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Pro, Anti-Russian Rallies Clash In Crimea; Galaxy S5 Reviewed; In Turkey, Protests Continue Over Incriminating Tapes of Prime Minister; Living the Authentic Experience In Brazil; The Latest From the Mobile World Congress
Aired February 26, 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 police out in force on the streets of Istanbul after a night of demonstrations calling for the prime minister to resign.
A Hong Kong newspaper editor is fighting for his life after being stabbed.
And how Lego turns itself around to become the second biggest toy company in the world.
Turkey's prime minister is hitting back at leaked audio recordings and they sound like conversations between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son discussing how to hide large amounts of money. Now the prime minister is calling the recording immoral edited material.
At the height of the protest, a few thousand opposition marchers were out on the streets. This was the scene yesterday in Istanbul as the demonstrators took to the street. And the leaked audio recordings have fueled fresh protests against the prime minister.
Now the latest developments come amid an ongoing corruption scandal that has plagued Mr. Erdogan's government since December. Now he has denounced the corruption probe saying it's an attempt to overthrow his government.
Now Arwa Damon is in Istanbul. She joins me now. And Arwa, just how damaging are these recordings for Prime Minister Erdogan?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they most certainly do put him in something of an awkward position. These recordings were allegedly made the day after there were widespread arrests of a number of individuals, including the sons of three ministers, a prominent businessman, the head of one of the public banks here back in December. The recordings, as you were mentioning there reportedly being recordings of a conversation between the prime minister and his son discussing how to hide vast sums of money.
Now, the opposition party here, the main opposition party, the Republican people's party, CHP, called for demonstrations to take place at noon around 1,000 people gathered. And there was a fairly heavy presence by riot police, but that demonstration did end up dispersing peacefully.
But this is just part of the ongoing frustration that many of those who do currently oppose Erdogan's government are feeling. And there's this growing level of discontent with the way that he's ruling this country, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And there is this growing level of discontent there for a leader who has been in power for almost a decade. But it also is on the back of just a year of just non-stop corruption probes, anti-government protests. Protesters have taken again to the streets overnight. We know the people of Turkey, they are set to go to the polls in March. Do you think people power could very well push Erdogan from power?
DAMON: Well, at this stage the polls that are set to take place at the end of this month, municipal elections countrywide are expected to be something of a barometer of Erdogan's popularity. He still does enjoy a significant level of support, especially amongst his base constituents. But adding to the opposition's growing frustration with the way that he has been governing is not just they claim to be his authoritarian rule, which is what really sparked the demonstrations that we saw taking place over the summer.
But accusations that he is trying to consolidate power by passing various legislation, following those widespread arrests that took place in December. The government sacked thousands of police officers. They also removed from their positions the lead prosecutors in the corruption investigation.
Additionally, the government has passed legislation that puts a significant amount of power in the hands of the judiciary, added to all of that, just last week the government also signed into legislation a law that allows the government to shut down any Internet site even without a court order, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, all that adding to the unpopularity of the government.
Now, outside of Turkey for interested viewers and for myself when we read into, you know, what's happening there in the press there's always a mention of this power struggle behind the scenes, this power struggle between Prime Minister Erdogan and an exiled Muslim cleric. Is that indeed happening? And what is happening here?
DAMON: Well, there's a number of different power struggles happening on different levels. You have in the broader scheme of things the ongoing power struggle between Erdogan and the largely secular opposition. You also do have, though, this power struggle between Prime Minister Erdogan and what's known as the Gulen Party headed by Gulen Fethullah who is in exile in the United States, self-imposed exile.
In fact, the two were once very close allies, really beginning to come to loggerheads over a number of different issues, some two months ago. The Turkish government, the prime minister is saying that the leakage of this alleged wiretap, the whole investigation into corruption is part of some sort of parallel authority's attempt to launch some sort of a coup. A lot of conspiracy theories out there with regards to that in the Turkish media as well.
So, we're seeing a lot of multiple different friction points at this stage in the country, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Arwa Damon reporting live from Istanbul. Many thanks indeed for the update and for the analysis there.
Now in Ukraine, the path forward after protests is proving to be quite challenging. The top priority right now -- forming a new government.
Now negotiations are currently underway in Kiev. And once the parties agree on a list of names, they plan to let the crowd in Independence Square express their view.
Now parliament plans to officially vote on the interim government on Thursday.
Earlier, the acting interior minister disbanded a riot police force used against anti-government protesters. Now demonstrators blamed that force for many of the 80 deaths in central Kiev last week.
Now thousands of protesters filled Independence Square for months demanding change. And Phil Black tells us how one man in particular struck a chord in Kiev.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The man playing the piano, wearing a balaclava and body armor is a famous figure of Ukraine's revolution, but few people know his name. He plays at all hours in all weather, even on the barricades, challenging Ukraine's security forces with haunting melodies on an old, out of tune piano.
