Return to Transcripts main page
Acting Ukrainian President Delays Vote On New Government; Remembering Harold Ramis; Notes From Mobile World Congress Day Two; World Health Organization Calls China's Air Pollution Crisis; Samsung Releases Galaxy S5
Aired February 25, 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 millions of people in Beijing are being warned to stay indoors as the World Health Organization weighs in on what it calls China's smog crisis.
We'll get reaction to Samsung's latest flagship handset, the Galaxy S5.
And comedian Harold Ramis, best known as one of the Ghostbusters, dies at the age of 69.
The World Health Organization says China's persistent air pollution problem should be considered a crisis.
Now the latest round of heavy smog has choked parts of the country for the past six days. And here you see hazy images of Beijing, which remains under an orange smog alert.
Now it is the first time the capital has issued that level warning. It means dozens of factories are shut, the construction stopped, millions of people are being warned to stay indoors or to wear face masks.
Now according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, almost all of north, east and central China are suffering.
Now the areas highlighted here have seen moderate to heavy haze. And China's top observatory says air quality continues to worsen in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
Now government monitors are reviewing the response to pollution in those areas. And David McKenzie shows us how one school in Beijing is coping.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Recess at the International School of Beijing. So where are the students? All 1,900 of them banned from going outside, because the air is so bad.
So bad so often, the school built an enormous dome to scrub out the pollution.
The dome cost $5 million to build and took nine months. It has a soft Teflon coated roof. And the entire thing is pressurized all so that these children can play in Beijing.
Housing a soccer field and basketball courts, it's a very strange reality of growing up in China.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's usually gray outside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes it's like yellow, though.
MCKENZIE: Hannah and Emily Merritt (ph) know how to recognize a bad air day and why they need the dome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No gunk in your lungs, I guess.
MCKENZIE: Why can't kids play outside?
GERRICK MONROE, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BEIJING Sure. There are days here in Beijing, and sometimes a string of days here in Beijing where the air outside is at a hazardous level.
MCKENZIE: Tiny pollution particles threaten health the most. So they seal the air inside and clean it with three giant filters, monitoring air quality levels twice a day at 25 spots around the school.
In the past 10 days alone, the pollution levels outside have been up to 12 times the World Health Organization acceptable rates.
MONROE: Could be dangerous. Prolonged exposure, especially as you're exercising out in those elements has proven to be unhealthy, and especially unhealthy for younger children with developing lungs.
MCKENZIE: Hannah and Emily have to wear their face masks when they venture outside. Their dad is a school administrator.
MATTHEW MERRITT, CURRICULUM COORDINATOR: We love the school. We love the work environment. We love the education our girls are getting. Yeah, probably put anywhere else and we wouldn't hesitate to stick around.
MCKENZIE: But after six years in Beijing, he says the air quality has become a deal breaker. So they're moving back to the States.
MERRITT: Raising our kids with a lifestyle that we think is important to them.
MCKENZIE: It seems that even the extraordinary measures they've taken here aren't always enough.
LU STOUT: Incredible the vision of that massive dome and the huge air filters outside.
Now CNN's David McKenzie joins me live from CNN Beijing. And David, we know that the students there at Beijing International School. They have the good fortune to play there in that $5 million dome. But what about the other people in Beijing, how are they managing?
MCKENZIE: Well, certainly they're managing, because they have to. There are many things you can control in this world, but breathing the air outside is very much not one of them, Kristie. And I'm just checking the numbers now. The index from the U.S. embassy here has put the air quality index, that's a mix of the particle matter in the air at over the index, that's beyond the index at more than 500, that's more than 20 times the World Health Organization's recommended rate.
Now, the World Health Organization came out very strongly today, very unusual for China. Let's take a listen what they have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENHARD SCHWARTZLANDER, WHO CHINA REPRESENTATIVE: Of course on days where pollution levels reach or even exceed the scale, we are very concerned and we have to see this as a crisis. A crisis means that we need to take immediate action to protect ourselves. So in these days, of course, we have to recommend that people don't go outside to have physical activities. Stay inside, keep children inside to the extent possible to protect them from the possible negative health effects that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Now those health effects are extreme. There are various estimates, Kristie, from between 500,000 to more than a million dying each year prematurely because of this hazardous air, mostly from heart issues and also lung issues for the very elderly. And of course it's extremely dangerous for the very young -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, given those death rates, no wonder the WHO is calling this such a crisis.
What is the solution here, David? I mean, what needs to happen to clear the air in Beijing and other affected areas in China?
