is going to be keeping with tradition and flying those giant helium balloons, Pauline.

CHIOU: Yes, that's great to hear.

Hey, we've got the cheers behind you. I can't wait to see SpongeBob SquarePants float on by.

OK, Jason, thanks so much, Jason Carroll there live in New York City.

Well, people in Hong Kong had to a double-take when they saw this guy on the street recently. Yes, he looks an awful lot like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But no, that's not actually him. This is Kimpersonator, who goes by the name Howard. Here's how the musician from Australia got the idea to dress up and impersonate Kim.


"HOWARD", KIM JONG-UN IMPERSONATOR: I got a lot of comments that I look like the guy and then, you know, we joked back and forth, yes, maybe I should get dressed up and, you know, do some gigs with it.

After all, I'm a musician. So you know, it's about the performance.


CHIOU: Howard also said having this look means he's set for life, but perhaps there's also another famous Korean he could impersonate. This here is South Korean pop star PSY. You will see him right there.

And that is NEWS STREAM. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is coming up next.



NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN HOST: Hello, it's 2:00 pm here in London. I'm Nina dos Santos and this is WORLD BUSINESS TODAY. Coming up this hour, Thailand's prime minister sounds a warning, the protesters want to direct their government, could wreck the economy instead. We'll have the latest from Bangkok.

Former Premier League footballer is accused of match fixing. Six arrests follow in an undercover investigation to what's been called the biggest match rigging scandal in decades.

And it's Thanksgiving in the United States, (INAUDIBLE) bad day to be a turkey, perhaps, but is it a good day to go shopping? Find out how not to be fooled by the discounts (INAUDIBLE).