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Candy Crush Saga Makers Get Ready For IPO; Protests Span The Globe; Protecting U.S. Infrastructure From Cyber Attack; Barrel Bombs Forcing More Refugees Across Border
Aired February 19, 2014 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet
Now fires still blaze in Kiev after a night of violence. CNN was in the middle of the chaos. We'll show you what happened.
And we'll hear from the Jamaican bobsled team after they succeeded in their goal of competing at the Olympics.
And we'll take a closer look at the makers of the mobile gaming hit Candy Crush Saga.
This hour, we are watching protests in the capitals of three countries -- Ukraine, Thailand and Venezuela.
Now let's begin at the site of some of the most dramatic pictures we've seen, Kiev.
Now there was chaos and bloodshed in the Ukrainian capital overnight. 25 people were killed, more than 240 hospitalized. And central Kiev was aglow with flames Tuesday night in what was the bloodiest day in months of protests.
And anti-government demonstrators appear to be holding their ground today.
Earlier in the week, there appeared to be a step forward, but the protests came to a head when constitutional changes stalled in parliament.
Now the international community is condemning the violence. France and Poland have called for sanctions. And talks last night between the Ukrainian president and opposition leader went nowhere.
No CNN's Phil Black was in central Kiev as it became a fiery battleground last night. He filed this report from the frontline.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Independence Square, it seemed almost everyone was working.
(on camera): This is an ammunition production line. Stones, rocks, pieces of brick are being smashed up on the pavement back there passed along from person to person one at a time to what we believe is the front line.
(voice-over): Not just rubble and bricks, timber as well, anything they could get their hands on, anything they could use to help hold their ground.
(on camera): This is effectively the front line. What you can see here is a line of people who are holding shields. Clearly, they are prepared to put themselves between the crowd and the police, which we believe are on the other side. On the other side there, there are literally dozens of bonfires that have been built.
The heat coming off this is really something. It is a bed as far as I can see a burning fire and embers. and the purpose is clearly to form a defensive barrier and stop the police and security services getting through.
There is a whole row of effectively what is homemade artillery. These parts, they use gas to propel fireworks attached to Molotov cocktails to get more distance and bigger bang. And you can tell, they are prepared.
(voice-over): And we saw this ominous silhouette. We're pretty sure it was a pneumatic pellet gun, but it's also another sign not everyone here is satisfied with just building defenses.
(on camera): If the police come, what will happen here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm afraid something about this, because there's people not going back. These people standing here for their future, their lives.
BLACK (voice-over): Phil Black, CNN, Kiev.
LU STOUT: And we'll be going live to Kiev a little bit later in the show, but now let's move to the second hot spot we're covering today.
Now the capital of Thailand is also being rocked by months of anti- government protests. One day after deadly clashes in central Bangkok, thousands of protesters have moved into the city's northern suburbs. Now that's where Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has a temporary office. Media reports say she is not there.
Now the leader of anti-government demonstrators has vowed to step up the pressure on the prime minister and has called on protesters to start targeting the business interests of the Shinawatra family.
Now protesters have been on the streets since November. And CNN's Saima Mohsin was down in the crowd earlier today. She joins me live from Bangkok. And Saima, what kind of tension have you seen today?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, it seemed almost like battle lines had been drawn today when we arrived at the defense secretariat where protesters had gathered en masse Suthep Thaugsuban's call late Tuesday night after that gun battle that we'd filmed Tuesday and because of that, riot police in their riot gear, military in their riot gear were ready for any eventuality. They were clearly taken by surprise in the attack, the grenade attack that happened just a few feet away from our cameraman and producer Tuesday.
So this time around, they weren't going to take any chances. There were up to 1,000 security officials, and as I say a military of we saw air force, army personnel and police in full riot gear.
Behind, Kristie, a huge line and roll of barbed-wire wrapped around the defense secretariat building if you like. The only separation between them and more than 4,000 protesters. So the protesters today clearly outnumber the number of security personnel.
However, today they were in no mood to create any kind of trouble. It went off peacefully thankfully for everyone concerned. Yesterday we saw at least four people killed and dozens more are still injured, some of them critically in hospital tonight here in Bangkok. So, today went off peacefully.
Suthep Thaugsuban, by the way, was inside the building negotiating with senior defense officials. They'd gone in to find out, a, if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is in side. And if she is there were people outside baying for blood if you like. They were shouting and screaming, calling her names, saying come out we want to see you know.