MCKENZIE: Well, people joke here that the only solution is when the wind blows. But certainly the government says that it's trying to curb the kind of, as it were, outbreaks of pollution because of the climatic conditions. They have pulled cars off the road. They are asking people to stay inside, of course. And they're also closing dozens of factories around Beijing and in the neighboring provinces, because of that orange alert that you mentioned.
Now, Greenpeace is pushing the government here in China to raise that level to a red alert, the highest possible level. That would take even more cars off the road.
Of course, the bigger issue is the long-term solution. And activists and scientists I've spoken to say there's no short-term solution. It's going to require a wholesale change of the structure of China's economy. You can't exactly turn off all the lights and turn off the heat in the cold Chinese winter for the population. But this is a major headache to breathe this air, literally. And it's also a huge headache for the government to try and solve this issue.
LU STOUT: All right, David McKenzie there. David, thank you very much indeed for your reporting on this issue all day today. Get back inside. Take care.
Now that thick blanket of smog, it's covering Beijing and parts of northern China now for the sixth straight day. When is the haze going to clear?
Mari Ramos joins us now at the World Weather Center with that and more -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie it's amazing even when you see the picture there David reporting you can barely even make out the lights behind him because that haze is so thick.
Now, we are going to see an improvement in the weather and that is definitely going to help. We're going to talk about in just a moment about how the weather does help or hurt in this case when it comes to air quality.
But let's go ahead and start with the index right now. This is from the Environmental Protection Agency. They have that monitoring system in Beijing. And they are -- that's what David was referring to -- that it's beyond the index. It's at 504.
So you have these steps. And I've shown you this before from good air all the way down to hazardous, from 300 to 500 particles that would be considered hazardous. So we're just above that threshold right now at over 500.
Now, when it comes to issuing those alerts that we've been hearing about, there are different standards for that. Very similar the standards that we're seeing right now in Beijing and in China to the World Health Organizational standards. These are also when you get to this level everyone should stay indoors, for example. And that's what they're saying. People can get hurt. Anyone who has heart or lung disease, you can see those problems aggravated.
And of course the risk of premature mortality for people that are in those high risk groups. And those would be the elderly people with other types of diseases, anyone who already has heart or lung disease or any other kind of compromised immune system that are sick in any way, those are going to be the high risk groups that could really suffer when we are dealing with air that is this dirty.
The other thing is that even for healthy people, Kristie, serious risk for the general population. And that is a huge, huge concern, especially when you are exposed to this kind of air for a prolonged period of time. And I think that's what we've been hearing that the problem is that it doesn't happen only once or twice, but it is an ongoing problem. And blue sky days are becoming less and less.
This is the forecast for the light haze -- I should say the medium or heavy haze across the area from the China Met office. And this is through overnight tonight. But we're expecting this, actually, to continue through the day on Wednesday. It's not going to be until Wednesday night where we have a cold front coming in and that will be what could help clear out the air. And we're expecting that to happen.
The orange warnings that's in place, you know, it's kind of complicated to figure out exactly what their parameters are, but this is what we were able to decipher. When visibility is reduced to about 2 kilometers and the PMI is between 150 or 250, which we're way beyond that, or visibility is at 5 kilometers or less and the PMI is between 250 and 500, which we are also below that.
Tomorrow, we're expecting visibility to only be about one kilometer. The PMI, we'll have to see where it ranges, but right now, like we said, as we head into the overnight hours, we are off the charts when it comes to the red warning come up. But they also have to take into -- or they take into consideration, I should say, for the standards in China right now for this area. Wind speed and humidity levels and all of those things.
So, if the red warning is going to happen, we don't know, that would be, of course, up to officials in that area. And we'll have to see exactly what kind of measures they take when that happens.
So of course one of the things that will be monitoring is how the air quality performs over the next couple of days, Kristie, but this is the front that I want to tell you about right there. That's what's moving through. When that happens I think it's going to be in about 24 hours from now, we should have much better air through the day on Thursday. Back to you.
LU STOUT: A little bit of welcome news there. Mari Ramos with the pollution forecast for China. Thank you, Mari.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come this hour, Samsung says it has gone back to basics with its new smartphone, but does it deliver? We take a look at the Galaxy S5.
And world leaders weighing in on the future of Ukraine. The EU says the interim government has their support, but Russia is uneasy.
And he was a comedy genius who made us laugh in classics like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. And today we take a look back at the legacy of Harold Ramis who passed away yesterday.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
You're watching News Stream. You're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.