Wherever he plays, you'll find a crowd. And his performances have inspired others to create their own revolutionary art.
He's known as The Piano Extremist, a joke he says, because the now deposed Ukrainian government described everyone in Independence Square as dangerous extremists.
"We want to show our revolution is cultured," he says. "There aren't only working class people, but also teachers, musicians and artists, all together fighting for our rights."
Behind the mask is a man who knows pain. He doesn't talk about the details. He moved to the capital eight months ago after his wife and their child died.
"I didn't hope for anything when I moved to Kiev. I thought my life was over," he says. "It's too hard to lose someone you love."
Then came the revolution. He volunteered and helped around the clock with cleaning and security. One day, he found a piano near the square. He sat and played for the first time in years.
He says he was surprised by its impact, by the way it touched people. But those who listened have no trouble expressing its importance to their cause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who lives with music in their heart and in their souls can't kill other people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the spirit. It's definitely the spirit of people who are in pain and honestly not only the families or of dead people in pain now, we are all in pain.
BLACK: With the old government gone, he hopes his country can live as part of Europe. And the people will be in charge. But he warns if the next government doesn't respect the spirit of the revolution, crowds will return to the square and he'll continue playing for them.
BLACK: Phil Black, CNN, Kiev.
LU STOUT: Powerful story.
You're watching News Stream. And coming up on the program, we'll take a closer look at Samsung's new phone, the S5 -- what's good, what's bad and which features people are most excited about.
And a Hong Kong journalist fighting for freedom of the press on the streets, but he is fighting for his life today. More details on this shocking and brutal attack.
Also, here's a bonus, a place to stay with the best views of Rio de Janeiro. And it won't break the bank. What's the catch here? We'll tell all later right here on News Stream.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now BlackBerry have announced a new handset that they say appeals to their biggest fans. I'd love to show you what the new 220 looks like, but BlackBerry haven't actually released any pictures of their new phone. They did release some details, though, about the phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Now it's supposed to have a keyboard. It's supposed to bring back buttons under the screen missing from its predecessor. And they also unveiled this phone, it is specifically for the Indonesian market.
Now the Z3 is a touch screen handset that even includes a special version of BBM with stickers designed by an Indonesian artist.
But the phone that is dominating conversation in Barcelona is the Samsung Galaxy S5, the followup to the best selling Android handset of all time. And Jim Boulden gets his hands on the new phone and gets reaction from people on the show floor.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if there was one product here in Barcelona that people were waiting to see, to touch, to feel, to get their hands on, it's this -- the Samsung S5, that is what they called it. Everyone guessed that's what they'd call it. That's what Samsung is called its newest phone.
So, let's go through a test run if we can with Samsung's new phone. What would you say are the highlights at this moment?
RORY O'NEILL, EUROPEAN MARKETING DIRECTOR, SAMSUNG: Well, this is a great smartphone with a great camera. It's got a .3 second autofocus, takes incredible shots you can share it with people. It's got incredible features like the kids mode, which can keep content safe and secure for your children. It's got wonderful ways of integrating with the latest Samsung Galaxy accessories.
BOULDEN: As for health, you can see how your heart rate is going.
O'NEILL: That's right, there's a health rate monitor built into the hardware, very first time in a smartphone. So if you just turn the phone over there, there's the heart rate monitor, you just place your finger onto that. You can go in and press heart rate on the Shealth (ph) app.
And it's got some incredible technology in here in terms of the processing speed, the screen's resolution and not to mention the incredible ways that it's going to perform and save battery when people are on the move.
BOULDEN: Because if there's one thing about previous Samsung people thought there were a lot of gadgets, but they didn't need those gadgets. You simplified it this time?
O'NEILL: Well, I think the smartphone industry has moved on. I think it's less about specs, I think it's less about features, I think it's less about the screen capabilities, less about the processing speed. It's much more about how these things are used.
BOULDEN: Now let's see what some bloggers have to say about that.
JONATHAN JENSEN, HEAD OF CORE PRODUCTS, UKASH: I really liked it. I think it's a nice phone. It's a great form factor. It feels very light, feels nicely constructed. The fact that you can power use it in the shower is clearly a bonus. I guess it shows that it's very resilient. You know, robust.
BOULDEN: There was some criticism of 3 and 4 being a bit sort of plasticy, a bit sort of cheap.
JENSEN: Yeah. This has a quality feel to it. I mean, I'm typically an iPhone user, and this for me stands up very well against, you know, Apple hardware. So, yeah, no I really like it.