Suthep Thaugsuban was inside apparently trying to find out if she was in there. And then saying that they don't believe that she is a legitimate prime minister. She is actually still a caretaker prime minister. Let's not forget we've had an inconclusive election here over the last few weeks and saying that she shouldn't be using government buildings. These are paid by taxpayers. We're taxpayers. We don't want her in power.
We don't know where prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is, by the way, Kristie. We haven't heard from her so far today.
LU STOUT: Yeah, a lot of questions about the whereabouts of the Thai prime minister. The protests it's incredible, the momentum behind it. It's been dragging on since November. The goals are clear, to rid Thailand of the Shinawatra influence and to put into place to install a people's council. Is that realistic? Can that be achieved?
MOHSIN: That's the big question here, Kristie. Will the protesters actually get what they want? And so far the answer to that is a simple no. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is holding firm. She's refusing to go, very stoic.
When I met her a few weeks ago just before the election at the beginning of February she said I was voted in. You want me out, you vote me out. I'm not going anywhere. And she feels that actually it's the Shinawatra family that is the victim in all of this, that they are the protectors of democracy. Of course, it's the anti-government protesters that feel that they are a corrupt family who have acted like a dynasty in Thai politics and it's time for that name to be cleared.
And a reminder to the viewers as well that it was her brother, Takhsin Shinawatra who was ousted in a coup back in 2006. So we've seen this family embroiled in Thai politics and the controversy surrounding them for many years here in Thailand.
And by the way, we've seen these numbers dwindling as far as the protests are concerned. Let's remember this was started as a Bangkok shutdown protest. They didn't really shut down the capital. They have paralyzed it in parts, 170,000 people started in day one three weeks ago. That's reduced to what, 4,000 protesters in that one position today, around 10,000 around the city apparently.
So we have seen the numbers dwindling. Will they be able to keep up the momentum? Well, tonight when Suthep Thaugsuban was leaving that area he seemed pretty triumphant. I think he felt that there was a bit of a resurgence as far as his protest is concerned. But in another twist, Prime Minister Yingluck is now being investigated by the national council corruption committee.
She the irony may well be that while the protesters might not be able to see the back of her, this committee may well, if it starts investigating, see her having to step down form her position -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: That's right, Saima Mohsin reporting live for us from Bangkok, thank you.
Now turning now to Venezuela, one opposition leader is set to appear in court. Now Leopoldo Lopez turned himself into authorities on Tuesday amid anti-government demonstrations. Now charges against him include murder, terrorism and arson in connection with the recent protests.
His wife is asking supporters to rally at the justice building during his appearance.
Now the demonstrations began two weeks ago, but they turned deadly on February 12. Thousands of students rallied to protest rising crime and a lack of job opportunities. They are also angry over shortages of basic goods. And Venezuela's inflation rate, which at 56 percent is the highest in the world.
Now President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters have also rallied blaming the opposition for causing the very problems they are protesting.
Mr. Maduro was elected in April after President Hugo Chavez's death from cancer. And the current protests are the biggest his government has faced in his 11 months in power.
Mr. Maduro insists that he is facing a slow motion coup and has accused the United States of trying to destablize the country.
Now let's take you live now to Caracas. We have Karl Penhaul standing by. And Karl, are opposition protesters right now rallying to the courthouse.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are expecting them to show up at around the courthouse in a very short time from now, Kristie. That has been the call from the opposition ever since Leopoldo Lopez, the Harvard educated economist and one of the main opposition leaders turned himself in yesterday. Around nightfall we did see him in a brief court appearance, his first court appearance. He was told he was facing charges now of murder, terrorism and arson. That is a very serious rap sheet.
But it seems that he may have turned himself in precisely to galvanize his supporters. And as I say in the next half hour or an hour, we're expecting tens of thousands of his supporters to flock to that courtroom. That will of course set them on a confrontation course with government security forces who will be very keen to keep them away from that area, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Tension is on the rise there and CNN has fallen victim to the rising political anger in Venezuela. Tell us what happened.
PENHAUL: Well, of course. And naturally the story is not about us. But the reason I tell you this anecdote is simply because it is an example of the rising political tension and it's difficulty of covering this story on the street. We were out there last night in one neighborhood just after dark. There was a heavy presence of national guard security forces keeping a group of pro-government protesters away from a group of anti-government protesters.