Now we started with that choking smog in Beijing. A little bit later, we'll look at the outrage over a controversial new bill in Arizona. But first to Barcelona and the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Now of all the many smartphones that Samsung makes, the Galaxy S5 is their flagship. It's predecessor is the best-selling Android handset of all-time. But it still didn't sell as many as Samsung had hoped and was criticized for merely being a tweaked version of their previous phone.
So, what's new with the Galaxy S5? It has all the usual upgrades. It's got a bigger screen, a better camera, faster processor. There's also a censor on the back that could take your pulse. But one of the biggest changes is right here. There's a fingerprint sensor built into the home button just like the latest iPhone. It allows you to open up different apps depending on which finger you use, but reporters trying it out in person at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona said that it wasn't always that reliable.
Now let's get more now on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Chris Ziegler is the deputy managing editor of The Verge. He joins me now from our studios in New York. Chris, very good to see you again. Let's talk about the Galaxy S5. What's your read on the new smartphone?
CHRIS ZIEGLER, THE VERGE: Well, I think what you're seeing here is a Samsung that's very much on cruise control. It's an evolution of the S4, not an all-new phone, right. I think there were some of us that were hoping that they'd take a little bit of a leap here, got to maybe an aluminum body, maybe a new user interface, but really it's just an evolved S4.
LU STOUT: I liked how you call it Samsung on cruise control.
I mean, it seems that there's much more hardware innovation with this latest model.
Now, just bare with me for a moment, Chris, back in 2011 -- we're going to back in time here -- Samsung launched an advertisement mocking the static design upgrades at Apple. Let's take a look at the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would they be leaving when we're only nine hours away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. I mean, this is an event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh oh, blogs are saying the battery looks sketchy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it looks the same, how will people know I upgraded?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: That's right, if it looks the same how do people know if I upgraded.
Now the S5, it seems to be a slight upgrade from the S4, which was a slight upgrade from the S3. No major revolution, as you call it Samsung in cruise control.
I mean, we could mock Samsung hypocrisy. But that aside, what does it say in general this trend about mobile hardware innovation? Do you think that we have hit a plateau here, not just Samsung, but everyone in the industry?
ZIEGLER: Well, I think speaking to Samsung in particular when you look at their sales numbers it's very difficult for them to justify redesigning a phone that's selling as well as the S4 or the S3 before it. I think where you're actually seeing most of the innovation, not just from Samsung, but from the entire industry and where you're going to see it in the rest of 2014 is in wearables. They introduced three wearables yesterday. They're frankly very attractive devices, particularly one with a curved display called the Gear Fit. And so I think that's where you're going to see most of the R&D dollars being put from Samsung and others this year.
LU STOUT: Yeah, and I saw the very, very positive and glowing reviews for the Gear Fit on your website The Verge.
One big change in the S5, there's a heart rate sensor built in. Did that catch your attention? Do you think that scores some points for Samsung here?
ZIEGLER: Well, I think that really speaks to the huge trend toward the -- you know, the so-called quantified self and really that goes back to the trend in wearables where we're seeing, you know, the Fitbits, Sony has a new fitness wearable coming out, it's just -- it looks kind of like a Nike Fuel Band. And you have others as well. And of course going back to the Gear Fit.
So the fact that they included a heart rate sensor in the GS5 really isn't surprising when you consider that fitness is a buzzword in mobile right now.
LU STOUT: Yeah and all the new wearables that were launched -- the Gear 2, the Gear Fit, is the Gear Fit the winner here?
ZIEGLER: It really is. It's the curved display. It's the narrow form factor. You see just walking down the streets you see so many people wearing fuel bands, wearing Jawbone Ups these really sort of narrow purpose suited fitness devices. And what Samsung has done is they've taken that form factor, but they've also included just a really beautiful display.
So I think that of the new smartwatches, if we can use that term that they showed yesterday, that would be the winner for sure.
LU STOUT: All right, Chris Zielger of The Verge. Thank you so much for joining us and giving your thoughts on all these new Samsung launches there in Barcelona. Take care.
ZIEGLER: Thank you.
LU STOUT: Now, the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he officially kicked off this year's mobile world congress. He spoke about the challenges of connecting the next billion people. But he was also asked about his big buy last week, the $19 billion purchase of the mobile messaging service WhatsApp. And here is what Zuckerberg had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER: Then there's the strategic value in what we can do together. And I actually just think that by itself it's worth more than $19 billion. I mean, it's hard to exactly make that case today, because they have so little revenue compared to that number, but I mean the reality is there are very few services that reach a billion people in the world. They're all incredibly valuable, much more valuable than that. So, I mean, there's...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're halfway there already.
ZUCKERBERG: I could be wrong. I mean, it's like -- there is some chance that this is, you know, the one service that gets to a billion people and ends up not being that valuable. I don't think I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Zuckerberg saying WhatsApp worth even more than $19 billion.
