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Ukrainian President On The Run; Firefox Wants To Build $25 Smartphone; Hazardous Air Quality In Beijing; A Sochi 2014 Retrospective; Has Cocoa Industry Done Enough To Stop Child Labor?
Aired February 24, 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.
As authorities search for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, we go inside his palatial estate.
Nokia unveils its first handsets running Android at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
And history is made in the NBA when an openly gay player took to the court for the first time.
A power vacuum in parliament and a president apparently on the run. Now Viktor Yanukovych was removed from the top job in Ukraine over the weekend. He is now at large.
Now authorities have issued an arrest warrant, accusing him of the mass killings of civilians. In a televised speech on Saturday, he insisted he is still the country's leader. And while it is a new week and a new era for Ukraine, the political uncertainty and the pull between east and west remain.
Yanukovych's whereabouts are currently unknown. Over the weekend he fled to the eastern city of Kharkiv. Our Fred Pleitgen is in eastern Ukraine. He joins me now.
And Fred, the big question this hour, where is Mr. Yanukovych? And also, how much support does he have left?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he certainly doesn't have very much support left, Kristie.
The big question, as you say is where could Viktor Yanukovych be? And right now it seems as though no one really has any clue.
I was able to speak with the mayor of Kharkiv which is also an eastern Ukrainian town. It also has a big pro-Russian population. And he was one of Viktor Yanukovych's biggest political allies in Ukraine. In fact, there was a congress in Kharkiv a couple of days ago to try and drum up support for Viktor Yanukovych, there was even talk of separation from the rest of Ukraine.
But this man has now dropped Viktor Yanukovych. He says he has no idea of where Yanukovych is. He hasn't heard from him in the past couple of days. Other former political allies say exactly the same thing.
There have been some clues. Some people say he might have been in Kharkiv, others say that he was trying to get on a plane from the eastern town of Donetsk, which is sort of in the southeast of Ukraine. And now there's others who say that he might have been on the Crimean islands and might have tried to escape from there.
He certainly has a residence there. But at this point in time, really no one knows where Viktor Yanukovych is, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Also a lot has been said about the divide there in Ukraine between pro-Europe and pro-Russian lines. Fred, just how deep is the divide in the country? And is Ukraine in any danger, any danger at all of splitting?
PLEITGEN: You know, it's also interesting question, because one-and- a-half days ago or two days ago, I think that many people might have said that there might be that danger of this country being in jeopardy of splitting up. But now I think that most of the political forces have sort of come to their senses, have decided that they want to solve all of this politically. Certainly, there are a lot of pro-Russians in the east of the country who are very afraid of what might happen next, who are afraid that their culture, their heritage are in danger, who feel that the Russian language, which had always a special status here in Ukraine that might in danger of becoming marginalized as well.
There's protests, for instance, around the Lenin memorial in central Kharvkiv. People are afraid that memorial might be taken down. And certainly there is a motion to do that, but now it seems as though that even those who support Viktor Yanukovych are saying we want to solve this politically. We want to get -- to debate, we want to support the new government in Kiev.
But certainly, there are fears. At this point in time, though, I would say that there is no danger of this country splitting. I think that really the voices of reason at this point, at least, are prevailing here in Ukraine.
LU STOUT: Now you are reporting from that pro-Russian eastern side of the country there in Ukraine, a lot has been commented on, on the Russian influence behind the scenes. How much influence does the Kremlin have on affairs inside Ukraine, especially in a lot of recent events, or has it been overstated?
OK, unfortunately it looks like we lost our Fred Pleitgen. He was joining us just moments ago on the line. Fred Pleitgen, CNN correspondent reporting from the eastern part of Ukraine.
Now when Mr. Yanukovych fled, he left his presidential palace unguarded. And thousands of Ukrainians are now getting a firsthand look at the opulent life he led there.
Nick Paton Walsh takes us on a tour inside.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They walked in the thousands because the roads were jammed because of the most fantastical show of ruler let go. Not quite so insultingly extravagant. Yulia anonymous plea to the world went viral in the Internet. Only now she feels safe to say her name.
YULIA MARUSHEVSKA, FROM "I AM UKRAINIAN": I am an Ukrainian. I am 24 years old. My name is Yulia Marushevska. For me, it's madness and for all people the only question over here is what's for?