TIM GREEN, EDITOR AND FOUNDER, MOBILE MONEY REVOLUTION: And it still looks like it's got a hell of a lot of features and specs in it to me. And I think from having gone to several of these kind of devices before, what you learn is that the handset makers need to put this stuff in, the gadget press and the fanboys, you know, obsess over these little things. And if it hasn't got enough new things they come down hard on it.
But the consumers at the end of the day are probably -- they might take some of it onboard. When it comes to actually having it in their hands they probably won't use a lot of these things.
I mean, there's some wonderful photography features in this phone. I don't know how many of them will get used. I suspect the best thing that they've come up with of all is the battery saving, which is, you know, fantastic idea. I don't know why no one really thought of it before. They just told me that it takes 10 percent battery and it extends that for a day.
LU STOUT: Now lets get more on all the big events at the Mobile World Congress from our regular contributor Nick Thompson. He's the editor of The New Yorker.com. He joins me live from New York.
Now Nick, the Galaxy S5, the reviews are in. And this is what I'm hearing, from CNN Money it is not a revolution. From The Verge, they're calling it Samsung on cruise control. So is Samsung playing it safe here? And if so, is this a sound strategy?
NICK THOMPSON, NEW YORKER.COM: I think Samsung is playing it safe in its marketing. I mean, what's happening in the phone business right now is that most of the improvements are pretty marginal. There aren't any revolutionary changes coming to phones. It's a very competitive market. There are a lot of great companies building phones. No one can jump ahead.
What Samsung did last time with their last release is they said, we're going to blow your mind. We're going to change everything. And, you know, they bought Radio City Music Hall. You couldn't move through Times Square. It was insane. And the phone comes out and it's marginally better. It's got some cool features.
This time, they've made the phone a little bit better. I think that heart rate monitor looks great. But they haven't, you know, they haven't raised expectations too high. So I think the improvements from the S5 to the S4 are about the same as from the S4 to S3, but what they've done is they haven't talked up the game so much.
So I think it's actually a very smart strategy from Samsung.
LU STOUT: Yeah, it sounds like they need to work on their messaging and how they managed expectations.
Now let's talk to BlackBerry -- or talk about BlackBerry next. We all know it desperately needs a comeback. It talked about this new smartphone, it has a physical QWERTY keyboard on it. Do you think it'll be able to shore up its position with this new handset the Q20?
THOMPSON: I'm not sure. I'm not sure the Q20 is going to do it. I mean, so BlackBerry's position right now, and their strategy is instead of trying to woo consumers, they're trying to consolidate their business with the corporations that buy BlackBerry phones for their employees.
And so I think actually what maybe most important from what BlackBerry has announced at Mobile World Congress is their new integration of their servers, their ability to support companies, their ability to support multiple phones at companies.
So, my thought is that BlackBerry will, you know, continue to put out some devices, will continue to get some attention. I do think it's very smart to have a specific Indonesian phone and to focus on specific markets where they do well. But I'm actually not -- you know, I don't think the future of high end BlackBerry phones is so great.
LU STOUT: Also, let's talk about Mark Zuckerberg. I was pretty surprised a few weeks back when I found out he was going to be there in Barcelona. He is, indeed there. The Facebook founder at the Mobile World Congress. Can we read into that in any way? Is that like a sign that it's all about mobile and the tech industry has really recognized that. We are fully past the computing era?
THOMPSON: You're right. I mean, I think that's exactly how we should look at it. I think that's how he wants you to look at it. And I think that's very perceptive that Facebook, more than most other companies, really did make this transition to mobile. Everyone has been saying mobile is the future -- mobile, mobile, mobile -- mobile first.
But it's hard to shift your company and to have the entire focus go in that direction. Zuckerberg has done that. Facebook has done that. They've made a lot of money off mobile. And they've just spent $19 billion on a mobile messaging service. So they're clearly committed. And his presence in Barcelona is exactly the signal you say to this.
LU STOUT: You know, everyone has been talking about, you know, mobile is the future and also we have to connect the next billion. We need to connect everyone who hasn't been connected yet. And everyone in the tech space has been talking about this. We've heard announcements from Nokia, Mozilla, having a cheap phone to reach the mobile have-nots. I mean, we hear all this talk, but will the industry actually deliver?
THOMPSON: Well, I think they are starting to deliver. If you look at the, you know, the money is still being made in the rich countries with smartphones. You know, most of the money in the phone business is being made by Apple, some is being made by Samsung, (inaudible) with expensive phones.
But if you look at phone penetration rates and the number of people in the world who have phones and the quality of the cheap phones that are going around the world, those trends are all going -- you know, are all going up, right, the phones are better and costing far less. Right now the statistic that shocked me when I was looking at some of this last night is that there are vastly more people in the world who have phones than have toilets.