And then at one point a group of armed thugs on motorcycles came through the crowd and ran into the group of anti-government protesters with the aim of dispersing them. At that point then, the men on motorcycles rounded on us. The next thing I knew I was staring down the barrel of a chrome plated 9 millimeter pistol and three armed men then proceeded to rob our crew of all the camera gear, all the transmission gear as well. National guard members are standing by just 10 yards away did nothing to intervene.
And later when I talked to a national guard major he said that he believed that the armed men on motorcycles had in fact been plain clothes cops.
We're still following that up. We are back on air now, but it's just an example of how tough things are becoming here in Caracas, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Indeed, CNN cameras seized at gunpoint there in Caracas all amid anti-government demonstrations. They go on. Tension is clearly on the rise. Karl, what's going to happen next? Will either side back down here?
PENHAUL: It seems that the longer this goes on, the more entrenched both sides become. On the one hand, we have the right wing anti-government protesters. Their demands have grown from some simple demands at the start, which was that a government should reign in a spiraling crime wave and also take economic measures to reduce food shortages that Venezuela is experiencing. Now their demand has become one central demand that the government of Nicolas Maduro should quit and that Venezuela should end its 16 year experiment in socialism.
On the other side, the government of President Nicolas Maduro accuses the right-wing protesters of being fascist. He also says that they're being funded and that the violence is being stoked by the United States through diplomats at the U.S. embassy. This of course is setting both sides on a collision course and no sign that either side is ready to back down and that does set the stage for politics once again to be played out on the streets, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Karl Penhaul reporting live in Caracas, thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, the Jamaican bobsled team, they may a return to the winter games and they may not have had a fairy tale finish, but that didn't get them down. We'll hear from them later in the hour.
Also ahead, this is army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. He is the last American soldier being held in captivity. We'll bring you the latest on a new push to bring him home coming up.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
And now to Sochi where eight gold medals are being handed out today. The women are also battling out in the hotly contested figure skating event. Plus, it's the quarterfinals for men's ice hockey. Let's take a look at the latest rankings. Germany an Norway, they're now tied for the lead with eight gold medals each. But as for the overall count, the U.S. and Russia are tied for first. Both have been awarded 21 medals so far.
Now after a 12 year hiatus from the games, the celebrated Jamaican bobsled team has made a comeback at Sochi this week. But it was not a Cinderella style return. Now they went out after the third run, finishing 29th out of 30 teams.
Now CNN's Amanda Davies sat down with him to talk about the swell of support they've seen despite defeat.
WINSTON WATT, PILOT, JAMAICAN BOBSLED: You know, I went on Google and trying to type in the word to see if that could cover how I feel about the fans and friends that we have here, but there's no such word on Google to say how I feel. And so I'm telling you right now there's no words can explain how I feel about all of our fans, friends and the support that we get from all, all over the world.
It's so amazing it's heart touching.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: A lot of that comes from the film Cool Runnings. Is there a little bit of frustration, though, that people may be don't take you seriously enough? You are serious athletes.
WATT: It's -- I wouldn't say frustrating. You know of a fact that you're an athlete, you're a serious contender. We're hungry. And you know what they say, a hungry man is an angry man. So it doesn't matter what they think, it's for us to get out there and prove it to the world, which we did, and show them that, look, we're no bunch of jokers. We're serious contender.
The 2002 games, we didn't -- we only have a $25,000 sled. We -- and then the American they have $1 million sled. But yet still we have some of the best athletes in the world. And we show the world them that doesn't matter because we don't have the amount of money, but we have the class athlete can fit the start record.
DAVIES: You've got the athletes. We see them on the track regularly.
DAVIES: How do you persuade the summer track athletes to get into a bobsled?
WATT: The obstacle, again, is the weather. We don't have this type of weather back home and that is one of the factor that you have to face is below freezing point. And that's where the mental tough comes in.
And if you're -- if you're a whiner, you cannot do bobsledding. And I know a lot of my fellow Jamaicans, we're not like that. We're challenging people back home. And we love doing challenging things.
DAVIES: Do you want to be there in Pyeongchang.
MARVIN DIXON, JAMAICAN BOBSLEDDER: Yeah. I'm going there. I'm going to be for eight more years.
DAVIES: And who will your pilot be?
DIXON: I don't know yet, because
WATT: Maybe he is going to become a pilot.
DIXON: Yeah, I'm going to try to driving.
WATT: It's not an easy road.
DIXON: It's tough.