WALSH: These crowds can roam these vast grounds for hours and still not find the answer. Remarkably, no looting, nothing stolen because that's what they say he did a day after to forget the dead and the political power vacuum and see what money can buy if you don't have anything sensible to do it. He didn't drive this '50s Bentley, a Soviet limo and an American army jeep.
In the end, he fled in the presidential helicopter and not in this a massive river boat for partying. Outside, fascination, at the life he led and they could only look in on while their country stagnated.
Inside, gifts from guests. Months ahead when Ukraine comes to terms with the troubled economy and asks, where did all the money go? Here is part of the answer. The president's own vodka to even know Versace plate, the presidential waste.
We later got inside his house with girl's bedroom, a rare sign of life being lived here. Otherwise, it was gaudy but vacant. Everything laid on even a tunnel linking the house across miles and miles of grounds. The luxury literally never seemed to end.
In his bedroom, one bell for sex, one for alcohol, it was presumably a joke, but how he lived to the people whose money this was isn't.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kiev.
LU STOUT: Bizarre scenes there.
Now meanwhile in Egypt, the military backed government has resigned. The interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced in a TV address on Monday that the cabinet has quit.
Now reports say the move could pave the way for army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run in the presidential election due to take place soon.
Now Beblawi's government was appointed last July after the military ousted elected President Mohammed Morsy.
In Venezuela, the government and the opposition are blaming each other for weeks of unrest. And both supporters and opponents of the government have taken to the streets in recent days as President Nicholas Maduro faces his biggest political crisis yet.
Now, one of the controversial characters who emerged from the turmoil is former general Angel Vivas. CNN's Karl Penhaul has his story.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A retired general brandishing automatic weapons takes to his rooftop. He's making a stand against Venezuela's socialist government. He brands it a dictatorship.
Headed a call on Twitter, middle class neighbors masked and threw up burning barricades to defend him from arrest.
"He's a true Venezuelan soldier. He's a real representative of Venezuela," he says.
General Angel Vivas quit the army in 2007 after disagreements over Hugo Chavez's leadership. He was later charged with insubordination.
On Sunday morning, state security forces tried, but failed to detain him on charges of stirring up violent opposition.
On February 19, the general posted this tweet urging citizens to string nylon cables across streets. That advice, he told CNN, was aimed at stopping gun toting government loyalists on motorbikes.
"What I did was recommend to unarmed civilians so that they could defend themselves. A doctor gives medicine, a priest officers a prayer, and I gave military advice," he says.
Two days after General Vivas's tweet, a 29-year-old super market worker was decapitated by cable as he rode home on his motorbike. There's no suggestion he was involved in the political troubles.
Hours after the standoff began President Nicolas Maduro called on General Vivas to turn himself in.
"Venezuela is under attack by extreme right-wing groups who want to start a civil war and topple the government," he said.
General Vivas' show of armed defiance has transformed him into the opposition's newest hero.
While his stand is not an indication of growing discontent among serving military officers, Vivas says he still has good inside contacts.
"The army is very fragmented. They no longer by the ideological discourse," he says.
As night fell, supporters dug in.
This is another of the defensive lines that neighbors have thrown up. They say that they fear pro-government forces pulling in on motorcycles. And so they've throw up these nylon cables to stop them. They've also made these tubes with nails to throw on the ground and puncture tires. And then, if security forces do get through, well, you've got a supply here of Molotov cocktails.
"We heard what was happening to the general and came to this spot. All this will continue until we get rid of the regime," he says.
And as protesters took shifts to man the barricades, their general vowed no surrender.
Karl Penhaul, CNN, Caracas.
LU STOUT: And turning now to Thailand where media reports say the army chief is calling on all sides to hold talks to end the political crisis while stressing the military will not intervene.
A surge in violence over the weekend saw four people, including three children, killed, dozens were wounded.
A young brother and sister had died when a bomb exploded at an anti- government rally in Bangkok.
And east of the capital, a 5-year-old girl died after she was hit by a stray bullet at another demonstration.
Now that has prompted UNICEF to ask all sides to keep children away from the protest sites.
Now there have been months of unrest in the capital with protesters calling for the resignation of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Now coming up right here on News Stream, the arrest of a major drug lord leads to questions about where he will face trial -- Mexico or the United States.
Uganda approves a law that puts homosexuals in jail for life for committing certain acts.
And Russia tops the medal count in Sochi. We look back at the highs and the lows of the Winter Games.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.
Now we started with crowds of Ukrainians at former president Viktor Yanukovych's home. Now, we go to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world's biggest mobile phone show.