So, the industry is getting phones to people. That will continue. That is where a lot of the growth is going to come.
You certainly see that in BlackBerry's strategy and everybody's strategy. And it is, yes, absolutely one of the big trends in Barcelona right now.
LU STOUT: Yeah. Another big trend in Barcelona. We saw it last year when we were there covering it, the News Stream team: the Chinese. And they are back there in Barcelona in a big way. Huawei is there. But, you know, it's still struggling for global recognition. Lenovo, I mean that story has kind of changed a bit because of its purchase of Motorola Mobility.
Your thoughts on the muscle behind Chinese mobile players.
THOMPSON: Well, they have had a really hard time. But I actually do think that now is a very good moment for the Chinese mobile players, partly to connect back to what we were talking about with Samsung in that most of the improvement in phones are marginal right now.
So the people who are going to win are going to be companies that can churn out phones efficiently, at relatively low cost, and you know, it'll be fairly easy to copy all of the best features of Samsung or an Apple -- or not copy, but replicate would be maybe a fairer word.
So it's a good time for companies like Lenovo and Huawei to make a lot of in-roads.
And then also there are couple of factors -- one, the U.S. mobile market is getting shaken up by T-Mobile's pricing plans. So there's an opportunity there. And then secondly one of the biggest concerns about Chinese phones is that the Chinese government was going to spy on you if you purchased one and now after the NSA scandal it's, you know, you've got to be concerned about every phone.
So in some way, one of the disadvantages that they've had, the NSA has removed, which has been very kind for the NSA to its Chinese partner.
LU STOUT: Yeah, never thought that. But you're right, Edward Snowden and his revelations being a marketing boost for Huawei and Lenovo. Interesting analysis there.
THOMPSON: In a very weird way it is.
LU STOUT: In a very weird -- it's convoluted, but yeah, we're making the connection.
Nick Thompson, thank you. Take care. We're talk again next week.
Now, the iconic LV monogram, it is widely recognized as the signature print for the fashion house Louis Vuitton. So just how much work goes into each of those handmade leather accessories. After the break, we take a look at the careful craftsmanship behind one of the world's leading fashion houses.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.
Now it is a household name and one of the hottest tickets at Fashion Week in Paris. Now CNN's Isa Soares spoke with the man behind Louis Vuitton on how trends go from the catwalk to the consumer.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's arguably the most-recognized fashion brand in the world. Here at Louis Vuitton, every detail is stitched, hammered, and painted by hand by master craftsmen.
(on camera): At the heart of the Louis Vuitton brand is travel. This is how it really all began. Take a look at this suitcase. Inside it is a foldable bed. It was used and sold in the late 19th century for the exploration of Africa. The same with this one here, it's actually made of aluminum, so the insects couldn't get in.
(voice-over): From trunks to handbags and special commissions, everything is painstakingly produced at workshops like this one just outside of Paris. Some pieces require 300 stages to assemble. At the helm of Louis Vuitton's parent company, LVMH, the largest luxury group in the world, is Bernard Arnault.
BERNARD ARNAULT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, LVMH: We already are behind the possibility of production because we want to keep the best level of quality and to train our team. Maybe it takes 18 months to two years before they can really start producing.
MICHEL DUFRENOY, CRAFTSMAN, LOUIS VUITTON (through translator): I've been working here for 26 years. I verify and make sure that all the corners are perfect.
SOARES: The brand has a long history. Louis Vuitton himself came to Paris as an apprentice trunk maker the year before the first ocean liners made their maiden trans-Atlantic voyages. It was a time of great productivity.
(on camera): This is the home of Louis Vuitton and his family. It was built in 1869, and you can tell, having a look around, the attention to detail and craftsmanship began at home, from the stained glass windows in the 1900s to that blue art nouveau fireplace. Even the chandelier, which screams la belle epoque.
ARNAULT: ...special that has been ordered by a customer that we design for him.
SOARES (voice-over): Today, LVMH has over 60 brands in its portfolio, and Louis Vuitton alone is worth almost $30 billion, according to Forbes. Merchandising French style is what has proved so popular with customers around the world.
ARNAULT: I remember when the first time I went to China in 1991 for the opening of the first Louis Vuitton shop, and in the streets of Beijing, you had no cars, only bicycles. And in spite of that, we opened, and because we were the first in China, we still are the first today.
SOARES: So, in a global market, what's the value of an event like Paris Fashion Week?
(on camera): How does that translate from the catwalk to goods sold?
ARNAUL: Very often on the catwalk, you trigger the desire of the customer. And very often, after the show, we have a demand for the product that has been shown.
SOARES (voice-over): Demand that Louis Vuitton, the teenaged trunk apprentice, could only have dreamed of.
Isa Soares, CNN, Paris.