Now Nokia's CEO will move over to Microsoft when it purchases Nokia's handset business. Steven Elop will become the head of Microsoft's devices and studios business, that's a group that includes the XBox, the Surface tablet and of course Nokia's handsets.
Now Elop, of course, he used to work at Microsoft before taking the top job at Nokia and was considered a candidate to succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO.
Now, the granddaddy of all fashion weeks, it kicks off today. So we've got to head to Paris where new trends and tradition collide. We'll take you behind the scenes at a school that trains some of the world's best known designers.
LU STOUT: Not a particularly clear night here in Hong Kong. Coming to you live from the territory, you are back watching News Stream.
Now fashionistas around the world are descending on the French capital as Paris fashion week hits the runways. But away from the catwalks, one Parisian school turns today's fashion students into tomorrow's trendsetters. Now CNN's special correspondent Myleene Klass has more.
MYLEENE KLASS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Paris Fashion week, it's the last stop on the calendar for the fashion industry elite who come together twice a year to view the latest collection.
This February and March, there are 93 catwalks 24 nationalities and millions of dollars worth of business to be done here in the French capital.
IMRAN AMED, BUSINESS OF FASHION: Paris, I think, is unquestionably the granddaddy of all the fashion weeks. While people might be willing to skip New York or skip London or skip Milan, nobody skips Paris Fashion Week because the real heavyweights of the global fashion industry both commercially and creatively, they come together in Paris. And that's where it's really at.
KLASS: Fashion in France go together like coffee and croissants. As early as 1868, a trade union was formed to protect French couture and ready to wear collections, the first in the world, which cemented France's reputation as a fashion leader.
DIDIER GRUMBACH, PRESIDENT, FRENCH FASHION FEDERATION: (inaudible) assembly of the 14th of December 1910.
KLASS: In 1973, the French Fashion Federation followed.
GRUMBACH: What we are here for is to build and support new brands, because you don't dress how your mother did.
KLASS: There are 30 members of the federation with total revenues of over $20 billion.
GRUMBACH: (inaudible) today must be brilliant, and they look at it and they hold it, which was not the case a few decades ago when we expected just excellent fingers, genius in the finger today is here. It has to come from and here too.
KLASS: This is where they learn. The Ecole de la Couture Parisienne, one of the world's top fashion schools. It opened in 1927 by the trade union who wanted to preserve the skills they'd honed working with fabric.
FRANCOIS BROCA, ECOLE DE LA cAMBRE sYNDICALE DE LAD COUTURE PARISIENNE: Technique is very important, you know, because a garment is a structure, is a technical structure.
DANIEL ANSELME, FASHION STUDENT: Take the coat and like roll it over like this and...
The French have this way of expressing and it's elegance that I think this is why I came here.
KLASS: Classes are given in pattern cutting, draping and design. Many famous faces learned to cut their cloth here.
GRUMBACH: Even if we try and teach (inaudible) and Valentino and many others, really what we want is to keep the savoir faire in France and this school it's special.
BROCA: A school doesn't give the talent, you know, a good school has to try to make flowers with those talents.
FANNY OUTREVICH, FASHION STUDENT: I decided to do a very androgynous collection that can be worn by women and men. The plastic on the sleeves, it was very difficult to sew it.
BROCA: Fashion is (inaudible) all over the world, very talented fashion designers. But what you find in Paris is a technique that we tried to pass (inaudible) through this school.
KLASS: Here in Paris, there's no danger of French savoir faire going out of style. Globally, fashion is a $1.5 trillion industry. And France continues to lead the way, safeguarding the valuable skills needed by the next generation of designers.
LU STOUT: And you can find more fashion on our website. We've got tweets from the runways in Paris, plus the best from New York, London and Milan. It's all at CNN.com/fashionweek.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead on the program, Ukraine delays forming a new government as Russia warns the west not to turn Kiev against Moscow.
Critics of a bill in the U.S. state of Arizona call it anti-gay and demand the governor strike it down. Supporters say it protects religious freedom. We'll explain the controversy.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, you're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now a former Guantanamo detainee is one of four people arrested in Britain on suspicion of Syria related terror offenses. Moazzam Begg was arrested today along with two men and one woman.
Now one day after Egypt's military-backed government resigned, Egypt's interim president has asked the former housing minister to begin consultations to form a new government, that's according to state run Nile TV. Now the new cabinet will be tasked with managing state affairs until presidential elections are held in April.