Now Nokia has unveiled three new phones running Google's Android, a surprise for a company whose handset division is being bought by Microsoft. Now Nokia is one of the few companies that make handsets running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. And the new Nokia X line of Android phones is aimed at the lower end of the market.
So, how is the soon to be Microsoft company adopting Google's operating system? Let's see how this might work.
Now one way is to look at it is to divide your average Android phone into three parts. On the left is the user interface, it's the part of a phone that you touch and you interact with, including apps. Now on the right is the hardware itself. And in the middle is the operating system, the underlying software that links the two together. Now that is Android.
The Nokia X phones keep Android at the heart of the phone, but build a new interface on top based on Microsoft's services. So instead of Gmail, there's Outlook -- Google replaced by Microsoft.
Now the downside of all this is that Nokia X won't have access to the Google Playstore, Android's main app store and home to over a million apps. But this model can work, because it's been tried before. Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets also use a custom interface built on top of Android.
Now while Nokia turns to Android for its lower priced handsets, Mozilla is hoping its Firefox OS can produce a $25 phone. It is an open operating system based on the web, not aimed at Android or iPhone users, but of people who have never owned a smartphone before.
Now Jim Boulden spoke to Mozilla's chief operating office Jay Sullivan in Barcelona about what is next for Firefox OS.
JAY SULLIVAN, CEO, MOZILLA: Now we announced a new lineup of phones coming -- ZTE, Alcatel OneTouch, Huawei, Foxconn, others bringing new devices to market this year. And we announced 12 new launch countries. And that's just the early part of the year. I think as the year goes by, we will also launch into Africa and into Asia, two things we didn't announce today.
So for 2014, it's really a year of increased momentum and scaling the operating system.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Everybody knows Firefox is being maybe one of the best competitors to Google, but you also use Google search engines. Are you going to continue using Google search engine or is Firefox going to branch out on its own.
SULLIVAN: Well, you know, we -- our goal is to deliver the best user experience. And our users, historically have wanted Google search in the U.S. There are other places where they might want a different search engine, like say in China, but you know, so we tend to gravitate toward giving users what they want and giving them choice.
So a user of Firefox can always choose to be Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon and others.
So we have a strong business relationship with Google.
BOULDEN: Now you're trying to get a new revenue stream of advertisement onto your OS, especially on Best Buy.
SULLIVAN: Yeah, search has been our primary revenue stream. Our exploration of new revenue streams, it's really more about the user experience and then does revenue follow from that? And so for example we're experimenting with something called directory tiles. And when you open up a new tab in Firefox, you know, right now if you've never been to a bunch of website it's blank. So we want to guide people toward some content.
And we'll probably do mostly Mozilla recommended content, or crowd source some other content. And some of that may end up being sponsored content. And we're going to experiment and see how that goes.
BOULDEN: But Firefox in a mobile is not something most people would have used before. So how do you get that word out, that message out there.
SULLIVAN: Yeah, so you know, people are familiar with us, as you said, on the desktop, we have about 500 million active monthly users. And we did that with word of mouth marketing from day one when we launched in November 2004.
Mobile is a little different. Word of mouth can help, but it's not the whole story. So we partner more. And that is a little bit new to us. And we've been working with network operators in many countries. And they've borne a lot of the marketing effort.
And also we've used our community. So, you know, Firefox and Mozilla consists in large part of volunteers. And, man, I can't tell you when I went to Venezuela, for example, to launch Firefox OS devices, Mozilla volunteers came out of all -- from all over the country to help do that. And that resulted in really good retail training. They trained the retail store employees. They did launch events and designed those. And they encouraged developers to build hyper local content.
So, the way we compete at scale, even though we're not as well known yet, is because we're a large transparent, open-source community.
BOULDEN: Is your main goal to get the Firefox OS into really, really cheap, very inexpensive smartphones?
SULLIVAN: That's our biggest goal this year.
So most of the phones that we sold in 2013 were in the $50 to $70 price range. And that's without subsidy, that's all in. So great price. We believe we can go even farther to bring more people online in Africa, Asia, India, Bangladesh, places like that.
So we partnered -- we announced today a partnership with Spreadtrum, a Chinese chipset manufacturer based in Shanghai to bring a $25 smartphone to market. So it's really incredible.
So if at the same price you used to buy a feature phone for, you can get a smartphone that gives you the full web, that's pretty amazing. So that's one of the big goals for 2014.