LU STOUT: You can find out much more about Paris Fashion Week on our website. We've got tweets from the runway shows and a feature look at the world's top fashion cities all at CNN.com/fashionweek.
Now coming up next right here on News Stream, U.S. President Barack Obama is losing patience. We'll tell you what he told Afghan president Hamid Karzai in a phone call on Tuesday.
Also ahead, journalists in Hong Kong in shock after a brutal attack on a former newspaper editor. The details after the break.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream and these are your world headlines.
Now a few thousand demonstrators held a rally in Istanbul today against the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are angry about an audio recording that appears to be a conversation between the prime minister and his son about how to hide large sums of money. Mr. Erdogan calls the recordings immoral edited material.
As Ukrainian lawmakers work to form a unity government, tension is growing in the south. Pro and anti-Russian protesters are facing off in the Crimea. Now Moscow backed the now ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. And adding to the anxiety, Russia's ITAR-TASS News Agency reports surprise military drills to test troop readiness in western Russia have been ordered by President Vladimir Putin. Now parts of western Russia border Ukraine.
Now two men convicted of murdering the British soldier Lee Rigby are expected to be sentenced in the next hour. They hacked Rigby to death near his barracks in Woolwich London last year. The attackers indicated they killed Rigby for Allah.
Now U.S. President Barack Obama is running out of patience. He is now warning Afghanistan all U.S. forces could be pulled out this year if there was no deal on a security pact. Now for more, Barbara Starr joins me live from the Pentagon -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, there has to be this agreement signed by the Afghans or U.S. troops legally simply could not stay in the country after the end of this year.
The U.S. had planned to keep about 10,000 troops there, they have about 33,000 right now, but no agreement. President Obama making clear U.S. troops will pack and go yesterday saying for the first time publicly he is ordering the Pentagon to begin that critical planning for the so- called zero option. No U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of this year.
If that happened, people are already worried that the Taliban and al Qaeda will move back into Afghanistan. Just yesterday a senior Pakistani official predicting there could be civil war, predicting that 30 percent of Afghan military forces might defect if the U.S. leaves. And of course if the U.S. is not there keeping an eye on any al Qaeda or Taliban movements maybe very difficult -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Barbara Starr reporting live from the Pentagon for us, thank you very much indeed for that.
Now, to a shocking and brutal attack here in Hong Kong. The target, a journalist known for his aggressive reporting on China.
Now Kevin Lao (ph) was walking to his car earlier today and then stabbed multiple times by an unknown attacker and left bleeding. He is now in hospital in critical condition.
Now the attack comes in the wake of a sizable demonstration in Hong Kong on Sunday. Thousands of people protested what they see as rising efforts by Beijing to control the media here. And during that protest, many of Lao's (ph) former colleagues spoke saying his recent dismissal as editor of Ming Pow (ph) newspaper reflected that trend.
Now after today's attack there has been widespread outrage. Hong Kong's chief executive CY Leung issued a statement saying this, quote, "we will not tolerate this kind of violence."
And there's also anger and disbelief from journalists.
Now earlier I spoke to Tara Joseph. She's the president of the foreign correspondents club in Hong Kong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARA JOSEPH, HONG KONG FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS' CLUB PRESIDENT: The view is disbelief, but more than that deep, deep concern as to what's happening. We live in the city where you have medium from the full political spectrum who often report and speak out. You have international news organizations who form Hong Kong as a hub for reporting. Something like this should not be happening in this city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: OK. And Lao (ph) continues to fight for his life. And a journalist who has known him for 30 years spoke to CNN. Shirley Yam says that she cannot think of any reason why anyone would try to kill him. Yam adds that she, a Hong Kong journalist, is terrified.
Now the family of the slain British soldier Lee Rigby will soon learn the fate of the men convicted of killing him. Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of running the soldier down in a car before hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives.
Now this brutal murder, it took place last May in broad daylight as witnesses looked on in horror. Atika Shubert has more.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Soldier Lee Rigby walks to the Woolwich military barracks on May 22, completely unaware of the horror awaiting him. A car accelerates behind him and runs him down before he is then hacked to death with knives and a meat cleaver.
This is just one of the graphic videos the family and widow of Lee Rigby have endured during the trial of 29-year-old Michael Adebolajo and his co-accused 22-year-old Michael Adebowale at London's Old Bailey.
The two men, both British citizens, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Rigby, Adebolajo arguing that he had no choice.
"I am a soldier of Allah," he told the jury. "It is a war between Islam and those militaries that invade Muslim lands."
Lee Rigby was killed in full view of horrified onlookers. "He knelt down next to the man," witness Amanda Bailey said of Adebolajo in a statement read in court. "He grabbed the young man's head and began hacking."