DAVIES: Have you managed to get Usain Bolt in a bobsled?
WATT: I tried. But he tell us pointblank that, you know, I'm not a fan of the cold. And I'll just keep doing my track and field. And this is what I love and this is what I'm going to continue to do.
So each man for their own thing.
So if he doesn't want to -- or if he wants to show up at a competition, of course, it's my pleasure to have him there, you know. So, hopefully someday he change his mind.
LU STOUT: Great interview.
You can go online to get the latest on the Sochi games. Just log on to CNN.com/sochi for complete coverage of the Winter Olympics.
Now coming up next right here on News Stream. This U.S. soldier has been held by insurgents for more than four years. And now there is a new push to win the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. We'll see how far Washington is willing to go.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong you are back watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.
We started with the protests in Ukraine. We'll be going live to Kiev in just a few minutes.
But first new efforts are underway to bring back the only U.S. soldier being held in captivity -- Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. He was captured by insurgents in Afghanistan in 2009 and is now believed to be held in Pakistan by a group aligned with the Taliban.
Now one reason for the renewed effort to get him back, concern about the soldier's health.
And for more on this, Barbara Starr joins me live from the Pentagon -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, you know for the U.S. military nothing is more sensitive than one of their own in captivity. But even Bowe Bergdahl's family is now publicly speaking out about these new efforts.
SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL, CAPTURED U.S. SOLDIER: Release me. Please. I'm begging you.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. has begun new talks to get Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back home after more than four years in captivity.
BERGDAHL: Bring me home, please.
STARR: Working through intermediaries, most likely the Persian Gulf Nation of Qatar, the U.S. is trying to see what it would take to get Bergdahl free. He's been held since July 2009 when he apparently walked away from his base in Eastern Afghanistan.
It's believed the Taliban aligned Haqqani Network inside Pakistan has him. The Taliban, in the past, has demanded the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We do have a long history of talking and dealing with all manner of bad guys. So, if United States can make progress on returning this soldier back to the United States, we need to do it.
STARR: "The Washington Post" is reporting the U.S. has now agreed to release all five Taliban prisoners simultaneously to the Qataris to guarantee Bergdahl's release. Administration officials will say little other than they have never given up trying to get Bergdahl back.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are not involved in active negotiations with the Taliban. Clearly, if negotiations do resume at some point, then we'll want to talk with the Taliban about the safe return of Sergeant Bergdahl.
STARR: The Bergdahl family issued a statement saying, "We are cautiously optimistic these discussions will lead to the safe return of our son."
There is growing urgency as U.S. troops could be gone from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
MARKS: We're running out of time. I think this administration has decided that we will not have a long-term presence in Afghanistan.
STARR: And Bergdahl appeared frail in a still unreleased classified video made in December.
The existence of the video was first reported on CNN. Officials say Bergdahl's declining health only adds to the determination to bring him home.
STARR: But the biggest frustration still could be to come. Nobody can say if, when and how the Taliban may react to this latest overture -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Here's hoping he'll be returned home safely. Barbara Starr reporting, thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead on the program, gripped by chaos, no end in sight. We'll take you live to Kiev for the latest on the deadly protest in Ukraine.
Plus, we take a look at the devastating barrel bombs blasting Syria and the families who are forced to live with memories of the terror.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now some European leaders are calling for sanctions against the Ukrainian government following heavy fighting in the capital Kiev between protesters and police that left 25 people dead. It was the biggest loss of life since anti-government demonstrations began in late November.
Now these scenes of destruction were filmed from the air just a few hours ago and show fires still burning from Tuesday night.
Now Lebanon's health minister says at least six people have died and killed, rather, more than a 100 injured in two explosions in the capital Beirut. An armed group with links to al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is set to appear in court today. He turned himself into police on Tuesday amid anti-government demonstrations in the country. His party says Mr. Lopez is accused of murder, terrorism and arson in connection with the protests that started two weeks ago. He denies the charges.
Now we return now to our lead story: the violence in Ukraine. And CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from Kiev. And Nick, what kind of activity are you seeing right now?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, it is interesting to know we thought they may have been seeing shift changes and the police, because some of them are being fed right below us. But it's absolutely clear they are massing about 20, 30 meters away from the protesters barrier down there, having doubled in number in just the last 30 minutes.