LU STOUT: And that was Mozilla's COO Jay Sullivan. We'll have more from the Mobile World Congress all week right here on News Stream.
Now coming up next on the program, Mexican Marines nab one of the world's most wanted drug lords. Find out how they caught El Chapo and learn how he lived on the run.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong. You're back watching News Stream.
Now more details are emerging about the capture of one of the most powerful drug lords in the world. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested in the Mexican resort town of Mazatlan after being on the run for more than 13 years.
CNN's Ted Rowlands has the latest.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After eluding capture for more than a dozen years, how did authorities nab Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the world's most ruthless drug lord? Focusing on five wiretaps, the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Mexican officials trapped Guzman down to this hotel in Mexico.
Also arrested, Carlos Ramirez, Guzman's alleged communication conduit who authorities say was carrying multiple cell phones. In the end, it was a single wiretap linking authorities directly to where Guzman was staying, Room 401. Federal prosecutors want him extradited to face trial in the U.S.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I do think the biggest problem in our convincing Mexican authorities to send him back to the United States is that he is a Mexican national. Most of his killings have taken place on Mexican soil and a lot of Mexican families would like to see him tried and incarcerated in Mexico.
ROWLANDS: Guzman is known for his evasiveness. Just last week, police evaded one of his compounds while Guzman was still inside. The drug lord fled through a secret door beneath a bathtub disappearing in a network of tunnels connecting him to his other six homes nearby.
Dubbed public enemy number one by Chicago's Crime Commission, a title once held by Al Capone, indictments have been filed in four states against Guzman and his lieutenants. The U.S. attorney general says the drug king pin contributed to the death and destruction of millions of lives.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: He escaped from a prison in 2001. There is corruption in that country. I would ask that the Mexicans consider extraditing him to the United States.
LU STOUT: Now, Guzman will not face the death penalty in Mexico because it was officially outlawed in 2005. He is also unlikely to stand trial in the United States, because Mexico does not extradite a citizen to a country where they could face the death penalty.
Now two years after CNN exposed chocolate's child slaves, a Richard Quest takes the CNN Freedom Project back to the coco plantations of the Ivory Coast. The chocolate industry is worth an estimated $110 billion a year, but the people who work the farms are some of the poorest on the planet.
Here's a preview of Richard's report.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jose Lopez (ph) is responsible for Nestle's global operations, that's 468 factories in 86 countries.
Why do you think it took the industry so long to admit the issue of child labor?
JOSE LOPEZ, NESTLE: Probably finding solutions was not as easy. But it is not such process where nothing gets done and all of a sudden things get done.
QUEST: But you seem to be having a difficulty accepting that the industry was late to dealing with this.
LOPEZ: I have to say that we were late because a problem like this has to be dealt with, so any time that has been lost was lost. And that should not have happened.
QUEST: We arrived in Zebuyaklow (ph). It's a small village with a big welcome for chocolate's royalty.
Lopez is here to see how Nestle's work to prevent child labor is working with the local community.
LOPEZ: The solutions that we see today, and I'm really very, very encouraged by what I see, have taken many institutions, NGOs, companies, traders, many people in the value chain have decided to step further and move. And we are moving.
LU STOUT: And be sure to tune in as Richard Quest goes back to the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast. Is it still business as usual? Or is the industry changing its ways. It's a lesson in cocoa-nomics Saturday 10:00 pm in Hong Kong, 11:00 pm in Tokyo.
Now just ahead right here on News Stream, the ink has just dried on a new law in Uganda that criminalizes homosexuality. We'll take a look at what that will mean for gay people in the country.
And as the Winter Olympics end, we'll take a look back at the moments that defined it and who came out on top of the final medal count.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych is apparently on the run. He fled Kiev over the weekend. His exact whereabouts currently unknown. He was removed from office by the parliament and faces an arrest warrant for the mass killings of civilians. Now Russia has recalled its ambassador for consultations back in Moscow. And the U.S. is warning Russia to stay on the sidelines.
Egypt's military backed government has resigned. The announcement was made by interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi in a televised address on Monday. Now a presidential election is expected by mid-April.
U.S. prosecutors say they will seek to have the leader of a major drug cartel extradited to the U.S. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured by Mexican marines on Saturday in a resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast. Now he had apparently avoided authorities by using a network of tunnels to move between a series of houses.