The jury saw videos of what authorities said were the two men pulling Rigby's body onto the road, and as seen here people watched as the pair lingered at the scene, still brandishing their bloodied weapons.
Authorities say it was only when armed police arrived that Adebolajo ran, but it was at the officers and armed with a meat cleaver. He was shot. Within seconds, Adebowale was also shot after police say he aimed a gun at them. The weapon was later found not to be loaded.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of a police officer. Adebolajo telling the court he only ran at police to draw fire, because he wanted to die while carrying out what he described as a military operation.
In closing, the defense argued that Adebolajo was not a psychopath, the killing of Lee Rigby, they argued, was a political act of war, better defined as terrorism or treason, but not murder.
Now during the trial, Adebolajo expressed admiration for al Qaeda, saying I love them, they are my brothers. He also showed no regret or remorse for the killing of Lee Rigby saying that he hoped his death would bring about a change in British foreign policy.
The prosecution dismissed Adebolajo's argument that the killing of the young fuselier was an act of war, telling the jury that under British law the attack could only be defined as murder.
Atika Shubert, CNN, London.
LU STOUT: Now, we are keeping an eye on fresh protests in Ukraine. As reported earlier in the program, we've got pro and anti-Russia protesters in Ukraine. They are facing off in the southern part of the country of Crimea. These are live pictures of those protests underway.
Now these rival demonstrations are over as Russia's influence in the new Ukraine. We know that a new government is supposed to be formed, hopefully an announcement will be made on Thursday. Moscow backed the now ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. Live pictures there from Crimea.
And we have our Fred Pleitgen joining me on the line live from the scene of these protests. Fred, describe what's happening.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie.
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of pushing and shoving going on. I would say several thousand people, it's pretty much evenly mixed between pro- Russian and pro-Ukrainian protesters. The pro-Ukrainian also have a lot of ethnic Tartars among them.
And so you have the one side screaming Russia, Russia and Crimea as part of Russia and the other sides screaming Ukraine, Ukraine, Crimea is not part of Russia. And then you always have these scuffles sort of happening in the middle there.
But so far it seems as though there hasn't been too much violence just yet, only a couple of minutes ago I was actually right in the middle of the two factions that are facing off there. And they sort of formed a human chain to each side to try and keep the sort of corridor in the middle, that's work most of the time. It doesn't work all the time. But they are doing their best to keep the two sides apart.
So (inaudible) it's still largely peaceful there. But it's certainly a very tense and very charged atmosphere. The same all across the Crimean peninsula over the past couple of days, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, very charged atmosphere there in Crimea, as you said. This -- what we're seeing these live pictures happening not just there, but across the region. But what about the feeling across Ukraine. I mean, we've talked about this point before, the fears of a split, of a divide in Ukraine. There's that divide between pro-Russia, pro-Ukraine and we're pro-EU line inside Ukraine, a divide along linguistic lines, along cultural lines, along political lines. How deep is that divide not just in Crimea, but across the country?
PLEITGEN: Well, it's a very deep divide. It's a very deep divide that goes across parts of the country. If you look at the east of the country, in the southeast of the country there are a lot of people who are very pro-Russia who want that part of Ukraine to be part of Russia, more even so than here down in the Crimea rather than in the east of Ukraine.
And then of course there's the people in the west who feel more drawn towards Europe, who feel more European, and they certainly are very much in favor of the events that have been happening in Ukraine over the past couple of days, over the past weeks. The ousting of President Yanukovych.
So there is a very deep divide. It's not just one that I would say is territorial, but also one that I would say is maybe generational as well. There certainly are more young people who are more pro-European where if you look at the pro-Russian crowd, a lot of them are somewhat older people, and somewhat people who look back to the days of old, to the days of socialism and sort of feel that those were, you know, sort of have a romantic feeling about those days.
So there's sort of a generational divide as well as a divide across the parts of the country.
But nowhere have I seen it more pronounced than down here on the Crimean peninsula where you really have a lot of Russians not just here in (inaudible), but especially of course in Sevastopol, which is that big Russian naval town. And there, we just got out of there a couple of hours ago. And what's going on there is that pro-Russian militias are setting up checkpoints and starting to control (inaudible), they're starting to set up their own militias there. And they certainly say they're not going to take any orders from Kiev.
So, yeah, it's a very big divide and one where I don't necessarily think that it's going to get out of control, but a lot is going to depend on what politicians on both sides of the equation are going to do next. What is the government in Kiev is going to do what Moscow is going to do and of course what the local politicians here on the ground will do in the next couple of days we'll be very decisive.
LU STOUT: It's incredible, isn't it, this divide inside Ukraine between pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine factions in very clear and vivid focus as we look at these live scenes from Crimea. That was Fred Pleitgen reporting live from the Crimean peninsula.