Ukraine in limbo again today. The country's acting president has delayed the appointment of an interim government until Thursday. Lawmakers are trying to form a temporary administration before presidential elections in May. And we have just learned a former aid to ousted President Yanukovych has been shot and wounded in Kiev. He is now in hospital there.
In South Africa, a high court has ruled that parts of the trial of Oscar Pistorius can be televised. The Olympic star and double amputee is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp who he shot dead in his home just over a year ago. He says he mistook her for an intruder.
Now Robyn Curnow joins me live from Johannesburg with more on the story -- Robyn.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Well, a big day for the court system, for the justice system here in South Africa. For the first time in a criminal trial the proceedings will be televised on cameras, most of it, not all of this trial, though, will be televised. Crucially, Oscar Pistorius' witness statement on a block as well as some key witnesses who are not expert witnesses, such as police or psychologists.
So it'll be partially televised. But also more importantly all of it, according to the judge, will be -- will be heard on radio around South Africa around the world. So he allowed for a full audio transmission. Take a listen to this reasoning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE DUNSTAN MLAMBO, PRETORIA HIGH COURT: Your coverage, in my view, does not carry the (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE), intrusive potential, as the audio-video form of coverage. In my view, while there may be no visual image of Pistorius and his witnesses when they testify, they should, however, be heard on radio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: What is very key about this decision today is that both Pistorius' legal team as well as Reeva Steenkamp's family did not want these proceedings to be televised. They felt that their right to a fair trial -- Pistorius felt his right to a fair trial would be compromised. However, a number of media organizations here in South Africa have been trying to convince the judiciary, the media that the media should be allowed in, because this was, you know, a freedom of expression, freedom for the media.
And this judge really tried to say, as he said in the statement, he really tried to balance between these key conflicting constitutional rights. For the moment, though, what we're seeing, though, is Pistorius' team perhaps losing out to these arguments. And we are going to see much of this trial, including the opening and the closing arguments from both sides broadcast live on television.
LU STOUT: Yeah, key moments of the trial will be televised. Robyn Curnow reporting for us, thank you.
But now let's return to the upheaval in Ukraine during last week's bloody clashes in Kiev, dozens of people were killed. And now CNN has obtained new footage from the deadliest day of the protest. It was taken from behind police front lines.
Nick Paton Walsh has more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to the police side of the lines and the brutality of Thursday in Kiev.
Gunshots, but none that we could hear on this edited footage coming at the police. They don't seem that worried. One even taking a selfie.
The Ukrainian TV crew who filmed these pictures and gave them to us edited asks, "what are they shooting at you with?"
"They're shooting," he says.
Another adds, "with real bullets."
The world has seen what it was like on the protesters' side where nearly 100 died.
Where there was once that violent scene, there's now a memorial to those who died. And now ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, who is facing criminal charges, the exact details of how they came to be killed are more important than ever.
A new government has accused Viktor Yanukovych of mass murder, of giving the orders to these well trained men. They didn't lack protection or sniper rifles or shotguns at the front line, even heavy ammunition at hand. This is what they did with it -- pointing out targets.
"I see him at the window too," the voice shouts in Russian. "Here's more in the country's east."
The men in camouflage carry sniper rifles and the one moves in.
Medical professionals told CNN many protesters died from professional gunshot wounds.
They take no shortage of precautions, even though the threat seems slight and their equipment massively superior, unaware their actions would unseat a president just days later.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kiev.
LU STOUT: Now, Russia has spoken out again today about the political situation across the border. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned world powers against forcing Ukraine to choose between ties with Russia and ties with the west.
Let's bring in Ivan Wastson now for more. He joins me live from Moscow.
And Ivan, a stern warning today from Russia's foreign ministry.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Sergey Lavrov speaking alongside top officials from Luxembourg at a press conference where he reiterated what he said was Russia's policy of noninterference in the Ukraine and called on other governments to do the same. And here's a taste of what Mr. Lavrov talked about today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): It is dangerous and counterproductive to try and force upon Ukraine a choice on the principle you are either with us or against us. We are interested in Ukraine becoming part of the common European family in all meanings of the word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now this is interesting, because a statement released on Monday by the Russian foreign ministry used much harsher rhetoric, talking about the methods of dictatorship and terror had risen to the forefront in the Ukraine, that the Russian language appeared to be persecuted as well as ethnic Russian communities and that statues devoted to the Soviet fight against Nazism during World War II were being desecrated.
That, in addition to statements from the Russian prime ministry Dmitry Medvedev who said that, you know, there is nobody from Moscow really to negotiate within Kiev right now, that it looks like there are armed bands that are controlling the streets in Kiev and directly questioning the legitimacy of the interim authorities in Kiev suggests that Russia is still trying to figure out how to delay with the new reality on the ground in Ukraine.