Another group has formed nearby and then a remarkable, bizarre scene almost given it's supposed to be law enforcement police here. We saw a group of individuals with shields coming from police lines, running forwards and then throwing what looked like Molotov cocktails at the protesters. That's near the burnt out building you can see just over there with the flames still burning inside. And that used to be an opposition headquarters.
Dusk is not far away, Kristie. The big concern with police building in numbers like this, they had ebbed during the day, are we going to see a repeat of last night or has lessons been learned there that the protesters aren't going to be moved without significant bloodshed.
The EU saying they'd like to see sanctions as soon as possible. That may send a message. But frankly, I think, parts of the government here, if they feel they're being blamed for the violence have already constructed their defense -- they're dealing with radicals and almost terrorism (inaudible) in fact we heard in the crowd here. That may make sanctions less effective than before, Kristie.
LU STOUT: The police presence, as you describe it, seems to be fortifying after last night's deadly clashes. Beyond the street and behind the scenes, talks. Is there any room for more talks, renewed talks, or do you feel that this is a crisis that's spinning out of control, just reaching a point of no return.
WALSH: I think yesterday it did spin out of control. And I think there was a parliamentary meeting, which sparked protesters here to move towards it, that sparked response from the police, that sparked ultimatum from the government, which led to the clashes overnight and the nearly two dozens -- or more than two dozens dead we saw yesterday, including nine police officers, I should say. Both sides, it seems, concur.
The question now is there any further room for negotiations. We had one attempt last night. President Viktor Yanukovych talking to opposition leaders. But it was quite clear that he simply wanted to get them to denounce radicals, as he refers to it, within their ranks. Vitaly Klitschko, the former boxer and opposition leader came out saying (inaudible) disappointing, because he didn't think really Yanukovych was taking talking peace seriously.
That might have been his bid to seem tough during this crackdown behind me, during this bid to clear this square not wanting to seem politically open to solutions as well.
But we're not at a point where we don't think we've seen much in the way of talks in the past 12 hours or so. But we have seen continued back and forth here. Missiles being thrown by both sides back and forth. The police regularly hit, it seems, or at least targeted the fireworks that come from the side of the protesters. People digging in amongst the opposition. And really, bear in mind, this is the very heart of Kiev. And now, about half of it is a burned out almost everywhere -- you might expect to have seen on a battlefield about three decades ago -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Nick Paton Walsh reporting live from Kiev. Thank you very much indeed for that update.
Now let's take a look at how this uprising began over what was essentially a battle between east and west. Now demonstrators, they took to the streets of Kiev last November angry at the Ukrainian president's decision to turn down a trade pact with the European Union.
Now the opposition, led by former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko say that the deal would have brought the country closer to western Europe. And they accuse the president of choosing to curry favor with its eastern neighbor Russia by negotiating with Moscow instead for increased trade. And they called for his resignation.
The government enraged demonstrators by passing anti-protest laws last month and then attempted to diffuse the tension by removing some of them and offering concessions to the opposition, but still the violence continues and stalled talks between both sides and fresh clashes this week and seen hopes for an end to the crisis go up in smoke.
Meanwhile, the government in Syria is intensifying its campaign to take back Aleppo from rebel forces. Deadly barrel bombs have increasingly been dropped down on the city, forcing terrified families to flee. Arwa Damon spoke to some of those who have fled, but are still haunted by the trauma they endured.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: "They killed my siblings," 6-year-old Mohammed (ph) cries out covered in dust. One of his sisters was pulled out of rubble alive, but the other killed.
It was a barrel bomb, 55 gallon drums filled with explosives and shrapnel, shoved out of helicopters, capable of flattening entire buildings, delivering a level of sheer, raw terror so intense it forced a new wave of refugees into neighboring Turkey.
11-year-old Basmali (ph) remembers the first one she saw.
"I saw it land and then the smoke and I ran," she tells us. "I was so scared, I almost peed myself."
Her young voice is unnervingly strong and steady. Basmali's (ph) mother Nadia (ph) crosses into Turkey minutes later.
(on camera): They're saying that even this morning as they were fleeing there were still barrel bombs that were just raining down on the neighborhood.
(voice-over): They tried to tough it out for so long despite the air strikes, artillery and snipers. But they no longer can.
"They are watching us die," Nadia (ph) says, referring to global leaders.
Like so many other Syrians we've spoken to, she can't understand how the world can watch playing politics at their expense and making a mockery of their misery.
Despondent and weary, the family moves their belongings, not knowing where they will find shelter. At the bus station close to the border, others wait.