You're watching News Stream. And coming up next on the program, the World Cup is creating new economic opportunities in some of Brazil's shanty towns. How Favelas hope to cash in, believe it or not, after the break.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now if you are heading to Brazil for the World Cup this year, but you're not ready to pay through the roof for accommodations, you could try slumming it, and I mean that quite literally. Shasta Darlington tells us about some of Rio de Janeiro's more affordable options.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of the best views in Rio from some of the cheapest rooms in town. World Cup fans take note, Rio de Janeiro's once infamous shanty towns, or favelas, have opened their doors to tourists.
Dutch backpacker Michael Blommers says it's the only way to go.
MICHAEL BLOMMERS, BACKPACKER: If they want to see the World Cup, want to see some football matches and a experience a true Brazilian life, they should really come to a favela and just check this out.
DARLINGTON: Beds at the hostels along the beach, which usually go for around $40 will cost as much as $400 a night. Many hotels will charge over $1,000. But a bunk here at Alto Vigigal (ph) will cost just $65, four times the normal price, but still a bargain.
(on camera): Cheapest price around, actually.
(voice-over): Still in many ways visitors really do have to slum it. Garbage piles up along the roads, electricity, water and sewage services are spotty at best. And transportation precarious.
And then there's security. Just a few years ago, Rio's favelas were controlled by drug lords. Police have since stormed many of them, a so- called pacification, driving out armed gangs in an effort to make it relatively safe for residents and visitors.
(on camera): With all these tourists coming up here now, people have opened up shops in their own homes. This guy right down here is selling handicrafts, and then right up here there's a new tapioca sandwich shop, which I have to say sounds pretty good to me. Let's go try it.
(voice-over): People are opening up little hotels because demand keeps growing, he says.
Indeed, upstairs, his cousin has built a one-bedroom that she's going to rent for $500 during the World Cup.
In other favelas, the pacification efforts have had mixed success. In Josihno (ph), Maria Clara Dos Santos (ph) says she could hear the recent shootouts from her terrace.
She rents rooms in her bright yellow house to foreign tourists. And she says safety depends on knowing where and where not to go.
That hasn't stopped visitors in search of a more authentic experience, and of course the great views.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.
LU STOUT: All right, time now for your global weather forecast and a focus and an update on the choking haze especially in northern parts of China and Beijing. Will it clear by Thusrday?
Remember Mari Ramos telling us about that. She joins us now from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, we have seen a great improvement in the air quality just in the last few hours across that northeastern China area, particularly in Beijing. The picture that you see behind me is from the U.S. government -- the China mission in Beijing. And they, of course, report the air quality index in that area.
I want to show you just over -- I know it's hard to see some of these numbers. You've got the bottom of -- it's basically time -- 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm, this is yesterday. And this is when we were talking about those just horrible numbers off the chart, really, across the area. Look at this dip right into there. That's a huge difference compared to what we had before.
Look at this, we're down to -- and I should say down to -- 152. That is still considered unhealthy air, though. This is not necessarily great, but it's definitely an improvement to what we had before. Remember that chart -- good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy and hazardous and we had been under that hazardous area for such a long time.
So at 152, quite an improvement, still not exactly the best, of course, that we could have.
But all of this happening because of the weather system that moved in through this region. We had a cold front that was coming through and that has really helped out the situation.
But remember when it was the worst earlier in the week? You can see the difference between what is a cloud and what is the smog. And that is all of this haze that you see right over here on this satellite image from NASA. And Tuesday's peak AQI -- air quality index -- was 551, that's when it was the worst. Wednesday wasn't much better, but we're definitely seeing an improvement now.
So, they have this contingency plan in Beijing. It was developed late last year, and this is really the first time that these warnings and these advisories have been issued. They have the blue, yellow, orange and red system. They never got to that red warning this time around. And the issue when they're expected the smog to be pretty bad for the next three days. And that's we saw with those orange alerts the last few days. We never did get to the red warning, but if we had, schools would have been closed, 80 percent of the government owned cars would be taken off the road, and there would be no use of big vehicles like the ones that you use for the -- you know, the very heavy trucks that transport materials for construction, for example.
We did get to the orange warning. And so they were advised, the schools, to cancel outdoor activities -- that's what you saw -- we heard all those stories yesterday about, you know, playing underneath a dome, for example, as opposed to playing outside. And factories had to limit emissions or close. There were several dozens factories that did close, or companies I should say. And constructions sites had to halt excavation or even demolition.
So there's a lot of things in place that happened.