Recall that just last week, Russia was promising billions of dollars of additional financial aid to the government of Prime Minister -- of President, rather, Yanukovych. He is now hiding and it is now the protesters that Russia had repeatedly referred to as terrorists and fascists who are in charge. Russia now has to find a way to try to deal with these interim authorities.
And of course Russia has long considered itself as sort of a big Slavic brother to Ukraine. The two countries closely linked economically, historically, culturally and linguistically. And of course Russia very concerned now that the Ukrainian parliament has moved to strip the Russian language from being one of the official languages of the Ukraine -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: We know right now inside Ukraine, a new government is forming. It has been delayed, but the process is underway. What does Russia want to see happen next? And what will it take for Russia to recognize, yes, a transition has occurred. And there is a new and legitimate government in Ukraine?
WATSON: I'm not entirely sure. I mean, Sergey Lavrov had called for national reconciliation. He called for an end to the violence. And Russian officials have also said that their pledges of billions of dollars of vital assistance to the Ukrainian government are being suspended for now, until Russia sees what kind of policy the interim Ukrainian authorities are going to take into the future.
One specific message that they've said is that they would like the Ukrainian opposition to adhere to an agreement that was signed between the deposed Ukrainian President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition on February 21 with European mediation and with the presence of a Russian special envoy.
The problem, though, is that the Russian special envoy did not sign that agreement, citing some more legal problems there. And the Russians have accused the Ukrainian opposition of not adhering to the agreements that they had made there, which included the Russians say removing the armed groups, these self-proclaimed militias off the street.
So the Russian adherence to that agreement is a little bit legally troubled, since they never got around to signing it.
Another issue here is that we're hearing reports that some of the ethnic Russian communities, particularly in the Crimea, have started forming their own militia groups, their own self-protection groups and Russia is calling for the removal of all of these groups right now.
So clearly the Russians are in as much of a bind as western governments who support the Ukrainian opposition right now.
One of the measures that Russia has taken has been to remove -- to temporarily withdraw its ambassador from Kiev as it tries to figure out what's going to happen in the Ukraine along with the rest of the world -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Ivan Watson there highlighting the concern in Moscow. Many thanks indeed for that.
Now, on Monday the president of Uganda. Yoweri Museveni signed into law controversial legislation that further criminalizes homosexuality. If convicted under the new law, some people could even face life in prison. And Mr. Museveni sat down with CNN's Zain Verjee for this exclusive interview.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What is your message to Western human rights groups, to President Obama...
YOWERI MUSEVENI, UGANDAN PRESIDENT: Respect...
VERJEE: ...to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people?
MUSEVENI: Respect African societies and their values. If you don't agree, you just keep quiet, let us manage our society the way we see. If we are wrong, we shall find out by ourselves, just as the way we don't interfere with yours.
VERJEE: Do you personally dislike homosexuals?
MUSEVENI: Of course! They are disgusting. What sort of people are they? How can you go -- I don't -- I never knew what they were doing. I've been told recently that what they are doing is terrible. Disgusting. But I was ready to ignore that if there was proof that that's how he's born, abnormal. But now, the proof is not there.
LU STOUT: Now it seems like trouble is already stirring in Uganda. Just one day after that bill was signed into law, a tabloid newspaper today published a list of what it calls the country's top homosexuals.
Now a proposed law in the United States is drawing criticism from gay rights groups and others. Now supporters say it protects religious freedom. Opponents say it discriminates against gays. And now both sides are waiting to see if Arizona's conservative governor Jan Brewer will sign the bill into law.
Miguel Marquez has more.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Voices here growing louder by the day. People from all walks of life coming out in loud opposition to Arizona's SB-1062.
ANDREA EMERSON, PROTESTER: We believe in equal rights. We're all human beings. We deserve the same rights.
MARQUEZ: The fear the bill will empower business owners holding deep religious beliefs to deny services to gays and lesbians.
The legislation now on Governor Jan Brewer's desk. Our Dana Bash spoke with her exclusively.
GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: I will make my decision in the near future.
MARQUEZ: Now a full-court press against the bill. Both Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake joining a chorus of business leaders from across the state, urging Brewer to veto.
(on camera): What was the reaction of your board members to this proposal?
TODD SANDERS, CEO, PHOENIX CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Overwhelmingly they asked for us to go down and request that the governor veto this legislation.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Most shockingly, three state senators that voted for 1062 just last week now say that was a mistake.