A small nonprofit doles out pasta and oranges. Syrians, a fiercely proud people, hardly imagined it could ever end up like this.
Jamel (ph), not this man's real name, asked that we conceal his identity. He was a lawyer in Syria, among the first in his village to demonstrate against the regime. But Syria's dark bitter past since then has left him grappling with emotions that overwhelm even the proudest of men.
Jamel (ph) breaks down when we ask about leaving Syria behind.
"It rips our heart to shreds," he responds.
But the barrel bombs were closing in on them like a tsunami, he says.
"Our children have aged decades. They are aware of everything," he tells us.
For the children, nothing stands out the horrors they witnessed all blend together in a neverending nightmare that haunts them even here.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Cilic (ph), Turkey.
LU STOUT: U.S. Senator John McCain spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper about the brutality of the Syrian civil war and the barrel bombs being dropped on the country by its own government. He said the international community must do more to stop the horrific conflict spreading further across the region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Bashar Assad is not attacking those areas that are controlled by ISIS, but there is a backlash against ISIS, one the 7,000 foreign fighters are primarily there. And this brutality that they've been practicing has caused a reaction and a coalition of moderate and Islamic groups that are doing -- achieving a little bit of success, but they need a lot of help.
We've got to take out these helicopters that are dropping these barrel bombs. Can you imagine dropping these barrel bombs that are just cluster - - crude cluster bombs -- indiscriminately killing people. When is the United States of America going to show some leadership? When is the president of the United States going to look at history and say what -- how is history going to judge me and this country when we simply did not watch these people die by now 130,000. And it is a regional conflict. And it's going to spread.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: And that was U.S. Senator John McCain speaking about the devastation wrought by barrel bombs in Syria.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, struck by severe turbulence and greeted on the ground by ambulances, find out what happened on this flight over Japan.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now if you haven't played Candy Crush Saga on your phone, you still probably know someone who is addicted to the game. On average, about 93 million people play it every day and the company that makes it, King Media Entertainment, has just filed for an initial public offering.
Let's bring in our regular tech contributor now. Nicholas Thompson is editor of New Yorker.com. He joins me now live. And Nick, why is it so addictive? I read that Candy Crush was played over 1 billion times a day in December. I mean, what's going on here?
NICHOLAS THOMPSON, NEW YORKER.COM: It's a masterfully designed game. I mean, you start to play it and you're sucked in. It makes you feel smart. The idea is to get little pieces of candy in a row. It's a very simple game. It's kind of like Tetris, but a little more complex than that. And it's just a lot of fun. They've engineered it very well. They've engineered it into your social networks very well. So your friends know how you're doing. It's extremely well structured. It's good
LU STOUT: It's well structured, it's social. The gamemaker behind Candy Crush only has that one hit game. I mean, do you think it deserves to be valued thanks to this upcoming IPO as much as $5.5 billion?
THOMPSON: No, I think it's absolutely and completely insane. I mean, you know, for all the credit I give to the game and for all the credit I give to the design I think this company is, you know, doomed -- it's too strong a word. But it's very, very hard to repeat success in the gaming world. There are a lot of companies that come up and they make one good game. And it takes off. It goes viral. People play it. They tell their friends. It's exciting.
But nobody wants to play the same game forever. Nobody certainly wants to keep paying that game a dollar to, you know, increase a level forever. So people want to move on to new games.
The barriers to entry in this industry are basically zero. Anybody could build a game. So it is extremely hard.
Look what happened to Zynga. Look what happened to Draw Something, with its purchase by Zynga. Even Rovio with Angry Birds has seen decline. So it is extremely hard. The numbers for Candy Crush and for King actually aren't that great. The company is not diverse at all. And the -- you know, the players and the amount of money spent are starting to level off.
So, I see nothing but trouble for this IPO despite my immense respect for the game.
LU STOUT: As you put it, I mean, it is extremely difficult to repeat success in the game space. And we're seeing just companies -- as you mentioned Zynga -- are struggling with this. But could there be a Disney of gaming, you know, a company that can go beyond a one-hit wonder and have true entertainment staying power? Can there be one?
THOMPSON: It's possible. And you know, what Rovio has done that's really smart is it's taken Angry Birds and it's franchised it beyond games, right. So it has the birds and you see kids at my -- you know, at my kids school with Angry Birds on their shoes, right. They've taken the characters and they're selling them and licensing and expanding. And that's one way you can do it.