In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has signed a bill into law that toughens the penalties for homosexuality. The new law includes a possible life sentence for certain acts and proposes years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to gays and lesbians.
Now it's not just places like Uganda where gay people face discrimination. Sexual orientation has been a taboo topic in the world of sports. But a professional basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the L.A. Lakers has helped break down that barrier. When Jason Collins took to the court on Sunday he became the first openly gay man in the NBA.
Now Collins played for 11 minutes. He pulled down two rebounds. And the Nets, they went on to win 108-102 over the L.A. Lakers.
Now CNN's Stephanie Elam joins us live from Los Angeles. And Stephanie, describe the game, especially that moment when Collins took to the court and made history.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie. He was definitely well received by the crowd here in Los Angeles.
When you think about it, Jason Collins has been playing in the NBA for almost three decades. But it was his turn on the court last night that may be the most monumental.
ANNOUNCER: Number 46, Jason Collins.
ELAM (voice-over): As he took the court early in the second quarter, Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play professional sports in the United States. Collins signed a 10-day deal with the Brooklyn Nets before the game.
P. MAGEE, NETS FAN: That's amazing that the Nets were willing to open up and allow him to still showcase his talents even though his sexual orientation may be different than most.
ELAM: Collins was a free agent when he made the announcement and many wondered if a team would pick him up.
JASON COLLINS, BROOKLYN NETS: I always try to stay positive and try to control what I can't control. It's my training. So I always try to focus on that, being positive and staying ready. That's part of being a professional.
ELAM: And now that the opportunity is here, Collins says his head is in game.
COLLINS: It's about focusing on the task at hand and not thinking about history or anything like that along those lines.
ELAM (on camera): The Nets coach, Jason Kidd, says there's a familiarity with Jason Collins. They have played together and also he says he's a professional that he knows this game and at the end of the day, that's what the nets want to do. They want to win games.
(voice-over): As Collins is making history on the court, Michael Sam is doing the same on the field. At the NFL combine in Indianapolis, the Missouri defensive end said he wants his athleticism to speak for itself.
MICHAEL SAM, NFL PROSPECT: It is what it is. I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam, the football player instead of Michael Sam, the gay football player.
ELAM: Collins agrees and says life is much better now.
COLLINS: I don't have to hide who I am. I can just be my normal self. The past ten months has been incredible.
ELAM: And it was really interesting to watch him before he did a presser before the game and he did a presser after the game and both times he seemed very relaxed. He said he stayed in training, working out as he wanted to keep up his conditioning all throughout the last 10 months or so and that he was just ready for the this opportunity and he said overall that it was fun being back out on the court, Kristie.
LU STOUT: That's great to hear. Jason Collins both a hero and a pioneer. CNN's Stephanie Elam reporting live from Los Angeles, thank you.
Now let's go back to Uganda which recently passed a law that toughens penalties on homosexuality. And for the latest, let's got live to Zain Verjee in Entebbe. And Zain, I mean just last month the Ugandan president said that he would not sign this anti-gay bill. So what happened, why the turnaround?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He has gone back and forth, Kristie. He said it basically came down to this, he (inaudible) that homosexuals were just sick and needed help and he felt that this was something that gay people were just born with and they couldn't change themselves. Then he came back and said that actually scientifically commissioned body had determined that it was not in fact genetic, but it was learned social behavior.
So he said that he himself joined board to find out whether there was any evidence of any scientist in the world who could prove that there was a genetic, molecular, DNA link to homosexuality and genetics. And he'd said that that wasn't the case and that this was learned social behavior that could then be unlearned and that a normal person created basically to be attracted to the opposite sex and procreate.
So, I interviewed him a short while ago in an exclusive interview with CNN. And he said homosexuals are disgusting. And I asked him what his message was to the west, to the United States, to human rights groups, and he said the west should stay out of this decision, that this was about African culture, it was about (inaudible) in tact and nothing to do with arrogant western groups, as he put it, that should be involved.
I asked him in a press conference a little bit more about whether this took Uganda a step backwards. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOWERI MUSEVENI, UGANDAN PRESIDENT: I've been disappointed for a long time by the conduct of the west, the way you conduct yourself there. But we just keep quiet. We just see how you do things, how the families, how they are organized, the -- and all these things, we see them. We keep quiet. We never comment, because it's not our country. Maybe you like it. So, since there's no (inaudible) social imperialism to impose social values of one group on our society, then our disappointment is now exacerbated because we are sorry to see that you live they way you live, but you keep quiet about it. Now you say we must alive like us, we -- that's why we said no. We said no.