SEN. STEVE PIERCE (R), ARIZONA: We want to correct something we did. It isn't good for the state, especially if you look around and see the negative publicity.
MARQUEZ: Supporters of the bill say it's aim, to protect religious rights by broadening its definition and reach, not denying others their rights.
Maia Arenson owns a Christian-based business.
MAIA ARENSON, OWNER, CHRISTIAN BUSINESS NETWORK: We want to find a way hopefully through something like this bill to be able to have it where everyone is respected for their religion and faith. MARQUEZ: Much hangs in balance. The NFL now saying it is following the debate over the controversial bill and waiting on any decision about its possible impact on next year's Super Bowl that will take place right here.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Phoenix.
LU STOUT: And now a medical mystery is emerging in the U.S. Doctors are trying to determine why a number of children in California have come down with a disease similar to polio. It has paralyzed some of them in one or more of their limbs. Dan Simon reports.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sofia Jarvis is an adorable 4-year-old, happy and seemingly healthy until a year and a half ago when her left arm suddenly stopped moving.
JEFF JARVIS, FATHER OF PARTIALLY PARALYZED 4 YEAR OLD: We kind of joked that this was like the leveler in Sofia's life. She's a redhead. She's beautiful. She's talented. She's got older brothers. She's got - you know, she's really bright.
SIMON: Doctors say Sofia is one of at least five children in California showing signs of a mysterious, polio-like illness, the exact cause unknown What they do know is her arm is paralyzed, and it came on suddenly after Sofia initially showed symptoms of asthma.
JESSICA TOMEI, MOTHER OF PARTIALLY PARALYZED 4-YEAR-OLD: She started wheezing suddenly. She had not had any history of asthma.
SIMON: After a few days at the hospital, Sofia's mom took her back to the doctor for a follow up.
TOMEI: As we were leaving that appointment, Sofia went to the treasure box to grab her toy after seeing the doctor, and I saw her left hand mid- grasp stop working. SIMON: An MRI later showing she had a lesion on her spinal cord.
Sofia never got better. She calls her arm --
SOFIA JARVIS, LEFT ARM MYSTERIOUSLY PARALYZED: Lefty. Lefty is my favorite one.
SIMON: Doctors don't know what's causing these cases of weakness in limbs or paralysis.
DR. KEITH VAN HAREN, PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST: And the prognosis that we've seen so far is not good. Most of the children we've seen have not recovered.
SIMON: Twenty more cases are suspected, but they haven't been officially verified, all of them occurring in the last 18 months and all of them in California.
Still doctors say parents should not panic.
HAREN: It's extremely rare. Our suspicion is it's a virus, but that's unproven We know it's not polio virus. There are other viruses that can do this.
LU STOUT: And that was Dan Simon reporting.
Now neurologists in California are urging doctors to be on the lookout for any similar cases.
You're watching News Stream. And still ahead, Hollywood remember Harold Ramis, the writer, director and actor made moviegoers laugh for the last 35 years. We take look back at his legendary comedy career.
LU STOUT: Agriculture, commodities, biofuels, businesses often dominated by men. But one woman is right there at the top.
Now this week on Leading Women, Becky Anderson follows the unusual journey of Margarita Louis-Dreyfus from orphan to young widow and now chairperson of one of the biggest commodity companies in the world.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another day as chairwoman of the Swiss-based family owned Louis Dreyfus Holding, a global commodities conglomerate. With her company's CEO in tow, Margarita Louis- Dreyfus is headed to one of their citrus plants outside Sao Paolo in Brazil.
MARGARITA LOUIS-DREYFUS, CHAIRPERSON, LOUIS DREYFUS HOLDINGS: I have been two-and-a-half years ago. And I would like to see what (inaudible).
ANDERSON: There, she gets a status report from her team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oranges from concentrate get somewhat stagnant, because of the high prices.
ANDERSON: Since taking over the male dominated business in 2001, she's learned to work with both men in hard hats and (inaudible).
How would you describe your managerial style, then?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: I'm not trying to manage these people, I'm trying to just make the environment where everybody feels comfortable and everybody can take responsibility for what they are doing.
I tried to give the people the freedom to take responsibility, but if they take decision, they have to take responsibility. It has to be always constructive discussion.
ANDERSON: Business travel to the United States is always on the agenda, crucial to the commodity giant's profit line. Last year, Dreyfus Holdings made a $150 million investment to upgrade a portion of the Port of Baton Rouge in Louisiana, a port the company uses to transport its goods.
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus was born in Leningrad in Russia during the Soviet Era. She studied economics and law in Moscow, then moved to Switzerland in the early 1980s to work.