The other way, and what I thought was going to happen to this industry, is that the companies that had the successful games would take the data that they know. They know exactly what sucks people in, they know exactly how hard the first level should be, they know exactly how hard the 17th level should be. And they would take that data and then they would be able to repeat the process. That's what Zynga promised. That's why Zynga was valued so highly at the beginning.
But what we saw with Zynga is that it's still really hard. Even when you have all the data about how exactly everybody plays your game, it's really hard to repeat your success, because there's so much competition. Back to your question about Disney, you know, the great thing Disney has is there are real barriers to entry. It's really hard to make a movie, it costs a lot of money. But to make one of these games, you can just be a random coder with a night off.
LU STOUT: And that's right. And Disney had first mover advantage a long time ago, right? Nick Thompson there. Thank you so much. Really appreciate your insight as always. Nick Thompson, New Yorker.com.
Now a recent attack on the U.S. navy's computer network is raising questions about online security. CNN's Brian Todd has more from Washington.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A U.S. defense official tells CNN of a massive cyber-attack on the U.S. Navy's computer network, a breach so severe it took at least two months to purge the hackers, cost about $10 million to repair. The attackers, the official says, entered the Navy Marine Corps last August or September through a security gap in one of the Navy's Web sites.
Poor security, the official says, allowed them to migrate deep into the network and stay there.
JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The ability to sit on the military network for several months poses real risks to operations, to personnel. This was something that would have been very risky in the event of an actual conflict.
TODD: "The Wall Street Journal" reports Iran was behind the attack. In recent days, Iran's supreme leader told Iranian college students they are agents in a cyber and social media war. "Get yourselves ready for such war wholeheartedly."
We couldn't get response from Iranian officials to reports on the Navy Web site attack, but they have previously said Iran is a victim of cyber- attacks from the West, including the 2010 Stuxnet virus, which dealt a significant blow to Iran's nuclear program.
ALIREZA NADER, IRAN ANALYST, RAND CORP: The Iranian government is under the perception that it is under attack by the United States and Israel, that its enemies are targeting its nuclear infrastructure, its oil and gas sector and gathering information through cyber-warfare against Iran. And so the Iranian government has developed its own cyber- capabilities to counter that.
TODD: As for the Navy attack, the U.S. defense official says it targeted an unclassified set of Web sites, like Navy.mil. The official says no data was stolen, nothing was damaged and says the hackers did not penetrate classified networks.
But the Web sites targeted do have about 800,000 users, many of whom have e-mail accounts. The defense official said there is no indication that any e-mail accounts were compromised.
The official says the Navy ordered a surge of cyber-warriors to counter that attack, a response code-named Operation Rolling Tide. The man in charge of that, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, who President Obama has nominated to head the NSA. Admiral Rogers is not commenting
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: And now to a topic I really don't like talking about: turbulence. It was a very, very bumpy ride as a Hong Kong bound plane hit a patch of rough air. Let's get details now and find out what happened here with Mari Ramos. She joins me from the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, I think this is the kind of thing that makes anyone, anyone who has ever been on an airplane or going to be on an airplane, you know, frequent flyers, just everyone just gets always a little nervous about turbulence on an aircraft. And of course, why wouldn't you, right. It does seem pretty scary.
Let's go ahead and look at these pictures, first of all. This is a video from that plane in Hong Kong, that (inaudible) Pacific jumbo jet that encountered that rough -- that patch of rough air, as you mentioned. And it was quite a ride. They said it felt like a rollercoaster.
At least nine people were injured, including two cabin crew, seven passengers all were hospitalized eventually. The patch of rough air, or the turbulence, occurred as it was flying near the coast of Japan. I think it was near the coast of Hokkaido in Japan.
Now there are ways that pilots can try to avoid turbulence, but the main thing I want to start by tell you is that usually this is something safe. Planes are made to fly in this kind of situation. And it doesn't pose an extreme risk, but there are cases, as you can you can see there, where people can get injured, sometimes even severely injured from this. That's when they tell you to keep your seatbelt fastened, that's what they mean.
So this is the area that we're talking about right over here. Let me show you this map. It's a little bit different than what we normally show you. This is from WSI. And I want to show you right here. This is the coast of Japan. You see Hokkaido right there. This is the turbulence forecast around the time where those planes were going through this area across the north Pacific.