And am I worried? Not at all. Be worried about what? Because to tango needs two people to dance. If the west doesn't want to walk with us, because of homosexuals, then we have enough space here to live by ourselves and (inaudible) with other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: Ugandan officials saying that they essentially are doing this now because they want to protect Uganda from what they describe as social deviants. And the fact that they make the case that the influence of the west is destroying families and lives here.
I just want to say, too, that one of the most striking things about this is that there is a huge amount of popular support in Uganda that majority of conservatives are religious traditional culture, so by President Museveni signing this into law it's not getting a lot of criticism, only from rights groups and gay activists here in Uganda who are asking to see him personally to have a discussion about it -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, I still find it so extraordinary that the Ugandan President is citing science for his reason for signing this anti-gay bill into law.
Zain, thank you very much indeed for your reporting and for posing that question directly to the president of Uganda there. Zain Verjee joining me live just then.
You're watching News Stream. And coming up on the program, a cross- country sweep on the final day of the Winter Olympics seals the hosts dominance of the medal table. We wrap up Sochi after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. This is News Stream.
And time now for your global weather forecast, including more on that orange alert in Beijing. I'm referring to the air quality, of course, in China. Details now with Mari Ramos. She joins me from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Look at this picture here behind me. Do not adjust your TV set. This is what actually it looked like in Beijing earlier today. This picture taken right outside of our bureau. You can't really see anything, can you? One of our photographers there, Stephen (ph), took this picture.
And looking out our window, he says no special filter required. That's what it actually looks like.
And terrible, terrible air quality across the region there, not just in Beijing, but across northeastern China as a whole this is really taking a toll on people. They have those advisories posted, or I should say from over the weekend saying this is going to be a period of very dirty air, very bad air quality over the next couple of days.
Right now, the actual monitoring of air quality is right at 409, so it's still in the hazardous levels. And it's usually at night it improves a little bit, but this time around it really has stayed over the hazardous level constantly -- you know, throughout most -- throughout the entire day and even now as we head into the evening hours.
So that's a pretty significant -- that's a beyond very unhealthy. These are hazardous levels where people that are outdoors really can run a risk for their lives.
There are these new things that have been put in place, these new measures that have been put in place, and even factories were ordered in the Beijing area to shut down for awhile to help curb those pollution levels. So all of these are new measures that are being put in place now this year to try to help with the air quality across this area.
We have high pressure in place. High pressure means sinking air. Sinking air means that there's no mixing of the atmosphere, so everything, all those pollutants get trapped closer to the ground, which is where we live, where we breathe and it just makes the weather, it's just definitely not helping the situation here.
But of course we can only -- we cannot just blame the weather, there are a lot of different factors that bring this pollution problem across China geography. We've talked about that in the past. And this is a problem, like I said, not just for Beijing, but there's over 500 million people that are affected constantly by this problem of the bad air quality.
This is from an air study from the National Academy of Sciences. And it found that air pollution can cut life expectancy by five-and-a-half years. So people who live in this area will have a shorter life span than the rest of us that are living in areas where the air is cleaner.
It's also pollution levels are 55 percent higher in this part of the north, because they use coal for heat. And that's a huge concern, especially right now during the winter months. And overall, China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. So that's a big problem.
But coal is not the only thing. There's more. And those are things that we really need to talk about -- vehicle emissions, cars, trucks, buses, diesel vehicles, all of those things add up. Factory emissions, of course, are a huge concern -- construction.
And Kristie, as we learn from an interview that you did with an EPA official in Hong Kong, even exhaust from shipping and boats is a concern for -- for bad air quality.
As we look at the forecast -- and this is one of those new measures that you're taking, to give a forecast from the China Meteorological Administration and other agencies in the -- combined -- to give us a forecast as to what the air quality is expected to be. And as you can see as we head through the next couple of days at least across a widespread area we have medium haze to heavy haze expected. So the air quality not expected to be as good.
So unfortunately, the bad air does continue. 500 million people breathing that stuff right now -- back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah. And just so many contributors to the bad air there in China. You listed all of them. Just -- here's hoping for some change, at least some incremental change for people there in China. Mari Ramos, thank you.
Now after 16 days of competition and a record number of medals, Sochi 2014 has finished in a blaze of glory. Now Russia now passes the Olympic torch to South Korea that will host the 2018 Winter games in Pyeongchang.