She met her late husband, Robert, in 1988. The couple married four years later.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: He was coming to Switzerland every weekend, because his dog was here.
ANDERSON: His dog?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yes, his dog. And the planes was empty at 6:00 in the morning...
ANDERSON: And you'd chat.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Computer put us together. And I was wondering why, because everything was, you know, it's (inaudible)
ANDERSON: Louis-Dreyfus has gone from full-time wife and mother of three to the top of a major corporation without formal business training. Margarita was positioned as chairperson after her husband Robert died following a 12 year battle with leukemia. Her goal, to fulfill Robert's wish to keep their company in the Louis-Dreyfus name for his heirs.
Are the kids going to be involved in this business going foward?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Nobody knows. Our kids are free.
ANDERSON: Of the three, is there any one of your boys that you would say, you know, I think he's going to be a hard headed businessman?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: I would say the twins, both of them.
ANDERSON: They get a sense of legacy, do they?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: This responsibility I cannot free them from this, but being responsible shareholder, here they have no choice.
LU STOUT: Now up next right here on News Stream, he helped give us Animal House, Groundhog Day. And he warned us not to cross the streams in Ghostbusters. Harold Ramis, he passed away at the age of 69. And we examine his legacy of laughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAROLD RAMIS, ACTOR: There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: All right, let's go back to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona now where Jim Boulden is looking at what's trending on social media there.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's day two here at the Mobile World Congress. And most of these halls are still reverberating with the story about Mark Zuckerberg and his fireside chat on Monday night. And if you look at some of the social media, especially if you look at Instagram overnight, many of the photos were taken by people who were either queuing or got in to hear him speak.
But as the morning has progressed, we've had more photos on Instragram from devices, cool devices at many of the booths. You can even see my photo of a Formula One car at one booth. that's the kind of thing we're getting on Instagram.
Now if you look at Pinterest, what you're getting mostly is photos about food, about bars, and about restaurants, about the social life in Barcelona. This is a great city for food, so lots of people sharing their views on where to go to eat once the show closes.
Also, a bit of humor on Pinterest, cartoons being drawn by some clever people here overnight. My favorite, this one, it shows people using plugs that don't exist. The cartoonist is laughing about the fact you need to find someplace to plug in your phone. And he's drawn fake plugs on the walls.
Jim Boulden, CNN, Barcelona.
LU STOUT: Now, if you laughed at a movie at any time in the last 30 years or so chances are that this man had something to do with it. Harold Ramis, he passed away on Monday. He's best known for his role as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghost Busters. But as Jack Tapper explains, his impact was far greater.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORREPSONDENT (voice-over): He got his start on Second City TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi Whitey.
RAMIS: Oh, hi Beaver.
TAPPER: An offshoot of the Chicago comedy troop famous for launching careers and for Ramis it did. He co-wrote "Animal House" and "Caddy Shack." He wrote and starred in "Stripes."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was a kid, my father said never hit anyone in anger unless you're absolutely sure you can get away with it.
TAPPER: And "Ghostbusters." Ramis directed "National Lampoon's Vacation" and co-wrote and directed "Groundhog Day," perhaps his finest and most meaningful film.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you only had one day to live, what would you do with it?
TAPPER: Ramis' own life was a continuous repeat of humor and characters that solidified this place as one of the most successful comedic filmmakers in generations. In a 2009 interview with the American Film Institute, Ramis explained some of the more difficult decisions he made such as selling the idea in romantic comedies that another person will complete you.
RAMIS: It's something you want to give the audience. And you want to tell your kids, you want to paint a picture of the world as better than it really is just so we can live with some hope.
TAPPER: Ramis brought that hope to audiences for more than 40 years. He died early this morning in Chicago surrounded by family from complications of a rare disease that affected his blood vessels.
While Ramis was known for being a clever and successful filmmaker, one of the most remarkable things about him those close to him say may have been how grounded and kind he was, a real mensch to the end of his days. Ramis was 69.
Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: Now, Ramis was best known for being the straight man playing off his eccentric co-stars like Bill Murray by keeping a straight face and delivering that deadpan one-liner. So let's leave the last word this hour to Ramis.
That's it for News Stream, I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And here is Harold Ramis in his most famous role.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very fascinating to me. I read a lot myself. Some people think I'm too intellectual, but I think it's a fabulous way to spend your spare time. I also play racquet ball. Do you have any hobbies?
RAMIS: I collect spores, molds and fungus.
I have a radical idea, the door swings both ways, we could reverse the particle flow through the gate.
BILL MURRAY, ACTOR: How?
(END VIDEO CLIP)