Right over here you have one little patch of turbulent air. And another one right over here across parts of Japan. This is the kind of thing that pilots would normally be able to see if -- before they make their flights -- as they make their flight.
There are different ways that pilots would be able to get a forecast for turbulence.
This is not something that you could readily see on a radar, for example, like clouds or rain or thunderstorms, for example. this is something different.
Normally it's clear air. It usually happens at very high levels of atmosphere where there aren't even clouds. So it's very difficult to detect.
one of the things that forecasters do when they prepare the maps and the information for pilots is they prepare a map like this one, for example. And one of the things that they look at is the areas where the jet stream is located. You see this? The jet stream is -- we've talked about this a lot recently -- in the upper levels of the atmosphere you have very fast moving air. And that's actually -- planes kind of use that, you know, for example sometimes the flight from one place to the other, it helps kind of go faster. Well, it's sometimes not necessarily because of the jet stream, but in areas around the jet stream, where the jet stream goes up.
For example, right in here you see hat lines right there. This would indicate an area of potential turbulence just off the Pacific coast of the U.S south of Alaska just there to the east of Canada.
These are going to be the areas to watch right in here. Those areas right in there and maybe right into there. You see those -- those are going to be areas.
And the reason for that is, Kristie, is because when you have quick changes in air speed between -- in a very small amount of space that's when you tend to see these areas of turbulence. And pilots do try to avoid these areas.
That's one way that they get the information. Another way would be from another pilot that has already passed that area will tell the pilots behind them, hey, listen, we just encountered an area of rough air, don't go through here if you can avoid it. And that's why they tell you, ding, ding, ding, put on your seat belts.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: Mari Ramos, mapping areas of turbulence. I always learn something from you. Thank you so much for that. Mari Ramos there.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, a Chinese company just went public to the tune of more than $200 million. And like other businesses it's using celebrity appeal to attract customers. But in this case, the company's brand name clientele is six feet under. We'll explain.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the world's most populous country also happens to have a population that is aging fast. China has more than 180 million people over the age 60. And for one company that's in the business of selling eternal resting places, that means quite the payday in the here and now. David McKenzie has that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have politician sections, we have military army sections also we have the movie stars sections.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You'd think it's a tour of prime real estate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 700 celebrities are buried here.
MCKENZIE: Well, in a way it is. From $100 to close to $1 million, you can book a piece of the hereafter, one of (inaudible) six high-end cemeteries across China.
They prefer to call them parks.
Why are people willing to spend so much money?
JASON WU, CEMETERY MANAGER: Because in China we have this kind of tradition. When you love the one -- or for example your parents your ancestor died, they should pay respect and worship to their parents or loved ones.
MCKENZIE; That love has created a multibillion industry in China. So much so that (inaudible) was one of Hong Kong's hottest recent IPOs, pulling in respected U.S. investors in a massively oversubscribed listing.
One reason for the hype, China's rapidly aging population,says managing director Wang Jisheng.
WANG JISHENG, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FU SHOU YUAN: We can't really refer to it as a death boom, but the fact is at the end of this trend, elderly people die. But when they leave the world, they have a wish to be remembered and that leaves us to provide them a good service.
MCKENZIE: There are over 180 million people in china over the age of 60. And that number will only grow. It makes cemeteries a big business. But their biggest issue will be space.
Land prices have risen sharply in Shanghai in the last 10 years whether you're buying a house or a grave.
So from traditionally south facing tombs, Fu Shou Juan is going smaller.
So what do we have here?
And more modern.
WU: We call this kind of room, we call it electronic photo angled area.
MCKENZIE; Pushing aside tradition to meet urban needs.
And Fu Shou Juan is expanding into a full service industry form art to entertainment.
If you're too busy to pay our respects, no problem, they'll replace the flowers for a fee.
For a 70 years lease, it's all yours with the option to renew, of course.
David McKenzie, CNN, Shanghai.
LU STOUT: And finally I'm going to show you something kind of strange that's happening online right now. You're looking at tens of thousands of people playing the original version of Pokemon at the same time.
Here's how it works, people are typing what they want to do in the comment section on the right-hand side of the video -- move up, move down, push the a button and so on. And a computer program is translating those comments into actual moves.
But as you can see, with up to 80,000 people playing at the same time it's pretty hard to get everyone to agree on what to do next. So there is a lot of aimless wandering about.
Now you can think of it as the gaming equivalent of 1,000 monkeys typing on 1,000 typewriters at the same time.
And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.