So how will the Sochi games be remembered? Ivan Watson takes a look.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Winter Olympics in Sochi started with a bang and jubilant fireworks display accompanied by a burst of Russian pride. And for the next 16 days, athlete's skied, skated and snowboarded to victory.
One gold medalist proved he was (inaudible) a new snowboarding catchphrase that Sage Kotsenberg says can mean just about anything.
SAGE KOTSENBERG, U.S. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: There was a ton of people with like U.S. everything. They were like go America. And I was just like looked at them like, what, you guys are -- I felt like we were family. I was just like, you guys are here. I was like I don't even know you, but thanks.
WATSON: Amid fears of terrorist threats from nearby Chechnya and Dagestan, Russia's ring of steel proved impenetrable with Russian security forces protecting the games by land, sea and air.
Visitors got to enjoy bursts of warm weather, learning why the slogan of the games was "Hot, cool, yours."
On the preparation front, Russia did not do as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of their readiness and preparation, they get an F.
WATSON: Many hotels weren't ready in time. A senior International Olympic Committee official admitted to having to sound a red alert to speed up construction months before the opening.
Towards the end, bloodshed in neighboring Ukraine threatened to overshadow the games. Ukrainian athletes came to the rescue, winning the gold in the biathlon relay, offering a symbol of unity for their divided country.
OLENA PIDHRUSHNA, UKRAINIAN GOLD MEDALIST (through translator): It's not just a victory for us, it's a big victory for Ukraine. It's a big positive. This medal brought the country together.
WATSON: Sochi was a platform for President Vladimir Putin to show off his vision of modern Russia, a vision many Russians here celebrated.
And Russia got the last word in the event that matters most at the Olympics: the medal count. Russia won the most gold in this winter Olympiad, a resounding victory for the host country.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.
LU STOUT: And as Ivan mentioned, Russia finished at the top of the medals table. It was the host with the most both in the number of gold an overall total. Norway came in second with 11 gold. Canada took home 10 and the United States finished with nine gold among its 28 medals.
Now the U.S. hockey player Julie Chu carried her country's flag in the closing ceremony. And she summed up her time in Sochi by tweeting this, quote, "the whole Olympics was a wonderful experience."
Now the International Olympic Committee said goodbye to Sochi 2014 by calling it the athletes' games.
Now let's hear from a couple of more competitors.
Now Jhonas Enroth, he won a silver medal with Sweden's hockey team. And he tweeted, "what a great experience it has been over the last two weeks. Great memories."
Now the British figure skater Jenna McCorkell did not medal but was all smiles at the closing ceremony. And she wrote, quote, "Russia you have been awesome."
Now, we have seen some intense images of competition and celebration in Sochi. And Amanda Davies spoke to Ken Mainardis who is vice president of Getty Images Sport about his favorite images this year.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: There's been undoubtedly some fantastic highlights and low lights over the last couple of weeks. Which of the pictures that you have picked out?
KEN MAINARDIS, VP GETTY IMAGES SPORT: It's really difficult to choose five images. There have been just so many great pictures. And we're proud of all our guys' work over the last two weeks. But I think the first picture that really stands out is the image of Shaun White in the halfpipe the moment his games ended. Shaun had the weight of the U.S. nation on his shoulders. He was supposed to bolster the team. And this picture of him crunching down on the halfpipe, his board nearly splitting in half, is the exact decisive moment of his games.
DAVIES: There's no doubt the mountains lend themselves to dramatic pictures. The second one you've picked out, Gus Kenworthy. What is so special about that picture?
MAINARDIS: Well, this games is really the first time in the last 20 years we've had what we call a blue sky Olympic -- Winter Olympics. And blues skies make for the best winter games photography. So we've been fortunate from that perspective.
But then this picture by Ezra Shaw I think captures the blue sky, a beautiful moment in action with the skies crossed and very -- a very technical shot with the sun just cresting over the hill with the Olympic rings, just stunning, stunning technical shot.
DAVIES: The image from the Adler Arena, what do you like about that one?
MAINARDIS: It's a Dutch speed skater, Marrit, and he's made the pan affect the colors of the Dutch flag. so, the background is essentially become the Dutch flag with the Dutch skater in front of it. It's tremendous and really good planning by the photographer ahead of time.
DAVIES: Ben, we have one from the ice hockey. Why have you picked this one?