Currently in Beijing, it's six degrees. They do have wind coming from the north. And that's a big difference over what they had before with that very still air. So now that northerly wind -- visibility has improved to about 4 kilometers. It's not a perfect day, it's not a blue sky night, I should say, or starry night sky, but it's definitely an improvement from before. You can see that weather system coming along right there. As it continues to move on, we're going to see probably some rain and some snow moving across the Korean peninsula, back over toward western Japan. But remember that that pollution has to go somewhere. And this acts almost as a broom, so to speak, that pushes that bad air toward the east.
So, yeah, we've had some pretty numbers as far as air pollution even across parts of the Korean peninsula and in Japan also.
I think in Seoul, you'll see an improvement today as that weather system comes overnight tonight and into tomorrow. So at least that's a little bit of an improvement there.
Headed to the U.S., Kristie, oh my gosh. We're back in the freezer. Temperatures remain 10 to 15 degrees below average. I hate this. I want winter to go away. So far, though, no luck.
At least this blast of cold air won't last us long as the last one.
LU STOUT: Yeah. Bundle up, Mari, and take care on those icy, icy streets you hear? All right, Mari Ramos there. Thank you.
You're watching News Stream. Coming up after the break, Lego is a leader in the toy market, but with digital games competing for kids' attention, what is Legos secret to staying out front? We'll talk to a top executive and find out.
LU STOUT: And 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.
BOULDEN: So at booths like the one behind me here at Mobile World Congress, it's all about products you can buy now. But we wanted to look at some things that may be coming in the future. I'm joined by Jason Jenkins from CNet. Let's go through some of these. On your website, you're talking a lot about a smart glove. What is that?
JASON JENKINS, CNET: It's glove that fits over your hand and it connects to some special augmented reality specs. And it's meant for things like oil rigs, industrial situations. You go on there and you point at what's wrong on the oil rig. It tells you in the glasses what you need to do.
BOULDEN: Now what about super fast wifi, it's called lifi?
JENKINS: Yes. So this is an interesting way of getting data from one place to another, but without using the traditional -- so radio waves being used. It's light. It's little LEDs that flash so quickly you can't see. And they transmit data from one point to another. And that's coming soon
BOULDEN: And there's a lot of that you see here on Google+ people talking about that.
And finally on Facebook I see a lot of people talking about waterproofing your phone. What is that?
JENKINS: What happens is that they coat the phone, all the internals of a phone with a special substance and it makes it completely waterproof. So you know you can drop your phone now and it's pretty much dead. There are some waterproof phones out there. But this guarantees that your phone is completely -- it will survive.
BOULDEN: Could we see that soon?
JENKINS: Well, we -- they're saying we're going to see it towards the end of the year, but I have heard that from different companies for a few years.
But it will be in phones soon.
BOULDEN: OK. Great, Jason.
So, that's some of the things we might see at future Mobile World Congresses.
Jim Boulden, CNN, Barcelona.
LU STOUT: Now, Lego has inspired the imagination of children for generations. But with new technology increasingly edging into the toy market how did a company that makes plain old plastic bricks becomes the world's second biggest toy maker? Legos president spoke with Matt Stuart about their secret to success and why the plastic figurines aren't just for kids.
SOREN TORP LAURSEN, PRESIDENT, LEGO SYSTEMS: Our ambition is not to be a dominant force, our ambition is just to make the best toys we can possible do in the construction area.
MATT STUART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This past September, the Denmark company, famous for its interlocking bricks passed Hasbro to become the world's number two toymaker, second only to Mattel. The source of that success?
LAURSEN: It's really staying true with what's relative to a 2-year- old or relevant to a 5-year-old or relevant to 9-year-old, what's relevant to 14-year-old. And what's we're staying true to that, new products flow. We keep their attention through making great (inaudible) experiences. And I think research actually shows that playtime is not (inaudible). Kids are not spending less time on play. They have a lot of other things that is competing for their time, but their playtime is pretty constant.
STUART: Those things competing for playtime? iPads, iPhones, videogames and other digital experiences, none of which Lego says they are threatened by. In fact, the company has offerings on all the major platforms and app stores.
LAURSEN: We don't look at digital as a threat to our tactile toys, we view that digital is an opportunity to advertise what happens with the tactile toys. We have seen many evidence that when kids play on LEGO Star Wars, they (inaudible) that increases their interest and the desire to play in the physical world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax everybody, I'm here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Batman. Oh!
STUART: With a movie that pulled in more than $180 million in just three weeks and a 2014 lineup targeted at everyone from toddlers through adults, LEGO says they are poised for even more growth, though their focus remains the kids.
LAURSEN: We're all big kids at heart. So whether you are a big kid at 50 or whether you are a small child at five, the LEGO idea is equally (inaudible) across genders. But our focus is to make sure we deliver what children want and what they need.
STUART: Matt Stuart, CNN Money, New York.
LU STOUT: And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.