MAINARDIS: I really love this image, because it's a human picture. Heinrich Lundqvist is one of the multimillion dollar stars of the NHL. He's a huge name in the sport. And I think there's a lot of debate about what the NHL, the role the NHL plays in the Olympic games. For me, in this image, you can see what winning an Olympic gold medal means to this multimillion dollar athlete.
DAVIES: And finally, this I think for me is the favorite of the images. What do you like about this image?
MAINARDIS: In this picture of the biathlon was shot at sunset. And it's essentially it's telling -- it's a kind of making your mind think that the biathelete is literally floating on the clouds.
DAVIES: You have after every games the iconic images. What makes an iconic image?
MAINARDIS: Well, I like to think we always remember things in our lives as images. We think of our wedding day and those sort of significant moments as a still image. And so I think when you think of the games afterwards, still photography plays a really important part in that.
LU STOUT: Now this is another now iconic image from the Sochi games. It comes from the dramatic opening ceremony. When one of the five giant snowflakes failed to transform into an Olympic ring. But the organizers, they showed off a sense of humor. In the closing ceremony, they made fun of the malfunction with dance.
Now these performers, they paused to cheers and laughter before finishing their formation of the final ring.
Straight ahead right here on News Stream, he has been called a villain, but he says he is just playing smart and playing by the rules. We look at the quiz show champion ruffling feathers in the U.S.
LU STOUT: Now, let's go back to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona now where Jim Boulden is looking at the latest trends on social media.
BOULDEN: It's day one of the Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona and there's lots of tweets and social media aspects to this event. Some people even talking about how many participants are going to be, including a tweet that says some 75,000 people. If you want to keep up with all the buzz about what's happening here in Barcelona, one of the most important apps is from the organizers, the GSMA. And you can just go down here and see the news and the social bits, check on Facebook, check on Twitter and you can see here you get all the updates.
So what are most people interested in? Well, there's a lot of talk about very cheap smartphones. And we heard from Mozilla and Firefox who are talking about bringing phones down to something like $25. And a lot of the tweets are saying that this prototype, this smartphone could bring it down to just $25 level.
We also have another tweet that says Mozilla will flood your markets with these $25 smartphones.
But of course the biggest talking about about Barcelona this week on social media is Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook who will be speaking Monday night. It's a real seminal event and there's so much social media about this. Kornelia asks, "is Mark already here?"
Naushad says, "with Zuckerberg speaking here, it only reinforces the importance of mobile."
We'll have more about Zuckerberg on Tuesday.
Jim Boulden, CNN, Barcelona.
LU STOUT: Now a controversial Jeopardy champion will be back in the hotseat on Monday night. Arthur Chu has riled a lot of fans of the U.S. TV game show, because of what they see as his very aggressive playing style. Nischelle Turner tunes in to the show and the controversy.
ALEX TREBEC, HOST, JEOPARDY: Here is the clue to help you all.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDEN (voice-over): He has been blasted by Jeopardy purists for his unconventional winning strategy dubbed a mad genius and villain on social media and is currently the quiz show's reigning champion. The answer is, who is Arthur Chu? Yes, Jeopardy's polarizing 30-year-old insurance analyst is back.
Tonight he is playing for more cash and to defend his four-game winning streak. Much to the chagrin of many show traditionalists who feel Chu is gaming the system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a wise champion that knows which categories are good for him. That applies to Arthur Chu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have the wine 1000, month of annuals for 1000, 31 days of Oscars, 2000, 1200 Canadian bodies.
TURNER: Breaking from the typical game playing strategy of going through one category from top to bottom, Chu jumps all over the board, throwing his opponents off with his unpredictability and upping his chances of finding the prized daily doubles early on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arthur Chu is rewriting the rules of Jeopardy. All he wants is the money.
TURNER: His tactics drew. He did backlash on social media, but Chu says his strategy is fair game and he's simply in it to win it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you realize we are playing for actual money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of money. The rules are what the rules are.
TURNER: And while some of the adjectives used to describe him sound like they were ripped straight from the pages of a superhero comic book --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Villain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeopardy villain.
TURNER: It is Chu that just might be having the last laugh.
CHU: Even if I were to lose the next game, a hundred grand is nothing to go home and cry about.
LU STOUT: Now is he playing fair? Or are the critics right? Is Arthur Chu messing with the integrity of a game show? Well, Chu says he's not doing anything new. He is not gaming the system, he's just playing the game.
Now, that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.